Women's Leadership Colloquium Logo

Friday, March 16, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Hosch Theatre, John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts
429 Academy Street, Gainesville, Georgia

The Women’s College of Brenau University cordially invites the community to campus for an afternoon of information and inspiration at the fifth annual Women’s Leadership Colloquium. Students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university will gather for conversations about the unique potential and challenges of women’s leadership. Successful women who are passionate about what they do will share their stories, offer advice and suggest fresh vision for others who lead – or aspire to lead.

This event is made possible in part by the generosity of donors to the Grace-Gaskins Women’s Studies Endowment Fund, the Alumni Association Lecture Series and Debbie Purcell, President of Engineered Openings, Inc. 

2018 Speakers

Linda D. Nelson
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Linda D. Nelson, a native of Bloomington, MN and a graduate of St. Cloud State University, with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, began her UPS career as a part-time package handler in October 1986. She rose with the company, accepting part-time and full-time supervisory positions beginning in 1988.

In her 31 years with UPS, Linda has served in a number of assignments in Human Resources and Operations.  This included key operational assignments in Minnesota, California and Kansas before being promoted to and serving as President in the Ohio, Alabama and Illinois Districts.

In September of 2016, Linda accepted the assignment as UPS President of Customer Experience.  In this role, Linda is responsible for leading a Corporate team in the creation of a culture at UPS that focuses on improving the overall experience of customers globally.

Linda has served on United Way Boards in Kansas City, KS, Cleveland Ohio, Birmingham Alabama and most recently, United Way of Metro Chicago.  Additionally, she served as a board member of Cayahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.  Linda currently serves on the National HRC Business Advisory board and also serves as the UPS Corporate Women’s Leadership Development Advisory executive.

Carole Ann Carter Daniel, WC '68

Carole Ann Carter Daniel lives in Gainesville.  She is a 1968 graduate of the Women’s College. She is the Chief Financial Officer of Carroll Daniel Construction Company.  Carole Ann established the Ed Daniel Endowed Scholarship in 2003 in memory of her husband Ed.  The Daniels have been generous donors and avid supporters of Brenau over the years.  Their support ranged from the annual loyalty fund, to renovation and building projects to the art galas.  Carole Ann is an active member of the Gainesville community as a member of the Junior League, the Fine Arts Study Club and a former Gainesville City School teacher.

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Deborah Keith Mack
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Deborah Keith Mack, born and reared in Gainesville, attended Fair Street School and was a member of first graduating class of E. E. Butler High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Spelman College.

Mack worked for Gainesville City Schools for two years and moved on to work for the Georgia Department of Labor for 31 years. During her career with the Georgia Department of Labor she worked in many capacities, including Employment Interviewer, Employment Counselor and Unemployment Insurance Claims Examiner. She retired in 2000 with 34 years of service.

In 2002, was elected to the Hall County Board of Commissioners and served for six years. This was a challenging career shift, involving many day to day decisions about Hall County government and the impact on the citizens of the county.

A lifelong member of First Baptist Church on Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive in Gainesville, she has served as a member of Board of Trustees.

She serves on several community boards and is a founding member and past president of WomenSource (organization to create personal and professional success for women of all ages and backgrounds in Northeast Georgia); a founding member and past president of Gateway Domestic Violence Center (shelter for battered and abused women and their children). She serves as President of the Greater Northwestern Baptist Association of Georgia, Inc. Women’s Auxiliary and Vice President of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc. Women’s  Auxiliary. She presently serves on the Hall County Board of Equalization.

Like her late mother, Mack is the matriarch of an extended family and takes deep pride in that role and its responsibilities.

Lydia Jackson Sartain

Lydia Jackson Sartain grew up in Blairsville, GA, where her family lived for nine generations. She graduated from Young Harris College as did her father and grandfather. She earned a BA from Mercer University in 1981 and a JD from the Walter F. George School of Law in 1984. Ms. Sartain distinguished herself in law school by clerking for a tax law professor and by being elected the first female Student Bar President in the history of the law school.

Ms. Sartain located to Gainesville upon graduation from law school to work at the firm of Deal and Jarrard. She broke another glass ceiling in 1986 when she was elected the first female Solicitor in Georgia as well as being the youngest elected Solicitor. She subsequently won reelection without opposition and served until being appointed by Governor Zell Miller to serve as the Director of the Office of Children and Youth. In that capacity Ms. Sartain was responsible for managing a multimillion dollar grant program targeting juvenile delinquency and neglect. She also was responsible for overseeing juvenile detention centers for the Department of Justice.

In 1993 Ms. Sartain was appointed District Attorney for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit (Hall & Dawson Counties). She was reelected twice. While serving as District Attorney, Ms. Sartain earned accolades including “40 under 40” by Georgia Trend magazine, Leadership Georgia, Rotary Club of Gainesville Vocational Excellence Award, the Silver Shovel Award from the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and the Gainesville Kiwanis Youth Service Award.  She served as president of the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar Association and was named by Chief Justice Norman Fletcher to the State Bar Disciplinary Committee where she served two terms.

In 2002 she joined prominent Gainesville law firm, Stewart Melvin & Frost where she directs the Family Law practice of the firm. Also, she has been a mediator for several years helping parties reach case settlements in lieu of courts. In March 2017 Ms. Sartain was recognize by Atlanta Magazine as being selected a “Top Attorney in Georgia” by her peers.

Involved and leading numerous state and local activities, she was a founding director of the Edmonson-Telford Center for Children, founding member of WomenSource and was appointed to the Board of Public Safety for Governor Roy Barnes. She has been a consummate fundraiser, chairing the capital campaign for the Northeast Georgia History Center and the Byron Herbert Reese Heritage Association.

Ms. Sartain gained national attention when  she  appeared  on  the  Today  Show  with  Meredith Viera to discuss her landmark jury  award  in a breach  of contract  for marriage case.

Ms. Sartain lives in Gainesville with her husband Phillip, also an attorney, and their three daughters. While raising her young family, Ms. Sartain chaired the PTAs for their schools and founded and led two Girl Scout troops. Of note, when a daughter could not get in a club from another organization because the troop “was full,” she worked with other mothers to establish a Brownie Troop whose motto was “there’s always room for one more.” This troop is in place fifteen years later and is one of the largest in the region.

Lydia Sartain

“Join our group of smart, successful women for an afternoon of information and inspiration.”

– Dr. Debra Dobkins,
Dean of the Women’s College

Debra Dobkins, Dean of the Women's College
General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100