WeHo’s Annual Women’s Leadership Conference Opens Friday


West Hollywood annual Women’s Leadership Conference will begin Friday and run through Saturday with events, panels and workshops featuring prominent female leaders.

The conference is organized around the theme “Knowledge. Power. Community” and is presented by the City of West Hollywood with nearly two dozen organizational partners. It will be held at West Hollywood Park and West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Dawn McCoy of Beauty Frosting
Dawn McCoy of Beauty Frosting

“We encourage women and others who live, work, and play in West Hollywood to join us,” said West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “It is a great opportunity for community members to meet new people, network, and learn new skills — whether it be job-related or for personal growth. There’s something for everyone at the Women’s Leadership Conference!”

On Friday, the conference will begin with the EmPower Breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. The breakfast will celebrate women business owners and provide information about how women can create opportunities for self-reliance and empowerment.

It will feature as keynote speaker Dawn McCoy, a lifestyle and beauty expert, social media influencer and creator and editor of Beauty Frosting, a blog about beauty and baking. Panelists will include Darya Allen-Attar, founder of the Women Founders Network–Broads Circle; Dr. Yasmin Davidds, president & CEO of the Latina Global Executive Leadership Institute; Holly Holton, founder and owner of Pink Iron Gym; and Dimple Thakkar, founder and CEO of Synhergy, a social media marketing firm. The moderator will be Lisa Tsou, founder of and consultant to the Winning Pitch, a consulting firm for new businesses, and founder and producer of Women Entrepreneurs Community of Los Angeles (WECLA). There is a $10 admission charge, which includes a light breakfast and validated parking in the adjacent five-story parking structure.

The official conference kick-off event will take place on Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. There will be a special screening of “Trapped,” a feature-length documentary by filmmaker Dawn Porter about the fight by reproductive health clinics in the United States to remain open and about what remains of a woman’s right to choose. The screening will be followed by a Q&A and panel discussion including: June Ayers (who is featured in the film), owner and director of Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery, Ala; Rebecca Griffin, assistant director, California Programs, NARAL Pro-Choice California; Janette Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness, and Laura Jimenez, executive director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. The moderator will be Maria Hall Brown, executive producer of Arts and Cultural Content at PBS SoCal. The event is co-sponsored by Independent Lens, ITVS, PBS SoCal and Women In Film Los Angeles. Admission is free; seating is limited. RSVP is required. To RSVP call (323) 848-6840.


On Saturday the conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. including speakers, panel discussions, workshops and an exhibitor area. The intent is to weave together conversations about advancing women’s leadership and the impact of women in media, and to provide opportunities for career and communications skills development, including an exclusive panel discussion with human resources professionals from AEG, CAA, Nestlé USA and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and expert-led digital marketing workshops co-sponsored by Constant Contact.

Conference speakers will include Victoria Alonso, executive vice president, Physical Production, Marvel Studios and executive producer of Avengers: Age of Ultron and other films; Naketha Mattocks, vice president, Original Movies for the Disney Channel; Our Lady J, TV writer (“Transparent”); Michelle Valles, NBC4 anchor and reporter; Tina Mica, on-air personality, 100.3 The Sound; Kirsten Schaffer, executive director, Women In Film Los Angeles; Angela Baker, vice president for human resources at AEG; Kristena D. Hatcher, human resources executive, Talent Acquisition at CAA; Tatiana Oueini, human resources manager at Nestlé USA; Emily Weprich, manager, Human Resources at OWN; Rupa Dash producer, Brillstein Entertainment Partners/Dash Global Media and co-founder & CEO, World Woman Foundation; Kristin Marguerite Doidge, media and entertainment reporter, Los Angeles Business Journal; Courtney Kovacevich, president of West Coast Sales, Influential; Liz H Kelly, CEO and founder at Goody PR and Goody Awards; Sydney Goldman, manager, Marketing and Communications, engage:BDR; Karen Ocamb, veteran LGBT journalist, and Maikiko James, manager of Operations & Public Programs, Women In Film, Los Angeles.

Conference topics will include “Rethinking Leadership: How the Entertainment Industry is Changing Culture,” and a closing session curated by Impact Media Partners and Women In Film Los Angeles titled “Voces Femeninas—The Female Voice in Film,” featuring Latina filmmakers Aurora Guerrero and Anayansi Prado and film festival programmer Christine Davila. It will be followed by a dessert reception.

General conference tickets range from $35 to $45 with advance registration; tickets will be $55 on the day of the conference. Tickets for seniors and full-time students are $15. Ticket prices include meals and free onsite parking.

Tickets can be purchased and more detailed information about the conference is available online.

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