Simmons Leadership Conference Focuses on 'Innovation and Impact' of Women Leaders

Keynote Speakers Include Meg Whitman, Billie Jean King, Robin Chase, and Michele Norris

BOSTON, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Simmons College today announced the speakers for its April 5 premier Simmons Leadership Conference, which focuses on the theme, “Innovation and Impact.” The conference features keynote addresses by eminent women leaders including HP President and Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, tennis trailblazer Billie Jean King, transportation innovator and Co-founder of Zipcar Robin Chase, and award-winning NPR journalist Michele Norris.

“This year’s roster includes some of the nation’s most visionary change-makers who recognized and seized opportunities that have altered the course of their industry or profession,” said Conference Executive Director Joyce Kolligian. “Since its founding 33 years ago, the Simmons Leadership Conference has built a community of powerful women leaders who attend year after year to share ideas and learn from the high-caliber speakers and from one another.”

The Simmons Leadership Conference is the preeminent and longest-running women’s leadership forum in the country, and annually attracts a global audience of 2,500 business and professional women. The event will be held at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston.

For the full conference schedule and registration information, visit: http://www.simmons.edu/leadership. You can follow the conference live on Twitter @SimmonsConf and #SLC12.

Keynote Speakers – Background
In September 2011, Meg Whitman was named president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She received widespread recognition as a top-performing CEO during her tenure at eBay, where she became president and CEO in 1996. At the time, the fledgling website had $4 million in annual revenue and 30 employees. Within 10 years, she transformed the company into a global powerhouse with $8 billion in annual revenue and 15,000 employees – and forever changed how people conduct trade. Known for her collaborative management style and astute business sense, Whitman was named one of the eight best-performing CEOs by Harvard Business Review and was twice lauded as the “Most Powerful Woman in Business” by FORTUNE magazine. She is the author of The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King changed the playing field for women. Early in a stellar career that includes a record 20 Wimbledon titles, she successfully fought for equal prize money for men and women tennis players and helped to open opportunities for all professional female athletes. Her battle for gender equality was vividly played out in an epic match with Bobby Riggs, whom she defeated. The win forever altered the way parents viewed their daughters and how daughters viewed themselves. On the long list of King’s groundbreaking achievements are the founding of the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and Women’s Sports magazine, along with the co-founding of World TeamTennis. She is the author of Pressure Is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes.

Nationally acclaimed transportation innovator Robin Chase has revolutionized how people think about car travel. She is best known as co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing company, and GoLoco, the first company to combine ridesharing, social networks, and easy payment systems. Currently founder and CEO of the consulting firm Meadow Networks, Chase serves on the Board of the World Resources Institute, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce's National Advisory Committee for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee. She is the recipient of numerous entrepreneurial, technology, and environmental awards, including Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World and Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s top 10 designers.

One of the most trusted voices in broadcast journalism, Michele Norris has co-hosted NPR’s flagship news program “All Things Considered” for nearly a decade. With her signature style, she has led thoughtful, in-depth interviews with newsmakers ranging from world leaders and Nobel laureates to Oscar winners and astronauts. Before joining NPR in 2002, Norris spent nearly 10 years as a reporter for ABC News in the Washington Bureau, where she earned both an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for coverage of 9/11. Among many other prestigious honors, she was recognized as Journalist of the Year in 2009 by the National Association of Black Journalists, and awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcasting. She is the author of the recent memoir, The Grace of Silence.

Other Speakers – Background

  • Vernice Armour – the first African-American female combat pilot in U.S. military history, who now shares her life-changing principles in leadership seminars

  • Mary Ellen Iskenderian – president and CEO of Women's World Banking, microfinance expert, and a long-time champion of women's economic empowerment

  • Rhonda Kallman – widely recognized as an innovator in the beer industry, she helped to launch The Boston Beer Company (at age 24) and founded New Century Brewing

  • Jane McGonigal – world-renowned creator of alternate reality games and author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

  • Jane Edison Stevenson – vice chairman, Board and CEO Services, at Korn/Ferry International and one of the most influential search consultants in the world

  • Carmen Wong Ulrich – a well-respected personal finance expert, popular television and print journalist, featured regularly on NBC’s The Today Show, MSNBC, and CNN

  • Haiyan Wang – managing partner of the China India Institute, a research and consulting organization specializing in the emerging Chinese and Indian markets.

Two pre-conference seminars and coaching sessions will kick off the conference on Wednesday afternoon, April 4. A networking session that evening will feature image consultant and fashion coach Sheri Falk, founder of Basiques. Falk will offer a fun, interactive wardrobe workshop on essential pieces that can take you from the office to a night on the town. The afternoon pre-conference sessions require separate registration; the evening wardrobe workshop is complimentary for registered conference attendees.

In addition, Jill Avery, assistant professor of marketing at the Simmons School of Management, and Dr. Teresa Nelson, the Elizabeth J. McCandless Professor of Entrepreneurship Chair and director of the School of Management's Entrepreneurship Program, will serve as session moderators.

About the Conference
The Simmons Leadership Conference is one of the best-known women’s leadership events in the country. The conference has featured such notable speakers as Madeleine Albright, Christiane Amanpour, Carly Fiorina, Toni Morrison, Anne Mulcahy, Queen Noor, Jehan Sadat, Oprah Winfrey, and the late Benazir Bhutto.

Conference proceeds help further the development and advancement of future corporate, organizational, and civic leaders through Simmons graduate scholarships.

Corporate Sponsors
Conference corporate sponsors for 2012 include EMC Corporation, Seaport World Trade Center Boston, HP, Cisco, Novartis, Philips, Putnam Investments, TD Bank, The Hartford, Staples, PWC, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Basiques, John Hancock, Sun Life Financial, Collegiate Press, Vision Quest Consulting, Friends of Mel, Diva Tool Box, Little Pink Book, Exhale, WGBH, Babson Capital, Biogen Idec, Celgene, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, JP Morgan, Liberty Mutual, Mass Mutual, Ocean Spray, and United Technologies.

Twitter: @SimmonsConf
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LinkedIn: Simmons Leadership Conference

SOURCE Simmons College



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