May 26, 2018 Walter E. Washington Convention Center #WEXDC



At WEX you’ll be able to learn from industry experts and female leaders, network with entrepreneurs and change-makers, discover tools and strategies to take your business to the next level, and feel empowered to create a positive change.

Whether you are passionate about wellness, interested in learning about digital marketing, ready to get funding for your business; you’ll be able to choose your own sessions and explore our unique activations customizing the WEX Experience to your passions, business, and interests.


Choose the ticket option that calls to you! Whether that be General Admission, Social Package, or the VIP All Access Pass, we promise you will walk away feeling inspired, equipped, and ready to turn your ideas into reality.

HOW TO PURCHASE: Click “Get Tickets” then on the pop-up, select ticket type you’d like to purchase and number of tickets, click “Continue”, enter your information and then click “REGISTER”!

Women Empower Expo


√ Full Access To Marketplace of 70+ Businesses
√ Access to ALL Keynote Speakers
√ Access to ALL 11 Panels
√ Access to ALL Breakout Workshops
√ Entry to watch Female Founders Elevator Pitch Competition
√ Cleo Wade Book Signing
√ Celebrity Meet & Greets
√ Networking Lounge
√ Teenpreneur Expo Activation
√ ZOHO Photo Booth Opportunity
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A WEX experience for all you social butterflies ready to grow your network!


√ Entry to the Official WEX DC After-Party. Featuring Guest Speakers, music and more! This is a cash bar event, open to VIP’s and Social Package Ticket holders only.
√ Official WEX DC T-Shirt
√ 20% Discount on all WEX merchandise at the Women Empower Expo Booth
√ Special registration table to avoid the registration lines.
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A WEX experience for all you empowered women ready to take your business and life to the next level!


√ Laminated VIP Badge, unique to VIP badge holders.
√ Access To VIP Balcony Lounge over looking the Marketplace & Main Stage
√ Small Group Coaching At WEX To Create A Custom Action Plan With an Experienced Coach (In-person coaching for day of event is on a first come, first serve basis until spots sell out.)
√ One FREE Passion Planner!
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WEX DC 2018
Women Empower Expo

“I had an amazing time at WEX! I came alone, so I was a little worried that I would feel uncomfortable am deathly out of place. But that wasn’t the case at all! I felt nothing but positive energy in all of the women I met, and even the passers by. We need more events like this for women!”

-WEX DC 2017 Attendee

  • Saturday, May 26th
    Day 1
  • ROOM 304
  • ROOM 305
  • ROOM 306
Overcoming Barriers as a female social entrepreneur
10:30-11:00 Overcoming Barriers As A Female Social Entrepreneur
PANEL: Kate Volman, Abir Ibrahim, Tambra Stevenson, Candy Schibli

Being a social entrepreneur already has its challenges, but being a female social entrepreneur is even more challenging. From people taking you seriously to getting the funding needed to working with key partners, during this panel you'll hear from successful female social entrepreneurs who have been breaking down barriers since they started.

11:10-11:40 Fireside Chat with Karen Huger
KEYNOTE: Karen Huger, Housewives of Potomac

Originally from Virginia, Karen grew up on a large family farm and witnessed her father succeeding through hard work and perseverance. Karen took those strong values and followed her heart, living life to the fullest while achieving many successes. She is applying her entrepreneurial spirit in various beauty, fashion, and lifestyle ventures, and she reigns supreme as the grande dame of Potomac. She is an advocate and ambassador for Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE) and the Alzheimer’s Association, and she uses her public speaking opportunities to uplift women, enabling healing and positive change.Although Karen is known for throwing over-the-top parties at her home, her family always comes first, and she is extremely proud of all that she has accomplished with her husband, Raymond, of 21 years, and her smart and savvy children, Brandon and Rayvin.  Most recently Karen has been on a healthy mind, body, and soul journey as she and Ray are getting acclimated to life as empty nesters, enjoying their passions and charity work.

Zoho President
11:50-12:20 Against all odds: Zoho Emerges as a SaaS Powerhouse
KEYNOTE: Raj Sabhlok, President, ZOHO Corp.

