Featured Speakers

These speakers reflect our 2017 Aspire to Lead Agenda. This page will be updated as the 2018 conference takes shape.

Conference Host

Christi Krautbauer

Christi Krautbauer

Christi Krautbauer is a Product Innovation Manager on FindLaw’s Strategic Development team. She works to identify new possibilities to help law firms stand out in a cluttered online marketplace.

Christi also serves on the Women & Leadership steering committee at Thomson Reuters. As part of this group, Christi helps provide training and opportunities for women in the organization to gain more confidence, acquire new leadership skills, and make connections with leaders across the business.

And it’s worth noting that Christi’s contributions reach beyond her role at Thomson Reuters. She is active in the Twin Cities community, serving on the Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation in Minnesota as well as the Diaper Bank of Minnesota.

Christi holds a B.A. in English and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas. When she’s not at work, you can probably find her playing nerdy board games with friends or exploring the world with her three young children.

Keynote Speaker

Doris A. Taylor - Ph.D., FAHA, FACC

Doris A. Taylor

Doris A. Taylor, Ph.D., FAHA, FACC, has worked in the field of cardiovascular regenerative medicine since its inception and is widely acknowledged as a major thought-leader in the field. Her mechanistic insights and effective approaches to cardiac repair and replacement are well established and include a number of firsts. When on the Duke University faculty, 1991-2003, she described the first functional repair of an injured heart with stem cells. As director of the Center for Cardiovascular Repair at the University of Minnesota, 2003-2012, she recognized that cell therapy is unlikely to reverse end-stage organ failure; her lab began working to build organs for transplant in the laboratory. Realizing cells were available but scaffold technology lagging, her group developed a unique method to remove cells from otherwise unusable organs, leaving an intact scaffold of extracellular matrix. Her research has been commercialized for use in organ perfusion decellularization/recellularization technologies.

Dr. Taylor was recruited to the Texas Heart Institute in 2012. She established both the Department of Regenerative Medicine Research and the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology, the latter in partnership with the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. She also heads the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) Biorepository, the cell and cytokine profiling core lab that serves multiple NIH, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) networks, medical centers, and research foundations in the U.S. and Canada. She holds faculty appointments at Texas A&M and Rice University and serves as a consultant for both academic and commercial enterprises in the regenerative medicine space. She recently founded and leads a new company, Stem Cell Security, LLC, a cell banking and data management company in Houston, Texas. She has published extensively, authoring or co-authoring more than 125 scientific publications and co-editing 2 textbooks.

Dr. Taylor earned a B.S. in biology and physical sciences from Mississippi University for Women and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She holds many honors, including appointments as a Fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology, among others. She has been recognized by the AHA for one of the Top 10 Research Advances in 2016. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate Science degree by her alma mater, Mississippi University for Women, in 2015 and the national Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in 2016. She received the international Madrid Award for Excellence in Basic and Preclinical Regenerative Research in June 2017.

Dr. Taylor frequently appears as an expert on stem cell therapy and cardiac repair in the media as well as in the scientific arena. Her work has been recognized and featured by 60 Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC Horizon, BBC News Health, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Associated Press, National Public Radio, NOVA Science Now, Science Channel STEM CELL UNIVERSE with Stephen Hawking, Huffington Post (Canada), and numerous other worldwide media outlets.

Closing Keynote Speaker

Becky Roloff

Becky Roloff

Becky Roloff is the 11th President of St. Catherine University. A North Dakota native, Roloff is a 1976 graduate of St. Kate's, chaired the University’s board (1991–1995) and has been an active alumna. She also earned an MBA with Distinction from the Harvard Business School.

During a distinguished career in the private and nonprofit sectors, she has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, commitment to inclusion and ability to achieve financial stability through fundraising, while at the same time serving the community.

She has been recognized as a caring and results-oriented leader who works with people, not over them, to achieve success for the organization she is leading. She was featured on the cover of Business Week as one of the nation’s "Fast Track Kids" early in her career and has been profiled in numerous national and regional publications.

