Keynote Speaker: Julie Ciardi
Julie is a mom of three who spent her first 20 years as a marketing leader in the corporate world, most recently as a Vice President of marketing in IBM. Julie has always had a passion for entrepreneurship, so when life presented the opportunity, she left her corporate job to start not just one, but two businesses! Julie is the owner of Haven Boutique, a boutique right here in Poughkeepsie, NY, that is focused on serving the crazy, busy mom to help her hustle in style. Julie is also divorced from her older kids father for over 11 years and has been determined to create the best co-parenting relationship possible with their dad. Julie launched the More Than Mommy (formally Divorced Mommy) podcast in 2018 to help other moms as they navigate the emotional and unchartered waters of co-parenting after divorce. More Than Mommy is all about helping you create a life you want and your children need. Julie lives in Poughkeepsie with her husband and three children.
Breakout Session Speaker: Francesca Maresca
Francesca M. Maresca, Ph.D., CHES©, is the Director of Health Outreach, Promotion and Education (H.O.P.E.) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and is responsible for assessing the health and wellness of the Rutgers community and delivering effective interventions to promote the health and well-being of the community. Francesca coordinates two peer education programs, the Sexual Health Advocates and Peer Mental Health Educators and the Rapid Result HIV Testing on campus. She is also the co-chair of the Rutgers Community Approaches to Suicide Prevention and the Health & Wellness Committee and participates on the Alcohol & Other Drug Prevention Committee. Francesca is an adjunct instructor for the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the Graduate School of Education in both the traditional classroom and on-line environments. Her areas of expertise include sexual and reproductive health, mental health/suicide prevention and LGBTQ health. Francesca lives in Central New Jersey with her amazing 8-year old son. Besides her family, she also loves her cats, cheese, Italian bread and the beach.
Breakout Session Speaker: Leah Feldman
Leah Feldman, MPA is passionate about empowering women and has over 10 years of experience working in the violence against women field including providing direct services to victims, lecturing to numerous audiences about issues impacting women, and participating in advocacy efforts to promote safety and support for women. She has a certificate in Leadership Coaching through the Leadership Practices Inventory and her interests include leadership coaching and development for women and young professionals, fitness, and women’s empowerment. Leah is a certified fitness coach, professional fitness competitor, and Girls on Guard self-defense instructor. She is passionate about creating a culture where women can be strong, bold, able, and fearless. Leah holds a BA in Psychology from Siena College and a MA in Public Administration from Marist College.
Breakout Session Speaker: Jennifer Bronsnick
Jennifer Bronsnick, MSW, LCSW is passionate about supporting moms to heal from burnout and families to be resilient. As a mother of three daughters under 9 and a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety, Jennifer knows exactly how challenging motherhood can be. She also knows that there is hope for all of us and with accurate information, support and inspiration that mothers and families can thrive. Jennifer’s years of clinical experience as a social worker and her own personal journey gives her the unique ability to guide individuals on their path to health and wellness. You can also learn more about Jennifer at www.themindfulfamily.com.
Breakout Session Speaker: Rebecca Schrag Hershberg
Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and founder of Little House Calls Psychological Services (www.littlehousecalls.com), which specializes in helping kids and parents confronting a range of common early childhood challenges. She is the author of The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler’s Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again, published by Guilford Press. Dr. Hershberg has held leadership positions at a national nonprofit organization serving children and a hospital-based infant and toddler preventive mental health program. She has taught in the Department of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and has presented numerous seminars and workshops for parents. Her articles have been published widely, including on Parents.Com, TODAY Parents, Modern Loss, Big City Moms, and the website of the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Hershberg lives in lower Westchester with her husband and two young sons, who both keep her busier – though also smiling! – more than any of the above.
Breakout Session Speaker: Susanne Meyer-Fitzsimmons
Susanne Meyer-Fitzsimmons has been searching for answers to life’s most fundamental questions since her teen years. She is a multi-award winning author and blogger on Deep Living, a workshop and retreat leader, gentle activist, inspirational speaker, holistic adventurer, cultural critic and spiritual sojourner who grew up in Europe and now lives in a net-zero house in the Hudson Valley. Susanne has a BA in Cultural and Religious Studies and an MA in Liberal Studies. Her passions, besides reading about spiritual and cultural matters, include food, travel and spending time in spirited conversation with friends. She is the mom of an 18-year old and a 21-year old who she raised bilingually and multi-culturally. To find our more about Susanne and her work, please visit her website at www.susannemeyerfitzsimmons.com.
