2021 Keynote Speakers

Conference Keynotes
Pre/Post Event Keynotes

Visit the Agenda tab for a description of each of their presentations.

Kimberly Bryant

Black Girls Code: What 2040 Means to Me

Kimberly Bryant is the Founder of Black Girls Code, an Aspen Institute Fellow, and 2015 Apple Stem Partner. She has been nationally recognized as a social innovator and for her work to increase opportunities for women and girls in the tech industry, as well as been identified as a thought leader in the area of tech inclusion and has spoken on the topic at events all over the world. Coming from humble beginnings, Kimberly is no stranger to hard work. As a young girl, she developed an uncommon passion for math and science which eventually lead her to the prestigious Vanderbilt University where she majored in Electrical Engineering and minored in Math. Often being the only minority in her classes, she entered the work force in the same predicament. This disconnect continued into her professional life and eventually broached her personal life.

Kimberly’s daughter, Kai, inherited the same interest in math and science and the same lack of access to opportunities in the tech space as young girl of color. So in 2011, Kimberly created Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the face of technology by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. As Oprah describes it, Black Girls Code is “the first organization of its kind.” Black Girls Code is now an international organization with seven chapters (with more on the way) across the U.S. and in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Prior to Black Girls Code, Kimberly enjoyed a successful 25+ year professional career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an Engineering Manager in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 100 companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer.

Kimberly serves on the National Champions Board for the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the National Board of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance. In 2012 Kimberly was given the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service for her work to support communities in the Bay Area. In 2013 she was highlighted by Business Insider on its list of “The 25 Most Influential African- Americans in Technology” and was named to The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100 lists. A highlight of 2013 for Kimberly was receiving an invitation to the White House as a Champion of Change for her work in tech inclusion and for her focus on bridging the digital divide for girls of color. Additionally, Kimberly became the recipient of the prestigious Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a two-year program that identifies innovative leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to improve public schools for low-income children and communities. Kimberly was also asked to join the 2015 APEC Women and the Economy U.S. Delegation by the U.S. Department of State and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

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Pat Mitchell

Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World

Pat Mitchell is the co-founder, curator and host of TEDWomen. Throughout her career as a journalist, Emmy-winning producer and ground breaking executive, she focused on elevating women’s stories and increasing their representation everywhere. She is chair of the Sundance Institute and the Women’s Media Center boards and a trustee of the VDAY movement, the Skoll Foundation and the Acumen Fund. She is an advisor to Participant Media and served as a congressional appointment to The American Museum of Women’s History Advisory Council. She is the author of Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World.

Pat Mitchell is a lifelong advocate for women and girls. At every step of her career, Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist, an Emmy award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer to tell women’s stories and increase the representation of women onscreen and off. Transitioning to an executive role, she became the president of CNN Productions, and the first woman president and CEO of PBS and the Paley Center for Media. Today, her commitment to connect and strengthen a global community of women leaders continues as a conference curator, advisor and mentor.

In 2014, the Women’s Media Center honored Mitchell with its first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award, now named in her honor to commend other women whose media careers advance the representation of women. Recognized by Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful women in media, Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women” and Huffington Post’s list of “Powerful Women Over 50,” Mitchell also received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership. She was a contributor to Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, and wrote the introduction to the book and museum exhibition, 130 Women of Impact in 30 Countries. In 2016, she received a Congressional appointment to The American Museum of Women’s History Advisory Council, and in 2019 was named to the Gender Equality Top 100 list of women leaders by Apolitical.

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Tiffany Dufu

The Future of Women's Leadership

Tiffany Dufu is founder and CEO of The Cru. Their algorithm matches circles of women who collaborate to meet their personal and professional goals. She’s also the author of the bestselling book Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less. According to foreword contributor Gloria Steinem, Drop the Ball is “important, path-breaking, intimate and brave.” Named to Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women, Tiffany has raised nearly $20 million toward the cause of women and girls. She was a launch team member to Lean In and was Chief Leadership Officer to Levo, one of the fastest growing millennial professional networks.

Prior to that, Tiffany served as President of The White House Project, as a Major Gifts Officer at Simmons University, and as Associate Director of Development at Seattle Girls’ School. Tiffany is a member of Women’s Forum New York, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. and is a Lifetime Girl Scout. She serves on the board of Girls Who Code and Simmons niversity and lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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Herminia Ibarra

The Spectrum of Sponsorship

Herminia Ibarra is the Charles Handy Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School. Prior to joining LBS, she served on the INSEAD and Harvard Business School faculties. An authority on leadership, Thinkers 50 ranks Ibarra among the top management thinkers in the world. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, a judge for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, one of Apolitica’s 100 most influential people in gender policy, a Fellow of the British Academy, and the 2018 recipient of the Academy of Management’s Scholar-Practitioner Award for her research’s contribution to management practice.

