11.7.19

Cipriani South Street

New York, New York

11.7.19 Cipriani South Street | New York, NY

2019 Groundbreakers Featured Speakers

The Toigo Groundbreakers team is currently curating our full 2019 program line-up—some of our headline speakers are below. Look for updates here and via email.

Check out prior Groundbreakers speakers; 2019 will bring the same mix of inspiration and leadership skill-building Groundbreakers is known for.

Stacey Abrams

2019

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Stacey Abrams

Yamiche Alcindor

2019

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Yamiche Alcindor

Joanna Bloor

2019

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Joanna Bloor

Susan David, Ph.D.

2019

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Susan David, Ph.D.

Liza Donnelly

2019

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Liza Donnelly

Saleena Goel

2019

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Saleena Goel

Judith Jamison

2019

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Judith Jamison

Susan Jankowski

2019

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Susan Jankowski

Kwanza Jones

2019

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Kwanza Jones

Jennifer Karam

2019

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Jennifer Karam

Joanne Lipman

2019

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Joanne Lipman

Stacie Olivares-Castain

2019

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Stacie Olivares-Castain

Anne Robinson

2019

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Anne E. Robinson

Kathryn Sayko

2019

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Kathryn Sayko

Courtney M. Sembly, AVP

2019

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Courtney M. Sembly, AVP

Lauren Hochfelder Silverman

2019

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Lauren Hochfelder Silverman

Desiree Thomas

2019

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Desiree Thomas

Denise R. Wilkins

2019

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Denise R. Wilkins

Kelly Williams

2019

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Kelly Williams

Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams

Political leader, Nonprofit CEO, Author & Serial Entrepreneur

Stacey Abrams made history and captured the nation’s attention as the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in any state, going on to win more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia’s history. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia in what was one of the most-watched and closest elections of the year. After witnessing the election’s mismanagement by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure free and fair elections.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED, where her talk has racked up over a million views and counting, to college campuses, to the Commonwealth Club, Abrams is a powerful and passionate speaker heralded for her candid insights on politics, leadership, entrepreneurship, social justice, and being a true force for change. As TIME wrote of her, “People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why.”

Abrams’ New York Times bestselling book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, is a personal and empowering blueprint for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge. From her experiences launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, Abrams illuminates that finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action.

Dedicated to civic engagement, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. A recipient of Harvard’s Institute of Politic’s John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, Abrams has also been named a “Public Official of the Year” by GoverningMagazine.

Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor

White House Correspondent | PBS NewsHour

Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, a role she began in January 2018. She often tells stories about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters.

Alcindor is also a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC often appearing on a number of shows including Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell Reports, The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

Previously, Alcindor worked as a national political reporter for The New York Times where she covered the presidential campaigns of Mr. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders as well as Congress. She also wrote about the impact of President Donald Trump’s policies on working class people and people of color.

Before joining The Times, she was a national breaking news reporter for USA Today and traveled across the country to cover stories including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. and the police related protests in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md.

Alcindor’s overall goal is to be a civil rights journalist and she was inspired by the late PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill. In 2017, she won an award in a tribute to Ifill during Syracuse University’s Toner Prize ceremony. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and was named the organization’s "Emerging Journalist of the Year" in 2013.

Alcindor earned a master’s degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and a bachelor’s in English, government and African American studies from Georgetown University. A native of Miami, Fla., Yamiche is married to a fellow journalist and is the daughter of Haitian immigrants who met while attending Boston College.

Joanna Bloor

Joanna Bloor

Founder, LadyBadAss
Executive Coach & TED Speaker

Introduction expert and LADYBADASS founder, Joanna Bloor’s on a mission to get people to talk about themselves in a new way. She asks if you have a great answer to the question “What do you do?”

A self-described “startup junkie” Bloor started her career by scaling the revenue strategies of brands such as Ticketmaster, Cars.com, OpenTable, and Pandora. A conversation in line at TED 2016 led to a realization that what we are known for has far-reaching impact as an individual and a leader.

Companies such as GE, EY, 21st Century Fox, and Salesforce have brought Bloor in to work employees from recent grads to the executive teams. A TED speaker and “TED experience” coach.

Susan David, Ph.D.

Susan David, Ph.D.

