Chamber Hosts Women Inspiring Women Event

Written by on July 18, 2018

The Keokuk Chamber of Commerce hosted their second annual Women, Wine and Whiskey event on Tuesday night.

The night consisted of sampling local wine and whiskeys, networking with other members of the community, a panel of successful women from the area and the awarding of three Women Inspiring Women awards.

Six women made up the panel and discussed some of their successes and what has allowed them to get where they are.

Panel member Andrea Rogers said it was very special getting asked to be a part of the panel for the event.

“Tonight was a wonderful event, I’m really happy to be here. This event keeps growing year after year and it’s just really important to celebrate our successes,” Rogers said.

Awards that were given out included the Woman to Watch, which was given to Leah Jones for her work to save Radio Keokuk and the leadership she has shown as owner.

Jones said that her success and hard work were born out of sheer stubbornness and her need to save her home radio station.

“I thought I had lost everything that I had ever worked so incredibly hard for, and I know that sounds exaggerating or dramatic because I was offered other opportunities in radio. I was offered jobs in Burlington, I was offered jobs other places when this happened, but that’s not what I wanted,” Jones said. “This is my home and this is my community and this is my radio station and this is where I wanted to be.”

Businesswoman of the Year was awarded to Amy Conlee and she was described as someone “whose commitment to community, leadership and business is inextricably linked and paramount to her success.”

Conlee gave all of the credit for her success to the support system around her.

“They make so many sacrifices for me so I have been able to follow the path that I’ve wanted to. They absolutely understand what is my driving force that keeps me moving forward and they’re always there behind me making sure I have the biggest cheering section ever,” Conlee said.

Finally, the Chamber’s Woman of Achievement was presented to Janet Fife-LaFrenz for her years of commitment and work for the town and people of Keokuk.

Afterwards, Fife-LaFrenz was very humbled and gracious for an award and what it meant.

“It means at the culmination of your life that you can look back and say you did make an impact. And as I’ve always told my daughter as she was growing up, determination and perseverance, very important in life,” Fife-LaFrenz said.

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