The Toigo team is hard at work curating our Groundbreakers 2017 speaker line-up. We’ll post more information this Spring. Each year, our agenda includes a mix of nationally recognized industry leaders and inspirational speakers—all coming together to challenge the way we think and work.

Curious? Take a look at our 2016 program below—and prior years to the left. You’ll get a sense of the session topics, speaker caliber—and an idea of what’s to come.

On the Agenda | Thursday October 20, 2016

8:00 – 9:00

Registration & Networking

8:00 – 8:55

Welcome & Introductions

8:55 – 9:00

Opening remarks | “In the Lead” Introduction

Ali Wentworth
Actor, Comedian & New York Times Best Selling Author

9:00 – 9:55

In the Lead | Imagine the Possibilities

Julie Lythcott Haims
Author, How to Raise an Adult

Paula Pretlow
Former Senior Vice President, The Capital Group

Maysoon Zayid
Writer, Actor & Comedian

9:55 – 10:25

In the Lead | Q&A

Moderated by Ali Wentworth with all “In the Lead” Speakers

10:25 – 10:55

Networking Break | “In the Lead” Meet & Greet

Sponsored by Barclays

10:55 – 12:15

General Session Workshop | Playing Big

Sponsored by Guggenheim Partners

Tara Mohr
Author, Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead

12:15 – 12:30

Networking Break

Sponsored by RBC Capital Markets

12:30 – 1:45

Power Lunch | Keynote & Fireside Chat

Sponsored by Bank of America

Gloria Steinem
Activist & Author, My Life on the Road

Fireside chat led by
Cynthia Bowman
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Bank of America

1:45 – 2:15


Sponsored by Mesirow Financial

2:15 – 3:45

Concurrent Workshops

Attendees select / attend one

Living—and Leading—with Intent

Robin Camarote
Author & Coach, OWN IT: Drive Your Career to a Place of Happiness and Success; Getting Leaders to Follow
Session Description

Breakthrough Ideas Fueled by Whole Brain Creativity

Sponsored by T. Rowe Price

Linda Naiman
Founder, Creativity at Work
Co-author, Orchestrating Collaboration at Work: Using Music, Improv, Storytelling, and Other Arts to Improve Teamwork
Session Description

Tackling Tough Situations

Sponsored by Morgan Stanley

Sheri Jeavons
President, Founder & Fearless Leader – Power Presentations
Author, Tips for Your Talk and Master Your Virtual Communications: A Webinars that Wow Training Guide
Session Description

3:45 – 4:00

Break | Transition

Sponsored by The Assurant Foundation

4:00 – 5:15

General Session Workshop | Breakthrough Brand

Sponsored by PGIM

Sue Hodgkinson
Principal, Personal Brand Company
Author, The Leader’s Edge: Using Personal Branding to Drive Performance and Profit
Session Description

5:15 – 6:15

Brand Central Station

Vendor Stations
Networking Reception

Session Description

Tackling Tough Situations

It can start small—with an email or hallway conversation. Suddenly, the issue has mounted and you’re in the center of it. With 70%-plus employees ranking “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” as the top factor in job satisfaction, deftly navigating contentious situations, whether in a one-on-one meeting, a team setting or spontaneous interaction, is a must-have skill. Part art, part science – we’ll dive into key ways to get to the core of the differences (and difficulty) and engineer roadmaps for making your way forward. The best leaders are those who can turn difficult conversations into breakthroughs—learn how to move forward with confidence, clarity and conviction.

  • During this interactive, working session, you will:
  • Develop a solution to your own problem using our four-step Impromptu Format
  • Learn the six key physical skills to project confidence during any communication
  • Witness volunteers receiving positive personalized coaching to transform their own style while remaining solutions-oriented
  • Learn three tips to quickly diffuse negative energy
  • Ask questions and learn from real-life examples from a panel of experts

Breakthrough Ideas Fueled by Whole Brain Creativity

Whether your challenge is to create a new billion-dollar line of business, boost team performance or find a way to celebrate a long-term client relationship, getting to a breakthrough idea can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Brainstorming is often the default response; but too often, the results needed aren’t readily generated—or the ones that are fall well outside what’s doable.

Creativity requires whole-brain thinking: Right-brain imagination, artistry and intuition, plus left-brain logic and planning. We’ll experiment with some powerful ways to go from idea to answer—and map the process in between. For “left brain thinkers” these exercises provide a critical foundation and inspiration to fuel creative thinking. It starts by posing the right questions, then using different constructs to generate ideas that can be more fully developed—and eventually deployed.

Living—and Leading—with Intent

Imagine creating your life by design and not by chance. Developing both a sense of where you are and where you want to be are the first basic—though surprisingly challenging—first steps toward creating a plan to get there. Clarity of your intentions (both at work and at home/in your community) can have a positive and immediate impact on your interactions with colleagues and superiors, family members, friends and more. While it takes focus and perseverance, the process can be fun, too. Living with intent is about discovering what makes you happy—not what others want for you—and striving toward those values. We’ll explore ways to define who you are (building on our Groundbreakers 2015 session led by Professor Stewart Friedman) and what you want along with tips for overcoming obstacles big and small.

Breakthrough Brand

What makes you you? Add a career lens to the mix and the next question is: What makes you necessary—better yet, indispensible? Like iconic products, each of us has a brand—a set of attributes, experiences, accomplishments and shortcomings that when combined make each of us unique. Understanding what your brand is and how best to communicate it and leverage it is integral to your professional growth and advancement. In our Breakthrough Brand session, we’ll dissect what brand means on a professional, individual level and focus on defining yours. A series of prompts will help guide you along the brand path and will show you that personal branding is a necessary, proactive sport. Together, we’ll explore how to best leverage your unique strengths (just like a product’s unique selling proposition or USP) and become your best advocate. The outcome? New and valuable insights for those on the move to new opportunities as well as those looking to advance right where they are.

Brand Central Station

Now that you’ve defined your brand, Brand Central Station will feature vendors who offer a variety of services aimed at maintaining the best you: Fashion and Style / Health, Fitness, and Wellness / Community Service / Lifestyle

And the best part is that many of the vendors are women entrepreneurs or their products and services target women just like you. Join us for a fun and unique experience as we wind down the day.

Ready to raise your profile and promote your brand with strong leaders?
Become a Groundbreakers sponsor. Learn more.

Breakthrough Sponsor

TA Associates Logo

Leaders at Every Level Sponsors

Barclays logo
TRowePrice logo

Power Up Sponsor

Clearlake Capital Logo