Geisha Williams

Geisha Jimenez Williams has more than three decades of experience in the energy industry. She is an independent board member and Chair of Osmose Utility Services, Inc., member of the supervisory board of Siemens Energy, Inc., independent director of Artera Services, LLC and a member of the Global Advisory Board for Salesforce. She also serves on the Bipartisan Policy Center Board of Directors, a think tank in Washington, D.C., focused on advancing policies that matter to American families, is a principal at the American Energy Innovation Council, and is a trustee of her alma mater, the University of Miami.

Williams was formerly Chief Executive Officer and President of PG&E Corporation, one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. She was the first and only Latina CEO of a Fortune 200 company and has been recognized as the highest-ranking Latina leader in business. During her tenure at PG&E, the company became a leader in renewables integration, grid modernization and smart grid technologies. Under her leadership, the company delivered nearly 80% greenhouse gas free electricity to 16 million people in northern and central California, and the best electric reliability in company history. Her focus on safety culture and engaged employees led to best ever industrial safety performance. She also championed energy efficiency, digitization and an all company focus on customer experience. As a result, PG&E achieved its highest levels of customer satisfaction and was rated best overall electric provider by national customers during her tenure.

Prior to joining PG&E in 2007, Williams worked for over two decades at Florida Power and Light Company, where she was Vice President of Power Systems. She held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in FPL’s customer service, marketing, external affairs and electric operations. Her crisis leadership skills were forged in Florida, where she led the historic electric restoration and recovery from seven hurricanes over a 15-month period in 2004 and 2005.

Williams was previously on the Boards of Directors of PG&E Corporation, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). At EEI, she also served on the Executive Committee and was the CEO co-Chair of the Customer Energy Solutions Policy Committee. In addition, she was the former Chair of the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), on the Advisory Board for the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Trustee of the California Academy of Sciences.

Williams earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Miami and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. Williams lives in South Florida with her family.

Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis is a best-selling author, and CEO of Chic Media, the foremost authority on premium digital content for women. Clients of Rachel include top brands such as Walmart, Disney Junior, JCPenney, Rubbermaid, Sprint, and Keuri.

At the age of 27, strong-willed speaker Rachel Hollis was named one of the “Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30” by Inc. Magazine. Our speaker Rachel Hollis began her career as an event planner, founding the firm Chic Media, and has designed and produced fabulous parties for Hollywood’s elite, including Bradley Cooper, Rashida Jones, Al Gore, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Her lifestyle website TheChicSite.com is hugely popular, with an online reach of millions.

Passionate about empowering women, Rachel’s Amazon best-selling women’s fiction series, “The Girls” shows young women on different career paths. The series includes books titled “Party Girl”, “Sweet Girl” and “Smart Girl”, all of which are full of characters that inspire readers to be true to themselves.

Energetic speaker Rachel Hollis makes audiences laugh, cry, and definitely dance! By sharing her own life story, she connects with the public and explains how her experiences shaped her. By dismissing traditional frameworks and thinking outside the box, our speaker Rachel Hollis creates an authentic environment that encourages her audience to really think, and ultimately accept and embrace their true selves.

Nora Seneviratne

Nora has spent 20 years partnering with many large private and government organisations across various industries globally, working in highly complex, ambiguous, fast-paced, and also in unionised and blue-collar environments.

She has successfully led many large-scale business-critical Change Management programmes and maintained high performing and collaborative teams, including through periods of change.

Having seen inside many of the world’s largest and most complex organisations, Nora knows what it takes to create a healthy workplace, where motivated people work together to achieve great results. She also knows what it takes to excel as a leader.

She has helped many leaders at all levels of an organisation to shift their mindset and embrace change so they can accelerate their growth, thrive during change and foster innovation.

Nora holds a Master of Science in Organisational Behaviour, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and is trained as a Neuroleadership Coach, which means that she uses techniques based on neuroscience when she coaches leaders.

Nora shares strategies that she has successfully implemented over the years, leaving attendees equipped with new tools and thinking that can be implemented in their own lives and organisations.

