2023 shebelieves summit speakers
Arielle Chambers, a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree, is a multimedia journalist, host, women's sports and founder of HighlightHER, based in New York City. She utilizes storytelling to amplify the voices of women and magnify their excellence. Intentionally staying on the women's side of things, Chambers seeks to show girls and women, worldwide, that their potential is limitless.
Chambers received higher education from both the University of Oxford (UK) and North Carolina State University (NC), studying New Communication Media and English. Post-university, she took her talents to major sports leagues like the NBA, NHL and WNBA, in in-game entertainment. It was there that Chambers saw the discrepancy in visibility of women's sports coverage. She realized the immediate impact she could have on the league if she were to just conduct her own interviews and post them online.
Chambers has since dedicated her efforts to grassroots coverage and the utilization of social media to close the coverage gap. Most notable in the implementation of social media, Chambers coined the phrase THE WNBA IS SO IMPORTANT, which ultimately became Twitter Sports' WNBA 25th Anniversary campaign.
In 2019, Chambers founded Bleacher Report's women's platform, highlightHER and has grown it to more than 172,000 followers and counting. HighlightHER was the fastest growing women's sports platform in 2020 and the momentum is not slowing. Through her efforts with and impact of HighlightHER, Chambers has been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 (Sports, 2021), For(bes) the Culture's 50 Champions (2021), The Athletic's 40 Under 40: Rising Stars in Women's Basketball (2021), Footlocker's Sole List (2021) and Yahoo's Changemakers (2021). Chambers is also Miss North Carolina International 2021.
With a mission advocating for women's equity and empowerment, Chambers utilizes her sports background paired with principles of teamwork to empower women, dive into what it means to be empowered, and discuss the value of execution, based on knowing one's self-worth.
Jazmin Anita (she/they), is a Veteran and self-taught Illustrator. She has been creating her entire life but crossed over to digital art in 2017 while deployed. Since establishing their business JVZMINA in 2018 and becoming a full-time artist in 2021, they’ve had the opportunity to share their art internationally through calendars, skateboards, and video games, and have worked with companies and organizations like Adult Swim, Netflix, MeUndiesxMarvel and Amazon.
She believes in the power of representation through their art and hopes to inspire generations of creatives to not only challenge the standard of art produced in main media, but break down barriers to create their own someday.
Dr. Colleen Cira
Dr. Colleen Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Nationally Recognized Trauma Expert and the Founder and CEO of both Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC (CCBH) and Cira Center Consulting, LLC (CCC). CCBH is a group practice that serves the age and gender spectrum and specializes in Trauma and Women. CCC is a Consulting Agency that strives to deconstruct the barriers that folks face so they are freed up to create the life of their dreams.
Dr. Cira received both her Masters and Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and has been practicing in the field since 2001. She is a sought after national trauma expert who has appeared in dozens of publications, podcasts, live news, and radio including NBC, ABC, US News and World Report, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Suntimes, Fast Company, Real Simple, Reader’s Digest, Yahoo! Lifestyle, Slate, and Bustle among others. Dr. Cira was also named one of the “Top 100 Women in Chicago Making a Difference” by Today’s Chicago Woman.
Colleen identifies as Queer, Neurodivergent and a Trauma Survivor. The totality of these identities mean that she has felt different, broken and like an imposter most of her life. It is only when she created CCBH and CCC did she begin to take back her power, learn to accept and love herself and fundamentally change the course of her life. Colleen’s intent in sharing this information is to provide hope. It is often easy to look at the facade of someone’s life and assume so many things: they are successful, have a perfect marriage, an easy life, etc. Colleen feels called to interrupt this cycle of comparison and shame by being more open and honest about the struggle that is there, just behind the scenes. Colleen hopes you can see your own difficulties in her story and that you know that only when we wholeheartedly embrace who we truly are, can we get to the other side of our pain. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, and, most importantly, daughter, sister, wife and Mommy.
