Power Your Potential

Saunders College of Business is pleased to host the 13th Annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference.

Power Your Potential (PYP) is a half-day women's leadership conference that celebrates the upcoming National Women's History Month in March. The event invites area businesswomen to gain insights from their peers and engage in educational activities geared at helping women succeed.

Across industries and communities, women are navigating monumental change to spark movements and opportunities for future generations. This event gathers communities of innovative and inspiring women who lead boldly, challenge norms, and change their organizations.

PYP 2023: Own Your Path

Date: February 17, 2023 
Time: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location:  University Gallery - Vignelli Center, James E. Booth Hall, Rochester Institute of Technology

Register for Power Your Potential 2023

Sponsorship Opportunities

Saunders College of Business is excited to celebrate its first Women's Leadership Weekend! Join us again on Saturday, February 18, 2023, for the 3rd annual Women's Leadership Summit (WLS) hosted by the Leadership Academy @ Saunders.

 Register for Women's Leadership Summit 2023 

PYP Agenda

Time Details
7:30-8:15 a.m. Registration and Breakfast Available
8:15–8:30 a.m. Welcome Remarks from Dean Mozrall
8:30–9:30 a.m. Elizabeth Kiehner
Keynote Speaker
The Road Less Traveled: Charting a Strategically Unconventional Journey  
9:30-9:45 a.m. Mix & Mingle
9:45-10:30 a.m. Negotiation Panel with Q&A
10:30-10:45 a.m. Mix & Mingle
10:45-11:15 a.m. Claudette Aiono
Wellness Workshop
Chair Yoga - Rediscover Your Inner Power
11:15-11:30 a.m. Mix & Mingle
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Butler/Till Corporate Panel
12:30-1:30 p.m. Networking Lunch – Power Bowls

Mistress of Ceremonies

Vicki Griffith headshot

Our Power Your Potential Mistress of Ceremonies, Victoria Griffith, is a proud Alumna of RIT from the Class of 1993 from the Saunders College of Business and is the President of the RIT Women's Council. Her degree is in Food Marketing and Distribution. She built an amazing career in foodservice and hospitality with her expertise and entrepreneurship to being one of the best women in Food Safety in the Washington DC. She has worked for some of the great chefs like Jose Andres, Ris Lacoste, Bob Kincaid and was the food safety liaison to the FDA and DC Department of Health for President Obamas Commander in Chief ball for his first term. Her affinity for RIT is never wavering and she loves inspiring others, especially women, to come to RIT for an amazing experience. When asked about her education and being a part of the Saunders College of business and how it affected her career she will tell you -  “Hospitality gave me my start but business took me to the top."

Speakers & Panelists

Elizabeth Kiehner Headshot

Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth Kiehner is an award-winning author and renowned keynote speaker, who has delivered speeches to a variety of global audiences and has been fortunate to sit alongside other senior professionals on panels, discussing topics such as Artificial Intelligence, and envisaging use cases for human/machine collaboration. She is currently Chief Growth Officer of Nortal, a digital transformation powerhouse founded in Tallinn, Estonia with a US HQ in Seattle. Having co-founded an award-winning design and digital production venture, Thornberg & Forester, Kiehner understands complex business processes, shaping inventive strategies, and owning UX and digital engagements. Kiehner’s career spans non-profit, Fortune 500 companies, and the public sector and is fueled by a desire to transform organizations from the inside out, leading digital, business, and talent transformations with previous leadership roles at IBM and Capgemini. 

Claudette Aiono Headshot

Wellness Presenter

Claudette Aiono was born and raised in Western NY, then attended and graduated from RIT with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology. She has spent the last three decades of her professional career working in different laboratories and research centers. In 2018, she and her husband Eke Aiono, a native of Samoa, founded IslandFit, a small fitness studio located in Henrietta, offering Personal training, Cycling, High Intensity Interval Training and Yoga classes to our community. IslandFit is a minority woman owned business where Claudette serves as the president.

Claudette is a certified Cycling Coach and Yoga Teacher, in which she encourages her students to explore opportunities for spiritual, physical, and emotional growth through each movement, and each breath. Namaste.

Negotiation Panel

Joy Olabisi

Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Programs, Management Dept.
RIT Saunders College of Business 

Christina Floyd

National Vice President
First American Equipment Finance

Barbara Antczak

Director, Talent Acquisition
Rochester Regional Health 

Butler/Till Corporate Panel

Amanda DeVito

Chief Marketing Officer

Kara O’Leary

Senior Director
Employee Experience and Talent Management


Power Your Potential will be held in the University Gallery (James E. Booth Hall), on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology.


Once entering campus at the main entrance (indicated with a VERY large sign: "Rochester Institute of Technology, Founded 1829"), follow the directional signs labeled “Power Your Potential”, towards the University Gallery.

Please park in Parking Lot F, with overflow parking available in Lot G and Lot H. Once registered, External guests will receive an e-permit. Please place the permit on your dash so you do not get ticketed.

Download Campus Maps: Interactive Campus Map.
Power Your Potential Map: Parking Lots F, G, H to University Gallery 


RIT’s campus is conveniently located five miles from the Greater Rochester International Airport and the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90).

