Past SpeakersSpeakers for the next event to be announced...
(aka- The Truth Bomb Mom)
Energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity, Kristina has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general. In fact, you may have seen Kristina recently on your Facebook feed, or on any one of a number of internet, radio or TV outlets. She has become an internet sensation with her “mom-centric” videos about raising children and juggling all of life’s challenges.
With over 600 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide, and over one and a half million Facebook followers, Kristina already has a voice and personality that has proven to be a hit with a massive audience (from young millennials through Gen-Xers and even Baby Boomers).
In 2011, Kristina was chosen from 20,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” The competition involved numerous grueling challenges, such as writing and producing television segments, and interviewing celebrities including Susie Orman, Gayle King, Arsenio Hall and Oprah Winfrey herself.
Kristina and her husband currently live in Southern California, where her most important, rewarding, and exhausting careers include being a sanitation engineer, chef, chauffer, and conflict resolution guru for her three (mostly satisfied) clients – her children.
Wendy Bunnell is an international best selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Her mission in life is to spread messages of hope and healing to help individuals raise their personal value so that they can form the life, income, business, and relationships that they have always dreamt about but never knew how to create.
Wendy is also the driving force behind the book and movement, “Success through Failing”, recruiting 24 other powerful and inspiring women who are combining forces to change the hearts and minds of thousands of women.
She has several successful businesses including a thriving real estate career, network marketing background, as well as her busy mentoring and speaking career.
Even with all of her busy endeavors, her family is frontrunner in her life and include six children and eight grandchildren.
You can find out more about Wendy at www.wendybunnell.com
Connie Sokol is a national speaker, bestselling author, media personality, and mother of seven. She is a regular contributor on the top-rated lifestyle show “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker” (www.ksl.com/studio5). Ms. Sokol is a bestselling author who has written 17 books, including What Now? 8 Ways to Deal with Life’s Difficulties, Faithful Fit & Fabulous, Create a Powerful Life Plan, and 40 Days with the Savior. She is the founder of the Back to Basics program, teaching women to live more purposeful, organized, and joyful lives. Ms. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats. For her TV segments, blog, podcasts and more, visit www.conniesokol.com.
From humanitarian work on the Masai Mara of Kenya to global policy advocacy at the United Nations, Amanda Wilkinson has lived a big and beautiful life. But perhaps her greatest lessons were learned when her son Bennett unexpectedly passed away in 2011.
As a wife, mother of 5 and international speaker, coach, writer and advocate, Amanda is passionate about helping individuals ignite the fire within and create a life of peace, passion and purpose so they they can start paying it forward – not IN SPITE of what they have been through – but BECAUSE of it.
She truly believes that we are each on our perfect journey and that every experience we have been given is for our highest good.
As the former co-Founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar Biotech business, Alycia Huston understands the meaning of perseverance. From enduring the business-paralyzing market crash of 2008 to scaling the business and negotiation of its successful sale, Alycia is the personification of leadership.
A Certified Professional Coach, Author, and National Speaker, her mission and passion in life is supporting leaders as they step up, and play bigger in their business, careers and personal lives. Through her programs and leadership retreats, Alycia is committed to supporting high level executives and entrepreneurial individuals who are personally invested in invoking their unique gifts to connect, create and uplift those around them in order to make a bigger IMPACT in the world.
Brooke Walker is the host and executive producer of “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker.” She is an Emmy-nominated journalist, and a member of the award winning KSL News Team, where she frequently contributes as an anchor and reporter.
A homegrown Utah girl, Brooke is actively involved in her community and enjoys speaking to local groups and organizations. She is proud of her work with a variety of charitable organizations including Operation Smile and Primary Children’s Medical Center.
Brooke attended Brigham Young University, where she studied Broadcast Communications. Prior to her time at KSL, Brooke worked for the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Brooke loves finding inspiration from other people’s life experiences and enjoys sharing those stories with viewers. In her spare time, you can find Brooke curled up with a good read or cashing in on quality “girl time” with her three sisters. Also high on the list: shopping, working out and anything chocolate.
Brooke’s most important and cherished titles are wife and mother. She and her husband, Marc, are the parents (and fan club co-presidents!) of Emme and Boston.
Clint believes that a single moment in time can change a person’s life. He has traveled the world speaking to youth and adult audiences alike, challenging them to simply believe—both in themselves and in the power of others. Clint has dedicated his heart to living a life of significance, not just a life of success: “It’s not about being the best in the world…It’s about being the best FOR the world”.
