Meet Our Amazing Speakers

We’ve curated a speaker lineup of the best local minds in business so you can leave our conference with practical skills to truly advance your business or career.

TBA

Keynote

Due to personal circumstances our previously scheduled keynote, Ashley Lemieux, is unable to participate in this years’ conference.  Our main concern is with Ashley and her family at this time.  Thank you for your patience as we update our keynote speaker!

thealisonshow-headshot2020

Keynote

Alison Faulkner of The Alison Show has made a career doing whatever she feels like doing. But it always involves finding ways to feel awesome and help others feel awesome too. Alison is a branding and events expert with a highly engaged online community. She hosts an iTunes top 100 podcast with her music producer hubby called Awesome with Alison. And founded Alison’s Brand School which has helped thousands through workshops and online courses that empower entrepreneurs with heart to build a brand that can support their dreams. She collaborates and consults with Fortune 500 companies and believes in love, dancing inappropriately, and putting your own name in lights.

Gaye Van Den Hombergh

Keynote

Gaye van den Hombergh, a Senior Consulting Partner with Partners in Leadership, possesses over 25 years of experience in leadership, operating executive, and senior advisory roles in large, middle-market, small, start-up, and non-profit organizations.  She has served as the CEO of The Johnsson Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altran (Euronext: ALT); Regional President for Vistage International, a leading CEO membership organization; President of Winning Workplaces; and in her own firm as a strategic advisor to senior leaders in the areas of growth strategy and leadership development.  In addition to her current role as Director, Gaye is also a contributor to the Partners In Leadership column for Inc. Magazine. Gaye earned her bachelor of arts in business from Hope College and a master of arts degree in organizational communication from Ohio University.

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Natalie is an actor, sketch comedian, singer, writer, and original cast member of BYUtv’s ‘Studio C.’  She and the original cast recently branched out to create their own online network, JK Studios, where Natalie took on the role of producer for the show.  She balances family and work life while engaging with her community in a variety of ways.  Her goal is to facilitate “a true network where we can encourage people that want to create good, clean comedy to come… and be a positive place for them to work and a place for them to grow as well.”

Andrea Ibanez

Andrea is the CEO and Co-Founder of Streemly, a Deal Desk Automation platform that streamlines the sales close process to get more deals across the finish line faster.  Andrea was born in Bolivia and immigrated to the U.S. as a kid with entrepreneurial dreams. She got her start in B2B SaaS after getting her bachelors degree at Utah Valley University at 20 years old. She is passionate about accelerating business growth and success through people and operational excellence. This led her to be instrumental in the success of some of the fastest growing tech companies in Utah, working her way up to become a Vice President by the age of 26 prior to starting her own company.  Andrea was highlighted in Utah’s 40 under 40, the 2018 Women Tech Awards, 2019 Sego Awards in Innovation in Technology, 2020 UWS Emerging Leader, Silicon Slopes Tech Summit top 8 startups and has won many more awards with the companies she’s helped scale. She is an active leader in the Silicon Slopes community and the Women Tech Council. Andrea also co-founded the non-profit, El Chasqui Foundation, which empowers self sustainability for people in her home country of Bolivia. Andrea is a lover of startups, boxing, anything outdoors, traveling internationally, and spending time with friends and family.

Lyn Christian1

Lyn Christian holds the Gold Standard in coaching –  M.C.C. designation (Master Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation). Coaching since 1998, she is certified in Marshall Goldsmith’s elite Stakeholder Centered Coaching, is a Franklin Covey Certified Coach and Certified mBIT Coach (Multiple Brain Integration). Lyn is also an author, keynote and TEDx speaker.  Lyn is the former Director of Innovation at Franklin Covey Coaching and former ambassador for the WABC (World Association for Business Coaches). She currently contributes to the WWC (World-Wide Coaching e-zine published out of Amsterdam). She also co-produces the What’s Your Conversational Intelligence® Podcast with Judith E. Glaser.  To learn more read Lyn’s “longer” bio or take her free Be True class on Udemy or visit www.soulsalt.com

