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March 11, 2023
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

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Join us for the Power of Change

9th annual Power Up Women's Conference. 

As women, we lead, nurture, inspire, and create possibilities. We believe that all things are possible! All dreams are achievable, and nothing can stand in our way through the POWER of CHANGE.

Now is the time to be stronger, to dig deeper, and make the changes in your life you have always wanted to make.

Ticket costs include breakfast, speakers, and special gifts:

$130.00, discount tickets available, Seating is Limited.

Get your tickets TODAY!


2023 Conference Headliners

Icons & Luminaires

We’re proud to feature a list of prominent women who are at the forefront of their fields. These professionals are always eager to share their knowledge and inspire like-minded enthusiasts. Read more about this year’s speakers below, and register today to reserve your spot at this life-changing experience!.


Powerful 2023 Speaker Lineup

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Michelle Petties

Speaker and Author of Leaving Large: The Stories of a Food Addict

Michelle Petties is an author, speaker, Food Story Coach, and recovering food addict. Her first book, Leaving Large: The Stories of a Food Addict, features powerful stories that chronicle a lifetime of eating for all the wrong reasons. After gaining and losing 700 pounds over four decades, Michelle finally discovered the “secret” to ending the battle between her mind, body, and hunger -- her Food Stories. By unlocking her own unique Food Stories, Michelle debunked long-held misconceptions and misconnections about the purpose of eating. Armed with these insights, Michelle now shows others how to find their own food truths. A veteran public media professional, Michelle lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

A food addict in recovery and experiential eating expert, Michelle Petties is an author, speaker, and inspiration. Her debut memoir, Leaving Large – The Stories of a Food Addict, a category winner in the 2022 Memoir Prize for Books, features the award-winning essay, The Cake is in the Mail.


Michelle attended Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, as its first early admissions student in 1975 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Texas at Arlington. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Marshall, Texas, she has lived in Dallas, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.

Michelle is a public media veteran who develops strategic partnerships, sponsorships, and alliances for Baltimore’s NPR station, WYPR. When not speaking, writing, or coaching, Michelle can be found on the tennis courts, shopping for new wigs, or searching consignment boutiques for deals.


Dr. Nicole Roberts Jones


Dr. Nicole Roberts Jones, affectionately called “The Purpose Producer”, is uniquely gifted at one thing – drawing out what’s best in YOU and helping you take your Brilliance to The Bank. An entertainment industry veteran, Nicole worked in Talent Management and Casting before shifting her talents to help others create powerful transitions!


She now works with entrepreneurs to start businesses alongside their 9 to 5, generating multiple revenue streams and greater bandwidth to serve their clients without being present. To help them create automated systems through her Brilliance Mastery Academy.  Additionally, she works with corporate executives to design meaningful work, aligning their purpose with their paycheck. To help them create greater momentum individually while increasing performance & productivity for the company through her Transition & Align division. Her clients have included the Steve Harvey World Group, Dell EMC, McDonald's, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the BOSS Network, Lisa Nichols and Motivating the Masses, and Coach Diversity Institute, to name a few.


Nicole is also a nationally recognized transformational speaker, bankroll your brilliance expert, and best-selling author of four books. She lives with her husband in a suburb of Washington DC, consulting, writing, and creating breakthroughs for her clients.

Bankroll Your Brilliance Expert & CEO of NRJ Enterprises


Dr. Deidra Walker-Quarterman

Bernadette J. Carroll

MSW, Counselor

Author, Speaker and Power Up Conference CEO & Founder

Dr. Deidra Walker-Quarterman is a native of Savannah, Georgia, but has been residing in Northern Virginia for the past 20 years with her husband and two children. Dr. Quarterman is a mental health clinician for Umbrella Therapeutic Services in Washington, DC. Dr. Quarterman has provided services and lent her knowledge and expertise to various settings, including psychiatric hospitals, legal and educational systems, and residential placements.

Dr. Quarterman provides mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Quarterman treats mental health disorders, creates individualized treatment plans according to client needs and circumstances, meets with clients regularly to provide counseling and treatment, and adjusts treatment plans as necessary. Dr. Quarterman assists clients by being resourceful and flexible, treating them individually based on what they need and can do.

