Supporting the personal and professional development of women at ASU for 30+ years

2014 Sessions & Bios

ME3: Empower, Engage, Enjoy!

Charli Turner Thorne
Take a Quantum Leap in Leadership: The Power of Alignment in Business and Life
Renie Cavallari, founder and chief inspiration officer, Aspire Marketing

As leaders work to keep up with their never-ending to-do list, it becomes easy to focus more on what matters next — versus what matters most. Learn to apply six “pillars” to improve relationships and foster better communication and collaboration and make work more exciting and the work environment more empowering and enjoyable.  

Renie Cavallari is an energetic trainer, strategist, speaker, author and leader who has delivered measurable results for businesses around the world since founding Aspire in 1995. Renie spent her earlier career working with outstanding coaches and achieved dynamic results in a wide range of capacities including operations, sales and marketing, new business development, product repositioning, management training/learning and asset management and growth strategies. She is best known for collaborating with teams to inspire success and unleash the possibilities of people and the businesses they impact.
Planning for the Future – with Wills, Trusts and Other Legal Tools
Denise Riden,
attorney, Law Offices of Denise Riden

What is the difference between a will and a living will?  What is a trust and how is it used?  Do you need a trust or will a will do?  How do you use a power of attorney and for what?  Come enjoy a discussion of the different legal tools that you can use to plan for your future and for your family, now and into your Golden Years. 

Mediation, Limited Scope Representation and Other Trends in Family Court
Denise Riden, attorney, Law Offices of Denise Riden

The courts are in a time of transition and people are taking advantage of new ways to empower themselves in the courtroom and, hopefully, reduce legal costs. What does this mean to you and how do you use these programs and concepts if you find yourself in the Family Court system? Join me for an overview and discussion of emerging trends in family law.

Born and raised in Arizona, Denise (Shaw) Riden graduated from ASU in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She earned a JD from Loyola Law School in 1992, became a licensed attorney in California in 1993 and in Arizona in 2003. 

Her firm, Law Offices of Denise Riden, focuses on the legal needs of family members, from children to Senior Citizens — helping plan for the future using wills, trusts, marital agreements, powers of attorney and living wills. When legal conflicts arise, the firm assists through mediation, negotiation and/or litigation of matters such as divorce, paternity, elder law, probate, and guardianships. Riden will assist clients on a limited basis or a more traditional representation.  

Wellbeing: A Multi-pronged approach to Optimizing Your Health (and Performance)
Jillian McManus,
director, Organizational Health and Development 
ASU Employee Assistance Office, Employee Wellness and Work-Life Programs

Wellness is a comprehensive topic! It includes such things as physical, emotional, social, and career wellbeing in addition to spiritual, intellectual, environmental and aesthetic wellness.  Although there is no quick fix, magic pill, or silver bullet to keep us healthy, there are plenty of ways to improve our wellbeing, performance and quality of life.  Join me in shifting your perspective about the topic and what it actually takes to be well!          
Jillian McManus earned a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in social work and a doctorate in behavioral health. Her clinical expertise includes individual and family counseling, anxiety/depression, health management/health psychology, juvenile delinquency, parenting, stress management, organizational development, workplace consultations, training, and managing transitions utilizing a holistic, approach to care. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker with the Arizona Board of Behavior Health Examiners. 
Jillian assumed the role of Director or Organizational Health and Development in July 2007, providing oversight to the Employee Assistance Office, Employee Wellness and Work-Life programs at Arizona State University.  She also works in conjunction with the Integrative Health Center in Phoenix as a mind body practitioner in a multi modal primary care practice focusing on the emotional component of living with chronic health conditions.  

Seven Ways You Hold Yourself Back: Women and Promotions in the Workplace
Laurie Battaglia,
Co-owner, Living the Dream Coaches

Some of us enter the workforce with degrees and leadership experience and are on the fast track to promotion. And some of us start our careers in entry-level positions, and get identified (or not) for our potential. Along the way, some move forward while others plateau. Ever wonder why that happens, and what to do about it? We’ll talk about seven things that get in the way of promotions for women in the workplace — and what you can do about it!

Laurie D. Battaglia, experienced leader and workplace expert who specialized in building high-performing teams, loves showing people the way to live their dreams. Having spent 30+ years developing people in corporate environments, Laurie is co-creator of Living the Dream Coaches in Scottsdale, where she works in tandem with her husband, Joseph, to coach high achieving women and men who want more out of life, work, and relationships. She holds an MS in organizational development and leadership from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a BS in organizational leadership from Eastern University.  

Health Benefits of Laughter
Jane Burtnett
Certified Laughter Yoga instructor

Should you laugh every day? Only if you want to feel good!

