Confident Women of Character Series

The Confident Women of Character Series is a new initiative that benefits international alumnae dues payers and Life Loyal members by providing monthly webinars around a skill or subject area. These virtual seminars allow members to share their passions with fellow sisters, using their expertise to inspire conversation and connection with women at all stages of life.

Whether you are just graduating or are looking to retire from a career, there’s something in our series for you. Pay your international alumnae dues or join Life Loyal today so that you can participate in the upcoming webinars!

For questions about the Confident Women of Character Series, email Alumnae Engagement Manager Natalie Pearson. For questions about international alumnae dues and Life Loyal, email Marketing Coordinator Tori Peckarsky

Upcoming Webinars

June 18, 2020, at 6 p.m. MT
Financial Wellness at Any Age
Sommer Morris (Alabama-Tuscaloosa)
Think of this as the financial version of GLAMOUR magazine’s iconic age issue. Learn tips to help you become more financially savvy and channel your inner, more confident, Wall Street Goddess. We will highlight key topics to address for your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50, 60s, 70s and beyond!

Sommer Morris (Alabama-Tuscaloosa) is a financial advisor who received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Alabama, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree and Certified Public Accounting designation. Sommer traveled the country advising internal clients about operational and financial management but felt a void to impact others. She was then offered an opportunity with Morgan Stanley and quickly realized it was not a career, but a calling. Financial planning for Sommer is the perfect balance of bringing right-brain vision to the more practical areas of knowledge like numbers and goals. Her targeted clientele is comprised of young professionals just starting out, female executives and business owners looking for edge and thoughtful planning and those going through the transition of divorce or the loss of a spouse. In each of her clients she is always reminded of her own story and can see a little of herself and the strong women that helped shape who she is today. Sommer is married to Bert and they have one son, Ford. 

Past Webinars

January 16, 2020, at 6 p.m. MT
January: It’s Not About Getting a Job, It’s About Getting a Life
Sara Orlino (Denver)
Getting a new job can be a full-time gig, so use your time wisely. In this webinar we will review steps to prepare your résumé, identify ways to intentionally network and connect and helpful resources to find your next job.

Sara Orlino (Denver) joined Gamma Phi Beta at Theta Chapter at the University of Denver, and currently works as the director of Development for Gamma Phi Beta Foundation. During the last 13 years, Sara built her career in sales, customer service and recruiting. Sara is passionate about leadership and learning. When working in Human Resources, Sara hired and onboarded over 100 employees. Sara is a long-term mentor and enjoys baking and watching reality tv. She is married to Paul and lives in Centennial, Colorado, with their two children Bennett (4) and Adeline (2). 

February 20, 2020, at 6 p.m. MT
Building Confidence through Professional Pivots
Panel Discussion
We often talk about career transitions, but what about professional pivots? These come as a result of personal changes impacting our professional lives or professional changes that make us grow personally. Hear from three Gamma Phi Betas on pivots they navigated and the confidence that followed.

  • Rachael Eddy (Florida State) Work and Motherhood: Pivots in Identity, Networks and Priorities
  • Fran Mayfield Stevenson (Kansas State): Pivot or Jump? Making an Industry Switch
  • Judy Graham (Oklahoma): Pivoting with Purpose: Transitioning to Retirement

Rachael Eddy (Florida State) graduated from Florida State University with bachelor's degree in social work and criminology and a master's degree in social work. She joined Teach For America and taught secondary special education in Denver. After working for about five years in schools, Rachael transitioned back to social work, working as a caseworker in child welfare for the Denver department of Human Services. She has continued her work in child welfare but instead of working for an agency, she contracts independently as a clinical consultant with a guardian ad litem.

Fran Mayfield Stevenson (Kansas State) is a highly experienced client and employee relationship manager with more than 20 years of success and achievement in leading and advising a wide range of organizations. With a marketing degree from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in higher education administration, Fran’s career crossed higher education, independent and international work, stay-at-home motherhood and volunteer roles, including her current role as vice presidents North America customer success for Accruent, a global software company. She is active in her church community and school district and has served on numerous boards. Fran is married to Brad, and together they have a blended family of four adult children and one senior in high school.

