Thank you to all our amazing 2021 Conference speakers! Learn more about them below. We've also added links to their websites where applicable.

 

ENDYIA KINNEY-STERNS, Main Stage Speaker

Endyia Kinney-Sterns200Endyia Kinney-Sterns is an accomplished television producer and network executive with over 15 years of entertainment television experience. Named one of the “Top Female Executives in Hollywood” by Essence magazine, Kinney-Sterns has been instrumental in identifying and developing various new programming for various networks.

Most recently as Vice President of Development and Programming for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Kinney-Sterns was responsible for overseeing day-to-day development of new original programming including popular docu-series “Raising Whitley” and “Deion’s Family Playbook.” She was an integral part in developing the new hit series “Flex and Shanice” in addition to many presentations and pilots.

As an accomplished television producer and executive, Kinney-Sterns has over 15 years of entertainment television experience producing shows for high-profile networks including VH1, CBS, NBC, HGTV and production companies such as Buena Vista Television, Arnold Shapiro Productions and LMNO. Kinney-Sterns held the title of senior director of programming and development for TV ONE, where she was responsible for the day-to-day supervision of production and programming for popular series including “Baisden After Dark,” “Who’s Got Jokes” and “Black Men Revealed.” Her most notable accomplishment was co-developing and creating the brand-defining, multiple NAACP Award-winning hit show “Unsung.”

  

RACHELLE CACO, Main Stage Speaker

Rachelle CacoRachelle Caco is an inspiring first-generation Filipina American feminine leader who coaches women and power oouples to not only transform, but also to thrive in their businesses, while experiencing exceptional joy and happiness in their relationships. She is known for her warm, joyful presence, inspiring spirit, and phenomenal communication skills. As a transformational leader, she uses all of these to empower others to up-level their professional and personal lives.

With nearly two decades of experience as a Trained Facilitator, an Award-Winning Certified Life and Relationship Success Coach, and as a Leadership Mentor, Rachelle has facilitated and led workshops, seminars, and coaching programs for well-established companies in the personal development industry which includes Alison Armstrong’s PAX Programs, Understandmen.com, and PSI Seminars. Her leadership in these and other programs has dramatically altered thousands of lives across the US and Canada.

As an advocate for women’s lives and women leaders, Rachelle created The First Empress Program Series, Powerfully CHIC, and co-founded WOW-Women of Wealth. In each of these programs, she empowered clients to make gentle yet powerful pivots towards a more fulfilling life while implementing life changing tools.

Additionally, she served as the first female on the Board of Directors for The Keynote Speakers Coalition, and supported the rapid, organic growth of the Moms Helping Moms Business Network. Rachelle continues to be highly sought after as a dynamic speaker and coach for businesses, corporations and influential leaders who delight in her fun and easy-to-apply expertise for powerful leadership, effective communication and creating power partnerships.

She is a proud mother of two boys, a first grader and a 1-year-old. Rachelle enjoys attending theme parks with her family, dancing to '90s R&B, relishing in quality time and laughter with her girlfriends, and sneaking in a yoga nidra class or a nap to recharge before taking on life. You can count on her to bring lumpia (yummy Filipino egg rolls) to your pot-luck party!

 

JENNIFER JOST, Main Stage Speaker

Jennifer JostJennifer Jost is an award-winning wealth advisor and money coach for professional women. She has been awarded Associate Advisor of The Year, Presidents Club & Inner Circle, which qualified her for the Million Dollar Round Table.

She is a Certified Money Coach, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Certified Grief Counselor.

WIth more than 15 years experience in the financial industry as an Investment Advisor Representative, she has one of the highest levels of commitments in her field, a Fiduciary Responsibility to her clients. Honesty, integrity and ethics are the foundation of Jennifer's practice. Above all, her clients always come first and she makes money FUN!

But it's through her own personal story of trials to triumph where Jennifer's real magic and power lie. Twenty-five years ago, the unthinkable happened. She lost her two beautiful children in a family tragedy.

On her journey from grief to reclaiming life, she found meaning in serving others and guiding women on their paths to empowerment. Her daily drive comes from honoring her kids, Nicholas and Cheri. As a volunteer grief counselor, she's developed several women's groups devoted to helping survivors of domestic violence heal and find their resilience.

She's a philanthropist and activist for women and has been the featured Keynote Speaker for STAND, a nonprofit organization to support women against domestic violence. Her big mission in the world is to help more women be worthy of their wealth!


 

JONI WICKHAM, Main Stage Speaker

Joni WickhamJoni Wickham is the co-founder, with former Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James, of Wickham James Strategies & Solutions, which provides its clients with strategic communications, crisis communications, government relations, public policy, political strategy and mediations.

