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2010 Speakers

Christy Turlington Burns

With more than 25 years at the forefront of the fashion industry, having graced every magazine cover from Vogue to Time, Christy Turlington Burns has established a diverse career as a model, writer, entrepreneur, spokesperson, advocate and now filmmaker. Burns recently finished filming a very personal documentary film profiling the status of maternal health worldwide. In her gripping directorial debut, Burns shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States.

Glenda Hatchett

After graduating from Emory University School of Law and completing a coveted clerkship in the U.S. Federal Courts, Glenda Hatchett accepted a position at Delta Air Lines, as the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman. She served in dual roles as a senior attorney for Delta, litigating cases in federal courts throughout the country, and Manager of Public Relations, supervising global crisis management, and media relations for all of Europe, Asia and the United States. In fact, her outstanding contributions were recognized by Ebony Magazine, which named Glenda Hatchett one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.” She made the difficult decision to leave Delta Air Lines in order to accept an appointment as Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court. Upon accepting the position, Glenda Hatchett became Georgia’s first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country.

Jessica Herrin

Jessica Herrin, Founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, is a serial entrepreneur and who previously co-founded, the world’s leading wedding site. She’s been recognized for her entrepreneurial accomplishments and her passion in such national outlets as Oprah, Inc. magazine (Stella & Dot was named one of the fastest growing private companies this year), Fortune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, InStyle, Glamour magazine and more. She earned a degree in Economics from Stanford University and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Herrin lives in San Francisco Bay area with her family. She’s an avid runner and her other favorite hobby is whatever is top of the list for her two young daughters.

Tory Johnson

Tory Johnson is all about spark and hustle at work, dating back to high school in Miami Beach where she joined her all-male debate team-and became the first girl (with her partner) to win a state championship. She dropped out of Emerson College to work at ABC News and then jumped to NBC News, only to be fired unexpectedly a couple years later. The permanent scar from that experience inspired her to shift from employee to entrepreneur, and in 1999 she founded Women For Hire. Now in its’ 11th year, the company hosts high caliber diversity career expos and conferences for entrepreneurs across the country. As workplace contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America, she is a favorite among viewers who appreciate her no-nonsense career advice. Her fifth book, “Fired To Hired,” follows “Will Work From Home: Earn Cash Without the Commute,” which was both a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser is the co-founder of Omega Institute, this country’s largest adult education center focusing on health, wellness, spirituality, social change, and creativity. She is the author of “The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure” and “Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.” For more than 30 years she has studied and worked with leading figures in the field of healing-healing self and healing society. Her recent work includes helping Oprah Winfrey to produce the 10-week “webinar” for Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth;” hosting a frequent show on Oprah Radio; acting as a senior advisor for Omega Institute at the board and staff level; and creating Omega’s successful Women and Power conferences, which offer a dialogue between women in leadership positions in a variety of areas-government, religion, media, the arts, and more. Lesser attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University. Previous to her work at Omega, she was a midwife and birth educator. The mother of three grown sons, she lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband.

Auma Obama

Dr. Auma Obama is CARE USA’s Sports for Social Change Initiative Technical Advisor. She advises on and coordinates all activities related to the CARE Sports for Social Change Initiative (SSCI). This includes the development of a Sports for Social Change Network, a global program that promotes the integration of sports as a tool for social change within the relevant program areas of female empowerment, education attainment and equality, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, conflict resolution, and peace building as well as life skills development for at-risk youth. Dr Obama is currently pioneering this new initiative in East Africa. She joined ECARMU from the United Kingdom, where she worked as a children’s services engagement officer under local government. Dr. Obama also sits on the board of Women Win, an organization that promotes gender equity through sports, as well asthe 50×15 Foundation, which provides opportunities for communities to access the tools and benefits of the Internet and technology. Dr. Obama’s diverse educational background includes studies in German, intercultural communications, career advice and guidance, project management, and filmmaking.

Victoria Reggie-Kennedy

Victoria Reggie-Kennedy is an attorney and advocate for issues that affect the lives of women, children, and families, such as homelessness, economic opportunity, health care, education, domestic violence, and involvement in the political process. She was a powerful advocate for the enactment of health care reform, which her late husband Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) called the cause of his life, and was standing at President Obama’s side at the White House as he signed the landmark reform legislation into law in March 2010. She continues to advocate for the law and against its repeal and explain its benefits to constituency groups around the country.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. She is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality and is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. She has been honored with numerous awards and has been the subject of two biographical television documentaries as well as “The Education of a Woman,” a biography written by Carolyn Heilbrun.

Special Guest Speakers

Diane Patrick

First Lady Diane Patrick has her own record of excellence and distinguished professional and public service. A lawyer, teacher, mother and active member of her community, Patrick has extensive experience in many walks of life. Born in 1951, Patrick spent her early childhood sharing a Brooklyn brownstone with her parents, siblings, and extended family. Her grandfather was the first African-American elected to public office in Brooklyn, and co-authored the Baker-Metcalf bill, the nation’s first law enacted to prohibit discrimination in public housing.


Tracy Atkinson

Tracy Atkinson is an executive vice president and chief compliance officer of State Street. She is responsible for the design, implementation and oversight of policies, guidelines and programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations wherever State Street conducts business worldwide. She leads a team of more than 250 professionals focused on ensuring that globally State Street meets all regulatory requirements and continues to be a trusted partner for clients on these issues. Prior to this role, Atkinson was chief compliance officer of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA). Atkinson has more than 20 years of diverse professional experience in audit, treasury and operational control within financial services. She joined State Street in March 2008 from MFS Investment Management, where she most recently served as senior vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer of the company’s mutual fund complex, prior to which she was the chief risk and new product development officer. She also has 16 years of experience working in the audit environment at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Atkinson is a certified public accountant and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts. She is a member of the board of directors of The ARC of Massachusetts and Partners for Youth with Disabilities.

Linda Basch

Linda Basch , isPresident of the National Council for Research on Women, a network of 120 research, policy, and advocacy centers dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. Recipient of the WNBA’s Inspiring Women Award, Dr. Basch is an outspoken proponent of advancing women’s leadership in business and across sectors. She was an advisor to the Financial Times Agenda’s recently released Top 100 Diverse Board Candidates guide for which she helped establish criteria. An anthropologist by training, Dr. Basch has expertise on women’s transformative leadership, gender roles in the family and society, work/life balance and other workplace issues. She spearheaded the Council’s recent report: Women in Fund Management – A Road Map for Achieving Critical Mass and Why It Matters and her articles, letters, and interviews have been featured in major news outlets including NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and CBS Evening News. She serves on numerous advisory boards, including the New York Academy of Science, of which she is an elected fellow. She earned her doctorate degree in anthropology from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Michigan.

