PED Talks – Professional and Executive Development

Quick paced talks by local community leaders.


Along with the keynote, again this year, we will also feature our unique “PED Talk” speakers. PED stands for Professional and Executive Development and are short, impactful talks by local community members about subjects that are important for women in business. Our PED Talks are limited to 13 minutes each preceded by a brief introduction. The PED Talks generate a lot of excitement from the audience by being presented back-to-back so that it all fits into one hour’s worth of speaking time

Pursue Your Passion 2016 Conference PED Speakers:

Xia Liu
Laticia “Action” Jackson
Meagan McCarthy

Xia Liu - Vice President and Chief Financial Officer • Gulf Power Company

Xia Liu is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Gulf Power.

In this role, she is responsible for overall accounting, finance, treasury, corporate secretary, regulatory, pricing and forecasting functions. She previously served as Senior Vice President of finance and Treasurer for Southern Company, heading Southern Company’s finance, treasury, corporate planning and budgeting, risk management, strategic development, and trust finance functions. Liu has been with Southern Company, Gulf Power’s parent company for almost two decades, serving in various roles of increasing responsibility with both the parent company and its business units.

Liu earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from Renmin University in China, and a master’s of business administration from Emory University. A chartered financial analyst, Liu has completed two years in the economics Ph.D. program at Emory University. She is an International Woman’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellow and attended executive programs at Harvard University and INSEAD School of France. Liu serves on the board of directors for Florida TaxWatch, Gulf Coast Health Systems, and PACT World. She previously served on the board of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She also serves as a mentor in the Executive Mentoring Program at University of West Florida.

Meghan McCarthy - Baptist Health Care

Meghan McCarthy, MPH and MBA is dedicated to making the world a healthier place, one human at a time.

Along her diverse career, she has worked for the largest public hospital in the US, the military, non-profits and universities.

She contributes knowledge of peer health education, health literacy, and social marketing with an operations background. Her combination of public health and business skills are invaluable to the development and management of worksite wellness programs.

She was recognized in 2014 by the Wellness Council of America as one of the Top 100 Wellness Professions in the United States.

Meghan is currently working on an executive doctorate in Health Care Administration at the University of Alabama Birmingham. She leads the Healthy Lives revolution at Baptist Health Care with an amazing team.

Laticia “Action” Jackson

Laticia “Action” Jackson has been called one of the most dynamic and energetic personalities in the health promotion, body awareness, women’s health, fitness and personal development field. With an academic background that includes a Master’s Degree in Public Health (M.P.H), B.S. Degree in Exercise Physiology, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, Certified Master Level Personal Trainer, Certified Weight Loss Counselor and Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialists. Action Jackson has the knowledge, skills and ability to motivate, inspire and cultivate change in the lives of many.

She’s received both national and international recognition by being featured as a top-level athlete in over 16 national and international health, fitness and wellness publications (Oxygen, Muscle and Fitness Hers, Active USA, and more). She’s been the guest go-to health & fitness expert for TV shows such as C.W. 31 Good Day Sacramento, Blab TV, Council on Aging , WEAR 3 Channel 3, Fitness Friday’s before the Steve Harvey in the Morning Show, Hill in the Morning Show and many more. She’s the author five books, Veteran of the U.S.A.F, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and a survivor of domestic violence.