Purdue for Life Foundation
Gold Lines



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.

Gold Lines
Gold Lines



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.

Gold Lines
DaVida L. Anderson


Founder and Executive Director // Strong Sister, Silly Sister
Director of Student Care and Integrity // Carroll Community College

Anderson embraces growth and empowers others to become their best selves in her roles as a college administrator and a member of several boards. She is a motivational speaker and the founder of Strong Sister, Silly Sister, a nonprofit organization that provides young African American women with personal growth and motivational services. She is skilled at developing programs and facilitating discussions that result in productive and measurable outcomes. Anderson’s presentation is called “Good Morning, Gorgeous! Protect Your Mental Health and Build Self-Love.”
Wendy Baker


Vice President of Operations // BlueEQ

Baker has had a 26-year career within the aerospace, defense, high-tech, and commercial products and services industries. She currently works at BlueEQ, a sales and marketing company with an emphasis in corporate training. In this role, Baker is responsible for strategic growth channels and revenue; product development; and operations teams in support of corporate partnerships specializing in emotional intelligence, psychological safety, negotiations, and achieving peak performance. Baker met Karen Korellis Reuther at Purdue Women’s Conference 2022, and they are now working together to collect interviews from women for a book. Baker and Korellis Reuther’s presentation is called “The Power of a Moment.”
Michelle Gladieux

(HHS’93, MS T’95)

President // Gladieux Consulting

Gladieux is an executive coach and instructional designer and trainer, employing a team of 10. She began working as a human resources and training director while also serving as an adjunct faculty member at Purdue University Fort Wayne, Trine University, and Indiana Tech. Gladieux has designed and delivered more than 1,000 professional development seminars in leadership and communication for diverse clients around the country. Her first book, Communicate With Courage: Taking Risks to Overcome the Four Hidden Challenges, was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. Gladieux’s presentation is called “Communicate With Courage: Taking Risks to Overcome the Four Hidden Challenges.”
Sharon Hagle

CEO and Founder // SpaceKids Global

Hagle is the founder of SpaceKids Global, a nonprofit organization that inspires elementary students to excel in STEAM education and ensures that girls are equally represented. The company hosts a variety of annual challenges designed to inspire kids to pursue careers in the space industry. Last year, Hagle received the Clifford H. Lee Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to and achievements in philanthropy throughout central Florida, and she was recently recognized as one of Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business. In March 2022, Hagle and her husband, Marc Hagle (ECE’71, MS M’72), flew on Blue Origin’s NS-20. They became the first married couple on a commercial space flight, and they will be returning to space with Blue Origin on a future flight. Hagle will speak with Jillian Henry, vice president for engagement at the Purdue for Life Foundation, during the fireside chat.
Virginia Jacko

(MS HHS’75)

President and CEO // Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
President // Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program
President and Founder // Miami Lighthouse Academy

Jacko was an executive at Purdue University for 22 years, including 12 years directing financial affairs for the president and provost. She became blind at the height of her Purdue career, but she didn’t let that stop her. Jacko has been the president and CEO of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired since 2005. She has transformed the lives of over 90,000 blind and visually impaired people—from infants to seniors. Jacko’s presentation is called “Turning a Tragedy Into an Opportunity and Finding Purpose Along the Way.”
Karen Korellis Reuther


Advisor, Educator, and Activist // Harvard University

Korellis Reuther is a creative and brand strategy executive. In her role at Harvard, she is dedicated to ridding workplaces of the bias that prevents true influence and real impact. She spent 12 years as global creative director at Nike and served as vice president of creative direction and future at Reebok. She was named a Purdue Old Master in 2013 and received the Purdue College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019. Korellis Reuther met Wendy Baker at Purdue Women’s Conference 2022, and they are now working together to collect interviews from women for a book. Korellis Reuther and Baker’s presentation is called “The Power of a Moment.”
Jillian Henry


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 is conducting the fireside chat with Sharon Hagle, founder of SpaceKids Global.




Founder and Relationships Coach // Smart Dating Academy

Gandhi has successfully coached many people, including Boilermakers, all over the country. She has been featured on numerous popular shows, including Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, and The Today Show. Gandhi will speak with Maria Whipple, director of affinity networks at the Purdue for Life Foundation, during the special event on Wednesday, June 7.

(MS PG’20)

Director of Affinity Networks // Purdue for Life Foundation

Whipple oversees the engagement efforts for all of the foundation’s affinity networks, including the Purdue Women’s Network. These networks are recognized communities of alumni who actively engage around a central, unifying purpose, mission, background, or activity beyond class affiliation, school, or regional proximity. Whipple is a bilingual French, American, and Filipino citizen and has studied and worked in seven countries and across multiple industries. She received an executive MBA from Henley Business School in the United Kingdom. Whipple will conduct the special event with Bela Gandhi, founder and relationships coach at Smart Dating Academy, on Wednesday, June 7.

Breakout Speakers

Breakout Speakers

Jennifer Avila


Executive Director // Custom Home Care

Avila is a certified dementia practitioner and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of aging. She serves seniors and their families through the continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and home care. Avila’s presentation is called “Playbook for Aging Parents.”
Kristy Dotson


Nutrition and Wellness Speaker // KrisCross Enterprises

Dotson is a sought-after nutrition expert with a 28-year career in the processed foods, pharmaceutical, medical, and wellness industries. As a nutrition and wellness speaker, Dotson helps 30- to 65-year-old women identify toxic and inflammatory foods and provides them with eating strategies to prevent chronic illness and disease. She provides nutritional wisdom by incorporating real-life experiences and her knowledge of many industries. She also coauthored Fight to Live: Winning the Spiritual and Physical Battle for Your Health. Dotson’s presentation is called “Fight to Live.”
Tiffany M. Harris


Senior Manager // People Development Programs // Coursera

Harris is a problem solver and change agent—skilled at shifting difficult projects into positive outcomes. She has extensive industry and consulting experience and offers managerial expertise in change management, talent management, and training and development. She excels at helping organizations and people discover their best selves. Harris’s presentation is called “The Power of Saying Yes.”
Amy Hess


Executive Advisor // Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet

Hess oversees many of Kentucky’s public safety components. She was previously chief of public services for the Louisville Metro Government. Hess also served as a special agent in the FBI for 29 years and was the highest-ranking woman at the time of her retirement. She enjoys presenting on her experiences with leadership, diversity, and crisis management. Hess’s presentation is called “The Formula for Successful Leadership: 90% Is Just Showing Up—the Other Half Is Communication.”
Desiré Hunter



Hunter is an organizational consultant and social enthusiast. She brings together people who share a common goal of doing good in their communities, helping them to illuminate their abilities and discover solutions. Hunter’s presentation is called “The Art of Renaissance Women.”