Meet Our Speakers


“Disrupting Your Status Quo (Comfortable Being Uncomfortable)”

Casey Librizzi

Owner, Ultimate Workout

Casey Librizzi has devoted her life to health and well-being. She has made the transition from an instructor to a business owner where she spreads her passion for fitness to those around her. Prior to becoming an owner, Casey spent over twenty years as a cycle instructor, Pilates Trainer and Template Designer. Through her contagious enthusiasm and motivational words she has been able to target essential areas and watch as her clients and members increase self-awareness, generate strength and create a path of physical and emotional change. Her coined phrase “You Got This” is something in which she truly believes and strives to make others believe as well. Now a wife and a mother, Casey has extended her passion for a healthy lifestyle to her family. Today, at Ultimate Workout, Casey and her experienced staff offer a wide range of programs and services from Ultimate Workout, P3 Cycle, Pilates, Barre and Yoga Classes, as well as various workshops and physical challenges. To contact Casey, please visit her website


“Do Battered Women eat SPAM?”

Jan Edgar Langbein

CEO / Genesis Women’s Shelter

Jan Langbein has been an activist in efforts to end violence against women for the last 28 years. Currently, as CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, Jan oversees Genesis’ internal and external operations as well as funding and community education.

Recognized as a National Expert on the dynamics and effects of domestic violence, Jan provides expert testimony in court cases and trains law enforcement and prosecutorial professionals to enhance their efforts to end violence against women. She conducts training, keynote, and workshop programs for numerous local and national conferences, social and civic organizations, and corporations, and is an adjunct faculty member of AEquitas, The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women.

In partnership with the Dallas Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jan co-founded the annual National Conference on Crimes Against Women, which trains law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates on the most advanced, cutting edge techniques and strategies in the investigation of crimes against women.

In 2009, Jan concluded a Presidential Appointment as Senior Policy Advisor to the Director of the United States Department of Justice on Violence Against Women (OVW). Jan is the recipient of numerous local and national awards and recognition, including the FBI Director’s’ 2012 Community Leadership Award.


“Unconscious Bias: What It Is (Not) and Its Power in the Workplace”

James Pogue, Ph.D

CEO / James Pogue Enterprises

Leadership and training are at the core of who Dr. Pogue is and align with his ongoing commitment to equip executives and professionals with the thought leadership to improve communicate & manage effectively. His military service and overseas deployment in the Middle East, gave him tangible examples of the critical balance between leaders and followers on teams.

His work provides leaders with well-researched data partnered with highly engaged training to drive their ability to impact behavior and the bottom line.

After nearly 10 years in higher education as a Researcher, Professor and Administrator where he focused Diversity, Inclusion and Unconscious Bias, Dr. Pogue expanded his work to include Multigenerational Leadership. He helps companies prepare, recruit and retain talent across generations from Baby Boomers, to Millennials and now Generation Z.

As an Expert Keynote, Dr. Pogue supports leaders in making the decisions that impact cross functional teams at all levels. He travels frequently impacting professions across the spectrum including the food industry, high technology, travel, leisure, medical and legal fields.

As an Executive Coach, Dr. Pogue helps Leaders realize breakthrough outcomes by helping them identify and overcoming what is getting in their way. His work helps executives achieve optimal working relationships and achieve organizational expectations through both Personal and Corporate Executive Coaching.

James’s recent clients include The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), Dallas Convention Visitors Bureau, The Association Forum, Panda Foods, Brinker International and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), Connectiv, American College of Prosthodontics (ACP) and American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

In his spare time, Dr. Pogue continues his martial arts training where he has won 5 National Championships and both Silver and Bronze at the World Championships. James has two daughters, 4 granddaughters and resides in Plano, Texas.