She is also the author of the book "The Thin Line Between Cupcake and Bitch: Taking Action, Driving Change and Getting Results.”

A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 10 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations.

In her eight years with the mayor’s office — the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff— Joni proved herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues.

An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels. Her front-row seat at city hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities.

Prior to her time at city hall, Joni worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and in the office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

While a student at Meredith College, where she received her bachelor of arts in political studies, Joni studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. An accomplished alumna of the University of Missouri, where she earned her master of arts in political science, Joni was the recipient of the 2019 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs Mel Carnahan Public Service Award.

 

JESSICA BUSH, Main Stage Speaker

Jessica BushJessica Bush, CFA is a Portfolio Manager for Principal Portfolio Strategies, a specialized boutique that engages in the creation of asset allocation solutions. She is responsible for the manager selection and asset allocation modeling for the Dynamic Outcome strategies.Jessica is a member of the Investment Risk and Oversight Committee.

Prior to her dedicated role on these strategies, she served as a Senior Research Analyst on the Manager Research team responsible for the evaluation and monitoring of the sub-advisors under the due diligence program used by Principal Funds.

Jessica has more than 13 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Principal® in 2006, she was a Senior Portfolio Analyst on the fixed-income team at Putnam Investments.

Jessica earned a B.A. in business administration from the University of Michigan. She has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

 

CAROLINE JOHNSON, Special Guest Speaker

Caroline JohnsonCaroline Johnson is the founder of Twisted Pink, a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide hope and connection for metastatic breast cancer patients through bold breakthroughs in research and awareness of the disease.

Caroline founded Twisted Pink in 2014, shortly after undergoing treatment for stage III breast cancer and learning:

  • An estimated 20-30 percent of breast cancer patients will experience metastatic breast cancer. This is when the cancer spreads from the breast to other organs.
  • Once this happens, treatment is lifelong and the median survival rate is three years.
  • Within the breast cancer giving community only 10 percent of available funding is directed to research specific to metastatic disease.

Since its founding, Twisted Pink has donated more than $1.8 million to funding research into metastatic breast cancer and its treatment.

When Caroline was diagnosed, she used the experience she had gained advocating for her special-needs son, Michael, to fight for her own health. She now puts those skills to work in her quest to increase funding for metastatic breast cancer research.

 

SANDRA GEBHARDT, Breakout Speaker

Sandra GebhardtSandra’s goal is to see a world in which people are able to confidently use their unique voice, follow their dreams, embrace and monetize their passions, and find a way to understand exactly what a toddler is trying to tell them.

As a digital marketer with years of experience, Sandra has worked with hundreds of small-business owners, trained in high-ticket consulting groups, spoken at multiple events and been featured in two documentaries, and runs a top-rated podcast, “Binding Authority,” all while being a wife and keeping the worlds cutest 2-year-old entertained, happy and from falling off of tall things he climbs.

Sandra is extremely passionate about helping people solve problems they are having in business. She has been described as being “a bit too much” or “a busybody” and was voted “most eager to please” by her high school senior class. Sandra took these labels and turned into being somewhat famous for “knowing a person for that,” helping small-business owners plug holes in their current business. She also runs a group consulting course where she focuses on coaching and helping women build their small businesses.

  

CAREY YUKICH and HAWLEY WOODS GRAY, Breakout Speakers

Carey Yukich and Hawley Woods Gray are the co-authors of "Push Through: Your Ultimate Success Playbook."

Carey YukichCarey Yukich, along with her husband, John, founded TrueWealth Advising Group, through which she provides valued clients with a Financial Foundation (plan) and guidance through implementation of the plan. Carey is a Registered Representative and Investment Adviser Representative of Equity Services, Inc. Her registrations include FINRA Series 65, and 7. She is licensed in Life, Health and Long-Term Care Insurance.

Carey acts as the client’s CFO and collaborates with their trusted professionals (CPA’s and attorneys) in formulating optimal financial strategies. The establishment of distinct, holistic planning goals along with financial discipline helps to lead her clients toward financial freedom. Her clients receive customized strategies unique to their goals, needs, time frames, and risk tolerance. Carey is committed to guiding her clients in making informed decisions which translate to meaningful financial solutions.

Carey graduated from Northwestern University in 1993 with a bachelor of science degree in education and social policy. She completed her degree while on full athletic scholarship for volleyball. Carey serves as the Legacy Foundation's vice chairman and on the Investment Committee and volunteers for Northwest Indiana Meals on Wheels, the American Heart Association and PATH (Positive Approach to Teen Health,) all while participating in many community activities throughout northwest Indiana. She frequently presents Asset Management Strategies to companies, municipalities and charitable organizations.

