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Professional Women's Roundtable

The PoWeR of Connections

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  • Monday, June 24, 2019 12:03 PM | Ashley Po (Administrator)

    Dear PWR Members & Friends,

    I’m excited and honored to announce that I’m the new Board President for the awesome women’s organization, PWR. This is also super special since it’s the first time the organization will have both a President (African American) and Vice President (Asian-Pacific) who are women of color.

    What is PWR?

    PWR is an events-based women’s organization, providing networking, leadership, educational, and personal growth opportunities to a diverse group of professional women in the Greater Philadelphia region.

    Why did I take on this challenge?

    The business world can be a challenging place for professional women to navigate, but it becomes much easier when you have other positive and authentic women in your tribe to provide a support system. As the former head of membership and D&I for PWR, I feel very strongly about women from all diverse backgrounds and industries being prepared and equipped, with the tools to succeed in any business and professional environment. Now being President I look to continue PWR’s effort to make this happen.

    Who do I thank for such an opportunity?

    I truly thank both the founders of PWR, and all previous board members, for taking on such an important mission as the empowerment of professional women. I also truly appreciate the most recent Board President, Beth Lawrence, for inspiring me and helping me grow personally to become prepared for such an important leadership position.

    What can you expect from PWR moving forward and why should you join?

    You can expect an organization providing professional women with a safe space to laugh together, learn from each other, hold each other accountable, and push each other to grow so we all can become the best versions of ourselves.

    Now that the torch has been passed to me to lead this organization to nothing less than excellence, I look forward to working with the current board of incredible women to create the most educational, entertaining, and diverse women’s events possible.

    Thanks and looking forward to having lots of you amazing women join our organization!


    Cherise Wynne
    Board President

  • Thursday, May 16, 2019 11:48 AM | Beth Lawrence (Administrator)

    We are proud to partner with the Center City Proprietors Association (CCPA) to bring you a special event: Women Changing the City on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, at The Westin Philadelphia, 99 South 17th Street, Philadelphia PA 19103.  As a member of our organization you will receive a discounted price.  To learn more and register follow the below link to the event on CCPA’s website.

    After clicking the “Register” button, use the drop down for “$40 for Partnering Organizations - Women Changing the City at The Westin 5/23/19”

    Women Changing the City

    Philadelphia business women are changing the city. Hear their personal stories of leadership, challenges and triumphs.

    Join CCPA members and friends for a moderated discussion as we learn from our dynamic panel how their experience, knowledge and drive have enabled productivity and success - how they as leaders create and inspire change in people, projects, business and our city.

    Women Changing the City is a series of significant events where accomplished women from the business community reveal the inner strength, vision and imagination that leads to motivation, influence and positive change. Events include time for Q&A and plenty of networking.

    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

    The Westin Philadelphia 
    99 South 17th Street
    Philadelphia PA 19103

    The Honorable Phyllis W. Beck
    Chair and CFO, Independence Foundation
    Lauren GilchristSenior Vice President, Senior Director of Research, JLL Philadelphia
    Annina M. HoganExecutive Vice President, Remington & Vernick Engineers
    Angela Val
    Chief Administrative Officer, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Elizabeth WellingtonLifestyle ColumnistThe Philadelphia Inquirer

    $30 for CCPA members, $40 for partners’ members, $50 for non-members.
    Includes light breakfast. Space is limited. Reservations and pre-payment are required.

  • Friday, February 08, 2019 3:42 PM | Beth Lawrence (Administrator)

    PWR is very proud to announce that we are a partner of this year's Philly SHRM Symposium. As a proud partner, we invite you to join 450+ HR and business professionals at the two-day event that gives you the chance to advance your career through both educational programs and personal connections!  

    In case you haven’t heard, the 2019 keynote speaker is Daymond John! Daymond John is the Star of ABC's Shark Tank, Founder/CEO of FUBU, Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, and CEO of The Shark Group.  

    This year our keynote speaker is, Daymond John! From his wildly successful role on ABC's smash hit, Shark Tank, to his distinguished status as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Daymond John has become globally recognized for his relentless commitment to promoting and supporting entrepreneurs. You don't want to miss his keynote at the 2019 Symposium. 

    Our closing session speaker is Chris Heck, President of the Philadelphia 76ers. Heck played a critical role in groundbreaking initiatives that solidified the 76ers' place as an innovative force in the industry today. Their stories will surely motivate you to connect, engage, and lead through an ever-changing workplace.

    The Symposium also features an interactive pre-conference session, 9 breakout sessions, a closing keynote, and plenty of opportunities for networking. Don’t miss your opportunity to join us as we reinvent the world of business and HR!

    Pending SHRM Professional Development Credits & HRCI Credits!