Sr. Director Social Community Impact, Nike
Karol Collymore is the Inclusive Community Senior Director for Social + Community Impact at Nike. In that work, she gets to lead a portfolio focused on philanthropy through the lens of race, gender, orientation and the intersections therein. Before Nike, she was the Public Affairs Director for the Early Learning Division at the State of Oregon. She also served as the executive director of the Equity Foundation. Karol has worked in government, politics and non-profits for over 15 years. She has worked with diverse organizations such as the American Heart Association, Pro-Choice Oregon, and Metro Regional Government. In her free time, Karol loves to volunteer and is currently president of the Cascade AIDS Project board where she helped lead a merger between CAP and Our House of Portland. She is a member of the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation board (Go Blazers) and the Hood to Coast Inclusion committee.
Lauren Gibbs tried Bobsled on a whim, in 2014, at the age of 30. Four years later she made her Olympic debut and won silver at the 2018 Games. Lauren attended Brown University where she played varsity volleyball. In her senior year, Lauren was co-captain, Second Team All-Ivy, Academic All-Ivy and graduated with a B.A. in Public & Private Sector Organizations. She completed her post graduate work at Pepperdine University, where she earned her Executive MBA. Lauren’s professional background is in corporate sales management, recruiting, training and retention. She is the Senior Advisor of Leadership & Curriculum Development at the Posse Foundation and a corporate motivational speaker.
Through key notes, fireside chats and interactive workshops, Lauren shares valuable lessons learned from her journey to the Olympic podium. Reframing adversity and finding value in failure, the importance of utilizing your support system and resources, the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone and making the most of your opportunities, are examples of how Lauren pulls from her experience in business, and elite athletics, to convey to her audiences that EVERYONE, can have their own Olympic moment!
Yoga Instructor, Nike
Xochilt is a Nike Global Trainer, and you can currently find her on the Nike NTC App.
She found yoga initially as a way to lose weight but found that the practice brought her so much more and since then, has pursued a career as a yoga teacher hoping to have the same impact on people that she’s felt through moving their body with their breath.
Discovered meditation in 2016 as she moved to PDX during time of deep growth and reflection.
She began leading meditation classes with YoYoYogi in 2018 and found that teaching mindfulness is most fulfilling to teach in a world that desperately needs it.
Yin Yoga and Guided Meditation are her two favorite classes to lead.
She wants her teaching platform to express her love for yoga and healing through movement and connection to the self and to the community.
She believes the work we want to do in this world must be done by starting here, with ourselves.
General Manager, Chicago Red Stars
Michelle Lomnicki serves as the General Manager of the Chicago Red Stars. Prior to her role as GM in the NWSL, she played professional soccer for the Chicago Red Stars in both the WPS and the NWSL, contributing to the growth of women's soccer. After retiring in 2016, Lomnicki worked in the financial sector before rejoining the Red Stars as Director of Camps and Clinics, where she revamped the club's youth programming to better serve hundreds of aspiring soccer players throughout the Chicagoland area.
President, Washington Spirit
Emma May is the President of Business Operations at the Washington Spirit, a founding member of the NWSL. In her role at the Spirit, May is responsible for the teams Revenue, Marketing & Communications, and Player Care. She works very closely with the President of Sporting to ensure one aligned mission and with the majority owner Michele Kang to bring the teams vision to life.
For the past 20 years May has been working in and around the sports industry, mostly focusing in the brand marketing space. Spending time leading teams at Red Bull, Turners Sports and Nike among others, May credits her success to building high performing teams, keeping everything in perspective and having fun. Building trust is a pinnacle to how May allows her teams to flourish and is dedicated being catalyst in building the foundation that secures the ability for women to play professional sports equitably forever.
Living in DC with her husband John and pup Rizzo, she loves visiting taking in the history in the city and is always looking for new restaurants to try.
Tristan Mitchell is an experienced marketing executive who advises Excel’s current and future brand clients on their sports and entertainment marketing investments by deploying end-to-end solutions including strategy, activation and analytics.
He joined Excel after leading GMR Marketing’s Client Consulting and Services practice in New York where he was responsible for leading sponsorship strategy, negotiation, activation planning, and management for GMR’s NY clients. He also previously held roles working in Strategy and Analytics at MLS and Management Consulting at Accenture. Tristan earned his MBA from NYU-Stern and graduated summa cum laude from Howard University.
