2024 WIRexec Leadership
Summit West

May 6-8, 2024
Paradise Point | San Diego, CA

Thank you 2023 Summit Sponsors!

About the WIRexec Leadership Summit

Now in its eighth year, the WIRexec Leadership Summit is an immersive, transformational retreat and networking opportunity for woman executive leaders within the Market Research and Insights space. Immerse yourself in this transformative gathering of the industry’s predominant female leadership, all while engaging with the restorative and peaceful coastal California setting. We'll meet in San Diego at the scenic Paradise Point Resort and Spa where we've planned a whole new program of rich, curated content and restorative activities with the unique business goals and personal growth objectives of the female executive in mind.

This year we are shaking things up with an impressive line-up of fresh speakers, from both within and outside of the research industry, on topics requested by you, with an agenda that allows plenty of time for networking and relaxation. We have 35 spots available for this one-of-a-kind experience—be sure to register as soon as possible to ensure your spot. We’ll share more details about the schedule on this page as Summit planning continues—email Michelle Andre (michelle@womeninresearch.org) if you have any questions or need further information. We’re excited to see you!

Qualifications for Main Track Summit Attendance

Corporate senior research executives and supplier/agency side SVPs, C-suite members and entrepreneurs are welcome to request a Summit invitation.

If you are a manager, senior manager on the corporate side, or a senior director or VP on the agency side, you can apply to attend our C-Track program which boosts a notable track record of elevating past attendees to the C-team. Request a C-Track Application invite here.

Our COVID-19 Safety Policy

Keeping everyone safe is our top priority for our in-person events. For this year’s WIRexec Summit we’ll be following the local health guidelines as set by the CDC. These suggested protocols include:

- Use of facial masks when indoors in group settings;
- Opting for outdoor spaces when possible;
- Keeping a 6 foot distance of others where possible;
- Following CDC vaccine protocol when possible;
- Testing before gathering

Attendees to this year’s Summit will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. Attendees who do not provide adequate vaccination or COVID-19 testing results as listed above will not be permitted to attend Summit events and will forfeit their right to a refund.

Summit Speakers

After working as an event planner, executive and personal assistant for over a decade, Allison Farrar Welch created As You Wish in 2010. Based in Denver and serving clients around the United States, As You Wish provides customized personal assistance, concierge, and lifestyle services to clients. Allison brings a passion for planning and organizing that assists busy families & individuals so they can enjoy a better lifestyle. Originally from New York, Allison earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Coastal Carolina University and her certification in Meeting & Event Planning from the University of North Carolina. She is involved with various charities around Denver and enjoys yoga, hiking and spending time with her husband, family & friends.

Brin Moore is a Partner at Trusted Talent, a firm specializing in helping Market Research firms find the right talent for the right jobs. An industry leading executive, Brin has over 20 years of diversified expertise in building, leading and mentoring world-class sales, business development, product and marketing organizations in the Market Research Industry. Brin started in quantitative & qualitative research at companies such as IRI and Greenfield Online and has experience in both custom and syndicated research. With a move to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early days of online, was a member of the founding management team at Greenfield Online, Brin has stayed at the forefront of emerging technologies for market research and consumer insights and has had experience with online sample, mobile research, video and data visualization, among other

Brin has been responsible for building new products, growing international markets, full P/L management, brand marketing, and ROI. Demonstrated leadership in partnering with senior teams, transforming margin challenges into sustainable, high yield profit centers and on strategic initiatives focused on increasing market share, profitability, and shareholder value. The key to her success has been building and mentoring the right team(s) for the business.

Casey attended the United States Naval Academy studying Aerospace Engineering. Following graduation, Casey commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps and held a variety of roles to include law enforcement manpower, U.S. embassy operations, and officer recruiting.

Casey joined UBS after completing her Masters of Science in Finance from Georgetown University. Her journey with UBS began in New York City where she worked in the Investment Bank helping institutional clients with their currency needs. She loved the complexity, but was in need of a more fulfilling purpose with her work, so she shifted her focus from the institutional clients to retail clients where her role as a financial advisor combines her love of problem solving and finance with her purpose of helping people.

