7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Heidi and Walter Stepan Grand Hall
George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology

(After 9:00 a.m., register in the Elizabeth and Malcolm Chace Wellness and Athletic Center)

7:30 – 8:15 a.m
Continental Breakfast
Elizabeth and Malcolm Chace Wellness and Athletic Center

8:15 – 8:45 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks
Chace Wellness Center

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote Speaker: Shelley Zalis
Chace Wellness Center

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Chace Wellness Center

9:45 – 11:00 a.m.
Session A Workshops

Sessions are defined for professional audiences as indicated:
1 Beginning 2 Middle 3 Executive
Developing the Power of YOU!

YOU control your own development and success! In this interactive session, focus on the importance of fostering a positive attitude and the personal attributes that can cultivate self-development and increase engagement, confidence, and self-esteem. Review the characteristics, qualities, and traits of peak performers, create your vision for personal and professional success, and identify barriers that can inhibit your vision. Embrace the power YOU have to achieve success through self-reflection and personal stories.

SPEAKERS: Carolynn Woodis is a Training Supervisor at Amica Insurance. She joined the company in 1991 and has been active in Learning and Talent Development for the past 18 years. She has fostered relationships and facilitated customer service workshops for various Rhode Island companies, as well as state and city departments. Woodis shares her personal brands of connectedness, harmony, and communication in her interactions with co-workers and customers.

Keagan Palardy is a Senior Training Specialist at Amica Insurance. In 2009, she joined the company's First Notice of Loss Department, where she developed a passion for training through helping new and tenured employees. Since transferring to Learning and Talent Development, her primary focus is designing and delivering company workshops that enhance interpersonal and technical skills. Palardy enjoys providing knowledge, fostering engagement, and supporting career development among her co-workers.

Own It! Embracing Your Financial Independence

Financial independence is all about taking control, moving forward, and embracing your dreams, so Own It! When you take charge of your financial security, the results can be life-changing. Whether you are moving forward independently, starting a business, thinking about home ownership, or planning for retirement, this panel of experts will provide you with the insight needed to work toward your goals and discover your own wealth. Learn what financial tools and options are available and how they fit your circumstances.

SPEAKERS: Laurel Bowerman, MBA, is Vice President, Market Leader, Commercial Real Estate, The Washington Trust Company. Prior to her 20-year career in commercial banking, she was Director of Development for affordable housing at the Rhode Island Housing Authority. She serves on the board of directors for the Providence Preservation Society and is Treasurer of the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island. She is a Trustee of the URI Foundation and a board member of the URI Alumni Association and the Rhode Island Furniture Bank.

Janell Hayes Bruno is Vice President, Mortgage Loan Officer, The Washington Trust Company, which she joined more than 16 years ago. At Washington Trust, she has received the President's Club Award, which is given to individuals who produce more than $24 million each year. A board member for Literacy Volunteers of Washington County, she has received Rhode Island Monthly's Five Star Service Award for the past six years.

Cynthia Valenti Smith is Vice President, Mortgage Lending, The Washington Trust Company. With more than 22 years at the company, she is responsible for mortgage origination and consumer loans, including home equity loans and lines of credit. During her time at Washington Trust, she has originated more than $800 million on mortgage loans, including purchases, refinances, and construction. A member of the Rhode Island Builders Association and Women's Council of Realtors, she has received Rhode Island Monthly's Five Star Service Award for the past eight years.

Holly M. Knott, CFP®, is Vice President and Wealth Management Planning Officer, Washington Trust Wealth Management. She serves the investment, trust, and estate planning needs of her clients – from emerging investors to high net worth clients in Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut. Knott joined The Washington Trust Company more than 15 years ago. She is on the Board of Directors for the Estate and Tax Planning Council of Southeastern CT; Canonchet Cliffs Senior Housing; the Development Committee for the Community Foundation of Eastern CT; and the Affordable Housing Committee for the Town of Richmond, R.I.

