Presented by: DCC Marketing
DCC Marketing

Girls of Merit sponsored by:

Hickory Point Bank
Hickory Point Bank

Additional sponsors:

  • State Farm - Melanie & Al Schelling
    State Farm - Melanie & Al Schelling
  • Land of Lincoln Credit Union
    Land of Lincoln Credit Union
  • Decatur Medical Hospital
    Decatur Medical Hospital

Decatur's first Girl's World Expo went off without a hitch at the Decatur Conference Center on May 20th. Thanks to the hard work of Decatur's very own Herald & Review, the young women and families in their community were able to come out to enjoy and engage in the event. Their was much fun filled entertainment, performances, engaging seminars, and booths for all to enjoy. The keynotes of the day were Amy Frazier of Hickory Point Bank presenting our Girls Of Merit recipients their awards, and Kara Demirjian Huss of DCC Marketing who put on an educational and informative seminar panel for Love the Skin You're In with a group of truly amazing women. We'd like to thank everyone who helped make this day possible, including our performers, sponsors, and advisory members. We'll see you next year Decatur!

Decatur Conference Center
4191 US 36 West
Decatur, IL 62522
Sunday, May 20, 2018
12PM - 4PM

Girls World Expo is a day-long event created by local teen girls for local teen girls – our local Girls Advisory Board is made up of teens from Decatur who have created a unique show just for you! We have also worked closely with our local media partner, to fill the day with seminars, performances, demonstrations and vendors that serve your needs in the Decatur area!

Girls World Expo can change your life – come together with your friends, or make new ones at the Expo, to enjoy a magical day where you will hear from and meet successful and powerful women right from your own community who can show you a path to success! You will attend workshops, listen to speakers, see demonstrations, science exhibits, and speak one-on-one with women who are leaders in business, government, industry, the arts, and many other realms of endeavor. It's a rare opportunity for you to see what your future could be, and learn what it will take to get there.

But it's not all work! Girls World Expo is also fun. There's fashion, an art show, music and dance performances by talented local artists, and the always-popular GWE Marketplace, where you can see and purchase everything from hair accessories to self-help materials, and clothing to jewelry.

It's not just another day. It's a very special day. It's an opportunity to spend a day in a safe, secure environment inspired by the company of other girls and not just seeing but creating the future. Your future.


Sharon Swanson

See photos from this expo!

Congratulations 2018 Decatur Girls of Merit!

Sponsored By: Hickory Point Bank
  • Alexis Taylor Shew
    Alexis Taylor Shew
  • Allyssa Spinner
    Allyssa Spinner
  • Aloni Jordan
    Aloni Jordan
  • Bridget Ferguson
    Bridget Ferguson
  • DaeLin Switzer
    DaeLin Switzer
  • Danielle (Dani) Craw
    Danielle (Dani) Craw
  • Emersyn Michalek
    Emersyn Michalek
  • Grace Koshinski
    Grace Koshinski
  • Hope Roundcount
    Hope Roundcount
  • Kayla Schnippel
    Kayla Schnippel
  • Lauryn Pugh
    Lauryn Pugh
  • Lindsey Scherer
    Lindsey Scherer
  • Lola Gurley
    Lola Gurley
  • Maya Jai Pinson
    Maya Jai Pinson
  • Trinity Delgado
    Trinity Delgado

Meet our Advisory Board

  • Abigail Rutledge
    Abigail Rutledge
    Entertainment & Demo Stage Manager
  • Emma Jordan
    Emma Jordan
    Art Show Coordinator
  • krystal johnson
    krystal johnson
    Art Show Coordinator
  • Jami Keck
    Jami Keck
    Bright Ideas/Science Coordinator
  • Joella Livingston
    Joella Livingston
    Speaker/Seminar Coordinator
  • Ella Sommer
    Ella Sommer
    Speaker/Seminar Coordinator
  • Lydia Gilson
    Lydia Gilson
    Social Media/Public Relations Manager

What to Expect

Welcome & Musical Performances: 12PM-12:00PM
Kick off the day with a warm welcome from our Girls Advisory Board (all local girls) and enjoy our first entertainment act of the day!

Breakout Sessions

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds12:00 - 4:00 Ongoing
  • Corey Conroy
    Corey Conroy

Come play Financial JENGA with Land of Lincoln Credit Union

Presented by Corey Conroy
Girl of Merit Award Ceremony12:45 - 1:30 Room 1
  • Amy Frazier
    Amy Frazier

A special thank you to girls who have proven themselves exceptional members of the community through their actions, activities, leadership, and positive influence on others.