View More: https://sorensenstudios.pass.us/tml2019

Crystalee Beck is a wife, mama of three cute messmakers, award-winning speaker, and cofounder of The Mama Ladder. After leaving the corporate ladder world, she “created her own ladder” in 2016, determined to be there for her kids while using her professional talents. Working in the afternoons, she hit the goal of $100,000 in revenue in her first full year in business and is passionate about showing other mothers how they can do it too, without sacrificing precious family time. She gets her best ideas on mountain trails. Learn more about Crystalee at themamaladder.com

Sarah Vaughn1

Sarah Vaughn is a transplant from the Sunshine State (FL). She arrived in Utah in 2010 to attend the University of Utah, where she attained a Bachelor of Science in communications with a minor in political science. It was on to graduate school, receiving her Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). Sarah has decided to make Utah her home. Since making this decision, Sarah has made extensive efforts to be involved in her community. She has volunteered with the Utah Black Chamber, ACLU Utah, is an executive member of the Salt Lake County Black Dems & Salt Lake County Democratic Executive Committee, and is the secretary for a women’s international organization. Additionally, Sarah serves as a board member on the ACLU Utah and Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission. Sarah’s focus for the past three years has been helping marginalized groups in her community and finding ways for them to get a seat at the table. Sarah is also the Founder & CEO of Melanin Squad, LLC, which was launched in October 2019. The mission of Melanin Squad is to create safe spaces, connections, and curated experiences for women of color living and thriving in Utah. In her leisure time, Sarah enjoys brunching, exercising, traveling, learning more about her Jamaican heritage, and spending time with friends and family.

britt larsen

Britt Larsen, Creator of Livlyhood, a community for women who work, is a champion of women in the workplace. She hosts the Livlyhood podcast to celebrate working women and to help them find joy in their jobs. Her extensive career in public affairs prepared her to now assist working women figure out how to get what they want and need from their careers.

Julie Hanks

Dr. Hanks’ passion is helping women take good care of themselves and their relationships to create a life they love! As a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and coach specializing in women’s emotional health and relationships, Dr. Hanks has counseled hundreds of women and families over the past 28 years experience . She was recently appointed assistant professor of social work at Utah Valley University and continues serve as CEO of Wasatch Family Therapy, a thriving outpatient therapy clinic that she founded in 2002. Additionally, Dr. Hanks is the author of The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide for Women, a blogger, a local and national media contributor, an online influencer, a business consultant, and an award-winning performing songwriter.  A native Californian, Hanks currently lives with her family in Sandy, UT. For additional resources visit DrJulieHanks.com or connect with @drjuliehanks on social media.

Pauline Fonua

Pauline Fonua is a content creator, graphic designer, bawse of a grass roots business, movement, and empowerment initiative known as the Vision Board. The Vision Board is found on all major social media platforms but is primarily focused on Instagram. The platform is about “Speaking Polynesian Existence Out Loud In T-Shirt Form.” Just reaching its year mark the Vision Board has interrupted, created and held space for topics that cover Polynesian Women, Climate Change in Polynesia, Polynesians in the education, LGBTQIA+ Polynesians, Decolonization, and more. Popular for the statement and original t-shirt creator of, “Polynesian Women are Dope.”

laura butler

As Workfront’s SVP of People and Culture, Laura is responsible for creating and reinforcing a contagious culture that thrives on getting work done and doing it right. She’s built an exceptional team who are focused on attracting, developing and retaining great talent.  Laura has spent that last two decades shaping global talent strategies for Fortune 500 corporations as an executive with Ceridian, TeleTech, Taleo, Oracle, and PG&E. She is passionate about the role that Workfront plays in modern work management as a driver of an engaged and productive employee experience.  Laura has been recognized for her thought leadership around workforce development and diversity and inclusion. She was previously named to the San Francisco Business Times Most Influential Women list as well as was a 2017 finalist for Utah’s Women in Technology award.  In Laura’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, concerts and as tennis spectator.

