The tenth annual summit will bring together women leaders in all phases of their careers throughout the greater Rochester area. Influential leaders will come together for an afternoon of learning, conversation, career development, networking and more.
Sept. 24, 2024
If you have questions about this event, please email [email protected].
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities and benefits please contact your account manager or email [email protected].
11 a.m. — Registration and Exhibits Open
12-1 p.m. — Lunch and Keynote Speakers to discuss this year’s summit
theme, “Advice to My Younger Self”
Emcee: Heather Goodbody
Speakers: Deanna Dewberry, Dr. LaShunda Leslie-Smith and Amanda Sanfilippo
1-1:30 p.m. — Break, networking and exhibit tables
1:30-2:30 p.m. — Round One of Workshop Sessions
(each attendee chooses one session from the five sessions listed below)
2:30-3 p.m. — Break, networking and exhibit tables
3-4 p.m. — Round Two of Workshop Sessions
(each attendee chooses one session from the five sessions listed below)
4-5 p.m. — Drinks provided by Constellation Brands, Networking, Light Appetizers, and Exhibits Open
In conjunction with the Elevating Women Awards to begin at 4:30 p.m.
Building Your Authentic Self: Personal branding 101
Panelists: Krystle Ellis, Angella Luyk and Olga Mendez
Room location: Highland A
Women, Money, Confidence; A lifelong relationship: A conversation about why being proactive concerning financial wellness is important for everyone-but even more so for women.
Panelists: Kristina Dengler and Heather Goodbody
Room location: Highland B
More Than A Woman: Intersectionality within identity
Sady Alvarado-Fischer, Luticha Andre Doucette, Jennifer Sarhle, Josie Sheppard Wilson and Jenna Weintraub
Room location: Highland C
Vulnerability in the C-Suite: How to relate to your team and how transparency creates trust, loyalty and positive outcomes.
Panelists: Melissa James-Geska, Danielle Lyman-Torres and Amy Martin
Room location: Highland D
Creating a Transformative Workplace: Moving away from the “caretaker” persona and shifting the organizational environment to everyone’s responsibility.
Panelists: Ashley N. Campbell, Ph.D. and Kelly Taran
Room location: Highland E
For further event information or questions please email [email protected].
Deanna Dewberry is a multi-award winning anchor and investigative consumer reporter for News10 NBC. She has more than two decades of experience in television news. Her strong commitment to consumer issues not only made her a popular advocate for the community but has also been instrumental in shaping new legislation.
Dewberry is a four-time cancer survivor and is actively involved in community activities that enrich the lives of cancer survivors and promote research. She was recently awarded the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester’s Advocate’s Spirit Award given annually to a community member who shows an unwavering commitment to eradicating breast cancer. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Thrive Award, an honor The Cancer Support Community of North Texas gives annually to one person who exemplifies a passion for assuaging cancer’s suffering. Her commitment to advocating for her community has been evident throughout her career including stops in Dallas, Indianapolis, Little Rock, and Lubbock. That advocacy has earned her 12 regional Emmy Awards which included being named the region’s top consumer reporter.
Dewberry has also been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press, Indiana Broadcasters Association, National Association of Black Journalists, Texas Speech Communication Association and the American Cancer Society. In 2009, Martin University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate for her contributions to the field of journalism.
She and her husband have three children and two furry family members, a Bichon Frise and a Newfoundland. Deanna also cares for her father who enjoys spending lots of time with his grandchildren.
Dr. LaShunda Leslie-Smith:
From a mother at age 14 to a CEO by age 34, LaShunda Leslie-Smith is no stranger to adversity and hard work. When she was a little girl, she dreamed of becoming a pediatrician or entrepreneur. Instead, when Leslie-Smith was little more than a baby herself, she gave birth to her first child, a son. At that point, she could have become nothing more than a statistic. However, she is a dreamer and a doer. She became the first in her family to graduate college and earn a master’s and doctorate degrees in social work. She accomplished all this while raising her son — and later her daughter — with her husband of now 25 years.