She came to St. Catherine from the YWCA of Minneapolis, where she served as President and Chief Executive Officer for 11 years and was responsible for leading the organization with a mission to eliminate racism, and empower women and girls. Under her leadership, the YWCA Minneapolis successfully completed a capital campaign, grew its revenue substantially and significantly increased the diversity of its board of directors.

Formerly, she was a senior vice president and a member of the senior leadership team at American Express Financial Advisors (now Ameriprise), held leadership positions at Pillsbury Company (both in Minneapolis) and was a grain merchant for Cargill in Texas. She has served on the boards of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., the Minneapolis Downtown Council Executive Committee and Allina Health.

Her leadership has been recognized with national and community accolades, including the New York City YWCA Academy of Women Achiever’s Award, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Leading With Spirit Award, the Twin Cities Business Outstanding Corporate Director Award and St. Catherine’s Outstanding Alumnae and Alexandrine Awards.

Active in the community, Becky currently serves as a trustee for the Charles and Ellora Ellis Educational Foundation and is a member of Women Corporate Directors. She also chaired the boards of The Blake School and The Children’s Theatre Company and is the recent past president of the International Women’s Forum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable.

The Current, The Bank and Your First5

John Ficken – PhD

John Ficken

John Ficken is the CEO of The Quotidian Group. He has spent more than 20 years helping leaders and their teams handle increasingly complex business challenges with more passion, focus, and efficiency.

Most of his clients are senior executives at large companies such as American Express, CarMax, Capital One, The Thomson Corporation, Duke Energy, ING Direct, Smiths Medical, HealthPartners, and Dannon. He has also worked with leaders at smaller start ups and non- profits. John also has deep passion and experience helping female executives navigate the unique challenges they face in the corporate world.

Prior to launching The Quotidian Group, John served as the CEO of KRW International, a pioneer in the field of in-depth senior level executive coaching in the United States. In that role, John led the organization's transformation from a family-run firm into a more disciplined, profitable organization. In addition to his leadership responsibilities, John coached numerous senior clients and their teams across a spectrum of industries. John has also partnered with Tony Schwartz, co-author of the best-selling "The Power of Full Engagement", where he trained leaders how to better manage their physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Before joining KRW, John worked at Allina Health Systems, a $2B healthcare organization, leading the development of patient assessment for a system-wide balanced scorecard. He also spent six years at NCS Assessments (now Pearson Assessments), creating behavioral health measurement systems for healthcare organizations. John also has a substantial background in measurement, statistics and technology, having worked for ten years in programming and data analysis.

John received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Workshop: Discover Your Speaking Super Power and Lead with More Impact

Sally Koering Zimney

Sally Koering Zimney

Sally Koering Zimney is an award-winning speaker, presentation coach and host of This Moved Me, an online platform transforming the art of public speaking. After learning the craft of persuasive speaking from some of the best coaches in the country, Sally spent over a decade at a nationally recognized organization where she spoke in front of thousands of people and coached 100+ talks each year. Now Sally lives out her mission to create talks that move the world by sharing her weekly podcast, This Moved Me (highlighted in iTunes’ New & Noteworthy), and interviewing some of the foremost and moving speakers in the world - sharing insights and inspiration so that we, too, can move our audiences.

Through her work as a presentation coach and consultant, Sally provides group and organizational training, and personalized presentation and speaker development/coaching. She has hadthe privilege of working with a wonderful array of clients - from large corporations like Nickelodeon - to entrepreneurs and artists - to small and large nonprofits - to CEO’s and leaders who all aim to make an indelible impact with the precious connection between audience and speaker.

Workshop: Would you work for no pay?

Michele Engdahl

Michele Engdahl

Michele Engdahl is the director of government affairs for Thomson Reuters Legal. She works to educate federal, state, and local officials about the issues important to Thomson Reuters. She manages public policy concerns to ensure Thomson Reuters’ markets remain open.

Michele engages regularly in the workforce development arena, partnering with local school districts and higher education institutions to prepare the next generation of technology talent. She has worked at Thomson Reuters for 10 years and before that she worked at State Farm Insurance leading their public affairs and strategic communications efforts. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and her experience includes working on political campaigns and building grassroots coalitions.

Michele serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Workshop: Would you work for no pay?

