Keynote Speakers

Headline Keynote Speaker

Carla Harris

Carla Harris

Vice Chairman, Managing Director

Morgan Stanley

Carla Harris is a Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. She formerly headed the Emerging Manager Platform, the equity capital markets effort for the consumer and retail industries and was responsible for Equity Private Placements. In her 30 year career, Ms. Harris has had extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In August 2013, Carla Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council.

For more than a decade, Ms. Harris was a senior member of the equity syndicate desk and executed such transactions as initial public offerings for UPS, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Ariba, Redback, the General Motors sub-IPO of Delphi Automotive, and the $3.2 Billion common stock transaction for Immunex Corporation, one of the largest biotechnology common stock transactions in U.S. history. Ms. Harris was named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America”, Fortune’s Most Influential List, U. S. Bankers Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance (2009, 2010, 2011), Black Enterprise’s Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business (2017), and “Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street”, and to Essence Magazine’s list of “The 50 Women Who are Shaping the World”, Ebony’s list of the Power 100 and “15 Corporate Women at the Top” and was named “Woman of the Year 2004” by the Harvard Black Men’s Forum and in 2011 by the Yale Black Men’s Forum.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Carla received an MBA, Second Year Honors from Harvard Business School and an AB in economics from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude. Carla has also received Honorary Doctorates of Laws, Humanities and Business from Marymount Manhattan College, Bloomfield College, Jacksonville University, Simmons College, the College of New Rochelle, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Fisk University, Wake Forest University and Felician University respectively. Carla Harris is actively involved in her community and heartily believes that “we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to someone else.”

She is the past Chair of the Board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and of The Executive Leadership Council, and sits on the boards of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), A Better Chance, Inc, and St. Vincent’s Hospitals, and is an active member of the St. Charles Gospelites of the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and the Mark Howell Singers. She is a member of the board of overseers of Harvard University and of the board of directors of the Walmart Corporation. Ms. Harris was co-chair of the National Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She has been named to the New Jersey Hall of Fame (2015) and has received the Bert King Award from the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association, the 2005 Women’s Professional Achievement Award from Harvard University, the Pierre Toussaint Medallion from the Office of Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York, the Women of Power Award given by the National Urban League, the Women of Influence Award from The Links, Incorporated and many other awards. In her other life, Carla is a singer who has sold out concerts at the Apollo Theatre, and released her third gospel CD “Unceasing Praise” (2011) , her second CD, a gospel album titled, “Joy Is Waiting”, was featured on BET Nightly News while her first CD entitled, “Carla’s First Christmas”, was a bestseller on Amazon.com in New York and in record stores, and was featured on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather in his “American Dream” segment. She has performed 5 sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall. Carla is also the author of the books, Strategize to Win (2014) and of Expect to Win (2009) (Hudson Press).

Closing Keynote Speaker

Ellen Bryan

Ellen Bryan

Motivational Speaker, Author, TV Host

Ellen Bryan is a television host, author and motivational speaker. Every morning, she helps people start their day on WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C. Ellen released her first book this year, A Work in Progress, which is available on Amazon or in person today. She also hosts an online series called “Minute Motivation,” which you can find on her website: www.ellenbryan.com.

A girl from the Midwest, Ellen competed in Miss America as Miss Ohio 2011. She was named a Quality of Life Finalist for her work promoting lightning safety, a platform she chose after her sister was struck by lightning in June of 2000. Ellen served as a national spokesperson for lightning safety and partnered with NOAA to tell her sister’s story across the country.

Ellen graduated from Ball State University weeks before winning Miss Ohio. From there, she started her broadcasting career at ABC 36 in Lexington, Kentucky. She then joined the NBC 5 team in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas before moving to our nation’s capital.

Featured Speakers

Debra Alfarone

Debra Alfarone

Debra Alfarone is an Emmy- and Edward R. Murrow-award-winning TV Anchor and Reporter, whose powerful stories have aired in NYC, in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. and on network television all across the country. She now coaches people be powerful on camera and in life through her own company, Debra Alfarone Media.

Debra helps TV journalists, CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, influencers, authors and experts come alive on camera. For Debra, it all comes down to mindset and the way we think about ourselves. It’s something she knows full well, having changed how she thought of herself as a former high school dropout with a dream. Now, Debra works with BuzzFeed, Fiverr, Teachable and was recently featured as a confidence expert on the Wall Street Journals’ super-popular podcast Secrets of Wealthy Women.

Francisca Alonso

Francisca Alonso

Born in Chile, to a Bolivian father and German mother, Francisca was raised in Costa del Sol, Spain in a family of architects and builders. Her father was an internationally acclaimed Spanish architect, Melvin Villarroel Roldan, who designed luxury resorts and hotels on the Mediterranean coast and all over the world. Growing up in a multicultural family and surrounded by a philosophy, driven by her father, to “find ways to make a difference and pursue a passion” she decided to strip away from being one of many at an architectural firm in Washington, DC after graduating Magna cum laude from The School of Architecture at The Catholic University.

Francisca and her husband, Antonio Alonso, launched AV Architects in 2001 with a passion for architecture and a vision to provide full architectural services to high-end homeowners in the Washington Metropolitan Area. A year later, she realized that many of the designs were being compromised by third party builders. In 2002, she added a sister company, AV Builders, to control the construction process and provide their high-end clients with a single point of accountability from concept to completion. Her background, professional training, and dedication for her craft has led her to establish a unique design-build approach that is beautifully exhibited in many homes all over the Northern Virginia Area and maximizes the client’s investment budget.

