Site-wide links

Rochester Institute of Technology
Leadership Events for Women

June 19, 2012

Keynote Speaker

Annie McKee, Ph.D.

Bestselling author and Fortune 500 executive leadership coach.

Keynote Speaker


Annie McKee, Ph.D.
Annie McKee, Ph.D.

Annie McKee is a bestselling business book author and advisor to top leaders. In 2005, Business Week dubbed her, "the high priestess of executive coaching" in their Top 100 Leaders issue, but Annie McKee's journey to becoming one of the world’s top advisors on leadership has hardly been conventional. It has been full of risky moves and unconventional choices. McKee will tell you it is a journey in which she learned to believe in the power of hope.

Born in England, McKee spent her childhood in Ithaca, New York. She graduated from high school at 16, turned down a scholarship to study nuclear physics and took off for California, and later Hawaii. There McKee worked in community organizing, struggled on public assistance and cared for her three small children, before deciding that college was a must. At 28, she enrolled at a community college and then Chaminade University where, while attending classes, raising a family and working, she graduated summa cum laude. By then a single mom, McKee and her small children next moved to Cleveland where she earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University.

While she dismisses the enormity of this accomplishment, McKee instead cites what she considers the true triumph of this time in her life, saying, "I never missed a play, or a game, or any event that mattered to my kids. Every moment and all the effort was worth it. What allowed me to live through these difficult times, really, was hope. Hope that things would improve, hope that I would find a better place and ultimately, that I would help others create a better world for us all."

Armed with her degrees, McKee began to teach, and to study and write about leadership. She was invited to take a position at Wharton, and asked to help the University of Pennsylvania’s senior team bring about a large scale organizational change at the University. All the while, she was building relationships with leaders in other organizations, consulting with them on leadership and change.

Then, along with millions of Americans who were brought to their knees by the image of the flaming World Trade Centers on 9/11, McKee had another defining moment in her already remarkable life.

"I was scheduled to meet with a senior executive in the South Tower on 9/11 and I had rescheduled at almost the last minute," something she says was difficult because she rarely, if ever, cancels her commitments. "I stood at a window high above Madison Avenue just before 9 AM, and I saw the whole thing. Days later and when I finally stopped crying, I felt a profound sense of urgency to realize my own dream of contributing to leaders around the globe."

While there are virtually thousands of tragic stories from that day, McKee says that witnessing the terrorist attacks was the catalyst for the most important — and positive — decision of her life. Almost immediately, with friend and business partner Fran Johnston, Annie formed Teleos Leadership Institute, a consulting firm with a mission of developing values-based leadership and resonant organizations. The company works with executives from all walks — sports to entertainment, finance to food service — to help them better understand themselves and the impact of their actions, words, and attitudes not only on themselves, or even their leadership, but on everyone around them. She and her team travel the world consulting and coaching many of the world’s most influential leaders and organizations. Clients who have benefitted from Teleos services include, among others, Thomson-Reuters, UniCredit Group, United Nations Development Program, Unilever, Viacom, Vodafone, and Creative Commons.

McKee has co-authored groundbreaking books on leadership, including Primal Leadership (Harvard, 2002, with Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis) and Resonant Leadership (Harvard, 2005 with Boyatzis). Another popular book, Becoming a Resonant Leader was published by Harvard in March, 2008 with Boyatzis and Teleos co-founder Frances Johnston. Annie’s newest book, Management: A Focus on Leaders (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011) is a groundbreaking college textbook that revolutionizes the way management is taught and learned.

She serves as Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Education at Penn, and teaches at the Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education. Annie also serves her community through supporting the education of a host of talented young people in the developing world and mentoring young leaders.

Her address has changed and the mode of delivery for her message is different these days, but McKee's mission has hardly wavered "My mission is to, one by one, with leader after leader, help others embrace the hope that carried me through my life. If I can help people experience hope and find their dreams, and give them the power to realize them, I will consider my life worthwhile."

Annie McKee received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and her baccalaureate degree, summa cum laude, from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She continues the study of her discipline with the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and the Institut für Gestaltorientierte Organisationsberatung of Frankfurt, Germany.

Annie is married to Eddy Mwelwa, and they have four children, Rebecca, Sean, Sarah, and Andrew.


My Story:  Personal Conversations with Local Women Leaders


G. Jean Howard

President, G. J Howard Consulting

Previous Employment:

CEO, Rochester Literacy Commission & Rochester Literacy Movement; Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor - City of Rochester; Founding CEO, Wilson Commencement, Director of Program Operations, Cerebral Palsy Rochester.