To give back to the community Casey is on the board of the Colorado and Wyoming USO, mentors transitioning service members via Americas Corporate Partners (ACP) and volunteers at Colorado Inclusive Economy (CIE). Additionally Casey and is an active member of United Women of Mile High United Way and the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Claudia Chan is a recognized author, leadership and culture change expert, and entrepreneur dedicated to activating individuals and organizations to create more equitable and thriving workplace and world.

Celebrating 10 years of impact and standing for SHE, HE & EQUITY FOR ALL, Claudia Chan is the Founder and CEO of  S.H.E. GLOBL Media, a leadership training company that awakens and coaches nonprofits, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies to advance diversity, inclusion, and social change through courageous self-development and culture innovation. She is also the creator of the S.H.E. Summit™ Whole-Life Leadership Conference, a Coaching & Certificate Program which teaches a transformative new way that people can lead in four 4 life-areas (health, family, workplace, and community) that creates cultures of purpose, inclusion and wellbeing. Claudia is an award winning 20-year entrepreneur, UN Women Champion for Innovation, and was recently featured at UN Foundation's Girl Up Leadership Summit as 1 of 8 "global leaders" alongside Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle and Hillary Clinton. Claudia is the author of  the NY Times celebrated book This Is How We Rise and host of the Whole Life Leadership podcast.

Prior to launching S.H.E. GLOBL, Claudia was President of women’s entertainment company, Shecky’s. Now a resident of Tampa, Florida–Claudia is a lifelong New Yorker (with a 3-year stint in Westport, CT), proud alumnae of Smith College, mom of two and an equal partner with her husband, John. Learn more at ClaudiaChan.com and SHESummit.com.and see her whole-life leadership @claudiachanwagner on Instagram.

Denise has a Masters in Taxation from New York University School of Law, and represents both individual and organizational clients in all aspects of tax planning and controversy resolution. Denise's practice is primarily focused upon tax exempt organizations, estate and business succession planning (including federal estate and gift tax planning), trust and estate litigation and business planning that ranges the spectrum from formation to disposition and all related tax consequences.

Custom estate and business succession planning is a cornerstone of Denise’s practice. Denise works closely with a variety of clients, including entrepreneurs, corporate executives, professional athletes, investment bankers, real estate developers, family offices and philanthropists to help them identify their objectives and provide creative and pragmatic solutions designed to meet their specific goals. Denise's recent representations frequently include the following types of issues:

  • advises independent executors and trustees as they navigate sensitive family, financial and tax issues relating to the administration of estates and trusts - this oftentimes involves litigation and alternative dispute resolution;
  • represents family members and professionals at multi-generational family offices on estate planning, trust administration and tax reporting issues; and
  • assists individuals with their complex multi-national tax issues relating to trusts where the settlor and beneficiaries reside in multiple countries.

Nonprofit and tax exempt organizations rely upon Denise’s experience as they work to resolve critical tax and business issues. She advises nonprofit organizations from the time of initial formation through an ultimate dissolution and can navigate the IRS initial application process, ongoing federal and state tax compliance, corporate governance and regulatory compliance matters. Representative client matters include: affiliated business enterprise/joint venture structures between tax exempt and taxable entities; advice related to political and lobbying activities; audit and tax controversy resolution; Form 990 preparation; and Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) Analysis. Our nonprofit clients are both public charities and private foundations, national and international charities, schools and educational – including colleges and universities, cultural institutions, social service agencies, research organizations, trade and professional associations, social clubs, religious organizations and advocacy groups.

Diane Hessan is an entrepreneur, author, board director and researcher -- but in our industry, she is best known for founding Communispace — now C Space — which was the first company to build online communities to generate insights. Communispace created what is now a large and vibrant method of understanding consumers. It grew to 700 employees, with 400 clients in 12 countries, and then the team sold the business to Omnicom for well into 9 figures.  Since then, Diane has run another company, served on 10 boards, and carried out a massive study of The American Voter, which resulted in her recent book, Our Common Ground. In this interview with Fiona Blades, President of Mesh Experience, she will reflect on decades as a leader and CEO:  her big mistakes, her turning points, and her advice for us.

