Meet Our Speakers

Keynote

“Disrupting Your Status Quo”

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 www.ultimateworkout.us.

Keynote

“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.

Keynote

“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.

mandy_ginsberg-red-shirt

CEO, Match Group

Mandy Ginsberg

Mandy Ginsberg is Chief Executive Officer of Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) where she is responsible for the growth of industry leading dating brands like Tinder, Match, Hinge, Ship, OkCupid, Meetic, and PlentyOfFish. She has served as CEO since January 2018.

Mandy has served in various roles at Match Group for the past 12 years, consistently driving growth, delivering breakthrough marketing campaigns, spearheading the use of matching algorithms and establish online dating as part of everyday culture. She most recently served as CEO of Match Group Americas, overseeing Match, OkCupid, PlentyofFish, OurTime, and the Affinity brands, as well as the Company’s Latin American operations. In 2014 Mandy was named CEO of The Princeton Review where she added online services to the company’s offerings, including tutoring and college counseling for a new generation of students. Prior to that she served as General Manager for Match.com North America. She began her career at Match Group as Vice President and General Manager for Chemistry.com in 2007.

Prior to her career at Match Group, Mandy developed her marketing and customer service acumen as Vice President of Consumer Technology for Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, and subsequently as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at i2 Technologies.

Mandy holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and two daughters.

Shar-Dubey

President, Match Group

Shar Dubey

Sharmistha Dubey currently serves as the President of Match Group. Shar has served in multiple roles since joining the company in 2006, including President of Match Group North America, Chief Operating Officer of Tinder and Chief Product Officer of Match.

Previously, she served as Chief Product Officer and EVP of The Princeton Review, where Shar led the product team in creating innovative features that were easy, fun and successful for students.

She holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a master’s in engineering from Ohio State University.

Moderator
“Following Your Passion”

Morning Anchor, KRLD Newsradio 1080

Amanda Guerra

Amanda Guerra is an Emmy-award winning journalist and a familiar face and voice in North Texas. She is the current morning weekday anchor for the KRLD Morning News. Prior to that, Amanda was an anchor and reporter for NBC based in Dallas-Fort Worth. She was also one of the youngest hires in the history of KOCO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City, beginning her on-air career even before graduating college. During the span of her career, Amanda has covered some of the most notable stories in Texas and across the nation: including the Ebola outbreak, the death of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Presidential elections, visits and events, and the World Series. She is also an avid tornado-chaser. Amanda attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Journalism. She interned with critically-acclaimed ‘Sunday Morning’ on CBS in New York. She also spent time abroad in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Amanda also serves as the current in-game host for her favorite sports team, the Texas Rangers.

Keynote
“Embracing the Imperfect”

Vice President of Video Programming, 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 SheKnows.com.

Twitter: @reshingbull

Instagram: @reshmago

“Networking Tips with keepwith”
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.

Panel
“Advocating for Yourself: Powerful & Practical Tools”

Holistic Wealth and Leadership Expert | Author of Beautiful Money

Leanne Jacobs

Holistic wealth and leadership expert, Leanne Jacobs, is the author of Beautiful Money (Penguin Random House) and the founder of HealthyGirl. Leanne’s work is to teach the universal principles of optimal wellbeing, holistic wealth, and entrepreneurship. She built a multi 7-figure wellness empire and has worked for some of the largest global companies in sales and marketing management, including L’Oréal, Nike, DuPont and Johnson & Johnson.

Leanne has a B.Sc in Biomedical Toxicology and holds an MBA in strategy. She is a certified yoga and pilates instructor, a clinical nutritionist, and is a detox specialist. She has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Time Inc., Success Magazine, Women’s Health, Glamour, and Marie Claire to name a few—and has been seen on The Dr. Oz Show and Fox News.

When she’s not working, Leanne is a loving wife and mom to four children.

Panel
“Advocating for Yourself: Powerful & Practical Tools”

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.

Moderator
“How to be an Ally & Help Women Rise”

Editor, D CEO Magazine

Christine Perez

Christine Perez is the editor of D CEO, named the country’s best regional business magazine for five of the past six years. The business title of D Magazine Partners, it tells the stories of Dallas-Fort Worth companies through profiles of the executives who lead them. Christine also oversees D CEO’s online news site and its real estate and healthcare verticals, along with the Dallas 500 and D CEO’s Real Estate Annual. She is lead editor for D CEO’s Women’s Leadership Initiative and hosts the magazine’s quarterly panel discussions and other events. A national award-winning journalist, Christine has covered the North Texas market since 2000. She previously held various editorial posts at the Dallas Business Journal and business magazines in Kansas City and Minneapolis.