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Her unconformity with being one of many uniquely translates into her own philosophy through the creation of Vacation Style Living™. A philosophy that she currently shares with clients, colleagues and at speaking events. She thrives to empower people to create their dream home around the idea that a home should feel “like you are on vacation all year round.” In her newly released book “Nesting for Empty Nesters®” Mrs. Alonso shares her approach to Aging in Place, a practical guide to using smart design to prepare your home now for a better quality of life in retirement and beyond.

Francisca’s experience has been highlighted in Profiles in Success: Inspiration from Executive Leaders in the Washington D.C. She is an inspiration to young professionals and her success serves as empowerment to many young Virginia women through her participation in the The Hot Mommas Project® and the Tyson’s Chamber of Commerce Shadow Program, among other mentoring programs. Sharing her father’s beliefs that architecture should reflect a social conscience, she is an active philanthropist who supports Habitat for Humanity, Second Chance, Women Giving Back along with local causes in Great Falls, VA where her offices are located. Francisca Alonso is an influential entrepreneur and enthusiastic mother of four young adults.

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Amira Alvarez

Amira Alvarez

Amira Alvarez is the Founder and CEO of The Unstoppable Woman, a global coaching company helping thousands of driven women in the workplace, entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals achieve their financial breakthrough. As someone who has made a quantum leap (going from barely making 6-figures to making $700k in one year) and has lived to tell about it, she knows exactly what mindset shifts are required to get out of your own way, master the art of success, and gain the confidence and freedom to keep growing.

The strategies she used to achieve this growth are the same strategies she uses with her clients, helping them double, triple, and even five times their income in less than a year, cross the 7-figure mark, and become truly unstoppable in their lives and businesses.

Amira has served individuals in a wide range of industries including real estate, business consulting, the arts, coaching, law, medicine as well as leaders in corporate positions. When she’s not helping others, she’s continuing to say “yes” to her own growth and stays 100% committed to being unstoppable in her own life and business.

Alana Andrews

Alana Andrews

As Generation Z’s newest trailblazer in business, Alana Andrews is the 15-year-old Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO of So Positive, LLC. So Positive is a company that’s innovative in their approach to developing products for teens to promote a positive lifestyle while developing a positive self-image of themselves. As a graduate of the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy (YEA), Alana learned how to turn her passion for helping teens build confidence and a healthy lifestyle into products by creating the first ever all-natural sports drink for teens. Her new product is being developed to be sold in local and national stores.

This past summer, Alana was accepted to study at Barnard-Columbia University Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Her concentration of studies was in business and leadership where she was awarded the prestigious honor of the Athena Innovation Institute Excellence in Leadership Award. Alana was also recently named the 2019-2020 Ambassador for the Harvard University BOLD – Business Oriented Leadership & Development Conference. And in June 2019, Alana received the ExCel Honors Youth Leadership Award.

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From her newest book “Creating Confidence”, Alana founded the So Positive Initiative (SPI). SPI mentors 5th grade students to help them understand and develop their self-confidence to help better equip them as they matriculate into middle-school. The So Positive Initiative (SPI) has reached over 1,000 students within it’s first year, and several schools in Northern Virginia and DC have made Creating Confidence apart of their reading program at school.

Alana is a sophomore at Potomac Falls High School, and she has enhanced her leadership acumen through active participation in diverse leadership programs such as the DECA Chapter President, and she’s currently working towards her Gold Award within the Girls Scouts Organization.

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Threase Baker

Threase Baker

Threase Baker has earned her reputation as a national voice for the staffing and recruiting industry best-in-class standards. As President and an Owner of ABBTECH Professional Resources (ABBTECH) she continues to manage and grow a dynamic, award winning national firm devoted to providing Top Talent in the areas of staff augmentation and creative staffing solutions.

Threase has more than twenty five years of experience in all areas of the staffing industry with particular emphasis on corporate recruiting, executive placement and staff augmentation. Her customer focus includes both the government and private sector. Prior to her current role at ABBTECH, Threase worked as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System project manager which provided vital perspectives on the Information Technology (IT) industry and process.

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For the past six years, Threase has served on the Board of Directors of the American Staffing Association, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Professional Services Council, is a Member of the Board of Advisors forMasonGovCon, is a member of the BB&T Board of Advisors and is a Council Member for the Loudoun School/Business Partnership.

Threase has been featured in the following trade publications and broadcasts:

  • What’s Working in Sales Management
  • Ready, Set, Grow Panel with Think Business
  • Staffing Success Magazine for the American Staffing Association
  • Two time guest on the Executive Leaders Radio
  • Hosted her own “Organic Recruiting” radio show through the social networking site Recruiter Earth
  • First time guest on Federal News Radio

ABBTECH is a family owned and operated staffing firm in the Washington, DC area. ABBTECH is an award winning woman owned small business with two GSA schedules that supports the government and private sector. ABBTECH provides staff augmentation in the areas of information technology, engineering, professional, credentialing and administrative. ABBTECH has a national presence and currently supports clients in 43 states.

Threase welcomes your phone calls and would be delighted to arrange a complimentary staffing consultation to assist you with finding Top Talent!

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Emily Barrosse

Emily Barrosse

Emily Barrosse is a dynamic speaker, teacher, and coach, with a passion for motivating women entrepreneurs to build their confidence and set bolder goals so they have the impact they desire in the world. Drawing on the hard-earned skills she developed during 30 years of working in publishing and as an entrepreneur in her own businesses, Emily earned her reputation as a “rainmaker” by taking bold actions that resulted in spectacular successes.

