Dr. Joy James – A Leadership Puzzle: Inspiring leadership in others and yourself. 

What inspires you to be a leader? Who do you inspire as a leader? What are the steps that you can take to be inspiring? Mingling research on leadership, her own personal experience and recreation, Joy will kick off the LeadHERship conference trying to answer these questions. This interactive session will piece together leadership traits as well as inspire you to make space for growing both yourself and others as leaders.

Elizabeth Jernigan – Choosing Your Own Adventure (One Step at a Time)           

Some little girls want to be princesses. Some want to backpack over 2,000 miles across some of the most rugged terrain on the east coast. I was that girl. This session will focus on my adventures along the Appalachian Trail and how I turned those experiences into a career. With an emphasis on determination, overcoming stereotypes, and achieving the seemingly impossible, this presentation explores how anyone can accomplish their goals one step at a time.

Gina Ford – Agency in Action: A Women-led Practice Breaks Out           

On January 1st, 2018 – motivated by a desire to create a business model where women could thrive – Gina Ford and Brie Hensold left the capacity, comfort and stability of their roles as principals in a large corporate practice to found Agency Landscape + Planning.

Their new practice is a mission-driven practice dedicated to addressing social equity, cultural vitality and environmental resilience through design excellence, strategic planning and community empowerment. They believe that – in order to address the most challenging issues of our contemporary society – diversity and inclusion are a foundation to how we see, understand and, ultimately, shape our collective experience, particularly in the public spaces, parks and streets of our cities. They seek landscape and planning opportunities that allow us to partner meaningfully with constituents, that welcome many voices and hands in the process, and that produce outcomes that are deeply connected to the richness and uniqueness of place.

This session will explore this leap – the good, the bad and the empowering aspects of starting a design culture from scratch – and reflect upon the ways its mission is resulting in more grounded and impactful projects!”

Lisa Paradis – Rise Up: Mastering the Art of Leadership Presence  

Leadership or Command presence is an elusive quality, but everyone knows it when they see it. Walking into a room, you know that there is someone in a leadership role, even if it is not a formal designation. Great leaders show this in both verbal and non-verbal ways, communicated in a way that is non-threatening and approachable. Females in the park and recreation professional are well represented but often not “heard” or are misunderstood. Learning to make a positive, authoritative mark in a board room, staff meeting, or a public hearing is life-changing and empowering and can lead both you and your agency to greatness.

Dr. Sonya Shaw – Leadership Mantras for Successful Women in Parks and Recreation          

This session will highlight mantras successful women live by in their pursuit of leadership positions in parks and recreation. Mantras will include survival stories of women who have successfully overcome challenges faced along their professional journey.

Tracy Smith Miles – Respect, Consideration, and Stereotypes: Understanding the value of and navigating relationship development with colleagues in different stages of life 

Though we live in an age of technology that enables more connectivity through multiple platforms across cities, states, and beyond, the need to develop and maintain positive working relationships remains an essential component of professional life. From increased productivity and efficiency to a higher likelihood of reported job satisfaction, cultivating relationships at work has implications on how we view our work and the culture of the organizations where we work. Strengthening skills on cultivating respect with management, leaders, and colleagues is as much a part of professional development as focusing on technical expertise. In this session, we will look at the factors of respect, consideration, and stereotypes in how we approach relationships with colleagues at different stages of life than our own and review best practices to foster professional respect.

Sara Burroughs & Emily Blackwell Work Life Integration

Sara and Emily will discuss their journey of work/life integration from two different perspectives. We will discuss the shift in philosophy from work/life balance to work/life integration and the influences and approaches that help us become more successful in achieving a more integrated experience.

Sara is a gen-X woman who owns her own landscape architecture firm in Wilmington, is married with two children, and spends much of her free time outside and volunteering with community groups. Emily is a gen-Y woman whom works for a large multi-disciplinary firm in Charlotte, is single with a small dog, and spends much of her free time  cooking, traveling, and getting involved in the community.

These two successful women will share their unique perspectives on finding their life-work balances.”