SAVE THE DATE: October 14th, 2020

An action-packed and fun-filled day of workshops, panels, and exchanges with other women in business like you! Forum 2019 has passed. Please save the date for Forum 2020 which is guaranteed to be better than ever!

Calling all speakers!
Do YOU want to be a workshop presenter at Forum 2020 this October?
Now accepting proposals.

October 14th, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI

Past Forums Gallery

Sample Forum Day Schedule

8:00am - 8:20am // Registration, Breakfast & Networking

8:20am - 9:15am // Welcome & Ice Breaker Activity

9:15am - 9:25am // Break & Transition

9:25am - 10:25am // Workshop #1

10:25am - 10:35am // Break & Transition

10:35am - 11:35pm // Workshop #2

11:35pm - 12:30pm // Lunch

12:30pm - 1:30pm // Panel: Live YOUR Best Life

1:30pm - 2:30pm // Exchange Sessions

2:30pm - 2:40pm // Break & Transition

2:40pm - 3:40pm // Workshop #3

3:40pm - 3:45pm // Break & Transition

3:45pm - 4:00pm // Closing Remarks

4:00pm - 5:00pm // Social Exchange

Workshops from Forum 2019

Check out the amazing facilitators who brought the awesome at our last Forum 2019!

9:25am – 10:25am Workshops

Lara Zielin

Write Your OWN Story

As a writer, Lara Zielin was always considering what her characters wanted. What would make them happy? What would be a satisfying story for them? But she had never really considered the story of her own life. What was her motivation? What would make her happy? So Lara began an experiment to test whether writing about the life she wanted to have could actually help it come to pass. It turns out that creative writing + goal setting = the spark in your life! In this workshop, you’ll figure out how to become the main character in your own real-life adventure! NOTE: You don't have to be a great writer (or even a good writer, or heck, even a writer at all) to attend this workshop—just be ready for a new, creative way to set goals and achieve them!


Energy, Stress, and Hormones: Finding Your Way Back to Health When Modern Life Derails You

Did you know that, given the right tools, your body inclines toward health? Join Dr. Vickie Modica as she explains how stress affects our physiology—particularly as women—leaving us tired, less resilient, and struggling with our health. She’ll lead us on an exploration of the most important lifestyle measures for short- and long-term health and what to do when you feel like you’ve exhausted your options—and nothing’s helping!


Finding JOY! How to Achieve Happiness and Satisfaction in Work, Family, Politics, and Life

Do you struggle to achieve peace of mind with the people around you, your job, your family, and the political climate? As technology advances daily, our lives become faster and more complicated, and finding joy has become imperative to our vitality and well-being. In this workshop, founder of the Betty Brigade Sharon McRill will show you how to forgive any person in just minutes, how to find joy every day (even when you feel like crying), and how to add a little gratitude in all areas of your life!


What’s Your Superpower?

Come and find out! Kimberly Coots will share tools to empower our intuition and explore the five main intuition archetypes, their “superpowers,” and their challenges to help you elevate your relationships, leadership, success, and well-being! This workshop will help you determine which intuition archetype if most powerful for you, identify how your intuition is empowering or sabotaging your success, transform powers that are holding you back, heighten your leadership skills, increase success, decrease stress, and integrate your intuition with your business intellect.

10:35am – 11:35am Workshops

Millie Chu Headshot 7.2019

It All Begins with You: How to Live Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

Are you an entrepreneur with a business that satisfies a need? Do you love the work you’re doing? Do you want to make a good living while positively impacting the lives of others? If you want to be an effective entrepreneur, your answers are most likely yes; otherwise, it’s time to reevaluate! However, professional and personal success is not only satisfying those questions, it’s much more than that. Real success as an entrepreneur revolves around issues that go deeper than the bottom line: it begins with you, and no matter what business you are in, you need to work on YOU first. In this workshop, Millie will reveal techniques and practical steps you can implement immediately to catalyze your path to living true entrepreneurial success.


Live to Lead! 4 Paths to Stellar Leadership

How do you show up as a leader in your organization? In any given moment, are you leading from a mindset of trust or fear? Come explore what it looks and feels like to show up as a leader who is leading from a state of trust or from a state of fear. You'll learn to face behaviors and beliefs that may be preventing you from moving forward in a current situation in your life and experience why taking 100% responsibility is crucial to shift from fear-based leadership to trust-based leadership—whether in a work setting or in your personal relationships.

