The Ladies That Lead Conference Inspires and Motivates

The Ladies That Lead Conference was held for the first time in Chicago, IL on October 5-7, 2018. The conference was the brainchild of Cameka Smith, Founder of the Boss Network.  The Boss Network was started by Ms. Smith in 2009 as a digital platform to bring like minded women together to share experiences, provide leadership skills, and to help promote entrepreneurship.  In the past, Ms. Smith has had a one-day conference however, this year she decided to embark on a weekend of activities to inspire women to lead in any capacity they choose. 

The Ladies That Lead Conference was definitely the appropriate title for this awesome event. There were women from various cities with diverse and dynamic backgrounds ready to share knowledge.  The kick off reception was held on Friday October 5, 2018 at the Google Headquarters near downtown Chicago.  Guests were treated to small bites, great libations, and a power house Ladies That Lead in Technology Panel. This panel was moderated by Ms. Cameka Smith and it included JinJa Birkenbeuel, Tecarra Carmack, Monique Wingard & Jamila Parham.  The ladies shared their experiences and knowledge on how to build a
brand, how to fundraise and grow your business, and ways to never stop learning. Throughout the evening as well as the entire conference, whenever guests were given "golden nuggets” of information they shared them on social media.  Some of the “golden nuggets" that were powerful included “We live a good life, but we don’t take action to live a
great life” and “If God put the vision in your head, it’s up to you to put in the work.”

The second day of the conference was held at the Ace Hotel and it was a day filled with various panels and a Girl Power Luncheon.  The day started with a Fireside Chat with
Dorinda Walker, Vice President of Cultural Insights and Activation at Prudential. 


Top leading women in their field shared valuable information throughout the day in such panels as Ladies That Lead in Their Career and Ladies That Lead as Creators.  There were also vendors on site for the women to shop while sipping on a signature drink prior to the Girl Power Luncheon. All guests were invited to wear pink or a splash of pink which looked amazing in the beautiful room that greeted everyone as they entered.  During lunch, guests were treated to a performance by SHAH XO and a one on one conversation with Ms. Cameka Smith and Actress and Director Salli Richardson–Whitfield. Ms. Richardson-Whitfield shared her experiences as an actress that ultimately led her to move into the director role.  She shared how important it is to maintain good relationships in your given industry because you never know how those relationships will help your continued successful.  


The third and final day of the conference was held at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Campus. Panel discussions included Self-Care Talk with Salimatu Dumbuya, Ladies That Lead by Faith, Ladies That Lead as Millennial’s, and a final presentation, Leadership Talk led by Co-Pastor Mia K. Wright.  Ms. Smith also presented a Millennial of the Year Award to Business Owner Caprice Gutierrez for her hard work and determination despite challenges that she faced.   

The overall mission of the conference was to provide Ladies information on how to lead in their personal lives, professional lives, and their faith as they work to build and maintain their professions and businesses.  The conference was very inspiring and necessary! The Ladies That Lead Conference is an event that every woman should attend.

To learn more about the BOSS Network, please visit

Check out some photos from the conference below.