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Home » Santa Clarita News » COC To Host Women’s Conference Tuesday At Valencia Campus
COC To Host Women's Conference Tuesday At Valencia Campus

COC To Host Women’s Conference Tuesday At Valencia Campus

College of the Canyons is hosting its annual Women’s Conference on Tuesday at the school’s Valencia campus.

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Serving as the keynote speaker at this year’s Women’s Conference is award-winning actress Kamala Lopez, who’s also a filmmaker and executive director of the ERA Education Project.

Beyond Barriers:Reaching Your Full Potential,” will be held at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at the COC Valencia campus from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 10.

Lopez launched her professional acting career while in high school when she was cast on “Sesame Street.” The young actress attended Yale, double majoring in philosophy and theatre studies, before appearing in more than 30 feature films, including “Born in East L.A.,” “Deep Cover,” “The Burning Season” and “I Heart Huckabees.”

Joining Lopez will be Elisha Kriis, a Bollywood actress, producer and host for India’s first hi-def travel channel; Doris Marie Zimmer, a life coach and chair of the COC Foundation board of directors; and several others listed below.

The speakers will touch on a variety of subjects falling under the theme of the talk, which is “Breaking Barriers.”

“It’s about building and maintaining effective relationships,” Zimmer said, regarding the topic of her speech. “It’s about identifying the elements that are keys to success in working relationships.”

As a performance coach, Zimmer said she helps clients focus on the outcomes they want to achieve.

TV personality and producer Elisha Kriis said her talk will focus on several different areas with the benefit of an international perspective.

The former Bollywood actress identifies ways of life utilized by happy, successful women, through her experience, and she plans to share that, she said.

One common concern she identifies is a balance that oftens falls out of alignment when a woman loses herself in commitments to others and lets a focus on herself fall by the wayside.

“Things go out of balance if they’re not caring for themselves in the first place — when that happens in the United States, the result is break-up, divorce and depression,” Kriis said

“If one could understand the reason behind the success of women who are married and still doing extremely well with their business… Those same women haven’t done different things, but they’ve done things differently,” she added.

And ultimately, when she’s able to help others, she gains from the experience, as well.

“At the end of your day, when you reach your dreams, you want empower other people,” she said, “because only when people around you are happy can you be happy.”

Rounding out the conference’s esteemed panel of presenters are:

·      Ana Pianca — director of research and development, Boston Scientific Neuromodulation, and inventor on more than 100 U.S. and international patents and patent applications specializing in medical devices and tools

·      Alaina Percival — CEO and board chair at Women Who Code, a global organization dedicated to inspiring women to pursue technology career

·      Rachel Zimmerman-Brachman — education outreach coordinator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and inventor of the Blissymbol Printer

·      Dr. Ebonee Williams — managing director​ at the UC San Diego Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, and professional development director, National Society of Black Engineers

·      Suzuki Gurrola — civil engineer, City of Santa Clarita

·      Elisha Kriis — Bollywood actress, film producer, and host for travelxp HD, India’s first high definition travel channel

·      Gloria Mercado-Fortine — board member, William S. Hart Union High School District

·      Dr. Deborah Stote — clinical psychiatrist and COC alumna

·      Susan Chapman — certified vedic master, Chopra Center

·      Kelly J. Mobeck —president, CPC, CEF, Kelly J. Mobeck Coaching

·      JoAnn Wabiska — co-founder, Ekata Martial Arts & Fitness Center

·      Doris Marie Zimmer — life/corporate coach, and chair of the COC Foundation board of directors

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COC To Host Women’s Conference Tuesday At Valencia Campus

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About Perry Smith

Perry Smith is a print and broadcast journalist who has won several awards for his focused, hyperlocal community coverage in several different regions of the country. In addition to five years of experience covering the Santa Clarita Valley, Smith, a San Fernando Valley native, has worked in newspapers and news websites in Los Angeles, the Northwest, the Central Valley and the South, before coming to KHTS in 2012. To contact Smith, email him at
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