September 2021 Newsletter

September 13, 2021
We celebrate all our Forum members featured in Forbes 50>50 lists released this summer!

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...

Forbes recently released the third chapter in conclusion of their 50 Over 50 project launched in June and produced in partnership with Mika Brzezinski’s Know Your Value initiative. The latest 50>50 Visionary list, honors women over 50 who are making an impact on society and culture through healthcare, robotics, music, dance, art and so much more. The women featured on this list are armed with brilliant ideas, experience and a determination to disrupt the status quo.

Our Forum members have appeared in the 50>50 lists throughout the summer, with Forum member Jonelle Procope, President & CEO, Apollo Theater, being honored on Forbes latest 50>50 Visionary list. Forum members Georgette Bennett, Founder, Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA)Susan McPherson, Founder & CEO, McPherson Strategies and Judith Spitz, Founder & Executive Director, BreakThrough Tech were listed in Forbes 50>50 Impact list which honored 50 women who are changing their communities and the world in ways big and small through social entrepreneurship, law, advocacy and education. Forum members Marla Ginsburg, CEO & Owner, MarlaWynne and Kay Koplovitz, Cofounder & Chair, Springboard Enterprises were listed in the first 50>50 List which honored entrepreneurs, leaders and creators who are part of an exhilarating movement redefining life’s second half and proving that success has no age limit! The members of this list are working across all sectors of the American economy—venture capital, education, politics, major league sports and more—and more importantly, they’re paying forward their after-50 success. 

Our Forum members were selected from a pool of more than 10,000 nominees for each list. Congrats to our members who are shattering age and gender norms while making an impact on the world.

To read the Forbes 50>50 Vision list, please visit HERE.

To read the Forbes 50>50: Impact list, please visit HERE.

To read more on the Forbes first “50 Over 50” list, please visit HERE.


Forum members Janice Ellig, CEO, Ellig Group LLC.Lorraine Hariton, President & CEO, Catalyst and Lisa Shalett, Former Goldman Sachs Partner, Co-Founder, Extraordinary Women on Boards were highlighted in a Forbes article titled “Success Has Many Mothers – Here Are The Women Who Paved The Way For Nasdaq’s Bold Effort To Put More Women On Boards — Just Approved By The SEC” written by Forum member Davia Temin, Pres. & CEO, of Temin and Company Inc. for their dedication to achieving #genderparity.  

“In 1995 women’s representation on boards was 10% and as of June 2021 S&P 500 female representation is 30% — but that is less than a 1% increase annually over 25 years. That’s not progress, that is procrastination.” – Janice Ellig

“Diversity is a key element for success in attracting and retaining a broad set of human capital and having better results…” – Lorraine Hariton

“…what now is EWOB (Extraordinary Women on Boards) came together completely organically — women board directors were expressing a need for a trusted space in which they could meet other women directors and talk about their board work with a peer group of women already on boards. This became so crucial during the pandemic.” – Lisa Shalett

To read more on the Forbes article written by  Davia Temin, please visit HERE.


Forum members Katrina Adams, Executive Director, Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, Mary Ellyn Iskenderian, President & CEO, Women’s World Banking, and Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books, were featured on the International Women’s Forum blog for a series called In the Lead, which provides a unique window into the lives of IWF members and other impressive women who are leading in their fields around the world. Each of our members shared with the IWF community three tips for excelling in career, life and how to give back.

Katrina Adams shared tips about the power of positive thinking, focusing on the end goal, and teamwork. “Constantly testing myself in the gym, on the track, on the tennis court was critical to developing my skills. The same thing applies in business. We must update, enhance, and test our skills constantly. Only then will we know if we are prepared to test the waters in real time.” – Katrina Adams

To read more on Katrina three tips for excelling in life on the field and off the field, please visit HERE.

Mary Ellyn Iskenderian shared three key points for expanding women’s financial inclusion in response to the impact of the ongoing pandemic including designing appropriate and affordable financial products for women, ending the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and digitizing government benefits payments. “Providing women with a choice of payment service providers and ensuring they have appropriate digital and financial capabilities are two important steps toward enhancing the impact of payments as a valuable onramp to financial inclusion.” – Mary Ellyn Iskenderian

To read more about Mary’s three key points for expanding women’s financial inclusion, please visit HERE.