Annabel Beerel

Dr. Annabel Beerel is a recognized expert in in the analysis of ethical issues across a wide range of professions as well as an expert in leadership and change management. Over the past 25 years, Beerel has assisted senior organizational leaders in becoming more astute decision makers and leading their organizations through change. Most recently, she held the Papoutsy Distinguished Chair in Ethics at Southern New Hampshire University. She is the founder of the New Hampshire Women’s Leadership Institute. Beerel is also a prolific author; her most recent book is entitled “Leadership and Change Management.” She currently hosts her own radio show entitled “The Women’s Leadership Hour.” Beerel holds a Ph.D. in comparative religion and ethics from Boston University, a master’s degree in theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an M.B.A. with a focus on corporate finance and strategic management and has pursued advanced leadership training at the J.F. Kennedy School of Management at Harvard University.

Dr. Lisa Bender

Dr. Lisa Bender is vice president and chief human resources officer for The MITRE Corporation. In this role, Dr. Bender is responsible for strategic planning and direction of human resources for 7,000 MITRE employees at 60 sites worldwide. During her tenure at MITRE, Dr. Bender has guided new practice in executive compensation, organization research, performance management, branding, the design of the human resources function, and a mindset change in how “time” is viewed, including new flexible work arrangements. Prior to joining MITRE in 1996, Dr. Bender held various human resources and organization development positions, including a job sharing position as the manager of corporate organization development at Digital Equipment Corporation. Her career was profiled in HR Magazine (October 2004). Dr. Bender earned a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York. She holds a doctorate in social and organizational psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has completed post-doctoral studies in clinical psychology. She holds her license in psychology in Massachusetts.

April Lane Benson

April Lane Benson, Ph.D., is a nationally known psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. She is the co-founder of the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, both in New York. She’s been in private practice in New York City for over 30 years. “I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self” is Dr. Benson’s multidisciplinary approach to the problem of compulsive buying. Her recent book, “To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop,” offers a comprehensive program for stopping over shopping. Dr. Benson and her associates offer individual treatment and group coaching, both in person and on the telephone, and train therapists who want to learn to work with overshoppers. Stopping Overshopping, LLC maintains an active and informative website. She’s appeared widely in the media, most recently on the “PBS Nightly Business News”, “Good Morning America”, the “Today Show”, the CBS Evening News, “The Bank of Mom and Dad”, “The Secret Lives of Women”, and “My Strange Addiction.”

Gabrielle Bernstein

Recently featured in The New York Times Sunday Styles section as the next generation guru, motivational speaker, life coach, and author, Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Expanding the lexicon for the next generation, Bernstein is a #1 bestselling author of the book “Add More ~ing to Your Life – A Hip Guide to Happiness.” Bernstein was just one year out of college when she co-founded the Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, a non-profit professional organization that connects female entrepreneurs. That same year, Bernstein incorporated her own boutique public relations company, SparkPlug Communications. In 2007, she launched the brand “Falling in Love with Your Future: A Young Woman’s Guide to Passion and Happiness,” which takes the form of books, life coaching, lectures, and more. She recently launched her social networking site for young women to find mentors. Bernstein has presented lectures at the Learning Annex, Seattle Center for Women in Democracy, Nobel Women, Integral Yoga, Kripalu, universities nationwide, The Step Up Women’s Network, The Junior Leagues, and other venues. Bernstein graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in theater.

Josefina Bonilla

Josefina Bonilla is the managing director of Color Media Group, LLC and publisher of its flagship publication, Color Magazine. She is responsible for creating business partnerships and developing opportunities to promote diverse professionals in New England and New York City. Prior to launching Color Media Group, LLC, Bonilla was the editor-in-chief of EntreAmigos Magazine, a one-of-a-kind publication highlighting professional Hispanics in and around Boston that she co-founded with Hispanic News Press. Bonilla has also worked on the other side of the media spectrum as a public relations director for Wentworth Institute of Technology. Bonilla is a board member of The Partnership, Inc., Raising a Reader, and The Color Magazine Foundation, which she founded. She sits on the corporate advisory board of the Association of Latino Professionals and is a member of The National Association of Asian American Professionals. An avid reader and writer, Bonilla and has co-written five screenplays with her sister, two of which, “I Love You So Much” and “Ontrial” were selected as finalists at the Sundance Screenwriter’s competition.

Jane Bowman

Jane Bowman is the executive director of Sales Development for Boston Globe Media where she works to develop strategic business initiatives and partnerships for The Boston Globe and Prior to her current position, she was vice president of Marketing and Research for Comcast Spotlight’s Northeast Division. There she focused on planning and development of initiatives to support the advertising sales business. She was also a key member of the team who signed the first Nielsen Local People Meter agreement, changing the way local television viewership is measured. Bowman moved to the Boston market in 1993 where she played an integral role in the launch of The Boston Interconnect, then called Greater Boston Cable Advertising. Today, the Boston Interconnect, now part of Comcast Spotlight, is one of the country’s most successful interconnects. She has held positions in marketing, research, and operations all within the media industry. Bowman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA and also a Master’s Degree in Management from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.

Judith P. Bowman

Judith Bowman founded Protocol Consultants International in 1993 and is now a leading authority on professional presence: corporate etiquette, international protocol, dining savvy, and presentation skills. Bowman authored “Don’t Take the Last Donut: New Rules of Business Etiquette” (Career Press and Barnes & Noble) which was translated into ten languages and sold in 12 countries, and is now writing her second book, “Fabulous @ Work.” She hosted a four-year weekly etiquette segment on New England Cable News, wrote a syndicated column for Eagle Tribune Publishing Company for ten years, and recently brought etiquette to the Internet with a series of online corporate training videos. Bowman works with executives at all levels of the organization and speaks to nuancesand How to Stand Apart TMto better compete. Bowman is known for her ability to apply timeless, traditional etiquette rules to new issues in our high technology society.

Dr. Shelley Carson

Dr. Shelley Carson is associate and lecturer at Harvard University where she currently works in the areas of creativity, psychopathology, and resilience. She has been published widely in both national and international scientific journals and her work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN, and NPR. Dr. Carson has won multiple teaching awards for her popular course Creativity: Madmen, Geniuses, and Harvard Students. Since 2006, she has also served as a senior subject matter expert for the Department of Defense project “,” which provides innovative online mental health assistance to service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Carson writes the popular Psychology Today blog “Life as Art.” She also blogs for the “Living” section of the Huffington Post, and her new book titled “Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life will be released by Jossey-Bass in fall, 2010. Dr. Carson received her Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Christine Carter

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a sociologist at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Best known for her science-based parenting advice, Dr. Carter follows the scientific literature to understand ways that we can teach children skills for happiness, emotional intelligence, and resilience. She is the author of “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.Dr. Carter also writes a blog for the Greater Good Science Center which is syndicated on Psychology Today, the Huffington Post and other websites. Her parent-to-parent tone and humorous, tell-all approach make scientific research accessible and fun for parents and teachers. In 2010 she received an award from the Council on Contemporary Families for her outstanding reporting on family issues. Her first book, “The Other Side of Silence,” is one of the most frequently stolen books out of university libraries. Dr. Carter has been quoted in Working Mother, American Baby and Parenting magazines, the Boston Globe, the New York Times and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Rachel Ray Morning Show, and NPR, and is a regular on ABC’s View from the Bay. Dr. Carter received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley.

