Morning & Afternoon Speakers

Check back often for the announcement of more speakers

We would like to express our sincere gratitude and our highest appreciation for the following speakers who made our 2017 conference such an amazing and memorable event:

Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator

Linda McMahon serves as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of President Trump’s cabinet, she advocates on behalf of the almost 29 million small businesses in America, which employ nearly half of all American workers and account for 56.8 million jobs.

An entrepreneur and business executive herself, McMahon is a co-founder and former chief executive officer of Women’s Leadership LIVE, LLC, a company that uses live events and ongoing relationships to educate and inspire women to launch and expand their own businesses, advance their careers toward executive roles, and pursue opportunities for leadership in public service.

McMahon also advocates for women in leadership and business through an interview series with high-profile role models at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She highlights the advances of women in education, business and entrepreneurship in a series called "Women in America" that she co-hosts with Burt Wolf, which airs on PBS stations nationwide.

McMahon is a co-founder and former chief executive officer of WWE, based in Stamford, Connecticut. She helped grow WWE from a 13-person regional operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide.

She stepped down as CEO of WWE in 2009 to run for the U.S. Senate and was the Republican nominee to represent the people of Connecticut in 2010 and 2012.

McMahon has been widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives. In 2014, she was honored by Fairfield/Westchester County Business Journal as one of its "Women Making an Impact." In 2013, she was named one of Moves Magazine’s "Power Women." In 2007, she was named one of Multichannel News’ "Wonder Women," recognizing her accomplishments as a leader in the cable television industry.

McMahon spearheaded a wide variety of community and charitable programs at WWE, including the company's Get R.E.A.L. educational and literacy programs. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has recognized WWE as a top wish granter, awarding it its highest honor in 2004. McMahon was appointed to the organization’s National Advisory Council in 2005. During her tenure, WWE was the recipient of the USO of Metropolitan Washington’s first ever "Legacy of Hope" award, in honor of Bob Hope, for its extensive support of our troops. In 2007, the company received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award for its support of deployed service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2009, McMahon served on the Connecticut Board of Education as an appointee of Governor M. Jodi Rell.

Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, McMahon served on the boards of Sacred Heart University of Fairfield, Connecticut; the Close Up Foundation, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that works to educate and inspire young people to participate in our democracy; and American Corporate Partners, a New York-based organization that pairs returning veterans with mentors in the workforce. She also served as President of the Advisory Board for Operation Helmet, which provides comfortable and protective helmet pads for U.S. combat troops; and was a member of the Advisory Board for SoldierStrong, which provides scholarships and rehabilitation technology for returning veterans.

McMahon has been widely recognized for her numerous philanthropic contributions. She was recently honored with the Humanitarian Award from the Catholic Big Sisters & Big Brothers in New York City and the Spirit of Hope Award from Liberation Programs in Norwalk, Connecticut.

In 2014, McMahon received the Prescott Bush Award from the Connecticut Republican Party, the organization’s highest honor. In 2013, she received the Public Service Award from the Women’s National Republican Club.

McMahon is a graduate of East Carolina University. She and her husband, Vince, have two adult children and six grandchildren.

Phyllis Webb

In 1999, Phyllis Webb and her husband Dale joined the ranks of entrepreneurs. The couple launched a unique business, The Magic Fluke, redesigning and manufacturing ukuleles. Friends and family shook their heads as the ukulele had fallen out of favor years before and it was a gamble. Looking back, they were at the forefront of the current ukulele craze, now popular worldwide. Proud and passionate to be manufacturing here in the USA, their journey has been fulfilling, and exciting, but not without challenges.

The first 10,000 Fluke and Flea Ukuleles were built in the basement of the couple’s home in New Hartford. They moved out of the house and into a historic service station down the street to build the next 30,000. In 2010, with the need to expand once again, they looked to the north, and found a wonderful post and beam building in Sheffield, Massachusetts, the gateway to the magical Berkshires and the place Phyllis and Dale now call home.

They have diversified their product line to include the Firefly Banjo Ukulele, the Timber Bass, and Cricket Violin. The Magic Fluke sources material and parts as locally as possible from small vendors, mostly in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

Phyllis is very involved in her community and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.

V Vanessa Williams - Emcee

V Vanessa Williams, MS, PCC is the Founder and CEO of Leading Edge Consulting, LLC, a global executive coaching firm with offices in CT and FL. Vanessa has an International background and vast experience in Executive Coaching, Women & Diversity Leadership Coaching, Leadership Advancement, Operations Leadership, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Strategic Business Planning, Management & Financial Reporting, and Change Management.

Vanessa uses a holistic approach with her clients from identifying success roadblocks and creating metric driven action plans and goal setting. She also works with executives, business owners and c-suites to identify strategic goals and to build and engage high-performing collaborative teams.

In her corporate career, Vanessa was a Managing Director for Horton International, a retained global boutique executive search firm headquartered in West Hartford, CT. She also held senior level and C-suite positions leading high-powered executive global teams for Sun Life, Prudential, Mass Mutual, Aetna, and UConn Health.

Vanessa holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Virginia State University, and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation. Leading Edge Consulting, LLC holds national certifications as a Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), and Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

Vanessa sits on the Board of Trustees for Easter Seals, The New England Air Museum, and Amistad Center for Arts & Culture. She also sits on the Advisory Board for Reginald F. Lewis College Business Alumni at Virginia State University.

