Empower IT Conference


Time Hear and Be Heard Fostering Professional Relationships
7:30-8 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
, enjoy breakfast and get your professional profile photo taken
8-8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:30-10 a.m. Keynote:
Unstuck: How to Think Differently, Act with Purpose and Work & Live Boldly
Jenny Evans, PowerHouse Performance
10-10:15 a.m. Break
Stop by the photography station to get your
professional profile photo taken and grab a refreshment
10:15-11:15 a.m. The Introverted Leader
Jennifer Kahnweiler, author
Building a Culture to Attract and
Retain a Diverse Workforce

Michelle Massey, Dewpoint
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Lunch
Enjoy lunch, peruse the vendor showcases and
get your professional profile photo taken
12:15-1:15 p.m. I’m all EARS!
Ericka Harris
The Power of Networking and Influence
Todd Bradley, MSU HR, OPD
1:15-1:45 p.m. Interactive Microboost Session with Movement
Jenny Evans, PowerHouse Performance
1:45-2 p.m. Break
Stop by the photography station to get your
professional profile photo taken and grab a refreshment
2-3 p.m. Thriving Through
Conflict & Change
Christine Laperriere, Leader in Motion
Using LinkedIn and Other Tools to Achieve Your Goals
Shari Pash, Strategic Solutions for Growth
3-4 p.m. Diversity and Inclusion Panel
4-4:30 p.m. Thank You and Wrap Up
4:30 p.m. Conference Adjourns

Jenny Evans, PowerHouse Performance

The Empower IT Conference is excited to welcome Jenny Evans as our 2019 keynote speaker! Jenny is the CEO of PowerHouse Performance where she offers coaching, speaking and training opportunities to organizations and individuals working to become more resilient, confident and determined in their personal and professional lives. Jenny shares her expertise and experience with C-suite executives, leaders and employees from all industries. She is a speaker and writer and has showcased her work on the TEDx stage, The Huffington Post,, and, among others.

Jenny earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis on psychology from the University of Minnesota. She is a certified Exercise Nutritionist, has been a group fitness instructor for over two decades and is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer. She is also an aerial arts performer when she’s not busy helping others use creative and realistic solutions to become more resilient in the face of life’s ongoing challenges.

Author of The Resiliency rEvolution: Your Stress Solution for Life 60 Seconds at a Time, Jenny is devoted to helping people become more confident and capable. In her book, Jenny teaches readers how to be their best self while navigating life in the 21st century. She arms her readers with tactics and tools to increase productivity and performance in both business and life.

Breakout Session Speakers

Todd E. Bradley, human resource specialist

Todd E. Bradley is a native of Flint, Mich. He attended the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff graduating in 1981. He is a certified addictions counselor through the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals, a certified therapeutic recreation treatment specialist through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Professionals as well as a certified sexual offender treatment specialist through the American College for Forensic Counselors. Currently Bradley is a certified human resource specialist through the College of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University. He is a professional trainer, interventionist and motivational speaker, providing workshops in change management, workplace violence prevention, cultural sensitivity, trauma, no harassment, anger management, customer service, assertion, positive thinking, team building and conflict resolution. He also delivers motivational messages to students, faculty, and parents from various school systems on substance abuse prevention, anti-bullying, goal setting and positive parenting.


Ericka Harris, EKHO LLC Consulting Services

Ericka Harris is an independent consultant who travels internationally living out her passion of transforming individuals, work groups, schools and school districts. She has served as the chief education officer for South Bend Community School Corporation, interim chief academic officer and curriculum director for Lansing Schools in Lansing, Mich. and director for teaching and learning for Benton Harbor Area Schools in Benton Harbor, Mich. Harris has experience as a building principal, teaching and learning consultant, and teacher for Benton Harbor Area Schools, serving students from pre-k to 12th grade. She has also served Indiana University of South Bend as an adjunct professor and student teacher support as well as working as coach/consultant for Elkhart and St. Joseph County Head Start Consortium of Indiana.

Harris is a certified training associate for Adaptive Schools through Thinking Collaborative. She has sat on the Michigan Department of Education, Effective Feedback for Educators Committee with Michigan’s Learning Forward Team and the Data and Schools Team with the Wallace Foundation and Western Michigan University. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Developmental Psychology from Andrews University, obtained post graduate hours in Administration and School Leadership from Western Michigan University, is TESOL, Montessori Training for ages three to nine and NSDC certified, and possess an MI-LIFE endorsement for Administrators for the State of Michigan.


Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., certified speaking professional

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD, Certified Speaking Professional, is an author and global speaker hailed as a “champion for introverts.” Her bestselling books, The Introverted Leader, Quiet Influence, and The Genius of Opposites have been translated into 16 languages. Jennifer helps organizations harness the power of introverts. She has been a learning and development professional and speaker at leading organizations like General Electric, Freddie Mac, NASA, Turner Broadcasting, the US Centers for Disease Control, and the American Management Association.


Christine Laperriere, president, Leader in Motion

Christine Laperriere is the president of Leader In Motion, an organization focused on engaging high potential talent, the Executive Director of the Women of Influence Advancement Centre, and the Amazon #1 Bestselling author of Too Busy to Be Happy — a guide to using emotional real estate to improve both your work and your life. A seasoned expert in helping professionals advance their careers, she’s had the honor of guiding hundreds of professionals each year with a special focus on women’s advancement and inclusive leadership. Laperriere earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, certifications in psychotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming and executive coaching, along with years in design engineering and management consulting. She is also a proud Michigan State University alumna.


