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.
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.
As a wife, mother of 5 and global advocate, international speaker and interfaith womens conference co-founder, Amanda is passionate about helping individuals ignite the fire within to 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.
From humanitarian work on the Masai Mara of Kenya to global policy advocacy at the United Nations, Amanda Kjar Wilkinson has lived a big and beautiful life. But perhaps her greatest lessons were learned when her son Bennett unexpectedly passed away in 2011. That experience has been a catalyst for her work in mental health advocacy. Amanda currently leads a growing national team of mental wellness advocates that empower individuals with clinically proven holistic tools that focus on creating a life of mental wellness.
Amanda truly believes that we are each on our perfect journey and that every experience has the potential to bless us.
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.
Toni Ragsdale is a woman that is well rounded with much experience in life challenges and overcoming the labels of society. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in one of the most feared areas of the city. Covered in crime and poverty but she knew from an early age that being born in and raised in the ghetto would not limit her. But she would evolve into a solution, not a statistic.
She became a widow in her early thirties and a single parent of three children. She is now is married to Rev. Jay Ragsdale and having the same life interest, they soon began to work together in the community. She is very active in her family and church home; Calvary Baptist was the stone that elevated her community involvement.
She is currently the Director of Children’s Church for five years now. Toni is also The Director of the Women Ministry at Calvary Baptist Church, and a youth counselor for the 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders for planning activities.
She was the co-director for four years of a mentoring group that she and a great friend implemented called G.R.A.CE. Which was for girls ages 13-18 inside their church
Toni and Rev. Jay Ragsdale (husband) are the founders of the Fill the Pot ministry, and it has been active now for nine years. And every Sunday they meet the needs of an average of 406 people within our community. By providing hot meals, clothes, hygiene, spiritual materials, prayer, encouraging words, and love. And throughout the weekday food and clothing resource for families are provided upon request, an AA Class on Wednesday evenings. She also organizes community service hours ordered by the court or assigned via, schools, and church.
Toni Ragsdale currently resides on the board for the Road Home, in Slc. She has also worked closely with the KIDS EAT PROGRAM and the Nebo School District kids after school meals program.
Her faith in God, allows her to have no limits as she carries out the desires of her heart. I can do all things through Christ, that strengthens me.
Past Event Speakers
Shantel McBride is a Hospice Chaplain, Certified Trainer, nationally renowned Inspirational Speaker, and Grief Counselor. She is out touching others to awaken their inner genius and passion – to live their purpose from the inside-out. Shantel reignites the spark of unlimited potential and opportunity. As a National Best Selling Co-Author of the book Success through Failing, clients say she embodies the Circle of Life. She’s known to add ‘splash to their dash’ – not only walking beside others while they take their last steps on earth, but teaching people how to really live while alive.
Leslie Householder is the award-winning, internationally publised best selling author of The Jackrabbit Factor, Portal to Genius, and Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help With Your Money Matters. Since 2002, she has helped people all over the world discover and apply the Rare Kind of Faith that causes things to happen, for powerful life changes. Through story and shifts of perspective, Leslie aims to help her audience members crush every challenge, achieve every goal, and vanquish every monster under their bed. Above all, Leslie is a dedicated wife and mother of seven children.
Keichun Graves is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana and currently resides in Provo, UT with her dog Gucci. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations Management from Clark Atlanta University and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Her greatest mission in life is to abundantly inspire, help, and mentor underprivileged and marginalized youth in order for them to realize their powerful potential. Keichun’s greatest strengths are her energy, creativity, drive and leadership. She is a serial entrepreneur and former collegiate athlete (cross-country and track and field) who loves competing in sports, and brings that same mental toughness and hard work required for success in athletics to her life mission. She has a ton of passion, leads with a big heart, and is here to help people achieve their goals and live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Michelle Love-Day has been an educator for 17 years. She been classroom teacher working in all Title I schools, and has taught 1st, 4th, and 2nd grades in Ohio, North Carolina, and Utah. She is immediate Past President of Greater Salt Lake Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and currently sits on two boards: U of U College of Education and Hale Center Theater Board of Trustees. No stranger to theater and acting, Michelle has acted on many stages throughout the valley. She is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and is currently with the Talent Management Group (TMG) agency where she has done print, voice over, and commercial acting work. She is the mother of 5 children and currently lives in Bluffdale, UT with her husband, children, dog, and chickens.
Elsebeth has a Master of Social Work Degree from BYU and has worked with children and families for the last 20 years and specializes in relationships, attachment, and trauma.
Finally, in 2004, along with her husband, Guerry, and business partner, Collette, she opened The Green House Center for Growth and Learning, where she serves as the Clinical Director. She uses a variety of modalities including EMDR, play therapy, sand tray, and art therapy, as well as traditional CBT techniques.
Elsebeth is the proud mother of six and the grandmother of 7. Elsebeth enjoys the outdoors, knitting, and traveling. She also loves spending time with family and friends. Her grandchildren are the light of her life.
Jodi Robinson is an author, speaker, business owner, podcaster, & a mentor to women in addiction recovery. For 18 years, she’s witnessed how turning to a higher-power to stay sober transforms brokenness into beauty and hope. Her understanding of grace & mercy crystallized with every story of a woman overcoming abuse, trauma, and addiction to meth, heroin, crack, & alcohol. Her love & compassion was tested, however, when her own father was mistakenly run over by a woman high on drugs in May 2017. She credits the incredible women she’s mentored for allowing her heart to stay open, so she could forgive. She’s a mother of two young adults and two teens, a proud dog walker of an 80-pound malamute named Yuki, and a wife of 28 years to her out-door-loving, snowmobiling-obsessed husband. She’s received the SLC Governor’s Award, Ambassador of Hope Award, and loves eating raw cookie dough right out of the mixing bowl.
