Event Schedule

Real Conversations with Women Who LeadUp™ Live Stream Events

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Real Conversations with Women who LeadUp™ in DEI

Location: Live Streamed on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube

Cost: Free

Featuring:

Erica Hughey, Chief Diversity Officer, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (Las Cruces, NM)

Karen Nelson, Vice President of Inclusion and Community Impact, Herzing University (WI)

Dina Abercrombie, Sr. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Northwestern Mutual (WI)

Tune in to the Live Stream from LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook on August 16th, 2023 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview this amazing panel and discuss their journeys and share their thoughts around where we are now in the field of DEI, and the impact of the SCOTUS decision on institutions and corporations (SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. UNC, effectively eliminating the use of affirmative action in college admissions).

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

Gerry Howze

Erica Hughey has over 20 years of experience in social equity advocacy and strategic diversity leadership. After earning her B.A. in Sociology from her beloved HBCU, Virginia State University, she dedicated the early years of her career to being a social worker and counselor focused on serving and giving voice to vulnerable and marginalized populations to include foster children, single parents, unemployed /underemployed, inmates, homeless, domestic violence survivors, military veterans and spouses, sexual assault survivors, immigrants and the elderly. Over the past decade, she has continuously expanded her expertise both as an executive leader and practitioner after earning her MBA in Human Resource Management.

Erica Hughey, Chief Diversity Officer, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (Las Cruces, NM) - Bio

With her dynamic professional experience, incomparable lived experiences and invaluable tacit knowledge, this change agent has led corporate operational initiatives to improve policies, procedures and best practices working across various sectors in hospitals, colleges, private corporations, nonprofits, local, state, federal and international government agencies.

The results of her management are evidenced in the development and application of strategies and tactics that cultivated diverse, equitable and inclusive work and learning environments. Also holding a Professional Certificate from Cornell University in Diversity and Inclusion, her visionary leadership has spearheaded initiatives resulting in collaborative initiatives and increased engagement and business innovation.

As inaugural Chief Diversity Officer, she leads the BCOM Office of Diversity and Inclusion with the motto of Culture of Excellence where she provides the direction, framework and acumen necessary to inclusively leverage the power of diversity to impact the campus culture with institutional strategic planning analysis and implementation in addition to her service as Ombudsman.

She is the recipient of several volunteer community service awards to include 2022 Outstanding Ambassador of the Year for her advocacy and support of military families. Additionally, as an active member of the historic organization, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she continues to dedicate her free time and talents to empower and influence communities of color to build economic wealth, invest in education and promote social justice and healthcare. She has led the organization at the local level as an executive board member serving as Vice President, Parliamentarian and Public Relations Officer.

Gerry Howze

Karen Nelson joined Herzing University as the Vice President of Inclusion and Community Impact in July 2022. She has worked in corporate, governmental, and consulting roles.  She came to Herzing University after serving as the Inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Rogers Behavioral Health. Prior to Rogers, Mrs. Nelson was the Diversity and Inclusion Leader for the City of Appleton reporting to the city’s mayor.  She has helped large organizations like Shaw Industries and GE Medical Systems with their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategies.

Karen Nelson, Vice President of Inclusion and Community Impact, Herzing University (WI) - Bio

In 2017, Mrs. Nelson was named one of Wisconsin’s Top 35 Black Leaders. She has contributed to writing publications in Appleton Monthly Magazine and is the author of the final chapter of Dr. Tana Session’s anthology ‘Black Women: Corporate America’s Best Kept Secret’. The secret is out! The book is a guide to unleash your superpower to succeed in business as your unapologetic, authentic self! In 2019 Ms. Nelson was appointed to the Wisconsin’s Governor’s State Council on Affirmative Action, working with Governor Tony Evers.

Karen Nelson joined Herzing University as the Vice President of Inclusion and Community Impact in July 2022. She has worked in corporate, governmental, and consulting roles.  She came to Herzing University after serving as the Inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Rogers Behavioral Health. Prior to Rogers, Mrs. Nelson was the Diversity and Inclusion Leader for the City of Appleton reporting to the city’s mayor.  She has helped large organizations like Shaw Industries and GE Medical Systems with their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategies.  In 2017, Mrs. Nelson was named one of Wisconsin’s Top 35 Black Leaders. She has contributed to writing publications in Appleton Monthly Magazine and is the author of the final chapter of Dr. Tana Session’s anthology ‘Black Women: Corporate America’s Best Kept Secret’. The secret is out! The book is a guide to unleash your superpower to succeed in business as your unapologetic, authentic self! In 2019 Ms. Nelson was appointed to the Wisconsin’s Governor’s State Council on Affirmative Action, working with Governor Tony Evers.