Michelle Massey, vice president, Dewpoint

Michelle Massey serves as a vice president for Dewpoint in Lansing, Mich. With over 25 years of information technology industry experience, Massey has extensive experience in proposal development, business operations and corporate planning and support.

Her current responsibilities include business development, marketing and corporate engagement. She manages Dewpoint’s overall brand and the organization’s corporate image through marketing, public relations and community involvement. Since joining Dewpoint in 2006, she has assisted in supporting the company’s culture and growth as it expanded from 40 employees to over 450 professionals. Her previous role in the company, vice president of business operations, included human resources, administration and marketing.

A strong supporter of the Lansing region, Massey sits on boards for Ele’s Place, Wharton Center, Lansing Chamber of Commerce, Sparrow Foundation and Michigan State University Museum. Massey earned both her bachelor’s degree in communications/telecommunications and her master’s in international telecommunications, from Michigan State University.


Shari Pash, membership and sales strategist

Shari Pash is a sales and membership strategist. She works with chambers of commerce, non-profit organizations, higher education, associations, and corporate business in over 27 states and throughout Canada. Through her hands-on work she is changing the culture and way organizations approach business development, recruitment, social media engagement with LinkedIn, and retention. Her work with LinkedIn focuses on career building, growing and fostering your business network, increasing business development/sales, and building a personal brand.

Prior to starting her consulting and training work in 2010, Shari built her career at Michigan State University, the Kellogg Center, managing and working hospitality sales for over 27 years. Success in revenue generation, new market identification, and business development earned her industry awards of excellence. Following her career with MSU, she was appointed Vice President of Sales for the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Diversity and Inclusion Panel 

Moderated by Nate Evans, manager, digital content & accessibility, MSU Information Technology

Sean Baker, inclusiveness recruiting consultant, campus recruiting, Ernst & Young

Sean Baker is an inclusiveness recruiting consultant for Ernst & Young‘s Campus Recruiting team. Sean supports our Americas diversity and inclusiveness initiatives including attracting the best and most diverse mix of talent to the firm from campuses across the U.S. Sean started at EY 10 years ago after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with his master’s in accounting. Sean obtained his CPA and used it in his previous role as an Assurance Manager at EY. He worked on several multinational clients in both North Carolina and Michigan, and he worked on many Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) with EY. Sean is a long-time Junior Achievement volunteer and city league sports participant. With colleagues from EY, Sean participates in local corporate soccer/kickball/softball leagues and ran a 200-mile relay race. Sean lives in Michigan with his partner and two children.

Dilip Das, Ph.D., assistant vice provost for academic affairs, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, University of Michigan

In the provost’s office at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Dilip is a liaison to campus units implementing their five-year Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI) Plans, he coordinates cross-campus committees focused on DEI issues and actions, he is a member of UM’s HLC accreditation team, and he participates in multi-institutional college and STEM access grants for underrepresented students. Dilip holds a doctorate in higher education administration, a master’s in science education and a bachelor’s degree in biology.

From a leadership perspective, his core values include humility, which guards against arrogance and coercion; fluid dialogue, which encourages a climate of trust among team members; and eyes on the prize, which means to expand opportunity for all by disrupting structural inequities between those who have advantages, privilege, or wealth, and those who don’t.

Darlene King, CDP, executive director, Michigan Diversity Council

Darlene King began her career with the Michigan Diversity Council (MIDC), a division of the National Diversity Council, in 2015. As the executive director, her charge is working with corporations and organizations in developing diversity and inclusion initiatives, programs, processes, and procedures. She also oversees the growth of the council in the area of business development throughout the entire state of Michigan.

Prior to her tenure with the MIDC, she held the role of director of events, consultant services, training and development for all 34 school districts under the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency for over 10 years. In 2008, she launched her consulting company, Life’s Journey Training and Consulting. Competing in today’s global market, Life’s Journey offers services in industries ranging from education to automotive, medical, non-profits and manufacturing. Its area of expertise consists of diversity and inclusion, leadership development, marketing, and public relations.

Darlene is a native of Michigan and enjoys spending time with her family, nephews and niece. Darlene has a passion for people and earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Wayne State University.

Skot Welch, principal/founder, Global Bridgebuilders

Skot Welch is the principal/founder of Global Bridgebuilders (GBB), a firm focusing on organizational development, cultural transformation and inclusion. Skot has been a global bridge builder long before he founded the company in 2006. Currently, Global Bridgebuilders serves a wide range of clients in the U.S. and in seven other countries. Prior to the launch of Global Bridgebuilders, Skot served as vice president of business development and benchmarking services for Diversity Inc. magazine in New Jersey, where he worked with many of the Fortune 500’s biggest global brands across a broad range of industries.

Skot is the author of 101 Ways to Enjoy The Mosaic: Creating a Diverse Community Right in Your Own Backyard, is the diversity and inclusion expert in residence with Culture Shift Labs Think Tank, and the inclusion lead and curator for TEDx Grand Rapids as well as serving as a board member of ArtPrize. Skot is also the founder of The Mosaic Film Experience, a high school/college film and interactive media experience focusing on creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and career preparedness.

Skot received his bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from Albion College and a Master in Management and International Marketing (M.M.) from Aquinas College.

Representative from Consumers Energy