2011 Agenda

Agenda at a Glance

Our agenda-at-a-glance will give you a general overview of what you’ll experience in one incredible day!

  • Wednesday, November 16
  • 8:30-5:00 Spark & Hustle Small Business Boot Camp
  • Thursday, November 17
  • 7:30 – 8:30 Registration, Continental Breakfast & Exhibits
  • 7:30 – 8:30 Health & Wellness Pavilion
  • 8:30 – 9:45 Opening Keynote
  • First Lady Anita Perry
  • Lisa Hernandez, co-anchor, KHOU 11 News at 5 and 10
  • Jody Conradt, legendary women’s basketball coach, UT
  • Deborah Duncan, host, Great Day Houston, KHOU-TV Channel 11
  • Frontlines Report with Turk Pipkin, co-founder, The Nobelity Project
  • and Rose Mapendo, Congo survivor
  • Martha Beck, life coach & O, The Oprah Magazine columnist
  • 9:45 – 10:15 Author Signings and Speaker Meet & Greets
  • 10:00 – 11:00Seminar Session I
  • 11:00 – 11:30 Author Signings and Speaker Meet & Greets
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Seminar Session II
  • 12:30 – 1:00 Local Leader Meetups
  • 12:30 – 1:00 Author Signings and Speaker Meet & Greets
  • 1:00 – 2:45Keynote Lunch
  • Deborah Duncan, host, Great Day Houston, KHOU-TV Channel 11
  • Lisa Niemi Swayze, pancreatic cancer advocate
  • Cindy McCain, board member, Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Fireside Chat with Tory Johnson, CEO, Women For Hire and Barbara Bradley Baekard, co-founder, Vera Bradley
  • 2:45 – 3:15Health & Wellness Pavilion and Speaker
  • 3:00 – 4:00 Local Leader Meetups
  • 3:00 – 5:00Career Pavilion
  • LinkedIn Connection Lounge
  • Local Leader Meetups
  • Personal Brand Audits
  • Resume Reviews
  • Mentor Match
  • Tory Johnson Meetup
  • 3:00 – 5:00Expert Exchange Sessions
  • 5:00Conference Close

We are excited to bring you a new series of practical workshops and inspirational panel discussions on the topics that matter most to you. Based on feedback from last year’s attendees, we are thrilled to share new tracks for 2011!

PA Conf

Seminar Session 1

10:00 am – 11:00 am


How To Become Unstoppable(workshop)

Speaker: Mel Robbins, author, relationship expert, syndicated radio host and America’s Favorite Life Coach

In today’s world, the only thing that stands between you and your dreams is YOU. Mel Robbins, a syndicated radio host, author and star of an upcoming relationship show on A&E will help you push past your self-imposed limits to get what you truly desire. This interactive workshop will explore the psychological and social factors that repeatedly hold you back, and more important, teach you a unique strategy for getting you where you want to be: you must learn to outsmart your own brain. You will leave with the knowledge and tools you need to push past your own issues and insecurities. Drawing on the latest neuroscientific research, callers from her syndicated radio show, and the ideas she tested in her own life (and on her unsuspecting family), Mel will show you what works and what doesn’t so you can become unstoppable.

Host: Simone Krasan, author and inspirational speaker


The Inspirational Leader: Harnessing the Power of Courage, Authenticity, and Vulnerability (workshop)

Speaker: Bren é Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, research professor, University of Houston

From developing talent and connecting with consumers, to building brands and fostering innovative cultures, inspiration is critical. Inspirational leadership is not about job titles and roles – it’s a style of leadership available to anyone who is willing to practice courage in the midst of fear, to choose authenticity over self-protection, and to foster calm in times of high reactivity. This interactive and engaging workshop will explore:

  • The three primary components of inspirational leadership;
  • The behaviors, emotions and thoughts that sabotage inspiration; and
  • Actionable strategies for practicing inspirational leadership.

Host: Roxan Robinson Kraft, general manager, manufacturing integration, Shell Downstream Inc.


