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2018 Featured Presenters

The conference will include more than 150 speakers and presenters June 15-16, 2018. In addition to our amazing featured presenters, additional speakers will include MBA alumnae, experts, and representatives of Forté sponsor companies and schools.

Joanne Lipman

Chief Content Officer, Gannett and Editor-in-Chief USA Today, Author of That’s What She Said

Joanne Lipman is the author of That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together, published by William Morrow. A veteran journalist, she served most recently as Chief Content Officer of Gannett, and Editor-in-Chief of USA Today. She began her career as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, ultimately rising to deputy managing editor—the first woman to attain that post—and supervising coverage that won three Pulitzer Prizes. Subsequently, she was founding Editor-in-Chief of Portfolio magazine and, which won Loeb and National Magazine Awards.

Lipman has pioneered integrating gender equality into the workplace. She has written on the topic for publications including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today and Time. As one of the most senior women in the media industry, she has actively promoted women in the newsrooms she leads.

A frequent speaker about women in the workplace, she has addressed mixed-gender groups at major law firms, banks, professional and civic organizations, on issues such as unconscious bias, women in leadership, and bringing men into the conversation about gender equality. Recent speaking engagements on women's issues include the Aspen Ideas Festival, the World Economic Forum in Davos, and Women in Cable Television's national leadership conference, which she keynoted with Katie Couric. Lipman is a winner of the Matrix Award for women in media. She and her husband live in New York City and are the parents of two children.

Erika James

Dean, Emory University (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.

Lori Heinel

Executive Vice President & Deputy Global Chief Investment Officer, State Street
MBA, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper School of Business)

Lori is Deputy Global Chief Investment Officer for State Street Global Advisors. In this capacity, Lori is responsible for a range of activities that impact the effective delivery of investment strategies and solutions to our global client base, including representing our market outlook and investment themes, taking a lead role in investment strategy oversight, governance and innovation and managing the implementation of enterprise-wide initiatives.

Prior to this role, she was Chief Portfolio Strategist, leading a team of professionals responsible for helping advisors, consultants and institutional clients analyze economic and market developments, assess the impact to their portfolios and identify specific products and solutions to help them manage risk and take advantage of market opportunities. She is a member of the company’s Executive Management Group, Investment Committee and Global Product Committee.

Before joining State Street Global Advisors, Lori was Chief Investment Strategist and Head of Investment Products for OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a $250 billion asset management firm. In that capacity, she and her team identified market opportunities, spearheaded new product development and created thought leadership aimed at helping clients navigate markets and position their portfolios effectively. Prior to that, she was a managing director and head of Investments for Citi Private Bank. She and her team worked with ultra-high net worth clients, family offices, private foundations and institutional clients to develop investment strategies designed to meet financial, cash management and risk management needs. Before joining Citi, Lori ran the Global Investment Products Group for SEI Investments, where she developed innovative strategies to manage pension plans and other institutional assets, launched a series of investor portfolios designed to address specific client needs and pioneered integrated managed accounts with portfolio overlayfunctionality.

Earlier in her career, Lori managed the new business development effort for Mellon Financial’s Eastern Region, and was a senior vice president at Parker/Hunter Incorporated running the equity and fixed income sales and trading departments. She began her career at Credit Suisse First Boston, where she analyzed investment and financing alternatives for institutional clients.Lori received her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and her AB in religion from Princeton University. She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the Boston Security Analysts Society.

Julie Sweet

Chief Executive Officer – North America, Accenture
J.D. Columbia Law School

Julie Sweet is Accenture's Chief Executive Officer – North America, responsible for leading the company's business in the United States, its largest market, and Canada. She is also a member of Accenture's Global Management Committee.

Prior to assuming her current position in June 2015, Ms. Sweet served as Accenture's general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer. As general counsel, she had ultimate responsibility for all legal support, serving as principal counsel to senior leadership and the board of directors and leading the company's Legal department.

Before joining Accenture in 2010, Ms. Sweet was, for 10 years, a partner in the Corporate department of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where she led a broad corporate practice, representing underwriters, private equity funds and corporate clients in public and private financings, advising on mergers and acquisitions, and providing general corporate counsel.

Ms. Sweet is a member of the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable and chairs its Technology Committee. She also serves on the Executive Council of TechNet and is co-chair of the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. In 2017, Ms. Sweet was named to FORTUNE's list of "Most Powerful Women" for the second consecutive year.

Ms. Sweet holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School

Shannon Demko

Founder, Mindful MBA
M.A. Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Shannon Reinard Demko is a certified mindfulness and yoga (RYT 200) instructor and founder of MindfulMBA, a website designed to make mindfulness accessible and relevant to the MBA lifestyle. She has spent over fifteen years working with business students, alumni, and applicants in both the university and non-profit settings as an admissions officer, and now an MBA admissions coach. She has an undergraduate degree in English from Georgetown, a masters degree in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania, and additional graduate training in nutrition and health promotion management. She is passionate about helping bright, talented and motivated individuals harness their personal sources of strength to achieve their goals and dreams, particularly within the business world.

