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Women's Empowerment 2016

11:30a – 12:00p Varsity Lounge

Sponsored by: TRACYMAC Solutions For Life Institute and Coaching Firm and Success Coaching Systems

Food, Folks and Fund$

Presented by: Tracy “TracyMac” McNeil, MCC, CWCM, MHFAI, CEO owner and Senior Fellow of TRACYMAC Solutions For Life Institute and Coaching Firm and Deanna Hamilton, CEO of Success Coaching Systems

We invite you to Food, Folks & Fund$! A seminar created by TracyMac and Deanna Hamilton. “Food, Folks & Fund$” Seminar is specifically for professionals, leaders and business owners who may not necessarily need a structured coaching program or may not have time for  full-fledged coaching sessions, but just need to address your:

  • Food – What are you eating and what’s eating you
  • Folks – Your personal and professional relationships
  • Fund$ – Your money, success and wealth



11:30a – 12:15p – Arena Club A

Sponsored by: Durham County Department of Social Services Child Support Division

Everything You Wanted to Know About Child Support, But Were Afraid To Ask

Presented by: Mary Flonouy, Program Manager, Child Support

Mary Flounoy and her team of professionals will answer your questions about Child Support, and how and why Durham County has been successful at collections to support children in Durham County.


11:30a – 12:15p – Arena Club B

Sponsored by: GSK Pharmaceuticals

Living with Lupus:  How can you take a more active role?

Presented by: GSK Pharmaceuticals

This workshop will cover the basics of the immune system and how it functions differently in individuals living with lupus, the importance of patients taking an active role in managing their lupus, and introduce resources and tools available to help patients monitor their symptoms and better communicate with their healthcare team.

 Keron Chang

Speaker: Keron Chang


12:15p – 12:45p – Varsity Lounge


Sponsored by: Skin Wellness Dermatology

Presented by: Dr. Brooke Jackson, Medical Director and owner of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Durham

Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Brooke Jackson, Medical Director and owner of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Durham will discuss common skin concerns, aging gracefully, what you can do to reach your skin goals and love the skin you are in.


Dr. Brooke Jackson is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. After completing two fellowships, Laser Surgery at Harvard and a second in Mohs, she founded the Mohs Surgery Unit at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She then moved to Chicago, where she founded the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago and held a clinical faculty position in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University. In 2013, Dr. Jackson relocated to the Triangle area. She was an Associate Professor of Dermatology at UNC, Chapel Hill, until opening her private practice Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates, PA. Dr. Jackson’s practice philosophy focuses on patient education and skin wellness. She is a frequent and sought after guest and resource for national and local media on dermatology concerns. An avid runner and budding triathlete, Dr. Jackson has completed 10 marathons (26.2 miles). She is married with three very active children.

2:15p – 3:00p – Arena Club A

How Stress Can Hinder Success

Sponsored by: WakeMed

Presented by: Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne, WakeMed Physician Practices – Primary Care

Success does NOT have to mean a life full of stress. As women, we often do it all – manage our careers, households, care for families, loved ones and much more. Not only does this cause stress, forgetting to care for ourselves can lead to long-term health problems, including obesity and heart disease to name a few. These conditions can keep us from being our most successful selves. Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne explores how stress can manifest into health problems and provides valuable tips and tricks for managing life – without the stress.


Source: WakeMed / WakeMed

Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne is dually board-certified from the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians as well as the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

She is also a stress expert, and a professor at Campbell University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Buies Creek, NC.

As an obesity medicine specialist and consummate teacher at heart, she is committed to helping her patients successfully lose weight by utilizing her training as an osteopathic medical physician to address the needs of the “whole person” so that they can reach and sustain their health goals.

In addition, she is a media health correspondent and official speaking representative for the American Osteopathic Association and has been featured on various platforms such as, SHAPE magazine, US News, ReachMD, ABC11NEWS, Radio One and Discovery Health. She is also the author of the best-selling book, A Woman’s Guide to De-Stress for Success: 10 Essential Tips to Conquer Stress and Live at Your Best, which was released in April 2016.

In her free time, Dr. Lowe-Payne enjoys cooking, recreational boxing and spending time with her family and friends.



