Rallying the Power of Women: Celebrating Scholarships
It was definitely amazing.

With more than 300 people who attended, the “Women Who Amaze” summit featured wonderful speakers, old and new friends, lots of laughs and plenty of serious conversation. We want to thank everyone who helped organize the program and our attendees, for taking the time to invest in themselves. Some even made a “girls’ weekend” out of it by hosting sister summiteers in their homes for this virtual event!

The video includes a major announcement about the Amethyst Circle, which is Women for Madison’s exciting new initiative that’s devoted to raising $1 million to support students who need scholarships to attend JMU. Through the generosity of more than 40 founding members, we are well on our way to achieving this ambitious goal — and you are absolutely invited to participate.


It was our honor to serve as the volunteer co-chairs for Women for Madison’s summit committee this year. This organization provides so many wonderful opportunities to engage with JMU and influence the university in such a positive way. Scroll down to learn more about the speakers from around the JMU nation, who gave their time and shared their expertise for this weekend of women who amaze! We hope you’ll join us at future events.


Stephanie R. Forbes (’92, ’93M) and Tiffanie Rosier (’95), 2021 Summit Committee co-chairs


Want to know more about our headliners and all of our breakout session leaders?


Friday, May 21

5 - 6 PM

Women’s Leadership Panel (AMAZE LEVEL)

Dr. Heather Coltman, Donna Harper (’77, ’81M, ’86Ed.S.), Dr. Hui Sono, Dr. Linda Thomas

6:30 PM


6:45 - 7:20 PM

Keynote Speaker: Star Bobatoon, Esq. (’24P) 

Use the Good China

We are all endowed with gifts, talents and abilities that are uniquely ours. Unfortunately, we don’t always recognize our value or understand the positive impact we can make on our families, careers, businesses, and communities. Stop resisting, ignoring and hiding your gifts. Learn the mindset and the skills to embrace your inner light and be the STAR you were born to be.

7:20 - 7:30 PM

Madison Lounge

7:30  - 8:15 PM

Madison Exchange (small group networking; topics TBA)

Join us for an opportunity to network, share experiences and connect with others on similar topics of interest in small groups.  Meet new people, exchange ideas and connect virtually to Women Who Amaze Attendees, Women for Madison Council Members and JMU staff!

8:15 - 8:30 PM

Women for Madison Toast

8:45 - 9:30 PM

Madison Sips & Sweets (AMAZE LEVEL)

Tassie Pippert (’11, ’13M) with JMU First Lady Mary Ann Alger
and Cannie Campbell (’95, ’20Ed.S.)

Saturday, May 22

10:30 AM

Madison Lounge

10:45 AM


11 - 11:35 AM

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Angela Reddix (’90)

Becoming the CEO of YOU!

Dr. Reddix will share the three secrets that allow women of all ages to own their destiny!

11:35 - 11:45 AM

Madison Lounge

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

BREAKOUT Sessions (choose one)

Tales from a Wanderer

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Social Justice
Dr. Liza Briggs (’90)

Dr. Briggs will discuss her perspective on the theme, 'Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice' shaped through life and work experiences in the U.S. and overseas. These topics are inherently personal and individualized constructs. A key to effective engagement is finding ways to share without judgment and blame.

Perfectionism and Self-compassion

Mental Health, Self-care
Kate Meade

Perfectionism impacts many of us and can keep us from experiencing a full range of authentic human experiences. Especially during COVID-19, people are often struggling with the feeling that they are not doing or being 'enough.' Self-compassion can be a wonderful way to provide healing and supportive space for oneself to engage differently with their perfectionistic voice.

Leading During Disruption: Update How You Lead

Leadership, Career, Personal Development
Maureen Metcalf (’84)

Explore the seven leadership mindsets and behavior required to lead during disruptive times. Participants will take an assessment and learn about what they can do to refine and develop these capacities.

Empowered Women: Learn to Play by Your Own Rules

Mojan Nourbakhsh (’14)

Women who played by the standard rules were rarely the ones making history. It was those who owned their stories, added value, and took their power back who’ve made a lasting mark. But that starts with YOU — learn to lead yourself as a true ‘woman of strength’  who can hold a position of power while empowering those around you.

12:30 - 12:40 PM

Madison Lounge

12:40 - 1:20 PM

Rallying the Power of Women: Celebrating Scholarships

Presented in cooperation with 
Unleashed: The Campaign for James Madison University

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required for those who are not already attending the summit. (Note: Summit attendees are pre-registered and don’t need to do anything further to gain access.)

1:20 - 1:30 PM

Madison Lounge

1:30 - 2:15 PM

BREAKOUT Sessions (choose one)

JMU Women Leading the Way

Career Panel
Jessica Killeen (’07), Hope Lawrence (’94), Leasa Neaves (’92)

Hear three women share their success stories in three different career fields: High tech corporate America, food entrepreneurism, and government relations. Listen as they share their pragmatic tips, lessons learned, and how they “Hold the Door Open” for other women climbing the career ladder.  

Fear Is Your Friend

Leadership, Career, Personal Development
Col. Laurie Moe Buckhout (’84)

This session will address a common aspect of women in the professional setting, and one not discussed enough: the concept of being afraid, of being nervous, the fear of failing, of not fitting in, and how to harness your fear and make it into an asset and a tool for success. Colonel Buckhout will draw on examples from her career as a young woman in a male-dominant environment, of leading in combat, of starting her own company and of doing all this while striving to be a good partner and parent.

Mental Health & Self-Care

Mental Health, Self-care
Dr. Kimberly Robertello (’98)

During Covid-19, the need to address our mental health, societal, personal, and professional struggles is ever-present. As we move through the pandemic and realize our “new normal”, we need to address these challenges, identify the issues, and find realistic solutions for self-care and resilience. Join Dr. Robertello in a discussion of what unapologetic self-care looks like, how to enhance your personal resilience, and everyday solutions to living a more balanced life.

Goal Setting and Planning Your 2021

Mia Brabham (’16)

n this productive and engaging session, not only will you learn tactics for planning and pivoting when it comes to goal-setting, but you’ll have the opportunity to put your goals to paper and organize them in a way that is manageable and achievable. Part pep talk and part “tough love,” this fun and spirited workshop will give you the encouragement, inspiration, time, and kick in the rear end that you need to achieve all the things you’ve been wishing for — both in and outside of work.

2:15 - 2:30 PM

Madison Lounge

2:30 - 3:00 PM

Keynote Speaker: Reshma Shetty (’99)

How Much Do I Believe in Me?

3 - 3:30 PM

Closing Remarks

What might your business gain by supporting this event? View our virtual summit sponsorship opportunities to find out.

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