2020 Speakers

2020 SPEAKERS

COMING SOON

speaker
Renée DeLuca Dolan
President and Founder
Contempo Design + Communications

8:45-9:00 a.m. | Welcome and Introductions

Renée DeLuca Dolan is the President and Founder of Contempo Design & Communications, a Cleveland-based creative firm offering Visual Branding, Environmental Graphic Design, and Digital Creative services throughout the region. She has led Contempo for more than 20 years and served clients from professional services to manufacturing. Most notably, Renée has been at the forefront of innovative and creative communication design with the work she’s developed for nearly 20 years with the Cleveland Indians. Renée’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for supporting women in business inspired the creation of the Female Entrepreneur Summit, an annual conference dedicated to providing cutting-edge educational insights and opportunities to connect with other local and regional business women. A strong believer in the value of networking, Renée founded and published Cleveland Business Connects Magazine for 10 years and as well as the CBC Magazine Connectors Choice Awards where she honored Clevelanders working in the special events profession.

speaker
Gabrielle Christman
Chief Executive Officer
Hunter International Inc.

Emcee

In 2006, at the age of 25, Gabrielle launched Hunter International, a recruiting firm with two employees. The Cleveland based venture has since rocketed nationwide, finding top-shelf scientific, engineering and technical staff for Fortune 500 companies who demand STEM excellence. Under Gabrielle’s leadership Hunter has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the Midwest and Ohio’s Best Workplaces. Gabrielle, 100% owner of Hunter, is committed to causes focused on achieving gender parity. Gabrielle co-founded non-profit SPARK in 2017 with the mission to build confidence in young women (grades 6-12) as they discover their passion in STEM. Gabrielle currently serves WBENC as a National Forum and NCBF Host Committee Member.

speaker
Jennifer Gitomer
President and Founder
Sales in a NY Minute

9:00-10:00 a.m. | Morning Keynote

After graduating from one of the best business schools in the nation and wanting to gain business experience, Jennifer successfully climbed the corporate ladder working 10-15 hour days. She learned irreplaceable entrepreneurial skills while working at a senior level in two fortune 500 companies, but the long hours, corporate politics, and too many missed life events, caused Jennifer to break physically and mentally, and it was just the break she needed. She wanted to build her own business and this was the time. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs, create time and financial freedom - to help them build a business that supports their dreams, rather than building their lives around their business. Jennifer co-hosts the Sell or Die podcast with her husband Jeffrey. She has written a best-selling book entitled Sales in a New York Minute that contains 212 pages of real-world, easy to implement sales strategies.

speaker
Noelle K Akins
Founder, Akins & Associates Coaching and Consulting for Change

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION I: Becoming a Real Deal Leader: Build the competency, connection and courage required to be a leader you and others want to follow

Noelle Akins has been making meaning in the workplace for 20+ years. She helps leaders prepare, equip and support their people through major organizational change. As a coach earning Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management Coaching Certificate, Noelle helps individuals foster their own brand of personal leadership, creating life-congruence and personal accountability. A licensed professional counselor, certified change management specialist, and a self-diagnosed Type A personality, Noelle has led international learning projects in Germany, Luxembourg, Ukraine and Ethiopia. With an emphasis on organizational alignment, learning and change management she has served clients in higher ed, R&D, manufacturing, services and medical sectors. Noelle holds an advanced degree in the behavioral sciences and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.

speaker
Dr. Jennell Vick
Executive Director at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION I: Becoming a Real Deal Leader: Build the competency, connection and courage required to be a leader you and others want to follow

Dr. Jennell Vick is the executive director of Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, a nonprofit speech therapy, audiology, and deaf services center that has served Northeast Ohio for 99 years. The agency builds resources for serving the community in-need through service revenue. Building this capacity through revenue expansion has been a major achievement in her tenure in the position, having increased operating revenue by 44% in five years. Dr. Vick took the role in 2015 after a 20-year career in academia, having served as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the earliest years of her career and as an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University from 2010 until 2018. The transition from scientist to business leader has demanded courage, competence-building, and the eventual epiphany that the scientific method (question-research-hypothesis-test-analyze-conclusion) is an effective means of working through the challenges and obstacles to goal achievement in business. In the end, it is about the people, and increasing community impact and business revenue means building a workplace where the people feel confident, competent, and cared-for, with shared leadership that reflects the beautiful diversity of the community we serve, and a purpose-driven mission and vision that guide goals and decisions.

speaker
Corey Minor Smith
Consultant, Speaker, Trainer, Corey Empowers, LLC

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION I: Becoming a Real Deal Leader: Build the competency, connection and courage required to be a leader you and others want to follow

