In The City — 02 September 2016
Women leading change conference Sept. 14

By Robyn A. Friedman

City & Shore Magazine

Over 350 women — and some men, too — are expected to converge on the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 14 for the 4th Annual “Extraordinary Women Leading Change” leadership conference.

The conference, hosted by Fort Lauderdale-based GCI Worldwide Corp., will bring together top women executives from diverse backgrounds and industries to share their leadership strategies and encourage attendees to take positive steps toward their own career advancement.

This year’s speakers will include Giselle Cheminand, president and CEO of GCI Worldwide; Fabiola Brumley, Bank of America market president for Palm Beach County; Karen O’Byrne, CFO and COO of Modernizing Medicine; Susan Amat, founder and CEO of Venture Hive; and Rachel Zietz, founder and CEO of Gladiator Lacrosse. Mary Zalaznik, a senior vice president at Vitas Healthcare Corp., will be recognized for her leadership and will receive the Leading Change Award.

“I do executive coaching, both men and women, and I realized that women executives, even at the C-suite level, were way behind in terms of aspiring higher-level development, negotiating salaries for themselves and asking from the world more than they had at the moment,” Cheminand says.  “Men were in a completely different position. So I thought about how I could help more women to be aware that they can attain higher levels of leadership.”

Cheminand says that only about 4.6 percent of top companies are led by women — something she’s trying to change by empowering them.

This is the fourth year that GCI has hosted the event, and attendance has grown every year, from 150 in 2013 to 250 last year and more than 350 expected this year, Cheminand says.

In addition to listening to speaker presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to be coached and mentored at the event as well as to network with fellow attendees.

“Women don’t really take the opportunity to explore the high level possibilities that each one has inside of them,” Cheminand says. “At this event, they will be exposed to thought-provoking ideas and people who can help them grow, both personally and in business.”

The Extraordinary Women Leading Change conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. Breakfast and lunch are included. Tickets are $450; a portion of the proceeds benefits PACE Center for Girls.


 For more information about the Extraordinary Women Leading Change conference, call 954-522-4410 or visit  

Above: Giselle Cheminand speaking to the attendees.


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