Dr. Quarterman aspires to help clients reflect on what is happening to them and seek alternative ways to heal, better develop cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness, and cope with various life challenges to improve functionality. Most importantly, Dr. Quarterman is passionate about helping clients better understand themselves and the community they belong to so that they can live their lives freely and happily.

Bernadette is the founder and organizer of the life-changing Power Up Women’s & Teens Conference, now in its ninth year.  She is a sought-after speaker, writer, author, life coach, and marketing guru with over 15 years of marketing experience.

Bernadette believes in celebrating the lives and work of other women in and around the community. This act of gratitude is portrayed in her conference as she seeks to honor, recognize, and celebrate other women for their contribution to the world. 

Bernadette is a loving wife and mother of two amazing children.  She is an active member of: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Psi Rho Omega Chapter in Loudoun County, Jack & Jill of America Inc., and the Northern Virginia Chapter. 

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Michelle Davis-Younger

Mayor of Manassas, Virginia 


Kumar Cortez Kibble

Principal Leadership Coach and CEO, GuideQuest LLC

Kumar Kibble is a leadership coach and the chief executive officer at GuideQuest.  GuideQuest provides leadership coaching to develop leaders and teams, enhance performance, navigate career transitions, and drive strategic change. Clients worldwide include Fortune 500, start-ups, scale-up businesses, U.S. national security, homeland security, law enforcement, and government organizations. 

Kumar’s coaching practice is preceded by decades of experience as a government and corporate leader.  Since graduating from West Point more than 32 years ago, he has led high-performing teams as a military officer, special agent, diplomat, and C-suite executive.

As a former U.S. Homeland Security deputy assistant secretary, Kumar served as the deputy director (chief operating officer) of its largest investigative agency, U.S. Immigration, and Customs Enforcement. He received the Presidential Rank Award for his leadership of a 20,000-person organization with a global footprint and a $6 billion budget. Kumar rose through the ranks to become the agency’s top career executive, serving throughout the United States and Europe while leading international operations, programs, and partnerships to counter transnational crime and terrorism.


Kumar began his career as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division.  His military service included command of a civil affairs team during NATO peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He partnered with Bosnian mayors, police, reconstruction officials, and United Nations organizations to promote the safe return of thousands of people who had been expelled from their homes within a war-torn region.  ​

Kumar earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Science in Management from Johns Hopkins University.  He is certified as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation. 

He and his wife Laura have been married for 32 years and are the adoptive parents of three children.

A native of Manassas, Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger is the first Black female and Democrat to hold the highest office in the city.  Since 2018, she has served on the Manassas City Council and championed the causes of Manassas residents.  Her two children have been educated in Manassas City public schools. 


As a small business owner, she helps Manassas residents develop their careers, market their accomplishments, and broaden their skill sets.  She loves her city and is its hometown hero.


Mayor Davis-Younger is moving from breaking barriers to producing positive change and influencing future generations. She has initiated a “My Mayor Looks Like Me!” program where young ladies can visit the city hall, meet her, and learn from her life story. 


Mayor Davis-Younger is determined to hear the voices of all residents and position Manassas to be the gold standard for what is possible when we work together. She is committed to helping people become gainfully and sustainably employed and works to bring ideas for creative economic development and job growth.

Mayor Davis-Younger is a proud member of numerous boards and associations. She has been profiled in the VML Town and City magazine and has been covered by many local media outlets. She is also a member of the First Baptist Church of Manassas, the oldest African American church in the City of Manassas.


Mary Grate-Pyos

MBA,  Business Owner, Author, Mathematician,

& Inspirational Speaker

Mary Grate-Pyos, MBA,  business owner, author, mathematician, inspirational speaker, former columnist (newspaper & radio), and proud “Geek in Pearls,” is the author of Wealthy Woman – Wise Choices and President of Financially Focused, Inc. 

Mary is dedicated to assisting individuals, families and entrepreneurs in their efforts to gain financial knowledge, protect their assets and move from frustration to financial freedom. She also serves as Chief PearlPreneur™ of My Pearl Power™ focusing on encouraging possibility, positivity, and prosperity in women’s lives. 

As a trained mathematician, she considers herself a “Geek in Pearls”. She is an accomplished Personal Finance Writer and former Columnist for the Capital Spotlight Newspaper in Washington, DC, and Financial Expert on the syndicated radio show “Serving Up Soul.”


