WLC: Workshops

The morning of the workshop will be devoted to keynote speakers, networking activities and opportunities, and a panel discussion of experts in professional development.  After lunch, the Conference includes workshops so you can choose what will benefit you most.


Kelly Queijo Using Social Media to Build Your Business

Kelly Kendrick “Waze” to Succeed: Developing the Ultimate Navigation Plan for Your Career

Abrina Schnurman-Crook Weighing Your Options: Risk Analysis and Modeling

Heather Leeper What to Do with a Problem: Empowering Yourself to Create Opportunities


Nichole Williams Finding your passion 

Paula Wilder Powering Up:  How to Communicate Effectively in Tough Situations

Erin Byers I’ve Decided to Go Out on My Own: Now What?

Limited seating at the conference. Reserve your ticket now!

Limited seating at the conference. Reserve your ticket now!

Learn More About the Workshop Speakers and Their Topics

Kelly Queijo

Using Social Media to Build Your Business

Talk Abstract:  Learn to make the best use of your time when it comes to using social media to promote your brand, your organization, and yourself.   

About Kelly: Z. Kelly Queijo is president of Smart College Visit, Inc., a higher ed marketing and college visit planning portal, which she founded in 2009. Kelly is passionate about mobile app development, especially when it comes to creating travel and location-based tools and services for colleges and universities. “Visit Virginia Tech,” a mobile campus guide and her company’s first app, was released in 2011. SmartCollegeVisit.com has been listed in the Top 100 education advice blogs and as one of the top 5 college visit sites by her peers. Her popular weekly Twitter chat “CampusChat” provides education experts, parents, and students with a forum for insightful interaction. A Virginia Tech alumna, Kelly held the position of Undergraduate Admissions Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator for Virginia Tech from 1993-2000. She is the former Director of i-Recruitment Services for Carnegie Communications and Internet Sales Manager for CollegeNET, both of which provide web-based services to college admission offices. An award-winning writer and marketing campaign developer, Kelly is the 2010 VT Knowledgeworks Entrepreneurship Summit award winner for best business concept.


Kelly Kendrick

“Waze” to Succeed: Developing the Ultimate Navigation Plan for Your Career

Talk Abstract:  When you first start (or start over) your career it can often times feel like drinking from a water hose.  In this workshop, we’ll go over critical moves that you can make early on to establish your path to success.  We’ll work on self-assessment, including making sure that your personal values aligned with your employer’s values, setting career goals, and skills you need to continue to build.  We’ll also talk about finding mentors and training opportunities, learning and recovering from mistakes, and how to ask questions without losing face.  In the end, setting your career on the right path inevitably means becoming a leader and this talk will give you tools you need to be a successful leader in the workplace, even if your job title isn’t management.            

About Kelly:  Kelly Kendrick grew up in Roanoke, VA and is an alumnus of Virginia Tech.  After graduating in 2006 she spent a brief time working in the Healthcare Industry as a Financial Analyst.  Like many Hokies, Kelly fell in love with the NRV while attending school, looking for a way to get back to the area Kelly accepted a position with First Bank & Trust in 2007 as a Credit Analyst.  In 2009 Kelly graduated from the Bank’s Management Trainee Program, in 2013 became Branch Manager of the Christiansburg office and in 2014 was promoted to Vice President.  Kelly is a member of the Blacksburg Rotary Noon Club and a former Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce.  Kelly lives in Blacksburg with her husband, 2 boys and a chocolate lab.


Abrina Schnurman-Crook

Weighing Your Options: Risk Analysis and Modeling

Talk Abstract: Learn to navigate the Value of a Deal model to assess whether taking a risk is sustainable for you given your goals.  We’ll also talk about how to negotiate your relationship to your own authority in order to give yourself permission to take a risk.  We’ll learn tools of assessment to make sure that the leap you’re considering is viable so that self-care and relationships with other do not deteriorate long term.  You’ll also learn about a standard Change Formula I work with that predicts whether someone is likely to risk or not, based on a few variables.  The two models together make for an interesting conversation.

About Abrina:  Schnurman-Crook holds a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and a Certificate in Management from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. She is a licensed professional counselor with a background in crisis and clinical work. Her interest in conflict management and experiential methods for skills acquisition serves as the platform for helping participants develop and refine their ability to navigate personal and professional relationships. As Executive Director of the Batten Leadership Institute at Hollins University, she teaches Leadership Skills, an experiential introductory course, for the Certificate in Leadership Studies, and conducts the Certificate in Professional Leadership program, along with selective consulting opportunities in the area. Her interest is in merging external executive coaching with undergraduate case study training opportunities, advancing leadership development capacities through a parallel process of growth and understanding of core challenges as they occur individually and across systems.


