Summary of Workshops

For each section, you’ll be able to attend one of the workshops listed.  Take a look below to see which workshops you might be interested in attending at this year’s conference.

Section One

Jen Letherer | Dealing with Disappointment

What do we do when our expectations are not met in relationships, professional work, and life in general? How can we make all of our communication more truthful and loving? This workshop will discuss some common experiences with unmet expectations, and some strategies for putting things in perspective, being clear in our communication, and speaking the truth in love.

Jen Letherer is a storyteller and teacher who believes in the power of words to speak truth and love. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media, and a director for SAU Drama at Spring Arbor University. She is the author of Remote Virtue: A Christian Guide to Intentional Media Viewing, a member of the Hudson Wesleyan Church, and an organic gardener.

Debra Blews | Preparing for Leadership: Building Strength of Character

Although leadership brings great rewards and opportunities, all leaders face crises, difficult decision-making, opposition, outright rejection, and loneliness. Preparing for the realities of leadership requires a strength of character reflected in living a principled life of perseverance, discipline, clear purpose, faith, and knowledge that the road travelled will be narrow. When crises inevitably comes, the prepared leader responds with a resiliency that adjusts, adapts, forgives, survives, strengthens, and always moves forward with purpose. This session will look at examples of resilient leaders and how aspects of their characters carried them through difficulties to a new level of courage and joy in leadership.

Debra McKenna Blews, is the author and editor of numerous articles covering legal issues for nonprofit corporations and is an accomplished public speaker. Dr. Blews is an attorney and law professor, she has taught law as a Visiting Professor at the Western Michigan University and at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Before her teaching position, she was a practicing attorney for the Cooley Clinic, Inc. In that role, she represented Michigan, nonprofit-corporation clients; educated nonprofits in legal issues throughout the state; and supervised law students in the externship program. Blews is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Section Two

Anita Quillen | Have a Mindset for Success

How to train your mind to sustain G.R.I.T. (guts, resilience, initiative, tenacity) and position yourself to succeed.

Anita attended Michigan State University majoring in
Microbiology Pre – Med and Fashion Design for 4 years; Completed Bachelor of Arts – Business from Sienna Heights University; Received Master’s degree in Business Administration from Spring Arbor University.
Anita, along with 3 other individuals, established Diversified Engineering & Plastics, LLC in 2011 which is the succession company of MidAmerican Products, Inc. At the end of 2012, she purchased the membership interests of two partners. She now owns majority of the business at 81% which is a certified Hispanic Woman owned company. She is the President & CEO and oversees the day – to – day operations as well as sales and engineering. To date, she continues to manage her consulting firm which has recently expanded into Public Relations with a focus on influence through social engagements and marketing.
Anita is an active member of the Jackson Community and is a board member with the Jackson College
Foundation, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and contributing member to local schools and non – profit organizations.

Martha Fuerstenau | Your One Thing

Based on the book by Gary Keller, The One Thing, Martha will lead a discussion about the value of focus and simplification when it comes to achieving excellence and lifetime goals.

Martha has recently taken the position at American 1 Credit Union as President/CEO. Her career at American 1 Credit Union (formerly Jackson Co-Op Federal Credit Union) began in 1984 and she has been fortunate to hold many leadership roles during her tenure. She has held her current position since January 1, 2018.

Martha earned a BA at Alma College and an MBA at the University of Michigan. She currently serves as a Trustee on the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Board (HFAH), and Chairs the Board Quality Committee at HFAH. Past volunteer work includes serving on the Michigan Theatre Board and the Ella Sharp Museum Board, including as president of the Board of the Ella Sharp Museum. She has also served appointments on a variety of City of Jackson commissions. Martha is a thirty-four-year resident of the City of Jackson.


Enjoy an hour of relaxation and pampering by selecting the spa as one of your workshops. You can get a makeover by a Mary Kay consultant, sign up for a 15-minute massage, get your nails painted, and so much more!

Section Three

 Barb Roose | Training for Adversity: Three Tools that you Need to Hang in, Hang on, or Push Through Tough Challenges

Do you ever get tired of managing the tough stuff in life? Whether you’re struggling to pass a class, trying to cover your bills or dealing with a loved one who won’t get it together, those challenges can wear us out! But, what if you knew how to take those same challenges and convert them to inner strength? In this workshop, you’ll learn three tools that will enable you to hang on and power through tough times so that you can keep building toward your God-given hopes and dreams.

Barb Roose is a speaker and author with a passion to equip women to win at life with strength and dignity.  She loves Jesus, travel and high-heel shoes (and admits there are times when that list gets out of order). Her newest book, Winning the Worry Battle and separate Bible study, Joshua:  Winning the Worry Battle combines powerful life lessons from the book of Joshua with practical tools that work to overcome fear and worry. Find Barb online at

Jordan Kennedy | Excellence in Communication: Creating a Platform for Change

In a world dominated by the 24-hour news cycle driven by social media, creating a captivating personal or professional campaign can be a challenging endeavor. This session will analyze a social justice campaign and break down the steps necessary to help create and distribute a meaningful message that resonates with a large and diverse audience.

Jordan Kennedy is a deputy press secretary in the Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder. She has held numerous positions within the Office of the Governor, serving as both a Constituent Relations and Communications Representative in addition to working on Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 re-election campaign. Jordan sits on the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors for the Michigan Livestock Expo and the Michigan State Board of Veterinary Medicine. She currently resides in Lansing, Michigan and is a proud Spring Arbor University alum, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations.


Enjoy an hour of relaxation and pampering by selecting the spa as one of your workshops. You can get a makeover by a Mary Kay consultant, sign up for a 15-minute massage, get your nails painted, and so much more!