Saturday, April 9, 2016

7:30am – 4:30pm

McLean Hilton Tysons Corner

Thank You to our Sponsors and Attendees

for another fantastic Leadership Conference!

2016 Proposed Agenda

 7:30 – 8:30  

Registration & Continental Breakfast

 8:30 – 9:00 Welcome & Opening Remarks; First Annual Giving Back Award
 9:00 – 10:00 Business Women’s Roundtable

Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate VP Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft

Alison Gleeson, Sr. VP, Americas Sales, Cisco Systems Inc.

Christianne Ricchi, Owner and Executive Chef, Restorante I Ricchi

Moderator: Susan Chodakewitz, CEO Nathan Associates

 10:00 – 12:30  Concurrent Sessions
12:30 – 1:00  Luncheon
1:00 – 3:15 The Women’s Center & Keynote Speakers

The Honorable Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the  U.S. Air Force

Dr. Martine Rothblatt, Chair and co-CEO of United Therapeutics

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, 10th District Representative

 3:15 – 3:30  

Closing remarks; Raffle; Capital Harmonia Chorus

 3:30 – 4:30  Networking Event

We are honored to announce the following confirmed Award Recipients for our 30th Anniversary Annual Leadership Conference, with more to come including a panel discussion:

Featured Speakers:


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Representative of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District


Click for bio

Coming soon!

Dr Martine Rothblatt

Dr. Martine Rothblatt



Dr. Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics Corporation

Click for bio
Martine Rothblatt is Chairman & Co‐CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR), and President & CEO of its Lung Biotechnology public benefit company. She previously created and led Sirius XM as its Chairman & CEO. She has JD and MBA degrees from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London School of Medicine & Dentistry. Her patented inventions cover aspects of satellite radio, prostacyclin biochemistry and cognitive software. Dr. Rothblatt’s most recent books are on enotransplantation (Your Life or Mine, Ashgate) and cyberethics (Virtually Human, St. Martin’s).
The Honorable Deborah Lee James

The Honorable Deborah Lee James

The Honorable Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force


Click for bio

Deborah Lee James is the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. She is the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 664,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. She also oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $139 billion.

Ms. James has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the federal government and the private sector. Prior to her current position, Ms. James served as President of Science Applications International Corporation’s Technical and Engineering Sector, where she was responsible for 8,700 employees and more than $2 billion in revenue.

For nearly a decade, Ms. James held a variety of positions with SAIC to include Senior Vice President and Director of Homeland Security. From 2000 to 2001, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Business Executives for National Security, and from 1998 to 2000 she was Vice President of International Operations and Marketing at United Technologies.

During the Clinton Administration, from 1993 to 1998, Ms. James served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. In that position, she was the Secretary of Defense’s senior advisor on all matters pertaining to the 1.8 million National Guard and Reserve personnel worldwide. In addition to working extensively with Congress, state governors, the business community, military associations, and international officials on National Guard and Reserve component issues, she oversaw a $10 billion budget and supervised a 100-plus-person staff. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 1993, she served as an assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs.

From 1983 to 1993, she worked as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee, where she served as a senior advisor to the Military Personnel and Compensation Subcommittee, the NATO Burden Sharing Panel, and the Chairman’s Member Services team.

Ms. James earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative area studies from Duke University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

1979 Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative area studies, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
1981 Master’s degree in international affairs, Columbia University, N.Y.

1. 1983 – 1993, Professional Staff Member, Armed Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
2. 1993 – 1998, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
3. 1999 – 2000, Vice President of International Operations and Marketing, United Technologies, Washington, D.C.
4. 2000 – 2001, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Business Executives for National Security, Washington, D.C.
5. 2002 – 2013, Senior Vice President and Director for Homeland Security; Senior Vice President, C4IT Business Unit General Manager; Executive Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs; President, Technical and Engineering Sector, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Va.
6. 2013 – present, Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.

(Current as of June 2015)

Toni Townes-Whitley

Toni Townes-Whitley

Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft


Click for bio

As corporate vice president of Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft, Toni Townes-Whitley is responsible for leading a team of over 2,000 sales professionals serving government, public safety, education, and non-privatized healthcare customers and partners in more than 100 countries worldwide.