emily and amber

Amber Zenith and Emily Nelson have taken old school aerobics, added modern fitness techniques and created High Fitness— an inclusive culture which has resulted in a fitness movement and subscription business that has moms and professionals alike addicted to fitness.   HIGH has caught the attention of big names such as Julianne Hough, ESPN, People Magazine, Rachel Parcell and even the LA Laker Cheerleaders.  Think Old School Aerobics meets HIIT training, LMFAO meets Jane Fonda, fun factor through the roof and results are the best side effect!  Using social media as its only marketing tool, HIGH fitness has become a nationally recognized brand with many notable partnerships, thousands of Instagram followers, and participants from all across the globe. Amber and Emily have taken their passion and dream and turned it into a lucrative business and inspiring success story! HIGH Fitness has gone from a single class in a community center to a subscription business with over 2500 instructors in 300 cities, and over 500,000 participants annually.

Nicole Carpenter

Nicole Carpenter serves as the communication and operations manager for the Women’s Leadership Institute, a 501(c)3 working to elevate Utah women in business and in politics. Nicole also serves on the Board of Directors for Reading Horizons.  Nicole has always been an advocate for women. In 2012 she founded MOMentity.com, a blog and online community for overwhelmed moms. She also was a syndicated columnist for 5 years and is the author of “52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: 5-minute messages” (Cedar Fort 2015).  She and her husband Marty spend most of their free time raising four amazing children ages 15, 12 and 9-year-old twins. Which means she really spends her time driving them everywhere in her minivan, folding laundry and dancing to Shawn Mendes songs in the kitchen.

Linda Evans

Linda Evans is the full-time Career Director over 2,200 Humanities and Social Sciences students at Brigham Young University. She graduated with her B.A. in American Studies and minor in Ballroom Dance from BYU, and earned her M.A. in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. Linda has an Advanced Diploma in Coaching from New York University and is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. She has been growing her career coaching business, Launched by Linda, since 2011.  She was born in China, grew up in Seattle, came to Utah for college, lived in Washington, DC and New York City for graduate school, and moved back to Utah in 2017.

Jodi Chowen1

Jodi Chowen is the Managing Director of Careers and Experiential Learning at Brigham Young University.  While raising a family of five children, she enjoyed a successful career in real estate and stumbled into a career in higher education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from BYU, completed an online master’s degree from Kansas State University, and she is presently working on a doctorate in educational leadership at BYU.  As a first generation student, she has relied on good mentors and leaders who have encouraged her along. Jodi loves creating thriving environments where individuals can develop their strengths and flourish.

Steven Wheelwright

Dr. Steven C. Wheelwright is the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Management, Emeritus, Harvard Business School.  Professor Wheelwright has a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  Professor Wheelwright first taught at Harvard from 1971-1979 and was the Thomas Henry Carroll-Ford Foundation Visiting Professor from 1985-1986. He rejoined the Harvard faculty in 1988 where he also served as a Senior Associate Dean overseeing the MBA program, the Faculty Planning and Development, and concluding as Chairman of HBS Publishing. In his years away from Harvard, he taught at INSEAD, a private business school in Fontainebleau, France, and was the Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers Professor of Management at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In his position at Stanford, he directed the strategic management program and was instrumental in initiating the manufacturing strategy program.    He has held endowed professorships at both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and at the Harvard Business School. From June of 2007 through July of 2015, Dr. Wheelwright served as President of BYU-Hawaii. He and his wife live in Oakley, Utah where he continues to serve on a handful of Boards of Directors.

Lanette Richardson

Lanette is the current President of Utah Women in Sales and a Senior Enterprise Sales Executive.  She was named as Best Woman in Sales for North America 2015 and Top 5 Best Women in Tech Sales for North America 2019. She has been a small business owner whose business was in the Top 100 Business in North America in its category for several years.  Lanette has been an Enterprise Sales Rep for over 20 Years. She is a working mother with 8 Children and 11 grandchildren.

