Journalist, fashion expert and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic will be the keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Bakersfield Women's Business Conference, joined by entrepreneur and author Lynda Resnick as the opening speaker.

Organizers announced the speakers Thursday for the April 18 event, which will be held at the Rabobank Arena Theater & Convention Center.

Rancic is anchor of "E! News," co-host of E!'s "Fashion Police" and star of "Giuliana and Bill" on the Style Network. She recently created "Fab-U-Wish" to grant fashion, beauty and celebrity-themed wishes to women battling breast cancer.

Conference spokeswoman Gina Hayden said each year organizers seek to find speakers who are not just interesting, but motivational. Rancic is well known not just for her hosting and fashion work, but also as a breast cancer survivor.

"She's been through a lot of things in her life, and a lot of things that women can identify with," Hayden said.

And Resnick is not only a great speaker, Hayden said, but also has strong ties to the Central Valley.

Resnick wrote the best-selling book "Rubies in the Orchard," detailing her marketing success. She and her husband are owners of businesses including Paramount Farms and Paramount Citrus, which distribute the Cuties brand of mandarin oranges and pistachios.

Closing speaker will be former television anchor and reporter Robin Mangarin Scott. Scott is currently director of strategic marketing for Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial hospitals.

The conference board of directors, chaired by Deanna Blaise, is planning a variety of instructional and motivational seminars designed to help women succeed, whether they are just starting out or have already established their careers.

New this year is the "Night Before" event, in which the shopping pavilion will be open and attendees can watch cooking demonstrations and enjoy music, wine and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets for the "Night Before" only are $20, and doors open at 5:30 p.m. April 17.

Admission to the "Night Before" is included in the full $95 conference fee. Hayden said previous attendees shared that there wasn't enough time to do everything they wanted, so the extra night gives them that opportunity.

To register for the event, go to