Announcing our Keynote Speakers

Speakers: Keynote Speakers | A – F | G – M | N – S | S – Z

Brené Brown

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. There, she’s spent the past ten years studying a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the questions: How do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity, spirit, and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to embrace our imperfections and to recognize that we are enough—that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy?

Brené is the author of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power (Gotham, 2007) and two forthcoming books, The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who We Think We Should Be and Embracing Who We Are (Hazelden, 2010) and Wholehearted: Spiritual Adventures in Falling Apart, Growing Up, and Finding Joy (Hazelden, 2011). Brené’s work has been featured on PBS and the Oprah and Friends Radio Network, and her articles have appeared in Self magazine, Elle magazine, and many national newspapers. Most recently, Houston Women Magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Influential Women of 2009.”

Brené lives in Houston with her husband Steve and their two children, Ellen and Charlie.

Twitter: @brenebrown

Petri Darby

Petri Darby, APR, is the national director of brand marketing and digital strategy for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. He has worked on the agency and client sides, in the corporate and nonprofit arenas, and owned his own PR and marketing business for several years. He also has worked on more than a dozen political campaigns. As far as he knows, Petri is the only two-time winner of the USA Today Online Haiku Contest. He loves bacon and politics and hates clowns and quitter socks. He lives north of Houston with his wife and two young, hilarious sons. On Twitter he is @darbyDARNIT.

Rachael Herrscher

Rachael Herrscher is CEO and co-founder of, an online media and publishing company founded in 2004. TodaysMama produces regional reference guides for mothers and families and has a presence in 27 markets across the U.S. In her role as CEO Rachael oversees general business operations, new market development, partnerships, and marketing initiatives. She is also a featured blogger on Rachael was a finalist for the 2007 Stevie Awards “Best Young Entrepreneur” award, was named one of Utah Business Magazine’s 30 Women to Watch in 2009 and one of the “Top 5 CEO’s you Should Watch on Twitter” by Business Week Magazine. recently won “Best Blog” for the Utah Social Media Club Awards. She was also recently featured in the book “UpStarts!: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business.” Rachael was also 1 of 9 women just listed in the v100 as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in Utah to lead a successful startup in the next 5-7 years.

Twitter: @todaysmama

Niri Jaganath

After being born in South Africa and surviving everything from poverty to riots, Nirasha (known as Niri) shelved her desire for writing in a turbulent time to pursue a career in software engineering.  While dusting off the remnants of Apartheid, Niri left for the shores of the USA to be a techno-geek by day while pursuing philanthropic interests by night.  Fast forward to 12 years later.  With a baby in tow, Niri traded the rat race for her rug rats and turned back to her passion of writing at  Niri has been featured on, and India New England; has worked on several charitable projects while harnessing the power of blogging to end teacher-funded classrooms; taken part in Rwanda Path2Peace; built playgrounds with Kaboom and the End Child Hunger campaign.  She has also been nominated for the Nickelodeon Parent’s Pick Award.

Blog: Mommy Niri
Twitter: @MommyNiri

Jyl Johnson Pattee

Jyl Johnson Pattee is the founder of Mom It Forward and the popular Girls’ Night Out (#gno) Twitter parties where women and brands connect weekly 140 characters at a time. She is also the co-organizer of the evo’10 Conference. Companies including Ann Taylor, Crayola, Famous Footwear, OfficeMax, and PBS Kids have engaged Jyl for her social media expertise and her ability to bring a brand into the online conversation in a fun, meaningful, and influential manner. Offline, Jyl is a mom to two boys; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Twitter: @jylmomIF and @momitforward

Stephanie Quilao

Stephanie Quilao is a globally recognized healthy living blogger and a Twitter Influential @skinnyjeans. She became a well known blogger for her healthy living blog Back in Skinny Jeans. Currently she blogs at Noshtopia where life and food meet healthy and fun.

