Women Business Leadership Summit : Speakers

Bookmark and Share


Gail Goodman, CEO
Constant Contact


Gail Goodman is the CEO of Constant Contact, the trusted provider of online marketing services for small businesses and nonprofits. A small business expert and visionary, Goodman has revolutionized the way that small organizations find and grow customer relationships. Since taking leadership of Constant Contact in 1999, she has led the company from pre-revenue to a successful IPO (NASDAQ: CTCT) and has been the architect of the company’s growth to 1,400+ employees. Today, more than 600,000 small businesses and nonprofits use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to engage their customers and grow their businesses. Author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Succeeds in a Socially Connected World, Goodman has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work with small businesses and is a frequent speaker at national technology and entrepreneurial events. She serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Blade, and SCORE.

Lesley Visser, Hall of Fame Sportscaster/CBS


Lesley Visser is the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all time. She is the first and only woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the only female sportscaster to have carried the olympic torch; the only woman to have presented the championship lombardi trophy at the super bowl; the first woman on the network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals. She was voted the outstanding female sportscaster of all time by the American Sportscasters of America and was also voted to the National Sportswriters Hall of Fame for her work at the Boston Globe, national magazines and cbs.com. Visser was the first and only women to win the Billie Jean King “Outstanding Journalist” award and was also elected to the Sports Museum of Boston. A graduate of Boston College, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2007, she has been on the board of the V Foundation for cancer research for more than 20 years, while also serving on the board of NYU’s “sports and society”. Visser has mentored young women for decades, while also speaking at colleges and businesses around the world. A sportscaster at CBS for more than 25 years, Visser also worked at ABC sports, where she became the first woman on “Monday Night Football”, while also covering the World Series and the Triple Crown. Visser and her husband, Bob Kanuth, a former captain of Harvard Basketball, live in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.

Jackie MacMullan, Sportscaster, NBA columnist for ESPN.com, Author, 1st woman in Basketball Hall of Fame


Jackie MacMullan is a television analyst for ESPN and a senior writer for ESPN.com, and also serves as a basketball analyst for Comcast Sports Net. From 2002 to 2007 she was a columnist and associate editor of the Boston Globe and from 1995-2000 she was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated covering the National Basketball Association.

MacMullan began her career with the Globe in 1982, where she covered a variety of sports, including the 1986 World Series, 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, the 1988 Olympic Games, as well as numerous NBA Finals and Final Four tournaments.

Her book Shaq UnCut was released in November of 2011 and was a New York Times bestseller. Previously MacMullan authored a book with Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird entitled “When the Game Was Ours,” which spent 8 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was adapted into a Broadway play. She also collaborated with Bird on a book chronicling his coaching career entitled “Bird Watching”.

In August of 2010, MacMullan was recognized by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Award for a career of excellence in basketball writing and reporting. She is the first - and only - woman selected in the history of the award.

A year later, in 2011, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell honored her as its first recipient of the For the Love of Sport Award, given to the member of the community who “embodies talent, character and enthusiasm in a sports-related field."

In 2005, MacMullan was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in the media division, the youngest media member to be recognized. In 2003, she was chosen by the Institute of Sport in Society as its Hero in Sport winner, and in 2000 was named the New Fund Hall of Fame media recipient. The New England Women’s Leadership Awards honored her in 1997 and Tufts awarded her with its Distinguished Achievement Award in 1995.

MacMullan is a cum laude graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she played four years of basketball, leading the team in scoring as a sophomore and serving as a team captain in her senior season. She was the recipient of both the Robert Perry Student-Athlete of the Year Award and the Dean Williamson Award, given to that student that “excels in scholarship, athletics and loyalty to the University.” She was inducted into the University of New Hampshire’s Hall of Honor in 2001.

For many years MacMullan has been heavily involved in charitable work for Huntington’s Disease and was honored in the fall of 2007 by its New England chapter for her tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. Tewksbury Hospital also recognized MacMullan in 2004.

