10 On The Park Conference Center

Time Warner Center
New York

10.19.18 Time Warner Center, New York

10 On The Park Conference Center


We’re busy curating our 2018 Groundbreakers speaker line-up. It will include our same trademark “IN THE LEAD” talks for inspiration and more. Plus workshops and small group sessions for added interaction with speakers and other Groundbreakers in the room. Look for the full agenda later.

Check out the 2017 agenda for a feel for the event format and flow—and caliber to the speakers.

Click to See the 2017 Agenda

On the Agenda: Friday, October 27, 2017

8:00 – 9:00 am

Bank of America Café: Registration & Networking Breakfast

Start your day with handcrafted coffee drinks, breakfast treats, networking and some engaging conversation starters.

Sponsored by Bank of America

8:50 – 8:55 am

Welcome: Get Ready to Break New Ground

Nogie Udevbulu
Director, Global Portfolio Trading Strategy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
University of Virginia Darden | Toigo Alumna, Class of 2006

8:55 – 9:00 am

In the Lead: Circle of Strength

Groundbreaker MC: Ali Wentworth
Actress, Author, Comedian & Producer

Proof that humor and a fresh perspective helps us view our work—and ourselves—differently, Toigo welcomes Ali Wentworth back to the stage as our Groundbreakers 2017 master of ceremonies. As our guide for the day, Ali weaves her own keen observations, warmth and a lot of levity into our leadership topics. Careers, community, family, failure and outrageous success, nothing is out of bounds for this actress, comedian, author, and producer.

9:00 – 9:45 am

In the Lead: Find Your Circle of Strength

The elegance, simplicity and strength of a circle is unparalleled—making it the perfect metaphor for our “In the Lead” TED-style discussions. Discover how others have forged their own circles of strength and how, when challenged, they’ve rebuilt and become even stronger. In the Lead is an opportunity to stretch our thinking, challenge our beliefs and dispel long-held myths about ourselves and others.

Ana Navarro
Republican Strategist & Political Commentator
CNN, CNN en Español, ABC News, Telemundo, The View

When Nicaraguan-American Republican strategist and political commentator Ana Navarro denounced her political party and leader (then presidential nominee Donald Trump) for his actions and comments about women, she had a national audience. She then topped her brave breach of loyalty by voting for the leader of the opposing party (Clinton). Finding your courage and voice in face of mounting issues is a challenge each of us faces—albeit usually not before a national audience of millions. And the aftermath can be equally challenging. Listen in as Navarro shares her story and lessons learned.

Luvvie Ajayi
Activist & Author, I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual
Founder, AwesomelyLuvvie.com; Founder, The Red Pump Project

Known as the Olivia Pope of social media for fixing eLives and inspiring students at her popular, frequently sold-out classes, Luvvie is an activist, blogger, brander, digital marketing and nonprofit communications pro. With her privilege exercise, she’ll help us understand the power we walk into rooms with, and how it can affect dynamics and relationships in a work environment. We’ll then learn how to use that power to speak the truth—regardless of the obstacles.

Melissa Winter
Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama | Office of Barack and Michelle Obama

After an unexpected internship landed Melissa Winter in Washington D.C. the summer after her freshman year in college, the politically disengaged art history major was hooked. Two Presidential campaigns and eight years in the White House later, Winter—who is now Chief of Staff to former First Lady Michelle Obama—is proof that your circle of strength is core to the way you work and live. What many in and out of politics know firsthand is that Winter is second to none at getting things done. Come inside the warm, rarified world she lives every day and learn how she juggles priorities, navigates complex decision-making, and provides trusted counsel to one of the most admired, groundbreaking women today.

Sponsored by Bank of America

9:45 – 10:35 am

In the Lead Exchange: Audience Q&A

Moderated by Ali Wentworth

Past Groundbreakers attendees have described the “In the Lead” speaker exchange as the most inspiring gab session—ever. Listen in as Ali Wentworth chats with and challenges our morning guests to share more insights and inspiration.