2:15p – 3:00p – Arena Club B

Give Yourself Some Credit

Sponsored by: Cousin Kera

Presented by: Kera Hansil, Founder of eFinance Resources and Bridget Tate, Director of Scores Up Now

Powerful tips on what you can do to start using your money wisely to build or improve your credit score.


With over 24 years of experience in the Automotive Industry, Kera Hansil is the founder of eFinance Resources LLC in Durham NC and Scores Up Now LLC.  She attended Virginia Union University in Richmond VA for Psychology and instead of pursuing a career with children, she moved to the Washington DC area and began a career in the Automotive Industry.  She started off in sales during the early 90’s when it was unconventional to have a female salesperson.  In the late 90’s she was introduced to finance and was disheartened by the number of people that attempted to buy vehicles that did not have the credit, or ultimately did not understand how to achieve the credit score needed to buy a vehicle, or even a home.  Many dealerships took advantage of customers and her focus changed to financial literacy.

In 2003 she was hired with The Hendrick Automotive Group in Woodbridge VA and began to make an impact by educating buyers on the credit process and achieving higher scores.  Workshops and seminars were the way to give back to the community and promote education to those who needed it.  Upon moving to North Carolina where she continued to work for Hendrick under Performance Auto Mall in Chapel Hill as a Special Finance Manger.  In 2010 she established a relationship with the Triangle Area of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill as “Cousin Kera” and began to get customers the loans they needed to get back on track.

In 2014, eFinance Resources was launched and she is now an Independent Finance Manger.  eFinance Resources is a new concept offering loans to help customers at various dealerships get the vehicle they want and get the respect and attention they should in the car purchasing experience.  In 2016 Scores Up Now was established to offer ongoing credit restoration with a focus on budget to increase credit scores the right way.


2:30p – 3:00p – Varsity Lounge

Moving on UP! Basics of Credit Seminar

Sponsored by: Jackie Newkirk State Farm Ins. & Fin. Svcs Inc.

Presented by: Jackie Newkirk, State Farm Insurance Agent and Deborah G. Kennedy ,CEO WeTech

Do you know the difference between a credit report & a credit score? The five elements that make up a credit score?  That closing accounts can hurt your credit score?  How your credit score impacts your insurance rates?  If you answered no to any of these questions join sponsor State Farm Agent, Jackie Newkirk for an informative seminar “Moving on UP” with the basics of credit.

Jackie Newkirk - State Farm

Source: Jackie Newkirk – State Farm / Jackie Newkirk – State Farm

Jackie is a graduate of the University of NC at Greensboro with a B.A. degree in Speech Communication and minor in Sociology.  She started her career with State Farm as an Auto Claim Representative, where she served the Greensboro market for 8 years.  She transitioned to agency owner in the same city.  She has 30 years of State Farm Insurance experience including 15 years of Agency Field Leadership.  Jackie has returned to her first love of being a State Agency owner in her hometown of Raleigh in 2015.

She is excited to serve the Raleigh and NC market areas.  Jackie and her team members have a passion to help people manage the risk of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams.

Her mission is “We strive to Meet your Needs and Exceed your Expectations!”

She is a member of Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Nat’l Assoc. of Ins. & Fin. Svcs, and a proud member of the Western Wake Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and YMCA volunteer mentor.


4:00p – 4:30p – Varsity Lounge

Private Money Investing

Sponsored by: Analepsis Property Solutions, LLC

Presented by: John Merriweather, Private Money Strategist

Learn how to earn higher rates of return safely and securely on your investment capital or retirement funds than you are currently making anywhere else.


John Merriweather

Source: John Merriweather / John Merriweather

John Merriweather graduated from Southern Illinois University with an Electrical Engineering degree in 1998. In 2005, He obtained his Master’s degree in the Management of Information Systems from North Carolina Central University. His IT career began 17 plus years ago with a Fortune 500 company focusing on e-Business Service Delivery. After many changes in the IT field he decided to enter the world of Real Estate. There are many facets to the world of Real Estate and because of the current glut of bank-owned properties entering the market, he decided to focus in that area. Buying bank-owned properties not only affords the opportunity to build wealth, it also lends itself to improving the area and providing homes to people where most major items have been replaced with new ones. This allows home seekers an opportunity to buy a newer home for existing home prices. My desire is to create a winning situation for the buyer, seller, investor, and myself.