Glenna Crooks, Ph.D., is a strategist, innovator, and trusted counsel to government and business leaders. In her latest venture, a story told in The NetworkSage: Realize Your Network Superpower, she describes a new way to help people lessen the overwhelm of modern life, address the challenges of work-life balance, performance, productivity, longevity, and family caregiving by understanding and better managing the eight networks that support adults.

As Founder and CEO of Strategic Health Policy International, Inc., she solved tough healthcare problems and was known as a “one-woman think tank” with a talent for “organizing chaos.” Her Centricity Principle™ and Strategic Facilitation™ methods are widely respected. Her many accomplishments and application of network concepts to Alzheimer’s caregiving earned her recognition as a Disruptive Woman to Watch.

She was a senior government policy official appointed by President Ronald Reagan, responsible for a $70 billion portfolio of health programs.  Later, during Merck&Co, Inc.’s Most Admired Corporation years, her policy group was recognized as the best in the Fortune 500. As global vice president of Merck’s Vaccine Business, she expanded US operations to create a global business, tripling sales in just two years. Early in her career, she was an educational innovator, creating some of the first programs for children with special needs and talents and crafting what eventually became known as Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

A graduate of Indiana University, she devotes time to academic pursuits as an adjunct professor at Drexel University,a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania Center for Neuroscience and Society, and a Fellow of the Drexel University Center for Population Health and Community Involvement.

Glenna has been a corporate and non-profit board member, including American Biogenetic Sciences, Inc., the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship, and the founding Vice-Chair of the Partnership for Prevention. She was a Chairman of the National Commission on Rare Diseases, a member of the NIH Institute for Child Health and Human Development National Council, the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative, and the Institute of Medicine Committee to advise the Department of Defense on bioterrorism/biowarfare countermeasures.

She is a mu shin Zen artist, donating her works to support children’s special needs. She received the Congressional Exemplary Service Award for Orphan Products Development and is the first civilian to receive the highest award in public health, the Surgeon General’s Medallion from C. Everett Koop.  

She is the author of six books.  

Elaine began her career in wealth management in 1977 as the first female trainee in the PaineWebber Denver office after a 5 year stint as a special education teacher in Connecticut. As a 40+ year veteran wealth advisor and Senior Vice President in the UBS Denver office, Elaine’s wealth management practice focuses on high net worth individuals and families and has included private foundation/DAF creation and management, intergenerational philanthropy advising and legacy giving advising for many years. Elaine has been honored as Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, Forbes Best-in-State Women Wealth Advisors in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 and Forbes America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors in 2020 and 2021.

Through her career she has considered volunteer service to the community an imperative, and has held board and leadership positions in a myriad of organizations including The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Jewish Family Service, Project PAVE, Judi’s House and United Cerebral Palsy. Elaine currently serves on the Professional Advisory Council of the Denver Foundation, the Investment Committee of JFS, Investment Wealth Institute Professional Advisory Board member, and Project PAVE Honorary Board chair.

Following an 8 year marketing career on petfoods and subsequently moving to advertising at agencies like Leo Burnet, Fiona Blades set up MESH Experience in 2006 to fill a gap in market research. Fiona created a new approach to capturing every experience people have with brands, from TV ads to social media to seeing brands in store, called Real-time Experience Tracking. This award-winning approach was described by Harvard Business Review as “a new tool (that) radically improves Marketing Research” and MESH uses this to help clients to take quicker and smarter decisions about their investment. Fiona now lives in Manhattan and enjoys exploring Lower East Side, her new neighbourhood, and embracing the fantastic art galleries and cultural events that New York offers. As well as being the event lead for WIRe in New York and sitting on the WIRe advisory board, Fiona is a Fellow of the Market Research Society in the UK, a member of the Marketing Society and runs the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage Awards. MESH is a certified Woman-Owned Business and was delighted to be awarded Woman-Owned Business of the Year in March 2017 by Delta Air Lines, one of its valued and long-standing clients.

Heidi Dickert’s personal passion and mission in life is dedicated to helping women fulfill their potential. Heidi has been creating personal development sessions that lead women through the reflective and inspiring process of Intention setting for over a decade.

