2016 Speakers

Thank you to our amazing 2016 speakers.
To submit a proposal to be considered as a speaker for this year, please visit HERE.


Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra

MALLIKA CHOPRA is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Her most recent book, “Living With Intent: My Somewhat Mess... Read Full Bio
Annie Clark

Annie E. Clark

ANNIE E. CLARK is a co-founder and executive director of the national non-profit End Rape On Campus (EROC), and a lead complainant in the Title... Read Full Bio

Linda Cliatt-Wayman

LINDA CLIATT-WAYMAN is a passionate educator with an unwavering belief in the potential of all children. Her leadership as a high school princi... Read Full Bio

Amal Clooney

AMAL CLOONEY is a British human rights lawyer practicing at Doughty Street Chambers in London, where she specializes in international law and h... Read Full Bio

Nina Tassler

NINA TASSLER is an American television executive and author. She previously held such positions as president, and also chairman of CBS Enterta... Read Full Bio

Diane von Furstenberg

DIANE von FURSTENBERG entered the world of American fashion when she arrived from Europe with a suitcase full of her dress designs. In 1974, sh... Read Full Bio

Abby Wambach

ABBY WAMBACH is a retired forward of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. One of the world’s greatest p... Read Full Bio

Special Guest Speakers

Cecilia Abbott

CECILIA ABBOTT’s story reminds us all that the American dream is alive and well in Texas. The granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico, Abbott... Read Full Bio

Carroll Bogert

CARROLL BOGERT is president of The Marshall Project, a non-profit news organization focusing on criminal justice issues in the U.S. Staff journ... Read Full Bio

Ehrika Gladden

EHRIKA C. GLADDEN is vice president, market strategy enterprise infrastructure solutions group (EISG) for Cisco Systems. She leads a $19 billio... Read Full Bio

Terri Gruca

TERRI GRUCA is an Emmy award-winning anchor and reporter for KVUE-TV. Her parents always told her to find a job she loved and work will never f... Read Full Bio

Aimee Hoyt

AIMEE HOYT is senior vice president of human resources with Rackspace. In this role, she is responsible for talent acquisition, talent manageme... Read Full Bio

Karen Quintos

KAREN QUINTOS is Dell’s chief customer officer, where she leads a global organization devoted to customer advocacy. She is responsible for se... Read Full Bio

Breakout Session Speakers

Mercedes Garcia

MERCEDES GARCIA is vice president, senior business leader, global community relations with MasterCard Worldwide. She is responsible for develop... Read Full Bio

Brandy Pham

BRANDY PHAM is co-founder and chief creative officer for Planoly. After 10 years in the fashion industry, she felt burnt out and lost her drive... Read Full Bio

Andy Alford

ANDY ALFORD is the senior editor for the news at the Austin American-Statesman, one of four daily newspaper properties owned by Cox Medi... Read Full Bio

Anne Arvia

ANNE ARVIA is senior vice president of primary banking for USAA Federal Savings Bank. She joined USAA in August 2015 and currently leads the ba... Read Full Bio

Chriselda Barrientes

CHRISELDA BARRIENTES is sales manager at United Airlines. In this role, she develops revenue opportunities and relationships with travel manage... Read Full Bio

Madhavi Bhasin

MADHAVI BHASIN is excited to design strategy and guide implementation for community projects in developing countries. Her project implementatio... Read Full Bio

Jenny Blake

JENNY BLAKE is an author, career and business strategist and international speaker who helps people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, ... Read Full Bio

Trudy Bourgeois

TRUDY BOURGEOUIS is the CEO and president of The Center for Workforce Excellence.  She is a renowned and respected authority on leadership dev... Read Full Bio

Sabrina Brown

SABRINA BROWN has over twenty years’ worth of hands-on experience in Texas government and politics. She offers valuable strategic counsel to ... Read Full Bio
Colette Pierce Burnette

Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette

DR. COLETTE PIERCE BURNETTE joined Huston-Tillotson University as president on July 1, 2015. A strong proponent of historically black colleges ... Read Full Bio

Christine Carter

CHRISTINE CARTER, Ph.D. is a sociologist and senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.   She is the author of "The Sw... Read Full Bio

