Dawn Steele Halbert
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
I Am That Woman Retreat
President, Strategic Events Solutions
Valerie’s corporate career spans over 40 years in Sales with leading technology firms such as IBM, Oracle, and CDW Corporation. Her last position before retirement was Director, Supplier Diversity, at CDW Corporation with goals to drive more spending toward minority and female-owned businesses.
Valerie has always been active and athletic, but the real lifestyle change came for her at the age of 50 when she decided to run her first marathon. After completing that marathon, something changed for her regarding how she viewed fitness and health. Valerie watched people in her life face severe health challenges and even death due to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise. She wanted to make an impact and affect change in the lives of the people she knew personally and professionally by helping them achieve the health-focused lifestyle they desired but did not know how to do it or how to integrate it into their lives. Valerie educates, motivates, empowers and inspires the people that she comes into contact with through her passion for wellness. Valerie has helped many become active, lose weight, train, and complete marathons, recover from injuries, push their bodies to lengths they did not know they could achieve, and put simply, get fit. Her clients have incredible testimonies about how she has changed their lives. Valerie’s clients across her personal training sessions, marathon prep, swim and yoga classes range from the age of 30 up to 75, allowing her to have a true impact across multiple generations of women.
Valerie brings to her clients many years of experience as a triathlete and marathoner. Her healthy lifestyle consists of weekly strength training sessions, swimming, bike riding, yoga, and long runs. Her diet consists of a primarily vegetarian food plan and multiple vitamins to supplement her health needs.
Valerie is always encouraging and inspiring her clients to ‘raise their game,’ set goals, and move to the next level of fitness development. As they see their bodies change and their energy levels increase, they begin to realize that they have more control over their life — they feel the empowerment. Her exercise programs are designed to decrease fat, increase energy, improve muscle tone, and ultimately fight against degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer, lupus and heart disease. Her mantra is ‘staying active is the key to good health.’
Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd, at age 79, is a personal trainer, a professional model, a competitive bodybuilder and happier and more fulfilled than she’s ever been in her life. Ernestine’s fitness journey began at age 56 when she and her sister joined a gym and started working out together. A short time later, her sister, Velvet, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. Devastated, Ernestine stopped going to the gym. After some months of mourning the loss of her sister and on the advice of a friend that her sister would have wanted her to continue what they had started, Ernestine returned to the gym with a reignited determination to get fit.
Learn more and register at iamwomanretreat.com.
Dr. Karen M. Pendleton, MD has been on a mission to discover the secrets of anti-aging. Dr. Rita J. McGuire, Author, Health Coach & OB/GYN, will co-facilitate a workshop at the I Am That Woman Retreat entitled, “Vitality at Any Age.” As both an ophthalmologist and co-founder of Pair O’Docs Bio-Rejuvenis Medical Wellness Center, Dr. Pendleton adheres to a strong mission to explore, investigate and promote natural concepts of anti-aging, beauty and health. A licensed ophthalmologist with emphasis in corneal and refractive surgery, Dr. Pendleton received her Doctorate of Medicine from Tulane University. She completed her post-graduate residency at Louisiana State University Eye Center in New Orleans and practices as a Corneal and Refractive Surgery Specialist for five years in Shreveport. Dr. Karen M. Pendleton is passionate about improving the health of her patients and the Shreveport-Bossier City community. Her approach includes managing hormonal imbalances, correcting nutritional deficits, and tailoring exercise physiology. Her guiding mantra is, “Your health is your most treasured asset.” Join us for the I Am That Women Retreat from October 10-14, 2018 in Riviera Maya, Mexico! The 4-day, 4-night getaway will feature workshops, yoga and meditation, experiential excursions, and more.
The I Am That Woman Retreat is all about self-care, so we are excited to welcome Motivational Speaker, Author & Relationship Coach, Love McPherson, to facilitate a workshop entitled, “Putting Your Mask On First: Making Yourself a Priority.”
For over 34 years, Love has lived the lessons in her marriage as a mother of two daughters and the wife to Tony McPherson, her college sweetheart and the driving force behind Love Infinity, Inc. Graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Love is an author, coveted speaker and has been seen and heard as a recurring guest on WGN Morning News, Micah Materre’s People to People, WGN Radio among others. She has been best known for her morning drive segments as the Relationship Expert on Inspiration 1390AM’s Morning Show.