Ebony L. Robinson

The One Skill that Makes Everything Easier: Time Management for the Ultra Busy

Ebony L. Robinson

Everyone gets just 24 hours in a day. But why does it seem like some are able to get everything accomplished while others are struggling? Managing time effectively and efficiently is the secret to maximizing those 24 hours, and this skill is well within your reach! In this workshop, you’ll learn about the top time wasting culprits, how to effectively manage disruptions and distractions, and how to apply practical techniques to gain control over your time and your life.

Beki Fraser Photo

Map Your Career: Choose the Journey, Discover the Destination

Many of us just don't love what we are doing at work. And for those of us who do, we aren't quite sure how to create that next step forward in our career. This workshop is for you if you are ready to design the next steps of your career, contemplating a career change and don't know where to start, or out of love with what you are doing and want to find ways to reignite the flame.

Come on a journey to find what is most important to you, discovering your superpowers and connecting to your deeper purpose: you’ll come away with a map to the future self who is waiting to be recognized!

Julie Woodward
Molly Boren

Streamline Your Mind…and Your Closets!: Decluttering with a Mindful Approach

Molly Boren and Julie Woodward

Decluttering—fun? Impossible, right? Not with Professional Organizer Molly Boren and Life Coach Julie Woodard! How many of you have started a pie-in-the-sky organizational attempt only to get overwhelmed and give up? Well listen up: Molly will demonstrate ways to start and follow through with tidying up your space, and Julie will lead us in mindfulness practices that make that follow-through easier and more effective. Yes, please: participants will walk away with a plan to create a more pleasant, useful, and organized space and mind!

12:30pm - 1:30pm
Panel: Live YOUR Best Life

Panel: Live YOUR Best Life
Moderator: Lisa Barry
Panelists: Cherisa Allen, Cynthia Bowman, Emily Haberkern, Regan Hizer

Your life is well, just that, your life. It’s not Jordan’s, Megan’s, or Jim’s. We want to equip you with ways to live your best life, whatever that means to you!

Topics will include: 

Money – On average, women earn 80% of what men make - leaving them with fewer dollars to stash in their retirement accounts – and they also tend to live longer. What are the consequences for women? 

Holistic Fitness –  Is a commitment to self-care, it’s taking care of both your mind and body, and is essential for living a life of abundance. 

Business – More and more, the business world is recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion. Learn ways to become an ally to marginalized communities and strategies for handling bias, including your own. We all have bias!

Inspiration – Leave behind self-destructive behaviors and develop a sense of purpose, belonging, and pride. 

When the panel discussion ends, the exchanges will begin. Each panelist will fan out among attendees to create a pod of small group discussions, i.e. exchanges. Attendees can then move to the pod of their choice. Panelists will steer the discussions and answer questions. The intent is to have an open forum where you can move freely among the exchanges. 

Remember: There should be no selling, grandstanding, soapboxing, or taking over an exchange. Creativity flows better when we are collaborative, not competitive. 


Lisa Barry Bio


Lisa Barry is a lifelong metro Detroiter with a wealth of broadcast experience.  She began her career covering the Michigan Governor’s Office and State Capitol in Lansing and continued on to stints with Detroit stations WXYT and WNIC in addition to WJR.  She is a seasoned interviewer whose resume includes conversations with U.S. Presidents, celebrities, and medical professionals. Lisa has won numerous awards; among them, the prestigious ‘Outstanding Woman in Communications,’ bestowed annually by the American Women in Radio and TV Association of Metro Detroit.

She can currently be heard as the local host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU where she also hosts a number of community interviews and features on the arts, Well Being, and Aging.

Cherisa Allen Photo


Cherisa Allen is a proud native of Ypsilanti, Michigan. As the oldest of eight children, she learned at an early age the importance of both family and the teachings of the Holy Spirit. Cherisa was very active in school, in church and her community which have continued into her adult life. She is a proud graduate of Eastern Michigan University, completing both her Bachelor and Master’s Degree. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Cherisa’s career of over twenty-five years in Social Work has given her the opportunity to touch many lives in a positive way. She has worked on several committees throughout her life, in her church, community, and in her career.

Cherisa’s commitment to women is not just limited to her career as a Social Worker. She is devoted to making changes and transforming lives of women everywhere. She is a published author; Revelation, Resignation, Restoration. She is the Owner/Operator of Do You See What I See, LLC? She is a Motivation/Inspiration Speaker and a Transformational Life Coach. Cherisa tackles tough issues that inhibit women from living productive and healthy lives. She is committed to educating them on how to become strong, independent, and loving women; the primary objective being…Breaking historical cycles of self-destructive behaviors, while encouraging a sense of purpose, belonging and pride.