Nicole Hansen

Nicole Hansen

Nicole Hansen manages the Community Relations programs for Thomson Reuters, Legal. She has responsibility for corporate charitable giving, employee volunteer initiatives and strategic sponsorship programs, all in the name of advancing legal services around the world and educating the next workforce.

Before joining the Community Relations team, Ms. Hansen held several strategic roles within Thomson Reuters including Technology Operations, Corporate Communications and Finance. She got her professional start at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota supporting Community Affairs.

She was recognized as an Exceptional Businesswoman in Dakota County in 2016 and as BestPrep’s Board Member of Distinction in 2017.

Ms. Hansen serves on the boards of BestPrep in Minneapolis, MN and 360 Communities in Dakota County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and an MBA from Hamline University.

Workshop: You Get What You Negotiate

Martiey Miller

Martiey Miller

Martiey Miller joined Thomson Reuters in 2013 after a successful career in broadcast media, specifically in radio sales, sales management and general management. She is a highly regarded sales competency expert and sales trainer. Martiey works on the US Legal Training, Education, and Development team. She has significant subject matter expertise in pre-eminent sales techniques and behaviors and facilitates training in a variety of disciplines including PowerMessaging, Negotiation, Brainstorming, and Social Selling.

Workshop: Bringing it! Passion at Work is an Attitude

Dinyar Mehta

Dinyar Mehta

Dinyar Mehta, President and owner of Joyfidence™, has built his career around helping people. Before opening Joyfidence™, Dinyar worked at Thomson Reuters for 23 years, where he held a variety of roles including the Director of Westlaw Product Management. Dinyar combines his deep corporate experience with a passion for helping people to provide executive and life coaching services that transform lives.

Dinyar’s core values and gifts all center around people: Empowerment, inspiration, motivation, meaningful conversation, and healing. The professionals who work with Joyfidence™ immediately recognize these in Dinyar and are inspired to identify and highlight their own gifts as well. His coaching services focus specifically on helping professional women build confidence (and Joyfidence), leadership presence, excellent presentation skills and more.

Dinyar holds a law degree from the University of San Diego as well as coaching credentials and certification from the Coaches Training Institute. He is currently earning his Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.

Women Who Own Their Seats at the Table

Sharon Sayles Belton

Sharon Sayles Belton

Sharon Sayles Belton is the vice president of Government Affairs and Community Relations for Thomson Reuters, Legal. She is responsible for the development and management of Thomson Reuters, Legal’s government affairs strategies and initiatives. She provides oversight and management of the Community Relations programs, which include charitable contributions and community volunteerism.

Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Sayles Belton served as director of Community Relations and Corporate Philanthropy at GMAC Financial Services. While at GMAC, Sayles Belton created partnerships in several major cities to help stem the foreclosure crisis.

Sayles Belton served as mayor of Minneapolis, Minn., from 1994 to 2001. She was the first woman and first African American to be elect mayor. During her time in office, she achieved national recognition as an expert on public/private partnerships in public safety, neighborhood revitalization and economic development. She served on the Minneapolis City Council for 10 years (1984-1994) and was council president from 1990-1994.

Women Who Own Their Seats at the Table

Pahoua Yang Hoffman

Pahoua Yang Hoffman

Pahoua joined the Citizens League in May 2014 to lead all efforts related to developing and advancing policy recommendations with the League’s members and partners. Prior to joining the Citizens League, Pahoua served as the Manager of government affairs and content administration with Twin Cities Public Television (tpt). For seven years, she led the station’s government relations, educating elected officials on tpt programs as well as monitoring policy changes affecting public broadcasting. Pahoua also worked with tpt’s production teams to plan and coordinate local media projects.

Pahoua is a trusted leader and experienced manager with over 17 years of professional experience in challenging, collaborative, and mission-driven environments. She’s a reliable problem solver with unique ability to scale from concept to execution and has proven ability to build relationships with a variety of individuals and motivate stakeholders to meet goals and maximize impact. Her areas of strengths are lobbying, legislative affairs, public policy, non-profit management, project management, new business development, strategic planning, board of trustees governance, senior management liaison, regulatory issues, and grant procurement.

Pahoua holds a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. She lives on Eat Street in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis with her husband, Brian.