Dr. Judy E. Graham (Oklahoma) joined Gamma Phi Beta at Psi Chapter at the University of Oklahoma. She spent 25 years in clinical and administrative positions in the behavioral health field. Dr. Graham later joined Eli Lilly as the account manager for Texas where she presented scientific research to key decision makers as well as negotiated contracts and coordinated account management activities across the medical, sales and public affairs divisions. Dr. Graham was certified as an examiner for Malcolm Baldrige Award and was selected from an international group of applicants to participate in a year-long training program led personally by Dr. Peter Drucker. A True and Constant sister, Dr. Graham has served Gamma Phi Beta in numerous international and local positions. 

March 19, 2020, at 6 p.m. MT
How to Take A Career Break Without Breaking Your Career
Tara Quinn (Berkeley), PCC, CPCC, CDC
Do you long to escape your cubicle, quit your job and travel the world on your own terms? If you’ve ever fantasized about your own adventurous escape from the corporate grind (but wondered how to take a break from work without damaging your career trajectory) this unique webinar is for you! Walk away with inspiration, best practices and action items for making your travel dreams and career aspirations come true.

Tara Quinn (Berkeley) is a life sabbatical and long-term travel coach, and founder of Three Month Visa Coaching and Consulting. She has been in practice since 2006, and has worked with hundreds of clients, empowering them to transform their lives and careers through meaningful international travel and volunteer experiences. She is widely considered a national thought leader on the topics of work/life balance, sabbaticals, career breaks and pivots and transformational travel. And, has been featured as a subject-matter expert in numerous online and print media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, BBC Travel, New York Magazine, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Seventeen, Travel & Leisure, The Christian Science Monitor and Learn more at

April 16, 2020, at 6 p.m. MT
Setting Smart Financial Goals Might Just Make You a Millionaire
Crissy Buchanan Carlisle (Alabama-Tuscaloosa)
You don’t have to make six figures annually to become a millionaire. You just need to set smart financial goals and be disciplined with them. In this webinar, we explore how to create and manage a personal financial plan using priority-based, smart spending.

Since 2015, Crissy Buchanan Carlisle (Alabama-Tuscaloosa) has served as the chief investor relations officer at Birmingham-based Encompass Health, a national leader in integrated healthcare services. Prior to joining Encompass Health, she served as a director within the Corporate Recovery division of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and as a manager within their audit practice. Her career achievements have been recognized by being named the Best Investor Relations Professional in MidCap Healthcare Facilities and Managed Care by Institutional Investors. Her philanthropic involvement includes her work on the Accounting Advisory Boards of Samford University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), United Way of Central Alabama and her role as a mentor for female business students at the University of Alabama and UAB. Crissy lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband Mark and son Nicholas.

May 21, 2020, at 6 p.m. MT
Next Gen Real Estate: How to Survive the 2020 Real Estate Market
Sonya Striggles (Bridgewater State)
Interested in dipping a toe into the real estate waters this year as a buyer, seller or investor? In this webinar, we’ll dive in with strategies to ensure your real estate experience is rewarding and stress-free, no matter where live. From staging tips and loan programs to negotiation tactics that will make your offer shine, there’s something for everyone in this real estate survival seminar.

As an initiated member of the Epsilon Eta Chapter at Bridgewater State University, Sonya graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English with a writing concentration in 2010. Following graduation and after a few years in the field, Sonya obtained her real estate license and joined Keller Williams in June of 2011, starting a full-time career in real estate. Over the last eight years, she has built a top team south of Boston, Massachusetts, the SLS Realty Group at Keller Williams, assisting buyers, sellers, and investors in their pursuit of their own American dream. She also sits on the Agent Leadership Council, which oversees an office of close to 200 agents. Sonya resides in Bridgewater, MA with her fur children, is a huge Boston sports fan and has a true passion for all things Bravo! 

Future Webinar Topics

Do you have a topic you would like to see presented or would you like to present? Email our Alumnae Engagement Manager Natalie Pearson. All webinars must align with Gamma Phi Beta’s member competencies and strategic priorities.