Power Your Potential Speaker & Photo Archive

See below for details on our keynote speakers and panel discussions, as well as photos and video from past Power Your Potential events.

February 28, 2020 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Melisza Campos

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.

Click the image below to see the 2020 photo gallery. 

Click here to view the 2020 PYP photo gallery

March 22, 2019 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Stacey Bain

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.

Click here to view the PYP photo gallery

March 23, 2018 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Dorothy Farris

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

March 3, 2017 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Jane M. Elliott

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:


March 4, 2016 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Sarah Personette

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

Click to view the gallery Click to view the presentation

March 13, 2015 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Kathleen Buse

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.

Click to view the gallery Click to view the presentation

March 14, 2014 - Featuring Keynote Speaker JJ DiGeronimo

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:

March 25, 2013 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Jennifer Pozner

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.

March 30, 2012 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Michelle Berryman

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

June 10, 2010 - Featuring Keynote Speaker Kitty Van Bortel

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 Rothenberg, Ann Johnson, Jennifer Cisney, and Mary-Beth Cooper.