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Ashley Ridge Event Center

Wednesday April 24
12:00PM – 5:00PM
8199 Southpark Ct,
Littleton, CO 80120 United States

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Women’s Leadership Conference

Womens Leadership Conference 2024 (1)

Women’s Leadership Conference Schedule
Wednesday April 24, 2024 – 12pm-5pm

Ashley Ridge Event Center, Southpark

Together we WILL Inspire and Lead.”

Women in Leadership Littleton (WILL) is hosting the 1st Annual Women’s Leadership Conference.  Our theme “together we WILL inspire and lead” will be shared through our extraordinary speakers, panelists, and tabletop discussions.  We hope to inspire you in your personal and professional lives with inspiring stories of leadership while meeting other like-minded women within our community.
11:45 Registration and check-in
12:00-12:40 Lunch
12:40-12:45 pm Welcome, introduction of Keynote Speaker
12:45 – 1:15 pm We WILL Inspire… 
Keynote Speaker –Melissa Levack, MD, FACS, FACC, AdventHealth Rocky Mountain Region Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Levack has the mindset of a leader knowing that both her team and most importantly, her patient, is counting on her stewardship to do whatever it takes to improve their situation. She is a leading force in Cardiothoracic Surgery and is the Rocky Mountain Region Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery at AdventHealth Littleton Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Tower, that when completed, will be a leader in comprehensive cardiac care in the region. Read her bio here.
1:20 – 1:50 pm We WILL Succeed…
Rhonda Sheya  – With four decades of invaluable experience in marketing and public relations, Rhonda Sheya
stands as a true veteran in the industry. Her journey has seen her contribute her expertise to some of the world’s most renowned companies. Rhonda’s career has taken her through organizations such as The Walt Disney Company, Disney Family’s Shamrock Broadcasting, ABC Radio Networks, KMGH TV, CBS Radio, Martin Marietta, Regis University, and various non-profit entities. Rhonda currently the acting VP for public affairs for Space Force Association, a nonprofit organization whose primary function is to advocate and support Space Force Guardians and act as a conduit for commercial and military space research and education.
The SFA is committed to achieve superior national space power by shaping a Space Force that provides credible deterrence in competition, dominant capability in combat, and professional services for all partners.
Career Highlights Include:
– Nominated by Colorado Women’s Chamber for the Athena Ward
– 2021 Colorado Woman Who Rocks Award recipient
– Launched four radio stations in the competitive Denver market.
– Recipient of a regional Emmy and an impressive collection of 8 Colorado Broadcasting
awards.
– As the General Manager for Radio Disney, her tenure was marked by a sales increase of
over 560% in 6 years.
– Recipient of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Red Wagon Award and the Colorado Air National Guard Community Medal of Excellence for service.
– Developed and organized multiple events that have become Denver Traditions: Disney’s All About Kids Exp
She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Listen Foundation for Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Children. She sits on the Minori Yasui Community Volunteer Award Committee, further underscoring her dedication to recognizing and fostering community engagement and reflecting her commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.
Rhonda and her husband, Parley, have been married for 41 years. Together, they’ve raised
two wonderful daughters. She and her husband live in Westminster.

2:00-2:30 – table top discussions

2:40- 3:40 pm We WILL Lead…  Panel Discussion 
Panelists:
Carrie Warren-Gulley – Arapahoe County Commissioner
Carrie Warren-Gully has served as your county commissioner in District 1 of Arapahoe County since her election in 2020. Carrie’s journey as a public servant began when she took a job with the Colorado Wildlife Federation advocating for the protection of our public lands, particularly those around the Highline Canal. Working with stakeholders from around the state, Carrie helped facilitate strong, lasting community partnerships by bringing local voices to the table.

Carrie’s Experience in the public and private sector is extensive. Starting in the year 2000, Carrie worked with others in our community to bring in much needed investments and resources for our local public schools. Carrie witnessed the power of people of different beliefs and backgrounds to organize and work for change.

That experience inspired Carrie to pursue her passion for public service further, and she was elected to the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education in 2013. At the same time, she served on the Colorado Association of School Boards Board of Directors, eventually being elected Chair. As a business owner in Englewood since 2014 Carrie has had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented individuals and supporting them in their goals. Carrie has become a cornerstone among leaders known for their engagement and impact among our community initiatives and has fought hard for our county across Colorado.

Gretchen Rydin – City of Littleton Mayor Pro Tem, Mental Health Professional
Gretchen Rydin was elected to the Littleton City Council in 2021 to a four-year At Large term. She was subsequently elected by her peers on the council to serve as Mayor Pro Tem for the next two years.
Gretchen Rydin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). She earned a bachelor of arts from Brigham Young University, and a master’s degree in Social Work from Howard University. She is a therapist specializing in trauma and addiction for individuals, couples, and groups.
She is a member of the Denver Pops Orchestra and performs regularly at her church. She plays the violin and viola and is starting to learn the ukulele. She believes music is another way to connect with people.
Cherie Garcia-Kuper – Board of Education, LPS, and Entrepreneur
Chérie Garcia-Kuper, Board Assistant Secretary, was elected to her first term in November 2023 and considers it an honor to serve the students and staff in Littleton Public Schools. Chérie was born and raised in North Denver. She attended DPS schools and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. Chérie is the owner of Cherie Garcia Design, a kitchen, bath, cabinetry, and construction design firm. She is also the owner of CG Logistics.
Chérie moved her life and children from Douglas County to Centennial in 2014 so her children could attend LPS schools. Her older son is a graduate from Heritage High School, and is a recent graduate from the Colorado School of Mines. Her younger son attended Twain Elementary, Powell Middle School, and is currently a senior at Heritage High School. Chérie has nearly 20 years of public education advocacy and public school volunteer experience. She’s volunteered in various positions and capacities at both the school and district level, including the LPS District Accountability Committee, Superintendent Interview Committee, PTO Presidents’ Council, and the Construction Trades Pathway at Littleton Public Schools’ EPIC Campus. Chérie currently serves as the Vice President of Heritage High School’s PTO and she is the Board liaison to the Littleton Public Schools Foundation. Chérie is also a member and active volunteer at the Littleton Elks Lodge.
Each panelist will share what inspired them to run for public office and how they made it happen!
3:45 pm We WILL Honor…
Women in Leadership Littleton Outstanding Community Leader Award –.
Dr. Stephanie Fujii, PhD, President Arapahoe Community College
3:45-3:55 pm Closing Remarks
4:00-5:00 We WILL Celebrate…Business After Hours –
Meet conference presenters and attendees and celebrate a day of remarkable women.
Premier tables for 10 – $750.00 PURCHASE
Individual Tickets – $65 PURCHASE
Price includes buffet lunch, mid afternoon snack, beverages (coffee, tea, soda, water) and happy hour with beer, wine and small bites.