Today, Barbara Kendall was the first speaker for Rotorua Chamber of Commerce's new event series for women in business – a series of events aimed at inspiring local businesswomen.

Arriving at the International Olympic Committee with an infant in tow, Barbara Kendall quickly discovered the juggles of trying to balance motherhood with business.

From being the first woman to take a baby to an IOC meeting during her time as the Oceania athletes representative, to helping set up programmes to help athletes transfer their sporting-skills to careers post sport, Kendall has been breaking new ground for women.

Speaking about her career post sport – during which she won Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals and was a four times world champion board sailor – Kendall discussed the transition from being an athlete to the corporate world.

Kendall told the group that finding something you're passionate about, and following that passion, is a key to success.

She also reiterated how important it has been to look after herself – mind, body and soul – to achieve success.

"I know if I am healthy I can do just about anything."

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Allison Lawton said the chamber recognised the need for a strong, strategic and supportive businesswomen's network.

"Before launching, we conducted research and we feel confident we know what will work for businesswomen in our community.

"We want to give real depth to the events."

Lawton said the events will include a mix of networking opportunities and captivating speakers.

"A key aim has been ensuring the events are meaningful. We want to talk about issues relevant to women and business, and have women leaving feeling empowered and energised."

Lawton said Kendall was a great first speaker to launch the series.

"She is dynamic and it is clear her messages really resonated with the audience.

"The Rotorua Chamber is committed to unlocking Rotorua's potential. We hope these events will be well attended and inspire local businesswomen and entrepreneurs."

To find out about future events, follow the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

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