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Gold Line

SPEAKERS

Gold Line
Keynote Speakers
Sara Zou

(LA’11)

Market Strategy Manager // United Airlines

Zou works on regional competitive strategy in two hubs at United Airlines. She began her career in television production at C-SPAN. Zou transitioned to marketing and community relations and obtained a master’s degree from Harvard University. During her time at Purdue, Zou performed as a Silver Twin in the “All-American” Marching Band. Zou and her twin sister, Rochelle, will present “Embracing Diversity: Blending Asian and American Cultures.”
Rochelle Zou

(LA’11)

Strategy and Consulting Manager // Accenture

Zou focuses on life sciences and change management in her role at Accenture. She previously worked for C-SPAN in Washington, DC, gaining experience in diverse roles and traveling extensively, especially during the 2016 presidential campaign. She holds a master’s degree in marketing management from Harvard University. During her time at Purdue, Zou performed as a Silver Twin in the “All-American” Marching Band. She is now president of the Purdue Alumni Club of Chicago and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Purdue Libraries. Zou and her twin sister, Sara, will present “Embracing Diversity: Blending Asian and American Cultures.”
Sabrina Wilson

(LA’94)

Senior Vice President for Human Resources // dormakaba Americas

Wilson coaches and champions diverse people in the security industry. In 2022, she was honored among the Security Industry Association’s Women in Security Forum Power 100 for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Wilson’s presentation is called “Developing Your Personal Board of Directors.”
Victoria Trabosh

(PFW’81)

International Speaker, Author, Executive Coach, Columnist, and Philanthropist // Victoria H Trabosh Executive Coach

Trabosh delivers engaging presentations on leadership, persistence, integrity, and philanthropy. She cofounded the Itafari Foundation, which supported women and children in Rwanda, serving as its president from 2005 to 2016. At age 65, she received a master’s degree from Harvard University. Trabosh’s presentation is called “Not Difficult, Determined.”
Sophia Toh

(MBA’02)

Executive Coach and Leadership Speaker // Illuminate U Coaching

Toh was previously vice president of finance and CFO of Procter & Gamble’s Walker & Company and a $5 billion business at the Kraft Heinz Company. She dedicates time to nonprofit and alumni organizations and is a founding member of the Purdue Asian Alumni Network. Toh’s presentation is called “Mastering the G.A.M.E. of Life: Strategies for Personal and Professional Success.”
Jody Sunna

(LA’01)

Vice President for Corporate Communications // Philip Morris International

Sunna spent nearly two decades guiding and shaping brands and supporting their corporate, cause, and communications efforts before she shifted to working on the client side. She was named among PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 and received PRNews’s People of the Year Award for three consecutive years. Sunna’s presentation is called “Gaining a Seat at the Table: How to Harness Your Influence.”
Shanita Starks

(M’96)

CEO // Stark Truth

Starks is a servant leader who has worked in various leadership roles throughout her career. The first CEO in her family, she is inspired to influence change in the world and make it a better place, which aligns with her motto “The stark truth will set you free.” Starks’s presentation is called “Get Anchored: Saying Yes to Yourself.”
Karil Sommers

(LA’10, MS T’17, PNW’17)

Senior Business Manager // Business Office for Student Organizations // Purdue University

Sommers began working at Purdue in 2004 and completed her two degrees while working. She has a registered yoga teacher 200 certification as well as certifications in chair yoga and yoga nidra. She teaches yoga classes online and throughout the community. Sommers’s presentation is called “Restore With Yoga Nidra,” and she will lead a morning mindfulness session.
Cassandra Salazar

(LA’17)

Community and Staff Engagement Administrator // Purdue Extension

Salazar was named a woman of distinction by the YWCA Greater Lafayette and has won three professional awards—Greater Lafayette Commerce’s Top 10 Under 40, Indiana Latino Expo’s Young Professional, and Indiana Latino Institute’s Rising Latino in Their 20s. She serves as the 4th Congressional District’s representative for Indiana’s Latino Legislative Committee. She also volunteers as the copresident of the Purdue Latino Alumni Network and as a mentor for Women Who Create and Latinas in Tech. Salazar’s presentation is called “Shaping the Future: Latina Women as Change Agents.”

