Meet The Speakers

Learn more about the experts that will be leading sessions during this week. 

get your notebooks ready!


Karen Astin

Karen Astin is a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in English Pronunciation and neutralizing foreign accents. She has worked with clients all over the world to help improve their English skills and confidence in speaking. Her clients are individuals, small Startups, and Corporate clients like Google, Adobe, and Cisco. Karen helps her clients to be clearly understood for job interviews, presentations, conferences, and day-to-day life. Through her training and expertise her clients have gone on to become CEO's, CTO's, Ted Talk speakers, and leaders in their industry. Please visit for more information.



Mon, April 16th, 12pm-1:30pm

Accent Reduction 101: Introduction

Carolyn Birsky

Carolyn Birsky is a Certified Life & Career Coach and the Owner of Compass Maven LLC, a company that helps women in their 20s + early 30s gain the clarity and confidence they need to get unstuck and turn the lives and careers of their dreams into reality. Upon graduating college, Carolyn spent almost 6 years working in corporate sales. While she had a very successful career on paper, Carolyn couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something was missing. When she ultimately found her calling in coaching, Carolyn knew she was meant to help women navigate their 20s + 30s and make these important decades feel less confusing. 

Carolyn holds a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College and a CPC from iPEC (the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching). A born connector, Carolyn also a co-host of Confidence Dinners, a dinner series focused on female connection and empowerment, providing women a safe space to make new friends and discuss topics that matter. When she’s not coaching or working on her business, you can find Carolyn traveling, discovering new coffee shops and restaurants, and making the most of her time with friends and family. 

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Demetria Bridges

For ten years, Demetria has worked with companies like WGBH, The LA Times, Biogen, Idec, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to help grow their customer base and employee learning through authentic interactions.  A management stint with Hilton Hotels and teaching development for Boston Public Schools has granted her the experience of teaching, training and leading a wide variety of learning styles and now she helps the success seeker to live and work from their authentic core self. She coaches on vocal resonance by teaching her clients the discovery of their ‘Blueprint Sound’ and she also speaks to parents and educators on the internal and emotional battles children struggle with.  She is the founder of The Desperate Landlord, a resource and coaching platform helping single property landlords find their voice in order to effectively manage their tenants.

Demetria is very passionate about living one's authentic life and shares invaluable lessons she’s learned on her own life journey that has opened up a wealth of friendships, business success and self fulfillment.  Her life's motto is simply: "Raising My Voice To Help Others Be Heard".



Tuesday, April 17th, 12pm-1:30pm

Title: Core Authenticity: Exponential Growth From Your True Self

Josh Drean

Josh is a social entrepreneur, business consultant, and keynoter on entrepreneurship, strategic management, marketing, and effective communication. He has provided consulting services to local and international businesses and academic institutions and leads workshops and training on leadership development, getting paid to speak, persuasion, and public speaking. 

Josh lives in Boston with his wife, son, and super dog Tonks.

Kim Dawson

Kim Dawson is a Business Strategist specializing in helping small business owners connect their entrepreneurial passion to smart, effective strategies in order to achieve the results they desire, such as more money, more time, more impact, and long-lasting success. Her specialty areas include revenue generation, pricing, scalability, business development & growth, and branding. 

Kim is the host of ‘The Sassy Strategist Podcast‘ and is launching her first book in 2018, “From Passion to Profits: The Sassy Strategist’s Guide To Building Your Business.” 

Kim enjoys spending time with her two children, and her hobbies include cooking, exploring the outdoors, running, hiking, photography, and listening to live jazz. 

Connect with Kim on social media, @sassystrategist



Wed, April 18th, 12-1:30p

Title: Asking For What You Want in Money & Business


Jennifer Hanway

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Level 2 Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer who has worked with the British Royal Family and Hollywood A-List. A passion for empowering others fuels Jenny’s mission to combine nutrition and fitness with accountability to achieve life-changing results. Rooted in science and infused with her renowned British wit, Jenny’s individualized sessions create an inspiring, positive and rewarding experience for each of her clients seeking to better their lives through improved health.

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Wed, April 20th, 9-10am

Title: Optimize Your Sleep, Optimize Your Life

Alexander Noren

Alexander is a financial strategist, business consultant, and trainer on leadership development, sales innovation, tax consulting, and strategic relationships.  He is an international business professional, CPA, and has worked for PwC, government contractors, international organizations, and charities to increase organizional efficiency and improve leadership strategy

Alexander is an MMA fighter, military man, and has a lovely wife, son, and another on the way. 

Ngan Nguyen

Ngan H. Nguyen, Executive Coach and Life MasteryTM Consultant, is the Founder & President of Cintamani Group. Her company specializes in helping individuals and organizations accelerate their results and achieve their greatest potential through heart-centered programs and trainings using the DreamBuilder® System. Ngan has dedicated over 15 years to the study and understanding of self-leadership, transformational coaching, universal principles of success, and visionary leadership. Prior to Cintamani Group, Ngan spent over 10 years as a Strategy Advisor in Fortune 100 companies and at McKinsey & Company, helping business leaders solve their most pressing challenges. Ngan’s passion is helping people ignite the spark of their vision and tapping into their genius so that they can accelerate their results and experience the impact, influence, and success they desire. Her belief is that time is precious so let’s have fun creating our best life!

