Annual Forum

WXW Forum16

Thursday, October 20, 2016


WXW’s dynamic, all-day forum for women business leaders will be repeated for the 9th time this fall!  Join area businesswomen for an exciting day of workshops, panel discussions and exchange sessions.  We are in the planning stage, so Save the Date and mark your calendar to be a part of this wonderful celebration of life.

Save the Date



Washtenaw Community College – Morris Lawrence Building
4800 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105



Highlights from WXW Forum15

October 2015


Watch the Forum 2015 Video to see what is in store for you. You’ll be inspired and amazed at what WXW has to offer!

Watch WXW Forum 2008 – 2014 Videos for additional insight into the fun & learning we experience.

2015 AGENDA & Details


8:00 – 8:30 —– Registration – Breakfast
8:30 – 8:45 —– Welcome
8:45 – 8:55 —– Mini Exchange at Tables
8:55 – 9:00 —– Story Time
9:00 – 9:05 —– Raffle
9:05 – 9:10 —– Panel Introduction
9:10 – 10:25 —- Panel – “A Woman’s Worth” – see panelists below
10:25 – 10:30 — Selfies and Us-ies
10:30 – 10:40 — Transition
10:40 – 11:50 — Workshops – Slot #1

11:50 – 12:50 — Lunch + Exchanges at Tables
12:50 – 1:00 —- Story Time
1:00 – 1:10 —– Raffle
1:10 – 1:20 —– Transition
1:20 – 2:30 —– Workshops – Slot #2
2:30 – 2:40 —– Transition
2:40 – 3:50 —– Workshops – Slot #3
3:50 – 4:00 —– Transition
4:00 – 4:10 —– One More Story
4:10 – 4:20 —– Sum Up the Day (+ Last Raffle)
4:20 – 5:00 —– Happy Time – network to our hearts’ content & meet everyone in the room


Vision Boarding Room – All Afternoon!

MMB headshot

Do you have a dream for your business, a new product you want to bring to life, or a personal desire you want to manifest? A vision board is a simple yet powerful visualization tool that activates the universal law of attraction to begin manifesting your dreams into reality. Olympic athletes have been using them for decades. And the best part? There are no rules. Whether you know the tool as a Vision Board or maybe a Desire Map, either will bring your Vision to life.  A separate room will be set aside during the entire afternoon of the Forum for those attendees who want to take the time to create a vision board that will bring clarity to their dreams and goals.

Join Michelle Massey Barnes in the Vision Board room for an hour, two, even the entire afternoon to create that special vision that is meant just for you.

Facilitator - Michelle Massey Barnes

Michelle Massey Barnes is known for the way she sees people. She is able to draw out someone’s best self and help create resonate images that capture who they are and what they love. Michelle is currently, and constantly, learning how to accept and be true to her own best self. She realizes the more she is able to do this, the more she is able to inspire others to do the same.


Panel Discussion – A Woman’s Worth


Join our panel of powerful women for a engaging and thought-provoking discussion on leadership, leaning in, and getting paid what you’re worth.

  • Marcia Hatch, Partner at Gunderson Dettmer
  • Gretchen Driskell, Member of the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the 52nd District
  • Amy Cell, President, Amy Cell Talent
  • Moderator:  Karen Andrews, Executive Coach & Instructor, Eastern Michigan University






1. Ramp Up Your Revenue (& Feel Good About Selling)

Facilitator – Mimi Brown

MimiBrownDo you struggle with selling your product or service? In fact, does that word “sales” make you cringe? You, my dear, are not alone. While many women believe immensely in their offerings and love their current customers, they struggle with how to acquire new customers in ways that feel natural and not “salesy.”

What if there were ways to encourage people to openly talk with you about ways you might be able to help them?  There are! And what if during the sales process, you could be the “real you” and stop worrying if people will like what you are saying? You can! Let Mimi show you the way to your best sales year ever.

In this interactive and fun workshop, Mimi Brown will guide you through GENTLE WAYS to acquire customers including techniques to …

•    Avoid that icky feeling of being pushy or salesy.
•    Ask for business in a gentle way.
•    Deal with customers who are pushing you for cheaper prices.
•    Revise your sales and marketing process, so it feels right to you and prospects.
•    Define your unique selling proposition, so it’s irrestible to those who need you.
•    Identify and overcome objections to sales.
•    Integrate proven closing techniques to win more sales.


2. Resistance to Change is Futile (but that’s ok because you can use Agile Project Management)

Facilitator – Megan Torrance

torrance_ 004 II sqHave you ever been on a project team where  everything started out smoothly, but then bit by bit, the project changed? Details and deliverables went awry; deadlines were missed; project costs sky-rocketed; and team members’ workloads soared. Eek! That sounds like a horrid nightmare!

