our 2022 keynote speakers

Montrece McNeill Ransom

Opening Keynote: Sept 13th 1:00 -1:50

Montrece Ransom, JD, MPH, ACC, BCC is one of Entrepreneur Mogul’s Top 5 Most Influential Coaches of 2021. And she is on a mission to unleash human potential through the power of belonging. She is a Belongify certified Belonging Coach, a DEI Certified trainer, an ICF-certified executive leadership coach, and the host of the Empowerment L.A.B. podcast and YouTube show. With leadership experience spanning law, public health, and workforce development, Montrece has a deep understanding of the impact of belonging on our health, success, confidence, and ability to self-actualize. Over the past two decades, she has trained, coached, and mentored thousands to build authentic lives, careers, and businesses. In this interactive keynote address, Montrece will remind us that anywhere we are called or aspire to be, we belong. Participants will learn to apply principles of belonging to networking and relationship building, tips to build confidence in their unique identity as an entrepreneur, and identify their entrepreneurial “tribe.” At the heart of this address will be a discussion of ways they can use their voices to better advocate for themselves and practical ways to cultivate a culture of belonging for women entrepreneurs, and in the future. 

Lacy Dicharry

Opening Keynote: Sept 14th 9:45 -10:30

Lacy Dicharry, MS, MBA, CDTLF, is an award-winning international speaker, published author, mental  health, foster care, and  recovery advocate, and an expert in stakeholder engagement, change management, and leadership  and organizational development. Over
the past 20 years, her work  has impacted more than  275,000+ individuals in more than 52+ countries across 6 continents, across industries including corporate, small business, government, non-profit, healthcare, and education sectors. Lacy is a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, Past-President of the International Foster Care Organisation, and on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America. She was a 2014 VOICE Award winner for her advocacy efforts to promote mental health and is a thought leader in lived experience workforce and leadership development. Currently, Lacy serves as the Leadership Development Coordinator for Woman’s Hospital and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Resource Development at Louisiana State University.

Lauren Conaway

Closing Keynote: Sept 14th 4:00-4:45

With a diverse background in business and over 20 years of experience working with organizations ranging from large corporations to nonprofits to startups, Lauren Conaway is a Swiss Army knife ready to tell women’s stories and help them level up as leaders.  

Lauren began her career in operational management roles working for large corporations such as Hilton Hotels and Boeing Aerospace in her hometown of Saint Louis, MO. As her career progressed, she found herself working in the predominately male industries of aerospace, automotive and IT. It was in these roles that she experienced a first taste of the inequities women often experience in the workplace.

After a move to Kansas City in 2009, Lauren took the leap and founded Ideative Creative, a boutique marketing agency and consulting firm and discovered the power of entrepreneurship. She began connecting with the amazing entrepreneurs that call KC home and in 2017, Lauren joined Startland and the Kansas City Startup Village as Director of Operations. There, she was able to connect with amazing women entrepreneurs and leaders across the city and through that work, identified a need to connect these women in meaningful ways. She began to find methods to convene them through popup events and a virtual community called Startup Sheroes – which ultimately evolved into InnovateHER KC.

Today, Lauren Conaway serves as an advocate for women as founder and CEO of InnovateHER KC, a 5,400+ member leadership community that serves women and individuals from marginalized gender groups in the verticals of entrepreneurship, community advocacy, civic engagement, education, nonprofit and corporate management and the arts. Through InnovateHER KC and as host of the Startup Hustle Podcast, a top 20 entrepreneurship podcast on Apple podcasts, she makes it her mission to amplify, elevate and celebrate badass women doing kickass things in Kansas City and beyond, facilitating space for leadership development, a supportive network, resource sharing and mentorship for marginalized leaders and founders.


Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

our 2022 speakers

Sept 13th - Session 1: 2:00-2:45

Sandra Smart

Topic: "Planning and Predicting Your Company's Cash Needs"

Cash is crucial to successful long-term business operations. Join this session to learn about creating and using a cash budget to prepare for future business performance and how to analyze your predictions to make more informed decisions. We’ll talk about forecasting sales, estimating receivables and expenses, and other operational considerations as we work through an example to help you utilize this process in your own business.

