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Keynote | Resilience: A Fireside Chat With Gay Gaddis

September 20, 2021 @ 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Resiliency is about emerging from hardships, strengthened and more resourceful than before, and as the founder of the largest female-owned advertising agency in the U.S., Gay Gaddis has made resilience part of her brand. In this fireside discussion, Gay will discuss how she tackles every challenge with grit and determination, including the day she lost a $70 million account and still made a profit that year. She’s smart, insightful and tells it like it is, and will share the many challenges of owning and operating a business and reinventing yourself, while persevering.

Speaker: Gay Gaddis, Founder of T3 and Author of “Cowgirl Power”

Gay cashed in $16,000 in 1989 to create a new breed of agency, T3, that rose to national prominence for innovation under her leadership for more than 30 years.

Today, Gay is focusing her always-on energy to empower entrepreneurs and the next generation of women business leaders to take big leaps in their careers and lives. She is an active speaker on women’s leadership, company culture and entrepreneurship. Her book, Cowgirl Power, released in January 2018, shares insights and examples for women to develop personal power and lead like fearless cowgirls.

Gay is the first female Chairman of the Texas Business Leadership Council and is former Chairman of The Committee of 200 (C200), a top women’s business organization that advances women’s leadership in business, and is on the Board of Directors of the Texas Cultural Trust. She was also an immediate past board member for Monotype Imaging Holdings, Inc.

Gay is deeply involved with The University of Texas. She is on the board of Texas Exes, the official alumni association of the University of Texas, is part of the Dean’s Advisory Council to The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, and is an advisor for both the College of Fine Arts and the Moody College of Communication.

Gay and her husband, Lee, own the historic Double Heart Ranch in the Texas Hill Country, home of Fossil Ridge Creative Center, a retreat venue for thinking, creativity and collaboration. Fossil Ridge blends Hill Country nature with inspiring architecture and state-of-the-art facilities that sparks imagination.

Fossil Ridge also serves as the art studio for Gay’s vibrant Texas landscapes. Her bold Texas landscape paintings have hung in the gallery at Fossil Ridge as well as in New York City gallery shows and earned her distinction by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the “Top Ten Artists to Collect Now.”

An active spokesperson, artist and writer, Gaddis is the celebrated author of “Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business & Life” and is a regular contributor to Forbes and part of Fortune’s Powerful Women Insider Network. She is an active speaker with corporate and student groups. Over her career, Gaddis has received numerous awards and honors including Fast Company’s “Top 25 Women Business Builders,” Inc. Magazine’s “Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the Year” and C200’s Luminary Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.


September 20, 2021
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm


Westin: Vanderbilt I, II, III
807 Clark Pl
Nashville, TN 37203 United States
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