SIM Women Leadership Summit


       May 4, 2017 - The Drake Hotel - Chicago


While our Summit Council is still finalizing our meeting agenda, here is some information about our program and a few of the speakers we’ll be featuring:

Our day will begin at 7am with Mentoring Circles available during breakfast for those who wish to participate.  Our opening keynote will kick off at 8am and begin a full day of leadership strategy, networking, and philanthropy through 5pm.

The SIM Women Leadership Summit has three tracks:  Exemplify. Empower. Educate.  As SIM Women has never been focused solely on technology, but rather how to lead and succeed in technology and business, our event’s Exemplify track is for those who have achieved the C-suite and wish to be aware of current trends or look beyond their current role.  The Empower track is targeted toward attendees who are striving for the C-suite who may need insider tips on making that final jump up.  

We also have a strong focus on philanthropy inside SIM Women; hence our Educate track highlights the need for mentoring, giveback, STEM and community outreach.  If we don’t act today, we we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves for the lack of future leaders.

7:45 - 8:00 am
Grand Ballroom

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Kristen Lamoreaux

8:00 - 9:00 am
Grand Ballroom

The Mark of a Leader

Great stories are hypnotic. They engage us on every level of our humanness. Great stories change the way we think and feel. And we never forget them.

Doug Keeley, CEO & Chief Storyteller from The Mark of a Leader, is one of the world’s most dynamic and experienced practitioners at using stories to drive performance. Drawing on his company’s incredible library of video stories, he will inspire and challenge you as leaders, and guide you to use stories with your teams to:

Engage your customers and people more fully. A leader’s prime job is to get the best out of their people. Doug will show how to use stories to engage and create deeper relationships.

Get everyone thinking and acting like leaders. HR studies show that in typical organizations only 20% of the employees think of themselves as leaders. If you can increase that percentage, you change your business. Doug will demonstrate how changing the “lens” of leadership can help make everyone feel accountable as leaders.

Use stories strategically. Stories in business are not “woo woo”. They are a powerful strategic tool which all great leaders today need to have at their beck and call. Doug will give you tools to help you do just that.

Doug Keeley

9:05 - 10:05 am
Grand Ballroom

Get Known. Get Connected. Get Ahead.

What do you need to get ahead? In this day and age, we live in a network economy - - it’s all about who you know, who knows you, and what they know about you. In this talk The 11 Laws of Likability’s author Michelle Tillis Lederman explains the types of relationships you want and need, how to create positive mood memory, and how to ask for what you want. You'll learn:

1. The correlation between relationships and promotion, hiring, and business results 2. The key relationship types that impact success
3. How to create positive mood memory and extend relationships 4. How to make an ask and ask for what you want
Michelle Lederman

10:05 - 10:55 am
Walton Room
Author Signings & Coffee/Tea Networking Break

10:55 - 11:15 am
Venetian Room

TED-Style Talk:
Fit Matters: Feeding our Minds, Hearts, and Spirits at Work

As successful business owners, leaders, and professionals, we recognize that people need more than just good pay and benefits to thrive at work. We realize that WORK FIT is crucial in order to be our best ~ and to achieve our professional goals and dreams. However, research shows that only 30 percent of American workers strongly agree they have a chance to do what they’re best at.

Are YOU truly thriving? Come join us for a thought-provoking discussion with hands-on exercises to help you match your strengths and needs to your business’ values and culture.

In this program, you can expect:

• To learn the six essential elements of fit
• Some creative reflection and fun to better understand your work needs
• To begin plotting a course toward (even) MORE joy and connection at work
Cammie Dunaway

10:55 - 11:15 am
Grand Ballroom

TED-Style Talk:
Future of Work: Cultivating a Culture Where People Thrive

During her session, Rebecca will take a deep dive into the “what,” why” and “how to” on cultivating an organizational culture where your people can thrive. Pulling from her extensive exposure and experience working with organizations leading the way such as Google, Airbnb,, Whole Foods and more, Rebecca will not only create the burning platform for why this is important, but give you the inspiration and actions needed to move forward.

Rebecca Rodskog

10:55 - 11:15 am
Georgian Room

TED-Style Talk:
Portraying Confidence & Courage

No one is confident and courageous all the time.  There are certain situations and/or people that can bring out our insecurities.  And, being an introvert or having a “quiet” demeanor can add to the perception by others that a person lacks confidence – or that they can be easily rolled over.

Whether meeting with your CEO or giving an address to hundreds of employees, the key to winning hearts and minds is displaying confidence.  As IT leaders, it is essential to project strong confidence to your senior managers, your staff, project teams and to clients/customers.  You want people to have no doubt that you can handle their challenges successfully.  Additionally, saying what needs to be said, to the right people, at the right time and in the right manner takes courage.  When you exude confidence and courage, others notice.  In fact, lacking these skills can hold your career back – even if you have great experience and expertise.  Learn how to project an air of self-assurance, face your fears, build your career and, if necessary, pick your battles.