Lucas Walker

Topic: "Transforming Your Product into Something Irresistible So Your Marketing Actually Works"

Learn the elements of an irresistible product and dispel the marketing myths that are so common in the entrepreneurial space. This will help business owners avoid shiny objects and stay focused on what really matters. Through graphics, stories, and interactive audience participation examples, you will leave clearly knowing what to work on in your business to find the next level of success!

Jill Phillips

Topic: "Power Strategies for Imposter Syndrome"

This power session will look Imposter Syndrome face to face by identifying: what it is, how it affects you, warning signs, common internal beliefs, (specifically women) with facts and stats, psychology based models to understand and a strength-based system to help you move forward with greater clarity, confidence and energy.

Sept 13th - Session 2: 3:00-3:45

Mary Overbey

Topic: "Microlending : Accessing Capital When the Bank Says No"

Are you having trouble securing a loan through a traditional bank lender? SBA-backed microlenders are designated to work with small business owners to help them with all of these issues and help them get them “bank-loan ready”…..all while keeping you out of high-interest rate loans and credit cards. In this session, you’ll learn about available microloan options and how to access them.

Melodee Colbert Kean

Topic: "Frozen? Five Steps to Let it Go! "

We, as women especially, find ways to devalue ourselves and play down our worth because our mind tells us we are not good enough to do or be. We are good at putting on masks and pretending, while our authentic selves are crying out to go after whatever it is that we have to give to the world. When we realize, learn, embrace and implement five simple steps, we find that we can Let it all Go and move from Frozen to Action!

Carolina Vargas

Topic: "Getting Certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business "

In this session, we will cover the requirements for certification, benefits for certification, the difference between EDWOSB (Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses)  versus WOSB (Women-Owned Small Businesses) and hints for submitting a successful application.

Sept 13th - Session 3: 4:00-4:45

Lydia Paasch

Topic: "Profitability: The Health Metric of Your Business"

In this interactive training, the often boring and complicated topic of accounting will be turned inside out to make sense no matter what industry, size, or level your business is at! Learn bookkeeping and Profit First basics to keep your business’s finances on track (and in budget!) with a helpful workbook in this session.

Arianna Russell

Topic: "Networking Your Way to a Community"

A business is only as good as its network, but many individuals do not know how to grow or utilize their networks. We tend to forget that not only can we use a network for referrals, but we can also use it as an educational and mental health resource. In this session, we’ll talk through real life scenarios and uncover the most important things to look at when targeting people to grow your business.

Laura Scheele

Topic: "Creating an Impactful One-Liner to Influence Your Business's Audience"

In this workshop we will define your business’ target audience, discuss how to speak to that audience, and figure out what that audience’s biggest problem is. Then we will workshop how to construct a one-liner that speaks directly to that audience in the most impactful way.

Sept 14th - Session 1: 10:45-11:30

Stephanie Cumley

Topic: "Creating Successful Hybrid and Fully Remote Work Arrangements"

Join us as we take a close look at the pros and cons of allowing employees to work remotely. We will discuss the importance of having a telecommuting agreement, tips to monitor output and performance, utilizing technology to improve communication among team members, and the importance of keeping remote workers engaged and helping them feel connected to the team and organization.

Heather Noggle

Topic: "Cyber Hygiene in Business"

The session will cover the cyber hygiene best practices as well as WHY they’re important, applicable, and interrelated. Watch as a network is hacked (in a controlled environment) and how simple it is to illustrate why everyone needs a password manager with strong passwords that are never reused. With this story-infused session, you’ll learn about multi-factor authentication, authentication apps, and other cybersecurity tools to keep your business safe.

Talia Cassell

Topic: "Social Media Marketing 101: Learn How to Tap into the Power of Social Media"

Learn which social media platform your target demographic is on and how to build out a strategy on that platform. From there, we’ll go into best practices, algorithm hacks, and types of content to use! You’ll leave with actionable steps and exercises you can use in the future to make social media easier to tackle in your business.

