KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

For this year’s conference, we have assembled a large and diverse group of speakers who will motivate you, challenge your thinking, and encourage action.

WENDY BAKER

(S ’95)

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS, BlueEQ

Baker, who earned her Purdue degree in technical graphics technology, has established a 26-year career within the aerospace, defense, high-tech, and commercial products and services industries. Her broad professional experience includes technical design, engineering, program and project management, strategy development, and operations. In her current role at BlueEQ, a sales and marketing company with an emphasis in corporate training, Baker is responsible for strategic-growth channels, product development, and operations teams in support of corporate partnerships specializing in emotional intelligence, psychological safety, negotiation, and achieving peak performance.  Baker’s presentation is called “Leading With Intention and Impact.”
Baker, who earned her Purdue degree in technical graphics technology, has established a 26-year career within the aerospace, defense, high-tech, and commercial products and services industries. Her broad professional experience includes technical design, engineering, program and project management, strategy development, and operations. In her current role at BlueEQ, a sales and marketing company with an emphasis in corporate training, Baker is responsible for strategic-growth channels, product development, and operations teams in support of corporate partnerships specializing in emotional intelligence, psychological safety, negotiation, and achieving peak performance.  Baker’s presentation is called “Leading With Intention and Impact.”

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson

(la ’02)

Founder, BrainTrust Founders Studio

Bracken-Ferguson is a transformative brand builder, connector, and launcher. With a Purdue degree in communications and a career that spans brand development, strategic planning, operations, investing, board membership, and C-suite leadership, she has helped create, build, and monetize over 200 influencer-driven brands that have generated more than $100 million in revenue. Bracken-Ferguson has made it a business practice to build data-first businesses around niche influencers and talent primarily focused on lifestyle, beauty, and wellness. Her latest endeavor, the BrainTrust Founders Studio, focuses on increasing inclusive economic opportunities for Black beauty-and-wellness founders. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit BeautyUnited and also the host of Business of the Beat, a beauty and wellness podcast focused on highlighting stories of diverse founders and executives. Bracken-Ferguson, who established an endowment for Black female first-year student in Purdue’s School of Liberal Arts, is a former Golduster, president of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, member of the Jahari Dance Troupe, and advisory board member for Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication. She was a recipient of the 2021 Purdue Pioneering Women Award and the 2013 Purdue Emerging Voice Award. Bracken-Ferguson’s presentation is called “Your Future Self.”
Bracken-Ferguson is a transformative brand builder, connector, and launcher. With a Purdue degree in communications and a career that spans brand development, strategic planning, operations, investing, board membership, and C-suite leadership, she has helped create, build, and monetize over 200 influencer-driven brands that have generated more than $100 million in revenue. Bracken-Ferguson has made it a business practice to build data-first businesses around niche influencers and talent primarily focused on lifestyle, beauty, and wellness. Her latest endeavor, the BrainTrust Founders Studio, focuses on increasing inclusive economic opportunities for Black beauty-and-wellness founders. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit BeautyUnited and also the host of Business of the Beat, a beauty and wellness podcast focused on highlighting stories of diverse founders and executives. Bracken-Ferguson, who established an endowment for Black female first-year student in Purdue’s School of Liberal Arts, is a former Golduster, president of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, member of the Jahari Dance Troupe, and advisory board member for Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication. She was a recipient of the 2021 Purdue Pioneering Women Award and the 2013 Purdue Emerging Voice Award. Bracken-Ferguson’s presentation is called “Your Future Self.”

Suzanne crouch

(la ’75)

Lieutenant Governor, State of Indiana

Proud to have been born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Crouch has served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor since 2017. She previously served as the Indiana state auditor from 2014 to 2016 after serving in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2005 to 2014. As lieutenant governor, Crouch oversees a portfolio that includes the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. Additionally, she chairs the Lieutenant Governor’s Roundtable on Mental Health, the Intellectual and Development Disabilities Task Force, and the Civics Education Commission. Among her many personal and professional honors, Crouch was named a Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumna in 2018. Crouch will participate in a Q&A interview with Rafael Sanchez, anchor and investigative reporter at WRTV/ABC in Indianapolis.
Proud to have been born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Crouch has served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor since 2017. She previously served as the Indiana state auditor from 2014 to 2016 after serving in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2005 to 2014. As lieutenant governor, Crouch oversees a portfolio that includes the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. Additionally, she chairs the Lieutenant Governor’s Roundtable on Mental Health, the Intellectual and Development Disabilities Task Force, and the Civics Education Commission. Among her many personal and professional honors, Crouch was named a Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumna in 2018. Crouch will participate in a Q&A interview with Rafael Sanchez, anchor and investigative reporter at WRTV/ABC in Indianapolis.

