Women in Business

Date: April 13, 2016Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Location:  Show map Woodside Plantation Country Club
1000 Woodside Plantation Dr.
Aiken, SC 29803
Contact: Emily MurphyPhone: 803.649.1200 x223Email: emurphy@aikenchamber.net

Women in Business - Moments of Truth: A Fork in the Road

Have you ever come to a fork in the road along your career or personal path? How did you decide what path to take? Have you ever made a wrong turn? When did you discover it was wrong? How did you deal with your choice and how did it influence your future? What’s the single most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your professional life?


Female executives from AECOM, Aiken Active Seniors, Manpower, and State Farm Insurance, along with our 2015 Woman of the Year will address these thought provoking questions at the Aiken Chamber’s upcoming Women in Business Spring Luncheon. “Moments of Truth: A Fork in the Road” will be presented Wednesday, April 13, at Woodside Plantation Country Club.  The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. with networking, followed by lunch and the program.


The luncheon will feature Lessie Price, AECOM; Karen Poteat, Aiken Active Seniors; Theresa Swafford, Manpower; Collette Ball, State Farm Insurance and Rebecca Robbins, 2015 Woman of the Year.


The five women will serve on a panel, share their experiences, and offer sound advice on how to face that fork in the road.


Ellen Priest, Aiken Communications, Inc., Aiken Standard and Aiken Chamber Board Member, will serve as the panel facilitator. 


Attendees can expect to learn how these top executives faced obstacles and handled the decisions they made at the fork in the road.  You will learn that not all decisions they made were the right decisions, however, those wrong turns may taught them valuable lessons.  The panel will confirm with you that climbing the corporate ladder is not accomplished overnight or easy, it takes time, discipline and commitment.   


To register for the spring Women in Business luncheon, visit www.aikenchamber.net


The luncheon is part of the Aiken Chamber’s Women in Business program, a series of events that provides opportunities for women to network and become successful in business through luncheons, seminars, and other pertinent events.


Sponsors of the Women in Business program are:

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor




Meet the women of Women in Business

Collette Ball

Ball is the owner/agent of State Farm Insurance, Ball Agency. She has been a State Farm agent since 1990 and has received numerous accolades for her work, including the Golden Triangle Award, Chairman’s Circle Qualifier and Mutual Funds Leader.

Ball is active in the business community and serves on the Aiken Technical College Commission, Rotary Club of Aiken Board of Directors, and the USC Aiken School of Business Advisory Council where she received the Distinguished Partner Award. In addition, she serves on the Notre Dame Alumni Chapter and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also served as a past board member of the SPCA and the SC Human Affairs Commission. Ball is an active member of St. Mary’s Help of Christians Catholic Church.

She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from South Carolina State University.



Karen Poteat

Poteat is a nurse with a specialty in Gerontology and Dementia. She has over 20 years of experience in the field. She has worked in a variety of healthcare settings including skilled nursing, assisted living and hospice and held roles as a nurse, administrator, volunteer coordinator and marketer.

In 2013 Poteat opened Aiken Active Seniors to serve seniors who had become socially isolated or were living with dementia to provide them with care, purpose and fun. The business received the 2015 Small Business of the Year award from the Aiken Chamber. Poteat has lived in Aiken for 10 years with her husband, Mark, and three children.




Lessie Price

Price is employed by AECOM, formerly URS, as the manager of community relations and government affairs. She has lived in Aiken for over 50 years and is a long-time Aiken City Council member.

Price serves on many boards including the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, S. C. Tourism Board and the S.C. Municipal Incorporation Board among others. Some of her recognitions include Allen University’s Richard Allen Award, U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Justice Award, Savannah River Girl Scout Council Woman of Excellence and the Aiken Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year.

She and her husband, William, are the parents of five sons and are members of Friendship Baptist Church.



Ellen Priest

Priest was named President and Publisher of Aiken Communications, which includes the daily Aiken Standard and the weekly North Augusta Star, as well as their interactive division, in December 2013. She has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years.

Priest currently serves as the President of the South Carolina Press Association. She is a member of numerous boards in the community including the Child Advocacy Center, United Way of Aiken County and the Aiken Chamber of Commerce among others.

A native of Middletown,Connecticut, she and her husband, Jeff, live in Aiken and have two grown children. 




Rebecca “Becky” Robbins

Robbins was recently named the Aiken Chamber of Commerce 2015 Woman of the Year. She is known for her giving nature and ability to get things done.

Robbins dedication to the arts has been transformative to Aiken. She spearheaded the changes that have resulted in the treasured Aiken Center for the Arts that we know today and is the cofounder of the Antiques in the Heart of Aiken event.

In addition to her influence on the Aiken art community, Robbins has committed her time, talents and creative ideas to many organizations including the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education, Aiken Area Council on Aging and the Sand River Woman’s Club. She also holds a Lifetime Membership Certificate in the Girl Scouts of America.   






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