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Annual Professional Conference

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WithIt Annual Professional Conference for the Home and Furnishings Industries


June 24-26, 2019The Westin • Alexandria, Virginia




Denise Ryan, Firestar Speaking


Denise Ryan helps light the fires of enthusiasm so people can do great things.  She is an author, an MBA and a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), a designation of excellence held by less than 10% of professional speakers. 

Her programs have been heard by audiences across North America – clients include Hilton Hotels, IBM, and the US Department of Homeland Security.   


She recently made Meeting & Convention Magazine’s list of planners’ favorite speakers alongside Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Anderson Cooper. 


Ashley Feinstein Gerstley

The Fiscal Femme

  Ashley Feinstein Gerstley is an author, entrepreneur, and feminist who is on a mission to end inequality through financial well-being. She is the founder of the Fiscal Femme and the creator and author of the 30 Day Money Cleanse, which has helped thousands of people cultivate harmonious relationships with money and achieve their financial goals. 

Her consulting clients and keynote speaking audiences have included corporations, conferences and universities, including Pandora, StubHub, Hackensack Meridian Health, Guggenheim Partners, LinkedIn and the Wharton School, among others.

As a trusted money expert, she has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Glamour and Business Insider, among others.

Ashley has worked in the financial services industry for more than ten years: first as an investment banker, then in corporate finance and most recently running The Fiscal Femme. She graduated with a bachelor's in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

Retail Minded


Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of RetailMinded.com, a well-respected industry publication that has been recognized worldwide for its leading retail insight. With a core concentration on independent retailers and small businesses, Reyhle is a frequent guest and contributor to various media outlets that include The Today Show, Forbes and countless B2B publications. Additionally, Reyhle has been the Spokesperson for American Express’s Small Business Saturday since 2014 and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Reyhle writes regularly as a retail thought leader for various industry resources that include Entrepreuner.com and is recognized as a Top 10 out of 100 worldwide retail thought leaders from Vend and is a retail “futurist” for IBM. Finally, Reyhle is also the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Learn more about Reyhle at RetailMinded.com. 


Joan Kuhl

Why Millenials Matter


Joan Kuhl is an author, speaker, and unabashed champion of girls leadership and advancing women in the workplace. Through her international speaking engagements, research, and consulting she’s transformed the internal workings of some of the world’s largest corporations and institutions. Over the years Joan has launched and worked with over a dozen corporate women’s networks and intergenerational employee resource groups, as well stepping into a role as a #SheBelieves Champion for the U.S. Soccer Organization,
becoming a Contributor to ForbesWomen and serving on the boards for the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, and Girls Inc. of New York City.

Her expertise has been featured in the NY Times, Harvard Business Review, CNBC and Success Magazine. Joan is the author of 3 books: Dig Your Heels In (April 2019), Misunderstood Millennial Talent: The Other 91% and Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders. Joan earned her B.S.B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh and earned an MBA from Rutgers University where she studied global business strategies in Beijing and Shanghai, China.


Lorri Kelley

Lorri Kelley Advisors


Lorri Kelley is the CEO and Founder of Lorri Kelley Advisors, Inc., a strategic consulting firm dedicated to providing services and guidance to companies and individuals who are passionate and committed to achieving business excellence. Her company provides the foundation to equip, educate and empower professionals in all industries to achieve their goals and aspirations.

She has served a variety of companies within the furniture industry, most recently as the president of BDI. Lorri has also held executive roles for Palliser Furniture, Home Elements, the 26-store retail division of The Rowe Companies, and Wynwood Furniture. She began her career in the furniture industry in 1987 with Pennsylvania House Furniture to open dedicated company-owned stores starting in the Kansas City area.

Lorri proudly serves on the board of directors for City of Hope, home furnishings division, and National Home Furnishings Industry Anti-Defamation League. She is currently the vice president/president-elect for WithIt and was the recipient of the 2015 WOW Mentoring Award. Lorri resides in the Kansas City area. She has been married to her husband Keith for 36 years, and has sons, Matt and Andy.