In her role with Herzing University, she works with senior leaders, board members and several committees to advance DE&I efforts not only for HU, but the community at large.  Mrs. Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bennett College, an HBCU, in Greensboro, NC and an Executive MBA from the Lubar School of Business at UW-Milwaukee.  Mrs. Nelson lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband, Stanford together they have two adult children: Sable and Stanford II.

Gerry Howze

Dina Abercrombie is the Northwestern Mutual Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She leads the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) education, coaching and consulting practice across all corporate offices. Dina has over 20 years of experience in talent strategy, D&I, program development and project management.

Dina’s career roots began as a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) in large IT management consulting where she led teams that developed software for Law Enforcement to improve data collection, analysis and reporting. She was always collaterally involved in DEI related projects and made the transition over eight years ago fulltime to the field of DEI. 

Dina Abercrombie the Sr. Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Northwestern Mutual - Bio

She started A Better Me, LLC, her own coaching and management consultancy as well as led DEI consultancy projects for Ivy Planning Group, LLC, a global management consulting firm that focuses on DEI. She has worked with Fortune 500 Global organizations, non-profits, and state and federal governments on efforts such as DEI leadership training, organizational assessments, strategy development, implementation support, and helped launch D&I Councils and Affinity Groups (ERGs/BRGs).

In her free time, Dina strongly believes in giving back and serving in her church and community. She is a proud member of Greater New Birth Church, The Milwaukee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and serves on the boards of COA Youth & Family Centers and We Black We Golf, non-profits that focus on the elevation and advancement of families in the Milwaukee area. She also serves on committees with the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee and Calibr Global Leadership Network.

Dina has an MBA (University of Phoenix) and a B.S. in Organizational Leadership and Management (Regent University). Dina is a native of the Washington, DC area and she and her spouse, Robert now calls Glendale, WI home. She is the proud bonus mom of two young adults.

With over 20 years of experience in transformational & PMO roles, Shona has demonstrated her expertise in driving innovation and delivering measurable results. Her strong analytical skills allow her to identify opportunities for improvement, streamline processes, and optimize operations. She has a deep understanding of emerging technologies and their potential to disrupt industries, enabling her to develop innovative strategies for organizations to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape.

Shona is known for her exceptional leadership skills, collaborating with stakeholders at all levels of the organization to align transformation initiatives with business objectives.

Gerry Howze

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

Real Conversations with “Women who LeadUp”

Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, President, Jael Solutions Consulting Services

12:30 – 1:00 PM

Location: Live Streamed on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube

Cost: Free

Tune in to the Live Stream from our Leaders Leaving Legacies™ LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube pages on July 19th, 2023 from 12:30 – 1:00 PM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, President, Jael Solutions Consulting Services.

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, President, Jael Solutions Consulting Services - Bio

Dr. Jeanette Kowalik has two decades of progressive public health experience representing the life course.  She began her career as an intern at the City of Milwaukee Health Department in 2002; she returned in 2018 to serve as the Commissioner of Health until fall of 2020.

To fulfill Jeanette’s public health calling, she attended Northern Illinois University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program while maintaining full-time employment in the field.  Post completion of her MPH, she attended the Management Academy for Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and began her doctorate in health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee shortly thereafter.  Her initial research focus was eradicating infant mortality disparities among Black and Latina/x/e adolescents; this shifted after she realized the significant gap in research regarding recruitment and retention of a diverse public health workforce.

Dr. Kowalik’s diverse set of experiences continues to motivate her to represent and advocate for equity through policy and practice change at all levels. The highlights of Dr. Kowalik’s public health career to date are collaborating to Declare Racism as a Public Health Crisis in July of 2019 and prioritizing the impact of COVID-19 by race and ethnicity in Milwaukee, which motivated other jurisdictions to do the same thus shifting pandemic resources to those with the greatest needs.  Data sharing enabled the country to rapidly discover a disturbing pattern of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in communities of color. This increased awareness led to recalibration of outreach strategies, policies, and resource allocation to save lives.

