1/29/2020 7:45:00 AM | AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, Austin, TX

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GCPA emPOWERing Women Leadership Conference 2020

Online registration is now closed. On-site will be available at the event at on-site registration prices.

6th Annual emPOWERing Women
Leadership Conference

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center
1900 University Avenue
Austin, Texas  78705

Download the 2020 emPOWERing Women Leadership Conference Brochure
Interested in Sponsoring? Download the Sponsorship Brochure

Conference Chair:  Carrie Collier-Brown, Locke Lord LLP
Conference Co-Chair:  Marty Hopkins, Eversheds Sutherland

Pre-Conference Activities on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Half-Day Workshop with Marianne Trost
"Harnessing Power to Propel Your Career"
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Evening Welcome Reception
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Conference on Wednesday, January 29, 2019

Complimentary Headshots by Casey Chapman-Ross
Available All Day

Registration/Check-In Opens at 7:45 AM
Conference Sessions from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Cocktail Reception from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

See the Conference Agenda tab for a detailed agenda


Sponsorship packages are available starting at only $3000. Plus our Gold, Platinum and Diamond packages include FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS!  To learn more about sponsorships, please review our Sponsorship Brochure and contact Mary Armstrong, Director of Member Services & Marketing, at 281.460.3054 or marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org.







Download the complete Conference Brochure




GCPA: Kim Casey, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Power Association
Conference Chair: Carrie Collier-Brown, Sr. Counsel, Locke Lord LLP
Conference Co-Chair: Marty Hopkins, Counsel, Eversheds Sutherland

8:45 AM KEYNOTE - From Intern to C-Suite: Navigating Your Path to Success 

You get out of your career what you put into it – but taking that next step can be daunting. During this keynote, Jackie Sargent, General Manager of Austin Energy, will share how being proactive, curious, and willing to take smart risks can lead you to greater success. She will provide you with the tips and tools for cultivating accountability so you can feel in charge of your career.  

Keynoter: Jackie Sargent, CEO, Austin Energy

9:15 AM A Conversation with Christina McKinney: TX Governor’s Commission for Women

The reality is that women face certain barriers in everyday life that can hinder their economic and societal prosperity. The Women’s Commission exists to promote female advancement within Texas society, in hopes that these barriers will eventually be eliminated. When women are empowered and thrive, their families, businesses, and communities prosper. The Texas Governor's Commission for Women is dedicated to ensuring every Texas woman and girl has the opportunity to reach her full potential, to be free from violence, and to live her dreams. Connie Corona, Chief Program Officer at PUCT and Board Secretary for the Texas State Agency Council, will facilitate this fascinating conversation.

Speaker: Christina McKinney, Executive Director, Governor's Commission for Women

9:30 AM KEYNOTE - Women in Philanthropy

Women today are engaged in philanthropy from many perspectives – as donors, as fundraisers, as nonprofit leaders, and as volunteers. Patsy Woods Martin, a life-long philanthropist, will discuss the valuable professional skills and expertise women have to share beyond the for-profit world and the rewards associated with giving back. In sharing practical advice and her own inspiring story, Patsy will discuss the possibilities for changing lives, including our own.

Keynoter: Patsy Woods Martin, Founder & Former Executive Director, I Live Here I Give Here

9:50 AM PANEL - Active Citizenship: Why Increasing Women's Participation in Politics is Important

We know that women make the world work. We lead major companies, we start small businesses, and we have voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1980. But women’s voices continue to be underrepresented at all levels of public policy decision making and influence. How can women (regardless of political affiliation) ensure their voices are heard in our democracy and why is it so important that women lead beyond the office and in the public domain? Caitlin Smith will lead a non-partisan panel to discuss why civic participation is valuable, and how to empower women to go beyond the ballot to get involved in their local communities and democracy.  

Moderator: Caitlin Smith, Vice President, AB Power Advisors

Liz Coufal, Co-Founder, Good Politics
Alejandrina Guzman, Former Student Body President, University of Texas at Austin
Kathleen Jackson, Board Member, Texas Water Development Board
Jenifer Sarver, Former Candidate for Congress; Principal, Sarver Strategies


11:00 AM PRESENTATION - Scholarship Impact

Through its emPOWERing program, GCPA provides scholarships to The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, an all-girls public school serving grades 6-12 in the Austin Independent School District. Caitlin Gantt will share how Governor Ann Richards’ vision for the school has come to fruition. Founded to give young women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds the skills and confidence necessary to pursue college educations and careers, it now stands as one of the largest single-gender public schools in the nation and a tribute to the enduring legacy of Governor Richards.  Today, more than 800 students represent a student body that reflects Austin’s diverse community.  