Projects in today’s business world are complex, fast-moving,  and sometimes the problem you think you are solving evolves into a new problem. So why not try a different approach to managing projects that embraces the fact that all interesting projects change?  (And we all want to work on good projects, right?)

Agile project management started in the software industry  - where technologies, trends, and the marketplace are always evolving.  Today non-IT folks can use the same methods (but without geek speak and programming languages!) to define project scope, keep in touch with business leaders along the way, establish and plan the work, and (here is the kicker) adapt to the inevitable change that will come along the way. Yay!

Megan Torrance, AKA one of the funnest gals around, will teach you during this workshop to…

•    Describe to others why a change in project management approach is needed.
•    Define a shared vision for the scope of a project.
•    Estimate the cost, work effort, and duration of your project.
•    Plan the project timeline.
•    Support the project team along the way.
•    Learn and sing all of the words to David Bowie’s song, “Changes,” because that will be your new project management mantra ;-)


3. Create Raving Fans Online: 3 Simple Steps to Make Your Business Soar

Facilitator – Courtney Johnston

courtneyjohnston-large-52What’s your online presence?  A website and maybe a Facebook page both of which you hardly remember to update?  That’s soooooo 2010.

Courtney Johnston (Creator of the Rule Breakers Club) will walk you through her 3-part formula for creating an unlimited number of raving fans for your business.  Spoiler alert – most of it has nothing to do with tweaking your website.  In this workshop, you will:

•    Identify how you can use the internet to blast through your own glass ceiling and scale your business.
•    Apply the 3 simple steps to either launch your online business, create your online business, or launch a product or service online.
•    Create your customized plan-of-action. Use what you learn in this workshop to make the 3 step framework work for your business. (And have a list of action steps for what you need to impliment for the rest of the year and in the future).


4. Ingenious Productivity Hacks – Tech Tools, Tips & Tricks

Facilitator – Meg Fairchild


You know those people who use technology and tools without even having to think about it?  They’ve tried and tested out multiple apps to maximize their day with a few flicks of their fingers, and you feel silly around them because you still write your to-do list with an old pencil on a napkin at the coffee shop each morning.

Meg Fairchild is one of those people who could teach Martha Stewart a thing or two about being more efficient. Attend this workshop to…

•    Determine areas of your life where technology tools might help you be more efficient, productive, organized, or just more on-track with where you want your life to be headed.
•    Identify old and new tech tools and tips that you can bring into your work and personal life so they work for you.
•    Discover a website that plays white noise while you work.
•    A few secret “hacks” to manage your email more effectively.
•    Learn about other people’s favorite technology tools, productivity app and project management apps.


5. Market Like a Rock Star Using Social Media to Amplify Your Brand

Facilitator – Samantha West

Samantha_ForWebHave you ever wondered why some people or brands get all the attention on social media, while others languish in the wings, just waiting for their turn in the spotlight? What makes some people social media magnets? Why do certain companies and brands get innumerable opportunities to tell their story online?

Join Sam for an interactive workshop that will discuss what makes for a strong online presence. We will examine brands (big and small) that are doing it right and talk about what we can learn from them. During our time together, you will:

•    Determine the ingredients for a successful online persona by looking at real-world examples.
•    Identify specific areas for potential growth in you own brand(s)
•    Collaborate with a partner(s) to craft a compelling online persona, including identifying 3 personality traits for your brand.
•    Design a weekly social media content plan.
•    Create next steps you can implement today to take your brand(s) from the sidelines to center stage.


6. Elevate Your Energy (by changing the stories you tell)

Facilitator – Nan Reed Twiss

Nan_twissDo you sometimes get triggered by situations that put you in an ugly mood… one that you know doesn’t serve you? Do some circumstances elevate your energy and others drain you? If so, welcome to humanity!

As you well know, your energy, whether positive or negative, affects your work and all aspects of your life. The higher and more positive your energy, the easier (and more likely!) it is for you to accomplish things that are important to you. The good news is – you don’t have to be at the mercy of these events!

During this workshop, Nan will help you discover an extraordinary model to shift your energy to a more powerful place. You will learn to…

•    Develop skills to quickly control your mood and elevate your energy
•    Conquer emotional roadblocks and create authentic positivity for effectiveness at work, home and your in relationships.
•    Identify one area in your life where you can make positive change immediately and experience how these techniques work in real time.
•    Meet other people and share your journey.


7. Career Transition: What’s Next?

Facilitator – Katiuska Luna Cancalon, PhD, PCC

Katiuska headshot june 2015Are you considering a big change in your professional life? Are you already in the midst of a career transition?  Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference, are you changing fields, or seeking a better work/life balance?