Debra Bonner found school difficult until her best friend introduced her to Jesus Christ at the age of thirteen. Debra embraced her worship services and learned to read by singing from the hymnal. Her life totally changed as her mind expanded in knowledge and understanding through the Spirit. Her pastor, Avery Aldridge, choir director, James Peoples, and the Foss Avenue Baptist Church family in Flint, MI loved and nurtured Debra. They paid for her voice lessons until she graduated from high school – with honors.
After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance, Debra married her sweetheart, Harry. Three months later they served a Baptist mission in Liberia, West Africa for nearly two years. Prompted to return to the States, Debra became an inner-city high school choir director for nearly two years, continuing to change lives for good. She then moved west where she became close associates of two of the most celebrated vocal pedagogues of the 20th Century: Richard Miller and Seth Riggs.
Debra, along with her associates and students, had trained well over one hundred Grammy, Tony and Opera winners. Debra has sung as a guest soloist, and recorded, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She has also been featured on various gospel, jazz and classical recordings. Debra has performed around the world and has developed her own vocal technique, DebraTone.
Emma E. Houston
Emma had plans to celebrate her oldest sisters’ 50 birthday celebration in New York City and they did not involve worrying about Stage III Breast Cancer. In 2005 on her 49th birthday and at her annual check-up she received the Cancer news and did what every level headed woman does; she purchased red 4 inch heels and strolled into treatment in style. Although she saved a small fortune on shampoo and hair appointments; she spent it all on “heels” and mascara for the seven (7) eyelashes that she prayed to keep. Family and close friends can attest that what ultimately got her through rigorous chemo treatments was not only her “attitude” but her faith and belief that God would see her through. Covered with her faith and belief in God, in 2010 Emma stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to address 100’s of thousands of people on behalf of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and to tell “somebody” that God is good all the time.
Emma E. Houston was appointed as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion by Mayor Ben McAdams in 2016. Before that, Emma was the Assistant Program Manager for Aging and Adult Services and started her county career in 2002. Emma was the first to bring national accreditation status to a senior center in the state of Utah and became a team lead in 2013 in ensuring all 16 senior centers received national accreditation status. She is an advocate for diversity, leadership, high performance, creativity and innovation. Emma has an understanding of the process of organizational transformation and has facilitated conversations for local organizations and community groups in SLC. Her presentations have provided knowledge on how to create culturally compatible and inclusive working environments.
A longtime community volunteer and advocate, Emma is the former chairwoman of the Governor’s Office of Ethnic Affairs, executive secretary for the YWCA Utah, The Children’s Justice Center, Utah Aging Alliance Board, and the Senior Centers and Nutrition Sites Board. Emma currently serves on the Reverend France A. Davis Scholarship Board, The Utah State MLK Commission, The HistoryMakers Regional Board and is the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Upsilon Beta Omega Chapter. Emma has strong affiliations with The Huntsman Cancer Foundation, The Judge Anne Striba Cancer Foundation and The Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation Utah Affiliate.
Emma holds a B.A. in Business Management and a MBA in Business Administration, both from the University of Phoenix.ng; Cancer has its perks.
Jeanette Bennett is founder and editor-in-chief at Bennett Communications, where she primarily focuses her pen on Utah Valley Magazine, BusinessQ Magazine and Prosper Magazine. Jeanette earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism from BYU and has been a regular guest on HuffPostLive. She has moderated gubernatorial debates and numerous business panels. Jeanette plays the piano and organ, but her feet did the talking last year when she took third place in “Dancing with the Community Stars.” Jeanette has a love/hate relationship with deadlines, half marathons and the stock market — and she has a love/love relationship with glossy pages, watching her kids play sports and enjoying Utah’s canyons. She and her husband, Matt, are raising their five children in Cedar Hills.
Lisa Bearnson is the founder of Creating Keepsakes scrapbook magazine as well as the author of 13 books. She was a guest host on QVC for 11 years and HSN for four years. She has appeared throughout the country on television and radio shows as well in the nation’s top newspapers, helping enthusiasts take better photos and create wonderful family memories. She continues to teach paper crafting seminars across the country and is the creator of AnthologyDIY crafting line.
Lisa was featured in People Magazine and appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Today Show.” She was a Utah finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Prior to founding Creating Keepsakes Magazine, Lisa served as the editor-in-chief of WordPerfect Magazine for seven years.
While her career has been a lot of fun, she considers her family to be her greatest love and success. She and her husband, Steve, have five children and two (almost) grandchildren. She also considers her time spent as an LDS missionary in Scotland as one of the greatest experiences of her life.