The New England Patriots awarded MacMullan its prestigious Ron Burton Sr Community Service Award in 2009 for her charitble endeavors, which also include efforts on behalf of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, the New England Hemophilia Association and the Shooting Touch Foundation.

In addition to her duties at ESPN, which include regular appearances on Around the Horn and the Sports Reporters, MacMullan is a frequent contributor to WHDH-TV (Channel 7) and WEEI radio.

She is married to Michael Boyle and has two children, 23-year old Alyson and 19-year old Douglas.

Linda Kaplan Thaler, Former Chairman
Publicis Kaplan Thaler


Linda Kaplan Thaler is responsible for some of America’s most famous, relevant and touching advertising campaigns in the industry, including the Aflac duck quack heard round the world and the daring “Yes, Yes, Yes” for Clairol Herbal Essences. Much of her work has become part of the American pop-culture landscape. She has authored and composed jingles that are among the industry’s gold standard, including “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us Kid,” and “Kodak Moments.” Of her 13 Clio Awards, two were for Best Original Music and Lyrics. Linda has worked on several political campaigns, including the presidential runs for Clinton/Gore in 1992 and Hillary Clinton in 2008. 

Today, Linda is the Chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, a fully integrated advertising agency with digital, social and technology at its core. The agency is the U.S. flagship within the Publicis Worldwide Network, and its blue-chip client roster includes: P&G, Citi, Nestle, L’Oreal, Merck, Pfizer, Cadillac and Wendy’s, among many others.

Linda is also a best-selling author and television personality appearing on
“The Apprentice,” CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, among others, and hosting the Oxygen television series “Making It Big,” where young professionals competed for their dream job. Her three collaborations with coauthor Robin Koval have all become national best-sellers: The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference, The Power of Nice and Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World. Their new book; GRIT to GREAT, will debut this fall.

In addition to her numerous awards, Linda’s creative talents have earned her the prestigious New York Women in Communications Matrix Award, the Advertising Woman of the Year Award from Advertising Women of New York, the UJA’s Mac Dane Humanitarian Award, the Girl Scout’s Woman of Distinction Award, and was named one of Advertising Age’s “Most Influential Women in Advertising.” Linda was also presented with a New York Women in Film and Television’s Muse Award, the first woman in advertising to receive this honor. Most recently, Linda was inducted into the American Advertising Federation 2015 Advertising Hall of Fame.

A native New Yorker, Linda was a Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude graduate of CCNY, with a BA in psychology and a MA in music. Linda currently sits on the Advisory Council for The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at CCNY, and also served as the 2010/2011 President of New York Women in Communications. Linda is married to composer Fred Thaler and has two children, Michael and Emily. 

Gabrielle Boko, Executive Vice President, Marketing
Sage North America


Gabie Boko is Executive Vice President of Global Marketing at Sage, a company focused on helping small and medium businesses achieve success. As an Alaskan native, she has innovation in her blood. For more than 20 years, Gabie has been in the high tech space following her passion for innovation, doing work that drives growth and change.

She is responsible for all areas of marketing at Sage including PR, events, brand marketing, advertising, marketing research and revenue performance management. To date Gabie has delivered major strides in re-launching a more human, digital brand that relies heavily on a fully integrated web platform for commerce and content and the singular industry defining event, Sage Summit. Gabie considers it a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate a 30 year old brand.

Throughout her career with companies such as Cognos, Outlooksoft and SAP, Gabie has built marketing organizations from the ground up, developed, and managed high performance teams focused on marketing technology across a variety of small business drivers: accounting, payments and payroll, as well as complex enterprise solutions. Gabie’s career focus on helping companies build digital forward brands includes leveraging her SMB technology industry experience in all aspects of marketing; product marketing, corporate branding and communications, demand creation and field marketing, partner development and sales.

