Brief biographies of the Women in Leadership Conference Speakers. Please check back for additional speakers.
Dr. Katrice A. Albert is Vice President for Equity and Diversity of the University of Minnesota System. She is responsible for leading the efforts across five campuses to reach the University of Minnesota’s most ambitious diversity goals. Some of her strategic priorities include: recruiting and retaining underrepresented faculty and students; addressing issues of climate for diverse individuals and communities; and creating and enhancing strategic partnerships both within and outside of the University.
Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Albert served as Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach at Louisiana State University (LSU). Where she was responsible for developing and implementing strategic initiatives and policies aimed at cultivating a campus environment that embraces difference, sustains inclusion, and enhances institutional access and equity.
Dr. Albert is the founder and managing member of Third Eye Consulting Group, LLC—a diversity management consulting firm. In this capacity, she assists educational entities, non-profit outfits, and civic organizations reach their inclusive excellence goals.
Dr. Albert currently serves on the board of directors for Volunteers of America—Minnesota/Wisconsin and Penumbra Theatre, and sits on the Education Subcommittee of the African American Leadership Forum. She is also a member of the Generation Next Leadership Council and the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable. Nationally, she serves on the Volunteers of America Board of Directors. Her civic affiliations include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated.
Dr. Albert was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Kiwanis Club of LSU (2013), and recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of Louisiana’s Most Powerful and Influential Women (2010). She was named Outstanding Diversity in Business honoree by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal (2015), and was named both an HBCU Digest Genesis Scholar (2014) and an Auburn University College of Education Young Alumni of the Year (2014). She is a graduate of the HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education (2008).
Dr. Albert’s professional affiliations include the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the American Psychological Association. Dr. Albert has chaired the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium Diversity Initiative Task Force made up of the twelve SEC chief diversity professionals and served as Vice President for the Southeastern Regional Liaison to the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Dr. Albert completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at Auburn University. She earned her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
Dr. Judith Bense, having served at University of West Florida (UWF) for 29 years, became the fifth president of the University of West Florida on July 1, 2008.
Since taking office, President Bense has focused on growth, visibility, enhancing the student “collegiate” experience, and partnerships with the goal of making UWF a first choice university. She has built a solid network of community partners, identified regional workforce needs, increased student residents and athletics and strengthened academic programs so that students are prepared for future leadership.
She founded the UWF program of Anthropology/Archaeology in 1980, becoming the first academic chair in 2001. Dr. Bense also established the Archaeology Institute in 1980 and served as its director for 20 years. She has authored five books and 17 chapters in books and professional journals. She was awarded more than 75 grants and contracts totaling more than $6 million. In 2006, she founded the statewide Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), which is headquartered at UWF. FPAN is the largest statewide organization dedicated to bringing archaeology to the general public in the United States.
Dr. Bense has a strong commitment to the community and is an active member of higher education organizations, including the American Council on Education; the Association of Governing Boards; the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities; and serves in strong leadership roles with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In recognition of her academic and research achievements, Dr. Bense has received numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Order Isabella de Cathólica by King Juan Carlos of Spain for her research in the early Spanish Colonial period, the Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award for Historical Archaeology from the Society of Historical Archaeology, the Liberty Bell Award from the Pensacola Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Partner of the Year from the Florida Small Business Development Center, Emerging Leader of the Year from the Pensacola Business Journal, 2011 Woman of the Year from the Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce, Sportsman of the Year from the Pensacola Sports Association, and number one in the 2012 Pensacola Power List from the Independent News.
Dr. Bense received her bachelor's degree (1967) and master's degree (1969) in Anthropology/Archaeology from Florida State University and her doctoral degree (1972) in Anthropology/Archaeology from Washington State University.
Executive Vice President, Greater Pensacola Operations
Navy Federal Credit Union
Debbie Calder is the Executive Vice President of Greater Pensacola Operations for Navy Federal Credit Union. She is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of over 4,500 team members.
Calder has been with Navy Federal for almost 24 years and has managed several different business operations during her Navy Federal career. Prior to relocating to Pensacola in 2007, Debbie was Vice President of Consumer and Credit Card Lending at Navy Federal’s headquarters in Vienna, Virginia. Other previous positions include: Vice President, Collections; Vice President, Call Center Operations; and Assistant Vice President, Credit Cards.
Calder serves as a board member for Gulf Power Company, Sacred Heart Health System, the Greater Pensacola Chamber Foundation, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Calder studied Business Administration at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and attended Executive Education programs at University of Virginia and University of Michigan.