From enabling and transforming smart cities of the future, to helping government officials take advantage of technologies to deliver higher quality citizen services at lower cost, to aiding scientists in developing new treatments for improving patient care, to providing school administrators with a more holistic picture of the factors that influence dropout rates, Townes-Whitley is passionate about creating positive societal and global impact. By aligning Microsoft public sector programs and organizational priorities with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Townes-Whitley drives advancement and change in keeping with Microsoft’s new mission, “empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Prior to joining Microsoft, Townes-Whitley was president of CGI Federal, where she was responsible for a portfolio of more than $1 billion, leading 6,600 employees in over 70 countries to deliver greater value to US Government civilian, defense, and intelligence sectors. Prior to her role at CGI, Townes-Whitley held several management roles at Unisys Corporation leading global public sector systems integration and the Federal Civilian group, where she achieved 500 percent revenue growth and doubled profitability.

Townes-Whitley is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and has received certifications from Wharton Executive Education, New York University (NYU), and the Performance Management Institute. A writer and presenter on topics of IT innovation and application, Townes-Whitley has collaborated with organizations such as Council for Excellence in Government, the Minority Enterprise Executive Council, Industry Advisory Council, Princeton University, NYU, and numerous others.

She sits on the board of directors for United Way, the Women’s Center of Northern Virginia, and Leadership Foundry—an organization that prepares women to serve on corporate boards. She also continues to support the US Peace Corps and is a former volunteer who served three years as a village teacher in Central Africa.

Townes-Whitley and her husband have five children and two grandchildren. In her free time, Townes-Whitley enjoys writing and is finishing her first screenplay.

Allison Gleeson

Allison Gleeson

Alison Gleeson,  Senior Vice President, Americas Sales, Cisco


Click for bio

Alison Gleeson is Senior Vice President of the Americas, the largest of Cisco’s four geographic regions, responsible for more than $20 billion in annual sales for the company. The Americas region includes more than 6,000 employees in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Ms. Gleeson is also a highly-regarded international speaker about technology’s rapid pace of change in the digital age and empowering women in technology.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Gleeson led the U.S. Commercial Sales team at Cisco for five years, driving consistent yearover-year sales growth. She was instrumental in developing new approaches to capture critical market transitions, strengthening relationships with some of Cisco’s most important partners, and driving technology adoption with “first mover” mid-market customers.

Alison continues to serve as an advisor to the Commercial business at Cisco on a global scale, working to ensure consistent execution across the geographic regions, as well as developing a set of consistent processes, programs, and roles that will eliminate redundancies and increase growth potential for the company. Ms. Gleeson is a highly respected leader who maintains a commitment to professional development and inclusion and diversity in the workplace. She is a women’s advocate and has held multiple board positions in support of these initiatives, including her current position as Global Executive Sponsor and Global Board President of Cisco Connected Women’s network, executive member of the inclusion and collaboration team, and Cisco executive women’s steering committee. Alison is consistently recognized for her contribution to business, having been awarded the YWCA Tribute to Women honor, as well as being featured in Diversity Journal’s annual “Women Worth Watching” issue.

Prior to her nearly 20 years in sales at Cisco, she spent nine years with Unisys Corporation as a rising leader in their sales organization.

Ms. Gleeson holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Michigan State University.

Christianna Ricchi

Christianne Ricchi

Christianne R. Ricchi, Owner/Executive Chef


Click for bio

Coming soon!


Concurrent Sessions:

  1. Whose Brand is it Anyway? Why Your Professional Brand Matters to Your Career and Your Company
  2. Ignite Your Career: Golf Your Way to The Corner Office 
  3. Facing the Leadership Challenge: How to Unlock the Door to Opportunities, Influence, and Income
  4. The BOLD Speaker
  5. Neuroscience of Peak Leadership Performance
  6. Leadership Conversations, Relationships, and Results
  7. Is Your Grocery Cart Making You Sick, Tired and Fat?
  8. What’s RIGHT with you? Why Character Strengths Matter for Higher Performance
  9. Don’t Check Out Early: How to Maintain Momentum When You’re Ready to Move On but Stuck Where You Are
  10. Sensitivity for the Assertive/Assertiveness for the Sensitive
  11. Powerful You – 7 Techniques to an Intentional Image
  12. Lighting the Creative Spark


Jen Dalton

Jen Dalton



Whose Brand is it Anyway? Why Your Professional Brand Matters to Your Career and Your Company

Although you probably don’t think of your career as a business, advancing in your career often requires the skills of an expert in sales and marketing. You are that business’ brand, and learning how to make yourself stand out, to make your value visible, and to create a strategy for building and maintaining your presence in the job market is crucial to success. And the job market these days is increasingly online.

