“I wouldn’t be where I am today without wonderful mentors who inspired me to grow, discover, and challenge myself.”
Jedediah Bila is a columnist, commentator, public speaker and author of the book Outnumbered: Chronicles of a Manhattan Conservative. She has been published regularly in Newsmax, Human Events, The Daily Caller, and the Association of Mature American Citizens’ newsletter. She is a featured speaker for Speakers Access and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. Jedediah has been a regular guest on Fox News, Fox Business, and MSNBC, including such shows as Hannity, Fox & Friends, Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, Varney & Co., Follow the Money, Jansing & Co., and NOW With Alex Wagner. She has also appeared on several radio shows, including The Sean Hannity Show, The Mark Levin Show, The Lou Dobbs Show, The Monica Crowley Show and others. Jedediah is a native New Yorker who lives and works in Manhattan. For more information on her, please visit http://jedediahbila.com.
“Mentors can play an invaluable role in enhancing professional development by sharing lessons learned, delivering candid feedback and providing a system of support.”
Cari Boyce has been the vice president, corporate communications for Progress Energy, a Fortune 250 regulated electric utility, since January 2009. In this role, she is the chief communication strategist and advisor to the CEO and senior leadership team. She is responsible for oversight of the corporate and brand reputation for Progress Energy, including all internal and external communications as well as corporate community relations. She joined Progress Energy in 2006, initially serving in the role of director, external communications. Prior to joining Progress Energy, Boyce served as the director of external affairs for the North Carolina Governor’s office, where she was responsible for managing the federal and regional offices for the Governor, as well as the Governor’s Press Office. She has also served as the director of communications for the North Carolina Governor, senior advisor, Policy & Communications for the North Carolina Attorney General and as a legislative assistant in the New York State General Assembly. Boyce earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Siena College in New York. She also earned a Master of Education degree from North Carolina State University.
“Mentorship matters, because behind every great woman is another woman who took the time to care.”
A full-time legislator, Barbara Buono is proud to be the first woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader in New Jersey. Buono Graduated from Montclair State College with a B.A. in 1975 and received her J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 1979. After serving as a public defender for the New Jersey State Department of the Public Advocate, Buono later entered private practice. In 1992, she won a seat on the Metuchen Council, where she stabilized tax rates without lowering the quality and availability of local services. As the Metuchen Police Commissioner, Buono also worked to increase safety in suburban neighborhoods by instituting a community policing program. She was first elected to the New Jersey State Senate in 2001 and was re-elected in November 2011 to represent the 18th Legislative District. Previously, Buono served as a member of the General Assembly for seven years after winning a special election in December 1994 and was reelected in 1995, 1997 and 1999. In the Assembly, Buono became the ranking Democrat on the Assembly Budget Committee. Buono was the first woman to chair the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and served as Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee, Democratic Conference Chair, and a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. She currently serves as a member of the Senate Health, Human Services, & Senior Citizens Committee, as well as member of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee, and Vice Chair of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. The youngest of three sisters, Barbara Buono was born in Newark. She grew up in Nutley, where her father, born in Italy, worked as a butcher and her mother taught. Today, Senator Barbara Buono lives in Metuchen with her husband Dr. Martin Gizzi. She has four children-Sarah, Allegra, Lance and Tessa- and two step-daughters, Ariella and Sofia.
“When I was a young reporter just getting into the news business, I relied heavily on the wisdom and advice of those who were much more experienced. Because of their generosity, I have always been willing to give back as well. Now, after 20+ years in the television business, I take great pride in mentoring young people who are interested in my career field and I look forward to joining The Agenda’s new project.”
Gretchen Carlson joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in June 2005 and is the co-anchor of “FOX & Friends,” the No. 1 cable morning program 6-9am EST. She is a regular contributor “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly in the Culture Warrior segment every Thursday night. Carlson conducts a wide range of interviews on “Fox and Friends”; from politics to pop culture, and interviews the top newsmakers every day. Prior to joining FNC, Carlson worked at CBS News where she served as a correspondent and co-anchor of the “CBS Saturday Early Show.” Before her tenure at CBS, Carlson served as an anchor/reporter for KXAS-TV (NBC) in Dallas, WOIO-TV (CBS) in Cleveland, and WCPO-TV (ABC) in Cincinnati. She began her television career in Richmond, VA as a political reporter for WRIC-TV (ABC). She was the recipient of the prestigious American Women in Radio and Television “Best Series” award for her 30-part series on domestic violence. She also won two National Emmy awards for her work at CBS News. In 1989, before beginning her career in television, she was the first classical violinist to be crowned Miss America. Carlson graduated with honors from Stanford University and also studied at Oxford University in England. She is a national celebrity spokesperson for the March of Dimes, serves on the Miss America Organization Board and continues to be an advocate of the arts. Carlson hails from Minnesota, is married and has two small children.
