Date: March 24, 2023

 Time: 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., reception following

 Location: John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts


Enjoy an afternoon of information and inspiration at the ninth annual Women’s Leadership Colloquium,
hosted by The Women’s College of Brenau University. Join students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of
Brenau as we celebrate the GOLD Program’s “D” year theme, Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Perspective
with conversations about the unique potential and challenges of women’s leadership. Three successful,
passionate women will share their stories, advice and innovative vision for others who lead or aspire to
lead during this motivational event.

Keynote Speaker
Rhonda Clark
Vice President of Engineering Services for Amazon

Alumni Association Endowed Speaker
Clarissa Esguerra, WC ’03

Curator of Costume and Textiles for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Featured Speaker
Melissa Heard, WC ‘92
President and Owner of Success Consulting & Mediation

WLC Host
Dr. Debra Dobkins
Assistant Vice President and Dean of The Women’s College

This event is made possible in part by support from Onward Reserve, Grace-Gaskins Women’s Studies Endowment Fund and the Brenau Alumni Association Lecture Series. For more on how you can support the Women’s Leadership Initiative, contact Matt Thomas,

Meet the Speakers

Rhonda Clark

Rhonda Clark started her career at Amazon as the Vice President of Engineering Services in June of 2021. In this role, she is responsible for the design and construction, coordination and installation of materials handling systems, and the facilitation and training of engineering operations for fulfillment facilities in North America and emerging countries. Prior to Amazon, she was employed by United Parcel Service (UPS) where she most recently served as their President, Corporate Buildings and Systems Engineering. In that role she was responsible for the construction and expansion of all automated facilities and material handling systems, facility maintenance and housekeeping, along with environmental and regulated goods compliance for UPS Worldwide. At UPS, she also served as the Chief Sustainability Officer, VP of Environmental Affairs, and the VP of Plant Engineering for UPS Airlines as well as many other roles throughout her 31-year career. She also served as the executive advisor to the Women’s Leadership Development, an initiative that encourages and enables the attraction, retention and development of women. Rhonda serves on the board of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). NACME is a nonprofit organization that provides college scholarships to disadvantaged minorities pursuing degrees in engineering and computer science. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC).

Clarissa Esguerra

Clarissa M. Esguerra is Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). She joined the curatorial staff in 2008 where she has overseen  numerous costume and textiles installations. In 2022, she co-curated Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse, which is currently touring internationally at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in Québec City. In 2019 she curated Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection, and in 2016, she co-curated Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015. Both exhibitions were awarded the Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume by the Costume Society of America. Her curatorial contributions also include Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 – 1915 (2010-2011). Esguerra has lectured regularly on historic dress and has authored, co-authored, and contributed to exhibition catalogues, journals, and magazines, including LACMA’s on-going project, Undertaking the Making: LACMA Costume and Textiles Pattern Project, an online educational resource that publishes free downloadable garment patterns from extant objects in the permanent collection. Esguerra received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in fashion design, gender studies, and the history of dress from Brenau Women’s College and the University of Georgia.

Photo Credit: Justin Loy

Melissa Currin

Melissa Currin Heard is the president and owner of Success Consulting & Mediation Inc., since 2001.Heard has also worked with the Justice Center of Atlanta and in 2019 received the Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award in recognition of her contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution in Georgia. Heard is a 1992 graduate of The Women’s College of Brenau University, where she studied broadcasting and marketing and participated in many Brenau activities. She earned her master’s of science in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Heard is located in Cobb County and married with two children.


Want to sponsor the next Women’s Leadership Colloquium? Read the Sponsorship Sheet (PDF) to find out how.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from these highly accomplished leaders with fascinating stories to
share. The conversations will be memorable and the company engaging.

Dr. Debra Dobkins
Dean of the Women’s College, Interim Vice President of Student Services, and WLC Host

Questions? Contact Andi Savage at