“This is How We Rise: How to Reach Your Highest Potential, Empower Women & Lead Change in the World”

Claudia Chan

CEO, S.H.E. Summit
Author, This is How We Rise

Claudia Chan is the CEO and Founder of S.H.E. Globl Media Inc., the multi-platform women’s empowerment media company behind the renowned global women’s conference, S.H.E. Summit. As a women’s empowerment expert and social entrepreneur, Claudia’s life passion is to help women unleash their potential in career and life while igniting them to drive change for other women. By making empowerment content, conferences and programs accessible to all women on the planet, Claudia believes women can change the world. In 2015, Claudia became an official U.S. State Department Speaker on Women’s Empowerment visiting countries like South Korea for country-wide speaking tours to educate women on how they can empower themselves. She was also recently announced as the global spokesperson for Gillette Venus #UseYourAnd empowerment campaign, a movement encouraging women to celebrate their multi-dimensionality. Claudia has been widely quoted and featured in top media outlets. She is referred to as the “Richard Branson of Women’s Empowerment” by FastCompany and “SHE Who Must Be Obeyed” by Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Born and raised in Manhattan, Claudia graduated from all-women’s Smith College.

Vice President, Video, SHE Media

Reshma Gopaldas

For more than 15 years, Reshma has been creating video content with a focus on women’s rights and health. As the Associate Director of Creative Services and Talent Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she produced, directed, and wrote the majority of their video content, and managed their celebrity supporters. Prior to that, she worked in film and television production in New York, with notable directors and actors. Her work has been featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, ABC, HuffPo, Jezebel, Fox, etc. Today, she heads video for SHE Media, which includes BlogHer, Stylecaster and

Twitter: @reshingbull

Instagram: @reshmago

Founder, Keepwith

Megan Burke Roudebush

Megan Burke Roudebush values authentic relationship building above all else. She understands the importance of deliberately choosing one’s key advisors and building and maintaining strong and authentic, reciprocal relationships. She finds great joy in helping people to network better.

Megan has spoken to an array of audiences about networking well. She has the perspective of having worked at professional service firms and understanding the critical role that networking plays in business development. She has also written articles on networking topics.

Professionally, Megan is a financial services industry leader focused on regulatory compliance. She received her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Bryn Mawr College and her JD/MBA from Albany Law School and Union Graduate College.

Megan is engaged with the Executives’ Club of Chicago, previously served on the Guild Board at the Lyric Opera and sits on the Board of the Bryn Mawr College Chicago Club. She is a member of the Ethics & Compliance Initiative and the National Society of Compliance Professionals. Megan enjoys volunteering, mentoring and, most of all, networking well. She is married, has a young daughter and prioritizes exercise and wellness. She is originally from New York City.

Founder, LOYT

Cheralyn Stevenson

Cheralyn Stevenson is a a Texas native who is an advocate for the unheard. This started at an early age when she defended kids who were bullied and facilitated a city-wide canned food drive for tornado victims in elementary school. Ostracized in her rural town for being African-American and lesbian, Cheralyn made it her mission to live truthfully and help others do the same.

Passionate about living life authentically, Cheralyn and her wife are the founders of LOYT (Life on Your Terms), a lifestyle brand that encourages everyone to “Exist in the Gray” and live the best versions of themselves despite societal expectations.

Continuing to advocate for marginalized communities, Cheralyn is also a co-founder of Lez Talk. After growing frustrated with the lack of resources and representation for lesbian couples, Cheralyn, her wife, and their best friends and business partners introduced Lez Talk to the Dallas Market in 2018. Lez Talk Dallas is women’s empowerment conference for LGBTQ+ women and allies. Their inaugural conference sold out and it was clear this conference was not only well received, but sorely needed.

Cheralyn is a successful legal consultant and project manager at a large financial firm. She lives in the Dallas areas with her wife and their 4 year old twin boys.


Imposter Syndrome

Dr. Jennifer Hunt

Chair of pathology, University of Arkansas

Dr. Hunt is chair of pathology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where she holds the endowed Aubrey J. Hough Endowed Professorship. She has served in several different leadership roles both at her institution and nationally, including chief of staff for her hospital, an elected member of the board of governors for the College of American Pathologists, and president of the Association for Molecular Pathology and president of the College of American Pathologists Foundation. Dr. Hunt was an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr College and then pursued her Master of Education and medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has held prior academic appointments at the University of Pittsburgh, the Cleveland Clinic, and Harvard Medical School. She is an internationally recognized head and neck and endocrine pathologist, and board certified in molecular genetic pathology.  Dr. Hunt maintains a practice as an executive leadership coach which focuses on current and emerging leaders in healthcare. Her passion is increasing the number of women leaders in healthcare.  She runs a very popular leadership development program for women to address the impostor syndrome in medicine called “Unlocking the Authentic Self”. Follow Jennifer Hunt on Facebook (JenniferHuntMD) and Twitter (@jhuntpath).