Sacred Heart Foundation
Carol Carlan, President of Sacred Heart Foundation since 2012, is responsible for all fundraising activities from Pensacola to Port St Joe.
Carlan, a successful Pensacola business executive and long-time community leader worked in the financial services industry for more than 35 years and served as the first female president of a large regional bank in the Florida Panhandle. In 2007, she formed Carlan Consulting LLC, a leadership development company. She is a founding member of the John Maxwell Team and the first to reside over two John Maxwell Live events in the United States hosted in Pensacola Florida in 2012 and 2015.
Carlan is a graduate of Pensacola State College and the University of Florida School of Banking. She is known for her heart-felt commitment to education, business and social issues. She was one of 25 people in Florida appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to serve on the Department of Juvenile Justice Blueprint Commission in 2007. She is a past chair and the longest serving Trustee for Pensacola State College and past president emeritus for the PSC Foundation. She was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to be the inaugural chair of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and currently serves as a Trustee. She served as the 125th Chair of the Greater Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce in 2014/2015. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida and Leadership Pensacola.
Some of Carlan’s awards during her career have included the Business Leader of the Year by both the Pensacola News Journal and the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. She also received the Leadership Pensacola Blue Angel Leadership Award and the PACE Center for Girls Pioneer Award for her leadership as a State Board trustee. Carlan was honored as a 2015 Pinnacle Award Winner honoring outstanding women leaders in Northwest Florida. She and her husband Charles were recently recognized as the 2015-2016 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureates.
Saltmarsh Financial Advisors, LLC
Christina is the managing director for Saltmarsh Financial Advisors, LLC, an affiliate of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund. She is responsible for both business development and client wealth management and has more than 20 years of experience working in the financial services and wealth management industry. Prior to joining Saltmarsh in August 2013, she served as Pensacola city president and managing director of Private Wealth Management for the North Florida Division of SunTrust Bank, where she was responsible for managing a team of advisors who supported high net worth clients and business owners with comprehensive wealth planning, asset management and banking needs. Her previous experience also includes 13 years with Charles Schwab Corporation serving in several capacities, including senior director for Schwab’s West Coast Private Client Division responsible for managing over 100 portfolio managers and $8 billion in client assets, and senior sales director for Schwab’s national Financial Planning Division.
Director, Professional Development
Studer Community Institute
Rachael Gillette is Director of Professional Development at Studer Community Institute. She is responsible for developing and delivering training that supports the Institute’s mission to improve the quality of life and bring about positive change in the Pensacola Metro Area. Gillette immigrated to the USA, from England, in 2002.
Gillette is a long time member of IMPACT 100. She also serves as a board member of several local non-profits including ARC Gateway Foundation, Institute for Women in Politics of Northwest Florida and STEM Stories, an organization that aims to increase the number of females in STEM careers.
Gillette earned her joint honors degree in Law and American Studies at Keele University, England and took the Bar of England and Wales at the Inns of Court School of Law, London. She is a certified mediator in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Passionate about personal and professional development, she is also a John Maxwell certified Coach, Trainer, and Speaker.
Community Development Manager
Gulf Power Company
Jennifer Grove has worked with The Southern Company for over 20 years. As Gulf Power’s Community Development Manager, she is responsible for leading Gulf Power’s engagement in programs and partnerships that grow Northwest Florida’s community competitiveness, including cradle to career education, workforce development, economic development infrastructure support, regional partner support and key industry sector support, such as Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation/Information Technology. Ms. Grove was recognized in 2012 by US News as one of the Top 100 Women in STEM for her role in STEM talent development.
Grove serves in many community, state and national organizations focused on education and workforce development including as Chair of the Strategic Policy Council and as a member of the Board of CareerSource Florida, the state workforce investment board; Board member of the Florida Education Foundation; Chair of the Florida Chamber Business Alliance for Early Learning; member of the Florida College Access Network Advisory Council; and as an Executive Committee member of ECARE (Every Child A Reader in Escambia County). She is a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XXXIII.
Grove holds a Master of Science in organizational communication from Purdue University and bachelors’ degrees in political science and communications from Birmingham-Southern College.
Dr. Sharon Heise
Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
Dr. Sharon Heise is an Associate Director at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a not-for-profit research institute of the State University System of Florida headquartered in Pensacola. As a member of IHMC's Senior Leadership Team, Heise oversees all aspects of IHMC research initiatives.
