Rep. Elik Honors Two Local Guests at Emerging Women Leaders Conference

State Representative Amy Elik proudly welcomed two guests to the third annual Emerging Women Leaders (EWL) conference: Megan Tyler and Melissa Bell-Yates. The event took place Tuesday in Springfield to honor the contributions of emerging female leaders from throughout the state.

“I was proud to honor Megan Tyler and Melissa Bell-Yates for their achievements and recognize them at the Emerging Women Leaders Recognition Conference,” said Rep. Amy Elik. “These two women are leading the way and making a positive impact in our region.”

Megan Tyler and Melissa Beth-Yates exemplify the spirit of leadership and service that the EWL conference aims to celebrate. Their contributions to their respective organizations and communities serve as a source of inspiration for women leaders across the state.

Melissa Bell-Yates is the owner of Rustic Roots located in Wood River. Her small business is a platform for many local artists and crafters to sell their products and creations. Rustic Roots retails companies that support charities, recycle, repurpose, and give back. Bell-Yates is an emerging entrepreneur and community leader in Wood River.

Megan Tyler, Founder and Executive Director of Sacred Spaces of CARE. Her local nonprofit empowers people to engage in mental health and take steps towards healing, through advocacy, education, and relational support within the community. Megan is an educator by profession and much of her experience has been within high-trauma settings, where she has been extensively trained in trauma-informed practices. She is an active member of her community and serves on the Madison County Juvenile Justice Council, PreventEd’s Progams & Policies Committee. Megan has been involved in nonprofit work, community-based educational programming, and recovery-focused advocacy and support for several years.

The EWL conference, established to acknowledge the achievements of rising women leaders, was a resounding success. Representatives from various districts joined together to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of women from across the state. Throughout the day, attendees engaged in programming designed to empower and inspire.

The schedule featured a brunch and listening session, a tour of the Capitol, and a presentation titled “Own Your Power.” These sessions provided invaluable opportunities for networking, collaboration, and personal growth.

Stay up to date on news and legislative action in the Illinois House of Representatives by visiting or contact State Representative Amy Elik’s district office in Alton at 618-433-8046.