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Expo is way to say thanks
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The Business and Professional Women's Colloquium is the perfect way for area companies to recognize their employees, organizers say.

"So many organizations are working so lean right now. Everyone is doing more with less," Christy Rikli said. "It is especially important for organizations and companies to thank and recognize those that work for them."

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This is the 27th year for the women's event, which will be April 24 at Treasure Island Resort & Casino. The format for this year will look fairly similar to past years' events, Rikli said.

"We like to keep the consistency," she said.

The day will start out with the colloquium expo, which will feature more than 28 businesses with products and services that are geared toward women. Rikli said this year's lineup includes chiropractors, cosmetics, jewelry, clothing and weight loss products.

"They're all local companies," Rikli said.

The expo booths will be set up all day.

Lunch, made by Treasure Island chefs, will be served just after noon and will feature Italian dishes. While eating, attendees will be able to take in the fashion show, which features looks from local clothing stores.

"The fashions are from contemporary casual (to) professional casual; things that can be worn to work," Rikli said.

Following the fashion show comes what Rikli called the "major part" of the colloquium: the Business Professional Women of the Year Award. For this, nominations are collected from area businesses. Rikli said there are typically between four and 10 women who are nominated.

All nominees will be recognized on stage just before one woman is presented with the award.

"They're completely surprised when they're on stage," Rikli said.

Keynote speaker C. Willi Myles will present following the award ceremony. Myles has performed across the United States and overseas. He will use storytelling to show women how to use humor to their advantage in the workplace.

"With the speaker we hope (women) will be able to take a new perspective back to their organization," Rikli said.

Rikli said they expect as many as 200 attendees who come from all over southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

"What I hope they'll take away is how much their contributions are valued by their organizations," Rikli said. "While they're there, we want them to have a sense of how appreciated they are. ... It's a day of pampering as well."

The details

What: Women's Colloquium

When: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., April 24

Where: Treasure Island Resort & Casino

Cost: $42.95, registration and payments must be made by today

More information: www.southeastmn.edu/colloquium

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Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.
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