Some Things Are Difficult to Discuss – Even With Your Doctor

At least one in four women experience significant discomfort and diminished quality of life as a result of pelvic floor disorder. Symptoms may include chronic constipation, incontinence, pelvic organization prolapse, and pelvic pain. Many women feel uncomfortable speaking to their health care providers about their symptoms and fear that surgery is the only answer. In this session, Lifespan physicians will discuss treatment options such as pain management, lifestyle changes, and specific interventions for pain generators that may help women move forward, make changes, and improve the quality of their lives.

SPEAKERS: Amanda Pressman, MD, FACG, is a gastroenterologist with the Women's Medicine Collaborative and the Gastroesophageal and Rectal Motility Laboratory at Lifespan. She is Co-Director of the Program for Pelvic Floor Disorders, Women’s Medicine Collaborative, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Leslie Roth, MD, FACS, FASCRS, is a colorectal surgeon with University Surgical Associates and Co-Director of the Program for Pelvic Floor Disorders, Women's Medicine Collaborative. She is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Rosalyn and Joseph Sinclair Clinical Professor in Pelvic Floor Disorders at The Miriam Hospital.

Lindsay Clark Donat, MD, FACOG, is a gynecologist at Lifespan Physician Group, Inc.—Gynecology, and the Pelvic Pain Program at the Women's Medicine Collaborative. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and a fellowship program in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Yale University.

Christy Ciesla, PT, DPT, PRPC, coordinates women's and men's health rehabilitation services for three Lifespan hospitals. Certified as a prenatal and postpartum practitioner and board certified pelvic rehabilitation practitioner, she is a clinical instructor and mentors other physical therapists and medical students. An Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Rhode Island and Healthy Women/Healthy Men, she co-authored a continuing education course for transgender health.

View From the Top – Making Change Happen: Perspectives From Four Leaders

Four leaders from very different industries share their insights about how to lead change within an organization. Topics include identifying the need for change, successfully leading change initiatives, and effectively adapting to unanticipated changes, both professional and personal.

MODERATOR: Carol DeMoranville, Ph.D., Associate Provost at Bryant University, works closely with the chief academic officer to deliver innovative and high-quality academic programs. She was previously Professor and Chair of the Department of Marketing, taught Bryant graduate courses, and served as a consultant for a variety of clients. DeMoranville was honored for her work at Bryant with a 2011 MBA Outstanding Professor Award and a 2009 Outstanding Service Award. Before entering academia, she was a successful entrepreneur.

SPEAKERS: Junior Jabbie, '06, '07 MBA, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Banneker Supply Chain Solutions, Inc., a world-class provider of supply chain management solutions. He joined Banneker as Executive Associate and rapidly emerged as a leader. He was named President and CEO in 2018. Jabbie serves on the board of directors for the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, and the United Way of Rhode Island. He volunteers at non-profit organizations that are primarily youth centered.

Diane A. Kazarian, '83, FCPA, Managing Partner GTA (Greater Toronto Area) & National Banking Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (PwC). For more than 30 years, she has served a broad base of public and private clients at PwC. Today, she leads PwC's largest Canadian market, managing more than 3,000 professionals and 300 partners representing all key industries. Kazarian was recently selected a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants (FCPA) of Ontario, the highest distinction that CPA Ontario confers upon its members. She is one of the Founding Partners of #movethedial, an organization committed to advancing women in technology.

Joan Waters '83 is the Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Office Furniture Company (COFC), the oldest, continuously operating commercial office furniture dealership in the Philadelphia region. She joined the company in 1988, was appointed CEO in 2014, and has acquired majority ownership of the company. Waters is a board member of the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWA) and a member of the American Street Empowerment Zone Community Trust Board in Philadelphia. The recipient of a number of professional awards, she is very active in the fight against cancer.

Noni Thomas López, Ed.D., was appointed Head of School, The Gordon School, in July 2018. The racially diverse independent school in East Providence, Rhode Island, serves pre-kindergarten to eighth grade with a typical student-to-teacher ratio of 8 to 1. López was Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning at Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS) in New York City. She more recently founded the Interschool Leadership Institute to provide professional development for educators of color who want to grow their social and emotional IQ and support the next generation of leaders of color in independent schools.

