A positive approach to finding freedom in professional work and daily life

2017 Conference Co-chairs: Barbara Froio & Jolene Streiff

Confirmed speakers for Nov 4, 2017:

Dr. Jenny Driver, 

Jane (Jenny) A. Driver, MD, MPH is a research physician at the Boston VA Medical Center, a member of the Division of Aging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Trained as both a geriatrician and an oncologist, her research focuses on the epidemiology, prediction, and prevention of cancer and neurodegenerative disease. She is currently investigating the link between cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as new methods of early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Driver has received research grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Hartford Foundation, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and Harvard Medical School.

In addition to her research work, Dr. Driver cares for vulnerable elderly Veterans with memory disorders and runs a special clinic for older patients with leukemia and other blood diseases at the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute.  She teaches medical students, medical residents, geriatric fellows, and provides research mentorship for trainees and young faculty in both geriatrics and oncology.

Dr. Driver currently sees patients at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Sponsors of the 2017 Conference:

CCR Cares Foundation

Federal Defense Solutions


Learn about the 2016 Work & Life Conference:

Our 2016 Conference was Sold Out!  

Thank you to our generous Sponsors who made it possible! Details below.

The Work & Life Conference is the pinnacle event of Yuma Center's mission to help women discover new perspectives on work and life that bring fulfillment and joy.

Our focus is on work and life, because we view each as inseparable and equally important parts of what it means to be a human person.

Our goal is not to offer practical tips on getting ahead and beating the competition, but to offer inspiring ideas on how to live well, both professionally and personally. 

We are kicking off our inaugural year with the "Define Success" theme in an effort to inspire women to embrace their unique life circumstances and professional paths. Our carefully selected line-up of speakers and facilitators will Define Success as they see it and give insights on how they blend work, life, family and faith.  

Limited space available, must pre-register to attend.

SPeakers & schedule

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016

9:00 a.m.  -  9:30 a.m.   |   Sign-in; Coffee & Pastries   

9:45 a.m.  -  10:45 a.m.   |   Morning Keynote Address


"Write Your Own Success Story"

featuring Rebecca Diaz Bonilla: Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla is a lawyer, international consultant, author and the mother of 10 children. She has been married for 17 years, successfully combined careers, raised children and has firmly established her own unique path to personal and professional fulfillment. She will describe her struggles, her accomplishments and will leave you inspired to put aside pressure and fear and write your own success story. Click here for full bio.

11:00 a.m.  -  12:00 p.m.   |   Breakout Sessions

Breakout Speakers:


"Your Professional Potential: Harnessing Personal Strengths and Experience"

featuring Mary Hunt: Mary Hunt is an organizational psychologist and expert in women's leadership and career development, entrepreneurship and the work-family interface. Her talk will focus on how to recognize personal strengths and build on experience to creatively live individual success at different stages of life. Click here for full bio.


"Work & Family: Finding a Professional Path that Works for You"

featuring Lourdes ArguelloLourdes Arguello is a small business owner, a part-time professional and a mother of four. She will discuss practical tips and offer helpful ideas for finding and keeping professional opportunities while caring for your home and family. Click here for full bio. 


"She Leads: Bringing a Woman's Perspective to Leadership Roles"

featuring Dr. Ann Brach: Dr. Ann Brach is a civil engineer who manages a team of 32 staff and thousands of volunteers with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Brach will share her thoughts and insights gleaned from years of experience navigating the challenges of being a female leader in a male-dominated field. Click here for full bio.

12:15 p.m.  -  1:15 p.m.   |   Working Lunch Discussion

Lunch Facilitators:


"Balancing Work & Family: How to Gain Confidence as a Professional and a Mother"

featuring Beatriz Lopez BonettiBeatriz Lopez Bonetti is a full-time professional in Public Relations and marketing and a mom of four children under six. She will share her personal experience and lead a discussion on methods for balancing family and career. {discussion geared toward young moms} Click here for full bio.


Transitioning Careers: It's Never too Late to Find Your Passion

featuring Linda MaherLinda Maher has worked in the communications field for 30 years, first on the Hill and then transitioning to education. She will lead a discussion on how to refocus your skills and choose a new career path late into your career. {discussion geared toward mid-level professionals} Click here for full bio.


Emerging Leaders: Finding Your Conduit to Success

featuring Barbara FroioBarbara Froio is the Director of Business Development for Federal Defense Solutions. She will lead a discussion on how to apply your skill set, impress those around you with a strong work ethic and be the best in your profession while maintaining your values and a healthy balance of life. {discussion geared toward young professionals}


Multi-tasking Mothers: Avoiding Guilt and Finding Peace in the Work and Life Struggle

featuring Barbara Falk: Barbara Falk is a parenting expert, an educator and a nationally known speaker. She will lead a discussion on staying focused on priorities and discovering techniques for finding the happy medium in the struggle to balance family and career. {discussion geared toward moms of all ages.}


Keeping the Professional You: Re-entering the Workforce

featuring Blanca ReillyBlanca Reilly is a pharmacist born in Spain. She works as a freelance Spanish translator and as an interpreter for FCPS, raising her four kids. She will lead a discussion on tips and ideas to reinvent a professional career after time spent out of the mainstream workforce in care-taking, home management or other duties. {discussion geared toward ages 35+} 

1:30 p.m.  -  2:15 p.m.   |   Afternoon Keynote Address


"Refocusing the Dream: How Embracing Change Led an Olympian to Rio"

featuring Alev Kelter: Alev Kelter is a Olympic athlete who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics as a member of the United States Women's Rugby team. She is a triple athlete, having competed nationally in soccer, hockey and rugby. After unsuccessfully vying for the Olympic Hockey team and finally finding her path in Rugby, Alev will discuss how to fight against discouragement, trust in God, be open to change and shoot for your dreams no matter how far away they seem. Click here for full bio.

2:30 p.m.  -  3:30 p.m.   |    Networking Reception



Corporate Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors:                                                   

Associate Sponsors:                                                                  



Thank you to PotbellyWalmart, TargetCava and Giant for their generous contributions.

Individual Sponsors


Jerry & Mary Breed


Anonymous Family Gift

Cheryl & Chris Bachelder

Dr. Alyce Girardi

Joan Maginnis

John & Consuelo Pluta

Joanne Wakim


Friends of Yuma

        Christie Keuchel

We are looking for sponsors for the Conference.  If you can help, please click one of the buttons below!

Become an Individual Sponsor


Event Chair

Brenda Royden, Consultant (Ret.), BAE Systems

Organizing Committee

Patricia Becerra, Head, Section of Protein Structure and Function, National Eye Institute, NIH

Mercedes Bendeck, Conference Services Manager, The Heritage Foundation

Barbara Froio, Director of Business Development, Federal Defense Solutions

Anna Freska, Attorney and Counselor at Law, Dominion Law Group

Christina Girardi, Director, Education Programs, McLean Project for the Arts

Marion Hecht, Principal, Fraud & Forensic Investigations, Receivership and Litigation, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP

Angie Kilner, Associate Political Risk and Trade Credit Underwriter, XL Catlin

Julie Larkin, Student Experience Manager, The Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America

Deidre Maloney, Business Manager, Maloney Law Office

Jolene Streiff, Founder, Designing Life, LLC