March 2021 Newsletter

March 5, 2021
Women's Forum member Bilha Fish and her newly published book "Invincible Women"

Nominate a Woman for Forum Membership

Do you know an outstandingly accomplished woman with the potential to be a great addition to the Women’s Forum of New York? If you have someone in mind, Membership Committee Co-Chairs Wendy Mendenhall, MBE and Peggy Wallace encourage you to submit a nomination form through the link below. All submissions will be reviewed and considered for membership.

Although we are not gathering in person, members are able to invite potential nominees to our virtual programming. Please reach out to if you would like to extend an invitation to a Forum program to a guest.

We appreciate your assistance with identifying noteworthy candidates interested in joining the Women’s Forum of New York.

Letting Each Other Know...

Forum members were featured in Crain’s New York 2021 list “Notable Black Leaders and Executives”.  94 honorees were selected with the goal of “spotlighting Black men and women who have affected our city with their professional, communal and philanthropic achievements, particularly in matters of diversity and inclusion.” All honorees were chosen for their career accomplishments as well as their broader community involvement. Congratulations to members:

  • Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management and Senior, Morgan Stanley
  • Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President & CEO, McKissack & McKissack
  • Jocelyn Rainey, President and CEO , Getting Out and Staying Out
  • Arva Rice, President and CEONew York Urban League
  • Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of New York City

To read more on the 2021 list of Notable Black Leaders and Executives, please visit HERE.

Forum members were listed in the City and State New York 2021 Nonprofit Power 100, which recognizes the nonprofit leaders who are serving the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Forum member Sheena Wright, President & CEO, United Way of New York City came in #1 in the Power 100 list for leading her organization’s efforts to boost funding for local community organizations providing food, remote learning support for students, and other relief throughout the pandemic. Wright is also heading efforts to promote COVID-19 testing and vaccine awareness alongside prominent Black clergy members in New York City and beyond. Congratulations to the following members who were also listed:

  • Sharon Greenberger, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater New York
  • Elizabeth McCarthy, CEO, Sheltering Arms
  • Arva Rice, President & CEO, New York Urban League

To read more on the City and State New York Power 100 List, please visit HERE.

Lauren C. Anderson, Fellow, International Consultant, Fellow, Geneva Centre for Security Policy and former FBI Executive, joined the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences VR Radicalization and Religion Seminar to share insights on the siege of the US Capitol in the context of domestic terrorism drawing on her pioneering 30-year career in the FBI.

Kimberly Bishop, CEO and Founder, Kimberly Bishop Talent Advisory, recently joined the Advisory Board of Hitch Works, Inc. Hitch is a SaaS-based Internal Talent Mobility Platform that helps companies become more inclusive, adaptive, and innovative by connecting the right talent with the rights tasks based on skills, experiences and career aspirations.  Its AI-powered solution enables upskilling and reskilling, dynamic teaming, and fosters a culture of learning and growth while accelerating productivity and performance. To learn more about Hitch Works Inc., please visit HERE.

Rohini Dey Ph.D., Founder, Vermilion Restaurants (NYC/Chicago), was featured in Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) “The Power List”, where she is honored amongst fifty people who represent the best in restaurant leadership and she discusses how the Vermilion restaurant found strength in female collaboration through the Let’s Talk networking platform. To learn more about Nation’s Restaurant News Power List, please visit HERE. To read Rohini’s article in Nation’s Restaurant News discussing how the Vermilion restaurant found its strength in female collaboration, please visit HERE.

Her recent opinion article “Here’s what I need from the government to keep my restaurant open” was featured in CNN Business, where she speaks openly about Vermilion and leading her restaurant during the COVID Pandemic. To read more from this article, please visit HERE.

Rohini will also be featured on The Today Show and Good Morning America. The Today Show will be airing live from Vermilion on the morning of  March 3rd and Good Morning America will be airing a segment on Vermilion on March 4th discussing Let’s Talk and their IWD celebration.