Additional Speakers

Sara Zou

(LA’11)

Market Strategy Manager // United Airlines

Zou works on regional competitive strategy in two hubs at United Airlines. She began her career in television production at C-SPAN. Zou transitioned to marketing and community relations and obtained a master’s degree from Harvard University. During her time at Purdue, Zou performed as a Silver Twin in the “All-American” Marching Band. Zou and her twin sister, Rochelle, will present “Embracing Diversity: Blending Asian and American Cultures.”
Rochelle Zou

(LA’11)

Strategy and Consulting Manager // Accenture

Zou focuses on life sciences and change management in her role at Accenture. She previously worked for C-SPAN in Washington, DC, gaining experience in diverse roles and traveling extensively, especially during the 2016 presidential campaign. She holds a master’s degree in marketing management from Harvard University. During her time at Purdue, Zou performed as a Silver Twin in the “All-American” Marching Band. She is now president of the Purdue Alumni Club of Chicago and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Purdue Libraries. Zou and her twin sister, Sara, will present “Embracing Diversity: Blending Asian and American Cultures.”
Sabrina Wilson

(LA’94)

Senior Vice President for Human Resources // dormakaba Americas

Wilson coaches and champions diverse people in the security industry. In 2022, she was honored among the Security Industry Association’s Women in Security Forum Power 100 for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Wilson’s presentation is called “Developing Your Personal Board of Directors.”
Victoria Trabosh

(PFW’81)

International Speaker, Author, Executive Coach, Columnist, and Philanthropist // Victoria H Trabosh Executive Coach

Trabosh delivers engaging presentations on leadership, persistence, integrity, and philanthropy. She cofounded the Itafari Foundation, which supported women and children in Rwanda, serving as its president from 2005 to 2016. At age 65, she received a master’s degree from Harvard University. Trabosh’s presentation is called “Not Difficult, Determined.”
Sophia Toh

(MBA’02)

Executive Coach and Leadership Speaker // Illuminate U Coaching

Toh was previously vice president of finance and CFO of Procter & Gamble’s Walker & Company and a $5 billion business at the Kraft Heinz Company. She dedicates time to nonprofit and alumni organizations and is a founding member of the Purdue Asian Alumni Network. Toh’s presentation is called “Mastering the G.A.M.E. of Life: Strategies for Personal and Professional Success.”
Jody Sunna

(LA’01)

Vice President for Corporate Communications // Philip Morris International

Sunna spent nearly two decades guiding and shaping brands and supporting their corporate, cause, and communications efforts before she shifted to working on the client side. She was named among PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 and received PRNews’s People of the Year Award for three consecutive years. Sunna’s presentation is called “Gaining a Seat at the Table: How to Harness Your Influence.”
Shanita Starks

(M’96)

CEO // Stark Truth

Starks is a servant leader who has worked in various leadership roles throughout her career. The first CEO in her family, she is inspired to influence change in the world and make it a better place, which aligns with her motto “The stark truth will set you free.” Starks’s presentation is called “Get Anchored: Saying Yes to Yourself.”
Karil Sommers

(LA’10, MS T’17, PNW’17)

Senior Business Manager // Business Office for Student Organizations // Purdue University

Sommers began working at Purdue in 2004 and completed her two degrees while working. She has a registered yoga teacher 200 certification as well as certifications in chair yoga and yoga nidra. She teaches yoga classes online and throughout the community. Sommers’s presentation is called “Restore With Yoga Nidra,” and she will lead a morning mindfulness session.
Cassandra Salazar

(LA’17)

Community and Staff Engagement Administrator // Purdue Extension

Salazar was named a woman of distinction by the YWCA Greater Lafayette and has won three professional awards—Greater Lafayette Commerce’s Top 10 Under 40, Indiana Latino Expo’s Young Professional, and Indiana Latino Institute’s Rising Latino in Their 20s. She serves as the 4th Congressional District’s representative for Indiana’s Latino Legislative Committee. She also volunteers as the copresident of the Purdue Latino Alumni Network and as a mentor for Women Who Create and Latinas in Tech. Salazar’s presentation is called “Shaping the Future: Latina Women as Change Agents.”
Janessa Rhoades

(MS LA’20)

Owner and Small Business Marketing and Operations Consultant // J Rhoades Consulting

Rhoades helps small-business owners systemize their marketing and operations systems to increase revenue and build businesses that will sell for a fortune. She is passionate about empowering women to design and live their dream lives by understanding their professional worth and not compromising their personal goals. Rhoades’s presentation is called “Taming the Burnout Beast: Seven Strategies to Catapult Professional and Personal Success.”
Jeannie Rapstad

(MA PNW’18)

