Julie Tarney

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After a successful career building the largest public relations firm in her hometown city, working for clients like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Harley-Davidson, Julie applied her professional expertise in strategic planning, branding, corporate communications, and issues management to launch a personal leadership development consultancy.

As an accomplished businesswoman and entrepreneur, representing big corporations in diverse markets, Julie knows that the actions and philosophies of an organization are scrutinized by the media and the general public like never before, and that all eyes within an organization -- from the mail room to the boardroom -- are continually focused on the leader. Julie understands that being a good leader isn't as much about skill as it is about the behaviors and attitudes that build trust and inspire others. Julie also recognizes a common thread of confusion and misunderstandings within organizations regarding gender identity.

Julie decided to publish a book, titled My Son Wears Heels, an open and outspoken memoir where she shares what she learned about gender identity, gender expression, and self-acceptance from her only child, Harry. Julie divulges what her journey with Harry, from gender-nonconforming toddler to non-binary adulthood, taught her about herself. Sharing that experience, Julie has touched lives and changed hearts of many in diverse corporate and community settings.

Julie became aware that business leaders and entrepreneurs often lacked knowledge about the LGBTQ+ population and were therefore missing out on recruiting a large segment of their potential talent pool and its allies.

Today, Julie Tarney travels the country and the world as a consultant and trainer, helping hundreds of business leaders learn how to build their personal and employer brand by creating LGBTQ+-inclusive, welcoming, and supportive workplaces.

Julie Tarney's Experiences

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Virtual In-Person

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“Julie connects the humanity and the business imperative of transgender inclusion in an engaging, thought-provoking way. Any audience that experiences her wisdom will leave inspired and committed to be a kickass transgender ally!”

Christopher Bylone, Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager, International Flavors & Fragrances

“Julie’s keynote is fun, thought-provoking and incredibly powerful, and leaves you with practical advice for becoming more conscious of how you interact with others to create an accepting and inclusive work environment for all.”

Terry Maxwell, Chief Financial Officer, Baird

“Julie brings a great energy and accessibility to a topic we all could use some help understanding, and left everyone feeling entertained and educated. She won’t disappoint.”

Evan Wolfe, HR and Talent Manager, Anomaly

“Some presenters just talk. Others, like Julie Tarney, change lives. We’re still hearing from people about how insightful she was and how much they learned.”

Rabbi Marla Hornsten, Temple Israel, West Bloomfield, Detroit

“What makes Julie’s presentation so marvelous is her relatability. She could be the PTA mother you have a nodding acquaintance with, the neighbor down the street, a coworker whose desk is next to yours. Her story is presented with honesty, humor and intelligence. And her warmth and accessibility open the floodgates for questions, concerns and comments on a topic that has been a closely guarded secret for many years. Highly, highly recommended.”

Marylyn Haspel, Bookfest Director, Charleston JCC

“Julie speaks from the heart with an energy and passion that are contagious. She’s a wonderful storyteller and really connected with her audience.”

Drew Tagliabue, Executive Director, PFLAG NYC

"Julie’s presentation shared such important insights with the Richmond SHRM community. Our planning committee cannot stop talking about her session at our 2022 D&I Symposium. She opened a lot of hearts and minds, and her clear steps for how folks can move forward as allies were pure gold."

Townley Goldsmith-Ray, Executive Director, Richmond SHRM

Julie is so knowledgeable about a wide range of topics. Her use of statistics in her presentations to back up the facts she discusses is truly impactful. And her powerful personal story about how she was introduced to the transgender community really resonated with a lot of folks. Julie tackles all the topics, even the difficult ones, and she presents them in a very audience-friendly way! You can't go wrong having Julie at your event."

Joe Bizzarri, Co-Chair, 2022 Dive-In Festival for Diversity & Incluion in Insurance

"Julie was great to work with, both as a speaker and thought leader. We shared what we were trying to accomplish, and she was flexible in customizing her content to best fit our audience. Her virtual presentation was engaging, and we heard great feedback from participants."

Consuelo Adkins-Tyler, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Markel Corp.
  • What is your favorite quote? “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.” – Eleanor Roosevelt