Keating said the key to making a lasting change is to make sure you are not just accomplishing one-time goals, but inspiring those around you to continue developing and changing things in the future.
She said for Charleston and other communities to attract and keep companies like Dow, leaders should make a concerted effort toward developing talent and creating opportunities for people to grow.
"Never stop learning," Keating said. "Not only does it keep our saws sharp, but knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have, the more you can accomplish."
Keating's talk kicked off an afternoon of presentations and panel discussions designed to teach women about past leaders who changed history and offer ideas for how the current generation can step up and make a difference.
"Women have equal rights now," said Tara Martinez, executive director of the West Virginia Women's Commission. "No longer fighting for it, we now need to take advantage of it."
Zacks said female entrepreneurship has been one of the bright spots in West Virginia's economy in recent years.
"There's been a large increase in women-owned businesses," she said. "People are understanding you can't wait for someone else to make the future for you, you have to do it yourself."
She said woman-owned businesses in Charleston like Taylor Books, Charleston Brewing Co., Ellen's Ice Cream and Mission Savvy have improved the downtown business climate and hopefully will inspire others to do the same.
"They're really adding a lot to the community and they're really great role models for other women that we hope will take destiny in their hands and start their own business," she said.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.