Women in Residential Construction

Keynote Speakers


Amy Sandler
Chief Marketing Officer & Coach, Radical Candor

Amy Sandler is Chief Marketing Officer and Coach at Radical Candor, the executive education company based on Kim Scott's best-selling book, Radical Candor: How to be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. Radical Candor delivers keynotes and workshops to help people develop more caring and candid relationships at work. She has trained thousands across a spectrum of roles, including CEOs and leadership teams, mid-level and new managers, and individual contributors just starting on their career path. An executive coach, corporate mindfulness trainer and professional speaker, Amy has more than 20 years experience in senior marketing roles at organizations including YPO, Vistage and UCLA. She has an AB and MBA from Harvard University, an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, and is a certified teacher of the Search Inside Yourself leadership program developed at Google.

Leyah Valgardson
Founder & Executive Coach, Leader's Voice

Leyah Valgardson is the founder of Leader's Voice, a women's executive leadership coach, and feminine culture champion. Leyah spent 15 years of her career in a male-dominated industry trying to play a "man's game," only to realize that she would never truly win. She determined that the key to change was in owning the power of her unique, feminine voice. Leyah's success with honing and using her inherent leader's voice led her to the highest ranks of leadership positions in her corporate career. Knowing that her experience could be beneficial to other professional women, Leyah left her corporate position in 2018 to start Leader's Voice. Through a variety of one-on-one executive coaching, group coaching, and workshop opportunities, Leyah helps women advance in their careers by mastering and expressing their unique leader's voice - empowering them to become valued, effective change leaders within the workplace.

Conference Speakers


Dee Bailey
Project Manager, Harrell Remodeling Inc.

Dee Bailey is a licensed general contractor and currently serves as Project Manager for Harrell Remodeling Inc., a one hundred percent employee owned company. She has over thirty years of experience in the construction industry in a variety of roles, from Carpenter to Business Owner. Bailey worked with Habitat for Humanity in the completion of a new home built by women volunteers, and believes that women play a vital role in the construction industry. She passionate about creating opportunities for them to succeed.

Ann Blake, Ph.D.
Environmental and Public Health Consulting

Dr. Ann Blake is an independent consultant with over 25 years of experience finding safer alternatives to industrial chemicals and materials in global manufacturing. Her work has included creating criteria for environmentally preferable purchasing, ecolabels and product rating systems as well as local, national and international chemicals policy reform. Dr. Blake worked with Wellness Within Your Walls to create a product certification for residential construction. Among other clients, Dr. Blake worked with the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, advising Costco Wholesale, the second largest global retailer, on their chemicals management. Dr. Blake is a member of the Green Ribbon Science Panel created by the California legislature to advise California EPA on the implementation of California's Safer Consumer Product regulations. Dr. Blake has created a curriculum on green chemistry and alternatives assessment for the University of California Berkeley Extension Program and for the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Dr. Blake has a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and neural development from the University of Oregon.

Rachel Brown
Owner & CEO, Rachel Brown Homes, LLC

As a seven-year old girl, Rachel Brown started working daily alongside her father, Richard Brown whose highly successful and well respected construction company developed new communities and built hundreds of homes for growing families in Northern Alabama. After being exposed to the building trade all her formative years, Rachel attended Auburn University, and after graduation, took on leadership of the business to continue the family tradition of building homes with a purpose. With over 14 years in business, Rachel continues to successfully build both well-crafted homes and relationships with her customers. In 2012, The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama recognized Rachel Brown for the organization's commitment to honesty and value with its Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

Chelsea Collyer
Business Development Lead for Home Services Clients, Google

Chelsea Collyer is the Business Development Lead for Home Services Clients at Google. She is responsible for leading cross-functional teams that build products and solutions for top partners in the home services space. She works closely with Google's data scientists, research & insights managers, and global product experts to elevate client conversations and ensure long term strategies are adopted. She has a deep understanding of the home services industry's opportunities & challenges, and works closely with clients to help implement forward-looking strategies and improve partners' business success. Prior to working in the home services space, Chelsea worked with top specialty retail clients, with an emphasis on understanding the omnichannel experience for consumers. In between retail and home services, she joined Pinterest, helping launch their ad product. Chelsea received a degree in neuroscience and social psychology from Williams College in Massachusetts, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Mollie Elkman
Owner & President, Group Two

Mollie Elkman, owner and president of Group Two, is a thought leader on marketing for the home building industry. She specializes in understanding the consumer experience and creating successful, traffic-driving advertising programs for builders from coast to coast. Mollie also is an international speaker on all subjects relating to marketing for the building industry, with audiences ranging from small team training sessions to large conferences.  She has an infectious passion for marketing new homes and is driven by the opportunity to help builders succeed.

Shannon Harris
President & Co-founder, Fuse Living

Shannon Harris is President and Cofounder of Fuse Living, a residential development firm and interior design studio that specializes in urban infill, sustainable projects. Fuse Living was founded in 2012 with the intention to create healthier, smarter, and long lasting homes and lifestyles by setting an example for future building. The homes that Shannon designs and builds follow Energy Star, Indoor AirPlus, WaterSense and LEED green building programs as the baseline for a Fuse Living home. At the end of this year, Shannon will have completed the construction of 28 residences all of which are certified to the above mentioned programs. Going beyond those programs, Shannon and Fuse Living implement other green building philosophies, with an emphasis on healthy materials, and also bring in concepts of environmental psychology to each residence. Shannon is a certified GreenLeader through the Sustainable Furnishings Council, therefore considers the health and lifecycle of furniture and home goods that go into a client's home. The focus is to specify products that have a low or no chemical output, yet not to compromise on beauty and overall aesthetics. With both development and interior design Shannon and Fuse Living are able to take a home from the drawing board, through construction, and finish with furnishings for the most optimal ways of living.