Keynote

“Combatting Imposter Syndrome by Unlocking the Authentic Self: Will the True Impostor Please Stand Up?.”

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).

Panel
“Following Your Passion”

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.

Awards:

  • 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

Panel
“Voice Up: How I Advocated for Myself Through Voice and Courage”

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.

Panel
“How to be an Ally & Help Women Rise”

President, CEO & Partner, Dallas Wings

Greg Bibb

Greg Bibb was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas Wings in April of 2017 after serving as the team’s General Manager since November of 2015. In his role, Bibb leads all the organization’s business and basketball initiatives.

With an extensive background in sports, Bibb has been the guiding force for the Wings on and off-court initiatives. Over the past two years, Bibb has revamped the Wings front office, restructured the team’s ticket offerings, and secured key multi-year corporate partnerships. These efforts have helped significantly elevate the team’s profile in the Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace while allowing the Wings to make significant gains in attendance, corporate partnerships, media reach and brand awareness.

On the court, Bibb has assembled a talented and versatile roster complimented by an experienced staff. Dallas has qualified for the WNBA Playoffs each of the past two seasons while Wings players have garnered numerous accolades and honors including multiple WNBA All-Rookie and All-League selections. Bibb’s most significant basketball-related acquisition to date, however, may have come off of the court when he signed two-time WNBA Champion Head Coach Brian Agler to a multi-year contract in December of 2018.

Outside of the Wings organization, Bibb serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Sports Ventures (CSV) and is a member of the company’s board of managers. Prior to launching CSV, Bibb served three years as the Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Washington Wizards and five seasons as the Washington Mystics Chief Operating Officer. His responsibilities with both teams included overseeing numerous business functions including marketing, communications, community relations, game operations, digital media, video production, analytics, and the camps and clinics program.

A 21-year veteran of the sports industry, Bibb spent two years as the President of Hantz Group Sports & Entertainment where he was instrumental in the launch of the Detroit Ignition of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). He also served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Philadelphia KiXX soccer team. Prior to joining KiXX, he was the MISL’s Director of Public and Media Relations.

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Marist College, Bibb was named a member of the Washington Business Journal’s 2010 40 Under 40 Class. He has served as a board member for various non-profit organizations including Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, The Greater Washington Sports Alliance, and Most Valuable Kids. He currently serves as an advisor for both the Arlington and Dallas Sports Commissions. Bibb has also spent time as an adjunct professor in the Sports Industry Management program at Georgetown University. The native of Hershey, PA and his wife Tara currently reside in Fort Worth with their two children, Adelyn and Caden.

Panel
“How to be an Ally & Help Women Rise”

President & CEO, Texas Women’s Foundation

Roslyn Dawson Thompson

Roslyn joined Texas Women’s Foundation (formerly Dallas Women’s Foundation) as president and CEO in July 2011. A lifelong advocate for women and girls, she moved from a 25-year career as owner of a national marketing communications firm, to leading the Foundation, where she had been a volunteer and donor since the organization’s inception.

Under Roslyn’s leadership, the Foundation has grown to become one of the largest women’s funds in the world and has undertaken ambitious strategic initiatives to impact women’s economic security and women’s leadership, seeking to Transform Texas for Women and Girls and build stronger, more equitable communities for all. During her tenure, the Foundation increased its assets by 25 percent to $35 million, and its grantmaking by 84 percent. The Foundation today raises approximately $9 million a year from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources are used to underwrite groundbreaking statewide research on issues affecting women and girls, providing decision-makers and lawmakers critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Funds also sustain the Foundation’s $6 million in annual grants, mission-focused gendered asset investments, and innovative programs and solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive.

Roslyn is a strong advocate and frequent speaker on women’s leadership, women’s philanthropy, gender equity and the impact of gender lens investing on women’s empowerment. She serves on the board of directors for Tides, an international public charity focused on accelerating social change, and the Women’s Funding Network, the global association of women’s foundations where she also served as the board chair from 2015 to 2017. Locally, she is on the boards of the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas Chapter of International Women’s Forum, Dallas Medical Resource, the Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America and its Foundation, and the SMU Tate Lecture Series. She is a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Junior League of Dallas, the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council and the Advisory Council of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Texas Woman’s University.