    2019 Philly SHRM Symposium

    March 20 & 21, 2019 | Philadelphia 201 Hotel (formerly the Sheraton)

    Pre-Conference | Wednesday, March 20, 2019:

    5:00pm-7:00pmPre-Conference Events

    Full Conference | Thursday, March 21, 2019:


    Registration Info: Registration

  • Tuesday, February 05, 2019 4:34 PM | Beth Lawrence (Administrator)

    We are thrilled to announce that our Chair of Membership, Diversity and Inclusion, Cherise Wynne, will be representing PWR at the PHLDiversity Conference on March 25 & 26. 

    The 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Conference is “where diversity and inclusion intersects with academic and corporate strategies.” Presented by Temple University School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management; The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB); PHL Diversity (a business development division of PHLCVB) and Lodging Media, it will take place on March 25th & 26th at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Philadelphia. This is an education summit designed to exchange insights about diversity and inclusion across multiple industries. The two-day agenda includes welcoming remarks from JoAnne Epps, Executive Vice President & Provost, Temple University; closing remarks from Wade Davis, former NFL player and thought leader; and a dinner reception with Mayor Jim Kenney, City of Philadelphia. Unique to the conference is the academic Think Tank focusing on best practices for incorporating diversity and inclusion content into academic programs. Proceeds from the conference will benefit students at Temple University School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.  

    Members of PWR get a discounted rate by using code PWR15. The offer expires March 1, 2019. Learn more at

  • Monday, January 28, 2019 10:26 AM | Beth Lawrence (Administrator)

    On January 25, PWR's President, Beth Lawrence, interviewed Kim Cermak, our speaker and expert for the upcoming three-part Diversity & Inclusion Series. The series has been granted SHRM Credits (1.5 per event) for participants.

    1. You seem to be doing a lot of things and have vast experience with many different types of organizations. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started?

    The pivotal job in my career was the 15 years I spent working as the Marketing Director and eventually National Sales Director for a cross-cultural training firm in Minneapolis, MN.  I had just returned from living in Luxembourg and did not even know the industry existed. At that time our work was primarily focused on supporting corporate families that were relocating internationally.  I was energized and fascinated by the constant development and growth that happens when working with people from different countries and cultures. Learning the theoretical concepts and research in the field provided a framework for me to process my own international experiences and understand myself and others better.  During that time I became increasingly curious about the impact of culture on religion and pursued my master’s degree in the area. This led to my interest in Eastern contemplative practices and my passion for yoga. Becoming a certified Bikram yoga instructor fortified my path to mindfulness and the need for more reflection in the workplace. In order to change perspectives we need to first stop and “be”.  This is not the norm in Western cultures where we are rewarded to “do”

    2. You’ve lived outside of the US in a few places. Can you tell us how this influenced your methodology and your viewpoint?

    Living in Bordeaux, France, as a foreign exchange student at age 20, was one of the most impactful experiences of my life.  It expanded my worldview, challenged many of the assumptions I had been operating from and was extremely humbling. My French was terrible when I arrived and l realized that learning another language and culture is so much more than learning the words and putting together sentences; it is about learning how another group of people think, relate and operate in the world.  We always infuse our programs with activities, simulations and discussion, as the more senses that are stimulated the deeper the learning. We don’t become more inclusive with just cognitive solutions. It is an experiential process of sensing and feeling, which eventually leads to behavior change. Traveling to new places is such a profound educational experience, as all the senses are stimulated.  

    3. Why is it important to not only strive for diversity, but also inclusion?

    There is a popular saying in the field of D&I.  “Diversity is being invited to the party.  Inclusion is being asked to dance.”   Seeking out individuals who will broaden the experience base and thinking patterns of a team or organization is step one.  Step two is providing the strategy, support, talent and commitment required to create the culture shift that allows them to feel engaged, see prospects for growth and contribute fully.

    4. Your workshops strive to create an environment where everyone is empowered to bring their whole authentic self into the workplace. What was the catalyst for this? Has there ever been a negative effect of someone bringing their Whole Authentic Self to  the workplace?

    After years of working with individuals, teams and organizations I have witnessed how the spirit dies, when we are forced to be someone other than ourselves at a place we spend most of our waking hours.  Every group has its own set of expected behaviors and they are usually out of our awareness unless we are not in the group; we then become excruciatingly aware of those behaviors. Not fitting in creates stress and often leads to clinging to the specific attitudes and behaviors that keep us out, as they are a cherished part of our identity.  Every individual has their own assimilation threshold and developmental process. Organizational Affinity Groups or Employee Resource Groups provide support for those on the path to figuring out and/or celebrating their own truth and often serve as change agents and education centers for organizations committed to an inclusive culture shift. Bringing our whole self to work allows us to operate at our highest and most creative potential and is needed for any organization to remain innovative and competitive.

    5, Why is cross-cultural communication more important now than ever?

