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HERStory: The Power of Perseverance

Featuring Keynote Speakers Rayna DuBose & Sheela Murthy

Panelists to include MaryBeth Hyland

7 MARCH 2019 

Maryland Live! Hotel

7002 Arundel Mills Cirlce #7777

Hanover, MD 21076

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About the 2019 Women's Leadership Conference

What is the 2019 Women's Leadership Conference?

The Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) is an annual one-day event recognizing the contribution of phenomenal women leaders and their affect on regional business growth as well as inspiring all attendees to better and more effective leadership. The 2019 Women’s Leadership Conference will focus on ‘The Power of Perseverance’ and will feature sessions on ‘Finding Peace During the Storm,’ ‘Determining when Patience is a Virtue and When it is Not’ and ‘Igniting and Sustaining Purpose and Passion.’

Some of the most highly regarded female ‘movers and shakers’ in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are on the lineup including two inspirational keynote speakers. Rayna DuBose, motivational speaker and Marriotts Ridge High School Coach, and Sheela Murthy, Founder of Murthy Law Firm, will be the keynote speakers for the 2019 Women’s Leadership Conference.




7:30am - 8:00am -- Registration & Breakfast | Visit Exhibit Hall


8:00am - 8:15am -- Welcome & Opening Remarks


8:15am - 9:00am -- Morning Keynote: Rayna DuBose, Motivational Speaker and Marriotts Ridge High School Coach


9:00am - 9:15am -- Break | Visit Exhibit Hall

9:15am - 10:30am -- Finding Peace During the Storm

                                      Towanda R. Livingston, Senior Director, Philadelphia’s Office of Economic Opportunity

                                      Denise Shelton & Shawna Nance, Community Bridge Incorporated

                                      Sharon Brackett, President/CEO, Tiresias Technologies

10:30am - 10:45am -- Break I Visit Exhibit Hall


10:45am - 12:00pm -- Determining When Patience is a Virtue and When it is Not

                                       Funlayo Alabi, Co-Founder, Shea Radiance


12:00pm - 1:15pm -- Lunch | Small Group Discussion


1:15pm - 2:30pm -- Igniting and Sustaining Purpose and Passion

                                  Suzanne Delica, Owner, Columbia Clothes Mentor 

                                   MaryBeth Hyland, Founder, SparkVision


2:30pm - 2:45pm -- Break | Visit Exhibit Hall


2:45pm - 3:30pm -- Afternoon Keynote: Sheela Murthy, Founder, Murthy Law Firm


3:30pm - 4:00pm -- Closing Remarks



Rayna DuBose, Motivational Speaker and Marriotts Ridge High School Coach

Rayna DuBose was on a full-ride basketball scholarship at Virginia Tech and playing in her first season when a viral meningitis infection put her into a 97-day coma. She woke up a quadruple amputee. The illness, its outcome and DuBose’s response - she finished her degree at Virginia Tech, stayed involved with the team, and maintained the positive spirit she was known for - launched a career as an international motivational speaker. Today you’ll find the 34-year-old sticking close to her childhood home of Howard County, where she’s the junior varsity coach for boys’ basketball and assistant coach for varsity football at Marriotts Ridge High School. “I was made for this,” she says. “My passion and my love are the kids and sports, and letting sports guide you through life on a positive note.” DuBose, who lives in Gwynn Oak, still speaks locally, where her messages center around leadership and following dreams, mimicking what her athletes often hear on the court. “If you are mentally strong, you can really conquer anything,” she says. “It means you don’t get defeated in the world very easily. You’re resilient.”

