Guest Facilitators

Pamela Benson Owens
Pamela Benson Owens
Edge of Your Seat Consulting, Inc.
CEO
KEYNOTE SESSION THE SISTERHOOD RESET: My Sister’s Keeper

Pamela Benson Owens has been an entrepreneur for over 20+ years and is the President/CEO of Edge of Your Seat Consulting, Inc. She most enjoys collaborating and working with organizations to assist in matters regarding all things geared toward organizational effectiveness. Currently Pam serves as the acting Executive Director for Six Square, Austin’s Black Cultural Arts District. She feels fortunate to be able to work on meaningful projects alongside a talented team of professionals who demonstrate high integrity and consciously work to provide the best support to clients. Pam is also in her third year of being on faculty at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence at Austin Community College where she teaches fundraising principles and methodology around donor motivations and diversity.

Whether she is brought in to address infrastructure building, training and development, coaching, leveraging the most out of staff, proactive HR practices, culture building, teaming, group facilitation, governance, confliction resolution, executive coaching, diversity, equity and inclusion building, strategic planning and/or establishing processes and procedures, Pam has a depth of experience navigating the complexities of these aspects in both the non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Pam also spends a significant amount of time assisting organizations experiencing transitions and change in an interim capacity to create staffing infrastructure, stabilization, organizational culture change and align with leadership to move organizations forward.

Pam holds an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in Journalism and a Master’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from St. Edward’s University. Pam has a certification in Diversity Education and has also completed course work toward an advanced theological degree.

She leverages the combination of her variety of experiences, education, faith, and teachings to
create critical “teachable moments” that quickly translate and become abundantly useful in both professional and personal settings.

She has been fortunate to be a guest lecturer and adjunct professor at some of the most prestigious institutions and finds value in the leader as learner approach. Pam is the author of Percolations: Reflect, Recharge, Reign. Pam resides in Austin, Texas and is mother to two amazing kids Preston (10) and Allyson (13) and is wife to a fabulously supportive husband and native Austinite, Arlyn.

Dr. Demetrice Smith
Dr. Demetrice Smith
Creeping Vines Online
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
RE-AFFIRM: Raising A Resilient Child

Dr. Demetrice Smith is an author, entrepreneur, mentor, Ordained Elder, and mental health activist with over 17 years of professional and leadership experience. Demetrice is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University and holds Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Communications, a Master of Science Degree in Leadership from Walden University, and a Doctorate of Business Administration also from Walden University. She is passionate about igniting the leadership potential in others and holds a Master Coaching Certification from The Association for Talent Development.

Dr. Smith is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Creeping Vines Online, a nonprofit organization 501c3 corporation dedicated to mental health awareness, education, advocacy and training. She founded Creeping Vines Online initially with a focus on women’s mental health concerns and later expanded the conversation through a curriculum offering selections to include men’s mental health and youth mental health. Her motto: Gaining Victory, is part of her personal testimony after 30 years of living in a cave called depression. She is passionate about removing the stigma surrounding mental health through awareness, assessments, education, resources, and training.

Although she has had success with customized training plans for companies wanting to educate their workforce on mental health, she is most proud of the work with law enforcement agencies across the state to help them recognize and respond more compassionately and safely to those with mental health challenges.

Victoria Thomas
Victoria Thomas
Journey Fit
CEO
THE BODY RESET: Let’s Get Physical
RE-FUEL: Make & Break Habits for Healthy Living

Victoria Thomas is one of the top trainers in Dallas Texas. With over 15 years of experience in changing lives, Victoria is the founder and sole owner of Journeyfit LLC, a sport performance and fitness studio across three locations in Dallas, TX. Victoria's client list includes some of the world's top high school athletes, NFL, WNBA and professional volleyball players, including phenom Khat Bell. She is Thomas is a National Academy of Sports and medicine certified trainer. Thomas trains through a unique lens – duplicating movements to create muscle memory. She understands that powerful movements need to be developed from a playing perspective, a coaching perspective and a trainer’s perspective. Victoria’s philosophy -- “Train Hard. Win.” (#THW) --- embodies the notion that “if you prepare at an elevated level, you will perform at an elevated level, which will always give you the victory.” As a previous lawyer she is not new to hard work. Victoria started JOURNEYFIT in a little studio renting a 200 square foot corner. Now as the owner of the multi-location gym her goal is to continue to change lives through nutrition and fitness. Her favorite fitness quote is :Your body can do anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince. Focus your on consistency. It’s the only thing keeping you from you goals.

Dr. Lisa Herbert
Dr. Lisa Herbert
Physicians Rising Up Leadership Program
Founder
RE-CHARGE: Taking Self-Care Seriously

Dr. Lisa Herbert utilizes her unique background and extensive experience of being a physician and a healthcare leader in hospital administration, public health, and the health insurance industry to bridge the gaps in healthcare. Through her coaching, consulting, workshops, and training, she helps physicians’ transition into effective leaders and provides support to organizations to enhance the patient experience, improve patient outcomes, and mitigate health disparities. Dr. Herbert’s mission is to change the landscape of healthcare by providing physicians with the crucial skills they need to be successful leaders and strategies to deal with workplace and healthcare challenges. With the creation of the Physicians Rising Up Leadership Program, organizations can have access to the Physicians Leadership Academy training and resources needed to support physicians in their transition from medical practice to medical leadership. As a DE&I coach and consultant, she helps organizations create a strategy of identifying opportunities to develop a culture of inclusion, begin to create equitable systems and retain high-performing leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Dr. Herbert’s private clientele includes major hospitals and healthcare organizations that have taken the steps to develop and retain and high-performing physician leaders.

Anita Heiskell
Anita Heiskell
Prim, Poised, and Proper, LLC
Founder
ASSOCIATES SESSION II: Social Media Etiquette

Associate Anita Heiskell is a certified social graces etiquette and image consultant and the founder and owner of Prim, Poised and Proper, LLC. Prim. Poised and Proper is a full-service Etiquette School located in Fort Worth, Texas that focuses on social graces, dining etiquette, business etiquette, along with image and presentation skills. Mrs. Heiskell also offers Pageant Preparation and training to young ladies. Anita is certified from The Social Skills School of Protocol and has over 25 years of experience in the etiquette field. Mrs. Heiskell is genuine in her commitment to ensuring her motto, “Etiquette is NOT Extinct” ®, is a daily focus. Presentation says it all! Anita is also the immediate past president of the Fort Worth Chapter and an active associate in the Fabulous Five Star Fort Worth Chapter.

Regional Facilitators