Past Speakers

2014 Speakers

Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of New York Times Bestselling memoir, CARRY ON, WARRIOR.  She is the founder Momastery.com, an online community where more than 100,000 readers meet daily to read Glennon’s shameless and hilarious essays about marriage, motherhood, faith, addiction, recovery and connection. Glennon is the creator and president of a non-profit organization that has connected countless families in need with hundreds of thousands of dollars in critical resources (http://www.monkeeseemonkeedo.org). Find her on Twitter at @Momastery       Katie Brewer, CFP, works as a financial planner at LearnVest, a registered investment adviser and award-winning personal finance company. With over 9 years of financial planning and investment planning experience, Katie has worked with clients nationwide to help them make progress on their money. Katie joined LearnVest in 2012, and prior to LearnVest, she worked for Placemark Investments, Thrivent Financial and Elite Financial Management. Katie has a B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University, an MBA from Texas Tech University, and Certificate in Financial Planning from Southern Methodist University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and holds the Series 65 license. Katie is also a member of the Financial Planning Association.

Karen Walrond

Karen Walrond

Karen Walrond‘s bestselling book, The Beauty of Different, is a chronicle of imagery and portraiture, combined with written essays and observations on the concept that what makes us different makes us beautiful — and may even be the source of our superpowers. Karen is also the author of Chookooloonks, an award-winning photoblog. Karen’s writing, images and other projects have been featured on CNN.com, USA Today, Good Housekeeping and Wondertime magazines, among others. She is a proud and awestruck member of the advisory board of the ONE Moms, a part of the ONE Campaign, a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease in developing countries, particularly in Africa. She’s a former engineer and an attorney, holding a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association.  Find her on Twitter at @Chookooloonks

Heather Schuck

Heather Schuck

As the CEO and founder of the leading children’s brand, Glamajama, Heather Schuck is a well respected and admired mom entrepreneur. Despite her lack of fashion or business experience, she was able to turn her failed eBay hobby into a multi-million dollar company with her uncompromising will, eagerness to learn, and endless determination. Since then, the celebrity favorite line has been sold at hundreds of boutiques throughout the states at major retail outlets. Always an early adopter and believer in the power of community, she launched the mom community website, glamaLIFE.com, in 2010.While Heather feels blessed with her role as a lifestyle entrepreneur, her greatest role is being a proud mother. Heather’s book, The Working Mom Manifesto isn’t just another preachy “guru” book.  It’s an open conversation with a best friend who’s walked in their shoes. A friend who will inspire you to re-define success, to take back control of your life, and to create happiness. It’s the story of a working mother who stumbled and fell, but had the courage to pick herself back up and transform her life from disaster to renewal in 12 months. Find Heather at @glamajama.

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Liz Kreutz

Eight years ago, Elizabeth Kreutz photographed the Tour de France for the first time. Her ability to uniquely capture personality in her photographs soon caught the eye of Newsweek and, since then, sports photography has regularly taken Elizabeth around the world. A lifelong athlete herself, Kreutz understands the importance of establishing a connection with her subjects. Whether she’s shooting the Olympics or a grueling triathlon, Kreutz maintains her 50/50 principle — equal parts photography and the relationship to her subjects. Kreutz’s work has been featured in a long list of the world’s leading publications including Time, Sports Illustrated, and The Guardian. Her photos have represented many iconic brands including Nike and Oakley. Her photo of Michael Phelps graced a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box following the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kreutz is also Lance Armstrong’s personal photographer and they co-authored the book Comeback 2.0: Up Close and Personal. Find Liz on Twitter at @LizKreutz.