Psychologist, Harvard Medical School
Author, Emotional Agility

Susan David is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Her new #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility based on the concept Harvard Business Review heralded as a Management Idea of the Year and winner of the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award, describes the psychological skills critical to thriving in times of complexity and change.

Her focus is on defining and executing effective strategy, especially in the areas of engagement, high-performance leadership, and culture change.

David’s TED Talk on the topic went viral with over 1 million views in its first week of release. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and guest on national radio and television. Named on the Thinkers50 global list of the top management thinkers, David is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, with clients that include the World Economic Forum, EY, United Nations, Google, Microsoft, NASDAQ, and many other national and multinational organizations.

David is the CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, a Cofounder of the Institute of Coaching (a Harvard Medical School/McLean affiliate), and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Thrive Global and Virgin Pulse. She lives outside of Boston with her family.

Liza Donnelly

Liza Donnelly

Writer & Contract Cartoonist | The New Yorker Magazine
Resident Cartoonist | CBS This Morning

Liza Donnelly is a contract cartoonist and writer with The New Yorker Magazine, where she has been drawing cartoons about culture and politics for over thirty years. She is also a columnist and cartoonist for Forbes.com, specializing in politics and women’s rights, a contributing cartoonist on CBS This Morning capturing behind the scenes moments with guests and emerging news. Donnelly is also a featured weekly political cartoonist for Medium. Her writing and cartoons have also appeared on Politico, HuffingtonPost, DailyBeast, WashingtonPost, and Salon. She has been profiled globally in numerous publications and her work has been exhibited around the world. In 2014, Donnelly received an honorary doctorate from University of Connecticut, where she delivered the commencement address to the Graduate School ceremony.

Donnelly is a Cultural Envoy for the US State Department, traveling around the world speaking about freedom of speech, cartoons and women’s rights. As a public speaker, Donnelly has also spoken at TED (Technology Entertainment and Design), the United Nations, and The New Yorker Festival, the Thurber House, and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists annual convention, Vassar College, Bard College, Brown University, The Omega Institute, The Society of Illustrators, The Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art, The Norman Rockwell Museum, among other places. Donnelly was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC and BetterTV, and has been interviewed on radio and in numerous magazines, newspapers and online. Donnelly’s cartoons and commentary can be seen on various websites: the NewYorker.com; CNN.com; HuffingtonPost.com; Salon.com; DailyBeast.com; WomensEnews.org; NarrativeMagazine.com. Her work has appeared in print publications, including The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Nation and The Harvard Business Review.

Donnelly is the author/editor of fifteen books. Her most recent book is Women On Men, a collection of her cartoons and writing which was a finalist for the well known humor award in 2014, The Thurber Prize. Donnelly conceived of and edited three collections of cartoons for Ballantine Books called Mothers and Daughters, Fathers and Sons and Husbands and Wives (the last two with Michael Maslin). The book she wrote with her husband, Cartoon Marriage, has been optioned by Jennifer Garner for ABCStudios. She is at work on a new pilot.

She is a charter member of an international project, Cartooning for Peace, helping to promote understanding around the world through humor; and is one of the founding members of USA FECO, the US chapter of the international cartoonists’ organization FECO. She conceived of and is editor for World Ink, a site of international cartoons from contributors around the globe (WorldInk.com) and has curated several exhibits of international cartoonists, here and abroad. Donnelly taught at Vassar College and the School of Visual Arts and is a member of PEN, Authors Guild and the National Cartoonist Society. She is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Connecticut, received the Salon St. Just, France International Prize, the Woman of Distinction Prize from the American Association of University Women; and was a member the jury of the World Press Cartoon Prize in Lisbon, the Cartooning for Peace Prize in Geneva in 2012 and 2014, and the Aydin Dogan International Cartoon Competition in Istanbul, Turkey. Her cartoons are in the Library Of Congress Prints and Drawings Collection, the Society Of Illustrators Collection and private collections.

She lives in New York with her husband, New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin.

Judith Jamison

Judith Jamison

Dancer & Choreographer Extraordinaire

Judith Jamison joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and quickly became an international star. Over the next 15 years, Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for her, most notably the tour-de-force solo Cry. During the 1970s and 80s, she appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world, starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and formed her own company, The Jamison Project. She returned to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1989 when Ailey asked her to succeed him as Artistic Director. In the 21 years that followed, she brought the Company to unprecedented heights—including two historic engagements in South Africa and a 50-city global tour to celebrate the Company’s 50th anniversary.