Alyssha Dairsow

Alyssha Dairsow is a visionary and builder doing vital work for black girls and young women in an unlikely place: Utah. Her non-profit organization Curly Me! is on a mission to educate, empower and encourage girls of color from 5-14 years old to be their best selves through community events and mentoring.  Curly Me! has allowed Alyssha to find a big part of her purpose. From establishing and running the non-profit to maintaining friendships, all her relationships are rooted in a mastery of interpersonal communication in all forms.  Over the past 5 years, whether networking in Utah or staying in touch with a friend, she has learned that effective mutual communication of needs, wants, and expectations is key to building and maintaining successful professional and personal relationships.  In her spare time, she loves to karaoke anywhere with her personal microphone and have fun in life.

Sara Urquhart

Sara Urquhart directs events, ensuring professional, curated functions that deliver maximum benefit to attendees with minimum hassle. She is the mastermind behind Shift Summit and works to create spaces where people can gather, challenge themselves, and have a good time. Sara was the founding director of Altitude Summit (Alt Summit) which launched a thousand blogs and countless successful businesses.  Sara currently sits on nine boards or committees for non-profit organizations. For three decades she has actively served on various boards related to the arts, social services, mental health, women’s issues, education, and LGBTQ youth. She won’t join a board unless she knows she can be an active, strong addition and her values align with the mission of the group.

melissa smith 1

Dr. Melissa H. Smith, PhD, MBA Licensed Psychologist, Leadership Coach & Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator.  Dr. Melissa H. Smith is a Licensed Psychologist, Leadership Coach, Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. Dr. Smith is Principal of Smith Leadership Group, which provides leadership coaching services, facilitation services for executive teams and organizations, online education services, and leadership retreats. As Chief Executive Officer of Balance Health & Healing, she leads a team of clinicians providing specialized psychological services dedicated to meeting the unique needs of women. Dr. Smith earned her doctoral degree from the APA-accredited Counseling Psychology Program at Brigham Young University, which included an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at University of Michigan. She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, and an MBA Degree from The University of Utah.

Krystal Guerra

Krystal Guerra is a marketing executive with over 10 years of experience in event programming, media relations, digital marketing & demand generation. She is a first generation college graduate from Utah Valley University where she completed a Bachelors of Science in Business Management with a Marketing Emphasis. Krystal currently works as a Director of Demand Generation Manager for Instructure. Krystal thrives on marketing solutions that drive results and has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from mid-size to large enterprise Fortune 500 companies and has been involved in raising over $8 million in venture capital. Krystal is also the CEO and founder of Guerra Media—an agency dedicated to advocating for inclusivity, women in leadership & preparing young adults for career success. Krystal has been recognized as one of Utah’s 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business Magazine and in 2018 helped co-found the Utah Latino Business Expo—an annual event dedicated to bringing culture, community and business together. Krystal has been featured in several publications, conferences, podcasts and news channels including ABC4, Fox13 & KSL5. Krystal’s work to advocate for women in business and mentor youth have fueled her success and notoriety. When Krystal is not serving others you can most likely catch her at the airport getting ready to board her next adventure as a professional tourist.

Tracie Fountain

Tracie is the Sales Manager for the non-profit group Starfish Project.  Starfish Project is a social enterprise that cares for women coming out of exploitation. It has employed over 140 women and has served thousands through our Community Outreach Services. 100% of Starfish Project purchases are reinvested into our social mission to restore hope to exploited women and girls. This support allows Starfish Project to help exploited women experience freedom, establish independence, and develop careers.

