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2018 Innovative Women’s Conference

October 12, 2018 | 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

McKimmon Conference and Training Center at NC State

The Jenkins MBA Women’s Club is excited to host its fifth annual Innovative Women’s Conference. This is a full day of engaging speakers, panels and workshops, featuring a powerful keynote address from Diversity and Inclusion Executive at Bank of America Lauren Hood.

This year’s theme is Inspire, Influence, and Impact. As the challenges women face in business continue to grow, it’s important we continue to inspire other women to achieve their goals, be good influences and impact change in and outside of our organizations.

This event is designed to bring together women in the Triangle area – from graduate students to entrepreneurs to corporate executives – to encourage discussion and hands-on learning in all areas of business.

Pre-Conference Event

Learn more about the Pre-Conference Event: Conversations with the She Suite Networking Event on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 5:30-8 p.m.

Conference cost (breakfast and lunch will be provided):

Students: $10
Professionals: $25

Keynote Speaker

Lauren Hood
Diversity & Inclusion Executive, Bank of America

In this role, Lauren Hood manages the processes and functions for the Global Diversity and Inclusion organization, leading global strategies, programs and initiatives that actively support Bank of America’s diverse and inclusive workplace.

Responsibilities include conference planning, strategic partner management, recognition and metrics. Lauren manages the Investing in Women Leadership Council, comprised of senior executives across the company who act as advisors and champions of our efforts to advance women’s success. The Council also provides strategic oversight to the bank’s enterprise and line of business women’s networks, which engage over 30,000 employees around the globe.

Lauren joined Bank of America in 1989 as a Management Associate in College Park, Maryland. Prior to her current role, she was Strategic Assistance Executive with responsibility for planning, managing and coordinating all activities related to Bank of America’s strategic partnership with China Construction Bank, the second largest bank in the People’s Republic of China.

Lauren’s early career included assignments as a Banking Center Manager, Learning Manager, Management Associate Program Manager and Performance Consultant. She has also served in several roles supporting the Bank of America culture and customer experience.

Lauren is Six Sigma certified and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English with cum laude honors at Duke University. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and two sons.

Conference Speakers

Cindy Anderson
Owner and Managing Partner, Thinc Strategy

Cindy founded Thinc Strategy to help business leaders and their management teams increase their corporate value.

She has owned five businesses including selling three of her own businesses. She has also guided over 140 clients in the past 20 years grow their value with many selling for a higher premium. Cindy has worked for a variety of clients, both domestic and international organizations, ranging in size from sophisticated startups to over $375 million in sales.

She specializes in leadership management for growing exceptional teams from the CEO on down and has worked with both privately held and public corporations. She understands what it takes to start, manage, grow, lead and transition businesses successfully. Cindy is a seasoned speaker and facilitator with various organizations on the topics of leadership, mergers and acquisitions, business strategy, finance and management development. Beyond the office, Cindy enjoys catching up on her reading, as well as hiking and traveling with her husband Chris and her son, Jackson.


Sharon Bui
Marketing Communications Manager, Cisco

Sharon is a proud graduate of the College of Textiles at NC State with a degree in fashion and textile management: brand management and marketing.

As a junior at NC State, she formed Frill with an Appalachian State student with only $250 (and Sharon had only $350 in her bank account). They grew it into a six-figure company as college students and sold their 5-year old company in 2016. Frill was aired on Shark Tank Season 6 in March 2015 and she has also appeared in Forbes, ABC World News Tonight, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly and more.

After visiting Google, Facebook, and Instagram’s headquarters, Sharon knew a career in technology was her dream. She now works full time as a Marketing Program and Marketing Communications Manager for the Fortune 500 technology company, Cisco, and also hires college graduates, Military Veterans, the disabled and candidates trying to return to the workforce.

Sheryl Sandberg and Elon Musk are her idols, and her goal is to be a Sheryl Sandberg at Cisco one day and to be an ethnic woman leader in the field of technology while somehow changing the world. She also has a business doing photography, mentoring other start-up companies, building e-commerce websites, coordinates weddings and is a traveling motivational speaker for ForCollegeForLife.