Gloria Feldt, Founder and President, Take The Lead Leadership Parity Movement – On February 19th, Gloria’s organization Take The Lead marked the 7th anniversary of their public launch in 2014. Gloria provided the following reflections on her organization’s anniversary: “Take the Lead’s mission is to achieve parity in upper leadership across all sectors by 2025. The 2014 launch filled Arizona State University’s 3000+ seat Gammage Auditorium and streamed to half a million people globally. Thank you to Forum member Carla Harris, who delivered a riveting keynote that trended on Twitter, and to Forum member Loretta McCarthy, Take The Lead board member, who introduced Carla. At that time, women made up 18% of top positions. Pre-pandemic Pew Research Center and McKinsey data indicate that since 2014, women are approaching a 25% share of leadership roles. Yet the pandemic threatens to set that progress back by a decade for all women, and especially women of color. COVID and the long-overdue reckoning for racial justice have required us to use our own Power Tool #5, “Carpe the Chaos” to create new solutions. We pivoted training and coaching programs to virtual for now. We’ve explicitly included intersectionality, diversity, and racial leadership parity in our mission statement and conducted a review of our entire curriculum with a racial justice lens”.

Gloria invites Forum members to email her at to learn more about her upcoming workshops, including “Powerful in 2021” workshop series for women in law March 17, 24, and 31 and The Power Up Conference: Igniting the Intentional Leader for DEI to be held on April 15.

Dr. Bilha Fish, President, Chesner Diagnostic Imaging; President, Aridana Publishing and President, Nassau Physician Foundation – Bilha’s recently published book Invincible Women, features 21 stories of American women immigrants who struggled and succeeded in the United States, making contributions in art and science, law and philanthropy, against all odds. Their stories are a form of encouragement for young women to reach their dreams despite what obstacles they may face. To purchase your copy of Invincible Women, please visit HERE.

Sarah Kauss, Founder and Executive Chairwoman, S’well, was a guest speaker in a webinar with Inc. where she discussed sustainability, building a purpose-driven business, and how she built an iconic brand and $100 million business. Viewers had the opportunity to learn brand building, assembling high-performance senior leadership teams, and and were encouraged to think globally about product innovation, business development, and collaboration to help them thrive through any business challenge.

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder, Ellevest – Sallie’s company Ellevest, a company built for women by women, was rated NerdWallet’s 2021 winner for Best Robo-Advisor for IRA Investing. To read more about NerdWallet’s rating on Ellevest, please visit HERE.

Josette Sheeran, Former President and CEO, Asia Society, was named Executive Chairman of the McCain Institute. Josette will be the third person to hold a similar executive position at the McCain Institute since former executive director Kurt Volker resigned in 2019. As the McCain Institute enters its 10th year, Josette will oversee a strategic evaluation of the Institute’s mission and programs with a goal of ensuring transformational impact in the U.S. and the global community through the vision of its namesake, Sen. John S. McCain. To learn more, please visit HERE.

Marcy Syms, Former Chairman & CEO, SYMS Corporation, has announced the establishment of the ERA Project at Columbia Law School. As a founding board member, Marcy will be planning the ERA Project’s first event for law firms to take place on March 15th. The ERA Project will strictly focus on the equality of the sexes. To learn more, please visit HERE.


In January 2020, the Women’s Forum of New York announced its first-ever strategic partnership with the Executive Forum (EF). The Executive Forum is an invite-only membership of C-suite executives who are in transition in their careers. The EF has over 450 members, only 45-60 members are in transition at any one time. The WFNY will be referring members who are in transition to the EF and the EF will be referring members to the WFNY Membership Committee. Both organizations will continue with their normal membership processes.

“We see this as a great resource for any of our members who are in transition and a pipeline of potential C-suite executives for the WFNY,” said Wendy Mendenhall MBE, Co-Chair of the WFNY Membership Committee and Alumni member of the Executive Forum. For more information, please contact her at

Past Programs

We are always thankful to our outstanding members who participate in our virtual programs, keeping our community ever strong and connected especially during these times of great social challenges. In case you missed our most recent programs….