The Ladder is Out: Managing Your Career in the Age of the App (workshop)

Speaker: Jenny Blake, award-winning blogger of LifeAfterCollege.org, author, “Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want”

The era of climbing the ladder as a method of managing your career is out. We are now in the age of the app – everything you need is at your fingertips, fully customizable to your unique career aspirations. Careers are no longer linear processes that adhere to a ladder model, where one moves up and through a vertical org chart at the same company. This session will help you explore, experiment and build a strong career foundation that suits your dynamic talents and goals. In this interactive workshop, you will:

  • Shift your paradigm around career advancement
  • Learn strategies to identify and design your own unique path; we’ll start by creating a passions mind map and identify key themes
  • Identify where you want to be professionally (and in your life) in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 3 years
  • Take an inventory of your current skills, experience and strengths, and identify how you would like to grow in each of those areas

Host: Holland Banks, founder and managing editor, Succeed After College


Debt Diet 101:Strategies to Get Your Money Straight

Speaker: Glinda Bridgforth, leading financial expert, author, “Girl, Get Your Money Straight!” and expert for Oprah’s Debt Diet

People everywhere are in recovery mode as we emerge from turbulent economic times. Unfortunately, debt is a reality for many individuals – even our country – after several years of drowning in bills, stretching beyond their limits and faced with challenging financial choices. This workshop will bring you face-to-face Glinda Bridgforth of Oprah’s Debt Diet, and other leading financial experts who will provide a step-by-step guide to show you how to say goodbye to debt, restore your credit and get your finances under control, no matter what shape their bank account is in right now.

Host: Tina Pennington, financial literacy expert and co-author, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!


Health & Wellness: Creating Conscious Weight Wellness (workshop)


Dr. James Beckerman, cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute and author, “The Flex Diet”

Jess Weiner, self-esteem expert, Dove’s global ambassador for self-esteem, columnist and author

Special Guest Speaker:Jason Stevens, MA, RD, LD, dietitian, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)

Twenty-five million people in the United States have diabetes, and 55 million people are walking around in a pre-diabetic state and probably don’t even realize it. Obesity and genetics are the two top drivers causing these staggering figures. We have little control over genetics, but we do have the ability to gain control over the obesity epidemic inflicting our country. With projections that in the year 2040, more than 50 million people will have diabetes, we need to act now. The diet industry has a 99 percent failure rate with an even higher rate of recidivism and relapse. Diet pills and quick-fix, overly aggressive body makeovers are not the answer. This interactive session help you obtain conscious weight wellness, while maintaining compassion, grace and self-love so that your health journey is not a burden but rather a positive way of life. Self-esteem expert Jess Weiner and Dr.James Beckerman create a dynamic duo that explores the psychological and scientific aspects to foster steady weight loss. Together we will learn how moderate exercise, nutrition and self-awareness can give you a fullness you’ve never known.

Host: Lorie Marrero, creator, The Clutter Diet and author


The Zen of Social Media Marketing (workshop)

Speaker: Shama Kabani, president, The Zen Marketing Group and named one of the 10 Most Influential and Powerful Women in Social Media

Yes – you are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and maybe even Twitter. But now what? It has never been as easy, as efficient or as quick as it is now to reach people and get known. How can you take your social media game to the next level? This intermediate workshop goes beyond the basics and offers something for everyone – whether you are a professional looking to use social media to build your brand and network, or an entrepreneur looking to market and land new business. Shama Kabani, dubbed an “online marketing shaman and a master millennial of the universe” by Fast Company.com shows you how—and how to not get overwhelmed in the process. Focused on easy-to-implement, “Zen-minded” methods and techniques, you will learn:

  • How to drive traffic to your sites to generate qualified leads and expand your networks
  • How to use social media to brand yourself online and proactively manage your reputation
  • How to find and create strategic joint venture (JV) relationships using social media
  • Where social media marketing fits in the bigger marketing picture and how to measure your efforts
  • The #1 reason people fail at social media marketing… and how to avoid that mistake

Host: Crystal Washington, social media marketing strategist


Second Acts: Real World Stories of Reinvention (panel)

Moderator: Lesley Jane Seymour, editor, MORE Magazine


Shannon Buggs, founder, Meta Four Houston and award-winning journalist

Gina Otto, award-winning author, producer, social entrepreneur and children’s advocate

Karen Walrond, former lawyer turned noted writer of award-winning www.chookooloonks.com

Bobbie Weiner, film industry make-up artist, business entrepreneur and author

Regardless of age or circumstance, we all have the power to create a second act and reinvent ourselves – especially as we gain experience and learn from those experiences. This session will bring real stories of real women who created their second acts, personally or professionally. Attendees will learn through their experiences how to overcome obstacles, find their passion or seize a new opportunity regardless of age or circumstance.

