Skip to Main Content

Opening Night Agenda


Preview the Print Program (PDF)

5:45 PM  One Funny Mother

Dena Blizzard, comedian and founder, Ladies OUT LOUD

Known and revered as the “Target mom” for her back to school rants and viral videos, Dena Blizzard is a comedian and mother of three who’s written and starred in her own Off Broadway show, called One Funny Mother.  Don’t miss this hilarious stand up about the trials and tribulations of women and motherhood. @OneFunnyMother

6:00 PM The Next Women’s Revolution

Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times best-selling author & memoirist, Eat Pray Love
Moderated by: Celeste Headlee, communication & human nature expert, award-winning journalist & author

For years, Liz Gilbert has been meeting people who tell her that they long to live more creative lives but are somehow blocked by fear. This speech will explore the relationship between fear and creativity, and — using stories from her own life as well as the experiences of others — Liz will help the audience to explore the possibility of seeing creativity in a lighter, more easeful manner.

6:35 PM Live Smarter: The Road to theSkimm

Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin, co-founders & co-CEO’s, theSkimm
Moderated by: Erica Williams Simon, CEO, Sage House & author, You Deserve the Truth

By breaking down the biggest stories and explaining why they matter in a fun, irresistible tone, theSkimm newsletter has attracted seven million subscribers in seven years. Join this session to hear theSkimm co-founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin share why they left their jobs as NBC producers, took a leap of faith, and started what is now an empire. They’ll take you on a journey through their experiences with entrepreneurship and reveal how they’re evolving the brand to meet the demands of the future.

7:15 PM Live Musical Performance

Jackie Venson, blues, rock and R&B singer

Now is your chance to hear rising blues, soul, and R&B star Jackie Venson, whose performances regularly sell out. With her superb musicianship, emotion, and passion, she has been compared to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, and fellow Austin native Gary Clark, Jr. She thrives without the flash, instead favoring a clean sound, genuine soul, and meaningful connection with her audience.


Amanda Hodges, SVP, North America marketing, Dell
Stephanie Turner, VP, diversity & inclusion strategic engagement, Liberty Mutual
Lauren Wendorf-Chandler, senior account manager, retail & brand solutions, RetailMeNot