Understanding the needs of teen parents, at age 24, Leslie-Smith started her own nonprofit organization, Successful Pathways, to serve pregnant teens or those on a path to becoming pregnant. She served that organization for nearly a decade before moving on the help found and implement several other nonprofit organizations, always supporting and advocating for underserved populations. She most recently served as the president and CEO of Young Women’s College Prep Foundation Inc., and is now “doing her life’s work” as Executive Director of Connected Communities.
Leslie-Smith is blessed to share her life’s journey with her husband Moses and their two adult children, Branden and Myanna.
Amanda Sanfilippo leads Community Affairs for L3Harris Technologies’ Communication Systems business in Rochester, NY,
and has a passion for uplifting people through her work. With a background spanning internal communications, clientside marketing, engagement, and community affairs, she illustrates what it means to be a dynamic professional. Mostly, she’s energized by meaningful connections and living her truth as an ESFJ.
Voted Class Representative from United Way’s Emerging Leaders Development Program 2022 cohort, and serving as
annual campaign coordinator for a decade, Sanfilippo is a champion for the United Way. She’s a Rochester native who
daydreams of an equitable, safe, and inspiring city full of small businesses.
She earned her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications and bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass
communication from St. Bonaventure University. Outside of work, she and her husband have two baby boys who afford
her tremendous amounts of joy and very little sleep.
“Bold is the best way to describe Krystle Ellis. Ellis is a multidimensional powerhouse, owner of Ellis K Consulting, and Interim Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley. Known as “The Culture Broker”, Ellis specializes in catapulting businesses in varying industries to the next level by implementing system-wide change methods through a positive and appreciative lens, while simultaneously being able to locate operational threats and challenges serving as a barrier to success and profitability.
Ellis stands as a unique leader in the areas of policy remapping, professional development, conflict mediation, and operational support. She has a proven track record of successfully navigating the complexities of organizational restructuring, while still prioritizing inclusivity and fairness. Regarded as a mastermind and chief strategist, her distinctive ability to deliver tangible and meaningful change stands as a testament to her empathy and unwavering commitment to her community.
She sits on multiple boards and has been featured in national publications because of her work as a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner. To only name a few, Ellis has been trusted to train members of the New York State Department of Health, Rochester Police Department, University of Rochester Medical Center, and countless agencies across the U.S.
Ellis is a philanthropist and founding member of the Rochester Institute of Technology Sentinel Giving Society. She firmly advocates for the rights of women and providing equitable access to health care for children. She believes in having transparent conversations that inspire people to soar higher and values the currency of transformational love and honor.”
Angella Luyk is no stranger to what a business owner goes through in a daily basis. She has successfully started and grown two companies, Midnight Janitorial Inc. (a NYS certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise), and One Stop Janitorial and Office Supply (NYS certified Women Owned Business Enterprise).
Luyk took this knowledge and started her first company. She has done it all. With no marketing dollars or startup money, she used word-of-mouth advertising and different techniques to raise awareness of what she was trying to accomplish. She has walked the very same road many other entrepreneurs are traveling. With all the ups and downs associated, she continued to amaze those around her with her knowledge and skill at being an entrepreneur.
Three years after she started her business, the Rochester Community honored her for her role in the business community with the Vital Women Vital Roles Award in 2008.
She would continue to take Rochester by storm and win the 2008 Rochester Area Business Ethics award. She would take her small 25-person company in 2009 to Arizona to accept the National American Business Ethics Award. A major accomplishment considering she was so new to business.
Luyk was honored in May 2009 as the US Small Business Administration (SBA) Buffalo/Rochester and Region (New York State) II Home Based Business Champion of the Year, as well as the 2009 NYS Small Business Development Center Growth Business of the Year.
While her companies have received awards and recognition, she herself has been in the spotlight many times. In 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015, Rochester Women’s Network honored Luyk and 4 other women as “W” award finalists for her work on behalf of other women. She was also an Athena Finalist in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Each of these honors were a reflection on her business achievements, her work with other business owners, and her community involvement.
While running her two successful companies, Luyk has learned many things and wanted to share her knowledge with others, she wrote a monthly column in the Rochester Women’s Magazine called Dear Angella. The community was encouraged to write to her with their business questions and each month she would answer them. She is also a contributing writer for the Democrat and Chronicle’s “Women at Work” column where she again writes about issues facing business owners. She has started a new position as a blogger for the Democrat and Chronicle with the same attention to business owner issues.
