Women's Leadership Symposium

Apr 12

Women's Leadership Symposium

  • April 12, 2017
  • 8:00 AM

“Be Amazing…The Third Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium” will take place on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 now at a NEW LOCATION, the InterContinental Hotel at the Cleveland Clinic. During the day, participants will experience captivating keynote speakers, engaging break-out sessions, and insightful panels featuring advice and reflections from women who have achieved in different careers and walks of life. Sponsored by CSU’s Alumni Association and Division of Student Affairs, the day-long event is anticipated to reach approximately 500-600 women ranging in age from 18 to 80. These participants are a combination of alumnae, faculty/staff, community members and CSU students.  

Panel Discussions and Breakout Sessions

Participants will experience a day designed to broaden horizons, explore new possibilities, network with others with shared passions and interests, and pay it forward for future generations of talented women.


Click here to view sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the Women’s Leadership Symposium, please contact John McCreery at 216.523.7297 or j.mccreery@csuohio.edu.


  • Wednesday, April 12 Day 1
    • 8:00 AM9:00 AM
      Check-In/Coffee and continental breakfast
      InterContinental Hotel
    • 9:00 AM10:00 AM
      Welcome remarks and Morning Keynote Speaker
      InterContinental Hotel

      Keynote Speaker

      "Wouldn’t You Like To Be ‘Amazing’, Too?"

      The “Amazing” Tei Street is an author, national speaker, trainer, and educational consultant. Tei has over 25 years of experience in higher education, curriculum development and training in sexual assault prevention, domestic violence prevention and advocacy. Tei is the founder and sole proprietor of StreetTalk with the “Amazing” Tei Street, a national motivational speaking, training and educational consulting company. Prior to the national launch of her business, Tei amassed a wealth of experience in higher education, curriculum development & training in sexual assault prevention, domestic violence prevention and advocacy, education and youth leadership development.

    • 10:15 AM10:45 AM
      “3 in 30” (Sprint classes—3 takeaways in 30 minutes)
      InterContinental Hotel
      • What is a Psychologically Healthy Workplace and What are the Benefits?
        Lauren Steiner - President, Grants Plus
      • Choosing to Move from Corporate America to Non-Profits: Following Passion and Finding Purpose
        Danielle Drake - Community Relations Manager, US Together Inc.
      • The Promotable Woman
        Stacy Ward-Braxton - Chief Learning and Engagement Officer, The Significance Group
      • The Lesson I Learned on My Journey from Cleveland to the New York City Runway
        Alexa Lee Riczo - Model/Actress, Wilhelmina Models, New York City/Los Angeles
      • Succession Planning in Leadership
        Toni Paoletta - Director, Professional Development Center, College of Business 
    • 11:00 AM12:15 PM
      Morning Panels
      InterContinental Hotel


      The Political Arena: Strategies for Entering Politics, Advancing Candidates and Becoming Engaged in Your Community

      • Jill Miller Zimon* - Founder, OpenNEO; Adjunct Faculty, CSU  
      • Cindy Demsey - Chair, Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus
      • Tanisha Briley - City Manager, City Cleveland Heights
      • Alesha Washington - Vice President of Government Advocacy, Greater Cleveland Partnership
      • Maureen Kelly - Clerk of Courts, Lake County
      • Caroline Rado - Political Strategist and Consultant, Burges and Burges

      Professional Leadership: Insight and Perspective from Northeast Ohio Executives

      It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top; women leaders share insights into running their organizations.

      • Rosalina Fini - Chief Legal & Ethics Officer, Cleveland Metroparks
      • Jenniffer Deckard - President & CEO, Fairmount Santrol
      • Pat Nobili - Retired President & CEO, Achievement Centers for Children
      • Diane Downing - Senior VP & Regional Manager of Corporate Affairs, Huntington Bank 
      • Geri Presti - President & CEO, Cleveland Music School Settlement
      • Linda Johanek - CEO, Domestic Violence Child and Advocacy Center

      Square One: Shaping a Vision Into a Successful Business

      From securing financing to developing a business plan to marketing your business, women in entrepreneurship and start-ups share experiences and best practices.

      • Katie Van Dyke* - Director, Small Business Development Center, CSU
      • Jennifer Noble Chernisky - President, Jennasis and Associates
      • Sarah Romain - President, Proforma SR Marketing Solutions 
      • Jennah Lear - Owner, Blue Loui Studio
      • Katie Melnick - Partner, Fizz Creative
      • Donna Dabbs - Director, Ohio Small Business Development Center, Urban League of Greater Cleveland
      • Rebecca Gruss - Founder and Owner, be.gallery

      Culture of Creativity: Building a Vibrant Career in The Arts and Media

      • Jill Paulsen* - Deputy Director, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture
      • Linda Feagler - Senior Editor, Ohio Magazine
      • Anita Dloniak - Founder and Owner, Anita Dloniak & Associates 
      • Gina Vernaci - Executive Producer, Playhouse Square
      • Deanna Dionne - Owner, Cleveland Street Glass
      • Laura Potter-Sadowski - Executive Director, 10,000 Villages
      • Mary Verdi-Fletcher - President/Founding Artistic Director, Dancing Wheels Company & School

      Women of Color: Board Diversity and How Do I Get Involved?

