2019 Speakers




Major MJ Hegar

Bio: Major MJ HEGAR is a force to be reckoned with. While piloting her third tour of Afghanistan, she took a bullet to her helicopter’s windshield. Badly injured, and under heavy fire, she flew her team to safety, conducting a near-impossible landing. She received a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, an honor awarded to only one other woman ever: Amelia Earhart. When her injuries barred her from service, she fought a policy that excluded women—a historic victory for female military members. An incredible story—soon to be a major motion picture—Hegar’s bravery inspires audiences to persevere through change, hardship, and any obstacles in their way.

“She has outsize charm, crazy grit, a terrific story and a knack for telling it. Her memoir, Shoot Like a Girl, with a front-cover blurb by John McCain, is in Hollywood development.” — The New York Times

In 2018, Hegar ran for Congress in Texas, and struck a meaningful chord across the nation. Beautifully depicted in her moving and wildly-viral campaign video, “Doors”—which Lin-Manuel Miranda called “the best political ad anyone’s ever seen”—Hegar told her story “about opening, pushing, and sometimes kicking through every door in my way.” In electrifying keynotes, she discusses the importance of teamwork as well as individual advocacy, highlighting the doors that each of us have in our paths—and how to open, push, or kick your way through. Hegar’s bestselling memoir, Shoot Like A Girl, is currently being adapted to a major motion picture.

Hegar has worked as a medical consultant, mentored cadets, and serves on the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Advisory Committee. She is on the Board of Directors at the Texas Advocacy Project, an organization that provides legal representation and advocacy for victims of domestic abuse. Hegar has taught at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, as well as at UT in the ROTC and Women’s Studies Departments. In 2015, she was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, and in 2013, was named a Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy.



Judaline Cassidy

Bio: Judaline Cassidy was born in the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. A multicultural country, known for its renowned carnival, steel pan, and calypso music.

Judaline started her career in the field of Plumbing at the John Donaldson Technical of Trinidad. She was one of the first three females selected to pursue Plumbing at the Technical Institute. Which is now known as the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Prior to her acceptance into the Unions' five-year apprenticeship program, She worked as a Nanny and Housekeeper.

She's been a proud member of Plumbers Local Union No One New York City, for the past twenty years. Being a qualified Plumber has drastically changed her life, and also the lifestyle of her family. Financially, it has afforded her and her family upward mobility in society.

Judaline was of the very first women accepted into Plumbers Local Union 371 Staten Island New York, and the first woman elected on the Examining Board of Plumbers Local Union No One. With her guidance, fortitude, and determination she ushered in the first Women's Committee within her Union of which she's the President. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Women’s Building NYC.

June 2017 she established the nonprofit Tools & Tiaras Inc. The primary goals of this organization are threefold Expose, Inspire, and Mentor young girls and women about the highly lucrative field of construction. Getting young girls excited about working tools fuel her. Judaline was one of the featured speakers at the 2017 Makers Conference, Megan Kelly Show and the BBC The Conversation.

City and State NYC recognized her as one of their 2017 Responsible 100 awards and Women Builders Council named her one of their 2018 Outstanding Women. She was the recipient of the 92nd Street Y Extraordinary Women Award 2018 Raising Star Award.

As a woman working in a traditionally male-dominated field has not always been problem-free, as difficulties, challenges, and barriers often emerge. However, Judaline is extremely passionate about her craft and works assiduously to promote a positive representation of women in Construction, so that the many obstacles, and resistance that she encountered can be eliminated for present and future tradeswomen.


Jamey Barbas

Bio: Jamey Barbas, PE is the Project Director, charged with replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York with the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – one of the largest bridge projects in the US, on behalf of the New York State Thruway Authority.

A transformative senior executive with a career in bridge design and construction, she has held leadership positions in several international consulting firms. Her industry experience includes leadership of the strategic, operational and technical aspects for the delivery of major structures projects. A registered professional engineer with 35 years of experience in bridge management, design, construction and inspection, she has special emphasis on complex and long span bridges.

Barbas’ experience includes a number of award winning, domestic and international projects. She has led the inspection, design and construction support services for the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC - one of the largest bridge reconstruction projects ever undertaken in the U.S. and led the design of the major bridges of the AutoRoute 30 project in Montreal, Canada - one of the largest P3 bridge projects in North America.

Barbas is a native New Yorker, graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She has written numerous technical papers and was named by Engineering News Record as one of their top Newsmakers of 2004 for her work in providing an emergency solution to a failing historic suspension bridge.
She also serves on the board of directors for Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit that provides footbridges in rural communities to increase access to schools, health care and market.


