. Women in Leadership Meetings + Incentives | Northstar Meetings Group

Women in Leadership Meetings + Incentives

A Digital Event For Women, By Women


The WILMI (Women In Leadership Meetings + Incentives) Digital Event is an exclusive conference for executive-level women in the industry – by women, for women. At WILMI, leading female meetings and incentives buyers and suppliers will join together to virtually network, engage in dialogue on present and future challenges and opportunities, and plan and do business together. 

Check out photos from WILMI 2019:

WILMI 2019
WILMI 2019
WILMI 2019
WILMI 2019

Follow along on Instagram: #WILMI
Follow along on LinkedIn: #WILMI


WILMI Table     WILMI 1     WILMI 3



  • Nearly 65% of the workforce in hospitality overall in the United States are women
  • Over 77% of meeting planners are women
  • Over 72% of travel agents are women
  • Women make over 70% of all travel-buying decisions



Learn from, and be inspired by the leading women in the meetings and events industry.



Connect during the one-on-one business appointments and unique experiential activities.



Network during the unique experiential planned activities

Anusha Wijeyakumar

Anusha Wijeyakumar

Anusha is a global motivational speaker and expert on the science of mindfulness and meditation. She is also the Wellness Consultant for leading Hospitals and Institutes in California. Anusha aims to empower people to live their best lives through self-care practices that enhance their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. She holds a BA, MA, Diploma in Mentoring, Certified Professional Coach qualification and is a Registered Yoga Teacher/RYT with Yoga Alliance.

Beth Surmont

Beth Surmont

As an event planner for more than 19 years, it is Beth’s job to be a project manager, experience designer, content curator, storyteller, motivator, leader, behind-the-scenes cheerleader, logistics director, contract negotiator, researcher, trend analyzer, innovator, visionary, partner, builder, thinker, problem-solver, entrepreneur, and customer service specialist, sometimes all within the space of a single day. She has been a Certified Meeting Planner since 2008, a Certified Association Executive since 2016, and served as chair of the ASAE Meeting & Exposition Council from 2016 to 2018. In 2019 Beth writes a blog full of event planning tips called Otter Talk. And she currently lives in New Jersey with her wife, stepchildren, and two dogs.

Deirdre Van Nest

Deirdre Van Nest

Deirdre Van Nest is the go-to expert on the topic of speaking to groups. She is the creator of the "Crazy Good Talks Blueprint," a system that teaches financial advisors, leaders and sales pros how to bring in business faster and impact more lives through the power of speaking. Deirdre is an international speaker and trainer, the host of Crazy Good Talks TV, a certified speaking coach, a contributing author of the Amazon bestseller World Class Speaking in Action and author of Fire Your Fear.

Laura Putnam

Laura Putnam

Laura has keynoted at conferences, companies, and associations around the world. Her unique style of speaking combines relevant science with meaningful stories and a good dose of humor. With a mission to get people “in motion,” she guides team members, managers and leaders in discovering how to get big results with simple steps. As CEO of Motion Infusion, a well-being training and consulting firm, Laura works helps organizations of all kinds to build a culture of well-being.

Tracy Stuckrath

Tracy Stuckrath

Tracy is an event planner, speaker, food-safety consultant, food-allergy experts, inclusivity strategist and industry changemaker. Now president/chief connecting officer for Thrive! Meetings & Events, Tracy says her true calling was born from personal experience as a food-allergy sufferer. She now works to educate venues and planners on how serving safe, delicious and nutritious food for all at events.


May 27, 2020 (note: all times are EST)

9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Registration/Help Desk
10:00 am 10:10 am
Welcome/Overview + Sponsor Message
10:10 am – 10:45 am
Education: "How to Stand Out And Own the Room — In Person and Virtually"

Speaker: Deirdre Van Nest, provided by Goodman Speakers
As a female professional, do you need to work harder to command attention when you speak? Let’s fix that! Whether it’s for 1 minute or 1 hour, in person or online, others will judge your competency based on your speaking skills. In this dynamic session, WILMI participants will learn to own the room every time they speak, whether in negotiations, client-facing discussions or delivering a presentation. Bonus: The same tactics apply to your personal life, too!

Participants will learn to:

  • Avoid the mistakes most people make when they begin a presentation
  • Immediately capture the attention of any audience
  • Integrate the power of storytelling to increase engagement
  • Connect emotionally with audiences of any size, including one-to-one discussions
10:45 am – 11:00 am
11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Appointments (5)
12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Lunch Break
12:45 pm – 1:15pm
Panel Discussion: Survival Skills from Superwomen

Moderator: Loren Edelstein


  • Jan Capinegro, Senior Director, Field Events, Pampered Chef
  • Kristina Elizondo, Chief Executive Officer, Connect Worldwide, Inc.
  • Julie S. Nack Locke, CMM, CMP, Regional Vice President, HelmsBriscoe
1:15 am – 2:30 pm
Appointments (5)
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm
2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Education: "Keeping Virtual Attendees Engaged"

Speaker:  Beth Surmont, CMP, CAE, Director of Design Experience, 360 Live Media
Attendee engagement doesn’t lose importance in the digital space. In fact, the significance increases. The key to successful virtual attendee engagement is to approach everything with intention. In this session, we will share some best practices for virtual engagement, plus helpful tips and behind-the-scenes secrets.
Participants will learn:

  • Key design principles for attendee engagement
  • How these principles can be applied in the digital space
  • Ways to deliver a valuable and enjoyable meeting online
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Appointments (5)
4:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Happy Hour
4:45 pm – 5:30 pm
Happy Hour Virtual Highboy Discussions
  • How to Keep Moving When You Are Not Going Anywhere, moderated by Laura Putnam (provided by Goodman Speakers)
  • F&B Best Practices for Post-COVID Meetings, moderated by Tracy Stuckrath
  • What's the "New Normal?" moderated by Loren Edelstein, VP, Content Director, Northstar Meetings Group
  • Ask Me Anything About Virtual Events, moderated by Beth Surmont
  • Meditation and Mindfulness, moderated by Anusha Wijeyakumar (provided by Goodman Speakers)




Those who are selected to attend will participate in:

  • Virtual networking with leading female meetings and incentive suppliers
  • Motivating and insightful educational sessions from leading industry women experts

Follow along on Instagram: #WILMI
Follow along on LinkedIn: #WILMI

To learn more, please contact Cindy Binder at [email protected].


Individual Package




Enterprise Package





Exhibitor Package Rates & Premium Sponsorship Opportunities

For exhibitor package rates and premium sponsorship opportunities, please contact your business development director or: Angie Kimmel at [email protected].

Request Info Destination WILMI



"Thank you for all of your hard work that went into making the Women in Leadership weekend a huge success! I had a wonderful time and feel it was well worth the investment."

- Amanda Lewin, Bellagio Las Vegas

"It was a privilege to spend a forty-eight hour journey with you. It was a pure joy to reconnect with past life friends and connect with new during our time together. "

- Dorothea Calabrese, Maritz Travel

"Thank you for a brilliant program! Your careful attention to all the details, your welcoming attitude and the amazing speakers and the ability to network with women exceeded my expectations. The speakers were inspiring; I think we all left with a desire to get off our own X and create groups and workplace environments that encourage inclusivity through inspiire creativity!"

- Lisa Fredette, RTTI




Buyers Contact:

Cindy Binder

Director of Buyer Development

[email protected]

Suppliers Contact:

Angie Kimmel

Senior Director of Global Event Sales 636-273-5816

[email protected]

Event Logistics Contact:

Angela Cox

Event Director

[email protected]