For five years, Cindy Bigner lived in Egypt and Dubai where she worked in human resources for Halliburton. While she was responsible for 32,000 employees in 75 countries on six continents, the greatest adversity she faced came from simply being a woman. She credits her positive attitude for helping her through the experience.

For five years, Cindy Bigner lived in Egypt and Dubai where she worked in human resources for Halliburton. While she was responsible for 32,000 employees in 75 countries on six continents, the greatest adversity she faced came from simply being a woman. She credits her positive attitude for helping her through the experience.

“If I had not been a positive person, if I had not been someone who could overcome barriers with positive thinking and self-esteem that comes with that, I would not have made it,” she said.

Bigner, senior director of global diversity and inclusion for Halliburton in Houston, will give the keynote address for the Wyoming Women’s Expo’s professional development day Friday. While a luncheon and speaker are usually featured on professional development day, it’s been expanded this year to a full afternoon of seminars.

“Extending it to a whole afternoon is a great way to inspire women in our community,” said Kendra Ziler, office coordinator at Casper Events Center.

Learn more about the speakers and seminars below:


Bigner will present, “The Most Contagious Force in the Workplace Today ... Attitude” 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

“It’s more than just taking a Pollyanna approach to life,” she said. “It’s about reality and looking at opportunities to make things better.”

Those who think positively cope better with stress, have more optimism and resilience, and stronger immune systems, she added. Her presentation will include the benefits of positive thinking and how do it.

Bigner has a master’s of science in global human resources management from the University of Liverpool in London and has worked in human resources for Halliburton for 24 years. She currently serves as Halliburton’s senior director of global diversity and inclusion in Houston. Halliburton, which provides products and services to the energy industry, has more than 75,000 employees representing more than 140 nationalities in about 80 countries, according to its website.

“One of the things I really enjoy the most is bringing more women into the industry and making it a more friendly place for them to work,” she said.

Bigner has always been a positive person, she says. Her parents and grandmother taught her to believe in herself and have good self-esteem, which she says leads to positive thinking.

“My grandmother taught me a lot about thinking positively and seeing the best in people,” she said. “It’s not all glamour and gold, but it’s easy to look past the negative and see the positive in every situation.”

While one’s attitude is partially due to genetics, it is something everyone can improve upon, she says.

“You’re constantly put in situations that you may not be comfortable in or may cause you stress,” Bigner said. “The power of positive thinking can help you get through those situations.”

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People are great at setting goals, said Linda Crowder, but achieving them is a different story.

Crowder owns Focus Forward in Casper, where she offers career coaching and business consulting. She will present “Beyond Goals — Stop Making Lists and Start Making it Happen” from 2 to 2:45 p.m. In her presentation, she will cover not only the best way to set goals, but how to overcome common roadblocks such as fear, financial obligations and lack of motivation.

“I’m really hoping that people understand that every decision you make in life is taking you somewhere,” she said.

Crowder has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a masters’ degree in public administration from California State University, East Bay in Hayward, Calif. She has worked in nonprofit human resources for more than 20 years. In 2011, Crowder retired from her job as executive director of Children and Nutrition Services in Casper. For a year, she gardened. She volunteered. She became bored.

“I found myself missing the opportunity to help people,” she said.

She earned a certificate as a global career development facilitator with the Center for Credentialing and Education, a Greensboro, North Carolina company that offers credentialing and business services to national organizations.

While Crowder does some consulting for small businesses and nonprofits, she works mostly with job seekers.

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is blaming bad luck, she says.

“You can’t control everything, but you have to take what life gives you and become a conscious actor in your life,” she said.

Crowder asks those who attend her seminar to come with a dream in mind.

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Melinda McClelland, owner of Organizational Effectiveness Resources in Cody, will present, “Get More Done and Have More Fun: Simple Strategies for Your Workplace,” 3 to 3:30 p.m.

“When it comes to our workload, lots of times we don’t recognize that if we use different communication styles and strategies, we can get more done,” McClelland said. “When we’re able to get more done, it gives us more time to relax and build relationships with each other.”

In her presentation, McClelland will discuss how to use communication as a tool to improve productivity and job satisfaction, as well as how to choose the best communication technique and style for the situation.

“A lot of people think of communication as something we do,” McClelland said. “When they do that, they don’t realize it’s a really useful tool.”

Many of the tips she offers apply at work and home, she added.

McClelland’s life hasn’t always gone as planned. After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Oregon, she worked on a computer project that required her to coordinate with engineers across the globe.

“I found that I really enjoy working with people, and a lot of people didn’t, especially in the sciences,” she said.

She changed her focus to helping groups works together, and later earned a master’s degree in international studies and a doctorate in communication from Arizona State University.

She was a business consultant in Phoenix for 16 years where she worked with large technology companies. She moved to Cody in 2012.

Today, she focuses on individuals, such as owners of small to medium businesses and students interested in international studies. For example, since Cody attracts many international visitors, she has offered programs on international skills to youth.

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