Award-winning author and founder of the children’s publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press, Maria Dismondy inspires and educates children, teachers, parents and caregivers.  

Her background in early education and research enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences. When Maria isn’t working, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children.  

Join Maria Dismondy and over a dozen other experts, authors, and researchers as we explore recent data in child development. Our expert speakers will provide realistic tools for raising children in today’s world that exhibit essential life skills like kindness and communication.

Dr. Michele Borba is an internationally recognized expert and author on children, teens, parenting, bullying and moral development. Her work aims to help strengthen children’s character and resilience, build strong families, create compassionate and just school cultures, and reduce peer cruelty. Her practical, research-based advice is culled from a career of working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.

Lindsay McCarthy is a wife and homeschool mom of two kids. She is the co-author of The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families and creator of where she blogs. She grew up in Pennsylvania and now splits time between there and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. 

Brittia is a wife, mom, free-spirited cowgirl, wild-hearted health & wellness advocate, ultrasound technologist and your self-care tour guide. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Baylor University (Sic ‘Em Bears!) in 2010 and her ultrasound registry in 2012. In 2015, Brittia and Jason welcomed their first son, Conway and are expecting a baby girl in April. The trio resides on 20 acres in Hallettsville, Texas, alongside three horses, two dogs, two cats, multiple chickens and are growing their cattle herd. 

Gabi Garcia is a mama, Licensed Professional Counselor and award-winning author. She has worked with children in the public schools for over 20 years. Gabi's writes books that support parents and educators in nurturing mindful, socially and emotionally aware children. 

Samantha Munoz is a mother, wife, engineer, bibliophile and avid coffee drinker. She is also the expert kid's lit curator at Addison Reads, author of The Intentional Bookshelf and founder of The Intentional Book Club. Sam helps parents as they search for the perfect books for their little ones and helps parents build a library with a purpose. Once a seriously overwhelmed and stressed out parent herself, Sam turns to children's literature for the answers to all of her parenting dilemmas. She loves when it rains because it gives her an excuse to stay inside and read with her daughter!

Shelly Robinson is the owner of Alively, a monthly self-care subscription box for moms packed with wellness goodies and empowering activities designed to help you put the pep back in your step and the spunk back in your spirit. Think of it as self-care on cruise control. Her mission in life is to be a seed planter, a hope spreader, and a truth teller so that moms know down to their core that they are worthy of a happy, purposeful life.

Kurt David’s vast experiences as a professional athlete, best-selling author, TV host, corporate keynote speaker, behavior specialist, adjunct professor, university representative, & transition consultant for professional & Olympic athletes has provided him the unique ability to connect with diverse audiences. He is the creator of the highly-acclaimed book & TV show, “From Glory Days” which chronicles the lives of Hall of Fame, All-Star, & World Champion former professional athletes. His second book titled, “The Change” is co-authored by some of the nation’s leading authorities on change & transition, & is part of a five book series that has become a global movement. Kurt now works with highly successful individuals, organizations, & corporations that at times face challenges with positive leadership, conflict resolution, teambuilding, & facing change. Despite his extremely busy schedule, Kurt believes it is important to give back & does so by volunteering his time & resources to numerous local, national, & international charities.

Karen Delano is a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach. Karen has been a preschool teacher, run her own in-home play school and now her business empowers other moms to find ways to make this parenting thing easier! She is a single mom of three active kiddos, is the founder of If It Were Simple and always finds time to drink an entire cup of hot coffee uninterrupted every matter what.

