2016 Speakers

Read about our speakers for the 2016 conference below. To learn more about the breakout session topics, click here.


Suzanne E. Grandchamp

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Suzanne E. Grandchamp is a seasoned family law attorney with a boutique practice serving both traditional and non-traditional families. She is also a skilled national presenter for ThomsonReuters on legal topics related to divorce and law practice management and is the author of Marriages End. Families Don’t. Divorce Wisely. The essential handbook for navigating the process of divorce.

Suzanne’s personal mission is to successfully lead clients through one of life’s most challenging transitions – divorce – with compassion, comprehensive education, effective, practical legal advice,and assertive representation.

Suzanne is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota.  She is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota, the U.S. District Court – Minnesota, the Eighth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.  Suzanne is also a licensed commercial pilot, flight instructor, and worked previously as a corporate pilot.

Rebecca Guyette

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Rebecca J. Guyette has guided many clients through challenging life transitions in her 24+ years of experience practicing family law. Her practice includes marriage dissolution, child custody, paternity, ante-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Rebecca also provides neutral services as a family law mediator, an early neutral evaluator, and a parenting consultant.

Rebecca’s dissolution practice also includes Collaborative Law clients, all of whom have chosen to focus on settlement rather than litigation. In these cases, Rebecca strives to promote peaceful resolutions to conflict whenever possible so as not to increase the financial and emotional costs. She was among the first collaborative professionals in Minnesota, and has been a Collaborative Family Law attorney for over ten years, and a member of the Collaborative Law Institute since its inception.
Rebecca earned her Juris Doctor from the Hamline University School of Law. She is a member of the Minnesota State Bar and the Hennepin County Bar Association.
Rebecca is an active member in the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota, the Collaborative Divorce Professionals, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Karen Schlotthauer

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Karen Schlotthauer, a Lommen Abdo shareholder, focuses her law practice on estates and trusts. Karen counsels clients on all aspects of estate planning, including wills, trusts, charitable planning, retirement plan distribution planning, prenuptial agreements, and estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax strategies. She also represents fiduciary clients on estate and trust administration matters, including the preparation and filing of estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns. She provides high quality legal representation, creative solutions and great customer service to a broad range of estate planning clients. Karen has frequently been a guest speaker on the topic of estate planning for various organizations in the Twin Cities.

Karen offices in the firm’s downtown Minneapolis office, but also maintains an office in the western metro to facilitate meetings with clients. She has a B.S. in Business from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, and obtained her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

For more information about Karen’s approach, visit www.ReelLawyers.com, where Karen answers a variety of questions on estate planning, probate, trusts, taxes and family estate planning in a series of videos.

Financial Consultants

Lisa Byrne

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Lisa Byrne, CDFA® (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) has been working in the financial services field for over 20 years. Lisa specializes in working with clients pre divorce and helps them prepare cash flow analysis, budgets and financial statements. During the divorce process Lisa works closely with clients and their attorneys in analyzing spousal support proposals, asset splits, social security maximization, and other important financial issues.

Post divorce Lisa works with clients to prepare a long term financial plan that may include goal setting, asset allocation/risk management, college planning and liability management.

Divorce is a very stressful time for clients and Lisa’s philosophy is to make the process as simple and easy as possible.  “Kitchen table counseling” is a term she uses to describe her practice; which means she will meet her clients in their home and work with them on their day to day financial issues.  It is not uncommon for Lisa to help a client hire other professionals in their lives such as a CPA, estate planning attorney, real estate agent or a mortgage professional and will even help clients navigate the car buying experience.  Lisa also conducts monthly workshops on divorce called Second Saturday and Mondays for Men.

Chris Riley

Chris Riley

Chris Riley has over 20 years of experience in public accounting. He is an Accredited Business Valuator and Certified in Financial Forensics. Chris has extensive experience in financial consulting, business valuations and litigation support. He brings with him many years of expertise in valuing closely-held businesses, asset tracing, fraud accounting and other litigation. He has provided testimony in civil matters on many occasions in family law situations. Chris is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Minnesota Society of CPAs. Chris is involved with his community as a Council Member of the City of Ramsey and as an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America.

Anne Ledwein


Anne Ledwein has more than 25 years of public accounting and tax advisory experience specializing in helping families minimize their income and estate tax obligations. She also works with not-for-profit organizations in both the private foundation and public charities arenas. Anne graduated from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Anne is on the Minneapolis CBIZ Women’s Advantage committee, which is a committee that helps internal and external women succeed in business.

