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CJ Scarlet, Author & Speaker,

CJ Scarlet (ad)Ventures


CJ Scarlet is an author and motivational speaker on the topics of self-empowerment and common-sense self-defense for women and girls. A survivor of sexual assault, CJ is an expert in criminal justice and victim advocacy, has given speeches and workshops at national and international events; and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including MSNBC and NPR.

Four years after CJ’s second husband passed away, she decided she was ready to find the love of her life. Although she had a list of qualities she was looking for in a partner, she decided it didn’t matter what package that person came in, as long as they met her spiritual, emotional and intellectual needs. To her surprise, that “package” turned out to be a woman! In her, CJ found everything she had ever wished for and more. Her new relationship is the final piece in a life already overflowing with joy and abundance, and is an awesome example that we, as women, truly can have it all.


CJ is the author of The Badass Girl’s Guide: Uncommon Strategies to Outwit Predators and Neptune’s Gift: Discovering Your Inner Ocean. Named one of the “Happy 100” people on the planet, CJ’s personal story of triumph over adversity is featured in several books, including bestsellers Happy for No Reason and Be Invincible.

CJ holds an interdisciplinary M.A. in Humanities with an emphasis on human violence and graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Old Dominion University, as well as a graduate certificate in emerging technology from Singularity University. She is the mother of two sons and the obnoxious grandmother of three perfect grandchildren.

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gracie Johnson - Lopez,

President, Diversity & HR Solutions


A native of North Carolina, Gracie Johnson-Lopez brings almost 30 years of a diverse business background to include human resources, operations and diversity. Currently, Gracie serves as President and senior consultant with her company Diversity & HR Solutions. Most recently, she served for thirteen years as the Senior Vice President of HR and Administration at N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Company. Prior to joining NCM, Gracie was a professional diversity consultant. She also served as the Human Resources Director for the School of Science and Mathematics and the Department of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention. Gracie’s professional career also includes serving as Career Center Director and Senior Employment Recruiter with the Duke University Employment Office. Gracie holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Public Administration from NCCU and a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Duke University. In addition, she holds three professional certificates: Building a High Performing Business from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Diversity & Inclusion from Pope & Associates and the SPHR from the Society of Human Resource Management. She is active in her community serving on various boards as well as her church’s trustee board to include:

Diversity Chair, TSHRM
Board President, Durham Technical Community College Foundation Governance Chair, Dress for Success of the Triangle
Board Advisor, Black Women in Business-NC

Leonor Clavijo, Franchise Consultant, The Franchise Consulting Company


Leonor Clavijo is a communication specialist, a bilingual entrepreneur and business developer whose passions are the Hispanic Market & entrepreneurship.

For the past twelve years, Leonor has focused her efforts on working with the Latino immigrant community in North Carolina. She served as the North Carolina Hispanic Chamber’s Executive Director from 2010 to March of 2016.  She has led the NCHCC with energetic leadership and determination, giving Latino-owned businesses and Hispanic professionals a place to do business and network with other professionals.

During her tenure at NCHCC, Leonor has put the North Carolina Hispanic Chamber on the map. Under her leadership, the Hispanic Chamber experienced a phenomenal growth in membership from 19 to 260 members. Thanks to Leonor’s efforts, the Hispanic Chamber now provides services to over 1,200 stakeholders who represent small and medium-sized Latino business professionals, and non-Latinos who are seeking to engage with Latino markets.  Her accomplishments include establishing the NC Hispanic Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fund organization where she now serves as a chair of the Board.  


Before moving to North Carolina from California, Leonor worked as a television news reporter with Univision, the largest Spanish TV Network in the United States.   Her first journalism experience was in her native country Colombia in South America, where Leonor served as a radio host who covered economic issues and conducted interviews of CEOS and local leaders on daily basis.  


Leonor holds a B.A. in Journalism and Communication and Marketing from the University Autonoma in Colombia, South America and a Master’s Degree in Arts and Latin American Studies from Duke University. Leonor currently works as a Director of Sales for Beyond and Consultant for the international firm The Franchise Consulting Company.  She lives in Raleigh with her husband Victor and her two children Nicolas and Natalia.

Marie Rand, Managing Director & Co-Founder, phaware Global Association® 


In 1994, Marie's daughter Chloe became the first person to undergo major heart surgery using the first drug in clinical trials for Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). Given a 99% chance of dying in the operating room, Chloe survived that surgery & changed the course of the approval of that drug. She was eighteen months old. Along with Dr. Robyn Barst, Marie and Chloe were courageous leaders in the early years when little was known about PH. Their groundbreaking work together led to changes that have altered the lives of many. Chloe passed away in 2006. In her honor, Marie has not only continued to assist the pulmonary hypertension community, along with three others, she also co-founded a non-profit organization that develops unique technology for research and raises global awareness through developing and globally distributing digital content. While working toward finding a cure for PH, Marie is focused on improving the quality of life for all who are touch by pulmonary hypertension 

Pulmonary Hypertension, is a rare, complex and chronic disease affecting the arteries of the lungs that can lead to right heart failure. phaware global association® is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to raising global awareness and creating innovative technology for research. phaware® educates the public about pulmonary hypertension. Our goal is to capture, engage and enable misdiagnosed and undiagnosed PH patients because early diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between life and death. 

phaware's unique expertise is in digital marketing and creating and leveraging innovative technology to support the constituents we serve. This expertise allows us to operate more definitively and cost effectively, ensuring that more of our funding goes directly to our programs. We have a unique vision of how state of the art tools drive global awareness and how mobile technology, big data and machine learning can be leveraged for the betterment of the global pulmonary hypertension community. 

Having It All 2018

RESILIENCE In Times of Volatility

Join the conversation April 10, 2018!
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