Rachelle Strawther

In her full-time role as Director of Leadership Training and Development for Gonzaga University’s School of Leadership Studies, Rachelle Strawther designs and leads executive leadership programs on topics such as emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, innovation, and interpersonal communication. An engaging, humorous and candid speaker, Rachelle has presented interactive presentations for many organizations, including Boeing, the International Leadership Association, TEDx Kisumu, the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, and the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association. She is also a sought-out storyteller, speaking at the inaugural event for Pivot (a live storytelling event in Spokane), and Gonzaga’s Story Slam.

Rachelle graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Anthropology, earned a Master’s in Communication and Leadership, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership. She has served as a guest professor for the MBA program at Javeriana University (Colombia), taught in Gonzaga’s Minor in Leadership Studies, and is now overseeing a Certificate in Women’s Leadership. Additionally, Rachelle recently completed a term as President of Gonzaga University’s Staff Assembly, representing more than 800 employees.

Prior to coming to Gonzaga, Rachelle worked in Kisumu, Kenya, from 2005 to 2013, first implementing community-based programs for women and children affected by HIV/AIDS and later leading a regional sports-for-development organization serving 3000 youth. She also spent nearly a year in southern Ethiopia, where she taught English and other subjects.  Rachelle continues to engage with African communities through her work with Kalaki Fund, a high school scholarship program that she co-founded in 2009.

Michaela Corcoran-Hall

Michaela Corcoran-Hall is a consummate real estate professional, who not only understands the art of deal-making, but also the art of relationships. Her knowledge of the real estate market and market trends is unparalleled and highly respected by her peers and clients. Michaela began her successful career in 2004 with Re/Max by the Lake in Coeur d Alene, where she was awarded Rookie of the Year and Top Female Agent at Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty.  With 14 years in the Real Estate business, she brings a balanced perspective to residential real estate marketing and sales, including Top Listing Agent, Top Buyers Agent, Residential Home Sales, Home Buyers, Resort Properties, Second Homes, Lake Properties and Investments. Real estate negotiation is where she found her true calling….Representing Her Clients!


Linda Olson

Linda has provided investment research, strategy and consultation for institutional and private clients for more than 25 years.  In her early career, Linda worked with institutional clients at Russell Investments, Ernst & Young, Bank of America and WM Advisors.  In these roles, she helped clients by using her expertise in asset allocation, valuation of closely-held businesses and managing a small-cap growth mutual fund.

Linda is a Co-Founder of M+L Advisors, which provides coaching for leaders who want to challenge themselves to reach even higher to achieve their potential.  Through this process, their clients become the best they can be as individuals and leaders of organizations.  Linda and Mark are inspired to see the significant impact coaching make, not only on the individual clients but also on their organizations and communities.

Linda holds the Certified Professional Coach (CPC) accreditation, which is recognized by the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches, the International Coach Federation.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Finance from the University of Washington, where she was also awarded Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamma Sigma honors.  She completed further studies at the Wharton School of Business.  In addition to the Certified Professional Coach accreditation, Linda has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certifications.  She has been actively involved in angel investing, has consulted with numerous emerging companies, and has founded several leadership groups.

Mandy Manning

Mandy Manning teaches English to newly arrived refugee and immigrant students in the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington. In her classroom, Mandy uses experiential projects like map-making to help her students process trauma, celebrate their home countries and culture, and learn about their new community. As 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy will encourage educators to teach their students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences.

“Let’s teach our students to be fearless,” she says. “Let’s teach them to be brave when confronted with uncertainty. Brave when they fail. Brave in meeting new people. Brave in seeking opportunities to experience things outside of their understanding.”

Mandy has taught for the past 19 years, seven of which have been in her current role. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Washington University, a Masters of Arts from West Texas A & M University, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Mandy is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Kristin Ahmer

Kristin Ahmer is a globally recognized entrepreneurial executive who started building a consumer brand from the ground up, just after 10 months of surviving a brain aneurysm the day she gave birth to her first born. She has been described as being a creative inspirational leader, an original thinker and problem solver, a “velvet sledgehammer”, as well as an MVP to any team she participates on. Kristin invented the first reusable food pouch intended for purees like applesauce, yogurt and smoothies for on-the-go snacking, known as The Original Squeeze. She grew a team that expanded sales into 21 countries outside the US, gaining entry into mass retailers such as Target, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, HEB, Costco and Walmart. Her products are now on a path towards expanding the reach of helping those with oral challenges and special needs.

Kristin’s love for helping inspire others to dream big and achieve their goals has now lead her down a path of building a new business of holistic financial planning. She loves challenging her clients with, “Is it going to be one day OR day one?” when asking about their ‘why’ behind their goals personally, professionally and financially. With a belief that financial education is the foundation for freedom to lead the life of one’s dreams, Kristin also sits on the board of Junior Achievement of Washington, which aims to educate our youth on how to be fiscally responsible and intentional.

Naomi Boutz

Naomi Boutz is the sole owner/operator of Vine & Olive Eatery and Wine Bar, which she opened one year ago at the age of 39 after spending 11 years working in the restaurant industry in Coeur d’Alene.  She has a passion for hospitality, people and wine. Naomi launched a new wine of the month club with the opening of Vine & Olive, which already has 200 local members. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from LSCS, which she completed in her late 20’s, as a single mom working full-time.
In her spare time, Naomi is an active runner, hiker and skier and has completed her first half-marathon and triathlon.  She judges for Wine Press Northwest wine competitions and is an active member of Coeur d’Alene Rotary.   Naomi is married to Sean and has two teenage boys, Braden and Damen.

