Saturday, September 16 , 2017 | 8:00am - 6:30pm | Albuquerque Convention Center!


Speakers and presenters from across the United States will share their stories of hope, inspiration, and success.

Elizabeth Smart

Keynote - Survivor, Author & Speaker

The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months. Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abducti...

Stephanie Nielson

Survivor & Author

Stephanie Nielson is a mother of five children, burn survivor, New York Times Bestselling Author, and globally celebrated blogger. Her inspiring story offers hope in the face of challenges, and inspiration to achieve dreams. Her relentless faith and passion for life saved her from a fiery airplane crash with 3rd and 4th degree burns on more than 80% of her body. The scars from these life threatening injuries cover her entire face, arms, legs, and hands, and yet she radiates an outward beauty that rises from within. Her harrowing story has also been featured on “Today”, “Oprah Winfrey”, “20/20”, and many oth...

Meg Johnson

Motivational Speaker

Meg Johnson has motivated tens of thousands of people across the globe with her motto: When life gets too hard to stand, just keep on rollin’! Meg fell off a cliff and broke her neck in 2004 and spent four months in the hospital recovering from multiple injuries and returned home without the use of her legs, back, stomach, or hands – a quadriplegic. Wheelchair bound and determined, Meg refuses to sit still. Since she was paralyzed, Meg has competed at the national Ms. Wheelchair America pageant in New York, winning the Spirit Award; founded and directs Ms. Wheelchair Utah; instituted a service outreach program;...

Ann Washburn

Speaker | Mentor

Ann is a dynamic, inspiring speaker, a mentor, and a body language expert. She has given over 3,200 presentations throughout the country, including a TEDx talk on the effects of body language, and has appeared on television and radio 22 times. She has trained thousands to be trainers with her detailed understanding of the messages people send through their body language, and to use nonverbal communications to go from messy to mastery in their lives. She is an effective, successful mentor and trainer. The techniques she shares are simple and down to earth, and her success comes because they work.

Dr. Louise Swartswalter


For over twenty years, Dr. Louise Swartswalter has been helping transform lives individually and in groups using a unique multi- dimensional approach including Naturopathy, biofeedback, trauma release work, NLP, life coaching and energy work.  Louise is the owner and founder of Albuquerque Natural Health Center and the creator of the BRAIN system, a five step healing program serving clients worldwide. She is passionate about connecting; clearing blocks to success and helping others achieve their optimal health and highest potential. Using a combination of tools Louise has helped people move from anxiety to ...

Toya Kaplan & Rebecca Andazola

Freedom House

Toya Kaplan - Founder and Director of Freedom House Rebecca Andazola - Co-Founder and Program Director Toya Kaplan and Rebecca Andazola work together as a mother/daughter team and are the co-founders of Freedom House in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Freedom House is a non-profit, faith-based, transitional home for women who have been sex trafficked, prostituted and exploited. It is also currently the only program of its kind in New Mexico specializing in the care of this marginalized, underserved population of women. In the summer of 2007, Toya and Rebecca met a group of people from Moldova who spoke about sex trafficking in their country. Both ...

Getrude Matshe

International Speaker | Author | Scholar

Getrude Matshe is an inspirational speaker who has been described as a vibrant bundle of African energy whose zest and passion for life inspires everyone she meets. She is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential and find their individual life purpose. She is passionate about individuals’ success. This makes her an energetic, inspirational and enlightening speaker. Getrude has written several books and coaches people to write books. She is now is living in New Mexico, Lecturing part time at UNM while researching and writing her first screen play and is an Independent Film maker.

Ann Hughes

Author | Presenter | Consultant

Ann Hughes captivates audiences nationwide speaking and consulting on a range of business building and developmental topics to advance your career, business or practice through females and financial services. Ann is a leading authority in this area, working with individuals and companies teaching them how to better serve their female client base to increase visibility and sales. Ann also helps female professionals leverage their strengths and develop their confidence and skill set to excel in their careers. Women are an economic powerhouse, and now is the time for women to own their careers and for companies to leverage the financial impact ...

Linda Garduno

Teacher | Author | Mentor

Linda Garduno grew up on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in CA where she met and married her best friend, Tony. She has been married for 36 years and is a mother of 4 children and Gigi to 6 darling grandkids!  She is a passionate first grade teacher in Fresno, CA where she currently resides with her husband.  She is an author of her first children's book, Witchy Poo, which was published last fall. The setting is where she grew up and features many landmarks on the Peninsula, such as Lover's Point and Bixby Bridge. Children are still humming the catchy tune in the book and doing the hand-motions that go along with it in Jul...

