Leadership U Applications Open

Leadership Lackawanna, the Chamber’s premier community leadership and professional development affiliate, has opened applications for its Leadership U program – in partnership with Penn State Scranton.

Leadership U is a three-credit college summer course for high school students called Effective Speech.

Participants will gain leadership and community engagement skills in the areas of communication and public speaking. The course aims to provide participants with the confidence and expertise to engage in public speaking, use S.T.E.A.M. to empower students to take thoughtful risks, and use historical awareness and appreciation to provide an understanding of our region’s past, present, and future while developing financial literacy skills and college/career preparation.

Leadership U applications are open to high school juniors and seniors, charter school, and homeschooled students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The cost of the program is $400. Limited scholarships are available. Deadline to apply is May 4.

Leadership U is scheduled to be held in person at Penn State Scranton, every Wednesday from June 29 to August 10 from 1:00-3:15 p.m.

Upon successful completion of Leadership U, participants receive three college credits to Penn State for a general education, 100 level class which are transferable to most institutions.

Apply through May 4 at www.LeadershipLackawanna.com.

Andrea Owen – EMPOWER Conference Keynote

Life Coach, AndreaOwen.com

Presentation: Master Resilience: Excel in Mental Tenacity to Bounce Back Stronger From Problems and Difficulties

Challenges and struggles will always be a part of work and life, and the key to thriving during these times is resilience.

  • Understand clearly that your life challenges are invitations to your best and most tremendous life.
  • Build superior mental stories so that you can quickly see when your inner narratives are holding you back and learn to create more empowering ones.
  • Recognize your values so you’re clear on what’s important about the way you live your life, and have a “map” to help you navigate life’s challenges.

Results: Women will leave this keynote or workshop with renewed enthusiasm for what makes them stronger and wiser, research-driven tools on both how to master their mindset, as well as dependable strategies to help them re-navigate when they get “lost”.

Bio:

Andrea Owen is an author, global speaker, and professional certified life coach who helps high-achieving women maximize unshakeable confidence, and master resilience.

She has taught hundreds of thousands of women tools and strategies to be able to empower themselves to live their most kick-ass life through speaking, her books, coaching, and her wildly popular podcast with over 3 million downloads.

Andrea is the proud author of How To Stop Feeling Like Shit: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back From Happiness which has been translated into 18 languages and is available in 22 countries, as well as her inaugural book, 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve. Her latest book, Make Some Noise: Speak Your Mind and Own Your Strength came out in August 2021.

Andrea is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) from The Coaches Training Institute, a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation, a SHE RECOVERS® coach, as well as a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator; a modality based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown.

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science from California State University in Kinesiology with a specialty in Health Science. She has been featured on The Huffington Post Live, xojane.com, NBC, and Entrepreneur.com. 

She has facilitated many workshops for girls hosted by Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty whose efforts inspire and empower women and girls to live confidently and change the world around them.

In addition, Andrea has been sober for close to a decade and is active in the world of recovery.

Janet Donovan – EMPOWER Conference Keynote

President and CEO, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania

Presentation: Resilient Together:  Building Your Personal Board of Directors

Learn to think differently about your networks and discover how to build a personal board of directors to inform you, help you advance your goals, and support you during setbacks. Explore the differences between mentorship and sponsorship and how mentors and sponsors can become part of your board to help you build growth, optimize opportunities, create resilience to overcome setbacks.

Bio:

Janet Donovan is the president and CEO for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. She is a retired U.S. Navy Two Star Rear Admiral and former Deputy Commander in the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy with more than 20 years of executive experience in strategy development, talent management, and collaboration. She has completed numerous professional development and executive training courses in strategic planning, strategic communication and innovation, coalition-building, finance and accounting, cyber security, risk management and ethics.

Janet received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. She has seen firsthand the character-building impact that Girl Scouts can make in the lives of young women and believes Girl Scouting provides a distinctive experience to prepare our next generation of confident and capable leaders.

Kim Drumgo – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Geisinger Health System

Presentation: Inclusive Companies and Communities

The last two years has caused significant shifts in the workplace, demographically and interpersonally. Now more than ever, organizations are grappling with the effects of the “Great Resignation” and are competing for talent locally and nationally. In this session, Kim will provide insight into how companies and the communities they serve can increase resilience and aptitude for change, attract talent, grow engagement, and allow for better relationships between people from different perspectives and experiences.  