Breakout Session Speaker: Karina Antonopoulos
Karina Antonopoulos is the founder of The Center for Highly Sensitive People here in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is a Relationship & Leadership Development Coach, new Mother as of January 2019, and retreat facilitator. She is passionate about educating the public about what it really means to be a Highly Sensitive Person and teaches her clients and community members how to be a leader in their own life. Karina is the creator of the podcast The Highly Sensitive Leadership Podcast where she educates her listeners on how how to integrate practical skills related to what seems like abstract concepts such as finding balance, being in flow, feeling empowered, and activating your intuition. She believes being Highly Sensitive is a superpower and that relationships are the center of life. She supports her private coaching clients in strengthening, deepening, and developing their relationships from a place of authenticity so they can experience greater flow and harmony at work, in their businesses, and in their personal life.
Breakout Session Speaker: Alyson Chugerman
Alyson Chugerman, CHHC, AADP is an Integrative Nutritionist with a private practice in Wappingers Falls. She has been involved in the health and wellness field for almost 20 years. Alyson has worked with 100’s of private clients and has helped 1000+ with her 21 Day Body and Mind Refresh. She is the best-selling author of Eat Real, Live Mindfully, Laugh Often and is a sought-after speaker. Alyson practices a holistic approach which not only looks at what you are eating but whether you are getting enough sleep, moving your body and de-stressing, as well. This alternative approach is what makes her practice unique when sharing the benefits of sound nutrition and optimal lifestyle choices with her clients. As the mother of two grown daughters, Alyson life’s passion was formed when the school recommended her daughter get medical treatment for ADHD. Instead, the family chose to change their diets and within a month, the profound impact in her daughter was so incredible, she chose to make it her mission to help as many people as possible heal from the root cause of illness by using food as medicine. You can learn more about Alyson at www.attaintruehealth.com.
Breakout Session Speaker: Lauree Ostrofsky
Lauree Ostrofsky helps women leap — feel clearer about what you want to do and more confident putting yourself out there. As an author, speaker, coach and hugger, Lauree serves a community of A-students around the world who want more than anything to be paid and valued for doing work they love. She also founded the vibrant local community, Hudson Valley Women in Business. Her books are, “SIMPLY LEAP: Seven Lessons on Facing Fear and Enjoying the Crap out of Your Life,” and “I’m scared & doing it anyway,” about reinventing her life and career after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Find out more about her writing, speaking and hugging at SimplyLeap.com and @SimplyLeap on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Breakout Session Speaker: Lisa Loughran
Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and three children. After spending twenty-one years in law enforcement, Lisa retired to spend more time with her family and to accommodate the additional needs of her youngest child born with a rare congenital condition. Since “retirement” Lisa continues her zest for empowering others through entrepreneurship consulting clients in matters spanning personal wellness, public speaking, positive thinking, personal and group fitness training. Lisa enjoys staying connected to her law enforcement roots as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Ulster Community College and also helps potential candidates train and prepare to take the physical agility test to become a police officer. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in Police Science and a Master of Arts degree in Labor and Policy Studies as well as numerous certifications in the health and wellness industry. Aside from spending time with her family, Lisa most loves empowering other women to reach their own personal and professional goals.
Breakout Session Speaker: Jessica Segal
Jessica has been a trusted legal advisor to the Hudson Valley for over 19 years, first as a Prosecutor, and now in private practice. In October of 2018, Jessica launched her own practice so she could be present for her two kids while serving the community she loves. Believing that knowledge is power, she is passionate about educating women on family protection planning, small business formation, avoiding liability claims, money matters, and emotional strength post divorce. With her “Legal Toolkit” for women and small businesses, Jessica offers affordable solutions and was recently voted by the community a Hudson Valley Parent Magazine “Favorite Lawyer.” In addition to her legal practice, Jessica is an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Dutchess Community College and a Board Member of the Council on Addiction Prevention & Education of Dutchess County.
