Breakout Session Speakers - Each speaker will lead a breakout during each session. Choose the two breakout speakers who will be most inspirational to you.

What's Your Leadership Style - Presented by Chris Laible, On Track with Chris

 About the Presenter

Chris McCombs-Laible is a successful and accomplished business professional whose goals and life-course experiences reflect the strong ethical values of her Midwestern roots. Her mentors have spent their lives in service. It is with that same deep personal commitment to service with enthusiasm that motivated and drove the development of “On Track with Chris”. 

Chris brings to the table over three decades of business experience, education, and management know how.  Her passion is energizing entrepreneurs to get on track and stay on track by taking personal inventory, strategizing what’s next, and reminding it takes tenacity to be an entrepreneur! 

 Breakout Session Summary

The 20th Century called, they want their vision board back! Create visuals that fit you, your journey, and your strategy!

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow…Trust your journey in remembering who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going!  Set life on the shelf for a moment and give yourself permission to be creative, to energize you, and to just dream.  Your strategies reflect your goals, your timeline to reach your goals, and what inspires you to keep you moving forward.

“I thought I would be further along by now!”  Have you ever said these words?  I did!

These visuals have proven to serve as instrumental reminders!  You deserve to remind yourself that you have the tenacity to be an entrepreneur!  Take inventory of what you have to keep you reminded, balanced, accountable, energized and forward moving!  

Transformational Leadership - Presented by Dr. Leslie McKnight, McKnight and Associates

About the Presenter

Leslie L. McKnight, PhD is currently the Senior Economic Development Administrator for the City of Peoria, IL and M.B.A. adjunct professor at Robert Morris University and Benedictine University.  

She is the founder of McKnight & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning, process improvement, change management, and executive coaching. She is an expert in implementing new processes and sustainable ways of doing business that result in increased revenues and cost savings. 

She holds a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University, Springfield, IL and a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Human Services Administration from Spertus Institute, Chicago, Illinois. 

Her current research and consulting interests focus on the use of self in leadership, strategic management, and organization change. She is published in various academic and management publications. Dr. McKnight recently published an article entitled “Strategic Cultures Drive Organization Performance” in InterBusiness Issues Magazine, Central Illinois.  

 Breakout Session Summary

Today’s world is a rapidly changing environment that places demands on organizations to survive and prosper. The effects of globalization, environmental impacts, consumer markets and trends, and financial solvency force organizations across every paradigm to review its current organizational structure and test itself for sustainability and competitiveness. 

To compete and succeed in this ever changing environment, managers must have the courage to lead beyond the status quo and embrace increasing responsibilities to build consensus, and unite purpose with the ultimate goal to gain a competitive advantage for the future. 

An effective manager will possess strong human value systems, have a charismatic ability to motivate others, assist in self-efficacy discoveries, and connect employees to the mission of the organization and the external community that it serves. 

Transformational leadership is one step beyond effective management. For leaders to become transformational, they must have the ability to create a continuous learning environment that unlocks innovation and agility through engagement and creativity. Such learning organizations will be able to adapt to the unpredictable more quickly than their competitors and maintain strength in new and existing markets.

The Courage to Crash Through Your Control Issues - Presented by Liz Pollack, Leg Up Services

 About the Presenter 

Liz Pollack is a Masters Prepared Psychologist, and a Certified Executive and Personal Life Coach. She is also a Certified Pet Loss Grief Specialist and a Certified Grief Counselor.

For the last 30 years Liz has been providing services to organizations and individuals in a variety of areas such as;

  • Leadership development
  • Employee development, motivation and productivity
  • Organizational Consulting for Integrative Improvement
  • Career Pathing & Succession Planning and Implementation
  • Executive and Life Coaching

Liz is a member of:

  • The International Coaching Federation
  • Associate member of the American Psychological Association
  • The American Counseling Association
  • The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement 

Liz also presents at many retreats and conferences locally and nationally and is passionate about helping others by offering a “leg up” for success.

 Breakout Session Summary

Compared to men, women spend more time exerting influence over their environment or the actions or behaviors of others.  Psychologists say that they do this for two main reasons:  The need to prove themselves to themselves or others, or because of a fear of losing control.  Additional research suggests that women’s greatest fear is not being enough.  

No matter what the reason, an incessant need for control may result in women feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and resentful and may wreak havoc on relationships, careers and overall quality of life. 

Women will learn what drives their control issues and what they can do to relinquish their need to control. 


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