Speaker: Caitlin Gantt, Development Manager, Ann Richards School Foundation

11:15 AM KEYNOTE - Connecting, Empowering and Leading

Want to advance your career and develop connections through meaningful relationships? Learn how deep connections, mentorship and shared support systems are tools to advance your career and engage in public service. Lori Burrows will share her unique experience with professional achievement, philanthropy, developing industry connections and expanding her network through co-founding and leading Arkansas Women in Power.

Keynoter: Lori Burrows, Vice President and General Counsel, Arkansas Electric Cooperative


 1:15 PM KEYNOTE  - Engage Your HustleTM: Strategizing Career/Leadership Goals

An empowering, inspirational, and confidence-building mindset, encouraging professionals to strategically invest in their careers and to effectively build a strong personal brand by assessing their current career status and identifying career/leadership goals, identifying accessible and/or inspirational mentors, committing to consistently innovating and learning, and bringing their authentic self to professional endeavors.

Keynoter: Paula T. Edgar, Esq., Partner, Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC

2:00 PM KEYNOTE & PANEL - Ally is a Verb: Creating Accessible, Inclusive, and Equitable Environments for the LGBTQ+ Community

Today's employers must be inclusive to attract and retain top talent. Organizations that are able to foster an environment where the LGBTQ community feels supported and safe will be more competitive, will have more customer loyalty, and will be better able to attract and retain the best talent, compared to companies that are not inclusive to the LGBTQ community. This session will explore how individuals and organizations can actively commit to transformative change in their professional and personal lives. Michael D. Shutt will share his personal journey of allying himself with communities and learning to lead with a social justice lens. Then he will moderate a panel discussion that will discuss how to make positive organizational change for LGBTQ+ employees and customers.  

Keynoter and Moderator: Michael D. Shutt, PhD, Southern Regional Director, Lambda Legal

Avery Belyeu, South Central Regional Director, Lambda Legal
Betina Brandon, Manager of Workforce, Development and Diversity, Entergy
Kate Davis, Enterprise Architect Lead, ERCOT
Marty Hopkins, Counsel, Eversheds Sutherland


3:45 PM KEYNOTE - How to Be Smart with Money

Talking about money can be scary and uncomfortable, but the truth is that one of the most important things women can do to make sure they control their own destiny is pay attention to and be in the driver's seat when it comes to their finances. Sara Seely has made it her work to advise women on how to make smart financial choices for today but also for the future. She'll offer us practical, simple advice geared toward achieving financial independence and planning for our families’ success. 

Keynoter: Sara Seely, Owner, Equistar Wealth Management 


Back by popular demand!  Marianne Trost, a seasoned business development and career management coach, will lead a frank discussion with female C-Suite executives in the energy industry. 

Moderator: Marianne Trost, The Women Lawyers Coach

Ann Coffin, Shareholder & Founder, Coffin Renner LLP
Pat Vincent-Collawn, Chairman, President, & CEO, PNM Resources
Other C-Suite Executives - TBA


Download the complete Conference Brochure


Half-Day Workshop with Marianne Trost
"Harnessing Power to Propel Your Career"
AT&T Conference Center
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

In this workshop, Marianne Trost will provide strategies, tips, and interactive skill-building techniques to help you recognize, harness, and amp up your power. The workshop will focus on strategies for career advancement such as self-advocacy, asking for opportunities effectively, stating accomplishments authentically and navigating gender implicit bias, as well as hands-on exercises to raise awareness of ways in which we unwittingly undermine our perceived competence, power and authority. The workshop also weaves in conference themes like the importance of stating our value, negotiating our worth and strategically utilizing our power to lift one another and ensure diverse and inclusive workplaces.

ABOUT MARIANNE TROST: Marianne Trost is a professional women’s career coach. She specializes in helping women lawyers in the United States, Canada and most recently in the United Arab Emirates navigate their careers strategically and develop their own client base. Marianne has worked with industry professionals for over 30 years. She is one of the founding faculty of the Ladder Down program which has been nationally recognized for its transformative approach to teaching women how to achieve their full leadership, business development and mentoring potential. 

Evening Welcome Reception
AT&T Conference Center
5:00 PM

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres with a cash bar; please register for event online.

Download the complete Conference Brochure

REFUND POLICY: Cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday 1/10/20 in order to receive a refund. A 10% service fee (minimum fee of $10) will be charged against all refunds. Please direct all cancellation requests to Mary Armstrong.


CONFERENCE PRICING - price includes one day conference on 1/29 and cocktail reception afterward. 

Conference Pricing Early Bird Registration
through 1/13/20
Regular Registration
1/14/20 - 1/24/20
Onsite Reg.
GCPA Members $300 $350 $400
Non-members $350 $400 $450
State Agency Employees $200 $200 $225

WORKSHOP PRICING - includes half-day workshop 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM on 1/28.

Workshop Pricing Early Bird Registration
through 1/13/20
Regular Registration
1/14/20 - 01/24/20
On-site Reg.
GCPA Members $125 $135 $150
Non-Members $150 $160 $200
State Agency Employees $75 $75 $85