Check out the 2018 WWICJJ program!

Click here to view the 2018 WWICJJ National Conference program.

WWICJJ Program cover

This 40-page document chronicles the 2018 conference schedule, keynote speakers, breakout speakers and reveals the Hyatt Regency floor plan.

You can also learn about the 2018 WWICJJ Planning Committee, read special welcome letters, view special acknowledgements, learn about the WWICJJ sponsors and much much more!



Keynote Speaker Announcement: Geena Davis

Davis, Geena

“Because I was fortunate enough to be cast in movies like Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own, I developed a heightened awareness of how women are portrayed in media,” Academy-award winning actress Geena Davis said. Davis will be our keynote speaker on Monday morning, October 15 and will discuss her work in promoting gender equality, eliminating unconscious bias, challenging stereotypes and creating role models. Davis is more than just a celebrated Hollywood veteran and has transcended her sphere of influence by working tirelessly for the inclusion of women and girls in media.

Davis is the founder and chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators with the aim of dramatically increasing the presence of women in media and reducing gender stereotyping of children.

Davis is also the former chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. The commission works to promote equality and justice for all women and girls and advocates with the California governor, legislature and other policymakers.

Davis was appointed special envoy for Women and Girls in Information and Communications Technology for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is also an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. And Davis and festival co-founder Trevor Drinkwater founded the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015 to champion women in media. BFF’s mission is to encourage content creation in film and other forms of media that reflects the diverse—and half female—world we live in. BFF proactively supports content creation by women and diverse voices with a platform to showcase their work and, with the help of their partners, is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital, and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners.

Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Davis made her feature film debut in “Tootsie.” She went on to star in such films as “The Fly,” “Angie,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” and the “Stuart Little” franchise.

In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Thelma & Louise. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her performance in A League of Their Own.

Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show Commander in Chief.

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis: she is not only an award-winning actor, but a world-class athlete. At one time, she was the 13th-ranked archer in the U.S. Davis is a member of the Mensa genius society,

Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

Keynote Speaker: Cathy Lanier


Success did not come without hard work and overcoming odds for Cathy Lanier, who will be one of our keynote speakers. Her life story is emblematic of our conference theme, “Transcend.” Lanier was the former chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Colombia and is currently the senior vice president of security for the National Football League.

Over her celebrated 26 years in law enforcement and counter-terrorism, Lanier has come to be known for her game-changing leadership strategies as she rose through the ranks of the Metro DC police force, ultimately being appointed to chief in 2007. She is the first female police chief of the nation’s capital, the first commanding officer of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism for DC Police, was one of a small number of female chiefs in the nation and the longest serving chief on the DC force.

Credited for transforming the city once known as the “murder capital of the nation,” Lanier’s street-smart tactics of empowering citizens through better communication and trust, and providing the force with better technology and intelligence, resulted in a 53 percent reduction in homicides from 2008-2012. An expert in securing and managing large special events, she oversaw five Presidential inaugurations as well as several special events in DC including two state funerals and two Papal visits. In 2013, she led the efforts in response to the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting.

Lanier began her career as a junior high school dropout and single mom and went on to earn her GED and two masters degrees, all while working her way up the ranks within the DC police force.

Lanier will share insights on policing, risk management and security, leadership under crisis and the power of persistence in overcoming your own odds and achieving any goal.

Now, as the newly appointed senior vice president of security for the National Football League, Lanier ensures the security of all 32 NFL teams and their venues, working with federal, state and local law enforcement and handling security for the Super Bowl.

Keynote Speaker: Generational Columnist Ryan Jenkins

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A generationally diverse workforce is better equipped to respond to today’s high-flux and fast-moving workplace. Since Millennials became a majority of the labor force, generational differences have never been wider as each generation has a varying perspective of work, leadership, technology, and communication.

Ryan Jenkins, author and columnist, and one of our keynote speakers, will present the session, “Next Generation Leadership: Proven Strategies to Engage Millennials and a Multi-Generational Workforce.”

“Fifty-two percent of workers say they are least likely to get along with someone from another generation,” Jenkins said. “Those who learn to lead and engage Millennials and transcend generational friction will gain the necessary competitive advantage in today’s fast-changing times,” he added.

Jenkins will help participants gain extreme clarity around what the generations are, learn why generations matter at work, and understand each generation’s perspective of leadership, communication, technology and work. Jenkins will teach the three keys for engaging a multigenerational workforce and give relevant examples of organizations successfully engaging a multigenerational workforce.

Jenkins has been speaking professionally as a Millennial and Generation Z keynote speaker for more than six years for hundreds of clients such as SunTrust, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson. His top-ranked generational insights have been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and SUCCESS Magazine.

His internationally recognized blog, podcast, and column inspire and equip thousands of people every week. Jenkins’ passion, experience as a Millennial himself and his fresh and forward-thinking approach to generations have made him one of the most highly sought after generational and future-of-work keynote speakers. He is also a member of the National Speakers Association.