Emily Núñez Cavness

EMILY NÚÑEZ CAVNESS is the co-founder and CEO of Sword & Plough, and an active duty U.S. Army officer. Sword & Plough is a quadrupl... Read Full Bio
Mallika Chopra

Mallika Chopra

MALLIKA CHOPRA is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Her most recent book, “Living With Intent: My Somewhat Mess... Read Full Bio

Erin Condren

ERIN CONDREN started her business when her boy-girl twins were born and she left the apparel industry. She began printing holiday cards, stat... Read Full Bio

Kim Davis

KIM DAVIS is executive vice president, chief human resources officer with NFP. She has repeatedly created opportunities to reinvent herself, go... Read Full Bio

Paula Davis-Laack

PAULA DAVIS-LAACK, JD, MAPP is a former practicing lawyer, an internationally-published writer, media contributor and a stress and resilience e... Read Full Bio

Susan Docherty

SUSAN DOCHERTY is CEO of Canyon Ranch®, the world’s leading wellness brand. Docherty is a proven business leader who takes pride in carrying... Read Full Bio

Leigh Clifford Drake

LEIGH CLIFFORD DRAKE is the director of U.S. commercial services sales for Cisco. She is responsible for over $1B in sales in her role as direc... Read Full Bio

Mary Ellen Dugan

MARY ELLEN DUGAN is chief marketing officer of WP Engine. She leads all WP Engine global marketing activities ranging from product marketing, p... Read Full Bio

Ana Flores

ANA L. FLORES is the founder and CEO of Latina Bloggers Connect, Inc and #WeAllGrow Summit. She has dedicated her career to empowering Hispanic... Read Full Bio

Nely Galán

NELY GALÁN is a Latina media dynamo and women’s empowerment advocate, dubbed the “Tropical Tycoon” by The New York Times MagazineRead Full Bio

Kirsten Gappelberg

KIRSTEN GAPPELBERG is the director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability for global cosmetic giant, Mary Kay Inc. In this role,... Read Full Bio

Jane Gasdaska

JANE GASDASKA is the general manager of U.S. product supply and distribution for Phillips 66 Commercial. She is a change agent who believes in ... Read Full Bio
Teresa Ghilarducci

Teresa Ghilarducci

TERESA GHILARDUCCI is an expert on retirement, pensions and personal savings. She is the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy... Read Full Bio

Jillian Hamblin

JILLIAN HAMBLIN is the chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare Community & State’s Texas Health Plan. In this role, she oversees heal... Read Full Bio

Michelle D. Hare

MICHELLE D. HARE works with the State Farm® marketing department, managing national sponsorships pertaining to the life stages of getting marr... Read Full Bio

Kemal Harris

KEMAL HARRIS has been obsessed with fashion since age four when she began drawing fashion collections on the sands of Long Beach in her hometow... Read Full Bio

Gina Helfrich

GINA HELFRICH is an expert in women's leadership and gender equity, with over 12 years of experience as a diversity and inclusion leader. She w... Read Full Bio

Therese Huston

THERESE HUSTON, Ph.D. is a cognitive psychologist at Seattle University who is changing the conversation about women as decision-makers. Her bo... Read Full Bio

Pam Jeffords

PAM JEFFORDS is a partner at Mercer and a global expert on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She advises global employers on how they c... Read Full Bio

Sofie Karasek

SOFIE KARASEK is an advocate for gender equity on campuses nationwide. She is a co-founder and the director of education of the survivor advoca... Read Full Bio

Grace Killelea

GRACE KILLELEA is the CEO and founder of the GKC Group, a leadership development firm based in Philadelphia. A veteran of the telecommunication... Read Full Bio

Doniel Kofel

DONIEL KOFEL is currently the senior director of talent and professional development for North America Oracle Direct Applications. She has spen... Read Full Bio

Stephanie Kaplan Lewis

STEPHANIE KAPLAN LEWIS co-founded Her Campus in 2009 as an undergrad at Harvard University. She has grown Her Campus to over 70 million monthl... Read Full Bio

Tonya J. Long

TONYA J. LONG has served more than 20 years as a senior leader responsible for the execution and results of global delivery teams in the high t... Read Full Bio

Doreen Lorenzo

DOREEN LORENZO is a successful leader of global creative firms who advised Fortune 100 companies on design and innovation issues for decades. I... Read Full Bio