After serving as Commissioner of Health, Dr. Kowalik became the Director of Policy Development for the Trust for America’s Health, a national, non-profit, bi-partisan health policy organization. 2022 marked Dr. Kowalik’s 20th anniversary in public health. Last year, she transitioned to full time consulting at her firm, Jael Solutions Consulting Services, LLC.  In addition to being the President of her company, she continues to teach graduate public health students at Baylor University’s MPH program and Doctoral of Health Administration program at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Last but not least, she volunteers her time for several non-profit boards and serves as the Chair of the Health Administration section of the American Public Health Association.

Gerry Howze

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

Real Conversations with “Women who LeadUp in Tech”

Ninveh Neuman, Digital & Marketing Transformation Leader

12:30 – 1:00 PM

Location: Live Streamed on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube

Cost: Free

Tune in to the Live Stream from our Leaders Leaving Legacies™ LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube pages on June 21st, 2023 from 12:30 – 1:00 PM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview Ninveh Neuman, Digital & Marketing Transformation Leader, Accenture Song. 

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

Ninveh Neuman, Digital & Marketing Transformation Leader - Bio

As a transformational senior leader, Ninveh has focused her career on building B2B go-to-market strategies to fuel innovation and drive growth. She has been a champion of change during dramatic times of technology shifts, business model disruption, new market expansion and changing behaviors of B2B buyers.

She leads the Industrial segment for Accenture Song, where she partners with a variety of Fortune 100 companies to reimagine and activate digital experiences and customer engagement. Prior to Accenture, she spent 25 years at Rockwell Automation, where served as Vice President of Global Marketing, leading a team focused on driving awareness, demand, conversion and loyalty with customers and prospects. She also drove the company’s Digital Business Transformation organization, focused on digitally activating engagement with company’s sales, channels and customers.

She serves on the Dean’s Council for the College of Business Administration for her alma mater, Marquette University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is also a powerful advocate for the advancement of women in leadership. She serves on the board for Milwaukee Women Inc., an organization focused on changing the face and quality of leadership in the Wisconsin business community by increasing the number of women corporate directors. She lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, and has one a son in college.

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023, 12:00 – 12:45 PM

Real Conversations with Women who LeadUp™ in Tech

Location: Live Streamed on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube

Cost: Free

Featuring:

Anu Varma, Chief Information Officer, Communications Solutions, TE Connectivity

Shona Lahiri, Enterprise ERP Transformation Director, Johnson Controls

Vanaya Grice, Sr. Director Field Tech Customer Success, Northwestern Mutual

 

Tune in to the Live Stream from LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook on June 28th, 2023 from 12 – 12:45 PM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview this amazing panel and discuss their journeys, triumphs and challenges in the field of technology.

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

Gerry Howze
Anu Varma, Chief Information Officer, Communications Solutions - Bio

Anu Varma is the CIO for the  Communication Solutions Segment of TE Connectivity. 

In her three decades of experience as a business IT leader in MFG companies, Anu has focused on driving business outcomes and market differentiation through the use of technology, advanced analytics, and has been passionate about inspiring organizations to embrace a new future through digital transformation.  She is a student for life, strong believer in the diversity of people and thought, and feels that collaboration is the secret sauce to success. As a technologist, Anu is extremely excited about our AI driven future but personally, she is creeped out and scared. 

TE Connectivity is a $16B global industrial technology manufacturing leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. As a global electronics company with 80 years of experience in developing innovative solutions for complex industrial technology applications used in harsh environments.

Gerry Howze
Vanaya Grice, Sr. Director, Field Tech Customer Success - Bio

Vanaya Grice, marketing and communications professional of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has 20+ years’ experience in new product development, new market strategy, new client experience design and technology transformation. Skilled at bridging transformation to adoption and change management strategies, her professional experiences consist of building cross-functional relationships; strengthening accountability systems across organizations; and advancing multicultural market strategies. Currently, she is a Senior Director at Northwestern Mutual in Field Technology Customer Success, responsible for enabling sales tech strategy across the U.S. Prior to this, Vanaya has led in a variety of roles at NM in Digital Client Experience and Distribution Performance. Beyond the office, Vanaya owns and operates a hair braiding salon, serves on the board for PEARLS for Teen Girls, and is very busy raising two very active boys with her husband.