As Vice President; Editor in Chief at McGraw-Hill, she transformed sluggish cultures into competitive, hungry, growth-driven businesses. At Bold in Business, in addition to her focus on private coaching, she developed and teaches a six-week, live, online course that teaches professional women how to own their power.

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Emily created Bold in Business, to empower women to be stronger, bolder, and more successful in achieving professional success. She believes with the right mindset; every woman can own her power and confidently achieve her boldest goals.

Emily has an undergraduate degree in communication from the University of Delaware. She lives outside of Washington, D.C.

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Renee Branson

Renee Branson

Combining 20 years in education, counseling and non-profit management, Renee’s passion and purpose are helping individuals, teams, and organizations cultivate resilience. After years of working with survivors of trauma and the caregivers who help heal them, Renee has become enthralled with what it is that allowed people to not only survive, but thrive through their greatest crisis. The answer is resilience. The more essential part of the answer is that resilience can be taught, strengthened, and cultivated.

As a Certified Resilience Coach (CReC), she provides clients with immediately usable tools to increase resilience, well-being, and optimism in the workplace. She works with lawyers, legal marketers, business professionals, non-profit leaders, and others to help them understand and incorporate resilience in their own professional lives and in the teams they lead.

Mary Sue Dahill

Mary Sue Dahill

In 2017, Mary Sue Dahill launched her consulting business she was surprised by how much time she was spending on tedious, administrative tasks to support her business. She leaned on her technology strategy background and implemented low-cost technology to manage information, build relationships, and automate routine activities. Mary Sue found that lots of business owners were struggling with the same time crunch challenges, but they didn’t have the technology know-how to solve the issue. She started helping her entrepreneur friends with their automation and technology challenges. Mary Sue pivoted her business to focus on helping solopreneur and micro-business automate their business operations, so they can grow their business without the high cost of hiring.

After learning that only 10% of female owned small businesses exceed $100k in annual revenue, Mary Sue is on a mission is change this statistic.

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Mary Sue has an MS in Management of Information Technology from UVA and a Certificate of Project Management from Stanford University, and has a Green Belt in Six Sigma. She is also involved in her community. She currently leads the PTA Classroom Grants Committee and advocates for women’s health care needs through her work with Virginia Hospital Center as an Advisory Board member of the Virginia Hospital’s Women’s Health Circle.

Mary Sue and her husband have two teenage children who are busy in soccer and volleyball, and spend their free time shuttling them from one to the other. The family enjoys traveling the world, experiencing new cultures and foods, and having local adventures with their two mini-Dachshunds.

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Aliyah Dastour

Aliyah Dastour

Aliyah Dastour is a headshot photographer dedicated to creating authentic headshots that not only help her clients achieve their professional goals, but their personal ones as well. She is dedicated to not only helping them submit their photo to their boss to be published in the latest annual report and LinkedIn profile updates, but helps her clients also gain confidence through a strong personal brand they are proud of using videos and building their own online marketing system.

More importantly, she is a mother of three and believes more than anything, each person has a special purpose in this world and everyone deserves to spend their life doing something they love.

Julie Dean

Julie Dean

20 years with Estée Lauder Companies, Julie Dean began her career in Philadelphia with Clinique. Promoted to Estée Lauder in DC managing Hecht’s account and currently Field Director-Mid Atlantic managing Estée Lauder for Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina.

Carolyn DiPrinzio

Carolyn DiPrinzio

Carolyn DiPrinzio has been helping clients develop plans to realize their financial dreams for more than 30 years. She understands the financial cycles and has a true appreciation for great personal service. She feels that her background in education has given her a unique ability to provide each client with a thorough understanding of their particular financial situation in terms they understand. Therefore, they will have a very clear understanding as to why a specific investment strategy has been implemented as they move toward the fulfillment their financial goals.

Taney Hamill

Taney Hamill

C. Taney Hamill the Aging Life Care Association’s Chief Executive Officer. She also serves as National Academy of Certified Care Managers’ CEO.

Taney is an accomplished senior executive in for profit, association, and non-profit environments. Her roles have included membership, operations, strategic alliances and partnerships, finance, fund raising, and new business development. Taney has a rich history as a strategist with exceptional expertise in creating and leveraging relationships. She finds solutions that result in growth and mutual benefit for all stakeholders. She is a passionate collaborator with a national reputation for helping organizations interpret trends and prepare for success.

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Here is a sample of Taney’s background and experience:

  • Executive Vice President of the Visiting Nurse Association of CEO
  • The first CEO of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL)
  • Leadership roles at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), at the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA), URAC, and AAHC
  • Founder of a Consulting Firm, Silopanna Healthcare Consulting

Volunteer non-profit boards:

  • Washington Adventist Hospital Foundation
  • Professional Patient Advocacy Institute
  • Case Management Society of America Foundation
  • National Coalition for Quality Colorectal Cancer Screening & Care Advisory Board

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Diane Haworth

Diane Haworth

Diane L. Haworth knows what it’s like to feel “stuck.” She’s lived through tragedy, trauma and years of drama before understanding how to consciously create a life where she feels safe, happy, loved and loving. Her passion is to help others find that same freedom.