Join us at this interactive session to take a step back, assess what your online brand is, and how best to position yourself to move forward in your career. Jen Dalton, CEO of BrandMirror, will provide strategies and insights for you to better understand your unique value, and to communicate that clearly to your target audiences. You’ll learn how to ensure that your reputation in person and online is remarkable, and sets you up for new and exciting opportunities.

Presented by Jen Dalton

Click for bio
Jen Dalton, CEO of BrandMirror, has over 15 years of experience in strategy, marketing and coaching. Jen helps people present their most compelling and powerful selves to the world, and she is an expert on making best use of social media tools while avoiding potential pitfalls. She has spoken to and coached thousands of individuals and entrepreneurs about defining their brands, crafting their stories, and how to stand out. She is an international speaker and has worked with companies like GE, IBM, Capital One, 1776, C-Lever, and more.
Donna Hoffman

Donna Hoffman

Ignite Your Career: Golf Your Way to The Corner Office 

Golf provides unprecedented access to decision makers in the business world and can meaningfully increase career advancement opportunities. Learn why businesswomen are turning off the computer and picking up a golf club.

In this session you will learn:

  • The value of golf for business:  For networking and building relationships, both with and without swinging a club.
  • Five transferable skills from golf to building leadership
  • How to fast track to the first tee and overcoming intimidation and finding time

Presented by Donna Hoffman

Click for bio

For more than a decade, Donna Hoffman has been inspiring women across the country to use golf as a vehicle for business and social networking as the Founder and President of Women on Course.  Acquired in 2013 by Billy Casper Golf, Women on Course is America’s fastest growing networking organization introducing like-minded women through golf and is a national event platform providing supportive and interactive settings for women to learn and play the game.

Prior to Women on Course, Donna was the Founder and President of Infocus, a successful DC based media company consistently named Top 10 Media Company by the Washington Business Journal and sold after 18 successful years to CACI.

Donna is a graduate of Lehigh University with a career start as a CPA for PricewaterhouseCoopers specializing in the financial services industry followed by an internal auditor management role at Grey Advertising.

Lisa Marie Platske

Lisa Marie Platske

Facing the Leadership Challenge: How to Unlock the Door to Opportunities, Influence, and Income   

Leadership is influence; nothing more and nothing less.  If you want to be successful, you’ve got to be a leader in your field — and you do that by increasing your influence.  Discover 7 powerful steps delivered with practical strategies (and a lot of humor) to be a recognized expert.

Participants will:

  • Discover How to Leverage Bigger
  • Opportunities by Creating Powerful Partnerships (Or Risk Failing)
  • Find Out Why Your Personality Can Help
  • And Hinder Your Success (and What To Do About It)
  • Determine How to Up-level Your Image and Become More Memorable
  • Realize Why You Need to Know How to Position Yourself (and How You Better Do It Fast)

Presented by Lisa Marie Platske:

Click for bio
CEO of Upside Thinking, Inc. (, Lisa Marie Platske creates high-performing leaders, coaching women in business from around the globe. An award-winning leadership expert and #1 best-selling author, she uses her law enforcement journey to share what exceptional leaders do differently to seize untapped opportunities, why connection is the new currency, and how to position yourself as a stand-out expert in your industry. The founder of the Design Your Destiny LIVE, she lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, Jim and their two pet foxes.
Jan Fox

Jan Fox

The BOLD Speaker 


  • Increased Your Impact
  • Fast-tracked Your Career
  • Advanced Your Purpose
  • Sold More Services and Products
  • Showed Newfound Confidence
  • Engaged Your Teams
  • Lead with More Conviction

Researchers say The BOLD Speaker delivers all of those outcomes. It’s not only WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that matters. What good are your mission statements or your best laid marketing plans if you can’t speak them with power? Four-time TV Emmy Winner, Jan Fox, gives you 4 Simple Strategies to boost your BOLDness to get more of what you want.

