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2014 Conference

Aspire. Ascend. Break Through.
NAWMBA Annual Conference and Career Fair
October 9 - 11, 2014

NAWMBA Conference 2014 Hosts Hundreds of Women in Crystal City, VA (Washington D.C. Metro Area).

Thank you to all NAWMBA members, sponsors and supporters who joined us at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City for the Annual Conference & Career Fair! NAWMBA excitedly welcomed hundreds of attendees for two days packed with professional development sessions, inspirational keynotes and lively networking receptions. Continue reading for snapshots of the weekend's highlights.

2014 NAWMBA Keynotes

Dr. Joyce Russell


Dr. Joyce Russell kicked off the conference at the opening ceremony sponsored by the Home Depot. As the Assistant Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the conference's Lead Academic Sponsor, Dr. Russell had dozens of students in the audience. Her presentation discussed how women can negotiate to take charge of their careers. Dr. Russell gave tangible advice, applicable to all aspects of real-life negotiation scenarios.

Jennifer Way


Jennifer Way explored the interesting love/hate relationship between women and power at Friday's lunch sponsored by Nissan. Jennifer's vibrant presentation discussed a topic relevant to all women at every career stage. The presentation explored how women can increase influence and gain respect in the workplace.

Lorna Davis


Lorna Davis launched Saturday's events with her breakfast keynote. She entered the room as Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass" played and emphatically told everyone that "every inch of you is perfect, from the bottom to the top." This set the tone for a hilarious, engaging and inspired talk. Lorna's presentation chronicled her journey to the top and created a step-by-step guide for attendees to develop their own personal brand.

Professional Development Sessions at the 2014 Conference & Career Fair


The personal and professional development provided through the conference's breakout sessions is one of the annual event's most valuable offerings. Three tracks of programming offered relevant and impactful sessions for attendees at every career stage. Sessions ranged from panels that explored different career paths, to fine-tuning negotiation skills and even how to map career progression. Below you'll find just a few of the rave reviews:

Getting Promoted: Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Presented by Allison Whitmire

Women in Consulting Panel

Presented by Andrea Keating, Kara Hedges Sasse, Nashira Nicholson, Valerie Lubrano and Albertina Brett

Gaining Access to Capital

Presented by Karen Barbour


"Great insight. Allison takes conceptual knowledge and articulates it in a practical and transferable way."
"The session was really good. Wonderful choice of women professionals who are very diverse. Gave valuable information and I would love to get to know each of them."
"A LOT of really valuable and key information that I was never even aware of. Great presentation."

Networking Opportunites

Networking Dine-Around

The Networking Dine Around on Thursday evening kicked off the weekend with a friendly atmosphere and an opportunity to connect. NAWMBA Board Members accompanied four groups of women to restaurants near the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Attendees were able to get to know each other over a casual dinner before the weekend festivities officially began.

Networking Breaks

Attendees relaxed in between educational sessions at Friday afternoon's networking break, hosted by Tesoro. Reenergized with coffee, tea and snacks, attendees shared takeaways with each other before heading back into the day's final sessions.

Little Black Dress Reception

Attendees slipped into their favorite LBD Friday evening and headed to the Little Black Dress Reception, sponsored by PNC. Delicious food and drink created a relaxed environment for NAWMBA members, partners and sponsors to interact. A brief awards ceremony honoring NAWMBA's most active chapters and members brought the evening to a close.

Let Your Hair Down Reception

The Let Your Hair Down Reception invited attendees to connect one last time before heading home. Attendees shared their favorite takeaways from the 2014 Conference & Career Fair and generated excitement for next year's event in Houston, TX.

2014 Career Fair

Over 50 exhibitors, representing more than fifteen industries, filled the Career Fair floor. Dozens of corporate recruiters attended in search of women hires. Attendees were able to connect with top-MBA recruiters and even participate in on-site interviews.


Organizations recruiting at the Career Fair included: Amazon, American Airlines, America's NAVY, Bank of America, Boehringer Ingelheim, BP, Central Intelligence Agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CVS Caremark, Eaton, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Ford, Freddie Mac, Grainger, Home Depot, M&T Bank, Microsoft, Nissan, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, PNC Bank, Securities and Exchanges Commission, Tesoro, Thompson Reuters, T. Rowe Price, UMT Consulting, United States' Coast Guard, United States' Postal Service and 7 Eleven.