Cynthia Pena graduated Magna Cume Laude in 2004 from the University of Utah. Cynthia proudly served as a police officer but later chose to pursue her entrepreneurial interest. She began her career as a wellness coach and business developer with AdvoCare International in 2011. Her interests include helping women to look, feel and perform better while also teaching women how to live a life by design through the direct sales business model. Cynthia’s belief is that her business is a back-door ministry where she is able to utilize a holistic approach to empowered living that is grounded in her Christian faith. Her deepest desire is that men and women will awake to the divine calling placed inside each of them so that they may be able to lead exceptional lives. It is her greatest privilege to be able to encourage her clients through their wellness journey while also being able to introduce them to the merciful and overwhelming love of God.
Jen Brewer, RD, MA lives in Rochester, MN with her husband and 7 kids. In her spare time, her family travels to Guatemala where they fight malnutrition through family gardens. She was the recipient of the Wimpfheimer-Guggenheim award for international exchange in nutrition for this work. At home, Jen connects kids to their food through school gardens. Through all of this, she hopes to somehow turn her black thumb green and no longer be known as ‘the Hosta killer.’
Jen is a best-selling author and speaker who inspires others to merge their talents and passions to truly live their purpose.
Michelle is the author of four books, runs three companies, has two kids and is the wife to only one. She started her first business at the age of 19 and is currently the CEO of Startup Princess listed by Forbes as a Top 10 Resource for Women Entrepreneurs. She’s worked with brands like Visa Small Business and the UPS Store. A sought after speaker, Michelle shares tips for organizations all across the country try like Goldman Sachs and the Air Force Reserve based on her bestseller “The Make It Happen Blueprint”. She’s been interviewed for television and radio over 150 times with regular segments on KSL & Fox 13. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1.5 million downloads. She’s also a host on The Living Room Podcast.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Certified Sex Therapist, Laura M. Brotherson is the author of the best-selling book, And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, and her latest book, Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage. She is the founder of “The Marital Intimacy Institute” in Provo, Utah with a mission to help couples create “Sextraordinary Marriages.” She counsels with couples, individuals and families in private practice (and online) and is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy.
As a Certified Family Life Educator, Laura is also actively engaged in helping to build strong marriages and families by providing marriage education through Couples’ Cruises, articles, newsletters, radio and television broadcasts, including “The Marital Intimacy Show” podcasts, and presenting at conferences and workshops. Laura is a regular guest on KSL Television’s “Studio 5” lifestyle morning show and is a columnist for Meridian Magazine. Laura and her husband, Kevin, of 28 years are the parents of three grown children and are the founders of StrengtheningMarriage.com—your trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages … intimately!
Mary Louise Zeller
Mary Louise Zeller is committed to the possibility of people living ageless and limitless lives. Mary Louise certainly walks the talk; she was a world-class coach and at the age of 67, was still a world-class competitor in the Olympic Sport Taekwondo. Now at the age of 75, she is the CEO of her own multimillion-dollar international marketing company, Zeller Global Impact, distributing high technology, plant-based anti-aging skincare and breakthrough natural supplements for health, high performance, and anti-aging. Mary Louise is a research biologist, a published author, and an international trainer in high-performance mindsets. She is fluent in Spanish, is an accomplished classical guitarist, and has trained and competed at an international level in equestrienne jumping. Mary Louise Zeller aptly coaches people in, not only dreaming the impossible dream but doing it!
At the age of 46, being out-of-shape, as well as having to deal with the complexities of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mary Louise took on the impossible—full contact martial arts.
Within two years she had won her first championship, and today she is a 6th degree Black Belt, a Master Instructor and international referee in Olympic Sport Taekwondo. She has been a 20-time U.S. National and 9-time International Gold Medalist. Upon invitation, at the age of 57 years old, she trained with the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
With her work ethic and commitment to the game of mastery, Mary Louise Zeller is still at the top of her game in international business and now is coaching others to the financial success of their lives with Kyani International.
International speaker including two TedX speeches and author of two best selling books, Leta Greene doesn’t want to intimidate any of you, but she is known as “Hotness”. At 12, she won the Boy Scout arm wrestling competition. None of those boys ever asked her our. Leta majored in Sign Language and graduated with honours. Ironic, she is REALLY good at not talking!
Leta inspires each of us to embrace what makes us individually hot and amazing. As an image consultant and makeup artist since 1999, Leta has helped clients to not only look their best, but feel their best. Leta has also built a multi-million dollar business in the beauty industry and is a sought after trainer for women entrepreneurs. Her message is one of honoring yourself through being authentic to who you are. It is through humour, stories, and a new way of seeing the everyday that makes Leta’s audiences of all ages want to hold on for more! Her programs range from Maturation Programs for 5th grade girls, Confidence Workshops for tween and teen girls, Joy-full Workshops for women, Seminars for Parents on how to talk to your kids about sex, and as an energetic keynote speaker for conferences and seminars on resiliency, personal responsibility, and of course the Hotness Factor.
Leta is the mother of Nathaniel, Alisa, and Katelynn who, Leta and her Husband think, are adorable children. Just follow her on Facebook and you will see that they are amazing. She says her kinds and hubby bring it home for her; anytime she thinks she is too cool, it’s time to cook dinner. She considers it her greatest accomplishment that her hubby and children still like her.