#BlogHer17 Agenda

Click here for Sessions-at-a-Glance
Day 1: Thursday, June 22, 2017
Time Event
3:00pm - 8:00pm Registration is Open
4:30pm - 6:00pm The #BlogHer17 Kick-Off Keynote, presented by HelloFlo

On Thursday June 22nd the BlogHer annual conference launches its new Health & Wellness theme with a frank and provocative conversation about women’s bodies, health, and rights, hosted by our sister SheKnows Media property, HelloFlo.

First, Starr Barbour the CEO of the StillGoing online meditation coaching service with begin with a Mindful Moment exercise of quiet reflection and meditation. 

We then move to our Passion to Profit panel featuring featuring three influencers who have built massive online audiences (and subsequently livelihoods) doing what they love best.

The conversation will be led by Tai Beauchamp, a veteran journalist, media personality and entrepreneur who is the founder of TheTaiLife.com. You may remember Tai as she was one of our judges at our very first Pitch competition at #BlogHer15.

She’ll be joined Anastasia Ashley, who parlayed being a professional surfer into a career as a model (including in Sports Illustrated) and ultimately an Instagram influencer with more than a million followers on that platform.

Finally, Gabi Gregg is known for making the transition from a style blogger who encourages women of all sizes and cultures to feel beautiful to the swimwear designer behind Gabi Fresh, whose collection has been featured in Glamour, Teen Vogue and on “Good Morning America”. It’s the dream trajectory for many a blogger, and she’ll be at #BlogHer17 to tell us all about how it happened. 

Look to hear authentic tales of starting out, starting to scale, and keeping their audiences engaged and integrity intact in all they do, including making a living.

Next, a conversation between Chelsea Clinton and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

Chelsea has already been passionate about issues in the health space, using her doctoral dissertation to examine the first decade of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. Today, health continued to be one of her focus areas: You may know she’s the Vice-Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works across programs to address major health issues like the opioid epidemic and childhood obesity.  Her focus on health has also led her to positions lecturing at the Columbia School of Public Health, as well as opportunities to serve on the boards of the Clinton Foundation’s affiliated Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHIA) - which works to expand access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications and services in the developing world, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation - a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, and the Weill Cornell Medical College.  Recently, Chelsea has also become a very vocal advocate for women’s health, women's rights and other social justice issues online…on Twitter she's known for her own sharp commentary, but as a gateway to other great sources of information. (She's @ChelseaClinton on Twitter)

Whether it’s ACA or the latest tax plan Planned Parenthood always seems to be at the center of political debate. While abortion continues to draw controversy even 44 years after the right to choose became the law of the land, today, the controversy has extended to one about women’s health more broadly. It seems everyone has an opinion about women’s access to contraception, preventive testing, and even the value of maternity care! While those conversations in Washington seem to be dominated by rooms full of men, we thought a room full of women deserved to hear the positions of Planned Parenthood on all of these issues, straight from the source. 

We can’t wait to hear Chelsea and Cecile discuss the politics, economics, and emotions that are intertwined with women’s health issues here and around the world.

From the political to the personal, HelloFlo presents “Between the Stirrups…”, part of our continuing mission to get us all comfortable with our bodies, with sex, and with not only being positive and empowered women when it comes to our bodies and health, but raising the next generation to be positive and empowered too. HelloFlo founder and SheKnows Senior Vice President Naama Bloom will lead what is guaranteed to be an enlightening chat (and maybe a slightly wild one) because she is joined by none other than comedian, actress, activist Margaret Cho and television sexpert Logan Levkoff (who spoke on BlogHer’s very first panel about sex back at BlogHer ’06!!!).

6:00pm - 8:00pm Evening at the Expo
Day 2: Friday, June 23, 2017
Time Event
7:00am - 6:00pm Registration is Open
7:30am - 8:30am Newbie Breakfast

This breakfast is intended to orient our first-time attendees at the conference, and hopefully set and manage some expectations. We will walk you through the agenda, discuss our sponsors and how to engage with them and as a special treat we have invited Jacqueline M. Baker to host. As an entrepreneur, author and connoisseur of hosting and entertaining, Jacqueline M. Baker is a leader in etiquette and protocol in the role of founder and principal consultant at Scarlet Communications. Jacqueline uses her expertise to ensure that individuals and organizations were equipped with modern etiquette to increase confidence, ensure preparedness, and grow relationships and careers.

At the Newbie Breakfast, Jacqueline will help you prepare for the 2.5 days of #BlogHer17 with tips and advice on how to make the most of your experience.

7:45am - 9:00am Breakfast
8:30am - 9:30am Welcome & Morning Keynote presented by Hilton: BadAss News Media Voices

We are please to officially welcome Andréa Richardson from Hilton as our sponsor for this Welcome and Morning Keynote.

Ananda Leeke, Founder, Digital Sisterhood Network as well as a yoga and reiki teacher, will lead us in our Mindful Moments exercises to start the day.

We will hear from Spotlight Talk presenter Gina Pell, serial entrepreneur, elaborate on her philosophy that there is a totally age-agnostic generation of people called Perennials.

Our Keynote this morning features Ana Navarro and Joy Reid - two huge news commentators who also happen to know exactly how to leverage social media to get their views distributed to an even wider audience.  We expect an intense conversation about the influence and impact of news media in today’s landscape…especially the importance of women’s voices in that media. 