Love uses over two decades of clinical experience to empower clients to know and love themselves so they can love their mate better. Her commitment to individual accountability is the foundation for her ability to save relationships. Unlike other experts, Love’s unique approach to help clients face and digest the truth keeps her relevant to all generations.
Join us for the I Am That Women Retreat from October 10-14, 2018 in Riviera Maya, Mexico! The 4-day, 4-night getaway will feature workshops, yoga and meditation, experiential excursions, and more.
Great health and wellness is a lifelong mission. Dr. Rita J. McGuire, Author, Health Coach & OB/GYN, will co-facilitate a workshop at the I Am That Woman Retreat entitled, “Vitality at Any Age.” Dr. Rita J. McGuire is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Chicago, Illinois and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Roseland Community Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center. She received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
After losing her brother to cancer in 2010, Dr. McGuire set out to become her most healthy self, shedding 60 pounds and competing in a bikini competition at age 52. Now, she helps women over 40 who are struggling with their wellness goals through a proven program that restores the mind, body and soul. Join us for the I Am That Women Retreat from October 10-14, 2018 in Riviera Maya, Mexico! The 4-day, 4-night getaway will feature workshops, yoga and meditation, experiential excursions, and more.
Renetta McCann, Chief Talent Officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide, will share her inspirational story in an empowering workshop session entitled, “How Did I Get From There to Here: Against All Odds.”
Renetta McCann is one of the leading innovators and most influential executives in the advertising industry, with a global reputation for not only building brands, but also the organizations and leadership to sustain them. As Chief Talent Officer at Leo Burnett, she heads up the agency’s People & Culture department. She plays a key role in ensuring that the company retains, attracts and arms the best and brightest minds in business today, with oversight of the agency’s U.S. recruitment, training, benefits and talent management.
A champion for women and for the development of minorities in the advertising industry, Renetta dedicates her time outside the office to organizations like Viva Women, the Publicis Groupe internal women’s network, and No.2six6, an organization launched in 2013 to advance the hiring rate of minorities in advertising.
Over the course of her career, Renetta has been a frequent name in the press. She was named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes and a woman to watch by both Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She was awarded the title “Corporate Executive of the Year” by Black Enterprise Magazine and was selected by Ebony as one of the “57 Most Intriguing Blacks.” Essence named her one of “50 Women Who are Changing the World,” and she has appeared on the pages of Advertising Age, BusinessWeek and Chicago Magazine. The American Advertising Federation honored her with a Diversity Achievement Award for her contributions as an Industry Influential, and she’s the recipient of the 4A’s Pantheon award. Join us for the I Am That Women Retreat from October 10-14, 2018 in Riviera Maya, Mexico! The 4-day, 4-night getaway will feature workshops, yoga and meditation, experiential excursions, and more.
There are many benefits to being a seasoned woman, and Edna Kane-Williams, SVP of Multicultural Marketing for AARP, will discuss them in a keynote talk over lunch!
With more than 20 years of experience working in senior management positions at both nonprofit and for profit organizations, Kane-Williams has specialized in strategic planning, targeted marketing and program development, with a profound focus on the needs of older adults and multicultural communities.
Prior to her new role, Kane-Williams was AARP’s Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement where she was responsible for African American outreach. She previously served as the Vice President of Strategy and Communications for the AARP Foundation. Before coming to AARP, Kane-Williams held noteworthy marketing positions, including Senior Vice President of Communications and Social Marketing at IQ Solutions, where she developed effective communication plans to improve outreach specifically to underserved African American and Hispanic communities. She also led similar marketing efforts as a Senior Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.
In 2015, Kane-Williams was recognized as “Marketing Executive of the Year” at the 2015 Marketing to African Americans with Excellence (MAAX) Awards in Chicago for her innovations, contributions and exceptional performance in African American marketing. Additionally, she was the recipient of a Coro Foundation Fellowship and was also a Diversity Executive Leadership Program fellow for the American Society of Association Executives.
We are so excited to have Amy S. Hilliard, Founder & Principal of The Hilliard Group and Author, join us the interviewer for an exclusive sit down with Tracey Edmonds.
Amy S. Hilliard is the principal of The Hilliard Group, a strategic marketing consulting firm in business since 1995. Her Fortune 500 clients have included Nielsen, IBM, BET, American Express, HBO, and PepsiCo among others. With a unique background of senior corporate experience and established entrepreneurship, Ms. Hilliard was recently President of Fashion Fair Cosmetics. She is also the former Senior VP of marketing for L’Oreal’s Soft Sheen division. A former retailing, senior marketing and advertising executive, Ms. Hilliard’s multi-million dollar brand building and new product development innovations for White Rain Shampoo during her time at Gillette have been documented in a case study for Duke University’s School of Business.
