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2019 Empowerment Day celebrates aspiring businesswomen

Annual Lindner Women in Business Leadership Conference featured presentations by notable female business leaders and alumni

By Suzanne Buzek

Giving and receiving constructive feedback. Turning a negative professional situation around. Creating a network of mentors and trusted advocates. Negotiating through a job offer. Preparing for the world of work is a lot of work, but nearly 200 young women rolled up their sleeves and explored these topics at-length at the 2019 Empowerment Day on Saturday, March 2.

Crowd shot of attendees at Empowerment Day 2019

Organized by Lindner Women in Business, Empowerment Day is the program's annual leadership conference intended to enrich, enlighten and empower students as they prepare to enter the workforce after graduation.

“Lindner Women in Business offers a safe place for women to explore who they are and their potential,” said Karen Manning, an annual adjunct assistant professor in the Lindner College of Business who also serves as the program’s advisor. “The magic of this conference — let alone the program — is seeing students grow in their self-confidence and do things they didn’t think they were capable of doing.”

Tiffanie Papp addresses the audience at Empowerment Day 2019

Tiffanie Papp, BUS '90

The conference featured a keynote address by Tiffanie Papp, BUS ’90, Brand Director of Global Skin & Personal Care at Procter & Gamble, who spoke on the strength that lies in listening.

“People have different lenses that impact how they make decisions,” she said. “It is imperative to be empathetic and learn about others' lenses before judging them immediately.”

Additional speakers and panelists included:

  • Kristen Baker, Senior Manager, Talent Management, DHL
  • Morgan Eberle, BBA ’17, Assurance Associate, PwC
  • Gabrielle Calderone, ’13, ’14, Portfolio Manager Assistant, Wealth Management, Johnson Investment Counsel
  • Karen Manning, Assistant Marketing Professor, Annual Adjust, University of Cincinnati
  • Bethany Maynard, BBA ’14, CPA, Assurance Senior Associate, PwC
  • Anna McCuiston, BBA ’06, Senior Team Sales, Retail Lead, Abbott Nutrition
  • Debbie Psihountas, MBA ’87, PhD ’00, Dean, School of Business & Technology, Florida Southwestern State College
  • Jill Rechtin, U.S. Service Quality Program Manager, DHL
  • Priya Sivagnanam, Portfolio Manager Assistant, Wealth Management, Johnson Investment Counsel
  • Lacy Starling, President, Legion Logistics, LLC
  • Kristen Zavo, Author, Job Joy
Attendees take notes at Empowerment Day 2019

Two women were recognized for their leadership and service to the regional business community: Katie Fisher, BBA ’16, and Heather Harris. Fisher, a senior associate in risk consulting at accounting firm KPMG, received the Outstanding Alumna Award. Harris, an investor and consultant with extensive marketing and sales experience at retail brands like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, received the Distinguished Service Award.

While Empowerment Day is beneficial for current Lindner students, about 25 high school seniors with outstanding offers for admission were also in attendance. The conference gave them a more in-depth idea of what life as a Lindner student could be, and for at least one prospective student, the experience helped solidify her decision.

“I was going back and forth between Lindner and another university, but, after today, I’m going to be a Bearcat,” one student said.

Lindner Women in Business was founded in the spring of 2013 as a student organization made up of 30 members and transitioned to a Lindner Diversity and Inclusion program in the summer of 2018, and has since grown its membership to 150 students. The board organizes various events and programming throughout the year for all members of the community to achieve success and uplift those around them. Learn more about the program and how to get involved.

March is Women’s History Month. UC is celebrating women's success, leadership and groundbreaking achievements with a variety of events throughout the month. Read more from UC News.

All photos courtesy of Lindner Women in Business.