Meet the Team!

Race day is a few days away and our FWA team is still training hard for the 13.1 mile course.

Take a moment to meet the FWA team of walkers, runners and volunteers and learn why they want to be part of this unique moment!

And for those who cannot partake in the Half-Marathon and want to support our FWA team and more than 1,000 runners, we are very pleased to announce that we have volunteer opportunities available for FWA members only!

Click for more detail.



Marie-Helene Kennedy-Payen

Marie-Helene Kennedy-PayenI joined the FWA over 10 years ago and started as an active Committee Member, then took on a Leadership role as Committee Chair and now I am on the Board where I chair Membership. For me, it’s the best role because I have a very good excuse to talk to our members! In hindsight I realize that my active involvement with the FWA over the years contributed tremendously to my professional and personal growth.

Why the FWA Women’s Half-Marathon team?

Running is a love story, literally. Growing up in France, I wasn’t exposed to sports so much. When I met my boyfriend (now husband!) here, we started jogging together and I immediately felt so many health and mental benefits. Plus, it’s practical: all you need are running shoes and you are good to go!

I wanted to bring this passion for running to the FWA and we have shared many great conversations during our training sessions. We have so much in common!


Qing Chen

Quing Chen

I joined the FWA in January this year and was introduced by an existing member, Christine Grande. She really encouraged me to join because I was interested in expanding my knowledge in Finance and wanted to join a community of women in Finance.

My mom inspired me to join this Half-Marathon: she started running 3 years ago to motivate my dad to work out more and completed a half-marathon in China. It was great to see how she felt such a strong sense of achievement.

I really like to run and the overall half-marathon training has helped me clear my mind when I need to take a break from studying. I also believe in the mantra ‘a healthy body creates a healthy mind’.

Tell us something about yourself!
I just performed on the piano for my Business School’s talent show and I loved it! I have been playing the piano since I was 4 and still enjoy playing the piano in my dorm. And my favorite language is Spanish!


Lourdes Manent

Lourdes ManentWhat’s your FWA “story”?
I joined the FWA many years ago and most recently became an active member within our Membership Committee.

Why did you join the FWA’s Women’s Half-Marathon team?
I joined as a volunteer to feel part of something big. It’s always easy to go to social events and enjoy the moment but it’s all the back lifting that takes a lot of effort and where one can enjoy the end result. It’s a bit like going to a dinner party and enjoying all the food and setup: you don’t realize all the work that happened behind the scenes to make it happen.

So, this is my way to give back to the FWA and I am very excited to be part of this first-time effort at the FWA!

Tell us something about yourself !
I have two daughters and my legacy to them is showing them how obstacles become opportunities and challenges are just stepping stones into the right direction.  I want them to be authentic, have clarity in their purpose and integrity. I want them to look behind and lift other women/sisters along with them. This is a better legacy than any material item I could possibly give them.”


Stephanie Schneider

Stephanie S photoI’m quite a recent member to the FWA and joined because I am new to Financial Services and wanted to meet other women in the industry. I’ve enjoyed events and especially speaking with fellow members about their experiences in the industry’.

What were you doing before, professionally speaking?
‘Before Financial Services, I worked in strategy consulting and worked on projects covering industries from healthcare to high-end consumer goods, but never FS. So this is a big change and it’s great to have the FWA as a support group in the industry.

Why did you decide you join the FWA Women’s Half-Marathon team?
‘My best friend signed up for the Sydney marathon this Fall. I decided to join her and will try the half-marathon – so this is a test run. If I like it, I will officially sign up for the Sydney one!

Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know:
‘When I was working in strategy consulting, I became a nomad and traveled a lot. Every week I would pack a suitcase for work travel and had another suitcase ready for the weekend to discover new places. I really enjoyed it!’


Annette Stewart

Annette Steart

What’s your role with the FWA?
I am currently Secretary for the Board of Directors which is an elected position. As such, I run the Board meetings by recording the minutes, coordinating and distributing all materials, as well as preparing the script for the Annual Meeting of Members in May.

I joined the FWA over 10 years ago when I was working at Goldman Sachs. I connected with Susan Harper (past President of the FWA) and the rest is history!

