Keynote Speakers 2022

Dr. Betty Pries

Betty Pries will offer the keynote address on Thursday, March 24.

With over 28 years of experience coaching, mediating, training, facilitating, and consulting, Betty is highly regarded as a Conflict, Change, and Leadership Specialist. Betty specializes in working with complex challenges, supporting leaders and their organizations to be at their best. Betty’s capacity to care deeply, listen well, and provide wise and thoughtful support allows her to help her clients engage in tough, meaningful, and important conversations, set directions, and achieve positive organizational change.

Betty is a specialist in equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), leading antiracism / anti-prejudice workshops, supporting EDI committees, reviewing and writing EDI-related policies, coaching leaders and offering support to organizations wrestling with EDI challenges.

Betty brings a wealth of experience to her work, having worked with a wide range of organizations, both nationally and internationally. Betty has extensive education, training, and experience in coaching, mediation, negotiation, consensus building, consultation, facilitation, and organizational health. As Co-Founder and CEO at Credence, Betty’s great joy has been the opportunity to mentor and support the growth of the Credence team. Betty has a PhD from the Free University Amsterdam on the topic of conflict transformation. She is a Chartered Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada and a member of the ADR Institute of Ontario. Betty is a regular instructor at the University of Waterloo.

Dawn S. Kirk

Dawn S. Kirk has coached, trained, and developed more than 10,000 associates in Fortune 100 companies using her Heartbeat Leadership method. She has spent over 26 years working with #1 Consumer Packaged Goods companies across sales, finance, marketing, operations, national accounts, and commercial sectors.

For sixteen of those years, she held senior executive positions with Frito-Lay, Inc. (PepsiCo) and The Coca-Cola Company, leading teams as large as 5,000 employees through organizational growth, transformations, and transitions. 

She has earned numerous awards, including Georgia’s 100 Most Powerful and Influential Women, and was inducted into the VIP Woman of the Year Circle by the National Association of Professional Women. 

Dawn created BestU4Life to help corporate executives and their organizations take a People-First approach to unleash untapped potential and translate strategy into best-in-class execution. Dawn believes that people are the heartbeat of every business, and no matter what the problem is, it can be solved through people.

Dawn lives with her husband of twenty-six years, Tony Kirk, and their two teenage sons, Kendall and Kristopher, near Atlanta, Georgia. She is actively involved in her church and contributes as a member of the church board.

Leonard Dow

Leonard M. Dow is Vice President of Community and Church Development for Everence® - leading the effort to serve emerging diverse communities and churches that historically have been underserved. Dow also leads the Everence team in Philadelphia. He is a member of the Everence Senior Leadership Team, as well as President of Everence Community Investments, LLC.

Leonard joined Everence in April 2017 after nearly 20 years as pastor of Oxford Circle Mennonite Church in Philadelphia. He was a founder of Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association, which launched many programs to benefit children and adults. Dow also worked in the retail banking field for 12 years.

He currently serves on the board of directors for The City School, Missio Seminary, The Brooklyn Peace Center and The Common Place.

Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia and was recognized with EMU’s Distinguished Service Award for 2017. Dow lives in Northwest Philadelphia with his wife, Rosalie, and three adult children.