Join Now!

Excuse Me, That's My Seat

Plan Your Day by Choosing 1 of 3 Tracts


Tract I: Hidden Money & How to Source Your Dream: Women’s Owned Business Certification, How to apply and Navigate the System 


Cheryl Roberts

Cheryl Roberts is the Small Business Development Supervisor for the Certification section of OESBD and is responsible for the management and oversight of all certification activities for the agency.  Cheryl has held positions in the public, non-profit, and academic arenas over the course of her career, which has primarily focused on civil rights and civil liberties.  Cheryl possess a thorough knowledge of Federal Legislation 49 CFR Part 23 and 26, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She has over a decade’s experience assisting local small, minority and women owned businesses gain contracting opportunities in both Broward County and with the Federal Government. Cheryl is an experienced public speaker and training professional. Ms. Roberts, a native of Washington, D.C., holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and an M.A. in African Diaspora Studies, both from the University of California, Berkeley.


Davicka N. Thompson

Ms. Davicka N. Thompson is a seasoned communications executive. Davicka has extensive public service and private sector experience have led several public relations and community engagement initiatives for more than 15 years. She dedicate a majority of her time to building public consensus for infrastructure, transit, aviation, maritime, transportation and capital improvement programs.

Most recently, the spearheaded the Campaign to Elect Bradley Harper to Judge. The campaign was victorious with Palm Beach County electing the first Black Judge, without gubernatorial appointment, in its 107-year history.

She possesses detailed understanding of the community, public policy, political maneuvering and governmental institution factors that may affect decision-making. She plays a key role in soliciting public support for public awareness projects in the Dallas, Texas and South Florida metropolitan areas, as well as creating diversity plans and compliance programs to ensure fair and equal project participation.

A steward of progress, Davicka is committed to the advancement of her community. She serves in board leadership roles with the Children’s Home Society of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council. Both roles allow her to contribute as a through leader on matters which she is most passionate - underserved youth, economic development and tourism.

Margaret Kennedy

Margaret Kennedy is the President of Elite Contractor Supply; a local building material supplier servicing the South Florida area as well as the west coast of Florida.  Previously, Margaret worked in sales and finance for several south Florida companies and has experience rehabbing foreclosures.  She graduated with honors from Nova Southeastern with an MBA in 1999.   She has two sons and enjoys traveling and competing in triathlons and marathons in her spare time.

Tract II: Leveraging Influence: How to Ask for and Get What You Really Want

Time-tested techniques to gain cooperation 

  • Take total ownership of the image factors impacting our success
  • Put Dale Carnegie’s famous principles to work for you and your goals!


Christine Ramirez-Pallesen

As Partner and Vice President of Dale Carnegie Training Southeast Florida, Christine Ramirez Pallesen drives results for the Southeast Florida Market. She is a sought after speaker and coach in the areas of Sales, Leadership, Innovation, Succession Planning, and the Multi-Generational Workforce. Christine Chaired the Inaugural Global Dale Carnegie Day of Giving in 2016, was recently recognized as one of Fort Lauderdale’s Most Powerful Women, and is actively involved with the Global Dale Carnegie initiatives related to the 2016 re-branding and the Trainer Quality Board. She previously served on the University of Central Florida Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the United Way of Broward County Women’s Leadership Council. A University of Central Florida graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Organization and Interpersonal Communication, Christine’s studies also included Leadership Studies and Non-profit Management. Christine worked for the UCF department of Leadership Studies developing and delivering leadership program to college students before joining the Dale Carnegie team in 2008.


Jane F. Bolin, Esq.

Jane F. Bolin, Esq. is the owner and founder of PeytonBolin, PL - a real estate law firm, and Giannell Title - a title and escrow company. She is an active board member of the Children's Diagnostic and Treatment Center and the Pride Center at Equality Park and is the SouthEast regional director for Entrepreneur's Organization. Jane was a 40 under 40 South Florida Business Journal recipient and her law firm made the Inc. 5000 list. Currently, Jane is running for Oakland Park City Commission - 

Cindy Spritzer

Cindy Spitzer is a bold sales innovator that challenges conventional techniques with new ideas and out of the box thinking.  The most successful sales leaders are skilled at “hunting” and setting the stage for the sale through preparation, energy, and authentic interactions that build trust and value. The most successful leaders are the huntresses!  Sales, in any aspect, takes intellect and emotional intelligence—an innate skill that separates the good from the great.

