2018 International Women's Day


  1. Help women see West Michigan as a great place to have a career and be surrounded by companies that support women

  2. Bring men into the conversation

  3. Help attendees walk away feeling inspired and equipped with the right tools to achieve their goals, both personal and professional

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
DeVos Place - Ballroom B
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Registration will close on Monday, February 19, 2018.

Local women and men are coming together to celebrate International Women's Day and to celebrate West Michigan as a great place to have a career and be supported by companies that support women. 

This year's event focuses on “Be Unstoppable” and will include keynote addresses by:

  • Jeffery Halter, consultant and author of WHY WOMEN and The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men and Selling to Men, Selling to Women
  • Dr. Debbye Turner Bell, former Miss USA, who is passionate about women supporting women
  • Members from the host companies will participate in a panel to talk about how to have Genuine Conversations

We are also excited to be offering four powerful workshops to help women and men improve their effectiveness in the workplace. Join us and leave feeling inspired, empowered and equipped with the right tools to achieve your goals, both personal and professional.

Host companies for this year’s event include: Amway Corp., Inforum, and Wolverine Worldwide.

For more information about the speakers or the workshop options, click on the Speakers or Workshops tabs on the landing page.

Click here for maps and parking information. The cost for parking is not included.

8:00 AM: Registration
8:30 AM: Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:00 AM: Jeffery Halter Keynote
10:00 AM: Dr. Debbye Turner Bell Keynote
11:15 AM: Workshops
12:15 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Workshops
2:15 PM: Panel
3:15 PM: Recap key messages and closing remarks

Jeffery Halter (Keynote)

President of YWomen

Jeffery Tobias Halter is the President of YWomen, a strategic consulting company focused on engaging men in women’s leadership advancement. Jeffery is author of two books, WHY WOMEN, The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women and Engaging Men and Selling to Men, Selling to Women. He is a two-time TEDx speaker and a contributing writer to Huffington Post, New York Daily News, and Working Mother magazine. His clients include Walmart, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caterpillar, Mercedes Benz and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies. www.ywomen.biz

Dr. Debbye Turner Bell (Keynote)

Veterinarian, Journalist, Minister, Motivational Speaker, Miss America 1990

Dr. Debbye Turner Bell is a corporate trainer in leadership development, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, broadcast journalist, motivational speaker, and Miss America 1990. Turner Bell was a staff correspondent and fill-in anchor at CBS News for more than a decade; then the lead U.S. news anchor for a global cable news network. She can still be seen on the show “DOGS 101” on Animal Planet as an expert contributor. Turner Bell has spoken in every state in the U.S. and a myriad of countries around the globe.

Chip Coe

Wolverine Worldwide, Inc., Managing Director - Europe, Middle East & Africa

Chip Coe is based in London and responsible for the overall direction and management of all Wolverine brands in the EMEA region, comprising over 250 employees and over $325 million in revenue. Chip has been with Wolverine for seven years and has served as MD-EMEA for two years. Prior to his current role, he oversaw the re-launch and overall management of the Chaco brand as VP and General Manager – Chaco Footwear. Under his leadership the Chaco brand grew from approximately $18 million in 2010 to over $70 million in 2015. Chip is an established leader in the outdoor industry, having led the Smartwool Corporation in Colorado Springs, CO as Director and President. Chip earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan and enjoys alpine skiing, road cycling, mountain biking and golfing.

Monica Cost

Personal Mastery: Living a Values Driven Life

Monica Cost is a Pathfinder, internet television host, author, and speaker. Her method, the Value Identification Process™, has enabled enterprises from Reebok to JP Morgan, and organizations like Harvard University, The Partnership, Inc., and The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation — to achieve powerful results by linking one’s core values, personal fulfillment and professional success. Through her book, The Things I Used to do to Sneeze: How to live an authentic life, and online talk show, Monica is equipping thousands with the ability to move towards overall life success. The Pathfinder www.monicacost.com.

Terry Barclay

President and CEO Inforum

Terry A. Barclay was named President and CEO of Inforum in 2001. She serves on the boards of Cranbrook Institute of Science and The Nature Conservancy of Michigan. Earlier, she was founder and president of Operation ABLE of Michigan; SVP and chief external affairs officer for Hospice of Michigan; and VP university relations for Oakland University. She earned a B.A. from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a Master’s from the University of Michigan.

Brenda Meller

Inspirational Marketing Leader, Marketing & Social Media Consultant

For the past ten years, Brenda has been sharing her expertise in marketing and social media through Inforum affinity groups, webinars, presentations, and online. The short story is that she loves social media and developed a knack for sharing it with others. A few years ago, Terry Barclay suggested she lean into this as a career path, which prompted Brenda to create Meller Marketing LLC, where she now provides social media and marketing support to organizations of all sizes.

Dot Proux

Executive coach, Leadership Development Facilitator

In 2014, while a CPA and partner at Ernst & Young, Dot set her sights on her second career. Positioning herself for roles at EY that would help prepare her for “Chapter 2,” she pursued training and credentials in the fields of coaching, facilitation, and HR. Upon leaving EY in 2016, she launched her new career providing facilitation, coaching, and advisory services focused on emotional intelligence, inclusive leadership, and the development of high potential female leaders.


Amy Peterson

CEO and Co-Founder of Rebel Nell L3c, VP of Ross Initiative in Sports of Equality

Amy Peterson, CEO and Co-Founder, Rebel Nell L3C, VP, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), an attorney, moved to Detroit in 2007 to pursue her childhood dream of working in the sports industry. Detroit quickly found its way into Amy's heart. A strong desire to empower women in Detroit became a necessity for her and Rebel Nell was launched in 2007 to employ, educate and empower women transitioning out of homelessness. www.rebelnell.com.

