Simply put, I'm a marketing and business strategist for creative entrepreneurs. I earned my "business stripes" working in marketing for brands such as Whirlpool and H&R Block and now have a combined 9 years experience as an entrepreneur and strategist. Today, I work with entrepreneurs and corporate clients alike to brainstorm, strategize, and implement strategic plans and processes to better their business and increase their sales. 

I'm also a multipassionate human (who isn't?). Beyond working in marketing and strategy, I'm also an author, educator, digital nomad, and whip-smart whiskey drinker. I wrote The Side Hustle Gal and The Bucketlist Babe and have two more books forthcoming - One Honest Woman and Big Plan for the Creative Mind. I'm spending 2017 wandering the globe and if you want to know a good whiskey brand, try Koval Distillery

I know you need to know my credentials too - I'm a regular guest contributor and speaker on business strategy worldwide (recent events listed below). Beyond my speaking experience, my work (and the work of teams I've been a part of in my corporate and entrepreneurial careers) has been submitted to and recognized by Cannes Lions, the Effies, CASE, the North American Excellence Awards, the American Advertising Awards, the Shorty Awards, and D&AD Impact White Pencil.  The same work has been featured in Advertising Age,  Adweek, Forbes, Holstee Magazine, Belong Magazine, and more.


Hi, brave dreamer! I’m Kat and I help creative boss ladies (boss ladies like you!) dream big & bold. I’m all about #realtalk & real results. I believe in reaching for the stars with an iced chai in my hand. I’m the owner, lead planner & florist behind Dear Sweetheart Events and the founder and visionary of Creative at Heart Conference. I’m an educator, #ontheroadtofulltime encourager & believe every big, bold dreams needs #hardworkandfairydust .

My HS sweetie, Matt, and I live in a two stoplight town with our Brittany Spaniel, Knox. We’re currently obsessed with reruns of Friends & Home Improvement, spend weekends hiking with Knox & Friday nights ordering chinese takeout. My vices include all the pink things & sappy romance novels on my Kindle.


For 7 years, LaKisha Wells has made wedding dreams reality through her boutique wedding planning service, Renee's Eventi. Specializing in chic and glamorous wedding design for the modern bride, LaKisha has successfully executed beautiful wedding experiences both for stateside and destination weddings. 


Her success in the industry has made her a Wedding Planner Enthusiast, and she's eager to share her expertise with other small business owners who are ready to take their passion to the next level. As a speaker, educator and mentor, LaKisha trains wedding planners on what's needed to navigate both the administrative and creative sides of the enterprise in order to create and sustain a thriving business. 

We have an AH-MAZING lineup of speakers.
Stay tuned for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Sign up to join the EmpoWEred Planners Society!  You’ll receive our e-newsletter which has empowering content and details about our EmpoWEred Planners Conference plus, details about upcoming EPS events, workshops, and webinars.


Tara Melvin, a southern girl at heart was born and raised in Elizabethtown, North Carolina and in 1996 transitioned to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.  Before making DC her new home, she began carving her future with her education.   Tara, a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration.  Since graduation, her professional career has spanned in the field of Sales & Marketing within the pharmaceutical, industrial, and hospitality industry.  During her professional career she learned and maintained valuable traits in regards to organizational skills, people management, negotiation skills, management skills, and attention to detail, while maintaining grace under pressure.

In 2004, Tara created Perfect Planning Events and Signature Concepts, L.L.C., an event planning and management company that offers a complete array of services to cover all facets of event planning for upscale weddings, social and corporate events, from start to finish.  Services include but not limited to event coordination, vendor management, project plan creation, event itinerary creation, and risk and issue management.  It is her philosophy to deliver exceptional service, a peace of mind, and a memorable celebration for her Clients and their guests. Since the creation of Perfect Planning Events, the company has organized numerous lavish events from weddings to retirement celebrations, birthday celebrations to family reunions, corporate events and beyond.  Tara is active within the event planning community serving as Founder & Organizer of The Signature C.E.O. Conference, Founder & Mentor of The Executive Wedding Planner Mentor Program, former President of the Association of Wedding Professionals of Greater Washington, DC for five consecutive years, Networking Event Organizer for Thursday Therapy Network DC, 2015 Munaluchi Bridal Magazine Ambassador, and 2016-2015 WeddingWire Ambassador.

As the creative engine and leader of Perfect Planning Events, Tara is excited to offer her clients a highly personalized experience resulting in an extraordinary memorable and stress free affair.  Her remarkable attention to detail and exceptional ability to capture the vision of her Clients has made Tara a valuable asset within the industry.  With her expertise, creativeness, passion, managerial aptitude, compassion for her work, and bodacious style-her weddings and special events are those of flawless distinction.  Tara’s work has been featured with Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Munaluchi Bridal, Washingtonian Bride and Groom, Ebony Magazine, United with Love, Borrowed and Blue just to name a few.

Your business is booming and you’ve been thinking about growing your team. But, where do you start? Who do you hire? And exactly how? During this full-day workshop, we’ll be covering the most important aspects of hiring your dream team - the right way. You’ve worked so hard to build this business and you’ve poured your heart and soul into it. Together, we’ll discuss how to avoid getting into sticky compliancy-related situations and opening your business up for liability. You’ll also learn how hiring the right team members can lead to happier more productive employees who help drive profitability and growth in your business. And, we’ll do some fun activities throughout the day that will get you thinking about - and working on - your specific growth plan! You’ll walk away with more confidence in growing and leading your team with simplicity and ease.

•    Learn about the various types of workers available for you to hire and the differences you need to know in order to make sure you’re hiring the right worker for your business, the right way.
•    Discover how to strategically plan out your hiring needs so you can grow a happy, thriving team that drives profitability and growth - and start writing your own growth plan during the workshop!
•    Explore best practices for hiring team members who love your business and clients {almost} as much as you do!
•    Gain insight into the employment documents you need to have when hiring employees that will keep you compliant and help you lead your team with confidence.
•    Learn how to properly onboard and train your new team members to ensure they have a great start and get up to speed quickly. And understand what to do when they leave your company in order to protect yourself and your business.



What's Included in this Workshop:

•    Continental breakfast + lunch
•    Full-day workshop with breakout discussions and activities
•    Interactive workbook
•    Small, intimate setting allowing you to interact with speaker and other participants
•    Bonus: 4 Simple Steps for Who to Hire First + How Much to Budget (worksheet)



Ashley Cox, PHR, SHRM-CP, is the HR Partner for Entrepreneurs at sproutHR, where she helps you hire, train, and lead your productive and profitable team. With over a decade of experience in leadership and human resources, she knows a thing or two to help you avoid the hot mess express with employee relations in order to confidently grow and lead your team successfully.
When she's not getting nerdy with all things HR, Ashley and her husband, Mike, enjoy going on adventures, eating delicious food, and hanging out with their spunky rescue dog, Myla Mayhem.

Website: www.sprouthr.co
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sprouthr
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sprout_hr
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyncox