Women's Leadership Conference

The vision of the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference is to create an engaging, collaborative community that enables diverse women in the promotional products industry to be authentic, learn together and from each other, and build relationships that’ll grow throughout the year.

Throughout the year, look for WLC-sponsored webinars that feature content specifically for women in our industry, as well as other opportunities to connect with the Women’s Leadership Conference community.

Event Agenda

Monday, June 27, 2022

9 - 10 AM ET

General Session: Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results.

How is it that some harness their imagination to create game-changing drivers of growth and innovation while others miss the mark? The answer: the best companies have a systematic process to focus their team’s creativity into practical outputs. Frasca blends the improvisational qualities of a jazz ensemble with bleeding-edge business savvy to bring a completely fresh perspective on unleashing creativity in the organization. Her inspiring presentation delivers practical tools that can be used immediately to increase creative output and deliver bottom-line results. 

Speaker: Sara Frasca

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

11 - Noon ET

General session: Embracing Digital Transformation

Business leaders need a cohesive business strategy to embrace digital transformation to thrive in the decade to come.  We will discuss what successful digital transformation involves including the critical success factors to success in your digital transformation journey.  One of the most important success factors is identifying the people to lead and drive the transformation that can engage the entire organization. Every journey will be different, but this session will give you a strong start to lead or support digital transformation in your organization.

Speaker: Dale Denham, MAS+, President/CEO, PPAI

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

1:15 - 2:15 PM ET

General Session: Zoom Out: Using A Whole Human Approach To Build High Performance Teams

Are you looking for a reboot in your motivation? When you’re working with your team in the post-pandemic workplace do you miss the engagement you had before or do you sometimes feel just ….lost? Whether you’re putting together a team for the first time, leading a team you’ve known forever, or just starting on your career path, taking time to pause and rewrite your roadmap can be an exceptional opportunity to zoom out and see the whole picture just a little more clearly. Join Erin and Kate in an interactive session designed to help you reengage and authentically connect with high-performance inspiration. This session focuses on tools to find zeal, connect using a whole human approach, and track progress for women at all levels of their organization.

Speakers: Kate Alavez, PromoShop; Erin Reilly, Pop Promos

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

2:30 - 3:30 PM ET

General Session: Buyers Have A New List Of Priorities--Diversity and Sustainability

Corporate social responsibility is having its day in the sun. Rarely do you have a conversation with a buyer without the topics of sustainability and diverse spending being a part of the conversation. This session will address what you need to know, what you need to say (and not say) and steps to make you stand out.

Spearkers: Kim Bakalyar, CAS, PromoShop; Cheron Coleman, alpha broder; Anne Stone, CAE, PPAI; and Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS+, CE Competitive Edge


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

9:20 - 10:20 AM ET

General Session: Accelerate Your Impact & Influence

Many professional women want to up their influence and impact but struggle to identify the right opportunities and carve out the time to make it happen. Based on years of experience and research, JJ DiGeronimo wrote the professional playbook on how to secure that next position, land a board seat, or even launch a new initiative by enhancing relevance, aligning to specific projects and strategically expanding your network. This interactive work session and discussion will highlight strategies from her research and award-winning book "Accelerate Your Impact: Action-Based Strategies to Pave Your Professional Path."

Speaker: JJ Digeronimo

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

11 - Noon

General Session: Leadership and Gender Equality in the Workplace: Ask the Expert

Although significant progress has been made in reducing gender inequality since the 1960’s, women still lag behind men on key economic and work measures, including leadership representation.  In this moderated session, Dr. Yavorsky (Assistant Professor in Sociology and Organizational Science at University of North Carolina Charlotte) will answer critical questions about what the latest research says about the current state of gender equality and women's access to leadership and top income positions. Dr. Yavorsky will also discuss what challenges diverse groups of women face in rising to leadership roles and what needs to occur to jump start gender equality in the workplace. Throughout, Dr. Yavorsky will interweave findings from her own scientific research and how such studies contribute to our understanding of patterns and mechanisms of gender inequality.

Speaker: Jill E. Yavorsky, PhD

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

1:15 - 2:15 PM ET

General Session: The Art And Science Of Leadership

Leadership isn’t defined by a title—everyone has the opportunity to be a leader. Leadership is about inspiring others to do great things, enhancing the strengths in others, and focusing on strategy vs tactics. This session will examine the elements of leadership, share lessons learned, and leave you inspired to embrace your leadership potential.

Facilitator: Dawn Olds MAS, Halo

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom


2:30 - 3:30 PM ET

Breakout Sessions

Break Out 1: Strategies To Move To The Next Level

As leaders, we’re constantly in a growth mindset…but how are you preparing for your next role or phase in your business? Learn strategies to level up within your organization to affect change at a higher level, navigate common challenges and accomplish your goals. This dynamic group will share their experiences, favorite resources and tips for strategic growth to help maximize your potential

Facilitator: Taylor Borst, American Solutions for Business; Meghan Kory, Hit Promotional Products; Mykayla Goodwin, OrderMyGear; Clare Thompson, Pop! Promos

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

Break Out 2: The Lowdown On Leadership

Two industry leaders, supplier Brittany David, MAS, and distributor Janie Gaunce, interview each other about how they landed on the executive team and what it takes to stay there.
This conversation will cover lessons learned from leaders in the industry.

Speakers: Brittany David, MAS, Snugz; Janie Gaunce, Grapevine Design

Birch Ballroom

4 - 5 PM ET

General Session: Pushing Your Envelope: How To Overcome The Self-Doubt Of Imposter Syndrome, Once And For ALL!

You’re talented, accomplished and successful. People think you have it all together. Yet you still think to yourself “Oh my gosh! I don’t t know what I’m doing! And everyone is about to figure it out! They’re on to me!”

You may suffer from the Impostor Syndrome or the Impostor Phenomenon.
It’s estimated that 70% of all people suffer from this. Maureen will share proven strategies, called the “Fraud-Free Framework” that will silence that impostor voice so you can enjoy your own success and begin to believe you really are as smart as everyone thinks you are.
Speaker: Maureen Zappala

Poplar Dogwood Ballroom

Featured Speakers

 Dr. Jill Yavorsky 

 Assistant Professor of Sociology and Organizational Science 

 University of North Carolina Charlotte 

Play Speaker Video

 JJ DiGeronimo 


 Tech Savvy Women 

Play Speaker Video

 Maureen Zappala 


 High Altitude Strategies 

Play Speaker Video

 Sara Frasca 

 Founder & Owner 

 Trasca & Co. Eatery 

WLC 2022 Sponsors

WLC Workgroup

 Amelia Madl 

 Vice President Sales 


 Becki Heinen 

 Director of Customer Success 

 Delegate CX 

 Cathy Cummings, CAS 

 Executive Vice President of Supplier Relations 

 AIM Smarter, LLC 

 Cheron Coleman 

 VP Private Brand Product Development & Global Supply Chain 


 Meghan Pyecha 

 Key Account Manager 

 Hit Promotional Products 

 Erin Reilly 

 Founder & CEO  

 Pop! Promos 

 Kate Alavez 

 Chief Operating Officer 


 Roni Wright 

 Vice President 

 The Book Company