Nailah Blades1

Nailah Blades Wylie is a marketing consultant & community builder. She’s the founder of Wylie & Co., a boutique marketing agency specializing in mission-driven brands. In 2016, she founded Color Outside, a life & leadership coaching company for ambitious women who are ready to create unapologetic, soul stirring lives through outdoor adventure. When she’s not crafting marketing stories or leading adventure retreats, you’ll find her hiking with her husband or playing intense games of hide-n-go seek with her two tiny kids. Find Nailah online at wylieandcompany.com, coloroutside.org or on Instagram @nailahblades

kristin petrucci2

Kristin Petrucci, The Mindset Architect, is a Public Speaker, Author, Executive Coach, Mother and Gifted Connector.  She received her post graduate positive psychology training from the University of Utah. She helps her clients explore a Mindset Renovation through the power of Gratitude, Wonder and Connection along with personalized meditations and customized EQ and Inclusion training. She believes in living a Gratitude Lifestyle and is the Founder of KP Speaks, Buona Forchetta UT and Co-founder of Women Soul Summit. Kristin’s innovative team building experiences weave a culture of exploration and gratitude and brings wonder and connection to the workplace which ripples into every aspect of life.

Kirsten Blakemore2

Kirsten Blakemore, the author of a must-read book for women titled “Unleash You Power,” launching in March 2020, provides a three step process for creating life according to you!  She has coached one-on-one and facilitated groups within hundreds of organizations. She is an expert at creating a safe environment for people to get real in order to achieve more fully at work and in life. Because of her passion for equity, she has written articles and created webinars and programs for women in business, empowering each woman’s voice and unique strengths. Building on this success, she has also developed diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging programs for organizations to begin their journey. Through keynotes and coaching, Kirsten is a leading voice for empowering personal success and helping people to push the boundaries of what’s possible for their life. She lives in Los Angeles with her two sons.

tricia dempsey

Tricia Dempsey is the founder and CEO of Thrive-Her, where she helps ambitious women live their purpose, and love what they do!  Thrive-Her combines digital courses, group coaching and a Thrive-Tribe community to transform the long-term results women can achieve.  Thrive-Her’s programs are built on The Next Level framework, which helps women realize complete clarity and build bold confidence to achieve their goals, while aligning with their purpose and strengths, communicating their value, increasing their visibility and building a vibrant community of support. Tricia has transformed her own career from a 7th-grade school teacher to an 8-figure CEO.  Before starting Thrive-Her, Tricia started, scaled and sold her IT staffing firm, Agile, which was recognized for being the #2 fastest growing staffing firm in the nation, and a 3-time Inc. 5000 company. During this time, Tricia coached over 4,000 women to take their careers to the next level. Always a passionate advocate for women, Tricia has served on the boards of Susan G. Komen, where she raised over $320,000 through her own fundraising event as well as Women in Technology, where she volunteered for over 10 years, and served as the President of the organization.  Tricia describes Thrive-Her as a movement and her life purpose and calling.

Ashley Spurlock

Ashley Spurlock has over 13 years of experience writing and managing marketing projects and teams in the tech, education, and fitness industries. In recent roles she has overseen an Agile team responsible for content marketing, sales support, and product marketing and worked on web marketing strategy for a large enterprise tech business. Recently, she left the corporate world to spend more time with her toddler, freelance full time, and focus on helping female entrepreneurs market their businesses with BrightZebra Marketing. In her free time, Ashley loves family time, reading, mowing the lawn, and looking for the next weekend road trip!

Raechel Duplain

Raechel Duplain is an award-winning content marketer, wife, boy mom, entrepreneur, and has a decade-long career as a marketing strategist. She is also a certified Agile ScrumMaster and productivity expert. Raechel is a co-founder of BrightZebra Marketing, where she and her business partner, Ashley, aim to teach female entrepreneurs the basics of marketing and how to create a marketing strategy that works. A creative at her core, Raechel’s previous side gig was as a commissioned pen-and-ink artist. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family, doing yoga, drinking Coke, or enjoying some form of delicious Mexican food.

