VAWC 2017 Schedule

Breakout Session I — 9:40 am to 10:40 am

Doing Business with Government: Local, State, & Federal (Suite 1A)
Doing business with governments can open the revenue potential for your business.  Come hear experts address key points for navigating your success with government at the federal, state, and local government level.  These resources can also point you to key sources who can address certifications, which will enhance your marketability with government buyers.
Moderated by Kathryn Dolan, Business Development Director, VA Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity. Panelists: Angela Barber, Business Service Manager - Hampton Roads, Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity; Michele McCoy, Procurement Counselor; and Lavera Tolentino, Minority Business Coordinator, City of Virginia Beach.

All in Together: Civic Hall Advocacy Workshop (Suite 1CB)
Looking to be a more engaged, active citizen in 2017? The All In Together Campaign, a non-partisan, women’s organization committed to closing the gender gaps in politics, is bringing you an in-person, action-oriented workshop on how to (really) drive change in the political process and make your voice count. Presented by Edda Collins Coleman, Co-Founder and Chief Public Affairs Officer, The All In Together Campaign.

The Long Game: Securing Your Financial Future (Suite 2)
Join us to discuss the areas that can be key to your financial future, but are often overlooked. Find out how to Master Your Card, strengthen your buying power and save time. We will also discuss long term care – what it is and why you should start planning now.
Presented by Corri Campbell, Regional Vice President, Genworth; and Mercedes Garcia, Vice President Global Community Relations, MasterCard.

The Fine Art of Networking (Suite 3)
Networking is an under-utilized tool. Networking - when done strategically - can skillfully generate your “unfair share” of business-building connections. This seminar will provide nuts-and-bolts information on how to: network with effect; do’s and don’ts of networking; and the importance of following up. We’ll also discuss virtual networking: a growing trend in using social media as a networking platform. You will leave the presentation with actionable material that you can put to immediate use right here at the conference, and in your business.
Presented by Jennefer Witter, Founder & CEO, The Boreland Group Inc.


Breakout Session II — 10:50 am to 11:50 am

First Steps to Owning Your Own Business – A Workshop for Entrepreneurs (Suite 1CB)
Let’s take an honest look at what it really takes to start your own business. We’ll have a candid discussion with our panel of experts and seasoned entrepreneurs and encorepreneurs about the trials and celebrations of what it means to be The Boss.  Moderated by Chris Cain, Director, Staunton Innovation Hub. Panelists: Vita Kenney, Vice President/Small Business Leader, Towne Bank; Benita Adams, Owner, The Second Act; and Sarah Derby, Co-owner, Derby’s Auto Care.

Is it Time to Take the Next Step? – A Workshop for Small Business Owners (Suite 1A)
Timing is everything, especially when you’re planning to take your small business to the next level. Learn when and how to scale your business effectively. Moderated by Leah Fremouw, Director of Community Impact, Virginia Community Capital, Inc.Panelists: Francine Spinelli, COO, AccelerateHER; and Zee Worstell, CEO, AccelerateHER.

The Virtual You: Protecting Your Self in Cyberspace (Suite 1D)
Smartphones, your computer or iPad, wearable devices, even your coffee machine and your child’s toys, they are all inextricably linked to YOU. In today’s world, it’s critical that you are aware of the cyber footprints you leave behind every time you make a phone call, send a text or email, post on social media, or make a purchase with a credit card, and understand how those imprints leave you vulnerable to crime. Learn some simple but important measures you can use to protect yourself and your family. Presented by Vida C. Williams, Founder and CEO, Axis Partners, Inc. and Corren McCoy, Chief Data Strategist, G2 Ops.

Healthy Life, Happy Life: Wellness Workshop (Suite 2)
Today’s world is fast-paced, and our schedules are exceedingly busy. It’s easy to forget to take time for yourself to prioritize your well-being, but being healthy doesn’t have to be arduous. Join our panelists as they provide information, tips, and exercises to keep you healthy and on the move!  Presented by Lisa Comerose, Senior Health Consultant, National Accounts, Anthem; Dr. Jeffrey Sicat, Director and Founder, Virginia Weight and Wellness; Cheryl Roberts, Deputy Director, Programs and Operations, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services; and Sunshine Torrey, Owner and CEO, Fit Bar Fitness & Fit Bar Express.