Nicole Ayers

Life & Health Insurance Broker

Nicole has been a licensed Life and Health insurance broker since 2011 and is a new addition to the Oxford Wealth Advisors team. She loves sitting down with clients and helping them realize that they can afford to protect their family from the unknown whether it be in protecting their health, their retirement, or their wealth. Nicole is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to all clients, whether by phone or in person and truly enjoys helping people navigate the often times confusing world of insurance. Nicole is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design. She spent many years working in the fi...

LuanaLei Turetzky

President & Founder

LuanaLei Turetzky is the President and Founder of The World Tree Institute, a Soul Warrior Princess and a Master Intuitive Facilitator. Concerned for the spiritually sensitive who have felt isolated and alone, she has developed unmatched programs designed to help emerging intuitives rediscover and reclaim their God-given gifts. Her ability to observe energetic fields enables her to assist those who want to break free from the shroud that clouds their true self vision. LuanaLei’s genuine love for people has inspired many to raise their vibrations as they manifest their divine potential and learn to walk wholly in their gifts.

Monika Ulrich Myers

Ph.D | Assistant Professor of Sociology

Monika Ulrich Myers, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arkansas State University.  Monika is a qualitative researcher who asks a lot of questions about how families work.  Some of the questions she has asked: How do foster parents find satisfaction?  How did we all get the idea that motherhood is supposed to come naturally?  How do low-income fathers divide their time when they have kids from different relationships?  How do polyamorous couples think about love? What do childbirth education courses teach new parents about gender?  How can wives get their ...

Chloe Rachel Gallaway

Author | Speaker | Writing Coach

Chloe Rachael Gallaway is the founder of The Winged River Writer and author of The Soulful Child, Twelve Years In The Wilderness (Citrine Publishing, September 9th 2017), a memoir of her life growing up through age twelve in the wilderness of Lindrith, New Mexico. Chloe’s unusual life of growing up deeply connected to nature and spirit has led her to a unique process of intuitively connecting to writing. The writing of her own story became the foundation for her business and empowered her to become a warrior for helping others to find the truth in their story! Moving through pain and finding joy on the other side, by...

Charlotte Varble

Speaker | Coach | Author

Charlotte is a sought after speaker, transformational coach, and author. Her professional experience began in 2005 as a massage and energy therapist and has since bloomed into a flourishing profession helping thousands of individuals, both one on one and in group settings, to heal in mind, body, and spirit, and to propel their divine mission forward.   Charlotte is the author of the book Becoming Spiritually Strong: Priceless Lessons on Divine Communication, Faith, and Forgiveness and the accompanying 12-week online program Becoming Spiritually Strong: The Experience. She is the creator of the audio and 30-day online program Clear, Con...

Michelle Schroff

Founder | Executive Director | Advocate | Mentor

Michelle Schroff was born and raised in southern California. She relocated to the Land of Enchantment to attend the University of New Mexico.  Recognized by the state of New Mexico’s Department of Tourism and Governor Susanna Martinez for being a New Mexico True Hero and by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption for her and her husband, Clay’s efforts to “bringing children home” and encouraging young ladies that “they are more” through their 2 non-profits Aspen Project and project zoë. Michelle is an advocate for children in New Mexico and around the world. She believes that every child dese...

Samia Assed

Board President

Samia Assed is a Palestinian-American Muslim who is a proud wife, mother to 9, local business owner, grassroots feminist and human rights activist. Samia is currently the President to the Coordinating Council of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. She also sits on the board of the Southwest Organizing Project. Samia has served as a panelist and has spoken for numerous causes/issues such as on Islamophobia, the Palestinian struggle and has worked campaigns with various groups such as;; Sabeel, Jewish Voices for Peace, Red Nation and many more including having co-organized the New Mexico Delegation to the Women’s March in Washin...

DJ Heckes

Author, Owner/CEO EXHIB-IT!

Author of Full Brain Marketing and The NOISE Behind BUSINESS Look up the word “go-getter” in the dictionary and you might as well see a picture of D.J. Heckes, owner of EXHIB-IT! CEO/Owner of EXHIB-IT!, a GSA Certified, woman-owned small business headquartered in Albuquerque, NM since February 2000. EXHIB-IT! was founded and organized by DJ Heckes, for the express purpose of providing quality products with exhibit marketing and design services to federal agencies and commercial enterprises. She is also practices the philosophy: Priorities are What We Do. Everything Else is Just Talk!

Deb Erickson

Author | Speaker | Coach

After graduating from Illinois State University in 1978, Deb spent the first 10 years of her professional career as a teacher and athletic coach, winning awards for her achievements in the classroom and on the court. As a student learning principles of success, Deb challenged herself by moving into the business arena where she excelled as a sales trainer and team manager for companies like The Equitable, The American Heart Association, and The University of Phoenix. Deb continued her education, studying breakthroughs in neuroscience while working towards her Masters Degree in Counseling. Driven to expand her reach, she pursued her life&rsquo...