Gabie thrives on collaboration and conversation as catalysts for growth, and actively encourages both in her current role as Executive Vice President of Global Marketing. She believes that for brands to truly succeed, they must constantly evolve while remaining true to their mission and identity.

Sharon Melnick, Ph.D, CEO
Horizon Point, Inc.; Author, "Success Under Stress"


Sharon Melnick, Ph.D. is a leading authority on the psychology of success and on stress resilience. Her practical tools are informed by 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School and field tested by over 10,000 training participants. Her methods show women professionals how to get past their blocks to action so they can focus and earn more instead of spinning their wheels, getting distracted, or procrastinating. An internationally sought after speaker, her presentations receive highest ratings and multiple repeat invites from organizations such as Procter and Gamble, Novartis, MetLife, GE, Merck, Moody’s, Coldwell Banker and others. She regularly serves as an expert for leading conference hosts such as American Management Association, Working Mother, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (winner Best Conference Workshop, 2013), CEO Clubs, Small Biz Summits, Women Presidents Organization, Women in Cable and Telecommunications, Women in the Boardroom, and numerous associations.

Dr. Melnick is the author of the acclaimed book Success under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive when the Pressure’s On. She has the spirit of a teacher and loves having contributed her advice to Forbes.com, Fox News, Business Insider, AOL Stylelist, the Huffington Post, CBS Radio, Natural Health Magazine, USAToday.com, AmexOPEN, Smart Brief for Entrepreneurs. She works to increase women’s empowerment as a Global Ambassador for the UN Women-endorsed SmartWoman Project. Discover more at www.sharonmelnick.com.

Susan Wilson Solovic, The Small Business Expert


A woman of many talents, Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com top 100 and USA Today bestselling author, media personality, sought-after keynote speaker, and attorney.

An Internet pioneer, Solovic was the CEO and co-founder of one of the first video-based Internet sites, a company she grew from it’s infancy to a million dollar plus entity. In 2006, she accepted the Stevie Award (the Oscar’s of business) on behalf of the company for the Most Innovative Company under 100 employees; that same year the company was voted the Best Investment Opportunity at a Venture Forum in the Silicon Valley.

A media personality, Solovic is a former small business contributor for ABC News and hosted a syndicated radio program, It’s Your Biz. She appears regularly as a small business expert on Fox Business, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal’s “Lunch Break”, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and many other stations across the country. She hosted her own PBS special called Reinvent Yourself Now: Become Self-Reliant in an Unpredictable World. In addition to television and radio appearances, Solovic is a featured blogger on numerous sites, including Constant Contact, Entrepreneur, AT&T Business Circle and FoxBusiness.com.

Solovic was recently named in the Top 10 of both SAP’s “Top 51 Potential Human Influencers” and she consistently ranks in the top 5 of the “Top 100 Small Business Experts to Follow on Twitter” She has written four bestselling books which have been translated into multiple languages.

In addition to running her business, Solovic serves as the media director for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) is an advocacy, research, education and networking organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more than 20 years, SBE Council has worked to strengthen the ecosystem for small business success.

Solovic received the Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship Leader of Distinction Award, and she was the first recipient of AT&T’s Innovator of the Year Award for being a pioneer in a new industry. Additionally, she has won numerous awards for small business journalism include recognition from the SBA.

Solovic is a member of the Advisory Board for the John Cook School of Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University where she also served as an adjunct professor on entrepreneurship in the MBA program. She served on the National Women’s Business Council, which counsels the President, Congress, and the SBA on issues affecting women business owners. She is a past board member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University, the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women Impacting Public Policy and the Institute for the Economic Development of Women. Currently, she is mentoring a women entrepreneur in Rwanda.

Solovic started her career as a news anchor and reporter. Her corporate career took her to the C-Suite level of a Fortune 100 company becoming the first female executive in the company’s financial services division. She obtained a law degree from Saint Louis University and is Of Counsel with the firm Junge & Mele, LLP in New York City.

