2015 Women Leaders Conference - Schedule

8:00-9:00am - Registration

Coffee & networking

9:00-10:15am - Keynote

RAM: Realization, Assessment, and Motivation
Erin Brockovich, Consumer Advocate and Author


10:30-11:45am - Concurrent Sessions One

Leadership in Action: Becoming Your Best Health Advocate
Magda Peck, Founding Dean and Professor, UW-Milwaukee Joseph J Zilber School of Public Health

Health and vitality are essential enablers of successful leadership in work and in life.  Yet women often put themselves too far down the To-Do list in terms of advocating for their own health and well-being. This session highlights challenges for women’s health at every age and stage, and outlines strategies for becoming a stronger, savvy advocate - for yourself and for the women and girls around you - in a time of opportunity, challenge and change. 

Venus Salary Negotiations: How to get what you're looking for in a total compensation package and raise...and not rely on "karma"
Rena Somersan, Principal-Compensation Consulting Group, Verisight

Many studies show that women can be great negotiators, just not when they're asking for themselves. When women leaders negotiate pay on behalf of their team, they’re like she-bears protecting their cubs!  When it comes to negotiating a total compensation package, however, there are several negative scenarios that often get cited as holding women back:  downplaying their worth, not knowing the market comparables, and the drive to please others by settling for something that is not what is wanted. 

This session will cover tactics for understanding and overcoming these negativities to get to a better place as well as clarifying how to identify, evaluate and negotiate perks beyond money.  

Transitioning into Retirement, Rediscovering Your True Identity
Mary Paul, Recent Retiree and President, Mary Paul LLC

Many of us on the verge of retirement are consumed with financial planning, thoughts of activities and what kind of work we will do once we retire.  Mary, like many others did the same thing, until she learned that for the career minded individual, retirement is a major transition in our lives.  Retirement involves physical, psychological and emotional changes that most retirees don’t plan for. 

The average retiree will spend six to nine months going through a retirement transition following various stages similar to that of grieving process.  In addition, the vast majority of research on the psychological aspects of retirement has been written from a man’s point of view, but the retirement transition for women is just as traumatic. Spend some time with Mary discussing these various stages of retirement transition and hear about Mary’s one-year journey into retirement and see what she has rediscovered about herself and how it might be beneficial to you if you are planning on retiring in the next year or have recently retired.  

Technology Trends: Exploring the Future Digital World
Molly Jante, Technology Researcher, Northwestern Mutual

Every aspect of our lives is going digital. From simple things like ordering a movie to highly complex medical advancements like 3D printing organs, we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to accomplish just about everything.  This rapid technological advancement means that if we, as women, want to be leaders in our communities, our jobs, our families, our finances and our health, we must first think about becoming digital leaders.  We can start by ensuring that we are aware of current technology trends and how they will affect each facet of our lives.  This talk will focus on those trends and the ways technology may be a significant business disrupter.  It will explore the latest technological innovations from robotics to the Internet of Things, and provide examples of businesses that already have been disrupted.  This talk should leave you asking yourself, ‘What am I doing to create digital business models, channels and, more importantly, sustainable advantages with digital technology?’

Leadership Lessons from Mars and Venus
Moderated by: Patricia Clason, Director, Center for Creative Learning, LLC

Panelists:Keegan Mager, Development Associate, Center for Communication, Hearing, and Deafness; Rose Meagher, Senior Business Consultant and Owner, Meagher Consulting, LLC; Jon Swain, President, Lindner-Marsack; Ann Manning, Assistant Director, Talent and Organizational Development, Northwestern Mutual

How much does gender affect leadership? This multi-generational panel of leaders will discuss the things they have learned about women and leadership. Our moderator will engage the panel in a discussion about their past experiences, as well as posing scenario questions and asking the panelists to give pieces of advice. The goal of this session is to highlight the similarities and differences in male and female leadership. 


12:00pm-1:15pm - Keynote

On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership
Alison Levine, Team Captain of the First American Women's Everest Expedition and Author of the New York Times Best-Seller On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership


1:30-2:45pm - Concurrent Sessions Two

Becoming a Person of Influence
Melissa Nixon, Founder, Courageous Living Institute

Becoming a person of influence and having a positive impact on others can happen with anyone at any level.  As leaders, learn how to positively impact change in your organization as well as influence those you work with and for in this session. 

In this session, participants will be able to:

  • Better understand the power of influence and its relationship to leadership and change
  • Apply principles learned to increase results in their personal and professional lives
  • Become a more strategic leader and influencer of change  


So You Want to Be a Consultant...
Moderated by:Lynnea Katz-Petted, CEO, Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee

Panelists: Nancy Hernandez,President, ABRAZO; Dawn Adams, President, HResults, Sara Reed, Career and Life Coach, Moonstone Coaching and Consulting


Thinking about hanging out your shingle? Hear the trials, tribulations, and successes our three panelists and the moderator have had as they built their consulting practices.  All are at different stages and all have taken different paths.  


10 Keys to Being Unstoppable: How to Increase Your Workplace Productivity
Michelle Neujahr, Motivational Speaker/Business Coach/Professor of Business, The Business Renovation Company

Now is the time to engage in your career and take it to the next level. With the instability in today’s job market increasing your productivity can help to set your career on fire, ensure your marketability and help you to reach for the next level in your career. Being unproductive costs money, wastes time and limits your opportunities. Join Michelle as she inspires attendees to look make a productivity plan, create clear career goals and begin using “The 10 Steps to Being Unstoppable.” This session will challenge attendees to analyze, strategize and energize! Attendees will walk away with simple tools to begin being unstoppable today. 