Carol McGarah

CAROL McGARAH is CEO of Blackridge, a Texas government relations firm. She has worked in the Texas political arena since 1991.  Her extensive ... Read Full Bio

Maurie McInnis

MAURIE McINNIS began her appointment as executive vice president and provost of The University of Texas at Austin on July 1, 2016. Previously, ... Read Full Bio

Jody Greenstone Miller

JODY GREENSTONE MILLER is the co-founder and CEO of Business Talent Group (BTG), the leading global marketplace for top independent consultants... Read Full Bio

Angie Morgan

ANGIE MORGAN is a founding partner for Lead Star. Shortly after launching her professional career, she saw a need in the workplace: professiona... Read Full Bio

Jay Newton-Small

JAY NEWTON-SMALL is Washington correspondent for TIME and the author of “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Wor... Read Full Bio

Lisa Nichols

LISA NICHOLS is one of the world’s most-requested motivational speakers, as well as media personality and corporate CEO whose global platform... Read Full Bio

Kristen Nolte

KRISTEN NOLTE has spent the last 20 years building innovative ways to advertise to customers by bringing content rich experiences to life.  Al... Read Full Bio

Emily Ramshaw

EMILY RAMSHAW is the editor of The Texas Tribune. Under her leadership, the Tribune has won six national Edward R. Murrow Awards,... Read Full Bio

Kim Read

KIM READ is the vice president of operations for RetailMeNot, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for the content management, optimization, m... Read Full Bio

Sonya Reed

SONYA REED is senior vice president, human resources, for Phillips 66, a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With nearly 20... Read Full Bio

Robin Hauser Reynolds

ROBIN HAUSER REYNOLDS is the director and producer of cause‐based documentary films at Finish Line Features, LLC. As a businesswoman, longtim... Read Full Bio

Major General Mary Saunders

MAJOR GENERAL MARY SAUNDERS is the current executive director of the Leadership Institute at Texas Woman’s University.  Here, she is charged... Read Full Bio

Shanteka Sigers

SHANTEKA SIGERS is senior vice president executive creative director at SandersWingo. Business Insider lists her as one of the “Most... Read Full Bio

Amie & Jolie Sikes

AMIE and JOLIE SIKES are co-founders of Junk Gypsy. In 1998, the Texas sisters and their mom, Janie, started The JUNK GYPSY Company with a dre... Read Full Bio

Nicole Story

NICOLE STORY is the VP of creative at Poo~Pourri and the writer and director of their in-house production company, No. 2 Productions.  There, ... Read Full Bio

Carla Piñeyro Sublett

CARLA PIÑEYRO SUBLETT is senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Rackspace. All of her work, in marketing, sales, and non-profit... Read Full Bio

Marie Swisher

MARIE SWISHER is vice president of global brand development for Mary Kay. She is responsible for developing, leading and implementing Mary Kay... Read Full Bio

Nina Tassler

NINA TASSLER is an American television executive and author. She previously held such positions as president, and also chairman of CBS Enterta... Read Full Bio

Trisa Thompson

TRISA THOMPSON is senior vice president and chief responsibility officer at Dell, with responsibility for Dell’s Legacy of Good program inclu... Read Full Bio

Wendy Wecksell

WENDY WECKSELL is CEO of I Am That Girl, a global movement to transform self-doubt to self-love in students at high schools and colleges across... Read Full Bio

Heather White

HEATHER WHITE is a radio morning show host on 98.1 KVET, lawyer, mom and Autism advocate. She has been in morning radio for more than 20 years.... Read Full Bio

China Widener

CHINA WIDENER serves as Deloitte’s national strategy and operations leader for public sector and national strategy and operations diversity a... Read Full Bio

Rachel Woodson

RACHEL WOODSON is chief of staff at Rackspace, supporting the global chief marketing officer as well as driving strategic initiatives across th... Read Full Bio

Norine Yukon

NORINE YUKON is the former CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas and currently serves as a board member and strategic advisor for hea... Read Full Bio

Expert Exchange

April Downing

APRIL DOWNING is a seasoned financial and operational executive with over 20 years of experience and is the CFO of WP Engine, a fully-managed ... Read Full Bio

Samantha Ettus

SAM ETTUS is a work/life expert whose goal is to find the spark within each one of us and turn it into a fire. She is a best-selling author, a ... Read Full Bio

