On Mar. 8 in Levitt Hall, Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration held its invitation-only breakfast to celebrate women in leadership and provide current female students professional networking opportunities.

Mary Andringa, Chair of the Board for Vermeer Corporation, delivered the keynote address titled “Leadership Lessons.” Andringa served as president and chief operating officer of Vermeer from 1989 to 2015.

During her keynote, Andringa touched on the core leadership principles that drove her throughout her career. She stressed that change is inevitable in the business world and encouraged attendees to embrace it rather than fear it. Her leadership style also seeks to acknowledge the importance of communication skills and approaches her coworkers as team members.

After her address, Andringa received the “Women’s Impact Award” in recognition of her outstanding professional contributions and her role model status.

“Mary Andringa, our exceptional speaker, emphasized in her presentation the importance of ‘appreciating the day.’ This really resonated with me as a soon-to-be graduate,” says attendee and president of Drake University Women in Business, Madeline Mueller. “Her statement reinforces the fact that I need to be more present and find gratitude for where I am right now.”

Mueller was one of 47 invited students. There were 100 people in attendance, including students, community guests, faculty, and staff.

“Being in a room of strong, determined women is super powerful and motivational,” she says. “I came away from the breakfast feeling empowered and encouraged from seeing a room full of women leaders.”

According to Terri Vaughan, professor of insurance and actuarial science, that was exactly what the event’s planners wanted.

“We hold this event to connect female student leaders with women who are leaders in the greater Des Moines community and to recognize a local woman of accomplishment,” Vaughan says.

CBPA also issued awards to the following individuals.

  • Asrielle Allen – Drake Association of Technology Advancement, Sophomore Actuarial Science major from Milan, Illinois.
  • Zoey Glenn – Alliance, Senior Actuarial Science and Data Analytics double major from Boone, Iowa.
  • Janina Goncalves – Alpha Kappa Psi, Senior Marketing and Graphic Design double major from Chicago, Illinois.
  • Amelia Klatt – CBPA Graduate Student Association, Master of Public Administration from St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  • Grace Lipscomb – Alpha Kappa Psi, Junior Marketing major from Flossmoor, Illinois.
  • Braeden McElmury – Drake American Marketing Association, Senior Marketing and Management major from Lake City, Minnesota.
  • Madeline Mueller – Women In Business, Senior International Business and Marketing double major from Mankato, Minnesota.
  • Marissa Owens – Phi Chi Theta, Sophomore International Business and Economics double major from Rosemount, Minnesota.
  • Christie Vaughan – National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA), Master of Business Administration from Bloomfield, Iowa.
  • Sydney Walther – Delta Sigma Pi, Junior Actuarial Science and Math double major from Dallas, Texas.

The Women’s Leadership Breakfast is an event built around networking, but also takes the time to celebrate successful businesswomen and those who plan to follow in their footsteps.