We’re proud to feature a list of prominent speakers 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 contact us if you would like to learn more information.
Katherine Klimitas is a New Orleans-based artist and designer who sold her first watercolor at age 10. As the daughter of veterinarians, Katherine expresses her family’s life-long love of animals through her meticulous life-like paintings. She earned a B.A. from Loyola University in 2011, and today at age 33, runs her multifaceted business KAK ART & Designs from home. When clients learn that Katherine has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, they are captivated by her unique perspective. She and her parents stopped counting her broken bones at 500 at age 10. She’s 2 feet 7 inches tall, gets around in an electric wheelchair, and creates all of her art, jewelry and commercial graphic design while lying on her side.
“Looking Up” is a glimpse into Katherine’s world, a world unlike most. Because she spends most of her time in an electric wheelchair due to her physical condition, she spends a lot of her time looking up. Though the book began as her college senior project, it evolved shortly thereafter into her story, complete with anecdotes, humor, and powerful photography.
Katherine speaks to a variety of audiences, including high school and college students, medical professionals, and education professionals, spreading her message of perseverance and creativity.
Movers and Shakers
Donna Robinson, Travel Tax
Donna Robinson is the Operations Manager for TravelTax and TravelTax Canada. Donna has a degree in Business Finance with a minor in French from Bob Jones University. She started her career working as an executive for a multi-state retail store for 3 years before entering the fundraising industry helping raise the necessary funds for schools and civic groups as an area sales representative. She was a consultant in the insurance field for over 18 years advising business clients and their employees (in 4 states and DC) on benefit issues and compliance issues. She left that position to pursue her project management certifications.
In 2018 she joined TravelTax as the Operations Manager. She knew that it would be an exciting project to help move TravelTax from Nebraska to South Carolina and set up new operations systems and procedures, but it has turned into a much bigger opportunity. Donna loves working with TravelTax staff and clients and is motivated to fulfill the company’s vision of helping medical, cross-border, and international travelers. She loves spending time with her entire family including her sons, grandkids, twin sister and their families.
Mary Carney has been an RN for over 40 years- working in neonatal, pediatric, and adult critical care - 38 years of that on night shift. She worked as a bedside RN until completing her DNP in 2016. Her master's and doctoral research focused on the lived experience of night shift healthcare workers, and the role that the 'culture of fatigue' impacts that work. Mary is a graduate of Purdue, Western Governors, and Touro Universities. She is a popular conference speaker and currently works with WGU's innovative BSN program from her home in Lake City, Florida.
Dr. Sandra Risoldi DNP, MSN Ed., APRN, PMHNP-BC*
Preventing Violence in Healthcare
Dr. Sandra Risoldi is a mother, to 2 amazing teens, that possesses a passion for advocacy, safety, and quality education for healthcare workers. In August 2019, Dr. Risoldi successfully completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with the published project, “Preventing Patient on Nurse Violence Through Education©”, creating a 501 c(3) nonprofit Nurses Against Violence
Unite, Inc.®, which sparked an international movement to support frontline healthcare workers and end healthcare violence. The mission of Nurses Against Violence Unite, Inc.® is to bring
awareness to the issues, fill the gaps of education, empower all while eliminating violence in healthcare. Among many accomplishments, Dr. Risoldi is a #1 Best Selling Author, was invited to be on “The Doctors” TV Talk Show “Nurses Under Attack”, presented “Preventing Psychological and Physical Abuse of Frontline Healthcare Workers” for the American Psychological Academy (APA) Conference plus The American Academy of Nurse Attorneys,
CNA, and the Nurses Service Organization (NSO) among many organizations, news features and articles. In May 2021, Dr. Risoldi completed and achieved honors towards a Psychiatric Mental
Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Graduate Certificate over the two-years in the program. May 2022, Nurses Against Violence Unite, Inc. was the co-organizer for the Nurse’s March in Washington, DC and recently unveiled the Holistic Crisis Prevention (Violence Prevention)
program for the Registered Nurses Professional Association (RNPA) in San Jose, CA with glowing reviews. It is Dr. Risoldi’s mission is not only safety, but to uplift, inspire, and comfort all those in healthcare and the communities that we serve.
BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC
Preventing Violence in Healthcare
Emily Cheng is a multipotentialite Critical Care Travel Nurse turned Nurse Innovator/Entrepreneur - CEO & Co-Founder of MedVenture App, an app to unite traveling healthcare professionals through community, resources, and tools. Passionate about supporting our traveling healthcare professionals who go above and beyond to respond to staffing shortages all around the country.
Not one who's satisfied with the status quo, Emily is a thought-leader, life-long learner, and change-maker. She loves to create and implement strategies and systems. She loves intersectionality - between healthcare, impact, environmentalism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, personal development, the great outdoors, and digital creation.
On her time off, you can find her backpacking, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, meditating, journaling, traveling - anything that helps her connect to her passions, the natural world, herself, and others!
With a background in psychology and international business, Erica brings a unique perspective to Travel Healthcare. She holds a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy, and spent 5 years as a travel therapist. With her past success in heading operations in the tech startup space, Erica pivoted her skills toward building a user friendly solution in the travel healthcare staffing space. The LIST is a database for travel healthcare jobs across agencies, where travelers can choose their own job and recruiter, applying in real time with one click. A process which has cut the application to start date from 3 weeks to as little as 5 days. A traveler at heart, Erica still lives on the road while heading her fantastic team remotely.