Roslyn was recently honored as recipient of the 2018 Texas Governor’s Commission for Women Texas Women Economic Empowerment Award; the 2018 ATHENA Award presented by the Dallas Regional Chamber; the Global Goals, Local Leader Award by the United Nations Association – USA, Dallas Chapter; the inaugural Dallas Power 50 Award presented in 2018 by the Texas Diversity Council; and a 2019 Wisdom’s Hope Award presented by Bryan’s House. Previous honors include the Dallas Business Journal’s Women in Business Award (2014) and the Maura Women Helping Women Award (2009). Roslyn has three times been included in Dallas 500, published by D CEO, which lists the top 500 most influential business leaders in North Texas.

Roslyn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University and Master of Arts from Vanderbilt University. She is married to Rex Thompson, a retired professor of finance from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Their family includes three adult children.

Panel
“Making Dual Career Families Work & Thrive”

Vice President, On-Premise at Bacardi

Heidi Hinkle Vargas

An accomplished leader of both the hospitality and beverage industries, Heidi has an impressive beverage background. Her time managing massive beverage programs for Bellagio and Aria Resorts in Las Vegas provides a unique perspective as an operator and buyer. During these roles, Heidi was responsible for managing over 1,000 employees, overseeing bar operations of 60+ outlets and was fiscally responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. Opening Aria as the Beverage Director was a particularly challenging role as the campus was the largest privately funded project in history and opened during the great recession.

Heidi subsequently spent several years in beverage supplier sales as the Director of National Accounts overseeing the largest dining, hotel, nightlife, concession and airline customers in North America. She was then selected to create a new division at Bacardi that was dedicated to amplifying the on premise sales and marketing efforts within the U.S. Heidi is now serving as the Vice President/Managing Director for National On Premise at Bacardi.

Heidi is no stranger to working in a male dominated industry, and males dominate her home as well. Heidi is married (Joseph) and has twin boys who are 7 years old. She enjoys art, cooking and traveling with her family.

schwikert (1)

Panel
“Following Your Passion”

Associate, Munck Wilson Mandala

Tasha Schwikert

Tasha Schwikert is an associate attorney at Munck Wilson Mandala. She is a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist gymnast, the 2001 and 2002 United States all-around national champion, and a 2003 World Gymnastics Championships team gold medalist.

Tasha graduated from UCLA with scholar-athlete honors and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. While on the UCLA Gymnastics team, she became the 2005 and 2008 NCAA all-around national champion. Tasha is member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, and was named the PAC-12 Gymnast of the Century.

Tasha is from Las Vegas, Nevada and received her Juris Doctorate from University of Nevada Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law. She is an activist for institutional change within USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee and serves as co-chair of the special committee for over 500 Larry Nassar survivors. In May 2019, she was instrumental in extending the Texas statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims as a result of her testimony before the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee.

Tasha is married to Michael and they have two children, Jayden and Kai.

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.

Panel
“Making Dual Career Families Work & Thrive,”

Managing Partner of Austin Office, Munck Wilson Mandala

Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez is the managing partner of Munck Wilson Mandala’s Austin office. As part of the technology/intellectual property law group, Michael’s practice emphasizes patent and trademark preparation and prosecution, which includes domestic and international patent procurement and enforcement. Michael also counsels clients on copyright and trademark enforcement and compliance.

Michael and his wife Lillian are staunch supporters of green technology and advocates for environmental awareness. They support organizations and efforts that encourage green living such as their use of electric cars and the installation of solar panels in their home. In 2016, the family moved from Dallas to the Austin area so that they could be closer to where decisions and laws about the environment happen. Lillian is pursuing further education to become a lobbyist who will support green laws and legislation that protects the environment.

Michael is passionate about the importance of education. He works within the Hispanic community to emphasize the importance of staying in school and seeking higher education. It was through his own education that Michael was afforded the opportunity to work as a Naval Officer, a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas, and a lawyer. Michael’s education and professional history allowed him to travel the world, meet new people, and experience things that he could only have imagined as a young boy. However, the most important people he has met (besides his lovely wife) are his three children– Taylor, Jocelyn and Braden. Michael and Lillian will tell you that they are very blessed to be parents to the three siblings and to have started a family with children already in the world.

