February 5th, 2014 —
The AMA Office will be closed today due to inclement weather and treacherous road conditions in Central Ohio.
Skip Navigation LinksEvents / Women & Motorcycling / AMA IWMC: Seminar Speakers

Seminars & Speakers  

The AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference includes a long list of seminar topics designed to appeal to all types of women riders. Plus, our wonderful cast of speakers is in many ways the heart and soul of the event. You can learn a little bit about these topics and motorcycle-loving women below. Better yet, come experience it all in person in Carson City, Nev., July 26-29.


Motorcycle Match Maker
Friday: 8-9am Rm 115  Saturday: 1:30-2:30pm Rm 115  Sunday: 10-11am Rm 110

A fun, interactive presentation, The Motorcycle Match Maker educates a new or current rider on the importance of choosing and fitting a Rider to their Motorcycle. Equipped with an informative questionnaire, attendees will leave the seminar more competent and empowered to roll into a dealership to purchase or customize their ride.

Christine Firehock is a fourth generation female rider who has over 30 continuous years of riding experience. She is a veteran motorcycle instructor and was featured in the June 2011 issue of Forbes Magazine as the “Ducati VIP Instructor.” 


The Power of PINK
Friday: 1:30-2:30pm Upstairs Cafeteria  Saturday: 8-9am Upstairs Cafeteria 

Freedom of choice means different things to different people. When your choices affect others, your commitments, your character, your ability to influence others and the use of available resources and information determine how you respond.  Learn how to align power, integrity, negotiation & knowledge to fully realize the opportunities available to you.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez is a negotiation specialist and performance expert for women who want to develop more influence, discipline and negotiation skills professionally and personally. She is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant with 23 years of honorable service.


Get Involved: How You Can Protect Your Rights to Ride and Race
Friday: 1:30-2:30pm Rm 115  Saturday: 3-4pm Rm 115

From motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints to off-road recreation area closures, motorcyclists face a constant threat to their freedoms. Learn how you can get involved and have a voice in the future of motorcycling.

Jessica Irving is the grassroots coordinator for the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). She recruits, trains and mobilizes activists to influence motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) issues at the federal, state and local levels.

Nancy Sabater, 2011 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year, was instrumental in the successful 2011 grassroots campaign that urged federal lawmakers to pass legislation exempting off-road motorcycles from a sales ban under the provisions of the “lead law.” 

Cannonball Run:
Riding Cross-Country on a 1915 Harley-Davidson, Past and Present
Friday: 3-4pm Rm 110  Saturday: 9:30-10:30am Rm 110

Join AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Cris Sommer-Simmons as she takes a walk down memory lane, profiling some the early women pioneers of motorcycling. Cris will also share her experience as the only American woman to participate in and complete the 2010 Motorcycle Cannonball, a coast-to-coast event for pre-1916 classic motorcycles.

Cristine Sommer-Simmons was co-founder of Harley Women, considered the first widely distributed magazine for women motorcyclists. Throughout her career, she has promoted motorcycling through her roles as author, columnist, songwriter and motorcycle journalist.


How to Pack & Eat Healthy  On-the-Road
Friday: 9:30-10:30am Rm 126  Saturday: 3-4pm Rm 110  Sunday: 10-11am Rm 115

What are the tips and tricks for staying in top form on the road? Learn how you can feel younger, healthier and more willing to seek new challenges in your life with enthusiasm and confidence.

Debbie Voss successfully lost 125 pounds through healthy choices, and has kept it off for over 7 years. She shares her secrets about how to create a healthy eating environment no matter where your bike takes you.


Why Motorcycle Riding is Good for Your Health
Friday: 11-noon Rm 115  Sunday: 1-2pm Rm 110

Join us for an exploration of Body-Mind-Spirit philosophy. Many theorists & behavioral health specialists recognize that it takes a balance & blend of good physical health (body), a clear & open mental attitude (mind) & a quest for spirit (defined as a non-religious connection to joy/satisfaction). Learn how being active, having movement, connecting with something that has meaning to you, and being intimately and enthusiastically involved in a special activity that nurtures you can bring about important, healthy and positive outcomes.

Jana Mulvaney is a psychotherapist who has been riding OHVs and dirtbikes since she was 8 years old. In 2011, she entered her first enduro, placing second in her class. She currently rides a 350 EXC-F KTM dual-sport bike.


The Health Benefits of Off-Road Riding
Friday: 11-noon Rm 115   Saturday: 9:30-10:30am Upstairs Cafeteria 

The results are in! Researchers at York University have found that exertion levels while riding off-road are similar to the effects of jogging, and that the fitness benefits can be compared to mountain biking. Join a lively discussion on how off-road riding can improve your health.

