A group of 911 operators, teachers, health care providers from their early 20s to experienced workers and retirees were among the diverse group of 1,000 women who attended the Loma Linda University Health Women’s Conference at the Riverside Convention Center.

Many had requested the day of May 5 off from work months in advance so they could attend the 2016 conference, “Be the Artist of your Life.”

During the conference, which sold out quickly after online tickets were made available, attendees chose from dozens of break-out sessions, each providing wisdom to help them “live it.”

“There was a presentation by a florist whose creative displays have adorned presidential inaugural balls,” says attendee Linda Domeny, “and a chronic pain specialist shared knowledge he learned while working with more than 100,000 patients. For me, a highlight of the conference was the complimentary health testing that was available to all attendees.”

“This event is all about being smart, healthy and confident women,” says Beverly Rigsby, MBA, service line director, OB-GYN women’s services, Loma Linda University Medical Center. “We want every woman to have the power to live a healthy and successful life, and we hope the information and tools provided during the conference will inspire them to be their absolute best.”

During conference breakout sessions, experts shared the latest techniques in facial rejuvenation, creative ways to look younger, anti-aging tips for your teeth, how to get the most information from your breast screenings, and the art of working with your personality, among many others.

“There were so many great topics to choose from,” says Domeny. “I appreciated the opportunity to ask the presenters questions, and I took away tips and tools I will share with family and friends.”

During the day, creativity abounded as women took brushes to canvas, painting landscapes taught by an artist from the Purple Easel.

There were booths and exhibits to visit with samples and giveaways, one-on-one time with experts from dentistry to OB-GYN, self defense to physical therapy and health testing. There was also time to dine and shop.

The day began and ended with keynote presentations that highlighted the conference theme. In the morning Dewitt Jones, one of America’s top professional photographers, shared insights he learned during the two decades he worked for National Geographic. “Don’t stop with the first impression, the first photograph,” he urged as he showed several series of images on large screens — from flowers to sunsets to people. “Pausing, being open to the unexpected can take an assignment from good but ordinary, to magnificent.”

The conference ended on a powerful message, “The Beauty of Being You,” shared by Jess Weiner during the afternoon keynote. Weiner shared stories of her childhood, watching TV and searching for someone to identify with. Her personal journey led her to create “Talk to Jess,” a company that collaborates with brands to help them understand and better connect with women, girls and families in their audience. Her keynote message inspired attendees to think of themselves with confidence and pride instead of being defined by others.

Trevor Wright, MHA, chief operating officer, Loma Linda University Medical Center, attended the event for the first time and came away impressed with the level of participation from Loma Linda employees, not only the clinical staff handling the screenings but also physicians giving breakouts and the number of volunteers helping make the event run smoothly. “I appreciate everyone’s participation and interest in giving back,” says Wright. “Our physicians and employees are making a difference in the lives of women in our community.”

The presenting sponsor for the 2016 Women’s Conference was Riverside Community Health Foundation and the premiere sponsors were Stronghold Engineering and N. Rancho Cucamonga Dental Group and Orthodontics. Breakout session sponsors were LifeCell, Vista Medical, Loma Linda University department of psychiatry, Loma Linda University Surgical Hospital metabolic and bariatric surgery, Linda Valley Senior Living, Hologic, Molina Healthcare and Cambridge Hospice.