2022 Featured Speakers
DR. CHRISTY KANE
PsyD, CMHC, FYV Founder
Keynote: Trust & Power, Vulnerability, Voices Found Voices United, Where Do We Go From Here?
Dr. Christy Kane is CMHC (Clinical Mental Health Counselor), successful business owner, author, and media contributor. As an experienced industry leader, Dr. Kane explores brain-based ways to heal our minds and relationships. She has appeared on KSL, NPR, UCAP, TEDx Park City, and has been a keynote speaker at several local and national conferences—Utah School Counselors Association, BYU Women’s Conference, and the National Association of Resource Officers to name a few.
Throughout her community she conducts parent nights for local schools, commonly teaching kids and their parents about the effects of electronics on growing brains. Her recent release Fractured Souls & Splintered Memories: Unlocking the “Boxes” of Trauma delves into childhood trauma and empowering individuals to heal from past experiences to embrace positive mental health.
VP of NGO CSW Geneva
Keynote: Can Forgiveness and Boundaries Coexist?
Sister Carol F. McConkie served as first counselor in the Young Women General Presidency in The Church fo Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from April 2013 to March 2018. She was born in Spokane, Washington, USA. During her youth and childhood she lived in Delaware, New York, and Arizona, USA. She graduated from Arizona State University in English Education where she met her husband, Oscar W. McConkie III. They were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple and now have seven children and 33 grandchildren.
DR. SUSAN MADSEN
Dr. Susan R. Madsen is considered one of the top global scholars and thought leaders on the topic of women’s leadership, has authored or edited eight books, and has published hundreds of articles, chapters, and reports. Her research has been cited in the U.S. News and World Report, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Washington Post. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes and other local and state newspapers.
Professor Madsen is the Karen Haight Huntsman Endowed Professor of Leadership in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and serves on many nonprofit and community boards. She is also the Founding Director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, and her passion is to strengthen the impact of girls and women in Utah and worldwide.
Podcaster of I See You
Compassion & Connection Save Lives
Julie Lee is best known for her genuine nature as a speaker, podcaster, and friend. Branded as a shaker, she speaks boldly about the psychological battles she has fought inside. These experiences give her perspective and compassion for anyone who struggles to find purpose and meaning in life. In a world that craves authenticity, Julie’s podcast I See You has given hope and inspiration to thousands of listeners.
A former public school teacher, Julie received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University, with a minor in teaching English as a second language. Sharing her message that compassion and connection save lives continues to be one of the most meaningful adventures of Julie's life. She lives in Utah with her husband, Rob, and their two children, Samuel and Lydia.
Teacher & Writer
Meghan Decker is a writer, teacher, and gay Latter-day Saint. She is the co-author of Reaching for Hope: An LDS Perspective on Recovering from Depression. Her new book Tender Leaves of Hope: Finding Belonging as LGBTQ Latter-day Saint Women will be out in spring of 2022. She has also published in LDS Living, Meridian Magazine, and The Friend.
Meghan taught seminary and institute classes for thirteen years and most recently served in a YSA branch. Meghan and her husband David live in Michigan; they have five daughters and fifteen grandchildren.
Finding Your Voice, Owning Your Story
Amber Corkin is a DIY home and food blogger with a penchant for doing, not just dreaming. She earned a business marketing degree from Brigham Young University and worked in women’s fashion e-commerce before leaving to start her own business—The DIY Lighthouse. As a blogger, Amber has created content for household-name brands but also uses her platform to bring awareness to important topics like self-esteem and body image.
Amber loves chasing lofty goals (like that one time she bicycled coast-to-coast across the U.S.) and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, Jake, and their three young children.
REVEREND BRIGETTE WEIER
Love is the Foundation of Communities
Reverend Brigette Weier serves in Utah. She is passionate about how the love and grace of God transforms our lives and our communities. She has served in ELCA congregations in some capacity for over 20 years, in four different states. She was ordained in 2012 upon graduation from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.
Reverend Weier and her spouse, Mike, and are the proud parents of two young adult children, Kayla and Andrew. When they have the opportunity they love to hike and explore Utah’s beauty. Reverend Weier is an avid runner and you can find her pounding the pavement in the neighborhood each morning.
