Blank Rome Women’s Summit | Speaker Bios
2019 Women's Leadership Summit
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Speaker Bios
 
 

Holly Barocio, Principal Consultant, GrowthPlay 
As a Principal Consultant with GrowthPlay, Holly helps professionals leverage their natural business development strengths and find authentic approaches to growing their businesses. Holly is an experienced business development coach and trainer who is passionate about helping individuals, particularly women and diverse professionals, with self-advocacy skills to help them get what they really want in their careers. Holly previously was the head of marketing and client services for a Chicago-based law firm, where she led initiatives around business development, coaching, and client service.
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO, 2020 Women on Boards and CEO, Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search 
In January 2018, Betsy was named national CEO of the 501c3 nonprofit public awareness campaign called “2020 Women on Boards” dedicated to achieving at least 20% of all public company board seats held by women by the year 2020. Its website 2020WOB.com tracks the Russell 3000 Index companies in the United States, citing how many women are on each board, if any. As of 2018, the national statistic was 17.7% of all board seats in the Russell 3000 are held by women; and one-fourth of all public companies don’t have any women directors. Betsy was instrumental in the passage of California’s new law SB 826, requiring at least one woman director on every public board in the state by year-end 2019 and two more (total of three) by year-end 2021.

Author of the book The Board Game—How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors, with 10,000 copies in distribution nationally, Betsy explains how 58 women directors found their first board seats. For 17 years, Betsy chaired the Los Angeles/Orange County chapter of Women Corporate Directors (“WCD”), a global nonprofit network of women serving on public and private boards. She is a frequent keynote speaker throughout the United States. 

Based in downtown Los Angeles, Betsy co-founded Berkhemer Clayton Inc. 25 years ago, specializing in retained executive search for senior management Communications, Marketing, Finance, and Board searches for corporations, universities, and large nonprofits. Client companies include Bank of America, GAP, Mattel, Toyota USA, Ross Stores, Southern California Gas Company, Sempra, Kaiser Permanente, Tournament of Roses, City of Hope, UCLA, USC, Chapman University, American Lung Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles, and more.
Cheryl Calhoun, Managing Director, CBIZ MHM, LLC  
Cheryl brings over 25 years of experience and expertise to all facets of the entertainment industry, with an emphasis on film and television. Cheryl represents entertainment industry talent, production companies, entertainment service companies, media service companies, publishing companies, and executives in varied tax and business matters. In addition to her private company practice, Cheryl also specializes in assisting not-for-profit organizations and charitable foundations, combining her talent for business and tax issues with her desire to contribute and support causes in the community. Her passion for youth education and development provides a true resource for growth and support to each of these organizations. Cheryl provides these organizations with services such as Form 990 guidance and preparation, and resolving critical issues regarding management policies, procedures, and governance. Cheryl was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of LA’s Most Influential Women in Accounting in 2018 and as one of LA’s Most Influential Minority CPAs in 2019.
Denielle Pemberton-Heard, General Counsel and Managing Director, Diversified Search
Denielle is General Counsel and Managing Director of Diversified Search. As CLO of the firm, she directs commercial transactions and manages a porfolio of executive-level and Legal Counsel searches across multiple sectors. She also serves as Senior Advisor of STEMconnector, a professional services firm committed to increasing the number of STEM-ready workers in the global talent pool working with leaders across 200 organizations. Denielle was previously Group Counsel, Programming and Business Affairs at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the nation's largest non-commercial media enterprise where she directed transactional work on behalf of PBS and its 300-plus member stations. She has also served as a Trustee of the Toy Industry of America Foundation; on the Advisory Committee of DCVLP (DC Volunteer Lawyers Program to end domestic violence); and on the Board of Governors of the Case Western School of Law. 


 
S. Leslie Ireland is on the Board of Directors of Citigroup, Inc.  She offers insight and perspectives on financial threats face by organizations in the public and private sectors, including cybersecurity and money laundering.  Her expertise in protecting IT systems from internal and external cybersecurity threats, and setting and evaluating organizational risks, helps enhance the Board’s oversight of cybersecurity and risk management practices.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Stimson Center, a non-partisan policy research center working to resolve the world’s greatest threats to security and prosperity.   Ms. Ireland retired from Federal service in November 2016 after 31 years in the Intelligence Community.  She was the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Intelligence and Analysis from 2010-2016 and took the Presidential appointment at Treasury after 25 years at CIA.  Notable assignments there included President Obama’s daily intelligence briefer during the transition in 2008 and through the first year of his Administration, and the first DNI Iran Mission Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing the intelligence process on Iran for the entire US government.  Ms. Ireland is the recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest award bestowed by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, personally awarded by the DNI, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal (2016 and 2008), and the CIA Intelligence Commendation Medal. She is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Georgetown University.
Tasneem Khokha, Managing Director, GrowthPlay 
Tasneem has spent more than 20 years in the professional services industry working with executives to grow their businesses and help firms make the most of their clients, their talent, and their recruits. Tasneem was a Partner and Director of Marketing at Katten Muchin Rosenman, and also practiced with Latham & Watkins and Kirkland & Ellis. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Tasneem speaks frequently on topics related to business development, sales, marketing, client experience, leadership, diversity, and women in professional services.
 

Betty Liu, Executive Vice Chairman for NYSE Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE)
Betty oversees the NYSE marketing strategy, including customer-centric messaging, brand, digital, and events consistent with Intercontinental Exchange’s growth strategy. Prior to joining the NYSE in 2018, Betty was an award-winning business journalist. She most recently anchored the Bloomberg Television “Daybreak Asia” program. She also co-created and anchored “In the Loop” for eight years on Bloomberg. Prior to the NYSE acquisition, Betty served as founder and CEO of Radiate, which empowered leaders with expert advice.

Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed., Award-winning Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Writer
Bonnie assists professional women to successfully position and promote themselves to advance their careers. Her book, The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead provides a road map for women to navigate the complexities of their workplace to get the promotion they deserve. With 20+ years of sales and management experience, Bonnie’s extensive business background includes CEO of a ServiceMaster company and VP of Sales at Medical Staffing Network and two other national companies in the healthcare and software industries. She has held executive positions in startup companies and Fortune 500 companies.
 
Forbes.com honored Women’s Success Coaching three years in a row as one of the Top 100 Websites for Professional Women stating, “Women’s Success Coaching weighs on the many building blocks of empowering women in business, from assertive communication to self-promotion to sensitivity training.” In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, Global Gurus honored Bonnie as one of the World’s Top 30 Coaches. In 2019, Databird Research Journal cited Bonnie as one of the Top 100 Keynote Speakers.
 
In addition to Forbes, Bonnie has been published in many publications including Chicago Tribune Opinion, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Women in HR, Daily Worth, Reader’s Digest, Intercontinental Finance, Careers in Government, Diversity MBA, Upstart Business Journal, Washington Business Journal, and CIO Magazine. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc, Crain’s NY Business, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Fortune, Psychology Today, Men’s Health, Dow Jones Moneyish, and more.