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2023 SPEAKERS

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Author

Pattie Grimm

Pattie is an enthusiastic women leader who dedicates her life to “empowering women and girls to be the best they can be in any endeavor they choose!” She is a business leader, author, speaker, trainer coach, podcast guest, and women’s advocate.

Pattie has over twenty-five years of experience as a senior woman leader for Fortune 50 companies like Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, and VMware. She also ran a training and consulting company focused on building great leaders, building rockstar teams, and fast-tracking business results. She’s walked a mile in your shoes and shares her “rock star” to “rock bottom” story that almost ended her career and life. Pattie spent three years interviewing over 3550 women and men leaders to find her five proven “Success Secrets of all successful women leaders. Pattie was recognized as one of the top Women Leaders by the Executive Women’s Association and Who’s Who in Women’s Leadership. In addition, she was awarded the top woman leadership award by the State of California.

Pattie’sbook, Quiet Women Never Changed History –BeStrong, Stand Up and Stand Out-“Let’s Go Kick Some Glass” is on Amazon.

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Organizational Development

Ashley Wheeler

Ashley enjoys working with learners of all ages to enable them to reach their full potential through igniting a passion within them to continuously improve and find their purpose - from kids to corporate leaders.

For over 25 years, she has served individuals, teams, classrooms and organizations in the learning, leadership and organizational development space.

She is responsible for organizational development at Hunt Refining Company in Tuscaloosa, AL, and is passionate about helping individuals and organizations transform their thinking and performance from commonplace to extraordinary. Her focus is maximizing potential through training, coaching and consulting around leadership and workforce development, process improvement and strategic planning.

She has a passion for people and believes sound research and analysis and intentional leadership development are essential to continually driving individual and organizational excellence. Each day provides a new opportunity to become better at who we are, what we do, and how we serve others.

Ashley is Extended DISC certified and is a Marshall Goldsmith Executive and Team Stakeholder Centered Coaching graduate. She is currently working to obtain certification in coaching, training and speaking through John Maxwell’s Leadership Team.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Education from Auburn University, a Master’s in Education and finished her PhD courses from Auburn University as well. She is “ABD.”

She enjoys speaking on topics related to leadership and organizational development and was an international facilitator, executive coach and conference presenter in her past role working for Caterpillar.

She has been a single mom to two college-age boys for 19 years now and has just recently gotten engaged. She gives back to her community through serving in volunteer work over many years with United Way, Hospice, her church and several boards.

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Regional Director of Field Sales

Jaela Walker

Jaela Walker is currently Regional Director of Field Sales for Extended Stay America and is based in Jacksonville, FL. Jaela has been in the sales/marketing field for over a decade now and continues to enjoy every day of the challenge. She is a member of the Junior League of Jacksonville serving as a New Member Advisor as well as Co- Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, she is also a member of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Greater Jacksonville Chapter and serves as Chair of the Communications Committee.

 

Jaela is very passionate about her work with women, children and the well-being of her community. This passion has led to her creating a Women's empowerment movement known as Girl, Get Up whose goal is to encourage, empower and equip women to continue to heal despite what they have been through. Jaela's heart is with Girl, Get Up and she knows this is her ministry and mission turning her pain into purpose. Not only does Girl, Get Up have a social media presence Jaela takes Girl, Get Up on the road speaking and engaging with women all over the United States. She is quoted as saying "This is a movement of healing together".

 

Jaela enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, wine tasting, shopping and beach days.

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Clinical Instructor

Cherie Moman

Cherie Moman is a clinical instructor at The University of Alabama who uses her 30 years of marketing communications experience to engage with and inspire the next generation of business leaders. Outside of the classroom, she is the faculty advisor for the Bama Branders NIL marketing organization, alumnae advisory committee chair for Pi Beta Phi, co-chair for the Culverhouse Office of DEI Women in Business conference, and director of Minerva - Culverhouse's summer program for young women interested in business. She is a three-time graduate of Alabama with a B.S. in consumer affairs, an M.S. in interactive technology, and an M.S. in marketing with a specialization in digital and social media and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in communication. In her "spare" time, Cherie enjoys visiting national parks with her husband and three sons.

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Director of Special Programs and Workforce Development

Robin Ricks

As the Director of Special Programs and Workforce Development at Manufacture Alabama, Robin oversees the policy and advocacy arm of the association. Serving in a liaison role for a number of Manufacture Alabama’s committees means driving the programming and communicating the committee’s feedback to inform Manufacture Alabama’s position on various topics. Additionally, Robin leads a number of Manufacture Alabama’s strategic initiatives including Workforce Development Solutions, Diversify and GLAM.