Jamison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a prime time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a “Bessie” Award, the Phoenix Award, and the Handel Medallion. She was also listed in “TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People” and honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series event. Last year, she became the 50th inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.

As a highly regarded choreographer, Jamison has created many celebrated works, including Divining (1984), Forgotten Time (1989), Hymn (1993), HERE . . .NOW. (commissioned for the 2002 Cultural Olympiad), Love Stories (with additional choreography by Robert Battle and Rennie Harris, 2004), and Among Us (Private Spaces: Public Places) (2009). Jamison’s autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and published in 1993. In 2004, under Jamison’s artistic directorship, her idea of a permanent home for the Ailey company was realized and named after beloved chairman Joan Weill. Jamison continues to dedicate herself to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture, and she remains committed to promoting the significance of the Ailey legacy—using dance as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and fearlessly reaching into the future.

Joanne Lipman

Joanne Lipman

Author, Journalist & Commentator

Joanne Lipman is the best-selling author of That’ What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together. One of the nation’s leading journalists, she is a CNBC contributor and most recently was chief content officer of Gannett and editor-in-chief of USA TODAY and the USA TODAY NETWORK, comprising the flagship title and 109 other news organizations including the Detroit Free Press, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Arizona Republic. In that role, she oversaw more than 3,000 journalists and led the organization to three Pulitzer Prizes.

Lipman began her career as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, ultimately rising to Deputy Managing Editor—the first woman to attain that post—and supervising coverage that earned three Pulitzer Prizes. While at the Journal, she created Weekend Journal and Personal Journal and oversaw creation of the paper’s Saturday edition. She subsequently was founding Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast Portfolio and Portfolio.com, which won National Magazine and Loeb Awards.

Lipman is a frequent television commentator, seen on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CNBC, and CBS, among others, and her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Time, Fortune, Newsweek, and Harvard Business Review. She is also co-author, with Melanie Kupchynsky, of the critically acclaimed musical memoir, Strings Attached. A winner of the Matrix Award for women in communications, Lipman is also a member of the Yale University Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and is an International Media Leader for the World Economic Forum as well as a member of the Knight Foundation Commission on Truth, Media and Democracy. She sits on boards including the World Editors Forum and the Yale Daily News and on the advisory boards of Breastcancer.org and the Yale School of Music. @joannelipman

Saleena Goel

Saleena Goel

Member & Head of Customized Portfolio Solutions, KKR

Saleena Goel (New York) joined KKR in 2010 and is the Head of KKR Customized Portfolio Solutions, an investment team focused on strategic partnerships and other solutions. Prior to joining KKR, Ms. Goel founded Goel Capital Partners to advise sovereign wealth funds and other limited and general partners. Ms. Goel spent approximately five years as a senior member of AlpInvest Partners, investing over $4 billion across private market funds including buyout, distressed debt, mezzanine and venture capital. At AlpInvest, she held over 20 advisory board seats, including KKR. Prior to AlpInvest, Ms. Goel was a vice president at Capital Z Investment Partners where she seeded new managers primarily in the U.S. and Asia. Ms. Goel also invested directly in private equity and venture capital investments at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Atlas Venture, respectively. Ms. Goel holds a bachelors degree, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Anne E. Robinson

Anne Robinson

General Counsel, The Vanguard Group, Inc.

Anne E. Robinson is general counsel of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and secretary of the Vanguard funds. She is managing director of the Office of the General Counsel, which includes Government Relations, Legal, Compliance, and Investment Stewardship. Ms. Robinson joined Vanguard in 2016. Previously she served as a managing director and general counsel in the Citigroup global legal department. She started her career in private law practice, and went on to serve as counsel with Deloitte Consulting before moving to American Express in 2003. She joined Citigroup in 2014, as managing director and general counsel of global cards and consumer services. Ms. Robinson earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Hampton University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Kelly Williams

Kelly Williams

Founding Chair & Co-CEO, Private Equity Women Investor Network

Kelly Williams is the Founding Chair and Co-CEO of the Private Equity Women Investor Network. She was a founder of the Customized Fund Investment Group (CFIG) at Prudential Insurance Company in 1999. CFIG was a market leader in providing customized solutions in private equity, real estate and infrastructure, with more than $30 billion managed on behalf of clients. The business was moved to DLJ in 2000 (subsequently acquired by Credit Suisse AG) and Williams served as its Managing Director and Group Head until 2014, when the business was sold to GCM Grosvenor. At GCM Grosvenor, she served as President of Private Markets until June of 2015, and a Senior Advisor from 2015 to 2019. Prior to the founding of CFIG, she was an Executive Director with Prudential’s private equity group, where she specialized in product development. Prior to joining Prudential in 1993, Williams was an associate with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy specializing in project finance.