Presented by Jan Fox

Click for bio

Jan Fox came from a small Indiana town, but somehow ended up on TV, interviewing many celebrities and US Presidents – a life she never could have imagined.Jan earned 3 Emmys at WUSA TV9 in Washington, DC, and another for a talk show she hosted on ABC in Boston.

As an anchor at the NBC station in Portland, ME, Jan helped bring the ratings from number 2 to number 1, with an unheard of 51% market share.

Speaking comes easily to Jan. She once led an elephant into Boston Garden, blowing a whistle to welcome a crowd of 16,000 to the Circus. NO FEAR.  That’s why she says she is “all about SPEAKability”.  Whether it’s a huge crowd or one coaching client, her aim is to Sharpen SPEAKability, helping people and businesses advance their purpose, sell more products, lead with more effectiveness, spread more positive influence.

Jan’s client list is long and varied: Marriott, Verizon, The Defense Logistics Agency, The CIA, The Senate Dirksen Building, Well Point, Anthem, and just about every other government agency in DC;, Agilex, HDMA, National Golf Foundation, DC Bar, plus many more. She helps them all raise the level of their communication and increase the confidence of their employees or members – all contributing to the organization’s bottom line.

TV and the speaking stage are a far cry from her first jobs – sweeping out her uncle’s old shoe repair and taking over her brother’s paper route, both in the 3rd grade!

Jan taught school for 6 years, holds a Master’s Degree in Humanistic Studies from Lesley University, where she also directed the Outreach Program and taught graduate education courses to teachers.

She says the world of speaking offers her a bigger classroom full of eager students who want their messages to make a difference in the world. Her purpose is to help them do it.

Wendy Swire

Wendy Swire

Neuroscience of Peak Leadership Performance

Recent findings and advances in understanding the brain are helping leaders transform how they think, perform and develop others. In this presentation, participants will learn neuroscience concepts to increase their cognitive resiliency. You will also learn about the exciting concept of neuroplasticity, how creating new neuronal connections can help create change. The presentation includes tools and ideas that will be immediately applied to yourself,  your employees or team members and time to create a short action plan based upon neuroscience material discussed.

Presented by Wendy Swire

Click for bio

Wendy Sherwin Swire is the founder of Swire Solutions, LLC, an executive coaching, training and Neuroleadership consulting firm based in the Washington, DC area. She has worked with over 1,000 leaders as an executive coachMs. Swire has been active in field of Neuroleadership since 2009 when she started the DC Neuroleadership Group. She has met and interviewed prominent neuroscientists, NIH medical researchers and FMRI experts as leader of the NLI group. She has attended numerous Neuroleadership Institute summits and was invited to be a press blogger at the Society of Neuroscience Annual Meeting. Wendy works closely with a Phd Neuroscientists and researchers to utilize the latest brain science research findings in her workshops. She was nominated and earned membership into the prestigious Society for Neuroscience in 2014.

Ms. Swire has presented workshop and training seminars on the applications of brain science and neuroscience to audiences ranging from Fortune 100 senior executive teams to professional facilitators, executive coaches, senior military leaders, congressional staff members and business managers.

Wendy graduated from Georgetown’s leadership coaching program (Cohort 16) and holds the PCC credential from ICF since 2007. Wendy is the co-author of Anytime Coaching: Unleashing Employee Performance (published by MCI, available on Amazon/Kindle). She earned her Professional Coaching Certificate by the International Coaching Federation in 2009 and has worked with over 1,000 leaders and managers as an executive coach.

Ms. Swire has taught leadership throughout the United States, as well as in Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa for the Agency of International Development where she has also served as a mentor coach trainer to diplomats.

Prior to forming Swire Solutions, Wendy worked as an international economist for the US government and as a banker on Wall Street. She is also a trained and certified mediator and conflict resolution practitioner. She graduated with an MA from Mt. Holyoke College and received her MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts/Harvard University). For more information, please see her website: She has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Carey Graduate School of Business at Johns Hopkins University.

She is a member of the International Coaching Federation, Academy of Brain Based Leadership, Neruoleadership Institute and a founding and current board member of the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County. She is a sustaining supporter of NICL Elementary School in Leogane, Haiti where she has made multiple trips to help build housing and work with members of the community.

Joan Fletcher

Joan Fletcher

Vinay Kumar

Vinay Kumar

Leadership Conversations, Relationships, and Results

This highly-interactive session is designed to introduce participants to an entirely new way of understanding the actual drivers of relationships, team work, and results within their organizations, and their personal lives.