ROBIN KWOK

(EE ’02)

Career Coach and Marketing Consultant / Growth Strategy and Operations Leader / International Expansion Expert

An innovator at heart, Kwok is a global leader in brand and product marketing, business development, and international expansion. Kwok has lived and worked in the U.S., Asia, and Europe and has led exciting projects and teams across diverse cultures in each region. Kwok has worked in both large corporate environments and hyper-growth startups, most recently serving as general manager for Airbnb while also running her own career-coaching and marketing consultancy. She is passionate about empowering women to innovate in life and design their own personal and professional journeys. Kwok’s work and contributions have been featured across industry conferences and in media outlets, such as CNBC, Marketing Interactive, CNN, Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar. At Purdue, she served in leadership roles for diversity and women’s empowerment organizations, was a founding member of Delta Phi Lambda, and served as an officer for the Purdue Society of Women Engineers. Kwok holds MBAs from Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley. Kwok’s presentation is called “Get Ready to GLOW—Grow, Lead, Own It, and Wow!”
An innovator at heart, Kwok is a global leader in brand and product marketing, business development, and international expansion. Kwok has lived and worked in the U.S., Asia, and Europe and has led exciting projects and teams across diverse cultures in each region. Kwok has worked in both large corporate environments and hyper-growth startups, most recently serving as general manager for Airbnb while also running her own career-coaching and marketing consultancy. She is passionate about empowering women to innovate in life and design their own personal and professional journeys. Kwok’s work and contributions have been featured across industry conferences and in media outlets, such as CNBC, Marketing Interactive, CNN, Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar. At Purdue, she served in leadership roles for diversity and women’s empowerment organizations, was a founding member of Delta Phi Lambda, and served as an officer for the Purdue Society of Women Engineers. Kwok holds MBAs from Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley. Kwok’s presentation is called “Get Ready to GLOW—Grow, Lead, Own It, and Wow!”

RAFAEL SANCHEZ

Anchor and Investigative Reporter, WRTV/ABC in Indianapolis

Sanchez is an Emmy Award–winning anchor and investigative reporter. He co-anchors the morning newscast Good Morning Indiana and also leads on breaking news and political coverage. Sanchez is community involved and invested. As the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, he’s focused on charities that champion education, promote self-empowerment and compassion, and encourage leadership and civic responsibility. Born in the Bronx, New York, Sanchez attended Indiana’s Franklin College, where he triple majored in journalism, political science, and Spanish. He proudly serves on the Franklin College board of trustees. Sanchez is conducting a Q&A interview with Suzanne Crouch, lieutenant governor of Indiana.
Sanchez is an Emmy Award–winning anchor and investigative reporter. He co-anchors the morning newscast Good Morning Indiana and also leads on breaking news and political coverage. Sanchez is community involved and invested. As the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, he’s focused on charities that champion education, promote self-empowerment and compassion, and encourage leadership and civic responsibility. Born in the Bronx, New York, Sanchez attended Indiana’s Franklin College, where he triple majored in journalism, political science, and Spanish. He proudly serves on the Franklin College board of trustees. Sanchez is conducting a Q&A interview with Suzanne Crouch, lieutenant governor of Indiana.

Rebecca shambaugh

(M ’78)

President, SHAMBAUGH Leadership

Shambaugh is a leadership expert, author, speaker, and founder and president of Women in Leadership and Learning, Shambaugh’s consulting firm, SHAMBAUGH Leadership, is known for accelerating the development and advancement of women while enhancing retention for top talent. Her firm partners with organizations to create inclusive and equitable cultures, incorporating an end-to-end pipeline strategy for women as they rise through the executive ranks. Shambaugh is a thought leader in gender equity and often speaks at conferences about her company’s research and best practices. She has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Leader to Leader, HuffPost, and TED Talks and showcased on CNBC and ABC. Shambaugh’s presentation is called “Women to Rise—A Road Map to Reboot Our Leadership in a Post-COVID Era.”
Shambaugh is a leadership expert, author, speaker, and founder and president of Women in Leadership and Learning, Shambaugh’s consulting firm, SHAMBAUGH Leadership, is known for accelerating the development and advancement of women while enhancing retention for top talent. Her firm partners with organizations to create inclusive and equitable cultures, incorporating an end-to-end pipeline strategy for women as they rise through the executive ranks. Shambaugh is a thought leader in gender equity and often speaks at conferences about her company’s research and best practices. She has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Leader to Leader, HuffPost, and TED Talks and showcased on CNBC and ABC. Shambaugh’s presentation is called “Women to Rise—A Road Map to Reboot Our Leadership in a Post-COVID Era.”