Williams is a member of the board of the Toigo Foundation, the Olana Partnership, and the National Philanthropic Trust and is the founding board chair of the Private Equity Women Investor Network. She serves as President of the Board of the Nantucket Historical Association. She also serves on the board of trustees and executive committees of Union College and the NY School of Interior Design. She is the Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and an investment committee member of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She also serves as the chair of the Limited Partner Advisory Council to the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). Williams was appointed in 2015 to the Board of Directors of The Greenbrier Companies (GBX). She has received many awards throughout her career in the financial services industry and was recognized by the National Organization for Women in 2012 with its Women of Power and Influence Award and was named in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as one of The Most Powerful Women in Finance by American Banker Magazine. Williams graduated magna cum laude from Union College in 1986 and received her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 1989.

Stacie Olivares-Castain

Stacie Olivares-Castain

CIO, Lendistry and Trustee, CalPERS

Stacie Olivares-Castain is the Chief Investment Officer of Lendistry, an asset manager that provides capital at affordable rates to support entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining Lendistry in March 2019, Stacie served as the Senior Advisor on Impact Investment and Blockchain for the State of California from 2018 through 2019. From 2011 through 2018, Stacie was the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of the California Organized Investment Network (COIN), an impact investment fund directing insurance company capital in investments that yield competitive financial returns and environmental or social benefits to California’s underserved and rural communities. During her tenure, the value of insurers’ COIN holdings more than quadrupled from $6.6 billion at the beginning of 2011 to approximately $29 billion at the end of 2018.

Building ventures and investments that yield strong social and environmental impacts is Stacie’s passion. Her career spans the private and public sectors across the areas of finance, economics and mobile technology. Prior to joining COIN, she worked at Morgan Stanley in portfolio management and financial advisory services. Before working on Wall Street, Stacie served as the former Executive Director of the State of California’s economic advisory board, the California Commission for Economic Development. She came to the State from Palm, Inc., where she led licensee business development and account management for the tech company’s top clients.

Stacie is an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard University.

Desiree Thomas

Desiree Thomas

Deputy Director, NYC Housing Preservation and Development

Desiree Thomas is a Deputy Director at NYC Housing Preservation and Development where she oversees affordable housing development, project management and financing of preservation projects. In her role, she is also responsible for setting policies to preserve current and future affordability of housing in New York City.

She also invests and manages a portfolio of residential and mixed-use properties. Previously, she was a member of the Business Development and Investor Relations team at Archimedes Alpha LLC, a hedge fund focused on opportunistic investing across a number of asset classes. She was also Senior Vice President in the Financial Institutions Group at J.P. Morgan where she was responsible for expanding the bank’s footprint in the Southeast and Atlantic Coast Regions.

In addition to her professional career, Thomas sits on the Board of Unique People Services where she serves as Treasurer and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. Formerly, she held the role of Chair of the Real Estate Committee. She also serves on the Board of the Bronx YMCA. Thomas is an active member of various organizations: the Harvard Business School Club of New York, the Wharton Club of New York, ICSC and CURE. A graduate of the Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School, Thomas holds an MBA from The Wharton School, where she was a Toigo Fellow. She also holds a Commercial Real Estate Certificate from Project REAP.

Kathryn Sayko

Kathryn Sayko

Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, PGIM

Kathy Sayko leads globally coordinated inclusion and diversity efforts at PGIM, the global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. In this role, she is responsible for raising PGIM’s profile as an inclusive workplace, and collaborating with senior leaders to foster an environment that attracts and retains a diverse pool of talent. PGIM’s office of inclusion and diversity oversees strategic inclusion initiatives, collaborates with PGIM’s CEOs and human resource leads on recruiting and retention efforts, works with internal and external advocacy and affinity organizations, and partners with investment industry leaders to accelerate an inclusive culture and diverse talent pool across the asset management industry.