Finding that she loved writing, Luykhas written and published two books, “Wisdom in a Traffic Jam” – the Secrets nobody tells you about owning and AMAZINGLY successful business – a practical manual that takes the guesswork out of starting and developing a successful business. Her second book took a slight turn away from business and walked you through the medical crises that she went through trying to regain her health when she was diagnosed with a life threatening “un-diagnosable” disease. She takes you on a roller coaster journey of coming close to death three times and still managing to stay positive and grow her businesses. She has begun work on her third book, “The Lost Art of Thank You” which will be published in the near future.
Olga Mendez’s beginnings were that of a simple means. Born in Puerto Rico, she came to Rochester, New York when she was seven years old with her family. Her first accomplishment at a young age was becoming fluent in the English language. Ultimately obtaining her Master’s in Career and Human Resource Development from Rochester Institute of Technology. Additionally, Mendez holds a baccalaureate degree from Roberts Wesleyan University, a Graduate Degree Certification in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, and recently completed the Women’s Leadership Program from Yale School of Management Executive Education.
Mendez’s determination, resolve, and commitment has led to numerous accomplishments throughout her Human Resources career. She began her Human Resources career at Rochester General Hospital. After 13 years she transitioned to Verizon Wireless where she worked there for 12 years. She then moved on Gunlocke and led Human Resources for 5 years. Today, Mendez leads Human Resources for American Packaging Corporation (APC). Her career success is a testament to what can be achieved when you don’t let “barriers” derail your passion, drive, and the belief in a better tomorrow.
Mendez is defined by many as a thought leader. Charismatic, genuine, and authentic are just some of the adjectives to describe her. While she is accountable for leading Human Resources for APC, she is viewed more so as a business leader with expertise in the field of Human Resources.
Mendez’s commitment to the Rochester Community is unwavering. She has served on the Board of the YWCA, National Society of Human Resources (NHRA), Genesee Valley Chapter (GVC) of Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and Willow. Having “termed off” the Willow Board, Mendez now serves Willow as an Honorary Board Member. Additionally, she has served as the Director of Diversity for GVC SHRM and was a National Spokesperson for Domestic Violence. Mendez and her husband Rick are members of the United Way of Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes Tocqueville Society and a contributor to the Hole in Wall Gang Camp Foundation. Her commitment to the community doesn’t end there. On any given day you can find Mendez serving the community in a multitude of ways. She is a champion and voice for the underserved and an inspiration to many.
On a more personal note, Mendez currently lives in Pittsford, New York with her husband Rick. Rick is now retired after a very successful 30 plus year career in Human Resources. She and Rick have two children and three granddaughters. Their son, Ryan, is an Organic Chemistry Professor at Arizona State University and their daughter, Jasmine, is a Litigation Attorney in Washington DC.
Heather Goodbody is the senior vice president and founding advisor of Goodbody & Associates at Merrill Private Wealth based in Rochester, New York. Managing over $1 billion in assets, she specializes in advising ultrahigh net worth families, private foundations and endowments, closely held businesses with respect to merger & acquisitions, and executive benefits. She is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA ®).
Goodbody has been recognized by Merrill Lynch and Barron’s magazine as a participant of the Barron’s Women’s Top Financial Advisors Symposium. In 2019, Investment News, recognized her on their Women to Watch list for the financial services industry. She was named to the Working Mother/SHOOK Research’s “Top Wealth Adviser Moms” list, 2017-2021.
Additionally, she was named to the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list in 2018-2023 and named to Forbes/SHOOK “America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors” list in 2020-2022. In 2003 she was awarded the Forty Under 40 Award by The Rochester Business Journal. In 2017, she was nominated for the Athena Award by Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council. In 2019 she was a Women of Excellence Nominee by The Rochester Business Journal. In 2022 she was recognized by The Rochester Business Journal and inducted into the Circle of Excellence.
Goodbody is a member of the Women’s Exchange at Merrill, where she has held national leadership positions including rising chair, chair and chair emeritus. Over her career, she has dedicated time to mentorship in helping women and girls move forward in their careers. She often says to her mentees, “follow your passion, do what makes you happy, and listen to your
inner voice. Raise your hand and take risks.”