Barbara Taylor


11:20 - 12:35 pm

The Camera Is Always Rolling

“The Camera is always rolling and if you are a woman in technology, it’s
in high definition.”

Leadership opportunities and advancement are often the result of data points, performance, and the lasting impression or brand one has demonstrated over time. Drawing on her own personal stories, Aletha Noonan, will walk through her path to leadership in the male dominated tech industry. She will highlight critical moments and opportunities and share key learnings and advice.

Aletha is vice president of the central region for CDW. She first entered the technology industry in 1993 where she spent the early part of her leadership career as one of the only women in any room.

24 years later, as the chair of the CDW Women’s Opportunity Network (WON) and vice president of the largest segment in a $14 billion company, Aletha writes a quarterly newsletter and contributes thought leadership to drive the mission of WON.  She regularly provides practical advice for women and men to support the success and growth of women in the workplace. Through the art of storytelling, she’ll share lessons learned and provide tips for those who are committed to becoming best-in-class leaders.

Attendees will walk away with actionable guidance on:

  • The concept of the “camera is always rolling” with a focus on why every moment matters
  •  Building credibility and value-based relationships to improve effectiveness as an influencer
  •  Building, evolving and being deliberate about one’s brand
  • How to get credit and take credit for great work

Aletha Noonan

12:35 - 1:15 pm
Walton Room

Dessert & Author Signings

1:15 - 2:00 pm
Venetian Room

Technology can enable a game changing CX.
Delivering it still depends on you.

"The customer comes first," has been the mantra for generations of successful businesses. In the digital world, we now place this under the banner of customer experience. As Director of Solutions development and the lead of the SD-WAN solution launch at network provider Windstream, Yulia Duryea knows this world well. One thing that became clear; while technology can enable a transformational CX, delivering on it still comes down to the people standing behind it.

In this session, Yulia will share three things that are essential to CX success:

1. The single most important skill needed to create a powerful (Listen up…)
2. Leveraging evolving technology to support that CX
3. How to combine them both to create a foundation for culture, transformation and CX success

Yulia will also share real world insights from one of WIndstream's current customers, Dunn-Edwards Paints, offering an excellent example of putting these three concepts to work on a long-term basis.
Yulia Duryea

1:15 - 2:05 pm
Georgian Room

There Will be Attacks - Improve your Email Defenses

Do you have a minute? 1.22 minutes to be exact? That's the median time-to-first-click in most phishing expeditions. While we celebrate all that humans can accomplish with the help of technology, we must also be cognizant of the dangers affiliated with humans and technology. How can you as a leader educate your people? How can you encourage them to take a minute to THINK before clicking?

In this session, you'll learn:

· How your email can be used as an entry point for multiple types of attack
· The damaging impact attacks have on organizations
· Why your employees could be the weakest link in your email security
· How to enhance your email security and thus your overall cyber resilience

Janet Vargas and Bob Adams from Mimecast will share real-world stories - scenarios and what to look for - that will not only scare you, but also offer solutions you can share with your people. It's worth a minute of your time, isn't it?

Janet Vargas

Bob Adams

2:05 - 2:50 pm
Venetian Room

Lessons from the Board: Board Pursuit & What to do once you get there!

Often we are so focused on the goal of achieving a board seat, we forget there are a dozen additional playbooks for us to learn once we achieve the goal. Hear from these accomplished women how they pursued their board roles and the lessons they learned day one!

Kelly Lyman - CIO, PECO Energy
Cammie Dunaway - Board member, Nordstrom fsb & Red Robin
Judy Balaban - PMI NJ President

2:05 - 2:50 pm
Georgian Room

Breaking Boundaries: Removing obstacles to Leadership

There’s no one reason that prevents women or people of color from pursuing leadership roles; apparently, there’s dozens of them. This discussion will highlight various obstacles to leadership and what organizations have done to successfully remove those obstacles.

Kimi Hirotsu Ziemski
Francie Rawlings - Pfizer
Rona Fourte - Walgreens
Tenisha Jackson - Discover Financial
Eileen Gadsden - Moderator

2:05 - 2:50 pm
Grand Ballroom

Influence: Leading Through Change

The pace of change today is exponential and unprecedented. No one person can “manage” their way to success. True leaders utilize influence to create dynamic engagement with those beyond their direct authority.

