Ninth Annual Women's Leadership Conference Speakers
Feb. 4-5, 2019
WIPL's Women's Leadership Conference seeks to educate, motivate and challenge women to lead change in their own lives, their communities and the world. Since 2011, the Women's Leadership Conference has featured more than 275 world-class speakers, including the 2019 speakers below.
Carol Aebersold is the award-winning co-author of the acclaimed book The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition, as well as several board books.
For several weeks each year, Aebersold serves as a spokeswoman for the North Pole, traveling nationally—and sometimes internationally—in support of her books, providing kids with a direct line to Santa. She is also a co-founder of The Elf on the Shelf’s publishing company, Creatively Classic Activities and Books (CCA and B), where she serves as owner and partner.
As a former copywriter and music teacher, Aebersold was prepared to serve as an executive producer when The Elf on the Shelf® made a move to TV in the 2011 animated special An Elf’s Story™. The short film aired to a combined viewing audience of nearly 10 million people and included the original songs “Each and Every Christmas” and “Extravaganzalorious,” which Aebersold co-wrote.
Aebersold is one of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2010 Georgia Small Business Persons of the Year, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville 2013 Accomplished Alumna and one of the Marietta Daily Journal’s 2014 Cobb Citizens of the Year. Her book The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition has been on the best-seller lists of USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly almost yearly since its 2005 launch.
Chanda Bell is the true visionary behind her family’s publishing company, Creatively Classic Activities and Books (CCA and B), having conceptualized, written and researched how to self-publish the company’s flagship title, The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition. She serves as co-CEO and oversees the marketing, product development, design and digital departments.
A former reading and English teacher, Bell is the co-author of The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition and is credited with expanding the company’s line with new titles each year. Her English expertise, knack for storytelling and tireless promotion helped turn the original The Elf on the Shelf® book into a household name that has garnered the praises of national media and sold more than 10 million copies, landing it atop the best-seller lists of USA Today, Publishers Weekly and the Wall Street Journal.
Bell is also the author of Elf Pets: A Reindeer Tradition, the company’s first brand extension, as well as the newest Elf Pets® addition, Elf Pets: A Saint Bernard Tradition.
As the head of the company’s product development team, Bell has encouraged the company to thrive outside of the literary arena with strategy and vision for new products. Today, The Elf on the Shelf® brand features a line of family-friendly toys, games, décor and gifts focused on creating family moments.
Under the guidance of Bell and her sister, Christa Pitts (co-CEO), CCA and B had repeatedly found its place on Inc. Magazine’s list of the country’s fastest growing private companies.
Bell is the recipient of the University of West Georgia’s Spotlight Award and Reinhardt University’s Young Alumnus of the Year award. She is one of the Marietta Daily Journal’s 2014 Cobb Citizens of the Year. Bell and her husband have two children.
Suncera Johnson, an author and entertainment industry veteran, lives in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. She survived an upbringing beset by alcoholism, addiction and religiosity while rebounding from young single motherhood marred by excommunication, poverty and hopelessness. She found strength through her relationship with God.
With no college degree or formal training, Johnson began her career as a temporary administrative assistant at Spike TV. Her work now spans across companies such as Atlantic Records and MTV along with credits on top-rated television shows on ABC, NBC, FOX, VH1, OWN and more. She is a member of the Producers Guild Association, New York Women in Film & Television, and the National Association of Television Program Executives.
Johnson is the founder and CEO of amass digital, a digital advertising agency that has worked with companies such as iHeart Media, CBS Digital and Townsquare Media to deliver targeted digital co-branded campaigns affiliated with Fiat, Grand Marnier, McDonald’s, Vitamin Water, Nickelodeon, Mazda and other major firms.
Her I.D.E.A. method of audience development teaches brands to identify, develop, engage and amass an audience across social media using targeted ad campaigns. She also is the author of “Dear God: Passionate Prayers in 140 Characters or Less” and is developing the book series “Talks with God: 30 Days of Inspiration.” As part of the founding team of a YouTube multi-channel network, Johnson played an integral part in launching and growing audiences on channels such as LIVES with Meredith Vieira and JAY Z’s Life+Times.
Johnson will be recognized as a 2019 Inspiring Woman.
Britnie Turner is the founder and CEO of Aerial Development, a Nashville-based residential and commercial development company that aims to revitalize urban neighborhoods and tackle social issues.
A native of North Augusta, S.C., Turner bought her first house as a teenager during the 2007 recession. She was working at the Cheesecake Factory at the time and spent every free moment in the kitchen reading various real estate investment books. After moving to Nashville two years later, she worked without pay for a couple of real estate investors for nine months just to learn the business, sometimes living in her car. She started flipping houses on her own, wearing multiple hats as homeowner, agent and rehabber, and her real estate career took off, quickly growing into a multi-million-dollar business.
Turner founded Aerial in 2009 at the age of 21 with the mission of elevating people and places. She has since formed multiple companies under the Aerial brand, all accelerating the mission by empowering people, sustaining the planet and utilizing capitalism as a force for good. Aerial is focused on mindfully revitalizing the urban core by donating a percentage of its profits to support nonprofit organizations in its community and sponsoring an orphan in Kenya for every home it sells in the name of the homebuyer. Through the success of her companies, Turner is resetting the standard of what is possible for women and young people across the globe. She has won several national and international awards for speed of growth, innovation and trajectory.
Turner will be recognized as a 2019 Inspiring Woman.
Our Past Speakers
Since 2011, the Women’s Leadership Conference has featured more than 275 world-class speakers. To learn more, select from annual archives below.