Why did you join the FWA’s Women’s Half-Marathon team?
I’m an avid runner and I am very excited to be running this year’s NYC Marathon in November! Running gives me energy, clarity and peace of mind. I am really happy that we are running as an FWA team as this helps strengthen our sense of community and is a great way to get to know one another.

What’s your favorite activity, aside from running?
I enjoy traveling with my husband and daughter.  My daughter is 8 years old and it is such a joy to see her grow up!


Karmen Yap

Karen Yap

What’s your FWA ‘story’?
I knew that FWA is the perfect fit for me during the first meeting at Stillman School of Business. I am honored and grateful for FWA especially being a first-generation student, an international student from Malaysia, and a woman studying business finance. The resources, opportunities, and guidance that are provided to me have not only expanded my horizons but taught me the importance of giving back to society. Through FWA, I also met my mentor, whom I respected and appreciated; she shared experiences and words that have inspired me to embrace the possibilities of my future. Afterall, I want to thank FWA for allowing me to add new chapters of my life that are valuable and memorable to me.

Why did you decide to join the FWA-Women’s Half-Marathon?
Joining the FWA-Women’s Half-Marathon is a new experience and I am excited to support the team as a volunteer. My role will be filming the scenes on the day of the event and I hope to share the spirit of FWA with people I meet. I look forward to cheering for FWA team on a lovely Sunday morning!

Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know?
I have been a vegetarian since 12 and am always glad to discover new vegetarian restaurants with family and friends! I enjoy photography, writing, and painting as my hobbies.




Regina Huber

  Tell us about your FWA journey so far?
I joined the FWA about 2 years ago after someone mentioned the organization to me. I decided to find out more about the FWA online and applied!

When I joined, I wanted to get involved very quickly because I believe it’s the best way to network and get more visibility. After a call with Ria Davis (Executive Director) and Nina Batson (Executive Vice President), I became Co-Chair for the Distinguished Speakers Committee, and later for the Executive Speakers Committee. Last week we held a successful panel discussion on ‘Matching Impact and Purpose Through Personal Philanthropy’ which was very well received!

Why did you decide to join the FWA-Women’s Half Marathon team?
When I saw the title of the event ‘walk it, dance it, run it’, I was captivated. Not because I am a runner, rather because I am a dancer and love the outdoors. I also thought it would be a great idea to bring FWA members together in a different environment from usual.

Tell us something that you would like to share with our membership community. I have 10 career and leadership lessons dance taught me. I believe that our hobbies and passions teach us something.

Although we may sometimes think we don’t have time, it’s important to schedule time for your passions and hobbies because they keep your spirits high and your mind-body healthy, and they make you better at everything else you do.


Ichun Lai

Ichun Lai imageWhy did you join the FWA?
I was looking to connect with professionals outside of my day job and have some fun, too. I found that combination at the FWA ‘Lifestyle Committee’ and volunteered on various events which led me to co-chair Membership Programming with Sharon Lewis for two years. It was lots of work and we had a blast.

Through my involvement, I started to know others and realized that the best way to make friends is to work with them.

I then attended the Berlin Conference, which led me to become a Relationship Manager for the Presidents Circle Committee. More senior members started to know me, and I was asked to co-chair the International Conference in Japan in 2018. The rest is history!

I look at the FWA as my professional family where we support each other’s growth, and where it is safe to stretch and learn – this is especially true when it kept me professionally active when I was not working full-time.

Why did you join the FWA’s Women’s Half-Marathon team?
I was delighted to see Marie Helene initiate this event – what a great way to bring FWA members together! I believe in the power of this type of connection between people and I want to support Membership in making it a success.

Tell us something about yourself?
I learned how to swim later in life – it took me three years to learn all styles and swim laps. Taking up that challenge really lifted up my spirit.


Yinka Madden

What’s your FWA ‘story?’
I had always been interested in the FWA and the opportunity to play a meaningful role by developing and advancing women in the industry. After joining in 2017, I became involved in leadership activities by signing up and participating on committees. My current role as Vice Chair of FWA’s BOLD Division involves partnering with a terrific group of Committee Members to design innovative and engaging offerings. I really enjoy the welcoming environment, team commitment and collaborative approach at the FWA.

Why did you decide to join the FWA Women’s Half-Marathon Team?