Gerry Howze
Shona Lahiri, Enterprise ERP Transformation Director - Bio

Shona Lahiri is an accomplished and dynamic Transformation & PMO Leader with a proven track record of driving successful transformations, leading and managing complex programs. With a keen understanding of project management methodologies, strategic planning, technology, and change management principles. Shona possesses the unique ability to lead cross-functional teams and guide companies through complex transformation initiatives.

With over 20 years of experience in transformational & PMO roles, Shona has demonstrated her expertise in driving innovation and delivering measurable results. Her strong analytical skills allow her to identify opportunities for improvement, streamline processes, and optimize operations. She has a deep understanding of emerging technologies and their potential to disrupt industries, enabling her to develop innovative strategies for organizations to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape.

Shona is known for her exceptional leadership skills, collaborating with stakeholders at all levels of the organization to align transformation initiatives with business objectives. 

Gerry Howze

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Real Conversations with Women who LeadUp

Paula Penebaker, former President & CEO, YWCA of Southeast WI

12:00 – 12:30 PM

Location: LinkedIn Live

Cost: Free

Tune in to the Live Stream from LinkedIn Live on April 19th, 2023 from 12 – 12:30 PM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview Paula Penebaker, former President & CEO, YWCA of Southeast WI. 

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

Paula Penebaker - Bio

Paula is the former President & CEO of the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin. She served the organization for over 20 years. After
retirement, she served as an Executive Advisor. Penebaker has extensive leadership and human resources experience having earned both Professional (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) certifications. During her career she developed diversity strategies, facilitated management training sessions infused with diversity principles and co-developed racial justice curriculum.

Paula has served on several local Boards of Directors including the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Professional Dimensions, Renaissance Theaterworks, and the Milwaukee County Federated Library System to name a few. Nationally, she served as Vice President and President of the Board of YWCA USA. She has also received numerous awards.

On a personal note, she is a member of the international service organizations Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and The Milwaukee Chapter The Links Incorporated. Paula has a son, daughter, three grandchildren and her beloved Chestnut, an Australian Labradoodle. She loves sports, especially Milwaukee Bucks basketball. In addition, she likes to read, travel and stream television shows and movies.

Gerry Howze

Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

Real Conversations with Women who LeadUp

Kristen Hardy, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Northwestern Mutual

12 – 12:30 PM

Location: Tune in on LinkedIn Live and Facebook

 

Cost: Free

Tune in to the Live Stream from LinkedIn Live on April 26th, 2023 from 12 – 12:30 PM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview Kristen Hardy, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Northwestern Mutual.

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions. 

Kristen Hardy - Bio

Kristen D. Hardy is Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary at a Fortune 90 mutual company where she is a member of the Insurance Products and Operations team. Kristen is responsible for counseling on matters related to insurance products, transactions, anti-money laundering compliance, and special investigations. In prior years, she has served as Legal Counsel and Integrity Manager at two separate multinational manufacturers. Most recently, Kristen led the global corporate compliance function, including third party program management, anti-bribery/anti-corruption (FCPA), international trade and sanctions, and the integrity program. Her practice also included internal investigations and counseling on various
international business issues. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School.

Kristen is the currently Chair of the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Wisconsin, and holds director positions on the boards of several local organizations, including the Milwaukee Bar Association and LOTUS Legal Clinic. She is also Chair of the Bronzeville Center for the Arts Board of Directors, an African-American arts and cultural museum in the heart of
Bronzeville, Milwaukee. In 2019, Kristen was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to serve as a member of the Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, a group responsible for interviewing and recommending candidates to the governor for judicial appointments. Additionally, Kristen is a Wisconsin Supreme Court appointee to the Wisconsin Lawyer Regulation System’s Preliminary Review Committee. She is a past-president of the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers (WAAL), where she served in various roles between 2014 and 2020.

Kristen has been recognized as a Milwaukee Young Power Broker, Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Top Corporate Counsel: Rising Star, Wisconsin Fellow, Wisconsin Law Journal’s Up and Coming Lawyer, Wisconsin Law Foundation Fellow, Wisconsin’s Most Influential Black Leader, and a Milwaukee Time’s Black Excellence honoree.

Kristen holds a BA from Seton Hall University and a JD from Marquette University Law School.

