SAVE THE DATE! Connect 2020 Will Take Place in New Orleans on Aug. 17-19.

IAEE | Connect Women's Leadership Experience

The Women's Leadership Forum will take place in the Conference Theater (located on the KICC Main Concourse).

Produced by

Sponsored by


Subject to Change

Monday, Aug. 26
11-11:10 a.m.Welcome, Opening Comments and Sponsor Recognition

> Stacy Ritter
    President and CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau
11:10-noonOpening Keynote

> Darleen Santore
    Founder and CEO, Performance Meets Purpose
Noon-12:30 p.m.Networking Break and Grab Your Boxed Lunch
12:30-1:45 p.m.Panel Presentation With Moderator Rachel Wimberly

> Stacy Ritter
    President and CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau

> Kirsten Hawley
    Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Brown-Forman

> Lori Jenks
    Founder/Managing Director, Jenks Consulting Services
1:45-2 p.m.Wrap Up


Opening Keynote

Panel Moderator




Darleen Santore

Founder & CEO, Performance Meets Purpose


Darleen Santore makes it her life’s mission to motivate, inspire and awaken greatness in others. Better known as "Coach Dar," she coaches and helps individuals gain clarity and focus in order to live well, lead well and propel themselves to new heights. For twenty years, she has worked as a Board-Certified Occupational Therapist as well as a Life and Leadership Coach. As a therapist, she’s worked side-by-side with individuals who have overcome unimaginable setbacks because of illness or injury.


Her life and leadership coaching have paired her with leaders of all walks of life including athletes, performers, artists, entrepreneurs and executives. Her game plan is to help each person reach their peak potential by developing character, inspiring self-confidence and instilling leadership skills that take performance to the next level. Coach Dar’s goal is to create a personalized plan to ‘Level Up’ in life, in business and at home.


As a Certified Facilitator of the Path Elements Profile, she has used this instrumental tool to transform communication and increase productivity for hundreds of individuals and dozens of corporations. She is the nationally acclaimed U.S. Ambassador for the Global Pay It Forward Initiative that has inspired random acts of kindness in the lives of over 10 million people worldwide. Coach Dar also has years of experience as a C-Level Executive in healthcare, entertainment and direct marketing. Her powerful messages have made her not only a highly sought-after coach of individuals, but also an in-demand keynote speaker who has motivated hundreds of thousands of people in the corporate speaking circuit.

Rachel Wimberly

EVP, Business Development,
Tarsus US


Rachel Wimberly started her career after graduating from New York University with a Masters in Journalism and landing her first job writing at CNN Business News in New York for "Moneyline with Lou Dobbs" and international updates.


From CNN, she moved to Santa Fe, N.M., and wrote business news for The New Mexican before moving to LA and working on feature film development for Riche/Ludwig and Eagle Cove Productions. Journalism's siren call lured her back to working for The New York Times in North Carolina, writing on troop movements during the Iraq War.


Back in L.A., Wimberly continued her journalism career as a reporter for Variety magazine covering entertainment news, before taking a position as senior editor for Tradeshow Week magazine. Once TSW closed in 2010, she was brought over to Trade Show News Network (, where she launched six newsletters and web site, under the TSNN brand, as well as the and a weekly newsletter more recently.


Now, she has transitioned once again, recently named EVP, Business Development, Tarsus US trade show division for TSNN’s parent company, Tarsus Group. Wimberly is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Society for Independent Show organizers and UFI, the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry. Her Twitter handle is TSNN_Rachel.

Stacy Ritter

President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau


In 2016 Stacy Ritter was named President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB). As CEO, she is responsible for the administration of the GFLCVB. The CVB is based in Broward County with multiple domestic and international offices. The permanent staff of the CVB is comprised of a 45-person organization of sales and marketing professionals with a $24 million operating budget. Ritter oversees an organization that provides sales and marketing development for leisure, international, sports, convention and group sales. The CVB also focuses its efforts on behalf of the County for multicultural tourism, LGBT+ development, film and entertainment as well as national and international advertising and public relations.


