Meet the keynote speakers who've walked in your shoes

You are going to love this year’s Stronger to Serve keynote speakers — they were selected with your interests and aspirations in mind.

Your-day-to-day accomplishments as a nonprofit leader require that your well-being be nurtured. The two dynamic keynote speakers at this year’s Stronger to Serve 2022 National Training Conference will inspire you to set an intentional course for your life, to keep your own personal and professional goals front and center.

Anna Maria Chávez, the first woman of color to lead the Girl Scouts of the USA (Girl Scouts) and Dorri McWhorter, the current president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, will speak to attendees from their wealth of experience and knowledge about applying a mission-driven, proactive mindset in all aspects of life.

Chávez, the opening session keynoter on Tuesday, July 12, inspires individuals and organizations to lead authentically and work more collaboratively to achieve a demonstrable impact. Her topic at the Wipfli conference for nonprofit leaders: "You Deserve to Lead Your Life to its Fullest Potential."

"Our time is now, and this our moment to step up to meet our destiny," Chávez says. "Together, we will lead into our future, make our communities, our country, stronger and create a world where our families and communities will thrive for generations to come."

Chávez helped bring the 104-year-old Girl Scouts of the USA (Girl Scouts) into the future with a sweeping girl-centric organizational redesign. She prioritized teaching girls about technology and social entrepreneurship, including adding new badges in fields like financial literacy and STEM education. She went on to hold leadership roles with the National Council on Aging and the National School Boards Association.

Last July, Chávez joined education technology firm, Encantos, a storyteaching platform connecting creators with kids to inspire them to learn 21st-century skills. She assumed the newly created position of chief impact officer and president of, a new non-profit focused on advancing the understanding of the importance of 21st-century learning, literacy and life skills for children through the development of research, programs, and fellowships.

Chávez was named one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders and honored as one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company magazine. In 2021, she was named one of the top 50 Over 50 Women leaders by Forbes Magazine.

"Be a possibilist"

McWhorter will help attendees see how to "be a possibilist" when tackling leadership challenges on Wednesday, July 12. Her remarks will be followed by a leader-to-leader fireside chat with Kathleen DuBois, Wiplfi's practice leader for nonprofit and government.

McWhorter became the YMCA’s top leader in Chicago last August after eight years as CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, where she led the the organization’s transformation from a traditional social service organization to a 21st century social enterprise. Increasing impact and organizational sustainability, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s operating budget grew from $10.5 million in 2013 to $38 million for fiscal year 2022.

During her tenure with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the organization expanded its service footprint to 10 new locations, completed seven mergers and acquisitions, added paid family leave and developed a retirement plan to include options for thousands of childcare providers and small business owners.

McWhorter also led the effort to develop an exchange traded fund (ETF) for women’s empowerment in partnership with Impact Shares, the first non-profit investment advisor to develop an ETF product.

She was inducted to the Chicago Innovation Hall of Fame in 2019, and she serves as co-chair of the advisory board of the First Women’s Bank, now in development.

"We’re excited to bring speakers to the conference who truly understand you and your daily challenges and will inspire you in ways you may never have envisioned," says Kathleen DuBois, practice leader for nonprofit and government. "These two dynamic, empathic leaders, like our attendees, are community builders with heart. They recognize you’re on the front line of change every day. You’ll be encouraged to set an inspired goal that you commit to taking action on. And when you return to Stronger to Serve 2023, you’ll have made amazing progress."

Learn more about the conference and register now.


Featured Speakers

Anna Maria Chávez
Keynote Speaker
Former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA (Girl Scouts)
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Dorri McWhorter
Keynote Speaker
President and CEO, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
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