WIN Conference Makes Successful Relocation to D.C.
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WIN Educational Conference Makes Successful Relocation to D.C.

The three-day event went off without a hitch thanks to a team effort to relocate it from Baltimore following the recent unrest.

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Alicia Lewis is a 2014 graduate of Kent State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in both magazine journalism and fashion merchandising. While at Kent State, she worked as a student correspondent at the copydesk of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Women's Industry Network Scholarship Award winners (from left) Shelby Woods, Faith Schoovaerts, Leni Cassares, Claudia Felici and Corina Rutland.

Women’s Industry Network Scholarship Award winners (from left) Shelby Woods, Faith Schoovaerts, Leni Cassares, Claudia Felici and Corina Rutland.

The annual Women’s Industry Network (WIN) Educational Conference kicked off May 4 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The three-day event went off without a hitch thanks to a team effort to relocate it from Baltimore following the recent unrest.

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Day 1

Monday’s session began with a preconference reception and welcome ceremony, emceed by WIN Board Chair Denise Caspersen, for the nearly 191 attendees, the highest number of attendees in WIN Conference’s history.

Paul Gange, president and COO of Fix Auto USA, gave the initial talk titled “Change Makes Me Happy…Or Is It the Other Way Around?”

“Happiness begets success,” said Gange. “Not the other way around.”

Gange explained how half of all workers are unhappy, 32 percent seriously think about quitting and 21 percent have a negative view of their employer.

“Enable employees to have fun on the job,” implored Gange. “Have a heart.”

Following Gange’s discussion, the group took a small break and then Jeff Peevy, I-CAR senior director of field support and segment development, took the stage to give his talk on “The Sustainable Competitive Advantage.”

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When there is a learning culture put in place at a company or business, “people believe knowledge is an asset and that learning is the only source of a sustainable competitive advantage,” said Peevy.

“Top performers have a learning culture. Lowest performers just see training as something they ‘had to do.’”

Peevy explained that the top performers in the industry share knowledge freely.

Day 2

The second day of the conference began bright and early with a WIN Scholarship Industry Walk around D.C. Breakfast followed with yogurt parfaits and croissants.

Motivational speaker Mike Anderson, president and owner of CollisionAdvice, then took the stage to give his energetic keynote address, “Choosing Your Destiny.”

He described his dream for the industry: to build, maintain and restore trust between all parties through transparency.

Anderson was also adamant that the industry, as a whole, needs to get behind women in the industry and work together.

“Generations that work together will thrive, not just survive,” said Anderson. “Learn from each other, young and old.”

Following a small break, Susanna Gotsch, CCC Information Services Inc. director and industry analyst of products and technology, spoke about “What the Future Holds for Our Industry.”

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Gotsch explained how overall CCC Information Services industry claim counts were up 5 percent in 2014.

“We are living in an age of insurance that is totally different than it was even 10 years ago.”

Following an in-depth look at some statistics, Gotsch wrapped up by telling the audience that new technology is coming and it’s not a bad thing, it can be your friend.

After lunch was the WIN Annual Membership Meeting, followed by the Cornerstone Award ceremony and Committee Sign-Up. Then, attendees broke out into workshop sessions. Guests could attend two out of the three sessions offered: Marianne Godwin and Mary Yama’s “Feedback: Giving and Receiving,” Cheryl Senko’s “Reality Marketing” and Sandra Herron’s “Bridging Silos: Using Marketing Concepts to Attract, Retain and Grow Talent.”

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Day two wrapped up in the evening with the Gala Dinner and the Most Influential Women Award Ceremony.

During the ceremony, scholarships were also given out to Jasmine Herrera, Kayla Adams, Maria Carmen Mendez, Shelby Woods, Faith Schoovaerts, Leni Cassares, Claudia Felici and Corina Rutland.

Then, Cheryl Boswell, managing partner and CFO of DCR Systems, LLC, Lisa Siembab, from CARSTAR Berlin, Conn., Lauren Fix, The Car Coach, and Ruth Weniger, CFO of Airbag Solutions and chair of WIN’s Communications Committee, were each bestowed with the Most Influential Women Award.

Day 3

On the third and final day of the conference, President of SCG Management Consultants Sean Carey took the stage to discuss “Connected Cars/Connected Claims.”

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Carey explained a report that estimates Left Turn Assist and Intersection Movement Assist could prevent 592,000 crashes. “That’s a huge hit for the aftermarket.”

He discusses how data is now the most vital thing car companies can possess. And who has the most information on individuals? Insurance companies.

“Microsoft, Google and Apple are in the car business,” says Carey. “ If you don’t know that, you haven’t been watching.”

Ruth Weniger then returned as the final speaker of the conference. Her talk was titled, “Time Management: There’s No Such Thing.”

“For a lot of the clients that I have worked with over the last 10 years or so, and a lot of the teams that I’d worked with before that and colleagues that I’ve worked with, time management is the No. 1 stressor that we always come back to,” says Weniger.

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Then, attendees got up and explained their personal definitions of “time management.”

The overwhelming success of the relocated conference to the beautiful city of D.C., is a true testament to the power of WIN and its dedicated leaders.

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