How Your Biggest Crisis Can Reveal Your Greatest Gift

Betrayal by a family member, partner, friend, or co-worker can create a “psychological earthquake” that shakes us up, wakes us up, and causes us to reevaluate our lives. How can such a crisis reveal our greatest gift? Discover how people who hurt us the most, teach us the most. Identify the proven and predictable five stages – from betrayal to breakthrough – and how to achieve Post Betrayal Transformation (PBT) that can lead to the strongest, most confident, healthy, and healed version of you.

SPEAKER: Dr. Debi Silber, President of The Silber Center for Personal Growth and Healing/The PBT Institute, is a transformational psychologist and recognized health, mindset, empowerment, and personal development expert. A popular speaker, media expert, and coach, she is the author three books, including the Amazon #1 bestseller The Unshakable Woman: 4 Steps to Rebuilding Your Body, Mind and Life After a Life Crisis. Her doctoral study and 27-year career experiences led her to create a multi-pronged approach to help women heal physically, mentally, and emotionally from the trauma of betrayal.

Courageous Leadership: How to Make a Difference and Be a Leader Worth Following

It takes courage to lead and make a positive difference. You may aspire to be a courageous leader worth following but struggle with balancing daily responsibilities. In this interactive session, explore seven pillars of leadership that you can immediately implement. Learn how to leverage bigger opportunities by creating powerful partnerships. Recognize how your personality can help or hinder your success and how to position yourself. You can increase your energy and productivity – even with a full plate!

SPEAKER: Lisa Marie Platske left her action-packed life as a law enforcement officer in New York City to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of Upside Thinking, Inc., an international leadership training and consulting company she opened founded in 2005. An award-winning leadership expert and certified professional coach, she delivers high-energy presentations using her research-designed, seven-step leadership process. Platske is the author of four books, including Designing Your Destiny: Achieving Personal Success Through Upside Thinking.

Change From the Outside In: Dressing for the Life You Want

How you dress can affect your job prospects, income, romantic life, and even sense of self. New research reveals that the power of a great outfit is related to "enclothed cognition," the term scientists use to describe how clothing affects your behavior. In this session, learn about the psychology behind what you wear, how it affects the way you feel, and, most importantly, how you can simplify personal style in order to reduce stress and create positive change.

SPEAKER: Jill Marinelli, Personal Stylist, helps women to find beauty in the bodies they inhabit – with an emphasis on empowerment and leadership. She teaches individual clients and groups how to look great, project confidence, and change their lives by changing their clothes. A style correspondent for CBS Providence's The Rhode Show, Marinelli's work has been featured in top print and broadcast media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and Psychology Today.

How to Manage That Critical Inner Voice and Move Forward With Confidence

We all have an internal critical voice that can cause feelings of stress, anxiety, and doubt, throwing us off balance and unable to meet goals or take action. In this interactive session, identify fears and excuses and learn how to shut them down. Draft a plan to develop your vision and goals, and learn methods to change your mindset and take action. Acquire tools and strategies you can begin using immediately to end self-sabotage, increase confidence, and step more fully into your personal power.

SPEAKER: Maureen Ross Gemme, MS Ed, is Chief Executive Officer of Emerge Leadership Academy, LLC, and a dynamic speaker, leadership trainer, and mentor. She is passionate about helping clients overcome their fears and develop the confidence to lead others. In 2013, Gemme began her entrepreneurial journey to train and develop professionals who want to make an impact. Before launching her successful business, she enjoyed a 27-year career at a Fortune 200 company.

Changemakers Wanted: Must Have Thick Skin, Laser Focus, and Passion

The changemakers and thought leaders of tomorrow must be equipped to handle negative feedback and rejection. A few critical tools can help you maintain laser focus on your mission, values, priorities, and goals, while allowing you to lead with passion and drive. In this interactive session, understand how to accept critical feedback and identify how self-care and mindfulness can help you build resilience to maintain strength and well-being. Complete a values assessment to align your focus with your passion.

