Conference for Women

SoAR

Nancy Libersky leads efforts to help Americans start, build and grow businesses for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Minnesota District Office.  District Director since 2010, she champions SBA’s programs to help small business by facilitating commercial bank loans, advocating for federal government contracting opportunities and working with local communities in all 87 Minnesota counties on entrepreneurial development and business growth.

Libersky brings to the position 29 years of federal experience, including as the Regional Manager for SBA’s International Trade Programs.

Born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado, Libersky attended Colorado State University, Pueblo. She moved to the Twin Cities in 1994. In addition to her service at SBA, she has served as an adjunct instructor at Saint Paul College teaching classes such as International Culture and Marketing, Introduction to International Trade and International Communications and Finance. She has served on the Minnesota District Export Council, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, and is a member of several international organizations. Libersky lives in Maple Grove with her husband, Jim.

Pam Solberg Tapper is  a Leadership Expert with over a decade of experience in helping business leaders address the complex challenges that they face today. Pam is best known for her “Leader’s Under Pressure” expertise. Her background includes working with leaders from fortune100/500 to midsize and small companies.

Pam provides speaking, coaching, and training to assist leaders under pressure required to perform at higher levels than ever before. She gives leaders the tools to manage the elevated pace, navigate incessant change, and increasing demands. Her tools include practical ways to master one’s mindset, time, communications and relationships.

With an MBA in Health Services Administration, years of senior level leadership experience, and as a successful business owner, Pam has a solid foundation to assist her clients attain maximum effectiveness. She is a contributing leadership writer for the Duluth News Tribune and conducts a monthly coaching segment on ABC’s Good Morning Northland. Pam is a co-founder of Aim High Network, a regional women’s leadership organization.

Pam is an avid runner having completed marathons on all 7 Continents as well as the North Pole and Mt Everest. She brings a sense of adventure, accomplishment and can-do attitude to support her clients in getting results in their professional and personal lives. 

Kathy Fauth, Master Stager, founder and owner of Mindful Spaces, LLC and Certified ASP Trainer® for StagedHomes®.  Kathy is a coach offering a unique perspective using Staging concepts for any space, whether your head, heart, home or business.   Kathy realizes that if your head and heart are cluttered, chances are your home and business life also area.  Kathy has achieved the highest designation in the Staging Industry as an Accredited Staging Professional Master with Barb Schwarz, the Creator of the Staging Industry.  Recently, Kathy was awarded the 201 Best of Home Staging Industry Leadership Award, the Best of Home Staging Client Care Excellence Award and the Luxury Home Specialist Designation.  Kathy is also a member of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. 

Kari Rihm Eight years ago, Kari Rihm’s life shifted when she became owner of Rihm Kenworth after the tragic passing of her husband.  The business had been in her husband’s family since 1932.  Since taking the reins, Kari has expanded the business exponentially, paving the way for future growth.  This year, the company celebrates its 87th anniversary.  Through Kari’s many accomplishments and business successes, she is most proud to provide her children with the opportunity to lead the company in the future.  Her daughter, Libby Rihm, is going through management training at another Kenworth dealership to learn more about dealership operations, and her son, JB Rihm, is currently Vice President and represents the 4th generation to work for Rihm.

Kayla Strand is a proud mid-west townie who knows just about every person in the Benton County area. Her high energy + tenacity has not only lead to several speeding tickets, it has also propelled her into starting the INDY Foundation. As a 29-year-old jack-of-all-trades, Kayla is the founder of one of the fastest growing non-profits in Minnesota. After losing her husband, Kyle, to colon cancer in 2017, Kayla became bound and determined to make the most of her time here on earth. So, when she’s not fiercely burning calories at Peak Physique, traveling the world, or working as an East Coast project manager for commercial construction/architecture…Kayla can be found giving back to others in the midst of their cancer battles. No bigs. This grateful Christian woman credits her bravery, drive and success to Kyle’s legacy and the grace of God.

Denise Venus can be described as passionate, positive, loyal, driven and resilient. She has enjoyed a successful career working at Allianz Life for 28 years. As an instrumental leader in a fast-paced, growing and evolving company, she has continually been asked to take on new challenges. In fact, she has only interviewed for the first job she was hired for that got her in the door. As a Senior Director, she leverages her talents and passion to solve problems. She doesn't shy away from tough situations; she is motivated to take on new challenges, and complex situations. Relationships are critical and she has formed and built long lasting relationships throughout her career; reaching across her organization and establishing strong connections within the financial services industry. She is a true "people-focused" leader, and is known for her ability to create, build and develop people and strong teams. She is continually sought out as a mentor, both professionally and personally by people at all levels of the organization. She gives her best to her teams and delivers great results for her company.  

 Denise is a single mom of a 16 year old son, 14 year old daughter and three dogs – her family is her top priority and she adores them all! Denise has been thrown some big curve balls in life; that’s where the resilience comes in. She is a walking example of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. She has faced and conquered many challenges; she takes time to reflect and recognize how far she has come and all that she has accomplished. Most important, she looks forward and is motivated for what the future holds and all that is possible. It's an exciting journey! 

Kelly Sayre is the Founder & President of The Diamond Arrow Group. She believes that all women can learn how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Kelly teaches situational awareness to women through speaking engagements, classes, and online training so they can move  forward with confidence to live life on their own terms. She also works with corporations to offer the training as part of their employee wellness programs.

Kelly is married to a wonderful man with whom she shares two young boys and one very large Great Dane.  In her free time, she recharges her batteries by running and reading.

Sherry Newman began her career in corporate America as the first woman to be licensed as an 18-wheel truck driver for Northwestern Bell Telephone. She then moved into the technical arena as a computer trouble shooter and then into the sales arena where she received numerous awards for her performance, first as a salesperson, then as a sales manager.  After retiring, Sherry began her work as a business coach and trainer, working with small business owners and personnel to help create efficient and effective business practices.  Sherry has also kept her creative side in the forefront thru ownership of an arts and sewing studio with her daughter. 

Leadership training and program development have been a passion of Sherry’s since her days as a highly successful sales manager and trainer.  She has continued to work with individuals and businesses on leadership skills and professional development and has created and facilitated the Leadership in Business program for the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce.  

Sherry enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, reading and delving into new sewing projects, as well as developing new training programs for sales and leadership, which she is planning on publishing.