Sheela Murthy, LL.M., Founder of Murthy Law Firm

Founder and president of the Murthy Law Firm, Sheela Murthy completed her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Harvard Law School, and has been admitted to practice as an attorney in New York, Maryland, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Located in Baltimore County, Maryland, her firm of approximately 100 professionals concentrates in the area of U.S. immigration law. Murthy practiced with major law firms in New York and Baltimore before launching her own firm in 1994, then known as the Law Office of Sheela Murthy. Murthy often travels to meet with senior officials of U.S. consulates abroad, as well as the different USCIS service centers in the U.S., to discuss policies and procedures. This enables the Murthy Law Firm to better serve and advocate for its clients. She is fluent in French and Hindi. She presents papers and speaks on complex immigration law issues before the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and other national and international organizations, including the International Bar Association in London and the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg. She is a past member of the Board of Trustees (2002-2009) and, for a number of years, co-chaired the American Immigration Council (AIC)’s Annual Immigrant Achievement Awards, which selects, recognizes, and honors outstanding immigrants who have made notable contributions to American life. A regularly featured writer, sharing information with her colleagues on consular matters and other immigration law topics, Murthy is often called upon by television network affiliates and newspapers to discuss immigration law, she is also featured in many international publications for her worldwide practice, for her leadership in the business community, and for her philanthropic work. She and her firm have been awarded the AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. This is the highest rating for lawyers and represents a measure of esteem for which attorneys strive.


2019 Session Speakers & Moderators


  MaryBeth Hyland, Culture Consultant, Millennial Engagement Expert

MaryBeth Hyland, Culture Consultant, Millennial Engagement Expert

MaryBeth Hyland, Culture Consultant, Millennial Engagement Expert

MaryBeth, a millennial entrepreneur, engagement expert and soon-to-be-author, has built her world around crafting culture around core values. She helps multi-generational organizations build stronger communities to create environments where people thrive-ultimately empowering team members, to own their role in crafting culture every day. Her groundbreaking “High Achieving Millennial Research Project” gave voice to those who were defying the negative stereotypes of their generation, providing insights for organizations to attract, retain and engage young professional talent. In addition to partnering with organizations who are invested in their culture, MaryBeth delivers gut-punching, actionable keynotes and workshops to teams and audiences across the country.

  Towanda R. Livingston, Senior Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia

Towanda R. Livingston, Senior Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia

Towanda R. Livingston, Senior Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia

Towanda R. Livingston is a successful and award-winning Diversity and Inclusion Executive. She has been essential in developing, implementing and institutionalizing various diversity initiatives that range from communication, workforce, workplace to supplier/business and community outreach. She possesses over 25 years of solid hands-on advocacy, diversity and inclusion, economic development, strategic, business, business, business/professional coaching, marketing, sales and customer service experience which has successfully grown and sustained diversity and inclusion programs. The breadth and depth of her experience with advocacy, strategic planning and implementation of sustainable economic development, business development, diversity, inclusion and equity programs has been extremely valuable to her stakeholders and those lucky enough to procure her services.

As of July 2018, Towanda is the Senior Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity for the City of Philadelphia. She serves as the primary Leader in implementing and overseeing inclusion-related programs that are guided by the City of Philadelphia’s legislative mandates and requirements. Formerly the Director of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC) Office of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion (OSDI), Towanda was an Executive at WSSC from 2006 to 2017. Towanda has won numerous awards and accolades over her career; and has volunteered numerous hours to community-based organizations that are dedicated to women and children.

  Lisa Anderson, CPA, Strategic Business Advisor & Virtual CFO, Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC

Lisa Anderson, CPA, Strategic Business Advisor & Virtual CFO, Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC

Lisa Anderson, CPA, Strategic Business Advisor & Virtual CFO, Anavo Transformation Solutions LLC

I am a trailblazer who fought my way to the top of the accounting food chain at a time when the industry was dominated by men who had no interest letting a woman have her slice of their pie. I became a Certified Public Accountant, was an all-star employee, then started my own business and killed it at that too. When my youngest daughter was just 10 months old, I grew my business from one employee bringing in about $200,000 each year to a 40-employee empire with an annual revenue of more than $4 million – something less than three percent of women entrepreneurs in the US and Canada can claim.

One on my mantras is, “numbers tell a story and they never lie.” I teach my clients to understand what the numbers in their businesses are really saying to help address red flags before they become black holes that drain essential resources from the business (and the owner).

My track-record speaks for itself. After nearly 30 years of work, I have already helped launch and grow hundreds of small businesses while training entrepreneurs to be leaders in their industries. But hitting the seven-figure mark forced me to look at my life and take inventory of the things I placed above my family, my health and myself.

For me, the light bulb blazed after playing hooky with my now college bound daughters – on a Monday. In all the fun, my girls told me that was the first time I had ever ditched work on a weekday just to be with them. That’s when I realized I needed to make a change. I went on a mission to have it all and, you guessed it, I managed to accomplish that too. I knew there had to be a way to remain a powerful business leader while still making time for my husband and my daughters, taking more vacations and spending precious moments with my aging mother. That’s when I uncovered the methods that created the balance between booming business and the priorities in my personal life.