Renee Connolly

Renee Connolly joined EMD Serono, Inc. in June 2004 as vice president of U.S. Communications, where she is responsible for all external and internal communications, including public relations and community affairs. Under Connolly’s leadership, the company has been awarded several prestigious community and employee awards, including the Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work; The Scientist Magazine’s Best Places to Work; Science Top Employer; the Boston Business Journal’s corporate philanthropy award; and the Mass High Tech citizenship award. Prior to joining EMD Serono, Connolly was general manager for the Euro-RSCG public relations firm where she led the life sciences practice. Connolly sits on the board of the Massachusetts Conference for Women. She is a member of the Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association, and is active in PhRMA, BIO, and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. She received her undergraduate degree from Ithaca College in NY.

Lisa Costantino

Lisa Costantino is chief financial officer at EMD Serono, Inc. where her responsibilities include the oversight and strategic directionsetting of the financial framework within the U.S. organization. In addition, she is responsible for collaborating with Global functions in the following areas: Finance and Controlling, Tax, Accounting, and Procurement and Information Services (IS), including the Corporate Information Service Center Infrastructure. She joined EMD Serono, Inc. in 1983 and has held financial positions of increasing responsibility including accountant, analyst, project leader, controller, director and vice president. Costantino graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science in accounting, and from Suffolk University with a master’s degree in business administration.

Karen Delgado

With more than 40 years’ experience in life insurance industry, Karen Delgado has managed many different areas including customer service, new business, underwriting, and sales mostly with Indianapolis Life and Aviva. Delgado has been working with SBLI for 2 years, helping to build the brokerage and independent agency distribution channel. Some of her professional designations include CLU, ChFC, and CFP. Delgado is a graduate of University of Indianapolis and also earned an MBA from Indiana University.

Lisa Dennis

Lisa Dennis, of Knowledgence Associates is a marketing and sales executive with 25 years’ experience. Her firm was founded in 1997 with a focus on the intersection of marketing, sales and customer service. Her company works with clients in technology, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing and professional services, including companies such as GTE Internetworking, Genuity, Akamai, Progress Software, Hewlett-Packard, Tufts Health Plan, Savings Bank Life Insurance and Mutual of Omaha. She is a member of Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI) where she is an international director on the board and is also the founder of the Boston cell of FastCompany Magazine’s Company of Friends network. She has served on the non-profit boards of the YWCA of Cambridge, Positive Directions and The Children’s Room. She has a B.A in Writing from Wheaton College, and an MBA in Marketing from Babson College.

Allene M. Diaz

Allene M. Diaz currently serves as the vice president of Oncology Marketing at EMD Serono, an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany. She is also the acting head of Global Strategic Planning for the Oncology Business Unit. Prior to joining EMD Serono, Diaz served in senior leadership roles in marketing, new product planning, and portfolio management at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, CancerVax Corporation, Biogen-Idec, and Pfizer. She has been involved in the development and commercialization of several major brands such as Rituxan® (rituximab), Rezulinâ (troglitazone), and Bydureon™ (exenatide for extended-release injectable suspension) which is expected to launch within the next 12 months. Diaz is an active member of the HBA (Healthcare Business Women’s Association) and served as a mentor in the 2009 HBA mentorship program. She also recently served as a member on the American Cancer Society Volunteer Council.

Beverly Edgehill

Dr. Beverly Edgehill is a veteran leadership and executive development professional with over 20 years’ experience working in Fortune 500 companies. As president and CEO of The Partnership, a non-profit leadership development and career mentoring organization, Edgehill’s focus is on developing leaders for increased impact and guiding them in their transition to executive level positions. She also convenes CEOs and executive teams to identify actions they can take to groom high potential individuals for future leadership roles. Dr. Edgehill is also a regional selection panelist for The White House Fellows program and is featured in a Harvard Business School case study, which highlights her transition into the role as president and CEO of The Partnership, Inc. Dr. Edgehill received her doctorate in adult and organizational learning from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Janice Reals Ellig

Named by Business Weekas one of the “World’s Most Influential Headhunters,” Janice Reals Ellig is co-CEO of Chadick Ellig. Ellig has co-authored two books: “Driving the Career Highway, 20 Road Signs You Can’t Afford To Miss” and “What Every Successful Woman Knows: 12 Breakthrough Strategies to Get the Power and Ignite Your Career,” acknowledged by Business Weekas “thebest of its genre.” In recognition for her many philanthropic activities, in 2008 she received the Association of Executive Search Consultants Eleanor Raynolds Award for Volunteerism. Recognized as one of 2007’s “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews, she was also a recipient of the Channel 21 Award in Excellencefor her contribution to “Excellence in the Economic Development for Women.” Reals Ellig is president of the Women’s Forum, New York, Executive Committee and board director for the University of Iowa Foundation, and serves on the Simmons College, School of Management Advisory Board, the Business Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Economic Club of NY.

Susan Esper

Susan Esper’s professional success at Deloitte serves as a model for other women looking to achieve work-life fit. Her work as a leader with Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative is working to open doors for a new generation of Deloitte women professionals in New England and beyond. As an audit partner and leader of Deloitte & Touche LLP’s financial services industry group in New England, Esper has oversight for delivering attest and related services to some of Boston’s most notable companies in banking, insurance, mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity and real estate. She is a member of The Boston Club, an advisory board member for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and an executive council member of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. Susan has been honored with numerous awards including the Boston Business Journal “40 Under 40” Award in 2005, The Boston Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Ten Outstanding Young Leader Award in 2006, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts “Leading Women” Award in 2008, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award in 2009 and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Abigail Adams Award in 2010.

Belinda Fuchs

Belinda Fuchs, CPA makes personal finance and money management rewarding, fun, and profitable. An inspiring—yet practical—financial coach and speaker, Fuchs is the President of, which is a site designed to help visitors think big, take risks and make the journey fun. With courses and one-to-one coaching, she is a must-have financial resource, aiding people in finding the stability in really owning their money- and their life- so that it doesn’t own them. She also has experience as a lead CPA for global organizations and has also worked with T. Harv Eker (“Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”), which has enabled Fuchs to bring real-world knowledge, financial expertise and skills to help you take control of your finances for an exceptional sense of freedom. Some of Fuchs’ other affiliations include being a member of the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Speakers Bureau for the Department of Financial Education, as well as on the board of directors of the Combined Jewish Philanthropy Young Leadership Division and treasurer and executive board steering committee member for the Nishmat Hayyim Jewish Meditation Collaborative

