Fifth Annual Gustavus Women in Leadership Conference is April 16

Posted on March 24th, 2015 by

GWIL 2015The fifth annual Gustavus Women in Leadership (GWIL) Conference is titled “Drive, Thrive, Revive: Setting Your Pace Through the Journey of Life” and will take place Thursday, April 16 at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. This year’s conference will feature Gustavus President Rebecca Bergman and alumna Semonti Stephens ’03 as keynote speakers.

Tickets for the conference can be purchased through April 8 online at Ticket prices are $10 for Gustavus students, $75 for recent graduates, and $150 for the general public.

The schedule for this year’s conference is as follows:

  • 8:30-9 a.m. / Check-in and registration
  • 9-9:15 a.m. / Welcome and opening remarks
  • 9:15-10 a.m. / Keynote by President Rebecca Bergman
  • 10:10-11 a.m. / Breakout session No. 1
  • 11:10 a.m.-12 p.m. / Breakout session No. 2
  • 12:10-12:50 p.m. / Lunch and networking
  • 12:50-1:35 p.m. / Keynote by Semonti Stephens ’03
  • 1:35-2:30 p.m. / Closing remarks
President Rebecca Bergman

President Rebecca Bergman

President Bergman’s morning keynote address is titled “Thriving on the Journey of Life: Perspectives on Personal and Organizational Leadership”.  Prior to assuming the presidency at Gustavus in July 2014, Bergman had a 26-year career at Medtronic, Inc., a leading medical technology company. She most recently served as Vice President, Research, Technology, and Therapy Delivery Systems for Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business. Bergman is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She previously served on the Board of Trustees at both Gustavus and St. Catherine University. She holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

Semonti Stephens '03

Semonti Stephens ’03

Semonti Stephens ’03, currently Product Communications Manager at Square, Inc., in San Francisco, will give the afternoon keynote address. Stephens moved to the Bay Area after spending nearly five years working for First Lady Michelle Obama in various roles including Deputy Communication Director, Deputy Press Secretary, and Deputy Communications Director. Stephens’ other experience in Washington, D.C., involved working for U.S. Senator’s Charles Schumer, Mark Dayton, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Harkin. Stephens graduated from Gustavus with degrees in communication studies and political science. During her time at Gustavus she studied abroad in Scotland and was involved in the Tri-Sigma sorority, Gustie Greeters, and the Collegiate Fellow program.

Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to attend two of four breakout sessions led by the following individuals:

  • Suzanne Boda ’82, Senior Vice President at American Airlines
  • Jodi Harpstead, CEO of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
  • Nicole LaVoi ’91, Associate Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport; Co-founder of the Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium
  • Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Multi-generation Speaker Panel featuring Lee Roper-Baker, Saanii Hernandez, and Luluete Mola

The conference is organized by Gustavus Women in Leadership, a student/alumnae program that seeks to help the women of Gustavus in their academic, professional, and personal leadership development. Gustavus students Emily Gilman ’15 and Liz Strom ’15 are co-chairs of this year’s conference.

For more information about his year’s Gustavus Women in Leadership Conference, go online to


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


Comments are closed.