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Wed, April 17th, 6-7:30p

Title: The Vision Workshop: 3 Keys To Accelerating Your Results

Jackie Riso

Jackie Riso is a small town girl from NH turned Bostonian, with relentless determination and dreams of being the passionate businesswoman she is now. She completed her bachelor’s degree in business management at Emmanuel College and her master’s degree in e-commerce, systems, and technology at Boston University. She is a Senior Project manager by day at Boston Children’s Hospital, positivity master by life. 

Jackie’s mission is to connect with others, to inspire positivity and strength. She recently launched her new website, A Glass Half Full, which reflects her mission. Jackie is an undeniable optimist. She is committed to sharing her voice and coaching others towards strengthening their mindset and developing a strong sense of self towards personal success. You can find her at, Instagram @j_riso or YouTube channel.

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Thurs, April 19th, 6pm-7:30pm | Title: Conquering Your Mindset For Success

Kit Pang

Kit Pang is a Communication Expert, TEDxInbound and Keynote speaker and the Founder of BostonSpeaks. He is on a mission to help individuals become exceptional speakers and communicators. Kit's seminars and talks have been credited as super fun, engaging, soul-searching and insightful. His happy clients include individuals from organizations such as Dell, Delta, RE/MAX, Harvard or MIT. @kitpangx | @boston_speaks

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Tues, April 17th, 10:30am-11:30am | Title: How To Land A TEDx Talk

Thurs, April 19th, 10am-11am | Title: The Art of Listening

Fri, April 20th, 10am-11am | Title: Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Elena Raileanu

Elena moved to the U.S. from Moldova where she worked as an Investigative Journalist and developed a genuine interest in people and their stories. Once in Boston, she transferred those skills into her first job  as an Employment Coach at a non-profit, helping people with disabilities find jobs and later as a Recruiting Consultant for various Start-ups,  Staffing Agencies, Global Investment Managers and Insurance Companies. 

For the past 10 years she has developed a good eye for talent and gained understanding of the most important elements of career growth. While she continues to work and learn, she is sharing her experience and consultations with active and passive job seekers through Career Workshops at Goodwill and ESOL for Human Services. 



Wed, April 18th, 9am-10am

Title: Know Yourself. Know Your Employer. Know Your Rights.

Steve Slavsky

As the founder of Tri-Bridge Presentations, Steve Slavsky works with businesses and individuals involved in growth and transition through Get To The Message© presentation workshops, and consulting on public speaking, business, product, and customer development.

Steve is passionate about improving communication and discovering new possibilities in dynamically changing environments, and committed to applying his skills and experiences to help others move through the critical transitions in their lives and at work. From project reviews, sales presentations, and technical discussions, to workshops, executive reporting and attracting investment capital, Steve has experience in presenting to all kinds of varied audiences. Sharing this knowledge and experience to improve communication is what Steve is all about.

Steve also dances and teaches Argentine Tango. But that's another story...



Fri, April 20th, 12pm-1:30pm

Title: How To Prepare For A Speech

Scott Stolze

Scott Stolze is the Founder of Teaching 2 Lead, and the Innovator of the life changing program, "Create Your Great -- How To Create Your Dream Career".   Scott believes everyone deserves to have fulfillment and joy in the work they do, and that the way to do that is by owning your career and creating your fulfillment.  

"My goal is to help thousands of people take ownership of their career and create fulfillment in the work they do", says Scott.  "I want to help people create a path in which they're doing what they want to do, not what they feel they have to do or should be doing. Create Your Great, and enjoy what you are doing today and every day." 

Scott also teaches leadership principles and leadership development to individuals, groups and organizations.  Inspired to lead a better life, to become a better leader and to be accountable, Scott focuses every day on learning how to lead himself in better and more effective ways, and sharing those experiences and that knowledge with others. 

Scott recently spent over 5 years with CVS Health (Fortune 10 company) in Leadership roles in which management skills and personal accountability were essential, and now he wants to expand on and share what he has learned and continues to learn outside of the corporate walls. Scott lives in Boston, MA, but he likes to be known as someone who will travel to and be anywhere where he can provide value.



Time: Wed, April 18th, 6pm-7:30pm

Title: How To Love Your Career

Claudia Thompson

Claudia Thompson is President of her own networking events and training company Claudia Connects. She loves helping people grow and develop their businesses, while also helping them build relationships. Claudia is also a Director Consultant and Chapter Launch Director with the International networking referral organization BNI and has also been a sales/marketing executive with Kyocera Document Solutions for the past 14 years.

Claudia loves serving others and giving back to the community. She most recently served as the Director of Member Relations for the Boston Business Women and has previously sat on the board for the Women of Color AIDS Council, Self-Esteem Boston & YogaHope. Claudia also is the Founder and Organizer of Single Mothers United, is a mentor in the Mother Caroline Academy Mentoring Program and sits on the Board of the Boston Women's Fund.

In her spare time, Claudia loves spending time at home with her son Michael, traveling around the world, trivia nights and enjoying all types of Vegan cuisine. She also loves staying active by performing with OnStage Dance Company & Boston Bollywood throughout the year, running marathons and working out with the Boston-based free fitness movement November Project!



Time: Thurs, April 19th, 12pm-1:30pm

Title: Manage Your Time So That You Can Enjoy Life