The WXW Annual Forum: Save the Date 10/30/19

An action-packed and fun-filled day of workshops, panels, and exchanges with other women in business like you! The 2018 WXW Annual Forum has passed. Save the date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2019!

October 30th, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI

Past Forums Gallery

Forum Day Schedule

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

8:20am - 9:10am // Welcome & Ice Breaker Activity

9:10am - 9:20am // Break & Transition

9:20am - 10:30am // Workshop #1

10:30am - 10:40am // Break & Transition

10:40am - 11:50pm // Workshop #2

11:50pm - 12:20pm // Lunch

12:20pm - 1:20pm // Panel & Discussion

1:20pm - 1:30pm // Break & Transition

1:30pm - 2:20pm // Exchange Sessions

2:20pm - 2:30pm // Break & Transition

2:30pm - 3:40pm // Workshop #3

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

3:45pm - 4:45pm // Social Exchange

4:45pm - 5:00pm // Closing Remarks

Forum 2018 Workshops

To give you a sense of the workshops at Forum, check out the amazing facilitators who brought the awesome at Forum '18!

9:20am – 10:30am Workshops


Total Website Makeover: The 10 Essentials for Any Business Website

In this dynamic workshop, website whisperer Janelle Reichman of Ellanyze will show you the absolute must-haves for your website as an entrepreneur and business owner. Learn what to do, what not to do, and everything in between. You’ll leave this workshop equipped with the knowledge of what an engaging and successful website for your business will look like.

Participants will have a concrete understanding of the most crucial components of a business website, as well as a handy worksheet of the following exercises: 1) the “why” behind their business (or business idea). 2) a possible “call to action” on their website, including a headline, short paragraph, button label and complimenting photo, 3) three ideas for blog posts that would speak directly to their target audience, 4) three ideas for a photo that shows the benefits/outcome of their service and that would have an emotional impact on their site visitors, 5) An idea for a “freebie” download that their target market would LOVE to have. Participants will walk away FIRED UP about what their website could look like and do for their business.


Living and Writing the Chapters of Our Career Journeys

21st Century careers rarely follow logical straight forward progressions compared to former traditional career paths. Terms such as kaleidoscope careers or boundaryless careers are used to identify a broad range of experiences that make up a career portfolio.

The purpose of this workshop is to identify and construct a career metaphor that aptly represents the unique character of individual experiences on a journey. By using a metaphor, professionals capture the most important features in their career journey to identify and develop their own professional brand.

Participants will have an opportunity to build their network relationships through different experiential exercises in supporting each other in this unique experience of their career journey. Regardless of what career phase one is in, capturing previous experiences helps to inform and envision the construction of the next career chapter.


Getting Results through Distributed Leadership and Shared Ownership

Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to build an effective, coherent team to develop a long-term trajectory of success for their business. Results rise beyond expectation when all stakeholders have a shared vision and feel ownership of the organization. Participants will leave with tools to address:

+ Creating a united company/department/team identity with a clear vision and shared goals.
+ Developing a distributed leadership model resulting in improved outcomes.
+ Improving structures to facilitate better communication within and across teams.


Unleashing the Power of Gratitude

Gratitude. What impact does this emotion have on our mental and physical health?  Gratitude can improve relationships, help us cope with everyday stress, and increase our ability to feel more loving and forgiving. Research shows that this amazing virtue can also bring happiness, reduce anxiety and depression, and help us to sleep better. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn what gratitude can do for you, including specific and detailed steps to incorporate more gratitude in your life.

10:40am – 11:50am Workshops


Finding Your Way Through Email Marketing

The world of email marketing is often overlooked in popular discussions of digital marketing. It's a longer form than other channels, and has the ability to open up connections and conversations with customers that lead to conversions. Finding your voice and strategy can be overwhelming. This workshop will break down the 5 steps to making the most out of your email program.

Digital Marketing Certified Email Marketer and Owner of Email by Emily, Emily McGuire is on a mission to help small businesses' grow by delivering their passsion to customer' inbox.


Building a Business From the Foundation

Have an awesome idea you are ready to turn into a business?  Have you started a business recently and want to know how to make it stronger? This workshop will help you focus your energies and take the action steps needed to create a solid foundation for your business to grow upon.

We’re going to be discussing the most important things you can do to make your business healthy and your team/clients happy.

  • Finding your business identity & business voice
  • Developing systems that will support your business
  • Cultivating a rich culture
  • The importance of “Knowing your numbers”
  • Vision & Strategic Planning


Come to get energized and leave confident and motivated.


