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Posted: Monday, April 12, 2010 11:00 pm

Women business leaders are getting together to network and learn techniques to make their businesses thrive at a Phoenix conference next week.

This is the second Women’s Resource Day hosted by the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Last year’s conference attracted about 150 people, and Phoenix NAWBO president Loretta Love Huff hopes just as many come out for the event this year.

“This conference is aimed at women in business with a strong educational component,” Huff said. “This gives them a place where they can meet other women dealing with the same issues that they can talk to as confidants and business leaders.”

Men are certainly welcome, and a few do come to NAWBO events, but the conference will definitely have “a lot of fun girl energy,” Huff said.

The centerpiece of the day is a luncheon keynote speech called “Business Leadership: A Risk Worth Taking,” given by Patricia Russell-McCloud, an Atlanta-based public speaker and lawyer.

Attendees will also be able to take part in sessions with topics like sales training, social media and using your image to transform your business.

There are also a few seminars specifically geared toward the economy, including economic trends to look out for and techniques for getting a loan in the current business environment.

“People complain that the banks aren’t giving loans,” Huff said. “The banks at this conference are, and one of them will walk you through preparing yourself for that loan request.”

One reason to go to NAWBO events are the networking opportunities, said Corrine Heyeck, an Ahwatukee Foothills small business owner and board member for Phoenix NAWBO.

The group gives female business owners the chance to connect with their peers, Heyeck said.

“A lot of women are trying to juggle all of the demands of being a small business owner with family, career and growth, all of those different things that make you a professional and running your own home,” she said.

Heyeck is also excited to go to this year’s conference because of the breakout sessions. NAWBO’s monthly luncheons have an educational component, but those are just a few hours instead of an entire day, she said.

The conference runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 21 at the Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix. Cost is $85 for the full day or $50 for lunch only.

The deadline to register is April 16. To register, visit www.nawbophx.org or call (480) 282-5176.

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