Women’s Summit Education

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Breakfast & Opening Session (8:30 - 9:30 am)
Be an Undercover Change Agent

MJ Hegar, Former US Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter Pilot

In our opening session, Major MJ Hegar reveals how to be a catalyst for change on a large scale, be it in your career, at home, or on a national or global level. When someone tells you that something cannot be done, she says, the only way to prove them wrong is to do what they believe to be impossible. Her heroic actions in Afghanistan—when she was shot down on a Medevac mission and was pivotal in rescuing her crew and patients, and became the second woman in history to earn a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device—changed the perception of women in the military. And, her historic lawsuit against the Secretary of Defense opened the door for women to participate in ground combat, a significant step forward for equal rights for women in the military. How did she do it? And what can we learn from her experiences? A magnetic speaker, she combines harrowing war stories and powerful lessons on social change with practical advice on leadership, diversity, teamwork, and motivation.  

Concurrent Breakout Sessions (10:00 - 11:00 am)
C-Suite Challenges for Women

Dianne Bangle, CEO, Real Estate Council of Austin
Traci Boyer, General Manager with Freeman
Casandra Matej, CDME, CTA, President & CEO with Visit San Antonio
Tiffany McGee, CAE, CEO with Texas Trial Lawyers Association

Learn from fellow female leaders on some of the hurdles encountered when assuming a leadership role within an organization.

Building Organizational Diversity

Shelley Hall, Account Director, Latinworks
Shelina Taki, Director Strategic Intelligence, Latinworks

Hear why the success of your organization depends on bringing together individuals of varied experiences, educational qualifications, age groups and backgrounds. Discover how you build organizational diversity within your own culture with intent, where to start and how you ensure success.


Concurrent Breakout Sessions (11:15 am - 12:15 pm)
Advocating for Yourself

Amy Eskew, Program Development Director, Texas Hospital Association
LaChelle Evans, CTA, CSEE, National Sales Manager, Visit Frisco
Taylor Jackson, CAE, Director of Learning and Development, Goodwill of Central Texas
Theresa Parsons, CAE, CMP, Executive Director, Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education
Tracy Tomson, CAE,  Executive Director, Restaurant Facility Management Association

It’s important to amplify your voice when you recognize opportunities, prepare promotable ideas and shape your ideas into a vision that your team can support. When challenges arise it’s essential to navigate challenging conversations gracefully and to push back with an approach that gets you the results you want. Join this session for a lively panel discussion about how relying on your strengths and understanding your audience will give you the confidence to move your ideas and career forward.

Thriving through Wellness: Strategies to Transform Stress and Access Your Motivation, Joy and Best Work!

Martha Ramos Duffer, Psy. D., Clinical Psychologist, QuantumPossibilities

Learn practical and easy-to-implement strategies to prevent and transform the potentially toxic effects of stress on your success, health, relationships, and happiness. You’ll begin with an overview of the latest research on the neurochemical and biological impact of stress on the body and hear an overview of research on working with stress to support success and thriving. You’ll then explore the research on ways of relating to the self, including setting boundaries and creating balance, that lead to expanding possibilities and fully cultivating potential. You’ll leave with strategies to enhance motivation and reconnect to the joy in your life, relationships and work as well as proven techniques to support peak performance in the workplace and overall wellbeing.


Luncheon (12:30 - 1:45 pm)
From the Depths of Self-Doubt to Winning Big and Living Fearlessly

Siri Lindley, World Champion Triathlete, High-Performance Coach & Author

From the science of achievement to the art of fulfillment, Siri Lindley draws on her personal journey of self-discovery – of overcoming fear and failure to become a world champion triathlete – to equip you with effective strategies for unleashing your passion, fueling your inner fire, and reaching new levels of success in life and business.

For Siri, the great gifts in her life resulted from her greatest struggles. With a change of mindset – by deciding to live fearlessly authentic and own every part of who she is – she began to create the extraordinary life of a champion that she always dreamed. Now she is sharing those same inspiring lessons to help you navigate tough times, bring out your best, and uncover your true potential.


Concurrent Breakout Sessions (2:15 - 3:30 pm)
Lessons Learned: Advice I Would Give a Younger Me

Pam Donahoo, CAE, FASAE, CEO, USFN- America's Mortgage Banking Attorneys
Mary Beth Kiser, CAE, President and CEO, Beyond Batten
Leslie Midgley, CAE, Executive Vice President & CEO with Texas Land & Title Association
Meg WInchester, CMP, CTA, Director, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hear from industry leaders as to what they wish they had known when they started working in their careers and what they faced to get where they are today.

UNLIMITED: Conquering the Myth of the Glass Ceiling

Cortney Baker, PhD, Leading with a Purpose

Through the years, women have made substantial progress when it comes to workplace equality; however, we still have a long way to go. Studies affirm women are now earning more college degrees and are climbing the corporate ladder in record numbers. Despite these statistics, the gender wage gap remains, and only a small number of women are employed in executive levels across various industries.

Why the disparity? Gender stereotypes, which are partly to blame, are slow to change. Although some leadership books have encouraged women to “act like a man,” that faulty logic and behavior won’t help women lead with respect and authenticity. Where can women get credible advice on how to genuinely lead without compromising their integrity?

In this session, the four challenges women experience when advancing their careers will be discussed, as well as strategies for women to implement to get beyond these challenges. You’ll leave with knowledge of how your organization can support and promote high potential women into executive-level leadership roles.


Bites, Bubbles and Beats Reception (3:30 - 4:30 pm)

Entertainment provided by Visit Austin. 

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