Goodbody is actively involved in the community and has served as chair of the Board of Trustees for Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women. She is the former trustee of The Rochester Museum & Science Center, previous Advisory Board Member for the Arts Center at Nazareth College, The Rochester Area Community Foundation, and past board member, The United Way
of Greater Rochester and Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. She and her husband, John, live in Pittsford, New York, with their two sons.
Sady Alvarado-Fischer, CDP (she/her/ella) is a dynamic and highly sought-after, award-winning Queer, feminist, Latina speaker who is known for her energy and passion around social justice issues.
As the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, she develops, leads and executes the company’s DEI strategy.
Alvarado-Fischer is entrusted with challenging the status quo and creating a welcoming and equitable work culture. Under her leadership, DEI went from one department’s job to everyone’s responsibility to apply what she calls an “I.D.E.A. Mindset.” She has led the implementation of several policies, programs, and practices that are intentional about addressing and eliminating the impact of biases in all parts of the business. In addition to leading corporate key DEI goals, she works across all lines of business to identify and implement key divisional DEI-related goals.
Alvarado-Fischer also volunteers her time with many community initiatives, such as being a contributor to the 2021 Rochester Latinx Agenda, a 53-page document, addressing some of the DEI needs of Latinx communities. Other recent roles include Commissioner on the Racial and Structural Equity Committee; Board Member of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation; first and current Chair of the Pride Leadership Development Program Executive Steering Committee through the United Way of Greater Rochester; member of the Latino Leadership Development Program Executive Steering Committee; and an LGBTQ+ Community Representative on the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Community Advisory Council.
Alvarado-Fischer holds a Bachelor’s in Gender Studies from Empire State College and is a Certified Diversity Professional. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Leadership & Organizational Change at Nazareth College.
When she’s not trying to shift perceptions and break through stereotypes, you can find her spending quality time with her family: her wife, Leslie, and their 3 children. “They’re my pride and joy and motivate me to make a difference in the world!”
Luticha André Doucette is the author of the groundbreaking book: Cultivating An Intersectional Mindset. She graduated from the
Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Bioinformatics where she developed protein surface prediction algorithms. After graduating, she was a Fellow at the University of Rochester where she worked in a genomics lab that focused on analyzing the venom of parasitoid wasps to develop new drug therapies for various diseases.
In 2017 she authored a report on wage disparities across race, gender, and disability in Rochester and Monroe County in conjunction with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative and in 2018 authored a follow-up report on employment barriers for disabled people in Rochester and Monroe County.
She is a graduate of the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship program and an AUCD Emerging Leader an inductee into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition and the 2020 – 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awardee from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Her research and writing has been featured in various publications such as Insect Molecular Biology, Toxicon, The New York Times, and Yes! Magazine. She is a former founding member of Rochester Accessible Adventures and she helped change the landscape, and attitudes, around inclusive recreation in New York State. She is the owner of Catalyst Consulting, which helps organizations, leaders, and advocates examine equity across race, gender identity, and disability in policies, practices, procedures, and relationships. She also works as the NYS OPWDD (Office of People With Developmental Disabilities) Component manager at Georgetown University’s National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Competence. In her spare time she is a fencer, cyclist and outdoor enthusiast.
Jennifer Sahrle is a tireless advocate for social justice, equality, and health care access. She is the Executive Director at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center (SJNC)—a nonprofit health center in Rochester, New York—which provides primary and specialty medical care, mental health counseling, and supportive services to the uninsured and underinsured. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Sahrle is an active community leader and is currently the Board President of Delphi Rise—a substance use treatment and prevention organization. She also serves as a Board member with ROCovery Fitness and Partners Ending Homelessness. Sahrle resides in Rochester, New York with her partner, mother, and several neurotic/iill-behaved (yet adorable) dogs and cats.
Sahrle received a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and a Master’s Degree from Nazareth College. She has completed the required coursework and successfully passed the Project Management Institute (PMI) and Society for Human Resources Management’s (SHRM) certification exams. As a result, she is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Senior Certified Human Resources Professional (SHRM-SCP). In addition, Sahrle also completed coursework in Lean and Six Sigma methodology at a Black Belt level and has actively implemented these techniques in her daily work.
