On the first Friday of every month, join us to hear the savvy, successful business owners + entrepreneurs of Des Moines share their story. In a laid-back environment, you’ll catch some words of wisdom from women + men who have been through it before—and maybe walk away with a new connection (or two). Sessions are completely free and open to the public, and are held from 11:30am to 1pm, with networking from 11:30am to noon. This First Friday will be held at The Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust, Ste 100 in Conference Room, Des Moines, IA 50309. Seating is first come, first served. Lunch is not provided, though we encourage you to bring your own if you'd like. On March 1, hear from Michelle DeClerck, CMP - President and founder of Conference Event Management. Conference Event Management was founded in 2003 by Michelle DeClerck. As an industry’s premier provider of unique, world-class event, conference, incentive travel and meeting experiences, the company has experienced significant growth—primarily through referrals—since its inception, and in early 2017, was selected by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses as the only company in Iowa and one of 150 small businesses throughout the nation to participate in an elite business growth program A proven industry leader and innovator, Michelle has won numerous professional accolades, including: the 2018 Enterprising Women Award. 2017: SBA Iowa Women in Business Champion of the Year; the Inspiring Women of Iowa – Character Award; Smart Meetings Top Influential Woman – Innovator of the Year Award; and Midwest Meetings Magazine Cover Feature. 2016 Awards included being named a Top 20 Change Maker in the Event Industry by MeetingsNet and named Iowa’s National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Business Owner of the Year (2011). Michelle is also committed to supporting other businesswomen. Her leadership roles in this area include public speaking as well as serving as both the Director at Large Counsel and Programming Chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Iowa; serving on the Executive Council for Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC); enrolling her company in the Iowa Epic Corporate Challenge; serving on the Million Women Mentors – Iowa committee; founding Mentor Tank to provide mentoring opportunities for young women; developing a panel of female business owners to educate local business fraternity members; and sharing her experience and insight by serving as a guest writer for the Business Record and for Lift Iowa, the Business Record’s publication for women. Please join us to hear this amazing women business owner, active community member, and friend to many share her entrepreneurial story!