Diane is a coach, speaker, author and TV host who offers “coaching for heart-centered success” to help clients tap into their own inner wisdom and enjoy a life of more love, peace and freedom. After 30+ years in the marketing field working in private and government settings, she opened her own practice in 2007. Diane blends traditional coaching methods, scientifically proven techniques and deep spiritual truths to help clients release mental, physical and spiritual blocks to success in all areas of their life.

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She holds a BS in Mass Communications, an MBA, is a student of A Course in Miracles and the Enneagram, as well as being certified in a variety of healing modalities. She’s certified by Dr. Robert Holden in “Coaching Success” and “Coaching and the Enneagram” and in 2017 became a Certified High Performance Coach through Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Institute.

Her first book, “How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody” was published in August 2014. Her Channel 10 TV show, “Heart-Centered Success with Diane L Haworth” debuted in January 2018 and is available on her YouTube channel. In April 2019, she launched her “Be Love Principles” project.

Diane lives with husband Joe, and Rory the cat in the beautiful Virginia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and remains close to their four grown children and extended family. She loves meditation, walking in the woods, reading and playing with grandson, Emory.

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Julie Hill

Julie Hill

Julie Hill is Senior Vice President and Director of P.O.W.E.R for SONA Bank, a $2.3 billion community bank-targeting small to medium-sized businesses and consumers headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia. She is responsible for the company’s P.O.W.E.R. program, a proprietary brand of SONA Bank, which is a niche program focusing on women in business and stands for the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized.

Under Julie’s direction, P.O.W.E.R. provides financial tools, business resources, and education and networking opportunities to currently over 1200 women business owners and entrepreneurs throughout Virginia and Maryland. Prior to joining SONA Bank, Julie served 19 years as the Vice President of Business Development for the Retail Merchants Association. In addition to her role as Director of P.O.W.E.R., Julie serves as the Chair for the National Kidney Foundation of Central Virginia, serves on the Board for NAWBO Richmond where she serves as the Treasurer/ Secretary, and serves on the Women’s Advisory Board for the Girl Scouts. Julie and her husband Richard reside in Fredericksburg, Va.

Nikki Le

Nikki Le

Nik Trowbridge has been a member of the Beauty Business for over 27 years. At 28 years old, Nik launched the Statements Brand with her first salon and three employees. Over the last 20 years, as the founder of Statements Inc., she has transitioned hundreds of new professionals into the beauty industry through her school and salon apprenticeship. With Statements the Salon, Nik has built a team of 48 extremely successful employees. She works behind the chair with her team while educating, managing, teaching and consulting with other business owners.

As a young stylist, Nik fell in love with education. She began educating for multiple brands. By 2009, Nik created a cosmetology academy and developed an extensive curriculum that would allow her to formally build a bridge to transition hundreds of new students into the beauty industry. Statements the Academy was opened that year and has focused on guiding students of all ages into successful careers since.

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In 2014, Nik launched a salon consulting firm, The Statements Project, to provide an on-line learning platform for salon professionals. The Statements Project focuses on consulting through mentorship, offering free on-line education for stylists and students, and on-line courses for extensive business development.

Nik has been an educator for industry shows such as IBS New York, PBA/Beacon Las Vegas, Charlotte Fashion Focus, Mid-Atlantic Fashion Focus, Bellevue Fashion Focus, Nashville Fashion Focus, Glendale Fashion Focus, Cleveland Fashion Focus, Premiere Orlando, Premiere Birmingham, Premiere Columbus, as well as two-day business incubators called The Statements Success Series. Her mission is to create strong business systems with thoughtful leadership. With a map of profitability, Nik hopes to inspire salon owners/professionals with a method of interpreting business metrics, and the keys to dynamic leadership that will renew the dual experience, technical innovation and inspiration for happier, more fulfilling careers.

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Kelly McDermott Harman

Kelly McDermott Harman

Kelly Harman was born in Asmara, Ethiopia in 1962 and has walked the road less traveled ever since. Her childhood was spent overseas, living in eight countries before she came to the U.S. at the age of 16. This experience inspired an adventurous streak and disregard for convention which has yielded a rich life, overflowing with great story material.

Kelly has been writing and telling the stories of her life for as long as she can remember, and is proud to say that she received her first official rejection letter when she was eleven years old. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and newspapers, including the anthology “New Departures,” released in 2012. Her first book, “Did I Say That Out Loud?” is a collection of her stories and was published in June 2013. It can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores around the country.

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Kelly is also an accomplished marketing executive with over twenty years of experience working with technology companies in the US and abroad. She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, News Week, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post and Washington Business Journal.

In 2009 Kelly was the recipient of Women In Technology’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. CRN Magazine named Kelly one of the 100 most powerful women in the Channel in 2010 and 2013. In 2011/2012 she served as the President of Women in Technology.

Today, Kelly lives in Winchester, Virginia. When she isn’t consulting with companies on their marketing strategy or writing about her adventures, Kelly spends as much time as she can with her three grandchildren, teaching them the value of reckless honesty and unhindered fun.

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Sarah Moffat

Sarah Moffat

Sarah Moffat is a leadership coach and talent management executive who’s built her career on creating meaningful professional development experiences for all levels of learners – from the C-suite to the junior administrative assistant. She’s also an inspirational and passionate speaker who’s delivered keynote speeches on a variety of topics across the US – including a TED® talk. Sarah’s purpose is to learn and her passion is to teach. She is an award-winning communicator who engages learners through insightful, impactful, and effective stories, education, and training.