When Jenkins is not speaking or writing you can find him religiously cheering on the Denver Broncos with his wife Ashley, daughter Ella, son Landon, and yellow Labrador Bauer from their home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Keynote Speaker: Transformational visionary Michele Thornton Ghee

Thornton, Michele

Michele Thornton Ghee believes that all women are innate strategists who use most of their time and focus taking care of others. Women who work in the corrections and juvenile justice professions know this all too well. Thornton Ghee encourages women to use a portion of that energy to develop a personal life plan and urges women to get strategic. Actually, she calls it Stratechic. Thornton Ghee, an author, speaker and transformational visionary, will be one of our keynote speakers and will talk about how women can strategically transcend and achieve in all facets of life.

Thornton Ghee currently serves as the senior vice president of media sales for BET Her, a cable network that broadcasts lifestyle programming for African American women. She was instrumental in rebranding the Centric network – which became BET Her – as the first network designed for Black women. In her more than 20 years of experience in corporate America she has managed more than a billion dollars in revenue for some of the biggest media companies in the world including CNN, A&E, the History Channel and the Weather Channel.

Thornton Ghee has authored two books: Stratechic: Life and Career Winning Strategies for Women and Stratechic 2.0: Her Plan, Her Power, Her Purpose.

Thornton Ghee’s passion for excellence has allowed her to master several critical skills including leadership, diversity and inclusion, strategy, personal and professional transformation, revenue generation, teamwork, work-life balance and harmony, and relationship building.

Thornton Ghee has received honors from numerous organizations including the ADCOLOR Change Agent award, The American Advertising Federation Mosaic Role Model of the Year award, the Jesse Banks Humanitarian award and the Black Girl Magic award from Ohio State University. Most recently, she was named as a Multichannel News 2018 Woman to Watch. Thornton Ghee served as the chair of the Mosaic Executive Council from 2011-2013 and continues to play an active role in the media and advertising communities while advocating for diversity in the communications industry.

A native of Oakland, California, Thornton Ghee received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Golden Gate University. In 2017, she was honored with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater. Thornton Ghee is married with two children and lives in New Jersey.

Keynote/Breakout Speaker: Las Vegas Public Safety Chief, Michele Freeman, to talk Resiliency in the Aftermath of a Tragedy

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Drawing on her more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement, Michele Freeman, chief for the City of Las Vegas Department of Public Safety, will be one of the keynote speakers at the closing session. In “Resiliency in the Aftermath of a Tragedy,” Chief Freeman will discuss her personal and professional experiences leading through the October 1, 2017, mass-shooting tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada, and talk about how to transcend grief and trauma in order to adapt to shakeups in your organizations and communities. “As difficult as it can be, you must manage the environment, rather than let the environment manage you,” she said.

Chief Freeman will address how internal and external factors can impact your environment, how to remain resilient in the wake of a tragedy, and how to maintain hope and a positive optimistic outlook when the world around you seems to be falling apart.

Chief Freeman will also be a breakout session speaker. In “Why Work-Life Balance is Really Just Life Balance,” Chief Freeman will discuss the importance of self-care.

“Self-care is not selfish – it is essential to our wellbeing. When we don’t take care of ourselves, our ability to care for others is impaired and that leads to feeling that our lives are not in balance,” Freeman explains.

Chief Freeman believes strongly that, “When you stop and realize what you already have and are grateful, you can better appreciate, and find balance from within.” These concepts will be reinforced in her meaningful breakout session. Freeman will also talk about how to transcend the gender and professional roles we all take on by having outlets that allow us to preserve ourselves and maintain our sense of self. Participants will be able to engage in a group discussion and a workshop.

Michele Freeman presently serves as Chief for the City of Las Vegas Department of Public Safety. Her law enforcement career began at the City of Las Vegas more than 25 years ago when she accepted the position of corrections officer. She was promoted through the ranks serving as corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and a privileged member of the department’s Special Emergency Response Team before being named deputy chief in 2006. Freeman was appointed acting chief in January 2011 and transitioned into her current role as chief in June 2011. As chief, she leads 428 civilian and Category I and III sworn employees and provides fiscal management of the department’s $79 million budget.

Chief Freeman is affiliated with several organizations including the American Jail Association, the International Chiefs of Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, the Nevada Psychological Association, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee, Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training, the Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy and the Trauma Intervention Program.

Chief Freeman’s commitment to improving overall employee health and wellness is demonstrated through her efforts and involvement both on- and off-duty. She has been and continues to be a champion of organizational health and employee wellness. Through her perseverance, the department added its first dedicated Crisis Intervention Administrator – a trained mental health professional who provides support to the department through education and counsel to those encountering crises.

Chief Freeman is a graduate of the 249th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. This is a prestigious and rare distinction as participation is by invitation only and annually just 12 Nevada law enforcement leaders are afforded the opportunity.

She is a graduate of the 206th class of the renowned Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, a Master’s Certificate in Public Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a strong emphasis in Sociology and Psychology, and an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She is the recipient of both Management and Executive Certifications from the Nevada State Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission which are the highest certifications awarded to sworn personnel. Chief Freeman is a Certified Jail Manager, one of only eight in the State of Nevada.

Education and training are two of Freeman’s great passions. She leads by example in her commitment to developing the workforce, consistently educating herself and seeking opportunities to improve.