Susan Getgood

Susan Getgood has been involved in online marketing since the early 90s and watched the web evolve from the first browsers to the interactive communities we participate in today. Since 2004, she has been helping organizations integrate social media into their marketing strategies in order to meet their customers’ online, build their brands and drive revenue. Prior to founding her consulting practice, Getgood held a variety of senior corporate marketing and management roles. Her professional marketing blog where she writes about marketing strategy and social media is Marketing Roadmaps ( She also writes a personal blog and a family travel blog. Getgood was named a Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research in 2008 and speaks regularly at social media conferences like BlogHer, Mom 2.0 and New Comm Forum. Getgood is also co-founder of blog ethics and education initiative, Blog With Integrity ( and a contributing editor for BlogHer. Her first book, “Professional Blogging For Dummies (Wiley),” was published in July

Donna Latson Gittens

A visionary leader and an authority on social issues marketing, Donna Latson Gittens has established an exceptional advertising/social marketing agency, causemedia, inc. Dedicated to serving socially conscious corporations and non-profits, the agency is partner to some of the area’s most savvy industry leaders including the Boston Red Sox, Massachusetts General Hospital, NovoNordisk, Citi Performing Arts Center, The Boston Foundation, AIDS Action of Massachusetts. Prior to launching causemedia in 1997, Gittens had a 20-year career as a corporate executive at WCVB-TV and won numerous awards, including a Gabriel, an Emmy Award and the National Education Association Award. She received the 1st Annual Jackie Robinson Award for Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner from the Boston Red Sox and Major League baseball. She is the recipient of the Chamber’s 2005 Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurship and was presented the Rebecca Lee Award from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Gittens holds a B.A. from Park University, an M.B.A. from Northeastern University, and an honorary degree from Elms College in Chicopee, MA.

Kim Golembewski

Kim Golembewski is the regional general manager for Walmart Stores in the Boston metro area. Golembewski began her 16-year Walmart career in 1994 as an hourly associate in Dartmouth, MA. In 1997, she was promoted to an assistant manager and then promoted to a co-manager in 1999. Golembewski received her first store management assignment in 2000 (Avon, MA). In 2008, she was promoted to a market manager, where she oversaw 11 stores located in the state of Connecticut. In 2010, she was promoted to the Boston metro regional general manager position, where she currently oversees 57 stores located in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Golembewski is a regional founding member of the Boston Go-Green Expo and has been recognized within Walmart for her ability to revitalize challenging stores.

Carolyn Groobey

Carolyn Groobey, is the head of Consumer Marketing for PayPal Credit. She brings over 20 years of strategic leadership to PayPal Inc. where she runs the team that develops and markets the suite of credit products within the eBay family. Previously, she was a partner at McKinsey & Company where she helped lead the e-commerce, sales and marketing and business technology practices. Groobey earned an MBA from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Delaware. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and beloved dogs. She is an avid sailor and is actively involved with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Jen Groover

Top media mogul and business expert Jen Groover has been tagged by Success Magazine as a “one-woman band” and a “creativity and innovation guru” and “a serial entrepreneur” by Entrepreneur Magazine. Groover’s name has quickly become synonymous with innovation, entrepreneurship, and evolution. She has gone from guest-hosting spots on QVC to inking deals with some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights. Groover is a top business and lifestyle contributor and constant creator for major networks such as ABC, CBS, BNBC, NBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, and the CW. Groover also contributes to several other business and entrepreneurial publications. She is an accomplished writer, penning “What if? & Why Not?,” which identifies the crucial tools and resourced needed to start a new business. As a speaker, Groover has become enormously successful, speaking for countless organizations around the country. She is also an advocate for numerous ventures which seek to uplift women in business, support young girls’ leadership, proactive healthy living, and education and fight childhood obesity. Groover received a bachelor’s degree in education from Kutztown University.

Hannah Grove

Hannah Grove is executive vice president of State Street Corporation and head of Global Marketing. In this position, Grove leads the brand, media relations, employee communications, creative, content, and event management teams across the enterprise. Under Grove’s leadership, the global team supports the company’s revenue growth, customer acquisition and retention, and serves to positively influence all constituencies’ understanding of State Street. Prior to joining State Street in 1998, Grove was marketing director for the Money Matters Institute – a collaborative between the United Nations and the World Bank that sought to foster sustainable development in emerging economies. With dual citizenship in both the U.K. and U.S, early in her career Grove owned and operated a public relations company in London, England. Grove came to the U.S. first with CNN as communications director of its World Congress event in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Brad Harrington

Dr. Brad Harrington is the executive director of the Boston College Center for Work & Family (CWF) and an associate research professor in the Carroll School of Management. The Center for Work & Family is the country’s leading university-based research center focused on helping employers in their efforts to improve the lives of working people and their families. Dr. Harrington’s teaching and research focuses on career management and work-life integration, mobilizing and leading organizational change, and contemporary workforce management strategies. Along with professor Douglas T. Hall of Boston University, Dr. Harrington is the author of “Career Management and Work/Life Integration: Using Self-Assessment to Navigate Contemporary Careers.” Prior to his arrival at Boston College, he was an executive with Hewlett-Packard Company for 20 years. Dr. Harrington also serves on the advisory board of the International Center of Work and Family at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

Terry Hazell

Terry Chase Hazell fell in love with technology entrepreneurship while she worked at a start-up biotech company at 15 and has been an advocate and coach for start-up technology companies ever since. She founded two companies spinning out of the University of Maryland and led them through technology transfer, access to capital, and mergers and acquisitions. At the award-winning ACTiVATE program, she has coached women to start scalable ventures. Today, she is an Entrepreneur in Residence at both Texas State University – where she leads a women and minority incubation program called TX$tart – and at Springboard Enterprises, where she coaches women on accessing capital. She serves on several start-up company boards and advisory boards, is a member of the CenTex selection committee for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, and is an Entrepreneur Columnist for the Austin Business Journal. @TXStateOCIR &

Kimberly Y. Jones

Kimberly Y. Jones is the founding attorney of Athena Legal Strategies Group, an employment law and litigation defense law firm representing corporations, organizations and senior executives. A highly regarded, experienced attorney and seasoned negotiator, Jones has been recognized in Labor and Employment Law in 2006 and was subsequently named a “Super Lawyer” in Labor and Employment Law by Boston Magazine. Jones is the recipient of the 2010 Massachusetts Bar Association Public Service Award. Demonstrating that being an excellent attorney extends beyond the courtroom and involves becoming an effective leader in the community; Jones frequently addresses business, legal and academic audiences. In addition to a vibrant law practice, Jones is also active on several boards. In 2008, she was appointed to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Advisory Board by Governor Deval Patrick. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Service Alliance and, a classically trained pianist, Ms. Jones recently joined the Board of Directors of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Candace Karu

In her capacity as the lifestyle commentator and favorite foodie for the Vermont-based Cabot Creamery Cooperative (, Candace Karu writes and speaks about food, health, fitness, and lifestyle issues. It is Cabot’s long standing commitment to helping their consumers lead the best lives possible that brought Karu to the company. In addition to her career as a writer and motivational speaker, Karu has dedicated her life to running and fitness. She has run in over 200 road races from Sydney to Shanghai, Israel to Iceland. She is a veteran of 19 marathons including Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. Karu is the former editorial director for Running Timesmagazine. She is chair of the Board of Trustees for Maine College of Art in Portland, chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, College of Arts and Science at New York University, and is on the advisory board of Z.A.P. Fitness Foundation in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Vicki Knighton

