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July 2018

Left to right, Jean Mann, Director of Marketing and Enrollment, Manhattanville School of Business, County Executive George Latimer, Hon. Nancy E. Barr, Westchester County Legislator, Laura Persky, Program Director, Manhattanville School of Business, Robi Schlaff, Westchester Office for Women, Gilda Bonanno, Gilda Bonanno, LLC, and Kathy Meany, Director, Women's Leadership Institute, Manhattanville College

Women’s Leadership Institute at Manhattanville College Presents Summit

The Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) of the Manhattanville College School of Business hosted its 4th Annual Women’s Leadership Summit: Dare to Be Bold on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Reid Castle, Manhattanville College.  This year's summit explored how women can be empowered to go forth and conquer challenges with self-confidence. The conference was attended by over 140 women.


Attendees heard from and networked with many inspirational women, while also engaging in professional development workshops and networking with their peers.

The event began with a continental breakfast followed by professional development workshops and keynote addresses by Col. (Ret.) Donna Brazil, Ph.D., Vanessa Wakeman, and Bonnie St. John.


“While today’s women are not faced with the issue of suffrage, we are faced with many other issues, such as pay disparity, harassment in the workplace, gender bias – whether it be conscious or unconscious – and more. There have been successes over the years, but those successes have been achieved painstakingly slow.  But it is important for all women to understand that – together, united – we can and will continue to bring change.  It is the time to celebrate “Us” and demonstrate the boldness of the suffragettes in our own social, political and professional environments. Let us commemorate the suffragettes of yesteryear, and celebrate today’s summit with their colors – to remind and encourage all of us that is our time to Dare to Be Bold," said Kathy Meany, Women's Leadership Institute director.


Hon. Nancy E. Barr, Westchester County Legislator, 6th District, said: “Do something you feel good about, something you really believe in. The majority of legislators in Westchester are women (nine women out of 17), for the first time in history. I feel good about that!”


George Latimer, Westchester County Executive, said in his welcome address, “Barriers men create concern me. We have to get away from the locker room mentality because it doesn’t work. The mission is to get the best people, whether they are male or female, gay or straight, regardless of where they are from. A diverse group for decisions is essential today and we need whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. You are here to be a part of that continuing evolution. Where gender doesn’t matter. Slowly things are changing. There are now women CEOs in the major Westchester businesses including IBM, PepsiCo, and Heineken.”


Laura Persky, director, Manhattanville School of Business, said “You don’t have to have the title of leader to be a leader. We all have opportunities and often an obligation to lead by example, to speak up and to inspire others to do the same. When I want to make a change or take a risk, I have to make a plan and prepare. If you’re like me then you might have to find your inner power by educating yourself and gaining new skills.”


Col. (Ret.) Donna Brazil, Ph.D., retired from the United States Army with over 31 years of leadership experience in a variety of different areas, including serving as Deputy Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy, was the keynote speaker at the summit. “Confidence, composure, and resilience are key, but the internal piece -- your character, who you are -- is essential. At your core, your non-negotiables influence how you live and how you lead. The energy in our authenticity needs to be captured in a way that is always accessible,” said Col. (Ret.) Brazil. “The first step is to take a deep look at ourselves about what’s really important. Identifying and getting our comfortable with who we allow us to learn the skills.”


Visit  https://www.mville.edu/programs/womens-leadership-institute for upcoming Women’s Leadership events.