Doreen Bartoldus, PE, CCM, LEED GA, ENV SP

Bio: Ms. Bartoldus has over 38 years of professional experience as a civil/environmental engineer and construction manager. She has participated in complex, multi-phase, multi-prime construction contracts, involving design, resident engineering, construction management, design liaison, quality control inspection and testing, and project management. Her expertise also encompasses construction management of multi-prime and billion-dollar construction projects incorporating a wide variety of facilities, including water distribution and treatment facilities, tunnels, shafts and distribution chambers, pumping stations, solid waste facilities, storm and sanitary sewers, wastewater treatment facilities, community park and recreation facilities, and highways. These projects ranged from $1 million to $1.4 billion in construction value.

Bartoldus holds a bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (now Tandem School Of Engineering) and a master of business administration in sustainable business from Green Mountain College. She is a registered professional engineer in New York, a certified construction manager, a LEED Green Associate, and an Envision Sustainability Professional. Bartoldus is also an adjunct Professor at Stevens Institute, teaching Project Controls to CM Masters students.

Ms. Bartoldus has served on the CMAA Metro NY/NJ Board of Directors, has served as on Local boards and committees for NAWIC, and nationally as Northeast Regional Director 2016-2018 and Treasurer 2018-2019. She was also Co Chair for the NYBC council of women’s organizations from 2013 - 2015


Stevie Dawn Blakely

Introduction Video

Bio:Dr. Stevie Dawn serves as CEO of Orange Compass, a corporate training company dedicated to providing staff and leadership training to organizations. Stevie Dawn brings a variety of experience in the corporate, non-profit, and governmental sectors. She has owned multiple small businesses and specializes in Emotional Intelligence strategies for the workplace. She enjoys challenging people to change their workplace behaviors. Her educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Wichita State University and a doctorate in Leadership from Colorado State University. With over 20 years of teaching and training experience, Dr. Stevie Dawn delivers training sessions with humor and high-energy that leave all participants inspired.


Lisa Fey

Introduction Video

Bio: The multi-dimensional and memorable Lisa Fey utilizes her Global Fortune 500 expertise to help vision casters and thought leaders tackle and overcome today’s most prevalent corporate business concerns. Armed with an Emory MBA, Lisa elevated into leadership positions and added decades of lessons learned in the global marketplace. Her accomplishments helped seed new technologies and build highly effective sales and marketing teams. Her innovative training and team-building strategies drove significant increases in share, sales, and profit margins for the company across the

As an accomplished communication expert, her surprising humor has audiences calling her Lisa “Fun” Fey as she seamlessly merges serious subject matters with results-based solutions. Empowering people to more deeply embrace her strategic development and communication tools, enables them to immediately implement what they’ve learned into their team and organizational goals, and expand their professional pursuits. 

Tailored to each company, team, or event’s specific needs, the results of her keynotes, training, and workshops include a noticeably improved company culture, more cohesive and productive teams, and enhanced communication throughout the entire organization. Time spent with Lisa will encourage positive change and growth at every organizational level, including the customer’s experience. Ultimately this will effect and increase your bottom line.

If you are looking to make an organizational shift that will bring greater impact and success to you, your team, and your organization, bring in Lisa Fun Fey – and get ready to learn, laugh, and change the world!


Joshua Franklin

Bio: Joshua Franklin is a safety and professional development expert and serves as the Business Growth and Partnership Director at the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Previously, Josh served in the United States Air Force as the Career Field Manager for Air Force Safety where he led 781 military safety professionals worldwide.


Nick Graf

Bio: Nick serves as the Assistant Vice President of Information Security for CNA’s Risk Control unit. Nick has more than a decade of information security experience and specializes in data leakage prevention, security policies, incident response, data breach and security awareness.

Prior to re-joining CNA in 2011, Nick served as a Senior Analyst for Information Security Risk Assessment at HSBC. Prior to that role, Nick held roles in CNA’s Information Technology unit.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and a Master’s of Science in Computers, Information & Network Security from DePaul University. Nick holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) designations as well as an Associate in Risk Manager (ARM) certification and a CIPP/E certification, which is focused on the data privacy regulations of the EU and GDPR. Nick is also a Fellow of Information Privacy with the IAPP. He has presented courses on privacy, big data, the cloud and healthcare risks, and has also written and contributed to articles regarding information risks, social engineering, mobile device security, phishing and personal password management.


Angela Highland, CIT, CPC

Bio: Angela Highland, CIT, CPC is an Entrepreneur, Certified Mentor, Leadership Coach and Business Strategist specializing in collaborative problem solving. She is a native Floridian, born and raised right here in Orlando, and for 30 years she has been climbing the ladder of success growing her leadership skills through a variety of management positions working for small companies as well as large corporations. Her construction career began accidentally in 2005 while consulting with a subcontractor who asked her to stay on and manage the company. Having zero experience in this industry, she took the bull by the horns, learned the tricks of the trades and, in addition to managing, became an estimator and project manager. 2 years later she opened her own Division 10 subcontracting company that she successfully grew and then sold in the spring of 2017.