Kristen Lamoreaux, Lamoreaux Search

Alissa Johnson - CISO, Xerox
Cindy Finkelman - CIO, FactSet Research
Deepa Soni - US CIO & US P&C CIO, BMO Financial Group
Kye Mitchell - COO, kForce

2:55 - 3:55 pm
Grand Ballroom

DonorsChoose.Org's Journey

DonorsChoose.Org was started by a history teacher – Charles Best. In 2000, Charles who was teaching at a Bronx public high school, wanted his students to read Little House on the Prairie. As he was making photocopies of the one book he could procure, Charles thought about all the money he and his colleagues were spending on books, art supplies, and other materials. He figured there were people out there who'd want to help — if they could see where their money was going. Charles sketched out a website where teachers could post classroom project requests, and donors could choose the ones they wanted to support. His colleagues posted the first 11 requests. Then it spread. Today, DonorsChoose.Org is open to every public school in America and has relationships with major corporations and manufacturers including Google, Staples, Disney, 3M, and more!
Janelle Lin

3:55 - 5:00 pm
Walton Room
Reception, Prizes & Final Author Signings


Doug Keeley, CEO and Chief Storyteller of The Mark of a Leader, is one of North America’s leading communicators, a serial entrepreneur, and a self-professed “leadership junkie”. Doug started the first of several communications businesses in 1978, and quickly became a pioneer in the marketing and communications industry, travelling the globe working with hundreds of Fortune 500 corporations and executives.

In 2004, he created The Mark of a Leader, a revolutionary program designed to inspire new thinking in the workforce about leadership and corporate culture, and to provide a tool to make any conference unforgettable. Based on a powerful concept called Five Level Leadership, the program uses incredible video stories to share insights into the success of many of the world’s greatest leaders and brands and show how their leadership principles can be applied to business today.

The Mark of a Leader has been used repeatedly by companies like ADP, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Disney, Frito-Lay, General Mills, HP, Microsoft, Pepsi-QTG, RBC, Scotiabank, Starbucks, TD Bank, Universal Studios, Xerox, and many other leading corporations, associations, and schools. Doug has written a book of inspiring stories, authored many magazine features and columns, appeared as a subject expert in several books on creativity and corporate culture, and been interviewed many times on radio and television on the subjects of leadership and innovation. He is also an inductee in the Meetings & Incentive Travel Hall of Fame.

Throughout her career as an executive for companies such as Frito Lay, Yahoo!, and KidZania, Cammie Dunaway has earned a stellar reputation as a brand-builder with an impressive list of corporate and start-up successes.

And then along the way, something happened: she began listening to her heart. Two successful years into a prestigious position as Executive VP of Sales and Marketing of Nintendo, Cammie realized that while this job appeared to be the culmination of all she’d accomplished in her career, it was not truly a good soul-fit.

Hoping to share what she’d learned the hard way, she and her executive coach co-wrote the book, “Fit Matters” (publication: May, 2017). In addition to putting her reflections and practical tools into this book, Cammie currently serves on the board of directors for 2 companies, Red Robin and Nordstrom FSB. She’s been featured and quoted in publications such as The New Yorker, USA Today, and Forbes, and is a frequent speaker at organizations such as Stanford, Levis, General Mills, and LinkedIn. Her MBA is from Harvard Business School. 

Michelle Tillis Lederman
named one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts, is the author of three books including The 11 Laws of Likability and her latest Nail the Interview, Land the Job. Michelle is the CEO of Executive Essentials which provides custom leadership and communications training programs.

A regular in the media, Michelle has appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox, Gayle King, and NPR and been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Working Mother, US News & World Report,, USA Today, CNBC, and She holds degrees from Lehigh University and Columbia Business School. 

Rebecca Rodskog is a “Workplace Crusader”, helping organizations transform outdated or non-scalable practices into future-thinking, market-leading cultures where their people can thrive. She’s on a mission to make organizations better places to work so that all of us can do work that matters and plays to our strengths all while meeting the organization’s goals. 

Rebecca is an experienced consultant in the field of organizational transformation, change management and innovation. Her 20+ years of experience spans both large-scale, global projects to small, independent, one-on-one coaching relationships, working with clients such as Apple, UPS and P&G. Beyond consulting she’s an expert facilitator, coach, and innovator. Rebecca is the CEO and Founder of Rodskog Change Consulting, and Managing Partner and Founder of FutureLeaderNow.  

Our facilitator, Barbara Taylor, offers 20+ years of expertise in business coaching; talent management and succession planning; leadership development; high potential identification; assessment; and performance management.


Currently, Barbara is a business partner of JanBara & Associates, a full-service leadership development, high performance consulting company. The partners specialize in HR performance strategy and leadership initiatives – including leadership and management programs; talent management; coaching; and the integration of effective change management strategies and processes. The firm helps company assess individuals as part of the hiring process as well as identify high potential talent. 


Janelle Lin, Senior Vice President, Business Development at, works with corporations and foundations across the country to build partnerships to support local public schools. She first developed her passion for education when she managed mentoring programs for middle school youth in Los Angeles Unified School District. Prior to, Janelle served as Regional Vice President, Sales for, Managing Director of Step Up Women's Network, and Director of LA's BEST afterschool enrichment program.

Janelle graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in Studio Art and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She was awarded the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, the Harvard Business School Leaders Fellowship, the Pomona College Inspirational Young Alumna Award, and the NAWBO Rising Star Award.



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