Wendy Thomas’ goal for this year’s Tulsa Women’s Leadership Summit is simple.
“Our goal is to inspire, build, and celebrate female leadership,” said Thomas, who serves as the Executive Director of Leadership Tulsa.
Thomas knows that much of the success of this year’s event – held May 24 in Tulsa at the Cox Business Communication Center – likely will be tied to the leaders Thomas is able bring to the event. So, when Thomas was tasked with bringing in a group of panelists for the event one name instantly came to mind.
“As we were thinking of women who embodied the warrior spirit, Lorena Rivas was one of the first to come to mind,” Wendy Thomas said during a recent interview. “We admired her entrepreneurship and innovative business model of building a collaborative international legal practice and consortium of client-centered attorneys. Additionally, her service to the community is exemplary.”
Rivas checks off all the above boxes and then some.
Not only is she owner and founding partner of The Lawyers of Kendall Whittier and Rivas & Associates, the decorated immigration attorney remains extremely active in the Tulsa community.
Rivas serves on the Kendall Whittier Main Street Board of Directors, recently spoke at a Tulsa middle school, and even brought her law firms to volunteer at a weekly event supporting the Tulsa homeless community.
It’s quite remarkable considering the demand of Rivas’ profession.
A four-time Super Lawyers® Rising Star selection, Rivas is either vigorously advocating for her clients in the courtroom, from Tulsa-based offices or abroad. The dynamic attorney has been to no fewer than five states in the past 30 days assisting clients.
“It’s been busy,” Lorena Rivas said. “But when I have the time, I do all I can to help the community because I know how fortunate I am to be a part of Tulsa. I participated in Leadership Tulsa (2018-19), and it was such a rewarding experience. The vision Wendy has is amazing and very noble. She’s done so much to empower women and connect female leaders to one another from a variety of professions and industries.”
Rivas to Join Array of Well-Known Tulsa Female Leaders
After a two-year pause brought on by the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Women’s Leadership Summit is back, and as Rivas mentioned, this one should easily exceed the previous two summits held in 2018 and 2019.
Thomas said the attendance the event doubled from 80 in 2018 to 160 in 2019, and that she expects attendance to hover around 300 for this year’s Tulsa Women’s Leadership Summit.
The reasoning behind the prediction?
The Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce is now partnered with the event, and Thomas was able to attract a national keynote speaker, Mimi Brown, to the summit.
Brown is a nationally-recognized motivational speaker who works with organizations “that want to drive productivity, boost performance, and skyrocket engagement by creating exceptional leaders.” Brown’s work has been documented by national media outlets like NBC, CBS Radio and the Bravo network.
Rivas also joins a decorated group of panelists which include a who’s who list of high-profile female leaders in the Tulsa community. In additional to Lorena Rivas, they are:
- Karen Larson (KJRRH Channel 2, News Anchor)
- Kian Thomas (Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, Executive Director)
- Pam McKissick (Former Walt Disney Director of Creative Services and VP of Network Specials)
- Rose Washington-Jones (Tulsa Economic Development Corporation, Chief Executive Officer)
“I feel extremely honored to have been asked by Wendy to serve on the panel and be included with this group of empowering ladies,” Lorena Rivas said. I am looking forward to the event, which should be the biggest Women’s Leadership Summit yet.”
“Our goal is that our attendees leave inspired, with new thoughts about how to navigate the leadership challenges in their own lives, and with at least one new connection that can be a part of their peer support circle.”