We Move Forward 2016 Speakers

Want to know the secret ingredient that has women returning year after year to We Move Forward?  They get the opportunity to meet, talk and hang out with the keynote and daily featured speakers, facilitators and movement practitioners, who all engage in the 3 full days –always a highlight for participants!

We have an amazing line-up of new remarkable faces along with conference favorites; 14 women, and 1 man, who together will serve up a delicious 3 days of inspiration, insights, fun and tangible takeaways.  Here they are:

Bif Naked

Bif Naked Rock star, writer, speaker and humanitarian, Bif Naked will give the keynote address at WMF 2016. For the entirety of her unbelievable career, Bif has documented her journey in a deeply personal way – covering topics that allow her truths to be a source of empowerment and in alliance with her dedicated fans. Bif believes in everyone’s ability to move forward, taking care of each other, and getting stronger together. “I believe in the goodness of people. I am grateful for each person I have ever met, from the guru in the street, to the dude in the mosh pit, to the patients I meet in the cancer wards. Everyone is my Teacher.” It has been five years since the release of her last full-length studio record, “The Promise”, a candid look at her journey through breast cancer, and an album Bif Naked made while in chemo and radiation treatments. Since that time, she has remained committed to her relentless schedule, having proudly sat on the City of Vancouver’s Women’s Advisory Committee, volunteering with vulnerable people, and writing a blog for the Huffington Post. Bif’s work as a public speaker has taken her to conferences centred around women’s empowerment, wellness, and cancer. The latter is not only a topic personal to her own breast-cancer journey, it is clearly dear to her heart. Many of her life experiences continue to astonish audiences around the world, as Bif’s storytelling style intoxicates the listener. An unforgettable woman, performer, and activist, Bif Naked leaves everyone feeling like they have been kissed and hugged, and as though they, too, are wearing her Tango Shoes to dance through life! www.bifnaked.com

Janeen Halliwell

 Janeen Halliwell is the Founder of We Move Forward. As a young girl she was gifted with a ‘wake-up call’ that made her determined to live an extraordinary life – creating WMF is at the heart of her quest. “My goal was to design a welcoming space where like-minded and good-spirited women form community, and support one another to live their best life.” As has become tradition, Janeen will kick-off WMF 2016 with a heartfelt talk that participants describe as “setting the tone for the three days – one of sincerity, openness, insight and fun.” She will also facilitate two sessions that will have participants connecting and exploring what they wish to manifest next in this one precious lifetime. Outside of WMF, Janeen is a consultant, facilitator and trainer to organizations focused on improving people’s lives. She has worked on four continents, taught for two universities, and is passionate about learning through travel, having explored 34 countries and sailed 9000 sea miles, so far. A humanitarian, Janeen has volunteered in many capacities and for many causes. She has a MA in Leadership and is a principal consultant with People Minded Business www.peoplemindedbusiness.com

Paula Todd

Paula Todd is a best-selling investigative author, journalist, award winning broadcaster, lawyer and professor of journalism and digital media. She has spent 28 years reporting and writing for Canada’s major television networks and largest newspapers and magazines. Paula is returning to We Move Forward to share insights from her best-selling book, A Quiet Courage: Inspiring Stories from All of Us. Says Paula, “These astounding, compelling stories make us rethink how we live. They are proof that loss, injustice and setbacks need not diminish us, but can ultimately shore us up. Tragedy, while unwelcome, can also contribute to our worth and deepen our understanding of life as much as, if not more than, success.” And, for those participants wanting to hone their writing skills, Paula will once again offer her fan favorite workshop ‘Write On!” on afternoons two and three of WMF 2016. www.paulatodd.com

Lisa Koch

Lisa Koch is back again!  She brings to WMF her guitar, her quirky songs, and her joyful musings on being a woman… from middle age to mammograms to singing vulvas. Described as “Tina Fey meets Bette Midler with Joan Jett guitar chops,” Koch combines music, comedy and theater to create her twisted act.  A singer-songwriter, out lesbian, and sober chick, Koch (“Coke”) has recorded 4 solo CD’s, is one-half of demented sketch comedy duo, Dos Fallopia, and has shared the stage with the likes of Janis Ian, Lily Tomlin, The Indigo Girls, and Steve Martin.  She composed Off-Broadway musical “27, Rue de Fleurus”, has been seen on LOGO and Olivia Cruises, and actually had one of her songs sampled by Jay-Z.  Lisa shares her recipe for living your best life with humor, healing, and heart.  www.heylisa.com

Raychelle Heath

 Raychelle Heath is returning to WMF, and will be facilitating yoga sessions on Days 2 and 3 and she will once again be facilitating the Setting of the Daily Intention. Ray has studied yoga in Hawaii, The Marshall Islands, Bali, and the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, where she received her yoga teacher certification. Ray has also studied meditation at the beautiful Wat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In addition to being a yogi, Ray is a poet, artist, and teacher. Originally from Winnsboro, South Carolina, her many travels have made her a citizen of the world. She is currently teaching at the Universidad del Mar, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Jerusha Akatzin

 Jerusha Akatzin will once again speak and perform a Mayan blessing at We Move Forward. She will speak to the ambitions of Mayan women, and all women, – educational, cultural, social, environmental, and economic. Through her work with Consejo Maya Nuevo Sol (Mayan Council of Grandparents of New Sun), Jerusha promotes respect for the traditions of grandparents and the protection of Mayan history, art, culture and communities, and works against the discrimination and marginalization of indigenous people and communities. She has a university diploma in Feminine Psychology. Jerusha’s work has taken her to Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, and Guatemala, and Isla Mujeres. Each year, Jerusha arrives with family and friends who join her in providing WMF participants with a unique blessing that is always a highlight. Christy Dix will translate for Jerusha. The two of them have found a wonderful rhythm in what will be their 4th year presenting together at WMF. We are thrilled to have Jerusha her friends, family, and Christy join us on the Sunday, March 6.