Breakout Session Speaker: Jessica Poggioli
Jessica Poggioli, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who assesses and coaches kids and adults with ADHD and other executive function issues. She helps her clients through a unique combination of behavioral techniques, metacognitive training (or “thinking about thinking”), and motivational interviewing (or getting a “buy-in” to help build more active participation in coaching strategies and practice). Dr. Poggioli also conducts neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessment for learning disorders, memory issues, and twice exceptional (2e) children and adults. She is in private practice in NJ and NY, and she previously worked at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Poggioli lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and her two very active little superhero fairy LEGO builder ballerinas.
Breakout Session Speaker: Ondrea Lynn
Ondrea Lynn battled with postpartum depression after her first child was born in 2000. This sparked her own personal journey to wellness while supporting individuals to release suffering that has been impacting their bodies and blocking their big dreams into becoming a reality. The process she uses is called, “body speak,” this ability to hear directly from a person’s body, allows her to diagnose the challenge immediately and this allows an individual to move forward in their dreams quickly. Ondrea knows that in order to offer yourself fully as a woman, you need to be secure and feel safe in your body. Ondrea Lynn’s passion is to help you know that you are enough and mentors you into enoughness in all areas of your life: body, mind, spirit, emotions. She has the ability to see your true nature through the eyes of the Divine and helps you embody and create that true Divine reflection in the world. She began her own spiritual awakening as a teenager when she became a metaphysical mentor and Archangel channel. She has extensive experience in body-mind wellness, is a graduate of the Institute of Integrated Nutrition, affiliated with the Teachers College at Columbia University, some of her certifications include, NASM fitness trainer, Reiki, Shamanism, Master Angel Practitioner, Chakra, Arcturian and quantum healing. Ondrea has helped thousands of women reach their personal health and wellness goals, and improve their physical and nutritional health, as well as their emotional and spiritual well-being. Her efforts in health & wellness have been featured in an article and on the cover of Woman’s World Magazine. She appeared as a personal trainer on Lifetime television’s Mission Makeover, season two.
Breakout Session Speaker: James DeVico
James DeVico is a financial advisor and founder of Mountain Pass Planning in Hopewell Junction. His primary objective is to help individuals and families understand their personal finances, realize they have an opportunity to achieve financial success, and establish and follow through on a customized plan to reach their goals. Growing up in a family where personal finance was a mystery, James’ family went bankrupt when he was a teenager. This experience shaped his understanding of household money management and just how significant financial stress can affect families. He believes that with proper guidance, everyone can improve their situation and reap the benefits of a lifestyle free from financial worry. His mission is to be an advocate for his clients and a steward to their financial decisions to help optimize their financial security and well-being. James started his career with an esteemed financial planning firm in New York City. From there, he took his skills to an independent firm in Westchester County NY, as its lead portfolio manager and planner. In 2015, he started Mountain Pass Planning to establish an alternative to the traditional advisor fee model and create a completely client-centric service committed to transparency, fairness, objectivity and value. He’s also a consultant to other advisors and helps them integrate planning into their practices and enhance their investment management programs. James grew up in Hopewell Junction, where he continues to raise his family with his wife, Christine, and their four children. In his spare time, you can find him experimenting in the kitchen, reading, caring for his beloved fig trees, tinkering with classic cars, or unfortunately cheering for the Mets.
Breakout Session Speaker: Melissa Waterman
Melissa Waterman has spent the last 21 years as a psychotherapist in the Hudson Valley, and has been in private practice for 18 years. During these years she has primarily worked with adults toward emotional well-being. Melissa’s true passion is teaching strategies for thriving in this world while increasing the ability to manage emotions and navigate relationships of all kinds. Melissa is trained in specific techniques (life skills/coping skills, EFT [tapping], breathing techniques, and mindfulness skills) that help alleviate anxiety, depression, and overall stress. It has been her personal and professional journey to help herself and others find ways to improve their self care, self love and self esteem. To learn more about Melissa’s work, visit: https://www.livingwellbeing.net/home.html.