Building Community – Social Entrepreneurship in 2018

Bekah Wallace, Jennifer Jones, Patricia Berry, Angela Barbash, and Emily Tuesday

Listen in on a conversation between lady bosses. They’ll share their work in various industries, all centered around building community in their life and work. Panelists include:

Bekah Wallace is Director of Community & Connection at Cultivate Coffee & Taphouse in Depot Town, Ypsilanti. Cultivate is a community space that hosts 50 + free events a month and exists as a social enterprise, investing in non-profit partners around the areas of ending hunger and building sustainable solutions. She spends her days planning events, encouraging the staff and building community connections

Jennifer Jones, Owner & Founder, Sadie Madden Music. Jennifer Jones is the owner and founder of Sadie Madden Music (SMM), a music marketing, management, and publishing company founded in 2011. SMM exists to accentuate the giftings of musicians, to make known the opportunities that venues have for musicians, and to bring about change between the artist, the community, and local businesses. To most, SMM is a connector for businesses, venues, artists/musicians, and the community.

Patricia Berry, Executive Director of the Heurista Institute. Owner, Patricia Berry Consulting. Patricia Berry is a Professional Possibilist who is currently working in one of the best jobs ever invented, Co-Creator of the Heurista Institute (HI). With her business partner Anne Manner-McLarty, Patricia is building a gathering place for leaders and experts in relationship-based businesses and non-profits to convene, reflect, learn, write, teach and shape the next wave of philanthropic and socially conscious enterprises.

Emily Tuesday, Executive Director, Riverside Arts Center. Emily has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Contemporary Performance Practice from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. During her time in Scotland, she collaborated with many different groups to create performance work and educational opportunities for children, people homeless young adults, refugees, asylum seekers, people with developmental disabilities, theelderly, and professionals in the arts. Each opportunity deepened her understanding of community-based work and challenged her to strengthen her skills in collaboration, leadership, and project management.

Angela Barbash, Founder, Revalue Investing. Angela Barbash is Principal of Revalue, an independent registered investment advisory firm founded in 2013, located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Revalue is a fee-only firm that serves values- driven organizations and investors by providing financial services designed for impact. Ms. Barbash has dedicated 14 years in service as a financial advisor in the Metro Detroit region and was named a 2018 Notable Woman in Finance in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business.


Your Secret Weapon – Truth Seeking in Relationships

We all want want to achieve solid lasting relationships with coworkers, customers, our spouses, bosses, and even our neighbors. There is a simple tool you’ll leave this workshop with, ready to implement immediately. You will easily untangle sticky situations that involve blame, confusion, and misunderstandings – and in the end, save yourself and others time, money, and frustration. You’ll walk away knowing how to:

  • Move on peacefully from a conversation or situation that once left you anxious or fearful
  • Identify clearly what is happening in a confusing communicative situation
  • Improve your relationships
  • Communicate more clearly
  • Work together – and leave ready to instruct others with what you learn

12:20pm – 1:20pm Panel & Discussion

Being a Working Woman in the Time of ”Me Too & Time’s Up”

Panelists: Bridget Healy, Marilyn Gordon, Renee Deming

Yodit Mesfin-Johnson Headshot

Panel Moderator

As Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Strategy, Yodit oversees Nonprofit Enterprise at Work's (NEW) staff, operations and programs. She also joins the Organizational Development team as a consultant and trainer in the areas of leadership development, non-profit management and governance, strategic planning and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Yodit is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer and facilitator having provided workshops and keynote presentations in business development, nonprofit management, social justice and entrepreneurship.  As a champion for equity and social justice, she has coached and trained hundreds of corporate and nonprofit leaders throughout the country who are interested in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations.

She is the 2018 recipient of the United Way of Washtenaw County Live United award for her leadership as co-chair of the organization's Equity Committee. She proudly serves on the board of United Way of Washtenaw County and IHN at Alpha House, a programmatic family housing shelter. Yodit lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan with her family.

Bridget Healy Headshot


Bridget Healy currently serves as United Way of Washtenaw County’s Director of Community Impact.  In this role, Ms. Healy is responsible for developing, leading, and executing United Way’s community impact agenda of grant making, community partnerships and financial stability programming. She has worked in the nonprofit and public sectors for over a decade. Her work in the United Way system has taken her from coast to coast --  from Florida to Washington and now, Ann Arbor, MI.

She is the founding Board Chair of REBUILD Globally, a social enterprise established in response to the 2011 Haiti earthquake.  It incubates a fashion brand, Deux Mains Designs, and promotes prosperity by growing an educated and skilled workforce in Haiti and ensuring pathways to dignified employment.