She has been featured in Black Enterprise, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Woman International, Boomer Market Advisor, Visions Magazine, Pink Magazine, and Advisor Today Magazine.


Erica Rowe

Business Brand Ambassador &
Queen Confidence Creator

Erica P. Rowe is the Founder/Chief Connector of Business Brand Ambassador. She has a natural ability to make powerful connections. She has worked many years in the hospitality industry for some of the top global brands, including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Red Door Salon & Spas. As well as owning her own successful practice has given her extensive insight into high-level brand representation. Erica has always served her community as an ‘unofficial’ ambassador. She has enjoyed building meaningful relationships within her local and surrounding communities and brings that same level of excellence and commitment to Business Brand Ambassador. Erica is a sought-after emcee/host who enjoys bringing an energetic and engaging experience to every event. In addition, she has hosted numerous events in and around Loudoun County. She is the Queen Confidence, Creator of The EVOLVE Series, a four-week workshop empowering Queens to positively impact their lives & their communities by showing up with confidence as the best version of themselves, by utilizing her EVOLVE six-step framework.


Elisa-Ruth Nelson

Empowerment Expert

Elisa-Ruth Nelson is passionate about empowering people to be their best selves. Leveraging well-honed leadership, communication, and planning skills gained through a successful career in human resources and management with the federal government, she knows how to affect positive change at both individual and organizational levels.

Growing up in Alaska, often referred to as the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” afforded Ms. Nelson with unique experiences, which included viewing the spectacular aurora borealis, fishing and hunting with her father, enjoying summer midnight bike rides, and taking private music and dance lessons. Alaska’s lack of daylight during the winter months propelled her to seek consistent self-development and learning opportunities throughout her youth and into adulthood.

Her passion for learning and people led Ms. Nelson to a public service career, starting with the Department of Justice – Bureau of Prisons and currently serving as an HR Professional for the Department of Army, where she facilitates large-scale leadership development programs and leads employee engagement initiatives. In this role, she oversaw the Emerging Enterprise Leader Program in 2017/2018, which provided leadership development opportunities for 64,000 civilians and culminated in 24 commands earning a leadership certification. 

Ms. Nelson earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications from Wilberforce University and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.


Word on the Street

Over 96% of attendees rate the conference as "Excellent", making the Power Up Women's Conference the highest rated conference in the Northern Virgina area.


The conference literally changed my life. I left feeling empowered and I got to meet so many great women.

Justine Williams, Silver Springs, Maryland

Great job with the conference, Bernadette! Keep it up, I can't wait to come back next year!

Shinece Johnson, Toronto, Canada

The conference was fabulous! Normally conferences just have one or two good speakers, but this conference had over 20.

Zaundra Cole, Ashburn, Virginia


Legacy of Motivational Conference Speakers

Movers and Shakers

To help you get focused, get energized and get going our wonderful motivational and inspirational speakers will share incredible personal stories of success, failure, and persistence.


Read more about our prior year’s speakers below, and don't forget to register today.

This conference will sell out.


Mary Grate Pyos

Financial Advisor, Author, Business Owner


Alana Andrews 

Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO of So Positive, LLC and The SWEY Corporation

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Tovia Knight, BA, MP

Assistant Administrator, Correctional Programs Branch, 

Federal Bureau of Prisons


Elisa-Ruth Nelson

Empowerment Expert


Bernadette J. Carroll

Author, Speaker and Power Up Conference CEO & Founder


Rahni “Nikki” Jenkins

Educator, Advocate, World Champion


Denisha Johnson, LCSW

Teens and Young Adult

Mental Health Expert


Tashna-Loy Donaldson

Business Owner, International Travel Enthusiast & Corporate Real Estate Management


Allia Jilliann Lewis

Associate Warden, Difference Maker & Mentor


Dr. Candace V. Bryan, MD

Award Winning Neurologist


Cassandra Stroud Conover

Commonwealth’s Attorney the City of Petersburg, Retired


Laticia Hicks

Educator and Public Servant


Renee Brown Small

Founder and CEO,

Cyber Human Capital


Kim Collins

Founder, Executive Director | Pearls Empowerment


Erica Rowe

Business Brand Ambassador & Queen Confidence Creator


2023 Theme

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Live with Purpose.

Don’t waste any more time stumbling through life. It’s important to have a purpose. A purpose sets the entire context for our lives. The good news is purpose is not something that others choose for us; rather, it is something we must choose for ourselves. But choose we must.

