Serving San Francisco, East Bay, and Silicon Valley

International Women's Day Event: #Pressforprogress – Advancing Women in Finance

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Women high five


2018 International Women's dayBe a part of the conversation! Join us on International Women’s Day (March 8) for a half-day solutions-oriented exploration of the challenges that women, particularly in finance, address as they work toward success. The program will focus on how to make industry and personal changes to further women's careers from numerous perspectives.

We will kick-off the afternoon with a fireside chat with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Chair & President of Charles Schwab Foundation and Debbie Messemer, Managing Partner of KPMG Bay Area Market. Carrie will openly share her personal journey and observations as a prominent woman in the financial industry.

We will then breakout into roundtable discussions, led by leading subject matter experts, on pressing topics facing women in finance today.

The afternoon will conclude with a panel of three women who have achieved success through differing career paths. They will share their experiences on the challenges they faced and how they overcame obstacles. The panel will be moderated by Sheila Lewis CEO of Ashton 212. Panelists include Helen Russell, CEO & Co-Founder of Equator Coffee and Kathleen Dunlap, former CEO of Girls Who Invest.

  • 1:00 Welcome
  • 1:10 – 1:45 Fireside Chat with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz and Debbie Messemer
  • 1:55 – 4:00 Roundtable discussions (3 Sessions)*
  • 4:10 – 4:30 Report out roundtable learnings
  • 4:30 – 5:30 Panel – Success stories for overcoming obstacles to a successful career – from women who have been there!
  • 5:30 – 6:30 Networking & Reception

*Roundtable Topics:
Addressing gender bias
Negotiation skills for women
Improving work/life integration – [Subtitle: It’s everybody’s responsibility (not just the woman's)]

Refreshments will be served in the afternoon. Cocktail networking reception following the event.



Carrie Schwab-PomerantzCarrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Chair & President of Charles Schwab Foundation (Fireside Chat)

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP®, is a leading advocate for financial literacy and one of America’s most trusted sources for financial advice. She has devoted her career to helping men and women from all walks of life achieve financial security. In addition, she oversees Schwab’s corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs, which aim to strengthen the communities where Schwab operates. Schwab-Pomerantz serves as director and board chair of Schwab Charitable, one of the country’s largest donor-advised funds. She also serves on the national board of governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has chaired the board of trustees for the Pacific region. Schwab-Pomerantz earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from George Washington University. She holds FINRA Series 7, 23, 63 and 8 securities registrations, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant. Under her leadership, Charles Schwab Foundation has made important strides in promoting financial literacy. Schwab-Pomerantz speaks and writes extensively about personal finance, financial literacy and philanthropy. She is also on Twitter (@CarrieSchwab) and is a LinkedIn ‘Influencer,’ regularly offering insights on personal finance, leadership and philanthropy to a worldwide audience. For more than ten years, The San Francisco Business Times named her one of the Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business, and in 2015 included her in its “Forever Influential” Honor Roll. In 2011, Schwab-Pomerantz received the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award, Jump$tart Coalition’s highest recognition for contributions to financial education. And in 2015, she was nominated by the San Francisco Chronicle for its inaugural “Visionary of the Year” award, recognizing Bay Area leaders who drive social and economic change through innovation.

Debbie MessemerDebbie Messemer, Managing Partner, KPMG Bay Area Market (Fireside Chat)

Debbie’s primary responsibilities include leading and representing KPMG in the marketplace, development of marketplace strategies, overseeing the delivery of high quality client service, and attracting and retaining key resources. Debbie has significant client service experience, has served as a mentor for numerous employees and partners, and has held several leadership positions within the firm. Debbie has spent a significant portion of her career serving financial services organizations, including banks, private equity and venture capital clients. Debbie graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BBA Degree in Accounting. Debbie serves on the boards of the Bay Area Council, University of California Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, San Francisco Committee on Jobs, Posse, and Project Glimmer. Debbie also serves on the Board of Trustees of San Francisco Ballet and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, the National Association of Corporate Directors, and Financial Women of San Francisco. Debbie is a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of Women Corporate Directors, a past recipient of KPMG’s Chairman’s Award for outstanding volunteer and community service, and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Fortune Magazine's Insiders column. She has been recognized as one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and the 2016 Financial Woman of the Year by the Financial Women of San Francisco.

