Morning Keynote Address: 8:15 to 9:00 a.m.
Chief, Harris County Attorney - Special Prosecution Unit
Linda Geffin is the chief of the Harris County Attorney’s Special Prosecution Unit (SPU), which was established in March 2009. The unit uses the power of injunctive relief to close down places that that are hotbeds of criminal activity such as human trafficking, prostitution, gambling, liquor code violations, and dog and cock fighting. SPU also enforces the County’s Sexually Oriented Business regulations and the Texas Health and Safety Code to staunch criminal enterprises such as massage parlors that are fronts for prostitution. Linda has drawn national attention to human trafficking in an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, several radio programs, as well as being featured in Texas Monthly and numerous newspaper interviews throughout the state. SPU enhances Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan’s mission of making all of the neighborhoods in the county a safer place by collaborating with other law enforcement agencies with the goal of building a bigger hammer to crush these criminal enterprises and close down the businesses that harbor these nefarious criminals.
Linda worked for the District Attorney’s office for 10 years and then joined the County Attorney’s office in 2000. She has tried more than 150 jury trial cases in the 18 years she has worked for Harris County. In 2002, she received an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. She is a board member of Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition, and is on the board of the Animal Law Section of the Houston Bar Association. She has served as a volunteer at the VA Legal Advice Clinic organized by Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Inc. and as a volunteer for Taping for the Blind.
Afternoon Keynote Address: 1:15 to 2:00 p.m.
Doctor Jennifer Arnold
Medical Director, Texas Children's Hospital - Simulation Center
Jennifer Arnold, M.D., MSc, FAAP, is originally from Orlando, Fla. She completed her undergraduate degrees in biology and psychology at the University of Miami. She then completed her medical degree at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated in 2000. She attended a pediatric residency program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. During her fellowship in neonatology, she obtained a Master of Science degree in medical education from the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified in both pediatric and neonatal medicine.
Dr. Arnold has spoken both nationally and internationally on health care simulation education and has made numerous speeches at venues like the Texas Conference for Women, Shriners Hospital and March of Dimes. She has received numerous awards including the Ray E. Heifer Award for innovation in medical education from the Academic Pediatric Association, Compassionate Doctor Recognition in 2010 and Patients’ Choice Award for 2008, 2009 and 2010 from Vitals.com. She is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatric Association, the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and is on the council for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and related institutions.
Dr. Arnold is currently the medical director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and is an assistant professor of pediatrics, Division of Neonatology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. In her ‘nearly non-existent’ free time, Dr. Arnold enjoys travel, painting, fishing and spending time with family and friends.
Together with her husband Bill, Dr. Arnold leads an interesting (and uniquely public) private life: she co-stars on TLC’s docudrama, “The Little Couple”, which follows their personal and professional lives and is now entering its fifth season. She has also appeared on television programs including “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “The Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Dr. OZ” and “The Doctors”.
