My name is Afton Coleman. I am the 2021 WE Local Host Committee (LHC) Des Moines Member for the Marketing Subcommittee. I am excited to be posting our first blog post for WE Local Des Moines. I truly hope that you are staying well during these unprecedented times.
The WE Local Des Moines conference has been rescheduled from April 2020 to March 5-6, 2021. It will take place at the same venue, the Marriott Downtown Des Moines. In case this is new to you, here is a little background on WE Local. WE Local is a hyper-local conference that brings the quality of SWE’s annual conference to the member’s backyard. It is a two-day conference that allows attendees and organizations to “Meet Locally. Learn Socially.” The conference includes over 35 professional development breakout sessions, 20+ organizations participating in a career fair, three keynote speakers, two networking events, one Collegiate Competition, one Outreach event, and one WE Achieve Awards ceremony that recognizes group and individual award recipients. Basically, it is a great way to network, promote your career development, reach out to students, and learn how to become more involved in SWE.
“I have a passion for STEM K-12 outreach and some of the most rewarding moments I have had were seeing students have an “ahha!” moment and their excitement as they realized they did it! I am looking forward to providing an environment at WE Local Des Moines where students have the chance to explore and learn about STEM with SWENext.”
“I became interested in volunteering with the LHC as I had a lot of fun with it last year in St. Louis.”
“I was recently elected as the president of my local chapter (Cedar Valley SWE) and I wanted to get more involved in SWE national to connect with other chapters and hopefully bring back some new, fresh ideas to our chapter.”
WE Local does not come together overnight.
Three teams partner together for several months beforehand to orchestrate and promote the event: SWE Headquarters (HQ), the WE Local Advisory Board (LAB), and WE Local Host Committee (LHC). The LHC has a chair and about 10-12 members who serve on Subcommittees. Subcommittees include awards, collegiate competition, marketing, program, social, and SWENext. There is also a floater role who contributes wherever required to make WE Local a success. Participation on a WE LHC requires time contribution, displaying integrity, inclusivity and trust as well as the important role of adding local flavor! The LHC participation benefits volunteers by providing the opportunity to build (more) leadership experience, time and project management skills and knowledge working with diverse, multi-generational and virtual teams.
As the marketing member, I personally am excited to engage with other professional and collegiate engineering women in my area. Also, we still have some roles open; if you are interested in contributing, please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the LHC.
So, what are you waiting for? WE Local is officially open for 2021.
- Check out the WE Local website
- Apply for a WE Local Award by September 30th or a WE Local Des Moines Travel Grant
- Encourage a high school student to apply for a SWENext Award
- Submit your research to the collegiate competition
- Submit a speaker proposal through the Call for Participation (CFP)
All of this is brought to you by the support of the Des Moines Local Host Committee which is made up of a dynamic team of SWE members. View the complete list of members below.
- Helen Colvin | WE Local Host Committee Chair | Ames, Iowa
- Afton Coleman | Marketing Subcommittee Member | Marshalltown, Iowa
- Nicole Aldridge | Program Subcommittee Member | Sacramento, California
- Trisha Avasthi | Program subcommittee Member | Fort Worth, Texas
- Heidi Hopper | Awards Subcommittee member | Ames, Iowa
- Sarah Witte | SWENext Subcommittee Member | Ames, Iowa
- Laura Kimbel | Collegiate Competition Subcommittee Member | St. Louis, Missouri
- Kimberly Velez | Social Subcommittee Member | Cedar Falls, Iowa
- Vimala Satish | Social Subcommittee Member | Bangalore, India
- Floater Subcommittee Member: Open role
- SWENext Subcommittee Member: Open role
- Trenyce McCoy | HQ Support Events Coordinator | SWE Headquarters
Join us at 2021 WE Local Des Moines! We can’t wait to welcome you!