Bridget Dunlap

Bridget Dunlap

A mother and native Houstonian, Bridget Dunlap worked as a Pilates instructor and technical writer, periodically taking jobs as a waitress or bartender, when destiny came calling. After helping a friend develop a business plan for a bar, a spark was lit. Within months, Dunlap had raised the necessary funds to open her own Houston bar. Three jobs and two years later, Pearl Bar opened in 2008 to extraordinary success, paying back Dunlap’s investors within a remarkable time frame of four months. By late 2009, Dunlap had sold Pearl Bar and moved to Austin, where she discovered the struggling downtown Rainey Street neighborhood. With grit and determination, she transformed the dilapidated hood into a booming social district that Austinites flock to. The former Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, Bar 96 and Container Bar make Rainey Street the sought after destination it is. Dunlap’s success is diverse and unstoppable and includes Mettle, her debut restaurant that critics are already praising. Find Bridget on Twitter at @BridgetDunlapTX

Yasmin Diallo Turk

Yasmin Diallo Turk

Yasmin Diallo Turk is a passionate advocate for women, parent to two young children, and geographer making her way from GED to PhD. Ms. Turk graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Sociology from Huston-Tillotson University, a Master’s in Global Policy from the University of Texas (LBJ School of Public Affairs) and is now in her final year as a PhD student at Texas State University in the Department of Geography. In addition to her work in academia, Ms. Turk is in her twelfth year working directly with survivors of sexual and domestic violence at SafePlace. Through Ms. Turk’s commitment to volunteerism, she serves as a Girl Scout co-leader, an Arabic language interpreter for American Gateways, mentor to girls who will be first generation college attendees. In her role with HOPE for Senegal, Ms. Turk has raised more than $40,000 to grant scholarships to girls, build a science lab, and bring drinking water to a school of more than 4,000 students. Find Yasmin on Twitter at @HOPEforSengal.

Melinda Garvey, AW Media

Melinda Garvey

Melinda Garvey is regarded as one of the most dynamic women in the greater Austin area for her work as a successful female entrepreneur, community philanthropist and role model. As founder and Publisher of Austin Woman Magazine, entering its 11th year of publication, and  ATXMAN Magazine, she is responsible for leading the fastest-growing niche publications in Central Texas. As a community leader, she is a powerful contributor to many Austin organizations and serves as a mentor for young organizations and businesses. Garvey also served as Entrepreneur In Residence for The McCombs Business School at The University of Texas for the 2011-2012 school year. With proven publishing and marketing expertise, Garvey has guided Austin Woman Magazine to become the first successful women’s business and lifestyle publication highlighting entrepreneurs and causes in the greater Austin area. The magazine has become highly recognized for its in-depth profiles and success stories on distinguished, educated and interesting women, with well-remembered covers on Susan Dell, Luci Baines Johnson, Jody Conradt, Liz Carpenter, and many others. Find Melinda on Twitter at @AustinWoman.

Meredith Walker, Smart Girls

Meredith Walker

Meredith Walker began her television career with Nickelodeon’s “NICK NEWS.”  During her time there, the show won the Peabody Award as well as several Emmys. Working her way up to senior producer, Walker traveled to all 50 states to interview kids who had interesting stories to tell. This would become the foundation for her deepening interest in the lives of young people.  Next, she served as head of the Talent Department at the iconic “Saturday Night Live,” where she met her best friend, Amy Poehler. Now living in Austin, Walker offers her time as a mentor at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, gives speeches on how you can be a “Smart Girl” no matter your age or place in life, and devotes lots of her time and talent to what has become her passion:  Taking the Smart Girls message out to the world. By producing the shows on the channel and website she co-created with Amy Poehler, Meredith has seen what lights up the women of all ages who want to cultivate their authentic selves. Smart Girls is a groundbreaking way to use the internet to inspire, encourage and celebrate the lives of young women.  In addition, Walker heads the Smart Girls camp, after school programs and workshops. Find Meredith on Twitter at @SmrtGrls.

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Lorie Marrero

Lorie Marrero is the bestselling author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life and The Home Office Handbook. She is also the creator of ClutterDiet.com, an innovative program allowing anyone to get expert help at an affordable price. Her organizing books and products are sold online and in stores nationwide. Lorie is a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, and she is a sought-after expert for national media such as CNBC, Family Circle, WGN News and Woman’s Day. She has also served as a spokesperson for many other companies, including Staples, Brother, and Microsoft, and she happily lives in Austin TX.