Visionary Leadership: Women in the C-Level Suite
Despite increasing representation across different levels and industries, female executives are still relatively rare. What does it take to rise through the ranks of a successful organization? Highly accomplished women executives from a variety of industries, including oil and gas, financial services, medicine and food service , will share their experiences, advice and insight into their personal journeys rising up the corporate ladder. Subha Barry
Former Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Freddie Mac
Subha Barry was most recently senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Freddie Mac. Previously she worked 20 years for Merrill Lynch, the last five as managing director and global chief diversity officer. Active in giving back to her community, Subha serves on the boards of the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), Rice University and Princeton Hospital and is board chair of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She has won numerous awards, among them the Women’s Fund of New Jersey Award for Outstanding Achievement in Banking and Finance, the New York City’s Academy of Woman Achievers, Rice University’s MBA Alumni Service Award, and National Organization of Women’s Women of Power and Influence Award. Married with two children, Subha lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Kim Cotner David
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Baylor College of Medicine
Kim Cotner David is senior vice president of finance and CFO of Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas. BCM is recognized as a premier academic health science center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. Previously, she was senior manager at Andersen for ten years. Her tenure at Andersen included six years as an auditor for various companies, two years as a business consultant and two years as a manager of operations for a division of one of the firm’s consulting practices. Kim earned her B.S. in accounting from Oklahoma State University and her MBA from Rice University. She is a CPA and currently serves on the boards of Child Advocates, Inc., The Immunization Partnership and the Jones Partners at Rice University.Twila Day
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Sysco Corporation
Twila Day is senior vice president, CIO for Sysco Corporation, the largest North American foodservice marketing and distribution organization. She directs Sysco’s information technology organization including system operations, applications, strategy, planning, and data management of the enterprise. Twila has received the Leadership in Technology Award from the Association of Women in Computing, the Techxans CIO Innovations Institute’s Leadership in the Technology Industry & Influence on Young People award, and the CIO Top Ten Breakaway Leader award. She serves on the board of GenesysWorks Houston and is a member of Tuck School of Dartmouth Leadership Roundtable, SAP CIO Executive Council for Retail and Wholesale, and Women in Foodservice Forum (WFF). Twila is married with five children and lives in Richmond, Texas. Anne McEntee
President and Chief Executive Officer, Flow Process Technologies, GE Oil & Gas Services
Anne M. McEntee is president and CEO of FPT (Flow Process Technologies), part of GE’s Oil & Gas Services organization. FPT designs and manufactures flow and process technologies solutions for customers in the power generation, oil and gas and industrial segments to enable cleaner, smarter and more efficient operations. Anne is a 14-year GE veteran and has advanced through a series of increasingly responsible assignments, including general manager of power services for energy services and general manager for GE Energy’s quality organization where she was responsible for managing and deploying their quality strategy, including Six Sigma with a strong emphasis on lean methodology. She holds a bachelor’s in applied mathematics, a master’s in mathematics, and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, each from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Paving International Trails: Women in Global Careers
Do you have an interest in playing a key role in the international business arena? In today’s global economy, the focus on international exposure has increased exponentially. Women must shift their perceptions in order to remain competitive in a global market where traditional gender roles are becoming increasingly irrelevant. This panel brings together leading executives who will highlight key issues faced while building a successful global career, navigating cultural differences and finding the right balance in life due to increased pressures.Jean Brackendorff
Retired as Vice President, WW Communications, Texas Instruments, Inc.
Jean Wilkinson Brackendorff was vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Communications for Texas Instruments, Inc. until 2010. Traveling extensively, she led teams in North America, Asia and Europe. Under her leadership, TI became the leading global brand for digital signal processing and technology for mobile phones. Her teams developed multinational marketing strategies and programs including advertising, media relations, Internet marketing and executive communications. Corporate communications, under her management, included managing TI’s brand, financial communications and M&A communications. Jean graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a concentration in marketing. She and her husband have raised four children. Two live in NYC, one a teacher in Honduras and one a recent graduate in accounting. Jean serves on two non-profit boards.Shelia Darby
Consultant, Treasury - Finance, ConocoPhillips
Shelia Darby is a senior member of Treasury Finance for ConocoPhillips, where she leads capital markets initiatives and project finance for the Americas. She brings over 13 years of energy and finance experience to her current position. Previously, Sheila served as the director of Strategy and Portfolio Management for ConocoPhillips Norway. While located in Stavanger, Norway, she led the department responsible for developing and communicating the business unit’s strategy, plan and budget. Prior to joining ConocoPhillips, Shelia held various positions at AGL Resources and Enron. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Baylor University and an MBA from Rice University.Cathy Mann
Senior Director of Global Strategy & Marketing, Halliburton
Cathy Mann is senior director of global marketing and strategy for Halliburton, where she leads the company's global marketing strategy and execution for key solution areas. Broad experience in all aspects of corporate communications and human resources management has led her to positions in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Her honors include the Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators, the Excalibur Award from the Public Relations Society of America, and Best of Texas and Silver Spur honors from the Texas Public Relations Association. Cathy serves on the American Petroleum Institute's General Committee on Communications and is on the board for the Unit Scholarship Fund and the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. She holds an MBA from Rice University and a bachelor's in journalism from Texas A&M University.