Judy George, Principal
Judy George International


Judy George is an entrepreneur, author, leading businesswoman and recognized expert in the home furnishings industry. Best known for introducing fashionable lifestyle furnishings in award winning retail formats, George broke new ground in the home furnishings industry and forever changed the way women shop for furniture. The early success of her cutting edge business model, Domain Home, was highly praised and publicized, paving the way for competitors and creating a new retail landscape in the U.S. A pioneer throughout her career, George has taken her lifetime of achievements, expertise and business savvy to her newest global venture, Judy George International. JGI is a creative think-tank and group of leading home furnishings industry experts specializing in creating proprietary home furnishings concepts, custom furniture designs and turnkey business models for retailers, manufacturers and importers.

Lisa Bergeron, Founder & CEO
Advancing Women’s Excellence


An accomplished business leader, Lisa Bergeron is the Founder & CEO of Advancing Women’s Excellence, an organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership through education, inspiration & collaboration. Lisa brings a unique blend of strategic vision, business savvy and a tireless dedication to effectively connecting women to positive outcomes. Lisa a drives AWE's strategic growth and relationship management. Dedicated to providing impactful and engaging programming, AWE readily addresses the challenges and opportunities for women to expand their success. Supporting initiatives to retain and advance women, AWE’s partners include Pfizer, Amgen, Aipso, GTECH, Hasbro, Rockland Trust Co., Depuy Synthesis (J&J), MITRE and many more corporate affinity/resource groups and businesses who are committed to their goals for women’s advancement.

Performance oriented, Lisa consults in the areas of leadership, communication, mentoring, personal brand, sales and negotiation. Her clients describe her as an extraordinary role model who brings passion and creative thinking to her work that creates the ultimate for companies & individuals - growth!

Lisa is an active member of the business community. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Associate of Southern New England; Coastline EAP, a not for profit agency that serves employees in over 30 states. Lisa is a founding executive member of the Women's Leadership Council of the United Way and Vision 2020’s RI. She was recognized nationally by the YWCA of Northern RI as a Women of Achievement in the category of Increasing Women’s Income and named a 2014 Wise Women by the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW). Lisa has been a featured co-host and guest in both radio and television. She is a Certified CCU Business Essential Coach, TTI Certified Behavior Analyst, RAB Certified Marketing Consultant and Certified Creativity Coach.

Prior to launching AWE, Lisa served as President of Leading Women New England for 10 years. Previously to her role at Leading Women, she spent over 18 years in major northeast markets in the broadcast industry progressing to senior leadership roles. She was a training consultant at the Center of Sales Strategy; an international consulting firm specializing in the training needs of media and marketing executives. Lisa combines her passion for travel with photography. She resides Rhode Island with her husband Phil.

Denise Nemchev, C-Suite Business Executive & Consultant, Private Equity


Denise Nemchev is an authentic, innovative business leader with a proven track record of delivering results and taking market share, while leading through periods of change. During her twenty year career at Stanley Black & Decker, Denise progressed rapidly through roles of increasing responsibility; including, manufacturing, engineering, procurement, supply chain, productivity manager, product management, marketing, financial planning & analysis, operations, business development, acquisitions & integrations, brand management, and strategic planning. Within ten years, Denise was President of the Assembly Technologies Division, becoming the youngest—and first woman president—of any Stanley Works division in the company's then 160 year history.

Denise continued for ten more years at Stanley Black & Decker as part of the Corporate Executive Team, running and growing several global businesses. As President (of five different business units ranging in size from $60M to $600M in revenue) she solidified a reputation of exceeding commitments, delivering profitable growth with differentiated value propositions, taking market share, instituting sustainable business process improvements, and engaging employees in an inspiring way. During her later years at Stanley, she worked in various roles strengthening her strategic growth, business development and global marketing skillsets as the then, $4B Stanley Works acquired the $5B Black & Decker Company.

