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Facilitated by Kelley Gay

SVP and CMO, OneAmerica

Trailblazing journeys

Practical Advice for Journeyers:

lessons learned along the way

Join OneAmerica CMO, NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion, and IWL Conference alum, Kelley Gay, in conversation with four other amazing and trailblazing women as they share their own journey stories – victories, defeats and lessons learned – and provide actionable advice for OWNING THE JOURNEY. 

Dr. Talithia Williams

Television Host, Groundbreaking Professor, Popular TED Speaker, Inspiring Author, Passionate STEM/STEAM Advocate

A host of the PBS series, NOVA Wonders, Dr. Talithia Williams is a groundbreaking professor, popular TED speaker, inspiring author and passionate STEM/STEAM advocate. She has made it her life’s work to get people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the bold possibilities of a STEM education and to “STEMpower” women and minorities to enter these professions. 

In her childhood, Talithia had always been fascinated by science. While she wasn’t the top student in her class, she did pretty well in math throughout her school years. During her senior year of high school, Talithia took an AP Calculus class. Her teacher pulled her aside after class one day and told her that she should consider majoring in math in college. Having someone outside of her friends and family affirm her mathematical ability, and encourage her to pursue an education in mathematics, had an enormous impact as Talithia earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, a master’s degree in mathematics from Howard University and a Ph.D. in statistics from Rice University.

A true STEM advocate, Talithia authored the inspirational Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics, a full-color volume that takes aim at the forgotten influence of women on the development of mathematics over the last two millennia. Each biography featured in the book reveals the amazing life of a different female mathematician, from her childhood and early influences, to the obstacles she faced and the great achievements she made in spite of them. Like Talithia’s own story, one thing uniting these women’s stories is that at some point on their journeys, someone believed in them; someone made them think the impossible was perhaps not so impossible.


Coach Dar Santore

Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO, Performance Meets Purpose Consulting

In the words of Darleen Santore, “setbacks don’t define you and comebacks refine you.” After suffering a stroke in her 20s Darleen, better known as “Coach Dar,” made a deal with God that she would begin again with a renewed spirit and faith, and a dedication to helping others awaken their greatness and live out their life’s purpose. 

And for the past 23 years she has. After every personal setback, including two additional strokes and the loss of her parents, Coach Dar has learned to “embrace the suck” and bounce back higher than ever. She dedicates her every-waking moment to help others do the same. Through perseverance she furthered her career and in 2008 founded her own consulting business, Performance Meets Purpose, where she combines her knowledge in science, psychology and leadership with her personal passion for life. 

Her profound coaching techniques have become the sought-after method for professional athletes, Fortune 100 executives, and world leaders. Coach Dar is also a motivational speaker and author of the bestselling new book, The Art of Bouncing Back: Find Your Flow To Thrive at Work and in Life – Anytime You’re Off Your Game.

Knowing that any day could be her last, Coach Dar continues to strive for personal growth and thanks God everyday she is alive and has the opportunity and ability to use her talents to inspire others to reach their greatest potential. It truly is her life’s mission to awaken greatness in herself and others.


Steph Jagger

World-Record Setting Endurance Athlete, Speaker, Author of Two Bestselling Memoirs

Steph Jagger had always been a force of nature. Dissatisfied with the passive, limited roles she saw for women growing up, she emulated the men in her life – chasing success, climbing the corporate ladder, ticking the boxes, playing by the rules of a masculine ideal. She was accomplished. She was living “The Dream.” But it wasn’t her dream. 

Then the universe caught her attention with a sign: Raise Restraining Device. Steph had seen this ski lift sign on countless occasions in the past, but the familiar words suddenly became a personal call to shake off the life she had built in a search for something different, something more. 

Steph soon decided to walk away from the success and security she had worked long and hard to obtain. She quit her job, took out a second mortgage on her house, sold everything except her ski equipment and her laptop, and bought a bundle of plane tickets. For the next year, she followed winter across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand – and up and down the mountains of nine countries – on a mission to set a world record and ski four million vertical feet in a year. 

What hiking was for Cheryl Strayed, skiing became for Steph: a crucible in which to crack open her life and get to the very center of herself. But she would have to break herself down – first physically, then emotionally – before she could start to rebuild. And it was through this journey that she came to understand how to be a woman, how to love, and how to live authentically. 

Electrifying, heartfelt, and full of humor, Steph’s story is shared in her memoir, Unbound, an odyssey of courage and self-discovery that, like Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, inspires others to remove their own restraining devices and pursue the lives they are meant to lead.


Maggie Chan Jones

Author, Speaker, Marketing and Technology Thought Leader, Groundbreaking CMO

Maggie Chan Jones blazed her way through adversity and right to the top of the corporate ladder!

 Maggie was the first woman to become Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at SAP, the world’s largest enterprise application software company, and named one of Forbes’ Top 20 World’s Most Influential CMOs in 2017.  She knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle of your career aspirations. She also knows firsthand the obstacles many women and underrepresented minorities encounter as they climb the corporate ladder.

 Maggie was raised by a widowed grandmother and a single mom in Hong Kong.  At just 14 years old, she left her family and friends, and immigrated to New York City to pursue her dreams of higher education. Maggie went on to rise through the ranks of iconic tech companies like ADIC, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Level 3 Communications, and SAP. As an Asian American woman, Maggie realized that her ascension to the C-suite in the tech industry was rare… but it shouldn’t be. Despite her own success, Maggie saw a bigger challenge needed solving – the lack of diversity at the top. This was her motivation behind founding her company Tenshey, whose mission is to advance diversity in the workplace by elevating diverse talent through executive and career coaching, and to infuse cultures of inclusion in companies.  Tenshey has developed award-winning Women Sponsorship Programs.

 Now as CEO of Tenshey and a Board Director for public and private companies, Maggie is a fierce advocate for women and underrepresented minorities in leadership and in the Boardroom.

In her new book, Decoding Sponsorship, Maggie Chan Jones pulls back the curtain and shares stories and lessons she learned along her journey to becoming CMO (her Career North Star).  She shares how sponsorship played a significant role in her and others’ careers, the inspiration for Tenshey’s Women Sponsorship Programs, and the multiplier effect sponsorship has on leadership pipelines as well as developing a culture of belonging, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  



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