Host: Maria Murnane, award-winning author, It’s a Waverly Life and Perfect on Paper



Spark & Hustle: How to Put “Spark” into Your Pitch


Tory Johnson, founder and CEO, Women for Hire and workplace contributor, Good Morning America

Cindy Solomon, speaker, consultant, entrepreneur and author, “The Rules of Woo”

Selling your story – whether to investors, business partners, customers, employees or the media – is critical for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The first part of this two-session workshop brings you face-to-face with renowned small business experts to teach you how to develop your best pitch. Using interactive exercises, attendees will learn how to:

  • Create a concise message
  • Capture and engage your audience
  • Build and exude confidence in yourself and your concept
  • Deliver with clarity to wow your listeners

Host: Stacy Dukes-Rhone, executive director, BIGAustin

Young Women’s Program

Part 1

She’s the First

Speaker: Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president, She’s the First

Being the first means breaking a barrier to do something that no other person has done before you — within your family, school, community, or even U.S. history! It seems the most memorable moments in life are firsts, too. Your first job, first day of high school, first speech, even your first big conference. These experiences can be downright scary but are also exhilarating! Will you be the first to get accepted into an Ivy League school on full scholarship? The first to start her own business? Get published in a magazine? Win every game of the season? Meet the president? BE the president?! Dream big! But more importantly, MAKE IT HAPPEN! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know any celebrities or don’t have a million dollars. Using the power of the Internet and tools like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, you can create your own connections, develop your own expertise, and choose your own adventures. Chances are you won’t just achieve your dream — you’ll discover new dreams you never even knew you had! In this workshop, get ready to create your game plan, have fun, and make new friends.

Host: JoAnn Ajayi-Scott, Ed.D. candidate, founder & CEO, Essence of a Lady, Inc., creator, Young Essence Ladies Learning (YELL!) and E’Ladies Network

Seminar Session 2

11:30 am – 12:30 pm


How to Impact Change: Real-World Advice for How You Can Influence and Make a Difference (panel)

Moderator: Deborah Duncan, host, “Great Day Houston,” KHOU-TV Channel 11


Patti Gras, Emmy Award-winning producer, HoustonPBS

Nina Godiwalla, CEO, MindWorks and author, “Suits: A Woman on Wall Street”

Nancy Levicki, co-founder and president, Dress for Success Houston
Turk Pipkin, co-founder, The Nobelity Project, actor, director and author

Women can impact tremendous change. This panel will explore a diversity of areas in which women can impact change, including politics, education, media, business and community. We will offer firsthand perspectives of women who are impacting change and illustrate why it is critical to get involved and how you can make a difference and influence the world around you.

Host: Laura Milazzo, AIG


Reaching Your Personal Best: A Conversation with Jody Conradt

Speaker: Jody Conradt, legendary women’s basketball head coach, University of Texas Longhorns

In 38 years as a collegiate head coach, Jody Conradt’s players won 900 games. More important, 99 percent of her players graduated. Speak with her former student-athletes, and they agree on Conradt’s life lessons: hold integrity and team goals above all, work on self-discipline and organization, embrace diversity and tolerance, commit to honest and effective communication, maintain presence and exhibit class. This session is an informal conversation and extension of Coach Conradt’s keynote. This is your chance to get your questions answered and learn how you can reach your personal best professionally and personally through goal setting and character building.

Host: Dana Tyson, co-host, The Morning Show, Sunny 99.1
Branded By: KUHF


Stress Management:Finding a Pace That Works for You

Speaker: Liz Pryor, advice guru on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and author, “What Did I Do Wrong?”

In the last decade we have faced more cultural change – changes that have shifted the infrastructure of our lives. Advancements in all aspects have paved a way to a pace of life that is amped up beyond what some us can manage. Scrappy and adaptable as we are, the changes we’re experiencing as a culture have begun to show a toll in the areas of our lives that matter to us the most. What can we do to stop our lives from becoming bigger than we are? Attend this interactive workshop and learn how to:

    • Say no and have the courage to do less
    • Turn daily tasks back into experiences we enjoy
    • Put focus and time back into the things that really matter to you
    • Look at the impact of productivity in comparison to the impact of our relationships
    • Focus on quality in life instead of quantity

Surrender when it all feels too much!

Host: Telisa Toliver, senior vice-president, business development & strategy, Chevron Pipe Line Company


The New Era of Networking: Innovative Ways to Engage and Mobilize (panel)

Moderator: Samantha Ettus, personal branding expert, best-selling author and TV personality


Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president, She’s the First

Babette Pepaj, founder, Bakespace

Nicole Williams, connection director, LinkedIn, best-selling author, “Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success” and founder, WORKS by Nicole Williams

Social networking has changed the way we as individuals and corporations engage, mobilize and network with clients, customers and each other. This panel will explore the latest social networking tools and provide tactical tips for how you can be successful in the new era of networking by engaging and mobilizing people and initiatives. Whether you are leading a nonprofit, embarking on a new career or growing a corporation, this session offers something for everyone.

