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Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 7:02am

Jane Elliott knows from personal experience that many women receive little or no mentoring in their careers. Growing up in the small town of Friendship, N.Y., she was one of them. "I was blue collar raised, the youngest of four girls, and in 1984 it was like the Dark Ages with no internet and only 39 students in my graduating high school class," said Elliott. "To be frank, I just wanted out; I was looking for independence more than anything else."

Elliott '88 (business administration/accounting), who is now based in Atlanta as the executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Global Payments, said one of the reasons she is an advocate for women is because she didn't receive mentoring or professional development early in her career.

Elliott will be discussing "What is your personal BHAG" as Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology hosts the eighth annual Power Your Potential women's leadership event on March 3. The keynote address is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. during the half-day conference that runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and includes a networking lunch.

"We are very proud to have a Saunders College alumna return to campus to share her experiences and insights on the importance of mentoring women in the workforce," said Saunders College Dean Jacqueline Mozrall. "Jane Elliott demonstrates how leadership and persistence can help others, and ultimately organizations, achieve their goals."

According to Elliott, she has achieved what she set out to do at Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services that delivers innovative solutions allowing customers to accept all payment types across a variety of distribution channels globally.

"I've always wanted to be in charge and financially independent, and my recent move to executive vice president and chief administrative officer was a proud moment in my career," said Elliot. "So the theme of my talk at RIT on how to achieve that Big Hairy Audacious Goal will hopefully encourage women to learn new tasks and skills even if it makes them feel a little uncomfortable in the process.

"Women in high profile jobs today need to be confident in themselves and their abilities," said Elliott. "Even if you are unsure, that old adage of grin and fake it works. Women need to believe that a promotion is a result of their hard work and that they can perform the job as well as man."

Prior to joining Global Payments, Elliott worked at First Data for nine years. She held numerous positions including financial planning and analysis, and SEC reporting in both Georgia and Nebraska. She started her career with Laventhol & Horwath certified public accountants in New York City.

Elliott currently serves on the Junior Achievement of Georgia Board of Directors, the Technology Association of Georgia Board of Directors, the Board for, Women Networking in Electronic Transactions, and the Large Processor Council for Electronic Transactions Association. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and also served as President of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Investors Relations Institute from 2007-2011.

Power Your Potential speakers for 2017 also include Dena Phillips Swanson, associate professor of counseling and human development, Warner School of Education; Samantha Tassone, president, Growth Fuel; Holly Hilberg, former chief technology officer, Carestream Health Inc.; Deborah Stamps, system vice president quality, safety and innovation, Rochester Regional Health; Miranda Cox, founder, Thrive Potential LLC.

Previous Power Your Potential keynote speakers have included Sarah Personette, VP of global business marketing at Facebook; Kathleen Buse, CEO of Advancing Women in STEM; JJ Geronimo, author and CEO of Purposeful Woman and Tech Savvy Women; Jennifer L. Pozner, author, anti-racist feminist and media critic; Michelle Berryman, founding principal/CEO Echo Visualization LLC; Kitty Van Bortel, president/CEO Van Bortel Group; Maggie Brooks, former Monroe County Executive.

The cost is $40 for the public, $30 for RIT faculty/staff/alumni, $10 for students. For more information, go to, or contact Lauren Heary, Saunders College events and promotions manager, at 585-475-2199 or

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