As a career business development leader, she is focused on new trends and opportunities that affect some of the Fortune 500 leaders. As a well-rounded business professional, she prides herself on her experience in large sale business transformation, sales and sales process, operations, pricing strategies, HR, and account leadership.

She views her 30-plus year journey in the industry as an experience in sociology and the art of persuasion with a genuine curiosity to learn.  The great sales leaders ask amazing business questions and are able to give exceptional insights to help solve their clients’ challenges.  Sales is a profession to be truly respected for showcasing skills in resilience, adaptability, business acumen, passion for solving problems, and most importantly relationship building. Cindy is an Alliance Leader for the Southeast Region of Ernst and Young, LLP.

Tract III: Own Your Power: Overcoming Fear to Create Success

What stops us from achieving all the success that we are capable of? One word…fear. This program dives deep into understanding the obstacles we put in place and how to overcome them for success at any level.


Julia Aquino-Serrano

An entrepreneur, hard working mom and breast cancer survivor, SheDefined™ CEO & Founder Julia Aquino is no new comer to tough choices. For over 25 years she has spent time on all sides of the business world and has owned a successful consultancy that works with small to medium sized businesses.

She coaches women executives and entrepreneurs to lead from within to create their lives and businesses authentically. To use their innate gifts, to replace fear with confidence and to own the outcomes of their choices in order to develop strong teams, company success, and happier lives.  Other Highlights: President, National Assoc. of Women Business Owners (NAWBO); Founding Mentor at FAU’s Tech Runway; March of Dimes, Leadership Development Chair; Facilitator, Award-Winning Women’s Roundtable: NAIOP Broward; Certified How to Fascinate Advisor


Yvone Haase, LMHC

Yvonne is a cut-to-the-chase Relationship Expert and Lifestyle Coach, Speaker, Psychotherapist, Accountability Guru and Mentor.

Yvonne specializes in couples, children and women’s issues at the International Holistic Center in Fort Lauderdale. She provides a broad range of custom tailored counseling protocols including: collaborative divorce parenting, adoption, and fertility counseling. Her cut to the chase style enables individuals, couples and families to improve communication, resolve conflicts, build strong healthy relationships, and strengthen decision making.

Yvonne has worked with business leaders and their teams. Her one-on-one therapeutic coaching provides individuals with insight into their personal strengths, habits and style so they can enhance their communication and leadership expertise. She is a DISC provider and uses this tool in working with her coaching clients as well as her counseling clients.

Burnadette Norris-Weeks, Esq.

Burnadette Norris-Weeks is a partner in the law firm of Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC.  She serves as counsel to various corporations and governmental entities, such as the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office and two Florida municipalities. In addition, the law firm also handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. 

Burnadette is a member of the Broward County Charter Review Commission (second term). She serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Broward. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida and of Leadership Broward. Burnadette is founder of the Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc. (WOCEI), a membership organization with the mission to enhance and expand leadership opportunities by women of color. WOCEI spearheads a yearly conference that brings together hundreds of women in leadership.

Burnadette’s extensive community and professional involvement has earned her the Above and Beyond Award from the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation; the Urban League’s Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award and an Achievement Award from the T.J. Reddick Bar Association. She is a past honoree of the National Trumpet Awards Foundation and was recognized by Legacy Magazine as one of South Florida’s 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business.  Burnadette has also received a “Leader of the Year” award from the Leadership Broward Foundation among other impressive awards and recognitions. 

Burnadette is the Chair of the 17th Judicial Circuit’s Bar Leadership Committee.   She is a past National Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Litigation Section’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and a former Chair of the ABA’s Young Lawyer Leadership Team.  Burnadette is also a Past-President of the Tallahassee Barristers Association.

Burnadette is admitted to practice law before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.