Amy Frazier AVP Human Resources, Hickory Point Bank & Trust

Love the Skin You're In: Featuring a Fearless Female Panel12:45 - 1:30 Main Stage

Social media can make us all question ourselves from time to time. Explore what it means -- and what it feels like -- to love who you are, inside and out. Learn from our panel of successful women experts about positive attitudes, building confidence, building your image and setting your sights on success.

Presented by:
  • Kara Demirjian Huss President/CEO, DCC Marketing
  • Dawn Sterling News Anchor, WAND TV
  • Beth Nolan Larcher Vice President, Investments, Brechnitz Group of Raymond James
  • Dr. Dana Ray M.D. Chief Medical Officer, Mayor Pro Tempore City of Decatur, Crossing Healthcare
  • Nicole Bateman Executive Director, Midwest Inland Port
  • Julia Roundtree Livingston Director of Development, Macon County CASA
  • Heather Kaloupek Owner, Clinical Social Work / Therapist, LCSW, Kaloupek Counseling, LLC
  • Cassie Arner Associate Athletics Director Marketing & Strategic Communications, University of Illinois Athletics
  • Cathy Goff District Manager, Ulta Beauty
Kara Demirjian Huss Dawn Sterling Beth Nolan Larcher Dr. Dana Ray Nicole Bateman Julia Roundtree Livingston Heather Kaloupek Cassie Arner Cathy Goff
Kara Demirjian Huss Dawn Sterling Beth Nolan Larcher Dr. Dana Ray Nicole Bateman Julia Roundtree Livingston Heather Kaloupek Cassie Arner Cathy Goff
Questions You Can't Ask Your Mom2:15 - 3:00 Room 1
  • Marisa Hosier
    Marisa Hosier

Submit questions anonymously and get answers Google, but without a search history. And with advice from actual experts! This is your chance to ask those personal and crazy – gotta know! questions. No moms allowed. (For ages 13+)

Presented by Marisa Hosier from Macon County Health Dept.
Live Your Best Life – Live Like a Girl!2:15 - 3:00 Room 2
  • Dr. Juanita Morris
    Dr. Juanita Morris

There's only one YOU. Live proud

Dr. Juanita Morris teacher/professor, entrepreneur and consultant, Girls Who Code

Entertainment Break
Featuring performances from local entertainers and showcasing talent by local girls.

female keyboardist sings

Dance Performances:

  • Decatur Park District Dance
    Decatur Park District Dance
  • The Studio
    The Studio



Workshops & Demos


Mid State Soccer Club
- Smith Institute of Martial Arts

Smith Institute of Martial Arts

Ongoing Activities & Entertainment: 12:00 - 4:00PM

  • Girls of Merit Award Ceremony sponsored by Hickory Point Bank
    • Hickory Point Bank
  • Live Music & Dance Performances
  • girls spin prize wheel at booth Exhibitor Marketplace - A thriving shopping area where local vendors sell and demonstrate their goods. A unique shopping and experiential opportunity in a fun, upbeat inspiring atmosphere. Exhibit your goods and services.
  • Girls World of Art Show - Come see how local girls express themselves through art. Art is a celebration of self-expression, creativity ad self esteem all on display at GWE.
  • College & Career Coaching - Meet local mentors and entrepreneurs who will help guide you towards a bright and prosperous future.
  • Fitness Demos
  • Henna Art
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • "Bright Ideas" STEM Showcase - The future is female, and we are here for it. #GirlNerds unite for this one-of-a-kind workshop on what it really means to be a lady in STEM.
  • Hot Topic Seminars & Workshops
  • Healthy Living
  • Fashion Showcase - Find your inner fierceness with fashion tips and trends.

Close 4:00PM

We will thank everyone for participating in such a special day and celebrate with a closing act!

In partnership with:

  • Herald & Review

Expos Coming Soon...

Get registered for these fun and exciting expos coming to a city near you!

St. Louis

September 29, 2019

St. Louis, MO


October 19, 2019

Columbus, OH

Staten Island

October 20, 2019

Staten Island, NY


October 26, 2019

Cleveland, OH


October 27, 2019

Harrisburg, PA

San Francisco

November 9, 2019

San Francisco, CA

Ft. Wayne

November 10, 2019

Ft. Wayne, IN


November 24, 2019

Syracuse, NY


December 8, 2019

Albany, NY

Las Vegas

January 26, 2020

Las Vegas, NV


February 22, 2020

Indianapolis, IN


March 21, 2020

Detroit, MI


March 28, 2020

Midland-Odessa, TX