Vicki Knighton is senior director at EMD Serono, where she is responsible for managing State Government Affairs. In this role she is responsible for all legislative and advocacy work in the states. She is responsible for interfacing with the Executive Branch and policy leaders in all the states. She manages the state role with PhRMA and BIO the company’s key trade associations. She joined the EMD Serono in 2007. Knighton spent the past 20 years of her government affairs career at Merck & Co., Inc. and Medco Health Solutions, Inc. At Merck & Company Knighton represented the company on any willing provider, price control, patient access, HIV/AIDS and tax issues in the states. Knighton created the State Government Affairs function for Medco Health Solutions, Inc. where she represented the company on pharmacy, insurance, data privacy, and reimbursement issues in the states. Knighton is a graduate of William Mitchell School of Law and Hamiline University.

Chai Ling

Chai Ling has been passionate about social reform since her days as a post-graduate in Beijing as the chief female student leader in 1989’s Tiananmen Square movement. Recognized by Glamour as the first “Woman of the Year” for her efforts for peace in China, Ling has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Through her organization All Girls Allowed, Ling is dedicated to ending the “greatest crime against humanity”, restoring dignity, value, and life to women and girls in China impacted by the One-Child Policy. Both passionate entrepreneurial leaders, Ling and her husband founded Jenzabar, Inc, an industry leader in higher education software, and The Jenzabar Foundation for student leadership after consulting at Bain & Company. Ling has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, M.A. in public affairs from Princeton and degrees from Beijing University.

Bonnie MarcusBonnie Marcus, M.Ed., CEC, is a certified executive coach, public speaker, and radio show host. Her radio show, “Head Over Heels: Women’s Business Radio” is broadcast weekly on the VoiceAmerica Business channel and explores how women can thrive in business and features in depth interviews with subject matter experts on the key issues and challenges that women face in business today. Marcus is a leading expert in self-promotion. As the founder and principal of Women’s Success Coaching, she assists professional women with promoting themselves effectively to advance their careers and grow their businesses. Her website,, was recently chosen by Forbes as one of the top 100 websites for working women. Marcus has an extensive business background. She has held executive positions in startup companies and Fortune 500 companies. Well-known for her motivational speaking and innovative workshops, Marcus received a B.A. from Connecticut College and a M.Ed. from New York University.

Jessica McLear

Jessica McLear is an angel investor and member of Launchpad Venture Group and Golden Seeds. Her family has been investing in and mentoring startup companies for 20 years in both Canada and the US. Her portfolio companies fall into many sectors including manufacturing, IT, medical devices and consumer goods. She is an observer or serves on the board for various non-profits as well as portfolio companies. She has served as an investor and mentor for several companies. McLear earned a BA from Williams College and MEd from Harvard University.

Patricia Miller

Patricia Miller and Barbara Baekgaard founded Vera Bradley in 1982, which quickly grew into an internationally recognized brand. Vera Bradley designs handbags, travel items, eyewear and paper & gift products. Miller has been with Vera Bradley since the beginning, but in 2005, took a leave of absence to serve as Indiana’s first Secretary of Commerce for the State of Indiana and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. She returned to Vera Bradley in early 2006. Currently she is also serving as a board member of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer was founded in 1994, after the personal loss of a dear friend inspired Miller and Baekgaard to add a new dimension to Vera Bradley. To date the Foundation has contributed more than $10 million to the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, and has pledged a total of $20 million for the cause. In the past she has served as a board member on more than 15 boards and has been awarded numerous honors such as 2010 Indiana University Foundation President’s Award and the 2002 IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award.

Amy Millman

Amy Millman is a career advocate who has represented the interests of various corporate and industry groups. As one of the founders and current president of Springboard Enterprises, she built an organization that facilitates connections to sources of financial and human capital for women-led emerging-growth enterprises. Prior to Springboard, she served as executive director of the National Women’s Business Council, a federal commission providing advice and counsel to the President and Congress on issues of importance to women business owners. During her tenure, the Council launched several public and private sector initiatives that increased, measurably, access to capital and market opportunities for women. Millman began her career working on Capitol Hill and spent 20 years representing corporate, trade association, and government interests, including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Philip Morris Corporation (now Altria), the American Trucking Association, and Congressional Quarterly, Inc.

Cathy Minehan

Cathy E. Minehan retired from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in July 2007 after 39 years with the Federal Reserve System, having served as the president and chief executive of the Boston Bank and a member of the Federal Open Market Committee from July 1994 on. She is currently president & CEO of Arlington Advisory Partners LLC, an entity she uses to house her various profit and non-profit positions. She is a director of VISA Inc., Becton, Dickinson and Company, the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and MITRE Corporation. She is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital and chairman of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. She serves on a number of other non-profit boards in the areas of health care and education. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of many other honors and distinctions. Minehan is a graduate of the University of Rochester and is chairman of the executive committee of the University of Rochester Board of Trustees. She holds an MBA from New York University and was named a distinguished alumna from New York University in 1995.

Dani Monroe

Dani Monroe has led the c-suites of Fortune 100 companies to success in global diversity, inclusion and organization effectiveness. Over a 20 year career, she has brought definition and depth to the dialogue about diversity and set the pace for change and precedence in strategies of global diversity and inclusion. Monroe’s career has included serving as senior director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at the Pfizer Corporation. In addition, she established the Global Women’s Network of women’s leader communities around the world. As Founder and President of one the top global diversity practices in the U.S. — Center Focus International, Inc. (CFI) — Monroe is one of the world’s most valued corporate resources for change and inclusion strategies. CFI, a Boston-based global practice, is internationally known for its senior level expertise in helping c-suite leaders to meet the challenges and opportunities of the changing workforce and emerging markets. Before founding CFI in 1995, Monroe was the Director of Workforce Diversity for Bank of Boston. During that time, she launched the Gay and Lesbian Network, designed and implemented the first “Take Our Daughters to Work” day. Monroe received her master’s degree in organizational development from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Business and her bachelor’s degree from California State University in Dominguez Hills.

Valerie Coleman Morris

Valerie Coleman Morris, a three-time Emmy award winning journalist and former CNN Domestic and CNN International Business anchor. She began her career in the early 70’s in San Francisco at KRON-TV as a reporter and then KGO-TV as a long time anchor. She was part of the Van Amburg/Jerry Jensen/Pete Giddings news team that branded “happy talk” as a new news genre. Every day, her dozen daily reports were seen by more than 290 million households, businesses and airport networks. After 35 years as a celebrated journalist, reporter, and anchor spanning both U.S. coasts, Morris primarily focuses on empowering woman to find the path to financial independence. She still appears on CNN as a personal finance guest expert and now focuses her works as a financial journalist/educator with a unique point of view about money. Her “mind over money matters” approach gives the thought process and mindset for a financial behavioral change: re-calculating your relationship with your personal money. Morris’ trademark mantra: “It’s your money, so take it personally TM.