Melanie Steimle

Melanie Steimle is a Career Director working with STEM students at Brigham Young University. She previously worked with students in the schools of medicine and public health at The George Washington University. Melanie has a particular interest in helping women explore their career and educational opportunities and achieve their goals. She received a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree in American Studies from The Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg, and a graduate certificate in career development from The George Washington University. One of the things she loves most in life is reading and talking about books; she may have been known to bring a book to a football game. Her favorite authors include Wallace Stegner, Jane Austen, and Eowyn Ivey.

jeff baird1

 Jeff Baird has been on a pathway of discovery. He’s been in IT and data analytics for almost 20 years. He’s managed teams of up to 30 data engineers. But over the years he has found that facts are only half the equation if we want to be able to persuade and influence. HOW we present facts and how we present ourselves matters. In fact 90% of decision makers will go with their gut feelings over data, when there’s a discrepancy. Jeff shows you how to address the gut, to get a job, to get a sale, to pitch an idea and to get your way. Jeff is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, certified body language trainer (who knew that was a thing) & certified coach in the big 5 personalities (probably worth a google). Jeff lives in Lehi Utah with his family, where they enjoy anything outdoors including ice climbing, canyoneering, caving & kayaking. He’s the founder of LikeAbilities.com and ITCareerHacking.com.

kimmy paluch

Kimmy is founder and Managing Partner of Beta Boom, a startup academy and pre-seed fund that unlocks the potential of overlooked founders by providing daily coaching from product, marketing and fundraising experts.  Prior to Beta Boom, Kimmy founded a Silicon Valley innovation firm which she ran for over a decade. She also developed and led the whitespace gaming division for LeapFrog Inc. and served as Director of Digital Marketing for a 3D printing toy startup. She currently sits on the board or executive committee of VentureCapital.org, Womenpreneurs, the WCollective and UnBank Ventures (FinTech Accelerator). She is also a part of the leadership circle for The Conservation Lands Foundation.  Kimmy earned her B.A. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kassidi Henrie1

Kassidi and her husband were founders of DevMountain, one of the largest and most successful coding bootcamps in the US, from day one through their acquisition by Capella University in 2016. She is now the Director of Finance and Operations at Prenda, a K-8 education company.  Besides her love for numbers, she is also the co-founder of a women’s entrepreneurship organization called Braid. She is passionate about mentoring women entrepreneurs and helping women become economically independent.

Allison-Lew2

Allison Lew is the Founder and CEO of Braid Workshop, Co-founder of the Sego Awards, and Head of People & Culture at Blip Billboards. She is passionate about shifting the economic trajectory of Utah women and building communities that build people.

veronica benson2

Veronica is a mom to 4, speaker, photographer and co-owner of Wellness Simplified (with her husband Aaron). She’s the creator of Utah Women’s Retreats: a weekend retreat that helps women to RECHARGE, REFOCUS & RECONNECT with themselves and others.  Bringing women together to lift and inspire one another is her passion and her go-to motto is, “when women come together, amazing things happen”.

brittany ratelle 1

Brittany Ratelle is an attorney for creative entrepreneurs who helps women become more confident business owners. She works one-on-one with clients such as The Alison Show, the Bucket List Family, and Simply Sadie Jane to protect and grow their brands. She also sells ready-made legal templates in her online shop at creativecontracts.co. With a background in PR, marketing, and law, Brittany helps modern creative businesses navigate the digital landscape without losing their minds or sense of humor. She believes in the power of cute office supplies AND good contracts and hosts a weekly podcast, Creative Counsel for Entrepreneurs, with business tips and inspiring founder stories from successful creative entrepreneurs. Brittany lives with her hunky husband and four kiddos in her beautiful hometown of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and loves to rock out in her minivan, read, sew, hide sour patch kids from her kids, and issue empty threats to her sewing machine. @brittanyratelle

Mindi Cox

Mindi Cox works to connect people with purpose. She believes an organization’s business potential is intimately tied to its sense of humanity. Her goal is to help cultivate workplace cultures where people feel connected to the greater purpose and impact of their work. Mindi believes it’s this connection, this soul spark, that inspires people to seek personal and professional progress that results in the most powerful business breakthroughs. 

