• Atypical Tea

    Women in Leadership and Development presents Atypical Tea, a four part learning series centralized on a theme that will benefit and grow women in their various roles of leadership. Atypical Tea may be at high tea time, but our tastings and desserts will vary.

    The 2017 year's theme is Courageous Maneuvers.

    Cost: $20, Chamber members only. Registration required. Space is limited, so be sure to register early to guarantee your spot!

    Be sure to register for all remaining Atypical Tea events!


    Click below to expand the section and learn more about past programming and resource.















  • 2017: Courageous Maneuvers 2017: Courageous Maneuvers


    “Speak up. Believe in yourself. Take risks.” - Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CFO and author of Lean In. Taking risks is a key component for success in our careers. For many women, putting ourselves out there and taking chances is hard. Yet, without taking risks, we may miss opportunities to grow in our abilities or move into the position or career we want. During this session, attendees heard from Jenny Hosfeld and Jill Rock, two women who have taken risks, and in the process, moved forward in attaining their goals. From their stories, the audience gained inspiration and insights in how to identify opportunities, overcome imposter syndrome, and make their move.

    Resources from this event:
    How to Manage Your Inner Critic Video by 
    Greta Thomas, Co-founder of Full Potential Labs
    The Suprising Solution to the Imposter Syndrome Video by Lou Solomon from TEDxCharlotte
    Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath



    Credibility is a key element of leadership, however is the bar for credibility higher for women? Does the need or method for building credibility change over the course of your career? A panel featuring Tori Utley, M.B.A, 23-year-old entrepreneur working jointly in technology innovation and addiction recovery, Tonya Burns, M.B.A, Senior Credit Analyst at Home Federal - Business Banking, and Dr. Wendy Shannon, Assistant Professor at Winona State University, spoke about how they have built credibility, as well as how they continue to sustain and grow their credibility to achieve personal goals. Attendees were left with new ideas and were inspired to continue building credibility in order to gain the support to make your own courageous maneuvers.



    We all know that women face challenges at work based on gender, but what if – in addition to being a woman – there is something else about you that creates additional barriers to success? Maybe you face stereotypes based on age, ethnicity, disability, or gender identity. Betty HutchinsManager for the Mayo Integrated Clinical Systems Project Management Office at Mayo Clinic, Regina Mustafa, currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Winona State, and Jessi Wangen, Finance Representative at Mayo Clinic, are women who have faced multiple barriers such as these. This panel shared additional challenges they have also faced and what advice they would give to others to help them be successful.

  • 2016: Cultivating Leadership 2016: Cultivating Leadership


    Many people aspire to move into a management or leadership position – within their current organizations, at a different organization, or by starting their own business. Prior to making this career move, there are things we can do to prepare ourselves to be successful. A panel featuring Teresa McCormack, Owner Urban Design Studio, Larry Guse, Chief People Officer Think Bank, and Julie Valenica, Campus President Kaplan University have made the transition from employee to boss, mentored women to help prepare them for leadership roles, and started their own business. Panelists shared how they transitioned into new roles and gave advice for individuals interested in making the same move.

    Resources from this event:
    Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders Video by Sheryl Sandberg

    20 Inspired TED Talks Every Woman Should Watch

    KPMG Women's Leadership Study
    Leading While Female by the Association for Psychological Science
    Rethinking What Masculinity Means at the Office by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox (Harvard Business Review)

    The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni


    Elaine Garry, is the CEO of People's Energy Cooperative, a  wife, mother of four and now a grandmother. Elaine shared her ideas on the importance of balancing your personal life with your professional life. She also shared tools to use to form a plan for success and lessons learned from her experiences and training.

    Resources from this event:
    Elaine Garry's Presentation

    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
    Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl


    The most effective leaders are able to lead up (people with authority over you); down (people who may report to you); and across (your peers). While all of these leadership roles have their own challenges, it can especially difficult to lead our peers. Yet, the ability to lead our colleagues can be one of the most rewarding experiences as well as a great way to develop the necessary skills to an effective leader in general. During this workshop, Catherine Davis, Business Instructor with Rochester Community and Technical College explored three elements of leading our peers: partnering versus competing with our team mates; holding our peers accountable; and, providing feedback.

    Resources from this event:
    WILD Atypical Tea Worksheet
    from Catherine Davis
    Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant
    The 360 Degree Leadership: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John Maxwell
    Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior by Kerry Pattersson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, and Ron Switzler
    Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey


    “It takes them forever to learn new technology.” “Why do they need so much attention?” “They don’t know how to communicate.” Generational differences can cause many challenges in the workplace. However, a multi-generational workplace also brings many opportunities for organizational innovation and growth. The secret is to learn how to harness the strengths of each generation so everyone can work in their most effective way. During this Atypical Tea session, Dr. Mary Davenport, Interim President at Rochester Community and Technical College, shared her stories and strategies for successfully leading a multi-generational workplace. Included in her presentation were tools related to effective generational communication and flexing your leadership style based on generational need.

    Resources from this event:
    Generational Differences Chart

    Generation Preferences: A Glimpse into the Future Office



  • 2015: Confident Communication 2015: Confident Communication


    In our kickoff event, Workforce and Development Director for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Julie Brock and Michon Rogers of Rochester Community and Technical College presented ways for women to stretch their creativity through coloring while setting goals to color their own world of communication as an exercise of vulnerability and authenticity.

    Resources from this event:
    Enneagram - Guide to Riso-Hudson Tests
    Colors Assessent - Personality Assessment
    Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
    Why adults are buying coloring books - Article from The New Yorker
    Adult Coloring Book - Buy yours today!



    Regina Seabrook of Rochester Public Schools, examined beliefs about what it means to communicate confidently exploring how body language can communicate confidence or a lack there of. Attendees also practiced strategies that supported the goal of communicating with confidence. 

    Resources from this event:
    Regina Seabrook's Presentation
    Speak Up for Success
    Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are (Ted Talk)



    Often times we speak from reactions instead of well thought out responses which causes us to communicate less effectively and essentially, without confident. In this session, Theresa French of FocusWorks Training & Development discussed what it means to communication from a place of Being and principles to help us communicate more assuredly when we’re put on the spot or needing to deal with difficult conversations. 

    Resources from this event:
    Theresa's Presentation



    Jenna Bowman, Executive Director from the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Tessa Leung Owner of Sontes Catering and Grand Rounds Brewing Company spoke about the importance of being authentic when communicating. This includes actively listening and being diligent about connecting and retaining information. Furthermore, the importance of being vulnerable and true to one’s self was also discussed.

    Resources from this event:

    Brené Brown studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame - TED Speaker and Author of the following:


    For more information about Women in Leadership & Development events, please contact the Chamber or call (507) 288-1122.