Heidi's "day job" as a marketing consultant utilizes over 20 years of international consumer, technology and B-to-B marketing and research expertise to help companies research, develop and launch new product offerings in a variety of innovative market arenas. Past clients include: Google, Facebook, Levi’s, Cliff Bar, Delicato Wines, MarketTools, ICOM/Alliance Data/Epsilon, Clorox, Autodesk, MMetrics/Comscore, Microsoft, Yes to Carrots, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Visa.

Heidi has also had roles as SVP, Global Account Director for the Kantar group, and VP of Panels and New Products at MarketTools where she created and launch several new products including MarketTools Mobile, MarketTools Hispanic Reach, and MarketTools Health & Wellness. Prior to this, Heidi led both new and established brand research groups and supported Latin American and US Hispanic product development for the flagship laundry brands at Clorox.

Earlier in her career, Heidi created and implemented market research programs in Europe and Africa for companies such as DHL Worldwide Express and SC Johnson. She taps into her knowledge of international markets to assess and strategically develop new products that meet the international needs of clients around the world. Heidi earned her Bachelor’s degree at University of Wisconsin –Madison.

Learn more at www.heididickert.com.

Kathy Davidov is an award-winning television executive. She led production teams at National Geographic, Discovery Channel, TLC, and Al Jazeera America. She’s inspired by stories of human grit and resilience.

For more than three decades, Kathy created innovative, character-driven, documentaries across multiple media from film to television to virtual reality. Among her many career highlights; revamping National Geographic’s flagship seriesExplorer, launching Al Jazeera America’s documentary showcase AJAM Presents, and overseeing the hugely popular Trading Spaces franchise.

Kathy is also a life coach and Havening Techniques practitioner. She graduated from George Washington University, where she majored in Drama. She lives in New York City and is married to Paul Koring, a journalist and lawyer.

Layla Kajer leads People Experience at Greenhouse, the hiring software company with a mission to help every company become great at hiring. She creates productive, connected and empowering work environments for employees.

Layla has spent her career working with top leaders across industries – from technology and financial services to biotech – during times of transition. She’s passionate about creating powerfully inclusive cultures and breaking molds around how we work and how we lead.

Most recently, she co-founded The Narrative House, a creative consultancy focused on bringing strategy, culture and vision to life. Prior to founding The Narrative House, Layla was Director at Oliver Wyman, and Partner and global branding firm Lippincott.

She has a B.S in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. Based in Denver with her partner and two young kids, you’ll find Layla on the trails of nearby foothills or skiing in her beloved San Juan mountains. Her active lifestyle is mostly to offset her not-so-secret desire to be a pastry chef.

Liz Palmieri is a Talent Optimization Consultant at MVP-Results. Talent Optimization is a strategic process that maximizes business results by optimizing the performance and experience of individuals, teams, and organizations. Throughout her career, Liz has been guided by making an impact and being of service to others. This prompted her to focus on implementing data-driven talent strategies with executive leaders.

Liz is an entrepreneur who comes to us with leadership, HR, and coaching experience. She is currently attending Harvard Extension School to pursue a Master's in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She enjoys walking the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk and writing children's books.

Ms. Nies is a partner at the Denver law firm of Hoffman Nies Dave & Meyer LLP. She represents clients in a variety of real estate acquisition, disposition, and leasing transactions (residential and commercial), as well as finance transactions. Ms. Nies has substantial experience advising business clients in connection with entity formation, corporate structuring and governance, management, contractual arrangements, mergers and acquisitions/dispositions. She also represents lenders, borrowers, developers, owners and investors in a variety of real estate and other business transactions. She regularly negotiates purchases and sales of commercial, industrial and high-end residential properties. She counsels tenants and landlords in the preparation and negotiation of industrial, retail and office leases, as well as build-to-suit transactions. Additionally, Ms. Nies represents lenders and borrowers in connection with commercial and consumer loan transactions, as well as credit workouts.

Priti Chanda Klco is a Colorado native, ultra-distance athlete and adventurer, dancer, and a Certified Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Health Counselor. She is named as a Senior Teacher in the Lineage of Bhagwan Lakulish, Swami Kripalvanandji, and Gurudev Shri Amritji and studied closely with her teachers for 17 years before beginning private yoga therapy practice in 2011. Chanda has been practicing yoga for 24 years and teaching for 20 years, offering public classes, workshops, retreats, and leading and assisting trainings nationally and internationally. Prior to dedicating her life and livelihood fully to the healing arts, Chanda served as a non-profit executive and fundraiser. As a yoga therapist, Chanda’s work centers on empowering clients to reconnect with Nature, to embody innate well-being, and to embrace the process of healing and health building as a life’s work that serves not only the individual, but every relationship and all life on Earth. Learn more about Chanda and her work at www.pranabeing.com.