    The 2018 Global Talent Competitive Index reports that collaboration between people with different values, knowledge sets, and perspectives, will play a key role in linking talent policies to global strategies. The report alsoconcludes, that we are often ill equipped, to collaborate with people who are different from us.  Globalization is here to stay, whether we are ready, or not. Add to the mix technology, which delivers information from around the world at exorbitant speeds often leaving us feeling overwhelmed, without the skills needed to compete and excel.

    Employees need the skills to handle the changing immigration patterns, increased religious diversity, more fluid gender identification, people with differing abilities and broader age ranges in the workplace.

    6. What can attendees expect to take away from each of the events in the series?

    My hope is that each person will take away from the session what they came to learn and more.  The journey to becoming more inclusive is different for everyone. We all need to become more self-aware of our own assumptions and blind spots.  The life experience and perspective of every individual is different. Learning to listen better would be a great start!

    Don't miss our 3-part series on Diversity & Inclusion, beginning on February 19. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit our events page.

  • Tuesday, January 01, 2019 9:00 AM | Jamie Kloss

    Professional Women’s Roundtable is seeking a PR & Communications Chair to join our dynamic Board of Directors.

    Responsibilities include:

    • Planning, overseeing and executing external promotion of PWR’s events and membership benefits
    • Maintaining and regularly updating PWR’s website and digital event calendar
    • Maintaining PWR’s email marketing campaign
    • Promoting PWR’s events and membership in local press
    • Creating original content for use on PWR channels
    • Leading ongoing refinement of PWR’s brand identity and external messaging
    • Providing communications counsel to the Board of Directors related to issues management and brand voice
    • Coordinating creation of brand collateral
    • Collaborating with the Social Media Chair on shared promotion strategies
    • Exploring and coordinating cross-promotion opportunities with like-minded organizations
    • Staying apprised of PR & Communications trends and spotting opportunities for new strategies and tactics
    • Reporting success metrics to the PWR Board
    • Fulfilling board duties including consistent attendance and contributions to events and meetings

    To apply, please submit your completed application to

    Note: PR & Communications Chair must be a PWR member and commit to a two-year board term.

    PWR Board of Directors Application.doc

  • Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:00 AM | Jamie Kloss

    On September 18, PWR gathered eight women who are shaping the future in their own communities to share their stories. They reflected on the most pressing issues affecting women in politics today and how they have personally overcome obstacles along their path to political involvement.

    Attendees left more informed, inspired and encouraged by the progress women have made in the push toward gender parity in our political system. Panelists shared several pieces of advice for becoming and staying engaged. Here are four key takeaways:

    1. Stay informed about key issues and candidates.

    There are many places to find bipartisan education. With so many sources of potentially skewed information – on social media, TV commercials and even biased news sources – it’s more important than ever to fact check and truly understand the scope of pressing issues in your community.

    Panelists suggested consulting the following websites for credible, nonpartisan information:

    Staying attuned to your community’s issues outside of the election cycle is also critical. “The idea that politicians only engage constituents during elections is mind-boggling,” said Barbara Kigozi, Committee Person for Ward 59, Division 19.

    As a voter, follow local news and look for opportunities to engage your local politicians in conversations throughout the year, without the pressure of an upcoming election.

    2. Establish your personal criteria for candidates.

    The first step in selecting a candidate that represents your interests is identifying what matters to you. “Develop a checklist for yourself, find people who resonate with that, and then do a deep dive into those people,” said Nina Ahmad, Ph.D., Former Candidate for Lieutenant Governor. “Match your issues and values with their issues and values and see objectively who gets the most checkmarks.”

    “When selecting a candidate, you don’t have to look into a mirror,” said Nina. “But you do need to identify someone who can improve your community.”

    Eryn Santamoor, Democratic Candidate for Philadelphia City Council At-Large, encouraged attendees to meet their candidates in person. “Social media is a good way to find people who share your issue focus, but make sure you are talking to those people in real life,” she said.

    Panelists weighed in on the most important characteristics to identify in candidates. Eryn urged attendees to truly understand the job and whether candidates meet the expectations of someone holding that position.

    Tam Williams, Founder & President of She’s It LLC, encouraged attendees to examine a candidate’s values – not only what they are saying in public but also their opinions behind closed doors. Look for distortions to understand if they are truly aligned with your personal values.

    Gina Barr, Director of Women and Urban Engagement at the Republican National Committee, noted that following the money behind a campaign is also critical, especially in small towns where funders may try to keep candidates who represent their interests in office. “If you voted for a new candidate in your town, but aren’t seeing any changes once they’re in office, funding might be why.” This is all public information available from the Federal Election Commission.

    Once you identify your candidate, vote for them. “In our country, only 60 percent of eligible voters actually vote in presidential elections, and even less in primaries,” said moderator Elizabeth Roggio, Corporate and Political Associate at Kleinbard LLC.

