‘The Notebook’ author Nicholas Sparks to speak at Bay Path University Women’s Leadership Conference

Best-selling author Nicholas Sparks is among the keynote speakers scheduled for Bay Path University’s 22nd Annual Women’s Leadership Conference, March 31, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD – Best-selling romance authorNicholas Sparks, whose 20 books include “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Message in a Bottle,” is a scheduled keynote speaker at Bay Path University’s 22nd Annual Women’s Leadership Conference on March 31 at the MassMutual Center.

Other keynote speakers include Shiza Shahid, who co-founded the Malala Fund, with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Malala’s father Ziaudidn, to help girls everywhere receive at least 12 years of education, and who led the organization as founding chief executive officer. She will speak in the morning.

Nely Galan, former president of Telemundo, a division of NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content, founder of the The Adelante Movement, which “seeks to train and empower Latinas to become entrepreneurs,” and author of “SELF-MADE: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way,” is the luncheon speaker.

Sparks, whose books have been adapted for screen, sold more than 105 million copies worldwide and include his 2016 book, “Two by Two,” is scheduled to speak in the afternoon.

Annie McKee, a founder and chair of the Teleos Leadership Institute, and director of the University of Pennsylvania’s executive doctoral program, will lead “Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: The Secret to Leadership Success and Happiness at Work,” what the site describes as a new breakout session for senior leadership.According to the university’s website, the theme of the March conference is empathy and the day will explore “its use in our daily lives, how it empowers us individually and as a team, and how it can help each of us to become better, stronger, and more compassionate leaders.”

Other breakout sessions will further explore empathy with Hilary Corna, former senior executive officer with Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Singapore, as well as such topics as intuition and decision making with cognitive scientist and author Therese Huston of Seattle University.

The conference, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., was initiated 22 years ago by Bay Path President Carol A. Leary as a venue for women to come together and be inspired by national figures.

Featured speakers over the years have include Sister Helen Prejean, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Dead Man Walking,” Cuban born singer Gloria Estefan and Arianna Huffington, founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

For more information and to register, including at early bird rates until Feb. 17, visit the conference website.

By Anne-Gerard Flynn | Special to The Republican 
on January 15, 2017 at 9:15 AM