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Go Lead Idaho Spring Conference

This past Saturday, I spent my day with over a hundred amazing women. The content for the day was inspiring, focusing on how to find our voice, and then what to do with that voice. We discussed how to get involved in elected office, how to understand and implement policy in businesses, as well as how to get involved with non-profits and boards that we are passionate about.

Go Lead Idaho Takeaways

Tabby Biddle helped us find our voice through journaling and then connecting and vocalizing our passion. She is such an inspiration in her quest to help women find their cause, define it, and then do something. The 85% power that men have in decision making—especially when it comes to elected office, media, and corporate leadership—reinvigorated and reinforced the rosieMADE mission. We must build awareness for the need for more women as influencers, and must create platforms for this influencing.

It was great to hear from some of our state legislators that they are “nothing special”—they reinforced that each woman in attendance could run, get elected, and make a difference; although I know these women are very special, no matter what they say. I especially enjoyed Maxine Bell’s sense of humor, Holli Wooding’s discussion of life influences, and Kelley Packer’s quotes on rolling her sleeves up to vote for what is right—and not based on her personal beliefs. All of these women spoke of collaboration and finding common ground. With so much discussion of partisan gridlock in the media, I was ecstatic that this perspective is alive and well with some of our elected officials (and especially with our female elected officials).

Tabby Biddle, Alicia Vanderschuere, and Governor Barbara Roberts

Former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts shared powerful anecdotes, and challenged each of us to “blaze new trails.” Being the first (and only to date) female governor of Oregon, and one of the first ten in our country’s history, she reminded us that none of these ten women were anointed, but that each had to “find her way.” She also reminded us of the firsts that women leaders have made, and the firsts that are still to come.

There were additional break-out sessions and panel discussions, as well as great networking opportunities.

For me, this event was just what I needed to remind me how important our work at rosieMADE is, and how much support exists for women blazing trails.

Here are the 10 takeways from the conference as provided by Go Lead Idaho:

  1. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
  2. Measure yourself and others by their accomplishments and not how they look.
  3. Speak up. Participate in speaking opportunities in areas of your personal and professional expertise.
  4. Encourage women to speak at events and conferences. If you attend an event where few, if any, women are speaking, say something and encourage the organizers to include women.
  5. Seek opportunities to lead in your community and in your job.
  6. Encourage women and young girls to take on positions of leadership in their communities.
  7. Find your passion. And, pursue it.
  8. Run for elected office or join a Board or Commission.
  9. Mentor another woman or young girl to become the best she can be.
  10. Donate to the cause at, attend Go Lead Idaho events and follow Go Lead Idaho online.

Please let us know what you think about the rosieMADE mission, your experience at Go Lead Idaho, or what your voice is. It is through these discussions that women will continue to build influence.

A USA manufacturing advocate, an idealist, a champion for women, a believer in good, a corporate survivor, a spreadsheet and organizational junkie, a healthy living proponent, a wife, a mother, and an entrepreneur. She took her 15 years of retail and corporate merchandising experience, coupled her passion for the American dream and hard-working women, mixed in an inspiring figure (Rosie the Riveter of course), and created rosieMADE LLC. Find on .

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