Sarah’s background is in education and psychology. She’s been in education, professional development, and coaching for nearly a decade. Now, as the founder of Leading Ladies, Sarah specializes in developing #leadingladies, serving women who are pursing careers, building their businesses, or ascending the corporate ladder. Sarah is empowering, educating, and engaging women to achieve their highest potential while giving them tools to be high performing, influential, authentic, and transformational leaders.

Jan Molino

Jan Molino

Jan Molino is the President and CEO of the consulting firm, Aspire Ascend, LLC based in Washington, DC. Bringing her unique combination of corporate and executive search management experience to the firm, she focuses on providing a comprehensive portfolio of career and board development programs to enhance the success of women in leadership positions and build power as a female executive. Ms. Molino founded the firm in 2014, following sixteen years in retained executive search and a twenty-year career as an external relations executive for two international health systems. In her thirty plus years of professional life, she has promoted and led initiatives and resources for the advancement of women.

Jan works with executive women across the full spectrum of industries, businesses, organizations and the nonprofit arena, delivering leadership training, board development, executive sponsorship programs, executive coaching and public speaking on women in leadership.

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Her consulting to both for-profit and non-profit organizations has resulted in the development of numerous programs to sponsor, encourage and support executive women in leadership roles. Jan’s strength and expertise in bringing influential women and professionals together is complemented by a powerful network she utilizes to assist women in achieving their goals.

Ms. Molino currently sits on the George Mason University Women in Business Initiative Advisory Board and The Aging Life Care Association (ACLA). She is also an active member of the International Women’s Forum and it’s DC Chapter and steering committee of 2020 Women on Boards. Ms. Molino continues to be active in nonprofit and philanthropic fundraising as well as Suited for Change, a non-profit organization that provides professional clothing and ongoing career education to low-income women to increase their employment potential and contribute to their economic independence.

A graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, she completed post-graduate work in marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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Alison Mullins

Alison Mullins

Alison R. Mullins is founding partner at Shannon Mullins & Wright LLP. She focuses her practice on all aspects of civil litigation and transactional law. Alison advises clients regarding risk management throughout the entire course of business dealings, from the setting up a company and drafting contract templates, through legal disputes and issues.

Alison is a native New Englander and received her law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island in 2005. Before entering the private practice of law, Alison started her legal career as a contracts manager and in-house counsel at a large archi¬tectural firm in Northern Virginia. From that experience, Alison has unique insight and perspective on client needs, and how to meet them. She is admitted to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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Alison is the immediate Past-President for the Northern Virginia Chapter of Virginia Women Attorneys Association and was recently elected to the State Board for the Virginia Women Attorneys Association. She is also the author/co-author of numerous articles in several industry periodicals, as well as a frequent presenter on legal an business related topics. Alison has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in both Virginia and District of Columbia, Virginia Legal Elite by Virginia Business Magazine, and Martindale-Hubbell’s top (“AV Preeminent”) Peer and Judicial Review Ratings.

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Roxy Ndebumadu

Roxy Ndebumadu

Roxy Ndebumadu is a fighter and survivor. A woman defined by resiliency, ambitiousness and life experiences which taught her to persevere through adversity.

An Award-Winning Motivational Speaker who drives inspiration, leads innovation, and cultivates communities. A storyteller who gets others to face fears and tell stories.

She graduated from Howard University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and minor in Business Administration. In November 2019, she’ll complete an Executive Program, Essentials for Executives, at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Despite focusing on Health Sciences, her career took a sudden U-turn. Due to a desire to help tackle technology infrastructure issues in Nigeria for underprivileged minorities — she landed at Microsoft. She defies critics and breaks through glass ceilings at Microsoft, where she’s currently a Federal Customer Success Lead. She’s tasked with transforming and cultivating Microsoft’s customer relationships, identifying and connecting with internal and external stakeholders, creating and maintaining employee engagement strategies, implementing customer initiatives through Cloud/AI, and advising some of Microsoft’s most senior executives.

Roxy spends her free time selflessly giving to organizations such as: Women in Technology, Brookings Institution, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, White House Initiatives, The Women’s Center, and to her campaign for Bowie City Council.

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Sophia Nelson

Sophia A. Nelson

Dynamic. Engaging. A Brave Voice for our Times.

Sophia A. Nelson is a CNN Commentator, a USA TODAY & Washington Post OPINION WRITER, an Award Winning Journalist and Best-Selling Author of Three Non-Fiction Books.

Called “a voice of reason” in our divided political times, Ms. Nelson engages audiences with her discerningly conservative, yet candidly independent perspective on the top political news of the day, and the importance of fostering inclusion in today’s cultural landscape. Sophia is an on air journalist, politico, attorney, and media commentator who was with NBC News & MSNBC for years as a commentator and OPINION contributor. In addition to her role as a news pundit and opinion writer, she is a highly sought after global women’s conference and Fortune 100 corporate key-note speaker and trainer. Sophia was the first African American woman to serve on the powerful Government Reform & Oversight Committee’s Republican Staff as a Committee Invesigative Counsel.

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Nelson left formal legal practice at the International law firm of Holland & Knight LLP in 2008 to become a journalist covering the historic Obama campaign. She went on to serve as a White House correspondent covering the Obama White House 2010-2012, and after that, writing award winning columns for Essence Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Daily Beast.

Lastly, Sophia is the author of three non-fiction books: the 2011 Best-Non-fiction book, Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama. Her second global best-seller The Woman Code:20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life, and her latest book, e Pluribus One: Reclaiming Our Founders’ Vision for a United America is a book that is right on time for our times.