    PreConference Workshop Speakers

Mayra Serrano, MPH, CHES

City of Hope


Mayra Serrano, MPH, CHES, is the Manager of Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education (CCARE) at City of Hope. Her work at CCARE focuses on community participatory interventions to reduce the risk and burden of cancer. She coordinates Eat, Move, Live – a program to prevent cancer and other chronic disease through better nutrition and physical activity. Mayra has been recognized for her work by California Senator Ed Hernandez and received his Women of the Year in Health Award for 2012. She co-published an article featured in the American Cancer Society book, “Cancer Disparities: Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions.”


Rosie Molinary


Rosie Molinary creates space and experiences for people to answer profound questions that lead to radical self-awareness, gentle self-acceptance, and nourishing self-care so they can connect with their talents and passions to authentically and intentionally live their purpose and help heal the world.  


The author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self Acceptance (Seal Press) and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina (Seal Press), Rosie serves as a national Dove Self-Esteem Project educator, offers workshops and retreats, and speaks on self-acceptance, body image, self-care, the Latina experience, non-profit management, and intentional living around the country. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and a BA in African-American Studies and Urban Education Issues from Davidson College.     


A committed activist, Rosie helped found HAMMERS, a non-profit initiative to provide emergency home repair for low income families in her community, and Circle de Luz, a non-profit that radically empowers young Latinas by supporting their transformation through extensive mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education.
    Breakout Speakers

Lori Dolnick

Frank Advertising

  Lori Dolnick is a 30+-year public relations and marketing professional. She has proven strategic management experience on global brands such as BLANCO, Poggenpohl, Tile of Spain and Therapedic International. She joined the noted home design agency Frank Advertising in 1995 and is currently Senior Vice President. Prior to Frank Advertising, Lori was a senior account manager for one of the world’s best-known brands at the Leo Burnett Company - McDonald’s. She has won numerous awards for her copy writing plus strategic execution of public relations and social media: 2x Winner of Golden Thinker, APEX and Telly. Lori also served as an adjunct marketing professor at Rider University and is currently the Director of the Marketing Advisory Board.

Deena Gardner


  Deena Gardner is Director of Marketing at Reverie, an innovative sleep-technology company specializing in helping people better lives through the power of great sleep.

With over 15 years of experience, she oversees the development and execution of the marketing strategy for both our consumer and wholesale channels. Deena hasworked in a variety of industries such as entertainment, automotive, retail, media, hospitality, and food including brands such as Paramount Pictures, Weight Watchers, YUM! brands, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Campbell's, Lincoln Mercury Dealer Association, and Ford Motor Company.

Deena's specialty is strategy, brand marketing and merchandising, advertising media strategy development and mobile marketing, consumer insights and business development.

Her favorite things include people watching, walking barefoot, listening to a good book and solo trips to Targets.

René Johnston-Gingrich

Profitability Consulting Group


Rene' Johnston-Gingrich, VP of Training Development for the Profitability Consulting Group--Rene' Johnston-Gingrich is a trainer and consultant specializing in training programs designed to support your mission, values and goals to ultimately increase profits. Rene’ owned and operated an interior design firm for 20 years and now works with organizations to ensure they have the best possible team environment. She delivers interior design, sales based and soft
skills training in a variety of environments, focusing on the home furnishings and design industries. Rene's enthusiastic delivery style engages participants and leaves them empowered with new skills and knowledge.

Rene' serves as a regular columnist for the Spokane Journal of Business, Catalyst Magazine and many of her articles have been featured in publications such as Furniture World. She worked as an adjunct faculty member of Lewis-Clark State College’s Business Division. Rene' has a Bachelor of Fine Arts
Degree in Interior Planning and Design and a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. She combines her business expertise and experience with her background in interior design to develop and deliver custom
training that is highly motivational, fast-paced, and interactive.


Alessandra Pecoraro

Furniture Branding

  Alessandra Pecoraro is a Brazilian born marketing and digital strategist with an MBA in Market Intelligence from ESPM. With over 7 years of experience in developing
and managing social media strategies for B2C and B2B companies, Alessandra has had the opportunity to work with one of the largest HR companies where she managed over 54 Twitter channels and spearheaded the #1 LinkedIn group
in Brazil. Furthermore, Alessandra has direct experience in working with B2B and B2C customer service crisis management departments – analyzing more than 2000 mentions per day. Alessandra’s passion lies in developing effective and measurable digital and social media strategies, as well as in the understanding of customer behavior and how it relates to the brand.