Cindy Morrison

Emmy-winning TV broadcaster Cindy Morrison successfully reinvented herself after the economy lead to corporate downsizing and left her unemployed. Leaving her 20-year career behind, Morrison wrote “Girlfriends 2.0” to empower women to upgrade their Girlfriend Network. She has since been speaking on the topic and has launched a successful consulting business, Reinvention 2.0, a business-focused approach to her Girlfriends 2.0 concept. Morrison’s witty and approachable speaking style was honed during her many years as a television news anchor and investigative reporter in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK. She has won an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Gracie Allen Award for her groundbreaking investigations over the years. Morrison also hosts national shows for the Woman’s Information Network and the Diva Toolbox. In 2010, she was chosen as one of the 25 Most Amazing Women of the Year by Stiletto Women Magazine. She is also a member of the National Speaker’s Association and continues her loyal membership with numerous other national news organizations.

Maria Murnane

Maria Murnane had a successful career in public relations for nearly 10 years before deciding she needed a change. She left for Argentina for what was supposed to be a two-week solo trip and ended up staying in Buenos Aires for a year. While there, Murnane played semi-professional soccer for one of the most famous clubs in the world, and wrote “Perfect on Paper.” After being turned down by several publishing houses, Murnane self-published and marketed the novel, with great success. Eventually, “Perfect on Paper” was chosen by Amazon out of 10,000 other titles to be their first venture into traditional publishing and was re-released by AmazonEncore in 2010. Murnane has also launched a line of products such as greeting cards, Honey Tees and Honey Totes, called Waverly’s Honey Shop that is based on “Perfect on Paper’s” main character, Waverly Bryson. Murnane was a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar at UC Berkeley, where she graduated with high honors in English and Spanish. She also received a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University.

Salimah Nooruddin

Salimah Nooruddin is an Associate at MassChallenge, a nonprofit Global Startup Competition and Accelerator that awards $1M to early stage startups. She helps manage internships, sponsor relationships and the marketing and communications efforts. Nooruddin has a strong interest in public-private partnerships and economic development. During her time studying at Brown University, she studied abroad at the American University in Cairo for her regional focus on the Middle East. After graduating from Brown in 2008, she spent time at the Cambridge Strategic Management Group, a strategy consulting firm in Boston focused on telecommunications and media. Nooradduin received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in International Relations with a focus on Political and Economic Development.

Myriam Ortiz

Myriam Ortiz is executive director of the Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON), a non-profit established in 1999 to organize and support parents and families to hold the Boston Public Schools accountable for providing a quality education for all students. A parent and former assistant director, Ortiz was the first BPON organizer for the Jamaica Plain Parent Organizing Project. She served as one of the first 15 Family and community outreach coordinators for Boston Public Schools. Ortiz is currently a Steering Committee member for the Boston United for Students Coalition (BUS). She serves on several local advisory boards and committees including the Boston Children Thrive in 5 Advisory Group, the New Bostonians k-12 Working Group and the Office of Family and Student Engagement Advisory Group for the Boston Public Schools. Ortiz has been recognized by city and state officials for her commitment and dedication to the Latino community in Boston and for her efforts in the passing of the Education Reform Act of 2010.

Candy O’Terry

Candy O’Terry is a multi-media broadcast professional heard daily on Magic 106.7, Country 102.5 and 96.9 Boston Talks. She is the creator and co-host of Magic 106.7’s award winning program, Exceptional Women. Once the secretary to the program director, she rose through the ranks to become Magic 106.7’s assistant program director. An accomplished singer, O’Terry has released 3 songs for airplay and is a member of the cast of the Emmy award winning talent show Community Auditions. Candy made her debut in the movie C02 in October, 2010 and wrapped her second film Luke Eleven. She is the president of the Alliance For Women in Media/Boston, an ambassador for Music Drives Us and serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Dream BIG. A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, O’Terry is the founder of the Think Pink Club.

Ayanna Pressley

Ayanna Pressley was elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009. Councilor Pressley, the only woman in a field of 15 candidates, became the first woman of color to serve on the 100-year-old Boston City Council. She has formed and is chairing a new standing committee, the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities in Massachusetts. Councilor Pressley serves as the vice chair of the Public Safety Committee and the Special Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight. She also sits on the following committees: Arts, Films, Humanities & Tourism; City, Neighborhood Services & Veterans Affairs; Economic Development & Planning; Education; Government Operations, and; Ways and Means. Councilor Pressley’s political career spans more than 16 years, including working as senior aide for Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and political director for United States Senator John Kerry. In addition to her work in government, Councilor Pressley has been an active leader in the non-profit community on issues related to women and girls, civic engagement, and diversifying the political pipeline.

Katie Rae

Katie Rae is founder of Project 11, a firm that invests in and assists early-stage startups. She specializes in critical product and business related decisions for building a strong customer base and rapid business growth. Rae has spent her career building scaled Internet businesses in the community, self -publishing and search space. Most recently she was the head of Product for Microsoft Startup Labs, an early stage product development lab focused on collaboration, location-based services and social applications where concepts were tested for consumer enthusiasm. Before that she was SVP of Product at Eons. She pioneered an early freemium model at Lycos for the Tripod and Angelfire communities. Rae is a frequent judge for business plan competitions and mentor for early stage companies. She earned an MBA from Yale University and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College.

Deborah Re

Deborah Re brings more than 20 years of management, entrepreneurial and organizational development experience to Big Sister, as their chief executive officer. Re joins the organization from City Year Boston where she served as executive director. Prior to her management of City Year, Re was president and founder of Bridges to Business, a company that specialized in training and placing young adults with non-traditional backgrounds in the workforce. In addition, she has 16 years of experience in the private sector as vice president of Administration for Keyport Life Insurance Company. As testament to her commitment to the community, Re received the 2001 LeadBoston Community Award and the Heroes Among Us award from the Boston Celtics. In addition, New England Minority Enterprise Development recognized her for helping companies develop a more inclusive workforce in the Greater Boston area. Re serves on the board of the Mass Mentoring Partnership and sits on the Advisory Board for the West End House Boys and Girls Club. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Mary Reineman

Mary Reineman began her career at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as a financial advisor and has been the director of the Wellesley Complex since November 2006. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Reineman was with Fleet Bank, now part of Bank of America, for ten years. Throughout her career, Reineman has been involved with coaching new financial advisor trainees and has been a speaker at several Women Symposiums centered on the topics of growing an advisor practice as a female and tips for networking success in a local community. Reineman has been an integral part of the Boston/New England Community and has been involved with several philanthropic organizations including the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Festival Ballet, the RI YWCA and the Junior League. Most recently, Reineman became a mentor for a young musician at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Mia Roberts

Mia Roberts joined Big Sister in May 2002 as the chief operating officer, a position created in response to Big Sister’s (2001-2005) strategic growth plan. Prior to joining Big Sister, Roberts served as director of development for the Efficacy Institute, a not-for-profit Massachusetts-based organization committed to developing all children to high standards, especially children of color and the economically disadvantaged. She also held the position of regional compensation and performance administrator for 7,000 employees in 20 locations at the Dayton-Hudson Department Store Company. Roberts graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration.

