Conference puts focus on women’s leadership skills

Posted on Sep 27, 2019 :: Commentary
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Have you ever read a book that completely changed your way of thinking? That was the case for Vicki Updike about 15 years ago when a fellow executive at Miles Kimball Co. in Oshkosh gave her the best-selling book, “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make that Sabotage Their Careers” by Lois Frankel.

“Reading that book literally changed the way I saw myself as an executive,” says Updike, who at the time was a vice president at Miles Kimball (now known as Silver Star Brands.) “It’s been such a meaningful book to me in my career.”

In 2010, Updike was named president of Miles Kimball and served in that role for six years. She now runs New Sage Strategies, a consulting firm she founded that works to strengthen executives and their teams. She also serves as co-chair of the New North Inc. board of directors and partners with Bridget O’Connor on The Connective, a De Pere business designed to help women business owners grow and learn.

Now Updike is sharing what she’s learned about leadership and professional development with women from throughout the region at the inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference on Oct. 17 at Liberty Hall in Kimberly. And the author of the book that changed Updike’s thinking — Lois Frankel — will deliver the event’s keynote address.

“The day is really to encourage and inspire the leader in all of us. Leadership is not a title. Leadership is a skill, and it is a skill that you need to develop over time,” Updike says.

In putting the day together, New Sage Strategies wanted to create a day “to educate, encourage and inspire women to continue their leadership journey,” Updike said.

In addition to Frankel, Updike turned to local women business leaders to share their knowledge with others through breakout sessions and a panel discussion.

It’s about time that an event like this is taking place in the region. Women business leaders don’t always receive the credit they deserve, which is something I’m happy to say that Insight will be addressing in 2020. Stay tuned.

To learn more about the Women’s Leadership Conference or to register, visit