Founder & CEO

Akola Project

Brittany Merrill Underwood

Brittany Merrill Underwood has made an extraordinary impact through her dedication over the past 14 years to transform the lives of impoverished women and families through the Akola Project, a non-profit designed to empower at-risk women by offering them training, a work opportunity, and holistic care. Akola Jewelry became the first full- impact brand that gives 100% back to launch in the luxury space through its every store account with Neiman Marcus in 2016. Akola became a top 10 jewelry brand in its first season at Neiman Marcus.

Currently, Akola gives a work opportunity to over 500 women in Uganda and Dallas so they can transform the lives of children in their communities. Akola women are empowered throughout Akola’s entire supply chain. Women are given opportunity through making beads, the assembly of the jewelry and even the distribution center is run as a second chance job program. Akola has created a high-impact hybrid model that is paving the way for millennial run businesses that seek to have an impact on the world.

Brittany has been featured on the likes of the Katie Couric Show, CNN, Fox Business and Modern Luxury. Akola jewelry has been featured on the pages of Vogue, Town and Country, Harper’s Bazaar, and People Style Watch. Brittany continues her work as the CEO of the Akola Project and is in her fourth year of teaching a course on Social Innovation at Southern Methodist University as an adjunct professor.


  • 2018: Named one of 25 people reshaping the future of retail by the National Retail Federation
  • 2017: Named one of the World’s Top 10 CEOs by Inc. Magazine
  • 2016: Awarded a silver medal from the Business & Interfaith Peace Award given by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation
  • 2014: Named the ‘Best Person in the World” by Yahoo
  • 2014: Honored by clothing manufacturer Levi as one of 50 women around the globe who have changed the political, cultural, and spiritual shape of the future
  • 2014: Awarded the Young Leader Award by the Dallas Women’s Foundation
  • 2013: Awarded the Emerging Leader Award by Southern Methodist University

A Sister’s Truth, LLC

LaKitia Woodard

LaKitia is a Sexual Abuse Survivor and Advocate,  Motivational Speaker, Sister Coach, and International  Author empowering women to live their authentic selves.  Her passion for speaking blossomed during her matriculation  at Clark Atlanta University after joining Youthful Survivors sharing  her testimony of surviving sexual abuse. During her career, she unmasked  the ugly truth behind most problems inhibiting women to embody their best  selves: a lack of self-awareness. In order to solve this issue, she launched  A Sister’s Truth (AST). AST coaches women on how to Discover, Define , and Live their Truth for manifesting a  courageous life without limits. As a result of one on one coaching and seminars, women are equipped with the tools, skills, and  encouragement needed to stay true to themselves for a purpose driven life. Through her motivational speeches, LaKitia teaches women the  importance of accepting their flaws for personal growth and happiness. As an author, LaKitia contributes to the world by sharing  techniques on how to gain clarity and build the confidence needed to live your truth.

Trademark Partner / Munck Wilson Mandala

Amanda Greenspon

Amanda Greenspon works by day as Munck Wilson Mandala’s Eastern most trademark partner, leading MWM’s trademark practice. Her team helps clients protect, maintain, acquire and enforce their trademarks and copyrights. This spring, Amanda passed the Florida Bar Exam and will soon open MWM’s first Miami office.

Amanda has been an avid supporter of the S.H.E. movement and an advocate for her law firm to be involved with S.H.E. Summit. Last fall, she invited some of her fellow MWM attorneys to join her in Miami and attend S.H.E. Summit. They were so inspired by the experience that they told Claudia Chan they would bring S.H.E. Summit to Dallas. Since then, Amanda has led a team responsible for all of the components that make a successful S.H.E. Summit happen–speakers, sponsors and attendees.

Amanda is the product of 18 years of all female education, culminating in her graduation from Bryn Mawr College, a Seven Sisters college. Her senior thesis was titled “Gender Difference in Judicial Decision Making.” During her schooling, she interned for the re-election campaign for Rosa DeLauro (U.S. Representative, Connecticut), Chief Judge H. Robert Mayer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Judge Judith Barzilay of the U.S. Court of International Trade. Since beginning her career as an attorney, she has frequently been the only woman in the room. It was not nearly as much fun as college. Amanda’s ardent aspiration is to bring more women into the room where it happens.

