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2017 Featured Presenters

The conference will include more than 100 speakers and presenters on June 16-17, 2017. In addition to our amazing featured presenters, additional speakers will include MBA alumnae, experts, and representatives of Forté sponsor companies and schools.

Amelia Anderson

Managing Director, Assistant Treasurer, American Airlines
MBA. Georgia State University (Robinson College of Business)


Amelia Anderson is Managing Director, Assistant Treasurer of American Airlines. She was appointed to her current position in January 2014 following the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Amelia and her team are responsible for execution of American’s corporate debt, completing over $20 billion of financing transactions in the three years since the merger, while also handling all banking and related treasury operations for the company.

Amelia is passionate about promoting the advancement of women in business, focusing on all levels of the leadership pipeline. She is a co-founder of the Advancing Women in Aviation Roundtable (AWAR), a grassroots initiative working with CEOs and other senior aviation executives around the globe to build awareness and develop strategies to promote the development and advancement of women leaders. Amelia serves as co-chair of American Airlines’ Women’s Leadership Program, and she is actively involved in American Airlines’ MBA recruiting process, where she focuses on attracting diverse candidates to the company’s internship and full-time leadership pipeline. Amelia is a frequent public speaker on the topics of women’s leadership and gender diversity, as well as the transformation of commercial aviation. In March 2017, Amelia was honored to be named the inaugural recipient of the Aviation Woman of the Year award by Airfinance Journal magazine.

Amelia holds a BS degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and an MBA degree in Corporate Finance from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Amelia has served as Treasurer of the Board of Arizona’s Children Association, and currently serves on the board of Trustees of the Arizona Opera. Amelia and her husband Robert have two daughters ages 12 and 14, and reside in Coppell, Texas.

Beverley Babcock

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Administration, Imperial Oil Limited
MBA, McMaster University


At Imperial, Ms. Babcock leads a diverse organization which provides financial, procurement, information technology, occupational health, and facilities services to Imperial’s Upstream, Downstream and Chemical businesses. In addition, she is responsible for a full spectrum of financial and operations reporting for Imperial’s Board of Directors and investors.

Ms. Babcock’s external activities include acting as a director of the Fraser Institute, the leading think tank in Canada, and membership on the NYSE Listed Company Advisory Board.

Ms. Babcock is Canadian-American and holds a bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University. She is also a member of the association of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Patricia Bravo

Founder, Bravo for You, LLC
MBA, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza College of Business)


Patricia equips leaders with Empathetic Leadership techniques that drive team member engagement and increase business results. She does this by consulting with organizations and leaders through her company Bravo For You, where she helps organizations develop leadership programs and facilitates workshops that accelerate leader capability.

Patricia enjoys using her talent management experiences gleaned at Fortune 500 companies such as Starbucks and to shape the leadership landscape of the future. She also teaches at UCLA Extension and is currently authoring a leadership book.

A transplant who adopted the Pacific Northwest as home, she fuels her love of travel by exploring new destinations and spending time in Southern California enjoying the sunshine.

Stephanie Breedlove

Co-Founder, HomePay and Author
MBA, University of Houston


After launching a career in corporate America with Accenture, she found her true calling as co-founder and CEO of HomePay (previously Breedlove & Associates), the nation’s largest and most comprehensive household payroll and tax firm. Her startup grew to national leadership, was later acquired for $55 million, and plays a vital role in the quality and professionalism of the in-home care industry.

Stephanie’s deep experience combined with her rare ability to combine scale, profitability and quality has made her a sought after business expert, thought leader and speaker. Stephanie offers a life-time of example for entrepreneurs striving to answer the calling and build growth businesses that are successfully integrated into a fulfilling life.

Stephanie’s expertise has been showcased in The Economist, Forbes, Working Mother, The New York Times, and more. She is author of All In: How Women Entrepreneurs Can Think Bigger, Build Sustainable Businesses, and Change the World, is an active angel investor through Central Texas Angel Network (the nation’s most active angel network), and is engaged with organizations that share her passion for strengthening entrepreneurship.

Join Stephanie’s community at
Connect on Facebook and Twitter @BreedloveSteph

Ann-Marie Campbell

Executive Vice President, U.S. Stores, Home Depot
MBA, Georgia State University (Robinson College of Business)

Ann-Marie Campbell began her career with The Home Depot in 1985 as a cashier in South Florida and today is executive vice president, U.S. Stores. In this role, she leads the company’s three U.S. operating divisions comprised of nearly 2,000 U.S. stores and the bulk of the company’s nearly 400,000 associates.