From the Airport
Turn right onto Brooks Avenue, then right onto Interstate 390 South. From 390, take the Scottsville Road exit and turn right. Drive for approximately three miles, then turn left onto Jefferson Road. Travel east for approximately one-half mile to the campus.

From Interstate 90
Take exit 46 and proceed north on Interstate 390 to exit 13 (Hylan Drive). Turn left on Hylan and continue north to Jefferson Road. Turn left on Jefferson and proceed west for approximately two miles to the campus.

Address for GPS
Parking Lot F, Reynolds Dr, Rochester, NY 14623

Leadership Sponsor

First American Equipment Finance

First American Equipment Finance


Supporting Sponsor

Past Events

Saunders College of Business was pleased to host the 12th annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference focused on Taking Charge of Your Future, led by Women in Business club students Ann-Katherine Candelori ’22 management information systems, Maggie Dempsey ’22 management information systems, and Palak Wadhwa ’26 business exploration. The conference included a keynote presentation from Karen Putz, 14X Author, International Speaker, and Midlife (and Beyond) Life Coach, a session led by J’nez Thomas, Account Manager at Altria on the topic of “Subject to Change”, as well as 2 lively panel discussions featuring the following panelists: 

"Finding & Feeding Your Passion" Panelists

  • Sady Alvarado-Fischer – Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • Hope Drummond - Community Advocate and Board Member
  • Leah Shenandoah - Wolf Clan Member of the Onyo’ta:aká: – Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy; Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University

Corporate Panel – First American Equipment Finance Panelists

Topic: Growing Your Role

The 12th annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference was sponsored by First American Equipment Finance(Lead Sponsor), RIT Women’s Council and Manning & Napier (VIP Sponsors), and Consiliarium Group (Supporting Sponsor).

View the 2022 photo gallery

Saunders College of Business was pleased to host the 11th annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference focused on Embracing Our Voice & Leading Boldly, led by Karen Magnuson, Saunders College Executive in Resident and Former Executive Editor at the Democrat and Chronicle (D&C). The conference included a keynote presentation from Melisza Campos, Marketing Manager at Wegmans Food Market, a workshop presented by Saunders lecturer and Director of the Leadership Academy at Saunders Molly McGowan, an education session led by Joanne Braeunle, as well as a lively panel discussion featuring the following panelists: 

Joy Olabisi, Associate Professor, Management and Director of the Undergraduate Management Program, Saunders College of Business
Dinah Gueldenpfennig Weisberg, President/CEO, REDCOM Laboratories, Inc.
Denishea Ortiz, Director of Strategic Marketing and Retail Product Management, RIT
Enessa Carbone, Group Vice President, Lithia Motors, Inc.

The 11th annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference was sponsored by Bergmann and First American Equipment Finance.

View the 2020 photo gallery

Saunders College of Business was pleased to host the 10th annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference focused on Leadership in Action, led by Janet Lomax, Former News Anchor at News 10 NBC. The conference included a keynote presentation from Stacey Bain, previous Chief Financial Officer and General Manager for Hello Alfred, several education sessions led by Joan DeRoche and Kimberlie Barrett, as well as an energetic panel discussion featuring the following panelists: 

The 10th annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference was sponsored by Bergmann.

View the 2019 photo gallery

Saunders College of Business rounded out National Women's Month with the ninth annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference, featuring Dorothy Farris, Vice President of US Sales for Veeam Software and 1973 Saunders College Alumna. Dorothy Farris' keynote presentation, along with educational presentations from Shal Khazanchi and Kathleen Whelehan, provided helpful insights into "Leading Your Life and Achieving Your Goals with Courage." The educational presentations were followed by a panel discussion, focused on "Bringing It All Together: Networking, Negotiating and Bridging the Gender Gap," featuring the following panelists:

  • Devra Bevona, President and CEO of Bevona Business Solutions
  • Kimberly Hamer, MBA, MHA, Vice President of Customer and Relationship Management for Visual Dx
  • Aqua Porter, Vice President of Business Transformation Channels for Xerox
  • Joanne Gibson, MBA, Owner, Capstone Park


Saunders College of Business welcomed Jane M. Elliott, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of at Global Payments, to the eighth annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference. Jane Elliott's keynote presentation, "What's in the BHAG," discussed her career and setting career goals. She stated, "You have to be a little uncomfortable. Get out of your comfort zone. Really work on whatever you are trying to achieve." In addition to Elliott's discussion, there were two educational presentations from Dr. Dena Swanson and Samantha Tassone, which was then followed by a panel about resiliency in your career. The panel discussion was led by:

View the 2017 keynote presentation

Saunders College of Business hosted the seventh annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference. This conference provided women an outlet to discuss challenges and opportunities in becoming an effective leader. Sarah Personette, VP of global business marketing at Facebook, headlined the conference. Sarah Personette, VP of global business marketing at Facebook, headlined the conference. Her keynote presentation was on the changing dynamics of leadership and communications. She offered some key advice, "Check your ego at the door and concentrate on working as a team to deliver results." Personette also encouraged women to speak up. "It might be uncomfortable at first, you may feel like you want to play it safe by keeping quiet, but just do it. It's the only way we can achieve gender parity in the workplace."