Barbara Marcus discussed the three most important things Forum members can do individually to make literacy more accessible to all. “There are many countries where the literacy rate is less than 60%. One of the ways you can make literacy more accessible is to donate to agencies that get books into the hands of children. These agencies understand that owning and/or access to books is the most important way to foster literacy.” – Barbara Marcus

To learn more about Barbara’s three tips on the power of literacy and sharing that power, please visit HERE.


Dede Bartlett, Board Director, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, has helped NYU Tandon advance their goals towards diversity and gender parity for over 10 years. This year, the 10th cohort of Thompson-Bartlett Summer Research Fellows received the opportunity to work in NYU Tandon’s Undergraduate Summer Research Program — an initiative in which faculty members open their labs to allow a select group of students to complete 10 weeks of hands-on research, participate in seminars, and present their results. The fellowships are funded each year by Dede, a former executive with the Fortune 500 companies Exxon Mobil and Altria, who does so in honor of her father, George Juul Thompson. Bartlett’s generous fellowship initiative has enabled dozens of phenomenal women students to undertake ambitious research projects, and the experience has been transformative for many of them.

“It’s been an amazing experience for me to be able to help 88 brilliant young women over 10 years pursue their careers in STEM.” – Dede Bartlett

To learn more about the 10th anniversary of the Thompson-Bartlett Summer Research Fellowship, please visit HERE.

Priscilla Brown, CEO, Amalgamated Bank, rejoined the Women’s Forum of New York after returning from Australia to accept her new position as President and Chief Executive Officer at Amalgamated Bank. “I have watched Amalgamated become the leading socially responsible bank in America, and I fully embrace their vision to be the bank that furthers economic, social, racial and environmental justice. At a time when consumers and businesses care more than ever how their decisions impact the people and places around them, Amalgamated is ideally situated to become the bank of choice for those who care what good their money does in the world…” -Priscilla Brown

A warm congrats to Priscilla on her latest appointment!

To learn more about Priscilla’s new role at Amalgamated Bank, please visit HERE.

Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President & CEO, McKissack & McKissack, was featured in an article for EBONY Magazine where she discusses her journey in building as the head of the nation’s oldest minority/women-owned professional design and construction firm in the United States.  “I have been at this since 1990, it takes a while to build a reputation, especially in New York. The city does not take prisoners.” – Cheryl McKissack Daniel

To read more on EBONY’s interview with Cheryl, please visit HERE.

Rohini Dey, Owner & Founder, Vermilion Restaurants (NYC/Chicago), Founder, Lets Talk Womxn, hosted a dinner in a collaboration with Time’s Up on August 27th at Vermilion in Chicago. This dinner supports Time’s Up #CareCantWait initiative which looks at the care support of women in the workforce in the US.

Let’s Talk Womxn is a collaboration of women restaurateurs to build combined economic power. It is an action-led movement by women business owners as peers. What started as a conversation forum in July 2020 for women restaurateurs to get to know each other & support each other, has explosively evolved into much more – to help women build bargaining power, visibility and undertake joint economic and political action. Let’s Talk now connects 400+ women restaurateurs across 12-14 cities with virtual and on the ground initiatives.

Let’s Talk Womxn has also had recent media coverage featuring it’s economic collaborations:

FOX – please view HERE.
ABC – please view HERE.
WGN – please visit HERE.
Let’sTalk Womxn National Restaurant Association Panel – please visit HERE.

To learn more about Let’s Talk Womxn and their events, please visit HERE.

Marcy Syms, Former Chairman & CEO, SYMS Corporation, has joined The Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Marcy has also been elected for another term of the board of the National Public Radio (NPR) Foundation.

To learn more about Marcy’s position on the Women’s Leadership Board, please visit HERE.

To learn more about NPR’s Board of Trustees, please visit HERE.

Alicia Syrett, Founder & CEO, Pantegrion Capital, launched Madam Chair, a new resource group for female Chairs of publicly-traded companies. The group launched with fifty female Chairs across industries, market capitalizations, and committee leadership roles. The goal is to share recommendations and connect with each other to support our respective leadership activities.

To learn more about Alicia’s latest initiative, please visit HERE.

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, please click on the button below.

Want to Share with Us?

Please submit newsletter content before September 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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