Shatter Your Fears of Success!
Lisa Mohr, Author/Speaker/Thought Leader on Positive Perspective, Lisa Mohr, LLC

How do you feel about extremely wealthy, healthy and beautiful women of power? Do you love and embrace them? Or do you reject them? Do you ever feel guilty because you are succeeding and your friends and family are not? Are you afraid of emulating confidence with your money and success in fear of appearing snobby to others? 

During this engaging presentation you will discover that your deep-seated beliefs about money, beauty and power have either elevated your prosperity or left you flat broke and struggling. If you have ever found yourself judging a beautiful women who emulates success, there is a strong chance that you may be limiting your own success out of fear that others may judge YOU. 

Discover how your personal beliefs about other women mirrors what you allow for yourself. By the end of this presentation, you will walk away with the awareness that it is not only alright, but your duty to model wealth, health and beauty to the world, with grace!

Wealth Intelligence: A FRESH Perspective
Donna Schumell, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Think2Perform

Would you like to have clearer goals?  A stronger sense of purpose?  Are you tired of letting fear stop you? You are not alone!  Most people are not mindful of all of the wealth in their lives.  Donna Schumell developed the FRESH program to help women take a time out to refresh and develop an invigorating life perspective.  FRESH takes a multi-disciplined approach that includes exploration of the 5 interdependent dimensions of wealth capital:

Finances: Your money beliefs, behaviors and financial plan

Relationships: Your connections to family, friends and tribes

Engagement: Your work, exploiting your strengths/finding flow

Spirit: Your values, knowing your values/fulfilling your purpose

Health: Your physical/emotional well-being, sustaining wellness

Take the first steps to align the five dimensions of wealth so you can lead an intentionally wealthy life with more joy, peace and fulfillment!

3-4:15pm - Concurrent Sessions Three

Inside and Out: Two Mentorship Partners
Moderated by: Susan Marshall, Founder, Backbone Institute

Panelists:Dave Rodgers, Senior VP and CFO, Briggs & Stratton; Deadra Richelle-Purifoy, Program Manager, Briggs & Stratton; Chaitanya Yaramada, Sr. BIM Research Analyst, Robert W. Baird; Sharon deGuzman, Director/Senior Portfolio Manager, Robert W. Baird


Pairs of mentors and mentees will share their mentoring relationships.  What have they learned, how did they start, what are their goals, when do they meet and for how long?  All the questions you have always wanted to ask about mentoring, but never had the right opportunity.  

Work/Life ImBalance – Let’s get real 
Kristin Baird, President/CEO, The Baird Group

Our grandmothers didn’t have many options for careers outside the home.  Today’s woman is blessed with choices about what career to choose, whether or not to have a family, and if she wants to engage in community activities and social causes. Having the choices we do today provides us with numerous ways to use our talents, but with it comes heavy demands especially when trying to ‘have it all.’ When your career steers you into leadership, you add yet another layer of responsibility and demands for your time and energy. And although the rewards of leadership can be great, so can the personal cost. This session will help you take an honest look at life balance including the myth of having it all. You’ll learn tips and techniques to help you align your priorities and see how others managed to move from frazzled to focused and fulfilled. 

Manage the Mix
Moderated by: Dot Proux, Partner, Ernst & Young

Panelists: Anne Reed, President & CEO, Wisconsin Humane Society; Laura Lukas, Director Manufacturing Quality, Johnson Controls; Jessica Markgraf, Assurance Senior, Ernst & Young 

Workforce diversity can be challenging, but as the saying goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"  Join us for an insightful and entertaining discussion about the benefits - and challenges - of leading a diverse, multi-generational workforce.  Our discussion will feature a panel composed of a Baby Boomer, a Gen Xer, and a Gen Y, facilitated by Dot Proux, EY Human Capital partner who consults with companies on talent management.  You'll walk away enlightened, entertained, and equipped with some leading practices for transforming your group of generationally diverse individuals into engaged and high performing teams.  As a bonus, we'll get a sneak peek into what appears to be the beginning of the next generation . . . . who has just begun to enter our universities and work places.    

Anatomy of a Blindside
Bonnie Marcus, President and Founder, Women's Success Coaching

This keynote is based on Bonnie’s personal story and the lessons she learned when passed over for a promotion. As women, our avoidance of office politics puts us in a vulnerable position and jeopardizes our efforts to advance our careers. Bonnie offers a practical approach for women to avoid being blindsided, to navigate the complexities of the workplace, and get the promotions they deserve without losing their integrity.

Bonnie will share with the audience:

  • The importance of understanding workplace politics
  • How to identify key stakeholders who have power and influence
  • How to build relationships of trust and confidence with decision makers and influencers
  • Her proven method for getting a promotion

Dealing with Difficult People...It's All About You (Okay, Maybe Not ALL)!
Michelle Primus and Jane Schroeder, Co-Founders, Momentum Partners 

It’s true …..people can be difficult and we all know who they are.  As Zazu, the mouthy hornbill in The Lion King, says to Mufasa, “There’s one in every family, sire. Two in mine, actually, and they always manage to ruin special occasions.”

Whether in our personal or professional lives, we will encounter difficult people at times – probably more often than we would like.  While some may behave in obviously annoying ways, others seem to rub us the wrong way for more personal reasons.  Gain awareness about why others trigger a negative response in us and develop strategies for effective self –management. 


4:15-5:30pm - Reception

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Contact Jan Allen, Director, Business & Management, at allen3@uwm.edu or 414-227-3219 or Mary Piwaron, Associate Outreach Specialist, at mgv@uwm.edu or 414-227-3216.