A day designed to offer opportunities to foster empowerment, connection and growth is rapidly approaching in Folsom and tickets are on sale now. It’s the historically popular Folsom HER Women’s Conference, an annual event slated for Oct. 5 at the Harris Center for the Arts.


Presented by Choose Folsom, the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event will provide thought-provoking discussions, engaging workshops, and inspiring keynote speakers. 

The event will be emceed by Folsom resident,  journalist and media personality Cristina Mendonsa, as she returns to the podium for another year to host what she considers to be one of her favorite annual events for a number of reasons.


“The Folsom Women’s Conference is part professional development, part networking and a bit of a party with your girlfriends,” Mendonsa told Folsom Times. “The organizers are very intentional in the choice of speakers, the topics of discussion and always focused on relevance and fun. This is a place for women at all stages of their careers and all phases of their lives to gather and be inspired by each other. It is always a pleasure to emcee and the energy uplifts me for days after the event.”

Under the presenting sponsorship of Dignity Health, Inductive Automation and the Palladio at Broadstone, the goal of the event, according to Choose Folsom CEO Joe Gagliardi’s recent commentary about it is, “to ignite the spark within every woman, equipping her with the knowledge, tools, and support needed to embrace her unique strengths, unleash her full potential, and boldly navigate her personal and professional journey. 


The annual HER Women’s Conference began at a much smaller scale back in 2019. At that time, the inspiring event took place at the Palladio with a handful of keynote speakers. Now, it’s home to nearly a dozen well known speakers, including Mendonsa as the emcee, who sets the tone for the inspiring day. All seating to the event is reserved with tickets current on sale at www.folsomwomensconference.com.  

General admission tickets for the event are $125. This price level includes access to the full line up of engaging speakers a morning mimosa and shopping experience, coffee, snacks and lunch. It also includes an event swag back and wine during a happy hour reception following the event.  

The VIP ticket package comes with everything including in general admission plus premier seating, a copy of speaker Kara Golden’s book and access to her VIP reception and book signing. It also includes a professional headshot at the conference by DezVision Photography which includes three digital images and 1 touch up. 


Swag bags for the event alone include more than $150 in gifts including a $20 voucher for Palladio, pamper day by Internal Wisdom, an eyeshadow palette from Bousa Beso Makeup and more. The day includes over $5,000 in giveaways for participants to text in and win throughout the conference. Giveaways include 1 ct. diamond earrings from Adrian Blanco, a year membership to Kaia Fit,  A 2021 rodeo package including new boots from Handleys, A “Perfect Smile Basket” from DiMariano Family Dentistry, $900 aesthetic package from Destinations Aesthetics and more. 

This year’s roster of talented presenters includes keynote speakers. A bit about each of this year’s speakers is included below, courtesy of biography information furnished by our friends and community partner, Choose Folsom. 


Emcee Cristina Mendonsa

Cristina Mendonsa is an EMMY/Edward R. Murrow award-winning multimedia journalist, producer, spokesperson, speaker, and educator.  She currently anchors four hours of daily news-talk for The KFBK Morning News and has reported and anchored for ABC, CBS and NBC television stations.

Cristina founded her company, Mendonsa Media in 2017 and produces narrative marketing for a dozen regional and national companies as well as independent documentaries. She is the voice of several national brands and her latest documentary,  Covid Lost and Learned, earned an EMMY nomination and was aired across the country on PBS stations. 

She is now in production on a new documentary that focuses on an innovative therapy for veterans and first responders who are battling moral injury and PTSD.

Speaker Kara Golden

Kara Goldin is the Founder and Former CEO of Hint, Inc., best known for its award-winning Hint water, the leading unsweetened flavored water. She has received numerous accolades, including being named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Northern California and one of InStyle’s 2019 Badass 50. Previously, Kara was VP of Shopping Partnerships at America Online. She hosts the podcast The Kara Goldin Show and her first book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters, was released October 2020 and is now a WSJ and Amazon Best Seller.  Kara lives in the Bay Area with her family and three Labradors.

Speaker Lauren Johnson 

Lauren is a mental performance coach and keynote speaker. She works with CEO’s, professional athletes, and fortune 500 companies through national speaking engagements, educational training workshops and consulting. Prior to opening her own consulting practice, Lauren served as the Mental Conditioning Coordinator for the New York Yankees. She received her Master’s Degree in Performance Psychology from National University. Lauren’s practical, straight-forward advice and mental performance strategies helps individuals become elite decision makers because her belief is you become elite by choice, not by chance.

Speaker Anne Descalzo

Anne Descalzo is a champion relationship-builder and culture-creator. As co-founder and owner of Clutch, an award-winning women-owned business, Anne leads the company’s human-centered culture and is a strategic advisor to the executive team on planning and decision-making. As a business owner and self-proclaimed “super-connector,” Anne also devotes time to evangelizing the Clutch brand and services throughout the state and nationwide, developing mutually beneficial partnerships and connections.

