BrainTrustLIVE 2024

Fail Forward

October 17, 2024

BrainTrustLIVE 2024

You’re Invited!

BrainTrustLIVE is our annual conference designed to bring women business owners, and those who champion them, together to build new relationships, inspire personal and professional growth, and learn from successful women in business.

The best part – you don’t have to be a member of BrainTrust to join in on the fun! If you’re looking to develop your business – or your career – this conference is designed for you.

BrainTrustLIVE 2023

You’re Invited!

BrainTrustLIVE is our annual conference designed to bring women business owners, and those who champion them, together to build new relationships, inspire personal and professional growth, and learn from successful women in business.

The best part – you don’t have to be a member of BrainTrust to join in on the fun! If you’re looking to develop your business – or your career – this conference is designed for you.

Failure isn’t a dirty word

Failures are inevitable in business and in life, but how you view those failures is what differentiates a successful business owner from an average one. BrainTrustLIVE 2024 is about seeing our failures as opportunities to learn and grow, embracing them instead of allowing them to discourage and dishearten us.

Our speakers will share their misfires, imperfections, and even defeat, yet these women, despite – and because of – their missteps, are among the most successful entrepreneurs in their industries.  Let their stories inspire you to triumph over your own mistakes, growing even stronger and more resilient.


We believe in strength in numbers. BrainTrustLIVE gives you the opportunity to aggregate experiences, expertise, access to networks, markets, and capital – to help you scale.


BrainTrustLIVE speakers are nationally recognized entrepreneurs who’ve built extraordinary companies. Their stories, and those of the women you’ll meet there will give you insights for your career and yourself.


Reframe your perceptions of failure through stories of struggles and mistakes from our speakers. Use their losses and ultimate triumphs to tackle your fears and embrace failure as an opportunity to grow.

BraintrustLIVE 2023


Keynote Speakers

Chanda Bell & Christa Pitts

Founders and Co-ceos

The Lumistella Company

Imagine being applauded for “revolutionizing Christmas.” This is precisely what the twin sisters and trailblazing entrepreneurs Christa Pitts and Chanda Bell have been celebrated for. 

The sisters are founders and co-CEOs of The Lumistella Company, home to the author-published phenomenon, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, and its whimsical world of additional stories. 

In 2005, with deeply rooted family values, they united with their mother to bring their cherished family tradition to the world. Refusing to accept rejection from established publishers, they risked it all and formed their own publishing company. Their tenacity paid off, and today their assortment of books and products are consistent bestsellers recognized by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. 

Read more

BraintrustLIVE 2024

Keynote Speaker

Amy Buckner Chowdhry

CEO & CO-Founder



Giulia Fantacci

CEO & Founder

GF Immigration Law

Julia is a passionate human rights advocate and the visionary CEO and Founder of GF Immigration Law (GFI). Julia has merged her business acumen with her mission to fight for the undocumented community, focusing on humanitarian immigration, particularly helping those who have been exploited in a job or by smugglers, as well as victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

Julia’s entrepreneurial spirit and client-centered approach have driven GFI’s rapid growth, quickly establishing it as one of the largest humanitarian immigration law firms in the country within just a few years. Under her leadership, with her incredible team at GFI, hard work, and impeccable track record, GFI has changed thousands of lives throughout the nation, paving a path to legal residency for their clients.

Julia is also deeply committed to providing pro bono support to immigrant communities across the country, not only through her work but also by supporting numerous non-profit organizations.

Jill Van Gyn-Carr

Former Founder

Fatso Peanut Butter

Jill Van Gyn-Carr is the recently exited founder of Fatso Peanut Butter. Jill is an award-winning entrepreneur and philanthropist who was BC’s Businesswoman of the Year, in 2020, landed her company on Canada’s Fastest Growing Start-Ups in 2020, and joined the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program in 2021. Jill sold her company in 2023 and spent time raising her young family before joining Rifflandia Entertainment Company as the Director of Brand and Business Development. She is an active advocate for a range of social justice issues and has been a board director for Peers Victoria, a sex work rights organization in Victoria BC, for the past 5 years. Jill is an entrepreneur at heart and is currently plotting her next business venture off the side of her desk.

