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SDBA 2023 LEAD STRONG: Women In Banking Conference
Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 5:30 PM to Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 4:30 PM CDT
Category: SDBA Events

SDBA 2023 Lead Strong: Women In Banking Conference

September 26-27, 2023

Sioux Falls Convention Center | 1201 Northwest Avenue | Sioux Falls, SD

Register Online | Registration Form (PDF)Brochure 


Thank you, top sponsors!



 LEAD STRONG: Women in Banking is designed to encourage, support and inspire women to succeed in the workplace. This event will benefit all levels of staff interested in the enhancement and career growth of women in South Dakota banking.


Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center                         Holiday Inn & Suites
1211 North West Ave., Sioux Falls, SD                                      2040 West Russell Street, Sioux Falls, SD
Phone: 605.331.0100                                                                   Phone: 605.331.2040           
Rate: $144/night                                                                           Rate: $189/night
Cut Off: August 28, 2023                                                             Cut Off: August 27, 2023


Early Bird Rate (through August 14) - $225 members; $385 non-members
General Rate (August 15 to September 26) - $235 members; $385 non-members
Onsite - $255 members; $385 non-members









Tuesday, September 26

5:30-7:00 p.m. - ROAM (Reach Out And Mingle) at ROAM | ROAM Kitchen + Bar | 4525 Empire Place, Sioux Falls
Emails answered. CHECK. Phone calls returned. CHECK. Desk cleared off. CHECK. Your workday is behind you. Now head on over to ROAM to Reach Out And Mingle (ROAM) with your friends and colleagues. Grab a snack, a beverage and some good conversation and set your sights on tomorrow’s Lead Strong: Women in Banking event.

Wednesday, September 27

7:00-8:00 a.m. - Registration/Continental Breakfast

8:00-8:15 a.m. - Welcome

8:15-9:00 a.m. - Leadership Lessons Learned in the Shoe Aisle | Nan Gesche, M.A., Collaboration Expert, Wayzata, MN
So, you think you need a MBA to be a leader? Let me tell you, an MBA won’t teach you everything you need to know. Sometimes it is the things they don’t teach you that can really make or break your career. We will explore lessons learned that I wish a few leaders I have worked with had learned along the way.

9:00-9:45 a.m. - Connecting Point (Speed Networking)

Ready, set, MOVE!  Take part in this fast-paced session where you can learn from your colleagues on a variety of topics.  This facilitated session will provide an opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and learn from one another in fun, relaxed environment.  

9:45-10:05 a.m. - Break

10:05-10:50 a.m. - Burnout: Don’t Let Your Soul’s Fire Turn into an Uncontrollable BBQ | Kristina Schaefer, EVP, Chief Risk Officer & Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, First Bank & Trust, Sioux Falls, SD

In her office, Kristina displays a sign that reads “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”   Using the analogy of an out-of-control BBQ, Kristina discusses how the passion that once fueled our soul can become overwhelming and lead to burnout.   We will dive into the factors that contribute to burnout, as well as the importance of practical strategies to help keep the burnout blaze at bay. 

10:50-11:35 a.m. - Navigating the Future: Trends in Banking | Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association, Washington DC

Join Rob Nichols, President and CEO of the American Bankers Association for an insightful and dynamic session on "Trends in Banking," where we will explore the ever-evolving landscape of the financial industry. As technology, the political environment, customer preferences, and banking policy continue to transform, staying ahead of the curve is vital for banks and financial institutions.