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Rose Price

Rose Price

Rose Price CFP® AIF®, is a partner at VLP Financial Advisors, a firm focused on holistic financial planning. As an experienced female financial advisor in a traditionally male dominated field, Rose is in the unique position to identify the areas where women have be underserved in the past and passionately works to ensure that her clients get the information and coaching they need to make smart financial decisions in pursuit of their life goals.

Rose began her career in finance as part of a tiny three-person operation. She spent twenty years helping build that business into a thriving firm with five branch offices all over the east coast, growing revenue 20 times and surviving the worst market downturn since the great depression. All of this while she raised three children, took care of her husband struggling with an incapacitating back injury, and took over the role of primary wage earner for her family.

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As the sole breadwinner of her family, Rose fully understands the financial complexities and unique circumstances that women face. She helps women plan and navigate their financial future, and strives to provide financial confidence, allowing her clients to focus on what they enjoy most, rather than their finances.

Rose also serves on the board of the local chapter of the Financial Planning Association; an organization dedicated to high standards of professional competence, ethical conduct, and complete disclosure.

In 2015 Rose was recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” in the financial service industry by Investment News and is also consistently named in Washingtonian Magazine’s “Top Financial Advisors” as well as Northern Virginia Magazine’s “Top Financial Professionals.”

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Joni Rae

Joni Rae

Joni Rae has over 12 years of management consulting experience at Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte Consulting. She has led enterprise-wide transformations at numerous government agencies and small businesses.

As an executive coach, master facilitator, and business consultant, Joni is talking The Mindset Group across the world to lead personal and professional development workshops. She will lead a personal transformation retreat for a group of women in Bali and train HR professionals on organizational change management in Malaysia.

Joni earned a leadership coaching certificate and Masters Degree in Organizational Management from The George Washington University. When she’s not working, Joni loves to have dance parties at home with her two young daughters.

Amy Reed

Amy Reed

Amy Reed is the Co-owner and Co-Founder of Woofie’s based in Ashburn, VA. Ms. Reed is from Columbus, Ohio and graduated in 1994 from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Sociology. Her background includes 10+ years of experience in sales, marketing and training in technology and telecom companies.

After working for several start-up companies in Silicon Valley during the dot.com days, Amy took a leap of faith to leave the corporate world, pursue her passion for working with pets, and start her own business with her neighbor, Leslie Barron. Recognizing a need for reliable and professional pet care services in their own neighborhood sparked the idea of launching Woofie’s in 2004.

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15 years later, Woofie’s is a successful, award-winning company offering a variety of services including pet sitting, dog walking, mobile pet spa grooming, and Pet CPR/First Aid certifications. Amy created Woofie’s Pet Ventures, LLC in 2018 and spearheaded the company’s expansion efforts into franchising. In February 2019, Woofie’s awarded two franchises in Reston-Herndon and Leesburg and is actively working with many other prospects in the metro DC area.

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Cathy Richards

Cathy Richards

Cathy Richards, M.A. is a lifestyle and wellness strategist and speaker who helps executives maximize physical health, brain function, and energy levels for an unbeatable business edge. A C. Everett Koop National Health Award winner, Cathy’s unique “never too early, never too late” approach merges messages of wellness for all ages after spending fifteen years in corporate wellness followed by eight years in senior wellness. Cathy is the author of “BOOM: Six Steps to a Longer, Healthier Life”, as well as “The Busy Mom’s Ultimate Fitness Guide: Get Motivated and Find the Solution that Works for You!”.

Cathy has been delivering seminars and trainings in the areas of health and wellness for over 20 years, unlocking key mindset shifts and strategies for lasting motivation and lifestyle change at any age. Her passion for healthy living is contagious and she has been featured on numerous TV news stations and print publications including the Washington Post. She is a frequent presenter for business conferences and executive retreats, bringing a rich perspective and a lasting impression.

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Cathy has a B.S. Degree in Kinesiological Sciences and a M.A. Degree in Exercise Physiology. Her specialized certifications include ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, Wellcoaches Certified Fitness Coach, and Senior Fitness Association Certified Brain Fitness Facilitator and Senior Fitness Instructor. She has served as an expert testifying witness for a White House Commission on Worksite Health Promotion and is a graduate of the National Speaker Association Speaker Academy.

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Toni Townes-Whitley

Toni Townes-Whitley

As president of US Regulated Industries at Microsoft, Toni Townes-Whitley leads the US national industries (Financial Services, Healthcare, Federal, State & local Government & Education) driving digital transformation across customers and industry ecosystems. With responsibility for the 2000+ sales organization and ~$14B P&L, she is one of the leading women at Microsoft, and in the technology industry, with a strong track record for accelerating profitable business performance and building high-performance teams.

Her organization leverages the full portfolio of Microsoft’s cloud solutions, business applications, productivity platforms and devices to address the most critical and complex line of business and mission-critical challenges across both public sector and commercial regulated industries in the United States. In addition to leading this team, Townes-Whitley is responsible for driving Microsoft’s most recent investments in Artificial & Augmented Intelligence (AI) assets to tangible and positive social impact in the US and globally. She represents the global salesforce on Microsoft’s AI Ethics Committee – reporting to the President and CEO on the implications of AI on specific deals or initiatives.

