GNPCC’s first-ever Women in Business Conference and Luncheon draws rave reviews. Radisson Hotel in Trevose site of inaugural event featuring panel discussions, presentations and topics to recognize significant contributions of women in all areas of business.
By Don Brennan
GNPCC Staff Writer
Photos: Wise Owl Multimedia
“Fantastic and informative!”
“I think we’ve shown pretty clearly that we can stage large events that have impact.”
“There was something for everybody, and that’s the mark of a great event.”
“Not only did I make lots of new contacts, I made a lot of new friends, too!”
The reviews are in, and they are spectacular.
Sorry, football fans, we’re not talking about Philadelphia as the host city of the NFL Draft -although that was a pretty successful affair as well.
The accolades have come pouring in for the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever Women in Business Conference and Luncheon (#WIBCphl) April 27 at the Radisson Philadelphia Northeast, 2400 Old Lincoln Highway in Trevose, Pa.
Sponsored by Crown Holdings (title sponsor), who is celebrating 125 years as a brand-building packaging giant with World Headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia, the day-long program and after-hours networking event brought women and men together to “connect, learn, and grow.”
The day was filled with twenty-one different sessions with engaging presentations and panel discussions in six separate rooms inside the Radisson. The Business After Hours Event, sponsored by New York Life Insurance Co., was held in the Atrium Bistro Restaurant.
Following breakfast and opening remarks from GNPCC President Pam Henshall and Chair of the Board Nancy Morozin of the Dining Car, the conference was divided into four sessions, two break periods, and a Keynote Luncheon Panel led by Dr. Monica McGrath, chief executive officer of Resources for Leadership, Inc. Her all-star lineup included: Christin Cardone McClave of the auto parts remanufacturing giant Cardone Industries of Northeast Philadelphia; Steven Singer, president of the renowned “I Hate” Steven Singer Jewelers; and Patrick Bresnan, vice president and chief customer officer of the software and technology leader SAP.
“Today is about the extraordinary contribution women make daily to positively impact our lives, our families, our communities, and, yes, our businesses,” Ms. Henshall said in her welcoming remarks. “Your attendance today is a commitment to your success and an investment in your future.”
Session I featured a panel discussion in the large Walnut Ballroom led by attorney Gabrielle J. Sellei, and five presentations covering such topics as: “Finding Success in Male-Dominated Industries;” “Is It Time to Rebrand?;” and “Women in Politics: Discovering Career Possibilities.”
Session II was led by a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Henshall, and four presentations. Ms. Henshall led the discussion in the Walnut Ballroom on “Communication: What is Your Message?” Licensed Dietitian and nutritionist Felicia Porrazza, co-chair of the GNPCC’s Young Leadership Network and co-chair of the conference, spoke to a packed house in the Spruce Room. Her topic was, “Finding Nutritional Balance: It Does Matter.” The other topics were: “Technology Trends to Advance Your Business / Personal Growth,” “Leadership for a Multi-Generational Workforce,” and “How to Improve Your Relationship with Money.”
“We are sure you are going to find something very interesting today for not only yourself personally, but with regards to operating your business,” Ms. Morozin told the audience at breakfast.
Later, Ms. Morozin said she was “thrilled” by the event. “For me, it’s wonderful to see so many new faces. It’s exciting to break ground, so to speak, with something this large for an organization that’s been around since 1922. I am just thrilled by what I see, and I know this can grow,” she said.
After the lunch and the panel discussion, “Leveling the Playing Field: Strategies for Success” in the Forest Ballroom, Session III was divided into a panel discussion and four presentations. The topics ranged from cyber security to communications to personal development. For example, author, columnist, humorist and professional speaker Mary Fran Bontempo led a discussion entitled “I Hit 50, Now What?”
The last session of the conference was broken into a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Henshall, and three presentations covering career and personal development and communications.
“We intentionally included lots of unique perspectives on verbal and non-verbal communications, since it is such an important component in personal development and career advancement,” Ms. Henshall said. “How we speak to one another, how we interact with one another, this is so important in society today with so much technology in our daily lives.”
Before the start of the conference as participants registered at a large desk in the lobby manned by members of the conference committee, 12 businesses provided information, materials and promotional items. They were: Inverse Paradox, Nazareth Hospital, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, Parx Casino & Racing, CORA Services, Holy Family University, Cardone Industries, Village Restaurant and Catering, Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion, New York Life Insurance Co., Radisson Philadelphia Northeast, and media sponsor Northeast Times.
“I’ve been an event planner for more than 25 years,” Ms. Henshall said, “and anyone who has ever worked on something as large as this, knows it takes hours of planning, communicating and tending to many, many details. We were incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated committee led by Felicia (Porrazza) and Amy (Murray Hyde). The entire committee had patience, creativity and lots of talent to lend. There is no way this could have happened without them.”
The members of the committee were: Kathy Mulray of Community College of Philadelphia; Rosemary LeCompte of McElhatton LeCompte Public Affairs, LLC; Silvia Salardi of Philadelphia Media Network; Jodi Thomas of the Radisson Philadelphia Northeast; GNPCC board member Sally Danciu of Sally’s Flowers; Margo Scavone of FAST Signs; and GNPCC staff members Stephanie Davis, GNPCC office manager and Teri Grumbrecht, GNPCC membership director.
“I openly solicited reactions throughout the day,” Mrs. Grumbrecht said. “I wanted to know what we were doing right, and what we could do better. The responses were totally positive. I think people were really happy with the whole experience.”
Ms. Porrazza was equally as effusive. “I was able to provide information to an entirely new group of contacts,” she said. “And, at the same time, I acquired lots of new information and ideas from the people I met. The whole day was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. I am thinking about next year’s (conference) already.”
THANK YOU – Crown Holdings (title sponsor); Northeast Times (media sponsor); Philadelphia Federal Credit Union and Radisson Philadelphia Northeast (corporate sponsors); Cardone Industries, Holy Family University, Parx Casino & Racing; CORA Services; Village Restaurant and Catering, Inverse Paradox, Nazareth Hospital, and SugarHouse Casino (executive sponsors); Beneficial Bank, Penn State Abington and Wawa (session sponsors); New York Life Insurance Co. (Business After Hours sponsor) . . . Wise Owl Photography’s Ricky Haldis lent his expertise in capturing event . . . Doug Hillebrecht of The Print Shop & More donated printing services . . . Jodi Thomas, Ann Wakeley and Anita Sequeria of the Radisson, and their staffs, were integral to the planning and successful execution of the conference.