Take time to identify your purpose. Join us and learn how living life on purpose allows you to access the POWER of YOU.

Live with Passion.

If you want to be successful and produce extraordinary results in life, you must live your life with passion! Most of the time, it is our passion that drives us into taking action and doing our best. If you don’t know what you are passionate about, you will live a boring life and you will never perform at your best. And when you are living a passionate life, you are living a purposeful life. Your passion is the energy that powers your dreams.


Make your dreams come true, join us and learn how to find your passion and unleash the POWER of YOU.

Live with Power. ​

When we aspire to succeed, whether in business, career, or relationships, we typically set our sights on external factors and on the results, we are trying to achieve. But true lasting success comes when we conquer the internal factors – “excuses” - which prevent us from realizing our true potential.

Join us and a learn how to take a “No Excuses” approach to being accountable for your own success and unlock the POWER of YOU.

Join us and learn how to live with Purpose, Passion and Power!


Legacy of Power Up Honorees

Now in our sixth year, the Power Up Women's Conference and Your Life Matters Too have had the unique privilege of honoring over 25+  women who have made exceptional contributions to our community.   These women represent what it means to be Powered Up! We are happy to present the 2022 class of Honorees.   Please come out to the conference to support these amazing women of distinction.

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Trailblazer Award Honoree

Michelle Davis-Younger

Mayor Manassas, Virginia


Trailblazer Award Honoree

Michele Meyer-Shipp

CEO of Dress for Success


Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

The Honorable Lorrie Sinclair Taylor

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Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

Gladys Fitzhugh-Pemberton


Trailblazer Award Honoree

Danielle Brown

Past National President,

Jack and Jill of America, Inc.


At the Luxurious Salamander Resort & Spa 

March 11, 2023

Check-in 8:30 AM & Breakfast

9:00 AM Eastern  - Time to Get Power Up!


Conference Kick-off

Bernadette J. Carroll, Founder & CEO, Power Up Women's Conference


Conference Emcee 

Erica Rowe


Power of Community - How to Grow & Thrive

Michelle Davis-Younger, Mayor Manassas, Virginia


Girl, Why Not? -  The Power of Transitioning Through Change

Dr. Nicole Roberts Jones, Elisa Ruth Nelson & Moderator Erica Rowe

Our Relationship with Money

Kumar Kibble & Mary Grate-Pyos 

Women and the Impact of Negative Thinking

Mental Health - Dr. Deidra Walker-Quarterman

Today's Fashion - Owning Your Style

Keynote Speaker

Michelle Petties



Closing and Conference Wrap-Up!


Networking & Spa


Women of the Year Honoree

Dr. Angela Bess

Our Sponsors & Exhibitors

Working Together

We’re proud to present our list of sponsors for this year’s conference. Without the support of these companies and organizations, we wouldn’t have the resources and funds necessary to organize this powerful and unforgettable event.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? We always welcome the opportunity to develop new partnerships, so get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

Higher Mark Consulting

Conference Pricing

 Tickets On Sale Now
$130.00 Advance | $150.00 Regular Price 
Limited Engagement Event

We are thrilled to be expecting a large, excited audience for this conference. With an exceptional group of speakers featuring key influencers throughout the industry, this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear directly from the pros.


Take advantage of the chance to get inspired by some truly talented individuals.

Buy your ticket today to make sure your spot is reserved!

Special Pricing

Get in Touch

We hope you're able to attend. If you have questions about the registration process, our schedule or general information, don’t hesitate to reach out.


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Middleburg, VA

About the

Power Up Women's Conference

Brought to you by Your Life Matters Too™


What is Your Life Matters Too?

Your Life Matters Too is a northern Virginia-based self-development and empowerment consultancy focused on inspiring healthy living by adopting a full-circle approach to life through the connection of the mind, body and spirit. YMLT works in conjunction with Life Matters Corp, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization focusing on empowering and uplifting women and teens to bring you the Power Up Women's Conference for Women and Teens.


To learn more, visit or call us at 469-766-8225. 

About The Founder


Bernadette's passion is to educate and inspire others to fully embrace life and adopt healthier lifestyles. She is a mother, wife, christian, marketing professional, speaker, entrepreneur, writer and lifestyle blogger.

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