Mindi is currently honored to serve as O.C. Tanner’s Senior Vice President of People & Great Work. She has nearly 20 years of experience in Sales, Marketing and as a Human Resource Executive focused on practices that contribute to strengthening company culture. She has lived a roller coaster career path which has included negotiating both full and part time schedules and an extended leave from corporate life to attend to the needs of her special needs son, which resulted in an unexpected entrepreneurial experience. Recently, Mindi was named Human Resource Executive of the Year by the Stevie® Award for Great Employers and recognized as Human Resource Executive of the Year by Utah Business Magazine. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and an M.B.A. from the University of Utah. She is the proud mom to three busy sons and is grateful for the perspective her tribe gives her on work, life, well-being and whole-life awareness in the workplace.

Candilyn Newell

Candilyn Newell, PhD, was a concert pianist who studied and performed in Europe as a young adult. However, she took a 30-year sabbatical to raise a family and support her husband in his professional life. This included 4 years spent in Stockholm, Sweden where Candilyn’s husband was the United States Ambassador. She returned to Brigham Young University (BYU) to finish her studies and graduated in American Studies/Art History followed by a PhD program in Counseling Psychology. She was able to return to Sweden with her husband 25 years after their first stay, when her husband was called to serve as the Mission President of the Stockholm Sweden Mission. After their return, Candilyn became the Head Sports Psychologist at Utah Valley University. She is now a Career Director for the Life Sciences and an Adjunct Professor at BYU. She presents and consults on professional etiquette and protocol to government, educational institutions, and business organizations,  including Fortune 100 companies and various media outlets. Candilyn enjoys half-marathons, reading, movies, Pilates, board games, and spoiling her 15 grandchildren.

Nichole Harrop 3

Nichole is a Women’s Leadership Coach, helping women get promoted at work. She has worked in the corporate world for 7+ years and faced many obstacles on her way to getting promoted. When she promoted into a leadership position, she worked to help other women climb the corporate ladder and realized that it is her passion: helping women reach their potential. Nichole helps women to create a foundation in the workplace using her 5 core areas of coaching including confidence, self awareness, communication, growth mindset, and networking to help them on their way to getting promoted.

Andrea Merriman

Andrea Merriman is a mother of four, 80s music fan, and career coach, in that order. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & Advertising and a Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. A resilience researcher for more than 30 years, her skills were put to the test in 2009 when her 20-year marriage unexpectedly ended, her ex-husband went to prison, and she had to rebuild her life and career at age 42! She has spoken nationally and internationally to Fortune 500 corporations and other organizations, authored a successful personal blog (andreamerriman.com) and is passionate about helping others climb and conquer their personal and professional mountains.

kylie chenn

Kylie Chenn, Age 27, Founder CEO of Acanela Expeditions

Kylie has traveled to over 100 countries and has spent numerous years both living abroad and leading tours across the continents of Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania, and Africa. She studied Business Strategy and International Development at the BYU Marriott School of Management and attended the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge to study Social & Business Innovation. Her international experience and love for impactful travel led her to found Acanela Expeditions, a boutique travel operator that curates hands-on tour experiences around the world for thousands of travelers each year. She is the recipient of many awards, including Utah Business 40 under 40 and Sego Award’s Fastest Growing Company in Under 5 years Finalist.

Melinda Brown

Melinda Wheelwright Brown is passionate about women’s issues and particularly enjoys studying their intersection with theology. She recently released her first book, Eve and Adam: Discovering the Beautiful Balance. When she’s not reading, researching, or writing, she enjoys working with and supporting several non-profits; a few of her favorites are Fight the New Drug, Days for Girls, and Better Days 2020. She currently chairs the board of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. She has four grown children and two little grandsons and thinks grandparenthood is fabulous! Her favorite place to be is with her husband, surrounded by their family on the sandy shores of Kiawah Island, gathering sand dollars.

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