Jo-Anne Farquhar has been the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC) and the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV) since 2006.

Kellee Irwin is an avid road and off-road motorcyclist and an active volunteer; she is chair of the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada and the Vice President, Personal Insurance, for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.


The Best Motorcycle Tips, Tricks and Techniques  
Friday: 8-9am, Rm 110 and 11-noon Rm 126
Saturday:1:30-2:30 Rm 110 Sunday: 8-9am  Rm 110

Join motorcycle journalist Diane Ortiz for an informative --and sometimes humorous-- journey through the best of her “Tips, Tricks and Techniques” monthly columns. Diane’s insider “scoop” is certain to make you more comfortable and confident, both on and off your bike.

Diane Ortiz has been involved in training and safety education for over 25 years. As a motorcycle journalist and editor she has road- and track-tested an array of motorcycles for various publications including Newsday, Midwest Motorcyclist, Accelerate, Full Throttle and WomenRidersNow.com.


Where Ever the Road Takes You - The Basics of Motorcycle Mechanics
Friday: 3-4pm Rm 115  Saturday: 1:30-2:30pm Rm 115  Sunday: 1-2pm Rm 115

Aimed at answering the many questions of women who ride their own motorcycles, this seminar will cover mechanical safety points, routine maintenance and the tools you need on the road. Learn how to become more maneuverable on your bike, gear up to get the most for your mileage and customize your bike on a budget. You’ll even have a chance to ask your own questions during an informative Q & A session.

Athena “Chickie” Ransom built her first chopper at age 16, and today she is recognized across the motorcycle industry as a top bike builder. As the owner of Vagabond Choppers, she builds and sells custom bikes, along with rebuilds and restorations, to riders all over the country.


Pushing Past Your Limits
Friday: 8-9am Library  Saturday: 11-noon Upstairs Cafeteria
Sunday: 8-9am Upstairs Cafeteria

Times have certainly changed since the days when women were deemed “unfit” to ride motorcycles. In this seminar, you will learn about the many resources available to strike down other “barriers” that might impede your riding experience – things such as your size, age and health issues.

Holly Ralph has been involved in motorcycling for 50 years. She is a director of the Canadian Motorcycle Association, a director of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group, an FIM environmental steward, and a member of several motorcycle clubs. Holly rides between 10,000 and 20,000 kilometers a year, mostly solo trips across the United States.


Motorcycle Helmet Construction and Safety presented by Schuberth Helmets
Friday: 3-4pm Rm 126  Saturday: 11-noon Library  Sunday: 10-11am Library

Finally! A helmet seminar designed to help motorcyclists gain insight into everything related to head protection technology and eliminate the confusion of various helmet compliance standards and regulations. Learn how helmets are made and how they protect your brain from catastrophic injury, how helmets can be both protective and comfortable, and why aerodynamics and aeroacoustics are important.

Randy Northrup has enjoyed a 20+ year career with several motorcycle helmet manufacturers. He is currently the Vice President of Schuberth North America.


Motorcycle Misadventures: Journeys Through the Fear Barrier
Friday: 9:30-10:30 Rm 110  Saturday: 11-noon Rm 115  Sunday: 8-9am Library

Join motorcycle travel adventurer Carla King for a fear-busting solo-ride around the world on often unreliable indigenous motorcycles. Find out how, even though fear and trepidation might be natural companions to the excitement of embarking on new adventures, they don’t have to stop you from taking the journey. Get tips on how misadventures can be transformed into life-changing experiences rich with opportunity, no matter where you are or where you want to go.

Carla King is a journalist and author who specializes in motorcycle travel. She has long encouraged women to do both via her Motorcycle Misadventures travelogues and in magazines and anthologies.


Enhancing the Ride: Devices and Gadgets
Friday: 1:30-2:30 Library  Saturday: 9:30-10:30 Library  

Join moderators Alan Roach and Deanne Moore of Baja Designs and Brian Rauschhuber of MAD Maps as they demonstrate and discuss the latest motorcycling gadgets and gizmos. A must-do for anyone who loves to stay on top of the latest that technology that will make your ride more fun, safe and interesting.

Alan Roach has been riding and racing motorcycles since he was 10. He started Baja Designs Inc. in his garage in 1992, designing and developing the signature Baja Designs Dual Sport Kit for motorcycles. His education, combined with his off-road experience, has allowed him to provide 20 years of innovative products to the off-road community. His current stable of motorcycles is a Kawasaki KLX250F, Kawasaki KLX450R, Montessa Trials Bike and a Kawasaki Ninja 650.