Moderating this amazing conversation is the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor of The Daily Beast, John Avlon.  He is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America and Washington’s Farewell:The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations. He won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012

Ana Navarro is a CNN, ABC, and Telemundo analyst and a Republican strategist.  Her Twitter bio provides a good intro to Ana’s background and her sense of humor: “Nicaraguan by birth. American by choice. Miamian b/c God loves me.” As does the final line of her official bio: “She lives in Miami, FL with a high-maintenance Hispanic man. She has no children or pets, and her plants tend to shrivel and die. She has no hobbies or activities, requiring significant attention span or physical exertion.”

But in addition to the humor, Ana delivers incisive, blunt commentary on current affairs, with exactly zero qualms about speaking truth to power, even within her own party.

Her political bona fides are significant: She served in Gov. Jeb Bush's Transition Team and Administration. In 2001, she served as Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. She was the National Hispanic Co-Chair for John McCain’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. She has advised numerous Federal and State campaigns in Florida and nationally. In 2012, she served as National Hispanic Co-Chair for Gov. Jon Huntsman’s Presidential Campaign.

Joy Reid is a political analyst for MSNBC where she hosts “AM Joy” (weekends 10AM-12PM ET), which brings viewers in-depth interviews with leading newsmakers, perspective on the critical political stories shaping the election season and beyond, plus compelling discussions with America’s preeminent political minds. “AM Joy” has been on fire. Only launched last May, it has already delivered MSNBC their biggest total view audience in that time period ever. Joy is also incredibly vocal on Twitter about the current administration and has no qualms about calling anyone - and everyone - out on their behavior.

Joy is also the co-author of We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama and author of the book Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide. She was previously managing editor of theGrio.com and is a current columnist for The Daily Beast.

In other words, she has been a bad-ass woman in media for a long time, both online and on air.

This is surely a conversation not to be missed!

9:45am - 11:00am Live Broadcasting and Storytelling Platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live, & More

More and more of us are creating daily stories for our curated audiences using Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live. Is one platform better than the others?

Attendees will learn:

  • Which platforms work best for your content
  • How to use Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Instagram Stories to build community and engagement
  • How to leverage each platform to network and connect with potential collaborators


Ms. Candy Blog, Klout’s #1 Female Livestreaming Geek & Award Nominated YouTuber

Kim Garst, Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers

You CAN Travel the World Right Now, Regardless of Your Circumstances

Travel can be mind blowing, barrier breaking and life changing, but many of us wait to travel because we don’t think we can do it. The idea that traveling is prohibitive or expensive isn’t completely true. There are many ways for you to travel without breaking the bank and fulfill your lifelong dream of seeing the world. But traveling free (or almost free) does require advance planning and a willingness to seize opportunities and be open to serendipity. In this session, you'll learn some of the best ways to travel, and how to get started.

Attendees will learn:

  • Ways to travel inexpensively and travel hacks to make the experience more fulfilling
  • How traveling can enrich your life, and why you should do it
  • How to find free lodging and food simply by networking with people in different countries
  • How to simplify your life before you start traveling


Mona Darling, blogger and women's empowerment coach at VivaYourRevolution

Stephanie Flor, Founder of Beauty and Travel blog AroundTheWorldBeauty.com

Natasha Nicholes, blogger, gardener and traveler at Houseful of Nicholes

Oneika Raymond, writer and serial expat at Oneika the Traveller

Trendwatch in Health, Fitness, Wellness, and Nutrition

Plant-based or Paleo? Mindfulness vs. Meditation. Cannabis for Chronic Fatigue. And so much more. The health & wellness space is constantly evolving, as new discoveries are made, as regulations and laws change, and as social mores shift. If you’re writing about health, wellness, food, fitness, or simply how to lead a more balanced life across all these dimensions, this panel will give you insight into the latest trends that experts in these fields are tracking, and the different styles of helping your audience integrate these trends into their lives.

Attendees will learn:

  • The latest trends that are intriguing a variety of experts in the health and wellness field
  • How to vet sources for new scientific information
  • How to be a positive motivator for your audience
  • The different styles of goal-setting and achievement that your audience likely adopts and how to craft content for these styles


Catherine Enny, Founder of Guerrilla Management

Ashley Koff RD, Dietitian, nutrition advocate, and author

Ananda Leekeauthor, digital strategist, yoga and reiki teacher

Tanya Steel, James Beard Award-winning author and Editorial Director of Clean Plates

Latham Thomas, wellness maven, doula and founder of Mama Glow

Storytelling Your Way to Healing and Support

Your life story matters—and no one can tell it the way you do. But how do you mine all your experiences and share in a way that promotes healing for you and others? Learn how storytelling plays a role in helping us redefine ourselves and our personal brand.

Attendees will receive:

  • Guidance on mining your personal stories to combat shame and encourage personal transformation
  • Ways to maximize the emotional impact your personal essays can have on your audience
  • Suggestions for using your words to weave a common thread of unity through your communities


Elayna Fernandez, writer and digital strategist at The Positive MOM

Tracey Michae'l Lewis Giggetts, 40ish, unapologetically Black, Jesus-loving and creative.