Ann-Marie learned her first lessons in retail from her grandmother in Jamaica, a successful retailer in her own right. And after more than 30 years with the company, Ann-Marie brings a deep understanding of The Home Depot’s operations, culture and customers.

During her career at the company, she has served in a variety of positions, including store manager, district manager and regional vice president. She has also served as vice president of operations, vice president of merchandising and special orders, vice president of retail marketing and sales for Home Depot Direct, vice president of vendor services and, most recently, president of the Southern Division of The Home Depot.

Ann-Marie is a graduate of Georgia State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in business administration. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international business honor society, and the National Scholars Honor Society.

She currently serves on the boards for Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, Potbelly Corporation and World Affairs Council of Atlanta. In 2014-2016, Fortune Magazine listed her among the top 50 most powerful women in business.

Claire Shipman

Women's Leadership Expert; Longtime Television News Reporter; and New York Times Best-Selling Author, The Confidence Code and Womenomics

Claire Shipman is the co-author of two New York Times bestsellers: The Confidence Code: The Art and Science of Self-Assurance—and What Women Need to Know (April, 2014), an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career and Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better (2009) which addresses how today's women's management style is ideally suited for the 21st century business world as it produces more profitable companies with happier employees.

She wrote the books with her colleague Katty Kay of the BBC. Their groundbreaking take on women and work has kept Shipman in high demand everyplace from corporations and law firms, to women's forums and girls' schools.

Shipman has also hosted many panel programs at the White House, the state department, and around the world on women's issues.

Before turning to writing, Shipman was a regular fixture on network television, most recently a appearing on Good Morning America and other national broadcasts for ABC News. She joined the morning broadcast in May of 2001, based in the network’s Washington, D.C., bureau. Shipman regularly interviewed influential newsmakers for the network. Over the years she has conducted in-depth interviews with Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore, Queen Rania of Jordan, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and numerous others.

Prior to joining ABC News in 2001, Shipman served as White House correspondent for NBC News where she regularly reported on presidential policy and politics for NBC Nightly News and TODAY.


Before moving to NBC News, Shipman worked at CNN for a decade. During that time she gained widespread recognition for her White House press coverage. Shipman also spent five years at CNN's Moscow bureau, where she won international praise for her coverage of Boris Yeltsin's 1993 assault on the Russian Parliament building.

Shipman's Moscow reporting helped CNN earn a National Headliners Award and her coverage of the aborted Soviet coup and 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union won the network a coveted Peabody Award. She also received a Dupont Award and an Emmy as one of the key contributors to CNN's coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student uprising, as well as a Dupont Award for CNN's coverage of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Jay Carney, who served as White House Press Secretary for the Obama Administration (2011-2014) and their children.

Susan Ershler

History-Making Mountain Climber, Business Executive and Author of Together on Top of the World

Susan Ershler knows a thing or two about taking things to new heights. Ershler and her husband Phil, a professional mountain guide, received worldwide media attention including GMA, Today Show, CNN, and New York Times after becoming the first couple in history to conquer the Seven Summits of mountain climbing lore — successfully climbing the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents. The remarkable journey culminated at the top of Mount Everest — 29,035 feet — on May 16, 2002.

What makes Susan’s feat even more impressive is that she was climbing the world’s highest mountain while maintaining a successful career as a business and sales executive. During her 23-year corporate career she has held leadership positions in several Fortune 500 companies, leading teams to sales records, beating quotas from $1 million to $600 million. Ending as a vice president of sales for a multi-national telecommunications company, she was responsible for the company’s fast-growing Internet division. She also worked at US WEST (CenturyLink), GTE (Verizon), United Technologies, General Dynamics and FedEx.

Susan authored two books; first titled, “Together on Top of the World,” that details the remarkable story of climbing the fabled Seven Summits. The book is a story of going for your greatest dreams against all odds and pushing past mental and physical boundaries and “Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales”, where Susan draws on her experiences to inspire sales professionals, leaders, and anyone striving to achieve their life goals and reach new heights of success, illustrating how anyone can achieve peak performance, published by HarperCollins.

Susan had only started climbing in her mid-30s, and Phil, a mountain guide and the first American to reach the top of Everest from the north face, suffered from Crohn’s disease. Phil taught Susan to love the mountains the way he did, and so she began using her vacation time to join him on his climbs. In fact, Susan trained by climbing the 35 stories in her high-rise office building on her lunch hour for a year — with a 40-pound pack on her back. When a cancer diagnosis threatened to end Phil’s mountain-climbing career, the Ershlers fought back the only way they knew how — to climb.