Ms. Hilliard also founded The ComfortCake Company®, makers of “Pound Cake so Good it feels like a Hug®.” A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, she is the author of “Tap Into Your Juice: Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears and Build Your Dreams.”
Intuition Coach, Speaker & Author, Sheree Franklin-Hill, will lead us through a guided meditation, relaxation, and visualization exercise to help us get the most out of our time at the I Am That Woman Retreat.
For over a decade, organizations and individuals have turned to Sheree Franklin-Hill to help them tap into their intuition for personal, professional and organizational growth.
She speaks regularly around the country and has been a guest on The Oprah Show, NBC-Channel 5 in Chicago, WVON-AM, WBEZ 91.5 and more. Additionally, she has been featured in Ebony
Magazine. Sheree is also a regular career columnist with Black Enterprise and the author of INTUITION: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use.
Whether she’s serving as a keynote speaker, corporate workshop leader or one-on-one coach, Sheree’s unique approach helps her clients discover the fears that have stalled their success, shift out of negative emotions and learn how to better listen to their gut. She helps others play big, take calculated risks and enhance their life experience on all levels. She also motivates teams and provides clarity to impact strategic direction, overcome project challenges and boost conflict resolution skills.
We are excited to have Cheryl Grace, senior corporate executive and founder of lifestyle brand, Powerful Penny, lead a workshop on “Becoming That Woman!”
Named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Business Women in 2017, and a Remarkable Person by the Chicago Tribune, Cheryl is a media industry veteran with a unique portfolio of capabilities including strategic planning, research and analytics, public affairs and media relations. She has more than 25 years of communications experience developing high impact and award-winning corporate reputation and brand management campaigns for media, consumer packaged goods, and non-profit sectors.
Cheryl has taken bumps and bruises on her professional and personal climb toward success and landed precisely where she wanted to be – in control of now and what happens next. Able to look back at her ascent and smile, she recently launched an aspirational lifestyle brand Powerful Penny LLC that helps other get to their next level of best in six core areas of their lives — including their career. She provides mentoring advice via a weekly blog released every Monday morning as well as through books, workshops, and a lecture series.
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, is a master at making the numbers work. At the I Am That Woman Retreat, she’s going to teach us how to achieve the retirement that we want within our budgets.
Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche is an award-winning teacher of financial empowerment and is quickly becoming America’s favorite, personal financial educator. The Budgetnista specializes in the delivery of financial literacy and has served as the personal finance education expert for City National Bank.
Since 2008, The Budgetnista has been a brand ambassador and spokesperson for a number of organizations – delivering financial education through seminars, workshops, curricula and trainings. In 2014, Tiffany founded the LIVE RICHER Challenge Movement; a virtual community of over 200,000 thousand women from 100+ countries. Author of two #1 Amazon bestsellers, The One Week Budget and Live Richer Challenge, Tiffany and her financial advice have been featured in The New York Times, Reuters, US News and World Report, the TODAY show, PBS, Fox Business, MSNBC, CBS MoneyWatch, TIME, ESSENCE Magazine, and FORBES. She also blogs about personal finance for The Huffington Post and U.S. News and World Report. Join us for the I Am That Women Retreat from October 10-14, 2018 in Riviera Maya, Mexico! The 4-day, 4-night getaway will feature workshops, yoga and meditation, experiential excursions, and more.
We’re kicking off the I Am That Woman Retreat on a high note with our Welcome Reception featuring Comedian & Activist Aida Rodriguez as the guest speaker!
