2012 Speakers

If you are interested in speaking at the 2012 Women’s Festivals please fill out and return our Speaker Application.

Marsha Brown

Marsha Brown is co-founder and president of Fu-Gen, Inc. Research and Investigation, Marsha L. Brown, M.A. has been in the forefront of fighting fraud, waste and abuse for public agencies and top 500 corporations for over 25 years. Fu-Gen, Inc. is a nationally recognized investigation corporation with a well-deserved reputation for excellence in a broad range of investigative services. A modern day Nancy Drew, Marsha’s investigation expertise includes bus and rail accidents, as well as human resource incidents such as sexual harassment and discrimination.

In addition to consulting, Marsha is a highly sought-after speaker and author on such topics as “Recognizing the Red Flags of Fraud, Waste and Abuse” and “Creating Savings for your Business.” Her most recent book is Million Dollar Conversations.  She is very active in the community, including: serving as Commission President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Building and Safety Commissioners; and as a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University. Marsha earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Psychology and Sociology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, as well as a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from Phillips Graduate Institute with a concentration in multiculturalism.

Jane Choi

Jane Choi is the Managing Partner of the Central Coast office of New York Life Insurance Company which is recognized as one of America’s Most Admired Companies.  Ms. Choi has won numerous national trophies and awards for her work with New York Life which led to becoming the first female member of the Managing Partner’s Action Committee.  She is proud to manage 50+ agents and Financial Service Professionals in Ventura, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo.


Lucia De Garcia

Lucía De García is the President and CEO of Élan International founded in 1984 and based in Newport Beach, California. Her recognitions include: Millennial 2000 Manager of the Year from the Society for Advancement of Management, (SAM); The Goddess Artemis Award for bridging Nations and cultures in Athens, and was inducted to the Women’s Hall of Fame at the Sacred Island of Delos by the Euro-American Women’s Council in Greece in May 2008; the President’s Gold Medal from the World Academy of Arts and Culture (WAAC) at the XXVII World Congress of Poets for her literary excellence and great contribution to the world brotherhood on behalf of Unity and Peace in Chennai, India in September, 2007 and in Taiwan in 2010; awarded the Silver Rose for her poem “God is the Source of Everything, Bridge to Heavens Realm” at the XXVIII Congress of Poets from the World Academy of Arts and Culture in Acapulco, Mexico in 2008. – Universal Ambassadress of Peace by Le Cercle Universel de La Paix, Switzerland and France in 2011.

Ms. De García is the author of Building Bridges of Understanding and writes editorials and appears regularly on national and international television, public radio, and in documentaries for the BBC Network and Global Vision Network LTD. Some of her poems are published in the Golden Book of Iberoamerican Poets of the XXI Century. She is profiled in the 1996 Simon & Schuster’s “Latino Success, Insights from 100 of America’s Most Powerful Latino Business Professionals.”

She travels across the world conducting lectures and dialogues in intercultural issues.

Robert Ferguson

Robert Ferguson, MS, CN is a nationally recognized voice of weight loss, CEO of Diet Free Life, a motivational speaker, author of Diet Free for Life, recognized celebrity nutritionist and fitness specialist who’s been recognized as the “People’s Fat Loss Coach” and currently serves on the Presidential Task Force on Obesity for the National Medical Association. With a masters in counseling psychology and certifications in fitness and performance nutrition, Ferguson has helped thousands eat the food they love and lose staggering amounts of weight, create health and live diet-free.

Robert has been featured on HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Good Morning America, Fox News, Access Hollywood, The 700 Club, The Mo’Nique Show and many others.

Robert is currently in development for his own television show with Endemol Productions who has produced hit shows like Extreme Makeover- Home Edition, Deal or No Deal and WipeOut to name a few.

In 2010, at the request of the Mississippi State Board of Education, Robert presented a keynote lecture at the annual teacher’s conference. This event set the stage for Robert’s campaign to reverse the cause of weight gain by showing people how to eat the foods they love and reduce their waistline instead of adding to it.