Six Steps to Building Community (Suite 3)
Hear how The Women’s Forum of Coastal Virginia was born and how you can follow their advice and lessons learned to build a supportive network of professional women in your region.
Moderated by Cheryl Tan, Panelists: Elizabeth Duncan-Hawker, President, Red Hawk Strategic Solution LLC; Kristen M. Littlewood, VP of Marketing, Segin Software, LLC; and Erika Small-Sisco, Program Manager, ODU Center for Enterprise Innovation/Women's Business Center.


Breakout Session III — 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

Women@Work – The Balancing Act (Suite 1A)
It’s 2017 and the question we still ask ourselves is, “Can I have it all?” We can! But we know that, for working women especially, there is a daily balancing act we must master in order to keep all facets of our complicated lives working as smoothly as possible. This workshop will explore ways to create an environment that will allow you to nurture yourself and pursue your dreams without “tipping the scales.”  Moderated by Rita Ricks, Spiritual/Business Coach. Panelists: Carlisse Davis, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, PHR, Dominion Energy, and Michele Rhudy, CEO & President, Rhudy & Co. Strategic Communications.

Opportunities: Creating Space for Women-Owned Businesses in Virginia (Suite 1CB)
Join this in-depth conversation about how we change private sector, corporate, and government-contracting relationships with women-owned businesses to increase the growth and sustainability of women entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth. Moderated by Lee Brazzell, CEO and President, Transformation Consultants. Panelists: The Honorable Nancy Rodrigues, Virginia Secretary of Administration; G. LaVern Jackson, President and CEO, JLMI; Joy Lutes, Vice President, External Affairs, National Association of Women Business Owners; Brad Reaves, Attorney, ReavesColey PLLC; Kathy J. Spangler, Executive Director, Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution; and Zee Worstell, CEO, AccelerateHER.

Negotiating Authority: The Hidden Skill Men Have and Women Need (Suite 2)
Women do it more often than men. We say yes to a promotion at work or agree to take the lead on a project that we think will help further our standing, influence, or career.  You put everything you have into creating a successful outcome and suddenly you realize that something has gone very wrong. You can't put your finger on it, but you know that you aren't meeting expectations and it's too late in the process to go back to the beginning and fix it. Aligning the responsibility you've accepted with what you will be responsible for and held accountable for hinges on your ability to have negotiated the authority you will need to effectively execute what you have committed to achieving. Presented by Lynda McNutt Foster, CEO, Cortex Leadership Consulting.

Your Cause, Your Community: Lessons from Women Advocates (Suite 3)
Women are born advocates! We are empathetic, nurturing, and skilled at anticipating needs, for our family, our neighbors, or our community. This panel of amazing women, who give generously of their time and talent and work diligently to unite people behind issues of importance, will share their stories and help you begin or expand your own advocacy efforts.
Moderated by Toiya Adair Sosa, Regional Public Affairs Coordinator, GEICO; and radio talk show host, “Church and State,” Praise 104.9. Panelists: Hallie Murray, Founder, One in 68 Foundation; Beatriz Amberman, Vice Chair, Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations; Anika Horn, B Keeper VA; and Tracy Keller, CEO, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast.


General Session — 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Wine and snack bars (for purchase) will be set up in the Ballroom. Relax and enjoy a glass of wine while listening to our special final panel. Stay after the closing program to network! 

DameChangers: Women in Leadership, Ballroom
You won’t want to miss this interactive session with five diverse women leaders who will share their experience as DameChangers; making a difference and leading by example. Audience questions are encouraged.
Moderated by Cathy Lewis
Kathleen Owens, CDR, USNR, Ret, and President, Beach Development Group
Mercedes Garcia, VP, Global Community Relations, Mastercard 
Angela Reddix, President and CEO, ARDX
Dr. Luisel “Lulu” Ricks-Santi, Founder, Hampton University Cancer Research Center
Chandra McCulley-Hooker, Director Program Production, Newport News Shipbuilding

The theme of our 2017 conference, DameChangers, is in honor of the late Elizabeth “Betty” Jolly, a strong woman with a wry sense of humor. She was a true public servant; a champion for public education, health, and good government. Before Betty passed away, she had begun a book project honoring Virginia women who lead by example and make major changes in their fields without ego or fanfare. Betty, herself, was one of these women. We honor Betty and all the unsung women leaders who have gone before us, who are with us today, and who will lead our future.