“Mentoring is critical to women. Men do it naturally which accounts for their success in the corporate world. Women often need to make an extra effort to do it, but that’s the way to create the next generation of female leaders.”
Bonnie Erbé is a nonpartisan, award-winning American journalist and television host based in the Washington, D.C.
area who has covered national politics for decades. She writes a weekly column for Scripps Howard Newspapers. She was a contributing editor at USNews.com and columnist for politics.daily.com. Her journalistic interests include issues affecting women, families and communities of color, environment, religion and animal compassion. She has won more than 20 awards for her journalistic accomplishments. Most recently, she was honored for her pioneering: contributions to women’s media by creating PBS To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbé and keeping it a vital part of PBS program offerings for 19 seasons. The award was presented by the Women’s Media Center in June, 2009. She also won the Population Media Council’s Best TV Show award in 2009 for coverage of population issues. She won the 2008 Conference Board’s Work Life Leadership Council Media Award for coverage of work-life issues. She also won the 2008 Council on Contemporary Families Media Award for OutstandingCoverage of Family Issues. Prior to that, she has won more than 15 (total) Clarion Awards from Women in Communications, Gracie Awards from American Women in Radio & TV and EMMA awards from the National Women’s Political Caucus and formerly from Radcliffe College. Erbé was born in New York City. She graduated from Barnard College in 1974, Columbia University with an M.S. in Journalism in 1975 and from Georgetown University Law Center with a J.D. cum laude in 1987. Ms. Erbé is non partisan and toes no party line.
“Given my own life-changing experiences as a mentee, I’m eager to give back and mentor other up and coming women.”
Dr. Lorelle L. Espinosa is a senior analyst with Abt Associates Inc., in the Washington, DC area, where she evaluates the effectiveness of higher education and training programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Prior to Abt Associates, Espinosa served as the director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, where she provided leadership in aligning the organization’s research, programs, and policy initiatives, including direction of the Pathways to College Network and National Coalition for College Completion. An expert on various higher education topics, Espinosa is well versed—as both a practitioner and higher education scholar—on the transition and advancement of underrepresented minority students in postsecondary education, with a current emphasis on women of color in STEM. Espinosa is a featured blogger for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education where she writes about the national imperative of building and sustaining a diverse STEM pipeline – an interest that began during her tenure in student affairs and undergraduate education at the University of California, Davis, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Espinosa’s doctoral dissertation, Pipelines and Pathways: Women of Color in STEM Fields and the Experiences that Shape Their Persistence, was “Cited for Excellence” by the Association for the Study of Higher Education in 2010 and was recently published in the Harvard Educational Review’s symposium issue on women of color in STEM. Espinosa holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles; a B.A. from the University of California, Davis; and an A.A. from Santa Barbara City College.
“In media and politics one thing proves true time and again: better decisions are made when women are at the table, even better if they are holding the gavel, anchoring a broadcast or leading the strategy. I hope every woman will pick two: two women to mentor and two women to be mentored by, that way we can ensure that women continue to be part of decision making at the local, national and global levels.”