Josie Sheppard Wilson is Of Counsel in the commercial litigation group at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, with a particular practice focus in construction and surety, toxic tort, products liability, premises liability, and personal injury. Her prior experience includes representing companies, municipalities and individuals in breach of contract disputes, complex commercial litigation, personal injury matters, discrimination lawsuits, unfair labor practice claims and municipal procurement litigation. In December 2022, Josie Sheppard Wilson was listed in
the prestigious Power 50 Law List published by Rochester Business Journal and Daily Record. From 2020 to the present, Ms. Wilson has been listed in the annual Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. In, 2015, she received the
Daily Record’s Up & Coming Attorney Award. As a result of her dedication to pro bono work, Ms. Wilson was the sole
recipient in New York State for the 2015 New York State Bar Association President’s Young Lawyer Award, as well as a recipient of VLSP’s William E. McKnight Award. Ms. Wilson has been consistently named a New York State Bar
Association Empire State Counsel Honoree every year since 2013.
Ms. Wilson is also very active with the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys (GRAWA), and was honored to serve as the First Black President of GRAWA for 2022-2023. Ms. Wilson’s commitment to increasing diversity was abundantly evident during her GRAWA presidency; as one of the diversity initiatives she achieved was establishing GRAWA’s GRACE Scholarship to increase diversity in the legal profession by offering a Law School Admissions Test scholarship for women of color who have graduated from a local Greater Rochester high school or college/university. Ms. Wilson’s service to the Rochester community is further exemplified by her service as a current Board of Director for JustCause (formerly VLSP/Volunteer Legal Services Project), previous Trustee Board
Member of the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA), and previous Board of Director for the Rochester Black Bar
Ms. Wilson graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor’s of Science in Real Estate and Land Use Economics. She earned her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Ms. Wilson is admitted to practice in the State of New York, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New
York and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York.
Jenna Weintraub, CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) is a sexuality educator and care coordinator at The Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness. With more than 15 years of experience teaching and training, she facilitates professional development workshops and education sessions on varying sexuality and sexual health topics with interest in program delivery for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, teens, people of size, and people raising children.
As a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and a certified Be Body Positive Program facilitator, she supports people in examining diet culture and reclaiming their bodies through education and yoga. Weintraub is a member of American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is currently enrolled in post-graduate work at The University of Michigan.
She has worked as a community health educator for Planned Parenthood, Wellness Coordinator at St. John Fisher University, and for The City of Rochester’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs.
As president of US Ceiling Corp, Melissa James-Geska sets and defines the strategic vision of her award-winning social impact construction company, bringing an unwavering commitment to change lives, empower communities and help priority populations build economic self-reliance.
For more than two decades, James-Geska has served as a role model and mentor, contributing to various nonprofits that address issues affecting marginalized groups. Passionate about promoting DEI in construction and bridging the labor gap, she created [in 2018] her firm’s skilled trades training and workforce development program, USC Academy, partnering with like-minded organizations to provide practical experience and scalable employment opportunities for her existing workforce and those who are underrepresented in the industry.
In 2021, she made “herstory” as the first woman and minority to serve a two-year term as chair of the Builders Exchange of Rochester. That same year, she launched US Ceiling’s GC/development arm, USC, bringing workforce development and social impact construction and real estate development to projects in Rochester and Ithaca.
James-Geska is currently vice chair of RochesterWorks; a steering committee member for RMAPI; a board trustee for Genesee Valley Club; a board and construction committee member for Flower City Habitat for Humanity; and a medical center board member for the University of Rochester.
Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres is the President and CEO of Bivona Child Advocacy Center where she leads a multidisciplinary team focused on supporting children impacted by abuse. In addition, she instructs doctoral candidates as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education at St. John Fisher University.
A proven health care and human services leader, Dr. Lyman-Torres previously served as Commissioner of Recreation and Human Services for the City of Rochester, New York where she was charged with oversight for crisis intervention services, workforce development, the stewardship of the City’s parks, play grounds, aquatics, athletics, recreation centers, nutrition, youth services, animal services, the Rochester Public Market, and the International Plaza.
