Woodbury University Presents: We Inspire Leadership Summit


On Friday, March 31st, 2017, Woodbury University located in Burbank, CA, held their We Inspire Leadership Summit. The Summit featured a myriad of leaders, who exemplify that anything in life is capable. Each of the panels included experts in various fields, sharing their professional career paths. Providing insightful​ advice, that can be applied to use both personally and professionally.

Lovely Woodbury University campus


The Summit, was in partnership with Stiletto Gal. Featuring keynote speakers, workshops, plus panels.
Keynote speaker Erika De La Cruz of Passionistas, had her book available for sale.

For starters, there's​ few pictures of the summit.  One of the first workshops, that attendees all participated in, was being focused in the present. With so many great inspirational stories, it was hard to narrow down, which stories to share.

One of the inspirational guest speakers was Taryn Rose, founder of Taryn Rose Shoes. Rose discussed how she went from being a podiatrist, to footwear entrepreneur.


While practicing podiatry at a hospital,Taryn was known as a fashionista.
What sparked her interest in footwear, began with a female senior citizen patient. The patient was upset because, she was unable to wear her church shoes.
This sparked Taryn to, apply her podiatrist knowledge with fashion.

Taryn Rose Shoes was created in her garage, and is successfully sold in department stores such as Nordstrom. It wasn't easy, and  it did not happen overnight. Taryn didn't know how to get involved in the fashion industry. She went to an​ personal shopper, and started asking questions, a pre-buying/vendor developing stage.
From there, the company started a developmental stage of shoe prototypes.
Which would be successfully  bought in department stores, growth went full steam ahead!
Aside from working with prestigious fashion houses like Chanel, Taryn Rose is currently working relaunching plus workingon a new line. All while writing a book, tentatively titled Make Love Not Shoes.

Another inspirational speaker  Woodbury University's very own Fashion Marketing, and Marketing Department Chair, Wendy Bendoni, with a bonus from feminist Morgan Bendoni.

Wendy discussed her background, from being unable to ride dirt bikes. Which veered her into skateboarding. Wendy would even rank number 2 nationally. She skated in the 80's amongst the legendary Tony Hawk.

Wendy would graduate college from Woodbury University, and by the age of 21, she fast tracked into fashion forecasting. Becoming a fashion leader, with industry global forecasting companies such as WGSN and  WWDMAGIC. 
Wendy continues to strive to be the best, whether it's teaching, forecasting, all while being a wife and mom.

Morgan Bendoni proves that in some cases age is just a number. Just because she's​ from Generation Z, doesn't mean she isn't woke! In case you're wondering what woke is. It's a slang term for being aware of society issues that affect a vast majority of people.
Pictured on the left, Morgan Bendoni being interviewed


Generation Z have all access media, which in return keeps them up to date, with current events. Morgan is a self declared feminist, she's knowledgeable with civil rights history. Based on the time lines, with the fight for civil liberties for all, there's slow progress. still a long way to go.
Morgan understands the current issues of equal means equal. From women who are aiming for gender equal pay, to transgender bathroom rights. It's wonderful to see Generation Z won't tolerate inequality, and will continue to fight for justice for all.

Morgan Bendoni was so impressive, that she moved a summit attendee. Who in return offered her a $2,000 scholarship to a program, with like minded Gen Z students.

The post lunch panel had Women in Tech, Math, and Engineering. Moderated by Sonata Taman, founder of Luminaire Advisors. Panelists included, Jennifer Dioguardi from NASA Jet Propulsion System, Dimple Thakkar founder of Synhergy Marketing, and Serria Rego financial advisor at Axianta Financial Partners Inc.

From left to right panelists, Serria Rego, Jennifer Dioguardi, Dimple​ Thakkar, and moderator Sonata Taman.

All panelists shared how they each got into the tech, math , and engineering fields.

When  Serria Rego got accepted into college. She had to figure out, how she was going to pay for school. That was the first time Serria made the connection of learning about handling money. After college plus a career in modeling, Serria transitioned into finance.
She is currently working at Axianta Financial Partners, plus she plans on opening businesses. Serria Rego encourages everyone to understand finance, to have their money work for them.

Jennifer Dioguardi was 21 years old with 2 kids, without an education. Her parents worked in business management for Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which they encouraged her to follow in their footsteps.
Jennifer was absolutely against, going​ into the same career as her parents.
 While working as a secretary at JPL, she enrolled in the college tuition reimbursement program. Jennifer became, what she swore she would never be, a business manager at NASA JPL, just like her parents.

Dimple Thakkar grew up with strict parents, who wanted her to be a doctor or a lawyer. Dimple's career evolved from receiving AOL CD-ROM Internet promos in the mail. The Internet allowed her to have access to pre- social media interaction from chat rooms and threads. Her frequent messaging in the threads, led her into moderating threads in the music industry, for artists such as Britney Spears.
 Now Dimple Thakkar's company Synhergy Marketing, is a leader in social media, and has been recognized by Forbes, Mashable, along with other accolades.
 Let's just say, she's come a long way from her message thread board days!

Again this was only a few, of the many visionary tales, from the We Inspire Leadership Summit.  A very special thank you to Woodbury University, for the personal invite. Looking forward to attending another summit in the future!

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