Additional speakers will be added as we round-out our agenda

Central Exchange Leadership Lyceum

Award-Winning ABC News Journalist

Elizabeth Vargas will share her personal stories of change, growth and reinvention. She has traveled the world covering breaking news and reporting in-depth investigations. She is currently the co-anchor of “20/20” with David Muir. Vargas is also the author of “Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction” released in 2016.

Elizabeth Vargas

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Rice University professor and author of “Stretch”

Using colorful stories from businesses both well-known and little-known—Yuengling Beer, Major League Baseball, Fastenal, Netflix, NASA, etc.—Sonenshein demonstrates how stretchers’ ability to deploy resources beyond convention consistently helps them devise products, processes, services and work cultures that are unique and game-changing and explains 4 steps anyone can use to improve their ability to stretch.

Scott Sonenshein

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Executive Vice President, and Treasurer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Ronetta shares her ideas on ‘Becoming and Staying Relevant’ through diversity in the workplace. She currently leads the teams responsible for overseeing Ethics functions for Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, and the Home Office, and for ensuring that Walmart’s policies, practices, procedures and systems are compliant with federal, state and local employment laws and regulations. Prior to joining Walmart, Ronetta served as a Senior Trial Attorney at the Dallas District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ronetta J. Francis

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University of Kansas Professor Emeritus and Clinical Music Therapist

Alicia Clair will talk about her career journey and how she navigated difficult transition points. As a clinical researcher, teacher, author and consultant Dr. Clair has gained international regard for music therapy with persons who have Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.  She highlights how she helped shape a new profession through overcoming barriers and how passion drove innovations that make a difference.  The session culminates with video examples of the powerful influence of music in dementia care.

Alicia Clair

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MD, MS, Medical Intensive Care Unit at University of Kansas Medical Center

Emily Diederich will participate in our Women Working in STEM panel. Emily Diederich, MD, MS, is the David S. Zamierowski Director of the Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning (ZIEL).   The ZIEL provides immersive training experiences for students and health care providers, helping to ensure that teams and individuals are ready to provide world class care for patients and families.  Dr. Diederich completed her BS and MS in Kinesiology at Kansas State University, where she was a Big Twelve Track and Field Champion and NCAA Academic All American.  She went on to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and then completed Internal Medicine Residency at McGaw Medical Center at Northwestern University.

Emily Diederich



Claire shares her ideas on ‘Becoming and Staying Relevant’ through diversity in the workplace. She has been recognized throughout her career for her strong commitment to diversity. In addition to winning the Dave Jackson Trailblazer Award, in recent years she has been named a Diversity Champion by Diversity Edge magazine and was added to the “Women Worth Watching” list by Diversity Journal.

Claire Babineaux

Executive Vice President and Treasurer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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Maureen Chiquet

From St. Louis to Paris and Old Navy to Chanel, Chiquet shares what she learned throughout her 30-year career in ‘BEYOND THE LABEL: Women, Leadership and Success on Our Own Terms’. She shares the unsung benefits of a jagged path to leadership in the workplace, how a self-professed introvert can learn to address—and win over—a crowded room, how to recognize that one professional opportunity has reached its conclusion and that it’s time to move on, and more.

Former Global CEO of Chanel

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Ann Davis

Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center

Ann McGrath Davis will participate in our Women Working in STEM panel. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and English from the University of Kansas, her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University, and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center.  In addition to her current academic position, she is Director of the Healthy Hawks pediatric obesity program and Director of the Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, a joint center between the University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital focused on pediatric obesity and other nutrition related issues in childhood.

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Angie Pastorek

PhD, Program Manager and Faculty for the Professional Workplace Communication graduate programs, KU-Edwards


Despite our best intentions as managers and leaders, our team members are often left (and even expected) to “just figure it out” as they strive to keep up with an ever-increasing list of daily responsibilities. Angie Pastorek, PhD will help us take a fresh look at onboarding and team development, exploring the simple, everyday steps you can take to help you build more inclusive, engaged and productive teams. During her own corporate career, Angie worked in client training and employee development for Deloitte, and as global employee communication manager for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.

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Nicole Price

Author and Chief Executive Officer at Lively Paradox

Nicole Price is certain that all leaders have the ability to be great and that individual leaders are the lynchpins of culture. Her ‘Cultivating Culture’ session will help us make our move to consciously create a work culture that will focus on the importance of passion, purpose, prowess and, ultimately, drive personal accountability. Nicole received her B.S. in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T University and her master’s degree in adult education from Park University. Nicole Price believes two things: 1) If leadership is anything, it’s personal 2) Everyone can be a great leader. She’ll make you laugh; she’ll make you think; she’ll make you better.

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2016 Lyceum Gallery

Central Exchange leadership development programs create a pool of highly qualified leaders available for executive positions in the Kansas City area. This supports our strategic initiative win|win, a business case for Kansas City, to increase gender diversity at the top of area companies.

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