Before assuming this role on September 12, 2018, Sayko served as a managing director on the Prudential Client Management team, maintaining relationships with senior executives at some of Prudential’s largest clients and financial partners. Sayko established a pension de-risking dialogue with large corporate prospects, and managed Prudential’s enterprise-wide objectives with some of our largest financial partners.

Prior to joining Prudential in 2011, Sayko was with J.P. Morgan Chase for 17 years, most recently in their Diversified Investment Banking Coverage group. Here she delivered banking services to clients and was focused on strategic and capital-raising advice, including M&A, capital structure, shareholder and rating agency management, equities, convertibles, bonds and loans. Prior to that, Sayko held leadership roles in J.P.’s Debt Capital Markets, Acquisition Finance, and Loan Capital Markets businesses.

Sayko holds an MBA in finance from New York University, Stern School of Business, and a BBA in computer science from James Madison University. She holds FINRA Series 7, 24 and 63 licenses.

Kwanza Jones

Kwanza Jones

Founder, CEO, Impact Investor, Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano Supercharged Initiative

Kwanza Jones is a catalyst. She lives her motto: Own your power. Live your purpose. Be of service. As a sought-after speaker, accomplished artist (top 10 Billboard music charts), investor (over $40mm commitments to diverse/women founders) and philanthropist (over $5mm to education/empowerment causes), she is committed to sparking change. As CEO of the Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano SUPERCHARGED Initiative, a philanthropic grant-making and investment organization, she invests in individuals, organizations and early stage/growth ventures across four areas: Education, Entrepreneurship, Equal Opportunity and Empowerment. (kjsi.org)

Prior to founding the SUPERCHARGED Initiative, Kwanza taught cross cultural negotiations at New York University, was a mediator for the New York City Civil Court and started her career in media and production at Innovation Entertainment Group.

As well as being a Board Member of Susan G. Komen, the only organization that addresses breast cancer on multiple fronts such as research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives, Jones also serves on the Board of Trustees for Bennett College, a private historically black liberal arts college for women located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Kwanza also serves on the Board of Directors of several SUPERCHARGED Initiative portfolio companies.

Kwanza laughs at limits and believes in being better every day. She founded the lifestyle/personal development brand and app, SUPERCHARGED by Kwanza Jones. SUPERCHARGED ® inspires action, boosts your energy, confidence, connections, and helps you change the world, starting with yourself. (iamsupercharged.com)

With a multifaceted background spanning music, media, production, law, business and philanthropy, some say Jones is a Renaissance woman, others call her a Boss. For Kwanza, the title does not matter, the work does. She has been able to merge her three parallel pursuits of creating, investing and powering transformative change, all while shaking up the status quo of what a career should be.

Whether serving on corporate and non-profit boards, teaching negotiation classes at major universities, performing, or speaking on entrepreneurship, empowerment, diversity and leadership, Kwanza Jones inspires and energizes audiences. Given her background as a dance music artist, it’s no surprise—her energy ignites confidence and action. It’s all part of Kwanza Jones’ passion and purpose, to be a catalyst for the betterment of humanity.

Kwanza is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public and International Affairs, Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, where she earned her Juris Doctor, and Pepperdine University School of Law where she earned her Master of Dispute Resolution. She was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the HBCU Bennett College. (kwanzajones.com)

Lauren Hochfelder Silverman

Lauren Hochfelder Silverman

Managing Director - Deputy CIO of MSREI, Head of MSREI Americas

Lauren Hochfelder Silverman is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, Deputy Chief Investment Officer of MSREI and Head of MSREI Americas. Lauren joined Morgan Stanley in 2000 and has focused on investing in the Americas since then. She has sourced, structured and executed principal investments across all real estate asset classes, transaction structures and return parameters. Lauren serves as a board member of The 92nd Street Y.

Lauren graduated magna cum laude and with distinction from Yale University with a BA in Ethics, Politics & Economics.

Jennifer Karam

Jennifer Karam

Partner, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Lord Abbett

Jennifer Karam is responsible for legal support for Lord Abbett’s Institutional and International efforts. In this role, Ms. Karam also works closely with the Investment team regarding legal issues and requirements. In addition, she serves as a Director of Lord Abbett Passport Portfolios plc, a pooled investment fund organized in Ireland and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Ms. Karam also serves on the firm’s Partnership Committee.