Senior Director, Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting
Carla Tibbitts is a senior director with Alvarez & Marsal, bringing more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience in the chemical, energy and refining industries with a track record of delivering tangible financial benefits. She has deep expertise in strategy development and implementation, business analysis and supply chain optimization. Carla also has broad project management experience, having led teams in projects ranging from sourcing consolidation and improvement to acquisition contract negotiations. Prior to joining A&M, she was an independent consultant focused on mergers and acquisitions and supply chain improvement. Carla also served in several executive positions with LyondellBasell Industries. She earned a bachelor's in chemical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Houston.
Innovating for the Future: Women in Entrepreneurship
Are you ready to start your own business? Do you have ideas, but are worried about the next steps? In today’s ever changing economy, an entrepreneurial mindset is more valuable than ever. Entrepreneurs have always been relied upon to innovate, take risks, and lead the way in the business world. In this panel, successful women entrepreneurs at different stages of starting, launching and growing their own companies share passions, success stories, lessons learned, and advice.
Founder & President, The Wave
Lauren M. Barrash is founder and president of the Wave — Houston’s jitney shuttle service. Born and raised in Houston, she became a realtor after college, but was lured back to school for a master’s in social work. Lauren moved back to Houston and worked in health care for five years before deciding to go into hospital administration and earning a Master in Business Administration. Shortly after graduation, she started the Wave, which has grown into a transit agency. Lauren spends her now limited spare time with family and volunteering as a Junior League member. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Colorado, a Master of Science in social work from University of Texas and an MBA from Rice University.
Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Kalon Women
Sandra (Levitin) Morgan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Kalön Women
— the social and business networking site for women 40 plus with over 90,000 subscribers, and founder and CEO of The Network Chefs
— a social media marketing, consulting and management solutions company. Her experience and leadership capabilities for the past 30 years led her to be a top salesperson, sales manager and sales trainer for several national and international companies. In 2008, Sandra decided to leave the corporate environment and fulfill a 15 year dream of creating a magazine for women forty plus and a social media marketing company to help small- and medium-sized businesses enter the online world of marketing. Her first book, an autobiography, is coming out in 2014.
Owner, MISTI STYLE and The Mommie Series
Misti Pace-Krahl is owner of MISTI STYLE, a full fashion styling company, and The Mommie Series, a quarterly educational series for the modern mom. After college, her entrepreneurial sense inspired her to start MISTI STYLE in Dallas and Houston. The company provides services such as: photo styling, wardrobe consulting and fashion production. Misti also produced the River Oaks Fashion Show and the Village Arcade Fashion Show, benefitting the American Heart Association, and the Fall Fusion Event at the River Oaks Shopping Center. The Mommie Series has been featured on Culture Map, 002 Magazine, Tidbits and KPRC Channel 2. Misti graduated from Texas Woman's University with a degree in psychology with an emphasis in fashion merchandising and studied Couture in Paris and London through TWU.
CEO & Founder, Green Plate Kids, LLC
Lisa Pounds is CEO of Green Plate Kids, a home delivery and pick-up service of prepared meals for children and families. Green Plate Kids also offers catering and sells meals and healthy snacks at Texas Children’s Hospital, Rice Epicurean, select My Fit Foods, and select HEB locations in Houston. Formerly, Lisa was in the insurance brokerage and risk management consulting business focused on health care and pharmaceutical industries for 13 years in New York and Houston. Lisa is a Top 25 National Foodie Mom for her blog, “Lisa’s Green Plate Blog
” She serves on the board with Bellaire Young Mom’s Club and is a member of Houston Culinary Guild. Lisa earned a B.S. in speech communication at University of Texas at Austin.