11:35 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Breakouts
  • Renew & Thrive: Nourishing Your Body and Soul for a More Balanced Life | Melissa Eich, RN & Women's Health Coach, Melissa Eich Coaching, Sioux Falls, SD - Attendees will embark on a journey towards reclaiming their well-being and living a more balanced life. Chronic stress can take a toll on both our physical and emotional health, but this session offers practical strategies and insights to break free from its grip. Through a holistic approach, participants will learn to nurture their bodies and souls, discovering the power of self-care, mindfulness, and healthy habits. The session is designed to inspire and empower individuals to embrace a renewed sense of vitality and purpose, allowing them to thrive in all aspects of their lives.
  • Preparing For The Emotional Aspects of Retirement | Rhonda Kemmis, BS, BA, M.Ed, Owner, Elite Leadership Consulting, LLC, Sioux Falls, SD - Laying the groundwork for a meaningful, purposeful retirement is more than a financial issue. What are the unforeseen losses new retirees may experience? How do we plan for less structure in our newfound freedom? What will our identity be? Those of us approaching retirement from decades of employment must arm ourselves with the knowledge and skills needed to move forward in creating our chosen destiny.
  • How to Focus your Time and Energy on What Matters Most | Annette York, Senior Consultant, FranklinCovey, Salt Lake City, UT - Do you have 100 things on your to-do list but aren’t sure where to start? This session will explore the Time Matrix, a tool to help you better discern where to spend the majority of your time to be the most effective in your role. Join Annette York, in learning the brain science behind how we choose what to prioritize throughout our day.
  • Does This Look Good on Me? | Deb Vogel, Stylist and Owner of HoC The Wardrobe Revolution, House of Colour, Sioux Falls, SD - Most people wear 15% of their closet 85% of the time.  Why?  We don’t look good in all colors and styles!  The fashion industry is based on ‘trends’.  By developing the skills to purchase only the ones that are best for you, not only will you save (sooooo much) money, but you can curate the ultimate capsule wardrobe.
12:15-1:30 p.m. - Lunch (Woman of Impact Award)

The SDBA Women of Impact Award was established to celebrate South Dakota Bankers Association members who have made significant contributions and positive impacts in their organizations, communities and industry. Join us as we recognize 2023’s recipients.

1:30-2:15 p.m. - Fintech Transformers – Rise of Primacy | Dave DeFazio, Partner, StrategyCorps, Brentwood, TN
In the ever-transforming battle for customers/members, fintechs seek to be the new rulers of the banking universe. And the tides have turned. From 2019 to 2022, digital banks have the largest growth rates of primary relationships. Now, for the first time ever, more consumers in the Gen Y and Gen Z age groups name a digital bank as their primary institution than all of the community banks and credit unions combined! Experience live demonstrations of the banking apps that are reimagining the definition of PFI as Primary Financial Interactions, instead of Primary Financial Institution, and changing consumer attitudes and banking behaviors.

2:15-3:00 p.m. - The Road to Trust: Navigating Difficult Conversations to Reach Higher Performance | Annette York, Senior Consultant,  FranklinCovey, Salt Lake City, UT

Whether it’s delivering hard news to a client, giving constructive feedback to your manager or direct report, or sharing bad news with a colleague — navigating difficult conversations at work or home is a challenge for everyone. But there are ways to make these conversations easier and more effective. Join Annette as she discusses how difficult conversations — when handled in the right way — can actually build greater trust among teammates and can lead to improved performance. You’ll learn tips for how to offer instructive and reinforcing feedback in a way that will build trust, create synergy and ultimately lead to higher performing teams.

3:00-3:20 p.m. - Break

3:20-4:15 p.m. - Don’t Shoot Skinny Rabbits | Deadra Stanton, Speaker, Midwest Speakers Bureau, Des Moines, IA
Before we can grow professionally, we need to learn to survive personally.  As the pace of change quickens every day, we sometimes end up chasing too many skinny rabbits.  When we do this we lose our energy and our focus on what's really important.  Be open to new ideas, a revitalized sense of self, and letting go of the stress that causes you to chase SKINNY RABBITS!

4:15 p.m. - Adjourn/Wrap Up


Email Halley Lee by September 12.


The suggested attire is business casual. Bring a sweater or jacket as meeting room temperatures vary.


The Fairy Godmother’s Fund Part Deux

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, we think it’s time to re-do! You may recall that we partnered with The Fairy Godmother’s Fund in 2020 – the year we took Women in Banking digital. Because COVID impacted our attendance, because it’s such a fabulous program and because there is an opportunity for matching funds this year, we felt it was a good time to re-connect.

The Fairy Godmother’s Fund at the South Dakota Community Foundation provides the opportunity to perform good deeds to help South Dakota women in need turn their lives around. It provides flexible, accessible funds to improve the health and wellbeing of women with limited resources. Donations directly address immediate, short-term and critical needs not met by traditional funding options.


100% refund if canceled September 12 or sooner. 75% if canceled September 13-16. No refund September 17 or later.