Business & Economy

UWF Executive Mentor Program announces keynote speakers for 2017 Women in Leadership Conference

The University of West Florida College of Business Executive Mentor Program has announced Dr. Wendy Murphy and Bentina Terry as keynote speakers for the 2017 Women in Leadership Conference. The annual event will be held Friday, March 3, from 11:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the UWF Conference Center and Auditorium, Building 22, on the Pensacola Campus.

The free conference showcases prominent women leaders who have achieved both personal and professional success. It is designed to empower women and encourage collaboration and networking. Dr. Martha Saunders, UWF president, will present the welcome address.

Murphy, associate professor of management at Babson College, will deliver the opening session, titled “Propelling Women’s Careers: A Developmental Network Approach.” She currently serves as co-coordinator for the Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship program at Babson and has served as faculty advisor for mentoring programs through the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Dr. Wendy Murphy
Dr. Wendy Murphy

Co-author of the book, “Strategic Relationships at Work: Creating your circle of mentors, sponsors, and peers for success in business and life,” Murphy’s research focuses on the intersection of careers, mentoring and work-life issues, with an emphasis in nontraditional developmental relationships and learning. In 2014, she was named one of “40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 in the World” by Poets & Quants. Murphy earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston College, and she resides in Dover, Massachusetts.

Bentina Terry, vice president of customer service and sales at Gulf Power Company, returns to the Women in Leadership Conference. She will close the conference with a presentation titled, “You, Them, Us … Leadership in Practice.” Terry is responsible for marketing, customer service, community and economic development at Gulf Power. She also serves as chair of the Gulf Power Foundation.

Bentina Terry
Bentina Terry

An active leader in the Pensacola community, Terry is chair of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Board. She serves on the UWF Board of Trustees, chairing the Academic Affairs Committee, as well as the boards of directors for Take Stock in Children, the Children’s Movement of Florida, and Innovation Coast. She has also received numerous appointments to public service roles, including the Escambia County RESTORE Advisory Committee, which she chaired from 2013-2016. A North Carolina native, Terry holds a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and a juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School. She has received various awards and accolades for her community service and influence in Northwest Florida.

The Women in Leadership Conference gives attendees the opportunity to engage in town hall-style panel discussions in order to gain an understanding of some of the issues women face in various career paths and the importance of aligning personal values with leadership behaviors.

The first panel, “Women in Leadership,” will be moderated by Sue Straughn, news anchor and senior editor at WEAR-TV. Panelists include:

• Kim LeDuff, dean of University College and associate vice provost, University of West Florida
• Mary Hoxeng, general manager, Cat Country 98.7, NewsRadio 92.3 FM/1620 AM
• Christy Manderson, vice president of sales, Highpointe Hotel Corporation
• Amy Miller, port director, Port of Pensacola

The second panel is entitled, “Investing in Your Future and Owning Your Destiny.” Christina Doss, managing director, Saltmarsh Financial Advisors, LLC will moderate the discussion, featuring the following panelists:

• Allison Hill, chief executive officer, Lakeview Center Inc., and senior vice president, Baptist Health Care
• Xia Liu, vice president and chief financial officer, Gulf Power Company
• Cecilia Nanni, vice president, wealth advisor, Regions Private Wealth Management
• Kristine Rushing, chief operating officer, risk consultant, Beck Partners Insurance

The 2017 Women in Leadership Conference, annually themed “Design Your Future,” is free and open to the public, including men, women, students and professionals. To register for the conference or to learn more, visit