Libby Gill

Founder & CEO
Libby Gill & Company


After nearly twenty years in senior leadership roles in communications at media giants Universal, Sony and Turner Broadcasting, Libby is now CEO of Los Angeles-based executive coaching and consulting firm Libby Gill & Company. A sought-after international speaker who has keynoted across the country and as far away as Kuwait, she guides established and emerging leaders to ignite purpose and drive performance in themselves and their organizations.

Libby delivers keynote presentations, executive coaching, custom training programs for companies desiring to drive culture change through risk-taking and accountability to action. Here proven "Clarify, Simplify, Execute" process inspires excellence and increases engagement through increased communication and collaboration, fostering trust, and building respect. By maximizing each individual's Leadership DNA, she helps companies develop people-centric workplaces. The PR & branding brain behind the launch of the Dr. Phil Show, Libby also helps individuals and organizations “capture the mindshare” creating communication models and messaging to connect to the heads and hearts of their customers, colleagues and communities.

Her clients include AMC Networks, Avery Dennison, CA Technologies, Cisco, Comcast, Deloitte, Disney-ABC, Edmunds, Eli Lilly, EY, Genentech, GoDaddy, Honda, Hyundai, Intel, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, Oracle, PayPal, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Safeway, Sony, The Conference Board, Viacom, Warner Bros., Wells Fargo, and many more. A frequent media guest, Libby has shared her success strategies on CNN, NPR, the Today Show, and in BusinessWeek, Time, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more.

Deciding she would answer the call of entrepreneurship, Libby left the corporate world and founded Libby Gill & Company in November 2000. As she was reinventing her professional life, Libby’s personal life also underwent a major transition. She chronicled her journey of overcoming the self-perceived limitations left behind by a family legacy of alcoholism, divorce, mental illness and suicide in her bestselling book TRAVELING HOPEFULLY: How to Lose Your Family Baggage and Jumpstart Your Life.

Libby’s award-winning book YOU UNSTUCK: Mastering the New Rules of Risk-taking in Work and Life has been endorsed by business leaders including CEO Tony Hsieh and Dr. Ken Blanchard. Her latest book, CAPTURE THE MINDSHARE AND THE MARKET SHARE WILL FOLLOW: The Art and Science of Building Brands, shows readers how to build brand loyalty through deep emotional connections.

A former columnist for the Dallas Morning News and a member of the Author’s Guild, Libby lives in Los Angeles and is the proud mother of two fabulous young Millennial men.

Angela Guido

Founder, Career Protocol
MBA, University of Chicago (Booth School of Business)

I’m Angela Guido, and I am a lifelong student of human nature. I am fascinated by what it means to be human, what unites us, and how we can fulfill our true potential. Most of us spend 50% or more of our waking life at work. So what better place to advance humanity than in the workplace?

I founded Career Protocol to provide elite personal development programs to anyone who wants to maximize three things: positive impact, career success, and joy. Our programs cultivate communication abilities, emotional intelligence, and relationship-building skills in a professional context with a huge dose of wisdom and humor. Career development should be fun -- that's what we're here for!

My own educational journey has felt kind of like a global thrill ride. It has spanned three continents and featured some of the world’s foremost institutions: Yale College for my BA in Philosophy, The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business for my MBA, and The Boston Consulting Group for my apprenticeship in business. I have had the opportunity to advise some of the world’s most high impact and high potential individuals, and I’ve heard them say a lot of great things about me, including my favorites: “Angela asks you all the tough questions,” “she genuinely values your passions and reminds you never to waver from them,” and “if you want to work with someone who will actually make the process fun, look no further than Angela.”

Read more about what we do at I look forward to meeting you.

Tammy Hughes

The Heim Group, LLC


Tammy is a dynamic facilitator, presenter and business leader with over two decades experience in a broad spectrum of organizations and industries around the globe. She launched her career at Xerox Corporation in their Corporate Education and Training Division. She began as a Training Director at The Heim Group in 1995, spearheaded the design of the highly successful GenderSpeak workshop, and became the President in 2005.

Participants’ response to Tammy as a session leader has been overwhelmingly positive. She is fascinated by and knowledgeable about gender and generational differences—and her passion permeates her energetic style. She paints the research with fun, real-life stories from the workplace and personal life. By working with participants to identify strategies, skills, and tools they will use to create more effective work relationships, Tammy facilitates dramatically increased business results. She delivers humorous and content-rich keynotes, executive sessions and workshops around the globe. Some of her clients include: McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble, GE, Google, Credit Suisse, ESPN, Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, and UBS.