By changing this one way of understanding – this one “paradigm” – entirely new avenues for effective action open up.  Participants are able to see themselves and their organizations with new eyes.  With this new perspective comes new ways of intervening and achieving breakthroughs that were literally invisible before.

This session contains large and small group activities, giving participants opportunities to learn with, from, and through each other.  In addition, it will provide practical take-away’s and how-to’s for everyone, that will enable participants to produce more of the positive results they desire.

Presented by:

Joan Fletcher and Vinay Kumar
Click for bio
Joan Fletcher is the founder of Winning Ways, a company focused on providing corporate training, leadership coaching and strategic planning to high performing leaders and teams. The corner piece of her skill is her ability to get measurable results through focus, presence and helping others better understand how they communicate. Helping others learn new habits to make their lives richer and more successful is her passion. A certified leadership coach through Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program, Joan holds the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She is a certified Professional Behavioral and Values Analyst, Emotional Intelligence expert and job benchmarking professional.Joan is also the co-founder of the non-profit She is past chairman of Inova’s Fairfax Hospital for Children’s Development Committee and Vienna Tysons Chamber of Commerce. Presently she is a member of The Northern Virginia Workforce Development Board. Her passion for helping people turn their thoughts into success extends beyond business—Joan also devotes a significant amount of time working with families living in poverty. In one case, she worked with a family for over fifteen years, helping them become self-sufficient and reach their goal of home ownership in northern Virginia in 2014. She has successfully provided services for JLL, CBRE, Microsoft, Sodexo, ABA, Morgan Stanley, Inova Fairfax, Inova Loudoun, ChildFund International, Hilton Worldwide, Dixon Hughes Goodman, Reston Limousine, and more.
Click for bio
Vinay Kumar, Coaching and Development, TEOCO Corporation. Vinay is the co-author of Language and the Pursuit of Leadership Excellence: How Extraordinary Leaders Build Relationships, Shape Culture, and Drive Breakthrough Results.Vinay Kumar coaches and educates professionals and leaders around the globe who work in the technology sector. He is with the TEOCO Corporation, which has offices in over 15 countries and serves clients in over 100 countries. TEOCO develops and provides software solutions for the telecom space. Vinay is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching program and he holds the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He also holds a degree in Chemical Engineering. His experience includes Fortune 50, US Federal Service, and owning and growing successful privately held business. His roles have included business development, marketing, client services, training, and operations. He also volunteers his time with The Mankind Project. Vinay lives in Great Falls with his wife and 2 daughters.
Anita Capizzi

Anita Capizzi

Is Your Grocery Cart Making You Sick, Tired and Fat? 

Corporate America is over-worked, over-stressed and over-sugared!  We have a rising tide of chronic diseases in America, most of which have a dietary component. Disease prevention and stress reduction starts at the grocery store.  This session provides an overview of how our dietary choices affect body stress with a focus on prevention of chronic disease.

You will learn:

  • The impact of processed food on the body
  • How to navigate the grocery store
  • The best way to avoid the 3 o’clock slump at work

Presented by Anita Capizzi

Click for bio

Anita Capizzi, R.N., CHC is the owner of Real Food Real Health, LLC, a Northern Virginia Company specializing in prevention of chronic disease. This is done through corporate wellness seminars and workshops.When we slow down and pay attention to the signals our bodies give, we can be guided as active participants in our journey towards optimal wellness.

Anita brings her passion for health and wellness to those who are looking for guidance in the areas of nutrition and wellness.

Her expertise lies in educating others about how optimal health can be achieved. We know that our food choices affect us on a cellular level and the health of the cell ultimately determines the health of the person. Processed foods create a very different internal environment than real foods from nature and over time our health will reflect the results of those choices.

Shannon Polly

Shannon Polly

What’s RIGHT with you? Why Character Strengths Matter for Higher Performance

Shannon will lead a highly interactive session about the science of character strengths, how that leads to higher performance and explain why praising employees for what they are doing right is more powerful than what they are doing wrong.  Common sense, but not common practice.  She will present material from her book and have participants use a technique where they act ‘as if’ they have certain character strengths by reading passages from monologs and famous speeches (All proceeds from the book go to a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania).