SPEAKER: Megan Gunnell, LMSW, is a psychotherapist, writer, speaker, and international retreat leader with more than two decades of experience. An expert in women's health, self-care, and mindfulness, her work helps clients restore, transform, and reach their highest potential. She has presented and facilitated workshops and retreats globally, most notably in Finland, Costa Rica, and throughout the United States.

Communicate With Power and Confidence: Speak Like the Woman You Aspire to Be

Projecting confidence and power requires balancing substance and style. What you say and how you say it determines whether you get heard, get work done, and get ahead. In this interactive session, learn to communicate strategically, while recognizing the verbal and non-verbal behaviors that make you look and sound more confident. Identify specific body language that can help or hurt you in projecting confidence, and discover how to apply specific strategies to speak with the strength, clarity, and conviction to achieve your goals.

SPEAKER: Barbara Sperling Brown is Principal of Sperling Brown Associates. As an executive coach and trainer, she transforms individuals into more proficient leaders and communicators, offering strategic insight into more effective ways to build relationships and achieve results. An expert in communications and presentation skills, Brown is known for her vitality and engaging style. Her added experience as a professional actor enables her to help clients become the best, most authentic versions of themselves.

Moving Forward: Success Across the Generations

Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, and Nexters will make up 50 percent of the workforce by the year 2020, with each generation having preferred communication styles, methods, and platforms. In this interactive session, learn the differences in communication preferences and how to blend your traits and habits into a thriving workplace culture. Facilitated conversations and participant-driven discussions will use the Turn and Talk teaching strategy to allow each participant to share his or her voice within a group setting. Gain insight into how to effectively communicate across the generations with colleagues, clients, and supervisors. Learn strategies that can be immediately implemented – and move to the next level.

SPEAKERS: Peggy Bud, MS, is the Founder of Speaking Skillfully, a certified speech-language pathologist, and a former school administrator. She provides her clients with customized training on effective communication strategies that lead them to successfully interact with customers, clients, or colleagues. She also writes and speaks about effective communication and unconscious bias in the workplace. Her motto: "It's more than what you say. It's how you say it.”

Sandra Long is an entrepreneur, speaker, and corporate trainer. She teaches clients, readers, and audiences how to leverage LinkedIn and other social media to advance sales, recruiting, and career opportunities. Long is the author of the best-seller LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide. She is a social media instructor for the Rutgers University Business School Executive Education program.

Amy Sondrup, MA, is President of Access TCA, which is among the largest independently owned, face-to-face marketing firms in North America. She is responsible for operations, strategy, and marketing and sits on the company's board of directors. She also serves on the boards of Nuvita and the Experiential Designers & Producers Association (EDPA). Before joining Access TCA, Sondrup taught U.S. history and western civilization at Westminster College.

Amy Mouradian '15 entered the events industry as a Student Project Manager for The Women's Summit at Bryant University. This conference internship plus her experience with trade shows led to a position at Access TCA as an Event Services Manager. She currently orchestrates the entire proposal process for the new business development team at Access TCA, which is among the largest independently owned, face-to-face marketing firms in North America.

Building Change Capability Within the Organization

The most successful organizations are forever changing. Change becomes the norm – a positive experience and an opportunity to grow, strengthen, and improve both the organization and its workforce. This interactive session will focus on building change capability within the organization by assessing the readiness for change through a variety of channels that engage leaders and employees. Learn how to create a positive environment for change and close the gap from the current culture to one where change is embraced.

SPEAKER: Gina Abudi, MBA, is President of the Abudi Consulting Group, LLC. With a focus on people, projects, and processes, she has spent more than 25 years providing consulting and training/education to organizations of all sizes – from smaller businesses and non-profit groups to large global companies. Abudi is the author of Implementing Positive Organizational Change: A Strategic Project Management Approach (2017). She is an adjunct professor at Granite State College.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Session A Book Signing

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Power Plenary Session Speaker: Sarita Maybin
Session Title: If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?
Chace Wellness Center

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.
Power Plenary Book Signing
Chace Wellness Center

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Luncheon and Bryant University New England Businesswoman of the Year Award
Chace Wellness Center

(Doors open at noon)

12:45 – 1:35 p.m.
Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Mary McDonnell
Chace Wellness Center