She studied communication arts at Cedarville College in Ohio and holds a BAAS degree from Midwestern State University in Texas. With Pat Heim, Tammy is co-author of the third edition of Hardball for Women (Plume, 2015). Tammy is the author of a White Paper, “Born in One Generation, Thinking Like Another”. Tammy lives in Seattle. She is married and has two teenaged sons.

Erika James

Dean, Emory Univeristy (Goizueta Business School)

Erika James became the John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School in July 2014. A published researcher and award-winning educator with a passion for consulting and speaking, she places an emphasis on what higher education can do to be of service to industry. 

Under James’ leadership Goizueta remains one of the top business schools in the nation with an upward trajectory in student career success and faculty thought leadership. James initiated a new strategic plan in 2016 calling for a renewed focus as the school approaches its 100th anniversary (2019). Her approach includes a consistent call for faculty, staff and students to effectively collaborate, raise the school’s influence and act as good stewards of resources.

Before arriving at Goizueta, James served as the Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education at the Darden Graduate School of Business. She also served as an assistant professor at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and a visiting professor at Harvard Business School. Her academic career includes involvement in diversity initiatives and membership on multiple university councils and committees.

As an educator, James has been instrumental in starting various Executive Education programs, including the Women's Leadership program at Darden. She sits on the board of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the foremost accrediting body in business education. James speaks at numerous conferences in the areas of leadership, organizational effectiveness, change management and diversity. James' expertise in workplace diversity and crisis leadership has led to recognition in scholarly journals and mainstream media.

Aimee Johnson

Senior Vice President, Customer Relationship Management, Starbucks
MBA, George Washington University (School of Business)


Aimee Johnson is senior vice president, Starbucks Customer Relationship Management. Aimee leads all aspects of Starbucks groundbreaking customer loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, including customer analytics, personalization, loyalty innovation, loyalty partnership marketing and payment. She is responsible for the Starbucks Rewards program design and execution and using data to drive superior, personalized customer experiences that result in brand loyalty.

Aimee joined Starbucks in 2004 and held a wide range of leadership positions in the company’s marketing organization, including the Tea, Brewed Coffee, Espresso, Frappuccino, Packaged Coffee, VIA and Starbucks Card businesses. In 2012, she took on the role of vice president Loyalty, with responsibility for the Starbucks Rewards program and customer analytics. In 2015, she was promoted to senior vice president, with additional responsibilities for personalization, marketing partnerships and an expanded customer data role.

Prior to joining Starbucks in 2004, Aimee held several consumer marketing leadership positions at Campbell Soup Company. Brands she led there included V8 and V8 Splash, Campbell’s Condensed Soups and Prego Italian Pasta Sauces.

Aimee holds a MBA in marketing from George Washington University and a B.S. from Virginia Tech. When she's not working, Aimee enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, road biking, listening to live music and dining out with friends. She is a proud Starbucks Coffee Master and her favorite coffee beverage is a Grande Flat White. Her favorite brewed coffee is Guatemala Casi Cielo.

Tiffany Niver

Sr. Manager of Product Management, Amazon Transportation
MBA, Harvard Business School

Tiffany Niver is currently a Senior Manager of Product Management in Amazon Transportation, working to launch a new initiative.  Previously, Tiffany launched Amazon Home Services (plumbers and electricians on Amazon) as well as was a part of the Grocery team, responsible for multiple categories and P&Ls. Tiffany graduated from Harvard Business School where she was awarded the Dean’s Award for service to the community. Prior to school, Tiffany worked in strategy and management consulting at the Parthenon Group.  She graduated cum laude from Harvard with an A.B. in Psychology and Economics.

Tiffany is passionately dedicated to providing opportunities and environments for women to succeed.  Tiffany was a founding partner of Smart Women Securities (an investment fund for college women), served in various positions on the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business and HBS Women's Student Association organizations and alumnae boards, founded a Harvard alumni Interest Group for women, was chosen as an MBA Forte Foundation Fellow and recipient of the Forte Foundation Edie Hunt Inspiration award, and serves as an active Forte Launch advisor.  Tiffany sincerely believes in the power of women to share and learn together and feels that Forte, offering skills, development, and access, is a wonderful platform for women to do so.

Brian T. Olsavsky

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Amazon
MBA, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business)

Brian Olsavsky joined in April 2002 after working at Fisher Scientific, BF Goodrich and Union Carbide. Previously he served as Vice President of Finance and CFO for the Global Consumer Business at Amazon, and since June 2015, now works as Senior Vice President and CFO. Brian’s work includes overseeing the company's financial activities, including controllership, tax, treasury, analysis, investor relations, internal audit and financial operations. Brian received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State and an MBA in Finance from Carnegie Mellon University.

