2020 4th Annual Leadership Conference

2020 Montana Women’s Leadership Conference

Keynote Speaker for the 4th Annual Conference: Donna Hartley

Donna Hartley’s message is one of learning how to conquer change and achieve transformation through triumph over trials. Faced with insurmountable odds, she learned to be persistent during life-threatening times. When her goal of being an Olympic skier racer was cut short, she bounced back by becoming a surfer.

Donna has been suicidal, broke, and a single mother, and she’s cheated death three times; she overcame these challenges with her relentless energy and unbreakable spirit. Through an unexpected turn of events, a master teacher entered her life and instilled in her the tools needed to go from ordinary to extraordinary. She passes on this wisdom with strategies to blast through those invisible walls that limit you … so you can become unstoppable. She has been an active organizer of the Special Olympics Winter Games in Northern California, a fundraiser for Arts for the Schools, an organization to empower the youth, a supporter and participant in the Relay for Life Cancer Charity Walk Events, and an advocate for the American Heart Association Go Red For Women Campaign.

A former Miss Hawaii and television actress, Donna Hartley shared her compelling story on NBC, ABC, PBS, and in The New York Times. Donna is a master speaker and an intuitive mentor. A sought-after expert on surviving challenges and developing heart-centered leadership. Donna Hartley is a member of the National Speakers Association, Screen Actors Guild and the owner of Hartley International. She has six stories in the Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul series and two stories in the Chicken Soup series. In addition, she is the author of Fire Up Your Life!, Fire Up Your Intuition!, Fire Up Your Healing! and the Healing Meditation CD and Insights Workbook.

To learn more about Donna Harley, please visit: https://donnahartley.com/


Mary Beth Beaulieu, ACC, CDWF, CDTL
Coach, Speaker, Facilitator, Consultant

Mary Beth Beaulieu has built a successful career helping leaders, teams, and businesses achieve their goals by empowering those who lead them. Her career spans more than three decades in the corporate financial services industry, during which time she has volunteered with various local non‐profits, and she and her husband have launched their own business. This diversity of experience gives her powerful insight into the realities faced today by leaders of all types and in enterprises of all sizes. A coach, consultant, speaker and facilitator, Mary Beth inherited a storyteller’s gene. She blends hard‐hitting facts with courage, common sense and a quick wit. In her public speaking engagements, workshops, and retreats, she emphasizes her strongly‐held belief that people are far more than the work they do—and that with the right tools and support, they can grow both personally and professionally. Her work encourages self‐evaluation, courageous thinking, and planned, mindful risk‐taking to foster long‐term, sustainable and positive change. Mary Beth holds a degree in Marketing from Montana State University‐Billings, completed training through the Coaches Training Institute, and earned her ACC from the International Coaching Federation. She is a Certified Daring WayTM Facilitator (CDWF) and a Certified Dare to LeadTM Instructor. She is currently working on certification in Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching.

Courage — It Comes from Your Heart
What part of your life would benefit if you were more courageous? Bring it! In her book Dare to Lead,  Brené Brown writes that Courage is a set of 4 skills that can be taught. Join Mary Beth Beaulieu, certified Dare to Lead facilitator to learn how to be intentional about where, when, and how you want to be more courageous. The 4 skills are:  Rumbling with Vulnerability, Living into Our Values, BRAVING Trust, and Learning to Rise.


Martha Rowe
Life Coach

I am a woman whose life is filled with deep joys and challenges. At times I struggle. I’m always filled with wonder. I love this life and I am deeply grateful. I sometimes look for the path of least resistance, but I’m drawn to the path of greatest growth. I work with integrity and I care about those entrusted to me. As I trust my inner voice – my spirit – unexpected doors continue to open to reveal a richer life. I’m drawn to nature in just about every form, making music, teaching and coaching open hearts, growing good things, cooking (and eating) good things, hearty red wines, and my remarkable family. I spent over three joyful decades in the university music world, first as a vocal coach/accompanist and then as head of vocal studies at New Mexico State University. My doctorate is from The University of Arizona with other degrees from the University of New Mexico. I now live in the beautiful state of Montana with my wonderful husband, Steve Loy. I am a certified Life Coach with Martha Beck Inc.

