Embe’s women leadership program

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The deadline for applications for Embe’s women’s leadership program is less than a week away.

After becoming a mom, Kerri DeGraff was looking for guidance to reach her career goals without giving up her goals as a mother. That’s why she signed up for Embe’s Women Leadership Program.

“I was just drawn to what the program was about in terms of not only the leadership aspect, but really focusing on women as leaders, I think there are unique qualities and just as women, things that we have to deal with that might be different,” DeGraff said.

The program is geared towards helping women achieve their goals both professionally and personally.
DeGraff requested Kerri Tietgen as her mentor.

“Women’s leadership program and all of Embe’s programs are about creating a community and, when we don’t feel alone it’s amazing what we can go for. I always say one of us is work, two of us is support, but three or more of us together is a movement,” Tietgen said.

Now, almost 10 years later the two women are proof that the program not only creates personal connections, but professional growth.

“The biggest and really the most significant impact she made in me is encouraging me to go get my MBA. And without her, I wouldn’t not have done that,” DeGraff said.

Since then, DeGraff landed her current role as the chief operating officer at the Washington Pavilion.
She says the program gave her accountability, support and the encouragement to get there– while unknowingly creating a lifelong friendship.

“It’s I mean, Kerri is just incredible. So it’s so fun. It’s been amazing to be able to say, that I’ve been there and, and just gotten to watch Carrie through her life,” Tietgen said.

“I would just encourage young girls or women anywhere that you’re at in your career, I think it can really help just to, not only personally, but professionally, just to think of where you want to be in the future and set those goals and be intentional about it,” DeGraff said.

The deadline for applications for the program is June 30th. If you’re interested in signing up, click here.

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