BRUNSWICK –– March is Women’s History Month and the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce kicked it off early Tuesday.
The seventh-annual EmpowHer Women in Business Conference featured retired Rear Adm. June Ryan speaking about success for women in the workplace.
Ryan was the first woman to rise to that rank in the Coast Guard and, in her 35 years in service and four years as a rear admiral, she found her knack for helping other women.
“What I didn’t realize when I joined the Coast Guard was that there was only about 7 percent women,” Ryan said. “So then, as I got higher and higher in rank, I got more requests to speak to women and junior women coming up.”
When she retired as the commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, Ryan decided to continue speaking and spreading her tips for success, many of which have come from her own experiences.
One of Ryan’s main points was the acronym “POWER.”
“P” stands for “positive phrases,” which encourages women to keep their inner thoughts positive. “O” stands for “oh well, go for it anyway,” which means to take chances and ask questions even if the answer may be no.
“W” stands for “we” because, as Ryan said, “we are stronger together as women.” “E” stands for “energy” and “R” stands “for rest.”
Jaclyn Ringstmeier with the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce met Ryan last year and approached her about speaking at the event.
“I actually saw her speak last year on a panel and I literally was like a fan girl,” Ringstmeier said. “She was receptive and open to the idea.”
Women who participated in the conference walked away from Ryan’s speech with positive expressions.
“I would say it was very energizing, absolutely empowering,” said Tara Haley, of the Medina Women’s Journal. “I think it was interactive. That’s what I really liked about it.”