Miniya Chatterji

Miniya is a leading businesswoman in India, an inspirational speaker, established writer, entrepreneur, and sustainability expert.
She is Chief Sustainability Officer for the Jindal Steel and Power Group of Companies, a USD 3.8 billion business conglomerate whose main interests are in steel, power, and infrastructure. Miniya works closely with the CEO to ensure long term, holistic, and strategic growth of the group of companies. She is also visiting Professor at Sciences-po Paris during 2017, where she has created a new Masters degree course on sustainability studies that she will also be teaching.
Miniya is the founder of Sustain Labs Paris, the world’s first sustainability incubator with offices based in Paris and New Delhi. She is also the founder of The Stargazers Foundation, a not for profit organization that works for improving education and health for women in India.
Miniya is publishing her first book titled ‘Indian Instincts’ with Penguin Random House, scheduled to be in the market in December 2017. She writes for the Harvard Business Review and is a columnist for The Indian Express, The Pioneer, and The Huffington Post. She is frequently featured on television and magazines such as India Today and Vogue.
Previously Miniya worked at the World Economic Forum in Geneva for a few years. There Miniya managed Middle East, North Africa, South Asia regions for Young Global Leaders. The Young Global Leaders community brings together the world’s most extraordinary leaders who are 40 years old or younger and dedicate a part of their time to improve the state of the world.
Earlier, Miniya was managing two Hedge Funds of $200 million AUM in Paris. She was investing in a portfolio of 30 Hedge Funds.
Miniya started on her investment-banking career at Goldman Sachs in London.
Previous to investment banking, Miniya worked in politics in France as Policy Analyst with the Chief Advisor to President Jacques Chirac.
Miniya is on the Steering Group for Sustainability United Nations Global Compact India, and the World Steel Sustainability Expert Group. She is on the team of the Social Credits initiative, member of the Board of The Economic Times Global Green initiative, and a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. She has won numerous awards. On an individual level, she has been awarded by the Navoothan Foundation for her personal social commitment. She has also been awarded the prestigious CSR India award 2016 for corporate social responsibility. Miniya is a Jury Member for the Million Dollar Global Teacher Prize and a Jury Member for The Circulars award at Davos.
Miniya has a PhD and Masters from Sciences-po Paris. She has Executive Management certificates at The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD, and at Columbia University. She was a PhD fellow at Harvard University and Columbia University in New York, and is a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Nadja Swarovski

Nadja Swarovski was born in Germany in 1970. She studied Art History at Southern Methodist University in Texas, and at Sotheby's Institute of Art and the Gemological Institute of America in New York City.
She grew up hearing family stories of how her great-great-grandfather Daniel supplied Swarovski crystals to embellish Queen Victoria’s dresses, how her grandfather worked with Christian Dior to create the aurora borealis crystal stone effect; and she saw how her father Helmut Swarovski ensured that Swarovski remained at the forefront of technological advances and new market opportunities, including marketing crystal figurines.
Nadja Swarovski joined the Swarovski family firm in 1995, 100 years after it was founded by her great-great-grandfather Daniel Swarovski in 1895 in Wattens, Austria. She is the first female Member of the Executive Board at Swarovski Crystal Business.
Nadja's career began with Larry Gagosian, the New York gallerist, followed by a time with legendary fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. She joined the family business in 1995, working for Swarovski in Hong Kong and travelling extensively in Asia to gain an international perspective before returning to New York. Early in her career Nadja befriended fashion icon Isabella Blow, who supported her vision of bringing Swarovski's rich heritage of working with the leading couturiers of Paris to the forefront of the brand's contemporary image. Blow introduced her to young design talents who became long-time Swarovski collaborators, such as Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy.
This laid the foundations for a series of visionary initiatives which have established Nadja as one of the 21st century's major patrons of design. These include the Swarovski Collective and Runway Rocks, which aim to support and celebrate both emerging and established talents in fashion and jewelry design, as well as luxury jewelry business Atelier Swarovski, whose designers include Zaha Hadid, Christopher Kane, Viktor & Rolf and Karl Lagerfeld.
In 2002 Nadja launched Swarovski Crystal Palace, an experimental platform which pushes the boundaries of lighting and design through collaborations with artists, architects and product designers using the medium of crystal. This has resulted in a spectacular body of work which provides a snapshot of the most exciting and creative minds of the first decade of the 21st century.
Since 2002 Swarovski has supported the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, sponsoring awards for emerging talents in three categories.
Swarovski is Chairwoman and Executive Producer of Swarovski Entertainment which was established in 2010 to continue the company's collaboration with the film industry.
Nadja is a supporter of many cultural and arts causes including Films Without Borders and the English National Ballet, as well as charities including Maggie’s Centres, Women for Women, the NSPCC and Walk the Walk.
Swarovski received a Visionaries Award from the Museum of Art and Design in 2007.
In 2011 the CFDA honoured Swarovski for continued support of the American fashion industry.
Nadja Swarovski received the Making a Difference Award 2012 from Women for Women International.
In 2013, Swarovski received the NatWest UK Fashion & Textile Award for Outstanding Achievement from HRH The Princess Royal, President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association
Swarovski is married to hedge-fund manager Rupert Adams. They live with their daughters Thalia and Jasmine and son Rigby in London.

Michelle Mone

Michelle Mone OBE, born 1971, is the co-owner of MJM International and founder of Ultimo, the UK’s leading designer lingerie brand. Honoured by the Queen with an OBE for her contribution to business, Michelle is regularly listed as one of the UK’s top female entrepreneurs and has built a hugely successful career on an incredibly simple concept: giving today’s women what they want.