Laughter is a universal language that transcends all barriers: language, age, gender, race and social background. Besides making you feel good, you receive a lot of health benefits, too. During this session you will learn what these health benefits are and how to kick-start laughter when you don’t feel like laughing; your body can and knows how to laugh, regardless of what your mind has to say. Spend an hour laughing, breathing and stretching, and ending with relaxation. You’ll receive the tools you need to use laughter to improve your health. Who knew being healthy could be so much fun?

Jane S. Burtnett loves to share the health benefits of laughing. A Certified Laughter Yoga Leader since 2009, Jane has laughed with groups as small as three and as large as 50+. She has presented programs at church groups, cancer survivor retreats, corporations and retirement homes. A popular presenter of the Scottsdale Healthcare Speakers Bureau, Jane has spread the joy of laughter throughout the Valley. In 2000, while a member of Park Central Toastmasters, she won the Paiute Area #2 humorous speech contest. She holds a BA in art from Arizona State University and received her Laughter Yoga Leader certification from Laughter Yoga with Gita, affiliated with the Dr. Kataria School of Laughter Yoga based in India.

Not an Impostor: Know Your Skills
Cory Dillon,
director, ASU Learning and Workforce Development

Referencing the “imposter syndrome” that plagues many women (as discussed in Lean In), participants will assess their past accomplishments, identify their strengths and learn to describe their skillset powerfully and succinctly. 

Cory Dillon has extensive experience in non-profit and state-funded organizations and has designed and delivered training in change management, conflict management, performance improvement, and career self-management. She is a professional Bowenwork practitioner, working with clients towards healing, stress reduction and life enhancement. Closely related is her interest in the practical application of neuroscience to work and life.

Advocacy: An Internal Look for External Impact
Lilia Alvarez,
 attorney and co-founder, Citizens for A Better Arizona

The lens through which we choose to experience life dictates our vision and expression of authentic self. I will discuss the power of embracing our intuitive strengths and relationships to further engage in courageous acts of advocacy outside our comfort zone and take fierce action.

Lilia is the personification of the American Dream. The daughter of farm workers, she was imbued with civic responsibility by her father, who told his children they were obligated to leave their country “better than they found it.” As a parent, she will perpetuate this creed.

A University of Arizona graduate with a BA in Psychology and an MS in Public Health, Lilia also earned the Juris Doctor from the Phoenix School of Law and is an attorney who now owns her own business and practices immigration law. Lilia has served on the Phoenix Human Relations Commission and the Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law. In 2011 she was awarded the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 Award, recognizing today's vibrant young leaders who hold a commitment to our communities across the state; the 2012 Emerging Star award from Emerge Arizona; and the Phoenix School of Law Pillar Award for Serving the Underserved. She is a co-foundersof Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group responsible for the historic recall of former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce. She is also a former candidate for Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Her personal traits combined with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership—taking risks, assertiveness and hard work — are what she believes will prepare women to be successful leaders in the 21st century.

Retirement Strategies for Women
Cinda Gerhauser, financial advisor, VALIC

Women have made great strides in the workplace – both in sheer numbers, as well as professional stature. When it comes to retirement, though, women face some unique challenges and hurdles. Examining and evaluating your income sources and planning for the future are critical for being financially prepared for retirement. This session will explore what factors to consider and help you create your own personalized roadmap to retirement.

Associated with the VALIC companies since 2012, Cinda Gerhauser has been in the financial services industry for 12 years. Her knowledge, experiences and numerous licenses and certifications make her a valuable go-to resource on a range of financial and retirement advising needs.

Her goal is to provide information to assist individuals in making intelligent long range plans for their assets. She employs her listening skills, knowledge and experience to assist her clients in developing and implementing their financial strategy and aims to be  a life-long resource for each of  them.  

Facebook Safety
Laura Gill,
ASU Police Officer

Although this session’s focus is on Facebook, the information in this class pertains to all social media and covers safe usage of the technology, potential dangers to be aware of when using a social media website and a step by step process for securing your online profile. 

Strong Woman/Safe Woman
Laura Gill, ASU Police Officer

This personal safety class is centered around breaking down the myth that a woman cannot be both strong and feminine. The class begins with examples of strong women throughout history who were able to protect themselves and maintain their individuality as women; it then goes into tips on maintaining personal safety and situational awareness.

Officer Laura Gill began her law enforcement career in 2005 with the ASU Police Department. She has been trained as a Sexual Assault Response Team Member specializing in the response to and investigation of crimes involving sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.  In 2012 Officer Gill was made the first School Resource Officer in the history of the department and created the School Resource Officer Program, working closely with the ASU Preparatory Academies and surrounding police agencies to design policy and procedures necessary for the future growth of the program.  She is an active member of the East Valley Synthetic Drug Taskforce, whose main purpose is to educate the public on the dangers of emerging drugs. Officer Gill looks for any opportunity to work with community programs both inside and outside of the ASU community. She believes that prevention of crime comes through not only the reactive approach of arresting criminals but through actively participating in the enrichment of her community. 

