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Home / News / Education / Riverside County to host Women’s Leadership Convention

Riverside County to host Women’s Leadership Convention

by Staff
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Women in leadership positions across various professional sectors, including business, education, public service and nonprofits, were encouraged to attend an upcoming convention event, Riverside County education officials announced last week.

“Exploring the intersection of personal, professional and internal realms for women in executive leadership roles will be the focus of ‘The Whole Story’ Executive Women’s Leadership Convention,” according to the county’s announcement. 

The convention is scheduled for March 13, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Office of Education Conference Center, 4280 Brockton Ave. in Riverside.

Women who are “at any stage in their leadership journey” were invited to the convention “to reflect, evolve, and thrive, by learning practical tools to weave balance, wholeness, and grace, into a transformative journey toward evolved leadership,” officials said.

The following keynote speakers will give talks at the event:

Office of Education Deputy Superintendent Ruth Pérez “will set the stage for the day by incorporating the stories of our lives and inviting participants to challenge themselves to see opportunity within themselves and in their world,” according to the county’s announcement.

Pérez has an array of leadership and superintendent roles on her resume spanning from Florida to North Carolina to Los Angeles and to her current post since 2021 as deputy superintendent of Riverside County schools. 

She earned a doctorate and a master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and a bachelor’s from Queen’s University of the City University of New York. 

“Her personal background as an English Language Learner from Puerto Rico, educated in the New York City Public School system, fuels her unwavering dedication to improving student achievement and outcomes for all students, with a particular focus on the undeserved and English language learners,” officials said.

“Education is a calling, and all children need leaders who can bring their whole selves to their work without allowing their identity to be wrapped up in a title or an organization,” Pérez said in a statement. “Being a female in leadership is not a zero-sum game, as there is room for all of us to lead from any position for the benefit of the next generation.”

Katie Quesada was described as a speaker, storyteller and coach who “will provide storytelling development of leaders who are equipped to share about themselves with their teams in an open and honest way, which creates a culture where employees are safe to do the same,” event organizers said.

Quesada, who resides in the city of Orange, has worked with top brands on more effective communication, building trust within teams toward immediate return on investment. 

“At the Executive Women’s Leadership Convention, incredible women in attendance will learn the art of leveraging their personal stories and experience to craft meaningful vision for the future of their leadership,” Quesada said in a statement.

Kristin Mauldin is an associate professor of psychology at California Baptist University, where she is the director of the Sports and Performance Psychology Program.

Madulin’s presentation aims to help event attendees to identify strengths and weaknesses “to support being brave in moving forward with a desire to help, serve, and live out their purpose,” convention organizers said.  

Madulin, currently a resident of Idyllwild, has a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University and did postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. Her specialty is cognitive neuroscience, specifically learning and memory and the psychology of sports, performance and exercise, according to convention organizers. 

“Valentine’s own experience growing up with a physically debilitating disease has helped fuel her efforts to design programs that helps others increase their own physical and mental health through the use of techniques grounded in psychology,” officials said.

“I am excited and honored to be a part of a conference that empowers the women leaders (future and present) in our community!” Madulin said in a statement.

International speaker, author and consultant Merlyna Valentine will speak about “Passion, perseverance, and purpose,” which are her “keys to success in the workplace and in life,” officials said. Valentine’s presentation will focus on “the power we all possess to live life to the fullest.”

Valentine has been an educator for over 30 years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and executive director, event organizers said. She has received state, national and international awards and commendations that include teacher of the year and principal of the year. 

Valentine has been featured in TV news reports and articles, including a feature story in Ebony Magazine. 

“Despite facing a significant medical tragedy, Ms. Valentine unleashed a remarkable inner strength that enabled her to lead by example and inspires individuals to overcome their own challenges and embrace resilience as a pathway to success,” officials said.

“I’ll be revealing the thrilling power of passion, perseverance, and purpose — the triumphant trio for women leaders,” Valentien said in a statement. “Attendees will witness my dynamic journey from tragedy to triumph, serving as a powerful reminder of the boundless possibilities that unfold when we break through barriers, ignite personal passions, and thrive in every facet of our extraordinary lives.”

Convention attendance costs $350 per person and includes breakfast and lunch limited to the first 300 registrants, according to organizers. The registration deadline is Feb. 29. 

Attendees can register online at https://events.bizzabo.com/531739 and/or mail payment to the Riverside County Office of Education, Attention: Accounts Payable, P.O. Box 868, Riverside, CA 92502-0868. 

For more information on the convention organized by the Office of Education’s Leadership Center, contact Emily M. Devor at 951-826-6262 or visit the event website at https://www.rcoe.us/ewlc.

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