Experience 2020: Women in Leadership

Some of the best conversations come when we can ask questions and share experiences. Join our indoor “fireside chat” and hear candid stories of the challenges, successes, and failures of these strong leaders as they have grown through their careers. These leaders have been through a variety of life experiences, industries, and careers and they are ready to share some insights with you!

Experience is June 4-5 in Roanoke, Va. This year’s focus is on ENDURANCE. Your career isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. In order to finish the race, you need tools to grow through personal and professional challenges. You’ll find that at Experience 2020.

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Dawn LaPlante is Vice President of Talent at PowerSchool. In her role, she works with all PowerSchool employees to enhance their PowerSchool experience and develop talent-related programs to create a workplace environment that encourages engagement and supports productive, happy employees.

Previously, Dawn led the human resources team at Verifone for over 15 years and served as the VP, Global Human Resources for Nanometrics and Rimini Street.

Dawn has served as a key member of leadership teams and as a catalyst in driving strategic, enterprise-wide HR projects and programs. She has led the talent organization through numerous system upgrades and changes, several successful acquisitions, and she was part of a successful IPO. She has built solid teams that can scale with a rapidly growing business.

Reyna Gilbert-Lowry serves as Senior Associate Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Development and Senior Woman Administrator at Virginia Tech. She joined the Hokies in 2008 and is currently responsible for supervision and oversight of the daily operations of the Lombardi Student-Athlete Development Center. Through the Center, workshops and resources are provided to assist student-athletes with preparation for success both in college and after graduation in the core areas of career development, leadership development, and personal development.

Gilbert-Lowry also serves on the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Education Committee, chairs the and Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council and is the departmental liaison to Student Conduct. In addition, she also serves as sport supervisor for the women’s soccer program.

Kelsey Harrington is the General Manager of Downshift Bikes and Brews, a bike shop cafe in Downtown Roanoke. She’s passionate about introducing more people to different types of cycling, especially biking for transportation.

Kelsey has worked in both the non-profit sector as well as higher education. She considers advocacy the core component of all the work she has done. In 2018, Kelsey helped start the Downshift WTF (women/trans/femme) inclusive cycling team.

Other Experience 2020 speakers and sessions