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The largest women’s leadership conference in Central Massachusetts, bringing together the most forward thinking female leaders.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

7:30 am – 4:30 pm

DCU Center Ballroom  |  50 Foster St, Worcester, MA

Check back in the summer for more 2021 conference details!

2021 Sponsorship Opportunities Available Now

At the Chamber, and our WWLC committee, we have been impressed and grateful for the continued support of the conference sponsors. This is the event you want to be a part of! Reach out to Karen Pelletier for options.

The Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference

This conference is an opportunity for women to build their careers and share their experiences with other women.

The Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference is all about giving women the tools to discover the possibilities available to them, lift each other up, and create a hub of smart, talented, and forward-thinking women.

Women in the workforce overcome obstacles each and every day and the Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference is a place to share experiences and bring together dynamic, accomplished, and confident female leaders.

The programming of the day-long conference is designed to motivate attendees to overcome traditional barriers, to becoming influencers, change-agents, and leaders in their own fields.

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2021 Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote, sponsored by DCU: Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks
Prior to joining the Mavs, Marshall founded Marshalling Resources, a consulting firm specializing in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, Culture Transformation, and overall optimization of people resources. Upon the company naming its first Chief Inclusion Officer in June 2017, Marshall worked with The Dow Chemical Company to develop and implement a strategy for institutionalizing an inclusive culture. Marshall’s notoriety began many years ago as a young Officer at AT&T and grew exponentially when she served as Senior Vice President – Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T. There she was responsible for identifying and developing leaders, aligning employees with the company’s vision and priorities, overseeing major business unit HR support, performance development, employee engagement, skills transformation initiatives, EEO and Affirmative Action. Marshall also led the team that created a world-class Diversity and Inclusion culture, landing AT&T in the top 3 on Diversity Inc’s 2017 Top 50 list of companies. She also spearheaded the work that for the first time placed AT&T on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list in 2017, one of only two Fortune 50 companies.

Afternoon Keynote, sponsored by BCBSMA: Michelle Poler
Michelle Poler is a creative and passionate social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, fear facer, branding strategist and author of Hello, Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be.She is the Founder of Hello Fears, a social movement empowering millions to step outside of the comfort zone and tap into their full potential. She has spoken at TEDx, Google, P&G, Facebook, ESPN, Netflix, Microsoft, Toyota, and many more. Michelle is also the creator of the project 100 Days Without Fear. Her work has been featured on CBS, CNN, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, NBC and Daily Mail among many others. Early on inher career she worked as an Art Director at Young & Rubicam for brands such as Hershey’s, Wendy’s, AT&T and Revlon. Michelle is originally from Venezuela and she holds a Masters in Branding fromthe School of Visual Arts in New York City.

2021 Conference Schedule

October 28, 2021

Time Description
7:15 AM Registration (3rd floor), Coffee, Networking
8:00 AM Morning Keynote Speaker, Cynt Marshall
9:45 AM Break, Coffee, Networking
10:15 AM 4 Workshops: A/B, C/D, E, Junior Ballroom
11:30 AM Break, Coffee, Networking
11:45 AM Lunch
12:30 PM Break, Coffee, Networking
12:45 PM 4 Workshops: A/B, C/D, E, Junior Ballroom
2:00 PM Break, Coffee, Networking
2:15 PM Afternoon Keynote Speaker, Michelle Poler
3:15 PM Reception
4:00 PM Adjourn

Workshop Descriptions

PLEASE NOTE | Workshops have a maximum seating capacity. Please arrive in a timely fashion to ensure your seat. If the room is full, please attend a different session. Thank you.


Leading Through Organizational Change

Leading Through Organizational Change

Tina Bussone – Executive Director at Bowditch & Dewey LLP
Kristin Carvalho – President & CEO at Cobblestone Management
Juliet Feibel – Executive Director, ArtsWorcester
Carolyn Stempler – Interim President & CEO at Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Organizational change is a hard thing for an organization to undergo and achieve. There are several leadership qualities that are necessary to envision, sell, and effect change.  It takes convincing skills, great communication, and a lot of hard work for your vision to come alive. This panel of leaders from different organizations will share their experiences, which have remarkably similar themes across industries. What went well? What would they do differently the second time around? TARGET AUDIENCE: Women in senior leadership positions in a variety of industries.

Leading Through Lemons: How to Support and Inspire When the Going Gets Tough

Leading Through Lemons: How to Support and Inspire When the Going Gets Tough

Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, MHCM at UMass Memorial Medical Group
Mary Maloney, MD at UMass Memorial Medical Group
M. Diane McKee, MD at UMass Memorial Medical Group
Tiffany A. Moore Simas, MD, MPH, Med at UMass Memorial Medical Group
Kimberly Yonkers, MD at UMass Memorial Medical Group

In a workspace that had few boundaries to begin with, COVID took us by storm and erased whatever personal spaces we had left. For many, our jobs became an around-the-clock operation. The added stressors brought on by fear of a largely unknown virus and added family responsibilities at home consumed every aspect of our world. With employees at the brink of exhaustion and burnout, learn how UMass Memorial Health’s approach to leadership became exponentially important as they focused on informing, supporting, and inspiring through a rapidly changing crisis. Female department chairs from UMass Memorial Medical Group will discuss how the pandemic forced them to quickly pivot their roles and goals to ensure their team members had the tools and support they needed during an unprecedented time. Hear about the important role mental well-being and employer empathy played in their success as they ensured their team members were not only engaged, but also well. TARGET AUDIENCE: All.