Allison Kenny, Co-Founder, Spotlight: Girls

Kristin Shaw, expert wordsmith, Co-Producer of Listen to Your Mother - Austin, TX

Brands and Bloggers Working Together In the Food Vertical

As the food industry and the online world continue to merge, understanding how to align yourself with brands is tantamount.  What do you need to know to begin to foster these relationships? In the digital world, collaboration is key.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to connect with and demonstrate your value proposition to your dream brand
  • The different ways your blog can engage and collaborate with a brand
  • The business of working with brands: communication, compensation models, and campaign management


Mary Beth Brault, Group Manager, Corporate Communications, Hamilton Beach

Angela Chambliss, Director of the Best Buy Blogger Network

Julie Deily, food photographer and blogger at The Little Kitchen

Erica Dermer, humorist at Celiac and the Beast

Christine Pittman, senior editor and founder of TheCookful.com

Danielle Wiley, CEO of Sway Group

The Standard of Success: Making the Most of Your Ad Inventory presented by IAB

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has been publishing advertising standards for the digital advertising industry for more than two decades, but advertising technology is constantly evolving. Join IAB Faculty member Kara Dempsey to learn how to boost your ad revenue in 2017 through the right placement types, ad formats and page design for your unique content. This interactive session will cover concepts like responsive design, the new 2017 IAB Ad Portfolio industry standards, boosting your content offering with audience data, viewability and ad blocking.

Attendees will walk away understanding:

  • How to maximize ad dollars from advertisers targeting niche audiences.
  • How to incorporate the best new ad formats and latest digital trends.
  • How ad blockers are changing the advertising landscape, and what you can do about it.


Kara Dempsey, Founder / White Owl Training & Consulting


This session is presented by IAB Education Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. It was formed to tackle to two prominent issues in the industry; a growing talent and skills gap, and lack of gender, racial, cultural, and economic diversity. In response, the IAB Education Foundation and its iDiverse initiative launched a Digital Advertising Program to provide job-seekers with insight into the industry ecosystem and to arm them with the necessary skills to excel in entry-level positions. We are committed to building a diverse digital talent pipeline and changing how diversity is perceived and rewarded within organizations.

11:15am - 12:30pm Best Practices for Creating Multiple Online Income Streams

The concept of revenue diversification, having multiple income streams, is not rocket science—but it's easier said than done. This session features folks sharing what they do, what they charge, and how to unearth your own unique revenue streams.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to think more creatively about your skills, expertise, and assets in order to create new products and services you can monetize
  • The concept of "buy vs. build vs. partner" to help scale your business more quickly and fruitfully, even if you’re a one-woman (or one-man) show


Lain Ehmann, online entrepreneur, best-selling author, secret superhero

Arsha Jones, e-commerce empire builder, mentor at BuildBrandSell.com

Lorraine C. Ladish, author and midlife content creator at Viva Fifty!

Kathy Cano Murillo, founder of CraftyChica.com, writer, artist

Improve Your Video Skills and Production Value

If you're looking to expand your reach, collaborate with brands, drive traffic, gain followers, or increase your CPMs, video is the way to go. What do you need to know to create high-quality and compelling video, even if you’re a one-person shop? What type of content works best on YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms? This session will teach that and more.

Attendees will learn:

  • What to incorporate in brand collaboration videos to elevate your own content and personal brand
  • How GIFs, cinemagraphs, Boomerangs, and slideshows can take your collaborations to the next level
  • Video best practices, and how to decrease filming and editing time


Deva Dalporto, viral video creator at My Life Suckers

Ashlee Marie Prisbrey, cake decorator, blogger, and YouTuber at ashleemarie.com

Jenn de la Vega, Editor, author, GIF enthusiast, and chef at Randwiches

Transformation is Ageless

Did you know it’s never too late to transform yourself? Whether you are 25 or 55, age is not a factor when it comes to changing your life path. Determination, an internal desire to make external changes, and understanding that success can be found in conquering fears are the first steps on the road to transformation.  In this discussion, the panelists will share how they have confronted the challenges women face and how they reinvented themselves both personally and professionally. It all starts from the inside.

Panelists will share:

  • Stories of internal transformation that led to external transformation
  • How to turn dreams in to reality
  • Pushing back stereotypes and assumptions that impact women at any age


Debbie Bookstaber, digital marketer and CMO of Hashtracking.com

Sarah Brokaw, psychotherapist, host of podcast, "Shared Secrets"

Kuae Mattox, Editorial Producer, CNN

Gina Pell, Co-Founder of THE WHAT

How to Navigate Mental Health Issues Online and Offline

This session will address mental health awareness and the challenges women face when sharing our stories. You'll hear from people about how they're navigating living with mental health challenges, and learn how you can support the people you know who are suffering from mental health issues.

Attendees will be given:

  • Mental health resources and ways to find support
  • Strategies for helping someone when you see a message of distress online, and when you should intervene
  • How the online space provides a lot of opportunities, and how to stay safe where there is a lack of safety


Tarrant Figlio, blogger and community manager

Jen James, founding Supervisor at Crisis Text Line

Dior Vargas, Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist

Kimberly Zapata, mom and mental health advocate at Sunshine Spoils Milk


Fork to Phone: Using Mobile Apps to Create Visual and Social Content

Create your own video and photography pocket studio by leveraging the apps and features of your smartphone.  In this discussion, you will learn the best practices for building your online food presence using only the technology of the smartphone and social media.

Attendees will receive:

  • How to use your iPhone to create high-quality recipe videos
  • The best apps and tools to make your social platforms bright, vibrant and mouth-watering
  • Leveraging the latest mobile technology to create unique, engaging content for social including boomerangs, gifs and social media "stories"


Adrianna Adarme, author and recipe developer at A Cozy Kitchen

Skyler Bouchard, foodie media personality at Dining with Skyler

Julie Deily, food photographer and blogger at The Little Kitchen

Nicole Young, author and photographer at Nicolesy

12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch presented by Walt Disney World Pandora - World of Avatar (Doors open 12:15)
1:00pm - 2:15pm Lunch Keynote

As an added bonus, John Avlon returns to the #BlogHer17 stage for a Spotlight Talk about his book, "Washington's Farewell:  The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations".  He'll share how his book is relevant to the current landscape - and even a nod to Broadway's "Hamilton".