Participants will:

  • Learn the science of character strengths
  • Have a highly experiential session where they learn by doing rather than hearing a lecture
  • Learn how using your strengths leads to higher well-being and higher performance
  • Walk away with a participant workbook filled with tools and exercises that they can use immediately in their work and personal lives.

Presented by Shannon Polly

Click for bio

Shannon is one of the first 100 people in the world to earn her Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree at the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Martin Seligman, and helps organizations and employees leverage their strengths for higher performance. She is a leadership development consultant, facilitator, speaker and coach and founder of DC based consultancy, Shannon Polly & Associates.

Shannon facilitated for the U.S. Army’s Master Resiliency Training program where she has trained over 1,000 Army sergeants in psychological resilience. She is the co-founder of Positive Business DC. She is a contributing author (alongside Dr. Martin Seligman) to European Handbook of Positive Psychology (2013), and the author/editor of the recent book: Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life (2015) which has been endorsed by Dr. Seligman as well as countless other psychology luminaries.

Shannon is an honors graduate of Yale College, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program.


Carol Robert

Don’t Check Out Early: How to Maintain Momentum When You’re Ready to Move On but Stuck Where You Are

Changing careers, or even changing jobs after we’ve been in one place for a long time, can seem daunting. We hit the point where we’re ready to move on, but often the next steps aren’t obvious, or the opportunities aren’t there in that moment. Our loyalties, sense of responsibility (to job and family) and “golden handcuffs” (i.e. the expectation that changing careers will mean less money, thereby handcuffing us to the jobs we have now) leave us feeling like we’re stuck where we are.

It doesn’t have to be like this, but when you’re stuck, it’s hard to see options. This session will inform and remind participants of the tools they have available: evaluating what’s standing in the way of change and distinguishing between true and imagined obstacles. You will learn strategies for staying true to yourself and honoring shifts in your own perspectives, while continuing to serve the organization.

Presented by Carol Robert

Click for bio

Carol Robert is a Leadership Coach and Instructor, certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six Sigma Green Belt with over 20 years of experience in Executive Leadership, Strategy, Project, Program and Operations Management. In her Coaching work, she specializes in working with leaders who need to make the shift to a more strategic focus, improve their leadership presence, find healthier work/life integration and prepare for transition and/or greater levels of responsibility. Having held executive leadership positions in operations, strategy and business winning, she understands the challenges inherent in balancing strategy with execution, high performance with efficiency and increased workload with personal needs. As a Leadership Development Instructor, she brings personal experience leading at many different organizational levels and a facilitative, interactive teaching style that enhances the participants’ learning experience.

Carol was a Navy Officer for 5 years, followed by a successful defense industry career, where she started as an individual contributor and moved into positions of greater responsibility, including Project/Program Manager and Operations Director roles. She was promoted to Sr. Director of Strategy, as a member of the Senior Leadership Team for the 1500-person analysis-focused business area. Carol ceated her own coaching and leadership development practice in 2014, and is actively engaged in creating new courses and workshops, including an Immunity to Change™ Workshop series, Action Learning Programs for Senior Executives and coaching to a wide variety of clients.

Carol earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Minnesota State University. She holds a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University, is a Certified Myers-Briggs Type I and II Practitioner, a SOAR (Success with Observer, Action and Results) Facilitator and is trained to facilitate the Immunity to Change™ process for both Individuals and Teams/Organizations.

Michele Morrissey

Michele Morrissey

Sensitivity for the Assertive/Assertiveness for the Sensitive

The levels of sensitivity at which we operate are often intrinsic indicators of how we take in/process information from our environment. They become our motives for how we govern and negotiate our interpersonal relationships. Research tells us that those who govern relationships well are first self-aware. Also, lack of understanding also leads to judgment. We will explore personality styles and how to understand and best work with those who differ from us so we can release ourselves from the trap of gravitating toward or taking a liking for that which is like us, and yes, it happens with leaders as well. Furthermore, we can learn how we can get useful information from that which offends us.

