Women’s Leadership Summit

Friday, January 20, 2023


Presented By


The Women’s Leadership Summit is a one-day in-person experience, taking place Friday, January 20th at the Sheraton Hotel, for all women striving to grow personally and professionally, while impacting the communities they serve. 


Women’s Leadership Summit will empower local women through a diverse line-up of speakers and sessions including an inspirational keynote speaker, and engaging, interactive breakout sessions focusing on three areas— professional development, personal growth, and community engagement — with all sessions reflective of JLNO’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click here for sponsorship information.

Sponsorships may be purchased using the registration link above or by contacting our team at wls@jlno.org

View our full slate of wonderful, impactful speakers and schedule here.



Keynote Speaker: Karen Swensen

Karen Swensen is an award-winning journalist and founder of Life’s About Change, a business aimed at helping others navigate life’s challenges. She currently contributes a monthly “Changing Chapters” segment on the Today Show with Hoda and Jenna.

Karen has won more than ten Emmy and six Edward R. Murrow regional awards, along with numerous Gracie, Gabriel, Associated Press and Press Club awards for investigative journalism, writing and feature reporting.




Opening Plenary Speaker

Michelle K. Johnston, PhD

Michelle K. Johnston, PhD, is the Gaston Chair of Business in the College of Business at Loyola University New Orleans, where she teaches leadership and strategic communication classes to MBA and undergraduate students. Dr. Johnston has received several honors and awards in the field of communication. She was recently named one of the most influential New Orleanians, one of the New Orleans 500 top business leaders, and one of CityBusiness’s Women of the Year. She has presented at national conferences and has published various articles for research journals. Her recent research has found a positive link between a Team’s Listening Environment (TLE) and financial performance.


Fireside Chat


Mayra Pineda

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Mary Jane Walsh

Mary Jane Walsh THRIVE

Dr. Sara Reardon

The Vagina Whisperer

Speakers and Panelist



Brenda Breaux

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority

Donna Accardo

Inner Design

Hattie Sparks

Hattie Sparks Interiors


Kemberley Washington



Kristi Trail

Pontchartrain Conservancy

Lindsey Navarro

El Centro Inc.

Lori Jackson

MSC Financial Services


Marielle Dupre & Nicole Eiden

Windowsill Pies


Melissa Beese

Little Pnuts

Natalie Jayroe

Second Harvest Food Bank

Sydni Raymond

Bomb Ass Fro

Lauren Myerscough

Cocktail & Sons


Capt. Kelly Denning

U.S. Coast Guard

Kim Boyle

Phelps Dunbar LLP

Kristen VanCourt

Essential Living Realty