A renowned work/life balance expert, Sam inspires corporate cultures and increases employee retention and productivity through her executive workshops and keynotes. Thousands of professionals from C-level leaders to administrative assistants have benefitted from Sam’s unique guidance on how to maximize work/life success. She finds that spark within each of us and turns it into a fire.
Since earning her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard, Sam has become a bestselling author of five books, a writer for Forbes, a renowned speaker and host of a nationally syndicated call-in radio show. Sam’s most recent book, The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction, was published in the fall of 2016.
Sam is consistently called on by traditional media outlets for her advice. She makes regular national television appearances on shows including NBC News, The Doctors, Fox and Friends, Access Hollywood, and The Today Show, among others. She has been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Inc, Fast Company and Success Magazine. Widely known for her interviewing skills, Sam has interviewed an array of personalities from Mary J Blige to Jessica Alba, Sara Blakely and Al Roker. She spent two years as host of leading Internet talk show, Obsessed TV, which she created and produced with tech entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
More than 400 experts have written chapters for Sam’s bestselling Experts’ Guide book series, published by Random House. Contributors include luminaries such as Rachael Ray, Richard Branson, Suze Orman and Barbara Corcoran. Sam has a large social media following and is active in causes relating to women and girls. She sits on the Friends of Good+ Foundation and the advisory boards of Thuzio and Sparks and Honey. She is co-founder of the LA Electing Women Collective and Senator Gillibrand’s paid leave coalition. Sam lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
Breakout Session Speakers
Since completing her first 200-hour training in 2003, she has been teaching yoga anywhere and everywhere, sometimes logging as many as 1500 miles in one month traveling to studios and private spaces in Charleston County alone. She has taught workshops throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic and served on the faculty at the College of Charleston. Ashley founded Reverb not because she believes so much in the power of yoga, but in the power of individuals to create the change that they seek in their own lives.
Holly A. Fisher
Bonny C. Millard
As a trial lawyer and compliance specialist, Jen has spent the bulk of her career solving problems—in courtrooms and board rooms across the globe. As a litigator, Jen was part of trial teams for a number of high-profile, white collar trials and was twice named a D.C. “Rising Star” in White Collar Criminal Defense by Super Lawyers. When she was not litigating, Jen focused her practice on corporate governance and compliance. She regularly worked with boards and C-suites of multinational companies to complete internal reviews, offer overall guidance, and assist with executive-level decision-making.
After 10 years in the law, she decided to use those skills in a new way. In 2014, Jen left Washington, D.C. and returned to Charleston, S.C., where she founded Townscout, a travel-planning and concierge service for the Charleston area. Having started her own business, Jen knows first hand what it means and what it takes to build an idea from the ground up. In 2016, she and long-time friend Molly Norton formed Sparklight Partners, a consulting company focused on helping organizations thrive and evolve.
Dr. Nancy Simpson
At Plateful Solutions, she blends the unique traits of being a foodie, a project manager, and a geek, and specializes in the digital marketing and business solutions side of the business. Given that she has both a food and tech background, Danielle is able to create unique and original content for brands that can be applied across all digital channels. She is an expert in digital strategies, and can translate complex technical concepts into business results.
Prior to that, she was General Manager at Charleston Cooks! for almost ten years, a retail kitchen store and cooking school with three locations around South Carolina. With responsibility for all aspects of the stores, she was instrumental in growing the brand from inception to a profitable and widely recognized leader in the industry. She has been featured in numerous national publications, such as Traditional Home, Taste of the South, and Southern Living, and is also the author of two cookbooks on Lowcountry cuisine. With her keen eye for design and merchandising, Danielle handles all of the shopping for their rapidly expanding food styling prop collection, as well as any of the DIY craft projects needed for shoots!
Her technical expertise comes from spending more than eight years at Apple Computer, during the turnaround of the company under Steve Jobs. Danielle joined Apple as a software automation engineer, but quickly moved up the ranks into Project and Program Management. By leading cross-functional teams from all over the company, she brought to market over twenty high visibility projects under aggressive schedules.
Danielle has a MS in Project Management from George Washington University, a BS in Aviation Operations from San Jose State University, and professional culinary training at the prestigious Apicius Culinary Institute in Florence, Italy. She lives in the Charleston, SC area with her husband and two beagles.
Bea Wray is a passionate entrepreneur and marketing expert. She is a frequent keynote speaker and inspiring contributor to various publications including Entrepreneur.com and The Savannah Morning News. At Advantage Media Group/ForbesBooks, she combines her passions for entrepreneurship and storytelling through Authority Marketing™ and book publishing. Bea encourages Advantage Members, “YOUR story is MY business!” At the age of 27, Bea Wray became the CEO of Data Securities International, the leading intellectual property protection firm now owned by Iron Mountain. With those “street learning” she sought “book learning” by earning her MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. “Real learning” began with the most important job of raising three amazing children now 16, 14, and 11. Bea’s highest business achievement was as Founder of SourceHarbor, a company she grew to thousands of clients, spanning 14 countries and successfully sold to NCC, PLC in England. Bea’s highest (and most fun) personal achievement was her recent three-month journey across 6,000 miles of Australia with her three children plus a niece. Bea is excited to share with you business lessons Harvard taught but her children made her learn!
Recently named two of Charleston’s 50 Most Progressive in 2016, Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves are the dynamic duo known around the globe as the curly-haired Cocktail Bandits. The full-time Charleston Ambassadors met in their political science classes at the College of Charleston, and now, with their booming hospitality business and self-titled Cocktail Bandits blog, promote female empowerment through advocacy for the food and beverage community from a feminine, urban perspective.