Heather Leeper

What to Do with a Problem: Empowering Yourself to Create Opportunities

Talk Abstract:  Have you ever talked yourself out of a great idea, or opportunity? Have the road blocks seemed too large, you turn back instead of going around them? Let’s talk about how to take control of your success by empowering not only yourself, but those around you. 

About Heather:

Heather Leeper, grew up dancing at prestigious ballet schools in New York and has loved dance all her life. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Heather worked in Washington, D.C. as a marketing manager, part-time dance instructor. As if that wasn’t enough to fill her plate,  she seized an opportunity to perform as a professional cheerleader for the Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals.

She soon found her way back to Blacksburg and began dancing her way through one of her life dreams: to own a successful business herself. Leeper offered a single dance class at the YMCA and, within five months, opened her first Little Leapers studio in Blacksburg. Little Leapers & LEAP Performing Arts Academy now boasts three locations in Blacksburg and Roanoke, a staff of 12 and nearly 400 students.

Just owning a dance studio is not what makes Leeper an outstanding local entrepreneur. She uses her talents and energy to give back to our community. In 2016 Leeper spearheaded “Be Kind, Blacksburg” – a kindness and anti-bullying initiative that includes public programs against bullying and incorporates Little Leapers’ spring production to tell a story of kindness for the community.

Leeper’s vision and success are grounded in her founding principles for Little Leapers. “Our curriculum fosters every child’s imagination and love for dance through movement, costumes and creativity,” Heather explains. “One challenge in dance is to keep it relevant, creative, and thought-provoking. We’re changing the way people think about children’s dance; appreciating all its advantages for not only skill, poise, and technique, but building strong individuals, self-confidence, and discipline. It’s important to me that we provide an outlet for the children to share their art.”


Nichole Williams

Finding your passion

Talk Abstract: It pays (literally and figuratively) to know your passions and live them. This workshop is for people looking to discover their passions and how to apply them to their current job/role or for those individuals looking to change careers.

About Nichole: Through her company, Empower Leadership, Nichole coaches women in leadership enhancing their confidence and executive presence. She uses a model of emotional intelligence to help women connect their self-perception, self-expression, and to understand the impact stress has on their ability to lead. She has over 10 years of experience in leadership development and has a Credential in Organizational Leadership and Executive Coaching from the Townsend Institute. She is married and has three boys. In her free time, she enjoys mountain biking, working out, reading, and crafting.


Paula Wilder

Powering Up:  How to Communicate Effectively in Tough Situations

Talk Abstract: Many experts estimate that between 25%-47% of success at work is based on your EQ – your emotional intelligence.   EQ is also at the heart of your being able to “stand tall” in difficult situations.  Four EQ elements, measured by the EQ-I 2.0, are especially critical to your ability to communicative successfully in challenging relationships.  This interactive session will review these five critical elements and give you an opportunity to identify which you need to strengthen to help you achieve greater success in your communications.

About Paula: Paula’s favorite work is helping individuals and teams thrive.  Her positive-focused “breath of fresh air” helps leaders reset individuals and teams for increased effectiveness.  Armed with tools and strategies to increase insight and strategic choices, her clients gain confidence, focus and increased momentum toward their goals.  Recent engagements include Board planning, aligning top teams, coaching senior executives and middle managers, facilitating leadership groups, and developing change leaders.   She is a registered Organization Development consultant, Certified Facilitator (IAF), MBTI instructor, DiSC provider, and EQ-i 2.0 consultant.  Paula is also on the Faculty of Core Advance, a new RBTC program for emerging technology leaders.


Erin Byers

I’ve Decided to Go Out on My Own: Now What?

Talk Abstract: This breakout session will concentrate on applicable legal issues related to starting a business or engaging in a “side hustle”.  What is the best manner in which to incorporate? How can I protect myself from inadvertent/negligent mistakes? Am I an employee or an independent contractor? These questions, and others, will be addressed.      

About Erin:  Erin Byers was born and raised in Hampton Roads, VA before moving to Roanoke, VA in high school.  She attended Virginia Tech and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 2005 and then earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science in 2008. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked as a Real Estate Appraiser and continues to maintain her Real Estate Appraisal License.  After her graduate studies at Virginia Tech, Erin moved to California and earned a J.D. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  She is a member of the California BAR and she became a member of the Virginia BAR 2012 after moving back to the NRV. She practiced law for three years before taking a break from traditional, professional work to have and raise two beautiful babies. She completed the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Leadership NRV program in 2015 and is a member of the Alumni Association of such innovative and prestigious program. Additionally, she is a member of the steering committee for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Conference.  She is also a member of the Distribution Committee for the Community Foundation of the NRV.