10:35 – 11:05 am

Networking Break: “In the Lead” Meet & Greet

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

The Monetary and the Interest Mindset in Negotiation

Professor Jeanne Brett
DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Your state of mind matters when negotiating for what you want. Professor Jeanne Brett will lead us in a productive, interactive workshop on negotiations. Tapping a 25+ year track record teaching negotiations, Jeanne will show us how we can shift from being monetary-mindset negotiators to interest-driven negotiators. It’s a shift that will transform the way you think and interact at work, at home, and beyond. She’ll explore important areas of negotiations, including where women often stumble, how cultural influences factor into the mix and more. She’ll then arm us with the tools to teach those we work with how to put the interests mindset first and foremost.

Sponsored by Barclays, PGIM and T. Rowe Price

12:15 – 1:30 pm

Power Lunch: Keynote and Q&A

Sarah Robb O’Hagan
Author, Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat; and CEO, Flywheel Sports

Executive, activist and entrepreneur, Sarah Robb O’Hagan has been called everything from “Superwoman undercover” to the “Pied Piper of Potential.” A high-energy combination of disruptive business leader, fitness fanatic, and cheerleading mom, Sarah started a movement she calls Extreme Living. Provoked by the cultural shift that gave us kids with shelves of participation trophies, unfounded expectations in the workplace and tragically suppressed potential, she has created a manifesto for change. Her book, Extreme You provides the tools and support to discover their most exploitable traits, take big risks, deal with big failures and kick ass all the way to success. It is an inspiring and fiercely practical roadmap for Groundbreakers in the room and the teams and organizations they lead to get the most out of their own unique capabilities.

1:30 – 1:40 pm

Afternoon Stretch

Sponsored by SUPERCHARGED by Kwanza Jones and Clearlake Capital

1:40 – 2:30 pm

Career Crossroads: Why Leaders Stay—and Go

Suzanne Donohoe
Member & Head of Client and Partner Group, KKR

Liz Wamai
Recruiting Director of Global Business Functions and Recruiting Learning and Development, Facebook

Christina Villa
Global COO-Tradebook/SSEOMS Business, Bloomberg, LP

With Toigo’s 2017 Career Crossroads study findings as a spring board, we’ll explore the issues prompting professionals to explore new career opportunities beyond finance. What’s real and what’s headline hype? Is talent simply adopting a “grass is greener” mindset or are there fundamental disconnects between what rising leaders are seeking and what finance firms deliver. Issues ranging from a feeling of inclusion—and having work and personal values be more closely aligned—will be debated from different viewpoints. Learn why some firms do not recognize misalignment between talent recruitment and retention efforts, and what we can do to build on positive elements to create a strong, engaging culture of inclusion.

Sponsored by KKR

2:30 – 4:00 pm

Claiming Your Power: 10 Coins

Susan Hodgkinson
Principal, The Personal Brand Company
Author, The Leader’s Edge: Using Personal Branding to Drive Performance and Profit

Where does it come from—the origins of power and gender around the world: men and women? Susan Hodgkinson is back—by popular demand. She’ll take us through an engaging exploration and exercises of power as a dynamic in roles and responsibilities at work. We’ll dive into power and ambition as a dynamic on your team: Who’s right? Who’s wrong? And we’ll look at when power is used to destabilize women. Through interactive exercises, the dynamic will become clear—and you’ll leave armed with 10 coins and a rich trove of techniques and skills for leading like a true Groundbreaker.

Sponsored by Nuveen

4:00 – 4:10 pm

Closing Remarks

Kate Lehman
Managing Partner, Hilltop Private Capital
Toigo Foundation Board of Directors

Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi

Social Media Expert;
New York Times Best-selling Author;
Pop-culture Critic

Luvvie Ajayi is an award-winning writer and digital strategist who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology and activism. A twelve-year blogging veteran, she’s the voice behind the respected and hilarious AwesomelyLuvvie.com, where she covers all things pop culture with razor sharp commentary and wit.

