News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kim Schmelz, External Relations & Alumni Development
Phone: 608.822.2379
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date: February 8, 2019

Barry puts community and financial resiliency first

Fennimore -

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said, “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”

As prominent educational institutions in rural, southwest Wisconsin, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to put on You First, a female empowerment conference developed from the Ladies Leadership Series. Both educational institutions see the importance of having a network of resilient women in this area of Wisconsin.

Lori Barry, Financial Advisor at Community First Bank, is one of the speakers at this year’s conference. She is passionate about helping people reach their respective financial goals, but her personal goal is getting people in the mindset of financial planning and providing tips on how to start saving and budgeting for every lifestyle. “I hope to inspire each attendee of You First to take the next step and convince them to make it a priority to sit down and set financial goals,” said Barry.

As a financial advisor, Barry’s job is to look at the financial goals of her clients and then develop personalized plans for them to achieve those goals. These can range anywhere from purchasing a home, saving for retirement, purchasing life insurance, donating to desired charities or leaving a legacy.

Barry also stressed the importance of being financially savvy and resilient for the sake of our physical and mental well-being. “People don’t always realize the influence money has on our health. If you are constantly worrying about your financial situation that definitely takes a toll on your body and other things going on in your life,” she said.

When asked what her definition of being resilient is, Barry responded, “Being able to handle what comes at you, and knowing when to do things independently versus when to seek guidance is what I think it means to be resilient.” She also pointed out that self-growth is critical in being resilient. “Reading books, attending workshops, continuing to challenge yourself to reach your goals is what really makes someone resilient.”

Barry has been on the Southwest Tech Foundation Board for six years and currently serves as vice president of the board. The Foundation works to provide and improve scholarship opportunities and activities for students, promote learning through funding and opportunities that enable Southwest Tech to provide opportunities for success. When asked what motivated Barry to join the Foundation board, she responded, “If we didn’t have people who are passionate about the college, it would hinder Southwest Wisconsin. This institution is so important to this area of the state.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from Barry, build emotional, mental and physical resilience with speakers from Southwest Health, listen to keynote speaker Sagashus Levingston’s presentation, “Infamous Mothers”, and learn from Julie Stephenson, Stacy Thousand and Dana Gevelinger of Compounding Courage. There will also be social opportunities to share refreshments and network with other women and business sponsors and a luncheon is provided.

The You First Conference will be held on Thursday, March 28 at the Belmont Convention Center. For more information and to register go to:

Written by Olivia Ahnen

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