Laughter. Leadership. Motherhood. Wine

Laughter. Leadership. Motherhood. Wine

Christine Tieri – Brand Strategy Coach, Consultant, Speaker

After a year or two like we’ve just been through, there’s no doubt many of us are feeling tired and uninspired. We have been questioning our skills as a parent, as a leader, as someone with a sense of humor! Join Chris Tieri, recovering ad agency owner, as she walks you through a fun and interactive workshop to help you navigate between parenthood and profession with a whole new perspective on “having it all.” Learn how a little understanding, a big community, and a hearty belly laugh is the perfect prescription for success. TARGET AUDIENCE: Executive professionals, mid-level, beginner.

Building Dream Teams: The Three Things Every Leader Must Know to Lead Effectively Today

Building Dream Teams: The Three Things Every Leader Must Know to Lead Effectively Today

Adriana Vaccaro, MBA SHRM-SCP – Culture Strategist, Founder & CEO at Culture Redesigned

This talk centers around a personal leadership journey, allowing other leaders to easily find themselves in the narrative. The big idea is understanding the dynamics at play between you as a leader, the people on your team, and the work you are trying to do. In short, it is very difficult for leaders to lead effectively without data and awareness in today’s complex work environment. The audience will walk away with actionable steps to improve the way their teams operate in today’s work environment. At closing, we will discuss the importance of having a strong Talent Strategy to develop a culture that enables an organization to be successful.


Mind Mapping for Marketing Clarity

Mind Mapping for Marketing Clarity

Nicole Broushet – Founder and CIO at Hyve Culture; Owner at The Vegan Nest Café
Chenoa Vilfranc – Founder & CEO at Nouk Marketing

Innovation lies at the intersection of bridging old and new concepts while simultaneously processing and categorizing new information and helping to build the framework for compelling storytelling. We inspire that process through mind mapping; a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps to structure information, helping you to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall, and generate new ideas. It helps bring the innovator from vision to execution in the context of story. That story is then used to develop key marketing components to structure a strong digital brand image that inspires brand recognition, loyalty, and innovation. Women will leave the presentation feeling inspired and equipped with the tools needed to advance in their entrepreneurial or professional pursuits and a clear digital marketing concept that will truly differentiate them from others.

DE&I: Creating and Sustaining Workspaces that Promote Inclusion and Wellness

DE&I: Creating and Sustaining Workspaces that Promote Inclusion and Wellness

Maria Fernandes Dominique – Director of Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Nicole Ferraro – Wellness Program Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

What is inclusivity? What does it look like to embody this practice within in-person and remote workspaces? Join Blue Cross Blue Shield leaders Maria Fernandes-Dominique and Nicole Ferraro in a conversation about creating safe and courageous workspaces where colleagues, especially those that identify as BIPOC, can be authentic and participate in meaningful dialogue about race, equity, and difference. Maria will teach critical facilitation tools for holding spaces online and in-person. Nicole will share best practices on wellness techniques that will support individual and collective self-care during and after difficult conversations. This workshop will be a space to learn and teach, so come prepared to ask questions and share your own best practices.

Mindfulness: An Investment in Your Happiness and Well-Being

Mindfulness: An Investment in Your Happiness and Well-Being

Wendy O’Leary – Author, Educator, Public Speaker at Mindful Matters

We all experience difficulties in life and this workshop is about how to manage those difficulties more effectively, as well as incline the mind toward happiness.Learn about mindfulness and how it can support the cultivation of happiness and wellbeing in all areas of your life. We will look at how and why mindfulness can be useful to decrease the impact of stress and emotional difficulties as well as to grow positive mind states. Participants will leave with concrete and evidence-based strategies to enhance wellbeing and recommendations to integrate mindfulness more easily into any lifestyle. The session will be interactive and include opportunities to practice multiple techniques. TARGET AUDIENCE: All adults.

Career Trajectory: Advancing or Regaining Your Career in a Post-Pandemic, Digital World

Career Trajectory: Advancing or Regaining Your Career in a Post-Pandemic, Digital World

Dawn LaRochelle – Project Manager, COVID Business Recovery Central MA at Center for Women & Enterprise

The pandemic’s impact on women has been well-documented over the past year: at the start of the pandemic, women lost jobs at a much higher pace than men, with 11.3 million jobs held by women disappearing within weeks of nationwide shutdowns. While the tide is slowly turning and women are beginning to regain the jobs they lost, many of their career paths have changed for good. The old advice that told us to get an education, choose a career, work hard, and be loyal, won’t lead to the security and long-term success it once did. If you hope to survive and prosper in the 21stcentury, you’re going to need a significant shift in career management strategy. In this interactive workshop, you will learn: (1) How to make sure your career is still moving in the right direction, and how to reverse the trajectory if it is not, (2) The most important skills to succeed in the post-COVID workplace, (3) Tips for navigating your career path in an increasingly digitized world, (4) Conflict management techniques in the hybrid workplace, (5) How to keep the momentum going without “face time.”

#WWLC Memories

2021 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

Keynote Sponsors

Supporting Sponsor

Lunch Sponsor

Gift Sponsor

Networking Sponsor

Scholarship Sponsor

App Sponsor

Mentor Sponsor

Video Sponsor

Morning Break Sponsor

Open Sky

Workshop Sponsors

Afternoon Break Sponsors


Media Sponsor

Benefiting Charity


2021 PRICING  |  Chamber Members GA: $250  |  Non-Members GA: $300

   Member Reserved seating for 10 (Ten attendees): $3,000  

Non-Member Reserved seating for 10: $3,700 

*You will be redirected to the Chamber of Commerce website where you will be able to register and pay for your ticket. If you are not a Chamber member, click “Not a Member” on the following screen to continue registration.



DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester

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