Immediately following, will be the incomparable, Serena Williams.

As part of this keynote Serena will be unveiling a new cause to which she’s turning her prodigious attention, but also talking about the various philanthropic efforts and causes she has been both spearheading and supporting for years now.

Add to that her evolving life as an entrepreneur who has launched several businesses and recently joined the board of a Silicon Valley tech company, and Serena is the epitome of following one’s passions and applying the same focus and intensity to all areas of one’s life.

Serena is a true icon, and an inspiration in many more ways than one, and we can’t wait to learn more about what drives her today, when she has already achieved so much.

Samantha Skey, President of SheKnows Media will sit down with Serena for what we are sure to be a fantastic conversation!

Luvvie Ajayi has been a BlogHer attendee and speaker almost every year since 2010. Whether talking about digital strategy or using her platform to do good via her charity The Red Pump Project, Luvvie has been a steady presence willing to share her knowledge and her experiences. Fast forward seven years, and Luvvie’s career has blown up. New York Times Best Selling book. TV show based on the book in development with none other than television goddess Shonda Rhimes. On every “it” list, from Oprah’s Super Soul 100 to Essence Magazine’s Woke 100. If you were parachuted into the LuvvNation in 2016 you probably thought this was some kind of meteoric overnight success, but Luvvie has been working her vision (and her butt off) for a decade.

BlogHer Co-Founder Elisa Camahort Page will sit down with Luvvie and ask her all about what she thinks paved the way for the kind of year she is having. And knowing Luvvie, this conversation will be filled with humor, inspiration, motivation, and actionable takeaways.

2:30pm - 3:45pm Top Legal and Tax Issues for Your Small Business

A series of Lightning Lessons help you get a better grasp on the top legal and tax issues that small business owners face, even when it's not your primary livelihood. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable, and don’t leave money on the table!

Attendees will learn:

  • A quick guide to different business structures and the right questions to ask when deciding which to take on for your business
  • How to take control by improving your understanding of rules and regulations applicable to online and offline businesses, including typical contractual terms, copyright, trademarks, and FTC disclosure rules
  • The right questions to ask when hiring a tax preparer, and how to properly document small business expenses


Ruth Carter, licensed attorney, author and blogger

Crystal Colon, small business tax expert

Tyra Hughley Smith, small business attorney and Founder, BarrisTourista

Hands-On Podcasting Lesson: Record, Edit and Post a Mini Podcast

Podcasting is a fun way to share more of your personality with your audience, but the learning curve can be steep at the beginning. In this session, speakers will record, edit, and upload a mini podcast to show you just how easy it is to get started. This hands-on approach will take away the fear and give you the confidence to create your own show.

Attendees will experience:

  • A mini podcast episode created live in the session, including set-up, recording, editing and uploading
  • The opportunity to discuss growing an audience before and during your launch, as well as how to start monetizing your podcast


Winter Redd, pharmacist and food podcaster at Hungry Squared

Sharon Titus, home cook and food podcaster at Hungry Squared

The Power of Private Facebook Groups

There is power in Facebook groups, and they are becoming increasingly popular as a tool to organize communities. Facebook Groups are where the action is at, and this panel brings together speakers who know how to build and maintain vibrant online community.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to harness Facebook groups to reach like-minded people who share your passions
  • What types of activism and organizations work best with Facebook groups, and how to create one that makes an impact
  • The different layers of privacy offered by Facebook Groups, and what to watch out for as Facebook terms of service change


Cassandra Cummings, founder of The Stocks & Stilettos Society

Tamara Holt, activist and founder of Wise Women for Clinton

Brandi Riley, founder of Courage to Earn community, SheKnows Social Media Manager

Caregiving, Including How to Integrate Self-Care Into Your Mix of Responsibilities

Do you find yourself in the exclusive club often referred to as the “sandwich generation,” caring for yourself, aging parents, and a family of your own? Panelists will share your experiences of juggling the multiple responsibilities of being a caregiver to many—and why self-care is not a buzzword, but a true lifeline.

Attendees will learn:

  • Ways to balance multiple responsibilities of parenting, work, caregiving, etc.
  • Resources for how to best support your aging parents and marshal the rest of the family to help
  • What self-care is—and why it is not a luxury but a necessity
  • Suggestions and strategies about how to start a mindfulness practice and how to establish personal and professional boundaries that people respect


Melanie Edwards, digital entrepreneur and writer at modernmami.com

Graeme Seabrook, self-care coach and writer at PostpartumMama

Iris Waichler, patient advocate, social worker and author

The Future of Food Blogging: Tweens and Teens Cooking Online

Meet the next generation of foodies who are shaking up the online food world.  From parent-child food blogs to MasterChef Junior, these pint-sized foodies are a force to be reckoned with.

Attendees will experience:

  • Meet the generation of taste making talent who are shaking up the food industry
  • How they are balancing their lives as kids with their burgeoning food careers
  • How to break in to the food industry, regardless of your age


Toby Bloomberg, digital strategist and Co-Founder of Diva Foodies

Zac Kara, celebrity cook and television personality

Sage Price, passionate culinary adventure blogger at Sage Loves 2 Eat

Haile Thomas, youth activist and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Powering Up Your Business For Success: A Discussion on Becoming a Business Magnate presented by Intern Queen

Learn how to turn your big idea into a thriving business. In this session, our audience will hear from entrepreneurs who are shaking things up in their respective fields and how they built their businesses from the ground up. Our panelists will discuss how to get on track, stay focused, and make money! As these ladybosses will confirm, you are never too young to start powering up your business for success.

