2017 Conference Program


Thursday, November 16, 2017

5:30 pm-7:00 pm

Salem College Student Center 

Private, invitation only event.

Reception commences at 5:30 pm where all guest speakers, local professionals, and conference committee members are able to network and enjoy an evening showcasing the rich history and talent of Salem College and the greater Winston-Salem area. Heavy hors d'oeuvres to be served.


Friday, November 17, 2017

7:00-8:00 am


Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00–8:15 am


Welcome and logistics overview


Elizabeth Madden and Sandy High

Salem Academy and College Board of Visitors


8:15–9:15 am


Opening Session

Sponsored by Wells Fargo


Hilda Gurdian

CEO and Owner, La Noticia, Inc


9:30-10:30 am


Break-Out Session I

Sponsored by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP


Handling Conflict and Confrontation with Tact and Finesse

Blanca Cobb, Founder and CEO, Truthblazers, Inc.


Conflicts are an inevitable part of anyone’s professional and personal life. Handling conflict effectively leads to greater productivity and higher self-esteem.  This session will offer conflict management strategies, and verbal and non-verbal communications that will help anyone on their path to success.



Social Media – Protecting Your Brand

Danielle Williams, Partner, Winston & Strawn


With the explosive growth in the use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, etc. protecting your image has never been so tricky or important. More than 90% of human resource professionals say they search social media when considering new hires. This session will give insight and tips on how to protect your personal and professional brand.



Career Change – Resilience, Reinvention, and Adaptation

  • Moderator: Stratford Kiger, Owner and Attorney, Kiger Law
  • Lelicia Bailey, Senior VP and Chief People Officer, WFBMC
  • Karen Barnes, Executive Director, Venture Café Winston-Salem
  • Claire Calvin, Owner, The Porch


Similar to college students changing majors several times before graduating, many professionals face the desire or need to change careers during their most productive years, often having to reinvent themselves. A panel of successful women will share their experiences and lessons learned as they have made bold career moves during different stages of their professional development.


10:45-11:15 am


Networking Session I

Sponsored by Womble, Bond, Dickinson


11:30 am –1:00 pm


Luncheon and Keynote Speaker

Sponsored by The Porch


Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag

CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Interim Dean of the Medical School


1:15 – 2:15 pm


Break-Out Session II

Sponsored by Spilman, Thomas, & Battle


Unconscious Bias – Are you aware?

Lenora Billings-Harris, President, UbuntuGlobal


Being blind to our prejudices, or worse unwilling to admit them, generally has negative consequences on our personal and professional success.  This session will focus on the dangers of unconscious bias, recognizing micro inequities, and developing ways to reap the benefits of diversity.



Women Helping Women – Lifting up the Next Generation (Panel)

  • Moderator: Linda McCarty, Partner and Attorney, Spilman Thomas & Battle Law
  • Emily Cole, Owner, Fans First Entertainment
  • Beth Gianopulos, Senior Counsel, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Lindsay Joyner, SVP and Manager Leadership Development Program, BB&T

As women rise in the ranks, it is increasingly important that they help those in supporting roles. Female leaders have a responsibility to help increase the number of women in higher ranks – for truly great leaders, it is part of their DNA.  This session will elicit wisdom from a panel of female leaders who make it a priority to help other women succeed professionally and personally.



Graduate School – Decision Factors to Consider (Panel)

  • Moderator: Laura Demarse, Assistant Dean for Professonal  Development, NCSU Graduate School
  • Ann Fritchman, SVP and Chief Customer Officer, Target Team, Hanes Brands, Inc.
  • Christina Johnson, Operations and Marketing Manager, PLVSH
  • Statford Kiger, Owner and Attorney, Kiger Law

One of the questions on the mind of many young professionals today is should I go to graduate school?  If so, what are the most lucrative fields?  Should I take on debt? Will I get a payback? This session will provide salary ranges and employment growth for a variety of graduate programs. A panel of professional women will discuss how they made the decision, their post graduate experience, and tips on minimizing debt.


2:30 – 3:00 pm


Networking Session II

Sponsored by Inmar, Inc


3:00 – 3:15 pm


Closing Remarks and Raffle