Attorney Corey Minor Smith is a thought leader in the social justice space with a primary focus on mental health and wellness advocacy in communities across the nation. Smith produces radio roundtable conversations with youth and community members to discuss ways to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. In addition, she has served as a keynote speaker at numerous national and international gatherings. She was a panelist during the Housing and Development Law Institute conference in Washington, DC. Smith also presented in Cape Town, South Africa during the Southern African Housing Foundation Conference as a delegate of the United States. After being directly involved in the mental health industry for over 20 years, Smith is a highly sought-after speaker and has been featured at conferences, on numerous panels, TV talk shows such as Sister Circle Live, radio programs like The Breakfast Club, podcasts and Sirius XM programs as an advocate for funding, research, services and treatment for those living with severe mental illness.

speaker
Barbara J. Smith
Senior Vice President, Director Key4Women at KeyBank

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION II: A Compliance Session - Accounting, HR & Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs – An interactive Workshop – baseline tools for compliance to help your business grow.

Barbara J. Smith (Barb) is the Senior Vice President and Director of Key4Women, a nationwide community of entrepreneurial and executive business women. Barb also serves as the co-chair of the Key Women’s Network, which cultivates a work environment that engages, empowers and inspires employees to achieve their full leadership potential. Barb has held a variety of senior management roles and Key and at Bank One Akron, NA (now Chase). She serves on the National Board of the Alumni Association for Kent State, the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, and is the Co-Chair for the Cleveland Chapter of Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD). Barb has held several elected positions in Solon and was VP & Treasurer for the Cleveland Better Business Bureau.

speaker
A’Shira Nelson, CPA
Tax Manager and Money Coach, Apple Growth Partners

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION II: A Compliance Session - Accounting, HR & Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs – An interactive Workshop – baseline tools for compliance to help your business grow.

Nelson comes to AGP with a robust background in accounting, with nearly a decade of experience in audit, tax, and public accounting roles. Nelson brings to the Cleveland office expertise in tax planning and preparation, for Scorporations and partnerships with revenue up to $50 million, as well as experience with high-net-worth individuals. Nelson’s tax background includes health care, real estate, professional services, and manufacturing. She is well-versed in tax compliance and planning for federal, state, local, and foreign income tax returns. An engaging public speaker, Nelson was requested to speak at The Ohio Society of CPAs Accounting Career Day in November 2019, presenting “360 Degrees of Possibility.” She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Akron and served as the treasurer of both the Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the National Association of Black Accountants. Nelson is a volunteer for the College Now mentoring program and Growing Up Great.

speaker
Corinne Saliba
HR Consultant,
The Ahola Corporation

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION II: A Compliance Session - Accounting, HR & Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs – An interactive Workshop – baseline tools for compliance to help your business grow.

Corinne Saliba, MBA SPHR is a human resources professional and consultant at The Ahola Corporation, a family-owned HR solutions and payroll provider in Brecksville, Ohio. Since joining the company in 2019, Corinne started a new internal division called ProActive HR. Corinne helps Ahola payroll clients stay compliant, optimize their HR technology use, and strategize their everyday HR operations. Corinne holds two degrees from Baldwin Wallace University (#YJ4L) and has a passion for career coaching, regularly volunteering her time to BWU and the Cuyahoga County Library's Career Services departments. When she's not at work, Corinne serves her beloved Delta Zeta Sorority National Council as Area Alumnae Director. Since her position's appointment last summer, Corinne has incorporated a "Small Business Spotlight" social media series as a campaign to gain alumnae engagement and to highlight some pretty awesome women-run businesses.

speaker
Christina Niro
Partner, Frantz Ward LLP
Chair, Frantz Ward Women’s Initiative

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION II: A Compliance Session - Accounting, HR & Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs – An interactive Workshop – baseline tools for compliance to help your business grow.

Christina advises and represents employers in a broad range of employment law matters, from discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, and harassment, to cases involving contract disputes, restrictive covenants, trade secret theft and misappropriation, and unfair competition. She has litigated and tried cases in state and federal courts and frequently represents employers in various state and federal administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and the Department of Labor. Christina provides employers of all sizes with day-to-day preventive counseling on topics such as FMLA and ADA compliance, compliance with state and federal cannabis laws, employee discipline, litigation prevention strategies, and employee handbook and policy development. She is also the Chair of Frantz Ward’s Women’s Initiative, which is committed to the recruitment, retention, promotion and mentoring of its female attorneys.

speaker
Deborah Spake
Dean, College of Business Administration at Kent State University

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION III: Work-life Integration - Learn from others that have been there. How work-life integration is "an approach that creates more synergies between all areas that define 'life': work, home/family, community, personal well-being, and health."

