Saunders College of Business hosts ‘Power Your Potential’ leadership conference

Author and CEO JJ DiGeronimo headlines women’s networking event at RIT on March 14

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Author and CEO JJ DiGeronimo will be the keynote speaker at Saunders College of Business women’s networking event, Power Your Potential, on March 14.

In today’s society, there are so many expectations on women—it’s nearly impossible to check all the boxes set up for us.

—JJ DiGeronimo, CEO Purposeful Woman, Tech Savvy Women

JJ DiGeronimo said it’s OK for women to say “No, no and no,” when asked to lend a hand, lead a project or kick off an initiative. “Women tend to say ‘yes, yes, yes,’ doing so much for so many people, that we become exhausted, feel guilty and lose sight of ourselves in the process,” explained the author of The Working Woman’s GPS and founder and CEO of Purposeful Woman and Tech Savvy Women.

Thankfully, she said “yes” to headlining Power Your Potential Women’s Leadership Conference, sponsored by Saunders College of Business and KeyBank. The fifth annual women’s networking event, which begins with registration at 8 a.m. and features a keynote address by DiGeronimo and networking lunch at 12:30 p.m., will be held on March 14 at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies, adjacent to James E. Booth Hall. Parking is available in F Lot.

“Power Your Potential is a wonderful conference that connects RIT alumni, local business executives, entrepreneurs and RIT students by providing them activities designed to help them support and implement business with each other and learn innovative ideas and strategies for surpassing their business and professional objectives,” said Saunders College Dean dt ogilvie.

In discussing “The Power of No,” DiGeronimo encourages women to take a good look at their commitments. “Women need to ask more questions,” said DiGeronimo. “They need to place more emphasis on the people above them to help prioritize their to-do lists as new things are added.”

And what about the guilt factor when saying no?

“Women in the workforce have a lot of pressure to deliver a lot of things. There will always be guilt because deep down inside, we want to have it all. But we cannot keep saying, ‘Yes, we can do it all,’ or ‘Sure, I can do that.’ Every time we say that, we basically show the next generation behind us that it’s possible, but we know that it’s not possible. We need to be more selective on how and where we spend our time so we can put ourselves first—to make the impact we were brought here to make.”

DiGeronimo is a professional speaker who began her career designing computer infrastructures for Fortune 500 companies after graduating with a computer information system degree in 1994. As a life coach and founder of Purposeful Woman, DiGeronimo focuses on leadership strategies for professional women—specifically targeting women in careers such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). She has made frequent guest appearances on TV and radio, is a featured columnist for Smart Business Magazine, and has shared her insights in numerous publications including Working Mother Magazine, Fox Business, Woman’s Day Magazine and ITWorld.

Guest panelists include moderator Linda Murphy, coach for Vistage International; Kate Turner Jacus, marketing manager for Genesee Regional Bank; Lauren Dixon, CEO of Dixon Schwabl; and Aqua Porter, experienced business transformational leader for Xerox Corp.

The cost to attend Power Your Potential is $10 for students, $25 for RIT alumni, faculty and staff, and $30 for the general public, and includes lunch. To register, go to or contact Dana Pierce at 585-475-2199 or

Note: One of nine colleges at RIT, Saunders College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International) and enrolls more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Saunders College and its entrepreneurial Venture Creations Incubator work in partnership with RIT’s Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship to integrate business education with RIT’s world leading technical and creative programs. Graduate programs include Master of Business Administration, MBA-Accounting, Executive MBA and master’s degrees in finance and administration.