WORK Summer 2018

presented by #bossbabesATX
powered by Texas MSTC and Texas MBA
10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday July 14, 2018
Rowling Hall in Austin, Texas
$25 entry

Conference Schedule:


• conference registration •

ROWLING HALL bottom floor
10:00 AM to 10:30 AM

On the bottom floor of Rowling Hall, you'll find registration. We'll scan your ticket and you'll be prompted to choose one of the following statements that best resonates with you and who you're trying to meet.


• a guided meditation and light networking •

10:30 AM to 11 AM

You'll then head to the Rowling Hall rooftop to either join a mediation or mingle with other attendees who chose the same statement as you.

For those attending the guided meditation and stretching sesh, your morning will be led by the founder of Stretch Yoga, Kaysha Patel. She'll provide us all with some headspace for the day's agenda on the roof of Rowling Hall. (Dress comfortably, so you can participate in this session.)

Kaysha Patel.

Kaysha Patel.


• on wild growth: a keynote introduction by Sara Inés Calderón •

11 AM to 11:30 AM

Entrepreneur and pocha who codes Sara Inés Calderón will share her journey in the tech and creative community.

Sara Inés Calderón is a mobile developer and advisor to Women Who Code. She currently co-organizes Women Who Code: Austin, as well as the ATX Diversity Hackathon. Calderón is an advocate for healthy work environments and diverse creative and tech communities.

Sara Inés Calderón. Photo by 1778 Photographie

Sara Inés Calderón. Photo by 1778 Photographie


 • workshops and discussions:
part I  •

Floors 3 through 5
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

For workshops and discussions, attendees will have to choose between four sessions. The sessions for Part I are as follows.

Session 1 - Room 3.406: An Exercise In Design-Thinking
In this workshop, led by Jessica Tremblay, attendees will learn how to use design-thinking as a model for creating customer-oriented solutions and products.

Session 2 - Room 3.310: Storytelling For Social Media
Hosted by content and digital marketing strategist Alexis Davis, this workshop will identify different approaches to storytelling on social media. As our businesses grow (or begin), how can we use communication, visuals and language to create a bootstrapped, but consistent, brand?

Session 3 - Room 4.416: A Candid Conversation About Finding New Customers
This roundtable will be joined by the Chief Marketing Officer of UT McCombs Emily Reagan, Creative Consultant and Lawyer Nik Sallie Franklin and entrepreneur Sophie Kwok of Love Intently. Our multi-industry panelists will discuss how they craft marketing plans, develop research and begin to target new audiences.

Session 4 - Room 5.402: An Open Discussion on Price-Setting
Dr. Melissa Murphy will explore practical ways to determine pricing through market research, customer analysis and an assessment of your own resources and needs. (We hosted this session at WORK Winter '18 and decided to bring it on back—let's talk!)


• workshops and discussions:
part II •

Floors 3 through 5
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

For workshops and discussions, attendees will have to choose between four sessions. The sessions for Part II are as follows.

Session 5 - Room 3.406: Ask Me Anything with Kaysha Patel — To Scale Or Grow Your Business? 
In this session, we'll host a Q&A with entrepreneur Kaysha Patel, the founder of Stretch Yoga. Patel has been steadily building the Stretch Yoga brand and infrastructure, and she's ready to share the reasons she has opted for growth over scaling and what this has looked like for her business strategy. Please come with questions prepared.

Session 6 - Room 3.310: What Is Work/Life Balance?
Researcher and professor Dr. Dawna Ballard is an expert in chronemics—the study of time as it is bound to human communication. She researches what drives our pace of life and its impact on the communication practices and longterm vitality of organizations, communities, and individuals. In this session, she'll discuss some of her research around the “work-life balance” discourse and managing the challenges of information overload and 24/7 multitasking cultures.

Session 7 - Room 4.416: Working Big While Being Small
Former solopreneurs Small Coffee founder Clarisa Ramirez and Alchemy Events founder Richelle Ouellette will share practical experience on making strategic hires and planning for business growth. 

Session 8 - Room 5.402: Getting Legal
Social entrepreneur and Lawyer Denise Hernandez will walk attendees through business formation. Where do we start and what should we be thinking about?


• process and connect: lunch and networking hour •

1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

We'll break for lunch, graciously provided by our friends at Wildscape, and reconvene on the roof of Rowling Hall at 2:00 PM to share our insights from WORKshops and discussions. 

Not into networking? At 2 PM, meet tour docents at the Blanton Museum (only a few blocks away) for a complimentary tour. The tour will end at 2:45 PM, so you can make your way back to Rowling Hall for the afternoon's keynote panels.