Cynthia Bowman


Cynthia H. Bowman is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and Talent Acquisition Officer for Bank of America. She serves as the chief strategist for D&I and talent acquisition globally, focused on leading programs, initiatives and policies that actively support the bank’s diverse and inclusive workplace and recruitment strategies.

In this role, Cynthia leads the bank’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council, comprised of senior leaders from across the company and also leads the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Organization (GDIO), which supports enterprise-wide diversity initiatives, diversity conferences, strategic partner management and sponsorships, diversity awards and recognition, diversity metrics and data reporting, and oversight to the employee networks for more than 150,000 memberships and allies across the globe. She also leads a team of talent acquisition professionals responsible for filling tens of thousands of positions annually with the highest quality candidates to meet business needs. In both roles, Bowman partners with the lines of business and the bank’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council to drive key talent outcomes across the enterprise. Bowman joined Bank of America in 2007

Emily Haberkern


Emily Haberkern began her career in the Financial Services industry in February of 2008. Over the years, she has honed her skills in developing financial plans with a focus on wealth management, cash flow analysis, and retirement income strategies.

She has a passion for educating her clients on the strategies available to them, guiding them through all of life's challenges, and advocating for them to pursue their individual financial goals. As a working mom herself, Emily enjoys giving other working moms the tools and support they need to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Regan Candid Headshot


Regan Hizer

My life’s purpose is to coach others to understand the obligation they have to self-care and wellness. I know firsthand how difficult it can be prioritize your own well-being because I’ve struggled with it too.  I’ve been overweight, underweight, malnourished, addicted, depressed, anxious, dehydrated, unmotivated, and generally unwell.  I am here to help people get out of the rut! I want you to live a full, healthy, engaged, and energized life in service of your own positive growth and life’s purpose.

I do this work because I LOVE PEOPLE! And I sincerely enjoy having a positive and healthy impact on a community that is active and vibrant. When people show up energized and authentic they are better equipped to use their unique gifts and talents in support of all the things they value in life – family, friends, jobs, homes, vacations…LIFE!!

At the heart of everything I do is compassion and open-heartedness.  I believe in leading with integrity, living a life of abundance, being brave when I am most scared, and continuously learning along the way.  If you want to have more energy, live more authentically, practice abundant self-love, and show up fully in your own life, let’s grab coffee.  I’d love to chat about YOU!

2:40pm – 3:40pm Workshops

Charlotte Kaye

Learn to Love Saying “NO!” 5 Boundary-Setting Practices

Do you consistently put everyone’s needs before your own? Does guilt keep you saying “yes” to almost everything? Do you believe people will dislike you if you turn them down? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone! In this workshop, you will learn 5 simple strategies for saying “no,” stopping feelings of guilt and endless people pleasing and how to develop a strategy for finally saying yes to who you are and to the life you want!

Screen Shot 2019-07-30 at 9.40.02 PM copy

Leaving Money on the Table: Is a Lack of Cultural Awareness Affecting Your Bottom Line?

Cultural awareness is not just a buzz word, it is also a business consideration. In this presentation, we will decipher the practical application of cultural awareness in various business settings—from finding great talent to customer retention. We will talk about the negative outcomes of implicit biases in the workplace, examine the impact culture has on our behavior, and discuss different ethnic populations living in Michigan. Make sure you’re not leaving money on the table!

Leslie McGraw

Do You Suffer from Brand Confusion? 90 Days to Increased Online Results

Do you wear multiple hats? Own more than one business? Are you heavily involved in a non-profit while also running a business? Has your original business model developed into a split focus with two divergent target audiences? Are you working for a company and freelancing at the same time? An artist and an entrepreneur? Well, if any of these scenarios is true you might just be confusing your target audience (or missing them altogether). Let Leslie McGraw help you! In this workshop, you will discover how to build or enhance an effective online brand to attract the outcome and right target audiences in just 20 minutes a day for 90 days,.

Melissa Joy

Kick the Glass Ceiling: Succeeding as a Woman in a Male-Dominated World

Turn your differences to your advantages, hurdle the barriers to success, and embrace your personal identity as a secret weapon for your personal success! Women are a minority in many organizations and professional fields—a fact that should not inhibit our path to success! Drawing on personal experience from a successful career in investment and financial advice—a field with less than 20% female practitioners—Melissa will identify top barriers to success and strategies to turn differences to our advantage, discuss common pitfalls for women at different career stages and help us discover ways to adapt or to evaluate when it's time to change your career plan instead of yourself.