I joined as a volunteer to support our shared sense and common purpose towards community and service. It’s also a good way to interact with other members outside of traditional events (and enjoy a nice day in the park).

Tell us something about you that you would like to share?

Having taken up meditation fairly recently, I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful in navigating the ebbs and flows of life, heightening awareness and improving overall well-being. The great thing is that, with dedicated practice, you can learn to meditate just about anywhere. All you really need is good breathing technique – and the space between your ears.


Lisa Robertson

 Tell us about your FWA journey so far?
I am a relatively new member of the FWA.  I joined the organization in the fall of 2018 primarily with the goal of participating in the FWA Member2Member Mentoring Program.  I am also a member of the FWA Membership Committee, which provides an opportunity to get involved, give back, and network with other FWA members.  Joining the FWA has been a tremendous asset due to the many benefits such as the ability to participate in various programs (ie. the Member2Member Mentoring program, the Membership Committee, FWA’s New York City Half Marathon team, etc.), the ability to attend informative career related FWA events, and the ability to network with brilliant and well-respected female leaders in the financial industry.

Why did you decide to join the FWA-Women’s Half Marathon team?
I decided to join the FWA Women’s Half Marathon team because I love the outdoors (most likely because my birthday is in the summer…), I love the idea of trying something different (ie. half marathon), and I love the idea of getting to know FWA members in different types of settings outside of the typical networking events and venues.  This is my first time participating in a half marathon.  I am somewhat athletic and I played on a volleyball team when I was younger but I never considered myself to be a runner, so the half marathon challenged me to come out of my comfort zone.

The first training that I attended was a bit rough since I was not use to the long distance (honestly, I ended up in a taxi during part of the return trip…).  However, the more I practiced and trained the better I became.  By the second training, I walked/ran over 10 miles.  At this point, I eagerly look forward to the practices, I feel prepared for the 13 miles involved in the half marathon (thanks to the training…), and I plan to continue the practices as exercise even after the half marathon is over.

Overall, the experience has been great, and I am glad that I decided to participate in this!  I also noticed that my participation in the half marathon has encouraged others to exercise more, participate in races (ie. 5ks), etc.  From a networking perspective, in addition to meeting FWA members, I also like that the FWA partners with the New York City Road Runners organization, which provides the ability to network with an even broader audience of professional women.

What do you like to do in your free time?
During my free time I like to learn new things, I like to travel, and I like to salsa dance!


Chenjing Wang

What’s your FWA “story”?
I moved from the west coast to NYC in 2017 and joined the FWA per a friend’s recommendation. The workshops and social events FWA provided are educational and engaging. I also went on the International Conference trip this year with fellow members. it was great to learn about so many facets about India’s socio-economic trends and about different business opportunities.

Why did you join the FWA’s Women’s Half-Marathon team?
I enjoy running outdoors. It’s a good way to relax and meditate. Sometimes I listen to classical music or catch up with podcasts while running. I have completed several marathons internationally and my goal is to complete at least one marathon a year. The next one I am thinking about is in South Africa. As a relatively new member, I thought this event would be a great way to share my passion and meet more FWA members simultaneously!

Tell us something about yourself?
I work in banking and paint during my free time. I always find number crunching and relationship building fun and fulfilling; painting, on the other side, helps me pause and reconnect with myself in a more colorful way. It has also given me great friendships.


Irene Xu

Tell us about your FWA journey so far?
I joined the FWA last year after going to a few events. I’m currently a student at Baruch College and that’s where I initially heard about the FWA. I was curious to learn more about the group, went online and loved the fact that the FWA’s mission is to advance and empower women.

My focus is in Human Resources and I’ve been very fortunate to speak with HR specialists within the FWA network who have given me valuable advice about careers in HR.

Why did you decide to join the FWA-Women’s Half-Marathon team?
I love the idea of bringing women together. It almost seems like it’s the very essence of the FWA’s mission and I wanted to be part of this moment!

I am aware that there are still many issues that women need to face. Such events help gauge awareness about the FWA and its mission. It’s also a powerful way to bring women closer and support one another.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Although I work through school, I really like to take time and volunteer actively in organizations. Through my volunteering experiences, I am learning a lot about myself and how to reach my own definition of success. A lot of that awareness has come through the FWA.