Most recently, Denise was brought on to lead the business transformation at Nortek, Inc. Nortek, was a distressed $3B privately held, holding company that filed chapter 11 in 2009. As of 2013, the company was still unprofitable and in need of a “been there, done that” type of person. In many regards, Denise was considered a breath of fresh air with her matter of fact approach and deep tool box of best practices ready to implement. Her primary responsibilities included creating and implementing the global strategy deployment process, acquisition integrations, Lean Enterprise, Design to Value, and change management processes. In addition, the CEO also asked that Denise move to California to be the interim President of three struggling business units with the mission of determining the best strategic path forward while turning profits to positive territory.

She currently serves as a Board Member of Advancing Women’s Excellence. Denise graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Psychology as well as being a three sport Varsity athlete (volleyball, basketball, and softball). She also received an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), with concentrations in finance and technology. She and her husband, George, live in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Sue Malone
Founder, Strategies for Small Business


Sue Malone is the founder of Strategies For Small Business. Her sole mission for the last five years has been to help people obtain access to capital to start or expand their businesses. In doing so, one of her specialties has been small business start-up loans. And she has done so exceptionally well. She is the undisputed, number one SBA loan provider for the Community Express Loan Program in the nation. As of April 2008, she is responsible for closing over 20,000 of these much needed loans.

She is a grassroots provider of these loans, serving all communities across the United States. As one of the busiest women in America, she is on the road constantly, dispensing a plethora of capital through innumerable loan workshops to: organizations, groups, churches, associations, chambers of commerce, non-profits, colleges, franchises, and entrepreneurial organizations. She is proud, along with other banks, to work directly with the SBA, as well as SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), Womenís Business Centers, and SBA Small Business Development Centers (SBDCís).

An inspirational speaker, she has been highlighted in countless speaking engagements, as well as in newspaper articles, magazines, television, radio, conventions, and CNN. Together with her numerous awards and with the assistance of the lenders she has partnered with, she has been responsible for their achieving the #1 SBA lender status in West Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Hawaii, North Carolina, and in the top five lenders category in other districts.

Sue Malone has a degree in accounting and an MBA in finance. As such, she brings not only the requisite education and expertise, but the proven commitment to care deeply for the success of this Nationís small businesses.

Nancy McCabe, Coach
Results Business Coaching


I’m Nancy McCabe and I help professionals and organizations on the verge of change. My specialty is helping you find the clarity you need. So you can get to work and make things happen.

I have been a coach, trainer and speaker professionally since 2007. I coach executives, sales leaders, entrepreneurs, social activists, career changers and new college graduates.

People who come to my training and professional development sessions say, “She’ll leave your team inspired, challenged and smiling.” I create workshops and seminars for organizations including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Bentley University, Chambers of Commerce and the Center for Women and Enterprise in Boston and Providence.

I also love speaking to groups. At the New Hampshire Conference for Women, Bay Path College and other venues, I help people open up to new ideas and turn obstacles into opportunities.

My credentials include certification from the School for Coaching Mastery and membership in the National Speakers Association. I am also working on certification in Positive Psychology.

How I came to coaching: partly in pinstripes, partly in a pink Cadillac. Like many of the amazing professionals I coach, I have worn pinstripes during my career. First in banking. Then, high tech.

After that I built a successful direct sales business. Earned the famous pink Cadillac. Five years ago, my own coach asked a zinger: “What do you really want?” I knew it was time to send back that sweet set of wheels and make mentoring my official job. I have been coaching individuals and offering organizational development programs ever since.

Heather Jackson, Director, Regional Development
Constant Contact


Heather Jackson is the Director of Regional Development in New England for Constant Contact. She has over 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing, with a specialty in online and social media marketing. She has owned 2 small businesses of her own and has been a lifetime volunteer for various non-profits. She is a professional and enthusiastic speaker who enjoys helping small businesses achieve their goals, with a focus on engaging customers, growing sales, increasing ROI, and driving repeat business and customer loyalty. A California native, she loves authentic Mexican food, so be sure to tell her about your favorite burrito spot.