Today Stacy serves as a member of the United States Travel Association, Destination Management Organization CEO Roundtable, the Steering Committee of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. She serves as a member of the Orange Bowl Committee and the South Florida Super Bowl Committee. Prior to her position at the GFLCVB, Ritter served as an elected Broward County Commissioner from November 2006 till June 2016, representing the 3rd District, and serving as Mayor of the County in 2008 to 2009. Prior to serving in Broward County government, Ritter served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1996 to 2004, representing the 96th District. She served as Chair of the Broward County Legislative Delegation after being elected by her colleagues.


Ms. Ritter has been a community activist for years with the National Council of Jewish Women and other organizations prior to her election to State office, she was inducted to the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame; Woman of the Year by the American Jewish Congress and a First Lady of Broward. She was named the Chair of Broward County’s Management and Efficiency Study Committee from June 2004 to June 2006. During the 2008 presidential election, Stacy was The Chair of the Broward County Obama for America Campaign and served on the National Finance Committee for the campaign. In 2009, she was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Broward by Gold Coast Magazine and awarded as one of the 100 Outstanding Women by the Boys and Girls Club.


As Broward County Mayor, she was instrumental in the county considering and moving forward with a new county courthouse as well as pushing for improvements at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, including the expansion of the south runway. Today that runway and the terminal improvements are attracting new airline service and stimulating record-breaking passenger traffic.


Ritter was born in Washington, D.C., and moved to Broward County in 1974, where she attended and graduated law school at Nova Southeastern College of Law. She is an attorney licensed by the Florida Bar. She received her BA from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Stacy and her husband Russ live in Parkland with their two adopted rescue dogs, Frasier and Zoey and have three children Matt (29), Scott (27), and Stephanie (26).


Kirsten Hawley

Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Communications Officer, Brown-Forman Corporation


Kirsten Hawley has worked for Brown-Forman Corporation for over 22 years and currently serves as senior vice president, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Communications Officer. She is also the executive sponsor for the Young Professional’s Employee Resource Group at Brown-Forman and the former executive sponsor of Brown-Forman’s PRIDE Employee Resource Group.


During her career at Brown-Forman, Kirsten has served in a variety of HR roles, from leadership and organization development to HR generalist. In these positions, she has had the opportunity to provide human resource consultation to Brown-Forman’s businesses across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Global Production, and corporate functions such as Marketing, IT, and Finance. She also spent seven years in the marketing organization as a brand manager for a global liqueur brand.


Before joining Brown-Forman, Kirsten’s early career experiences included working as a research assistant for the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany, a management development trainer for a regional bank, and as an outplacement counselor for the Department of the Army.


She serves on the board for the Fund for the Arts and is an advisor to the Young Professional’s Association of Louisville (YPAL). Her previous community involvement includes serving as President of the Board of Trustees for Virginia Chance School, a board member for the Leadership Louisville Center, and a city commissioner for the six-class city in which she lives.


Kirsten graduated from Boston University with an M. Ed. in Counseling Psychology and magna cum laude from James Madison University with a B.A. in Political Science and Communications.

She is married to her husband, Scott, and has two sons, Jackson and Cameron.

Lori Jenks

Founder/Managing Director, Jenks Consulting Services


Lori Jenks is the founder of Jenks Consulting Services, a strategic advisory firm specializing in operational excellence and negotiations serving the events rand meetings industry. Before devoting her work fulltime to Jenks Consulting Services, Lori served as an Officer and Senior Vice President Operations at Emerald Expositions, a leading organizer of business-to-business events and meetings. She has over 15 years of planning and execution experience and had operational responsibility for over 140 annual US and international events, conferences and meetings that included:


• Outdoor Retailer


• International Contemporary Furniture Fair

• Hospitality Design Expo and Summit

• CEDIA Expo

• International Pizza Expo


Outside of the office, Lori’s passions include giving back to the events industry and getting people excited about initiatives that she is excited about. One major initiative is supporting human trafficking prevention and awareness. Sustainability is another important initiative that needs more industry support. She is always ready to share event “survival” stories that aren’t for the faint of heart. If you challenge her to Disney trivia, she will win. Her family fills her with pride and unconditional love.

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