Takeaways include:

  • The benefits of working with a partner versus going it alone
  • How to know when it’s time to turn your side hustle into your main gig
  • The most effective strategies for networking to grow your business
  • The roadblocks you will inevitably face and how to overcome them
  • Three unexpected things nobody tells you about being an entrepreneur (the good, the bad AND the ugly)


Lauren Berger, CEO and Founder of Intern Queen

Esosa Ighodaro, Co-Founder and President of CoSign

Jeanette Johnson, Creator of J's Everyday Fashion

Ilene Lieber, Owner of Passion PR Consulting


3:45pm - 4:15pm Expo Break 3:45-4:15
4:30pm - 6:00pm Voices of the Year Community Keynote

Each year, we recognize a special group of content creators as our official BlogHer Voices of the Year. Of the honorees, a small group will be selected to share their work onstage during the Community Keynote session that closes out the day on Friday, June 23, 2017. Joining our honorees on stage this year as the VOTY emcee will be the incredible Janet Mock.

6:00pm - 7:00pm Voices of the Year Reception
7:00pm - 9:00pm Open Mic
Day 3: Saturday, June 24, 2017
Time Event
7:45am - 5:00pm Registration is Open
8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast
9:00am - 10:15am Saturday Morning Keynote

We have an exciting and jam-packed morning on Saturday!

Latham Thomas, Doula, and Founder of MamaGlow and GlowMaven will start the day with our Mindful Moment.  Latham loves helping women embrace optimal wellness and spiritual growth as a pathway to owning their power.

Next up:  #ThePitch:  Live presented by Mail Chimp! 


Now in its 3rd year, #ThePitch is a platform and video series launched by SheKnows Media to elevate, connect and coach female entrepreneurs. #ThePitch will take place live at #BlogHer17, where women business owners and founders will give a pitch to a high-profile panel of judges and an audience of content creators, social media influencers, entrepreneurs, industry luminaries and brand executives.

Emcee, Ruma Bose is a successful business executive, entrepreneur, humanitarian leader, and former president of the Chobani Foundation and Chobani Ventures. Her opening remarks will be drawn from her best-selling book Mother Teresa, CEO, which explores unexpected lessons in leadership she learned as a volunteer with Mother Teresa’s mission.

Ruma will then be joined onstage by our panel of judges to conduct a Q&A with and thoughtful critiques, support, and challenging questions to push these women to reach their utmost potential.  This year’s Pitchers will face questions from this panel of expert judges:

The rock star women founders pitching in this year’s competition are:

  • Esosa Ighodaro, Co-Founder of CoSign, a platform that allows users to earn money by turning their photos into digital storefronts.
  • Lynn Johnson, Co-Founder and CEO of Spotlight:Girls, which produces the Go Girls! Camp and celebrates and activates girls and women through multi-media learning experiences, products and events.
  • Jeanne Lewis, CEO and Founder of Capsure, a mobile app for capturing, collaborating and sharing personal moments from the past, present and future in a private space.
  • Yasmine Mustafa, Founder of ROAR for Good, which works to prevent sexual violence through fashionable accessories.

As in years past, the winner of The Pitch at #BlogHer17 will be determined by a combination of the rankings from the judges as well as the popular vote of #BlogHer17 attendees. The winner will receive a year-long marketing, media, and promotional support package valued at $50,000 from SheKnows Media.

#WinningWomen: Passion and Perseverence

Immediately following #ThePitch, we will feature a keynote with world-renowned athletes focused on the important role female athletes play as an inspiration to women and girls, how playing sports can influence self-esteem and future success, and how we can all use the passion and perseverance of an athlete to achieve peak performance in other areas of our lives. Learn how these athletes use their considerable social media reach and influence for good.

Moderator Donna Orender is a former All America and Professional basketball player, executive for the PGA Tour and WNBA President. Donna is now CEO of Orender Unlimited a business consulting company and founder of GENERATION W, a platform dedicated to connecting, inspiring and educating women and girls.  Donna's opening remarks will share her thoughts on the discipline of an athlete lives within us all.

Laurie Hernandez is an Olympic gymnast and Gold medalist. Since bringing home the Gold and Silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Laurie has gone on to win the “Dancing with the Stars” Season 23, and her first book titled “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” chronicling her journey thus far will be published in January 2017.

Gabrielle Reece is a world-renowned athlete, TV personality, New York Times bestselling author, model, wife and mother. The former professional beach volleyball player was Nike's first female spokeswoman.

Dani Rylan is the Founder and Commissioner of the National Women’s Hockey League. Rylan launched the NWHL in April of 2015 with aspirations of growing the landscape of women's hockey across the globe.

Jessi Miley-Dyer is the Women’s Commissioner for the World Surf League (WSL), which is the worldwide sanctioning organization for men’s and women’s professional surfing. She is charged with upholding the integrity of the sport and manages all aspects specific to the women’s tour.

It's an exciting morning packed with powerhouse women - don't miss it!