In summary, participants will:

  • Identify personality styles
  • Learn techniques for building relationships with seemingly different personality styles
  • Review scripts for difficult discussions
  • Understand the four (4) levels of listening

Presented by Michele Morrissey

Click for bio

With a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Michele brings a depth of academic study and preparation to her practice that sets her apart from her peers. She adds a sensitivity to her profession that has been cultivated from years of working with people of all demographics, digging into complex communications problems to develop wide-reaching solutions. Michele Gilliam Morrissey’s progressive work blends science, a real-world approach and a passion for helping people to communicate with intent, impact and influence. An educator and communication coach with over two decades of experience, she transforms thinking with her laser-sharp analysis and consultative expertise.


Cyndy Porter

Powerful You – 7 Techniques to an Intentional Image

This presentation will teach you how to make a powerful first impression, how to create a personal brand, communicate who you are and look your best every day. You will learn to boost your self-confidence by knowing you are always presenting your best self both personally and professionally.

This interactive session typically engages the audience from the minute Cyndy takes the stage. It is heartfelt. Cyndy shares her own experience of not feeling comfortable in her own skin and how important our visual appearance can be to how others perceive us and how we see ourselves.

Presented by Cyndy Porter

Click for bio

Cyndy Porter is an award winning, certified photographer, expert image consultant and inspiring public speaker. She believes deeply in the importance of personal image and the hidden power associated with creating and showcasing a personal style. Cyndy began her career in sales and marketing and became a divisional vice president at a media conglomerate. Today, Cyndy builds on that business knowledge and experience, by helping her clients create an image that communicates who they are, gets them noticed and earns them respect with professional success – the ultimate goal.


Celia Im

Lighting the Creative Spark

In this experiential breakout session, you will utilize the power of music to engage your innate creativity. Using “Harmonic Resonance Process” (HRP), this music-based session will provide basic tools to access your creative subconscious to heal, create and actualize the life you want.

HRP is a unique self-actualization program that uses specially composed piano music in combination with creative visualization and mindful inquiry to open up a powerful connection between your mind and body for creative flow. Evolving through three stages of development – Heal, Create, Actualize – HRP provides an effective means to gain a deeper understanding of your life’s path, take action to accomplish long-term goals and enjoy overall enhanced well-being.
How often in life are we are told to “follow our heart” or “trust our gut feeling” – yet frequently doubts, fears and the opinions of others prevent us from hearing the clear voice inside that knows what we want, what is uniquely good for us. The key to fulfilling our core desires and goals lies in trusting our own innate intelligence. In this session, you will learn how to make a deep connection with yourself through the power of music for well-being, empowerment and creative vision.
First we create an inner state of relaxed stillness and deep connection with yourself as the backdrop for all else that happens in life. With practice, you can then learn to make empowered choices, problem-solve with creative ah-ha’s, create a healthy mindset for positive outcomes, de-stress and replenish your energy with love and self-acceptance. You will receive tools to work with at home.

Presented by Celia Im

Click for bio

Dr. Celia Im is an internationally award-winning musician who has taught and lectured on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and George Mason University. For over a decade, Dr. Im has used and created music for support and healing through the Harmonic Resonance Process (HRP), which led to her discovery of a systematic way of working with sound, mind and body via seven processes that unfold naturally as we listen and engage: wellness, creativity, empowerment, intuition, vision, wholeness and expression. Her degrees include a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Peabody Conservatory and a Bachelor’s Degree from Oberlin Conservatory; she also holds a certification in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.
With training centers throughout Europe and the USA, Dr. Im has worked closely with business leaders, diplomats, mind-body and health specialists, professional athletes, artists and countless others through HRP. This process can be tailored to meet individual needs and serves as the foundation for Dr. Im’s seminars, workshops, training programs and personal retreats. Learn more at


Hilton McLean
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA

Directions via I-495, from the Hotel Staff

From VA I-495 headed North OR South, take exit 46A (Rt. 123 South, Tysons Corner).

At the first traffic light, turn right onto Tysons Boulevard.

At the next traffic light, turn right onto Galleria Drive.

At the next traffic light, turn right onto Jones Branch Drive.

The hotel is the 2nd building on the right hand side.

For more directions and a map, please click here to visit the hotel website.

Exhibitor Fee: $500

Exhibitors receive a six-foot skirted table and two chairs. Electricity is not available. Exhibitors are expected to be set up at their table by 7:15 am and not to dismantle their tables until after 1:30 pm at the earliest with 3:30 pm the latest time to start dismantling. Tables are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of this form and full payment. Cancellations accepted until March 25 subject to $150 processing and promotion fee. No refunds accepted after March 25.