Dr. Sarah Glova
Founder and President, Reify Media

Dr. Sarah Glova is the founder of the award-winning digital media firm Reify Media.

Her journey as an entrepreneur began when she started freelancing in 2009, which led her to officially launch Reify Media in 2012. After that, her company grew to over half a million in revenue after only three years.

Sarah, who was 26 when she started Reify, continues to be the sole owner of the self-funded company, which has grown to seven employees, a team of contractors, and clients across the country.  Her team has worked with major university, corporate, and nonprofit clients, creating websites, eLearning, compliance training, video, and more cutting-edge digital resources.

Sarah has a PhD in Instructional Technology, and she’s a published author who’s spoken internationally about active learning trends, instructional design, and technology in education. Sarah also supports women- and entrepreneur-focused organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO); she was the youngest President to lead NAWBO Greater Raleigh in the chapter’s 40-year history when she served from 2017-2018.

Sarah speaks to student and business groups across the country about entrepreneurship, women in business, and diversity and inclusion. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and their young son, and she’s a self-proclaimed book nerd, podcast addict, fairweather jogger, and coffee addict.


Carol Kozar
Corporate Services Procurement Manager, SAS
Executive Practicum Advisor,  NC State Supply Chain Resource Cooperative

Carol Kozar is an upbeat, engaging supply chain executive with a proven track record of achievement in effective global sourcing for federal and commercial clients. Over the past 20+ years, Carol has held executive leadership positions within the supply chain functions at IBM, RTI, and SAS and has been responsible for spend categories with over $2B in annual spend. She has extensive experience in leading high performing teams in cross-functional environments. Carol is energized by lifelong learning and giving back through coaching and mentoring future supply chain leaders.


Cheslie Kryst
Attorney, Poyner Spruill LLP

An attorney specializing in complex civil litigation, Cheslie Kryst loves to learn and develop her diverse range of interests. In addition to practicing full-time as an attorney, Cheslie runs a blog—White Collar Glam—that provides workwear fashion inspiration and resources for women.

Cheslie is a graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law and Graduate School of Business, where she earned both a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Business Administration degree. While at Wake Forest, she competed on the AAJ Trial Team that won the 2017 AAJ National Championship, which marked the first time Wake Forest won the competition.

Never one to sit still for long, Cheslie’s interests outside of the classroom always kept her busy. She competed in pageants, placing first runner-up to Miss North Carolina 2015 and winning a preliminary swimsuit award. In 2016, she won the “Rock the Runway” design competition, a fundraiser sponsored by Goodwill. Cheslie designed and constructed a line of eveningwear out of clothes purchased from Goodwill. She also made a ball gown out of newspaper for the

In her free time, Cheslie enjoys playing piano, hiking, running 5Ks with her mom and walking in fashion shows. She has five siblings and credits her success to her loving and supportive family and her ability to learn from failure.


Reginald Liger
CyberSecurity Sales Specialist in GVS/CS for the Commercial East Team, Cisco

Reginald Liger (Lee-jay) is a CyberSecurity Sales Specialist in GVS/CS for the Commercial East team at Cisco. He is responsible for driving & enriching SMB security sales in the NYC Uptown, Downtown, and Atlantic Shore Territories. Reggy has been recognized by Cisco as a STEM volunteer award winner and by Citizen Schools as a national teacher award winner. He is Haitian-American and Co-Founder of Foundation of the World, a non-profit focused on developing young people through education with programs in Florida, New York, and Haiti. He graduated from Chaminade Madonna College Preparatory with honors He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has a passion for inspiring people, whether through words or a smile.


Roberta Ressler
Crop Protection Product Design and Process R&D Leader
Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™

Roberta Ressler is the Crop Protection Product Design and Process R&D Leader for Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™. In this role, she leads research and development teams who design, develop, and launch crop protection products. Roberta’s career with The Dow Chemical Company spans 29 years, and over that time, she has worked in the Pharmaceuticals business, in the NatureWorks bio-based polymer joint venture, and, for the last 15 years, with Dow AgroSciences.

In 2015, Roberta was named one of Indianapolis Business Journal’s Women of Influence.

Roberta is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Roberta holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.



October 12, 2018
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


NC State McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606 United States
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