A New York Times bestselling author, the CEO of Seventh Generation, and the first woman to serve as president of Fordham University are just a few of the catalysts for change who will share their insights on empowerment and social responsibility at the sixth annual Fordham Women’s Summit.

This year’s summit—to be held in Manhattan at Fordham Law School on Wednesday, October 19—will mark a return to the kind of in-person networking and community building that was a hallmark of this annual gathering prior to 2020.

The event, set to begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with a cocktail reception at 3:45 p.m., will bring together Fordham women who are transforming a variety of fields—from improving the hospitality industry to creating eco-friendly products to innovating in the financial sector—for the betterment of their colleagues and the world around them.

This year, in-person networking returns to the annual Fordham Women’s Summit, pictured here in 2019. (Photo by Chris Taggart)

Fordham’s history-making new president, Tania Tetlow, will participate in an opening keynote conversation on women in leadership with Adriana Trigiani, a bestselling author, producer, and playwright USA Today has called “one of the reigning queens of women’s fiction.”

Participants then have their choice of two breakout sessions: a panel on entrepreneurship, innovation, and transformation, or a workshop on emotional intelligence and leadership.

Fordham Theatre program director May Adrales will moderate the panel, which will feature Kathleen Adams, FCRH ’10, GSAS ’12, vice president and strategy director for the ad agency FCB NY and a co-owner of the Manhattan bar and restaurant Angel of Harlem; Gloria Athanis, MC ’81, the owner and partner at Healthful Habits LLC—Phyter, a healthy food company; Linda Dunham, PCS ’82, president of Dunham Management Corp. and owner and operator of multiple McDonald’s restaurants; and Lauren Sweeney, FCRH ’12, co-founder and CEO of DeliverZero, which partners with local restaurants to provide reusable takeout and delivery containers.

Rachel Annunziato, Ph.D., professor of psychology and associate dean for strategic initiatives at Fordham College at Rose Hill, will lead the workshop. It’s designed to help participants learn how to foster greater emotional intelligence, in themselves and others, to diffuse conflict and build more gratifying relationships in the workplace.

A networking lunch follows the breakout sessions, and at 1 p.m., the University will honor several Pioneering Women in Philanthropy. The 2022 honorees are Kim Bepler, a Fordham trustee, who is also the recipient of the Fordham Founder’s Award and an honorary degree from the University; Mary Byrne, Ph.D., TMC ’72, GSAS ’78, ’83, PAR; Joy Fernandez, GABELLI ’88; Kathleen Ford, FCRH ’75, LAW ’78; Theresa Mao, Ph.D. GSAS ’60, ’64; Ann Marino, R.H.S.M., MC ’63; and Anne Williams-Isom, FCLC ’86, the James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service.

In the afternoon, Kay Turner, vice president for human resources at Fordham, will moderate a panel titled “A View from the Top: Retention and Recruitment in the Great Reshuffle.” The discussion—featuring Marcella Barry, FCRH ’92, chief people officer at Phoenix Tower International; Gloria Isbell, GABELLI ’93, CEO and leadership coach at Aerial View Coaching & Talent Management Solutions, LLC; Jacklyn Quinn, FCRH ’08, head of human resources at Angelo Gordon; and Sheila Maith, PAR, principal at Maith Consulting and a professional certified leadership coach—will explore how companies and managers are responding to a realignment of professional and personal priorities, such as career aspirations and work-life balance, in a time of flux.

The final session, a keynote panel titled “A Spotlight on Corporate Social Responsibility,” will feature leaders focused on the impact of ethical business practices in their respective industries.

Lerzan Aksoy, Ph.D., interim dean and professor of marketing at the Gabelli School of Business, will moderate the discussion. Panelists include: Jordan Catalana, GABELLI ’15, senior associate of foundation and social impact programs at Tapestry Inc.; Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, GABELLI ’91, board director of the Compass Group, Xenia Hotels and Resorts and Equitable Holdings, and a former global head of corporate social responsibility for Moody’s Corporation; Meghan Simio, GABELLI ’13, director of PVH Foundation at PVH Corp.; and Allison Whritenour, GABELLI ’11, the CEO of Seventh Generation.

Following the panel, attendees are invited to a networking and cocktail reception hosted by certified sommelier Gabriella Macari, GABELLI ’09, of Macari Vineyards.

Tickets are limited and cost $100 for the full day. Learn more and register at fordham.edu/womenssummit.