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New this year: Expert Exchange Sessions

New at this year’s PA Conference for Women, expert exchange sessions provide attendees with the opportunity to gather with peers in a smaller setting and learn from experts who will lead a discussion on specific issues that matters to them most. Topics will focus on career or personal development and will provide a great vehicle to share best practices and lessons learned. In addition to valuable knowledge sharing, these sessions provide a great peer networking opportunity.

Expert exchange sessions are designed to be intimate; therefore capacity will not exceed 150 participants. Seating is first-come, first-served, and doors will close once we reach capacity.

Group 1 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm


Doing More with Less: How Couponing Impacts Your Bottom Line

Miss Coupon Diva, Joyce House, a native Philadelphian and featured star on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, learned early as a young single mother that “coupons are money and not just paper.” For more than 35 years, she has perfected the use of coupons and taught others how to do more with less. This session will change your life as Miss Coupon Diva provides you with practical ways to stretch your hard earned dollars and maximize your savings. Together, you will learn how to: read and navigate circulars; match coupons to your shopping list; demystify unit pricing; and discover the benefits of knowing store policies.

Speaker: Joyce House, Miss Coupon Diva and featured star on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing”


Planning for Retirement

With the current market volatility and increasing concerns about the future of social security, retirement planning is more critical than ever. Regardless of career, age or marital status, now is the time to prepare for your retirement. This interactive discussion will offer practical advice for understanding the unique considerations women face; what factors are important for investment success; how to prepare for retirement when you start late in the process; and why it’s important to continually review your plan and consider potential risks.

Speaker: Maria Trafton, wealth management regional managing director, Wells Fargo


Getting Your Message Heard: Rules for Maximizing Your Chances for Coverage in the Brave New World of Media

Loraine Ballard Morrill, veteran news and community affairs director for Clear Channel Radio, will share tips and suggestions for getting the attention of overworked and overwhelmed media professionals. Whether you are in the for-profit world trying to maximize exposure, an entrepreneur trying to secure press or spearheading a cause in the non-profit arena, this session will offer something for everyone. Attendees will learn specific do’s and don’ts and explore how new mediums in the digital space (i.e. Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, email) are changing the way media is covered and how you can be heard.

Speaker: Loraine Ballard Morrill, news and community affairs director, Clear Channel Radio Philadelphia


Making The Transition From Employee to Entrepreneur

Melinda F. Emerson, author of the national bestseller “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months,” has designed a system to help would-be entrepreneurs transition from corporate America to small business ownership. This interactive discussion will address the skill sets that would-be entrepreneurs must have to overcome the roadblocks involved with starting a small business.

Speaker: Melinda Emerson, SmallBizLady and author, “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works”


When Is the Right Time to Retire: Tips to Help You Decide If You Want to Work or Enjoy a Life of Leisure

Retirement planning conversations are typically focused on the financial aspects of the decision. Do I have enough money saved? When will I be financially secure enough to retire? Did I invest properly? The reality is, the life of retirement is not right for everyone. This discussion will share first-hand experiences of a successful woman who chose not to retire but rather to continue her career regardless of age. If you were to retire what will you do with your days? What brings you happiness and contentment? By sharing best practices and lessons learned, you will address these critical questions as you work through the decision-making process and explore your unique needs and situation.

Speaker: Linda Munich, vice president, Public Affairs, ABC6, WPVI-TV, Channel 6


Creative Ways to Add Healthy Ingredients and Exciting Flavors to Your Everyday Lunch

Through her commitment to excellence at school and in her position at Campbell’s, Maria Gamble continually demonstrates her strong passion for food and creativity. This interactive discussion will feature a cooking demonstration and offer practical and easy ways to create fun, delicious and nutritious lunches.

Speaker: Maria Gamble, senior research chef, breakthrough innovation, Campbell Soup

Group 2 3:50 – 4:35 pm


The Inside Scoop on How to Get Published

Attend this session to learn the basics of publishing and see how rejection doesn’t mean the end of your dream if you’re willing to work hard. Led by award-winning author Maria Murnane, who went from self-published to traditionally published through creativity and sheer perseverance, Maria will explore the pros and cons of each publishing route and how to weigh them against your goals as an author. Maria will offer practical marketing strategies to attract the attention of both readers and traditional publishers.

Speaker: Maria Murnane, author, “Perfect on Paper”


MamaNation: The Professional Mom’s Tool Kit

Working moms are more talented than circus jugglers, managing a tug of war between kids, family and their careers. From the boardroom to the bedroom, this session will offer ten change-your-life tactics to take with you for a happier, more efficient and successful life.

Speaker: Samantha Ettus, personal branding expert, bestselling author and TV personality


Little Known Ways to Avoid the Digital Overwhelm: How to Gain Control of Your Devices

Are you drowning in email? Is your task list driving your daily to-do’s? Do you get twitchy if it’s been more than a few minutes since you checked your inbox or your Facebook and Twitter status? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your digital devices are in control of you, not the other way around. In this session learn easy tips and strategies to tame your addictions and regain control of your inbox and your calendar.

Speaker: Sarah Welch, co-founder, Buttoned Up


Strategies for Successful Transitions and Second Acts

The three authors of “The Miracle Chase, Three Women, Three Miracles and a Ten Year Journey of Discovery and Friendship” will explore how to make your ideal real and how to turn your dreams into destiny. Sharing the skills they used in imagining, collaborating, researching, writing, publishing and marketing their book, these remarkable women will help you identify, articulate and imagine your “Second Act” – be it a book, a business or substantive life change. By identifying and reframing the barriers that you believe stand in your way, you will be able to take the next step towards becoming fearless; recognizing that the whole universe is a network of connections waiting to help you accomplish your dreams.

Speakers: Joan Luise Hill, Katie Mahon and Meb Phillips, co-authors, The Miracle Chase


Creating Impactful Mentor Relationships

Mentoring is a powerful experience for mentors and mentees, and can offer a unique blend of inspiration and practicality on both personal and professional levels. This interactive discussion will share best practices for creating an impactful mentor relationship that reaps positive results for all parties. Together, we will explore how to select the right mentor/mentee, how to structure the relationship and how to set appropriate goals and boundaries. We will also address the necessity of giving back in a mentor role as you advance in your career and why we as women need to “pay it forward” and help each other progress.

Speakers: Blanche Burton Lyles, classical musician and founder and president, Marian Anderson Historical Society Andrea Taylor, training director, Coming of Ages and Intergenerational Center at Temple University and developer, Across Ages


Spirit Junkie: How to Bridge Spirituality into Everyday Life

Led by bestselling author and speaker Gabrielle Bernstein, we will explore how to release fears, change your perceptions and create a life you’re psyched to wake up for. We will offer practical applications for age-old spiritual principles and meditation. This discussion will demystify spirituality and inspire you to shift your perspective to create positive change.

Speaker: Gabrielle Bernstein, best-selling author and life coach