Zoho has emerged as the leading business software application provider for SMBs. Yet, Zoho is a Silicon Valley outsider. In fact, Zoho doesn't resemble a traditional high-flying startup at all. Although the Company was started in Silicon Valley, Zoho took no VC financing, didn't attempt to hire grads from prestigious schools like Stanford or Harvard, and issued no stock options. Today, amidst a Valley littered with dead and dying SaaS companies, Zoho is soundly profitable with more than 5,500 employees, and enjoys a near zero attrition rate. In his session, Raj Sabhlok talks about Zoho's counterculture and how it is propelling the Company to be one of the rare billion dollar private software companies.

Alexa Carlin
12:30-1:00 #MeToo, #TimesUp… #NowWhat
KEYNOTE: Alexa Carlin, Founder & CEO, Women Empower Expo

Alexa Carlin says, "#MeToo, #TimesUp, #NowWhat?!" In this keynote Alexa will inspire and empower you to take action on the things you want most in life. It's time to turn your ideas into reality and create the change you've been searching for.

Lunch & Networking Break

1:00-1:30: Time to explore the marketplace, grab a bite to eat, and network!

from passion to profit
1:30-2:00 From Passion To Profit: Lessons Learned From Successful Female Entrepreneurs
PANEL: Morgan Fykes, Shavone Riggins, Zena Polin, Rochelle Wilson, Valerie Solomon

Turn your passion into profit! Hear from successful entrepreneurs who turned their passion into full-time businesses!  

Cleo Wade at the Women Empower Expo
2:10-2:40 Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life
KEYNOTE: Cleo Wade, Artist, Poet, & Author of “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life”

Cleo Wade is an artist, poet, and author of the book Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For a Better Life. She creates uplifting messages, blending simplicity with positivity and arresting honesty. Her writing, accessible yet empowering, speaks to a greater future for all women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, preaching love, acceptance, justice, peace, equity, and equality. Cleo’s artwork is founded on the idea that art should not only be in the name of all people, but should serve all people. This idea has inspired some of her larger scale public art installations, including a 25-foot love poem in the skyline of the New Orleans French Quarter titled “Respect,” as well as her follow up piece titled “She,” created in collaboration with graffiti artist Brandon Odums and is permanently installed on the face of a 50-foot warehouse building in the New Orleans Bywater neighborhood. In the summer of 2017, Cleo created the “ARE YOU OK” project, a public booth for free, peaceful and loving conversation at the Hester Street Fair in New York City. Her latest public art installation of 10 word mantras on 46-foot screens entitled “Show Love Spread Love” is currently on view in Los Angeles on the facade of the Beverly Center. Other mediums of Cleo’s art include drawing, painting, sculpture, neon text, and her recent dish ware collaboration with Fishs Eddy is currently available in stores and online. Cleo contributes regularly to W Magazine, Teen Vogue and has been invited to speak at TED Women, New York University, Columbia University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Essence Music Festival, MLK Now at the Historic Riverside Church in Harlem, Cooper Union, and the Semi Permanent conference in New Zealand. Cleo sits on the board of the National Black Theater in Harlem and the Creative Council of Emily’s List. She has been named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Women by Marie Claire, 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, and “The Millennial Oprah” by New York magazine, as well as featured in The New York Times, Vogue, Essence, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue Italia, New York Magazine, Refinery 29, W Magazine, Glamour, and People Magazine.

Book Signing with Cleo Wade

Visit the Author Pavilion following Cleo's speech to purchase a copy of her new book, “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life” and meet Cleo to get your book signed!

Announcing the WEX Award Honoree

3:00-3:10: Visit the main stage for the WEX DC Award honoree announcement!

turning fear into fortune
3:15-3:45 Turning Fear Into Fortune: How To Break Through The Fear of Failure
PANEL: Vanessa Ferragut, Nicole Dash, Karen Alston, Shizu Okusa,

Anytime you take a leap of faith and pursue something meaningful, you are open to the possibility of failing. This failure shouldn't be seen as a negative setback, but rather as a positive step forward. During this panel hear from female founders who have been there before- they may have been held back from fear until a lightbulb moment went off for them or they too, took the leap of faith only to fail, and fail BIG. This panel will not only help you push through the fear but it will also show you that you are not alone on this journey and will empower you to keep going, even when failure may be part of the journey.  