With a passion for social justice and a love of shoes, Luvvie co- founded The Red Pump Project in 2009 to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. She serves as Executive Director and the organization’s work has been recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Illinois State Governor, the Black AIDS Institute and more.

Luvvie has been called the Olivia Pope of Social Media for fixing eLives and inspiring students at her popular, frequently sold-out classes. She is a noted speaker on topics related to blogging, branding, digital marketing, nonprofit communications and activism. She’s spoken at numerous colleges and conferences including: SXSW, BlogHer, Social Media Week (Chicago, Lagos and Johannesburg), SAG/AFTRA Broadcast Conference, Chicago Social Media Summit, New Media Expo, FOCUS100, Blogalicious. She launched AwesomelyTechie.com in April 2014 as a resource for writers, small business owners and everyday people looking to use technology to make their lives easier.

Her first book I’m Judging You released by Henry Holt & Co. (division of MacMillan) debuted at #5 on the New York Times best-seller list and has gained major media mentions including NPR, Chicago Tribune, Mashable, and NBC News. Her book was recently optioned by Shonda Rhimes for television. Luvvie has spoken at the UN’s Social Good Summit, Consumer Reports, MAKERS Conference, Twitter, Pennsylvania Conference for Women and Facebook, among others.

Jeanne Brett

Jeanne Brett

DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. Distinguished Professor
of Dispute Resolution and Organizations
Kellogg School of Management

Jeanne Brett is the DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Brett’s research focuses primarily on culture and negotiation strategy. She is the author of numerous journal articles, negotiation teaching materials, and award winning books: Getting Disputes Resolved with William Ury and Stephen Goldberg and the single authored Negotiating Globally, now in its 3rd edition. She initiated Kellogg’s MBA courses in negotiations in 1981 and in cross-cultural negotiations in 1994. She was a founder in 1986 and the director of Kellogg’s Dispute Resolution Research Center until 2016.

Susan Hodgkinson

Susan Hodgkinson

The Personal Brand Company

Susan Hodgkinson is a trailblazer in personal branding, and founded The Personal Brand Company in 1994. She is a leadership development expert, award-winning executive coach, and professional speaker.

Hodgkinson was the first practitioner in the US to create a learning model that incorporates the needs and issues of women and people of color into corporate leadership development curricula.

She is the author of The Leader’s Edge: Using Personal Branding to Drive Performance and Profit. She received the India’s 2016 World HRD Congress Leadership Award. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times. She holds her MBA from Simmons School of Management.

Ana Navarro

Ana Navarro

Republican Strategist;
Political Analyst, CNN

Ana Navarro is a well-known Republican strategist and a political analyst for CNN and CNN en Español. She is also a political contributor on ABC’s The View. The Miami New Times named her a “Republican power-consultant,” and the Tampa Bay Times called her “a sought-after voice in Republican politics and an adviser for any presidential hopeful,” saying, “with confidants Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio she is poised to play a big role in the GOP response to immigration reform and Hispanic outreach.” Respected on both sides of the aisle for her straight shooting and candor, Navarro frequently appears in the media, sought after by Meet the Press, Bill Maher’s Real Time, Anderson Cooper 360, and The View, to name a few. “Ana speaks the truth, and she is willing to speak the truth to power without reservation...She has the ear of lots of elected officials,” said Republican consultant Brett O’Donnell. She is in touch with the political issues people are talking about, and in presentations, she discusses the latest hot button issues in politics, giving audiences an insider’s view of the upcoming elections and a roadmap for where the country is headed.

Political Expertise. Navarro most recently served as the national Hispanic co-chair for Governor Jon Huntsman’s 2012 campaign and the national co-chair of John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council in 2008, where she was also the national surrogate for the McCain 2008 campaign. She has played a role in several federal and state races in Florida. She served on Governor Jeb Bush’s transition team in 1998 and was his first director of immigration policy in the Executive Office of the Governor.

