Key Women’s Leadership Forums

Find and Align with Your True North


The purpose of the Key Women’s Leadership ForumTM is to bring together women in leadership roles and focus on the whole self – mind, career, body and spirit. The term “True North,” coined by Harvard professor and the former CEO of Medtronic, Bill George, focuses on identifying and following your inner compass to center yourself on developing your personal and professional potential to its fullest. It’s based on what’s most important to you, your values, your passions and what brings you fulfillment in life. As a female leader, you may find yourself being pulled in multiple directions – between a demanding career, family life, health considerations, charitable work and your own hobbies and interests. A keen sense of your own true north and a supportive peer forum can help you to forge your own deliberate plan towards a rewarding career and life. The Key Women’s Leadership Forum can help you:

  • Be an authentic leader
  • Celebrate your successes graciously and guilt-free in the company of other accomplished women
  • Create your own business culture as a woman-led team or organization
  • Achieve improved work life balance
  • Harness your unique strengths as a female leader to propel your career and enhance your success

The Forum meets once a month from 8:30am – 11:30am. The group size is small (8-12 participants) by design so that each woman has the opportunity to discuss her issues and ideas with the forum on a regular basis. Each meeting is led by leadership and peer group facilitation experts, Key Associates, Inc., who provide extensive experience in helping female leaders and their organizations grow. Sessions are structured to maximize the time together, and provide a platform for each member to give and receive feedback on relevant issues and opportunities.

Tampa Bay Business Journal covers a recent Key Women’s survey geared towards women executives in Tampa Bay.


Key Women’s Leadership Forum Program includes:

  • Monthly, half day meetings
  • Peer coaching in a small group of other female executives and entrepreneurs
  • Professional facilitation and support in a confidential setting
  • Annual Forum Retreat
  • Tools and strategies for success and fulfillment
  • Occasional guest speakers on relevant topics (recent topics have included a financial workshop for women, and a presentation on discrimination in the workplace)

The Program Benefits:

  • Grow in all aspects of your life and career
  • Get feedback on issues that are pressing to you
  • Take time to reflect on where you are and where you want to be
  • Broaden your perspective on what really matters to you
  • Build your network and connect with other local business leaders and resources
  • Be supported by professional coaches & facilitators
  • Develop a network of trusted advisors

Key Associates - Forum Issue Decision Guide

  • Issue or opportunity is outlined by the participant
    Participant takes 10 – 15 minutes to outline her situation using KA’s proprietary format.
  • Participants ask only questions to clarify their understanding
    Use of questions is Socratic in nature and the person bringing the issue learns what she knows and doesn’t know about her situation through this experience.
  • Each forum participant shares their observations, experience and recommendations
    Feedback is given first without discussion so that the richness of the feedback from each diverse group member is heard.
  • Dialogue
    Participants discuss the options and take the issue further through dialogue.
  • Commitment to Next Steps
    The person bringing the issue is asked what her next steps will be and by when she will complete them; this serves as an accountability system for her.


Download the Key Women’s Leadership Forum brochure.


Case Study: Marketing Executive in the Entertainment Industry

Key Associates Case Study: Marketing Executive in the Entertainment Industry

When Amy, a female Sr. VP of Marketing, needed a plan to get through her company’s impending acquisition, she relied on the expertise and encouragement of the Key Women’s Leadership Forum. Changes in the leadership team, coupled with an overall revenue downturn, made for a difficult work environment.

The Key Women’s Leadership Forum helped Amy design a strategic approach to the unsettling situation. Using materials from Key Associates’ proven process, the group helped her to better define her priorities, and provided insightful advice on how to navigate the new political landscape at her company.

With the Forum as a sounding board for Amy’s professional frustration, she was able to get feedback from accomplished women from various backgrounds, and consider numerous options for a successful outcome. In the end, Amy weathered the storm at her organization, and was promoted to head a subsidiary for the company.

Read more – Case Study: Marketing Executive in the Entertainment Industry PDF, 530kb

Case Study: Busy Executive Finds Better Balance

Work/Life alignment

Between the responsibilities of her position as CFO at a major retailer and mother to two small children, Gina was feeling burnt out and exhausted. After a particularly demanding year in her numerous roles, she had lost focus on the work that she loved and the family that she valued so dearly.

Gina was looking for a way to replenish her energy and align her activities to what mattered most in her life. It was clear to her that she was going to need a strong support system and some helpful advice from other executive women to structure a solution to restore her happiness and focus.

Gina turned to her Key Women’s Leadership Forum for their guidance and suggestions on how to make specific changes that would help her address this stressful situation, based on their own experiences. She implemented several of the group’s suggestions to get back on track with renewed purpose and energy.

Read more – Case Study: Busy Executive Finds Better Balance PDF, 643kb

Key Women’s Leadership Forum Application

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Kathy Killingsworth

As we evolve our careers and go through life, there are points of time when you need to reflect on where you currently are and whether or not you’re fulfilled. When I got involved with the Key Women’s Leadership Forum, I was at that point. Being a part of the Forum has been a great way to get to know other women in leadership and form close relationships fast. The facilitation, introduction of tools, real life discussions, and group problem solving are so helpful. Being able to candidly discuss and get feedback from other executive women in a confidential, secure environment is not easy to find.”

Kathy Killingsworth, VP, Concerto Governance, Compliance & Risk, – Tribridge


Brooke Evans

“I’m excited about the Key Women’s Leadership Forum because it brings together like minded women in leadership roles to share challenges and explore new possibilities. Dr. Mary Key is a trusted advisor and a skilled facilitator. She is extremely thoughtful and can naturally bring issues to the forefront. Our coaching work together has helped me grow as a leader and develop meaningful plans. She holds me accountable for what I commit to and helps me stay on track.”

Brooke Evans, CEO, CFO Alliance, Inc.


Michelle Royale“Before working with Mary, my entrepreneurial drive was misdirected, focused on serving everyone but my own leadership needs. This made for a great work and family life with imbalanced leadership for myself. In the Key Women’s Leadership Forums, Mary holds the true key, a rare combination of gifts including intense focus, strong emotional support, and stable sound business guidance. She is a catalyst for transformative financial and personal growth.”

Michelle Royale, CEO, RIDG: Royal Innovation Design Group


Michelle Royale“The opportunity to feel gratified in this journey called life comes from one’s fulfillment both professionally and personally. Mary Key was instrumental in ensuring that I—both professionally and personally—avoided life’s all-to-easy, complacent path which would have kept me from reaching my true potential while realizing personal/professional balance, particularly in this multi-faceted business world. Although Mary’s message resonates with any gender within any business culture, she has a powerful understanding of the female influence that every businesswoman should hear.”

Nancy Rabenold, CEO, Xcira