    “When it comes time to go to the polls and vote, there should never be an excuse,” said Tam. “That goes for yourself, but also for others. We have a responsibility to mobilize our communities around elections.”

    3. Look past public perception when evaluating candidates.

    Women face specific challenges when it comes to building a public image. Panelists discussed why in most campaigns, women dress up and men dress down. Oftentimes, women are instructed to dress conservatively to “respect the office” while it is assumed that men can handle the job.

    Beyond appearance, messaging is an important part of telling a candidate’s story. “People have 45 seconds to form an opinion about you,” said Eryn. “But we are more complicated than what you get to see when we run for office.”

    Today, voters consume information about candidates in small pieces – a TV commercial, a postcard mailer or a social media post – so candidates can only make a portion of their pitch. “Try to see more than what you get in a mailer,” said Eryn.

    4. Support candidates and issues vocally – and financially.

    You don’t have to run for office to make a lasting impact in your community. Supporting the candidates and issues that mean the most to you is incredibly important.

    “Being political in place is about using the position where you are to have difficult, critical conversations,” said Amber Hikes, Executive Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia. She urged attendees to signal boost others who share like-minded ideas and opinions, especially in large forums. “Be courageous and intentional in those conversations because it will change the course of discourse in this city and this country.”

    Panelists also emphasized the importance of funding in political campaigns.

    “Men are fundraising better than us,” said Julia Fahl, candidate for Mayor in Lambertville, NJ. She emphasized that being political also means spending money politically. “Work your political budget into your regular budget,” she advises.

    “And when you give money, always have an ask,” added Nina. She encouraged attendees to select an issue they care about, find a candidate or organization that supports it and make a specific ask with a donation to their cause.

    “If you don’t have a organization that represents your goals, start it,” said Elizabeth. She explained that anyone can launch their own PAC and fund raise directly into it.

    We can all play a role in local and national politics – large or small. Understanding the various ways to get involved and reach our political potential is the first step. This fall, PWR encourages members to take the next step and support the candidates and causes that matter to your community.

    Learn more about our Political Me panelists here.



  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 9:00 AM | Jamie Kloss

    Professional Women’s Roundtable is seeking a Social Media Chair to join our dynamic Board of Directors!

    Responsibilities include:

    • Directing social media strategy and collaborating with the Communications Chair to promote PWR events and membership
    • Maintaining PWR's social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and MeetUp
    • Creating original content for use on all platforms
    • Overseeing PWR's members-only Facebook group
    • Staying apprised of social media trends and updates
    • Reporting metrics to the PWR Board
    • Fulfilling board duties including consistent attendance and contributions to events and meetings

    To apply, please submit your completed application to

    Note: Social Media Chair must be a PWR member and commit to a two-year board term.

    PWR Board of Directors Application.doc

  • Friday, February 16, 2018 8:00 AM | Jamie Kloss

    Professional Women’s Roundtable is seeking an Officer-At-Large to sit on the Board of Directors and support its various committees with initiatives that reinforce the mission of the organization.

    To apply, please download and review the position description and the Board of Directors application below. Submit your completed application to


    PWR Board of Directors Application.doc

  • Sunday, October 01, 2017 8:00 AM | Jamie Kloss

    PWR Announces 15th Annual Anniversary Event

    PHILADELPHIA – October 1, 2017 – Professional Women’s Roundtable announced today it will present the PoWeR Award to Patrice Banks at its 15th Annual Anniversary Event on November 2, 2017. The event will take place at the offices of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP at 123 South Broad Street, 28th floor, from 5:30 - 8:00pm.

    Every year, the PoWeR award is presented to a trailblazing woman, or group of women, in the Philadelphia community who has made significant contributions to the community by serving as a role model for emerging female business leaders. Recent honorees include Nellie Fitzpatrick, City Director of LGBT Affairs, and antipoverty advocate Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq.

    Banks is an entrepreneur and owner of Girls Auto Clinic, a female empowerment company that caters to women by offering automotive buying and repair services based on trust, education and inclusion. Once a self-proclaimed “auto air-head,” Banks took her engineering degree, became a certified automotive technician and created a community of sheCANics. In addition to her award-winning shop and monthly workshops, Banks has released a book entitled “The Glove Box Guide” which encourages women to take control of the wheel so they never feel mistreated, misunderstood, or taken advantage of again. It provides readers with answers to all their common car questions through DIY instructions, tips, and illustrations.

    “The Glove Box Guide” will be available to purchase and Banks will sign copies at the event. Learn more and register on PWR’s website.

    PWR’s anniversary event is sponsored by Comcast; Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP; Reilly, Janiczek, McDevitt, Henrich & Cholden P.C.; Little Black Dress Wines and Essential Properties.

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