Stephanie has been featured in CNBC “On the Money,” PBS Media Shift, Glamour, Women’s Health, AOL Health, and the XM Radio show, “Life’s Work.” Stephanie’s blog work has appeared in mainstream media outlets such as,, FOX News Online, iVillage, AOL Diet & Fitness, and

Blog: Noshtopia
Twitter: @skinnyjeans

Wendy Sachs

Wendy Sachs is the editor-in-chief of, the largest and fastest growing service used by families to find high-quality caregivers. Wendy has more than fifteen years of experience in media, politics, public relations and women’s issues. She is a “Dateline NBC” Emmy award-winning television producer and is also the author of the critically acclaimed book on balancing career and family, “How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms.” Wendy is one of the founding bloggers on and writes regularly for the Huffington Post, The New York “Observer Playground” magazine and most recently “USA Weekend Magazine.” An expert on work-life balance, Wendy speaks around the country to moms about how to juggle family and career.

Twitter: @wsachs

Jon Sinclair

As vice president of development and creative services at Harpo Studios, Jonathon Sinclair works to create and promote new shows, series and specials that continue Harpo’s legacy as the most successful production company in daytime talk and expand its content across other platforms. In his role, Sinclair has served as part of the team that developed syndication’s newest hit talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show,” and is also working to launch the upcoming “Nate Berkus Show” this fall. Based at Harpo Studios headquarters in Chicago, he is also responsible for the creative services team that produces episodic promotions and marketing materials for both “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Dr. Oz Show.”

Prior to joining Harpo, Sinclair was a writer and producer of special projects at WDTN-TV in Dayton, OH where he was awarded a Regional Emmy and Iris Award. He is also the recipient of multiple Telly Awards.

Twitter: @jonnysinc

Heather Spohr

Named “Best Mommy Blogger of 2009″ by, Heather Spohr is a writer and philanthropist whose blog, “The Spohrs Are Multiplying,” initially became popular as she detailed her family’s experiences dealing with a high risk pregnancy, an extended NICU stay, and the difficulties of caring for a premature baby. Following the unexpected passing of her seventeen-month-old daughter, Madeline, Heather has continued to chronicle her family’s story as they journey through grief, and has given a voice to families who have suffered the devastation of losing a child. A fervent supporter of the March of Dimes, Heather spoke before over ten thousand people at last year’s March for Babies event in Los Angeles after her family team collected more donations than any other in the nation ($100,000+). She is also the co-founder of “Friends Of Maddie,” a charitable organization that supports the families of critically ill babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, and has spoken out for the rights of families at numerous conferences, on CNN, and before members of Congress. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Mike, and newborn daughter, Annabel.

Blog: The Spohrs Are Multiplying
Twitter: @mamaspohr

Karen Walrond

A former attorney, Karen Walrond is a writer, photographer and the creative mind behind the award-winning blog Chookooloonks, a site that helps readers see that their ordinary lives are, in fact, extraordinary. Her fine art images and photography projects have been included in exhibits around the country. She was one of the founding contributors to the collaborative website, Shutter Sisters, a photoblog aimed at inspiring and creating community among avid women photographers. Her writing has appeared in national magazines, including Wondertime and Good Housekeeping. A seasoned speaker, she has appeared on both local and national radio and television shows, including an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is the author of the upcoming book, The Beauty of Different, to be published by Bright Sky Press, Fall 2010.

Blog: Chookooloonks
Twitter: @chookooloonks

Andrea Wishom

Andrea Wishom is a Senior Supervising Producer and 17 year veteran of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the number one daytime talk show for the past 24 seasons. Since then she’s produced some of the shows most high profile interviews and highly rated large scale productions ( Wildest Dreams Come True, Welcome Home Olympic Athletes, Oprah’s After Oscar Party) She’s also helped create three Primetime Specials – “Oprah’s Legends Ball” “Oprah’s Inaugural Celebration” “Oprah’s Primetime Oscar Special 2010″ and “Christmas at The White House.” Aside from producing memorable and top quality programs for Season 25 (the farewell season of TOWS), she is also responsible for overseeing high profile bookings, including headliners, newsmakers, celebrities, best-selling authors and top selling artists. Prior to joining Harpo, she attended The University of California at Berkeley and spent a summer at the famed Radcliffe Publishing Course in Cambridge Massachusetts. She serves on the board of Celebrity Chef Art Smith’s Common Threads – a non-profit organization that teaches low income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals while they learn the importance of nutrition and overall well-being. Andrea lives with her husband and three children in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Twitter: @hydeparkmom

Speakers: Keynote Speakers | A – F | G – M | N – S | S – Z

Panelists and Breakout Sessions

Think our keynotes look fabulous? Wait until you see our breakout sessions! Coming Soon!

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