Terrell Halaska is the founding partner of HCM Strategists–a health and education public policy and advocacy firm. After serving in the White House, two federal agencies, Congress, and state government, Terrell Halaska offers extensive knowledge of how current health, education, and social issues affect both the private and public sectors. Among her work at HCM, she leads the work with College Board’s new Center for Advocacy and Policy, the Gates Foundation and provides strategic advice to the HCM health team. Terrell was confirmed by the Senate in 2005 as assistant secretary of education for legislation and congressional affairs. She was a member of the senior strategic management team and served as the U.S. Department of Education’s top negotiator with Congress on several key initiatives. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Ms. Halaska served in the White House as special assistant to the President for domestic policy, advising the President, domestic policy advisor, and other senior staff. She was responsible for developing and advancing Administration policies on family and children’s issues, including early childhood education, welfare reform, housing, and homelessness. Prior to that, Terrell served as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a member of Secretary Tommy Thompson’s senior strategic management team, she oversaw policy development on a number of issues including stem cell research and international and domestic HIV/AIDS. Previously, Terrell directed the state of Wisconsin’s Washington, D.C. office. She was the media manager for the nation’s governors at the National Governors Association and also served as press secretary to Congressman Scott Klug (R-WI). International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego.
“Mentoring is a part of the regenerative circle of work and life. Both people benefit from the exchange of wisdom and energy.”
Justice Faith Ireland served on the Washington Supreme Court from 1998 to 2005. Before that she served 15 years on the King County Superior Court as a trial judge following her a career as a pioneering female litigator for 13 years. She was a long-standing board member and officer of the Washington State Trial Lawyers and a founding member of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. She graduated as one of two women from Willamette University Law School in 1969 and received her MS Taxation with honors from Golden Gate in 1984. She served as President of the Superior Court Judges Association, chair of the Gender and Justice Commission. She was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education in 1997. Other awards include Judge of the Year by the state trial lawyers, and the Vanguard and President’s and Passing the Torch award from Washington Women Lawyers, Puget Sound Business Journal Women of Influence Award for mentoring. She has been active in many judicial and civic boards and committees, including serving as Board Chair of TVW (c-span for Washington). Following her retirement from the Supreme Court in January 2005, she now has a private practice serving as a mediator, arbitrator and legal consultant. Her hobbies include downhill skiing with her husband, Chuck Norem, and powerlifting where she holds many world records for her age and weight.
“Mentoring has been proven to be one of the most important variables for individuals, particularly women, to achieve their goals.”
Educator and activist, Jill Iscol, Ed.D, is President of the IF Hummingbird Foundation, a family foundation established in 1989 to support domestic and international efforts to strengthen democracy and reduce the social, economic, and educational inequalities that threaten it. For the past two decades Jill has supported and participated in numerous organizations and has developed an expertise in identifying visionary leaders and programs at early stages of their development. She fosters their advancement by providing seed capital and guidance enabling them to become stable, sustainable and successful organizations, impacting lives around the globe. As a Democratic Party activist, Jill served as Co-Chair for Hillary Rodham Clinton for Senate’s New York Finance Committee and as National Vice-Chair of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President’s 2008 Finance Committee. In addition, Jill serves as a Trustee of Horizons National, on the Advisory Board of the Center for New American Security in Washington, as a member of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service and was most recently appointed to the US-Afghan Women’s Council. Jill’s first book, Hearts on Fire: Twelve Stories of Today’s Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action, was released in November 2011.
“Mentorship is giving a part of oneself to another so they may grow beyond you, to develop to a level
Dr. Carole Kenner is the Dean in the School of Nursing and Associate Dean Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University. Dr. Kenner received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati and her master’s and doctorate in nursing from Indiana University. She specialized in neonatal/perinatal nursing for her master’s and obtained a minor in higher education for her doctorate. She has almost 30 years’ experience in teaching with 20 of those years in higher education administration. She has served as a Chiron Mentor for nurses through Sigma Theta Tau International, a nursing honor society. She also has served as a mentor for new deans and assistant deans through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She has authored more than 100 journal articles and 20 textbooks. Her career is dedicated to nursing education and to the health of neonates and their families, as well as educational and professional development of healthcare practices in neonatology. Her dedication includes providing a healthcare standard for educating neonatal nurses nationally and internationally. Her passion led her to begin the journal Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, which she now serves as international column editor. She serves on the Consensus Committee of Neonatal Intensive Care Design Standards, which sets recommendations for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit designs and serves on the March of Dimes Nursing Advisory Committee. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), past president of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) and founding President of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN), the first international organization representing neonatal nursing. She is the 2011 recipient of the Audrey Hepburn Award for Contributions to the Health and Welfare of Children internationally. Her book “Developmental Care of Newborns & Infants” 2nd edition co-edited with Dr. Jacqueline McGrath just won the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.
