Women's Leadership Summit
Mar 05, 9:00 AM
Hilton Conference Center
Registration for this event has closed, however, we continue to accept cash donations to fund the ongoing mission of DFS Northern NJ

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DFS Northern NJ would like to thank everyone involved for a spectacularly successful inaugural Women's Leadership Summit!


Below, you can find links to some of the presentations delivered during the event.

Becoming a Woman of Influence (WOI)

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Join us in an early celebration of International Women's Day at the Dress for Success Women Empowering Women Summit on March 5, 2020 at the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Parsippany, NJ.


This unique full day summit combines tailored interactive workshops, panel discussions, and an opportunity to forge connections with leaders at all levels; all while supporting women in our community get back to work. With every ticket purchased, you are supporting the Dress for Success mission to help women in need move one more step toward economic independence.

The mission of Dress for Success Northern NJ is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing professional attire, a network of support, and career development tools to help them thrive in work and life. DFS Northern NJ is a part of the international organization Dress for Success with more than 140 affiliates worldwide.


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Tanya Wright

Tanya is a two-time winner of the Screen Actor’s Guild Award, Best Ensemble for her portrayal of Crystal Burset in the Netflix Original Series, Orange is the New Black. She also appeared on several critically acclaimed shows including 7 seasons as Deputy Kenya Jones HBO/True Blood, The Good Wife, “24,” ER and NYPD Blue. Tanya is the founder of Wrightime 047, a multi-media production company that creates purpose-driven, multicultural content for women and girls. 047 is the parent company for the HAIRiette hair care brand and Sisters of the Pupa (book, film and game) that sheds light on the declining Monarch butterfly population.  Tanya is also the author of I Found God in my Hair and is currently developing a curriculum for young girls about financial literacy.

Ron Boire

Ron has served as a director for Team Car Care, the largest Jiffy Lube franchisee, since 2018. He has also been a Fellow at Robots and Pencils, an industry leader in the development and implementation of mobile, web and frontier technologies, since 2017. Most recently, Ron was the Chief Executive Officer of Art Van Furniture, a TH Lee Company.

Ron has held C-level roles as CEO of Barnes & Noble, Sears Canada and Brookstone, as well as senior leadership positions at Sony, Toys R Us, Sears Holdings and Best Buy. Philosophically, he embraces inclusive leadership, management empowerment and capability creation, while recognizing that coming to grips with major transformation always requires facing uncomfortable realities on the

part of management teams and the boards of organizations.

Elena Alves

Elena is a Landscape Architect and an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker. Born and raised in Somerset County, NJ, Elena earned a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2017. Elena worked at the Morristown office of Bowman Consulting as a landscape architect from 2017 -2019. In March of this year, she joined over 2,000 other adventurous people attempting to hike over 2,200 miles from Amicalola Falls, GA to Mt. Katahdin, ME along the Appalachian Trail, completing her hike in early September. She now resides in Pittsburgh, PA working for Strada Architecture.

Patricia Stark

In her work coaching & training over 2,000 clients and students, Patricia Stark helps professionals, TV personalities, celebrities, athletes, executives, authors, and everyday people increase their Calmfidence® in public speaking, interviews, performing on stage, in front of the camera, in business, and everyday life. Patricia’s national trademarked workshops & training sessions teach tangible strategies to build Calmfidence® through powerful communication skills, body language, voice, mastering self talk, personal & professional image tips, and stress & anxiety relievers used by the pros.

Stephanie Manganelli

Stephanie Manganelli is part of the mother-daughter duo that founded Stowaway Collection Maternity. After searching for on-trend, figure flattering maternity options for her pregnancy, they left disappointed by the quality and offering in traditional maternity retail and vowed to change it. Together Stephanie and her mother, Debbie, created a collection that celebrates the pregnant bump rather than hiding it beneath a tent. All pieces are made to be worn desk to dinner and manufactured in the USA.

Marjorie Perry

Marjorie Perry is the President and CEO of MZM Construction & Management Company, Inc.  As importantly, she is widely recognized as an innovator, public speaker, writer and role model for women and minorities in business.  Using her extraordinary path to success and 26 years of experience as fodder for inspiration, Perry finds her mission to be one who motivates nascent entrepreneurs to develop and pursue their dreams by sharing the lessons she has learned from her own success, which often meant taking life's lemons and making lemonade. Trained as an educator with a B.A. from Kean College, Perry’s path in teaching was diverted after she was caught in a series of layoffs in the Newark Public School system. In a fortuitous career move, she decided to try her luck in sales and marketing—which turned out to be an unexpected perfect fit. She went on to work for corporate giants 3M, Johnson & Johnson and United Airlines, ultimately cultivating a burgeoning vision for life as a passionate, self-made entrepreneur.

Bernardine Wu

Bernardine Wu is the founder and CEO of FitForCommerce, a strategic advisory firm for all things digital commerce. Her women-lead team has helped accelerate growth for hundreds of brands and retailers over the past 12 years. She is a frequent speaker and writer for the ecommerce industry’s leading resources including the NRF, Internet Retailer, Shoptalk, Groceryshop and many Women’s events. Bernardine has started multiple ventures and run several organizations in digital, technology, management consulting and on Wall Street. She also founded LinkedUpNow which pairs high school students with internships and work experience. Bernardine is currently Chair Emerita for alumnae organization Women of Dartmouth and is Co-Founder of Women Ecommerce Execs, created 12 years ago to provide networking, education and growth opportunities for women in digital. Bernardine is also a badass mom of 2 teens - struggling and conquering everyday life!

Alka Dhillon

Alka Dhillon is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of TechnaLink, Inc., one of the leading technology companies in the Washington Metropolitan area. She is a Conscious Leadership Expert and an International Speaker. In addition to her responsibilities as CEO of TechnaLink, Ms. Dhillon uses her passion for technology as platform to give back. She is a keynote speaker to various organizations and corporations globally at their conferences on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and STEM. Ms. Dhillon is actively involved in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and serves as a board member.

Ms. Dhillon’s book, The OM Factor, has received the Bronze Medal from Axiom Business Book Awards as one of the Best Business Books of 2016 in North America. She holds B.A. degrees in Economics and Spanish from the University of Virginia. She contributes to The Huffington Post, Today.com and NBC Universal, and she blogs and offers OM Factor related merchandise and advice at AlkaDhillon.com.

Additional speakers coming soon!


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Registration, Breakfast, and Coat Check open
Optional Mindfulness Sessions (every 15 min until 10:00am)




Opening Remarks: Evelyn Padin


Keynote: Fireside Chat with Tanya Wright




Content Session: Becoming a WOI (Woman of Influence)

Content Session: Leadership for Turbulent Times




Content Session: Confidence Building to Make You Look and Feel Powerful

Content Session: Self Care for Leaders




Lunch Speaker: Elena Alves, Trail Magic: Lessons Learned About Community from a Solo Hike of the Appalachian Trail


Content Session: Unique Challenges for Women Leading at Scale: Tips for Success

Content Session: Finding and Building Your "Tribe"




CEO Panel with Audience Q&A: Empowering Others as the CEO


Closing Remarks


"Mocktails and Mingling" Networking


End of Conference


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The Women's Leadership Summit will be held
on March 5, 2020 at The Hilton Parsippany.
1 Hilton Court
Parsippany, New Jersey 07054
(973) 267-7373
Free self-parking is available for Summit attendees
Women's Leadership Summit
Mar 05, 9:00 AM
Hilton Conference Center
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