Deanne Moore started riding motorcycles 40 years ago at the age of 7. As the CEO of Baja Designs she has melded her past business experience with her passion for motorcycles, supplying the industry with Dual Sport Kits and high output motorcycle lighting for over 20 years. Deanne was an avid District 37 desert racer and continues to be a member of the Viewfinders Motorcycle Club. She also loves riding on the street, whether on the track or navigating twisties. Her current rides are a 2012 KTM 500 EXC and a Kawasaki Ninja 650R.

Brian Rauschhuber has been an avid motorcyclist for over three decades, having toured 25+ countries and 47 states. He now brings this passion for riding to MAD Maps as their CEO. MAD Maps is  the creator and copyright publisher of products including over 1000 routes / 6000 points of interest in mobile applications, print map format. Mad Maps also distributes content through GPS Navigation providers like Garmin® & Spot It Out®. Brian was formerly an executive with Apple, during which time he ran their worldwide operations.  His current bikes include two Harley-Davidson Road Kings (1996 & 2008) and a 2010 Big Dog Bulldog. 

Panel Discussion: Women In the Motorcycle Industry
Friday: 9:30-10:30am Library and 3-4pm Library  Saturday: 3-4pm Library

Come along for an exciting ride as women with proven track records in motorcycle industry businesses share their tips and tricks for success. Moderated by MAD Maps founder Jenny Lefferts, the panel includes Baja Design’s Deanne Moore  and former Kawasaki PR manager Jan Plessner, who is now the editor of LadyMoto.com. The discussion will also feature a Q & A session for participants.

Jenny LeffertsJenny Lefferts is the founder of MAD Maps, Inc., the premier creator and publisher of scenic road trip content, with a comprehensive library of print maps, GPS products and mobile applications spanning the continental United States. MAD Maps highlights the best stops along the way, offering customers a complete adventure from start to finish with the philosophy “Life is a Journey. Enjoy every Mile.”

Jenny has been a motorcyclist and backroads enthusiast for years, although her passion began long before she was licensed to ride. Her dad's idea of a summer vacation was to load up the family in the '72 VW bus and take to the road. She moved to San Francisco in 1987 and purchased her first motorcycle. When she was instantly hooked and began searching the Bay Area for the best scenic roads, the seed for MAD Maps was planted.

A true enthusiast, Jan Plessner enjoys promoting and marketing the motorcycling lifestyle almost as much as she loves “living it.” Jan recently joined JVH Media Group as the director of business development for AllAboutBikes.com and editor of LadyMoto.com. Jan is a 23-year industry veteran with an 18-year tenure with Kawasaki. As their PR manager, she was responsible for jet ski, motorcycle, ATV and side x side, corporate PR, crisis communications, professional racing and amateur racing. Jan has written for a variety of industry publications (such as American Motorcyclist magazine) and consults under the Plessner Communications banner. Jan is the 2005 recipient of the Women’s International Motorcycle Association “Image Award,” and was named “PR Person of the Year” by Motorcycle-usa.com in 2005 and 2008. In 2011, she received Dealernews magazine’s “Women Who Roll” recognition. Jan may be reached via Jan@allaboutbikes.com.

Deanne Moore started riding motorcycles 40 years ago at the age of 7. As the CEO of Baja Designs she has melded her past business experience with her passion for motorcycles, supplying the industry with Dual Sport Kits and high output motorcycle lighting for over 20 years. Deanne was an avid District 37 desert racer and continues to be a member of the Viewfinders Motorcycle Club. She also loves riding on the street, whether on the track or navigating twisties. Her current rides are a 2012 KTM 500 EXC and a Kawasaki Ninja 650R.



Presented in the WMF Moto Action Center, sponsored by the Women’s Motorcyclist Foundation (WMF):

8:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.: Riding Twisties, presented by Sue Slate (Women’s Motorcyclist Foundation) or Walt Fulton (Street Masters Motorcycle Workshops)

10:00 a.m.: Solo Loading Your Motorcycle On A Trailer, presented by Gin Shear, Women's Motorcyclist Foundation

11:30 a.m.: Developing A Relationship; Understanding Your Bike End To End, Top To Bottom! Presented by Peg Preble.

1:30 p.m.: Picking Up Your Motorcycle, presented by Gin Shear (WMF, Inc)

2:30 p.m.: Dual Sport Riding: Preparing Yourself, Finding The Right Bike: Opportunities For Riding


  • SUE SLATE, Adventure for the Cures, (WMF, Inc) – Colorado, California, Alaska, Yukon & North West Territories & Beyond
  • LISA BAKKER, Riders for Health - Dual Sport Riding in Africa
  • ALISA CLICKENGER: Moto Adventure Gal & Continental Divide Ride
  • DEBI CABLE, Hollister Hills State Recreational Vehicle Area

4:00 p.m.: Simple Road Side Fixes

Register Now!