“Although I never had a formal mentor, a series of informal mentors had a profound and lasting impact on my work and my life. Having a mentor can make all the difference in the world, especially for girls and women.”
Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. Her films, lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She is the creator of the renowned Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series and the author of the award-winning and profoundly revolutionary book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids.
“The personal power of women cannot be overstated. The quote from Margaret Meade (with my edit) says it all: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed [women] can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has.’”
Helen Lafferty is First College Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. As College Professor, Lafferty teaches in the Education Department, interacts with students, and handles a variety of administrative duties of importance to the College. This position embodies the characteristics of extraordinary teaching, counseling, leadership, collegiality, service and friendship which reflect Lafferty’s contributions to the Villanova community. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and did post-doctor studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University in the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. While in her position, Lafferty works to promote diversity in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, highlighting the centrality of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova, and collaborates with the University’s other schools and colleges to continue integrating the Liberal Arts and Sciences into Business, Engineering, Law, and Nursing curricula. She has been named the recipient of the Earl D. Bader Award for Distinguished Faculty Contribution from the Villanova Center for Liberal Education (VCLS) and is the second recipient of the award. She has served as President of Phi Kappa Phi, been the faculty advisor for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the Board of Trustees for Gwynedd-Mercy College and Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She was also a member of the Board of Directors for Siloam, a center for HIV/AIDS patients. Lafferty’s career at Villanova spans over 30 years of service in the classroom and administration. She has served as the Academic Counselor in the Counseling Center, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College Professor of Education, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, and sixteen years as University Vice President. In the summer of 2010, she was invited to teach at the University of San Francisco in the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership.
“A mentor can set an example of what is possible and can inspire others to dream big, set goals high and accomplish things that they might not have thought possible.”
Beatrice Lanzi has served in the Rhode Island Legislature since January 1993. While serving in the State Legislature, Bea has assumed many leadership positions including serving as Deputy Majority Leader and Deputy President Pro Tempore. She also serves as Secretary of the Senate Education Committee, Secretary of the Senate Committee on Corporations, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and on the Special Commission on Reapportionment. She Chairs the Special Commission to Study Fire Safety Standards. As a legislator, Bea has introduced landmark legislation. She sponsored the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, which madeRhode Island the first state to establish an education program about teen dating violence in public schools and she sponsored the Safe Schools Act that created a statewide policy for schools to deal with bullying and cyberbullying. Bea is a lifetime member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), a bipartisan non profit organization, funded through USAID with a mission to provide political leaders with international understanding and opportunities for collaboration. She received their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002 and remains active with the organization. Bea is also the State Director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL, the nation’s oldest organization addressing the needs of elected women at all levels of government. In this role, she works with regional directors to provide strategic resources and opportunities to all women leaders in RI for leadership development and effective governance. She is active in Mothers and Dads Educating about Teen Dating Violence and the Liz Claiborne, Inc. organization aimed at educating young women about teen dating violence. She participated in their 2009 and 2010 Radio Rows inNew York, NY; a day of interviews by national media on the topic of teen dating violence. Bea has been working at the United Way of Rhode Island for 14 years and has been teaching Communication courses online and in traditional college classrooms for 19 years.
Claudia Poccia has been the chief executive officer and president of Gurwitch Products, L.L.C. since February 21, 2011. She served as president of Mark, a beauty and fashion boutique brand under Avon Products Inc., since November 1, 2005. She led Mark’s continuing growth in the United States and spearheaded Mark’s international roll-out as it expanded to become a global youth brand of scale. Since 1994, Poccia held increasingly responsible positions in marketing and sales at The Estee Lauder Companies. She served as senior vice president and general manager of Stila Cosmetics North America of Estee Lauder Companies Inc., from January 15, 2003 to June 2005. She developed and led Avon Products Inc.’s long-term strategy and implemented marketing initiatives that tripled sales. Poccia was vice president, sales and education for Stila from 2000, where she established the infrastructure to support sales and marketing efforts and position the brand for future growth. Prior to joining Stila in 2000, Poccia held positions in marketing and sales for Estee Lauder USA and Canada. Prior to that, she held positions at Giorgio Beverly Hills and L’Oreal. Poccia began her career in cosmetics in 1984 as an account executive for the Designer Fragrance Division of L’Oreal. Before that, she was a director of field marketing for Avon and held various positions at Giorgio Beverly Hills from regional sales manager to vice president, field sales. She joined Estee Lauder USA and Canada in 1994, where she held various positions of increasing responsibility from director of special events to regional marketing director, vice president, business development. Poccia was honored recently by the Cosmetic Executive Women with its 2010 Achiever Award and by Women’s Wear Daily with a 2010 Innovative Marketer Beauty Biz Award.