She is the author of two best-selling books, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader and Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career. Her most recent article, The Leader as Coach, won the 2019 Warren Bennis Prize for the best leadership article in the Harvard Business Review. Ibarra writes regularly in leading academic journals and business publications including the Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times and speaks internationally on leadership and organizational transformation.

Ibarra is a member of the London Business School Governing Body. She chaired the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee, which reports to the University’s Board of Overseers, from 2012 to 2016, having been a member since 2009, and served on the INSEAD Board of Directors.

A native of Cuba, Ibarra received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where she was a National Science Fellow.

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Tara Jaye Frank

Stretch into Your Future

As a sought-after equity consultant, speaker, and leadership experience designer, Tara Jaye Frank helps organizations define a vision and develop strategies to accelerate their culture and leadership goals.

Before founding TJF Career Modeling LLC, Tara spent 21 years at Hallmark Cards, Inc., where she was the company’s first Black female vice president, and at the time of her promotion to executive management, the youngest person to rise into senior leadership in Hallmark’s history.

Today, Tara works closely with Fortune 500 companies across consumer goods, retail, technology, finance, aerospace, defense, sports and media industries, as well as member organizations like Network of Executive Women and The Executive Leadership Council to customize talent solutions and facilitate equity-based learning experiences through conferences, intensive leadership programs, workshops, panels, and keynote addresses.

In 2015, Tara published her first book titled Say Yes: A Woman’s Guide to Advancing Her Professional Purpose – a practical tool to help emerging leaders reach their own professional high grounds. She is also the visionary behind #MoreThan: A Movement, a non-profit founded to facilitate deeper understanding between disconnected people. Her second book, The Waymakers, is set for publication in 2021.

Tara lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband John, four of their six children, and their two dogs.

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Shadé Zahrai

Step Into Your Power

Shadé Zahrai is recognized for her superhuman ability to translate neuroscience and psychology research into practical, actionable strategies to accelerate success. As Principal and Director of her positive-leadership consultancy, Influenceo Global, she consults, trains and coaches leaders and teams from startups to Fortune-500s, breathing life into organisational culture to enhance change-readiness for transformation, increase engagement, support the development of people-centric strategies and boost commercial performance.

A former commercial lawyer with a background in psychology and strategy consulting, bolstered by 10+ years across a top tier legal firm and Australian Big-4 bank, Shadé is very in touch with the human side of a business and how to optimize performance. She is also passionate about advocating for women in business and specializes in equipping them with the confidence, capability and clarity to excel through her Neurofemina Institute.

In 2019 Shadé was recognized as Mentor of the Year for Women in Financial Services and is a two time Victoria state finalist in the prestigious Telstra Women in Business Awards. She has also been featured in the New York Times, Yahoo Finance, Vice and Red Table Talk due to her prolific career development content on Forbes and social media that has garnered over 700,000 combined followers (as of December 2020). She is also a 3 time Australian Latin Dance Champion whose contemporary Latin performance promoting unity and collaboration has been featured on TED.

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Kam Phillips-Sadler

If You’re Not at the Table, Be on the Menu

Kam Phillips-Sadler invests in big dreams and brighter futures. Kam founded Dream Outside the Box, an app-driven social franchise model connecting the college workforce with PK-5th grade students for career focused experiences. Over the last decade, DOTB has scaled to 16 chapters nationwide, launched a subscription box service, Dream Delivered, been featured on 50 million Lay’s chip bags and recognized as Champions of Change by President Obama.

A seasoned keynote speaker, Kam had the honor of serving as the University of Missouri Commencement Speaker in 2019 and her TED talk, “How Mentorship Can Change the World” has garnered global recognition. Kam is passionate about diversifying the start-up ecosystem and serves as co-Director of the Black New Venture Competition at Harvard Business School where she is an MBA candidate and an Associate at Bessemer Venture Partners and fellow at Susa Ventures.

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David Smith and Brad Johnson

Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies For Women In The Workplace

Brad Johnson, PhD, and David Smith, PhD, are co-authors of the book, Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace. W. Brad Johnson is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. David Smith is Associate Professor of Sociology in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College. 