The results of Anne’s entrepreneurial talent and drive have been clear. In just four years, Clutch has grown exponentially, earning the company the distinction by the Sacramento Business Journal as the number-one Fastest Growing Company in 2023 in the Sacramento region. Also in 2023, Anne was recognized as an Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine and Entrepreneur of the Year by Folsom Chamber of Commerce. These accolades follow many others, including recognition as a “40 Under 40” influential business leader by the Sacramento Business Journal in 2018. An inclusive leader, Anne shares these achievements with the many partners who have cheered her on and supported her. 

Speaker Dr. Dana Jacques 

Dr. Dana Jacques is a board-certified OB/GYN with Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group in Folsom. She attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed residency training at Ohio State University. 

Dr. Jacques has been practicing with Dignity Health for 13 years and was certified as a menopause practitioner for eight years. Dr. Jacques is humbled that her practice allows her to help women through some of the most challenging and transformative periods of their lives.

Speaker Dr Tasnim Khan

 Dr Tasnim Khan is a Primary Care Physician and Harvard University trained health care executive with years of experience. She is the co-founder and CEO of ShaMynds Healing Center where she and the team help people with mental health conditions -depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more- heal with ketamine, a legal psychedelic.

“I feel privileged to be a physician. I value the way in which patients generously share their hearts and lives – entrusting their precious health and vitality to my care,” said Khan.” Over recent years, I had the good fortune of experiencing alternative approaches to healing that are grounded in compassion and supported by science. Unfortunately, many of these approaches are still not widely understood or respected and they are often challenging for patients to access easily.”

At ShaMynds Healing Center, we want to change that. We commit our practice to ‘Holism’— seeing different parts of a patient and how they interrelate along with placing importance on the whole state – a practice embedded within a scientific and safe approach.

I am on a quest to keep my mind open as I continue to personally learn and heal. I respect science, I respect my patients, I respect change, and I respect innovation and the sacred sciences.

Speaker Kerri Pomarolli

Kerri  Pomarolli is called Hollywood’s “Good Girl.” She is an accomplished actress, standup comedian, bestselling author, speaker and veteran of television – with credits that include 29 appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show and Comedy Central, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Kerri’s latest book, “Confessions of a Proverbs 32 Woman” is a bestseller. She won comedian of the year for The Hollywood Red Letter Awards 2022. She won comedian of the year for The Hollywood Red Letter Awards 2022.

She also has a podcast with her daughter Lucy called The Carpool Comedy podcast and tours nationwide doing live even

Speaker Gina Richardson

Gina “RichE” Richardson is the Founder and Chief Mindfully Rich Officer of the Mindfully Rich Brand.
Gina is an energetic, encouraging, inspirational speaker, empathetic facilitator, and the creator and host of The Mindfully Rich Podcast. Known for her humorous spirit and ability to relate and bond with others, Gina has educated hundreds of thousands of people to achieve their lifestyle goals and encouraged them to live authentically.
Gina’s drive and passion for helping others have solidified her as a household name and earned several prominent organizations’ trust. In addition to thriving in the media space, Gina is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion champion.
Gina uses real-life storytelling to speak life into others to inspire and encourage her audience to gain resilience. Gina’s greatest passion is serving and inspiring others to maximize their life, be more mindful of their goals, and assist others in being more intentional in living an all-around healthy life!

Speaker Yvette Waters

Yvette Waters, MS, RDN, CISSN, RYT is the Nutrition Strategist for all Raley’s brands. She leads health and wellness programing, working alongside the merchant team to bring in high-quality products, supports employee education, helps customers make informed health decisions, and drives marketing content. Yvette’s background includes sports nutrition and business with degrees from University of Nevada, Reno, and Logan University of Health Sciences. When she isn’t working, Yvette is traveling, teaching yoga, playing with her French bulldog and rock climbing.

Speaker Amanda D. Yasbek

Amanda D. Yasbek is a Certified Family Law Specialist and has over 10 years’ experience in handling complex family law matters. Amanda founded and opened Onyx Law Office over 6 years ago, which is located in Folsom. The team at Onyx Law Office offers protection and emotional stability while encouraging our clients to continuously push forward in life. Our team of women succeed in helping our clients rise and flourish. Onyx Law Office is here to show those who need help that there are a variety of paths available as they walk through their legal matter, whether family law or estate planning.

Amanda is honored to be recognized as a leader in the family law industry. Her passion for law and helping others started during her childhood and has grown over the years. Her dedication to helping her clients navigate the difficulties of the family law or estate planning process is what continues to motivate her daily.

For the past several years, Amanda has been voted as Best Attorney in Folsom and Onyx Law Office and been recognized as an award-winning law office. Amanda devotes time to giving back to those in need.

Learn more about these speakers and the HER Women’s Conference at www. www.folsomwomensconference.com.  

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan