Women United to Host May 30th Speaker Series, "Thriving Through Change" Featuring 3 Local Authors & Motivational Speakers

Women United’s May 30th Speaker Series, “Thriving Through Change” to Feature Three Local Authors & Motivational Speakers

Mentor, OH (April 15, 2024) – Women United of United Way of Lake County will host an evening Speaker Series entitled “Thriving Through Change” on May 30, 2024 featuring a panel of three local authors and motivational speakers.

The speaker series will be held from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at SOL in downtown Willoughby at 38257 Glen Avenue where registered guests will enjoy a taco bar, salad, chips, salsa, and a cash bar.

A $35 guest fee applies and advance registration at uwlc.org/thriving. Phone registration is also available by calling 440.639.1107.

Panelists include Nancy Christie, Laura Gray, and Pam Kurt, while Michele Johnson, CFP, of Elevated Wealth Solutions will serve as the moderator.

Insights on embracing life's changes, whether anticipated or unexpected will be shared along with practical guidance and actionable strategies to navigate life's transitions effectively. Personal anecdotes and advice on adapting to change, overcoming challenges, and flourishing during transitions in various aspects of life, including personal, professional, parenting, and beyond will be discussed.

Women United works to positively impact the lives of women, girls, and children through the philanthropic efforts of giving, advocating, educating, and volunteering. Over the past nine years they have awarded grants totaling over $326,000 to non-profit organizations for programs that closely align with their mission. Grants are funded from money raised at their annual Women’s Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser, their most recent of which was held November 30, 2023. Combined with their online raffle, they raised a record-high of over $100,000. Details on Women United can be found at uwlc.org/women-united. Those interested in becoming a member you may call 440.639.1107 or email wu@uwlc.org for information.

About the Authors and Motivational Speakers

Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie is the award-winning author of two novels: Reinventing Rita and Finding Fran. She has also published three short story collections: Mistletoe Magic and Other Holiday Tales, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and Peripheral Visions and Other Stories. As a professional writer she has published two books for writers: Rut-Busting Book for Authors and Rut-Busting Book for Writers. Her first book, The Gifts of Change, has inspired many readers. Christie teaches writing workshops at conferences, libraries, and schools, and is the host of the Living the Writing Life podcast and the founder of the annual “Midlife Moxie” Day and “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day. As a full-time professional writer, she is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), the Florida Writers Association (FWA) and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA). 

Laura Gray

Laura Gray is the founder and executive director of IPride, a self-esteem and empowerment program for youth created in 2015. In addition to being a published author, living kidney donor, and fervent advocate for sexual assault victims, Laura is a proud mother of three sons and a dog named Alvin. She strives to live each day with a grateful heart and feels especially connected to herself and God when she is in nature. She has enjoyed diverse career experiences in sales, human resources, and marketing communications, and currently serves as director of development for the ALS Association.

Laura shares her work with IPride through her IPride YouTube Channel and her video series, IPride in 5: Peace In, Peace Out. She was a presenter at Youth Leadership Summits in 2018, 2020, and 2023, and was a panelist at Bowling Green State University’s conference, “Sexual Assault: The Conversation Continues” in 2020.

Laura is also an award-winning author. Her children’s book, “The Swing on the Silver Star in the Royal Purple Sky: Adventures of the Little Girl Seeking her Lost Inner Light,” was named one of the Top 15 Children’s Books by Cleveland Magazine in the Summer 2023. This book also received the Firebird Book International Award for Best Children’s Bedtime Story in Fall 2023. In addition, Laura was a featured author in “Mayhem to Miracles,” a Sacred Stories publication, in October 2021. Her featured story, “Seen and Heard: A series of photographs of men and women ending their silence with regards to sexual assault”, appeared in 2017. She has also published, “The Little Cloth Secret Keeper,” “Women for One: Truthtellers,” and three poems.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Bowling Green State University, and certification as a Professional Life Coach from the World Coach Institute. She is trained in Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness Teaching, and in the Science of Well-Being, and is a personal athletic trainer. 


Pam Kurt

Pamela Kurt is an attorney and certified professional life coach for women. She has a law practice specializing in family law and has held various volunteer leadership roles and board positions in northeast Ohio. Pam’s most current passion is her new business, Best Version of You (BVU), which provides professional coaching services for personal development and spiritual growth. The goal of BVU is to empower and elevate women to their optimal level and to help them be the best version of themselves. It is about collaboration rather than competition.  

Although Pam has drafted many documents as an attorney, her literary writing began with BVU and has become what she describes as “an amazing journey.” To date, she has co-authored 12 books and portions of a few series, including The Everyday Woman’s Guide and Becoming an Unstoppable Woman. Her latest book, The Path to the Best You, was released in February 2024. All of these books have hit bestseller marks for Women in Business, Self-Help, Personal Transformation and other nonfiction categories. Two more anthologies are scheduled for release this year and a solo work is scheduled for release in 2025. 

Pam has also been featured in various magazines including Enterprise World, The Fortune Leader, Tycoon Magazine, Exelon Magazine, Becoming an Unstoppable Woman (Special Edition), and Wealthy Women Entrepreneurs of Influence. She was also a contributing author for Brainz Magazine. 

Pam lives in Ohio with her husband and two black labs, and she enjoys spending time with her adult son and grandson.


About United Way of Lake County

Turning Small Gifts Into Big Impact.

United Way of Lake County is a local, independent organization dedicated to building a stronger community by focusing on the areas of education, income and health.  In partnership with nonprofit agencies, local business, community leaders and ordinary citizens, United Way is improving the lives of individuals and families in Lake County. By working together, we provide a network of services addressing Lake County’s most urgent needs while working toward lasting change.  For more information, visit www.uwlc.org.


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