Rewriting Your Leadership Story (Do you Lead by Design or Default?)


Susan Shald, PHR, SHRM-CP
Director of Talent Acquisition

Susan Shald, Director of Talent Acquisition for Gallup, develops partnerships to ensure a pipeline of knowledge workers and future leaders. As the Director of Talent Acquisition, Susan uses Gallup’s strengths-based hiring approach to ensure that candidates are positioned in roles that honor their individual talent and allow them to grow to their fullest potential. Since joining Gallup in 1996, Susan has helped the company hire more than 3,000 associates. Susan takes pride in making sure that all candidates that she interacts with have a great experience as they research the organization, participate in interviews, and onboard with Gallup. Prior to joining Gallup, Susan worked in the private vocational school industry. She served in senior-level positions and worked in multischool environments in Charlotte, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; and Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Susan received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She received her master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. She has received certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from HRCI and SHRM-CP from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

Susan is an active member of the Yellowstone Valley Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management and has served on the board of directors as vice president of membership, vice president of marketing, vice president of programs, president-elect and is currently the president.  She has served on the Montana State University Career & Internship Services Advisory Board. She resides in Billings, Montana, and is a graduate of Leadership Billings and the Trailhead Leadership Academy. 

Lead with your Strengths
Strengths-based Leadership Workshop
Gallup’s research shows that people who know and use their strengths are:

— More engaged at work
— More productive in their roles
— Happier and healthier

This workshop will enable you to begin understanding your own strengths and how to apply them successfully to develop strong leadership skills. Three key takeaways from this workshop:

— Investing in your strengths
— Maximizing your team
— Understanding why people follow

This workshop is designed for women interested in learning more about their personal strengths and developing leadership skills. This workshop is for you whether you are looking to improve yourself or if you’re a leader wanting to empower your people to perform better. “There is no more effective way to empower people than to see each person in terms of his or her strengths.”  Donald Clifton


Janese Carstens, MA, CPC, ELI-MP
Organizational Development Consultant, Lifestyle Management

Janese Carstens is the Executive Director of Global Village, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the world’s low-income artisans and farmers through the operation of a retail store and educational activities. With 17 years of cultural experience, Janese focuses leadership on the individual. Any culture is made up of individuals, so having each person acknowledge and claim their personal leadership makes every company culture better. As an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner ™, Janese identifies the filters that people naturally have and how those filters affect everything in their life. Once a person understands the filters they use, they have the opportunity to change the filters as needed. Likewise, companies have filters but very often mistakenly assume that filters with the same label function the same in any given situation. Her background includes working in multiple different industries but always within an educational capacity. After moving back to Billings from China and working at RiverStone Health in 2009, Janese was the architect and manager of the Intensive English Language Program at Montana State University-Billings. This program supported international students aimed at succeeding in an American university by providing English language classes at an accelerated speed. Janese is passionate about knowledge and its application to benefit others. She believes we all lead – whether by choice or by default. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, traveling, and learning languages.

Leadership: Focused on the Goal, Not Only the Role
This workshop presentation was created to meet the need for leaders to learn how to create a buffer between themselves personally with the professional role they inhabit on a day to day basis. It’s easy to focus on a title (the role) rather than the responsibilities and duties (the goal) of a leadership position.  In conflict situations, it’s very easy for leaders to take too much personally, whether or not stakeholders are pointing fingers and trying to place blame, rather than seeing situations for opportunities to grow, learn or explore possibilities. Janese will facilitate this workshop as a practical one rather than theoretical. For an hour workshop, leaders will cover the following:

Leadership Energy — Raising awareness of how a leader’s energy affects everything
Culture is Key — How behavior dictates the organization’s culture
Communicating in Conflict — Three levels of listening every leader needs to practice
Application — Different case studies, in small groups, to identify the leader’s energy, the culture of the organization, and what level of listening was used.

This workshop will give its participants three main skills to learn and practice as an impactful introduction to the concepts Janese uses when consulting and coaching through change. Participants will leave ready to apply the three skills in their leadership and curious for more information.