Female Founders Pitch Competition
3:50-4:50 Female Founders Pitch Competition
Hosted By Shelly Bell, Google Digital Coach DC

Be part of the WEX Female Founders Pitch Competition! Visit the main stage to watch female founders pitch their company live on the main stage in front of a panel of judges.

Saving & Investing in the age of the Gig Economy
10:30-11:00 Saving & Investing In The Age Of The Gig Economy
PANEL: April Caldwell, Arindam Nag,  Sally Outlaw,  Dr. Maria James,  Erica Booth

Approximately 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe have left the relatively stable confines of organizational life — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — to work as independent contractors, joining the rise of the "gig economy". Dependent upon freelance gigs, there are certain things you need to know in order to be successful. During this panel you'll learn from experts in the finance and investing industry to learn how to take control of your money and create long-term success for yourself as a freelancer.

Time's Up: Tools For Handling Sexual Harassment
11:10-11:40 Time’s Up: Tools For Handling Sexual Harassment
PANEL: Karen Bate, Julie Still-Rolin, M. Reese Everson

This panel will discuss how to handle sexual harassment in the workplace and ideas on what we can do today to create positive change.

how to grow a coaching business
11:50-12:20 How To Create & Grow A Successful Coaching Business
PANEL: Julia, Aquino-Serrano,  Dr. Towanna Burrous,  Kiki Ramsey, CEO,  Kemi Sogunle

Learn how to create and grow a successful coaching business!

Emotional Intelligence: How To Use It To Grow Your Business
12:30-1:00 Emotional Intelligence: How To Use It To Grow Your Business
PANEL: Dr. Ashley Elliott,  Lena Cohen,  Saleema Vellani,  Rachel Wynn

Emotional intelligence affects how we make personal and professional decisions, manage behavior, and navigate social interactions.Your emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills—it impacts most everything you do and say each day. Learn from experts on the topic of emotional intelligence during this panel discussion to learn how you can use it to achieve success.

Lunch & Networking Break

1:00-1:30: Time to explore the marketplace, grab a bite to eat, and network!

Elevate Your Personal Brand
1:30-2:00 Elevate Your Personal Brand
PANEL: Jennifer Cook,  Lucinda Cross,  Lana Jackson,  Anjali Varma

Learn the tools and strategies to take your personal brand to the next level!

The 3 key connections that can catapult your business
2:10-2:40 The 3 Key Connections That Can Catapult Your Business
PANEL: Kim Creigh,  Marcia Sheehan,  Carin Clark, Catalyst Coach

Join this panel to discuss how to find time to spend with your family even with that busy schedule, that quality time is better than the quantity of time, and how to embrace your family with casual, easy connections, simple and easy steps on how to reconnect with your true self to help make you the best version of you, and the importance of being pulled by something greater than yourself, and how to stay connected to your purpose and greater vision for your life in the midst of day-to-day busyness.  

Explore The Marketplace!

2:40-3:10: Explore the Marketplace and head to the Main Stage at 3:00 for the WEX Award Honoree announcement!

Reinvent Yourself! How To Successfully Pivot In Business & Life
3:15-3:45 Reinvent Yourself! How To Successfully Pivot In Business & Life
PANEL: Folashade Butler,  Sharon Podobnik Peterson,  Amma Johnson,  Tiffany Houser

Whether you are looking to start a new career, are a recent empty nester, or looking to change things up in your current business, this panel will help you gain the confidence and knowledge to successfully pivot and reinvent yourself!

Women In STEAM - An interactive Discussion On Hidden Figures In The Workplace
3:50-4:20 Women In STEAM: An interactive Discussion On Hidden Figures In The Workplace
PANEL: Yanire Brana,  Da’Shaun Joseph,  Ivo Lukas,  Kinosha Soden

We need more women in STEAM jobs! Join this panel to hear from successful women working in STEAM jobs and learn how to be successful in industries that up until now, have been male dominated.

