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2017 is off to an exciting start here at DirectWomen. In this update, you will find important information about a program this month at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, information on the 2017 Board Institute Class, dates for our October 2017 activities, and news about the remarkable accomplishments of the members of our network.
This February, DirectWomen underwent several staffing changes. It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Sarah Gevlin, who oversaw a period of incredible growth and expansion for DirectWomen. We wish Sarah all the best in her move abroad with the State Department. Joining Interim Executive Director Lisa Passante are Beth Barefoot, our new Director of Finance and Operations, and Laura Beth Hooper, our new Operations and Information Coordinator. We are excited to welcome Beth and Laura Beth to DirectWomen and look forward to working with them to achieve greater gender diversity on boards.
We are pleased to announce the members of the 2017 DirectWomen Board Institute Class. This year’s participants include partners at top law firms, General Counsel of Fortune 500 companies, and other senior executives and advisors. The press release announcing the class is attached to this Update.
The 2017 Board Institute will start on October 18, and will conclude with the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon on October 20. For the first time, we will be hosting these events at the New York Hilton Midtown.
On Tuesday, March 21, DirectWomen will host its first event of the year in Seattle, Washington. Thanks to 2009 Alumna Connie Collingsworth, the event will be hosted at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Event attendees will hear from a panel of distinguished directors currently siting on the boards of major corporations, including Connie Collingsworth, Phyllis J. Campbell, Richard P. Fox, and Liane Pelletier. For additional information on the program, including a link to register and sponsorship opportunities, please refer to the attached invitation.
We are pleased that VISA, Inc. will accept the DirectWomen Board Diversity Award. Our Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award Honorees will be Patricia Diaz Dennis, Esq., former General Counsel Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at AT&T and Director of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and U. S. Steel Corporation; and Gail Lione, Esq., Senior Counsel at Dentons, former Executive Vice-President and General Counsel at Harley-Davidson, Inc. and Director of Badger Meter, Inc., Sargento Foods, and the F. Dohmen Co..
We will honor Alice Young, the founder of the Alice Young Advisory LLC, Retired Partner and Chair of the Asia Pacific Practice of Kaye Scholer LLP (now Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP), Director of AXIS Capital Holdings, Ltd. and Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. (USA), with our Distinguished Alumna Award.
Finally, this year we are pleased to introduce the Mary Ann Jorgenson Board Empowerment Award—an honor that recognizes a woman lawyer who has advanced the goals of DirectWomen via extraordinary support of the organization. This year’s recipient is Mary B. Cranston, Esq., Retired Partner and Past Chair of Pillsbury and Director at VISA, Inc., Chemours, MyoKardia, and CSAA Insurance Group.
Links to current board articles can also be found on our website.
We will continue to build on the enthusiasm and energy of our expanding DirectWomen network. Thanks to all of you for your help in supporting our mission. If you have suggestions for additional ways to strengthen DirectWomen’s outreach and work, please do not hesitate to contact me.
All the best,