Empowered Women Conference


✨Junior League of Rockford presents the Women’s Empowerment Conference
🗓️ Friday, October 20
đź“Ť NIU Rockford Conference Center (8500 E State Street, Rockford, IL 61108)
đź’ˇ This one-day conference for women will feature engaging speakers leading empowerment tracks on a variety of topics, including health & wellness, kindness, wealth management, leadership, and more! It will offer incredible opportunities for business networking, professional development, and personal growth.
EARLY BIRD TICKETS $50 AND AVAILABLE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30th! Ticket prices will then increase to $65.


The Empowered Women Conference aims at Empowering Women in Rockford by bringing in speakers that feature a diverse group of women with a diverse set of skills so that we can learn from and grow with them.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact jlrockford@jlrockford.org for more information!


7:30 AM Check In

8:00 AM Welcome

8:30-9:15 AM Session 1: Cindy Rowe “​Breaking The Mold: How Kindness Can Transform Your Life

9:30-10:15 AM Session 2: Jen Reisinger, AAMS™, CRPS™ “Rules of the Road” 

10:30-12:00 Brunch

12:15-1:00 Leadership Empowerment Panel: Anisha Grimmett, Martesha Brown, Melissa Santillan, and Melissa Murphy

1:15-2:00 Session 3: Katelyn Gray “Finding Your Mission” 

2:15-3:00 Session 5: Daphne Paras The Power in Reclaiming Your Sexuality”

3:15-3:30 Wrap Up and Thank You


About Our Speakers: 

Cindy Rowe

Cindy Rowe is a dynamic professional speaker, trainer, and passionate entrepreneur. Having built two successful companies from the ground up, she’s an influential thought leader in her community who works tirelessly to change the narrative around kindness.

Leveraging her experience in sales, marketing, and organizational communication, Cindy shares evidence-based strategies with companies, organizations, and schools that improve employee culture and positively impact the bottom line.

When she’s not speaking on stage, Cindy helps entrepreneurs grow their small businesses as the Chief Marketing Rockstar of Cindy Rowe Marketing. She is also leading the charge to turn kindness into a social movement as Founder/CEO of Be Kind Crew and creator of The Kindness Advantage podcast.

Cindy thrives as a speaker; for years, she’s been inspiring and influencing audiences of all ages and walks of life. Her message sparks a shift toward intentional kindness that has the power to spread kindness across teams, communities, and all over the world.


Jen Reisinger, AAMS™, CRPS™

After 22 years in the financial industry working in tax, manufacturing, and financial services, Jen joined Edward Jones in

 2014. She is passionate about helping women in transition due to death, divorce, birth of a baby, job change, retirement, or sale of business. She began investing at age 19 and didn’t realize how weird that was until she became a financial advisor. She’s an advocate, educator, and cheerleader for the women she works with helps them take charge of their financial future.



Katelyn Gray

Katelyn Gray is a certified mindset coach who helps women put an end to people-pleasing and perfectionism so they can set better boundaries and live happier, more authentic lives.
Katelyn became a coach after over a decade in banking, most recently as a vice president of commercial lending. She’s been proud to call Rockford home since 1985.
Between meetings, Katelyn writes for her blog, is active on social media, and creates content for other businesses and magazines. Katelyn has been a member of the Junior League of Rockford for more than ten years and is a past president.




Daphne Paras 

Daphne Paras has emerged as a dynamic leader, igniting the fiery passion within individuals as she guides them on transformative journeys. Her exceptional ability to create a safe container, allows her clients to connect to the wisdom of their bodies to heal and transform. This intentional practice allows her to develop a trust with her clients in which they can experience a deep satisfaction from her skillfully facilitated corporate and private workshops. 

Daphne’s multifaceted background in degrees, certifications and trainings, coupled with her unwavering commitment to guiding others toward empowerment and self-discovery, makes her an exceptional catalyst for transformation and personal growth.





About Our Panelists:

Anisha Grimmett/CEO, A New Look by Nisha

Anisha strives to give an excellent performance to drive effectiveness within the business and translate her experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities into significance for organizations she associates with while capitalizing on obtaining the best out of people and often seeking continuous improvement and growth opportunities through diverse partnerships. She has been a devoted wife for 18yrs and has two sons, ages 16 & 18; and is very active within her church, Gethsemane Christian Church, and helps with many of their youth and women’s international programs. She graduated from Auburn High Schools Gifted Program and attended DeVry Institute of Technology, majoring in Electrical Engineering Technology. She recently earned her Stylist Certificate and launched a personal styling business focused on helping women and teenage girls learn how to develop their signature style and empower them to style the life they want to live with purpose.

Early in her career, she worked for a Fortune 50 company, UTC Aerospace Systems, now known as Collins Aerospace, for 20 years in various engineering, Human Resources, and leadership roles. This led to her opportunity as the Executive Director of Alignment Rockford, a non-profit that uses the voice of the community, businesses, and students to implement a collective impact model to facilitate and implement solutions that align with the Rockford Public Schools strategic plan.

Anisha has spoken at many national and international conferences about community systems designs and leadership and advocates for empowering youth to invest in finding their passion and purpose. She was a 1995 RAMM recipient and was voted 2018 Rockford Chamber of Commerce People You Should Know.

She serves on many diverse boards, including the top-rated Independent College Prep school in its region Keith Country Day and previously served on the award-winning Discovery Center
Children’s Museum. Anisha also serves as a Board Trustee for Rockford University, where she was the keynote speaker for the Fall 2021 Graduates. Other boards include One Body Collaboratives and the Northern Illinois Center of Non-profit Excellence (NICNE).




Melissa Santillan

My name is Melissa Santillan. I am an Entrepreneur, Artist, Designer, Educator, Platform Artist and a Master Stylist/Barber and Braider at Wolves Den Barbershop, a board member of the RAAC(Rockford Area Art Council), also an event coordinator and active in my community supporting for our local talents. I am the creator and host of Unscripted with Melissa Santillan podcast that is a diverse Podcast that provides a platform for inspiring people in our community.






Melissa Murphy, LCSW

My work is dedicated to helping individuals and couples develop healthy relationships with themselves and others. My passion is assisting people so that they may achieve balance and happiness in their live.


Areas of focus include: Abuse Recovery, Adoption, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Parenting, Obstacles, LGBTQIA+, Life Design, Neuro Diversity, Trauma, and PTSD.