Rashida McKenzie
10:30-11:00 The Juggle Is Real: The New Way To Create Work Life Balance
Rashida McKenzie, CEO, Queen Bee Concierge

Ambition and Balance don't have to negate each other, but they don't necessarily go hand and hand. Here’s how to stay present and enjoy the moment while you build the business of your dreams.

Nancy Greene at Women Empower Expo DC
11:10-11:40 5 Legal Landmines That Can Destroy Your Business (And How To Navigate Them)
Nancy Greene, Esquire, and CEO

Many businesses fail because they make 5 critical but avoidable mistakes. If you are in business you're likely making at least one of these mistakes right now.Worried one legal misstep will send your business tumbling into freefall? You are not alone and Nancy will show you how to navigate the legal landmine field that waits for all businesses.

Rebecca Black at Women Empower Expo
11:50-12:20 Launch Your Own Reselling Business And Live Life on Your Own Terms
Rebecca Black, Founder, Bexa Boss Lady

  • Rebecca will show you how to create a profitable reselling business as a side hustle or full time job. In this session, Rebecca will go over the basics of getting started, how to scale and tips & tricks from her 15 years of reselling experience. We will review the different selling platforms and how to get started.

Mercedes Kirkland-Doyle at Women Empower Expo
12:30-1:00 Confessions Of A Career Mom
Mercedes Kirkland-Doyle, Founder and Executive Director of The Good News Community Kitchen

The Confessions of a Career Mom series focuses on the daily battles of career women, wives, mothers, business owners, and/or student as they identify their balance, through prioritizing, while navigating through life’s journey. At times, we lose focus on our purpose because of situations, relationships, experiences and most importantly a lack of support from similarly situated women who possess the power of encouragement, guidance and direction. This workshop is a customized comprehensive packaging of best practices and strategies mixed in with realistic dialogue relative to today’s leading ladies.

Lunch & Networking Break

1:00-1:30: Explore the marketplace, grab a bite to eat, and network with others!

Syleecia Thompson at Women Empower Expo
1:30-2:00 Plan, Pitch, Win: Pitching for TV, Film, Record Labels & Media
Syleecia Thompson, Professor, Brand Strategist & Founder, DYG Management Group, LLC

This session gives you the tools and knowledge needed to land television, media, radio or record label opportunities. The session will cover the do's and don'ts of pitching, how the brand impacts the pitch, a basic pitch outline, your brand story, pitch angels and more. Each pitch is different, unique and a message must be created for every outlet.

Explore The Marketplace!

2:40-3:10: Explore the marketplace, network, and head to the Main Stage at 3:00 for the WEX DC Award Announcement!

Rita Goodore at Women Empower Expo DC
3:15-3:45 What Makes You Special: Differentiating Yourself In A Crowded And Noisy Marketplace
Rita Goodroe, Business Mentor & Strategist, Rita Made Me Do It, LLC

Are you wondering how to get your business to stand out when there are so many others who do what you do? Do you feel invisible, like your message gets lost among a VERY loud and never ending sea of businesses? In this session, you’ll learn what it REALLY means to “be different” and discover the five steps to differentiate yourself in a crowded and noisy marketplace so that you attract ideal clients, and make more money, with ease!

Sherron Washington at Women Empower Expo DC
11:10-11:40 Marketing Simplified: The 15-Minute Marketing Plan
Sherron Washington, CEO, The P3 Solution

Marketing should never be that complicated or time-consuming. Developing a simple marketing plan is critical to business success and gaining the skill to craft and implement quick, creative and compelling promotional strategies is the key to positively impacting position and the bottom line. This interactive session teaches you to maximize marketing efforts quickly and effectively using a streamlined, one-page marketing plan.