Dr. Colleen Carroll speaks internationally to thousands of parents just like you, helping them “get their child back” from the grip of screens and turn them on to healthier activities, such as reading. Dr. Carroll is a 20-year veteran educator in New York State Schools. Her numerous articles on screen time and reading have been published in educational journals and magazines, as well as on the web. She has been interviewed on nationally syndicated podcasts and radio shows to share her message about how parents have the control to break their child’s screen addiction, and how to do it successfully with every teen, tween and young child using reading as a tool. Dr. Carroll won the prestigious national Emerging Leaders Award by Phi Delta Kappa as one of the top 25 leaders in the country for her groundbreaking work in literacy with middle and high school students, as well as the Elmer. P. Schacht Award for excellence in research. She is the author of the #1 bestselling book, Hooked on Screens: How to Get Your 5-14 Year Old to Put down the Phones, Video Games and Electronic Devices and Pick Up a Book.

Casey O’Roarty, Med, is a facilitator of personal growth and development. Her work encourages parents to discover the purpose of their journey, while also providing them with tools and a shift of mindset that allows them to deepen their relationships with themselves and their families. As a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer since 2007, Casey has led countless groups through workshops and classes that have left them feeling empowered and excited about parenting. She also offers online classes and individual coaching at Casey lives in the Pacific Northwest with greatest teachers – her husband, and adolescent kids.

Yvonne Marcus is passionate about helping moms to mom their way. She is an expert in helping moms to lessen their mental load. Her major passion is helping you to go from hot mess to got it together by creating a #momlife that can run on autopilot with help from your entire family! Yvonne lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, and long hikes through the mountains with her 2-year-old and her 8 month old. Okay so maybe not long hikes unless daddy is with them, but they're definitely enjoying all that Asheville has to offer. 

Kari has been an elementary teacher for 31 years. She has a bachelors degree in elementary education and a masters degree in reading. She has extensive training in reading and writing through the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project in NYC. She was part of a project based assessment Social Studies program at both the state and national level in writing curriculum. She has also written curriculum for Oakland Schools to benefit ELL students with Social Studies/Science topics. She has presented several times for the Michigan Reading Conference, served as a co-chair for the state conference, and served on the Michigan Reading Association board. Kari has a passion for making learning fun and instilling a love for reading in every child.

Rebecca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist, children’s book author, instructor, and parent of two children. Rebecca has taught graduate classes at Teachers College Columbia University, NYU, and Mercy College. She also teaches courses throughout the year at local colleges in the field of speech language pathology. She began her website, to create a resource for parents to help make mealtime an enriched learning experience. She is the author of several games for children with special needs, a story time workbook and three children’s books. She has worked for over seventeen years with both children and adults with varying speech and language delays and disabilities. She works in variety of contexts including public and private schools, outpatient clinics and day habilitation programs improving communication with both children and adults who have complex communication needs. 

Tara is a single mom, business owner, writer, and feminist. She is committed to being a rock star role model of strength for her daughter and other kids in her life. When she's not teaching her 5-year-old about mindset and meditation, she's snuggling her dog and sipping hot coffee.

Drew Tupper is a teacher, husband, and father. He is an advocate and educator for raising healthy, happy, whole-hearted and empowered children. He mentors youth and works with parents as well, to help them overcome obstacles and create the best possible environments for the children they love.

Kelly Pfeiffer is a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer and the owner of Think It Through Parenting. As a parent, Kelly has been using Positive Discipline with her children for 22 years and has been teaching Positive Discipline parenting workshops to parents for 16 years. Also a Certified Master Trainer for the South Carolina Child Care Training System, Kelly trains child care providers and preschool teachers on a variety of topics including child development, child guidance, social-emotional development, and dance and movement exploration for young children. Kelly is mom to a 24 year old son, a 21 year old daughter, a 24 year old step daughter and a 22 year old step son. She lives with her husband in Greenville, South Carolina.

For 20 years Kimber has trained nationally and internationally on bully-proofing children and schools. Kimber develops curriculum and leads programs for kids, parents, and professionals on how to build confidence and self-esteem, develop socials skills and emotional intelligence, and deal with unfriendly friends, mean-spirited behaviors, relational aggression, and bullying. She has provided her program in Kenya and a number of other countries.