1:35 – 2:00 p.m.
Chace Wellness Center

2:00 – 3:15 p.m.
Session B Workshops

Sessions are defined for professional audiences as indicated:
1 Beginning 2 Middle 3 Executive

How to Leverage Change to Advance Your Career

Change is an inevitable part of life, so why does it bother us so much? In any business, change is necessary to maintain relevance and meet the shifting demands of markets and consumers. Smart managers who can adapt, embrace, and even drive change can leverage these moments for greater visibility within organizations and industries. Participants in this session will learn techniques for recognizing the opportunities that change presents. Learn tactics to manage change and demonstrate your leadership through change situations.

SPEAKERS: Ann Kashmanian, MBA, CPA, is Chief Executive Officer of Brown Medicine, a 200-plus physician group affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She brings 25 years of financial management experience into the health care sector, including serving as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Newport Hospital and Vice-President of Finance for Rhode Island and Miriam Hospitals. Before joining Brown Medicine, she was Senior Vice President of Financial Operations and Care Management of Lifespan Corporation.

Mari Anne Snow is the Chief Executive Officer of Sophaya, a virtual training company based in Providence that designs and delivers custom soft-skill and leadership training for organizations with dispersed employees or remote teams. Before launching her company in 2009, she held senior executive positions as a business technologist, talent management expert, and organizational development professional at the State Street Corporation. She currently teaches at the Bryant University Executive Development Center.

Charting Your Course: A Financial Guide for Women

Busy women need a financial plan and many don't know where to start. Take action and move forward on your financial path by identifying where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. Explore the basics of cash flow and budgeting, how to manage debt, and saving and investing for your life's goals. This session's expert presenter will interact with attendees and facilitate team exercises using real-life experiences. All participants will receive a budgeting workbook and the brochure Strategies for Staying on Track.

SPEAKER: Betsey O'Boyle, MBA, JD, is a financial consultant within the Institutional Retirement division at TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services organization. She is part of the client relationship team responsible for supporting and improving the customer experience with tools and capabilities across market segments. O'Boyle holds Series 7 and 65 licenses, while maintaining Life, Health, and Variable Annuity licenses for all of New England. She began her financial services career in 1999 and joined TIAA in 2012.

Confidence Quotient: The Real Intelligence Needed to Move Forward and Make Change Happen

Confidence can make or break careers, deals, brands, and anything requiring trust or change. Unlike IQ or EQ, no one is born confident, but anyone can learn how to think and act with more confidence. Explore the brain science and social secrets that will let you assess and create confidence in yourself and others in this interactive session. Learn how confidence can motivate and fuel persistence, enable innovation, focus, and engagement, and create collaborative, attractive cultures.

SPEAKER: Alyssa Dver is Chief Confidence Officer and Co-Founder of the American Confidence Institute. A former Chief Marketing Officer and now an expert on the science of confidence, she is a popular speaker at top companies and universities and the author of six books, including Kickass Confidence: Own Your Brain, Up Your Game. She has been published in BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, among others, and interviewed by dozens of online programs and blogs.

How to Stay Focused in Uncertain Times

The ability to stay positive and productive in the face of change, challenges, and uncertainty is essential to career success. In this interactive presentation, learn how to stay motivated, respond to workplace challenges, and rekindle passion for your career. This high-energy speaker will share her best positive communication phrases and strategies for thriving on change. Realize how to effectively protect yourself from the negativity of others and use "resiliency resources" to help you bounce back from adversity.

SPEAKER: Sarita Maybin, MS, grew up in a military family. Moving frequently caused her to discover the importance of adapting, staying positive, and "playing nicely." She incorporates these life-lessons as an award-winning international speaker and communication expert. Maybin is a TEDx speaker and the author of If You Can't Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?: Practical Solutions for Working Together Better. She holds a master's degree in counseling and was Interim Dean of Students at the University of California, San Diego.

Coaching and Mentoring Skills for Leaders

Coaching is an art that can help those you lead to become more independent and bring you solutions rather than problems. In this interactive session, learn the difference between coaching and mentoring, as well as a simple approach to coaching that you can implement immediately. Using a four-step approach, discover how to help move others to solutions, build confidence in your direct reports, and design an effective mentoring program. A complimentary coaching program is included.