Heise previously served 20 years in the United States Air Force, where she was most recently Director of the Mathematics and Information Sciences Directorate at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). At AFOSR, Heise also managed the U.S. Air Force basic research portfolio in Dynamics and Control. Prior to joining AFOSR, Heise managed programs in the Information Exploitation, Information Technology, Information Systems and Tactical Technology Offices of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. She has also served in the National Reconnaissance Office’s Advanced Systems and Technology Directorate, on the Aeronautics & Astronautics faculty of the Air Force Institute of Technology, and at the Air Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Heise holds the Ph.D. degree in Control Engineering from Cambridge University, England, as well as an M.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington. She is a graduate of the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Dr. Mary Mehta
Chief Medical Officer & Pediatric Cardiologist
Nemours Children's Clinic, Pensacola
After receiving her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Dr. Mary Mehta completed her pediatric residency training at the Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She later completed her pediatric cardiology fellowship at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami and is board certified in pediatric cardiology. Mehta has held positions as the Chief of Pediatrics at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital/Broward General Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine; and Medical Director of Pediatric Cardiology Services at the North Broward Hospital District. Mehta’s medical interests are in fetal echocardiography and congenital heart disease in children & adolescents.
Mehta moved to Pensacola in 2004 and served as Chair of Medicine prior to assuming the CMO position in 2013. She was President of the Sacred Heart Hospital Medical Staff and served on many committees especially about quality and safety. Mehta has helped to develop a telecardiology network to provide Pediatric Cardiology expertise to rural facilities without transferring the child unnecessarily.
Mehta has served on the Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors and helped with the successful campaign to build the new 27 room house to serve more families traveling for pediatric care.
Dr. Pam Northrup
Senior Associate Provost & Cheif Executive Officer
Innovation Institute at the University of West Florida
Pam Northrup is Senior Associate Provost and Chief Executive Officer for the Innovation Institute at the University of West Florida. She also serves as CEO of the Florida Virtual Campus serving all forty public institutions in Florida. Much of Northrup’s work is focused on solving significant education and training challenges using a process created at the Institute to promote transformational organizational excellence. Extreme collaboration, high energy, deep research, innovative thinking and the drive to cross the finish line is the culture that drives all project activity at the Institute.
Northrup has 23 years of service with the University of West Florida. She most recently was dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies and led in the creation of distance learning at the University of West Florida. She currently serves on the Florida Board of Governors Task Force for the distance learning strategic plan along with numerous other committees. Dr. Northrup has over 100 presentations and publications in her primary areas of research, has published a book on Learning Content Objects and now is co-writing another book on competency-based education.
Northrup earned her doctoral degree in Educational Research/Instructional Systems at Florida State University, a master’s degree in Instructional Design/Technology from Florida State University and an undergraduate degree in Teacher Education from the University of Florida.
President & Publisher
Pensacola News Journal
Lisa Reese is the President and Publisher of the Pensacola News Journal. A proud leader of the first all-female executive team in Gannett’s East Division, Reese drives the PNJ’s mission: to enable communities to connect, act and thrive.
Reese began her media career 21 years ago, serving in various finance roles until 2010 when she was named Publisher of the Beaver County Times by Philadelphia-based, Calkins Media. Reese was the first female publisher in the company’s 75-year history. Under her leadership, the papers won dozens of national and state awards, and in 2015, her paper was awarded Newspaper of the Year by the Pennsylvania News Media Association. A community leader and avid volunteer striving to make a difference, Reese is involved in a number of business and philanthropic organizations.
Reese majored in Accounting and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Youngstown State University in 1989.
Dr. Amie Remington
Landrum Human Resource C
Amie Remington is the General Counsel of Landrum Human Resource Companies, Inc., which consists of Landrum Companies, Inc., Landrum Professional Employer Services, Inc., Landrum Consulting, and Landrum Staffing Services. Combined, these companies serve over 600 clients and 10,000 employees. As General Counsel, Remington advises the Landrum companies on all business and employment-related legal issues.
Before joining Landrum, Remington was a partner in the law firm of Bozeman, Jenkins & Matthews, P.A., where she represented employers, management and the State of Florida in all types of employment-related matters. At the firm, she focused on policy creation, prevention of discrimination and harassment and management education and training, as well as all aspects of employment litigation, including trial and appeal work.
Remington serves on the National Association of Professional Employer Organization’s Legal Advisory Committee (past Chairperson) and on the Florida Association of Professional Employer Organization’s Board of Directors, where she is an officer. She has published many articles in the PEO Insider magazine and in NAPEO’s Legal Updates and Legal Insights.
For more than a dozen years, Remington has served as the Chancellor of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and regularly provides pro bono legal services to churches, schools and childcare centers throughout the Dioceses of the Central Gulf Coast.
Remington graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the Honors Program of Florida State University in 1991 and with honors from Florida State University College of Law in 1997.