President // Jeannie Rapstad Enterprises

Rapstad is an award-winning international speaker, entrepreneur, speaker coach, pitch coach, working actress, and comedian. She was previously an adjunct lecturer at Purdue University Northwest (PNW), and she is now a contract instructor for the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center’s PitchMasters Workshop at PNW. Rapstad’s presentation is called “Take Your Power Back.”
Christina Piper

(LA’05)

Vice President for Workplace Design // JLL

Piper has 17 years of experience in commercial interior design and project management, working with clients across the U.S., the Middle East, and India. She serves on the executive council for the American Cancer Society’s Taste of Hope. Piper and Annalise Dum will present “Leading With Purpose: Influencing Positive, Impactful Change Through Design and Sustainability.”
Karen Mellen

(HHS’87)

Coach, Speaker, Trainer, and Entrepreneur // Rising Phoenix Leadership

Mellen is a coach, speaker, DiSC consultant, and member of the Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. She helps companies and individuals grow more efficiently and effectively. Mellen has presented twice at the Learning Summit for the Central Indiana Chapter of the Association for Talent Development and has led online webinars. She previously worked in human resources for 25 years. She supports her community by serving on the board of directors for Teachers’ Treasures. Mellen’s presentation is called “Exploring Personal Interactive Styles.”
Vickie Maris

(A’86, MS EDU’08)

CEO and Founder // Teach Inspire Connect

Maris is a speaker, author, recording artist, podcaster, and consultant. She is an authorized partner for Everything DiSC and the Five Behaviors and holds certifications as a trainer and facilitator for Everything DiSC. She is also a Lean Six Sigma black belt. Maris’s presentation is called “Moving From Employee to Full-Time Entrepreneur.”
Giovanna “Spice” Krozel

(ChE’99)

Strategic Initiatives Lead // U.S. Region Global Real Estate, Facilities, and Procurement // Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Krozel is a certified Lean Six Sigma master black belt and supplier diversity champion. She was previously in the General Electric Leadership Program. As an active member of the Chicago community, Krozel serves on the development committee of the Adler Planetarium, supports UNICEF Next Generation and Little Wish Foundation, and is the president of the Purdue Alumni Club of North/Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. She is also a founding member of the Purdue Women’s Network. Krozel’s presentation is called “Grit, Grateful, and Golden.”
Shelley Johnson

(A’85)

Tax Strategist and Founder // Jayd Advisors

Johnson is a certified public accountant and the founder of Jayd Advisors, which provides business advice and accounting and tax services. She is dedicated to tax-smart financial planning with an emphasis on cash flow and family wealth. When Mitch Daniels was the governor of Indiana, Johnson was appointed as president of the Indiana Board of Accountancy. She also engages with the community through her philanthropic commitments. Johnson’s presentation is called “The Cost of Clutter.”
Lisa Hanson

(EDU’97)

Elementary Teacher // Scott County Schools

Hanson is a national board-certified teacher and has been an educator since 1999. She teaches fourth grade at Northern Elementary in Georgetown, Kentucky. She was named the 2022 Kentucky Education Association Teacher of the Year and received a 2023 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. Hanson’s presentation is called “Embrace Life’s Opportunities.”
Julie Gordon

(HHS’03)

President // The Hope Source
Founder // Dynamic Minds Academy

Gordon is a business owner and licensed clinical social worker with 22 years of experience in the field of autism spectrum disorder. She discovered her passion while at Purdue and has since developed an innovative trauma-responsive approach to behavioral therapy and a unique therapeutic-education model for special education. In Indianapolis, she established the Hope Source and Dynamic Minds Academy, employing more than 170 professionals. Gordon’s presentation is called “Remaining True: A Mission of Emotion, Innovation, and Determination.”
Mary Farucci

(MS LA’21)

DC Administration Assistant Manager // Fastenal Company

Farucci has experience as a social media marketer, content writer, producer, award-winning anchor and reporter, blogger, on-air news personality, digital content creator, and digital strategist. A New York native who now lives in Indiana, she holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College. Farucci’s presentation is called “Former Journalist Takes on the World of Supply Chain Management.”
Annalise Dum

(LA’14)

Vice President for Sustainability // JLL

Dum helps her global clients embed sustainability into the design, construction, and operations of their commercial real estate portfolios. She holds a master’s degree in sustainability leadership from Arizona State University. Dum and Christina Piper will present “Leading With Purpose: Influencing Positive, Impactful Change Through Design and Sustainability.”
Meg Duke

(M’07)

Licensed Psychotherapist // Amplify Wellness
Adjunct Professor // The University of Kansas