Dawn James

 Dawn James  is the founder of RaiseYourVibration.ca an organization dedicated to providing education, inspiration and support to understanding and enhancing vibrational frequency for your overall well-being. This former finance executive (CPA), became an international speaker and best-selling author of Raise Your Vibration, Transform Your Life and the book series How to Raise the Vibration around You, following a near death experience in 2003 that gifted her knowledge about spirituality, vibrational frequency and higher consciousness. Dawn’s passion is inspiring others to raise their consciousness to reduce stress, improve health and create harmony both personally and globally. We Move Forward participants will be treated to Dawn’s featured talk, and she is offering two separate break-out sessions about ‘Consciously Loving All that Is’. Everyone will experience her Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation that serves up relaxation through the soothing harmonic overtones of the glass bowls. Learn more about Dawn the author and green living advocate here: www.raiseyourvibration.ca and www.thewellnessmall.com

Clara Kluk

 Clara Kluk was born in Mexico City, and continues to call it home. A renowned artist, her work is on display in 17 museums in various parts of the world. In response to an unexpected turn of events, Clara redirected her creativity from that of artista to partner of PIENSA, a consulting firm in México City, USA, Central and South America, China and Spain. She works with organizations across Latin America, Europe and China facilitating creativity and innovation to guide change, enhance teamwork and foster leadership. Through her corporate career, she has seen how barriers to creativity are also barriers to success — for individuals and for groups. At We Move Forward, Clara will share stories and tools that will enlighten participants on ways to unleash creativity to manifest their dreams, and live their best lives. Clara holds a Master of Science degree in Creativity from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State University. In 2011 she received the Creative Studies Alumni Foundation Achievement Award. www.grupo-piensa.com

Dr. Sheila Flaherty

 Dr. Sheila Flaherty is an Army brat who grew up to be a clinical psychologist and writer. To feed her gypsy soul, she loves traveling and, as an adult, has lived in various cities in the U.S., as well as Germany, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia.  Her novel, East of Mecca, was inspired by her experiences in Saudi. Sheila has placed in several screenwriting competitions and has been awarded two residencies at the Ragdale Foundation for her work in fiction. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University Medical School and practices psychology in the Chicago area. Sheila’s life mission is to enlighten, inspire, and empower others for the greater good.  In her presentation Write to Remember. Write to Forget., Sheila will discuss the many benefits of a journaling practice for personal growth, emotional healing, and as a powerful tool in the creative process. And, because we women are notoriously hard on ourselves, her break-out session will teach participants the art of compassionate journaling. www.sheilaflaherty.com

Cherri Prince

 Cherri Prince was the research brains behind marketing campaigns for brands like Kellogg’s Special K, Rice Krispies, Secret and Tampax for over 25 years, Cherri Prince is returning to WMF by popular demand! After starting a female insights consultancy within global ad agency Leo Burnett in the late 90’s, Cherri landed a creative consulting role on the movie, What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. Today, Cherri runs her own insights and innovation consultancy helping brands understand what women truly want and need. Cherri feels blessed to be living her best life and is excited to share how it started with discovering her purpose. In this session Cherri will lead participants through a journey of getting crystal clear on their purpose by exploring personal values, strengths and passions. You are totally unique and have gifts that the world needs now. Living your life on purpose begins here. In the words of Margaret Mead, “An ideal culture is one that makes a place for every human gift.” WMF Participants will walk out of this session with a very tangible way to start sharing theirs. www.cherriprince.com

Kristi Blakeway

 Kristi Blakeway was recently named Vancouver’s Woman of Distinction for her extensive work connecting the community. She is a school principal from Vancouver, BC, Canada and Founder of Beyond HELLO, a grassroots social project that encourages people to engage in real dialogue. Over the last six years, Kristi and her students have helped over 500 homeless people re-connect with family and friends through greeting cards, phone calls and face to face reunions. At the core of her work – the belief that “when we empower others to tell their story, we awaken the heart and mind.” Kristi is a dynamic speaker who blends real life stories with the science of happiness. She firmly believes that every one of us has a story worth hearing, and we are pleased that she will share hers, one of inspiration and action, with We Move Forward participants in 2016. As Kristi likes to say, “Arrive as strangers, leave as friends.” www.BeyondHELLO.org

April Eberhardt

 April Eberhardt, a self-described “literary change agent” and author advocate, will be offering a workshop to writers and aspiring writers who will come away with a clearer sense of what her own special story is, along with ideas for getting it out in the world in a way that will reach her rightful readers most effectively. After 25 years as a corporate strategist and consultant, April joined the literary world, where she saw strategic opportunity to play a role in the changing world of publishing. April advises and assists authors worldwide as they choose the best pathway to publication for their work, be it indie or traditional, digital or print. She serves as an industry advocate for establishing quality standards for non-traditionally published work to increase acceptance of independent publishing, and advises startups designed to serve the indie author. April divides her time between San Francisco, New York and Paris. She also is a reader for the Best American Short Stories series published annually by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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