2018 KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Gunilla Girardo with Twomentor, Vice President
Gunilla is a results-driven agile—internationally recognized—leader backed by strong market development skills and a vast international network. She has 20+ years of experience in helping companies and organizations grow and succeed in the United States and Scandinavia. She has a keen entrepreneurial understanding of the possibilities of growth and transformation by understanding, identifying, and capturing emerging markets and needs—all while helping the next generation of leaders excel.
She is very excited to be part of the Twomentor team which provides a perfect platform for her to help companies create healthy work cultures where women, millennials and minorities are elevated to leadership positions with the help of corporate mentoring and sponsorship programs.
Gunilla is a change-maker for goodness to be reckoned with! She is a master networker, generous connector and smart strategist, manifested in her desire to make the world better through effective action. She has made a remarkable difference in the lives of so many youth while helping companies find talent, meaning and building a new foundation for their industries.
As President & CEO for Mentor Foundation USA, founded by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, she led the organization from a local to national key partner in drug prevention programs for youth by transforming its program platform to be portable, scalable, cost-effective—and most importantly accessible to thousands more young people across the United States.
As past President for the Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce (SACC-USA), the organization grew to be the second largest European chamber of commerce in the U.S. She created two new regional offices in the U.S. and launched a highly successful business matchmaking program designed to facilitate regional economic development and position SACC-USA as a key player in trans-Atlantic trade and commerce as well as a central connecting point for investors, businesses, government- and trade organizations and universities.
In advising young people entering the working world today, including the seventy interns she’s had over the years, Gunilla underscores the importance of taking the time to travel and engage in cross-cultural experiences. But she has more advice for the older generations who can learn so much when they take the time to invest in young people. “It’s important for every professional to stay connected with how the younger generation is thinking and operating,” she affirms. “It keeps the organization fresh and innovative, and gives young people the opportunity to engage and contribute. If we give them a platform to speak up and we are willing to listen, they have a lot of great things to say.”
Each company, organization, and individual that Gunilla touches is a stitch in the work of art that Gunilla has dedicated her life to completing. “To me, embroidery symbolizes the extreme patience, care, and commitment it takes to create any complex entity of meaning and elegance,” she says. “Whether you’re building a business, growing a foundation, or pursuing some other goal in life, you have to undertake the tedious, detail-oriented work of building success step-by-step. Every stitch matters.”
AND SHE FIRMLY BELIEVES THAT THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Gunilla is a recipient of SmartCEO Brava Award (2016) and is recognized as a Profile in Success (2016) by Bernhard Wealth Management. She a sought-after global speaker on Mentoring, Personal & Professional Development
2018 CLOSING SPEAKER
Dr. Susan Kellett-Forsyth
Susan Puanani Kellett-Forsyth personifies this year’s theme – “NO LIMITS”. She
made history in 1976 when she became a member of the first class to include
women in the United States Military Academy’s 178-year history. On 28 May
1980, she was one of the 62 women who graduated with 859 men.
Commissioned in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, she had years of troop leading
experience in Germany, and at Campbell University and Fort Bragg in North
Carolina. After attending the elite School of Advanced Military Studies, she was a
planner for the First Infantry Division and was instrumental in developing the
first U.S. – Russian Peace Keeping exercise on U.S. soil. In January 1996, she
deployed to Bosnia in support of Peace Keeping Operations during Operation
Joint Endeavor. She earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the
University of Oklahoma in 2003 and applied her expertise at the secondary
school level in Stuttgart, Germany. She also spent six years working with the
non-profit group, Americans Working Around the Globe (AWAG), serving as
Chairperson for the final two years. Passionate about AWAG, she worked with a
talented team to train, strengthen and connect volunteers in military
communities in Germany, Italy, the U.K., Belgium and the Netherlands. Susan is
on the Board of Directors for the newly established non-profit organization,
American War Memorials Overseas. She is currently developing curriculum for
courses dealing with Leadership Ethics, Immunity to Change, Unconscious Bias,
and Truth Decay. She and her fabulous husband, John Forsyth, have three lovely
children, Kaliko, David, and Makanalani.