Sheila LewisSheila Lewis, CEO, Ashton 212 (Panel Moderator)

Sheila began her product development career climbing the ranks of corporate America at firms including Quaker Oats, Visa International, and Lane Bryant. After 15 years, she founded Flyin’ West, a business and marketing strategy consultancy. From 1997 to 2012 Sheila grew the firm into a highly respected firm with satisfied clients and consultants from coast to coast. In 2012, Flyin’ West expanded its services to include interim staffing which signaled the need for a new brand. Sheila enjoys the art and act of building and expanding business. Over the years she has worked with entrepreneurs and their leadership teams to link the thought of business growth to the business rigor and behavior necessary to achieve it. Sheila is a sought-after speaker with a gift for inspiring her audiences on topics that are critical in the establishment, growth and sustainability of business. She also regularly serves as an emcee for charitable events. A longtime volunteer leader, Sheila works with select nonprofit organizations to help them to refine processes and enhance awareness of these groups in the community. She currently serves on the Northwestern Board of Directors of Operation HOPE; the Leadership Committee of 2.Oakland; the Economic Development Committee of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce; and the Executive Board of Advisors of the Bay Area Women Leader's Network. Sheila earned her BS in Business Administration from Washington University in St Louis, Missouri and her MBA with highest honors in marketing and finance from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Helen RussellHelen Russell, Founder & CEO, Equator Coffees (Panelist)

Under Helen's leadership for more than twenty years, Equator has grown from a small roaster and wholesale supplier into a national brand known for its values-driven approach, award-winning coffee, and impactful action around issues of environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. Helen led Equator to become the first coffee roaster in California to earn Certified B Corporation status and a reputation as an early champion of Fair Trade practices and direct relationships. For 12 years in a row, Equator has remained on The San Francisco Business Times’ list of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses, and in 2016, became the first LGBT Certified business to win SBA Small Business of the Year for the State of California. After two decades in the wholesale business, Helen guided Equator towards deepening its relationships with the local community by opening seven retail locations in the Bay Area.Equator’s constant innovation and focus on quality and culinary complexity has attracted a loyal cadre of prominent chefs and bakers including Thomas Keller of The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière, Suzanne Goin of Tavern/Larder in LA, and Tyler Florence. The company also collected its most recent Good Food Award for the first harvest from Equator’s own high-altitude coffee farm in Panama, Finca Sophia.In addition to Helen’s focus on Equator’s success, she has volunteered her time and business experience to local and international organizations supporting women and the environment including La Cocina Community Kitchen in San Francisco, the International Women in Coffee Alliance, and Brown Girl Surf. Helen has led efforts to make Equator a socially and environmentally responsible company by investing in an energy efficient roaster, a biodiesel delivery truck, hybrid service vehicles, and by purchasing coffees and teas from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques. Helen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston.

Kathleen DunlapKathleen Dunlap, Former CEO Girls Who Invest (Panelist)

Kathleen Powers Dunlap is Girls Who Invest’s Chief Executive Officer and an investment management industry veteran with over 35 years of experience. Most recently, Ms. Dunlap was a Partner and Investment Committee Member at Fiduciary Research and Consulting. Prior to FRC she was Managing Director and Head of the Institutional Investor Team at Barclays Capital in New York City. Ms. Dunlap held leadership positions with Epoch Investment Partners, a $3B Chicago-based hedge fund, and was the CEO of PrivateTrade. Beginning in 1989, Ms. Dunlap spent more than a decade as a Managing Director with Barclays Global Investors. Early in her career, she held positions with Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody. Ms. Dunlap received a BS in Economics from the University of San Francisco.

Simply register below.

Deadline 03/02/2018  – Limited to 100 registrants

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