10:30am - 12:00pm 5 Strategies to Unleash the Power of Your Personal Brand

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and creators all need to learn how to identify and articulate their unique value in a crowded marketplace. Knowing who you are matters most. Communicating it clearly is nearly as important. And finding outlets to tell your story is key.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to understand your unique value, and the unique differentiators of your product or service
  • The primary tools for positioning yourself as a credible expert, build your personal brand and create effective digital thought leadership
  • Strategies for maximizing your personal brand both on and offline, including how to build a reputation as a source for journalists


Beth Blecherman, journalist and entrepreneur at TechMamas.com

Kelly Burton, founder of social impact form Nexus Research Group

Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe, strategic digital marketing executive, Social Espionage, LLC

Gianelle Veis, entrepreneur, brand builder and Founder of The Opportunista

SEO: Conquering Search Engine Algorithms

Wouldn’t you like to know how certain people are getting to the top of Google search results? Is there a secret formula that only they know? In this no-holds-barred session, you'll learn about the common mistakes that could be tripping you up and keeping your search engine rankings lower than they could be. You'll gain the knowledge you need to boost your rankings organically and get your site seen.

Attendees will walk away with:

  • Tips and tricks for conquering the Google algorithm and increasing the chances of your blog being discovered online
  • A list of tools and DIY tips you can implement right away
  • Search engine trends and current ranking signals through case studies


Chloe Spencer, SEO and online marketing specialist

Stephan Spencer, internationally recognized SEO expert, consultant, and bestselling author

Activism for the Part-time Revolutionary: How to Make a Real Impact

We've seen the meme of Kermit the Frog typing furiously on the typewriter in response to online commentary. Has this been you when something stirs the activist in you? How do you channel your passion online and offline so that your activism has tangible impact?  This session will kick off with a look at the iconic “Love Has No Labels” campaign, with 164M views (and counting) it is the 2nd most viewed social activism video of all time. Then, you'll hear from people who are using social platforms effectively to spark conversations that bring about change, and make a measurable difference.

Attendees will learn and discuss:

  • Productive pathways to channel strong feelings, including rage, and how to determine what makes sense to post
  • Methods to make a difference, such as petitions and other calls to action to your community, and a discussion of what has really changed as a result of using such methods
  • How to determine where you allocate your support so its impact isn't diluted


Meg Rushton, VP, Brand & Communications, The Ad Council


Carolyn Gerin, strategic brander and co-founder of Cannawise.co

Erica Mauter, candidate for the Minneapolis City Council

JJ Ramberg, MSNBC host and co-founder of Goodshop

Jamia Wilson, executive direction of Women, Action & the Media, feminist media activist, and storyteller

Modern Love: Blended Families, Fluid Identities, and Digital Intimacies

This conversation will explore how blended relationships, gender roles, and sexual orientation have changed and continue to evolve. You will also learn how social media has impacted relationships, especially when people tend become more intimate with people online than with their partner.

Attendees will discuss:

  • Different kinds of modern relationships, and how people are learning to prioritize their blended families
  • How children change the dynamic of love relationships, and how couples are navigating this
  • How the concept of fluid gender and orientation identities is not just a phenomenon among millennials


Jasmine Banks, Black queer femme mental health activist

Sarah Brokaw, psychotherapist, host of podcast, "Shared Secrets"

Amy Choi, Editorial Director, The Mash-Up Americans

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of Cookbook Publishing

Today, cookbook publishing extends far beyond simply binding a collection of recipes together.  Here, experts from each facet of the cookbook publishing process come together to discuss the inevitable good, bad and ugly parts of the experience.

Attendees will receive:

  • The Recipe for Success:  All the elements that go into building your best cookbook from recipe development to food styling and photography
  • How to stand out among the masses:  creating a compelling cookbook proposal
  • Alternate publishing approaches and how to know what route is best for you


Shaun Chavis, Founder of The Cookbook Course

Doris Cooper, VP, Associate Publisher, Clarkson Potter/Random House

Babette Pepaj, Founder of BakeSpace.com and TECHmunch

Kathy Strahs, cookbook author and founder of indie publisher Burnt Cheese Press

Nicole Taylor, multimedia food storytelling and author

12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
12:45pm - 1:45pm Saturday Lunch Keynote

Today's lunch keynote conversations will feature those who are walking their walk towards making the world a better place, and sharing with us how those actions have changed them personally.

The State of Women and Girls, sponsored by Vagisil

We’ll open with Vagisil CEO, Keech Combe-Shetty, a third generation business leader in women’s health. Women’s bodies have long been politicized, with even the anatomical names for our bodies being deemed offensive. Keech is encouraging women and men to remove the stigma and have real, candid conversations about our bodies and their needs. Forty years ago, her grandparents created Vagisil, and today, she’s the CEO. Like her grandparents, she’s shameless about vaginal health. Because back when they first created Vagisil, most women suffered in silence about the common vaginal health issues all of us face and decades later not enough has changed.

Actor, author, producer, and activist Maria Bello has focused her energies on global women’s rights for thirty years. She was voted one of Variety magazine’s most powerful women in Hollywood for her activism with women in Darfur. Maria also traveled to Kosovo during the war to interview women about the genocide and sexual violence against them and lobbied congress to organize the first ever hearing on rape as a weapon of war. She started a women’s clinic in Haiti and holds the title of Ambassador at Large for the women in Haiti. She has spoken at the State Department on women and social business and at the UN on women in media. She is also a ReFrame Ambassador for Women in Film to work towards gender parity in the entertainment industry. Her films in production center on women and diverse voices. For example, Maria is currently producing a VR piece and 2D documentary about an all female militia fighting ISIS.

