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Women's Summit Session Topics



Keynote Speakers | Breakout Speakers

Keynote Speakers

“The Improv Mindset”

Gail and Bruce Montgomery

In 2022 and beyond, businesses are facing the growing dilemma of how to go with the flow in an ever-changing market. Companies are tackling "Twilight Zone" challenges and it feels impossible. Well, buckle up for an energizing and experiential presentation on how we can and should think, speak, and behave differently to find untapped success in the future of business. Join the CEO Gail Montgomery and President Bruce Montgomery of ExperienceYes for a galvanizing and entertaining presentation on “The Improv Mindset”, which has been proven to create high-performing teams, increase emotional intelligence, cultivate mind-blowing innovation, and help leaders navigate the rough currents of the market.

During this Keynote, audience members will learn the 4 foundational pillars of “The Improv Mindset”:

•    Yes, AND
•    Listen to SERVE
•    Support your teammates AT ALL COSTS
•    TRUST your instincts

They will hear about the neuroscience of improv and come away with an understanding of how to successfully apply this new language as a tool for managing ambiguity, connecting their teams, boosting creativity, and increasing emotional intelligence. Get ready to PLAY!


"Michele Taylor: Her Story"

Michele Taylor

Michele Taylor was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador (and Permanent Representative) to the UN Human Rights Council on February 22, 2022. Ambassador Taylor is a lifelong human rights activist and advocate with a determined commitment to service. As a daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Ambassador Taylor brings to the Human Rights Council a profound appreciation for the crucial role the Council can and must play to promote universal human rights and protect human rights defenders.

Ambassador Taylor is an advocate of women and girls in all their diversity, having long championed access to STEM careers, action to end violence against women, and equality for LGBTQI+ persons.

Prior to assuming her current appointment, Ambassador Taylor served in leadership on the board of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Additionally, she was a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council and served on the museum’s Committee on State Sponsored Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial as well as the Committee on Conscience. Ambassador Taylor was a member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast regional board, and Vice-Chair of the National Finance Committee for the Democratic Party. For over two decades she served in various roles for the North Carolina Outward Bound School, including as vice chair of the board, instructor, and course director.

Ambassador Taylor and her husband Kenneth are the proud parents of two. She was educated at Mills College (B.A.) and Boston University (M.A.), and in her free time the Ambassador can be found scaling mountains, skiing the slopes, or as stoker on the tandem bike she and her husband travel with throughout the U.S. and overseas.


“Radical Intellectual Self-Care for Women”

Danielle Shoots

The importance of self-care in leadership is more important than ever before. When we say self-care, we picture bubble baths and spa days. What is needed is the ability and tools to practice radical intellectual self-care throughout our days in an effort to show up as our best authentic & compassionate leader selves. Intellectual self-care is the knowing of oneself and one’s environment. It is taking agency over our daily tasks, schedules, responsibilities and relationships within our environments in ways that better care for our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing as leaders. 

Key Deliverables/Competencies 

  • Using vulnerability as a self-care tool
  • Leading and adapting to change and transition
  • Self-awareness and self-management
  • Giving feedback in a way that cares for others wellbeing
  • Asking for feedback in a way that cares for your mental wellbeing
  • Assessing inclusivity in your environments
  • Tools for creating inclusivity in your environments 


Breakout Speakers

“From Life Fatigue to Full On Flourishing"

Lizzie Larock

In the recent NY Times article that nearly went more viral than Covid, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist out of Wharton Business School, named the emotional reality we all were experiencing, but couldn't quite articulate. The years of the pandemic had taken us from anguish to languish … Languishing is an indescribable meh’ness you might be all too familiar with, it’s a state of stagnation, a feeling of inertia; it’s why you might still struggle to focus and have never-ending blahs rather than temporary blues. Languishing has been the most dominant emotion of the past two years. Compared to what we’ve been through, this might not sound like a catastrophe, but the absence of crisis does not equal the presence of well-being. Just because you’re not mainlining stress or panic every hour of the day, doesn’t mean you’re living your fully engaged, best life. And while nightly Netflix is entertaining, it does not mean we are thriving in life. For women, in particular, languishing is really just the tip of the iceberg. Join positive-psychology-based coach, Lizzie Larock, for an inspiring (and irreverent) talk. You’ll learn the key tenets of how to live a flourishing life, you’ll understand the staggering reality of why this is even more crucial for women, and you’ll walk away with tools to get you sparked up, charged up, and fired up like you haven’t felt in a long time. Because not RUSTING out in life, is just as crucial as not burning out in life. 