What IS Hospice & Palliative Care —and Know When to Call for Help!  

Kim Yeatts, provider relations coordinator, Hospice of Arizona

Each of us, at some time in our lives, will have a loved one, friend, neighbor who will need additional medical care and support while faced with a terminal condition. When is right time to call upon a hospice professional?  There are numerous misconceptions about this valued benefit to patients and families during an emotional and stressful time. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about all that the hospice benefit can offer. Understand the hospice coverage under Medicare and commercial insurance and what resources are truly available.  Learn about the different levels of care. Hospice is not a place for patients to pass away but a service provided wherever the patient may reside, such as a residence, group home, assisted living community, skilled nursing facility, or hospice inpatient unit.   

Kim Yeatts moved to Arizona from Minneapolis in 1985 and during that year began her career in healthcare sales and business development.  She became involved with the local Business & Professional Women’s Organization at the age of 21, realizing the need to build a network of professionals, engage with influential decision-makers and learn business to business relationships. In 1987, while working full time at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, she returned to school to complete her business administration and  marketing degree.

Working for numerous Fortune 500 companies and start-up health care firms in the arena of physician recruitment, hospital contracting, large group sales, preferred provider organizations, insurance carriers, and insurance brokerage firms, she had a personal life experience as the medical power of attorney for her aunt and uncle, who were suffering with life-limiting and terminal conditions.  As a result, Kim found a deep passion for learning what resources are available and how to effectively manage patients during life-limiting conditions. Kim was privileged to begin her hospice and palliative Care journey in 2006, where she works directly with the hospital and physician community and educates patients and families on how to work through the healthcare maze and be educated healthcare consumers during a very difficult time of life.

Lessons in Leadership from "House of Cards"

Nancy Starr-Cassidy, manager, HR Learning Technology, Salt River Project

Frank Underwood, the ruthless protagonist of the Netflix series "House of Cards," is hardly the warm, fuzzy ideal of management self-help tomes. But the character does offer a collection of tenets that could come in handy the next time you're trying to engage your team, or become a better team member. According to Adam Harrell, president & founder of Nebo, an Atlanta-based communications and marketing consulting agency, you can glean important insights from Underwood’s actions into what separates effective managers from ineffective ones.

Discover ways that you can apply these lessons to your work – to become more valuable as a team member or leader.

Building a Fun, High-Energy Work Culture (think Seattle's Pike Place Fish Market!)

Nancy Starr-Cassidy, 
manager, HR Learning Technology, Salt River Project  
Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to your work day? Or are you bracing to walk into a toxic wasteland?  Are you aware that you can influence the culture where you work and have as much fun as those crazy fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market?  If you have visited Seattle to see them in action, then you know that this is the ultimate case of taking some terrible, smelly work and turning it into an adventure that draws customers and onlookers alike.  Everyone is part of the fun, yet serious work also is accomplished and profits are made.    

Following the key principles from the Pike Place Fish Market workers, learn how your attitude, sense of fun and presence can make someone’s day – and your own!  In a workshop session, we will explore opportunities to add energy and fun to your workplace – whether you are a manager, an influencer or an individual contributor. Ensure that your workplace is where everyone wants to go and that you are the team member that everyone wants to work with.  

Nancy Starr-Cassidy has a passion for technology, communication and leadership, developed through her association with the Toastmasters International program and her experience in technical support and training at Salt River Project, where she is responsible for managing technology tools and programs that support training for 5,000. Nancy is known for energizing teams and finding the fun in even the most routine or challenging situations. She has 30 years of experience in support and training for technology programs, and is frequently sought for teams addressing corporate issues and innovations.

A dedicated Toastmaster for 27 years, Starr-Cassidy served in a number of volunteer leadership positions within the organization, and was elected to a two-year term on the International Board of Directors in 2004. A Sun Devil, she holds a BS in computer information systems. 


UCW's 2014 Professional Development Conference will be held Friday, August 1, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe. Early-bird registration runs through July 16 and is $99; registration after that date is $109.  Inclusive in your conference registration is your $30 membership dues for 2014-2015.  

If you want to get a Purchase Order going for your conference fee or for those in your unit or school, download, complete and return this conference registration form to Tami McKenzie at, or at fax #480-965-9199 (use vendor code UNIVCAREER). 

Download the 2014 UCW Conference Registration Form (downloads as 11 x 8.5 Word document, so have screen opened wide)

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