WIN 2021 Agenda

WIN | Agenda | FAQs | VideosShare

Whether you want to watch it again or for the first time, #WIN2021VA is available on demand for free.

Wednesday, September 22

Agenda subject to change.

Grindly Johnson, Secretary of Administration

Grindly Johnson is not only Virginia's Secretary of Administration, but also the Secretary of absolute FUN. She's a familiar figure fulfilling that title at this event, as Champion of the Women in Innovation event. By overseeing five agencies: the Compensation Board, the Department of Elections, the Department of General Services, the Department of Human Resource Management, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency and the Office of the Chief Data Officer, she gets to put her hands in plenty of different buckets - leaving her with much work to do, and lots of accomplishments. She particularly loves to empower young women and encourage mentorship. She is an exceptional leader, a great listener who shows up as her authentic self, 100% of the time.

More about Grindly.


Pamela Northam, First Lady of Virginia

When speaking of Women in Innovation, our first mention must be Virginia's First Lady, Pamela Northam. Her top priority as First Lady: to improve school readiness statewide. She’s making a huge impact. Over $98 million in new state, federal and local funds have flowed into quality early childhood care and education during her tenure; $42.9 million has arrived as innovative federal preschool development grants, overseen by her office. Mrs. Northam is the chair of both the Virginia Children’s Cabinet and the Virginia STEM Education Commission, and is a board member of Norfolk’s innovative E3 school. The Women in Innovation conference has been fortunate to have Mrs. Northam’s support as both speaker and attendee, and we can’t wait to see the lessons she has to share this year.

Visit First Lady Pamela Northam website.


Meet five Women Secretaries of the cabinet.


Rita Davis, Deputy General Counsel (Legal Counsel), Department of Defense

As the first woman appointed as Counsel to the Governor in Virginia, Rita Davis knows a few things about developing and managing power. In addition to crediting her Bedford County roots, Davis also cites as formative her time as a police officer with the Lynchburg City Police Department. Making a life-changing jump, she next applied her skills to achievement of a law degree, magna cum laude, then a prestigious clerkship for the 8th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, Little Rock. She then practiced at a top Richmond firm as a complex commercial litigator for 15 years, prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, where she supervised 21 attorneys defending the Commonwealth.


L. Louise Lucas, President pro tempore, Senate of Virginia

Senator L. Louise Lucas has been involved in social, civic and political activities most of her adult life and has served in elective office for 26 years. Senator Lucas began her federal career in 1967 as an Apprentice Shipfitter at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in 1971 where she became the first woman Shipfitter. She began her public sector career path as Interim Executive Director of the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP) in 1985, and was appointed Executive Director in 1986. The senator was first elected to the Virginia General Assembly in November 1991 and continues to serve the citizens of Virginia's 18th Senatorial District.

For more information visit L. Louise Lucas, Senate of Virginia.


Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Dr. Underwood’s favorite face mask says ‘Good Trouble,’ because that is precisely what her work embodies. She is a diversity, equity and inclusion champion, but also a STEM innovator, educator, and advocate. In fact, she may be one of the few who can teach you to expertly dissect a frog, and also offer extensive insights on building diversity-lead innovation in state, local and federal government. For her incredible efforts in a short tenure, Dr. Underwood was recognized as Virginia Museum of History & Culture’s “20 Women of Change” in 2020. While an agent of change in government, Dr. Underwood also finds the time to change and better the lives of her three children.

Dr. Underwood is the first cabinet level Chief Diversity Officer in Virginia, and that position is the first of its kind across the United States.

Find out more about Dr. Underwood at One Virginia.



List 3 things you are thankful for.


Sherrie Armstrong, President and CEO, Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond

Sherrie Armstrong doesn't have that much to manage...just a community foundation, with a little funding ($1billion in assets), spread over a few funds (over 900) and a small staff (45 as of this writing). The impact focus for the foundation suffers from similar vision issues: it is charged with just small things, like educational success, economic prosperity, health, wellness, and community vibrancy. While facilitating philanthrophy and contributions to the fund, Sherrie continues her giving by serving on multiple board in the nonprofit sector. Sounds intimidating - but Sherrie Armstrong is also an exceptionally approachable woman, a listener, a facilitator and a connector. You'll love her talk!

