Being Bold, Being Brave: Northeast PA Women’s Leadership Conference This Week

Sandra Joseph

It was the step that began a life’s journey for Sandra Joseph—a step she almost didn’t take.

When she walked out for the first time to audition for a theater role, Ms. Joseph’s stage fright was so severe that she almost did not take that crucial first step. As a result of taking that step, Ms. Joseph eventually went on to make history as the longest running leading lady in Broadway’s longest-running show. For 10 years and more than 1,500 performances, she starred as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera.”

“Sometimes we can be our own biggest roadblock,” she said. “I had such paralyzing stage fright that I nearly quit before I started, but learning to step into my authentic presence allowed me to achieve success beyond my wildest imaginings. The gift of that journey was not only about making it to Broadway — it was about becoming a truer, fuller expression of who I am.”

Ms. Joseph will share her story at the third annual Northeast Pennsylvania Women’s Leadership Conference, presented by The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and regional partners, on Thursday, April 20, at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The event will feature Ms. Joseph and Connie Dieken as keynote speakers, as well as eight additional regional presenters on two professional tracks. One of The Chamber’s signature events, this conference is set to sell out for the third straight year.

“It is an empowering event, designed to inspire women—and men— to take charge of their professional lives,” said Mari Potis, The Chamber’s director of membership and events. “Each and every speaker is carefully chosen by our committee because of the message they will provide to our attendees. We want every person to leave the conference with additional confidence and belief in their abilities.”

Connie Dieken

A thought leader in the field of modern leadership influence and presence, Connie Dieken is the founder of The Dieken Group, a senior executive coaching, consulting and training firm that transforms leaders into purposeful influencers. Her insights are often featured in leading publications including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC,, and Investor’s Business Daily.

“This program is not about how to manipulate people – it’s not the usual grab bag of hook, line, and sinker techniques on how to persuade people in order to get what you want. It digs deeper than that,” she said. “It’s designed to help you identify the specific reasons why you gain and lose influence. You’ll discover a proven, repeatable process that you can use to influence with integrity—even the most difficult people in your world and under the most challenging conditions.”

Ms. Dieken is inviting conference attendees to take her proven personal influence assessment at

“The reason most of us wrestle with our ability to influence difficult people is because we rely on just one habit,” she said. “This habit serves us well when we encounter people with the same habit—but it triggers resistance and roadblocks from others. This is an action plan on how to strengthen and balance personal influence habits so [professionals] can make their boldest contribution to the world.”

For both Ms. Dieken and Ms. Joseph, the 2017 Northeast Pennsylvania Women’s Leadership Conference promises to be a day where transformation and empowerment take place.

“In my experience, when people gather with the intention of growing personally and professionally, magic happens,” Ms. Joseph said. “There is something deeply powerful about being in the physical presence of people on the path to self-empowerment. To quote a lyric from ‘Hamilton,’ ‘I want to be in the room where it happens.’

To register for this year’s conference, click here.