Leadership & Innovation

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Series Overview

Become a Changemaker with a Focus on Leadership and Innovation.

The 2024 Leadership and Innovation Webinar Series comprises nine unique sessions featuring leaders with distinct and inspiring backgrounds. Select the webinars that you wish to attend. If you are unable to attend a webinar that you have registered for, you will receive a recording after the live event.

Prioritize consistent professional development and growth by participating in the Leadership and Innovation webinar series. Whether you are an established or aspiring leader, focus on your growth to lead your team to success. 

Leadership and innovation go hand in hand, and these speakers exemplify that in their talks. For the duration of this series, choose to invest in yourself and your leadership skills. Commit to spending an hour per month growing and learning in these motivational and engaging webinars.

Who Should Attend

Aspiring or established leaders from any industry will benefit from the wisdom shared in these live sessions.


July 18, 2024

Climate Change

Featured Speaker: Ricky Rood

10:00am ET

Richard B. (Ricky) Rood is a professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Prior to 2005, he held several leadership positions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.


August 15, 2024

Topic TBA

Featured Speaker: Toni Benner

10:00am ET

With over 20 years of experience in coaching, facilitation, training and team development, Toni Benner believes that real change happens when we ask intentional questions, have purposeful conversations, and take the time to reflect, analyze and actively test our conclusions. Her distinct perspective has made her a sought-after “difference-maker” for organizations across diverse industries, including healthcare, military, automotive, and academia.


September 19, 2024

Risk Taking

Featured Speaker: Minna Taylor

10:00am ET

Minna Taylor is the Founder of Energize Your Voice and the author of The Confident Body. Beginning her career as an accent reduction specialist, Minna went on to transfer her theater training to developing an innovative approach for helping visionary leaders change the world. Notable clients include TikTok, Red Bull, UBER, and EY. Minna earned her BFA from NYU Tisch and went on to earn her MFA in Performance with a concentration in speech and vocal production. Minna has a passion for supporting individuals to play, fail, and tell powerful stories.


October 17, 2024

Career Agility for Engineers

Featured Speaker: Lisa Thee

10:00am ET

Embark on a transformative journey inspired by the principles in “Go! Reboot Your Career in 90 Days.” This immersive experience is designed for individuals seeking a profound shift in their professional lives.  You will learn about the pillars of Stabilize, Dream, Plan, and Integration, gaining actionable insights and tools to reignite your passion for work. We will help you rediscover the joy in your career, aligning with core values, crafting your ideal job, and strategically expanding your professional network.  

Lisa Thee is a renowned thought leader and expert in the fields of artificial intelligence, career transformation, and ethical technology. With over two decades of experience, Lisa has dedicated her career to driving innovation and empowering individuals and organizations to thrive in an ever-changing world.  She is a graduate of the Michigan Engineering IOE program in 1999.


November 21, 2024

Topic TBA

Featured Speaker: Elizabeth Aikman

10:00am ET

Elizabeth Aikman comes from a diverse healthcare background, beginning at the bedside as an oncology nurse, growing her experience through hospital leadership and quality management. She now focuses on helping teams build safer, more effective processes across healthcare systems. As a deeply curious strategic thinker, she excels at helping all levels of an organization see both the big picture and the intricate details. She has a passion for understanding learning organizations through the lens of individual development and team dynamics. Her work has catalyzed her coaching practice to integrate the power of meaningful interactions to support individual and system growth.

Past Webinars


JUNE 20, 2024

Courageous Leadership

Featured Speaker: Melissa Pynnonen

10:00am ET

Dr. Pynnonen graduated from University of Michigan Medical School in 1994 and completed her residency in otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Health System in 2000. She is board-certified in otolaryngology and has clinical expertise in acute and chronic sinusitis, complications of sinusitis involving the eye or brain, and tumors involving the nasal cavity and sinuses. She obtained her master’s degree in health care research and policy from the University of Michigan in 2012.


May 23, 2024

Inclusive Leadership in the Workplace (DEI)

Featured Speaker: Bryan Johnson

10:00am ET

With over 20 years of professional experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), marketing, and business strategy, Bryan is a proven change agent and a passionate advocate for underrepresented minorities in American business. As a Senior Consultant/Manager at Root, a part of Accenture, Bryan helps organizations engage their people as the catalyst and driver for strategic change, using creative and visual methods, people-focused insights, and strategy execution know-how.

Bryan has an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where he also served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the MBA program, and the Senior Associate Director of Admissions for DEI.


FEBRUARY 22, 2024

Servant Leadership

Featured Speaker: Thomas Willis

10:00am ET

Learn practical ideas on how to become a better leader. Tom will discuss: 

  • 3 tools to shape culture           
  • 2 emotions at the root of Servant Leadership
  • 1 system to transform yourself

Tom, a 2000 graduate of the University of Michigan, became a CEO at 34 years old. He has been a consultant with PriceWaterHouseCoopers and an engineer with the Intel Corporation. He is the co-founder of Phoenix Performance Partners who work internationally to help CEOs and school superintendents create exceptional cultures. Tom is also the author of The Great Engagement.

Tom believes we are all born with unlimited potential. As a former classroom teacher, he also believes in the power of lifelong learning. These beliefs have shaped his primary goal in life: helping others move beyond their self-limiting beliefs so they can reach their God-given potential.


MARCH 21, 2024

Mindful Communication

Featured Speaker: Emily Morash

10:00am ET

This presentation, rooted in social psychology, illustrates base human interpersonal communication tendencies, explores patterned reaction/response behaviors, and provides tips and tricks to better understand one’s communication styles and needs. 

We begin by highlighting and exploring the principles of mindfulness and emotional intelligence, and we will demystify the root emotions we experience as we navigate daily workplace and personal communication. Using a down-to-Earth, interactive approach that’s infused with humility, humor, and personal reflection, Emily leads the audience through Louise Evans’ Five Chairs Five Choices model of communication behaviors. Participants will leave the session feeling inspired and empowered (and a bit entertained), equipped with tools and resources for immediately applicable and continued mindful communication practices.


April 17, 2024

Measurement System Analysis (MSA) and Process Capability (Cpk): Their Symbiotic Relationship

Featured Speaker: Jd Marhevko

10:00am ET

Measurement System Analysis (MSA) and Process Capability (Cpk) have a symbiotic relationship. One can’t work well without the other. A good Cpk is not feasible without an effective MSA. Come for a basic refresher on Cpk. See how it works and learn about its critical dependency on a passing MSA. This is an interactive session where participants will be asked to engage in the process.

Jd Marhevko is the VP of Quality for ZF Electronics & ADAS Division U. In 2020, Jd was inducted into the inaugural USA’s Women In Manufacturing (WiM) Hall of Fame.

What's Next?


Transformative Leadership

Create an adaptive culture by inspiring behavioral change.


Design Thinking

Inspire organizational change with creative problem solving and strategic action.

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