Adriana Hayward
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, HaywardScore.com

Adriana Hayward is a health psychologist and co-founder of Hayward Score, a free online questionnaire that allows individuals to obtain a health score for their home while providing specific information about how to make their home healthier. The company, with over 50,000 completed scores, is the largest data bank of human health and the built environment. Adriana and her husband, Bill Hayward, a building scientist and owner of a 100 year-old lumber and building supply company, bought a new house in 2008 and the family became extremely ill. This started their journey to lessen toxicity in buildings and improve human health as well as reduce buildings' energy footprint. Adriana and Bill built the first Hayward Healthy Home in Carmel, CA in 2014 and are just completing their second. Both homes are built to the Hayward Healthy Home standard and the second will be Passive House, Wellness Within Your Walls, and LEED Platinum certified. Adriana attended Wellesley College, obtained a master's degree in gerontology and healthy aging from USC, and earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from CIIS, with a specialty in health.

Sarah Henry
Owner, Gaspar

As the 2nd-generation owner of Gaspar's, Sarah provides the strong, behind-the-scenes support that helps the company thrive. Sarah joined the family business in 2002 after spending a decade working in Human Resources. In 2005 she decided that Gaspar's needed a better way to service clients with smaller projects; the result was the creation of our Handyman Division. Sarah is passionate about maintaining and growing Gaspar's reputation for excellence in all aspects of our operations, now and into the future.

Allison Iantosca
Owner & President, F.H. Perry Builder

Allison Iantosca, Owner In 2008 Allison purchased F.H. Perry Builder from her father and has proudly carried on the tradition of success through strength—strength of character, knowledge, integrity, building well and strength of relationships. Eager to inspire success in others, Allison holds a container in which people grow and become their best selves. She has been passionately involved in a range of Boston and MetroWest Charities and non-profits and has been recognized for her leadership and business acumen by Boston Future Leaders, Banker & Tradesman, the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston and others. Since becoming owner and president, F.H. Perry Builder was named one of Commonwealth Institute's Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses for three years in a row. Allison has studied leadership at the Gestalt International Study Center earning certificates in Skills for Influential Leaders and GISC's pinnacle Leadership in the Twenty First Century. Allison has most recently been certified as a GISC Coach.

Melissa Kennedy
Sales & Design Manager, Meadowlark Design+Build

Melissa has been part of the growth and development of Meadowlark over the last eleven years. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Melissa has played an active role in growing Meadowlark Design + Build from a $3M to a $17M company. Melissa plays a key role in managing and cultivating the culture at Meadowlark while continuing to meet with those whom are interested in working with Meadowlark on their projects and overseeing the remodeling sales and design department. When not working, Melissa spends her time lifting heavy weights and participating in long endurance races (preferably in the woods) and most importantly, creating and inventing with her three young boys, Ronan, Makai and Sayer.

Barbara Miller
Portland Design Director, Design/Build Remodeling, Neil Kelly Company

Barbara Miller leads Neil Kelly Company's Portland-area design team. A recognized expert on the psychology behind interior design, Barbara is an award-winning designer who has been featured in Dwell on Design and This Old House. She previously served as founder and principal designer at Barbara Miller Interior Design. In her first full year as Design Director at Neil Kelly Co., Barbara managed over $21 M in remodeling sales; a nearly 40% increase in year over year sales. Barbara believes in coaching her sales staff to succeed in the way that uniquely supports their personal strengths.

Carol Morgan
President, Denim Marketing

Carol Morgan, president of Denim Marketing, focuses on marketing strategy and integrating public relations, social media, content and creative to tell engaging stories for clients that garner measurable traffic and show ROI. Denim Marketing is proud to celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2019. Carol is the author of four books, including her latest "Social Media Marketing for Your Business," published by Builder Books. She is the creator of the nationally-ranked and award-winning, Atlanta's most popular real estate news blog. The immediate past Membership Chair for NAHB, a member of the Associates Council and past chair of NAHB's Professional Women in Building Council, Carol was awarded the prestigious 2016 Woman of the Year from the Professional Women in Building. She is a graduate of Oglethorpe University and the recipient of the 2008 Spirit of Oglethorpe Award, PRSA Georgia Chapter's George Goodwin Award, the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association's 2008 Associate of the Year and 2012 Council Chair of the Year. Carol holds the MIRM (Masters in Residential Marketing), CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) and CSP (Certified Sales Professional) designations from NAHB. In her free time she manages a 20 acre farm with multiple critters, is the mother of an incredible son, gardens, rides dressage and explores various recipes.

Jillian Pritchard Cooke
Founder, Wellness Within Your Walls

Jillian Pritchard Cooke is the founder of Wellness Within Your Walls, which aims to connect the global family with healthy eco-sensitive products that result in beautiful, sustainable, non-toxic environments. Jillian is also the founder of interior design firm DES-SYN which was established in 1991 and primarily services the residential building industry. Jillian opened BEE in Atlanta, GA in 2010, a unique retail boutique promoting fashion and home furnishing products that meet the GOTS, WWYW, SFC, and Cradle to Cradle standards. Jillian has more than 30 years of experience with design projects in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta.