Saunders College of Business to host second Women’s Leadership Weekend

Events embrace innovation and empowerment across changing workforce from industry leaders

Saunders College of Business at RIT is celebrating its second Women’s Leadership Weekend Feb. 23-24, with three conferences and summits that embrace innovation and empowerment in today’s workforce.

Power Your Potential (PYP), celebrating the upcoming national Women's History Month in March, serves as a dynamic platform for area businesswomen to gather insights from peers, engage in educational activities, and foster an environment conducive to women's success in various professional spheres.

This year's theme, “Embracing Innovation Across Today’s Changing Workforce,” resonates with the dynamic landscape in which women across industries and communities are navigating significant changes, sparking movements, and creating opportunities for future generations.

Saunders College is hosting this year's PYP conference in the college’s new, state-of-the-art building expansion, highlighted by its featured event space—the Susan R. Holliday Center inside Max Lowenthal Hall.

The event boasts an impressive agenda, featuring keynote speaker Stacey Wronkowski ‘03 (management information systems), vice president digital technology for United Airlines. Wronkowski's extensive experience and leadership at United Airlines has made her a pivotal figure in driving innovation and change within the organization.

Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in workshops led by esteemed speakers such as Kim B Miller ’85 (business administration retail management), Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, Va. poet laureate emerita; and Ushi Patel ’00 (graphic communications), ’01 (MBA), designer, speaker, and co-host of The Phoenix podcast.

The event also includes an “Embracing Innovation Across Today's Changing Workforce Panel” featuring Lindsay Connelly ‘11 (marketing), ’18 MBA, a successful digital marketer; Tashanda Thomas, chief human resources officer at WXXI Public Media in Rochester, N.Y.; and Liz Vega, an award-winning marketer and former television journalist.

The conference will be moderated by Darci Lane, assistant director of Title IX and Clery Compliance at RIT, recipient of the 2020 Edwina Award, and a prominent advocate for embracing, recognizing, and celebrating women and gender minorities.

“We are thrilled to host our annual Power Your Potential women's conference in our newly expanded Saunders College, along with all of the Women’s Leadership Weekend activities,” said Dean Jacqueline Mozrall. “These events embody our commitment to empowering women in leadership roles and providing them with the resources and support they need to thrive in today's ever-evolving workforce.”

The inaugural AdvanceRIT Faculty Leadership Summit for Women Faculty to be held inside Max Lowenthal Hall will feature breakout sessions led by distinguished leaders in academia; insights and strategies to conquer unique leadership challenges; opportunities for professional growth; and stimulating panel discussions on leadership in higher education. Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, president of the University of Rochester, will deliver the keynote address.

The Women's Leadership Weekend will culminate with the Women's Leadership Summit (WLS) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 24, inside the Student Alumni Union on the RIT campus. This year’s summit is hosted by the Leadership Academy @ Saunders. The academy’s mission to inspire, connect, and educate women and allies to become tomorrow’s future leaders, the academy focuses on driving leadership excellence in all industries from arts and sciences to technology.

The summit’s keynote speaker Erin Sarofsky '98 (graphic design), MFA '00 (computer graphic design), executive creative director and owner of Sarofsky Corp., headlines a lineup of accomplished TED Talk speakers, panelists, and workshop presenters featuring a number of RIT alumni.

Sarofsky is the internationally heralded creative visionary regularly chosen by brand and entertainment titans to lead their most artful storytelling projects. She launched Sarofsky Corp. in Chicago in 2009. Recognized internationally for brilliant design-driven production that is limited only by the imagination, the firm has forged long-standing relationships with leaders of the advertising and entertainment industries, particularly for its stunning main title sequences.

Recent projects include Peacemaker, The Gray Man, WeCrashed, and The Staircase. The firm also is known for iconic sequences like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy (1 and 2), Shameless, and Community. She was the 2021-22 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from the College of Art and Design, the highest award an RIT college can bestow upon its alumni.

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