Meet Our Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Gina Barreca

Gina Barreca has appeared, often as a repeat guest, on 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, NPR and, yes, on Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. Her earlier books include the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor, It’s Not That I’m Bitter, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World, If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse, and Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League. Of the other six books she’s written or co-written, several have been translated into to other languages–including Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and German.  Called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry, Gina was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine. Novelist Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane.” Her latest project is a book on loneliness that will be released in 2020!

Gina’s award-winning weekly columns from The Hartford Courant are now distributed internationally by the Tribune Co.; her blog for Psychology Today has well over 6 million views. Gina’s work has appeared in most major publications, including The New York Times, The Independent of London, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cosmopolitan, and The Harvard Business Review. Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Gina’s also the winner of UConn’s highest award for excellence in teaching. She’s  delivered keynotes at events organized by national organizations in the U.S. and abroad, including Women In Federal Law Enforcement, Chautauqua, The Smithsonian, the Women in Science, Dentistry, Osteopathy & Medicine, the American Payroll Association, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the National Speaker’s Association, to name a few.

Her B.A. is from Dartmouth College, where she was the first woman to be named Alumni Scholar and the first alumna to have her personal papers requested by the Rauner Special Collections Library at the College. Her M.A. is from NewHall/Murry Edwards College at Cambridge University, where she was a Reynold’s Fellow. Her Ph.D. is from the City University of New York, where she lived close to a very good delicatessen. A member of the Friars’ Club, holder of a number of honorary degrees, and honored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, Gina can be found in the Library of Congress or in the make-up aisle of Walgreens. She grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island but now lives with her husband in Storrs, CT. Go figure.

Workshop Speaker

Connections with Nutrition: Eating Right to Feel Right


Bridget Sutherland,MBA, RDN


My name is Bridget Sutherland,MBA, RDN and I have been a Registered Dietitian for the past 18 years. I have spent my entire life and career thinking of, working with, and enjoying food. I believe in the power of a healthy diet to help the body function at peak performance and prevent and treat acute and chronic diseases. I know first hand the challenges that come with eating well, including busy work and family life, cultural and food preferences, cooking skills, and usually a limited food budget. I enjoy helping others bridge their food and nutrition gaps in order to live their healthiest lives. I do not believe in changing the person from who they are, but rather helping them be the healthiest version of themself, with wholesome food and nutrition habits. I look forward to helping people reach their own nutrition, food, and health goals, for their own personal reasons, within their own unique lifestyle and environment.

I obtained my education from Michigan State University, clinical training at the Tampa VA hospital, and earned my Registered Dietitian credentials in 2002. I also completed a Masters in Business Administration in 2005 from the University of Connecticut. I have spent the last 18 plus years working in many health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and rehabs, disability group homes, and preschools. However, my favorite work has always been helping individuals and families improve their health through nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy. Eating well and living your healthiest life is a journey, not a fad diet. As a Registered Dietitian I help you set practical nutrition goals that are realistic and achievable. I will listen and provide sound, evidenced based advice in a professional and courteous manner. I believe in supporting my patients in a caring and food positive way. I look forward to working with everyone!

I am accredited by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, licensed in the State of Connecticut as a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist, and an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  I work for ECHN doing outpatient nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy at the Women’s Center for Wellness in South Windsor. The number to book an appointment is 860 533 4646.


Workshop Speaker

Connections in Business: Maximizing Networking Opportunities


Meghan E. Smith, Esq.

Kahan, Kerensky, & Capossela, L.l.P.

Meghan Smith has built a successful law practice by effectively networking through different channels. Meghan practices business law and commercial real estate. She has extensive experience handling commercial and residential real estate transactions, commercial and residential landlord tenant matters, business formation, and contract drafting, review, and negotiation. She also negotiates purchases and sales of business assets, membership interests and stocks, prepares buy-sell agreements for business owners, and assists clients in transitioning businesses to the next generation. 

Meghan has authored numerous publications in the field of foreclosure law for the USFN. She has held several leadership roles in civic organizations, including the Windsor Jaycees and the Greater Hartford Jaycees. She is the current Vice President of the Tolland County Bar Association and is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Hartford County Bar Association, and the Connecticut Women’s Council. This past year, she was elected to the Board of Directors for the South Windsor Chamber of Commerce, is chairing its golf tournament committee, and is on the planning committee for the Greater Hartford Women’s Conference. 

Meghan earned her J.D. in 2007 from Western New England College School of Law and is admitted to the bars in Connecticut, Tennessee, and the U.S. District Court for Connecticut. She currently resides in Ashford with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors.


More speakers to be announced!

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