• on cultivating a positive working environment: a discussion among business owners and industry leaders •

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

In our first keynote panel, panelists will discuss creative leadership. How do we create positive and uplifiting work environments—for ourselves and for others?

Meet the panelists (more TBA):

Mary Mickel (panelist), partner at Resplendent Hospitality in Austin, Texas, has over ten years of PR experience with a strong focus on the hospitality industry. Before moving to Austin in 2009, she spent time in California, working for high-end resort Meadowood Napa Valley and one of San Francisco’s oldest hospitality PR firms, Andrew Freeman & Company. Upon heading south, Mickel and her husband founded Austin’s first hard cider company, Argus Cidery. She subsequently co-founded Resplendent Hospitality, with partner, Ali Slutsky, with the mission to build food and beverage brands across all platforms.

Sharon Mays (panelist) founded Baby Greens in 2004, after a brief stint as a vegetarian made her realize that there were no fast food options for people looking for a quick, healthy meal. Sharon grew up in Austin, so she knew that her hometown was the perfect place to launch a fast food revolution. Though she eventually returned the life of an Omnivore, Sharon committed to making sure that people who enjoy a plant-based diet had a fast food restaurant to call their own. Which is why there is a meat version and a vegetarian version of every salad, wrap, and soup on the Baby Greens menu. Under Sharon’s leadership, Baby Greens has won many awards and honors for its delicious food, including been voted “Best Salad & Dressing” in Austin.

Naomi Seifter (panelist)
Naomi has battled chronic, food-allergy-related illness since she was a child. Her search for a solution to improve her health led her to discover the beneficial effects of an allergen-free diet. But once she’d improved her eating habits, she realized that it was nearly impossible for her to eat healthfully unless she made the food herself. Naomi decided to create a way to provide a vibrant food experience for everyone—regardless of their food sensitivities. She wanted to take the guesswork out of safe, nutritious, readily accessible food. In 2013, Picnik opened as a grab-and-go food trailer and elevated coffee shop known for its specialty butter coffee, which incorporates healthy fats such as grass-fed butter and MCT oil. Picnik has since grown to include a thriving brick-and-mortar restaurant, a first-to-market CPG line of bottled butter coffee that launched nationally,, a new cafe partnership with Whole Foods 365, and additional plans for continued expansion. 

Mary Mickel.

Mary Mickel.

Sharon Mays.

Sharon Mays.

Naomi Seifter.

Naomi Seifter.


• on stress and success management: a conversation between creatives and entrepreneurs in stages of growth •

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

In our second keynote panel, speakers will discuss strategies and solutions for managing expectations and taking care of oneself while life changes, businesses expand and collaborators come and go.

Meet the panelists:

Stephanie Scherzer (panelist) works to connect communities with their land, and make local food more accessible. Her love of farming and passion for sustainable living driveFarmhouse Delivery’s mission and its dedicated staff. She moved to Austin in '93 and has more than 20 years of experience in horticulture – managing John Dromgoole's The Natural Gardener nursery and starting a design build landscape company with her wife, Kim Beal. She’s eager to help others cultivate a deeper understanding of where food comes from, and empower them to be a part of the process. Stephanie and Kim also own and operate Rain Lily Farm, which provides nutritious food for their two daughters, and contributes to Farmhouse Delivery produce boxes. As longtime supporters of the local arts and food scene, Stephanie and Kim open the farm for annual events such as Shakespeare on the Farm and the East Austin Urban Farm Tour, and have played host to the James Beard Foundation and various Austin-based non-profits.

Maria Oliveira (panelist) is the co-owner of Passport Vintage, a local vintage shop that focuses on vintage denim. Passport has been featured in W Magazine, Refinery29 and NY Mag’s The Cut. Maria is also a volunteer with Jolt Texas.

Ruby Ku (panelist) is currently the Director at Austin Center for Design. Most recently, she was the VP of Product at Aunt Bertha, a search and referral platform for social services, where she helped grow the company from 4 to 40 people. She also co-founded HourSchool, an education platform where anyone can take or teach a class. In the past 10 years, Ruby took on numerous roles in interaction design, software development, and product management. She is most passionate about working at start-ups, where she gets to drive initial concepts all the way to market launches and into the users’ hands. She has launched dozens of products and services, in sectors ranging from education, health care, to human services.

Stephanie Scherzer

Stephanie Scherzer

Maria Oliveira. Photo by Diana Ascarrunz

Maria Oliveira. Photo by Diana Ascarrunz

Ruby Ku.

Ruby Ku.


• wind-down: an interactive happy hour •

Rowling Hall Bottom floor lounge
5:00 Pm to 6:00 PM

Following the conference's events, we'll wind down in the lobby for an interactive happy hour.