Counseling and Consulting

Emilee Rodriguez

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Emilee works with individuals, couples, and families who need support navigating life’s transitions as well as those who desire healthier relationships.  She has experience with adoption, 2nd marriages, parenting after divorce, parenting kids with disabilities, and parenting exceptional kids.

Emilee uses a family systems focus to understand what is causing stress and anxiety in families and relationships.  Emilee is passionate about attachment work, mindfulness, and how they impact not only client’s relationships but also the therapeutic relationship as well.

Jordan Hart, Ph.D., L.P.

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Jordan has been in practice since 1999 and has worked in both hospital and private practice settings. She works with children, adolescents, adults, and families with concerns such as depression, anxiety, and school and social stressors. She also has particular interest in helping families navigate through the challenges associated with separation and divorce.

Erin Kassebaum

Erin Kassebaum is a qualified neutral under Rule 114, a trained Parenting Consultant and Parenting Time Expeditor. She serves as a Guardian ad litem for Hennepin County, a mediator for Ramsey County, and as part of the leadership committee for the Cooperative Practice Network of MN. Erin is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), a certified Parents ForeverTM facilitator, and is listed on the current Minnesota ADR Roster. Erin has received specialized training in ADR processes through Hamline Law School and Erickson Mediation Institute. She earned her bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Sociology and Family Social Science, and a graduate certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Erin Kassebaum is a professional Divorce Mediator and Parenting Consultant who is passionate about helping people come out the other side of divorce emotionally and financially whole.

Leadership and Transition Coaching

Abigail Barrett, M.A., L.P.

When leaders and teams harness their energy and leverage their unique strengths, the impact on business performance can be transformative. As an executive coach, Abigail Barrett provides both the incisive insights and the practical steps leaders need to create sustainable change and maximize their contribution to the organization.

A licensed organizational psychologist with more than 30 years of experience, Abigail has worked with a broad spectrum of industries and clients, from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She has special expertise in leadership development, executive coaching, team development, and succession planning.

In every engagement, she works closely with key individuals and stakeholders to get to the heart of the issue, provides clear and candid assessments, helps people change their behavior in relevant ways, and connects those behaviors to business priorities and desired outcomes.

Prior to founding Leadership Transitions in 1999, Abigail was a partner with a national consulting firm. Earlier, she was co-founder of McGladrey & Pullen’s Management Development Institute, where she created and delivered development programs for leaders in closely held businesses.

Abigail holds a master’s in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Minnesota Psychological Association, and Minnesota Women Psychologists.

In addition, Abigail is a national speaker on leadership effectiveness, conflict management, intentional communication, collaborative team skills, and business succession planning.

Kim Bartels, Ph.D.

Kim is an Executive Coach and Career Strategist for female leaders and high-level individual contributors in corporate, non-profit, and educational settings. With a passion for inspiring women to achieve their own unique definition of success, Kim tailors her approach to each individual client’s needs and goals. Her areas of expertise include women’s leadership growth, assessment for leadership development and selection, career transitions, and tapping into each woman’s strengths and professional identity.

In addition to being the founder and sole proprietor of Bartels Executive Coaching, Kim is an Executive Coach and Consultant for Leadership Transitions and The Bailey Group, both in Minneapolis. Over the past 20 years, Kim has enriched other adults’ personal and professional growth in her roles as career counselor, psychology professor, assessment specialist, management consultant, and executive coach.

Kim earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a specialization in Counseling Psychology. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with minors in Mathematics and Statistics. She is a member of Team Women Minnesota and the Minnesota Career Development Association (MCDA), where she is also a Coordinator for MCDA’s Mentorship Program.

Career Coaching

Kathryn Johnson


Riding her bicycle to sell greeting cards in her small South Dakota town, Kathryn realized the value of being persuasive, ambitious and a visionary. She was already thinking outside the box of the pre-determined women’s careers of her day. That start-up venture has led her down a career path including experience as a makeup artist, retail gift buyer, executive recruiter working with International/National Companies, local non-profit employment program development and prominent community consultant on intergenerational workplace issues, work readiness and career planning and coaching. These roads and her CareerCode – EASCRI – have led to the founding of CAREERCODE, a tool for mapping the world of work that has already led many hundreds of others to discover their fit in educational programs and the job market today.

