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April 28, 2023

Women Lead NC: Charlotte

Hello, Charlotte! Gather with ambitious women and their male peers to equip yourself with the latest tools and strategies for career advancement, personal wellness, and professional fulfillment at Women Lead NC (formerly Women > A Force in Business), a premier conference uniting professional women and their advocates.

This full-day event promotes leadership development, advocacy, mentorship, self-care, and balance as we continue adjusting to the ever-changing ways of working and living.

Customize your event experience:

  • Dynamic and motivational keynote speakers.
  • Six informative breakout sessions with Q&A, plus pop-ups on timely topics.
  • Exhibitor hall spotlighting organizations that support professional and personal growth.
  • Ample networking opportunities to expand your community.
  • Women’s Bookstore, on-site professional headshot photographer, and more!

Watch a highlight to get a sneak peek of what we are planning:

Presented By
  • Bank of America Logo


Friday, April 28
8:15 amRegistration and Exhibit Hall Open
9:00 amOpening Session - Welcome and Keynote Presentation

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Alexa Carlin

You have a goal in mind, an idea you’re passionate about, a job to do in your organization, but now what? How do you overcome daily obstacles from performing well, being involved, making an impact, and having a social life? In this impactful keynote, Alexa not only empowers participants to get started, but she challenges their way of thinking and provides actionable tool and steps to turn any idea into reality – regardless of the obstacles they face.


10:00 amNetworking Break
10:30 amBreakout Session I

The R.O.A.R. Mindset for Women
Dionne McGee, CEO, DG McGee Enterprises
We are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, caretakers and so much more. We wear so many hats. Somewhere along the way, we lose ourselves helping others achieve their goals. Simply put we were designed to nurture, but who nurtures women? This presentation demonstrates how imperative it is to find your true authentic voice and achieve the goals, dreams passions, and ideas that you desire. Finding your own voice completes you. What’s next for you in your career or business? We’ll drill down to find your ROAR so that you’ll be complete and can then be the light for others. Get the tips and techniques to prepare you to ROAR!

Let’s Get Serious about (Having)Fun

  • Precious McCloud, Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Truliant Federal Credit Union
  • Rocio Gonzalez, Executive Director, Women’s Business Center of Charlotte
  • Moderator: Page Fehling

“Do anything, but let it produce joy.” – Walt Whitman. When is the last time you experienced pure joy? Take a moment to truly reflect… Research has proven that having fun leads to creativity, builds productivity, and reduces stress. So why do we not have more of it? Let’s shake things up a bit! Join our speakers in an uplifting conversation on how to get a daily dose of fun into your life to revitalize, boost your happiness, and enhance your relationships.

Negotiating for a Win-Win Situation
Amy Wartham, Director of Corporate and Custom Training, UNC Charlotte
Gain the skills, insights and competencies required in all negotiations – in every industry at every level. Whether it’s allocating resources for a project, funding a new initiative or establishing a supply chain for a new product or service, negotiation is inevitably at the heart of the process. But few people understand the structures, techniques and approaches available to them as they seek to positively influence an outcome. This hands-on course gives participants a step-by-step guide to effective negotiation – from establishing a formal planning process to prioritizing issues to mastering persuasion techniques to identifying the communication styles of effective negotiators to breaking deadlocks to negotiating as part of a team to recognizing and using leverage to adjusting your strategy to the media used in the negotiation.

11:30 amLunch and Keynote Presentation

Climb Your Everest
Dr. Sara Safari

Dr. Sara Safari is an author, speaker, mountain climber, college professor, Electrical Engineer, and advocate for women empowerment. She is the first Iranian in history to climb the Seven Summits, the seven highest peaks in each continent. In this engaging keynote, Dr. Safari will take you through 7 steps that will inspire you to discover and climb your Everest. You will learn how to define and achieve strategic goals, navigate hurdles, leverage your strengths, and become an adaptable leader in times of turbulence.

1:15 pmNetworking Break
1:45 pmBreakout Session II

Own Who You Are
Ever more than before, it is evident that career progress is rooted in knowing ourselves on a deep level – in trusting our individual strengths and uncovering our blind spots. In this interactive session, you will learn how to navigate tough conversations with authenticity, illustrate your value with assertiveness, demonstrate what you can bring to the table, set clear boundaries, and overcome “I am not good enough.” It’s time to take control of your life and tell your story.

  • Allie Lin, General Counsel, Brighthouse Financial
  • Erin Sanders, SVP, Corporate Communications and Investors Relations, Piedmont Lithium, Inc.
  • Jen Straub, Principal, Mercer
  • Moderator: Kristin Frade, Associate Partner & Executive Coach, Novus Global

Public Policy and Its Impact on Our Personal Lives
No matter the party affiliation, there are now more women in the NC General Assembly than ever before. Join this session to hear from women in local and state public leadership roles as they discuss the importance of engaging in our political and legislative system and provide tips on how to become more involved.

  • Mayor Vi Lyles, City of Charlotte
  • Representative Tricia Cotham
  • Mayor Melinda Bales, Town of Huntersville
  • Moderator: Debra Derr, Director of Government Affairs, NC Chamber

Women, Money, Confidence: A Lifelong Relationship
In 2022, Bank of America published a report providing insights into the strengths and challenges of women across ages, income levels and ethnicities with a desire to foster a better understanding of how we can support each other as we take the next steps toward brighter financial futures for all. In this energizing discussion, learn about the leadership journey of two women bankers and how they have become a resource to encourage financial independence.

  • Carolina Ko, Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager, Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America
  • Lenore Culpepper, SVP, Small Business Region Executive, Bank of America
  • Moderator: Jessica Tocora, Senior Vice President, Performance Manager, Bank of America
2:45 amEvent Ends