The Women’s Center hosted their 29th Annual Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 11, at the McLean Hilton, in Tysons Corner. The event included an awards presentation, personal and professional development sessions, networking opportunities, a raffle and exhibitors. Nearly 800 people attended the event.
Leadership Awards were given to Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, Dr. Patty Ann Tublin, Julie Smolyansky, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
Smolyansky was voted in as Lifeway Kefir President and CEO the day after her father died. She was 27, making her the youngest CEO of a publicly-traded company. “Women work two-thirds of the world’s hours,” she said, “but earn one-tenth of the world’s income.” Smolyansky also established the non-profit Test 400K in an effort to end the backlog of more than 400,000 untested rape kits.
America’s Promise Alliance Board Chairwoman Alma Powell received the Lifetime Visionary Award.
“It is said that America is the only country in the world to be founded upon an idea,” Powell said in her award remarks. “It is the common understanding that all children need basic building blocks in their lives. Providing those things — that responsibility belongs to all of us.”
Powell cited statistics that by 2025, the U.S. will be a majority-minority country. She asked, “Where will we be if our students are not educated? … Raising graduation rates is the greatest economic stimulus we can provide.” Today’s graduation rate is 81 percent; America’s Promise goal is to raise that number to 90 percent, Powell said.