Moderator
“Advocating for Yourself: Powerful & Practical Tools”

HR Litigation Senior Partner, Munck Wilson Mandala

Jenny Martinez

Jenny Martinez is a senior litigation partner at Munck Wilson Mandala. In her 20-year legal career, Jenny has represented both large and small businesses in a wide variety of disputes. She was a key member of the legal team that defended Halliburton in connection with civil litigation and investigations arising out of BP’s Macondo well (Deepwater Horizon) blowout in the Gulf of Mexico — the largest environmental lawsuit in the history of the United States. She rose to the rank of name partner and executive vice president at her previous law firm, and she continues to be honored annually as a D Magazine Best Lawyer in Dallas and a Texas Super Lawyer. Jenny has accomplished significant milestones while raising a family with four children. She is an exemplary leader and mentor in her profession and an involved parent and business woman in her community. Jenny received her J.D., cum laude, from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1999, along with her B.A., magna cum laude, in political science in 1995. While at SMU, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the law school director for Texas Women Lawyers, and treasurer of SMU Women in Law.

Panel
“Following Your Passion”

President & Founder, Talent Suite

Melanie Shaffer

Melanie Shaffer is an expert in diagnosing talent related pain points that keep organizations from achieving their highest potential and designing solutions to impact results. She marries data with proven methodologies to provide leaders clarity on how to work with their employees in creating high performance teams.

Melanie has served hundreds of clients over the span of her career in talent management, business ownership and executive recruiting. She consistently ranked in the top 5% of recruiters in a $1 billion, publicly held recruiting firm before moving to a Managing Partner role in the CFO Suite where she was a two- time winner for the SMU Cox Dallas 100 fastest growing companies award. In 2018, she founded Talent Suite, LLC, with a mission to build stronger, more productive workplaces and people by teaching companies how to align their people strategy with their business strategy.

Melanie is in the Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust, an elite group of CEOs that contribute thought leadership. She is an engaging speaker that focuses on interactive sessions with tangible strategies to deploy.

Melanie is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma and is a Talent Optimization Certified Consultant, a Predictive Index Certified Partner and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

Panel
“Voice Up: How I Advocated for Myself Through Voice and Courage”

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.

Panel
“Voice Up: How I Advocated for Myself Through Voice and Courage”

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 https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicanguyen/.

Panel
“Making Dual Career Families Work & Thrive”

President, Knowable

Brendan Nelson

Brendan is Knowable’s President and head of Product and Client Service. Knowable is the world leader in the delivery of structured contract analytics and insights to corporate buyers. The firm’s unique solutions combine proprietary machine learning and workflow technology, legal and process expertise, and multi-shore scale in service delivery to provide clients with unmatched data accuracy at affordable cost. Knowable recently entered into a long-term strategic partnership with the Lexis Nexis family of companies.

A founding member of Knowable’s leadership team, Brendan’s responsibilities currently encompass oversight for all product development activities and global service delivery operations. Prior to joining Knowable, Brendan was the SVP of Product for Axiom, the world’s largest provider of tech-enabled legal, contracts and compliance solutions for large enterprises. In that capacity, he oversaw the development and deployment of all offerings in Axiom’s solutions portfolio.

Before 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. Prior 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.

KJOY

Panel
“Being Your Own Advocate”
“Advocating for Yourself: Powerful & Practical Tools”

Owner, Black Swan Yoga

Kimberly Joy “KJoy” Lipson

KJoy moved to Dallas in December 2017 to open Black Swan Yoga Dallas. Prior to that she was in Houston with Black Swan Yoga Houston since 2015 after relocation from Arizona. Her love for yoga started in 2001 in Scottsdale, AZ where she was raised. She was born in New York and feels that’s from where some of her spicy energy stems.

As a graduate of the University of Arizona in the Eller College of Business, she experimented for 15 years in various non-stimulating business sectors. KJoy is no stranger to business. Although very successful in all of her careers, none of them energetically spoke to her passionate side. KJoy thrives and drives her life on energy and passion, therefore a void was always present.

Fresh out of college she was a financial planner for Principal Financial Group, followed by a 4th grade school teacher, then a flight attendant for United Airlines, a Marriott Ritz Carlton sales executive, new home sales and interior design, a Real Estate Broker running her own real estate company in Arizona, then moving to Texas and starting her yoga career. This is what led to being selected out of thousands of people to be challenged by John Cena on the 1st season of the Fox series “American Grit” as the “Yogi” of the show, and the list goes on. Through all of these experimentations and life journeys, she finally had breakthrough after breakthrough and decided to merge her passion of yoga with her career.

