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 in Business

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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