Ms. Karam joined Lord Abbett in 2012 and was named Partner in 2016. Her previous experience includes serving in various roles at Deutsche Asset Management including Director and Senior Counsel and Co-Head of the Global Institutional and Private Client Legal Department. Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Legal Department at Morgan Stanley Investment Management; Associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel and Associate at Faith Colish, PC. She has worked in the financial services industry since 1996.

She earned a BA in economics from Georgetown University and a JD from Villanova University School of Law

Denise R. Wilkins

Denise R. Wilkins

Director, Southeast Division Client Relationship Manager, Bank of America

Denise R. Wilkins is the Division Client Relationship Manager for the Merrill Lynch Southeast Division headquartered in Atlanta, GA. As a member of the Division leadership team, her responsibilities include driving client-centric strategic business initiatives, and supervision of overall service and operation plans while appropriately balancing organizational risk. Denise has oversight for over 140 offices with 4,500 employees across the Southeast.

Denise joined Merrill Lynch in 1994 as an Administrative Assistant in the New York office. Over her more than 20 year career, Denise has held various support roles before joining the firm’s Leadership Training Program in 2010.

If you ask Denise what makes her job unique, she’d say “The People! People are our greatest asset and are what sets us apart from our competitors. Our purpose is to help make financial lives better through the power of every connection. Inspiring our associates each day to do just that - is what makes my role unique and rewarding.”

Denise attended the City University of New York and New York University, and holds the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series, 7, 66, 31, 9 & 10 licenses.

Denise is a member of several Merrill Lynch employee groups that share a dimension of diversity, including Merrill Lynch’s Women’s Exchange Committee, Black Professional Group, and ally for the LGBT community.

When not assisting Financial Advisors, Client Associates, and Leadership Team members to deliver exceptional client service, Denise enjoys reading, cooking and all the city of Atlanta has to offer.

Born in New York, Denise is the youngest of five children and has a 25 year old daughter, Taylor. Denise resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Susan Jankowski

Susan Jankowski

Senior Vice President | Enterprise Data Governance & Operational Risk Management; Executive Sponsor, Women’s Employee Resource Group, Voya Financial

Susan Jankowski joined Voya as senior vice president of Enterprise Data Governance and Operational Risk Management in May 2018 as part of Voya’s efforts to elevate its data-governance strategy and further enhance its controls to mitigate risk. In this role, Susan is responsible for managing Voya’s data as well as defining and ensuring adherence to the company’s data governance framework. In conjunction with her data governance role, Susan manages operational risk management for Voya Financial Services—ensuring that the proper controls are in place to mitigate risk—and for the enterprise at large via the Business Resilience and Records Information Management offices. Her responsibilities create a single point of accountability for protecting, and ensuring the privacy of one of Voya’s most important assets—its data.

Susan has more than 25 years of data governance and operational risk management experience. She joined Voya from Deutsche Bank, where she most recently was a data program director in the Chief Data Office responsible for establishing the data governance framework used by the organization. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Susan held positions of increasing responsibility at UBS, ultimately serving as the executive director for Foreign Bank Enhanced Prudential Standards data team, which she created and led. Her operational risk management experience comes from her time at Barclays Capital, where she managed the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance program and led various Office of Risk Management initiatives. Susan began her career as a senior auditor and has worked extensively with financial, operational, technology and regulatory reporting teams.

Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Pace University. She is a member of the Financial Women’s Association and Ellevate, both of which are based in New York City.

Courtney M. Sembly, AVP

Courtney M. Sembly, AVP

Senior Manager of Intermediary Services, T Rowe Price

Courtney M. Sembly is an assistant vice president of T. Rowe Price Associates and a Senior Manager in the U.S. Intermediary - Retirement group of T. Rowe Price, with 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Courtney works in partnership with the Head of Retirement Advisory Relations (RAR) and RAR National Account Manager to retain and grow intermediary national account relationships. Courtney maintains consultative working relationships with investment and other key contacts at national firms and aligns T. Rowe Price resources to sustain world-class services. Additionally, Courtney contributes to operational and account growth strategy development.

Prior to joining the U.S. Intermediary team, Courtney served as Lead Finance Manager in the CFO Group. She led a team of Senior Financial Analysts, working in partnership with T. Rowe Price’s Global Technology organization to execute against the strategic IT goals of the firm.

Courtney is a Series 7, 63 and 24 registered representative, and holds a B.S. in Financial Economics and an Accounting Certification from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


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