Changes to your career can feel overwhelming and stressful. Deciding to focus on your career is the first step in the right direction. Knowing where to start is the next important step in moving forward towards new opportunities. What if you were able to align your personal and professional priorities, and develop a realistic action plan to help you gain traction?

In this session, Katiuska will guide you through a process to explore new opportunities. In an open, affirming atmosphere and with the help of some constructive tools, you will find solutions to the challenges you are facing. Learn how to …

•    Define your priorities and identify what’s hold you back.
•    Gain clarity and develop a realistic action plan that will help you get traction as you think about your next steps.
•    Create strategies for accountability.


8. What You Think About, You Bring About – Retrain Your Brain for Success

Facilitator – Cheranissa Roach

c_roachPositive and negative forces are fine and dandy when it comes to protons and electrons, but what if your pesky negative thoughts are interfering with the positive success of your business, career, relationships, or life? And what if you don’t fully recognize or even realize that those sneaky thoughts are being repeated frequently in your mind? Eek!

Good thing Cheranissa Roach is here to help workshop attendees break the cycle of negative thinking! Attend this session if you are seeking…

•    Tools to assess your current mindset and notice your own thoughts.
•    Methods that will work best for you to notice negative thoughts and release them.
•    A personalized strategy for creating a positive mindset – where you retrain your brain to repeat optimistic thoughts, which in turn, triggers good, healthy emotions, behaviors, and habits.


9. Raising Capital For Women

Facilitator – Miche Rayment

Have you wondered if and how to raise investment capital for your business? Do you feel like if you just had a cash infusion of $XYZ, Miche-Raymentthen you could more quickly and efficiently grow your company, add staff, or seek out new markets? And what if there were ways to raise capital, retain it in our community, and fund the dreams of more women? There are!

When it comes to accessing and securing financial backing, women entrepreneurs and business owners have struggled, and this means they often don’t have the money they need to scale their companies. Thankfully, the investment tide is turning, and women now have the ability to raise investment unlike ever before.  Because of emerging trends toward local investing, social entrepreneurship, and a renaissance in creativity and innovation, women have the power, the access, and a village of supporters.

If you join Miche in this innovative capital workshop, you will come away with …

•    Knowledge of the changes that are happening with investment trends.
•    A new understanding of the possibilities for fund raising that are available to you.
•    An opportunity to address your fund raising obstacles and leverage the collective wisdom of “the crowd.”
•    Methods for investing in other women’s businesses.


10. Leadership – Lady Leaders Kick Some Glass!

Facilitator – Alfreda Rooks

alfreda_rooksWhat does being a “leader” mean in our business culture today? When you ask most people, the words they use to describe a leader are “bold,” “decisive,” “trailblazer,” “motivator,” “influencer,” or “change agent.”

Everyone wants to be a good leader, but what if the strengths and the attributes that make you uniquely YOU don’t match up with the typical characteristics of a “leader”? Fake it til you make it? NO! What if you could embrace your own gifts and use them to your advantage and to help your organization, your community, and the world?

Attend this workshop with Alfreda Rooks if you want to…

•   Understand the biases that we have about male leaders (“movers-n-shakers”) vs female leaders (word that rhymes with “sandwich”).
•   Reflect on your own “brand” of leadership.
•   Evaluate your “leadership presence” and the perception that others have of you.
•   Determine your vision for yourself as a leader – what needs to change to help you grow?
•   Set goals to improve your confidence as a leader, and draft a plan with to-do lists for accountability.
•   Learn the difference between “mentors” and “sponsors” and what that means for your progress.
•   Talk, move, compete in a “leadership relay,” and connect with resources in the room.


11. “Wow, that’s a great idea! Now what?” Moving from Ideas to Execution

Facilitators – Christina York and Marjorie Knepp


Have you been sitting on an idea like a brooding hen on her nest? Are you’re worried that your idea will never hatch because you don’t have the courage, knowledge, or time/money to take action? Many people have great ideas – but what typically happens with those ideas? Nothing – cue the sad trombone.

At this workshop, you have the opportunity to give your idea (or ideas!) a fighting chance to become reality. Christina York and Marjie Knepp know how to bring ideas to life, starting a tech company based on one crazy idea. No, it’s not easy. If it were, then everyone would be doing it, right? During this workshop, attendees will…

•    Focus on and hone their ideas – whether it’s a new business, product, opportunity, or refreshing something that has been around.
•    Embrace the risks, trust their gut instincts, and believe in themselves.
•    Create personal goals, identify tasks, formulate and test hypotheses.
•    Learn how to run a “scrum board.” Say what? Don’t worry – Marjie will teach you.
•    Build momentum and continually improve their ideas.