This session is for you if you’re ready to get off autopilot and go from languishing to full-on flourishing.

"Healing Personal & Global Trauma Post Pandemic & How it Relates to Your Nervous System"

Angela Melzer

This session will be a short introduction to how trauma affects your nervous system from a personal and global standpoint, tapping into your own amazing innate resiliency and some tools on how to regulate your system to show up more authentically.

This session is for anyone experiencing changes in their bodies due to chronic stress and burnout, or who manages employees with this obstacle. 

"Transitioning Through Life with Ease & Honor"

Valerie D'Ambrosio

The cliche ‘the only thing that is constant is change’ is a cliche for a reason, yet most of us don’t give ourselves permission to become a-new.   There is chosen change, and there is change that happens by surprise.  Just as the caterpillar enters into the chrysalis, this evolution can be messy and dark.  For the butterfly, this evolution is deliberate. Most of us often go through change experiencing not only external negative or concerned feedback but also internal pushback - such as negative internal chatter, limiting beliefs, and overwhelming worries. These roadblocks can either stop us from making the change we desire or create greater suffering on the journey. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can create change deliberately and transition from one iteration of who we are into the next from a place of greater ease. In this breakout session with Spiritual Coach and Guide Valerie D’Ambrosio, we will explore ways of living in honor and respect for ourselves through these transitions, access the potential for more harmony in our relationships throughout the changes, and establish greater trust in the uncertainty of becoming. 

This session is for you if you:

  • Are embarking on a new chapter in life and feeling challenged between the new and old worlds
  • Are going through a change in life where your identity/role is shifting
  • Feel disconnected from your Soul/Spirit
  • Are having a hard time with change
  • Feel like your inspiration and 'joy meter’ are flat
  • Are afraid to put yourself out there because of past perceived failures


“A Change Would Do You Good: Practical Change Management”

Julie Germond

The only constant is change, but how we react to it individually or as a team determines success or ensures failure. Whether you’re looking to drive change within your organization, or are just trying to understand it – there are practical skills that will carry you forward. In this session, you’ll learn what change management is, how it can be effective (both as an ROI and for your professional career), and practical tools and practices that you can start using to lead through the change.

This session is for anyone looking to respond to, manage, or lead through change effectively. This session will provide basic principles and tools to drive change in your role or organization no matter what your job title is.


“Integrating Sustainability into Your Life and Business: Simple Ways to Take Climate Action at Home and at Work”

Sarah Jones & Michelle Stewart

We all want to preserve the beautiful place we live and take climate action, but sustainability is complicated.  How can one person make a difference when the problem is so large? This session on integrating sustainability into your life and business will provide you with an understanding of the biggest contributors to climate change; will outline personal actions that are impactful, and give you the tools to leverage your dollars and voice to affect real change. 

This session is for anyone who wants to take climate action or be a better environmental steward but doesn’t know where to start.


"The Big Save: How Money Smart Women Are Planning Their Finances in This New Economy"

Christine Walsh

Join Christine, an expert money coach and financial mentor for women, for a session on how money-smart women are saving, investing, and financial planning in this new economy. Women who attend this session will discover:

  • Why women are actually better savers than spenders but have to SAVE more than men, and how they can make that happen no matter what their family income is.
  • 5 small but powerful habits to financial independence every woman must be aware of to ensure financial independence.
  • How to maintain clarity and confidence with their money no matter what the economy is doing. 


This money makeover session is best suited to women who are curious about money but intimidated by the financial service industry and want to be empowered around their money. Even if they don’t know where to start. 


"Cultivating Everyday Courage: How to Speak Up When It’s Hard to Do"

Paula Black

Paula Cooper Black, a proven community leader, and trailblazer will present on how, even when your voice quivers, you can and should speak up. For women in particular, it can be challenging to use your voice, particularly when speaking to the powerful. This session will teach you what to do when you are waiting for your fear to subside. 

This session is for anyone who has left a meeting or conversation wishing they’d had the courage to set forth a new idea; anyone who has been talked over or whose ideas have been coopted by a colleague; anyone who has thought of the perfect retort days after the interaction; anyone who knows the right answer but feels they are too young, too inexperienced, or too shy to speak up; anyone who has wrung their hands trying to find the balance between affable and assertive. This session is for anyone who wants to cultivate everyday courage in their lives.


"Investing in Your Team: What Benefits Really Matter"

Panel: Alex Kaulbach, Amy Davis, & Karen Goedert



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