In 2001, she served as ambassador to the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission, devoting much of her energy to condemning human rights abuses in Cuba. In 1999, she worked in the private sector, representing private and public clients on federal issues, particularly related to immigration, trade, and policy affecting Central America. In 1997, she was a special advisor to the government of Nicaragua and was one of the primary advocates for NACARA (Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act).

Education and Immigration. Navarro is a graduate of the University of Miami. In 1993, she obtained her BA in Latin American studies and political science. She obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1997. She was born in Nicaragua, and in 1980, as a result of the Sandinista revolution, she and her family immigrated to the United States.

Sarah Robb O’Hagan

Sarah Robb O’Hagan

CEO, Flywheel Sports
Former President, Equinox and Former Global President, Gatorade
Author, Extreme You: Step Up, Stand Out, Kick Ass, Repeat

Described by the media as everything from “Superwoman undercover” to “The Pied Piper of potential,” Sarah Robb O’Hagan is an executive, activist, entrepreneur, and currently the CEO of fast-growing indoor cycling company Flywheel Sports. She formerly served as the president of luxury health club Equinox, the global president of Gatorade, a GM and marketing director at Nike, and the marketing director of the Virgin Entertainment Group. The founder of the “Extreme Living” movement, she is a rare blend of fierce businesswoman, cheer leading Mom passionate women’s advocate, and high-energy motivator. In her new book Extreme You, due out in spring 2017, Sarah lays out a roadmap for becoming the most “extreme” version of yourself by operating at the edge of your potential and by building highly-collaborative, focused, and successful teams and corporations. Drawing on her decades experience at some of the world’s most influential brands, she shares practical takeaways including how to make failure your fuel, discover your most competitive playing field, get out of line rather than always following conventional wisdom, and bring out the “extreme” in others.

Sarah personally oversaw the development of several breakthrough innovation efforts throughout her career, including: the Virgin Atlantic Airways-Austin Powers movie collaboration in which the airline was rebranded “Virgin Shaglantic,” the roll-out of the game-changing Nike Plus technology developed alongside Apple, the transformation of Gatorade from a declining sports drink into an innovative sports performance company exemplified by the highly-successful G Series line, and Equinox’s revolutionary shift from a bricks-and-mortar gym to an always-on, digital-first fitness business. She also experienced what she calls a “canyon of career despair” in her 20s, using major back-to-back failures to learn, to grow and to motivate herself forward to eventually lead a $5 billion global business by the age of 38. She shares first-hand accounts of these peaks and valleys—pairing stories of firings with a behind-the-scenes look at Gatorade’s transformational turnaround under her stewardship—to illustrate what it truly takes to be successful, why you learn more when play for all or nothing, the importance of humility, and why you must always “play your own game.”

Robb O’Hagan has been named twice to Forbes magazine’s list of the “Most Powerful Women in Sports,” named a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age magazine, dubbed one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, and named to “40 Under 40” lists by Sports Business Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, and Sports Goods Business.

Sarah is a passionate advocate for an active lifestyle and believes the lessons learned from sports and fitness can be applied to improve performance in the work place. She has served on Hillary Clinton’s US State Department Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sports, and is a trustee of the Women’s Sports Foundation. She is an active member of the World Class New Zealand Network, as she remains committed to helping the country’s development, international competitiveness and economic growth. In 2014, she was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Trust Award for outstanding leadership.

Ali Wentworth

Ali Wentworth

Actor, Comedian
and New York Times Best-Selling Author

A multitalented performer, Ali Wentworth brings a wealth of experience to all her endeavors, including writing movie scripts, her column in Marie Claire magazine, and acting in notable movies and television shows. Wentworth made a name for herself as a regular on two seasons of In Living Color. She has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno over 100 times. Other television credits include her memorable role as Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend, Schmoopie, in the series’ classic “Soup Nazi” episode. She is the creator, star and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Starz series Head Case. Wentworth was a regular on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She also portrayed Meryl Streep’s best friend in the Nancy Meyers film It’s Complicated.