Currently in her 34th year as an educator, Barbara Gruener, a school counselor and character coach at Bales Intermediate School in Friendswood, Texas, has had the pleasure of working alongside of and growing with kids from every grade level. Author of the blog The Corner on Character and the book What’s Under Your Cape? SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind, Barbara enjoys positively influencing change through her inspirational keynotes and interactive workshops. When she’s not working, you can bet Barbara is knitting, baking, writing, reading, walking, gardening, napping, or spending time with her husband and their three children.

Cindy Price lives in New Castle, DE. She has been a teacher for 19 years. She has been a Kindergarten Teacher for 15 years and a First Grade Teacher for 4 years. She is the mother to an amazing 9 year old daughter named Emily. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with her Education degree as well as a graduate from the University of Phoenix with her Masters in Administration as well as her Masters in Teacher Leadership. She also has a Masters degree from FullSail University in Educational Media, Design and Technology. She was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and is an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan. Reading, drawing and scrapbooking are just a few of her favorite things to do.

Dr. Carrie Leff is an Internist and Pediatrician in Novi, Michigan and a mother to 3 young girls. She is the co-founder of Turning Teen; a company that offers educational programs about puberty to parents and children. She is passionate about work and life, and finding a balance between the two. She spends many of her waking hours thinking and talking about puberty.

Alexa Bigwarfe is a wife, mother to 3 wildlings, devoted advocate, blogger, author, and publisher. Her writing career began after her infant daughter passed away at 2 days old. She has written and/or edited and published eight books, including Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother and Ditch the Fear and Just Write It! She uses that hard-earned publishing knowledge to support other writers and entrepreneurs at She also owns the small hybrid-publishing company Kat Biggie Press (, dedicated to sharing women’s works of inspiration and self-help. Alexa is passionate about women's, infant, and children's health topics and has had more than 50 articles published in regional parenting magazines around the U.S. and Canada. She enjoys drinking wine, spending time with her husband and friends, traveling, and just because life isn’t full enough, hosting the “Lose the Cape!” podcast featuring inspirational mothers and women making a difference in the world.

Angie Trueblood is a meal planning expert who helps busy moms simplify dinner so they can get back to enjoying their time around the table with their family. She's also recently launched a second business where she uses her connector and strategy skills to help business owners develop a marketing and visibility strategy that works for them. And, when she's not working, she loves spending time with her family exploring her hometown of Richmond, VA.

In 2016, Alexandra quit her corporate job in NYC to co-found a company which empowers children and teaches them skills necessary to live their dreams. Together with her husband, Alexandra grew Big Life Journal's community to over 50,000 parents and educators in a matter of months.

Jaime Tavera is the founder of Joy Nation and now your personal early years parenting and lifestyle coach. She is a wife and a proud mom to a firecracker of a daughter and an energetic son. As a parent She has been through the terrible two's, terrifying threes, fearsome fours and she is proud to say she has survived. She has a Masters in education with a concentration in special education. She is a Certified Professional Coach and is Certified in the Kazdin Parenting Management technique. She currently coaches parents of children between the ages of 2-6 years old who are displaying unwanted or challenging behaviors. As an educator of children of special needs for more than 10 years, she has worked both in the classroom and in the home environment. While, working closely with parents in the home through New York City's early intervention program, she developed a passion for coaching parents. she discovered that learning is more than just about how well a child performs academically. Its' also about their social and emotional health too. It helped her to realize that focusing just on academics is like giving a child half of a roadmap and expected them to get to their final destination. Realistically, we want well rounded children and we can get that by having more, teachable moments. She is a firm believer of the saying "it takes a village to help raise a child" and she is committed to helping one family at a time.

I’m Natalie: the former corporate Human Resource executive tired of hiding in corners to whisper to my husband about picking up the kids or how dinner will be late. I’m the type A, organized, determined, sweet tea (or white wine) drinking More Mom that runs on minimal hours of sleep but still wakes every day ready to take on- and save- the world. I’m the More Mom in all of us strong-willed and motivated women wearing 6-8 hats any moment of the day, craving a lifestyle with balance and success. My mission is to help bring other More Moms into a space of support and community to shed the guilt and stress by embracing and celebrating one another.

