2024 Speakers

Monday Kick-Off Lunch

Shannon Mac Millan

Finding Your Passion & Overcoming Adversity

As a National Hall of Fame Athlete, Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion, community advocate, and proud mother, Shannon Mac Millan is set to ignite and inspire attendees with her impactful keynote address titled, “Finding Your Passion and Overcoming Adversity.” Drawing from her illustrious 12-year career with the US Women’s National Team, in which she scored a whopping 60 goals and was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 2002, Mac Millan will share her remarkable journey of resilience and strength with key insights on triumphing over challenges in life as a woman and mother in this world.

Moderated By


Susan Miller
Sr. Director, Technical Oversight & Reporting

Friday Leadership Conference

Dr. Julia DiGangi

The Neuroscience of Using Emotional Energy to Build Exceptional Teams

You're not leading powerfully until you're in command of the emotional energy that your brain generates. Research shows that the #1 threat to leader and team effectiveness is an inability to handle emotional challenges. Neuropsychologist Dr. Julia DiGangi's innovative research will empower you to work directly with your brain's systems. Her work enables you to build magnetic leadership and create emotionally elite teams that thrive in even the most high-pressure circumstances.

Moderated By


Susan Cort
HR Program Director

Arlan Hamilton

Your First Million: Why You Don’t Have to Be Born into a Legacy of Wealth to Leave One Behind

Having lived nearly her entire life below the poverty line before becoming one of the wealthiest Black women in America, Arlan knows that money is power—but not for the reasons most people believe. Money is power, she says, because it provides us with options: to pursue our passions, take risks, and change our situation in life. She believes that entrepreneurship is the quickest path to attaining that power -particularly for those who haven’t had much of it in the past.

Drawing on her career as an entrepreneur and investor in companies led by underrepresented founders, Arlan will share how anyone– no matter what you look like or how much money you currently have—can tap into all the new tools, platforms, and funding sources available while reinvesting in your community and empowering others to do the same.

If we can change who gets to decide what new ideas are worthy, and who gets to turn those ideas into reality, not only can we change our own circumstances—we can change the world.

Moderated By


Heather Diamond
SVP, Business Development & Community Relations
San Diego County Credit Union

Grace Puma & Christiana Smith Shi

Career Forward: Strategies from Women Who've Made It

Former PepsiCo COO Grace Puma and former Nike President of Consumer Direct Christiana Smith Shi offer a groundbreaking, empowering guide for women that shows how to prioritize a career path, build professional value, and enjoy a full life both in and out of the workplace.

At a time when many long-held workplace structures and beliefs are changing, Career Forward is a beacon for women aspiring to achieve success and satisfaction in rewarding careers. Drawing on decades of experience reaching the top of Fortune 500 companies, Grace and Christiana will show you how to maximize your career journeys, get paid what you’re worth, navigate the shifts that occur in any company, build a leadership identity, and have a full life in and out of work.

Moderated By


Kristi Larson
Sr. Finance Director, US Region

Dr. Kwane Stewart

Unity in Action: Nurturing Your Career and Passion for the Betterment of All

Join Dr. Kwane Stewart, aka the Street Vet and CNN’s 2023 Hero of the Year, as he unveils a profound narrative of intertwining personal and professional growth for the greater good of humanity.

This keynote transcends personal achievement; it's an exploration of the collective potential for positive change when individuals channel their skills, pursue their passions, and actively contribute to the well-being of humanity. Join us on a transformative journey towards a more harmonious, interconnected future, where the focus is not just on personal success but on fostering a collective tapestry of flourishing humanity.

Moderated By


Diana Kowalsky
Head of Partner Communications

Dr. Alessandra Wall

Unleashing Your Leadership Authority: A Blueprint for Women in Male-Dominated Industries

Despite impressive credentials, unparalleled experience, track records of excellence, and titles that should say it all, many exceptional women find themselves on the sidelines of crucial strategic discussions, grappling with the need to constantly validate their perspectives. Dr. Alessandra Wall, a clinical psychologist turned executive coach, unveils the missing link for women in leadership.


In her keynote, Dr. Wall, who specializes in empowering women in senior leadership within male-dominated industries, reveals the three essential pillars for women to command authority without being labeled as bossy. Join her as she shares actionable 5-minute strategies that will elevate your leadership and authority, so you can lead with ease, impact, and fulfillment.

Moderated By


Karimah Lamar

EmpowerHer: Advocating for Oneself in the Workplace

In this engaging discussion, accomplished women leaders from diverse fields will share their personal journeys and strategies for self-advocacy in the professional sphere. Discover the tools and skills needed to assertively communicate your value, negotiate for fair opportunities, and overcome challenges unique to women in the workplace. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career, this empowering panel promises to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to advocate for your own success in any professional setting. Don't miss the chance to connect, learn, and be inspired by these trailblazing women who have successfully paved their way to the top!

Diana Aldrete
Empowered Purpose

Tara Ceranic Salinas
Professor of Business Ethics / Chair, Management Department
University of San Diego Knauss School of Business

Kristine Wexler
Managing Director

Sarah Hassaine - MODERATOR
Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion

Leading Ladies: Mastering the Art of Building and Leading Teams

This dynamic discussion brings together accomplished women leaders from various industries to share their insights on creating and leading high-performing teams. Gain valuable perspectives on team dynamics, effective communication, and strategies for fostering collaboration and innovation. Whether you're an emerging leader or an experienced professional, this panel will provide you with actionable strategies to build and lead successful teams. Join us for an enriching conversation that celebrates the strength, resilience, and transformative leadership that women bring to the forefront of team dynamics in the professional world. It's time to inspire, empower, and lead with impact!

Karin Burns
Chief Executive Officer
San Diego Community Power

Sheri Nasim
President & CEO
Center for Executive Excellence

Leah Sicat
Global Head of Employee Giving & Regional Community Engagement

Lori Cornin - MODERATOR
Director HR

Strength in Unity: Women's Empowerment through Mentorship and Networking

In this illuminating session, we bring together a distinguished group of accomplished women from diverse fields to share their insights, experiences, and strategies on the transformative power of mentorship and networking for women in the professional world.

Discover firsthand the impact of meaningful connections and mentorship relationships as our panelists, each a trailblazer in her own right, delve into the intricacies of navigating careers, breaking barriers, and fostering supportive networks.

Laura Bashore
Executive Coach
Anew Resume and Career Services

Jenica Bertalan
Financial Advisor
Edward Jones

Tracie Stender
Corporate Director of Compliance – Senior Counsel
Rancho Bernardo Inn

Mariam Solomon - MODERATOR
Chief of Staff of The Trust and Privacy Organization
HP, Inc.