Takeaways from the 2015 Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference


This year marked the 10th anniversary for the Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference and those who attended raved about the experience! With stellar speakers and intuitive discussion panels, there was something for everyone. Here is a sampling of what attendees thought of the conference.



Blank_Avery_small“Diversity Woman put on a powerhouse conference and delivered on what millennial professionals want: impressive speakers, a cool vibe, access to mentors, and smart takeaways that help us to continue developing ourselves and our colleagues.” – Avery Blank, WiRL Senior Consultant, Policy Attorney, Women’s Advocate


Rolonda Goodwin and Sheila

“Attending the conference was life changing!  Phenomenal panelists and speakers.  Great touch with the 1:1 coaching.  I’ve already started taking action to further my career and community involvement!” – Rolonda Goodwin, Acquistions Integration – SW & Licensing, Cisco



“The pre-conference material stated that “this conference promises to spark imagination and energize careers” and it did just that.  I feel privileged to have been in the midst of a diverse group of powerful and accomplished women and men.  We often talk about the power of words; the words of wisdom spoken at the conference were powerful and very impactful to me both personally and professionally.
There were several learnings and career/life nuggets that I walked away with but I really benefited from the one-on-one leadership coaching session with Dr. Shirley Davis aka The Success Doctor.  The session encouraged me to seriously focus on creating a career plan based on Dr. Davis’s 4 V’s for career success – be a visionary, be visible, be vocal and add value.  I am encouraged to step outside of my current role and reinvent myself.
I absolutely must acknowledge Tara Jaye Frank, Vice President of Multicultural Strategy for Hallmark Cards, Inc.  I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Tara about what prompted her to write, Say Yes, A Woman’s Guide to Advancing Her Professional Purpose.  It was so clear that she has a passion for helping all women advance in their careers.  For me personally, this book could not have come at a better time for me than now.
I will pay forward to other women my learnings from the conference.
Thank you Sheila Robinson for sharing your passion of supporting the professional development of women of all races, cultures and backgrounds.”  – Wendy B. Green, Regional Human Resources Business Partner, Food Lion Stores (Central Division), Delhaize America Shared Service, Group, LLC



“The Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference in Orlando this year was nothing less than an incredible experience for me as the diversity initiative leader for SHRM! From the wide array of outstanding speakers, to the thrill of watching the 2015 Mosaic Woman Award Recipients honored, to the entertainment provided by none other than Alfredo Rodriguez, it was truly a magical three days in Disney’s Magic Kingdom backdrop for me. I will definitely be attending the conference next year!” –
Bettina Deynes, Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity, SHRM



“The 2015 Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference was one of my best conferences this year. I gained the following principles from the conference. Anyone can obtain education, training and degrees from all sources whether it is through college, on-line courses or certifications. There is nothing better than being in the presence of highly knowledgeable, honorable, accomplished and committed women that wanted to share their knowledge and personal experiences with others.
The Networking Breaks, Meet the Author Sessions as well as the Leadership and Executive Development Breakout Sessions, provided me the opportunity to fellowship with Toyota team members from TEMA, TFS and TMS in addition to other professional women in leadership roles.
I would like to share a quote: ‘A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.’ – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  Thank you again and I look forward to attending next year’s event. ” – Deborah Jones-Salone, Toyota Financial Services Headquarters/BTS Operations




“The 10th anniversary celebration of the Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference was an amazing experience for me and for our Delhaize America associates.  The speakers and sessions were very engaging and enlightening!  Two of my favorite sessions were the one on Mindfulness and the panel I participated in on “Burn out? Not with me!”  The session on Mindfulness was life-changing for me, and I have been practicing the techniques they shared.  The “Burn Out? Not with me!” session was fun and interactive.  During the session, I shared with the women that “selfish people live longer,” and by that I mean, we can’t be our best selves if we put ourselves last on our list or not at all.  Investing in your personal well-being helps to ensure that you have healthy and meaningful connections with your family, friends, co-workers and your community.
It was awesome to hear from phenomenal women like Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Susan Taylor and Tina Knowles Lawson!  I was most moved by the closing session with Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.  Our associates left the conference feeling empowered and re-energized!  We were also very proud to be a part of the 10th anniversary Diversity Women’s conference magazine issue, featuring several diverse women leaders from Delhaize America.  We look  forward to continuing our partnership with the Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference in 2016.” – Millette Granville, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Delhaize America




“In many conversations about women in leadership, or women in any stage of their careers, the subject of the need for flexibility comes into play. There is talk of work/life balance, the need for flexible schedules, sometimes even working Mondays-Thursdays only. This talk is almost always in relation to talk about women working. This talk almost never comes up when talking about men working. Are we requesting that exceptions be made for women? Are these things that only apply to women, things that only women need? Do men not have families? Do men not have kids? Do men not need flexibility to be responsible for anything in their lives outside of the workplace? Both genders are sometimes spouses, sometimes parents, friends, volunteers, active citizens, and children of aging parents. Both genders need more in their lives than purely the work they do for any one company. Yet there seems to be a general assumption made in our culture that only women need to be available to anyone or any place outside of their work at a company. Why? This seems to me to be a systemic issue within our entire culture, and one that applies to women and to men. Yet of course, it affects women the most because of underlying and widespread assumptions.
I’m grateful to all who make this Conference a reality. It is so important to continue the work of Diversity and Inclusion, and I hope to make a difference myself!” – Christy Grant, Program Manager, Publicis Groupe



Dr. AmicitaMaloon-Gibson-small

“The Diversity Woman 2015  was Super Added Value to my life as a Leader!
My take takeaways: Workshops in Leadership, Empowerment, professionalism a First Class Event. Best Executive Networking Woman & Diversity conference I have attended. All the speakers were great! I especially, Love Simon T. Bailey and Bishop Vashti McKenzie presentation. Thank you, Shelia A. Robinson and staff for an event that has shifted me to a greater level of excellence and action. Won’t miss another! Register for 2016 and hope that I can give back by being a part of this Game Changing leadership, Diversity and Inclusion conference.” – Dr. Amicita Maloon-Gibson, The Empowerment Doc



“This conference is very important to expose women to other successful women and provide them with the tools necessary to take their skills to the next level.
This was an eye-widening experience and one of the key inspirations that helped me focus on an immediate professional and personal goal.
That being said, the tools, the networking, the exposure to topics I didn’t know even existed were pivotal for me.
Well done and look forward to the relationships development moving forward.” –  Lymari Ames, Cisco Systems, Inc.



“This year’s conference was an accumulation of all the hard work Sheila and her team. The registration process improves each year delivering excellent customer service to all the attendees. The wealth of the volunteers is without a doubt an added asset to our success. Attached is a picture of a just a few of the registration team.” – Delphine Parker, MBA, Site Buyer – Carolinas East Operations, Duke Energy

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