GREENFIELD — A new event aims to celebrate the accomplishments of businesswomen in the community.

The inaugural Women in Business Conference brings together women who have navigated the challenges of leadership roles in business. Speakers plan to acknowledge those challenges and provide insight into overcoming some of the obstacles of entrepreneurship as a woman, said Retta Livengood, president of the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the fundraiser.

Seven women will speak about their experiences as businesswomen either living or working in Hancock County at the conference, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road, Livengood said. Lunch will be provided.

A Greenfield native with years of experience planning corporate events will lead a talk on how surrounding herself with positive and encouraging mentors and peers helped her to be a better business owner.

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Keynote speaker Annie Grinstead, owner and lead consultant for Positive Energy Inc., a full-service event-planning company, began working in event-planning after graduating from Purdue University. She planned to work for a couple years, then go to law school, but she discovered event-planning was her niche, she said.

Not only did she enjoy it, she found she was pretty good at it, too, she said.

Grinstead, who now lives in Indianapolis, started Positive Energy Inc. nearly six years ago and has organized events for businesses including Napa, Carrier and Bryant, she said; her company handles everything from concept and design to marketing and script-writing.

During her talk, she hopes to encourage those who attend to focus on the integrity of their work and their business, without letting the so-called glass ceiling inhibit them.

“If you focus on being the best person, the best businessperson you can, the rest speaks for itself,” she said. “I branched off and started my own business at a young age. I’m a firm believer that if you surround yourself with good people, it will show in your work.”

Grinstead looks forward to starting a dialogue among area businesswomen, she said.

And the event promises to bring together those from many different career fields, organizers said.

Life coach Sarah Beth Aubrey of A.C.T. Aubrey Coaching and Training will present an executive coaching workshop and facilitate a panel discussion with five other businesswomen: BJ Erlewein of Erlewein Mortuaries, Denna Gundrum of Penny’s Florist and Home Decor, Stephanie White-Longworth of Pride Investment Partners, Gabrielle Hendryx-Parker of Six Feet Up and Dawn Wellman of law firm Allen Wellman McNew Harvey.

Gundrum, who has been an owning manager of Penny’s Florist since 1993, said she is excited and honored to be a part of the panel discussion.

Over the years in business, she’s seen trends come and go, and she believes people are beginning to value the advantages of owning their own business over working for corporations again, she said.

She wants to share her experience with those who might be considering striking out on their own.

“There are people who can use information about the ups and downs of owning a business,” she said.

Tickets to the event are $50 each and may be purchased by visiting Go to the news and events tab and click the listing for “Women and Business Conference.” For more information, contact Retta Livengood at 317-477-4188.

If you go

Women in Business Conference

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 15

Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road

Lunch will be provided.

Tickets are $50; to purchase, visit or contact Retta Livengood at 317-477-4188.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or