This was the best decision ever made and to this day, she can work 100+ hours a week and still be flying high on energy because of the fact that she absolutely loves what she does every single day.

KJoy started the yoga teacher training program in Houston, Dallas, and assured programs in Phoenix. That is where her deepest passion and purpose lie. She has trained over 300 people to become yoga and loves every single new class of trainees she takes under her wing.

“If you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you won’t find personal growth. Without personal growth, what’s the point of living? Human connection and challenging yourself to be a better version of the person you were yesterday is what this journey is all about!!” -KJoy Lipson

Michael McCabe headshot

Chair of employment litigation
and labor practice

Michael McCabe

Michael McCabe is a well-known trial lawyer committed to achieving outstanding results for his clients. He chairs Munck Wilson Mandala’s employment litigation and labor practice, protecting clients facing labor and employment disputes, and he serves as a mentor to several younger attorneys in the litigation practice. Michael’s leadership skills have earned him a position on the firm’s executive committee and he is a strong advocate for developing the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, taking a leading role in helping to plan and support S.H.E. Summit in 2018 and again this year. In addition to serving as a mentor and D&I advocate, Michael is a great lawyer. He has obtained, on behalf of his clients, judgments for millions of dollars and the complete dismissal of adverse lawsuits as a result of his meticulous trial skills. He is recognized as a Top 100 Super Lawyer in both Texas and Dallas/Fort Worth by Thomson Reuters, a Best Lawyer in America® in labor and employment litigation, and a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine. His most admirable quality, however, is that he gives his team credit for his success and works to lift others up to become great lawyers.

Litigation Partner, Munck Wilson Mandala
Moderator, Advocating for Yourself Through Voice and Courage

Kelly Chen

Kelly Chen is a partner in the complex litigation/dispute resolution group where she concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial and intellectual property litigation. She represents clients in a wide variety of technologies, including semiconductors, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals.

In 2017, Kelly was honored as a Dallas Business Journal 40 Under 40 and was named a Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is involved in a variety of civic and bar activities, including the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Asian-American Bar Association, and she serves as co-chair of NAPABA’s Intellectual Property Programming Subcommittee. Kelly is a graduate of Leadership Dallas, a prestigious leadership development program sponsored by the Dallas Regional Chamber.

Panel
“Following Your Passion”

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.

Panel

“How to be an Ally & Help Women Rise”

CEO, President, and Director, AMN Healthcare

Susan Salka

Susan Salka is CEO, president, and director of AMN Healthcare Services, Inc., (AMN). Under her leadership, AMN has become known as the innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and the largest and most diversified healthcare staffing company in the nation.

Ms. Salka is an active industry spokesperson in the healthcare and investment community, and has been one of the driving forces behind the company’s strategic and operational success since joining the company in 1990. She takes an active role helping others achieve their personal and professional goals and is a voice for the value of diverse representation. A member of Women Business Leaders and Women Corporate Directors Foundation, Ms. Salka is a proponent of promoting women in leadership. She has prioritized gender equality since joining AMN, and in 2018 the company was named to the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index. Ms. Salka joined more than 500 CEOs in pledging her commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion within the workplace through the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion project. To expand this commitment to the board level, she joined the 30% Club, a group of more than 70 CEOs working to achieve 30% female directors on S&P boards by 2020.

lauren-mitchell

Moderator
“Making Dual Career Families Work & Thrive”

Associate, Munck Wilson Mandala, LLP

Lauren Mitchell

Lauren Mitchell is an attorney in the complex litigation/dispute resolution group at Munck Wilson Mandala, focusing her practice on the efficient and effective resolution of employment disputes. She defends employers against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims in EEOC investigations through civil litigation and provides legal counsel in defending against Title VII, ADEA, FLSA, and Texas Labor Code claims. She also represents both plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, unfair competition, and related torts. Recently, Lauren represented Parkland Health and Hospital System in its defense against a former employee of Parkland’s IT Group who brought claims for discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She was the lead associate on a team that achieved a complete reversal of the trial court’s order denying Parkland’s Plea to the Jurisdiction, resulting in dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit in its entirety. Lauren also represented a book publisher that was sued in federal court for defamation and various torts by an individual depicted in a book that documented an anti-government militia. Lauren was responsible for the briefing which resulted in a complete dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims only months after the lawsuit was filed.

Lauren received her J.D., graduating cum laude, from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She was recognized as a Texas Rising Stars Super Lawyer in 2018 and 2019.