Jan Lowe


Being raised in a small Nebraska community, she began using her interests by playing the piano for the high school choir. She pursued a degree in Music Education and was in the first year of her teaching career when she realized it was not a good match. Fortunately, after obtaining additional education and a Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, she found an alternative career which was more fulfilling than teaching as she was able to work with individual clients rather than a classroom of students. Building on her vocational rehabilitation counseling experiences, she became specialized in vocational assessment and courtroom testimony as a vocational expert which is very satisfying work and a good match for her CareerCode—AECISR. She has pursued private practice in Minneapolis dating from 1978 at Rehabilitation Counselors, a business she owns.

Shannon Johnson


You can’t help but feel better when Shannon walks into the room. She always has a smile on her face and is determined to make your day a little brighter. “I want to make a difference in the lives of others that I work with on a daily basis. My desire to leave a lasting legacy of encouraging, uplifting and inspiring others drives my ambitions every day.”

Shannon enjoys using her God-given gifts to help businesses connect with more customers. Strengthsfinder categorizes Shannon as a “maximizer”. That means she’s driven to help people and projects succeed. “Hearing businesses’ stories excites me,” she says. She’ll listen to your needs and connect you to the right team. She accepts nothing short of excellence.

Shannon is a single mother raising four children ranging in ages from one year old to sixteen years old. She founded Encourage Her Network in July of 2012. Her entrepreneurial spirit called her to create opportunities for herself and others, as well as be a visionary leader for women. Encourage Her Network produces women’s networking events and a quarterly print and online magazine designed to keeping professional women connected and in the know.

Media Relations Agency, the nation’s premier performance based marketing agency, acquired Encourage Her Network in August of 2016, as well as brought Shannon onto their team as an account executive. Media Relations Agency is a full service, hybrid agency specializing in helping businesses tell their stories. Shannon continues to be active within the Encourage Her community as well as retains her role as publisher for the magazine.

With a strong background in marketing and design from DCTC, Shannon continues to invest in herself to learn and grow in all areas of her life. She surrounds herself with the best of the best. She’s an inspiring public speaker, energetic connector, blogger, encourager, and passionate advocate for women’s leadership. When she isn’t spending time with her family, you can find her tucked away with a good personal development or leadership book, practicing yoga, or listening to music.

Shannon will encourage you to create a life you love and live a GREAT story. Life is in session!

Car Buying

Michael Stanzak

Michael Stanzak is owner of Key Cadillac, a family-owned dealership located directly across from Southdale in Edina. Key Cadillac has been owned by the Stanzak family since opening in 1973. The dealership is known for exceptional customer service, which they refer to as the “Key Difference”. Michael is a hands-on owner who believes in taking care of their numerous repeat customers so that they keep coming back.

Real Estate and Mortgage

Kamee Cole

Kamee Cole is a residential real estate agent specializing in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. She loves helping people realize their dreams by helping them find a house they can call Home. A home is not a home because of its room dimensions or the color of the walls. It’s about how you feel when you walk through the front door and the way you can instantly envision your life unfolding there.

Kamee works with clients to help them find the home that’s just right for them. She offers guidance and support to clients that need to sell because of divorce or widowhood to make the transition as easy as possible.

This is about more than real estate, it’s about beginning the next chapter of your life.

Jody Kern

Jody L Kern joined Wells Fargo in 1994 and has been a Private Mortgage Banker since 2000. She focuses on all types of mortgage lending, with an emphasis on new construction and major renovation financing—and has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years.


Pam McCarthy

Pam McCarthy is a licensed insurance agent for American Family Mutual Insurance Company, based in Madison, WI. She has over 15 years experience in the insurance industry and is the owner of The Pam McCarthy Agency, Inc. located in Farmington, MN.

Pam’s expertise in the insurance industry includes helping her clients with their personal insurance needs as well as business needs. The Pam McCarthy Agency is licensed and represents thousands of policies written in MN, WI, AZ, WA, GA and IN.

In addition to running and operating The Pam McCarthy Agency, Pam is very involved in her community serving as a board member on the Farmington Business Association and a volunteer at Women Venture located in Minneapolis, helping women business owners build and grow strong businesses.

The Pam McCarthy Agency includes over 35 years of combined experience and is dedicated in making sure their client’s needs are served above and beyond, one policy at a time. In doing so they have been awarded the Excellence In Customer Service Award 4 years in a row.