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Cultivating Women Leaders Speaker Series

The Olivet College Cultivating Women Leaders Speaker Series is a yearlong program aimed at helping high school and college students develop confidence and leadership skills through the work of strong, female role models. Speakers include Michigan’s premier women business leaders and some of Olivet College’s successful alumnae who focus on topics surrounding the obstacles and challenges that are ever-present in today’s communities and workplace.

The 2019-20 series is comprised of three main events, each featuring a unique speaker and topic. All sessions are free and held on the Olivet College campus.

In addition, high school students are invited to participate in a Women’s Leadership Institute visit event in conjunction with each of the speaker series events. During these campus visits, students will learn about opportunities in the Women’s Leadership Institute, including the Keyes-Barber-Benedict Scholars Program. In addition, students will experience many classic visit event activities like touring campus, dining in the Kirk Center, meeting with the admissions team, discovering scholarships and other financial aid opportunities, and more. Register now.

Cultivating Women Leaders Speaker Series Events:

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
1-2 p.m.
Mott Auditorium

Sheri Jones

Sheri Jones anchors the 6 and 11 o’clock news for WLNS TV 6 and leads its Crime Stoppers Program. Her weekly Crime Stoppers report has aided in the capture of many of Mid-Michigan’s most-wanted fugitive felons. Jones’ programs and work have earned numerous awards, and she is dedicated to community service, volunteer work and advocating for crime victim’s rights.



Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
1-2:30 p.m.
Mott Auditorium

Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson is president, business keynote speaker and career mindset strategist at Getting to Clarity. She has over 25 years of experience in the corporate setting and is also a certified trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming at the master practitioner level. Peterson has successfully worked with professionals at various stages of their career in corporations, associations and charitable organizations to accelerate professional success. She also serves on the ATHENA International board of directors and is an author, recently publishing “Clarity: The Smart Professional’s Guide to Creating Success on Your Terms.”



Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020
1-2 p.m.
Mott Auditorium

Maureen Mitchell

Maureen Mitchell is the regional vice president for Meijer’s Central Region. In her role, Mitchell oversees store operations, pharmacy operations, gas stations, asset protection, human resources and merchandising in a region of 41 stores. With Mitchell’s leadership and direction, the Meijer Central Region has built a culture of leadership focused on people. Mitchell also leads the Women at Meijer Team Member Resource Group for Retail. She serves as a role model and mentor within her region and to all women in retail. She works with mentees and other mentors to establish clear goals and ensures that she recognizes success on milestone achievements along the journey.



Wednesday, March 4, 2020
1-2 p.m.
Mott Auditorium

Shannon Cohen

Shannon Cohen, founder and principal of Shannon Cohen, Inc., is an award-winning industry leader and sought-after strategist, innovator and inspirational leader. She is passionate about empowering emerging and existing leaders to be transformative in the communities they serve. Her wide range of work includes serving as an adjunct faculty member for the College of Community and Public Service and the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University; a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship alumnus and Encore Innovation Fellow alumnus of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation; founder of the “Tough Skin, Soft Heart” movement, aimed at empowering today’s overextended leaders; and co-founder of “Sisters Who Lead,” a movement designed to advance women of color to executive leadership positions.

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