Milan Harris

Founder & Owner

Milano Di Rouge

Milan Harris, also known as Milan Rouge, is the founder and owner of the 8-figure luxury
streetwear brand Milano Di Rouge. She is a serial entrepreneur, a real estate investor, an author, and a philanthropist.
Milan launched Milano Di Rouge, which stands for “Making Dreams Reality,” to honor her love for fashion with two shirts and a dream. In the early days, she would drive her 2009 Altima coupe around the Tri-state area to sell her shirts.
Today, Milano Di Rouge is an all-size-inclusive multi-million-dollar one of a kind fashion
brand. Milan is the Founder of The Womanaire Club and The Mamanaire Club, two outlets she
created to provide resources to boss women and boss moms like herself to help them continue to elevate.
Milan is the recipient of a Community and Civic Engagement Award from the NAACP
Philadelphia Chapter for the outstanding work she has done to uplift the community
throughout the years.
She is also the co-owner of College Boy Cheesesteaks, the only authentic Philadelphia
cheesesteak truck you can find in Los Angeles.

Shalini Bahl, Ph.D

Founder of Know Your Mind LLC, Mindfulness Researcher, Consultant, and Author of “Return to Mindfulness”

Shalini Bahl, Ph.D., is an award-winning author, researcher, certified mindfulness teacher, and consultant. Named one of the Powerful Women of the Mindfulness Movement by, Shalini has dedicated over 15 years to developing evidence-based mindfulness solutions for businesses, educators, and political clients.

As the Founder of Know Your Mind LLC, Shalini is committed to making mindfulness skills widely accessible. Her teachings blend timeless wisdom with insights from neuroscience, psychology, and a human-centered approach. Having lived and worked in India, Kuwait, and the USA, Shalini deeply understands each client’s unique journey.

A former entrepreneur, business professor, and elected municipal leader, Shalini brings real-world experience to her work as a mindfulness teacher. Her pioneering research has won awards from The American Marketing Association, and her guided meditations have over 80,000 plays on Insight Timer and Simple Habit app.

Shalini is also a TEDx speaker, sharing her insights on mindfulness with diverse audiences. Her bestselling book, Return to Mindfulness, offers a playful yet systematic path to foster eight key mindfulness skills for personal fulfillment, effective leadership, and positive global impact. It recently won the International Impact Book Award.

With infectious energy and enthusiasm, Shalini empowers individuals to disrupt default thinking and live with greater choice, purpose, and impact. Her love for life and mindfulness shines through in every aspect of her work.


September 14 – 1 pm to 7 pm

12:00 pm

Doors Open

Check-in, grab your badge & some lunch, head over to the interactive swag display to grab some complimentary BrainTrust merch, & network!

1:00 pm

Introduction and Opening Remarks


Dew Tinnin

1:10 pm

Student of the Storm

1:40 pm

TESS Talk: Making a Breakdown a Wake-up Call


Nicole Delger

2:00 pm

Fireside Interview with the Founders and Co-CEOs of The Lumistella Company



Lisa Schiffman

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

TESS Talk: $1.5M in 8 Hours: A Nontraditional Path to Seed Funding


Deanna Meador

3:20 pm

When One Door Slams Loudly in Your Face…


3:40 pm

TESS Talk: Take the Risk or Lose the Chance


Heather Locke

4:00 pm

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: Jenny’s Entrepreneurial Journey to Innovation, Resilience, and Success



Lisa Schiffman

4:30 pm


4:45 pm

TESS Talk: Owning the Light of You: The Vision Before The Mission in Work and Life


Domonique Townsend

5:00 pm

Mock Vault: A look inside BrainTrust

5:30 pm

Fail Forward: Using the Power Challenges to Ignite Change


6:00 pm

Closing Remarks


6:15 pm

BrainTrust Reception!

Join us to close out the day with networking over cocktails, mocktails, and heavy hors d’oeuvres

Don’t just take our word for it…

Hear from last year’s attendees!

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BrainTrustLIVE 2024 is back at the beautiful Saint Elle this year!

1420 3rd Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37210