Read more about Sherrie Armstrong at


Layne Mitchell, Owner, RVA Personal Wellness LLC.

A Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Layne works full time as an Emergency Services Clinician for a community services board. While in her residency, Layne studied to become a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. This knowledge was important to her because she had witnessed how movement in treatment plans could help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. She then opened her private practice, RVA Personal Wellness, LLC. She also enjoys her part time job as a crossfit coach as Crossfit Addict as she is able to assist and witness women meet goals and focus on what their bodies can do, and not on how they look.

Get to know RVA Personal Wellness.


Mechelle Lewis-Freeman, USA Track & Field Olympian and Founder, Trackgirlz

Mechelle Lewis Freeman is a high performance coach, helping people identify the drivers and the action plan to get results. She is the Assistant Relays Coach for USA Track & Field National Teams, most recently coaching the 2020 USA Olympic Women's Relay Teams to Gold and Silver Medal performances. She also develops speed and conditioning training programs and brings the community together through her weekly run club meet-ups. 
Mechelle is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she obtained her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mass Communications then went on to manage advertising and marketing accounts for global brands including Coca-Cola, IBM, and Xerox. From there, she decided to chase after her childhood Olympic dream and left Corporate America to become a world-class track and field athlete, competing in the 100 meters and the 4×100 meter relay. In taking the risk, success soon followed with Mechelle becoming a 2007 World Champion and 2008 USA Olympian. 
Mechelle has since founded her nonprofit,TrackGirlz, to empower girls through track and field, the highest participatory sport for middle and high school girls in the United States. Through TrackGirlz, programs include mentorship from an inspiring network of women involved in track and field, workshops that provide mental and physical performance tools, and grants to provide girls access to track and field in their local communities. 
Mechelle lives in Frisco, TX with her husband, David, and their two children, Bayne and Harley, and their dog, Chloe. 

Sheena Jeffers, Life Coach

A certified wellness life coach, writer, creative entrepreneur, yoga educator, and classically-trained dancer, Sheena is Founder and Chief Experience Officer of WELL, Inc. She is most proud of being a published writer, watching her students and clients thrive, rappelling down a 400-feet skyscraper, traveling around the world on a sailboat, opening three businesses, dancing throughout Japan, and developing a dance camp for children with parents currently incarcerated. Sheena's life mission is to be present, attentive, and live a magnetic, bold life of health, movement, and wellness.

Discover radiant living with Sheena Jeffers.


Patty Roze, Vice President, Sales for Public Sector

Patty leads a nationwide team responsible for developing solutions which meet the complex requirements of state government, local government, and education clients. Patty and her team ovesee delivery of integrated solutions including wireless mobility services, cloud and information technology, security, strategic networking, and advanced communications offerings.

Jennifer Chronis, Senior Vice President, Public Sector

As Senior Vice President of Public Sector at Verizon, Jennifer leads the team dedicated to Verizon's federal, state, local, education and public safety customers to deliver innovative technology solutions and services. This includes Verizon Frontline, the network and solution platform for first responders.

Maggie Hallbach, Vice President, Public Sector Business Development and Strategic Sales

Maggie leads the business development function that is focused on developing, designing and capturing strategic opportunities in the Public Sector. Maggie and her team are also responsible for strategic alignment of sales priorities and Verizon's Public Sector strategy.


Take 6 slow deep breaths.


Wendy Mann, CEO, CREW Network

Wendy Mann is CEO of CREW Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation. As CEO of the 12,000-member global association, Wendy is passionately committed to the organization’s mission to transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing women. As president of CREW Network’s Foundation, Wendy leads the only foundation dedicated solely to creating a pipeline of diverse talent for the industry and supporting women’s careers in commercial real estate.