Marilyn Gordon 2


Marilyn L Gordon is the president and founder of Mediatude LLC.  She has 30 years of experience in broadcast/marketing communication, higher education research and teaching. Her expertise is media and business presentations skills coaching as well as marketing and social media education.  Marilyn also specializes in communication workshops focused on women.

Previously, she was an account director and director of media and presentation skills training for 11 years at a marketing/communications company in Dearborn.  Marilyn also taught undergraduate and MBA classes at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan Business School while obtaining her master’s in communication studies.  Additionally, she shared her presentations skills expertise teaching in the Business Executive Education Center also at the Ross School of Business.

Before obtaining her graduate degree and teaching, Marilyn worked for WJR Radio in Detroit. In addition to her business clients, she teaches marketing part time in the Business Development Center at Schoolcraft College.



Founder, Pastel, Michigan's 1st coworking space designed for women. Creative Director, Studio Bold Graphic & Web Design. Entrepreneur and champion of women in business, Renee opened Pastel out of a need for a productive workplace for remote workers and business owners in western Wayne county. She took care in designing it as way to elevate and celebrate women and their success. With over 20 years of design and advertising experience at both large agencies and boutique design shops, she is passionate about helping brands thrive, grow and succeed. Her client list includes restaurants, small businesses and start-ups, entertainers and personal brands, online magazines, and educators.

miranda jenkins pic 2


In her role, Mirada Jenkins works to ensure Old National Bank is helping to meet community needs through outreach and partnership development and by investing in projects that support affordable housing, economic development and small businesses. She also specializes in mortgage loans and down payment assistance programs designed to help low-to-moderate clients achieve their goal of home ownership. Her mantra is "home ownership is available to you, it's all about the right path."

Mirada earned her Master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University where she majored in Public Administration. She has more than 20 years of experience serving the community. She is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated.  Mirada resides in Superior Township, has two children and a fur baby name Coco.

2:30pm – 3:40pm Workshops


Creating a Social Media Content Strategy for Your Brand

Learn from Destination Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County’s Destination Marketing Organization, how to create a branded social media content strategy with compelling, meaningful posts that drive engagement and inspire action.

Margaret Wyzlic serves as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for Destination Ann Arbor, where she passionately promotes the Ann Arbor area as a unique and fun place to visit, live, work, and play. Previously, she worked for the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and Viceroy Hotel Group in various sales, marketing, and events roles.


Anonymous to A-List: How to be Your OWN PR Agent

Wish you could break out of the commodity trap? Want to reach more prospects who need your services? Need to leverage your time and your resources? If you’re known as the best at what you do, people come to you. It happens when you become famous in your field. No, not like a celebrity on the cover of US Weekly – I mean that you’ll stand out as a leader and expert in your industry.

Being famous in your field isn’t just for the ‘letterhead’ names or those with a string of advanced degrees. In the age of Google, being known as the go-to person in your industry is essential. There are specific actions that you can take (even when your time is limited, you have zero dollars and you’re a quivering introvert) that boost your fame factor and have the media and clients calling, asking to hear from you.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this training session:

  • How to position yourself as the go-to person in your industry
  • A 3-step process to pick your expert topics (even if you don’t feel like a real expert)
  • A simple DIY PR tool (that’s 100% free!)

Confront Your Money Fears & Design Your Personal Blueprint to Improve Your Financial Future

Money, money, money. For some women, it’s a word that conjures fear and anxiety. For others, it’s a tool to bring you closer to your goals. But no matter your point of view, money is a topic you can’t afford to ignore. When you control your money, you control your destiny.

In this interactive workshop led by a seasoned investment advisor, you’ll learn:

  • The Psychology Of Money
  • Why Face Your Fears Head On
  • What You Want Your Money To Do For You
  • How (and why) to Plan, Plan, Plan
Deborah Orl___ ski

The Gift: A New Way to Think about Feedback

Most of us don’t like getting (or giving) feedback that is perceived as critical or “corrective.” But what if we looked at it differently? This interactive workshop will help you understand how our brain receives feedback as well as provide tips on lowering your stress level when giving or receiving feedback.

Deborah’s expertise includes: conflict resolution; improving communication and teamwork, especially when impacted by intercultural issues; leadership development; and personal styles identification. She is the Program Manager of the Leading Change Program and the Senior Learning Specialist at the department of Learning and Professional Development at the University of Michigan.

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