The curly ladies, who talk cocktails daily, educate and entertain their growing blog audience through their own original cocktail recipes, promoting the craftsmanship of other bar professionals, and sharing their experiences at foodie events all around the Holy City and beyond. Johnny and Taneka have also been featured on Sirius XM Radio online, NBC Blk, Metro UK online, Charleston Wine & Food Festival, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and several other regional publications.
Danielle Mason Hosker
Founded in 2015, Mason Hosker officially launched with its Spring 2016 collection and has continued to grow under Danielle’s leadership. Its flagship boutique recently opened at 17 State Street in downtown Charleston, and the Mason Hosker Bridal Collection launched in January 2017.
Prior to designing for Mason Hosker, Danielle created Dancefx, Inc. in Athens, GA and was the Founder and Designer of luxury home décor brand, Antage Bleu, and Baby Bleu, a luxury line of fine linens, designer décor, and gifts for baby and home.
Whether she’s dazzling a table adorned with linen and orchids, enlightening a crowded auditorium, or gliding across a polished cyprus-wood floor, Danielle does so with a balletic fluidity, beauty, and strength that are all her own.
Paula Jo Miller
Paula, her husband, and their two rescued akitas live and play in beautiful Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Dr. Alison Smith
Guang Ming Whitley
Prior to her position with Gulfstream she worked as the Program Director for a Latino focused non-profit call LaAmistad. Previous positions have included handling the Marketing and PR for a Child Advocacy Center in Charleston and before that she spent the majority of her professional career in Charleston working for the exclusive Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. In this capacity she managed the food and beverage marketing for the hotel, created and managed some of the hotel’s community outreach involvement, and assisted in overseeing all aspects of the Gourmet and Grapes yearly food and wine fundraising event for the Hollings Cancer Center.
Chester-Jones has spent quite a bit of her free time volunteering for a variety of non-profit organizations in the Charleston, which also allowed her to maintain her public relations and communications skills, and interest in non-profits, arts, and culture. Prior to working at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Chester-Jones resided and worked in Greenwich, CT. She worked for the Historical Society of Greenwich and as an assistant to an interior designer, covering projects for Arabian, Egyptian, and French clients. Previous to this, Chester-Jones worked in marketing for several financial companies in Barcelona, Spain.
Angharad graduated from the College of Charleston in 2003 where she earned both a B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in Media Communications, and minored in Latin- American Caribbean Studies. She spent 5 years living and working abroad in such locations as London, Barcelona, Santiago, Chile; and Deia, Majorca. During this time she immersed herself in learning about other cultures, taking in the arts, fashion, languages, and architecture that flourished in many of the cities she lived in.
Chester-Jones is a dual citizen of the United States and Great Britain. In her spare time she enjoys running, dancing, yoga, tennis, swimming, paddle boarding, and reading both serious and light fiction and non-fiction.
Erin Kienzle is the host of Lowcountry Live on ABC News 4. You can catch her and Tom Crawford every Monday through Friday 10-11am. She loves highlighting what’s hot and happening in the Lowcountry!
Erin has been on TV for 17 years. She’s worked in Charleston and Pittsburgh as a meteorologist forecasting hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and major snow storms! Now she loves her role as TV host and enjoys highlighting more than 2,000 community events and businesses every year. She really loves helping those nervous guests feel comfortable and at ease on camera. (TV isn’t scary – really!)
Erin also volunteers and serves on many boards. She helps the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, Susan G. Komen of the Lowcountry and Communities in Schools. However, her most important role is mother to her 2 young daughters, Alex and Cate.
If you’re looking to land your next job, campaign for a promotion, or make a career transition, Lauren is your best secret weapon. Lauren’s clients come to her for resume development, LinkedIn profile creation, networking and interview skills coaching, and crafting a multi-tier job search campaign. She’s written so many resumes, she dreams in bullet points!
In addition to her coaching practice, Lauren teaches a multitude of workshops and classes at College of DuPage, Harper College, workNet, IDES and dozens of business and employment support groups throughout Chicagoland. She has contributed to hundreds of career-related features on WGN Morning News, ABC News, WLS and WGN radio and in the Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, and dozens of other media outlets.
Keisha A Rivers
Prior to working at Blackbaud, she worked in hospitality management in Charleston’s thriving tourism industry. Dorie has a Masters of Business Administration from The Citadel where she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society for academic excellence. Dorie is a Board Member at One80 Place and has served as a mentor for Charleston Young Professionals and the College of Charleston MBA program. Due to her leadership in business and in the community, Dorie was inducted into 2015 Top 40 under 40 by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Finally, Dorie was recently asked to join the faculty at the College of Charleston as an adjunct professor teaching Business Communications.
She is also an internationally known and highly experienced marathon swimmer with a world class resume of swims. Understanding what goes into preparation and successful completion of a marathon swim, she brings that knowledge to numerous other areas of life. Kathleen introduced marathon swimming to the Carolinas over 20 years ago and while continuing to train and swim, became the creator and race director for the annual Swim Around Charleston, a 12 mile open water swim event held in early fall each year. She has several swims registered in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as firsts.
Kathleen also serves as primary instructor for the innovative SwimCalm program, teaching adults fearful of the water how to swim. This highly gratifying work uses the same principles that have assisted her in marathon swimming and city government – knowledge and adaptation to surroundings with the confidence that comes as a result. She brings a unique set of skills to the water with adults and leading them to discover what to expect in the water and how to eliminate the gripping fear by understanding how the water works with us.
When not in the water, Kathleen is a conservatory-trained professional harpist, holding a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, performing in both teaching positions at both the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University. She is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto and is a Liberty Fellow.