Sarah Dunsmore giving her keynote address in 2014.

2019 Speakers



PANEL DISCUSSION: Women & Leadership

Moderator: Dr. Lynette Stokes, President of South Suburban College

Panel: Mrs. Sharon Johnson, National Council of Jewish Women – South Cook Section; Dr. Ebonie Williams, Principal, Thornridge High School; and Leticia Cruz, School District 205 Board Member; and Sally Walton, RN, MSN, MBA from UChicago Medicine/Ingalls.

Author Nikita Gill boldly stated, “Defined by no man, you are your own story, blazing through the world, turning history into herstory. And when they dare to tell you all the things that you cannot be, you smile and tell them, ‘I am both war and woman and you cannot stop me.’” Our panel of wonderful leaders will talk about their journeys to leadership—the challenges they faced to make them strong leaders, the opportunities they took advantage of, and the lessons they learned along the way. You will start the day feeling energized, inspired and unstoppable!


Shaking the Shame of Single Motherhood

Presenter: Aria Craig

Bestselling and award-winning author of The Single Mother Diaries, Aria Craig, is here to empower single, divorced or widowed moms not to be defeated by society’s stigmas of single motherhood. She will teach you tools to be a successful goal-setting mom while raising productive children.

Queens – Embrace Your Quiet Power!

Presenter: Victoria Reeves, Creativity/Career Coach

As women leaders we have a “quiet power” that incorporates intuition, collaboration and a celebration of others’ strengths. Our professional and spiritual lives may intertwine. Contrary to views of success that involve winning, many women succeed by inviting guests to the table and opening the discourse. We lead others at home, at school and at work. This session offers creative ways to convey your message – confidently, authentically and respectfully – and to embrace your inner queen!

Safe Relationships: Empowering Yourself to Create and Nurture Healthy Boundaries

Presenter: Kerry Hill, Community Education Manager, South Suburban Family Shelter

Our relationships with our families, significant others, friends, colleagues and acquaintances are paramount in our lives. It’s imperative that these relationships be emotionally healthy for us. This session will provide an overview of healthy relationship characteristics including red flags of abuse, respectful boundary setting and empowerment within relationships.


Moderator: Nancy Burrows, South Suburban College

Panel: Dr. Richard Doss, CEO, Strong Minds Institute; Melanie Foote-Davis, The Love and Freedom Academy; Lakeela Jennings, Caseworker, Thornton Township; Dr. Stephanie Jones, Special Services Director, South Holland School District 151

Are you ready for a forthright, truthful discussion about real life issues and concerns? Here is your opportunity to ask the experts anything you want! Do you have a questions about needed resources for your family or how to break the glass ceiling? What about questions regarding healthy relationships or putting yourself first? In this session, you’ll get real answers to your real questions.

Dress for Success Fashion Show

Presenter: Rhonda Browne

Back by popular demand, join us as you’ll see the latest fashion trends from local retailers! 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 retailers that offer competitive pricing and the latest styles.


Leading a Stress Less Lifestyle

Presenter: Felicia Houston

Who isn’t stressed these days, right? It’s time to finally get our stressors under control! In this session, mental health clinician Felicia Houston will teach you about the causes and negative effects of stress as well as techniques to relax your mind, body, & soul. She’ll show you how thinking i.e. irrational beliefs can cause people to feel stressed and procrastinate. Felicia will also assist you in developing an individual Stress Less Plan to implement AFTER the session.

Female Health & Wellness throughout the Life Span

Presenter: Claretta South

Health and wellness starts in utero and continues well into your senior years. This presentation will touch on all the stages of life infancy, childhood, young adult, adult, middle-age, and elderly and what can be done in each stage to promote health and wellness i.e. diet, exercise, and preventative health screenings.


Taking Charge of Your Credit is Taking Charge of Your Life

Presenter: Sonia D. Coleman, Attorney at Law

Are you a woman who wants to be in charge of her future? Did you know that women need to plan for less income and a longer lifestyle than men? Did you know that women tend to live longer than their spouses or male partners? Attorney Sonia D. Coleman will discuss planning for your financial future, the importance of credit and wills, trusts, powers of attorney to empower you to take charge!

How to Grow Your Career by Becoming a Thought Leader

Presenter: Uzoma Obidike

A thought leader is someone who is seen as a trusted expert, or authority, in their industry. When you consistently contribute valuable information to your relevant networks, you will attract more opportunities. Are you tired of playing small? Are you finally ready to take your career to the next level? Then this session is for you! You will learn the exact steps needed to become a thought leader in your industry.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Turning Passions Into Profits

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

Panel: Stephanie Martinez, HRDesigned4U; Krystal Okeke, Miss & Mrs. America Nation; Jocelyn Rials, Let’s Face It

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!