President & Founder, Talent Suite

Melanie Shaffer

Melanie is President and Founder of Talent Suite, a firm founded with a mission of building stronger, more productive workplaces and people. Talent Suite teaches companies how to align their people strategy with their business strategy to maximize business results.

Melanie’s desire to learn and serve as a trusted advisor to her clients has led Melanie down a diverse career path including accounting, talent management, executive recruiting and management consulting.

Prior to Talent Suite, she was a Partner and Owner in a consulting firm that placed twice in the Dallas 100 fastest growing companies. Throughout her career, Melanie has won numerous awards based on results delivered and client satisfaction.

Melanie is a Predictive Index Certified Practitioner and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

Chief Legal Officer, Pizza Hut US

Lauren Leahy

Lauren Leahy is the Chief Legal Officer of Pizza Hut, US and the General Manager of Pizza Hut’s domestic Express portfolio. She serves as a creative problem solver, key business partner, and strategic action driver across a wide range of cross-functional initiatives. While at Pizza Hut, she has also been responsible for strategizing, structuring, and negotiating significant transactions for clients across the brand, including for digital, marketing, information technology, research and development, finance, and operations functions. She manages strong, high performing teams with diverse strengths and perspectives, who achieve results while prioritizing a culture of shared respect, healthy debates, and well-earned trust. Prior to joining Pizza Hut, Lauren was a Judicial Clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Northern District of Texas. She was also a litigation associate at Vinson and Elkins. She received a BA from Southern Methodist University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

General Counsel, PayScale, Inc.

Jessica Nguyen

Jessica Nguyen current leads (and built from the ground up) the legal department at PayScale, a high growth technology company based in Seattle that is the market leader on compensation data and compensation management solutions. PayScale’s products enable organizations to take a transparent and data-driven approach to their compensation strategy and pay their employees fairly and equitably. PayScale prides itself on being a thought leader on pay equity issues. Currently, PayScale ranks #3 on the GeekWire rankings of Pacific Northwest private tech companies, won the “Business of the Year” award by the Women in Business Leadership Initiative (a program run by the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce) for its impact on advancing gender equity issues in the Seattle area, and was named #1 Best Company to Work For in Washington State (in the Large Company category) by Seattle Business Magazine.

Prior to PayScale, Jessica spent time at a variety of organizations. She supported the Office 365 engineering teams at Microsoft, helped other high growth technology companies scale and grow their operations, and was an attorney at Pacific Northwest law firms. Jessica was also recently recognized as one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018. You can learn more about her professional background at

Senior Vice President, Axiom

Brendan Nelson

Brendan is Axiom’s SVP of Product. Axiom is the world’s largest provider of tech-enabled legal, contracts and compliance solutions for large enterprises.  The firm’s unique solutions combine legal expertise, technology and data analytics to deliver work in a way that dramatically reduces risk, cost and cycle time.

As SVP of Product, Brendan is responsible for defining and overseeing the deployment of all offerings in Axiom’s solutions portfolio, as well as for supporting the development of capabilities required to bring these offerings to market. Prior to this role, Brendan was Axiom’s Head of Banking Solutions, and before that a Senior Client Partner responsible for the firm’s commercial relationships with its largest financial services clients.

Prior to joining Axiom, Brendan was a Director of Client Strategy for Citi Global Markets. In that role, he was responsible for architecting Citi’s commercial strategy for fixed income products in North America. Before coming to Citi, Brendan was a member of McKinsey & Co.’s Risk Practice, leading teams of consultants in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa focusing on banks’ strategic, operational and regulatory compliance challenges.

Brendan holds law degrees from Columbia Law School in New York and The Sorbonne Law School in Paris. He received his undergraduate degree from Williams College.

Associate, Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP

Jordan Strauss

Jordan Strauss is an attorney in the complex litigation/dispute resolution group at Munck Wilson Mandala, focusing her practice on intellectual property disputes and commercial litigation. Jordan’s accomplishments include serving as the lead associate on a trial team that obtained a $10.1 million dollar patent infringement verdict. Jordan received her J.D., graduating magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.