NAWMBA Award Recipients

Student Chapter of the Year

American University, Kogod School of Business

American University's NAWMBA chapter is led by Co-Presidents, Lisa Andrusyszyn & Amanda Leese. They have been instrumental in driving attendance, contributing to programming and providing support on the ground as volunteers. The chapter has strengthened the NAWMBA network and community by hosting brunch with faculty, gathering multiple graduate programs together to promote the association and collaborating with AU Alumni Relations on the Kogod Women in Business conference. American University prides itself on is nurturing a sense of fun and understanding in their chapter. Their executive board is large and resembles a microcosm of the business world - very diverse in interests and personalities. Thus, building a stronger sense of understanding and communication amongst their team of diverse women who may otherwise not relate to one another in the workplace has been every bit as important as doing events at-large. Congratulations to the NAWMBA - American University's Kogod School of Business Chapter!

Student Member of the Year

Meredith Monaco,2013-2014 National Student Leadreship Team Member

This year's MBA student member of the year has displayed great commitment to NAWMBA. She served as a 2013-2014 National Student Leadership Team member and during her tenure had the most active chapters of all 5 regions, illustrating her commitment to serving the NAWMBA network. Over the last year, she initiated regional leadership meetings and events and even served on the 2014 Conference Planning Committee. Congratulations, Meredith!

Professional Chapter of the Year

Houston Professional Chapter

The women who lead this chapter have taken it to a level of success beyond all expectations. The Houston chapter is the largest chapter in the country, beating out the second largest chapter by over 40 members. Houston averages just over 2 events per month and the chapters have established strong,strategic partnerships with other organizations like Dress for Success, All People Be Happy and the Women Energy Network. Additionally, Houston has very developed strong relationships with the University of Houston and Rice University, and are expanding to other schoolsin the Houston metro area. Since November 1, 2013, Houston has secured three major local sponsors totaling over $15,000 in cash and in-kind donations including Lexus, UBS and Tulane. Congratulations to the NAWMBA - Houston Professional Chapter!

Professional Member of the Year

Toni Henning, President of the Houston Professional Chapter

This year's professional member of the year hails from our Professional Chapter of the Year. Congratulations, Toni Henning! In addition to the incredible chapter development for Houston as chapter president, Toni has been an active and generous contributor on the National level with continuous, consistent support. She has displayed amazing readiness to step in and provide support to the organization and peers from other chapters. Congratulations, Toni!

Certificate of Appreciation

Heather Howell, President of the National Board of Directors

Heather Howell has been involved with NAWMBA for a long time. Heather began her NAWMBA legacy as a sponsor and corporate advisory board member while working at Humana. In one year, she helped raise over $100,000 for NAWMBA and in doing so, brought the 2010 conference to Louisville, KY. That same year, she helped found the NAWMBA Louisville Professional Chapter and served as Vice President. The following year, she took on the roles of chapter president, NAWMBA Board member, and 2011 conference chair. Talk about escalation of commitment! In 2012, Heather became Board President and has served in that capacity since. In all the years Heather has been involved with NAWMBA, the organization has benefitted from her time, talent and perseverance many times over. Heather wears many hats - wife, mother, mentor, entrepreneur, CEO, Board President, volleyball coach, and for the staff and fellow Board members, a dear friend and colleague. Heather's term with the board is coming to an end, but her passion for the organization will not. Thank you, Heather, for many years of service to the National Association of Women MBAs.


She-Ro Award

Albina Molina, Director of Chapter and University Relations

The She-Ro award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in her service to NAWMBA. She has passion for our mission and it is reflected in all she does. Her passion for connecting people is evidenced by her unrelenting "why not" attitude when conversing with potential members, chapters and universities. "Why would you not be a part of NAWMBA?" she may have asked you in her charming Russian accent, believing to her core that if you take part in our organization, your life will be forever enriched by the connections you will make with peers, mentors, future employers and lifelong friends.Congratulations, Albina and thank you for all you do.

Thank you!


The 2014 Conference and Career Fair was an exciting success! Participants connected with fellow women MBAs, learned about potential career opportunities and discussed how to best leverage their strengths and talents in the workplace. Thank you to everyone who attended the 2014 Conference & Career Fair!

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