Aida Rodriguez’s “edgy, raw and in your face” style of comedy has set her apart in a world that celebrates funny over double standards. Catching the eye of some of the most recognizable names in Comedy, she is creating a lane of her own. Roseanne Barr doesn’t understand why Aida doesn’t have her own show yet and Keenan Ivory Wayans told the world that she is “like a dose of truth serum”. Notably, Aida was a top ten finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” She is a regular on some of the nation’s most iconic comedy stages. Aida has also hosted and/or been featured on numerous television and radio broadcast programs including but not limited to, Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show, three-time host of the PBS Imagen Awards, Fox’s Laughs, Nickelodeon’s Mom’s Night Out, Parental Discretion, as well as NuVo’s Stand Up and Deliver – seasons 1&2, and The Wedding Zinger. In 2017, Aida was featured in Robert DeNiro’s latest film, The Comedian, after being handpicked by Director Taylor Hackford. She’ll also appear on Showtime in February 2018 as the the first Latina female on Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam. Aida’s debut comedy album, “I’ll Say It For You,” is currently available on all digital platforms. When she’s not on your television or a local stage, you can always catch Aida on her weekly podcast, Truth Serum, on iTunes.
TV Host, Producer & CEO, Tracey Edmonds will help us to recenter on our true identity during a special interview entitled, “Who I Am: Where I Am,” moderated by Amy S. Hilliard.
Tracey Edmonds has created and produced groundbreaking projects for television, film, music, and digital media and recently exited ExtraTV, where she earned an Emmy Award while serving as co-host alongside Mario Lopez and Charissa Thompson for 3 years. Edmonds currently serves as CEO and President of Edmonds Entertainment and CEO and President of Alright TV.
Her most recent projects include having served as boardroom advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on The New Celebrity Apprentice and as host of BET’s competition reality show, Queen Boss. As a producer, Edmonds’ projects include the hit series Deion’s Family Playbook and the three-time NAACP Image Award nominated With This Ring. Edmonds won high acclaim for the serialized version of her hit movie Soul Food, an hour-long dramedy for Showtime Networks, Inc. which ran for five seasons and won multiple NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, three years in a row.
A Stanford University graduate, Edmonds has won numerous awards for her contributions to the entertainment industry, including Ebony Magazine’s Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications Entrepreneur Award (2002); the Volunteers of America Legacy of Leadership Award (2004); the National Organization for Women’s Excellence in Media Award (2005); Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracies Award for Best Host in Entertainment & Information (2015); Emmy Award, Outstanding Entertainment News Program (2016); and Alliance for Women in Media SoCal’s Genii Award for Excellence in Entertainment (2016).
Comedian, Actress & Author, Kim Coles, will inspire us to unleash our gifts through an inspirational keynote talk over lunch!
Perhaps best known for her five-season turn as the unforgettable “Synclaire” on FOX’s groundbreaking comedy series, Living Single, Kim Coles has starred on numerous hit television programs including Frasier, Six Feet Under, In Living Color, One on One, and the uproarious TBS comedy series 10 Items Or Less as the villainous “Mercy P. Jones.” She was the co-host of the nationally syndicated daytime talk show, In the Loop with I Village and has been a guest co-host for various shows, including The View and Good Day Live. Kim Coles is also known to reality audiences for having appeared on The Mole, VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club and Coming to the Stage, BET’s search for “the next superstar of funny.” Kim recently became the first female primetime game show host in history headlining BET’s inspirational game show, Pay It O!” In her latest venture, Kim Coles is combining comedy and inspiration to empower others with her unique program called “Open the G.I.F.T.S.” Through speaking engagements, live events, workshops and products, the program inspires others to discover their own true gifts, so that they may share them with the world.
We are pleased to have Susan L. Taylor, Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement & Editor-in-Chief Emerita, Essence Magazine, as the keynote speaker for our closing dinner and celebration!
Susan L. Taylor is a fourth-generation entrepreneur. She grew up in Harlem, working in her father’s clothing store, Larry’s Specialty Shop. She founded her own cosmetics company at 23 years old, a first of its kind for Black women, which led to the beauty editor’s position at Essence. After 27 years as the chief editor of Essence magazine and the visionary credited with building the brand, Susan L. Taylor left publishing to devote her life to building an organization that is devoted to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty among African Americans, the National CARES Mentoring Movement.
Taylor is the first and only African American woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award—the industry’s highest honor—and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of scores of prestigious awards, including presidential citations, Image Awards and the NAACP President’s Award for Visionary Leadership, and has honorary doctorate degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.
Taylor is the editor of eight books, and the author of four books: the best-seller In the Spirit;Lessons in Living; Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives, which she co- authored with her husband, Khephra Burns; and her most recent book, All About Love. She is a much sought-after speaker, inspiring hope and encouraging us to reclaim our lives and empower leaders who are devoted to creating peace, top-tier schools and safe, self-sustaining communities.
To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Dawn Steele Talbert at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call 312-485-1271.