The MGM Resorts Foundation Announces Breakout Sessions for 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference

Conference will feature Special Learning Tracks for the Emerging Leader, Emerging Executive, and Executive
Apr 15, 2015 8:00 AM ET

LAS VEGAS, April 15, 2015 /3BL Media/ – The MGM Resorts Foundation has announced breakout sessions planned for the 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference, which will be held July 13 and 14 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Building on the momentum of last year’s sold-out program, the ninth annual Conference will feature a series of new workshops divided into learning tracks custom-designed to fit the career interests and needs of attendees. 

The learning tracks, which will follow the general sessions, have been developed with the Emerging Leader, Emerging Executive, and Executive in mind. 

“Our workshop speakers represent a wide range of backgrounds, which will expose attendees to a variety of leadership qualities and styles,” said Maria Jose Gatti, the conference planner and MGM Resorts’ executive director of philanthropy and community engagement. “Our programming was designed to teach attendees how to hone the skills needed to advance their careers.”

Boasting a dynamic lineup, the conference’s workshop speakers will include:

Sarah Michel, a Certified Speaking Professional, brings her powerful Perfecting Connecting strategies which promote personal and professional success. By integrating Ms. Michel’s methods, people learn to develop successful relationships with customers and colleagues. A cancer survivor, her network helped save her life. She shares her inspirational journey with insight and humor to motivate her audiences to connect not just for the moment, but for life.

Ivan Joseph has a PhD in sports psychology; he took a collegiate soccer team from a losing record to the National Championships in just 5 years. One key he emphasizes is building self-confidence. In his research-based talk, he discusses the attributes of self-confident people, how to develop self-confidence, self-talk and self-affirmation, and interpreting failure. Ivan uses his experience in athletics to help teams achieve excellence through grit, focus, cohesion, and putting people in the appropriate roles where their skill sets are needed.

Dottie Li is Managing Director of Transpacific Communications based in Washington D.C. She designs and provides media training and cross-cultural communication coaching. She was born and raised in China and has an extensive background in journalism.  Her background includes 5 years at C-SPAN as a producer.  In the late 90's she handled White House media advance assignments, traveling with the President of the United States.  Ms. Li is the recipient of the "Best Cross-Cultural Communicator of the Year" in 2013 by the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Inc.  She lectures at the John Hopkins University Carey Business School as an adjunct professor. She is also the voice and voice coach of Rosetta Stone's Mandarin products.

Kevin E. O'Connor, a Certified Speaking Professional, is an author, executive coach, businessman, and professional speaker. He specializes in working with professionals who have been promoted to leadership positions where they now lead their former peers. Mr. O’Connor holds three masters degrees and his expertise focuses on challenges of leadership, business relationships, and the effectiveness of teams.  Most of his professional work is for pharmaceutical and medical professionals. He's a senior lecturer at Loyola University Chicago and is on the faculty for Columbia College Chicago.

Karen Hinds is Founder and CEO of Workplace Success Group, an international employee development firm which has been referred to as a training ground for future business leaders. She is the creator of the emerging leader development system The Power of Distinction, as well as host of Karen Hinds' Phenomenal Woman Conference, a global women's conference held annually in the Caribbean. Her company has worked with clients such as UTC Aerospace Systems, Travelers, Webster Bank, Allied World, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Caribbean Tourism Organization, and Harvard Business School: Executive Education. She is the author of five business books.

Hajir Nuriddin is a 28-year veteran of the Bakersfield California Police Department, currently assigned as Captain of the Investigations Division. Ms. Nuriddin has commanded a variety of divisions throughout her career and was the first female motorcycle supervisor in the history of the department. Ms. Nuriddin has been recognized as one of the most outstanding African-American females in the community and in 2002 she received the Southern California National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” award. Additionally, Ms. Nuriddin is a nationally recognized speaker on leadership and diversity in the public and private sector and has trained thousands of executives nationally and internationally. Ms. Nuriddin has also trained as a consultant for Franklin Covey working with corporate and public organizations and executives across the country.

Angie Taylor, Ed.D. is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Guardian Quest, Inc., an organization specializing in providing training, organizational development and leadership solutions for corporate, government, educational and military clients across North America. She is also the Founder/CEO of ExcelQuest Community Development Corporation, a training agency that works specifically with the faith-based community and small non-profit organizations. In addition to her work with training, she was appointed to the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees, becoming the first African American to serve in that capacity. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her background is in higher education where she completed a 20-year career at the University of Nevada. While there, she served in several senior level leadership positions including Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Assistant Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, and Associate Vice President for Student Success Services.

Conference Background

The Women’s Leadership Conference is open to women of all professions, job levels and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support women.  Conference registration is available at $375 per person.

The non-profit MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor.  Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.

Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies that share the vision and goals of the conference. For information or to register for the conference, please visit



About The MGM Resorts Foundation


The purpose of The MGM Resorts Foundation is to collect and distribute monies and assets donated by employees of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) for the aid and support of qualified community nonprofit programs, agencies or organizations designated exclusively by MGM Resorts employees. In addition, the Foundation collects and distributes donations to the Foundation by third-party non-employees to support charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors and organized by MGM Resorts employees to benefit qualified non-profit charitable organizations designated by the Foundation's Board.




MGM Resorts International

Sonya Padgett