Host: Sara Tays, southwest government relations manager, ExxonMobil



Spark & Hustle: The Spark Tank – Pitch to the Pros

Moderator: Tory Johnson, founder and CEO, Women for Hire and workplace contributor, “Good Morning America”

Guest Judges:

Barbara Bradley Baekard, co-founder, Vera Bradley

Jessica Nadeau, founder, Solettos

Cindy Solomon, speaker, consultant, entrepreneur and author, “The Rules of Woo”

You just learned how to put “Spark” into your Pitch – now is your chance to use all that you learned in session one and put your Pitch into action! Will you swim or will you sink? This session provides a unique hands on learning experience. Ten attendees will be selected at random and have the opportunity to pitch their product or service to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and small business experts. Judges will provide feedback based on your confidence, ability to deliver a concise and convincing message and capacity to capture and engage the audience. Even if you are not one of ten to Pitch, you will learn the critical do’s and don’ts as your peers jump into the tank.

Host: Dr. Laura G. Murillo, President & CEO, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Young Women’s Program

“What’s a Snooki?” How to Take Away Lessons of Leadership from Reality TV

Speaker: Jess Weiner, self-esteem expert, Dove’s global ambassador for self-esteem, columnist and author

The world really must be coming to an end, because speaker Jess Weiner is actually going to use MTV’s reality show (and others like it) to explore meaningful, powerful insights about leadership, friendship and what it means to be truly successful in life. This session will use our favorite reality TV ‘characters’ to illustrate how we can actually become better leaders in our own lives. You’ll want to pay close attention, because you’ll finally be able to tell your parents that all of that mindless entertainment you’ve been absorbing can actually make you a stronger school leader.

Host: JoAnn Ajayi-Scott, Ed.D. candidate, founder & CEO, Essence of a Lady, Inc., creator, Young Essence Ladies Learning (YELL!) and E’Ladies Network

New Program Components

You spoke and we listened! By popular demand, we are offering two exciting program components to foster peer networking and more intimate settings to engage and learn.

Expert Exchange Sessions

This new element will provide you with the opportunity to gather with your peers in more intimate settings to learn from experts who will lead a discussion on specific issues that matter most to you. Topics will focus on career or personal development and will provide a great vehicle to share best practices and lessons learned. This will also provide a great networking opportunity—you never know who will be your next business partner, co-worker, customer or new hire!

Speaker: Linda K. von Quintus, vice president, Government & Community Affairs, AAA Texas
Topic: Strategies to Manage Transitions in your Career Path- Defining a career path is never easy. Often it is challenging and complicated to understand when is the right time to make a lateral move or wait it out in an effort to climb the corporate ladder. This discussion will bring you face-to-face with a senior executive who can share first-hand perspectives for defining your career path. By sharing best practices and lessons learned from her personal career journey, you will walk away with some practical tips for navigating your own career.

Speaker: Samantha Ettus, personal branding expert, bestselling author and TV personality
Topic: Mama Nation- Working moms are more talented than circus jugglers, managing a tug of war between kids, family and their careers. From the boardroom to the bedroom, this session will offer ten change-your-life tactics to take with you for a happier, more efficient and successful life.

Speaker: Liz Pryor, ABC’s Good Morning America’s advice guru and author
Topic: Female Relationships: What Did I Do Wrong?- When women end friendships with each other they often give — and get — the silent treatment. No reasons, no warning, no nothing. Without the societal support or understanding that accompanies romantic split-ups, most women suffer the loss of female friendship in silence. This session will explore the special bonds that characterize female friendships. We will help you understand why friendships fizzle by explaining how to recognize the signs of trouble, how to resolve the old wounds, and even, sometimes how to reconnect and resolve matters with old friends.

Speakers: Joan Luise Hill, Katie Mahon and Meb Phillips, co-authors, “The Miracle Chase”
Topic: Strategies for Successful Transitions and Second Acts- Two authors of The Miracle Chase: Three Women, Three Miracles and a Ten Year Journey of Discovery and Friendship will explore how to make your ideal real and how to turn your dreams into destiny. Sharing the skills they used in imagining, collaborating, researching, writing, publishing and marketing their book, these remarkable women will help you identify, articulate and imagine your “Second Act” — be it a book, a business or substantive life change. By identifying and reframing the barriers that you believe stand in your way, you will be able to take the next step towards becoming fearless; recognizing that the whole universe is a network of connections waiting to help you accomplish your dreams.