Duke is a clinical social worker known for her unwavering commitment to helping people navigate their life challenges. She provides a caring, empathetic ear and fosters resilience in her clients. As a mental health advocate, she strives to raise awareness and reduce stigma. Duke’s presentation is called “Balancing Act: Navigating the Intersection of Business Success and Mental Well-Being for Women.”
Lexie Appleby

(EDU’16)

Director // Be Well Initiatives
Motivational Speaker and Content Creator

Appleby is a motivational speaker, lifestyle content creator, and breast cancer survivor. She has a background in mental health, education, and NFL cheerleading, which have influenced her motto Born to Sparkle. During her time at Purdue, she was Miss Purdue University, a campus tour guide, and a member of the Purdue Golduster Dance Team and Alpha Phi. Appleby’s presentation is called “Born to Sparkle: You are Glitterally Amazing.”
Jillian Henry

(T’04)

Vice President for Engagement // Purdue for Life Foundation

Henry is responsible for Purdue for Life’s alumni engagement efforts, including clubs and affinity networks, volunteerism, mentorship, lifelong learning, and travel programs. She previously was vice president of organizational development and strategic leadership for the Purdue Alumni Association and corporate secretary for the association’s board of directors. She still serves as governance council for the board as a nonvoting member. She has received extensive training in facilitation, grant writing, fundraising, creative problem-solving, accelerated learning, and appreciative inquiry. Henry will conduct the fireside chat with Kathleen St. Jean.
Julie Thornton

(HHS’94)

Director of Career Services // Booth School of Business // The University of Chicago

Thornton has spent more than 25 years in corporate human resources, executive search, and executive coaching for a number of U.S. markets. She has coached and mentored across many industries and is known for her direct, listen-first, results-driven approach. At the University of Chicago, she offers her business acumen and coaching to MBA students, alumni, and executives who are interested in their next steps or transitioning to a new career. Thornton’s presentation is called “How to Get Unstuck in Life and at Work.”
Kathleen St. Jean

Founder and Chief Commercial Officer // 34 Lives

St. Jean spent 29 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including leadership roles in sales, training, and customer strategy. She left her job to join the organ transplant industry with her business partner, Chris Jaynes. In 2021, St. Jean and Jaynes created their startup, 34 Lives, through the Purdue Research Foundation. St. Jean will speak with Jillian Henry during the fireside chat.
Cara Putman

(MBA’15)

Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Brock-Wilson Center for Women in Business // Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business // Purdue University

Putman is an award-winning author of more than 35 novels and one nonfiction book. She has taught and led five study abroad programs and is passionate about students and mentorship. In her role at the Brock-Wilson Center for Women in Business, Putman creates strategy and works across silos with groups and individuals, including alumni, student organizations, and community groups. She previously worked as an attorney, specializing in adoptions, employment law, and business formation. Putman’s presentation is called “Discovering the Value in Your Story.”
Kelly Hiller

Vice President of Marketing // Purdue University Marketing and Communications

Hiller leads Purdue’s marketing, brand strategy, and creative services teams. She has been working at Purdue since January 2005, when she joined the university’s marketing department as a communications coordinator. In 2008, she moved to the Purdue Alumni Association to manage the communications team. Hiller decided she was up for a new challenge in 2014 when she led Purdue’s sesquicentennial campaign: 150 Years of Giant Leaps. She is currently working toward an MBA at Purdue Global. Hiller’s presentation is called “Decision-Centric Leadership: Shaping a Culture of Trust and Respect.”
Leanna Chroman

Vice President of Culture and Learning // Huse Culinary

Chroman trains, guides, and leads employees at the Huse Culinary restaurant and retail food group so they are well equipped with the tools needed to succeed. She creates modules and courses for service training and dedicates time to building lasting relationships with employees throughout the organization. Chroman joined the organization as a server for Harry & Izzy’s, later taking on additional responsibilities as an area training director, director of training, and director of operations. In 2025, she will receive a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Purdue Global. Chroman’s presentation is called “Recycle Pain to a Purpose.”
Stephanie Stahl // Colead


Sleep Medicine Physician and Neurologist at Indiana University (IU) Health, Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program at IU, and Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at IU

Andrea Brezill // Colead


Disease and Clinical Specialist of Immunology at Novartis


Nicole Noel // Colead


Director of Clinical and Account Management




Brian Daniels // Colead


Doctor of Sports Medicine for Nemours Children’s Health and Medical Director at USTA National Campus