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Passionate about leveraging technology to create positive societal and global impact, Townes-Whitley represents Microsoft at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). In this capacity, she works with CEOs from each industry to address global issues around urbanization, climate change, and workforce readiness. Toni’s external efforts align to her innovation within Microsoft, specifically in the creation of a Digital Leadership vision and narrative that extends the company’s focus beyond customer transformation to responsible and principled implementation of technology and inclusive transformation for every person and organization on the planet.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Townes-Whitley was president of CGI Federal, where she was responsible for a portfolio of more than $1 billion, leading 6,600 employees in more than 70 countries to deliver greater value to US Government civilian, defense, and intelligence sectors. Prior to her role at CGI, Townes-Whitley held several management roles at Unisys Corporation leading global, public sector systems integration and the Federal Civilian group, where she achieved 500 percent revenue growth and doubled profitability.

Townes-Whitley serves on the boards of the PNC Financial Services Group, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the North Virginia Technology Center, and continues to support the U.S. Peace Corps as a former volunteer who served three years as a village teacher in Central Africa. She is an advisor to the Women’s Center of Northern Virginia, and a past president of Women in Technology. She has helped to launch new initiatives at Microsoft with the Athena Alliance, an organization that prepares women for corporate board roles, and Gender Fair, which rates companies on their fairness practices for leadership, employee policies, advertising and philanthropy. Toni also is the recipient of numerous awards that include: Savoy Magazine “Most Influential Women in Corporate America”, Women in Technology Leadership, Black Enterprise Top Executive, FedScoop Top50 for Industry Leadership, and NVTC Tech 100 Executive.

Townes-Whitley continues to support the US Peace Corps for which she volunteered for three years as a village teacher in Gabon (Central Africa). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy & Economics from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and has received certifications from Wharton Executive Education, New York University (NYU), and the Performance Management Institute. She and her husband John H. Whitley reside in Mclean, VA. They have five children, six grandchildren and counting.

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Jamie Watts

Jamie Watts

Jamie Watts is a runner in the Washington D.C. metro area. One thing that makes Jamie unique is that she developed a passion for running, while living with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. This type of cerebral palsy primarily impacts Jamie’s legs while creating challenges with balance, coordination, and muscle tone and strength. Jamie began running to get healthy and prepare for a trip to Italy in 2012. That same year she completed her first road race, the Gender Defender, which is part of the Marine Corps Marathon Event Series.

Jamie went on to continue racing, and in 2014 she set a personal goal to run 34 races between her 33rd and 34th birthdays. She accomplished and surpassed this goal by participating in 40 races during the year, predominately located in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, including the George Washington Parkway Classic, a ten-mile race organized by Pacers Running. Between her 34th and 35th birthdays, she went on to run 35 more races, including the completion of her first half marathon, the Marine Corps Historic Half, on May 15, 2016 with a time of 7:53:04. Jamie completed the Marine Corps Historic Half again in 2017, improving her time by just under one hour, with a time of 6:54:34. Jamie reached another personal milestone when she completed 36 races by her 36th birthday, culminating with the Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’Roll San Diego Half Marathon.

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In August 2017, Jamie began training for a challenge more difficult than any she had ever attempted. Jamie announced her intent to run the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. After nine months of training, supplemented by intense cross training and a robust nutrition plan, Jamie completed her first marathon on April 29, 2018. Jamie started at 9:43 pm on April 28, and ran through the night in multiple adverse weather conditions, with a finish time of 14:33:07. Less than one month later, Jamie went on to complete her third Historic Half Marathon.

Jamie’s incredible story was featured in the July 2016 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. Interviews followed, and were supplemented by online content. In October 2016, Jamie was a guest on Harry Connick, Jr.’s talk show, Harry as part of his “Leading Lady” segment. Jamie’s story was picked up and shared by the New York Times nytnow app, USA Today online, and via the Facebook page for Special Olympics, as well as several local television affiliates throughout the country, among other media outlets. Jamie has also told her story in various running community forums, such as RunHaven, RunWashington, and the Pace the Nation podcast.

Holding a degree in communication with honors from the University Missouri-Columbia, Jamie is a professional communicator with 15 years of experience writing, speaking, and organizing events on a variety of diversity inclusion and human resource topics for corporate clients, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout her career. In June 2018, Jamie joined the federal government as a business manager. She is a 16-year resident of Arlington, Virginia.

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Sarah Weise

Sarah Weise

Sarah Weise is the CEO of award-winning marketing research agency Bixa and #1 bestselling author of InstaBrain: The New Rules for Marketing to Generation Z. For 15 years, Sarah has been a guide to hundreds of leading brands including Google, IBM, Capital One, Mikimoto, PBS, and Real Warriors, to name a few. Sarah helps brands achieve a laser-focus on their customers and build experiences that are downright addictive. She lectures at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business on marketing strategy for the next generation, and speaks at conferences and corporate events worldwide including MozCon, Content Marketing Conference, Digital Summit, and UXPA International.

Kerry Wekelo

Kerry Wekelo

Kerry Wekelo, MBA, is the Chief Operating Officer at Actualize Consulting, a financial services consulting firm, and founder of Zendoway, a company that encourages holistic wellness. In her leadership, Kerry blends her experiences as an executive coach, consultant, award-winning author, mindfulness expert, and entrepreneur. Her book and program Culture Infusion: 9 Principles for Creating and Maintaining a Thriving Organizational Culture is the impetus behind Actualize Consulting being named a Top Company Culture by Entrepreneur Magazine. Kerry has authored multiple children’s books, including her award-winning title If It Does Not Grow, Say No, and her Zendoway Cubes received the Parents’ Picks Award. She has been featured on ABC, NBC, NPR, The New York Times, SHRM, Thrive Global, and Corporate Wellness Magazine.