Founder, The UP Experience
Sheryl Rapp is co-founder of The UP Experience, an event that brings together thought leaders and innovators. She is responsible for organizing the entire event, from choosing topics, researching potential speakers, attending conferences all over the country to scout interesting people, to negotiating the final line-up, and handling the marketing, coordination and recording of all speakers, 900+ audience members, and 400 students. Sheryl began a career as a sales professional for Xerox Corporation and then served as vice president of sales and marketing for DocuCopy. In 2001, she and a partner started Rapko, an investment company that continues to invest in, develop, and resell residential and commercial properties. A native Houstonian, Sheryl earned a sociology degree from the University of Texas. She is married and has two children.
Leveraging Your Strengths: Women and the Art of Negotiation
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to convince and influence others to do something you wanted? Effectively navigating through the political waters of any organization is a critical 21st century competency. Whether you are discussing upcoming promotions or brokering a business deal, women face negotiations every day. Getting what you want can be challenging, but today’s successful female leader has become adept at using the unique style and skills she possesses. Join this panel to hear from highly accomplished women who have effectively negotiated their ways to victory in both their personal and professional lives.Ann Banks
Chief Commercial Officer, Summit Power
Ann Banks is chief commercial officer for Summit Power, leading all commercials arrangement relating to the development, construction and financing of the $2.9 billion Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP). She brings 25 years of broad experience in business development, marketing, treasury operations and accounting within startup and turnaround businesses. Previously, Ann was senior VP business development and finance at Sindicatum Carbon Capital, a private equity start-up pursuing greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy project. Ann began her career at Amoco, serving in many roles as she moved from the oil and gas industry to power generation. Her international business development experience includes Argentina, Brazil, China, Romania and Venezuela. She holds an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a B.A. in accounting and is a CPA.
Vice President – Talent Acquisition, Learning and Organizational Development, Waste Management
As the VP of talent acquisition and organizational development at Waste Management, Krista DelSota brings comprehensive experience in human resources, people development, service delivery, partnering HR with core business operations, and developing highly productive alliances across an enterprise. She also served the company as VP of compensation, benefits, HRIS and corporate HR functions. Before arriving at Waste Management, Krista spent ten years at a top consulting firm building her expertise in various roles that culminated in her promotion to managing consultant. Her experience spanned the spectrum of HR functions with special emphasis in talent, organizational development and compensation. Client companies ranged from Fortune 500 to oil and gas / energy. She is a former legislative assistant and a graduate of Texas A&M University at College Station.
Senior Vice President & Chief Program Officer, Neighborhood Centers
Claudia Vasquez, senior vice president and chief program officer for Neighborhood Centers, the largest non-profit agency in Houston, oversees programs in the area of youth development, economic sustainability, immigration, and community development serving 340,000 clients a year, utilizing a 250 million dollar annual budget. She launched her career in social services in 1992 and has served in many capacities in school, non-profit and government leadership roles. Prior to this position, Claudia served as director for the office of Mayor Bill White. She holds a Master of Education Degree from the University of Houston, is a graduate fellow from the Harvard University School of Education, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Claudia is certified as a teacher, school principal and district superintendent.
Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
Jennifer Weston is a partner with Bracewell & Giuliani and currently serves as the firm’s chief of staff. She coordinates the firm’s administrative team to implement the management committee’s policies and initiatives. Jennifer is involved in all personnel matters for the firm, including compensation and hiring. She has worked for Bracewell for 25 years as a practicing lawyer, representing colleges and school districts, and as the section head for the Public Law Section. Her trial experience included cases involving children with special needs, personnel matters, and sexual harassment claims. Jennifer is currently a board member for InterFaith Ministries and active with St. John the Divine’s Outreach Committee. Jennifer has two children: Mary, a sophomore at UT, and Andrew, a high school junior.