Gerry Howze

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023

Real Conversations with Women who LeadUp

Gerry Howze, former Executive Director, PEARLS for Teen Girls

6:00 – 7:00 PM

Location: Tune in online – Interview will be Live Streamed from NO Studios

 

This event is the start of a series of conversations with women of color who “LeadUp!” Hear about their struggles, lessons and triumphs across various industries, and how they’ve lifted others up along the way.

Tune in to the Live Stream from NO Studios on April 12th, 2023 at 6 PM, where Janette M. Braverman, Founder and CEO, Leaders Leaving Legacies™ will interview Gerry Howze, former Executive Director of PEARLS for Teen Girls. Gerry was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and recently had to step down from her role. PEARLS is a nonprofit empowering girls in 5th – 12th grade. Your contribution to this event will help support Gerry’s ongoing medical expenses.

We encourage you to host a watch party, donate and purchase multiple tickets as a donation to Gerry! Let’s support our Sister!

Contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

Gerry Howze Bio

Gerry Howze is the recently former Executive Director of PEARLS for Teen Girls. She has also just launched her own business, Gerry Howze Enterprises (GHE). Through GHE, Gerry has a vision to expand her impact in the sphere of Transformational Leadership and Growth by sharing the wealth of knowledge she has learned throughout her career through Consultation and Coaching to Nonprofit Leaders, and Educators; Public Speaking; and a Podcast aimed to provide space for women to be affirmed, heal, and grow through the power of storytelling.

As the former Executive Director of PEARLS, Gerry led the organization to cultivate a national and international presence through the impact made in serving thousands of girls and building an entire movement of young women prepared to lead Milwaukee, our nation and the world into a vibrant new future. Her inspiration for PEARLS grew from years of experience as a teen mom on welfare, PEARLS first Program Coordinator, first Director of Program Services, and most recently, Executive Director for close to eight years.

Gerry is an involved community member and is a current Board member for TEMPO Milwaukee where she serves as the Chair for TEMPO’s Emerging Women Leaders. She has also attended Harvard Business School for Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management and Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative – New Strategies Program. In February 2020, she received a Milwaukee Times Black Excellence Award and was recognized as a “Standout Sister” in Milwaukee Magazine’s Betty Awards in December 2020.

Gerry is passionate about developing partnerships to create positive and transformational life changes for our community and the world, by ensuring all, especially the underserved, are included and treated with dignity and respect.

Virtual LeadUp™ MeetUps

March 24th, 2023 – Leaders LeadUp Launch Event

5:30 PM, Location: University Club of Milwaukee

 

Join us for the Leaders LeadUp™ Launch Event on Friday, March 24th 2023 at 5:30 PM, at the University Club of Milwaukee, 924 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Enjoy an evening of fun, laughter, appetizers, and connecting! Meet our Education Partners – powerful women across the nation! Hear from our Founder and CEO, Janette M. Braverman, and learn what Leaders LeadUp™ is all about and how you can join us!

We’d like to extend special thanks to Dr. Eve Hall, President and CEO, Greater Milwaukee Urban League, for hosting our event as well as all other sponsors and contributors.

When you become a member, you will immediately receive 10% off all events and courses across the site. Your ticket purchase includes a one month membership to Leaders LeadUp™! Thereafter, you will need to upgrade your membership.

PRESENTING SPONSOR

Registration now closed.

Tuesday, April 25th 2023 – Virtual  LeadUp MeetUp!

12:00 – 1:30 PM (Members Only)

 

Connect with us! We want to check in to see how things are going. Join us, ask questions and share your feedback. 

Registration now closed.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023 – Virtual Leaders LeadUp™ MeetUp (Members Only)

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Connect with us! We want to check in to see how things are going. Join us, ask questions and share your feedback. 

Registration now closed.

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023 – Virtual Leaders LeadUp™ MeetUp (Members Only)

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Connect with us! We want to check in to see how things are going. Join us, ask questions and share your feedback. 

Registration now closed.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023 – Virtual Leaders LeadUp™ MeetUp (Members Only)

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Connect with us! We want to check in to see how things are going. Join us, ask questions and share your feedback. 

Tuesday, December 26th, 2023 – Virtual Leaders LeadUp™ MeetUp (Members Only)

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Connect with us! We want to check in to see how things are going. Join us, ask questions and share your feedback. 

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