Libby Westphal

Libby Westphal

Libby is 4x ovarian cancer survivor, Air Force veteran, and certified personal trainer and owner of the 110 FIT fitness studio in Leesburg, VA. Libby is a top ranked fitness competitor, motivational speaker, and a recognized business leader. She is the reigning Mrs. Leesburg America and top 5 Mrs. Virginia America in March 2019. Libby is married with one son.

It is easy for Libby to motivate and inspire people as she reinvented herself at 45 years old when a late-life wake-up call in 2011 (after a battle with ovarian cancer) forced her to steward herself through a 70lb weight loss. Health challenges and life experiences abound, she decided to change careers from being a Marketing Consultant to become a personal trainer to help others which ultimately led to building her own fitness studio. She knows anything is truly possible without hard work and consistency and she conveys this message daily to her clients and social followers.

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Libby’s zest for helping to inspire and motivate others and her charter to age gracefully at 50 years old, has garnered national attention. She was profiled in IDEA’s Fitness Journal as a featured trainer. She is a Top 3 OCB and Top 10 National NPC bodybuilding competitor. In 2018, Libby’s inspirational story was featured on WUSA9 News, Oxygen magazine and PoshSeven magazines. She was on cover October 2014 HERLIFE magazine, was featured in December 2013 Shape magazine “You In Shape” and is currently included among Shape’s “Most Inspiring Weight Loss Stories”.

When not running her fitness studio and training clients, Libby spends her spare time speaking about health / wellness and volunteering at Boulder Crest Retreat for wounded warriors and at the Leesburg Senior Center.

Libby is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Averett University.

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Bofta Yimam

Bofta Yimam

Bofta Yimam is an Emmy® Award-Winning Journalist, Former TV Anchor, Media Personality, International Speaker and Executive Coach. She was recently honored with the Asian-African Chamber of Commerce & Industry International Leadership Award and the Black Business Review’s Top 40 Under 40 Professionals Award. From London to Washington D.C., Bofta has also captured global crowds with her dynamic style and presence.

From teenage depression and poverty to an award-winning broadcasting career to building a successful business from scratch, Bofta works to inspire others that anything is possible. She firmly believes that adversity has its advantages and there’s incredible power in owning your story — that’s what her clients learn to embrace, too.

She has been honored for her work nearly every year in her career, including a Regional Emmy® award and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. Bofta is the first Ethiopian-American newscaster to receive an Emmy for her work. For more than a decade, she’s reported live on the morning and evening news for TV affiliates around the country, including CBS and ABC. In 2013, she won a Midsouth Regional Emmy® for excellence in “Continuing Coverage.” Her report led Tennessee lawmakers to create a new bill to keep convicted aggravated rapists in prison for their full sentence. One year later, she received the Pennsylvania AP Broadcasters Association award for Outstanding Investigative Report. Throughout her career, Bofta has also received a variety of Emmy nominations highlighting her ability to write across multiple mediums, including: light feature, historical/cultural special report, sports feature, on-camera talent specialty assignment and investigative series.

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Today, Bofta is a CEO, Coach and dynamic International Speaker (click here to watch Bofta on stage). She recently spoke at several exquisite events, including the Global Thinkers Forum Gala in London, the Africa Trade & Investment Global summit in Washington D.C., EQT’s Supplier Diversity Matchmaking Summit, the Eastern Minority Supplier’s Development Council Conference Matchmaker and served as the host for the International Money Transfer Conference in Miami.

Event organizers praise her warmth, seasoned delivery, elegance and unique ability to command the room. No matter the keynote or workshop, you can count on Bofta to provide highly customized, interactive, entertaining and motivational talks. Previous corporate trainings include Vistage Worldwide, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western PA, the Pittsburgh Business Group On Health and the National Association of Black Journalists Baltimore Chapter. As a coach, Bofta works to help change agents and industry transformers craft and syndicate their compelling signature talk so they can deeply connect with their audience, establish authority, create impact and transformation from the stage and on screen… while reducing the fear and anxiety of sharing their story to a group.

Using her decade of media experience, LIVE TV Anchoring, award-winning investigations, speaking engagements as well as hosting her signature Speak & Influence private workshops, Bofta helps her clients achieve a powerful signature talk that they can share “on demand” while replacing their fear of validation with incredible confidence. Her clients call the process transformative. Bofta has been featured on the Women Empowered Global platform, Passion Vista Magazine and a wide range of podcasts. She has also been named on the 100 Tropics Changemakers List, recipient of the ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ award and selected as a ‘Women of Excellence’ honoree by the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Additionally, Bofta offers her own weekly motivational segment, Rise and Shine With Bofta Yimam, available to listeners worldwide through Urban Media Today radio. Bofta is a career and life mentor with the London-based organization, Global Thinkers Mentors Program. The mentors program is designed to advance woman’s empowerment and youth development around the world.

When she’s not on-air or coaching, Bofta is plotting her next bucket list destination. She’s swum with dolphins in Mexico, climbed a mountain (not planned) to reach a remote Ethiopian monastery, jumped off a 35-foot-high Jamaican cliff and backpacked twice in Europe. She recently traveled to Cuba with nine other journalists for independent reporting projects covering race and other African diaspora issues.

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