Unleashing Potential at the 8th Annual ROAR Women’s Symposium – A Recap

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The main stage area of ROAR Alamance 2024, pictured from the corner. There are rows and rows and tables with people enjoying their meals.

Thank you to Katie Smith Photography for her fantastic coverage of the event.

The Alamance Chamber proudly concluded the 8th annual ROAR Women’s Symposium on Friday, March 22, 2024, at The Alliance Convention Center. The annual event, a cornerstone in the community and deeply rooted in empowering women across Alamance County and beyond, showcased a series of enlightening discussions led by distinguished leaders and pioneers. The Alamance Chamber extends its heartfelt gratitude to this year’s sponsors, with special mention to Presenting Sponsor LeAndra “Nikki” Ratliff, Event Partner Ancora Wealth Partners, and Event Champion The Alliance Convention Center for their invaluable support. For a full list of our incredible sponsors, visit roaralamance.com.

Empowering the Current and Future Leaders of Alamance County

Dr. Connie Book on stage

Dr. Connie Book, the trailblazing President of Elon University, set the tone for the day with her keynote, “Leading into Excellence.” Sharing tales from her journey, including a hilarious yet humbling rappelling adventure, Dr. Book bridged military concepts with everyday leadership. FYSA (For Your Situational Awareness), she said, isn’t just for the barracks—it’s for life, echoing the symposium’s ethos of preparedness and empowerment.

Susan Watson and Becky Mock of the Women's Resource Center on stage

The Fireside Chat, aptly named “The Evolution of Impact,” had Becky Mock and Susan Watson from the Women’s Resource Center recounting their relentless journey towards empowering women. Watson’s words, “We believe that every woman has the capacity and the set of tools to change her life. Our job is to help her evaluate that tool kit,” underscored a powerful message: empowerment is about providing the right support at the right time.

Following the Fireside Chat, a Leadership Panel moderated by Keren Rivas, Asst. VP of Marketing Communications at Elon University, featuring Sara Cloud, Co-founder of Alliance MOCVD, Reagan C. Gural, President & CEO of the Alamance Chamber, and Heidi York, County Manager for Alamance County, took the stage under the banner “Trailblazing the Path Forward.” The panel’s reflections on inclusive leadership and the importance of being heard resonated deeply, highlighting the symposium’s commitment to fostering environments where women’s voices are amplified and valued. “I try to lead as an inclusive leader.” Gural, the first woman elected to President & CEO of the Alamance Chamber, recounted, “I’ve had leaders that led that way in my life, and that’s how I got here, because they invited me to sit at the table. Not only was I invited, but I was heard. That made a world of difference.”

Leslie Maxie: Excellence is Not an Accident

Leslie Maxie wearing her favorite color: yellow! She's on stage for her keynote at ROAR Alamance 2024.The day wrapped with a keynote from Leslie Maxie, US Olympian, Entrepreneur and Media Professional. Maxie took the stage as the room buzzed with anticipation, embodying the essence of empowerment and excellence that the symposium celebrated. Her keynote, “Excellence is not an Accident,” wove together the threads of personal transformation and the pursuit of excellence, perfectly capturing the ROAR spirit. Maxie shared, “Excellent outcomes and personal transformation go hand-in-hand. Together, they provide us with that transformative experience that gets into our soul and makes us want to create the life we want for ourselves… The difference between those who aspire to be Olympians and those who become Olympians is found between our left ear and our right ear. It is our mindset.”

Maxie’s insights into the power of mindset and the intrinsic link between personal growth and excellence served as a profound call to action. Her words were a beacon, illuminating the path forward, not just for the women in attendance but for anyone striving for greatness in their lives.

Her keynote was the perfect culmination of a day filled with inspiration, empowerment, and shared experiences. Maxie didn’t just conclude the event; she elevated it, leaving us all with a renewed sense of purpose and a clear understanding that excellence is a journey defined by our mindset and commitment to transforming our lives.

Empowerment and Community: The Heart of ROAR

The Vendor Marketplace at the symposium was a bustling hub of innovation and community spirit. With 41 vendors, it offered a unique platform for local businesses to showcase a diverse array of products and services, from artisan crafts to tech innovations. This vibrant space was not just about transactions; it was about connections. Attendees, nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs and business representatives exchanged ideas, stories, and support, embodying the symposium’s ethos of empowerment and collaboration.


The ROAR Women’s Symposium is more than just an event; it’s a testament to the power of community and the unstoppable force of empowered women. Here’s to many more years of inspiration, leadership, and empowerment—cheers to the women of Alamance County and beyond who dare to ROAR.

Save the Date for ROAR 2025 on Friday, March 28. More details will be announced soon, so make
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For more information about the Alamance Chamber and its initiatives, visit our website at alamancechamber.com or call 336.228.1338.