Yasmeen Hassan is the Global Executive Director of Equality Now, an organization that has been is using the law for 25 years to protect and promote human rights for women and girls around the world. Their motto is that “legal change means social change…and it works”. Prior to joining Equality Now, she was with the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women where she worked on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Secretary-General’s study on violence against women. She has served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Advisory Board on Child Marriage, provided expert guidance to the U.N. Trust to End Violence Against Women, and advocates for women’s rights through appearances in numerous media outlets, including CNN, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Yasmeen holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School where, among other subjects, she studied Islamic law and women’s rights. For Yasmeen, the law makes a critical difference; it is a statement of your worth as a citizen and influences the direction your life will take. Growing up in Pakistan, her defining moment came at age 10 when her country’s laws were ‘Islamacized’ treating women as second class citizens. Advocating for women’s rights became a major part of Yasmeen’s education and career, ultimately leading her to author the first study of domestic violence in Pakistan which became the nation’s submission to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

Maria and Yasmeen, two warriors for women will talk about the real change they’ve seen, the tactics that have been most effectively…and how they prioritize the work that remains to be done.

Cat Cora and Carla Hall

Next, a little something for the foodie fan in all of us as celebrity chef's Cat Cora and Carla Hall sit down together and chat about keeping it real as a women in the "industry", the illusion of balance, and what it takes to make the tough decision to live your values in the world today.

Carla Hall, is a co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew,” seated alongside restaurateurs and “Iron Chef America” stars Mario Batali and Michael Symon, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly and health and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz. Hall is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars”, where she won over audiences with her fun catch phrase, “Hootie Hoo” and her philosophy to always cook with love. As you may remember, she  joined us last Fall in Austin for #BlogHerFood16, moderating a wonderful keynote discussion about how long it takes to achieve “overnight” success (a theme we will be re-visiting this year with another keynote speaker Luvvie Ajayi, by the way). We were hungry for more from Carla (pun intended)! 

Cat Cora, is a world-renowned chef, author, restaurateur. contributing editor, television host and personality, actress. avid philanthropist. health and fitness expert, lifestyle entrepreneur and proud mother of six.  Cat continues to be a leader in her industry as she masterfully synchronizes her award-winning talents with mainstream accessibility, all while she evolves into a space beyond the culinary world.  She brings her own tales of highs and lows to the conversation, as she and Carla dish (again with the puns!) and compare notes on their respective journeys.

We are looking forward to hearing from this amazing group of strong women who are not only living their values every day, but are working to make change both at home and abroad.


2:00pm - 3:30pm Book Publishing Today: Self-Publishing and Hybrid Publishing Are the New Normal

There are more ways than ever to bypass the traditional publishing landscape to get your books published. When is a traditional publisher route the way to go? What are the differences between hybrid publishing and self-publishing, and what are the best options for the intrepid author/entrepreneur?

Attendees will discover:

  • New tools that democratize the publishing space for all writers
  • When the traditional route may still make a big difference, despite the easy ways to bypass it
  • Platforms for hybrid and self-publishing for authors looking to bypass traditional publishing


David Henry Sterry, author, educator and co-founder of The Book Doctors

Jessica Stierhealthy dessert recipe blogger at Dessert With Benefits

Alessandra Torre, novel writer and self publishing advocate

Productivity and Planning: Bullet Journals, Vision Boards, the Latest Apps and More

As busy multi-hyphenates working across an ever-increasing suite of tools, apps, and platforms, we can all feel overwhelmed trying to keep up

Attendees will explore:

  • Different approaches and tools for organizing your life
  • Uncovering your personal organizational style, whether you love a task list or can’t take one step until you’ve made a vision board.
  • Which tools are best suited to each styles


Susanna Barbee, coffee lover, bullet journal devotee and freelance writer at Zealous Mom

Danielle Faust, wellness coach and empire builder at OK Dani

Sili Recio, storyteller and lover of spreadsheets and pivot tables at My Mamihood

100 Million Views and Counting: Secrets to Building Huge Facebook Traffic

Do you want to crush it on Facebook? How can one video drive major traffic to your site? In this session, you'll discover what kind of content brings in tons of views, and take a peek at the dashboards of a Facebook page that is doing everything right.

Attendees will discover:

  • How drive performance, engagement, and traffic no matter the niche
  • How to create Facebook ads that deliver value and traffic
  • Proven strategies and results
  • A look behind the curtain at Facebook analytics and business manager dashboards to show how it really works


Nathan Engels, brand engagement strategiest and data-driven food blogger at WannaBite.com

Intimate Writing: How to Balance Your Private and Public Personas

People who are transparent tend to have the most loyal audiences. But how do you share the most intimate parts of your life without sharing everything and losing yourself? This session will show how writing about the most intimate topics—sex, mental health, etc.—can empower your readers and empower you.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to create a positive environment so your readers are willing to share and have a deeper discussion
  • How to set boundaries around what you share, while still resonating with your audience
  • How and when to respect the boundaries of others as you’re telling your story


Quiana Agbai, PR/Advertising mompreneur and married to her college sweetheart

Bassey IKPI, founder of The Siwe Project and creator of #NoShameDay

August McLaughlin, author and creator of Girl Boner®

Shireen Mitchell, social entrepreneur and Founder of Stop Online Violence Against Women

Un-Bore Your Brand: How to Expand, Evolve or Switch Up Your Brand as a Creative

The online food world is constantly evolving and so should your brand. Learn from the pros how to spice up your online food presence.