Bio:

Kim Drumgo, MBA, is the chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for Geisinger, an integrated health services organization that serves more than 3 million residents through 45 counties in central, south-central, and northeast Pennsylvania with over 24,000 employees. 

In her role at Geisinger, Kim provides strategic leadership and support of DEI programs across the health system.  Her current focus areas include fostering inclusive cultures, talent attraction and growth, community health equity, and supplier diversity. 

With over 25 years of experience, Kim is recognized as a thought leader with demonstrated experience leading change initiatives in large matrixed organizations such as Anthem, AICPA, and BCBS.  In the last 15 years, Kim has established multiple inaugural DEI offices and revitalized a fortune 30 DEI program to align the accountability of DEI with its 70,000 employees strategically.

As an expert in the field of diversity management, Kim has been cited or featured in Becker’s Hospital Review, Chief Healthcare Executive, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Diversity Network Journal, Diversity Manager, The Journal of Accountancy, and many other publications and conferences.

Kim is the past chairman of the PhD Project board and member of the Conference Board Diversity Council. She continues to serve as an advisor to many other entities focused on diversity and inclusion. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public health from UNC Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland. 

Brittany Cesarini – EMPOWER Conference Panelist

Director of Communications, Global Health Corps

Presentation: Managing Conflict Panel

The ability to resolve conflict in the workplace is an essential ability for leaders in any organization. When there is open and transparent processes for identifying, resolving, and managing conflict, it is proven to improve productivity and job satisfaction of employees. In this session, our panelists will discuss techniques on how to engage in meaningful conversations and manage conflict in the workplace.

Bio:

Brittany Cesarini is the director of communications at Global Health Corps, an international nonprofit working to develop rising leaders in the U.S., East and Southern Africa, and beyond. In her role, she oversees internal communications, messaging and storytelling, branding, content creation and editorial, and digital communications. Over the past decade, she’s worked with hundreds of young leaders to find, hone, and share their voices to accelerate progress towards health equity. Brittany has also spoken and facilitated at numerous global events including Diversity Reboot 2021, Women Leaders in Global Health 2021, and New York University’s Social Innovation Symposium in 2020. 

Prior to her work at Global Health Corps, Brittany led communications and legislative affairs for a Bronx-based New York City Council member, focusing on key health and immigration issues in the poorest Congressional district in the U.S. She began her career working at the intersection of strategic communications and grassroots health advocacy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as the recipient of the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize.  

Brittany holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy with a double minor in gender studies and African studies from Princeton University. She has also trained in effective coaching with LifeLabs, effective management with The Management Center, and “writing to change the world” with The Op-Ed Project. Fluent in Swahili and an avid reader, writer, and hiker, Brittany currently lives in NEPA with her husband and their young son. 

Nicole Strauser – EMPOWER Conference Moderator

Vice President, Beneficiary Fulfillment, Prudential Enabling Solutions

Presentation Moderator: Managing Conflict Panel

The ability to resolve conflict in the workplace is an essential ability for leaders in any organization. When there is open and transparent processes for identifying, resolving, and managing conflict, it is proven to improve productivity and job satisfaction of employees. In this session, our panelists will discuss techniques on how to engage in meaningful conversations and manage conflict in the workplace.

Bio:

Nicole Strauser, vice president, beneficiary fulfillment, has over 20 years of experience with Prudential. In her current role, Nicole is responsible for delivering final promises for group insurance, individual life insurance, annuities, and retirement customers. She has been focused on strengthening Prudential’s operational discipline and empowering associates via ideation and customer obsession to transform our customer experience.  

Prior to her current role, Nicole held various roles across Prudential’s retirement organization including the contact center, client services, and all back office operations from money in, money out, to complex record keeping.   

Nicole holds a  bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marywood University. She is a Series 6, 99, and 26 registered principal.  

Nicole currently sits on the board for Leadership Northeast, a local non-profit focused on creating servant leaders in the community.  Nicole also serves as the Prudential executive site lead for the Scranton office and the executive sponsor of the Scranton PRIDE BRG.