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert

Singer | Performer

Carmen Rasmusen was finalist on the second season of FOX’s “American Idol” in 2003. She made it to the Top Six before being eliminated. Carmen has appeared on many talk and entertainment shows including David Letterman, the Today show, MSNBC, and Good Morning America. She was also a contestant on NBC’s “Fear Factor” and made it to the finals. Carmen completed a nation-wide radio tour promoting her first full-length album entitled "Nothin' Like the Summer" in the summer of 2007 and released a single by the same name which she co-wrote. Her album received rave reviews and her music video won the...

Ada Kiehne

Inspirational Speaker | Author | Founder

Ada Kiehne, was born and raised in Mexico and relocated to the United States and became a US Citizen over 20 years ago. Ada  is described as a vibrant,  down to earth individual who inspires everyone she comes in contact with.  She is passionate about helping those in need, especially teens.  She created the non-profit,  I Love Living,  to empower, educate,  and prepare teens, especially those who suffer from low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.     Ada is a successful organizer of many events and she is excited about her upcoming series called Storytelling.   She believes every...

Lenya Heitzig

Executive Director | she Ministries | Reload Love

Born in a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan, Lenya Heitzig moved to beach cities in California and Hawaii before settling into the mountainous terrain of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she now lives. Whether majoring in fashion merchandising, serving as a missionary with Youth with a Mission, or defeating cancer, Lenya thrives on adventure. As the executive director of she Ministries and coauthor of two Bible study series—the Pathway series, published by Tyndale House, and the Fresh Life series, published by David C. Cook—she delights in seeing God’s Word result in God’s work in the lives of women. Her fir...

Tiffany Lovell

International Best-Selling Author | Coach

Tiffany Lovell is an international best-selling author and coach. She travels the country with her husband and 5 kids sharing her message and teaching women everywhere to "Discover, Create & Become." She works with clients on a one-on-one basis or a group setting to discover what's holding them back, what's truly the root cause, create a plan to overcome it and then become all that they are capable of being in their life. Tiffany is also a Certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner and helps women connect to their body and surrender weight on emotional and spiritual levels so that their physical body can finally let ...


Comedienne | Christian Educator | Realtor

Virginia “V” Gonzales is a southwestern Latina comedienne who was born and raised in Leadville, Colorado with deep roots in Northern New Mexico.  She has performed stand-up comedy since 2000 and has been awarded the 2007 New Mexico Hispano Entertainer of the year Award. In 2015, she won the Gold Medal at the New Mexico Senior Olympics “Seniors Got Talent” competition: In addition to Virginia’s comedic talent and experience, she holds a Bachelor’s of Christian Education and served as the Director of Children’s Church and Elementary Teacher. Currently, she works as a Commercia...

Val Ramero

Businesswoman | Influencer

Val Romero has been recognized for her leadership in the women’s business community and continues to mentor professional women through her “Women Make a Difference—Resources for Connecting Women” monthly networking organization she founded in September, 2001. In addition, Val has been sharing legal services and identity theft protection since 1998 with LegalShield Inc. assisting hundreds of employees, individuals and families. She was chosen as a ‘Women of Influence’ by NM’s ABQ Business First newspaper for her work in connecting others and often sought out to share with others the proper way to net...

Natalie Black Milne

Author | Researcher | Graduate Student

Natalie Black Milne was born and raised in a small Southern Utah community, and has since lived in many places in the United States. Although she and her family were devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, various types of addiction were prevalent throughout her family tree. She has witnessed first-hand the devastating effects addictions have on individuals and families. Natalie has taken on the challenge of integrating her background in Communication Studies with graduate work in Family Studies at the University of New Mexico, that she not only will be up-to-date on the most recent academic research on families in ...

Carly Reeves

Black Level 1 Status Presenter, Younique

Carly Reeves is a top leader in her network marketing company, working exclusively from her home in Corrales, New Mexico. She lives with her husband and 3 small children and joined this industry almost 3 years ago when her and her family moved to New Mexico from Utah. She has built a large community of women who all run their own successful businesses while helping and empowering each other to live to their full and true potential. Her leadership grows directly from her compassion and her ability to connect with her team members. Her husband says that she cares too much, but it is that attitude that makes her an amazing mentor for so many w...

Lynn B. Thurgood

Founder & CEO of Oxford Wealth Advisors, LLC

Mr. Thurgood’s accomplishments are impressive, but more importantly, his success is the direct result of hard work, persistence, and having a vision. In 1987, after witnessing his own family struggle financially Lynn made a commitment to himself to gain financial independence. As a result, he started his own business from the ground up to serve and protect retirees and pre-retirees from retirement issues such as how to avoid paying unnecessary taxes, how to avoid probate, how to stretch assets to last an entire lifetime and how to avoid Medicaid spend-down when nursing home confinement became necessary. Today, Oxford Wealth Advisors, L...

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Women of Light Conventions

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