Welcome and Opening Key Session
Caroline A. Wanga
Caroline A. Wanga is the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer (CEO) of ESSENCE, the No. 1 media, technology, and commerce company dedicated to Black women and communities. She also serves as Chief Growth Ofﬁcer for ESSENCE Ventures, parent company of ESSENCE. Wanga joined Essence Ventures, parent company of ESSENCE, as Chief Growth Ofﬁcer in 2020 from Target Corporation, where she served as Chief Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Ofﬁcer.
She began her Target career in supply chain, serving in a variety of transformational leadership roles, including modernizing Supply Chain, Business Intelligence, Digital and Strategy capabilities. Prior to that, she held several non-proﬁt roles. A self-proclaimed cultural architect with a passion for constructing, deconstructing, and reconstructing organizational culture, she champions authenticity and thrives while she inspires in innovative environments. With a background in corporate and community leadership, her career expands over several disciplines and capabilities including youth development, grant-writing, community organizing, supply chain, human resources, culture, and media.
Wanga has worked her way up from entry-level positions to the highest of senior leadership roles and is passionate about modeling what she teaches. Her “real-talk” delivery, witty thought leadership and unmitigated perspective on democratizing authenticity as a differentiator for individuals and organizations, make her a highly sought-after keynote speaker, equity strategist, thought leader, and community inﬂuencer. She unapologetically believes that who each person is, is non-negotiable and is often quoted saying, “Who you are is who you are. If you cannot be who you are where you are, you change where you are not who you are.”
Closing Key Session
Resiliency in the Midst of Uncertainty: Deploying Proven, Powerful Tools to Achieve Professional Success
Paul Krismer teaches the practical application of positive emotions to achieve corporate and personal excellence. He is the best-selling author of Whole Person Happiness: How to be Well in Body, Mind and Spirit. Krismer has a proven track record as an inspirational leader. For 20 years, he has served in senior management roles—overseeing hundreds of employees, multi-million-dollar projects, and cheerfully growing future leaders. As a Certified Executive Coach, Krismer is appreciated for his kind-hearted, yet relentless pursuit of the client's best life. Helping people to reach greater happiness and success is his trademark promise.
His authentic and passionate commitment to his subject matter shines through his work. Playful and captivating storytelling complements his intelligent and accessible presentation of the science of success. His teaching is powerful, authoritative, and convincing. At the same time, Krismer is exceptionally practical, providing tools that you and your advancement team can immediately use.