Women's Leadership Conference

YWCA Women's Leadership Conference

Save the Date

November 5 & 6, 2014

Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato




Thank you for all those that attended the 2013 YWCA Women's Leadership Conference.  

Recap your experience here or just see what it is all about.

We hope to see you again on November 5 & 6, 2014

2013 Speakers & Topics

Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of the YWCA USA

Leading Through Organizational Change

Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron is the CEO of the YWCA USA, leading the nationwide organization since December 2012. Richardson-Heron is based in Washington, D.C., where she leads the national advocacy, communications and development teams as well as field directors from around the country. Richardson-Heron travels extensively to YWCAs across the United States and represents the organization on Capitol Hill, with the White House and Administration and with coalition partners, corporations, major donors and the national media. We are excited to have her with us to talk about the direction of the YWCA and to share her secrets to success in leading a nationwide change movement.

Andrea Walsh, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer HealthPartners

Winning Hearts & Minds: How to Involve & Engage Your Team & Partners to Achieve Results

Andrea Walsh is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at HealthPartners. She has a broad range of responsibilities that include health plan and care delivery marketing, sales, provider relations, health/wellness and disease management programs, worksite health solutions, customer service and public affairs. She has been with HealthPartners since 1994; prior to that practiced law and was an assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health. Through her presentation we will examine how workforce involvement and engagement matters in achieving strategic aims and business results, workforce satisfaction and confidence and customer satisfaction and growth.

Liz Nead, Owner of Nead Inspiration

Manifesting an Inspired Vision

Liz Nead, is the owner of Nead Inspiration and the 2011 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Celebrity of the Year and serves as an expert in Bringing Life Back to Everyday Life for those seeking beyond daily responsibilities by directly impacting the lives of thousands with inspiration. She directs & hosts an exciting television show called the Life Dare airing on Fox five days a week, which invites people to learn from experts & then take on a “challenge” to bring the lesson to life. Liz is an open book, inviting you to learn from her life, as she strives to revitalize her marriage to a retired military officer, connect with her seven children in their blended marriage, decipher friendship challenges, fight for personal balance and create a purpose-filled life. She believes that small and doable changes will lead to mighty, life-changing results.

Dr. Marilyn Wells & Nancy Zallek

Leadership Panel: Envision Change & Possibility

Dr. Marilyn Wells, Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Marilyn J. Wells was named Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs of Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) effective July 22, 2013. As Provost, Marilyn serves as the chief academic officer, reports directly to the President, is a member of the President’s Cabinet, and represents the University in the President’s absence. Marilyn provides strategic leadership and direction for all Academic Affairs, including the six academic colleges, the graduate college, library, extended learning, international affairs, and academic and student support areas. Marilyn earned a PhD in Health Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, a Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science (MS) in Health Education from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Home Economics Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980. Marilyn has two children, Thomas, a senior majoring in English – Creative Writing at Slippery University of Pennsylvania, and Michelle, a competitive gymnast and seventh grader at Loyola Catholic School. 

Nancy Zallek, Executive Director Mankato Area Foundation

Nancy is the 5th generation of her family to grow up in Mankato and previusly was a vice president for Brett's Department Store.  She has served as the Executive Director for both the United Way of St. Peter and the Mankato Ballet Company.  Nancy has also volunteered with the Mankato Clinic Foundation, Gustavus Adolphus College, Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, E2020 and the St. Peter School district.


Julie Hawker, Community Development & Marketing Manager, Lloyd Management

The Tapestry Project

Julie Hawker, Lloyd Management Community Development & Marketing Manager, oversees marketing initiatives for almost 100 properties throughout Greater Minnesota.  In addition, she works on community development projects for Lloyd Management, using her expertise and experience in building strong, effective alliances in the multi-housing industry.  She brings over 15 years of training and development into this position, partnered with a passion to positively impact her community.  Julie is able to achieve this by networking together the property management industry, support service agencies, and the Mankato Department of Public Safety, as President of the Greater Mankato Multi-Housing Association.  This year she is also Chairperson for the Greater Minnesota Committee of the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association.

Janice Gorman, HOPE Interfaith Center

Live Your Passion

Ordained Interfaith Reverend/Spiritual Counselor, Spiritual Mentor, & Teacher, Janice Hope Gorman is a Spiritual Teacher, Mentor and Clairvoyant. She was born and raised in Mankato, MN. Happily married for 29 years to Dr. Paul Gorman they have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. "Hope" as many people call her was a natural clairvoyant during her childhood. Janice was given the name "Hope" from one of her early teachers which means "Help Open Planetary Eyes" she is the founder & Director of the Hope Interfaith Center in Mankato, MN, which is a Spiritual Center. She is an ordained Interfaith Minister, a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, but most of her work is being a Spiritual Teacher & a conduit to help people with Divine guidance. As a messenger of Divine wisdom, she has dedicated herself to addressing the profound spiritual awakening that is the hallmark of these times, that we are all ONE. Janice recently became a Certified Oneness Blesser of Deeksha' from the Oneness University of India. Her teachings are universal in nature and do not represent the beliefs of any one religion or spiritual practice or movement. She is an incurable world traveler and she has taken people on pilgrimages to Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Europe, Mexico and soon now to Belize in December of 2013.

Molly Cox

Building Confidence: Learn to Trust Yourself

You've Got to be Kidding - The Power of Perspective and Humor in Leadership

Molly Cox is a speaker, writer and the co-author of the book “Improvise This! How to Think on Your Feet so you Don’t Fall on Your Face.” Twice on the CEO Read Top 25 list. And, the award-winning producer of the film Note to Self - about engaging caregivers in their own self-care. As the former General Manager for a large athletic club and director of sales and marketing for two hotels, Molly understands business and people. She combines her background in comedy and improvisation with her well-known observational humor to create programs that help people laugh, lead and de-stress. Learn how to identify your personal energy and how it affects others and understand the importance of humor and perspective in leadership.


2013 Women's Leadership Conference Sponsors

Reception Sponsors      

Diana Gabriel, PCC




Developing Sponsors

Media Sponsors     


Friends of the YWCA     



Engaged Sponsors

Turning Point Management

MSU Strategic Partnership  
 South Central Chapter MN Women Lawyers 
 MSU Office of Continuing Education & Professional Development  

Scholarship Sponsors






Sponsorship Opportunities

Women's Leadership Conference Sponsorship Form