Her NAWIC career began in March of 2012, where she immediately got involved and has blazed a trail ever since. She is a Past President of the Greater Orlando Chapter and served as National Chair of the newly modified PD&E Committee from 2013-2015.

Her latest venture is Call to Action Coaching & Consulting, an innovative approach to coaching designed for the empowerment of women using innovative programs to support their personal and professional goals. Through coaching, mentorship and thought leadership she is committed to the success of women on every level as they realize their potential, accelerate their performance and achieve greater results.


Allison Hill

Bio: Allison is a Client Executive at Cobb Strecker Dunphy & Zimmermann (CSDZ), a specialty risk management agency dedicated to serving the needs of contractors. Allison focuses on building deep, trusted relationships by demystifying the insurance-buying process and ensuring proper risk identification and mitigation enterprise-wide. She is passionate about contributing to the success of her clients in ways that reach far beyond the insurance procurement process.

CSDZ’s clients include some of the largest contractors in the country and many best-in-class local and regional contractors nationwide. Each year, CSDZ’s clients complete over $20 billion of construction work in all 50 states and over a dozen countries, allowing for CSDZ’s team to gain unprecedented insight and experience on construction risk trends and market-conditions.

Allison is a graduate of the Risk Management & Insurance program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and has been serving the needs of her clients at CSDZ for over four years. She holds several professional designations, including Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Construction Risk Management Specialist (CRIS), and Management Liability Insurance Specialist (MLIS). Allison is a proud member and director of NAWIC Milwaukee Chapter #105.


Peggy Newquist, CIT, ESP

Bio: Peggy is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Construction Engineering and Management. She also holds a master’s degree in Construction Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology She is currently a principal/owner of Constructing Opportunity, LLC a talent development and leadership coaching company geared to the A/E/C industry.

Prior to founding her company, Peggy held the position of Construction Planning Lead for The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She has the distinction of being the first woman engineer hired by Walsh Construction Company and the first woman project manager to be hired by Matocha Associates. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank in September 2014 Peggy had a 20+ year career with McDonald’s Corporation. She began in 1992 as a Construction Project Manager and was promoted over the years eventually becoming the Sr. Director, Worldwide Training, Construction and Strategic Sourcing. While at McDonald’s Peggy is most proud of creating the Development Leadership Program, which was designed to accelerate the careers of high potential development staff through a year long program of workshops and business case assignments. She is a 2011 graduate of the prestigious LAMP (Leadership at McDonald’s Program) program.

Peggy has been a member of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) for more than 25 years and was awarded their Woman of the Year award in 1998. She is the current NAWIC national PD&E Chair and serves as a Secretary for the NAWIC Education Foundation. She sits on the Purdue University Construction Engineering School Industry Advisory Board and leads a mentoring program for women students in the construction engineering program.

Peggy has been a volunteer mentor for Women Unlimited for the past four years and a volunteer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure for several years.

Kathryn Nichols, CIH, CSP

Bio: Kathryn Nichols has worked with the Corporate Safety and Health Department since joining Georgia Power Company in June of 2008. As the Industrial Hygiene Manager, she has responsibility for Industrial Hygiene and the GPC and SCS Corporate Safety and Health groups.

Before joining Georgia Power, Kate was the Southeast Regional Safety Manager for the for Pilgrim’s Pride, Inc. Responsibilities included managing Corporate HSE programs to include regulatory compliance, accident prevention, and risk management programs for the supply and fresh food service divisions in Georgia and Alabama. She also provided technical direction and leadership to site safety and health staff in developing and implementing these locations.

She has more than fifteen years of experience as a Safety and Environmental Manager in the food manufacturing industry. Kate was also a Senior Industrial Hygienist with office management responsibilities at an Atlanta civil and environmental engineering firm. Kate managed environmental remediation and exposure assessment projects for a range of clients.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from the University of Georgia in 1997. Kate has earned the qualification of Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) as awarded by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and Certified Safety Professional by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.


Sharon Scharf

Bio: Sharon Scharf is the Executive Risk and Cyber / Network Security and Privacy specialist for Cobb Strecker Dunphy & Zimmermann (CSDZ).

Prior to joining CSDZ, Sharon spent 11 years with a National Brokerage firm as the Practice Leader for the Minneapolis Executive Risk Department as well as SVP and Senior Client Advisor to a diverse group of clients in both the public and private sectors and 14 years with Chubb Group of Insurance Companies as a commercial lines underwriter, management liability underwriter, surety bond underwriter and human resources and employee relations.

Sharon earned her BS degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota, Black Hills and is a Licensed P&C agent and a member of Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS).

In her role as Executive Risk specialist she works closely with clients to identify and manage business and executive risks that could adversely impact their business and them personally; and recommend solutions to manage the risk either through risk mitigation techniques or transferring the risk via insurance.

Insurance specializations include Directors & Officers Liability, Fiduciary Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Crime/Fidelity, Network Security/Cyber and Errors & omissions liability insurance.