Managing Burnout In Our Lives Today
Dr. Gonca (sounds like Gonja) Soyer was born and raised in Turkey. She moved to the US more than a decade ago to pursue a graduate degree. She received her Master’s and PhD degree in Educational Psychology from University of North Texas. Since she relocated to Logan, UT with her husband and two kids, she’s been enjoying the snow and mountains as they remind her of her hometown.
Dr. Soyer is a faculty member at Utah State University’s Psychology Department and she has also been teaching SLCC as an adjunct instructor. She teaches psychology, family relationships, and child development related classes. Apart from teaching, Dr. Soyer serves as a board member to CAPSA (Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse). Gonca loves baking, hiking, and organizing road trips with her family.
Survivor & Author
The Path of Survivors
Shannon Symonds writes in an old house by the sea, where her 6 children, their children, and 30 or 40 of her closest relatives, and their dogs come and go constantly. She loves laughter, a good mystery, running on the beach, deep sea fishing, and bonfires. Her all-time favorite job at church was Girls Camp Activity Director.
Shannon worked for over 20 years as an Advocate serving survivors of abuse alongside law enforcement, as a home visitor supporting new mothers, and on other causes she is ridiculously passionate about. She will tell you, “Love sprinkled with laughter really is the answer, it always was, and it always will be.”
DIY-er, Blogger, & Small Business Owner
DR. GONCA SOYER
LCSW & Behavior Specialist
Super Parents, Super Children, Super Stressed—Parenting in 2022
Jessica Peterson, LCSW, received her Master’s degree in social work in 1999 from Brigham Young University. She has provided services for families and children as a therapist in private practice and LDS family Services, a behavior specialist, an adoption disruption clinician, a clinical director at a school for high-risk youth, and working with veteran families.
Jess teaches as an adjunct professor in a clinical social work program. In her spare time Jess loves to hang out with her kids. She enjoys paddle boarding on Minnesota's 10,000 lakes when they aren't frozen solid and hanging out at a horse rescue.
Lauren Gruwell was born in Southern Germany, on a US Military base, and was singing before she could talk. She won the Voice of Utah Competition and was an American Idol Finalist in the city of Seattle. She was selected to sing the national anthem at a Utah Jazz Game and has worked as a professional studio musician for various artists and composers throughout the state. She recorded her debut EP, and many singles, with an award-winning producer in Utah. Her music can be heard on FM 100.3, the sounds of Sunday.
Lauren has extensive involvement in the Miss America Organization. The titles she has held include, Miss Payson 2007, Miss UVU 2009, and Miss Utah County 2010. On the Miss Utah stage, Lauren won overall best interview out of 52 women and placed in the top ten. During her involvement in pageants, Lauren worked to bring awareness to suicide prevention. Lauren is passionate about mental health and has written music to bring greater awareness to this topic.
Lauren recently headlined at the KUTV Days of 47 concert at Abravanel hall. Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education through Utah Valley University. She later went on to earn her master’s degree in Education, with an emphasis in reading and literacy. Lauren currently resides in Salem with her husband and four children.
Blogger of Mrs. Lady Wordsmith
Lost, Alone, & Longing for Connection
Kerry Smith is a former editor and writer for the Ensign magazine, now the Liahona. A mother of two only children (10 years apart), she’s learned to be flexible with life goals and expectations. Kerry and her husband Cole enjoy exploring Utah with their family. Hiking, eating great food, and gathering with extended family and friends are absolute favorites.
Sharing clean reads and impactful books is one of Kerry’s passions. She frequently encourages others to be selective about what they put into their minds. Learn more at mrsladywordsmith.com.
DR. JENNIFER DOTY
PhD & Champion of Youth Development
Super Parents, Super Children, Super Stressed—Parenting in 2022
Dr. Jennifer Doty earned her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in Family Social Science with an emphasis on youth development and prevention. She has published over thirty scholarly articles, and her research is built around the idea that parent-child relationships are key leverage points for improving both parent and adolescent health and well-being.
Integrating faith and science to support families is a central theme of her work. A native of Chicago, she now calls sunny Florida home. In her spare time, Dr. Doty enjoys field work with her own three teenage and young adult children.