NTP Speakers

Opening Session Keynote
Monday July 17, 8:00-9:30 a.m.

michael_murrayMichael MurrayMr. Murray is the Deputy Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In this role, Michael serves as the Senior Advisor to the Director of ODI, driving highly successful government-wide workforce initiatives with various diverse communities. Previously at OPM, Michael was responsible for steering and designing the government-wide policies and programs of 56 Federal agencies throughout the country to increase Federal employment of individuals with disabilities. By fostering teamwork and collaboration, Michael led the Federal government to successfully exceed historic records for the employment of people with disabilities.

Before joining OPM, Michael was the Chief Operating Officer for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), supporting private sector employers in creating innovative and high preforming teams. On the state level, Michael advocated for the rights of people with disabilities as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Disability Action Network. His vision for the organization and strength as a grassroots organizer amplified the voice of people with disabilities at the North Carolina General Assembly, producing positive systematic change. Michael also led efforts at Disability Rights N.C.; a local Center for Independent Living; and as vice-chair of the Statewide Independent Living Council. At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Michael and his colleagues established Beyond Academics, now our Nation’s largest post-secondary education program for people with intellectual disabilities. Michael is fluent in American Sign Language and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education.


nancy_novakNancy Novak: Ms. Novak is National Vice President of Operations for Balfour Beatty Construction, is a long-time construction industry veteran.  At Balfour Beatty, Novak is a key resource in assessing and strengthening the company’s ability to scale knowledge and bring national consistency to strong, existing operating standards. She is heavily involved in organizations that lead the way for technology advancement in the construction industry, and she is an advocate for women’s leadership.  Her passion for advancing women in business occurs through organizations like Women In Government Relations (WGR), Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE), the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI), and the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C. Join us as we start our week of training “Investing in our Future”.


Legislative Luncheon
Thursday July 20, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

tonya_saundersTonya Saunders: Ms. Saunders, Washington Premier Group, will provide an update on Legislative actions in which FEW has had a role. Washington Premier Group (WPG) has set a new standard in strategic advocacy — in healthcare, technology services, energy, transportation and many other issues — representing many of Washington’s most powerful trade associations, coalitions and corporations. Tonya Saunders is a tireless advocate. Working her way from state to national government, she carved her path first in the world of health care and seniors’ issues, then moved into the diverse areas of telecommunications, financial services, transportation, women’s issues, and small, emerging, and medium-sized business issues. Ms. Saunders has proven again and again that she is an accomplished advocate on Capitol Hill by building relationships and effecting legislative change for her clients.


carolyn_cookCarolyn Cook: Carolyn Cook, CEO and Founder of United For Equality, LLC, ignited the ERA’s comeback after 25 years when she authored SJR 5 and HJR 53 to remove Congress’s deadline for ratification in three states. In fact, Cook unveiled her efforts at FEW’s 2011 Grassroots Lobby Day to an enthusiastic crowd.

For the past eight years, Cook served in elected office and proved women’s innate ability to humanize politics. Her accomplishments include: establishing Club 60+ at no cost for over 300 seniors to age in place together; re-establishing social security benefits and permanent housing for three homeless adults with mental illness; testifying at numerous legislative hearings for living wages, senior services, opposing education cuts and disabled parking fees as well as successfully lobbying for various infrastructure improvements.

Previously, as HR Manager, Cook was responsible for managing over 20 innovative HR policies and programs in 14 offices at Discovery Communications. Her efforts contributed to greater employee satisfaction and Discovery’s award-winning reputation as a ‘Best Company’ for working women and families.

For her passionate commitment to empower women and girls, Cook has been recognized by the Alice Paul Institute, MD Governor Martin O’Malley, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, Montgomery County, MD Business and Professional Women, Arlington County, VA Commission for Women, and the DC Spotlight newspaper as one of the Top Ten Most Interesting People in the Washington Metro area.

Ms. Cook is especially honored to close out FEW’s 48th National Training Program with a discerning eye on the FEWture.