Deborah Spake, Ph.D. is Dean of the College of Business Administration at Kent State University. She previously served as associate dean and professor of marketing at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business and on the faculties of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Western Michigan University, and as a visiting professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms, Germany. She currently serves as President of the MidAmerican Business Deans Association. Prior to an academic career, she worked as the Marketing Research Director of a publishing company and, later, for consulting firms specializing in marketing research and strategic planning.

speaker
Anne Murphy Brown
Associate Professor, Legal Studies, Ursuline College and Author, "Legally Mom, Real Women’s Stories Balancing Motherhood and Law Practice"

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION III: Work-life Integration - Learn from others that have been there. How work-life integration is "an approach that creates more synergies between all areas that define 'life': work, home/family, community, personal well-being, and health."

Anne Murphy Brown, J.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Studies Program at Ursuline College. She teaches classes in Legal Studies, Political Science, and Business. In 2012, the American Bar Association published her book, Legally Mom: Real Women’s Stories of Balancing Motherhood and Law Practice. Anne graduated cum laude from John Carroll University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. Thereafter, she received her law degree from the University of Illinois. Anne began her legal career in litigation, and eventually practiced primarily business and corporate law before entering academia on a full-time basis in 2005.

speaker
Anne Richie
Principal, The Mezzanine Fund

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION III: Work-life Integration - Learn from others that have been there. How work-life integration is "an approach that creates more synergies between all areas that define 'life': work, home/family, community, personal well-being, and health."

As a Venture Partner, Anne coaches JumpStart’s scale up clients on preparing and executing growth plans. She has an extensive background in finance and banking with the unique experience of working with distressed businesses. She is very resourceful and collaborative and approaches growth opportunities with tactical, creative, innovative strategies. Prior to JumpStart, Anne was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer for a private equity-owned jet engine parts manufacturer. Previous to that she enjoyed a long career in banking, rising from Loan Officer with the Bank of Boston to senior positions with Citicorp, Wells Fargo and Keybank where she was responsible for managing portfolios of underperforming commercial loans. Anne holds a BA in Economics from Smith College and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

speaker
Tari Rivera
President
Regency Construction Services

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION III: Work-life Integration - Learn from others that have been there. How work-life integration is "an approach that creates more synergies between all areas that define 'life': work, home/family, community, personal well-being, and health."

Tari S. Rivera founded Regency Construction Services, Inc. in 1994 and with her entrepreneurial vision, determined spirit and solid construction engineering background. She has grown a 3 person start up firm into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with a staff of 45 and a diverse healthcare, higher education, K-12 and civic client base that crisscrosses the State. As one of Ohio’s largest Female Owned Construction Management, Design/Build and General Contracting firms, Regency’s practice has remained steadfast to Tari’s early commitment to diversity and opportunity in the workplace and to creating a professional organization that encourages and empowers women and minorities in construction.

speaker
Angela Lee
Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School, Founder of 37 Angels

10:30-11:30 a.m. | BREAK OUT SESSION IV: Lessons Learned from 15,000 Pitches

Professor of Practice and Chief InnovationOfficer at Columbia Business school where she teaches top-rated courses in venture capital and leadership. She was voted top three faculty by students in 2018. Angela started her career in product management and then was a strategy consultant at McKinsey. She has started 4 startups and is also the founder of 37 Angels, an investing network that has evaluated 15000+ startups, invested in 65, and activates new investors through a startup investment bootcamp. Angela has spoken at the White House and is regularly invited to advise decision-makers at the highest levels, including Prime Minister Trudeau. She is a sought-after expert on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBCand Fox Business. She was recognized by Inc. as one of 17 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2017, by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 6 Innovative Women to Watch in 2015, and by Craine’s as a NotableWomen in Tech in 2019. She serves on the boards of Fresco Education Fund and Cariclub.

speaker
Tanisha Robinson
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, W*nder

12:00-1:00 p.m. | Lunch Keynote

The former CEO of BrewDog USA is out of the beer business and into her own venture selling canned CBD drinks. Serial entrepreneur Tanisha Robinson, who founded Columbus dining coupon company Fudha and on-demand graphic apparel printer Print Syndicate, says she’s ready to ride the coming tidal wave of growth in the cannabidiol space. Her new venture, W*nder, will specialize in flavored sparkling waters that contain CBD, which is gaining in popularity as a dietary aid.

speaker
Susie Frazier
Artist, Speaker, and Author, Designing for Wellness

1:15-2:15 p.m. | FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR SHOWCASE: Hear marketing and branding secrets from four female entrepreneurs that have helped them stand out among the crowd and listen to their unique entrepreneurial journeys.