A former Navy pilot, Dr. Smith led diverse organizations of women and men culminating in command of a squadron in combat and flew more than 3,000 hours over 30 years including combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a sociologist trained in military sociology and social psychology, he focuses his research in gender, work, and family issues including gender bias in performance evaluations, dual career families, military families, women in the military, and retention of women. He is the co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women and numerous journal articles and book chapters that focus on gender and the workplace.

A clinical psychologist and former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Dr. Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is a recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Teaching Excellence Award, and has received distinguished mentor awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Psychological Association. Dr. Johnson is the author of numerous publications including 13 books, in the areas of mentoring, professional ethics, and counseling. His other recent books include: Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women, The Elements of Mentoring (3rd edition), and On Being a Mentor (2nd edition).

Learn more about Brad and David at workplaceallies.com

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Nicole Bianchi

Stand Out with Bravery

Nicole Bianchi is a founding partner at Bravium HD, where she is a professional speaker, facilitator and ICF executive coach leading leadership, team alignment and culture-building workshops. Before Bravium, she was a human resources and organizational development executive, leading transformation within Conagra Brands and Markel Insurance. Her passion? Inspiring Bravery. Her focus? Enabling leaders to stretch into their bravest selves.

She decided to write her newly released book, Small Brave Moves: Learn Why Little Acts of Bravery Are the Key to Life-Changing Leadership, when she saw the common missing element in leaders was bravery, everyday bravery. Immediately she thought, how can I help?

Small Brave Moves explores the intersection of bravery and leadership. Readers discover how small brave moves made often will compound over time creating a competitive advantage, both in life and in business. With this foundation of bravery, leaders can then intentionally craft a thriving culture of bravery for themselves and others.

When Nicole is not speaking, writing or leading workshops, she is most likely cheering on one of her children in their collegiate sport or start-up business, planning their next adventure with her husband Dave, or enjoying a full-bodied wine surrounded by her friends.

Giving back to her community is important; Nicole and her family have partnered to bring the Butterfly Effect, a national movement, to Papillion, NE. The Social Butterfly Installations are an art project mural designed to promote positive community change. By harnessing the impact of social media and joining that energy with the contagious generosity of people throughout the world, we can bring real and lasting change that, over time, will grow into beautiful waves of philanthropy, transforming our communities.

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Jo Miller

Make Your Value Visible

Jo Miller is a globally renowned authority on women’s leadership. She’s dedicated two decades to helping women advance into positions of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths. Based on her work with hundreds of thousands of women, she developed a pragmatic and powerful roadmap that guides women to become the leaders they aspire to be. Jo shares this proven process in her book Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and Thrive (McGraw Hill, 2019) which was a #1 bestselling new release on Amazon’s Women in Business chart and has sold more than 9,000 copies.

Jo consistently receives rave reviews as a dynamic, engaging, and inspiring speaker. She delivers more than 70 presentations each year to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her audiences span the globe, including North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. She has spoken at women’s leadership conferences, professional associations, and corporate women’s networks for more than 300 commercial, government, nonprofit, and academic organizations, including Amazon, Bank of America, Boeing, eBay, NetApp, MetLife, Microsoft, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and Princeton University.

Jo is the CEO of Be Leaderly, a firm focused on leadership development, consulting, and research initiatives to elevate women’s voices at work.

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Nicole Sahin

June 16 Pre-Conference Event - How Giving Back Makes Us Better Leaders

CEO and Founder, Globalization Partners

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Chanda Chacón

July 14 Pre-Conference Event - How My Personal Volunteer Experience Has Shaped My Leadership Journey

President & CEO, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

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Timothy Burke & Steven Grandfield

July 14 Pre-Conference Event - The Good Guys: Omaha's Workplace Allies

Timothy Burke, Past President & CEO, Omaha Public Power District

Steven Grandfield, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska

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Nicole Bianchi

September 8 Post-Conference Event - Brave Steps to Your Own "In Sight" Journey

Founding Partner, Bravium HD
ICAN Faculty Member

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Marjorie Maas

September 8 Post-Conference Event - Community Volunteerism Panel with SHARE Omaha

Executive Director, SHARE Omaha

SHARE Omaha makes it easy to find nearly 600 nonprofits and ways to help them throughout the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area. Peruse causes and ways to benefit them through service and support – applying skills, serving on boards or committees, helping with your family or providing in-kind and monetary gifts.

Step up and Stand Out as a Volunteer: A Panel Discussion

This session invites attendees to get information and inspiration on ways to use volunteerism to grow their leadership skills and experiences, while furthering nonprofit missions and expanding their networks. Hear success stories – from emerging leaders to executives – and see if SHARE Omaha might be a resource for you as you navigate the community volunteer landscape in the metro area.

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