Tara Wear

As a speaker, trainer and coach, Tara equips women business professionals with the communication tools to present their ideas clearly, succinctly and powerfully to connect with any audience. With a passion for making the world a better place, she specializes in working with women to cultivate their leadership capacities and increase the number in key, influential roles. Being an expert in the field of communication and an instructor for Gonzaga University’s Women’s Leadership certificate, she brings over 25 years of experience giving dynamic presentations, facilitating impactful training’s and providing powerful coaching to develop vital leadership skills in women. 

Ryan Arnold

Ryan Arnold is the Entrepreneurship Community Development Director at NIC. His vision is for NIC to be a place where the community and students come together to build new things. He is also the previous Director of Startup Spokane.

Rick MacLennan, Ed.D.

Past-President of Garrett College in Maryland and Vice President of Student at Olympic College. MacLennan began his higher education journey as a returning veteran student at Portland State University, where he served as a veterans work-study student in the office of the vice president for student affairs. After completing his studies at PSU, he earned a master’s degree in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University. MacLennan holds a doctorate of education from Wilmington University and was recognized as that institution’s outstanding doctoral student in 1998. His dissertation focused on the variables that influence the attendance behaviors of adult community college students. MacLennan has also held leadership positions in student services administration at Chesapeake College, in Maryland, and Holy Cross College in Louisiana. He is the current President at North Idaho College.

Lacey Moen

Owner Earthly Beauty Bar, Featured in People Magazine 2017, Makeup Artist for Julianne Hough’s wedding, Featured Top 10 Influencers in Spokane CDA Living, and Featured Top 12 Women in Business Leadership by Spokane CDA Living.

Allison Glasunow, Ph.D.

Attorney at Perkins Cole LLP, Allison is experienced in patent preparation and prosecution in U.S. and foreign jurisdictions, post-grant review procedures at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, freedom to operate analysis and patent landscape analysis. Life science matters are a major focus of her patent practice. Allison has practice depth in immunotherapy, genetics, and genomics, stem cells, and cancer therapies. She has published several research articles and presented her work before dozens of audiences in the United States and Internationally.

Rose Backs

Rose is a nationally recognized and awarded female auctioneer who’s passion is philanthropy, 2012 1st Runner-Up International Auctioneer Championships, 2010 First and Only Female Northwest Champion Auctioneer, 2009 Idaho State Champion Auctioneer, and Top National Auctioneer CarMax Customer Survey

Latisha Taylor

Founder & CEO Health Measured.net, Global Vice Director of Sponsorship Partners & Pacific Northwest Regional Ambassador,  Idaho CDA | Spokane & San Francisco/Silicon Valley Ambassador.

Latisha is a renowned speaker at medical conferences around the nation.  Health Measured.net has received an exclusive invitation to Humanity 2.0 @ Vatican City, United Nations, and World Economic Forum Davos 2018.

Evie Fatz

Owner EvieFatz.com, Contributor Editor INSIDER, Elite Daily, Prevention Magazine. Evie is on a mission to bring a new level of truth and authenticity to the world of nutrition and fitness. Bringing her high level of knowledge, from a decade of coaching, to teach people, just like you, what it means to live a life of fulfillment by eating real food, moving your body, and discovering what you want most in life.

Stay tuned for more information regarding our 2018 Speaker line up!

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) 2018 – EVENT AGENDA


Get inspired and learn from women in business, technology, and healthcare.  Meet the biggest women-entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest.


Friday, November 30th, 2018

4:00pm | VIP Access & Reception “The Inner Circle”

5:00pm | General Tickets & Reception

5:30pm – 8:30 pm |  Event


North Idaho College Schuler Auditorium

1000 West Garden Avenue
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814



Quotes and Facts

  • Women in the U.S. are now starting businesses at twice the rate of men.
  • Women are now the majority owners of 38% of the country’s businesses, up from 29% in 2007. These firms employ 8% of the nation’s private sector workforce – up from 6% nine years ago – and contribute 4% of the nation’s business revenues, a share that has not changed over the past 20 years.
  • Nearly eight out of every 10 (79%) net new women-owned firms launched since 2007 has been started by a woman of color.

*Source for all: American Express Open State of Women-Owned Businesses Executive Report

  • In the last 15 years, women-owned firms have grown by one and a half times the rate of other small enterprises.
  • 90% woman-owned businesses have no other employees other than the business owner.
  • Women-owned firms account for almost 30 percent of all businesses.
  • One in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is owned by a woman.
  • 2% of women-owned firms have 10 or more employees.
  • Of more than 20,000 venture-backed companies in the U.S. between 1997 and 2011, only 6.5% have a female CEO.

*Source for all: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Women in Business

  • The SBA broke some really significant records last year with small loans under the SBA’s Community Advantage loan program getting more capital for those who need it the most. Women’s lending was up 19 percent, and minority lending was up 26.5 percent.
  • There are organizations like Fundera who work with small businesses to help them grow. According to Fundera, the number one problem small businesses face is access to capital. 4 out 5 business owners are denied for bank loans while countless others get fleeced by loan brokers.

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