Attendees will receive:

  • How to use eye-popping visuals to refresh your brand
  • How to personalize your brand by sharing what is unique about you
  • How to keep on top of trends to always stay ahead of the curve


Johanna Cook, national cooking personality and host, Momma Cuisine

Kat Kinsman, senior food and drinks editor and Time Inc.'s Extra Crispy

Jane Ko, top food and travel blogger at A Taste of Koko

Beth Lee, marketing professional and kitchen-table storyteller at OMG! Yummy

Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, owner of Latin-inspired blog MuyBuenoCookbook.com

Digital Advertising Demystified: How to Earn Money with Partner Networks presented by Google

Do you want to stay ahead of the curve in the constantly evolving digital ad landscape? Look beyond the banner and hear directly from Google, SheKnows Media and from bloggers who are creating a better advertising ecosystem. They will provide insight into viewability, native ads and the importance of page load speed, then they’ll show why leveraging a premium ad network can help you maximize revenue potential. This session will end with an interactive Q&A.

Attendees will walk away with:

  • An understanding of the latest digital advertising & monetization trends
  • Ways to provide advertisers value while giving your users a good ad experience
  • An opportunity to join the SheKnows Media Partner Network, a Google Certified Publishing Partner


Phil Bohn, Vice President of Programmatic Sales for SheKnows Media

Lisette Harrington, blogger and web designer at Northern Belle Diaries

Carole Jones, food writer and recipe creator from My Kitchen Escapades

Amy Shih, Product Specialist for Doubleclick and Ad Exchange for Google


3:30pm - 4:30pm Expo Break
4:45pm - 6:00pm Closing Keynote: #HatchKids, Makers & Creators Zerlina Maxwell, Amy Ziering and Sarah Spain

Starting this last and final segment of #BlogHer17, we will be announcing the winner of #ThePitch:Live

Then Bobby Jones, CMO of PeaceFirst and author of Good is the New Cool, advocates for changing the narrative for and about youth.  He will be introduced by our #HatchKid Zeeshan.

Speaking of #HatchKids, Reed, Zaki, Elyssa, and Jojo—all of whom are between 12 and 13 years old - will take the stage to ask adults they look up to what they would have told their younger selves about surviving puberty, middle school and high school, overcoming insecurities and acquiring self-confidence, as well as finding the courage to chase their dreams.

Moderating this conversation will be Gabrielle Reece, a world-renowned athlete, TV personality, New York Times bestselling author, model, wife and mother. The former professional beach volleyball player was Nike's first female spokeswoman is also appearing at the #WinningWomen: Passion and Perseverance keynote that was announced earlier this week. 

Joining our #HatchKids and Gabrielle are two women who are serious about mentorship and being a positive role model to the younger generation.

Quincy Davis is a 22-year-old professional surfer hailing from Montauk, New York. It was there that she rode her first wave, received a sponsorship from Volcom at age 12, and became a standout on the junior tour, winning contests around the world. She spends her summers supporting environmental charities and mentoring young girls through Montauk Board Riders All Girls Surf Camp and most recently is working on a fashion collaboration with Volcom.

Charli Howard is a British born model and aspiring writer, hailing from South-East London. After refusing to accept the pressures to conform to the unrealistic body standards of the high fashion modeling industry, Charli took the risk of speaking out and is now an advocate for teenagers and young women for body positivity. With no plans to change the standards of the fashion industry, she hopes to continue the message to make room for all by not finding beauty in a number.

Through our Hatch program, we aim to give tweens and teens a voice to discuss digital literacy and the issues that are most pertinent to them. These conversations are our way to create impactful digital content that empowers and educates the next generation of thought leaders.

In our Makers & Creators Keynote, we've got three bad-ass women who lay their cards on the table.

Amy Ziering is the award-winning filmmaker behind the documentaries “The Hunting Ground” and “Invisible War.” The former addresses sexual assault on college campuses, the latter covers the same harrowing topic, but in the military. Yes, these are tough subjects in which to immerse yourself, but Amy’s work has led to important policy and legislative conversations and, ultimately, change.
Zerlina Maxwell was already an in-demand political analyst when she was tapped to be the Director of Progressive Media for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. I interviewed her for our Who SheKnows podcast in that capacity and was completely intellectually smitten :) Since the election Zerlina is now the Director of Progressive Programming for SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and she and another former campaign colleague, Jess McIntosh, are rallying the #resistance with her weekly newsletter, “Signal Boost.”

Sarah Spain is a Peabody Award-winning journalist for ESPN including as a columnist for espnW, a SportsCenter Reporter, and as the host of her own "That's What She Said” podcast.You may recognize her most, though, as the creator of the #MorethanMean viral video that shone a harsh spotlight on the online harassment and trolling she and fellow sports journalist Julie DeCaro experienced (along with most of the known female universe online, of course). A Chicago-area native, she grew up in Lake Forest, where she played basketball and was all-state in field hockey and track. She went on to attend Cornell University, where she was a heptathlete and captain of the Track & Field team.

Moderating this conversation will by #BlogHer Co-Founder and our Conference Programming Chair, Elisa Camahort Page.

Amy, Zerlina, and Sarah are building lives with meaning and leveraging every media platform that exists to make sure their work is seen, their voices are heard, and their impact is significant. I can’t wait to get a shot in the arm from hearing this conversation.  It’s the perfect way to send us all back to our laptops, ready to take over the world!

6:00pm - 8:00pm Closing Party

Grab your dancing shoes, your flowy summer dress and join us Saturday night after our Closing Keynote for a cool party. This year, there's no need for shuttles and wristbands because we are staying at the Hilton Bonnet Creek!

The Bonnet Creek Pavilion is an air conditioned, outdoor tent where you’ll be dancing the night away while the sun sets over the beautiful Hilton Bonnet Creek grounds to the sounds of one of the hottest DJ's in Orlando who will kick up this dance party, DJ Maddox.

We’ll also have lite fare and a wine and beer bar with a drink ticket (non alcoholic beverages don’t need a drink ticket).