Maysa Kergaye has been part of this community for the past 25 years. She is a mother of four,( 3 attending the university of utah and 1 senior in high school), as well as a math teacher at Salt Lake Community College. She discovered Zumba 10 years ago and has been teaching it for the past 7 years at many locations. She is well traveled and speaks many languages but most proficient is Arabic, French and most of all English.
She is active in our community sitting on the interfaith council as well as managing and running the Islamic Speakers bureau. She volunteers her time at the women’s prison, Sunday school, and helping the local refugees.
“I love teaching Zumba but I always have to warn people that it can be addictive.” But that is one addiction she doesn’t mind having in her life.
Ms. Nubia Peña received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in May 2016. During that year, she was selected as one of 25 law students in the nation to be recognized and highlighted for her social justice activism in the National Jurist, a leading news source in legal education.
Ms. Peña has actively sought to bring awareness to issues of violence and systemic oppression through her personal faith-based initiatives and professional endeavors. She has a decade of experience assisting survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and violent crimes as a Law Enforcement Victim Advocate. Since 2007, Ms. Peña has been the Training and Prevention Education Specialist at the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) where she developed trainings on Dating and Interpersonal Violence, Assisting Immigrant Survivors, Human Trafficking, Faith-Based Advocacy, Youth Survivors, and Social Justice as a Prevention Framework.
Ms. Pena also travels nationally as a Training Consultant bringing awareness to the intersections of trauma and the School-to-Prison Pipeline, an epidemic that targets our most vulnerable youth by streamlining them into the juvenile justice system. In addition, Ms. Pena is a member of the zealous team at the Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys where she advocates for youth rights during detention and delinquency proceedings.
Paige Holland was born and raised in Provo, Utah, and attended Timpview High School. She went on to study at Brigham Young University, where she graduated with a degree in communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism. After graduating, she was hired as the assistant news director for the KBYU Newsroom, and also worked for the local FOX News affiliate as a weekend reporter. In 1996, she met and married Matt Holland (even though Matt was a proud graduate of Provo High School, the archrival of Timpview). As first lady, Paige has served Utah Valley University alongside her husband since 2009. At the university she has been an active advocate and organizer for many issues regarding women in higher education. Some of her projects have included raising money for scholarships and a new child care center on campus, launching an annual ladies leadership luncheon, and helping to create and advance UVU’s own Women’s Success Center. She absolutely loves UVU, and her greatest delight continues to be the couple’s four children—Jake, Mitzi, Grace, and Dan. Their oldest son, Jake, is currently serving as a full-time missionary in the Uruguay Montevideo Mission.
Pakhi was born and raised in India with a family who laid a solid foundation of a proper Vedic life. Her father was in the Armed Force, so her family traveled frequently. She graduated as a Botany major, but this didn’t feel right and she became a flight attendant where she remembers “learning about service to others with a smile and humility.” Pakhi was married to her husband in 1997 after which she moved to California. She has two sons and has been in Utah since 2000. She has been a realtor with Coldwell Banker for 13 years and enjoys how houses become homes with a family and love. Pakhi serves as a Board Member at the Millcreek Krishna Temple where she feels blessed to welcome strangers and visitors and help them in any way. Pakhi is a disciple of His Holiness Radhantath Swami Maharaj who is a governing body and world renowned Swami in the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.
Dr. Trish Herie-Barrus is the CEO of Riverwoods Behavioral Health, where she also serves as the clinical director and is a practicing clinician. She works with individuals, couples and families in the areas of anxiety, depression, addiction, relationships, and wellness. As a Positive Psychologist, she believes in focusing on the individual’s strengths instead of pathology and the solution instead of the problem. She is also the clinical director of WholeHealth Recovery, an innovative program that uses amino acids and the psychological in combination to help those with addiction challenges fully recover.
Dr. Barrus is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah where she helped create the nationally recognized Positive Psychology Certificate Program. In addition to her business accomplishments, Dr. Barrus serves on 3 state committees dealing with the Opioid Problem. As a published author and researcher, Dr. Barrus presents at conferences and seminars across the country. She and her husband Lee are the parents of 10 children and 20 grandchildren.
Wendy Starling is an accomplished wife, mother and entrepreneur. After overcoming a great many trials including abuse, addiction, toxic relationships and chronic illness she went on to start Starling Real Estate, a successful real estate brokerage , co-found Soul Food USA – a non-profit that feeds the homeless, start a private coaching & mentoring business, and to volunteer as a mentor with Women of Worth. Wendy is aligned in a non-denominational Christian faith and lives every day in the knowledge that God delivered her from the bondage of her trials so that she can help others and be a vessel for His message of love, strength and grace.