Beyond Balance, a conference for working women and those who support them, takes place March 5, 2024, in Dalton, Georgia. Conference planner Delyn Ellis, director of claims at Shaw Industries, tells FLOOR's associate publisher and editorial director Tanja Kern about the event and why women in flooring should plan to attend, virtually or in person. Ellis said the conference anticipates up to 450 attendees.

Listen to the podcast

Tanja Kern, FLOOR Trends & Installation:  I'm excited about the Beyond Balance Conference, which is near and dear to my heart. I'm on the board of the Women in the Floorcovering Industry (WIFI), which is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit. And we are always excited about events that offer women opportunities to network in the flooring industry, gain education and level up professionally. And WIFI is teaming up with Shaw's Women's Innovation Network (WiN), and I was hoping you could tell us a little bit more about WiN?

Delyn Ellis: One exciting thing about Beyond Balance is that we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary as an associate resource group at Shaw. We're really the first associate resource group that we've had. We have like eight now, so we like to see ourselves as kind of the beginning of the resource groups. We have around 1,300 members, so pretty strong. And one of the best things about WiN is we're a big company. We've got a lot of employees. We get to interact with people throughout the company, which really helps you to network, to learn about different areas of the company and just to meet amazing people who work at Shaw. So it's fun. And so we're so excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary, which is coming up in March.

FLOOR: Can you tell us a little bit about how Beyond Balance came about?

Ellis: Yes. March 5 is when we're going to have the event. March 8 is actually the celebration of International Women's Day, so we're kind of doing it around that date as well. And as you mentioned, we've been working with WIFI for about a year and a half, working on this event, so quite a while, which is exciting. We've loved working with the members of y'all's group because they're amazing women as well. We worked together to decide what is it that women want, what do they need to know? There's a lot of interest around work life balance, and we thought, okay, how do we tie that in to the event that we want to do? So that's how we came up with Beyond Balance. It's really more than just balancing your work and your life, but it's really creating harmony with everything: your home life, your work life, your life with your friends—everything you do, trying to make sure that you have harmony with all of it.

FLOOR: And there is a virtual and an in-person component to this event, right?

Ellis: There is, yes. We're going to be meeting at the Dalton Convention Center. We're going to start about 7:30 in the morning registering folks. We'll have a light breakfast, then we'll get started at 9:00 and we'll end the day with a little networking event. We also have a networking event the night before at Shaw's Design Center in Dalton. So we're hoping to have a lot of people attend it. It's from 5-8 p.m. on March 4.

Back to the event, we will have a kickoff event with Susan Ferris and Brenda Knowles of Shaw Floors. We're going to have a keynote speaker, Tara Renze, and she is going to be an amazing speaker. She is going to talk around balance and just explain what you can do to really help yourself get balanced overall so that you're not overloaded in any aspect of your life.

 We're going to have several breakout sessions also throughout the day. Authentic leadership is going to be one of them. One of the most popular ones is building your personal brand. We're excited about that. We're going to have a session around self-care, and then we're going to have one around the five-second rule. So that's around acting on instinct, not waiting things out, acting within the first five seconds of coming up with an idea. We're excited about all the events we're going to have that day. And then we're going to also have a panel discussion that wraps everything up late afternoon.

FLOOR: Sounds like an energetic lineup. I can't wait to attend.

Find out more about Beyond Balance here.