Student / Model / Activist, The GenderCool Project
Please meet Gia Parr (she/her). She is 18-years-old and passionate about advocacy, school, modeling and acting. At 14, Gia helped launch GenderCool by becoming one of their six original “Champions” (transgender and non-binary youth ages 12-17). Click here to learn more about GenderCool and here to hear the Champions explain why “Today is the day that everything changes.”
When Gia transitioned at the start of eighth grade in her small town in Connecticut, the family wrote a “coming out” letter to all the middle school students and their parents. The overwhelming support she received from her community inspired her to share her story on a national level.
Since first sharing her story on the Today with Megan Kelly, Gia and her story have been featured on ABC News, The New York Times, People, USA Today and CBS This Morning. Additionally she served as a Human Rights Campaign Youth Ambassador from 2019-2021. In 2021, she partnered witht the GenderCool Project to write A Kids Book About Being Transgender to help educate others and share her story. In addition to her role as a Champion alum, Gia now serves on the Board of Directors at GenderCool.
Gia is passionate about acting and modeling. She guest-starred in the season 2 finale of Pose opposite Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter. Additionally, she has been featured in Gap’s global Pride Month campaign and Nike’s global BeTrue Campaign. Since October 2022 she has been signed with FORD models.
Currently Gia attends the University of Southern California. She majors in communications and plans to continue her work as an advocate.
As a Miami-raised immigrant from Argentina, Ramón strives to bring the inclusive and celebratory nature of her upbringing to the world. Her cultural experiences with aesthetic pressures made her committed to her work in body diversity and body positivity within the Latinx community. As Peloton’s first Spanish speaking cycling instructor, she has brought a whole new energy to the platform.
Kat Leibbrandt Renick
Captain, U.S. Women's Para Soccer National Team
Kat Leibbrandt Renick is a psychosocial health expert, philanthropist, mother, and captain of the US Women's Para Soccer National team. Kat completed her division 1 collegiate soccer career and graduated from University of South Florida with a B.S. in Health Sciences and B.A. in Health Communications in 2013 and began her career as Certified Child Life Specialist in 2016. As a CCLS, her passions lie in the clinical areas of Burn, Cystic Fibrosis, and the psychosocial health and development of student athletes, Refugees and vulnerable youth.
In the last decade, Kat has invested her life into serving others, professionally and personally, participating in outreach within the United States and internationally. Inspired by her own medical journey, living with a brain aneurysm, myasthenia gravis and ulcerative colitis, Kat founded her own nonprofit, The IamMore Foundation, providing resources and services to children and families living with chronic conditions promoting positive-self worth and facilitating adaptable experiences. In 2022, Kat helped lead her team to become the first ever IFCPF Women's World Champions.
Sports Industry Veteran
A 22-year veteran of the sports industry, Ann’s focus has been on early-stage ventures and business transformation projects with professional sports teams and in retail. She has been a part of launching three start up professional soccer teams, most notably, leading the creation of Atlanta United FC, a record-setting Major League Soccer expansion team. Additionally, she has served as Chief Operating Officer of the Women’s National Basketball Association (the longest-running women’s professional league in the world) and as Chief Strategy & People Officer for the summer Olympic Games (the world’s largest sporting event).
Founder, THE OFFENSE
For the past 20 years, Theresa Tran has worked on brand strategy, product launches, global publicity, sponsorship activation, digital/social media, strategic partnerships/collaborations and philanthropy for some of the world’s best and biggest brands, events, athletes, celebrity talent, sporting legends, and industry icons. Not only has it taken her to nearly 60 countries throughout the world, but her contributions have helped generate millions in revenue growth and billions in media impressions.
Theresa specializes in sports and lifestyle marketing, honed while working for major companies such as Nike, BMW, DKNY, and Miramax Films. While at Nike, she was Director of Communications for the Jordan brand and served as communications lead for all brand, product and sports marketing initiatives. During her tenure, she oversaw various global campaigns and worked closely with Michael Jordan, the Jordan leadership team, and the Jordan athlete roster to ensure a cohesive and creative approach to the growth of the brand and the business.
In 2006, she left Corporate America to pursue an entrepreneurial dream and formed THE OFFENSE, a boutique consultancy that helps clients navigate the world of sports, entertainment, fashion, media, technology, events and pop culture to amplify their image and brand. She quickly assembled a diverse team to work with her on projects all over the world - consulting for companies and individuals on their business expansion and marketing initiatives while injecting her signature style and creativity grounded in traditional brand management.
