The 2012 conference, titled “You Are Not Supposed to Be Here,” focused on career choices and challenges faced by women. In her keynote speech, Betsey Myers, author of “Take The Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You,” and founding director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University, addressed the changing nature of leadership. She argued that what worked in the past for leaders no longer works and that a new era of collaborative leadership is necessary for a changing workspace. Ms. Myers said, “A more collaborative form of leadership is needed. When people feel value appreciated and understood, they do their best work.”
The afternoon address was delivered by Donna J. Gambrell, director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), which provides resources to underserved populations and communities throughout the country. Ms. Gambrell talked about the life lessons she learned from her 80-year-old mother and encouraged the conference participants to find their professional passion. “Never settle for mediocre,” she said, sharing that she found her passion for community and economic development while working onsite on rebuilding initiatives in Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“That was what drew me to CDFI and its extraordinary mission,” Gambrell said. “Every day, I can see the impact of the CDFI’s work and the difference it makes in people’s lives.”
The conference also featured a wide-ranging panel discussion titled “Leadership: You Should Be There!” moderated by Laura Taddeucci Downs, B.A. ’92, M.A. ’95, former president of the George Washington University's (GW) Alumni Association. The discussion featured panelists Anne Saunders Fabry, Mount Vernon College B.A. ’88, a director in Brown Rudnick’s Government, Law and Strategies practice; Mary Davis Holt, a partner at Flynn Heath Hold Leadership; Terri Harris Reed, GW’s Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion; and Mary Jo Warner, GW’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics.
At the 2012 conference, the afternoon address was delivered by Donna J. Gambrell, Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
Terri Harris Reed, the George Washington University's Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, spoke about her experiences as a leader in her field.
The panel discussion was titled “Leadership: You Should Be There!” and featured women from a variety of fields.
The panel featured Mary Jo Warner, the George Washington University's Senior Associate Director of Athletics.
Anne Saunders Fabry, a director in Brown Rudnick’s Government, Law and Strategies practice, participated in the panel discussion.
Attendees of the 2012 conference pose in Ames Hall after the afternoon panel discussion.
Ames Hall was packed during the afternoon address by Donna J. Gambrell at the 2012 Conference.
The panel discussion included Mary Davis Holt, a partner at Flynn Heath Hold Leadership.
A group of women discuss the morning speakers over lunch.
After lunch, attendees of the conference have the opportunity to network with one another.