|8 – 9:30AM
|James Laughlin Music Hall
The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. Casual networking and a continental breakfast precede engaging and interactive presentations on topics essential for women in business such as innovative entrepreneurship, strategic business growth, unique marketing strategies, and logistical business planning.
Upcoming Dates & Speakers
Friday, September 09
Embracing the Millennials
Engaging with millennials is the new black! Join our unique panel of women as they talk about how they engage with millennials as passionate employees, dedicated volunteers, future donors, and give insight into what you can do with the right millennials on your team.
Dana (Scotti) Donaldson
Midstream Land Manager, Rice Energy
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Dana's background and area of expertise comes as a building block of knowledge gained over the years. Upon graduation, Dana took her knowledge of real estate and construction and married it with her education to become a steel trade analyst with an emphasis on pipe/tube and stainless steel. Pipe/tube coverage and forecasting forced her into gaining a greater knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Since that time, Dana has transitioned from being an analyst over to being a landman for pipeline projects, rising through the ranks to eventually managing teams in two states that oversee the purchasing of easements, and reclamation work of those construction projects. In 2015, her teams enabled the construction of 51.14 miles or 270,000 feet of pipeline. Dana is a 2005 graduate of Chatham University with a B.A. in Communications and completed her Master's degree from Point Park University in 2006. Additionally, she is a member of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and proudly serves as a board member of the Chatham University Alumni Association Board.
Chief Workforce Officer, Massaro Construction Group
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Prior to joining Massaro, Demeshia held positions of increasing responsibility at Fortune 500 and 100 organizations, most notably Nike, Inc., where she worked for over a decade honing her business, coaching, and strategic developmental skills. Demeshia joined Massaro in 2011 as the director of human resources, where she began collaborating with senior leaders to instill the value of coaching and workforce development to achieve strategic targets. Because she was instrumental in enabling the company to move forward by creating a culture of data-driven, actionable items, she was promoted to an officer role in the organization. With a focus on personal accountability-driven leadership, stakeholder/customer focus, with an eye on business outcomes, Demeshia has held various leadership roles in the organization including a stint as interim head of the largest business unit in the organization, vice president of Massaro Corporation and executive vice president and COO. She has a master's degree in business administration and an undergraduate degree in chemistry. As a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Demeshia is continuing her desire to serve her community by serving on the boards of the Sarah Heinz House, Goodwill Industries, and the Development Committee for Junior Achievement.
Public Programs Manager, Heinz History Center
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Caroline Fitzgerald is the Public Programs Manager at the Heinz History Center where her responsibilities include engaging the community, promoting the History Center brand, and curating a roster of 100+ programs yearly. In the last year, Caroline has led the charge in designing programs that attract younger audiences and has more than tripled the History Center’s number of Millennial-targeted programs. Under Caroline’s leadership, the History Center rolled out its first successful 21+ After Hours events, which drove close to 1000 millennials into the museum and was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine. Earlier this year, Caroline was a featured speaker at the Pittsburgh Museums Educators' Roundtable where she discussed strategies for driving millennial audiences into museums through programming. Caroline also serves on the Millennial Engagement Advisory Board, a project led by the Arts Finance Cohort aimed at deepening engagement of Millennials with non-profit organizations. Prior to joining the History Center, Caroline worked in Marketing for Kohl’s Department Stores. While at Kohl’s, Caroline coordinated company-wide marketing promotions where she partnered with the Consumer Insights, Marketing Analytics, and CRM teams to develop marketing plans rooted in customer trends, research, and insights. Caroline graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University with degrees in Marketing and Women’s Studies.
Executive Director, Strong Women, Strong Girls
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Sabrina Saunders is a youth advocate and visionary social entrepreneur working to build strategic partnerships that enhance opportunities for communities of need. She is the former Director of Education and Youth Development for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, served as Youth Policy Manager for the City of Pittsburgh’s Mayor’s Office and as a congressional field representative to the Federal Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Education for Pennsylvania’s 14th congressional district. In the spring of 2014, Saunders became the Executive Director of Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc. (SWSG) a nationally recognized nonprofit mentoring organization in Pittsburgh, PA and Boston, MA. At SWSG, she is responsible for the strategic development, management, and enhancement of operations, as well as generating financial and community resources for the organization. Saunders has been acknowledged locally and nationally by numerous organizations and publications for her commitment to the region. An alumnus of Carlow University, she holds a Masters of Science degree in Organizational Influence and Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in Philosophy from Edinboro University of PA.
Friday, October 14
How to Put People to Sleep
"Why didn't I think of this?" is one of the most common things AcousticSheep CEO Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD hears. And in fact, a few people had thought of the exact idea, but they didn't act on it. Was it fear of failure? Lack of knowledge? Acting on the idea and managing the growth of a multi-million dollar, international consumer product company has had its challenges, and while the trajectory has always been up, there were specific, creative solutions applied to every problem. Dr. Lai tells the story of how the company came to be, how it grew, and where it's headed. It's a story of inspiration, insight, and practicality.
Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD
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Dr. Lai was born in Taiwan and grew up in Knoxville, TN. She attended the University of Michigan to study infectious diseases. But not wanting to be stuck in a lab, she decided to get a medical degree from the University of Virginia. She enjoyed being a family doctor but didn't like being on call at night. When Dr. Wei-Shin Lai couldn't get back to sleep after patient phone calls late at night, she and her husband, Jason Wolfe, invented an ingenious natural sleep aid: SleepPhones. Winner of the Small Business of the Year 2016 from the Small Business Administration, Ernst and Young 2016, and the Consumer Technology Association 2015, AcousticSheep LLC's business took off in 2013 when the founders finally quit their day jobs to work on helping people all of the world sleep better.
Friday, December 09
Leading Transformational Growth
Utilizing the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as a case study, Lisa Scales will discuss the adjustments in organizational culture, talent, and operations that are required for transformational growth in an organization.
President and CEO, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
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Lisa Scales, who earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Boston University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from Seton Hill College, began her career as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago and worked as an associate in a Greensburg law firm before joining Just Harvest and then Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Throughout her career, Ms. Scales has held many positions on boards and committees for organizations such as the Community Food Security Coalition, Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, and the Joint State Government Commission Obesity Study Advisory Committee. In her current role as President and CEO at the Food Bank, Ms. Scales leads the organization in distributing 23 million meals annually throughout 11 counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania.