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Agenda DRAFT

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 Networking Break in Exhibit Hall; Health & Wellness Pavilion
  • 8:30 – 9:45 Welcome and Opening Keynote Session
  • 10:00 – 11:00 Breakout Sessions
  • 11:00 – 11:30 Networking Break in Exhibit Hall; Local Leader Meet-Ups; Health & Wellness Pavilion
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Breakout Sessions
  • 12:30 – 1:00 Networking Break in Exhibit Hall; Local Leader Meet-Ups; Health & Wellness Pavilion
  • 1:00 – 2:45 Keynote Luncheon
  • 3:00 – 5:00 Career Pavilion: Mentor Match, Resume Critiques, Meet-Up with Tory Johnson
  • 3:00 – 5:00 Networking Break in Exhibit Hall; Expert Exchange Sessions; Local Leader Meet-Ups; Health & Wellness Pavilion

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


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



Debt Diet 101:Strategies to Get Your Money Straight
Speaker:< =a rel=”shadowbox;height=450;width=700″ href=””> 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.



Health & Wellness: Creating Conscious Weight Wellness (workshop)
Dr. James Beckerman, cardiologist, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute and author, “The Flex Diet”
Jason Stevens, MA, RD, LD, dietitian, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)
Jess Weiner, self-esteem expert, Dove’s global ambassador for self-esteem, columnist and author

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.



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 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



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



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


Young Women’s Program

Part 1

She’s the First
Speaker: Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president, She’s the First
Session Description Coming SOON!

Young Women’s Program


Topic and Description Coming SOON!
Speaker: Shannon Buggs, founder, Meta Four Houston and award-winning journalist

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”
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



For the Soul Searcher: How to Get Un-Lost When You Are Lost in Your Career (workshop)
Speaker: Penelope Trunk, expert career advice columnist and CEO, Brazen Careerist

We spend so much of our lives doing work or looking for work. What if you had unwavering confidence that wherever you are in this cycle you will find a successful path to your next great thing? “The world’s most influential guidance counselor” Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk will provide you with a new way of thinking that will change your career. This interactive workshop gives you the safety net you need to rise to greater heights in your work and will teach you:

  • The difference between being lost and being in transition;
  • How to determine if grad school is a good choice;
  • The biggest secret to networking;
  • How to surround yourself with smart, fun co-workers and a support system to rely on during change; and
  • How to know what career is right for you

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



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.



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!



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.



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
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.



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
Divya Gugnani, co-founder and CEO, Send The Trend and named one of Inc. Magazine’s top entrepreneurs to watch
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.

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: Samantha Ettus, personal branding expert, bestselling author and TV personality
Topic: Mama Nation

Speaker: Liz Pryor, ABC’s Good Morning America’s advice guru and author
Topic: Female Relationships: What Did I Do Wrong?

Speakers: Joan Luise Hill, Katie Mahon and Meb Phillips, co-authors, “The Miracle Chase”
Topic: Strategies for Successful Transitions and Second Acts

Speaker: Maria Murnane, author, Perfect on Pape
Topic: The Inside Scoop on Getting Published


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. Check back to find out which of your local heroes will be joining us.


Be sure to keep checking back for more speaker updates!