Carey was recently published in Best in Review, was a finalist for Building Indiana Magazine’s “Indiana’s Most Influential Women" and achieved Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) status in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Carey held the position of treasurer for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for Northwest Indiana (NAIFA-NW).

Carey’s experience providing valued clients with “Guidance Throughout their Financial Journey” spans 18+ years.

 

Hawley Woods Gray

Hawley Woods Gray is a Managing Vice President at Appreciation Financial. Hawley and her husband, Bobby, provide leadership to more than 100 agents on their team.

Hawley is the Co-Founder of Women of Wealth and is a board member of Women of Insurance and Financial Services. As a result of being an athlete for more than 35 years, Hawley knows firsthand that all good things come from hard work, coaching and being held accountable.

She is passionate about helping others succeed and is most proud of the young women and men she has helped get to the next level in sports as well as the in their lives.

 

CAROLYN ARENTSON, Breakout Speaker

Carolyn ArentsonCarolyn Arentson is founder and editor of the fashion blog My Chic Obsession.

She is a full-time fashion fanatic who is currently turning her passion into purpose. Her aim is to bring simple, tailored fashion advice to women worldwide and create informative content with the reader in mind to help them elevate their look.

On her blog, Carolyn strives to step away from the traditional methods of simply selling the latest look and instead write from the heart with her readers in mind.

Carolyn is the author of the ebook "How to Build a Wardrobe From Scratch That Will Stand the Test of TIme."

  

XAN ROUSSELLE, Fast 'N Furious Co-Host

Xan RousselleXan Rousselle is a Director with National Life Group, where he has been for the past decade.

Xan is a Certified Financial Planner® and also holds his CLU®, ChFC®, and RICP®. He focuses on creating unique ways to engage learning when it comes to his training and presentations.

Xan is also an All World Ironman Triathlete and is just returning from a race in Nice, France. He attended the University of Vermont, where he played soccer.

He is currently based in Detroit, Michigan, where his wife is completing her residency in ophthalmology.

 

BRITTANY RUSSO, Fast 'N Furious Co-Host and Mentorship Panelist

Brittany RussoBrittany Russo is Director of Independent Distribution for National Life, based out of the Los Angeles metro area.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Norwich University, Brittany started working for The National Life Group as an Internal Sales Associate and has since transitioned into a Director of Sales.

Her goal is to help the agents representing National Life Group reinforce their client’s financial security with her unlimited resources, professional capability and personal care.

Brittany is a member of WIFS’ New England Aspiring Chapter, as well as a member of the President’s Council.

 

LISA SAPPENFIELD BOYER, Mentorship Panelist

Lisa BoyerLisa Boyer has been the owner of Boyer & Sappenfield Investment Advisors since 1983. Her areas of practice include retirement income planning for accumulation and distribution and other overall financial planning needs including college funding, life insurance and portfolio analysis.

Lisa holds the Series 6, 7, 66 and 24 registrations and has been a Certified Financial Planner since 1984. In addition to her membership in WIFS, she is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the East Central Illinois Estate Planning Association and a partner in the RDM Advisor Network.

Lisa graduated cum laude from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in finance. She lives in Tuscola, Illinois.

 

PAMELA SCHEPPELE, Mentorship Panelist 

Pam ScheppelePam is a longtime WIFS member and former National Treasurer. She has been in the financial planning field for more than 30 years. She is currently Strategy Manager and Associate Financial Representative with Wilke Wealth and Investment Planning, an all-female wealth and investment planning firm that helps clients bring about their financial dreams. She helps prepare the financial plans presented to clients.

Pam believes in lifelong learning and has the designations CLU, ChFC, RICP and CLTC and is working on the CFP designation. She is also life and health licensed.

Pam’s strengths are in organization. She enjoys being part of a team, especially during problem solving. “I'm an introvert and spend a lot of time thinking and less time talking,” she says. So I can take the lead during client meetings, but am more comfortable letting others do so, and my slower (deep thinking) brain will catch up and provide input when I have something of value to contribute. I've spent over half my career trying to be like the other producers in the field and have finally found my niche and am happy. Always willing to help others in whatever way I can.”

 

TONI GONZALES, Mentorship Panel Moderator

Toni GonzalesToni has been a member of WIFS since 2015. She serves on the board of WIFS' Phoenix Chapter, and at Conference she will join the WIFS National Board of Directors. She is also a member of the President's Council.

Since January, Toni has held the position of Vice President, Recruiting and Development for the Greater Southwest at Ohio National Financial Services. Previously, she served as Ohio National's Regional Director of Sales, helping insurance professionals in the Southwest expand their practices and increase their revenue.

Toni is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in business administration and management and her master of business administration degree. In addition to her involvement with WIFS, she serves on the boards of the Greater Phoenix chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Arizona chapter of NAIFA.