Breakout Session Speaker: Lorraine Prezkuta-Diaz
Lorraine Prezkuta- Diaz LCSW is a Children’s Behavior Specialist and Parent Guidance Coach in private practice in Poughkeepsie, New York. As a Bilingual Parent Guidance Coach who speaks both Child and Adult, Lorraine empowers and educates parents to become Conscious Parents to improve their relationship and connection with their children. She specializes in therapeutic work with preschool and school-age children with difficulties that present as Oppositional, Defiant, and Explosive Behaviors. She works Collaboratively with children, parents, teachers, physicians, and other professionals to understand kids behaviors as difficulties in coping strategies and provide interventions to promote healthier development. She believes that kids, and parents, are impacted by many factors and ProActive Management is essential to Successful Problem Solving. Lorraine is grateful for and enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children. She enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and further developing her knowledge of brain, body, and spiritual connection.
Breakout Session Speaker: Catherine “Kate” Sweeney
Dr. Catherine “Kate” Sweeney is an expert in the field of special education and areas of learning and emotional/behavioral differences. Dr. Sweeney received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, her Master’s and Ph.D. from Boston College, and her advanced administration degree from Fordham University. Dr. Sweeney has published and spoken at conferences on topics of child and adolescent development. Since 2000, Kate has been a clinical psychologist who spent many years as a school psychologist, and private psychologist, helping to evaluate students for disabilities and collaborate to determine appropriate programs and accommodations so all students could access and have success with their learning in their least restrictive environments alongside their typical peers. For the last 5 years, Dr. Sweeney has been an administrator in the field of special education, providing professional development for teachers, and workshops for parents, to increase understanding and implementation of effective practices and supports for differently-abled children and adolescents. In addition, Kate has been instrumental in helping school districts increase parent and student participation in 504 and IEP annual reviews for transparent understanding and collaboration. Kate is a passionate advocate and champion for all students who are differently-abled. One of her missions is to make what may be daunting and confusing in the world of special education, more easily understood by those who know the students best – the parents. Kate lives in Fishkill with her husband Joe, and her boys Jake and Joey, who are amazing and exhausting all at the same time.
Ignite Session Speaker: Louisa Vilardi
Louisa Vilardi used to be a high school English teacher for over a decade before trading in her grade book for dirty diapers. She writes and directs theatre after the kids go to sleep. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. Louisa is an author and contributor for The Huffington Post and Today Parenting Team. Learn more at www.LouisaVilardi.com.
Ignite Session Speaker: Cecille Castillon
Cecille was born in the majestic mountains of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines, a lake and mountain town that could be a twin to New Paltz, her home for over 5 years. Backed by her experience as a Registered Nurse and expertise as an Executive Assistant, Cecille has found her niche as a lifestyle planner and sidekick to SuperMom here in the Hudson Valley.
Ignite Session Speaker: Marie Hughes
Marie Hughes is the owner of FIT4MOM LaGrangeville, and a certified Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, FIT4BABY, FIT4MOM Run Club, Strides 360, and Body Ignite instructor. She is the proud mommy to three daughters: a preschooler, a kindergartener, and her firstborn, Sadie, who was stillborn. Marie is committed to living a healthy and happy life and building a village of moms who uplift and empower each other with openness, honesty, and encouragement. For more information, visit https://lagrangeville.fit4mom.com/.
Ignite Session Speaker: Elyse Apicello
Elyse Apicello helps people understand and build their emotional resilience toolkit. Elyse is a mom, teacher, author and public speaker! To learn more about her work, visit http://www.ejapicello.com/ .
Ignite Session Speaker: Laura Bagnarol
Laura is a mom of three, and founder of Be Big Be Brave, LLC, a company that provides empowering programs that inspire kids to be their big, brave selves!
Ignite Speaker: Felicia Hodges
Felicia is a writer, editor, publisher, and PR specialist who started karate while going through treatment for breast cancer at age 37. She earned her black belt in USA Goju Karate in 2009 and has taught karate and self-defense to children, adults and seniors ever since.
Ignite Speaker: Debbie Justs
Debbie has been in the weight loss industry for over 30 years. Her approach is to educate clients so the weight stays off! She’s also a mom that knows how important self care is and how it relates to reaching your fitness goals.