Tamara Fields

TAMARA FIELDS currently serves as the client account lead for State of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (TX CPA) and is the program manager... Read Full Bio

Kirya Francis

KIRYA FRANCIS is vice president and director of media technology for GSD&M. She has a keen ability to understand complex and advancing tech... Read Full Bio

Nely Galán

NELY GALÁN is a Latina media dynamo and women’s empowerment advocate, dubbed the “Tropical Tycoon” by The New York Times MagazineRead Full Bio

Kay Jones

KAY JONES is the CEO of Codeup, a San Antonio career accelerator for new software developers. She previously spent 11 years at Rackspace, where... Read Full Bio

Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly

DR. SONCIA REAGINS-LILLY is vice president of student affairs and dean of students at the University of Texas at Austin. She collaborates with ... Read Full Bio

Courtney Skarda

COURTNEY SKARDA is vice president of Racker experience with Rackspace. She is responsible for reinforcing our core values and continuing to bu... Read Full Bio

Dr. Shetal Vohra-Gupta

DR. SHETAL VOHRA-GUPTA is associate director at the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis (IURPA) in Black Studies in the College of... Read Full Bio

Health and Wellness Pavilion

Samantha Carter

SAMANTHA CARTER is the Austin regional dietician for H-E-B. She is a firm believer that nutrition and exercise are the key components to a heal... Read Full Bio

Lauren Foreman

LAUREN FOREMAN is a co-owner and meditation leader at Meditation Bar, a new studio concept bringing a mainstream approach to mindfulness practi... Read Full Bio

Nancy Turco

NANCY TURCO is executive director of Arden Courts Memory Care in Austin, Texas. She has also been a program services coordinator, an activity d... Read Full Bio

Social Media Roundtable

Brandy Pham

BRANDY PHAM is co-founder and chief creative officer for Planoly. After 10 years in the fashion industry, she felt burnt out and lost her drive... Read Full Bio

Jena Apgar

JENA APGAR is a digital and social media marketer and founder at BrandDotBlog.com, a consulting firm specializing in social media for startups ... Read Full Bio

Carla Birnberg

CARLA BIRNBERG is a writer, editor and social media consultant. Her health philosophy (and life motto) is, “fitness isn’t about fitting in.... Read Full Bio

Brenda Coffee

BRENDA COFFEE is founder and CEO of 1010ParkPlace, a media platform and market opportunity for brands to reach the wealthiest, best-educated, y... Read Full Bio

Elayna Fernandez

ELAYNA FERNANDEZ is known as “The Positive MOM.” She is a best-selling author, award winning mentor for moms, and an international keynote ... Read Full Bio

Amy Loesch

AMY LOESCH has spent the majority of her career launching digital and mobile products and services, driving customer acquisition and revenue gr... Read Full Bio

Lauren Modery

LAUREN MODERY is a writer and screenwriter in Austin, TX. Her film “Loves Her Gun” won the Louis Black Lone Star award at SXSW 2013, and wa... Read Full Bio

Kimberly O’Connor

KIMBERLY O’CONNOR is the director of human capital management applications with Oracle. With over 25 years of HR experience, O’Conno... Read Full Bio

Kelly Wonderlin

KELLY WONDERLIN is a digital lifestyle enthusiast who shares her favorite products, apps, tech tips and much more. Her creative, succinct video... Read Full Bio

Small Business Roundtable

Kelly Gasnik and Jill Burns

KELLY GASINK and JILL BURNS are seasoned entrepreneurs, fundraisers and siblings who co-founded Austin Cocktails.  Austin Cocktails is a line ... Read Full Bio

Rebecca Geier

REBECCA GEIER is CEO and co-founder of TREW Marketing. She leads the TREW team in building strategic, thoughtful, and sustainable marketing pro... Read Full Bio

Nicole Patel

NICOLE PATEL is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, she made a batch of homem... Read Full Bio

Shanteka Sigers

SHANTEKA SIGERS is senior vice president executive creative director at SandersWingo. Business Insider lists her as one of the “Most... Read Full Bio

Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

CARLOTTA EIKE STANKIEWICZ is an Austin-based entrepreneur, poet and advertising creative director and writer. In May 2016, her highly successfu... Read Full Bio