Diane Fennig

Senior Consultant, the Human Capital Group, Inc
Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Diane Fennig is a passionate architect at the intersection of opportunities and talent. She brings more than 25 years of career development and management experience in an university environment to executive search. Diane joined The Human Capital Group in 2009 to incorporate her network with her keen sense of talent for a new role in retained executive search. She embodies the motto "We make a difference in your business" by doing things differently in ours. Diane has enjoyed serving a number of associations over the past nine years as both a speaker and a coach. She is devoted to the emerging leaders of organizations.

Diane has earned degrees from Marquette University, Miami University and The University of South Carolina and enjoys her role as career connector and educator. She is also a guest blogger for the Society of Human Resource Management in the areas of recruitment, retention and employee satisfaction.

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.

Erika Hall

Assistant Professor, Emory University (Goizueta Business School)
Ph.D., Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management)

Erika V. Hall joined the Goizueta Business School faculty in 2014. Hall earned a PhD in Management & Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the influence of race, gender, and class-based implicit biases on interactions within the workplace and the broader society. Further, she teaches Negotiations to the Full-time MBAs and Undergraduate Business Students at Goizueta. Professor Hall's research has appeared in academic journals such as American Psychologist, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and NPR. In 2016, she was honored as one of the 40 Under 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors by Poets & Quants. Prior to graduate school, Hall was a Research Associate at Harvard Business School.

Cassie McLean

Group Vice President, DaVita Kidney Care

Cassie is a Group Vice President of Operations. In this role she works with a great team to oversee operations and growth for non-acute and acute kidney care programs in the Southeast United States, representing a ~$1B service line and ~350 clinic programs. Cassie has a passion for improving the US health care delivery system and on creating/implementing business solutions that are a win for patients and a win for providers. She has worked with DaVita for 12 years leading teams on both the corporate side (revenue operations/strategy) and field side (clinic operations) of DaVita Kidney Care. Prior to her work with DaVita, Mrs. McLean worked with Accenture Consulting focusing on revenue cycle improvement opportunities within the healthcare provider space. She also worked as a Hospital Administrator at New York University School of Medicine. Mrs. McLean holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colorado College and a Masters in Public Administration with a focus in healthcare finance from New York University. She lives in Cincinnati OH with her husband and two daughters.

Yesi Morillo-Gual

Entrepreneur and former Wall Street executive
MBA, Touro University; M.S. Writing, New York University

An award-winning entrepreneur and former Wall Street executive, Yesi Morillo-Gual is a TEDx speaker, author and empowerment expert. Yesi recently served as an Operational Risk Manager, at Citigroup, where she managed a trillion-dollar bid proposal portfolio, as well as institutional investor initiatives. She began her career at Citi as an administrative assistant, and successfully navigated the space to ultimately become an executive Director. In 2012, Citi recognized Yesi as one of twenty high potential women, making her a part of the firm's distinguished Development Talent Program (DTP), which focuses on developing the organization's future leaders.

Outside her career, Yesi is founder of Proud to Be Latina, an organization created to help Latinas banish self-doubt and break self-imposed barriers. A leadership development firm, Proud to Be Latina focuses on helping women navigate the Corporate space through action-driven platforms and programs. She is the author of Rise: Affirmations for Personal Growth and the forthcoming novel Stay. She resides in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Elissa Sangster

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

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.

Dr. Laura Wendt

Global Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, A.T. Kearney

Laura holds a PhD in Medical Psychology and Behavioral Immunobiology and within her highly recognized Neuropsychology studies she has researched and taught unconscious biases, gender challenges in the work place and the role of underrepresented minorities for more than ten years. She is the author of several scientific papers, appearing in the handbook of experimental pharmacology as well.

As the global Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at A.T. Kearney she has developed dynamic bespoke Conscious Inclusion trainings helping industries worldwide to increase the application, promotion and retention rate of women and other underrepresented minorities. She is an international speaker who delivers unique approaches to help companies build a more diverse and productive work environment that attracts top talents and increases the motivation, satisfaction and engagement of employees.

She has formerly worked as a Strategy Consultant focusing on change management, communication, executive coaching and large-scale organizational and digital transformation mainly in chemical, automotive and pharmaceutical industries. She has also advised the public health sector in India to develop HR performance and job satisfaction measurement tools to improve processes for hospitals and medical practices. By combining her science and consultancy backgrounds, she brings a fresh and critical perspective that is much needed in today's society.