Our Women Owned Business Liaison, Cheryl Borland Shares why This Conference Makes Sense for Women


The Derby Diversity Business Summit was a perfect match for the Summit's 2018 Co-Chair and 2019 First Vice Chair, Cheryl Borland, Esq. Cheryl Borland is an Of Counsel  Attorney with Griesing Law, LLC, a woman-owned law firm.  Griesing Law is a member of WBENC as well as a member of NAMWOLF (National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms).  Cheryl Borland is part of the Business & Transaction Practice Group as well as Chair of the Firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group.  

"Borland likes to think of herself as "Business Strategy and Innovation Counsel."  Her transactional practice advises Diverse Owned Businesses to obtain and leverage certification as well as achieving size and scale by handling mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances while complying with certification guidelines.   She also helps craft and implement exit strategies as well as estate plans for business owners.  

According to Borland, the Derby Diversity & Business Summit (DDBS) takes business owners out of their separate silos so that they can start to build relationships with each other.  “Business growth in today’s environment is based on relationships – quite frankly people do business with companies and other businesses they know and like.  DDBS provides an environment where participants can get to know those they may never have crossed paths with.”

In addition to networking opportunities, DDBS is able to offer substantive seminars and workshops that are “like a 400 level university course” -- deeper, more engaging, and complex.  Attendees walk away with something to talk about and put into action in their businesses.  The Board was emphatic that DDBS had to be more than just a great party – it had to have a true educational component and we’ve worked hard to provide substantive workshops and seminars.  I am very excited about the new “Art of Negotiation” that we are adding to this year’s DDBS. 

Beyond that, the conference is designed to put people together in an intentional way that cements connections.  “There is no place like Louisville during the Kentucky Derby, and celebrating in style with DDBS means limitless opportunities for conversation and connection – it is like going on vacation with relative strangers and coming away at the end of the Business Summit with deep and meaningful connections.“

The festive atmosphere at DDBS means sharing unique experiences. That evokes an altogether different feeling -- one of connection and relationship building. “You don’t see each other as competitors. You see each other as collaborators. We can do more together than independently,” she said.

Admittedly DDBS costs more than other conferences but this is really driven by the costs of events that are built in the conference and includes all-inclusive pricing for lodging for attendance.  DDBS includes a number of boutique experiences with events like the Oaks and Derby.   Many of these events sell out years in advance and Derby is viewed across the county as a world-class occasion.  “It’s intimate and everything is very intentional,” said Borland, noting how the board looks to create a novel approach to diversity and inclusion. 

“It really spotlights Louisville and the Derby and all the wonderful things associated with it,” she said.  More than that, contracts and cross-pollination keep happening among attendees who have remained connected since the last summit. “It’s an opportunity to come together as a diverse business community and really make a difference in each other’s lives.  I would encourage anyone to find it within their budget to attend DDBS.”

Laurel Kemper