McNutt Campus Center

William Woods to host business leadership symposium

Event to include a graduate student business research presentation, women’s empowerment panel

The William Woods University (WWU) Leadership Center will be hosting a first-ever business leadership symposium on campus this week, including a presentation on a small business research project and a panel on women’s empowerment in the business world. The event will take place from 12:30-3:15 on Thursday, March 24, at Cutlip Auditorium inside the McNutt Campus Center at WWU.

“We are excited to provide two leadership events on campus that address topics that are directly applicable to the professional world,” said Dr. Jeremy Moreland, President of William Woods. “It is exactly these kinds of opportunities, sponsored by our WWU Leadership Center, that promote our professions-oriented mission at the University.”

Housed within the School of Business and Technology at William Woods, the WWU Leadership Center was established to promote leadership development and research, and to provide an opportunity to address real issues faced by individuals and organizations. The center’s mission is to promote leadership development through education, research and evidence-based practices.

“In alignment with the School of Business and Technology’s vision and mission, as well as William Woods University’s mission, the center’s goal is to provide research-based and practical programs to build leadership competencies that are professions-oriented,” said Dr. Thomas Trice, Associate Professor of Business and Director of the WWU Leadership Center. “Our business leadership symposium this week will support that mission, while sparking intellectual conversations and ideas around the focus of leadership.”

The symposium, free and open to the public, will consist of two segments:

12:30-1:30 p.m. – MBA Graduate Student Research Presentation

William Woods MBA graduate students Ana Zavala (from Honduras), Aaron Westerlund (from Australia) and Zlata Shuraeva (from Russia) will present research findings from a nine-month analysis of a non-profit business, discuss what they learned from their experience and how they see this work assisting them as they transition from the classroom to the workforce. This presentation will offer attendees the opportunity to learn how they can participate in future consulting projects, and offers business owners the chance to learn how they can partner with the WWU Leadership Center to assist them in strengthening their business strategies.

1:45-3:15 p.m. – Women’s Empowerment Leadership Panel

An open panel discussion that examines the challenges women face and the strategies they use when climbing the executive ladder in a variety of industries. The panel offers opportunities to hear about navigating the business world from a woman’s perspective, specifically the differences for women and men when it comes to the challenges of moving up the corporate ladder.

Panelists include:

Dr. Vanessa Davis, Lead Quality Auditor, bioMerieux Inc. (Hazelwood, Mo.)

Allyssa Johnson, Director of Workforce AID, Kansas Department of Commerce (Topeka, Kan.)

Lonna Trammell, Regional Account Executive, Ameren Missouri (Jefferson City, Mo.)

Colonel Denise Wilkinson, Missouri Army National Guard (Jefferson City, Mo.)

For more on the William Woods Leadership Center, please visit