Also an author, Wentworth’s first book, The WASP Cookbook (Warner Books), details the culinary the lack of taste in the puritanical culinary history with hilarious commentary on WASP culture. Her second book, Ali in Wonderland (HarperCollins), a comedic look at bad advice her mother has given her, was a New York Times best seller. Her latest book, Happily Ali After, premiered June 2015.

Wentworth is the founder of BabyLove DC and is a devoted children’s advocate. She also sits on the boards of the Children’s Defense Fund and Baby Buggy. She resides in New York City with her husband George Stephanopoulos and their two daughters Elliott and Harper.

Suzanne Donohoe

Suzanne Donohoe

Member & Head of Client and Partner Group, KKR

Suzanne Donohoe joined KKR in 2009 and is the global head of KKR’s Client and Partner Group and a Member of KKR. She also serves on the firm’s Risk Committee and its Inclusion and Diverstiy Council. Suzanne is also President and the Chairperson of the Board of KKR’s Income Opportunities Fund, a closed end fund which trades on the NYSE.

Prior to joining KKR, she was with the Goldman Sachs Group, serving as a Partner and head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International. Suzanne also led Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s client businesses in North America and co-headed GSAM’s EMEA business. She holds a BA, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Suzanne also serves on the New York Board of The Nature Conservancy, and is a member of the Board of Directors Georgetown University.

Liz Wamai

Liz Wamai

Recruiting Director of Global Business Functions
and Recruiting Learning and Development, Facebook

Liz Wamai is the Recruiting Director of Global Business Functions and Recruiting Learning and Development at Facebook. She joined Facebook in June 2016. She brings over 20 years of Human Resources leadership experience having worked at leading finan-cial, media and technology organizations. Prior to Facebook, she was the Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Bloomberg for six years. While at Bloomberg, she led the com-pany’s resourcing efforts across all markets including the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2009, Liz was a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch, Global Head of Campus Recruiting and Diversity Recruiting. Before Merrill, Liz was Vice Presi-dent at Credit Suisse and an Associate at Goldman Sachs. She served as a Human Re-sources consultant to The New York Times and a travel manager with Let’s Go Travel in Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Education from Moi University in Kenya and a Masters of Business Administration from Baruch College in New York City. She remains actively involved in Africa through organizations such as the African Leadership Network and Ongoza organization.

Melissa Winter

Melissa Winter

Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama
Office of Barack and Michelle Obama

Melissa Winter is a veteran Washington insider who has worked at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. She is currently Chief of Staff to Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and is Mrs. Obama’s longest-serving advisor.

While in the White House, Melissa served as the First Lady’s Deputy Chief of Staff and was instrumental in the strategy and design of Mrs. Obama’s core policy initiatives: Let’s Move, Joining Forces, Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn. As Deputy Chief of Staff, she oversaw the East Wing operations, including the Social Office, Scheduling & Advance, Correspondence, and all facets of Mrs. Obama’s briefing process. Further, she worked continuously to ensure the First Family’s private time was safeguarded and in coordination with the Executive Residence, strived to keep the Obamas’ home life protected.

Mrs. Obama hired Melissa in 2007 as her first staff member on then Senator-Obama’s newly launched presidential campaign.

In a Washington Post profile, Mrs. Obama said, “Melissa has been by my side from Day One. There is truly no one I trust more completely to make order out of chaos and take an idea from inception to execution. For the past decade, she has been one of my most trusted advisors and dearest friends.”

Before working for Mrs. Obama, Melissa worked for then Congressman Norman Y. Mineta for seven years as his Staff Assistant and Executive Assistant before working for Senator Joseph Lieberman. She was Senator Lieberman’s Traveling Aide during his 2000 Vice Presidential run, as well as his Director of Scheduling on his 2004 Presidential race, and served as Senator Lieberman’s Senate Executive Assistant.

