Sarah Dunsmore giving her keynote address in 2014.

2017 Speakers



Caprice O’Bryant is the owner and head trainer of Excuse Free Fitness, Inc., a personal and group training fitness studio located in Homewood, IL. You’ve seen her fearless testimony on WCIU’S You & Me This morning, ABC’s Windy City Live and nationally syndicated daytime show The Real.

As a certified nutrition specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Caprice utilizes her knowledge to create custom meal plans that encourage healthy eating and appeal to the taste buds as well. Caprice is also a warrior and advocate of Epilepsy awareness. Her motto is, with Excuse Free Fitness, you can do ALL things! She is truly a walking miracle, and despite all obstacles she continues to persevere.

“I believe I can still win with the hand I was dealt,” is how she motivates herself to put in her best, and the mentality she possesses in day to day operations. It is also the mindset she encourages for every member of Excuse Free Fitness, and why so many people are jumping on #teamnoexcuses!

Follow Team No Excuses on Facebook & Twitter!



Unlocking Your Creative Potential

Presenter: Starla Snead, Designs by Starla

Yes, YOU, are creative. We are all born with the vibrant gift of creativity. In this session we will focus on how to revive our creativity by examining our limiting beliefs and how to unlock the creative genius inside.

Uniquely Me

Presenter: Conchetta Jones, Founder, She’s All That!

Participants will recognize how situations, attitudes and the behavior of others affect their sense of self. They will also understand the power of body language and what their body language communicates to the people around them. By the end of the session, participants will have explored techniques they can use to help keep their lives mentally and emotionally healthy as well as balanced.

Talking Circle – Women in Leadership

Presenter: Dr. Shaniqua Jones

A Talking Circle provides a safe, non-judgmental place to discuss matters of the heart and/or issues of concern, giving each person in the circle the opportunity to speak their mind. The Talking Circle reflects this year’s conference theme, “We Can!” by encouraging participants to share their journey toward personal fulfillment and empowerment. Join Dr. Shaniqua as she guides this very important dialogue!

Panel Discussion: WE CAN Panel Discussion

Panelists: Nancy Plax (Connecting 4 Communities); Dena Hirschberg (HHP/helping hand patrners); Colleen Kisel (Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation)

Moderator: Nancy Burrows, South Suburban College

In an era of uncertainty, injustice and unrest, your involvement in community activism and civic engagement is paramount. Join this dynamic panel discussion of powerful women who rose to the challenge and are making profound differences in their communities! Be the change you wish to see in the world!



Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow! (Line Dancing)

Presenter: Dawn Avery, Dancin Deeva

She’s baaack!! Dawn the Dancin’ Deeva will have you up on your feet, line-dancing those calories away and having fun while doing it! No expertise required, just let the music lift you up. Be prepared to be energized!

Can We Lose It? Yes, We Can!

Presenter: Dr. Kara Davis, Metro South Medical Center

Be DONE with DIETING! A healthy body weight is important for total wellness, but “Going on a Diet” can do more harm than good. This session will cover our attitude about food, and how the WAY we eat (along with WHAT and HOW MUCH we eat) holds the key to good health. The session will also cover weight loss medications, bariatric surgery (band, sleeve and bypass), and some newer devices developed for weight loss.

How to Take Care of Yourself & Win

Presenter: Priscilla Williams

How to Take Care of Yourself & Win is a workshop designed to help women live a balanced life, one that is stress free and full of vitality. Women will receive proven strategies and a self-care blueprint to help them act immediately and stay on track even after they leave the conference.


Turning Inspiration into Entrepreneurship

Presenter: Gwendolyn J. Sterk & Jennifer Nolen, Attorneys at Law

Becoming an entrepreneur, while exciting, can present roadblocks and frustrations. Fear can set in and derail the process. Attorneys Gwendoln Sterk & Jennifer Nolen know all about this and will share their best practices for overcoming fear, using those roadblocks as motivation and working toward a vision and goal.

Motivate Yourself to Success

Presenter: Stephanie Walters, Blue Top Marketing, Inc.

Your business CAN break free from frustration and put big sales numbers on the board faster than you may think possible. In this session, Stephanie Walters shares the process she has used to build three successful businesses from scratch. One of them rocketed from $25K in sales its first year to $200K in the second. That’s 8X topline growth! You will learn 8 proven marketing strategies to effectively grow your business.

How to Connect with Your Audience, Brand Your Business and Monetize Your Message

Presenter: Victoria Reeves, Personal Brand Consultant

We all deserve to have satisfying work that integrates our values and expertise. The process of achieving “Right Livelihood” begins with putting words around your unique message and gifts, otherwise known as your Personal Brand. In this interactive workshop, you will begin to answer these questions: Who are you? Why are you here? What is it that you were meant to do?

Estate Planning: Your Life, Your Legacy!

Presenter: Tina Marie Allen, Attorney at Law

Estate Planning: Your Life, Your Legacy! is designed to educate women about the estate planning process and its role in the financial stability, wealth creation, security, and overall advancement of individuals, families, and communities. Estate Planning is more than creating guidelines for distributing your assets upon death. It’s a process that will help you get your personal, professional, and financial house in order for yourself, loved ones, and the causes you are passionate about.

What Matters Most: A Woman’s Guide to an Inspired Retirement Strategy

Presenter: Tiffany Allen, Financial Professional Associate

Whether your 20 or 50 years old, it’s never too late to start planning for retirement. Women face unique challenges when planning for their financial futures. Tiffany Allen specializes in helping women grow and protect their wealth. In this session, she will share proven strategies designed to help you create a secure retirement

Dress for Success Fashion Show

Presenter: Rhonda Browne

Back by popular demand, join us for our second fashion show where you’ll see the latest fashion trends from local retailors! Many different styles will be showcased with emphasis on transforming and recycling articles of clothing, putting together outfits that get you noticed and connecting you with area retailors that offer competitive pricing and the latest styles.

Panel Discussion: Turning Passions Into Profits

Panelists: Tomeka Gross (PowerHouse Professionals), Dwanna Harris (Amtrak), Tiffany Henyard (Good Burger), Meghna Patel (Aesthetica Day Spa)

Moderator: Blevian Moore, Executive Director, South Holland Business Association

Is it possible to turn your hobbies into a money-making venture? The ladies on this panel did just that and have experienced tremendous successes. Get the information you need to do the same during this powerhouse panel discussion!