The event also included a panel discussion, "Leading Change Outside the Lines." This discussion showed women how to think outside the box, while building employee support for their ideas. Following the panel discussion, two educational sessions focused on providing women guidance in "Success: Creative Destruction" and "Navigating Complexity." Our 2016 Power Your Potential Panelists and Education Presenters included:

  • Deborah Hughes, President and CEO of the Susan B Anthony Museum and House
  • Kelly Mandarano, WW Director of Marketing and Communications / VP of Kodak Print Systems Division
  • Dina Vazzana, Chief Human Resources Officer at Carestream
  • Lori Van Dusen, CEO/CIO at LVW Advisors
  • Jennifer Sertl, Business Strategist at Agility3R

View the 2016 keynote presentation

The sixth annual Power Your Potential Conference provided women an opportunity to discuss firsthand the challenges women face and how to become more effective leaders. The conference featured a panel discussion and educational presentations targeted at empowering women to succeed in the workplace. The keynote speaker was Kathleen Buse, founder and CEO of Advancing Women in STEM. She presented on "Recognizing and Overcoming 2nd Generation Gender Bias." This presentation commented on the impact of women as leaders and how to overcome the generational gender biases women may face in the workplace. Other presenters included Jennifer Green-Wilson on "Assertiveness & Passion," Sandy Parker on "Leading in a Male World" and a panel on company culture. The panelists included:

  • David Mammano, Founder and CEO of Next Step Education Group
  • Cheri Copie, Director of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs at NeoGenomics Laboratories, Inc
  • Kim Allen, Senior Strategic Communications Executive, Dixon Schwabl
  • Kate Jacus, Director of Marketing & Communications at Harley School

Attendees, including prominent Rochester-area businesswomen, gained insights on how to build their organization and enhance their career.

View the 2015 keynote presentation

Saunders College of Business welcomed JJ DiGeronimo, Founder and CEO of Purposeful Woman and Tech Savvy Women, to the fifth annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference. DiGeronimo is a global spokesperson for women leaders, women in technology, women entrepreneurs and young women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.), and has shared her insights and discoveries with many women's organizations. DiGeronimo’s keynote presentation, “The Power of No,” discussed how successful women use “no” and take specific actions in navigating their professional path to advance forward.

In addition to DiGeronimo’s discussion, the half-day conference included two educational presentations from Talya Meyerowitz and Betty Noonan on strategic business trends, as well as a panel discussion focused on “Owning Your Success.” The panel discussion featured prominent Rochester business women, who provided firsthand knowledge on challenges that women face and how to become a more effective leader. Our 2014 Power Your Potential Panelists included:

The fourth annual Power Your Potential Women’s Leadership Conference hosted Jennifer L. Pozner, Founder and Executive Director of Women in Media & News, who presented as keynote speaker on “Ladies First, Leaders Later…or Never? Media, Sexism and Power.” As a widely published journalist and media critic, Pozner works to increase women's presence and power in the public debate through media analysis, education, advocacy and reform. The conference also included an educational session with Linda Murphy and a panel discussion on gender and negotiation, featuring:

The conference concluded with ‘An Evening with Maya Angelou,’ an inspirational presentation for all attendees.

The third annual Power Your Potential Conference featured keynote speaker Michelle Berryman, founding principal and CEO of the design firm Echo Visualization, LLC. Berryman’s practice centers on interaction design and user experience for consumer, medical and industrial products, as well as software, websites and rich Internet applications. By combining insights from her impressive professional background and passion for traveling the world, Berryman presented on “Savoring the Journey,” encouraging women to look for inspiration and fresh perspectives in their surroundings.

The conference incorporated two educational sessions, led by Ann McCorvey and Mary-Beth Cooper, plus a panel discussion with connected local business executives, including:

  • Sandy Rothenberg, Associate Professor in RIT’s Saunders College of Business – Moderator
  • Ellen Brenner, Co-Owner of Fleet Feet
  • Soma Chengalur, Director HSE Federal Policy for Eastman Kodak Company
  • Nancy Rencis, VP and Commercial Banking Officer for Key Bank

Saunders College of Business welcomed Kitty Van Bortel, President and CEO of Van Bortel Groups, to the second annual Power Your Potential Women's Conference. The conference connected local business executives, entrepreneurs, alumnae and students, and gave women the opportunity to support and implement business with each other while learning innovative ideas and strategies for surpassing their business and professional objectives.

Followed by Van Bortel, a panel of experts shared the ups and downs of success, what defines an entrepreneur and the kinds of information, resources and the "pushes" a person needs to choose the path of greater risk, in the "Winning from the Bottom Up" panel discussion. The panel included:

The conference wrapped up with various educational workshops, hosted by Sandra RothenbergAnn JohnsonJennifer Cisney, and Mary-Beth Cooper.