Melissa first became interested in politics when she moved to Washington D.C. for a summer internship while an undergraduate at Skidmore College. She made Washington her home the day after she graduated in 1989 with a degree in art history, and has been in D.C. ever since, making public service her profession of choice, and also a core value of who she is.

Christina Villa

Christina Villa

Global Chief Operating Officer, Financial Products Division, Bloomberg L.P.

Christina Villa joined Bloomberg LP Spring of 2015 as Global Chief Operating Officer in the Financial Products Division; initially for Trading Solutions, their Cross Product Order Management Platform (AIM, TOMs and SSEOMS), then later expanded to include Tradebook LLC, Bloomberg’s global broker/deal arm.

Over the course of the last 17 years Christina has had a progressive career in financial services, pre-dominantly on the Sell-Side covering Institutional Clients. Before joining Bloomberg LP, Christina was COO for Sberbank CIB USA Inc, charged with building out their US business and expanding its product offering. Prior to that she was at other Investment Banking organizations such as Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan where she grew across roles in Operations, Collateral Management, Client Management and Business Management.

In her current role, Christina looks to manage change and drive results. She focuses on how to best balance business direction and planned performance with operational excellence, all while preserving innovation and creativity. In the end, her main goal is to allow teams and businesses to achieve their fullest potential.

Kate Lehman

Kate Lehman

Managing Partner, Hilltop Private Capital
Corporate and Non-Profit Director

Katherine (“Kate”) Lehman is a Managing Partner and Founder of Hilltop Private Capital, a private equity firm with a focus on investing in and growing lower middle market industrial and business services companies. Hilltop brings customized resources and a flexible approach to its mainly control-oriented or significant minority equity investments. Kate is a Board Member and actively involved with Hilltop’s investments in American Track Services, a rail maintenance and infrastructure company and Spiral Binding, a document finishing company.

Kate also serves as an Independent Board Member of Navient (Nasdaq:NAVI), a Fortune 500 company that provides asset management and business processing services to education, health care and government clients at the federal, state, and local levels and of Stella-Jones (TSX: SJ), a leading North American manufacturer of pressure treated wood products.

Prior to Hilltop, Kate spent 15 years at Lincolnshire Management where she was a Managing Director and led one of Lincolnshire’s transaction execution and portfolio company monitoring teams. She was actively involved in Lincolnshire’s investment in and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the following companies, amongst others: PADI, True Temper Sports, Gruppo Fabbri, Bankruptcy Management Solutions, The Alaska Club and Prince Sports.

Kate is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton, B.S.) and of Columbia Business School (M.B.A.) and a certified NACD Board Leadership Fellow. She is a Board Member of The Robert Toigo Foundation and of the New York Private Equity Network (NYPEN).

Nogie Udevbulu

Nogie Udevbulu

Director, Global Portfolio Trading Strategy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
University of Virginia Darden | Toigo Alumna, Class of 2006

Nogie Udevbulu (Toigo Alum 2006) is a director on the Equity Portfolio Trading Desk at Bank of America’s Global Markets division. She manages the Global Equity Index Strategy team which covers 100+ global and regional equity indices. Her team provides insights and advisory services to Quantitative, Long-Only and Hedge fund managers on index related events as it pertains to methodologies, special corporate actions and event driven situations. Nogie spearheads the prediction and analytics of multi-billion dollar of global indices and ETFs rebalances and has handled the analytics of several multi-billion dollar portfolio transitions for some of the largest index fund managers in the industry. Prior to joining the Portfolio Trading Desk, Nogie was on the Equity Event Driven Desk as the desk analyst focusing mainly on M&A risk arbitrage analysis and other event driven strategies for equity clients. In addition, she worked with the Bank’s M&A team providing market color on announced M&A deals. She earned her MBA from the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Investments from Baruch College, City University of New York.

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