Ottawa County hosts Ohio’s first Young Women Lead Conference

Mar 26, 2024 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Emily Rockwell of Materion poses with Second Lady of Ohio Tina Husted. (Submitted photo)

March celebrates Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate than with a young women’s conference? Ottawa County’s freshmen girls spent the day at Ohio’s inaugural Young Women Lead Conference on Thursday, March 21, at the Liberty Aviation Museum. Young Women Lead is the nation’s leading trusted provider of life-changing and experiential leadership events for high school young women. It is an established nonprofit with a proven track record of success in partnering with extraordinary women role models.

Julie Carrier, CEO of Girls Lead Worldwide, spoke to this year’s group of young women, empowering them to empower each other. She is recognized as the “#1 Coach for Young Women” by Leading Global Coaches/Thinkers 50 and is a trusted authority on leadership development and confidence for girls and young women. Julie is also a bestselling author, award-winning speaker and consultant for leading girls’ schools, colleges and organizations.

Julie Carrier speaks to Ottawa County’s freshmen girls at the Young Women Lead Conference. (Submitted photo)

“The most important person you need is who? Who is the most important person that you need? Go ahead and point to yourself,” Carrier said. “Today is about leading yourself to lead and live your best life.”

Just before the event kick-off, Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur had a message for the young women in Ottawa County via video call.

“I am so proud to address you today, to be a part of this vision and mission that will help to create a future generation of leaders here in Ottawa County, across our Buckeye State and throughout our nation,” Kaptur said. “As someone who was the first in my family to go to college and graduate school, it opened doors that I would have never known were even possible.”

The Second Lady of Ohio, Tina Husted, made a special appearance during the event and provided the young girls with some of her best practices and leadership advice.

“I think that it’s critical more than ever for us to speak out and share hope and optimism with our youth, especially with our young ladies,” Husted said.

Second Lady of Ohio, Tina Husted, was a guest speaker at Ottawa County’s Young Women Lead Conference. (Submitted photo)

“I think one thing that people don’t really want to talk about today is the absence of fathers in children’s lives. The statistics are there,” Husted said. “If a father is absent, the child has a much higher chance of being in poverty and living below their potential.”

What catapulted Husted, from an educational standpoint, was a teacher who believed in her.

“I was seen in my family hierarchy as the ‘least smart’ child,” Husted said. “I had a teacher in sixth grade who said, ‘You’re capable. You can do this. You need to focus and believe in yourself,’ and he made me want to learn. That impact is priceless.”

This event was the culmination of over nine months of planning to bring the first ever Young Women LEAD conference to Ohio and the freshman girls in Ottawa County. The conference brought nearly 200 girls in attendance along with school representatives, almost 20 volunteers from the community and over 20 local business sponsors for a day of encouragement, leadership and confidence.

Emily Rockwell, Human Resources Director for Materion, proposed the idea of hosting a YWL Conference in Ottawa County to the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council, as she had participated in a YWL Conference a few years back. With the support of the BAC and having an active committee, Ottawa County’s first YWL Conference was soon underway.

Learn more about the BAC at

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