Jason Pires

Furniture Branding

  With a passion for culture and an untamable creative spirit, CEO and Creative Director Jason Pires has over 20 years experience developing and growing some of today's most innovative and influential lifestyle and luxury brands, including Netflix, Lexus, LA Times, Diesel and Universal. Since starting Furniture Branding (A division of MVC Agency) in 2008, Jason has worked with major furniture brands such as Abbyson Living, Seldens, Matter Brothers, Wesley Allen, and many others. Fluent in three languages and having worked with clients throughout the United States, South America, and Asia, his work has garnered numerous national and global awards.

David Sar

Brooks Pierce


David Sar, Intellectual Property attorney with Brooks Pierce in Greenboro, NC, counsels clients in nearly every area of intellectual property, and handles business transactions involving trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets and technology. He has handled the prosecution or maintenance of more than 2,500 trademark and copyright registrations, both within the United States and internationally.  

Among other honors and awards, he was named "Lawyer of the Year" for Greensboro for Litigation--Intellectual Property (2014), Trade Secrets Law (2017) and Trademark Law (2019) by Best Lawyers (formerly The Best Lawyers in America©). He also has been listed annually since 2008 in Best Lawyers for various fields including Intellectual Property, Patent Law, Trademark Law, and Trade Secrets Law, in North Carolina Super Lawyers for Intellectual Property Litigation.


Amanda Whorton

Brooks Pierce


Amanda Whorton, attorney with Brooks Pierce, has a diverse entertainment practice that includes matters related to television, film, music, radio, and publishing. As a former television producer for the Central Florida PBS station WUCF, Amanda co-produced the Emmy award-winning show “ONE” and received a 2013 Bronze Telly Award. Stemming from this background, Amanda has a passion for broadcasting and a deep understanding of the complex legal issues that entertainment clients face. Amanda counsels a variety of clients including artists, musicians, film and television producers, radio and television stations, record and publishing companies, new media companies, advertisers, DJs, authors, and other related ventures in nearly every area of entertainment law.

She represents clients on a wide variety of matters, including contract drafting and negotiation, licensing, copyright, trademark, litigation, intellectual property disputes, advertising, privacy, and formation and financing of entertainment companies.


DJ Alkimist


Kimberly Venetz, aka DJ Alkimist, is a DJ, musician, and music producer based out of Washington, DC, and New York City. You can catch her spinning everything from private parties to corporate events to special events to nightclubs. 

DJ Alkimist's clients include US Soccer, SpaceX, Tiffany & Co., W Hotels, DC's 107.3, The Washington Nationals, Microsoft, The Smithsonian, D.C. United, MGM, The ONE Group, The Washington Ballet, Nike, sweetgreen, Discovery Channel, Armani, Saks Fifth Ave, Diane von Furstenberg, DKNY, Hugo Boss, Neiman Marcus, Madewell, Kate Spade, Dupont Circle Hotel, Miss USA, Fashions Night Out, Elle Magazine, Nordstrom, Tom's Shoes, Michael Kors, TV5 Monde, American Bar Association, Corporate Executive Board, The Hamilton, Prudential, Salesforce, and Brooks Brothers. 

DJ Alkimist spins every week at DC's best clubs, including Soundcheck, U St. Music Hall, Heist, Tropicalia, Living Room, Lost Society, and Echostage. She has opened for such acts as Steve Angello, Wiz Khalifa, Cash Cash, Anevo, Au Revoir Simone, and Zella Day.

DJ Alkimist began her career in music and entertainment as a classically trained violist. She has studied under several well known teachers, including Paul Neubauer and Misha Rosenker. She also taught herself to play violin. She currently plays viola with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. She has sat first chair viola in dozens of symphonies, orchestras, and chamber groups, and has also played electric viola with an electric string trio and as a soloist. She competed as a viola soloist and won several recognitions


























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