Breakout Speakers

Breakout Speakers

ROCHELLE ASBERRY

(LA ’85)

Owner, Dominique’s Enterprise LLC

Asberry is a sought-after public speaker, author, educator, podcaster, health and wellness expert, certified health coach, and business owner with decades of marketing and business experience. She is a champion of positive change. Because her life’s mission is to continue to make a difference, Asberry is also the founder and president of the nonprofit Kind Hands Foundation, an organization that that empowers and inspires disadvantaged youth, women, and seniors with supplies, resources, and education. She is the author of Joy Is in the Now Place: The Audacity to be Present. Asberry’s presentation is called “Joy Now!”
Asberry is a sought-after public speaker, author, educator, podcaster, health and wellness expert, certified health coach, and business owner with decades of marketing and business experience. She is a champion of positive change. Because her life’s mission is to continue to make a difference, Asberry is also the founder and president of the nonprofit Kind Hands Foundation, an organization that that empowers and inspires disadvantaged youth, women, and seniors with supplies, resources, and education. She is the author of Joy Is in the Now Place: The Audacity to be Present. Asberry’s presentation is called “Joy Now!”

TRICIA BERRY

(MA EDU ’06)

Associate Dean of Clinical and Practicum Programs, Purdue University Global

Berry holds a doctorate in education with a specialization in organizational leadership from Northcentral University, a master’s degree in teaching and learning from Kaplan University (now Purdue Global), and bachelor’s degrees in occupational therapy and psychology from St. Ambrose University. She is a certified diversity and inclusion specialist. Berry has served as a mentor to Purdue students through the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation for the past two years and led a pilot group for a mentoring program with the International Leadership Association. Berry’s presentation is called “Mentoring Works!”
Berry holds a doctorate in education with a specialization in organizational leadership from Northcentral University, a master’s degree in teaching and learning from Kaplan University (now Purdue Global), and bachelor’s degrees in occupational therapy and psychology from St. Ambrose University. She is a certified diversity and inclusion specialist. Berry has served as a mentor to Purdue students through the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation for the past two years and led a pilot group for a mentoring program with the International Leadership Association. Berry’s presentation is called “Mentoring Works!”

STACIE CARROLL

(aAE ’05)

US Air Force Reserve Special Operations Officer, Founder, Instinct Coaching LLC

Carroll is a 17-year Air Force veteran who has served on active duty and is currently in the Air Force Reserve. During seven deployments, she served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an AC-130 gunship navigator, providing close air support to special operations forces. In addition to her work as an executive-leadership coach and small-business owner, Carroll is currently a special operations aviation advisor, working with partner-nation forces to achieve national security objectives. Carroll’s presentation is called “The Warrior in You.”
Carroll is a 17-year Air Force veteran who has served on active duty and is currently in the Air Force Reserve. During seven deployments, she served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an AC-130 gunship navigator, providing close air support to special operations forces. In addition to her work as an executive-leadership coach and small-business owner, Carroll is currently a special operations aviation advisor, working with partner-nation forces to achieve national security objectives. Carroll’s presentation is called “The Warrior in You.”

EMILY CARTER

(T ’03)

Founder, Change Agent Studio LLC

Carter founded Change Agent Studio, a small-business coaching and mentoring company, in late 2019. She began her career in the entertainment industry, touring with Hilary Duff and Dolly Parton. These experiences gave her valuable lessons in collaboration, working smarter rather than harder, and making difficult decisions work. Carter now works with entrepreneurs, connecting them with knowledge and resources to grow their businesses. She believes businesses are microcosms of the world we’re building and that, through them, we can achieve personal freedom and create lasting, impactful change on global issues such as inequality and climate change. Carter’s presentation is called “Flourishing Inside Your Communities.”
Carter founded Change Agent Studio, a small-business coaching and mentoring company, in late 2019. She began her career in the entertainment industry, touring with Hilary Duff and Dolly Parton. These experiences gave her valuable lessons in collaboration, working smarter rather than harder, and making difficult decisions work. Carter now works with entrepreneurs, connecting them with knowledge and resources to grow their businesses. She believes businesses are microcosms of the world we’re building and that, through them, we can achieve personal freedom and create lasting, impactful change on global issues such as inequality and climate change. Carter’s presentation is called “Flourishing Inside Your Communities.”

GINA COVARRUBIAS

(AAE ’02)

Founder, Deliberate Doing LLC

Covarrubias, an engineer turned life coach, founded Deliberate Doing to guide STEM professionals through career stagnation and dissatisfaction. As a mental-fitness trainer, her mission is to help clients recalibrate their career strategies, align their professional and personal goals, and achieve happiness. With engineering and technology experience in government, academia, and corporate aerospace, she has a distinctive coaching style that builds confidence and inspires daily growth. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue, Covarrubias holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah. Covarrubias’s presentation is called “Enhance Workplace Wellness by Living Your Career Purpose.”
Covarrubias, an engineer turned life coach, founded Deliberate Doing to guide STEM professionals through career stagnation and dissatisfaction. As a mental-fitness trainer, her mission is to help clients recalibrate their career strategies, align their professional and personal goals, and achieve happiness. With engineering and technology experience in government, academia, and corporate aerospace, she has a distinctive coaching style that builds confidence and inspires daily growth. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue, Covarrubias holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah. Covarrubias’s presentation is called “Enhance Workplace Wellness by Living Your Career Purpose.”