SPEAKER: Joy Conley Kacik, a Partner in Kacik Consulting Services, LLC, has an extensive background in negotiations, leadership/organizational development, strategic planning, and coaching. Kacik was a professional negotiator and organizational consultant for the Pennsylvania State Education Association for 28 years. Today, as a consultant, speaker, and Certified Professional Coach, she focuses on building strong teams and leaders. Her career and executive coaching helps individuals to realize their career goals and executive clients to lead with strong people skills, a strategic vision, and results-focused decisions.

Body Language: The Secret to Executive Presence

In today's world, we are more connected than ever before. We constantly communicate but often miss the real message – because body language accounts for 60 percent of how we communicate. In this interactive session, learn how to leverage the latest research and neuroscience behind body language and enhance your confidence, credibility, strengths, and presence, whether you are an emerging or senior leader. Explore the differences in body language for women and men and how to decode hidden messages.

SPEAKER: Diane Wilbur '88, MBA, is a Speaker, Executive Coach, and CEO of Soft Skills Training Group. For more than 20 years, she has focused on talent development and provided customized, cutting-edge programs to professionals on soft skill topics such as personal branding, executive presence, communication skills, body language, and emotional intelligence. She currently teaches leadership topics at Bryant University. Wilbur, who began her career as a CPA, was Director of Human Resources at Fidelity Investments.

Be a Brave-Hearted Rebel at Work

Everyone knows that there should be better ways to work, so why is it so hard to change things? Learn what it takes to overcome resistance to change, introduce and win support for new ideas, and develop personal and team resiliency and tenacity – whether you are an emerging professional or an established leader. Be inspired and motivated to take more risks, show up as yourself, and become a more positive rebel.

SPEAKER: Lois Kelly is President of Foghound and Co-Founder of Rebels At Work. She has been a lifelong observer of emerging business, cultural, and economic trends, and a trailblazer in helping corporations understand these trends. She teaches people to see possibilities, advocate for change, adapt to it, and thrive. Kelly co-founded a pioneering digital marketing agency in the 1990s. She is the author of four books including the best-seller Rebels At Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within (co-authored).

Thought Leadership: Using Your Expertise to Move Your Business and Image Forward

It's hard to make meaningful connections in today's competitive marketplace. Providing your professional point of view through thought leadership is paramount to building trust with your clients and prospects. In this session, learn the key elements to building a personal leadership brand that will help you stand out, and develop a messaging platform to share your expertise. Boost your career, build more business for yourself or your company, and enhance your image as an expert, thought leader, and professional in your field.

SPEAKER: Christine Tieri is President of her new consulting company, Chris Tieri Corporation. The only Certified Brand Strategist (CBS) in New England, she works with organizations, brands, and individuals to creatively solve business challenges and facilitate amazing transformations. She is driven to discover her clients' unique distinctions to help position brands in the marketplace. She also helps women hone their own leadership brands. Tieri was former President of the Idea Agency, a brand and marketing firm that she launched nearly 25 years ago. She currently serves as Lead Brand Strategist at the company, which was recently acquired by Pannos Marketing.

Inclusive Leadership: Driving Superior Results Through Inclusion

Inclusive leadership and exceptional leadership go hand-in-hand. What are the behaviors and competencies associated with inclusive leadership and how do you hone these abilities? Identify these competencies to recognize your leadership strengths. Through presentation, dialogue, and interactive exercises, begin to understand the importance of inclusive leadership and its connection to exceptional leadership. Learn how to align your leadership capabilities with your goals and priorities, identify opportunities for development, and increase employee engagement and team performance.

SPEAKERS: Erica Colonero '98 is Co-Founder of VisionSpring, Inc., a WBENC-certified diversity and inclusion consulting firm. (Certification by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women.) Since VisionSpring’s founding, Colonero has led business development and client relations. A consultant and trainer in the areas of diversity and inclusion, employee resource groups, unconscious bias, and inclusive leadership, Colonero has worked with organizations ranging from Aetna and Baystate Health to TIAA and Staples.

