HPU Hosts Inaugural Strickland Women’s Leadership Summit | Education







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High Point University hosted the inaugural Elizabeth Miller Strickland Women’s Leadership Summit on April 20. HPU welcomed Lynn Good, director, president and CEO of Duke Energy, as the keynote speaker for the event. Good, left, speaks with Laurna C. Godwin, right, a member of the Strickland Women’s Leadership Council and president of Vector Communications in St. Louis, Missouri, during a question and answer session.


Lynn Good, Director, President and CEO of Duke Energy, was the keynote speaker.

HIGH POINT, North Carolina, April 25, 2022 – High Point University hosted the inaugural Elizabeth Miller Strickland Women’s Leadership Summit on April 20 at Congdon Hall. HPU welcomed Lynn Good, President and CEO of Duke Energy, as the keynote speaker for the event.







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Members of the Strickland Women’s Leadership Council and the LIFT Scholarship Program participated in a panel discussion on the path to becoming a woman in leadership. Pictured from left are Dr. Rhonda Butler, Director of the LIFT Scholarship for Women at HPU Strickland; Maddie Drobny, HPU junior; Deborah Kennedy Kennard, retired managing consultant for Mobile Oil Corporation; Lindsay Scott, HPU graduate and manager of talent development for Coca-Cola Consolidated; and Sue Downes, CEO of MyEyeDr.


Students, faculty and staff packed the audience to hear Good’s speech and learn more about growing and developing their leadership and life skills. The event included a question and answer session and panel discussion, as well as a networking opportunity afterward for students to connect with the Strickland Women’s Leadership Council.

Good addressed the importance of female leadership during her opening remarks and the three characteristics that make a great leader.

“When I think about women and the role that we play, we can have a huge impact,” Good said. “I think there is magic that comes from a leader with empowered, motivated and capable people. They can do great things.”

She went on to say that statistics show that women leaders not only empower people, but impact performance success.







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The event included a question and answer session and panel discussion, as well as a networking opportunity for students to connect with the Strickland Women’s Leadership Council.


Three key takeaways from Lynn Good’s speech:

  1. Curiosity: “If you are pursuing your career and sitting as the leader of an organization, have a posture of curiosity. Spread your influence as widely as possible and put yourself at the center of problem solving.”
  2. Empowerment: “A leader’s posture is less about you and more about them. The power of the team is in the people who look and think differently from you. As a leader, it’s about attracting talent, motivating talent and empowering people, who together can do great things.”
  3. Resilience: “When faced with big problems, the leader’s role is to energize and motivate the team to solve the problem. That is a skill you will need all your life.”

Good and Laurna C. Godwin, a member of the Strickland Women’s Leadership Council and president of Vector Communications in St. Louis, Missouri, fielded questions from HPU students during a question-and-answer session. The students asked Good for advice on how to encourage and support female co-workers in the workplace and the importance of developing working relationships.

“One of the mistakes I see people make is caring only about relationships that are above them,” Good added. “This is not a good idea. You must care deeply about the people who work for you and your colleagues. Invest in those relationships, and then you can worry about old relationships. I think it is important to analyze your position in the company in a comprehensive way”.

Sophomore Julia Velasquez, a junior neuroscience major from Chicago, Illinois, is a member of the inaugural Strickland Women’s LIFT Scholarship Program, which provides networking, leadership, development, mentorship, and coaching for students interested in leadership positions. Velasquez introduced Good before she spoke to the audience.

“Introducing Lynn Good was an incredible honor,” Velasquez said. “It is always a wonderful opportunity to hear from successful women leaders like Mrs. Good. She embodies our values ​​as the Strickland Women’s LIFT Scholarship, and was the perfect keynote speaker for our inaugural Women’s Leadership Summit. Having her on campus was also a great opportunity for the entire HPU community.”

The Strickland Women’s Leadership Council was first established in August 2020 as part of a generous $12 million gift from Elizabeth Miller Strickland. The council was founded on Strickland’s belief that empowering women in business and leadership is a life skill worth pursuing.

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