Claire Groen

Vice President - Litigation, Legal/HR & Governance

As Vice President – Litigation and Deputy General Counsel, Claire Groen is responsible for managing Amway’s global litigation, corporate governance and employment law compliance. Claire previously served as Amway’s Vice President - Global Compensation and Benefits in the Human Resources Division. Prior to joining Amway, Claire was a partner at Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith.

Mike Cazar

Chief Operating Officer of Amway

Mike Cazer, Chief Operating Officer, joined Amway in 2011. He leads Amway’s executive staff, the company’s top operating team and reports to the Office of the Chief Executive, composed of Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos. He is responsible for the strategic vision, execution and leadership necessary to maintain Amway’s core business growth, as well as the Alticor Corporate Enterprises (ACE) portfolio companies. Cazer oversees the development of Amway’s strategy, long-range and annual plans and budgets, and oversees the execution of the company’s operating functions, specifically its four regions as well as sales, marketing, supply chain and R&D. Cazer serves on the board of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and previously served on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in France.

Angel Duff (Emcee)

Corporate Counsel - Human Resources

Angel Duff is Corporate Counsel - Human Resources in the Legal Division at Amway. In her role, Angel counsels on policy development and provides legal and strategic advice on a variety of complex employment issues. Prior to Amway, Angel was an associate at the law firm Miller Johnson. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law.

Rosalynn Bliss

Mayor of Grand Rapids

Rosalynn Bliss is the City of Grand Rapids’ first female Mayor. She previously served as a City Commissioner for 10 years. Mayor Bliss also is an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University's School of Social Work. She is immediate past president of the Michigan Municipal League and she serves on the boards of the Downtown Development Authority, Experience Grand Rapids, Grand Valley Metro Council, Kent County Land Bank Authority and Interurban Transit Partnership, among many other organizations.


Jeffrey Halter

It's Time to Stop Asking Women to Lean-In and Ask Men to Stand-Up

How does a man wearing size 14 red pumps serve to illustrate the current state of women’s leadership in this country? Simply put, men and women are having significantly different workplace experiences in the workplace. Best-in-class companies are realizing that one of the keys to advancing women is active male engagement. In this fast-paced and entertaining keynote, participants will learn:

  1. The significantly different workplace experiences men and women are having…and how they can start to talk about them
  2. The overwhelming ROI of investing in women
  3. The four things men need to do on a daily basis to become champions for women in the workplace

Dr. Debbye Turner Bell

The Audacity of Sisterhood

We are living in a unique time where sisterhood is not only important but essential. We learn at a young age that other girls are both our co-conspirators and competition. Therein lies our conflict. This is the time for us to put the “sister” back into “sisterhood.” True sisterhood is about how women support the success of other women. Learn what you can do to support and empower your “sisters.” Sisterhood means we ALL achieve success beyond our wildest dreams.


Attendees can participate in two workshops. You will have the opportunity to indicate your preferences during the registration process.

#1 Personal Mastery: Living a Values Driven Life with Monica Cost

85% of mental chatter is negative. What we think, affects what we do. What we do affects, what we expect. What we expect is rooted in our values. Our values are the filter for how we view the world. It’s a chain reaction. Are you living according to YOUR core values? Participating in Monica’s Value Identification Process™ (V.I.P.) will identify your core values, discover areas of unfulfillment and create a process for taming your mental chatter. The results of this discussion are personal clarity, professional focus and a more unapologetic existence.

#2 Brand Networking: The Art of Meeting for Coffee with Terry Barclay and Brenda Meller

We all have heard that networking is key to career success, but how do you get started? Or if you're already networking, is there a better way to build those strategic connections? Join Terry Barclay, Inforum's CEO, and Brenda Meller, Owner of Meller Marketing, for an interactive, action-focused session to learn about the Art of Networking, online and in person. Attendees will learn:

  1. The importance of informational interviews throughout your career
  2. How to tap into online resources like LinkedIn to prepare for meetings and networking events
  3. Techniques to find more time to network, such as "virtual coffees"

#3 Genuine Presence with Dot Proux

Join us for a conversation that will enable you to strategically communicate your greatness! Our culture has certain expectations about how women should “show up” at work. In this session, you’ll learn some techniques for communicating your opinions and ideas in a way that is authentic to who you are. Our discussion will be especially helpful if you struggle to take credit for your work or have received feedback that you should “tone it down” a bit after conveying your thoughts with strong conviction.

#4 Fail Well and the World Opens Up to You with Amy Peterson

When you can fail well, there is no challenge you can’t pursue. Your self-worth doesn’t ride on your success. You have the courage to ask for help when you need it – and leverage every resource available to you to get the job done. You have the ability to be vulnerable about your limits, authentic with your peers and forge powerful networks as a result. This breakout is intended to give participants the opportunity to start learning and failing well.

PANEL: Claire Groen, Mike Cazar, Wolverine Worldwide Speakers and moderated by Mayor Bliss

Can Mars and Venus be Allies?

We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but is this also true in the workplace? Do men and women really take that different of an approach to networking, failure and being an effective workplace ally? Join in the discussion with gender champions from Amway and Wolverine Worldwide as they share their personal experiences and insights. Gain the knowledge you need to build and leverage networks, how to fail successfully and how to be an ally with Mars, or Venus, or both!

Host Companies:

Diamond Sponsor:

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsors:

Haworth, Manpower, Roman Manufacturing, Varnum LLP

Silver Sponsors:

ACH Hospitality, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Korn Ferry Hay Group, Inc., Merrill Lynch, Skillsoft, Warner Norcross

Table Sponsor:

Willis Towers Watson

Bronze Sponsors:

Cartus, Verbeek and Staples Group


For registration questions, please email Corey Crimp / Kayleen Van Gelder at events@amway.com
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