Past and present clients of THE OFFENSE span mid-to-large size companies, start-up businesses, niche industries and brand-minded individuals.
Theresa earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and International Business from Portland State University. During her spare time, she loves to travel, and vows that she can live and work anywhere in the world, as long as there is good wi-fi, good food and good people (good weather a major plus). Her Saigon, Vietnam birthplace and her Portland, Oregon upbringing forms the basis of "The American Dream", which she lives out every day both personally and professionally.
Dr. Karen Cogan
Team Psychologist, USOPC
Dr. Karen Cogan is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC). She joined the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in Colorado Springs in 2010 as the Senior Sport Psychologist providing services primarily to the Acrobat and Combat Sports. She is currently one of the two Lead Sport Psychological Services Providers and has attended seven Olympic Games as a Sport Psychologist with her teams. Dr. Cogan specializes in athlete mental health and has integrated mental health support into the sport psychology services she provides to athletes. Dr. Cogan received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Ohio State University, an M.S. in Kinesiology from UCLA, and B.A. in Psychology, also from UCLA. Dr. Cogan authored “Sport Psychology Library: Gymnastics” as well as several articles and book chapters. She was a competitive gymnast for 10 years and competed for UCLA’s nationally ranked gymnastics team. More recently, she has raced in triathlons and enjoys hiking in the Colorado mountains with her family.
Deloitte breakout speakers
Career Transition & Strengths Coach, Deloitte
Tracy Angona is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) passionate about helping people reach their potential as they discover what truly energizes and strengthens them! Known for being genuine and straightforward, she encourages others to realize their goals by creating a safe space to brainstorm while also providing accountability as they learn to apply new concepts into their day-to-day.
Prior to joining Deloitte over 22 years ago, she started her career as a recruiter for a staffing firm. She’s held various roles within Talent over the years including recruiting, learning and is grateful to have found her sweet spot leveraging her strengths as a Coach on the Coaching & Transitions team!
As a Certified Brain-Based Success Coach (CBBSC), and well-being ambassador for Deloitte, she also leverages scientifically proven brain-based research and tools to increase resiliency and a positive mindset in those she works with.
Tracy holds a BA in Communications from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and received her coaching certification from Coach U. She also holds the following certifications: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Qualified (MBTI), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), Deloitte Facilitator (DFX Certified), Deloitte Well-being Wizard.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she lives near the Jersey shore, with her husband. When not working, they spend a great deal of time enjoying the local beaches, concerts, and spending time with their families.
Talent Business Advisor, Deloitte
Brenda Arends is a career and lifestyle coach with over 20 years of Human Resources experience, 16 of those years spent with Deloitte. She is currently a coach within Deloitte’s internal career center and partners with clients to unlock and maximize their personal and professional potential.
Brenda’s natural curiosity and empathy led her to turn her HR background into a coaching career that she believes can make a true impact in people’s lives.
Brenda holds a BS in Business from Northern Illinois University and a PHR (Professional in Human Resources). She received her professional coaching designation from Coach U. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago along with her husband Joe and her two children, Bianca (7) and Beau (5). She is an avid runner and health nut who doesn’t sit still for long. She’s usually on the go with her family in tow, finding adventure around every corner.
Career Coach, Deloitte
Hugh Cohen is professional coach with 25 years of experience that combines career coaching and talent acquisition where he has helped his clients grow and thrive throughout their career journeys. Hugh delivers customized coaching and innovative career ownership experiences focusing on effective branding, networking and relationship building. He thrives on empowering professionals to better understand who they are and what they love to do, and how to own their own success.
Hugh holds a B.A. in psychology from Binghamton University and is a Certified Practitioner of The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator instruments as well as a Certified Professional Retirement Coach. A native New Yorker, he now lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife Judy and has two sons, Holden and Griffin. The parents have just started to experience the many joys and benefits of an empty nest. Hugh is an avid sports fan (Mets, Jets, Knicks, etc.) and is a recovering marathon runner.