“Unapologetically Ambitious”

Held on February 17th, Shellye Archambeau, and Forum member Pamela J. Craig, Former Chief Financial Officer of Accenture presented their conversation to our members and guests centered on Shellye’s newly published book, Unapologetically Ambitious; Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms, where they discussed professional journeys and personal experiences. Shellye  also shared inspiring strategies for success including during the unusual time we are experiencing now.

To view the entire program, please visit HERE.

“How to Prepare for your Chapter Two”

Held on January 28th, Forum member Genevieve Piturro, Speaker, Author, and Founder of Pajama Program presented her Masterclass entitled, How to Prepare for Your Chapter 2. This program taught viewers how to invest in themselves and the dreams that have been placed on the back burner. Genevieve jumped off the corporate ladder 20 years ago to found Pajama Program and is the author of the new book, PURPOSE, PASSION, AND PAJAMAS: How to Transform your Life, Embrace the Human Connection and Lead with Meaning.

To view the entire program, please visit HERE.

“Creating through Crisis at ABT”

Held on January 14th, Forum member Kara Medoff Barnett, Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and Jenna Segal, ABT Trustee, champion of the ABT Women’s Movement, and Tony Award-Winning Producer, moderated a discussion with former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre dancer Hope Boykin and Tony-nominated choreographer Sonya Tayeh. These two extraordinary choreographers recently completed innovative and inspiring new works for ABT during the pandemic. The conversation explored how Hope and Sonya tackled the unique challenges of creating in quarantined “ballet bubbles.”

To view the entire program, please visit HERE.

“The Facts of the Fight: Justice Victims and Justice Warriors”

Held on December 3rd, Forum members, Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President & CEO, Getting Out and Staying Out, and Edie Weiner, CEO and President, The Future Hunters and Getting Out and Staying Out, Board Member, presented a remarkable program giving an inside look into the stories of the struggles and successes, and the outcomes that will matter in the fight for equality and justice. Edie and Jocelynne shared inspiring stories about the work and mission of Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) and reflected on inequity within the justice system.

To view the entire program, please visit HERE.

“97 Years and Counting”

Held on December 1st, the Forum’s oldest living member, Sonya Hamlin, President, Sonya Hamlin Communications, discussed the many extraordinary lives she has led: starting as a Martha Graham dancer, she became chair of Radcliffe/Harvard’s dance department, went on to host an Emmy award-winning TV talk show in Boston and pioneered the field of jury strategy. She became a communications consultant, lecturer and authored five books. At age 81, Sonya embarked on an acting career in Off-Broadway productions. Sonya discussed her many careers and their transitions with Dede Bartlett, Past Forum President and Non Profit Director and Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

To view the entire program, please visit HERE.

“The Honorable RBG: Personal Memories – Enduring Legacies”

Held on November 18th, Forum members came together to share personal stories for inspiration, highlighting the beginning of RBG’s career and how the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg carries on. This story hour featured:

  • Forum member, The Honorable Loretta A. Preska, United States District Court Judge
  • Forum member, Carol Baldwin Moody, President and CEO, Legal Momentum, The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Forum member, Elaine Wood, Former Federal Prosecutor and Pro Bono General Counsel, Legal Momentum; Vice President, Charles River Associates
  • Lynn Hecht Shafran, former RBG Student and Colleague, Founder and Director of the National Judicial Education Program, Legal Momentum

To view the entire program, please visit HERE.

Want to Share with Us?

Please submit newsletter content before March 20th to be included in the next edition. Submissions and corresponding media/links can be submitted below, in your “My Participation” section of your member portal HERE, or you can reach out to Communications and Social Media Manager Naja Pazant at Also, if you’d like to share newsworthy accomplishments and updates with the IWF community, please reach out to Communications Manager Lauren Williams at

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