Highlights One-FWA Transition; Previews 60th Anniversary Year, Announces International Conference in Singapore and Hong Kong
The FWA Past Presidents’ Annual Breakfast was held on November 9, 2015, with President’s Circle firm, Sidley Austin, LLP serving as sponsor of the event.
In her opening remarks, President Katrin Dambrot welcomed past presidents and made note that the organization’s leaders in attendance represented significant contributions to the FWA’s achievements as well as to its future vision – from Joan Williams Farr, one of the original eight founders, to President-Elect Ria Davis, whose terms will be completed in 2019.
Recognition was also given to Nancy Sellar, the FWA’s Executive Director Emerita, who served in the ED role for three decades.
Katrin outlined her vision for her two-year term, which builds on the goals: Connect, Engage, Energize. She provided a status on the “One FWA” Restructuring Initiative, which was approved by the FWA Membership at the 2013 Annual Meeting and the New York Attorney General in December 2015. It will result in the work of the FWA of New York, Inc. (a 501(c)(6) organization) and the FWA of New York Educational Fund (a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation) operating as a single 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that will use the “FWA of New York, Inc.” name.
There was certainly a buzz in the room, no doubt generated by the presidents’ appreciation of the friendships and connections they have established through the years and their pride in the leadership programs and focused opportunities that have enabled the FWA to give back to the community while working to advance the leadership of women.
Since the FWA was founded in 1956, its 60th anniversary is coming up, so the past presidents were given a sneak peek of what will be a year-long celebration. It will kick off this year, with the Holiday Benefit on December 2 at the Singapore Consulate, and will include the notable Annual Dinner on April 12, 2016, and run through the December 2016 Holiday Benefit, with additional activities in between. The FWA’s International Conference will be held in March 2016 in Singapore with optional meetings following in Hong Kong, and will include highlights of some of the 60 years of accomplishments.
With their 13-month mandate, the 60th Anniversary’s co-chairs, Ria Davis and Kimberly Weinrick, asked the past presidents to become involved in anniversary activities and will do the same with the broad membership at the Holiday Benefit seeking Member ideas and participation in the anniversary programming throughout the coming year.
Several other important orders of business were addressed at the breakfast. Co-chair Stephanie Hauge provided an update on the newly launched Development Committee and offered some background on Planned Giving. Betsy Werley provided a status on the powerful mentoring programs with a special focus on Baruch and upcoming efforts to enhance the overall mentoring offerings. Special recognition and gratitude were also noted for BMO’s Equity through Education, which has generously partnered with the FWA for more than a decade.
To date, the FWA has touched more than 6,000 lives through its mentoring, scholarships and financial literacy programs. It is widely known that these achievements have been the result of the FWA’s Volunteer Leadership, Members, Friends and Supporters over the past remarkable 60 years. Thank you for your ongoing interest and involvement!
Recognition also goes to Joan Shapiro Green and Lily Klebanoff Blake as co-chairs of the Past Presidents’ Initiatives, and Janet Zagorin of Sidley Austin for senior sponsorship, and to Marketing co-chair, Jason Dodd for Creative and Audio Visual contributions.