True success is not measured by how you grow your business, but rather how you invest in people, Dorie Tuggle told a group of female entrepreneurs.
Relying on 35 years' experience in corporate America, including her current position as senior manager at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ms. Tuggle said taking the time to get to know people is the best way to inspire and lead them.
She spoke at the first Women's Leadership Conference, held at The Pinnacle Club in Augusta on Tuesday.
With twice as many women as men now starting small businesses, the conference served as an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to learn from one another and network with female business leaders.
"We wanted to provide women speakers on women's issues that could help the entrepreneur to expand to the next level," said Helen Blocker-Adams, the conference's organizer.
The all-day event featured a morning presentation by Melane Sabelhaus, the deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, in addition to Ms. Tuggle's presentation.
Ms. Sabelhaus stressed the importance of women developing small businesses, to encourage women not to be afraid of starting their own businesses and to use the Small Business Administration to finance expansions or acquire government contracts.
"Think big, think bold and be audacious," she advised. "You can't underestimate passion. It's contagious and makes all the difference in the world."
About 90 women and a handful of men turned out to hear the presentations by Ms. Tuggle and Ms. Sabelhaus, and a series of panel discussions with established entrepreneurs.
Topics for the panel discussions included the challenges and opportunities women face as business leaders, some of the unwritten rules for dealing with corporations and the government and how to bring your business to the next level.
Panelists included Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Charlene Sizemore, Commissioner Barbara Sims and Fort Gordon's Brig. Gen. Janet Hicks.
"We appear weak, but we are strong," Ms. Sims said.
Reach James Gallagher at (706) 823-3227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.