NEW YORK, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600 leaders from across sectors came together at Cipriani 42nd Street on Wednesday, March 9, for United Way of New York City's Women's Leadership Council's (WLC) tenth annual Power of Women to Make a Difference Award Luncheon. The luncheon honored female leaders who have positively impacted their communities and made a difference in the lives of others. The 10th anniversary event raised nearly $1 million to support United Way of New York City's ReadNYC initiative, an initiative to boost literacy and improve educational outcomes for low-income New Yorkers by focusing on grade-level reading, a critical milestone in a child's future success.
Hosted by Juju Chang, Emmy-award winning co-host of ABC's Nightline, this year's event honored Monique L. Nelson, Chair & CEO of UniWorld Group, Laurie M. Tisch, President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Martine Reardon, Chief Marketing Officer at Macy's, and Jennifer Warren, Managing Director and Head, U.S. Region at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City, was also in attendance.
"I am so grateful for the impact we were able to celebrate at this year's 10th Anniversary Power of Women to Make a Difference Award Luncheon," said Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. "This luncheon has been a beacon of what collective impact can do to bring people and organizations together from across all sectors for a shared goal that betters the lives of our neighbors."
"I am humbled to be recognized by a group of persevering women who consistently lift up their community," said Monique L. Nelson, Chair & CEO of UniWorld Group.
"I'm grateful to United Way of New York City and the Women's Leadership Council for their recognition of the power that women yield to transform communities," said Laurie M. Tisch, President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. "I started the Illumination Fund nearly a decade ago with the conviction that circumstances of birth should not limit life's opportunities. Through its targeted work in New York City's neighborhoods, United Way is building a stronger and more equitable city."
"It's such a great honor to be recognized among these inspiring women," said Martine Reardon, Chief Marketing Officer of Macy's. "I feel fortunate to work for a company that so earnestly believes both in the power of giving back and in the importance of women in leadership. I'm proud to accept the inaugural award for corporate citizenship and to represent the great work Macy's has done – giving nearly $10 million over the last 10 years – to support the United Way of New York City as its largest corporate partner."
"When we combine United Way of New York City's research and leadership with its relationships with community agencies, local leaders and the private sector, we have a powerful combination – and a meaningful shot at transforming individual lives if not whole communities," said Jennifer Warren, Managing Director and Head, U.S. Region at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
As premier sponsor for the second consecutive year and a brand dedicated to celebrating women, Italian luxury fashion house Max Mara showcased an exclusive presentation of its Spring/Summer 2016 collection at the event. Renowned French winery Champagne Laurent-Perrier provided cases of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé for the event's VIP reception, Laurent-Perrier Brut NV for the 10th Anniversary Toast and four magnums of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rose for presentation to the honorees. Additional sponsors included Cepi Style, leading style specialist for executive women and Source Media, parent company of leading financial services industry newspaper American Banker.
The luncheon also featured for the first time the Power of the Purse auction, where experience packages and luxury designer handbags by Max Mara, Givenchy, Chloé, Gucci, Michael Kors and others are being auctioned off in support of ReadNYC. Experiences included a VIP tour of Champagne Laurent-Perrier in Tours-sur-Marne, France (airfare included) and an exclusive shopping party at the Michael Kors Soho Flagship store in NYC. The auction is open until March 17, 2016: unitedwaynyc.org/wlcpurse.
"As a brand committed to the celebration and empowerment of women, it is especially meaningful to partner with United Way of New York City's Women's Leadership Council, as it is a platform that inspires and motivates women to truly make a difference within the community," said Maria Giulia Maramotti, US Retail Director and Granddaughter of Founder, Max Mara.
"American Banker is dedicated to illuminating the leadership skills of prominent women in the financial community," said Dennis Strong, Vice President of SourceMedia's Banking and Payments Group. "We recognize the importance of their professional and personal contributions to their communities and we are honored to present an award to CIBC."
"Champagne Laurent-Perrier has thrived on the talents, passions and power of women, and we were honored to celebrate the strength and influence of women leadership at the 10th Annual Women's Leadership Council Luncheon," says Michelle DeFeo, President of Champagne Laurent-Perrier US.
"Cepi Style is proud to have sponsored the 10th Annual Women's Leadership Council Luncheon," said Nicole Campbell, Founder of Cepi Style. "As the premium styling service for executives, our singular mission is to champion, empower and partner with the bold philanthropic and executive leaders that were present today."
The Women's Leadership Council is a network of women who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of New York City's young people. The WLC celebrates the power of women by honoring those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in business and philanthropy. WLC has raised nearly $6 million in support of United Way of New York City's education programming.
High resolution photos from the event are available at www.unitedwaynyc.org/wlcpix. Credit: Kelsey Stanton/BFA.com.
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About United Way of New York City
United Way of New York City (UWNYC) has been a trusted partner to government, corporations, and community-based organizations for nearly 80 years. Serving low-income New Yorkers, UWNYC's collective impact approach enables the diagnosis of neighborhood challenges and the design of solutions to expand education, financial stability, and health opportunities. UWNYC then deploys resources and volunteers while also driving policy change that is guided by measured results. UWNYC envisions caring communities where all individuals and families have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives. Learn more at www.unitedwaynyc.org.
About United Way of New York City's Women's Leadership Council
United Way of New York City's Women's Leadership Council (WLC) is a network of accomplished, community-driven women that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of struggling New Yorkers. These talented women advocate, fundraise, and volunteer to solve issues facing our most-deserving neighbors. The WLC champions United Way of New York City's education work, with a focus on ReadNYC, an initiative to improve grade-level reading by third grade—a critical milestone in a child's future success.
SOURCE United Way of New York City