• We hope everyone enjoyed the conference, and found it to be a valuable, meaningful experience!  Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, and everyone who joined us online!

    Watch the video of the conference here

    See Renae Carapella-Johnson's "It's OK Not to Be Ok" Presentation here

    See Chris Sharkey's "Leadership Through a Crisis" Presentation here



    The 4th Annual Own it! Women's Conference will be held virtually, Thursday, October 8th, 9:00 am - noon


    2020 has presented us with many challenges, and significant hardship for both businesses and individuals.  In response, it was more important than ever for us to come together with the conference, as an opportunity for support, connection, inspiration and a bit of light-heartedness and optimism.  While we wish we could gather together, for everyone's safety, this year's event will be held virtually.

    The conference program includes the following sessions:
    Lessons in Belonging: Conversations on Inclusion, Diversity & Equality
    It's OK Not to Be OK: Navigating Life Through Chaos
    Leadership Through a Crisis, the keynote address from Chris Sharkey, President, Corning Enterprises


    In recognition of the difficulties of the current times, and in the spirit of promoting a vibrant community, we will be donating a portion of the event proceeds to a local nonprofit organization:  Arbor Housing & Development's Domestic Violence Services

    Cost per person:
    Conference Registration - $25
    Conference Event Experience - $50
    This includes the conference, gift bag and lunch (in the form of a Chamber gift card to use at any participating restaurant)
    Conference Event Experience & Donation - $75
    This includes the conference, gift bag, lunch and an additional donation to Arbor's Domestic Violence Services

    Special registration notes:
    *When registering online, please be sure to choose the registration package and price you prefer from the drop-down menu.
    *Because this year's conference is virtual, you can attend from anywhere.  Please keep in mind, the gift bag and lunch packages are only available locally.  Anyone outside the greater Corning, NY area should choose the basic conference registration at $25.

    Advance registration is required.  Please register online, or by email to jbmorgan@corningny.com



  • Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors!







    Session information:


    It's OK Not to Be OK:  Navigating Life Through Chaos

    We are experiencing an unprecedented time; women are trying to juggle personal and professional roles amid uncertainty and chaos.  While it is true we are navigating an especially stormy season, we do not have to navigate these waters alone.   There is so much right now that feels out of our control.   This portion of the conference, presented by Renae Carapella-Johnson,  will empower women to shift their focus to what is within our control: including our emotional response to chaos, our ability to set healthy boundaries and say no when we need to, being mindful of stress we may unnecessarily be exposing ourselves to, cultivating our tribe and much more.  Coping strategies and resources will also be shared to support women during this extraordinary time.  


    Renae is a licensed mental health counselor and owner of Ray of Light Counseling and Consulting.  She has extensive experience in individual therapy, crisis intervention and training, and empowers individuals utilizing a strength-based and person-centered approach.  Renae has provided numerous trainings and workshops on mental health topics to community members and mental health professionals, with expertise in the areas of suicide prevention and trauma.  She supports people in developing a self-compassionate inner voice, one that challenges the lies a person has been told about their worth and value.  She strives to help people not only feel ‘good enough,’ but to recognize their inner strengths and to know that the answers and guidance they seek truly comes from within.   Renae is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Own It Conference again and is excited to share her passion for helping people heal, find hope and uncover their own mighty ray of light.

    Leading Through a Crisis

    Our keynote speaker will be Chris Sharkey, President of Corning Enterprises.  Chris will speak on “Leading Through a Crisis” - an extremely relevant topic, since Chris began her new role as President of Corning Enterprises shortly before COVID hit.  Chris will talk about the top 10 lessons she has learned managing through this crisis, as well as sharing some of her own professional and personal experiences … failures … successes, and even some embarrassments!


    Chris Sharkey is President, Community Engagement & Corning Enterprises with Corning Incorporated where she leads Corning’s community and economic development initiatives as well as the philanthropic work of the Corning Incorporated Foundation.

    Chris started her career with then Corning Glass Works in 1980 and spent the first twenty years in a variety of plant, business and corporate financial roles across many of Corning’s businesses.  In 2001, she joined Corning Enterprises taking on initiatives in child care, education, and economic development, and was named to her current role this year.

    Through the years, Chris has been committed to advocacy and support of women both professionally and in the community.  She helped launch the Corning Professional Women’s Forum in the 1980’s and served on the first Women’s Quality Improvement Team at Corning.  One of the 20 original “kitchen table” crowd that launched the Fund for Women of the Southern Tier in 2009, Chris led that organization for three years during which the Fund’s endowment reached its $1 million goal and a three-year partnership with Arbor Housing & Development, one of Own It’s beneficiaries, as the first Empower grant was established in 2019.