Bianca Jackson at Women Empower Expo
11:50-12:20 How To Stand Out On LinkedIn To Attract A Sea Of Clients
Bianca Jackson, LinkedIn Strategist

Looking for customers with buying authority and disposable income? LinkedIn is a must-have for your marketing strategy. According to Pew, LinkedIn is used by 44% of Americans with an income of $75K+. Use the platform as a virtual 24/7 accessible portfolio and business card to fill your funnel.

Lunch & Networking Break

1:00-1:30: Explore the marketplace and grab a bite to eat!

Erica Stepteau at Women Empower Expo
1:30-2:00 Charge Your Worth: How To Master The Art Of Selling
Erica Stepteau, Growth & Sales Strategist

Go from Underpaid to FULLY PAID! ·Obtain the 7 Step process to Master the Art of Authentic Selling ·Learn How to Shift your Mindset to Charge your Worth ·Tips to Build a Tribe of Raving Fans via Relationship Marketing ·Strategically set up packages/services to achieve $10K or more a month

Kate Volman at Women Empower Expo
2:10-2:40 Repurpose Your Content! Simple Steps to Repurpose Your Content & Get Seen Everywhere
Kate Volman, Marketing Strategist

The goal of this workshop is to coach brands and companies how to effectively repurpose and redistribute their content to help build their brand, increase engagement & grow their business. Participants will discover how to: Identify and repurpose their best content Find new places to redistribute their content Stop creating content that isn’t generating results Find potential collaborators and guest posting opportunities Leverage user-generated content to increase engagement & build community

Explore The Marketplace

2:40-3:10: Explore the marketplace, network and head to the Main Stage at 3:00 for the WEX DC Award Announcement

Denita Austin at Women Empower Expo
3:15-3:45 Turn Your Story Into A Book
Denita Austin, Best-Selling Author and Publisher

  • We will discuss basic tools, techniques, and strategies on how to write and publish your story.

3:50-4:20 Insta-What: How To Effectively Use Instagram For Your Business.
Lisa Nicholls, CEO, Tira! Strategies

Everyone wants to be on Instagram, but not everyone knows how to create an Instagram presence that is engaging, interesting, and effortlessly promotes their business. Learn how to use Instagram and Instagram Stories effectively for your business, with all of the tips and tools you'll need to make it happen.

Casey Upton at Women Empower Expo DC
10:30-11:00 Our Voices Are Power: How To Arm Ourselves To Dominate Any Discussion
Casey Stewart Upton, Founder, The Emotional Labor Union

For many women networking and making small talk can feel like a daunting task but it doesn't have to be that way! Come learn and practice ways to empower yourself and drive any conversation in an authentic way.

Monica Kang at Women Empower Expo
11:50-12:20 The Secret to Authentic Networking in The Digital Age
Monica Kang, Founder & CEO, InnovatorsBox

Networking in the digital age feels increasingly stressful, superficial, and disconnected. In this interactive session, you’ll learn how to approach networking differently and still be authentic. You’ll connect with others on a deeper level and shift your thinking around the art of networking.

Vanetta Rather at Women Empower Expo
12:30-1:00 Sacred Sisterhood
Dr. Vanetta Rather, Founder, My Sister My Seed

The workshop is designed to promote the importance of sisterhood.  Reality TV and the often limited "seats at the table" for women often creates a mentality of scarcity that pits women against each other.  Women will be reminded that we are stronger together and encouraged to honor a sisterhood code of ethics that helps us build together, support each other, and create safe spaces for vulnerability and growth.

Krystal Glass at Women Empower Expo
1:30-2:00 Let’s Bond! Creating Lasting Relationships Through Networking
Krystal Glass, Founder & Conversation Host of “Real-Life Conversations”

  • An interactive networking session designed for attendees to make lasting connections with one another.



washington dc convention center


WASHINGTON DC CONVENTION CENTER | 801 Mt Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001


Stay with us at the beautiful Marriott Marquis Washington D.C.

Located downtown adjacent to the convention center, guests will find direct access to the Convention Center via underground concourse connection. Limited rooms available at the discounted WEX room block rate. Reserve your room today at the link below! Deadline: May 11, 2018
Marriott Marquis DC

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