Now, through my work at Anavo Transformation Solutions, I teach business owners who know they have a greater purpose and are ready to dig themselves out of the minutia of the day-to-day distractions and take back their lives. I demonstrate how to turn a business into an engine that can work without constant supervision so that entrepreneurs can feed themselves spiritually instead of draining their passion at the expense of the people and things they love.

I am the proud recipient of many accolades including the Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award, the Maryland Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award, Enterprising Woman of the Year Award, SmartCEO Magazine’s Smart CPA Award, and the BRAVA! Top Women CEO Award.

  Dina Bell Nance, Founder, Training by Design Inc.

Dina Bell Nance, Founder, Training by Design Inc.

Dina Bell Nance, Founder, Training by Design Inc.

Dina Bell Nance, Owner and Chief Learning Officer of Training by Design, Incorporated believes that by Empowering and Educating Your Staff for Excellence on a regular basis, you will create a powerful work environment that will outlast the competition. The culture will also focus on collaboration, motivation and team building at all levels. Ms. Nance graduated from the University of MD, Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science and has taken numerous classes toward a Masters Degree in the Marketing field at University of Maryland, University College. She has also completed training courses on developing training presentations with Langevin Learning Center and technology training sessions with Oracle over the years.

For over 16 years, Training by Design, Inc. has provided Executive Business Seminars, Customized Technology Training, Professional Development Training, Project Management Training Services, ISD Curriculum Design and Keynote Speaking engagements to the Public and Private sectors.  Our Value Proposition Statement is centered around creating strategic, collaborative and creative classroom environments that ensure topics are not just learned but experienced! As the key principal for TBDI, Ms. Nance also had the awesome opportunity of providing Project Mgmt and Training Support to the FDIC for 6 ½ years prior to the start of her business. She also brings over 30 years of Project Management and Training experience to the classroom. Her training team also brings a wealth of experience in the areas of training, education and research as well as customer service to each project.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, The USDA Graduate School (U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Social Security Administration, Federal Aviation Administration), Enlightened, LLC (U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Courts, CSOSA, PSA, MPD, USAO and ATF), CAMRIS International (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs), Total Learning Solutions (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority), Johns Hopkins Hospital, Procter and Gamble - Cover Girl Cosmetics, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Montgomery County Planning Department and Montgomery County Parks.

  Anna Fleeman Elhini, Founder I Managing Director, Creatrix, Inc.

Anna Fleeman Elhini, Founder I Managing Director, Creatrix, Inc.

Anna Fleeman Elhini, Founder I Managing Director, Creatrix, Inc.

Anna Fleeman Elhini, together with Sami Elhini, founded Creatrix® in 2006. Creatrix is an identity management company specializing in systems integration and software engineering with expertise in biometrics, vetting, credentialing, and case management. Creatrix provides clients big business capability with small business agility and is well-respected for its breadth of experience, skilled talent base and responsive management style. Creatrix provides IT services for a wide-range of customers such as the Federal government, Lockheed Martin, Leidos, Accenture, AOL, Sun Microsystems, Advanced Optical Solutions, Yotta Innovation, GSE Systems.  Further, Creatrix recently debuted two new product lines: Biometrix™, a software suite consisting of enterprise, embedded, mobile, and cloud middleware, and the XONE™ Earhart, a revolutionary hand-held, wireless, fingerprint capture device.

Anna is responsible for all of Creatrix's corporate operations, business development, and marketing, leveraging her nearly 20 years of experience in operations, project and contract management, survey research, and statistics. She has served as a Chief Research Methodologist and Vice President at large research firms and published over 30 papers/presentations.

Anna holds a Master’s degree in Measurement and Quantitative Methods and is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Emory University. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences, local networking groups, and technology chapters and is often tapped to help others better their presentation skills and marketing messages. She is a member of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce's GovConnects Advisory Board, Engagement Chair of the Women in Technology (WiT) of Central Maryland, a Howard Tech Council Ambassador, and an Emory University Applicant Interviewer for the Baltimore/DC area.