Girls Learning About Manufacturing or GLAM is a non-profit organization with the mission of creating interest in careers in manufacturing among the next generation of women entering the workforce. Leveraging the strategic relationships of Manufacture Alabama, GLAM brings industry partners, education providers, and young women together for career exploration, and mentorship opportunities. As Executive Director, Robin guides the newly developed organization’s operations.

Prior to joining the team at Manufacture Alabama, Robin worked in Human Resources and Program Development roles in the Manufacturing and Information Technology Sectors. She is passionate about connecting people and organizations with opportunities and resources .

Robin has had the opportunity to give back to her state and community through various volunteer organizations including:

•Women in ManufacturingAlabama ChapterBoard -Sponsorship Lead

•3-timeChairman of Central AlabamaWorks! Career Discovery Expo

•Selected by Governor Ivey to serve on the Alabama Apprenticeship Council

•SHRM Montgomery Board Member –Workforce Readiness

•ALSHRM Council -District Director for Region 5 Robin studied elementary education at Troy University and the University of West Florida. She lives in Montgomery with her husband, Judson, and daughters, Evelynand Alice.

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Culverhouse College of Business Dean

Dr. Kay M. Palan

Dr. Kay M. Palan is the ninth dean of the Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama. Now nearing the end of her seventh year at UA, Dr. Palan leads the flagship business school in Alabama. Dr. Palan has more than 25 years of experience in academics including six years as dean and professor of marketing at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business. and a six-year stint as associate dean for undergraduate programs at Iowa State University.

Dr. Palan earned her doctorate in business in 1994 at Texas Tech University; an MBA from Minnesota State University Moorhead; and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Winona State University. She has industry experience as executive director of Health Enterprises, Inc., and Traill County Nursing Services in North Dakota.

She is a board member of the Southern Business Administration Association and past chair of the Mid-American Business Deans’ Association and of the AACSB affinity group, Women Administrators in Management Education. She currently serves on the review board of the Case Research Journal and is an outside director on several corporate boards.

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Client Onboarding Specialist & Beauty Consultant

Jasmine Dedrick

Jasmine Dedrick is a Birmingham-native, and 2017 graduate of Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and marketing. She currently resides in Tuscaloosa with her husband and their one-year-old daughter. During the day, she works full-time as the Client Onboarding Specialist at Randall Reilly, helping trucking companies recruit their ideal driver candidates. When she’s not assisting trucking companies in achieving their driver recruiting goals, she’s using her love for beauty to help women create and elevate their ideal beauty routines.

 

Jasmine is entering into her third year as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. She thoroughly enjoys combining her desire to empower and enrich the lives of other women, while building genuine relationships that go beyond assisting with their makeup and skincare needs.

 

Jasmine is a big believer in the saying, “When you look good, you feel good!” Her primary mission is to help women access the confidence that results from discovering a unique way of outwardly expressing one’s inner beauty. Whether it’s helping someone find a new favorite lipstick shade that makes them feel unstoppable or offering up her best skincare tips, so you feel your best with or without makeup, doing so brings her great joy!

 

In her spare time, you can usually catch Jasmine reading a book, snacking on something sweet or spending quality time with her family.

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Branch Manager

Kenyatta Browne

Kenyatta Browne is a highly accomplished professional and mom with a diverse background and a passion for excellence. With years of experience in the banking industry, Kenyatta has developed a deep understanding of the financial sector and the needs of clients. She currently serves as the bank manager with Regions Bank at Indian Hills, where she is responsible for overseeing a team of financial experts and ensuring that the bank's operations run smoothly. 

 

In addition to her professional pursuits, Kenyatta is also a dedicated community leader. She is a board member with Theatre Tuscaloosa, an Executive Leadership team member for March of Dimes’ March for Babies Tuscaloosa, treasurer for the Tuscaloosa Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc and Financial Secretary for the Beta Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She recently founded a 501c3 nonprofit organization called The Unity Center, which is dedicated to providing community mediation services to Tuscaloosa and the state of Alabama. The Unity Center aims to promote understanding and cooperation among different groups, and to resolve conflicts through peaceful, constructive means. 

Kenyatta holds an MBA from Western Governors University, which has provided her with a solid foundation in business and finance. She has a keen understanding of business and finances and is able to make informed decisions that benefit her clients and her organization. 

 

In her free time, Kenyatta indulges her passion for acting. She has appeared in several stage productions, and has also been featured in commercials and print ads. Her acting skills allows her to be empathetic towards others’ journeys, which she believes is the key to connect with people. This is a skill she has been able to bring into her professional life as well. Kenyatta is a dedicated professional who is committed to delivering exceptional service to her clients, promoting community unity and is always looking for ways to improve their financial well-being. She is a leader who inspires and motivates those around her to achieve their best. 

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