4:00p – 4:45p – Arena Club A

Hormones, Hot Flashes and Heart Disease

Sponsored by: WakeMed

Presented by: Dr. Michele Benoit-Wilson , WakeMed Physician Practices – Ob/Gyn  and Dr. Padma Hari, WakeMed Heart & Vascular Physicians

Did you know that the number one killer of women in the United States is heart disease? Many women don’t know their risks for heart disease nor do they know their risk increases following menopause. Join us as we hear from two WakeMed experts – a cardiologist and a gynecologist – and explore the relationship between heart disease and menopause.


Source: WakeMed / WakeMed

Dr. Michele Benoit-Wilson is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and a fellow with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. With over 10 years of OB/GYN experience, her clinical interests include contraceptive management, abnormal bleeding, fibroid management, laparoscopic surgery and both routine and high risk obstetrics.

Dr. Benoit-Wilson earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at Brown University in Providence, RI. She completed her internship and residency in OB/GYN with the Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System after earning her medical degree from Brown University School of Medicine.

Dr. Benoit-Wilson is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and is involved with community service


Source: WakeMed / WakeMed

With more than a decade of experience in the field of cardiology, Dr. Padma Hari is a non-invasive cardiologist who has clinical interests in congestive heart failure and preventive cardiology, as well as imaging and women’s health. Dr. Hari also spent two years as a general practitioner caring for patients with chronic medical issues such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, as well as caring for pregnant women.

Dr. Hari ultimately chose to specialize in cardiology because of the huge, immediate impact it allows her to make on her patients’ health. She also takes very seriously the opportunity to help reduce the global burden of cardiovascular disease by teaching her patients and others about preventive health, which she feels connects perfectly with WakeMed’s own organizational mission and goals.

Prior to joining WakeMed, Dr. Hari worked at the Summit Cardiology practice in Chambersburg, Pa. She is a seasoned clinical researcher and physician leader who is continuously in search of processes and protocols that will enhance patient care and practice models, improve patient outcomes and create a better patient experience. In fact, Dr. Hari has been publicly recognized for the outstanding care she provides to cardiac patients and for her compassion and integrity.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Hari likes to travel, cook, meet new people and explore different cultures. She is married and has one daughter.


4:00p – 4:45p – Arena Club B

Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence: The Making of an Effective Nonprofit

Sponsored by: North Carolina Center for Nonprofits

Presented by: Salima Thomas, Director of Member Engagement and Katrina Pareja, Member Services Assistant

The N.C. Center for Nonprofits’ Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence is a practical tool to help your nonprofit strengthen its management, governance, and operations. Drawn from leaders’ firsthand experience and research about the nonprofit sector, it covers best practices around organizational issues common to all nonprofits. In this overview, we’ll talk about 11 guiding principles

Salima Thomas

Source: Salima Thomas / Salima Thomas

Salima facilitates membership efforts including Member assistance and Member relations. She has nonprofit experience serving as a volunteer, trainer, program manager, and board/committee member. Salima received her bachelor’s in music education from UNC-Greensboro and master’s in public administration with concentrations in arts administration and nonprofit management from UNC-Charlotte. In her free time, she enjoys the arts, traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Katrina Pareja

Source: Katrina Pareja / Katrina Pareja

Katrina is responsible for supporting Member Services by working to retain and serve the nonprofit Members of the Center. She attended N.C. State University where she obtained a BA in Sociology and a Nonprofit Studies Minor and volunteered with agencies serving individuals and families experiencing hunger and homelessness. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, attending music events, and spending time with her lovable miniature dachshund.

5:00p – 5:45p – Arena Club A

The Myths and Realities Surrounding Organ Donation

Sponsored by: Community Health Coalition

Presented by: Carmelita Spicer – Director of Programs and Marketing, Community Health Coalition

Minorities are at a greater need for organ donations than they are willing to give – Are you an organ donor? One donor can save up to 8 people’s lives.








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