Susie Frazier is a professional designer who creates art, accents and ideas that are made to calm the mind. Motivated by an innate connection to nature, Susie produces artistic solutions for commercial clients in need of biophilic art, custom corporate gifts, and keynote speakers to support their wellness in the workplace strategies. Susie is a pioneer in the modern day maker movement and a leader in wellness design due to the forward-thinking ideas coming out of her 23-year old company. She is the author of Designing For Wellness, a book on Amazon and Apple Books, and has been featured in many national media outlets including U.S. Today, Woman’s Health, Interiors + Sources, and Associations Now. She's appeared on national television networks in San Diego, Houston and Cleveland and is the recipient of a 2018 regional Emmy® award for her show, “Movers & Makers with Susie Frazier.” Her retail showroom is an anchor attraction inside 78th Street Studios, Northeast Ohio’s largest arts complex, and as a brand ambassador to both Mont Surfaces and Destination Cleveland, she makes public appearances across the country, promoting a wellness-oriented mindset.

speaker
Ariane Kirkpatrick
Owner and CEO, The AKA Team

1:15-2:15 p.m. | FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR SHOWCASE: Hear marketing and branding secrets from four female entrepreneurs that have helped them stand out among the crowd and listen to their unique entrepreneurial journeys.

Ariane Kirkpatrick is the owner and president of The AKA Team. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, The AKA Team is a full service commercial construction and facilities company that partners with its clients to provide collaborative management and construction services via their commercial waterproofing self-performing and construction management divisions. The company’s mission is to provide superior construction solutions in an innovative environment through the company motto – Always Known A s the TEAM you can depend on.

speaker
Tami Schneider
Founder and Owner,
Cleveland Yoga Studios

1:15-2:15 p.m. | FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR SHOWCASE: Hear marketing and branding secrets from four female entrepreneurs that have helped them stand out among the crowd and listen to their unique entrepreneurial journeys.

A home-grown Clevelander, is the founder and owner of Cleveland Yoga Studios located in NE Ohio. She has been teaching yoga and a leader in the wellness industry since 1999. Currently, there are four studios in the Cleveland area including Concord, Little Italy, Westlake, and Beachwood which are home to thousands of yoga practitioners each and every week. Tami is an internationally recognized yoga teacher trainer and 1200-hour Certified Tier 3 Influencer of the globally known Baptiste Yoga Institute. Tami’s ardor is about training teachers to be yoga teachers & community leaders. She has trained over 500 yoga teacher-trainees in the Cleveland area and led thousands during her travels (United States, Canada, Europe and Kenya) training new teachers in the Baptiste Methodology since 2007.

speaker
Dr. Batula Zaidi, PhD
CEO, Science First Partnerships

1:15-2:15 p.m. | FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR SHOWCASE: Hear marketing and branding secrets from four female entrepreneurs that have helped them stand out among the crowd and listen to their unique entrepreneurial journeys.

Dr. Batula Zaidi is the CEO and founder of Science First Partnerships, a tech startup that custom matches pharmaceutical projects to scientific talent in academia. She holds a BS in biology from CWRU and a doctorate in bioinformatics from the Cleveland Clinic, and is a bioinformatics from the Cleveland Clinic, and is a graduate of the HHMI PhD "bench-to-bedside" program. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she engineered collaborations that improve processes of making medicine by getting drug developers and academic scientists to work on the same teams. She led the growth of the cancer startup Tempus from its earliest stages through a billion dollar valuation, first by developing the product and then by driving revenue growth. Dr. Zaidi graduated from the Hathaway Brown School for Girls in 2003, and mentors young women through their innovative Business and Finance Center.

speaker
Patrice Blakemore
Executive Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

2:15-3:15 p.m. | Intentional Networking Session - Everyone Will Leave With A Lead

Patrice Blakemore is the Executive Director for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College. This $500 million economic development initiative is an accelerator that helps entrepreneurs uncover the blind spots that will make their company more successful.The national program is designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services. Patrice received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in 3 ½ years, and her law degree in 2 ½ years from the University of Dayton School of Law. After graduating from law school, Patrice worked for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office before moving to Cleveland, Ohio. In 2009, Patrice decided to use her experience as an attorney to create a consulting practice that focused on providing executive coaching for women in male-dominated professions. She assisted participants in increasing their confidence and productivity through goal setting and execution. Patrice joined Cuyahoga Community College in 2013 as a business advisor for 10,000 Small Businesses. She has assisted more than 500 business owners in the program.

speaker
Madison Mikhail Bush
Founder & CEO, POINT App

3:30-4:15 p.m. | Afternoon Keynote, Failures, Pivots & Wins: How to lead a company from failure to Forbes without losing yourself.

Madison Mikhail Bush is the Founder and CEO of POINT, an app to volunteer for any cause and enterprise-level platform to centralize community needs and direct help to local nonprofits. Madison has been featured in Forbes and was named one of Columbus’ Top 10 Entrepreneurs in 2018 and 2019. She graduated from Capital University with a degree in biology and worked as the director of development at genomics startup, GnomeDX, while still building POINT. Madison’s mission is to provide women community leaders with tech and support they need to do more good.

*FES speakers and agenda are subject to change

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