My Five Favorite Keynotes from the Conferences for Women

29 May 2015 - No Comments

After more than eight years with the Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts and Lead On Silicon Valley Conferences for Women, I am transitioning out of my day-to-day role managing social media. It’s been an incredible learning experience to:

  1. observe and adapt to the constant transition of digital communications
  2. meet and learn from countless brave women leaders
  3. hear from hundreds of powerful women (and a few men), including Madeleine Albright, Lupita Nyong’o, Arianna Huffington, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Brené Brown and Deepak Chopra, to name a few
  4. lead social media for events with more than 10,000 participants and sometimes the #1 trending hashtag in the country
  5. see the power of women helping women, no matter their stage of life or career path

I’ll still be involved with these great events, and the benefit of taking a step back from the social media duties is that I’ll have time to really hear and absorb the speakers from now on. I think I’ll start by watching my favorite keynotes, which I share with you here.

Leymah Gbowee, Texas Conference for Women, 2013

Leymah Gbowee received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a Liberian peace activist. I can see why. “The power of possibility. It’s only possible if you decide I’m going to step out and do something…It is possible for us to make a change. It is possible for us to turn our upside down world upright…You have the power. Let’s make it possible for some girl, some woman, to dream.”


Diana Nyad, Texas Conference for Women, 2014

Upon completing her grueling 53-hour swim between Cuba and Florida, on her fifth and final attempt at age 64, a breathless Diana Nyad told the world, “Never ever give up. You are never too old to chase your dreams.”

Hearing Diana’s story of perserverance was the most powerful and captivating speech I’ve ever seen. This is a short clip, and I wish we had permission to post it in its entirety as the entire audience was completely spellbound.


Linda Cliatt-Wayman, Pennsylvania Conference for Women, 2013

Linda spoke in Philadelphia as a special guest keynote before Hillary Rodham Clinton’s much anticipated speech. Little did we know that she would floor the audience with her passionate speech about her work as a principal at Strawberry Mansion High School, then one of the most dangerous high schools in the country. #pennwomen trended higher during and after her speech than at any other time during the day.


Robin Roberts, Massachusetts Conference for Women 2013 and Pennsylvania Conference for Women 2014

I’d like to think that Robin Roberts and I are BFFs. She appears to be so genuine, so approachable, so compassionate and so frank. With kick-ass arms and great sense of humor, to boot.

Here she is interviewed by Tory Johnson, her “Good Morning America” colleague and long-time friend of the conferences.


Candy Chang, Pennsylvania Conference for Women 2014 and Lead On Silicon Valley Conference for Women 2015

The creator of the “Before I Die” interactive art installation in New Orleans, Candy had a great message of taking risks and living life to your own standards. Texas friends, she’ll be speaking at the Oct. 15, 2015 Texas Conference for Women, so don’t miss her.

I look forward to continued learning and inspiration from the Conferences and the wonderful people I’ve met as I continue on my own path!