Keynote Speaker Nell Merlino

Nell Merlino is a leading advocate and expert on women's business leadership and empowerment who appears regularly on national TV, in leading print outlets and social media. She is the creative force behind Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which moved more than 71 million Americans to participate in a day dedicated to giving girls the opportunity to dream bigger about their future.

As the Founder and President of Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises, Nell inspires entrepreneurs to think bigger and grow dramatically. She is author of "Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want it Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work," from Broadway Books, which is available from


Maria RossMaria Ross

Maria Ross is a brand strategist, author, and speaker who believes cash flow and creativity are not mutually exclusive. As chief brand strategist and creator of Red Slice, she advises start-ups, solopreneurs, and small to midsize growth companies on how to craft irresistible brands. Maria is the author of Branding Basics for Small Business and the just-released humorous and heartfelt memoir, Rebooting My Brain. A dynamic speaker, she is highly sought-after to present keynotes and workshops and has appeared on MSNBC, ABC News, NPR, and in Entrepreneur, the LA Times, Seattle Business, and Columbus CEO. Spark a convo with Maria @redslice on Twitter.

Selena RezvaniSelena Rezvani

Selena Rezvani is an author and consultant whose goal is to propel more women into the top echelons of leadership. She is co-president of Women's Roadmap, a consulting firm that helps companies position a gender-inclusive workplace as a competitive advantage. Rezvani is the author of PUSHBACK: How Smart Women Ask—and Stand Up-for What They Want (Jossey-Bass, 2012).

Selena's experience and success in the women and leadership arena make her a frequent resource for news media and an in-demand business speaker. She is a regular commentator on NPR's nationally syndicated radio show 51 Percent, blogs for, and serves as an award-winning columnist for The Washington Post, covering women and leadership. She has been quoted,interviewed, and profiled by CareerBuilder, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, US News and World Report, NBC, and ABC television.

Jason Maldonado

Jason works closely with companies to build insights and develop strategies for engaging influencers online. While a part of Edelman Digital's strategy team, he worked with ConAgra, SC Johnson, Shell, Kraft, and Simon Malls. He is an expert on how target audiences interact with brands online and make purchase decisions based on technology and social media platforms prevalent today—all while managing online presences on key sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Jason is passionate about educating colleagues, clients, and the public about the importance of creating a multicultural brand presence.

Kate SmithKate Smith

Kate Smith, president and chief color maven at Sensational Color, works with companies large and small that are building a relationship with their customers around color. Smith helps them by creating compelling stories about their company, products and services that can be distributed in print, on air, online or via social media. Her clients offer great products and services but often find that their customers don't feel confident when making a decision purchase decision involving color. Smith is able to get inside the buyer's mind, understand why they hesitate and develop exactly the right information or tools at every step in the process to allow customers to make a color decision they feel good about.

Smith is a contributing editor to House Beautiful and CQ magazines. Her quotes, interviews, and articles regularly appear in InStyle, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Washington Post, Miami Sun Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe and many other well-recognized publications. She has appeared on-air numerous times including on CBS Sunday Morning, Great Day Houston, the Christopher Lowell Show, BT Television, and Coast to Coast AM.

Sue Kirbykirby-headshot

A former craft store owner in Southern California, Sue Kirby is a humorist, author, educator, and motivator who speaks to all things retail. She knows the ins and outs of planning store design, thinking of ways to engage your customers, and more to take your store from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Every year Sue speaks to thousands of people, including healthcare workers, hospitals, women’s’ organizations, non-profits, retail and trade associations. Sue has been voted the most popular speaker at numerous trade shows and conferences across the country.


Carol SulcoskiCarol Sulcoski

Carol Sulcoski is an attorney turned fiber artist: after the birth of her oldest child, she retired from the practice of law and began knitting in earnest. She is the author of Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarns and co-author of Knit So Fine (both Interweave Press). Her knitting designs and articles have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple, KnitScene, St.-Denis Magazine, and other publications. Carol also creates hand-dyed yarns and fibers as Black Bunny Fibers, and she began her own pattern line in 2009. She lives with her family outside Philadelphia.