He has served as national spokesperson and consultant to the world’s largest co-ed health club — Gold’s Gym Corporate (over 600 locations in 40 states and 30 countries) and as a national advisor and program developer to some of the most innovative wellness centers in the country including the California Health and Longevity Institute (featured on Oprah, Extreme Makeover – Weight Loss Edition), the brainchild of health advocate, billionaire and Dole Food Company CEO David Murdoch, which offers innovative wellness solutions to Hollywood stars and the well-heeled executives.

Heidi Kuhn

Heidi Kühn, Founder and CEO, Roots of Peace, was deeply inspired in September 1997 to create an organization dedicated to the eradication of landmines worldwide. With a simple toast in the living room of her home that the world may go from Mines to Vines™, a global initiative was launched from the heart of a mother of four children following the death of the late Princess Diana who catapulted the issue of landmines to the forefront of the international agenda.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in Political Economics of Industrial Societies, Heidi received the prestigious Cal Berkeley Alumni Award for Excellence and Achievement in 2002. At the Washington, D.C. Award Ceremony in June 2007, Heidi received the esteemed Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award/ National Jefferson Award for Public Service. Prior to Roots of Peace, Heidi was awarded a Gubernatorial Appointment to the California Council of the Humanities in 1996.

Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam is a corporate consultant, speaker, author and the executive director and co-founder of the Us Foundation. Marilyn Tam has had an extraordinarily diverse life, from her beginnings in a traditional Chinese family in Hong Kong to her meteoric rise in the international business world to become an influential corporate leader, speaker, corporate consultant, author and respected humanitarian.  Her most recent book is Living the Life of Your Dreams.

Marilyn Tam’s long, distinguished background includes prominent executive roles at numerous of world-class companies, including CEO of Aveda, President of Reebok Apparel & Retail Group and Vice President of Nike. She is also a successful entrepreneur, having developed and built three companies in diverse fields: corporate consulting & training, a web portal company and a web-based supply chain software company. Marilyn Tam is currently co-leading a cutting edge healthcare services and products company, HealthWalk where she is able to serve the world utilizing her business, social, environmental and humanitarian experience.

Marilyn Tam consults and speaks globally with Fortune 500 companies, governments and non-profit organizations on Leadership, Diversity, Change Management and how to Integrate Social & Environmental concerns into Businesses profitably.

Marilyn Tam is a director on the national board of SCORE Association. SCORE is the Resource Partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration and is dedicated to entrepreneurial education and the development, growth and success of small businesses nationwide.

Ms. Tam is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Us Foundation whose mission is to facilitate global action and dialogue on social, economic and environmental issues. Us Foundation is one of the partners for United Nations Habitat-II, and was nominated as a candidate for the “Best Practice Award” from the United Nations’ Habitat II.

Lynda Weinman

Lynda Weinman is co-founder and executive chair of lynda.com, one of the pioneering companies in online education. Through a comprehensive library of high quality, instructional videos taught by recognized industry experts, lynda.com teaches technology and design skills to over one million individual, corporate, academic and government subscribers.

She, along with her husband and co-founder Bruce Heavin, evolved lynda.com from its original conception as a free web resource for her students, to the site for her books on Web design, to the registration hub for physical classrooms and conferences, to a highly successful online training library. Considered one of the top leaders in the field of online education and paid subscription services, Lynda Weinman is a long-time champion of standing strong and visible as a successful woman to show others that creating your own path is not only possible, but achievable.

Judi Weisbart

Judi Weisbart, founder, A Busy Woman Consulting. She organized a number of large community events including Anne Frank in the World Exhibition, Henrietta Marie Slave Ship Exhibit and International Women’s Day 2003. Judi is a Consultant, Author and Artist. She is the former Program and Development Director for Women’s Economic Ventures, Development Director for the Anti-Defamation League and the Executive Producer for the Patricia Henley Foundation.

Ms. Weisbart’s passion is to create a world of justice, peace and prosperity for all, by helping women and children to master the skills needed for personal, professional and economic success.