Tim Quinn

After training in Milan alongside world-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath, Tim Quinn joined the Giorgio Armani Beauty team with the launch of the brand in September 2001. His myriad of experience as an artist includes work in TV, print and film.

Tim began his illustrious career in the beauty industry when he first began modeling at the age of 19. After numerous photo shoots and magazine layouts, Tim discovered that his true calling was behind the camera designing his own individual style and not in front of it featuring someone else’s designs.

Tim’s words of wisdom have graced the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Elle, Glamour, More, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, among others. Tim has been featured as one of the "25 Beauty Stars" in W magazine and won a Genius Award in Elle magazine as a Genius Makeup Artist. He was also awarded the title of "Beauty Tsar" at Hollywood Magazine’s Hollywood Style Awards. He has worked backstage in New York, Milan, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong and Beijing as well as at several award shows including the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. Tim has traveled internationally hosting special events, training and promoting the beauty line. Additionally, Tim has been featured numerous times on television programs such as the Today Show, Extra and E! News.

Tim has worked with a number of celebrities including: Brooke Shields, Debra Messing, Dr. Jill Biden, Gwen Stefani, Kerry Washington, Olivia Munn and Victoria Beckham.

Additionally, Tim is actively involved in Massachusetts General Hospital’s the one hundred which is an awareness and fundraising initiative that celebrates hope in the cancer community, as well as sits on the Advisory Board of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation for Cancer Research.

Nancy D. Butler, CFP®, CDFA™, CLTC

At age 31, while in the process of a divorce with no child support, alimony or other source of income and only $2,000 to her name, Nancy moved herself and her children 70 miles and started her own business in an area she knew nothing about.

After building the business to $200 million in assets under management, Nancy sold her practice in January 2007.

For the last ten years, as the owner of "Above All Else, Success in Life and Business®", Nancy is a national professional motivational speaker, award-winning author and business coach. She uses her business and financial knowledge to help business owners do a better job for their clients and improve their bottom line and helps individuals live more successful, fulfilling lives and realize their dreams.

Nancy also writes the material and teaches continuing education classes to financial advisors, insurance professionals and divorce attorneys. And, as one of the few Divorce Financial Analysts in Connecticut, Nancy has testified in court as an expert witness on what is financially fair in divorce.

Nancy has been quoted in Money magazine, Forbes, USA Today, AARP, The National Business Institute, The New England Real Estate Journal, The Financial Planning Association magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and many more.

She has been a speaker for major corporations and associations in a variety of industries such as Pfizer, General Dynamics, Dow Chemical, Chambers of Commerce, Academy of Dental Management Consultants, Connecticut Floral Assoc., The United States Navy, The United States Coast Guard, and many others.

Nancy has been a guest on many radio and television shows and is the author of the book "Above All Else, Success in Life and Business" published in 2012, "A Realtors Guide to Greater Success, Above and Beyond the Competition" published in 2014 and "Above All Else, Independence, Happiness and Success in Your Senior Years" published in 2017.

Pam Pinto

Act Natural Health & Wellness was born of one woman's passion to live a healthy life in today’s less than healthy world. In 2004, Pam Pinto began a nutrition consulting practice, often speaking to local groups and organizations and seeing clients in chiropractic offices, local pharmacies, and health spas. She is currently a nutrition consultant for The Vibrant Health Institute in Florida, and has also offered group health and wellness programs to the Employee Wellness Center at ESPN.

Influenced by her husband’s cancer diagnosis in 1989 and her own diagnosis of Fibromyalgia in 2003, Pam found herself unhappy with the way conventional medicine was unable to treat her condition. She turned to Traditional Medicine, seeking the advice of a Naturopath, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist and Homeopathic Doctor.  With the introduction of these modalities her life changed for the better.  Pam’s interest in health and wellness increased, leading her to study nutrition with The British Institute of Homeopathy and homeopathy for acute care, as well as becoming certified in Therapeutic Touch and Reiki, all while juggling homeschooling her children.

Community need is one of the main reasons Pam has opened the doors of Act Natural Health & Wellness. As more and more people become interested and concerned about the foods they eat and its effects on long-term health, one of her main goals is to provide access to local, organic food through working with Connecticut Farmers.

Most recently, Pam expanded her community vision by providing an energy healing cooperative right across the street from her store.  Act Natural Energy Healing is a space where micro businesses can run or start up their small business without all the expenses, all under one roof.  The goal is to offer mind, body & spirit healing all in one space while reaching out to the entire community. Practitioners offer classes in yoga, meditation, reiki, reflexology, massage, nutrition, writing, and so much more.  "Thrive on Thursdays" happens every Thursday right inside her store with community chiropractic, chair massage, reiki and healthy lunch options.

Act Natural Health & Wellness is also Pam's way to grow a family business; to teach her children to be part of their community and to live a healthy life. She believes that the foundation of health and wellness is not only good nutrition, but relationships and emotions as well. To supplement proper nutrition, Act Natural Health & Wellness carries a wide variety of pharmaceutical grade supplements, homeopathic remedies, herbs and many retail brands of vitamins and supplements for your entire family.

You can find Pam at Act Natural Tuesdays through Saturdays to answer your health and wellness questions. She regularly attends seminars and webinars to stay up-to-date in the field of nutrition and health, and is a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the Holistic Pediatric Association.