With a career spanning nearly 30 years in various leadership roles, Wendy believes that organizations thrive when members’ needs are top priority and chapters have the tools and resources they need to be successful. She believe true power is the ability to deliver products and services that advance the mission of the organization. She believes in possibilities and working collaboratively to benefit members.

Prior to CREW Network, Wendy served as senior vice president of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

More information on Wendy Mann.


Sarah Ahmed, Comedian and Activist 

Sarah Ahmed is a Richmond-based Statewide Field Manager for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. Outside of working to save the planet through political action, she’s been a local standup comedian for over six years – also occasionally dabbling in improv and sketch writing. Her comedy revolves around childhood experiences, politics, defying gender roles among house pets, and trying to sound smart. She’s supported by her loving husband Jesse and her competitively loving dog, Eva Pizza.

Read more about Sarah Ahmed.


Refresh with an outdoor break.


Jessica McCarty, Ph.D., Director, Geospatial Analysis Center, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Dr. Jessica McCarty imagined and created a career out of fire. She uses geospatial science to map and quantify fires and fire-emissions. As Director of the Geospatial Analysis Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Dr. McCarty has innovatively created new knowledge using visualization and data layers to better understand wildland and human-caused fires. In addition to being a top-notch world-leading STEAM pioneer, Dr. McCary also shares a quick wit.

Read more about Jessica McCarty.


Jennifer Nowell, Vice President of Federal Civilian Sales - Tableau

Jennifer is a proven leader with over 25 years of experience in Public Sector Industry. Throughout her career, she has successfully been tasked with building new businesses and new teams. In April 2017 Ms. Nowell was named a “2017 Industry Leader” by State Scoop. Ms. Nowell has served previously on the Board for AFCEA Bethesda, the American Council for Technology - Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) in support of public-private partnership, the National Defense Industry Association – Women in Defense and the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF). She is married, has 4 children and lives in the Washington DC area.

More about Jennifer Nowell.



I am, You are, We are WIN!


Vickie Davis-Cantelmo

Sound therapy and healing are major aspects of Vickie’s Reiki practice. Take a moment to reflect, relax and relieve stress. Energy is everything. Let us stay positive.


Ralph Northam, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Before he was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ralph Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator and Lieutenant Governor.

Governor Northam approaches public service with the same passion he brought to his military and medical service. He is committed to working with leaders from both parties to build a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live.

Visit the Governor's website.


Adrienne Bankert, National Correspondent - NewsNation

Adrienne is the new host of her own three hour morning show, "Morning in America" on NewsNation.

Emmy award-winning veteran journalist Adrienne Bankert joined NewsNation in April 2021 as an anchor/correspondent. Ms. Bankert will initially cover national affairs and deliver special reports across the network's prime-time weeknight news broadcasts. Later this year, she will begin anchoring a new national newscast, as NewsNation continues moving forward with plans to expand its news programming to all time periods.

As a New York-based national correspondent for ABC News since 2015, Ms. Bankert covered breaking news on both the East and West Coast of the United States, and some of the most significant stories of the last decade, including the 2016 and 2020 Presidential campaigns, the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the rescue of a youth soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave, and the murder of rapper Nipsey Hussle. She has also reported extensively on the entertainment industry, interviewing such giants as Lady Gaga, Dwayne Johnson, Brad Pitt, Viola Davis, Harrison Ford, and Will Smith.

During her tenure at ABC News, Ms. Bankert's groundbreaking stories were featured across all of the network's broadcast and digital platforms, including Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and Nightline. From 2017 to 2019, she served as part of the weekend anchor team for Good Morning America.

In addition to her distinguished career in journalism, Ms. Bankert also is the author of "Your Hidden Superpower: The Kindness that Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone."  She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Communication and Media Studies.

{Source: NewsNation}

Closing remarks by WIN Ambassador, Grindly Johnson, Secretary of Administration