Throughout his tenure at, Brian has supported diversity initiatives. He has served as an executive sponsor of Amazon’s Women in Finance Initiative, an affinity group dedicated to attracting, developing and advancing women in finance. Brian also acts as a co-sponsor of the annual AmazeCon conference, which highlights the positive impact of a diverse workforce with various perspectives on Amazon’s customer experience. Brian leads his finance team with attention to inclusivity and diversity, career growth and development, and communication and transparency.

Maria Renz

Vice President, Delivery Experience, Amazon
MBA, Vanderbilt University (Owen Graduate School of Management)

Maria Renz is a vice president of delivery experience at Amazon. Previously, she served as technical advisor to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Maria has held a variety of leadership positions at Amazon, including CEO of Quidsi an subsidiary with unique shopping sites, including She was Vice President of Physical Media & Canada and Vice President of Shoes, Jewelry & Watches. Maria led Amazon’s Consumables group and launched popular customer categories such as Beauty, Health & Personal Care and Grocery as well as the first-of-its-kind Subscribe & Save program. She also led several subsidiaries such as Woot, Abe Books, and In 1999, Maria joined Amazon's marketing department she managed customer emails and the Amazon homepage (back in the days when this could be done using an Excel spreadsheet!).

Prior to joining Amazon, Maria worked in brand management at Kraft Foods, Inc, as well as Hallmark Cards, Inc. and Nelson & Associates.

Maria holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a B.S. in Interior Design from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is currently a member of the Vanderbilt University Business School Alumni Board.

A native of New Jersey, Maria lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.

Elissa Sangster

Executive Director
Forte Foundation
MBA, Texas A&M University (Mays School of Business)

Elissa Sangster

Elissa Sangster serves as Executive Director for the Forté Foundation and brings to the role extensive knowledge of issues affecting women’s abilities to seek, prepare for and attain business leadership positions, drawn from her prior experience as Assistant Dean and Director of the MBA Program at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. There she oversaw all activities related to the full-time McCombs MBA program including marketing, admissions, student services, and alumni relations.

Elissa received her MBA and her B.A. in English from Texas A&M University, where she was the Assistant Director of the MBA Program until 1997. She is past Chair of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Annual Industry Conference and formerly served as chair of the MBA Student Services Professionals (MBA SSP). Elissa sits on the board of the Forté Foundation as an ex-officio member. Elissa enjoys reading, running, cooking, and Aggie football. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Jeremy, and their daughter, Anna Leigh.

Elizabeth Umphress

Associate Professor of Management
University of Washington, Foster School of Business


Dr. Umphress is an associate professor at the University of Washington. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Tulane University. She teaches Dynamics of Negotiations and Ethical Leadership to executive and full-time MBAs at the University of Washington.

Dr. Umphress has extensive consulting and executive education experience. She has conducted executive education programs for companies such as Microsoft, ExxonMobil, and BP. She specializes in teaching executives Strategic Communications and Negotiations and Ethical Leadership. Her consulting work focuses on helping employees feel empowered and more productive in the workplace. She has worked with companies such as NASA, Citigroup, and Lockheed Martin.

Under the rubric of social justice research, Dr. Umphress pursues three primary branches of inquiry: ethics, organizational justice, and diversity. To date, in collaboration with co-authors, she has published twenty two peer-reviewed research articles. Of these, eleven are published in leading management journals in her field including one article in the Academy of Management Journal, two articles in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, four articles in the Journal of Applied Psychology, and four articles in Organization Science. Additionally, three of her articles are published in journals specific to her research area: Social Justice Research and Journal of Business Ethics.

With regard to teaching, she was voted the Professor of the Year for the evening MBA program in 2014 and has been recognized as a Star Teacher for exemplary teaching every year since she has been a professor the University of Washington. In addition, she was the recipient of two college-level teaching awards from her former institution. Further, she is committed to teaching and mentoring doctoral students, exemplified by authoring eight publications with current or former doctoral students. She also provides important service to her profession, including serving on three editorial boards of major journals in her field: the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Sangita Woerner

Vice President, Marketing, Alaska Airlines
MBA, University of Chicago (Booth School of Business)


Sangita Woerner comes from a brand management background working at Unilever for over 15 years and then Starbucks for 5 years. She has worked on brands including Dove, Suave, Degree, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Starbucks. For much of her career, Sangita has focused on brand strategy, brand development and innovation. She is currently at Alaska Airlines where she oversees Marketing. She led the recent rebrand of Alaska Airlines and is now focused on positioning the brand to become the go-to airline on the West Coast.

"The conference energized me and made me feel more confident to start my MBA. The speakers were motivational and fantastic!"