Speaker: Maria Murnane, author, “Perfect on Paper” and “It’s a Waverly Life”
Topic: The Inside Scoop on Getting Published- Attend this session to learn the basics of publishing and see how rejection doesn’t mean the end of your dream if you’re willing to work hard. Led by award-winning author Maria Murnane, who went from self-published to traditionally published through creativity and sheer perseverance, Maria will explore the pros and cons of each publishing route and how to weigh them against your goals as an author. Maria will offer practical marketing strategies to attract the attention of both readers and traditional publishers.

Speaker: Lorie Marrero, creator, Creator of the Clutter Diet® and author
Topic: The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life- Feeling overwhelmed? Join us to discuss how to “get your house in shape” so you can feel relaxed, happier and more productive. You’ll learn the actual scientific law of nature that helps you get organized, the cure for procrastination, and where to start and how to tackle your organizing projects. Be ready to ask all of your questions!

Speakers: Tina Pennington and Mandy Williams, co-authors “What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired”
Topic: Taking Control of Your Money and Your Life- Red (Tina Pennington) & Black (Mandy Williams) will share how a crisis ended up becoming the catalyst which forced Red to face reality and take control of her life, and how her sister, Black, turned it into a book that was launched by Neiman Marcus (and is now approved by the Texas State Board of Education as a personal financial literacy textbook). Together, Red & Black will explore key financial topics from their book, including finance terminology and concepts, budgets, credit cards and long-term planning. They will illustrate how your financial decisions impact more fundamental “Life 101″ topics including values, priorities, stress management and even relationships. Using their first-hand experiences, they will provide practical strategies for taking control of your money and life so they don’t control you!

Speakers: Simone Krasan, author and inspirational speaker
Topic: Overcoming Adversity and Finding Your Passion- In this inspirational discussion, Simone Scialdo Krasan will recount the challenges she faced and decisions she made that ultimately saved her life after falling overboard from a ship, unnoticed, and treading water for 18 hours before her miraculous rescue. This tragic and terrifying accident gave Simone a deeper understanding of the powers of faith, choice and perseverance. Using her firsthand experiences, this session will discuss strategies to help you recognize and draw from your inner resources to overcome adversity. We will also explore how to use adversity to find meaning and passion and ultimately live a more fulfilling life professionally and personally.

Local Leader “Meet-Up”

This new component will give you the chance to get up close and personal with corporate, community and civic leaders to ask specific questions about your career, social responsibility, community outreach and much more. p>

Local Leader EMCEE: Fran Harris, television personality and WNBA Champion

Round 1: 11:00am – 11:30am
As the recipient of the 2011 Community Angel Award for Leadership in serving others by Houston Woman Magazine, Perry Ann Reed is a woman impacting change. Learn how you can empower communities and change lives from this proven leader and president of the Junior League Houston Inc.

Having held executive positions at Goldman Sachs, Precious Williams Owodunni is “THE” expert on raising capital. Tap into her expertise for all of your entrepreneurial questions and also learn how to obtain seats on corporate boards.

Round 2: 12:30pm – 1:00pm
Named one of Houston’s Top 25 Women in 2010, Kim Davis is a pioneer and community advocate and can be seen on Beyond the Headlines as the host (creator and producer). Now is your chance to talk current events, social responsibility and sports with this veteran news journalist and self-proclaimed sports junkie who played an integral role in Houston hosting Superbowl XXXVIII.

The recipient of more than 170 journalism awards, ardent storyteller, media legend and anchor Patricia Gras has interviewed notables ranging from former presidents, to award-winning writers, international dignitaries and Nobel Peace Prize winners. Don’t miss the chance to talk media, community and global perspectives with the host of the award-winning show “Living Smart” and “Latina Voices: Smart Talk with Minerva Perez and Sofia Adrogue”.

As co-founder and president, Nancy Levicki and Dress for Success Houston received countless accolades, including PBS Hero of the Month, the Red Cross’ Humanitarian award, “Woman on the Move” by Texas Executive Women and Non-Profit of the year by Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Meet with one of Houston’s 50 most influential women and learn valuable insights around leadership and making a difference.

Round 3: 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Award-winning journalist turned dedicated community volunteer Shannon Buggs is a multi-media personality with 20 years of experience in local, national and business news coverage and more than three decades of nonprofit service as a volunteer and leader. Learn about reinventing yourself at any age or stage of life from one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women.

As president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Dr. Laura Murillo has increased membership 600% and revenues 100%. Meet one of the Top 25 Women of Houston and Success Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” and talk diversity, marketing and leadership among many other topics.

Be sure to keep checking back for more speaker updates!

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