Robin Pedrelli is a partner at VisionSpring, Inc., a WBENC-certified diversity and inclusion consulting firm. A diversity and inclusion consultant, she has been improving business performance and employee engagement at major companies for more than 15 years. As an expert in the field, she is a sought-after consultant, trainer, and speaker on the topics of diversity and inclusion, employee resource groups, middle management engagement, and inclusive leadership.

Make Success Happen: Facing the Challenges of the Entrepreneurial Journey

What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur and business owner? If this is your dream, how can you change your destiny and achieve your goals? Four passionate and resilient entrepreneurs will share their unique stories and empower you with the knowledge they gained on their journeys. Learn how the support and networks of women helped them to realize their aspirations, attain financial success, and do good work along the way.

MODERATOR: Maryellen O'Mahony, MS, is Director of the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) in Providence, which provides services to the growing number of women entrepreneurs in Rhode Island. She joined CWE after 35 years in the nonprofit sector, where she advocated for high-quality programs and services for young children and their families. O'Mahony held leadership positions at Children's Friend and the YMCA. Her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited as a child when she sold garden seeds to friends and neighbors.

SPEAKERS: Jennifer Cookke, MBA, MS, is Owner and Chief Executive Officer of F.H. French (FHF) Co. Inc., a full-service property development company comprising local and national Fortune 500 clients. FHF is Rhode Island's third-largest real estate company, serving clients such as CVS Corporate Headquarters, Lifespan Hospitals, and Kate Spade, among others. Cookke also owns a large portfolio of commercial property and more than 13 other business entities. She teaches graduate-level courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is widely quoted in trade and business media.

Sharon Kan, MBA, is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Pepperlane, a place that helps mothers transform their ideas, skills, and passions into businesses that fit their busy lives. Kan has been instrumental in leading companies from inception to acquisition, including Tikatok, which was sold to Barnes & Noble. She was previously Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accomplice and Chair of Luminoso Technologies, Inc. and Orora Global. She is a Co-Founder of the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® at Babson College.

Jonny Skye, MAT, is the Founder and Owner of Skye Gallery, which she started with a microloan and startup money from a colleague. Located in the blossoming West-Side neighborhood of Providence, the variety of style and background of artists exhibited exemplify Skye’s vision to act as a catalyst for social change. She circled back to art – her true passion – in 2017 after a career in public service as an education advocate and raising four children.

Maria Tocco is the Founder, Owner, and Market Manager of the award-winning Providence Flea, an upscale, urban flea market located along the Providence River Greenway. She launched The Flea in 2013 to serve as a platform where community and commerce intersect with a culture of recycling, upcycling, reusing, and repurposing. She also supports and counsels those who would like to start their businesses in a pop-up format. Tocco has 25+ years of experience as a communications professional in state and city government, as well as the private and nonprofit sectors.

Owning Your Personal B.R.A.N.D. – Five Leadership Strategies That Communicate Success

Are you struggling to make a sale, get promoted, deliver a confident presentation, inspire your team, or just be noticed in the workplace? If so, take control of your Personal B.R.A.N.D.! Possessing strong influential skills, including a can-do mindset, can create the change and outcomes you desire. In this interactive session, learn the five key areas of your Personal B.R.A.N.D. (Behavior, Respect for Self, Appearance, Networking, Dynamic Dialogue) that can help you achieve greater success. Receive a handout that includes action items and new insights to bring back to your organization.

SPEAKER: Lisa Shorr, Brand Strategist and Owner of Shorr Success, has spent more than two decades in the sales and marketing arena. She has delivered professional development and corporate branding workshops and seminars across the United States. Certified in Advanced Image Consulting by the London Image Institute, she has styled many professionals on photoshoots, television, and in private settings. Shorr is a board member of The Tech Collective and a member of The Association of Image Consultants International.

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Session B Book Signing

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Closing Keynote Speaker: Reshma Saujani
Chace Wellness Center

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Networking Reception/Book Signing
Heidi and Walter Stepan Grand Hall
George E. Bello Center