Wendy Sachs

Wendy Sachs has more than 15 years of experience in media, politics, public relations, and women’s issues. She is an Emmy award-winning television producer and the author of the critically acclaimed book on balancing career and family, “How She Really Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms.” Currently, Sachs is the editor-in-chief of, the fastest growing online site for childcare, senior care, special needs, and pet sitters. Sachs has been featured on NBC’s “Today,” “Good Morning America,” CBS’s “Up to the Minute,” and FOX’s “Good Day New York” among others. She has also been interviewed by Forbes, USA Today, Parade, the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, Oprah Sirius radio’s financial expert Jean Chatzky, syndicated talk show host Michael Medved, WOR news radio’s Joan Hamburg, and many others. Her work has appeared on the New York Times website and she is a freelance contributor to several magazines, including USA Weekend. Sachs attended Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Joan Benoit Samuelson is an Olympic Gold Medalist, marathon runner and winner, accomplished athlete, road race founder and organizer, motivational speaker, mother, author, consultant to Nike, Inc., former coach, and key participant in many charities and civic endeavors at the local, state and national levels. Well known for winning the first Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984, Samuelson also set world records in her wins at the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983. She set American records in her wins at the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in 1984 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985. Sports Illustrated recently selected Samuelson as the greatest athlete from Maine in the 20th Century. In 1998, the Road Runners Club of America selected her as the Women’s Master Runner of the Year. In 1997, Samuelson founded and has since chaired the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K road race. Samuelson is a three time winner of the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women which has been held annually in Boston for the last 34 years. She is the author of “Running Tide,” and “Joan Samuelson’s Running for Women.”

Dianne Savastano

Dianne Savastano is the founder and president of Healthassist. Healthassist offers expert help in demystifying healthcare and medical insurance and offers services that help individuals and families navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. In her 25-year career in healthcare Savastano has provided direct patient care as a registered nurse, managed healthcare providers as a hospital administrator, served in various roles within the managed care and insurance industries and provided advisory services to large and small employers as a management consultant. She is a frequent speaker and writer on such topics as taking control of eldercare issues, navigating the healthcare system, how individuals can become empowered healthcare consumers, balancing career and caregiving responsibilities and managing hospitalizations with transitions to alternative levels of care. Savastano has served as a Panelist on the PBS Second Opinion series, appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and hosts Healthassist podcasts, available on iTunes. Savastano earned her Nursing degree from Rhode Island College and her MBA from Simmons College. She is a member of The Commonwealth Institute and serves on numerous boards including the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants.

Rebecca Schechter

Rebecca Schechter is the senior vice president and chief risk officer for State Street Global Services, the investment servicing arm of State Street. Schechter leads the Global Services Risk Management team globally with the goal of advancing the risk management function against evolving business needs and regulatory expectations. Since she joined State Street in 2004, Schechter has been the senior managing director for Global Link, State Street’s multi-asset class network for market research, portfolio analytics, integration, execution, reporting, and settlement. Throughout her career, Schechter has had significant, international experience across strategy, operations, and information technology. Prior to joining State Street Global Markets, Schechter worked as a vice president at Thomson Financial. She has also worked in management consulting for McKinsey and Co. in both Zurich and Boston, and before that, she worked in global product development at AC Nielsen. Schechter earned an undergraduate degree in International Business and Entrepreneurship from McGill University, and her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Diana Scott

Diana Scott is senior vice president, Human Resources, for John Hancock Financial, the U.S. division of Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corporation. Scott also served as general manager of the John Hancock Freedom 529 college savings plan. Previously, Scott held a variety of positions within John Hancock including leading the Group Insurance Division, Retail Long-Term Care Insurance Operations, and John Hancock’s eBusiness unit. Before joining Hancock in 1998, Scott was managing director of Ingalls One to One Marketing. She has also served as management director at EMI Strategic Marketing and vice president, group account director at Hill Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulous Inc. She is a member of the board of trustees and chair of the Finance and Compensation Committee of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, an affiliate of Partners Healthcare Systems, as well as a trustee of the Boston Conservatory. She also is a violinist with the New Philharmonia Orchestra. She graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in German Studies.

Melissa Scribner

Melissa Scribner, PHR, has 18 years of corporate health and welfare plan experience in Fortune 500 companies. She is currently the US employee benefits manager for Boston Scientific in Natick, MA, a global medical device company with 28,000 employees worldwide. Scribner manages design and delivery of all health, wellness and welfare programs to U.S. based Boston Scientific employees and their families. During her 11 years with Boston Scientific she has managed benefits integrations due to acquisitions, led benefits administration outsourcing project and developed a company wellness strategy. Scribner earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from California State University, Fresno. She earned a PHR designation from SHRM.

Lesley Jane Seymour

Lesley Jane Seymour was named editor-in-chief of More magazine in January of 2008. She led the magazine to a 2009 National Magazine Award nomination for an investigative piece called “The Endangered Uterus,” and to a nomination for General Excellence in 2010. Under her guidance, the magazine was named to Mediaweek’s 2010 Hot List, and dubbed “The Vanity Fair for Women” by marketers. Seymour was ranked 4th on Forbes’ Most Powerful Fashion Magazine Editors list in 2009. Prior to joining Meredith Corporation, Seymour served as the editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, where she spearheaded the magazine’s signature cause-related programs, including It’s Time to Talk Day, in which the Congress renewed the Violence Against Women Act thanks in part to the magazine’s effort. Prior to that, Seymour was editor-in-chief of Redbook, where she guided the title to a National Magazine Award nomination for its comprehensive Breast Cancer Medbook. Seymour’s editorial experience also encompasses serving as the editor-in-chief of YM, beauty director of Glamour, and contributing editor for Vogue. Seymour is also the author of two books: “On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue” and “I Wish My Parents Understood.”