Shelby Jo Long-Hammond
Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Professor at Rocky Mountain College

Shelby Jo Long-Hammond is a Business Consultant, Executive Coach, and Professor at Rocky Mountain College. She owns Business Dynamics, that focuses on business culture, operational strategies, management leadership and strategic planning for growth. The inspiration for her business is from her time as a professor. Her academic focus is in Business Communication, interpersonal communication, persuasion and she directs the RMC Debate program. She has conducted leadership and advocacy programs in Ireland, Morocco, Slovenia, Mexico, and all across Montana.

Invest, Inspire, Empower
We reach our ability to inspire and empower other people when we invest time in ourselves. When we develop our most valuable professional and personal skills, we reach a new level of confidence and mindset where we can change the world around us.


Katie Nordstrom
Executive Director of Human Resources for Billings Public Schools

Katie Nordstrom was born and raised in Billings, Montana, but spent most of her adult life in  Red Lodge with her husband and three children. Katie served as the Director of Human Resources for the Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge for ten years.  In 2017, Katie moved to Billings with her family and started a new position as the Executive Director of Human Resources for the Billings Public Schools. Through her Human Resources career, Katie has demonstrated effectiveness in employee relations with a strong track record of building consensus with non-unionized and unionized workers and effectively resolving employment matters.  Collaboration, communication, listening, and integrity are the cornerstones of her success in the Human Resources field.

Leading with Intention
Leading with intention is the foundation for a healthy and innovative culture.  Katie will discuss the key to being a successful leader in your organization.


Akvilina Rieger
Motivational Speaker, Healthy Finance Advisor, Writer

Akvilina Rieger’s story began on the shores of the Baltic Sea in the bucket-list-worthy country of Lithuania, while it was still under the Soviet regime. She lived to see her country break out of the Soviet Union and become the Independent Republic of Lithuania, transitioning from communism to a free-market society. College scholarships brought her to Montana where she created a family with her husband and two daughters and now calls Montana her home. A big believer in the American dream, Akvilina will speak on how she achieved her “American dream with Lithuanian accent” (literally and figuratively) and how she makes it her mission for people around her to see their highest potential to live their American dream. 

Middle-Class Millionaires
Akvilina Rieger is using her experience from living in several different market societies coupled with a nearly two-decade knowledge in collection agency observing most commonly made money mistakes, to offer an interactive course in “healthy” finances. This class would guide you to take a look at your finances and provide steps on how to achieve the most potential from your income.


Sandra Gebhardt
Sandra Gebhardt lives for outside the box thinking. She founded and launched Sandra Gebhardt Digital Marketing where she runs digital marketing campaigns all over the world. Her voice is heard in the male-dominated industry and she was recently highlighted in the documentary “The Road – An Ad Agency Hustle Film.” One of her passions is coaching and teaching digital marketing techniques, both free and paid, that anyone can use in their own businesses.  Sandra has a one-year-old son Gage and lives in Roundup, MT with her husband Derin.

How to generate more business from Social Media without spending a dime.


William Breon Henry, MBA
Motivation Speaker and Transformation Coach

William specializes in leadership development, strategic planning, employee engagement, and culture building. He has more than 20 years of experience enhancing the performance of individual executives, teams, and organizations. His background encompasses a wide range of programs and initiatives for organizational design, cultural change, and personal development. His unique approach to leadership and organization development began during his 20 years in the blood banking industry where William served as Regional Director of Human Resources, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Region, Regional Director of Blood Operations, and Vice President of Production Planning. William is also the founder of Be Better World LLC, a self-empowerment movement geared toward developing professionals and youth to deal with the real-time issues that stand in their way and how to take the next steps to success. His stance takes a different approach as he works directly with clients to implement strategies and teach skills that can be carried through every phase of life. Be Better World is gaining national attention and his motto is “We All Play A Role”. William has assisted clients in a wide variety of industries including community corrections, blood banking, professional service organizations and school systems (grades K-12). In addition, William has worked one-on-one with leaders and future leaders to address issues ranging from communication styles, diversifying the work culture, and personal development.

R.O.A.D.B.L.O.C.K.S that we Face in Life and Business



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