Maria is the host of the Empower, Ignite & Soar Character Summit. She will be interviewing all of the parentng and educational specialists. Maria is a children's author and founder of the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press. She is passionate about offering resources and education to parents in order to help the children of the future become kind and caring individuals. Maria also coaches published authors on growing their brand. Maria loves connecting with others and is a lover of life. She lives in Southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.

Anna Seewald is the founder of Authentic Parenting®. She is a speaker, author and a parent educator. She also has a popular Podcast called Authentic Moments. She is a mom to a vibrant 9 year old who doesn’t approve of her fashion choices. As a child she survived through a severe earthquake. She lost her young mom. She has been through trauma, pain, and a lot suffering. With a strong passion helping children Anna dedicated her life working with abused, neglected, orphaned, institutionalized children and juvenile delinquents. After nearly 20 years she realized that it is through helping parents she can help children. Today she is supporting parents around the world by moving from traditional ways of parenting into more peaceful, conscious ways by making sense of their past life experiences, healing from trauma, building effective communication, practicing non punitive discipline and setting limits with love and kindness. She is a multilingual, multitalented person who loves dark roast coffee and dark chocolate with salted caramel.

Ashley Carroll is the founder of It Takes a Village Podcast, Blogger, gluten-free dairy-free pancake master chef. Mom of two American ninja warriors in training and one babe in heaven, Ashley balances motherhood, marriage and has recently finished recording her 50th episode. It Takes a Village is all about bringing to light the struggles we face as women, mothers and wives so that we don't have to feel isolated in our journeys. Ashley is dedicated to making sure no mom is left behind because #mommingainteasy

Drew W Yanke, M.A LLP is a local psychologist working with families and kids. Drew works in the area of ADHD and over the years has gained a very good understanding of how ADHD can affect children and the parents of these children. He also works with kids who are experiencing anxiety/depression, academic issue and mean kid and bullying behaviors. He is a husband and father of three.

Miriam Laundry is a Canadian author and sought after speaker with a goal of empowering children to believe in themselves and to know they CAN! Bestselling author and mother, Miriam Laundry, writes books that inspire and empower children to make choices that promote confidence, happiness and responsibility. Miriam is the creator of the” I CAN” children’s book series.  

Miriam lives in St. Catharines, Ontario in beautiful Canada. She is married to Mark Laundry and has 4 children, Sarina , Alissa , Aiden and Lucas. She loves to travel, read, attend transformational seminars, spend time with her family and write.

Jodi Bondi Norgaard is the founder of Dream Big Toy Company and the creator of the award-winning Go! Go! Sports Girls line of dolls, books and apps for girls encouraging healthy and active play over fashion and body image. Jodi is a keynote speaker, entrepreneur, activist, and consultant in the movement pushing media and retail to do a better job portraying girls beyond stereotypes. Jodi is a leader in the toy industry breaking gender stereotypes since 2009, when she launched the plush sports dolls built in specification to a real girl's body. Her inspiration came in 2007 after shopping for a doll with her then 9-year-old daughter and finding a doll with belly baring clothing, high heels and make-up, named 'Lovely Lola.' Jodi knows girls are strong, smart and adventurous and the importance of emphasizing what a girl's body can do versus what her body looks like. She has been featured on national media including The Today Show, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Forbes, Upworthy, Parents, Shape, Self, Runner's World, Advertising Age, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and Huffington Post. In 2016, Jodi was invited by The White House to participate in a conference on breaking down gender stereotypes in media and toys. She is a board member of Girls on the Run - Chicago, a board member of Kaskey Kids an award-winning line of sports action figures, and is a founding member of The Brave Girl Alliance, a think tank of girl empowerment experts. In October 2016 the Go! Go! Sports Girls brand was acquired by Jazwares, an established cutting-edge toy company.