“Mentoring is a chance to “pay it forward” – a chance to share bits I’ve learned along the way and hopefully make the road a little smoother for the next woman.”
Donna Rosenberg is senior vice president of pricing at Staples. She is responsible for pricing, a key driver of sales and profitability. Having low prices is the “cost of entry” to compete in the office products space. Knowing what items matter most to customers in forming positive price and value perception is critical. Rosenberg and her team strive to find the proper balance between delighting customers and ensuring Staples meets its sales and profit goals. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Rosenberg went to work at Grant Thornton as a certified public accountant (CPA). In 1991, she started her career at Staples. The company had opened five years earlier and had under $1 billion in sales and 120 stores. During the time she’s been with Staples, it’s grown to become the world’s largest office products company, with over 2000 stores in 27 countries selling office supplies, technology, furniture and business services in stores, on the Internet, through catalogs, and through our B2B contract sales force. She has held many positions in the organization including director of strategic planning and vice president of marketing strategy. Rosenberg enjoys working with the talented, smart and committed people who make up the Staples Leadership Team, and she derives a great deal of satisfaction knowing she and her team are making a difference in driving performance for Staples.
“I’ve come to understand that our worth as an employee is directly correlated to who we know: mentors and mentees.”
Amy Siskind is a national spokesperson, writer and expert on helping women and girls advance and succeed. She is Co-Founder and President of The New Agenda, a national organization. A highly successful Wall Street executive, Amy has appeared as a national media expert on issues of women’s empowerment including gender representation, economic advancement, sexual assault and gender bias. Some of her television and radio appearances include: CNN, FOX News, CNBC, PBS and TheStreet.com. NPR, Marketplace Radio, KABC 790, WCCO 830, WOR 710, Talk New Radio, Talk Radio 1210 and American Morning News Radio. A frequent source for national press, Siskind has been quoted in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, POLITICO, U.S. News & World Report, Guardian UK, RealClearPolitics, AOL News, CNN.com, The Boston Globe, Forbes and The Hill. She’s a regular featured contributor at The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. Amy speaks on college campuses and to young women about economic empowerment. She serves on Cornell University’s highly prestigious President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW). A pioneer in the distressed debt trading market, she has a lifetime of experience with failure and remarkable success and knows what it takes to win. She became the first female Managing Director at Wasserstein Perella at the age of 31, and later ran trading departments at Morgan Stanley and Imperial Capital, where she was also a partner. She received a BA in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance from The NYU Stern School of Business. Amy Siskind is currently working on her first book, a road map for young women to achieve career success.
“I would never have made partner at Goldman Sachs without amazing mentors, and thus it is an honor and privilege to help others in the same way. Pay it forward.”
Ms. Zehner was in 1996 the youngest woman and first female trader to be invited into the partnership of Goldman Sachs. Most of her career at Goldman was in mortgage-backed trading, followed by two years spent in the Executive Office working in human capital management. After leaving the firm in 2002, she became a Founding Partner of Circle Financial Group, a private wealth management operation consisting of a small group of women committed to effectively managing their families’ assets and philanthropic activities. Upon leaving New York to live in Park City , Utah in 2010 she began her own consulting practice.An impassioned philanthropic visionary committed to the social and economic empowerment of women, she serves as Co-Chair of Women Moving Millions, a board member of The Women’s Funding Network, and President of the Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation. She is a former board member of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The National Council for Research on Women, The University of British Columbia and The Center for Work Life Policy. In addition she serves as an advisor for many other for profit and non-profit organizations that are working to advance gender equality for women and girls. She is a frequent media commentator and speaker on women’s success in the workplace, women and wealth, investing, financial current events and high-impact philanthropy. Her website is www.jackizehner.com.