Prior to joining the City of Rochester, Dr. Lyman-Torres was a health and human services leader for more than 20 years. She served as President and CEO of the Arc of Yates, as Chief Operating Officer for Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, Chief Operating Officer for Trillium Health and held key positions for United Way of Greater Rochester and Heritage Christian Services. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Monroe Community College and the Center for Governmental Research. Dr. Lyman-Torres has proudly taken appointments to the Board of Directors for Mercy Education System of the Americas, overseeing 55 K-12 schools in 6 countries, and to the Board of Directors for the Children and Nature Network, a national organization committed to connecting children to the health and academic benefits of being in nature.
Dr. Lyman-Torres holds a doctorate of education in executive leadership from St. John Fisher University, master of science and bachelor of science degrees from Roberts Wesleyan University, and an associate degree in liberal arts and sciences from Monroe Community College, where she was inducted into the MCC Alumni Hall of Fame.
Dr. Lyman-Torres and her husband Eric reside in Rochester, NY with their 6 children.
Amy Martin is Vice President of Corporate Reputation & CSR at Constellation Brands. Promoted to this role in 2019, Amy is responsible for the development, implementation, and execution of Constellation’s Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies, and the company’s strategic corporate communications.
Amy has been with Constellation since 2005, joining the company as a brand manager in the Wine & Spirits division. In 2010, Amy took on additional responsibility as director of marketing, leading the marketing strategies for a portfolio of wine, sparkling wine and spirit brands. After four years in her marketing role, Amy transitioned to director of communications, bringing a broad range of skills and experience to the corporate communications team.
Amy is a board member of Dress for Success Rochester, an organization that strives to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life, and serves as Executive Committee board member and board member of Responsibility.org, an organization focused on efforts to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol.
She is a 2020 ATHENA Young Professional Finalist, recognized for contributing time and energy to improving the quality of life of others in the community while serving as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.
Dr. Ashley N. Campbell, Ph. D.:
Dr. Ashley N. Campbell is a culture and social impact humanist who is passionate about how we and our communities thrive. Dr. Campbell has more than fifteen years of progressive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) higher education, not-for-profit, and entrepreneurial experience. StrengthsFinder 2.0TM assesses Dr. Campbell’s talent as a strategic thinker, achiever, responsible leader, learner, and relator. Her diverse experiences in intentional multicultural programming, organizational development, and data analysis have positioned her to create transformative change. She’s often sought for her presentations on unpacking social identity, creating professional environments with an equity-based mindset, and deconstructing the nuances of university systems. With the requisite expertise for visionary-, systems-, and operational-thinking approaches, Dr. Campbell enjoys bringing strong, transformative teams, and partnerships together to develop and empower communities of people for systemic and institutional change.
Currently, Dr. Campbell serves as Chief Impact Officer at the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. She also serves as a senior instructor in the Integral Transpersonal Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. In addition, Dr. Campbell serves as Global Co-Chair with the University of Rochester’s Black Alumni Network and Vice-Chair for Niche Market Insights Foundation, Incorporated. She is an active member of the Rochester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and the Rochester (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Recently, Dr. Campbell was named an ATHENA International Young Professional Award Finalist by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Council and Rochester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Honoree.
Dr. Campbell holds a PhD in Transformative Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her arts-based research dissertation—We are Afrofuturism: Using television to revisit Black cultural roots while envisioning a transcendent path forward in American society—focuses on the areas of ethnic psychology, speculative fiction, and television media, just to name a few. She also holds a BA in English and an EdM in English Education from the University of Rochester. In addition, Dr. Campbell has over 20 years of professional classical dance training, teaching, and experience which has afforded her opportunities to dance with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Garth Fagan Dance, and appear in the major motion picture, Step Up 2.
Kelly Taran is the chief information officer at First American Equipment Finance. With more than 10 years of experience in the industry, her mission is to foster innovation and deliver best-in-class experiences with the strategic use of technology.
Taran is currently a member of FAEF’s Women in Business ERG leadership team and seeks to promote a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace where colleagues grow as leaders, build relationships and enjoy robust, fulfilling careers. She was a founding member of First American’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team.
Taran received her MBA at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School with concentrations in Competitive and Organizational Strategy and Business Systems Consulting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with minors in mathematics and business studies from the State University of New York College at Geneseo.
Taran and her husband reside in Rochester with their two children and golden retriever.
For further event information or questions please email [email protected].