Entrepreneurial spirit was prevalent from an early age in Michelle, who grew up in the east end of Glasgow. Michelle left school at 15 with no qualifications to find full-time employment, after her father was struck down by an illness leaving him confined to a wheelchair. To support her family Michelle took on a job at Labatt Brewers’ and quickly climbed the ranks from office junior; at just 22years old Michelle was appointed as Head of Sales and Marketing for Scotland.

But it was in 1996 when her idea for Ultimo was born. Whilst attending a dinner dance with her husband Michael, Michelle was wearing a very uncomfortable cleavage enhancing bra and, as a result, had a ‘light bulb’ moment; Michelle decided to invent a bra that was more comfortable, more innovative, more attractive and more cleavage enhancing than any other bra on the market. MJM International was set up in November 1996.

Since launching the business Michelle has established herself as one of Scotland’s biggest exports; in 2000 Ultimo was catapulted into the media limelight when Hollywood actress Julia Roberts wore an Ultimo plunge-bra to enhance her cleavage in Erin Brockovich. Later that year Michelle won the coveted ‘World Young Business Achiever Award’ at the Epcot Centre, Florida, and then ‘Business Woman of the Year’ at the Corporate Elite Awards in London.

In 2001 Prince Charles invited Michelle to join the Board of Directors for The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and more recently his Board of Main Council, confirming her status as one of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs. Michelle also won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the British Apparel Export Awards, presented by HRH the Princess Royal, adding to her long list of awards, accolades and recognitions.

In October 2005 Michelle attended a speaking engagement with former US president Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, and went on to support the Sultan of Oman in setting up women’s enterprise in the Middle East. Michelle has since become a high-profile guest at speaking engagements and corporate events all over the world.

Over the years Michelle’s business has gone from strength-to-strength, developing beyond the original umbrella of Ultimo to encompass Ultimo D-G Cup, Ultimo Black Label, Ultimo Shapewear, Ultimo Swimwear and partner lines including Diamond Boutique for Tesco, Adore Moi for Debenhams.

As well as designing fashion lingerie, Ultimo boasts eight worldwide patented inventions including the Ultimo ‘Miracle’ backless body. In addition to its jointly owned brands, MJM International currently supplies Tesco, Debenhams, ASDA, Next, Figleaves and Asos.com, along with a number of independent lingerie stores throughout Europe.

In 2012, after 3 years of intensive research Michelle expanded her portfolio and launched into the world of beauty with a range of tanning products – Utan.

Michelle is divorced and lives on the outskirts of Glasgow with her three children. Michelle has achieved a remarkable level of success to date, juggling the demands of her business, together with motherhood, but – in her own words – ‘this is only the beginning’.

Sahar Hashemi

In 1995 Sahar Hashemi and her brother Bobby founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first coffee bar chain. Within 5 years they built Coffee Republic into one of the UK’s most recognized high street brands with 110 bars and turnover of £30m.

Hashemi was a lawyer and her brother was an investment banker. They gave up their highly paid professional jobs and staked everything on a dream. They made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the ‘coffee revolution’ that transformed a nation of tea drinkers to one obsessed with ‘triple grande vanilla skinny lattes.’ How they came to build a nationwide coffee chain is a fascinating and inspirational tale of the ups and downs of following your dream.

Hashemi left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and wrote a book about her journey of entrepreneurship, Anyone Can Do It - Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table. Anyone Can Do It has become the 2nd highest selling book ever published in the UK on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson’s book - according to Nielsen Bookscan. Hashemi believes that if she can make it as an entrepreneur, anyone can make it.

In 2005, she launched her new business Skinny Candy, a brand of sugar free confectionary, low-fat sweets and chocolates. Skinny Candy was sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten PLC in 2007.

Her most recent book, Switched On, published in 2010, focuses on 8 habits that foster a more entrepreneurial mindset for employees.  It is based on her experience of the transformation in culture when a small entrepreneurial company becomes big and successful, when the obvious and easy entrepreneurial habits are often forgotten as bureaucracy take over.

In 2011 Sahar was nominated by Director magazine as one of its Top 10 Original Thinkers. The magazine praised her view that “Entrepreneurially minded talent shouldn’t have to leave large corporations in order to achieve fulfillment. Entrepreneurial behaviour, including ideas like bootstrapping, prototyping and celebrating failure, can help turn stuffy corporations into creative environments. They can also transform automatons into valued, engaged employees”.

In 2011 she was invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to give informal personal advice to the government on enterprise policies.

In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity.

She was also awarded: Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Top 10 original thinkers by Director Magazine, ‘Pioneer to the Life of the Nation’ by her Majesty The Queen, 100 most influential women in Britain by Daily Mail, one of the 35 top women in British business by Management Today and 20 most powerful women in Britain by Independent on Sunday, Top 5 in a Shell Livewire survey of inspirational role models.