A NeuroTransformational Coach (CNTC, PCC, CPCC), speaker and facilitator, Rachel fosters the growth and development of mission-driven and people-driven organizations.

Published in Forbes, Thrive Global, and other syndications, she speaks, facilitates, and coaches leaders on subjects related to The Brain, Stress, Leadership Development, and Mindfulness. A contributor to Insight Timer, the global meditation platform, she is known for taking a pragmatic and practical approach to a topic that can otherwise feel illusive.

Rachel enjoys infusing her vast knowledge and experience into accessible, perceptive, and powerful insights. She serves as a mentor and coach to other individuals rising in the field.

A Professional Certified Co-Active leadership and development coach (CPCC) and NeuroTransformational Coach (CNTC), she is also certified by  the International Coach Federation (PCC).

She is a graduate of CTI’s world-renowned Leadership program and licensed to deliver The Leadership Circle Profile as well as the cutting-edge work of BeAbove Leadership, the only organization known to blend neuroscience, coaching, and consciousness. This is complemented by thousands of hours of training in Mindfulness and Mind-Body awareness, scientifically proven to impact leadership effectiveness and development.

Prior to moving to the Coaching and Speaking arena, she enjoyed success as a sales and business development executive, consistently driving wholesale and retail revenue. She relies on the perspectives gained in the traditional corporate environment to inform her brain-based techniques with real-world practicality. She holds a BA from Emory University and a Master’s from Sotheby’s in New York.

Renee Wynn is a leader with over 30 years of experience in environmental policy, global information technology and cybersecurity operations, supply chain, risk management, and ESG. She led programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and served as the CIO at an iconic agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  
Renee worked for the U.S. federal government after 30 years of service. Her last job with the federal government was serving as the NASA CIO. Renee managed a $2 billion IT portfolio serving more than 65,000 employees and contractors and established NASA’s first-ever IT strategic plan that aligned with its space and aeronautic program goals. She led NASA’s transformation to a more centralized services model that improved overall service quality; partnered with procurement to modify processes to include cyber and digital supply chain risk reviews and established a cybersecurity program which included complex space systems that reduced risks across 150 metrics.

A strong advocate for social responsibility, Renee serves on the Board of The Women’s Center, a Virginia and Washington, DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community’s mental health and well-being through counseling, education, support, and advocacy.  She also serves on the Board of the Virginia Tech – Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC). She’s an advocate for more women and minorities becoming cybersecurity professionals. She serves on the Board of Advisors at Interos, Level6, and Aquia. Renee earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from DePauw University.

Samantha Kris is a best-selling author, an award-winning speaker and the Head of People & Culture at Goalcast, the world’s leading empowering media company. She has been recognized for her leadership, community involvement and ability to mobilize change.

Her proprietary way of goal setting, the REAL goal methodology™, was first introduced in her book, Bossing Up, was further explained in her TEDx talk, Setting Goals That Matter, and is now being implemented by individuals and organizations around the globe.

Impassioned by elevating others, Samantha empowers people to create opportunities for success personally and professionally.

Stacey Ruth is unstoppable. She founded two multimillion-dollar agencies, and has been among the Top 50 Entrepreneurs Under 50 in Atlanta, and twice awarded Top 100 “It” Agencies by Experiential Marketer. She holds bachelor degrees in both mathematics and graphic design from the University of Louisville. Today she is a metaphysical minister, certified professional coach, executive coach, and holds a certificate in neuroscience for coaching applications.As a novice entrepreneur, she made nearly every business decision mistake – even as she was doing things the way things are “supposed to be done”. Her businesses survived personal challenges, the fallout of 9/11, deep recessions, as she learned how to tap her own inner wisdom to make faster, more accurate decisions in order to thrive. Today she coaches other women CEOs and executives on how to grow their influence and impact with bold confidence and clarity.