Mount St. Mary's College - Women's Leadership Conference
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Speakers and Sessions

Lori Nishiura Mackenzie

Lori Nishiura Mackenzie will lead two sessions. The first is "The Language of Leadership" followed by "The Dynamics of Hyper-Effective Teams". Ms. Mackenzie is Executive Director of Stanford University's Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Her work has been published in numerous outlets, and she speaks widely on the topics of Bias 2.0, leadership and creating effective workplaces. She is executive editor of Gender News and the annual research magazine, upRising. Ms. Mackenzie is the founder of the online Voice & Influence program aimed at providing people with the skills, information and inspiration to be as effective as possible. She has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

The Language of Leadership

Language can influence our perceptions of men and women, and the potential each has to lead. In this session, we discuss the language of leadership and the role bias can play in shaping different leadership outcomes for men and women. The session will offer strategies for individuals and managers to examine and sharpen their own voices and their advocacy of others, with an aim to advance women's leadership and create effective organizations where all employees thrive.

The Dynamics of Hyper-Effective Teams
From team projects to the next breakthrough product or movement, assembling and motivating the best team possible is critical to success. Hyper-effective teams harness the talents of every member to move beyond group think to maximize creativity and innovation. This interactive workshop is designed to have every person in the room take what's discussed and apply it to their work, lives and passions.


Joumana Silyan-Saba

Joumana Silyan-Saba will lead "Conflict Management: Tools for Successful Leaders." Ms. Silyan-Saba is a Senior Policy Analyst for the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. She works directly with communities to promote healthy inter-group relations and create collaborative templates to encourage civic engagement. Ms. Silyan-Saba obtained her BS in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement with a minor in Business Administration Human Resources Management at California State University Long Beach. She completed her MA in Negotiation and Conflict Management at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Session: Conflict Management: Tools for Successful Leaders
Conflict management skills and emotional intelligence have directly been linked to effective leadership practices. However, navigating conflicts and building healthy relationships can be challenging tasks. In this session, we will explore the relevance of conflict management techniques and share tools to effectively apply them.


BJ Gallagher

BJ Gallagher will lead "It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been." Ms. Gallagher is an inspirational author and speaker. She writes business books that educate and empower, women's books that enlighten and entertain, gift books that inspire and inform, and kids' books that charm and delight. Whether her audience is corporate executives, working women, or a group of giggling youngsters, her message is powerful, positive and practical. She motivates and teaches with empathy, understanding and more than a little humor.

Session: It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been
Are you struggling with discovering your purpose in life? Whether a nervous college graduate facing the future, a 40-something mom seeking renewal, or have been recently laid off, this session will educate you on how to listen to and honor your inner voice because it's never too late to revisit, and relive, one's deepest desires to become what you want in life.


Sande Smith

Sande Smith will lead "Communicate with Confidence: Gain Credibility and Influence." Ms. Smith is the Senior Director of Communications and Advocacy for the Women's Foundation of California. Ms. Smith combines strategic communications, creativity and aspirational storytelling to support the Foundation's mission. Ms. Smith leads the Foundation's communications efforts which combine donor communications, public policy communications, media relations, online communications and rallying support for legislation. She holds a BA in Portuguese and Brazilian studies from Brown University.

Session: Communicate with Confidence: Gain Credibility and Influence
Too often, we find ourselves in important situations where we need to speak off the cuff, and what we say falls short. It doesn't have to be that way. Learn how to prepare for those times - whether in the workplace, boardroom, or with family and friends - so that your words reflect your values and help to move others to action.



Beyond the Boys Club: Achieving Career Success in Male-Dominated Fields
In this session, a panel of senior women who work in a range of male-dominated fields will provide practical insights into achieving success and moving beyond the boys club in the workplace. They will share key strategies on overcoming stereotypes that exist today, and moving up the ladder while retaining your sense of integrity as women.

Tess Vigeland

Moderator: Tess Vigeland is a national award-winning, veteran journalist, and a well-known voice to millions of American radio listeners. She is CEO of Tess Vigeland Productions, a Los Angeles-based multi-media company. Ms. Vigeland spent 11 years as an anchor for public radio's Marketplace, including 6 hosting the personal finance show Marketplace Money. Ms. Vigeland is currently writing her first book under contract with Random House.


Kristin Newman

Panelist: Kristin Newman is a television comedy writer who has worked in Hollywood for almost 20 years. She has written for "That '70s Show," "Chuck," "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Neighbors." She is also the author of “What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding,” a book chronicling the time she spent traveling the world and falling madly in love with attractive locals, while her friends at home were settling down with husbands and children.