Cindy Solomon

Cindy Solomon Cindy Solomon is an internationally recognized speaker, consultant, author and entrepreneur who helps organizations, teams and individuals find their courage. Their courage as leaders, as business owners and as individuals. She has helped organizations as varied as The Mayo Clinic and Google, The Ritz Carlton and Prudential to create and nurture the leadership and customer skills they need to meet the challenges of today’s economy. As the number one speaker at women’s conferences around the country Cindy has brought her humorous, provocative and meaningful insights to literally thousands of leaders each year. Cindy’s latest book is The Rules of Woo: An Entrepreneurs Guide to Capturing the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Customers and can be found both on Amazon and at her website

Sandra Stratford

Sandra Stratford, MD, MSc assumed the position of Raytheon’s Chief Medical Officer and head of the Global Health Resources Department in 2007. Dr. Stratford was formerly a medical director and consultant for Occupational & Environmental Health Network (OEHN). Prior to joining OEHN, Dr. Stratford served as Regional Medical Director for IBM Corporation’s Northeast regional manufacturing and development operation in New York. She also served as medical director for IBM’s global programs and processes unit. She started her career in occupational health as senior physician and assistant medical director for Exxon Chemical Company in Linden, NJ and practiced internal medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Stratford received her Medical Doctorate from the Hahnemann University School of Medicine, her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Yale University and completed her occupational medicine residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York where she also received a Master’s Degree in Community Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Kristin van Ogtrop

Kristin van Ogtrop was named managing editor of Real Simple in March 2003. In addition to leading the magazine to print success, she has grown the Real Simple brand to include a robust website, including Adventures in Chaos, her personal blog. Under van Ogtrop, Real Simple magazine has received numerous editorial accolades, including four National Magazine Award nominations, a 2004 National Magazine Award nomination, multiple awards from the Society of Publication Designers, as well as the prestigious Henry R. Luce Award for magazine of the year in 2005. also won Best Redesign from Media Industry Newsletter’s (MIN) Best of the Web Awards in 2010. Van Ogtrop makes regular TV appearances on various shows including: NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and CNN. Before joining Real Simple, van Ogtrop was executive editor of Glamour and also held positions at Vogue, Travel & Leisure, and Premiere. She has served as an instructor at Columbia University’s Publishing course. In April 2010, Little, Brown published van Ogtrop’s book “Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom.” Van Ogtrop received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in English from Columbia University.

Alexa von Tobel

Alexa von Tobel is the founder and CEO of LearnVest, the leading independent personal finance website for women. Von Tobel created LearnVest in 2006, during her senior year at Harvard when she realized she, and most of her peers, had never had any formal education about how to effectively manage their finances. Upon graduating from Harvard, von Tobel worked as a trader at Morgan Stanley on their Proprietary Trading Desk before leaving to be the head of business development at, a venture backed start-up in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School Fall of 2008 only to take a leave of absence to launch LearnVest and pursue her dream of bringing financial literacy to millions of women everywhere. Since its debut as a TechCrunch50 Company in September 2009, LearnVest has helped over 100,000 women gain control of their finances. The company recently closed a $4.5 million series A round of funding led by Accel Partners (an investor in Facebook,, Glam Media, Etsy, and more). In addition to LearnVest, von Tobel is the co-founder of L.W.A.L.A, a 501c3 focused on fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Victoria Waterman

Victoria Waterman is president of Leading Women Mass, where cutting edge leadership development solutions help companies advance women from career-start to the C-suite and onto corporate boards. Waterman pioneered the prestigious Leading Women to the TopTM Awards to honor winning companies whose internal women’s initiatives are having a measurable impact in advancing women. She has worked with F500 and other companies committed to having their women gain professional development through strategic networking including: Becker College, Bowditch & Dewey, CCR LLP, Fallon Clinic, Fletcher Tilton & Whipple, Middlesex Savings Bank, MITRE, National Grid, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Strategic Financial Partners, Sun Microsystems/Oracle and TJX Companies. Waterman proudly serves as board president of Girls Inc. of Worcester, a local affiliate of a national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold where she likes to quote “Today’s Girls are Tomorrow’s Leading Women.”

Linda Waters

After 20 years working in a corporate environment, Linda Waters transformed her career and her life by creating Back to Business LLC in 2007. Originally dedicated to helping moms return to the workforce, Back to Business quickly expanded to serve women in all stages of career transition. Waters’ passion is to help people gather the tools and confidence they need to market themselves effectively and make successful career transitions. In 2009 Waters launched a new project called Confidence BeadsTM, designed to inspire and empower women. The project gives back by donating to Ovations for the Cure, and New Hope, toward domestic violence education programs. An accomplished business leader and presenter, Waters speaks regularly to academic, professional, and corporate audiences on career-related topics such as successful networking, professional image, and personal branding. Waters is an ATHENA award recipient and avid supporter of the MA Conference for Women.,

Sarah Welch

Sarah Welch, who identifies herself as a “yo-yo organizer,” is a seasoned entrepreneur and marketing executive. Welch prides herself on having mastered the art of managing multiple career opportunities as well as her busy family- all so she can make ends meet and chase her dreams. Over the years she has learned that the secret to attaining all of her goals is to focus on maintaining momentum on all fronts of her life with the help of the “80/20 rule”. Prior to co-founding Buttoned Up, Welch was a New York advertising agency executive and entrepreneur. She studied what makes people tick at JWT, Ammirati Puris Lintas, and M&C Saatchi and as an independent marketing consultant. Welch has worked with many brand marketers, including Kellogg, Unilever, MSN, General Motors, Gap, and Bank of America. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

Erin Elizabeth Wells

Erin Elizabeth Wells is a certified professional organizer and CEO and founder of Living Peace, LLC, a professional organizing company that assists residential and small/home office clients to improve their organizational systems throughout the greater Boston area and beyond. Living Peace® has a holistic approach to professional organizing that looks at the entire picture of the client’s life to develop systems that will support the client’s needs on all levels- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Through her company, Living Peace, LLC, Erin also offers productivity and strategic life consulting services as well as motivational speaking and workshops internationally. With a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a background in interfaith work, Wells and her Living Peace® organizers focus on supporting clients to create the systems and habits to support all of their clients’ goals. Living Peace

Pam Wickham

Pam Wickham is vice president of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Raytheon Company. Raytheon Company with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. As a member of the Raytheon Leadership Team, Wickham is responsible for the company’s media relations, public relations and brand management, internal communica­tions, executive communications, corporate contribu­tions and special events. Wickham is a member of Raytheon’s Executive Diversity Leadership Team. Wickham is also the chair of the board of directors of MATHCOUNTS®, a national math enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory. She serves as a member of the Corporate Leadership Board of the Massachusetts Conference for Women and is a member of the Arthur Page Society, a professional association for senior pub­lic relations and corporate communications executives. Wickham is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English.

Monica Wilson

Monica Wilson has a diverse background with AT&T, the largest communications company in the U.S. Wilson began her career in 1998 as an associate sales representative in California, selling wireless data in the Transportation and Fleet Management industry. After three years and various sales roles, Wilson joined the AT&T Training Services team where she spent three years as a National B2B sales trainer. Taking on a marketing role in AT&T’s San Diego/Las Vegas/Hawaii markets, Wilson managed the key areas of advertising, merchandising and creative services for six years. Recently Wilson has taken on the role of director of marketing for AT&T’s New England market where she leads all marketing efforts for a six state region as a member of the market leadership team. She earned a Master’s Degree in English Literature from San Diego State University.

Additional keynote speakers, panelists and workshop leaders will be posted as they are confirmed. Please check back for updates.

Our proposal submission deadline for 2011 speakers has passed, but please check back in February for information on our 2012 event.