Pluta Cancer Center, Key Bank Advisory Board, Iberdrola USA Energy Corp., Iberdrola Foundation - Madrid, Spain, Rochester Preparatory Charter Schools, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, Keuka College, Rochester Chapter of the Lnks, Inc., PatStone, Inc. and Keuka College.  2006 Athena Award Recipient and 1999 Graduate of Leadership America.

Former Trustee:

Bennett College for Women, Bergmann Architectural * Engineering Associates, McQuaid Jesuit High School, Housing Council of Rochester, GEVA Theatre, Monroe Community College, WXXI Broadcasting Council, Center for Governmental Research, Rochester School for the Deaf, Baden Street Settlement House, Mary Cariola Children's Center, Governor's Advisory Council for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Center for Excellence in Math and Science Advisory Council, Monroe County Mental Health Council (Chair), Energy East Corporation, Rochester Gas & Electric Company and Women in Energy.


Annie McKee, Ph.D.

Marie Y. Philippe, Ph.D., SPHR

With over 26 years of business experience at leading firms such as Goldman, Sachs & Co., Dell Computer Corp., and most recently Chief Diversity Officer at Ovations, a division of United Health Group, Marie Y. Philippe, PhD is currently Chief Diversity Officer, Corporate Vice President at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.

She includes among her professional credits: a certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, a contributory recognition by Prof. Edwin P. Reuben for published work in the Westview Press, several diversity seminars including the national program with the law firm of Duvin, Cahn & Hutton, as well as a number of written selections about corporate culture and change in the Profiles in Diversity Journal and Business Strategies.

Dr. Philippe, a native of Haiti, who is trilingual includes among her credentials television appearances on Many Voices, Many Visions, City Wise and public affairs announcements. Dr. Philippe is a 2004 Athena Award nominee and a recipient of the Community Leadership Award from the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.  She is an engaging speaker, recently on panels at the Boomers' Summit, the Alzheimer's Association, the Rochester Women Network, and the AARP Diversity and Aging Conference.  She has also been recognized in 2010 by the local chapter of Toastmasters International and received the coveted award of 2010 Diversity Thought Leader by PDJ.

She is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Assocation and recent past president of the Western NY Chapter.  Former chair of the Rochester Urban League Board, Dr. Philippe is Chair on the executive advisory board of the cultural Competence Committee at Lifespan and serves on the board of the Center for Dispute Settlement.  She concurrently serves on the board of the American Red Cross chapter in Rochester, NY and the Greater Rochester Women Council.  Additionally she is a dedicated Hospice volunteer for Lifetime Care.

Dr. Philippe's educational background includes a Doctorate degree in Human Resources-Organizational Development focusing on Multicultural Dynamics studies from Bircham International University, a Bachelor's with a concentration in Microeconomics, Master's degrees from the City College of New York, and an MBS from C.W. Post.

Married with two sons, Dr. Philippe lives in Pittsford, New York.


Lori Van Dusen, CIMA

Lori Van Dusen’s focus on developing customized investment solutions and comprehensive wealth plans for institutional investors and high net worth individuals has made her the recipient of many honors and awards over the past 25 years. She helps lead the growth of LVW’s institutional client base throughout the country. With her extensive background in alternative investments, Lori plays an integral role in LVW’s research efforts.

For the past three years, Lori has been the co-lead of Convergent Wealth Advisors’ Institutional Group, where she served on the Executive and Investment Committees, and advised approximately $8 billion in assets for clients. Prior to that, she was Managing Director with CitiGroup/Smith Barney Institutional Consulting, which is where she began her investment career in 1986.  Lori has been profiled and quoted in many national publications, including a cover story in Barron’s on hedge fund investing. She was also the subject of a cover story on ethics in the financial services industry in Registered Rep Magazine. (See Lori’s honors below.)

Lori is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Nazareth College and the Memorial Art Gallery. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is the past chair of the Board of Monroe Community College. Lori also previously served on the Board of Roberts Wesleyan College and the Northeastern Seminary, where she delivered the Winter 2010 commencement address. She presently is the Chair of its Investment Committees. Lori received her Masters of Education degree from Harvard University and graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College. She holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst designation, administered by Investment Management Consultants Association and taught in conjunction with The Wharton School.

A native of Rochester, Lori enjoys decorating, cooking big Italian meals for her husband and two sons, enjoying the local music scene, reading and taking long runs wherever she may be.

2011: Ranked #3 on Barron’s annual list of America’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors.
2011: Ranked by Barron’s as one of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for the eighth consecutive year.
2004 – 2011: Ranked by Barron’s as one of the Top 10 Financial Advisors in America.
2010: Named Institutional Investor’s 2010 Nonprofit Consultant of the Year.