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Date(s) - October 28, 2022
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Stuart's Opera House



The Athens Area Women’s+ Summit will return for a sixth consecutive year to empower and inspire local women on Friday, October 28, 2022. Attendees will convene at Stuart’s Opera House to enjoy a day full of speaker sessions, networking, a keynote address by Ohio’s Poet Laureate, and free on-site perks like professional headshots, mammogram screenings, and more.



At a time when our community is still reconnecting following the isolation of the past few years, this conference pulls together attendees from all career fields and levels and offers many opportunities for connection, community-building, and self-discovery in a safe and welcoming environment. Sessions will use a mix of academic approaches, real-life experiences, and interactive exercises to take attendees on a journey of personal and professional development and leave them feeling energized, emboldened, and capable of making change in their life and community.


Kari Gunter-Seymour – Ohio’s current Poet Laureate, a former instructor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and a ninth generation Appalachian – will present this year’s keynote address “Where I Come From It’s Pronounced ‘App-a-lach-a’!” Other sessions will offer insight into topics such as financial literacy, activism and allyship, health and wellness, and more.

Speakers include many well-known women from the Athens area, such as Debbie Phillips, the State Representative for the Athens area in the Ohio House from 2009-2016 and the current CEO of Rural Action, who will be presenting “Paths towards Leadership,” and Dr. Lucy Bucher, a practicing OB/Gyn and Senior Director of Clinical Affairs at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, who will present on navigating gynecological care.

Apart from engaging speaker sessions, attendees will be treated to both breakfast and lunch, where networking and forging new connections is encouraged. Throughout the day there will also be opportunities to visit the OhioHealth Mobile Mammography Unit – which will be onsite – and to sit for a free, professional headshot offered by January Heuss, an award-winning fine art photographer and the owner of Ja’Nicole Art.


Scroll down to see the speaker line-up!



Register for your Sponsorship Spot Today!

All sponsorship levels involve your inclusion in website, pre-event, and day-of features/advertisements, plus:



Hocking Valley Bank Logo



Quidel Logo


Session Sponsor $1,000 (only 5 left!)


  • Half page ad inside the program
  • Signage in both breakout rooms
  • Includes 2 event tickets


Empower, $500 (just 2 left!)


  • Quarter page ad inside the program
  • Includes 1 event ticket



Supporting, $250 (unlimited)

Atomic Credit Union

Area 14 Workforce Development Board

David White Services

Don Wood Automotive

Eclipse Company Store

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery

Shawna Stump, State Farm Insurance


  • Business logo included in an ad for all Supporters in the program
  • Includes 1 event ticket


Printable Sponsorship Flyer, 10-3-22

2022 Women’s Summit Program


Conference Agenda*

*Subject to Change

8:15am – 8:45 – Registration and Breakfast
8:45am – 9:00am – Welcome
9:15am – 10:15am – Session 1
10:15am – 10:30am – Break
10:30am – 11:30pm – Session 2
11:45pm – 1:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Session 3
2:00pm – 2:30pm – Networking
2:30pm – 3:30pm – Keynote


Session Options

Attendees will be asked to make session selections when registering for the event.

For more information, click on the below session names for the presentation summary and bio that each speaker provided.

Session 1:
“Keeping Afloat: How to Lift Ourselves and Others Through Passions and Hobbies” presented by Nancy L. Baur, LPCC-S, LICDC

“The Importance of Pivoting: How to Make Changes While Still Moving Forward” presented by Chelsea Clark-Besic

“I, We, and Community: Advancing Equity and Inclusion through Individual, Interpersonal, and Collaborative Action” presented by Catherine Esperanza, Lisa Flowers-Clements, MaryKathyrine Tran


Session 2:
“Our Bodies, Our Choices: Navigating Gynecological Care for Patients and Parents” presented Dr. Lucy Bucher

“Finding Perspective During Difficult Transitions” Laura L. Myers

“Paths toward Leadership” presented by Debbie Phillips


Session 3:
“Empowerment Self Defense and Personal Safety for Women” presented by Cheryl Cesta

“’Why’ it Matters” presented by Jennifer L’Heureux, Rene Redd, and Jen Seifert

Walking on Broken Glass: Women in Male-dominated Fields


“Where I Come From It’s Pronounced ‘App-a-lach-a’!” presented by Kari Gunter-Seymour, Ohio’s Poet Laureate


Check out some of our favorite moments from the 2021 Women’s Summit:

Stuart’s Opera House on the morning of the 5th Annual Athens Area Women’s Summit.

The Stuart's Opera House lobby waiting in the morning to greet attendees.

Networking during breakfast/registration.

The breakfast buffet spread, sponsored by Quidel and provided by Brenen’s Coffee Café.

Attendees listening to opening remarks by Athens Area Chamber of Commerce President Dani Underhill.

Layla Sweet during her “Generating Energy” presentation.

Attendees participating during Layla Sweet’s “Generating Energy” session.

Dr. Kay-Anne Darlington presenting her session “From Negative Net Worth to My First 100k” on the stage at Stuart’s Opera House.

Attendees take notes during Dr. Kay-Anne Darlington’s session “From Negative Net Worth to My First 100k.”

Cheryl Prusinski referring to a slide during her presentation “The Deaf Community.”

The tables set up for lunch with notebooks from Lunch sponsor Hocking Valley Bank.

The OhioHealth Mobile Mammography Unit, an in-person perk, parked outside Stuart’s Opera House.

LeeAnn Helber referring to a slide during her presentation “A Unicorn’s Journey: Navigating Professional Choices in Search of the Perfect Job”.

An attendee listening to LeeAnn Helber present.

Cat Russell presenting “Recalculating: Course Correcting Allyship to Realign Intent and Impact” on the stage of Stuart’s Opera House.

Attendees taking notes during Cat Russell’s presentation “Recalculating: Course Correcting Allyship to Realign Intent and Impact.”

Attendees taking notes during Michelle Wilson’s presentation “Align Your Money With Your Values.”

Participants discussing topics during Michelle Wilson’s presentation “Align Your Money With Your Values.”


Chamber President Dani Underhill and Director of Operations Dawn Worley-Sims share a moment in the middle of the event.

Lunch time gave attendees an opportunity to catch up.

Connecting over lunch.

Networking and lunching.

Forming connections during the lunch break.

Attendees sharing a laugh and forming connections at the Athens Area Women’s Summit.

Attendees sharing a laugh.

Attendees wait in line for the lunch buffet, sponsored by Hocking Valley Bank and provided by Hocking College Culinary.

Janice M. Wright presenting “The Power of ‘ISMS’”

Emily Latta speaking virtually during the Healthcare Roundtable session.

Summit planning committee member Tammy Bobo moderating the virtual Healthcare Roundtable session from the stage of Stuart’s Opera House.

An attendee takes notes during the “I Am Worth Defending!” session presented by Rebekah Mendez

Susan Barga, a member of the Women’s Summit planning committee, taking a break from setting up the lobby.

Attendees all went home with Athens Area Women’s Summit tumblers.

Attendees connect while waiting for the keynote presentation to begin.

Attendees networking during cocktail hour.

Keynote presenter Michelle Greenfield speaking during her “Grounded and Centered Leadership” session.

Michelle Greenfield presenting her keynote address “Grounded and Centered Leadership”

Michelle Greenfield speaks from the stage during her keynote address.

An attendee following Michelle Greenfield’s guided breathing exercise during the keynote address.

Listening to the keynote address by Michelle Greenfield.

Attendees raise their hands in the air at the end of Michelle Greenfield’s guided relaxation exercise.

Chamber President Dani Underhill closing out the Summit.