    She serves on a number of non-profit boards including Three Rivers Development Corporation (chair), Corning Classic Charities & Wineglass Marathon (chair), Corning’s Gaffer District, Southeast Steuben County Library, Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, Finger Lakes Wine Country, CSS Workforce NY, Elmira College President’s Council, and Fund for Women of the Southern Tier.

    Chris is a graduate of Kenyon College, and she and her husband John split their time between a home in Gang Mills and a hunting “cabin” in Troupsburg.  She is an avid baker, particularly when it includes chocolate.  She and John have two grown sons. 


    Lessons in Belonging: Conversations on Inclusion, Diversity & Equality

    Please join our panelists as they have a conversation to share their perspectives about Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI). In addition, the audience will have the chance to join the conversation by asking questions. The goal is that each person will be inspired to take action beyond this conference to keep learning and have conversations with others about DEI to create more inclusive environments for everyone.


    The panel (left to right): Judy Rowe, Tarrah Seaver, Carol Cain, Barb Whitman and Carole Carnie


    Carol Cain

    For over decade, Carol has enjoyed a successful career as an award-winning travel blogger and freelance writer, sharing stories from all over the world and working with a multitude of global, high-profile clients, from Mastercard and Expedia, where she served as brand ambassador and spokesperson, to Residence Inn by Marriott, who awarded her for her inspirational family travel content, and Atout France, who recruited her to travel and feature wine regions around France for 3 years in a row.

    Before blogging, she had firmly established herself in the public relations and communications field, where she continues to work in community and new media outreach, project management, as well as in promotion of organizations and their partners. Her consultancy work also includes providing clients with a brand overview and improvement guidelines to appeal to ever-changing market interests and trends. In addition to using her platform to help brands succeed in this ever changing media landscape, Carol also uses it to advocate for issues around social justice, racial equity, and immigration rights - often as a volunteer interpreter to help those seeking asylum in the United States.


    Carole Carnie

    Carole Carnie’s commitment to equitable treatment of all people lead her into a career as a compliance manager for a major bank in California. By staying up to date on the laws and regulations she was able to ensure that the company followed all ethical and legal requirements. 

    Currently, with the objective of continuing her passion for equality, inclusivity, respect, and justice for all people,  she uses her voice in spaces that inspire others to join in the movement of achieving a more inclusive and just society.


    Judith  A. Rowe

    Judy is passionate about using a strengths-based approach to help others realize their full potential in life.   Her consulting company, Judith A. Rowe Consulting, LLC, has a focus on training, facilitation, coaching, career development, and wellness.  Judy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.   In addition, Judy earned a Master of Industrial Labor and Relations degree from Cornell University.   She is certified to train StandOutTM Advantage.

    During her 27-year tenure with Corning Incorporated Judy has held roles as Global Security Performance Excellence Champion, Project Manager, Training Systems Manager, Product Engineer, Sales Engineer, Customer Service Team Leader, Supervisory Effectiveness Instructor, Human Resources Manager, and HR Performance Excellence Project Manager.  Prior to Corning Incorporated Judy held engineering positions with Mobil Corporation, Loudon County Sanitation Authority.

    Judy has a phenomenal family - husband, Joe, two sons, Joe and Jon, and their dog, Troy.  Judy volunteers for many community activities.  She is a member of Corning Hospital Board of Directors and related committees, Donald Guthrie Foundation Board of Directors, United Way, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.  Judy previously served on the United Way Board of Directors and the Cosmopolitan Women’s Club Board of Directors.


    Tarrah Seaver

    Tarrah Seaver owns Laurabelles bakery in Corning.  It has always been her dream to own her own bakery - the name ‘Laurabelles’ is dedicated to her beloved grandmother who taught her how to bake as a small child. Terrah’s mother and grandmother took care of their families by cooking meals, making beautiful desserts and hosting elaborate holiday dinners. They both have been her inspiration in life and have supported her desire to pursue her goal.

    Terrah is also part of the LGBTQ community here in Corning and proud to be a part of something so empowering. She supports and encourages her staff to be exactly who they are- she promotes Pride month in June and welcomes people of any ethnicity, religion and gender to visit her bakery where they will feel like they are at home.


    Barbara Whitman

    Barb Whitman is the Communications and Marketing Director for Corning's Gaffer District.  She spent 10 years in California organizing and holding women's retreats with the sole purpose of empowering women. 

    Given the current climate in our country regarding equality and inclusivity for all people, Barb is passionate about staying informed and learning all that she can to be a part of the movement.  Her goal is to inspire others to join in and be a part of the movement to make a change.  She wants to remind everyone to get out and vote!



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    The 2019 Own it! Women's Conference

    Thursday, October 3

    8:30 am - 4:30 pm

    Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

    Look for photos from the conference on Facebook!


  • Own it! Vision

    Empowered women
    Empowering women


    To create an inclusive community which supports and empowers every woman to build the best version of herself