CHICAGO, June 23, 2009 — For the very first time, 50 students from middle and high schools throughout Chicago will attend the Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Conference presented by the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), in partnership with O'Malley & Associates and the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Women's Business Owners® (NAWBO®).
During the event this Friday, local women business leaders and NAWBO members will mentor girls ages 12 through 18 about entrepreneurship and financial independence. Held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on June 26, the Girls Going Places® conference is being hosted in conjunction with NAWBO's annual Women's Business Conference, making this a unique opportunity for young girls who aspire to become business owners. Guardian's National Girls Going Places® 2009 Award Finalist, Eugenia O' Kelly, will be honored at NAWBO's keynote luncheon, attended by hundreds of women entrepreneurs from around the world.
"As a company that is committed to serving small business owners, Guardian is proud to partner with NAWBO, the pre-eminent women-owned business organization, to support the entrepreneurial potential of teen girls through our nationally recognized Girls Going Places® Program," said Kathy Readinger, who heads the program for Guardian.
"This conference provides an amazing opportunity for teen girls to learn from successful women business-owners who can inspire them to pursue entrepreneurial ambitions," she said. "For Chicago-area women business owners, it's a chance to encourage, educate and recognize the potential of these young women as future business owners and leaders."
During the interactive conference, local business women will guide the girls through various activities such as "Hot Company®," an entrepreneurial board game that introduces girls to the advantages and challenges of owning one's own business. They will also team up for an exercise called "Product-in-a-Box®," in which they will have the opportunity to design a product and present a marketing plan. The mentors will share their experiences as successful women in business.
"This conference allows business women of all ages to collaborate, share ideas, and be honored for their achievements," said Annette Hammortree, Financial Planner, O'Malley & Associates. "We are proud to host these young women and showcase their talent to the community." According to Patti Ernst, another Financial Planner with O'Malley & Associates, "The conference provides a springboard for girls to become financially independent and learn from other women the true value of business ownership."
In 2009, Guardian is hosting eight Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Conferences across the country. Created ten years ago as part of Guardian's Women's Initiative, the national Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Program annually awards $30,000 in cash prizes to 15 teen girls who demonstrate outstanding entrepreneurial abilities and service in the community.
For more information about the program, its awards and conferences, please visit www.GirlsGoingPlaces.com/. Information is also available on MySpace, Facebook and YouTube; keyword Girls Going Places.
Founded in 1975, NAWBO® propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. More than thirty years later, NAWBO® is still the only organization that solely represents the interest of women entrepreneurs in all industries. The organization's mission is to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its members and promote economic development; to create innovative and effective change in the business culture; to build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and to transform public policy and influence opinion makers. Visit www.nawbo.org/ for more information.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), one of the largest and oldest mutual life insurance companies in the United States, is known for its stability and strength. A Fortune 300 company, Guardian is the only major life insurer to earn upgrades from two major rating agencies in 2008: A++ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA+ (Very Strong) by Standard & Poor's. Guardian also has retained ratings of Aa2 (Excellent) by Moody's and AA+ (Very Strong) by Fitch (ratings current as of April, 2009).
Founded nearly 150 years ago, Guardian and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting individuals, business owners and their employees with life, long term care insurance, disability income and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products and trust services.
Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, and protects more than six million employees and their families at 120,000 companies. The company has more than 5,400 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide.
For more information about Guardian, please visit: www.GuardianLife.com.
SOURCE:The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Web site: http://www.guardianlife.com/