Anything but Ordinary: Women in Unconventional Roles
Have you considered a career outside of a traditional corporate business role? Now more than ever, women are breaking down boundaries - they are challenging gender roles, exploring new horizons and fulfilling their untapped potential. Through exploring careers that are anything but ordinary, women are able to further break down the societal stereotypes that were once applied to them. In this panel, highly accomplished women from various industries will highlight their own unconventional paths, from switching to the non-profit sector and lobbying governmental institutions, to becoming business authors and gifted academicians.
President & CEO, Houston Zoo
Deborah M. Cannon became president and CEO of the Houston Zoo in February 2005 following a 30 year career in banking. At the time of her retirement, she was directing business in ten states in the Southwest, Midwest, and Texas and serving as president of Bank of America for the Houston Region. Deborah was the first woman to represent the bank overseas; she was the first woman president of a subsidiary bank; she was the founding chairman of the Women’s Enterprise National Council, and was the first female chair of the Greater Houston Partnership. Deborah continues to be very involved in the Houston community where she serves on a number of boards, including the Memorial Herman Healthcare System and the Greater Houston Partnership.
International Journalist & Business Author
Claudia Kolker is an award-winning reporter and the author of “The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn from Newcomers to America about Health, Happiness and Hope,” one of O Magazine's ten reading list picks in 2011. As a freelance reporter, she has covered social issues throughout Central America, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Japan and Pakistan. Her work has been published in O: The Oprah Magazine, The Economist, The Sunday Telegraph of London, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Slate, and Salon. A Harvard graduate, Claudia is currently a contributing editor for the editorial page of the Houston Chronicle, where she first created the immigrant affairs beat as a city desk reporter in 1997. She lives in Houston with her husband and two daughters.
Cristal Montanez Baylor
Executive Director, Hashoo Foundation USA
Cristal Montañéz Baylor is the executive director of the Hashoo Foundation USA. She directs programs to promote intercultural relations, build understanding and promote a more tolerant and inclusive society in Pakistan. Cristal serves on the Mayor’s Advisory Council of International Communities and the Executive Board of Directors of Houston-Karachi Sister City Association and contributes with the George Bush Presidential Center Human Freedom Initiatives. Recently, she was recognized as an International Activist and Humanitarian Making a Significant Contribution on the Frontlines of Foreign Policy by the Dallas Committee in Foreign Relations (DCFR). The Houston Chronicle highlighted Cristal’s international work in its session Faces in the Crowd “Former Model Makes a Difference.”
Ursula Muenzel, Ph.D.
A native of Germany, Ursula Muenzel has lived and worked on three different continents for the last 20 years and underwent a professional transformation while she accompanied her husband to his various diplomatic assignments. She was challenged to forge her own career and taught at African universities, worked at a research institute in New York City and was hired twice by the German Foreign Ministry during their stints in Germany. A prolific writer, Ursula published two books and numerous essays on international relations and became a sought-after public speaker. She founded her own consulting company drawing on her rich international experience and now provides cross-cultural training for corporations, brokers contacts between companies and advises clients planning to enter a foreign market. Ursula holds a Ph.D. in modern history and international relations.
Principal, Government Relations Consulting
Nancy Sauer operates a government relations consulting business that provides advocacy, business development, crisis management and public affairs services in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe. She also serves on the adjunct faculty at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Previously, Nancy held senior government relations positions at Pennzoil Company, American General Corporation (now AIG), Unocal Corporation and Chevron. Her experience includes service in the White House Office of Public Liaison and 30 years in the energy industry representing: oil and gas exploration and production, refining, petroleum marketing, midstream, real estate, ranching, remediation and franchise operations. Nancy holds an M.A. in Theology from Covenant Theological Seminary and a B.A. in political science from Duke University, where she was an Angier Biddle Duke Scholar.