Sept 14th - Session 2: 11:45-12:30

Elizabeth Hurst

Topic: "Interviewing Excellence"

A well-developed recruit-to-hire process has never been more critical to employer recruitment & retention efforts. Attendees of this training will learn how to interview prep, establish rapport, generate interest in your company, give a realistic job preview, and increase new employee commitment and engagement while avoiding biases and compliance pitfalls (what not to say) through structured interviews.

Mackenzie Scherer

Topic: "Tips and Tricks to Better Your Business with Google"

In this session we will work through your very own Google My Business to get it optimized for local searches. We will talk about tips, resources and tricks that marketing companies use to grow your business locally, along with the basics of how to understand the analytics listed on your Business profile in this interactive workshop!

Christine Morton

Topic: "How to Use Instagram Reels to Effectively Market Your Business"

In this condensed version of an Instagram reel bootcamp, learn what reels are & why they’re important, how to get comfortable being on video, and how to create within the platform – in fact, we’ll film a reel together right inside this session! With the correct content strategy, you’ll be able to take your business’s Instagram account to another level.

Sept 14th - Session 3: 1:45-2:30

Mandi Young

Topic: "Project Management Tools to Help Grow Your Business"

Starting and growing a business takes more than just drive and good ideas – it requires knowing the right tools, and creating the right structures to move forward. In this session, learn how to use project management tools and techniques to create a proactive action plan, reduce decision fatigue, and reach your goals! Attendees will receive a worksheet and recommended reading/listening list to move forward.

Taylor Gunter

Topic: "Maximizing Productivity and Growth with CRM Solutions"

Discover the importance of utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in your business, including the pain points that a CRM can address. We will go over a brief overview of the typical sales process and why a CRM is important for sales and marketing efforts for both managers of sales teams and one person sales efforts. Leave feeling confident in choosing the right system for your business and have a plan for moving forward.

Jonathan Bell

Topic: "How to Interact with and Market to Gen Z"

Gain a better understanding of what it takes to attract the Gen Z community on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more!

Sept 14th - Session 4: 2:45-3:30

Jana Moreno

Topic: "Balancing Self Care While Building Your Business"

There is a balance that must be struck when it comes to self-care, and when we fail to take care of ourselves while being an entrepreneur, we impact our body and the overall success of our business! During this session, we will cover things such as “signs of burnout” and “differences between resting and being lazy”; as well as business mindset.

Dina Readinger

Topic: " Using Neurobiology to Make Better Business Decisions"

This presentation will explain the neurobiology of how women make decisions. Participants will be offered a free Core Values Index, a foundational scientifically vetted assessment for repeatability and learn the art of leveraging who they are to create what they want and desire for life and work. This session will be a full 45 minutes of solving real-world problems!

Round Tables

Topic: "Get Business Help From SCORE Mentors"

Join SCORE mentors and experts in working through your business problems

Sept 14th - Session 4: 2:45-3:30 Round Tables

Stacey Frye

Round Table: "What Small Business Owners Should Know About Tracking Their Business Finances"

Have questions about Business expenses or financial tracking? Join our mentor Stacey Frye in conversations about your businesses financial health.

Bob Headlee

Round Table: " Time Management: Getting the Most From Your Day"

Struggle to keep up with the daily tasks of running your business? Join our Mentor Bob Headlee to work through issues in your time management process.

David Jarkins

Topic: "Get Business Help From SCORE Mentors"

Processes and procedures got you down? Talk with David about the most important policies and procedures to put in place for your business.

Karl Baker

Round Table: "Simple Steps for Small Business and Startup Funding"

Want to start a business? Lets talk about the basics with Karl. Learn what is needed to get started with a solid foundation.

John Sample

Round Table: "Retirement Planning and Insurance for Business Owners"

Retirement is a huge part of owning a business that few owners put in place. Learn some great info for your future with John.

Tim Dobyns

Round Table: "Why Doing Good is Good for Business: How Social Responsibility Can Help Attract and Retain Talent"

Hiring and keeping quality employees is a struggle. Learn some great info from Tim on how doing good can bring you good staff.

View Schedule