Marci Fair

Marci Fair

Marci Fair’s life is a series of “never-say-never” events. From building a real estate sales business with her husband to be ranked in the top 100 teams in the United States, to opening real estate offices for Keller Williams Realty in Georgia, to now being involved in and owning several real estate related businesses – several of which were things she said she would never do. Even with all of the unexpected events in her life, as a serious goal setter, there are many dreams she has stretched and grown to reach. Kares 4 Kids is one of them. Dreaming of it in 1991, she created the charity in 2005 to serve children in need. Through their Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners offices, they have passed their original goal and have now served over 15,000 children (and counting!). On top of all the professional accomplishments, however, there are four other major never say never events in her life, that have significantly shaped her journey – having each of her four children. Marci continues to reach her goals with her newest accomplishment, TILT: 7 Solutions to Being a Guilt Free Working Mom. Find Marci on Twitter at @marcifair.

Sam Davidson, Cultivate

Sam Davidson

Sam Davidson began her career in public relations and marketing in 1989 after receiving a BA in Art History from Baylor University. After holding high profile positions in Texas, she found her way to New York in 1998, where the roots of restaurant, design and lifestyle PR and marketing firmly took hold. After working for Susan Becher Public Relations, Peppercom and Clifford Public Relations, Sam moved to Austin. As Event Director for the Austin Film Society Sam directed events such as the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2002 and 2003, The Spy Kids 3 premiere and Dazed and Confused 10 Year Reunion. Soon after the arrival of son Nate in 2003, and in quick succession the birth of twins Stella and Ruby in 2005, Sam returned to work for Central Austin Management Group in 2004. In 2008, Sam and her team expanded to take on new clients as a full service public relations and marketing firm, Cultivate PR, which was the realization of her dream to work with diverse clients of the highest quality and a team of extremely talented, smart and fun people while melding family and work and allowing family to remain first for her and the Cultivate team. Find Sam on Twitter at @CultivatePR.

Trish Morrison, MomCom

Trish Morrison

Trish Morrison, MomCom Founder and CEO, is addicted to women’s stories and believes we can change the world by telling ours. A former marketing director, database manager, sales person and night club manager, Trish has never been a nine to fiver and believes that we can change the way we do business to accommodate the way we want to live our lives. She also believes women hold the power the make this world a better place and “When two women meet with open minds and open hearts, miracles happen.” Trish earned an MBA from St. Edward’s University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She lives in Austin with her hot firefighter husband, Homero and brilliant daughter Delilah, who will always be Trish’s greatest accomplishment, no matter where their futures take them. @atxtrish @momcomlife#MomUP! #MomCom15, #thepowerofmotherhood

Wendi Aarons

Wendi Aarons

Wendi Aarons is an award-winning humor writer and blogger who lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two sons. In the past few years, she has written for a large number of publications including McSweeneys, and for Esther’s Follies, Austin’s famous comedy revue. She is the 2012 winner of “Funniest Blog” from Parents Magazine, a writer for the US Weekly Fashion Police and has spoken on humor writing at the BlogHer, MomCom and Mom 2.0, and Texas Conference for Women conferences. Aarons is also the co-producer and director of the live stage show “Listen To Your Mother Austin,” and is one of the creators of Mouthy Housewives and @PaulRyanGosling. Find Wendi on Twitter at  @wendiaarons and @MouthyHousewife.

Claire and Lauren

The M.I.L.K. Maids, Claire Jordan & Lauren Bayne

Two years ago, Lauren Bayne and Claire Jordan set forth on a journey to get to know as many fascinating women as possible. They were from all walks of life, with numerous professions, backgrounds and upbringings. But they all had one thing in common: motherhood. What started as an online publication featuring in-depth interviews with Moms, has grown into a multi-media celebration of motherhood. M.I.L.K. interviews have been featured in publications such as Texas Live Magazine and on do512family.com. Lauren and Claire have also enjoyed making a public appearances, emceeing local events like MomCom and the Great Moments in Parenting anniversary party as well as hosting the first ever bloggers’ lounge at the Texas Conference for Women. M.I.L.K. also finds ways to shine the light on moms in the community through its signature events like Moms Rock!, the first SXSW showcase to feature a line up of talented mom musicians, and MILK MOB, an event series supporting local mom-owned businesses. Find them on Twitter at @MeetTheMilk.

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