Professional Coach, Deloitte
Brian is a career and transitions coach with nearly twenty years of experience in human resources and organizational leadership. He is currently a coach within Deloitte’s internal career center and partners with clients at all stages of their careers to explore and unlock their potential through creating greater awareness and alignment with purpose and values.
Brian holds an MBA from The George Washington University and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Colorado. He lives in Takoma Park, MD with his wife Katie and two children Owen (4) and Nia (2). He is passionate about the outdoors, adventure sports, live music, and exploring the world with his family. Brian is also a meditation instructor and has been practicing and studying mindfulness and meditation for more than fifteen years.
Coaching & Transitions Leader, Deloitte
Tracy leads a team of talented coaches who provide resources to help Deloitte leaders and professionals thrive at various points along their career journey – while at Deloitte, and beyond. She provides a unique combination of coaching and consulting designed to help her clients identify their goals, articulate their personal brand and execute strategies to own their career success. As part of Deloitte Leadership & Human Potential, she coaches Deloitte’s people to own their brand and their career, designed to support business agility, increase employee engagement and create strong colleagues for life relationships with Deloitte alumni.
She has spent over 30 years in professional services, developing and implementing innovative talent initiatives sparking employee and alumni engagement and career ownership. Tracy launched her career at Arthur Andersen, starting in external audit client service prior to discovering her passion for the Talent side of the business. She joined Deloitte in 2002 and has led the Coaching & Transitions team since 2011.
Tracy holds an undergraduate degree in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University, is a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC), a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and a Certified Brain-Based Success Coach (CBBSC). In addition, she is certified in both the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Deloitte’s Business Chemistry assessment. As a Deloitte Faculty Excellence (DFX) facilitator, she delivers engaging learning opportunities for our professionals. Tracy also serves as an Empowered Well-being Wizard, sharing programming to support the well-being of Deloitte professionals, in body, mind and purpose.
Outside of work, Tracy volunteers her time to her alma mater, NIU, as a recruitment and retention volunteer. She lives in the suburban Chicago area with her family – husband Gary, a personal trainer, daughter Giovanna, an aspiring therapist preparing for grad school and son Domenic, a future finance mogul and college freshman.
Leadership & Mindset Coach, Deloitte
Lisa Williams is a leadership and mindset coach with nearly 30 years’ experience in Talent/HR leadership roles. Lisa is currently leading an internal career center pilot to enhance the career experience of professionals at Deloitte. She partners with clients seeking clarity, inspiring a deep focus on their ‘who,’ to better align with what they do and how they live in order to experience greater passion, purpose and joy each day.
Lisa is a creative thinker and strategist, fascinated by the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, which led her into corporate human resources nearly 3 decades ago. She’s partnered with business leaders on talent strategy to drive business outcomes and is passionate about leading and developing teams, mentoring and community service.
Lisa holds a BA in English from Binghamton University and received her professional coaching designation from iPEC. She lives on Long Island in New York with life partner, Dan and her son, Taylor. She is energized about health and fitness, faith and fun. On weekends, you can find her kayaking, hiking, gardening or at the beach with family & friends.
Leadership & Human Potential, Deloitte
Mark has 30 years of Career Coaching, Talent Acquisition, and HR leadership experience in Management Consulting, Technology, Fortune 500 and start-up companies across various industries and service areas. He has coached hundreds of clients through professional career transitions, by providing unique recruiter and employer perspectives and insights. Mark is passionate about coaching especially when it comes to salary/offer negotiations, where his clients truly benefit from his extensive recruiting experience.
Mark joined Deloitte in 2000 as a Senior Recruiting Manager for the Consulting practice in Sacramento, CA. He went on to lead the recruiting effort for Deloitte’s Extended Business Services practice, which involved rolling out new employment staffing models across the Firm that are still in use today. He joined the Transition Assistance team in 2009, where he enjoys the ability to utilize his many years of talent acquisition experience in a slightly different way.
A Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Professional, Mark has a straightforward and honest approach in helping his clients through their job search. He truly loves coaching his clients, and pays this forward outside of Deloitte by conducting Job Search Workshops on a volunteer basis to several churches in his community.
Mark earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from San Jose State University. He is an active alumnus and speaker for the San Jose State School of Business, were he also helps new graduates prepare for their job search in their chosen careers.