      • Nitra Rucker* - Diversity and Inclusion Engagement Manager, KeyBank; Board Member, Big Brother and Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland
      • Vivian Hairston - Senior Portolio Manager, Huntington National Bank; Board Chair, Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center 
      • Mari Galindo-DaSilva - Language Access and Communications Coordinator, MetroHealth System; Board Member, Global Cleveland
      • Stephanie McHenry - Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and Finance, Cleveland State University; Past Board Member, CSU Board of Trustees; Board Member, MidTown Cleveland; Board Member, Village Capital Corporation
      • Diana Gueits - Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Cleveland Clinic; Board President, The Hispanic Alliance; Board Member, Ideastream Community Advisory Board
      • Rita Singh, EMBA, MA, CPA - Founder & CEO, Elite Women Around The World®; Board Member, Gathering Place & Elite Women Around The World®
    • 12:30 PM1:45 PM
      Lunch and Keynote address
      InterContinental Hotel


      “45th Anniversary: How Title IX Launched My Career”

      The year Buffy Filippell left for college at Indiana University, Title IX became law.  And as a member of the women's tennis team, she saw firsthand the profound effect the Act had on women's collegiate athletics.  She credits the additional funding it provided the University with giving her the opportunity to play in the USTA National Collegiate Championships and gain a host of other skills that would pave the way for her highly successful career in sports business. But it doesn't stop there.  She continues to witness Title IX's lingering effect on not just collegiate athletics, but on women in business, enabling them to succeed and thrive.

    • 2:00 PM3:00 PM
      Breakout Sessions (Choose from 5 individual speakers)
      InterContinental Hotel
      • To BE Amazing You Must First, FEEL Amazing!
        Dr. Deborah Riczo - Owner, Riczo Health Education
      • Entrepreneurship, Finding Your Niche and the Art of Storytelling
        Diana Keough - Founder, VP, GMShareWIK 
      • Catharine Macaulay: 18th Century Pioneer, Women’s Rights Advocate, and Confidante to Adams, Washington, Jefferson and Franklin
        Dr. Lisa Thomas - Director of the Center for Leadership Development, CSU Levin College
      • Organizational Change, Leadership and Workplace Stressors
        Dr. Vickie Coleman Gallagher - Associate Professor, Department of Management, College of Business
      • Bring Your Own Shoes. Lead Like No One Else.
        Erica Merritt - Director of Culture and Strategy, Cleveland Municipal School District
    • 3:15 PM4:30 PM
      Afternoon Panels
      InterContinental Hotel


      Words Matter: Written Communication in the Digital Age

      • Jill Miller Zimon* - Founder; Adjunct FacultyOpenNEO; CSU  
      • Jessica Allen - Founder, Motherboard blog
      • Diana Keough - Founder, VP, GMShareWIK
      • Nicole Fraser - Editorial Writing Manager; American Greetings, Novelist/Ghost Writer
      • Pam Zander Turos - Writer/blogger, Goodcausecreative.com
      • Amy Martin-Partner - Marketing, JumpStart; Founder, She In The CLE: A Blogger Collective

      The New Establishment: Redefining the Role of Women in Historically Male-Dominated Fields

      • Linda Feagler* - Senior Editor, Ohio Magazine
      • Jill Marcotte - Partner/Chief Supply Chain Officer, Dealer Tire
      • Consuela Brown - Owner, Conbro Buyers Brokerage
      • Shanette Buford Brazzell - Manager, Special Events, United Way
      • Beverley Pettrey - Lieutenant, CSU Police Department
      • Susan Nash - Chief Financial Officer, WLS Company

      Technically Speaking: Women Establishing Themselves in STEM-Focused Careers

      • Danielle Vath, M.Ed.* - Coordinator, Cooperative Education Program Washkewicz College of Engineering
      • Teresa Hack - President and COO, Channel Products, Inc.
      • Martha Connell - Director of Environmental Health & Safety, Parker Hannifin Corporation
      • Amie Peters - IT Manager of Application Services, The Lubrizol Corporation
      • Anette Karlsson - Dean, Washkewicz College of Engineering
      • Maria Babula - Associate Director for the Research and Engineering Directorate, NASA Glenn Research Center
      • Heather Claretta Clayton Terry, MPA - Associate Director for Women in Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

      Leading on Campus: Seizing Opportunities to Develop as a Student Leader

      • Chava Witt* - Assistant Director Center for Student Involvement, Cleveland State University
      • Teryn Moorefield - Student Leader
      • Sierra Swigert - Student Leader
      • Cassandra Syllaba - Student Leader
      • Aeisha Kangan - Student Leader

      Why I Marched: Passions and Motivations of Speaking Truth to Power

      • Amy Hanauer* - Founding Executive Director, Policy Matters Ohio
      • Noelle Celeste - Director of Advancement, The City Club of Cleveland
      • Sherri Konick - President, Spin Cycle Marketing Communications
      • Emily Hagan - Staff Attorney, Judge Michael P. Donnelly, Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas
      • Gretchen Anderson, MA, GPCC - Human Resources Manager, Kurtz Bros., Inc.
      • Alex Leslie - Director of Campus Services, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
      • Mary Zaller - Director of Business Development, Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. and Development Consultant, Equality Ohio

Register today for the Women's Leadership Symposium

Register Here