Whitman Voices


WISE Symposium to Inspire and Empower Women Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders

WISE Symposium to Inspire and Empower Women Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders

15th Annual Conference Takes Place April 25 at SKY Armory

Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) is bringing powerhouse guest speakers to the 15th annual WISE Symposium Tuesday, April 25, to inspire an anticipated hundreds at SKY Armory in Syracuse, New York. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features a full day of speakers and opportunities for networking where women business leaders share insights, lessons and best practices that empower others to follow in their footsteps, or carve a path of their own. WISE Symposium is a collaboration between Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, The Events Company and SKY Armory.

WISE Symposium benefits the WISE Women’s Business Center (WBC), which offers mentoring and consulting services to women entrepreneurs, as well as networking opportunities. The economic impact of women entrepreneurs continues to rise each year; in 2015-2016, the WISE WBC counseled 128 local clients (with a combined gross revenue of over $136 million), as well as trained 1,001 women entrepreneurs.

“Through both education at Syracuse University, my first real job and running endlessly on the snowy Syracuse roads, I received great inspiration and the courage to break barriers both in business and in sports,” says keynote speaker Kathrine Switzer. “I look forward to telling much of that story to other women at WISE Symposium, and encouraging and empowering others in their own entrepreneurship.”

WISE Symposium has created a more intimate setting (attendance will be limited to 350 people) for learning and conversing with other entrepreneurs. The conference will offer breakout sessions and general sessions so attendees can select topics of interest. The theme of the event is Igniting Spirit and Intention.

WISE Symposium sessions:

  • Keynote Presentation by Syracuse University alumna Kathrine Switzer: “Breaking Barriers: Yours, Theirs, Ours”
  • Dream, Believe, Pursue: Real life stories of local women entrepreneurs who turned their dream into million-dollar companies
  • Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Playing All Out From Within
  • Bigger Game Leadership
  • WISE Latina workshop

Some of the 2017 featured speakers include:

  • Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. She has been honored widely for her achievements, including being inducted into the U.S.A National Women’s Hall of Fame for creating positive social change. The ramifications of her work are both joyful and profound, changing forever the face of sports, health, and opportunities for women around the world. Kathrine Switzer is relentless in her efforts to empower millions of women beyond the finish line, now through the recently-created non-profit “261 Fearless, Inc.”
  • Isisara Bey is a film festival and live events producer, keynote speaker, facilitator for conferences, festivals, workshops, retreats and board meetings. Prior to joining the March on Washington Film Festival, she served as VP of Programs for Count Me in for Women’s Economic Independence, designing and leading business pitch competitions and multi-day events promoting and supporting entrepreneurship for women around the country. Isisara brings her powerful presence, rich subject matter and engaging delivery to audiences exploring the principles of business leadership and personal empowerment.
  • Theresa VanderMeer is a tech-loving social entrepreneur that identifies deeply with the Horace Mann quote “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Having kicked off her career at ad giants like Google and Publicis, Theresa now combines the findings of her research and her corporate knowledge of client management and offshore operations to employ women in need at WORK+SHELTER, an ethical cut-and-sew factory she founded in New Delhi, India.
  • Helen Marie Fox is a health and performance coach who has helped hundreds of people perform at their best. Her strategic approach to goal achievement leaves people armed with the knowledge, skills and essential mindset required to create change. Before coaching in the areas of leadership, influence, communication, and high performance, Helen enjoyed a successful career as a health and wellness coach and personal trainer. Her brilliant techniques inspire others to be better and do more so that life can be lived by design, not default.

For a full list of speakers, click here.

Throughout the day, an interactive Business Expo will be open; companies will showcase their products and services. The winners of the Ann Michel Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year and WISE Faces of Success (presented by Y94) will be honored at a brief ceremony during the event.

For tickets, visit https://wisesymposium2017.eventbrite.com. Discounted pricing is available for students.

The WISE Symposium is organized in conjunction with the WISE Women’s Business Center and was launched by the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, located in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, which has provided critical event support since its inception in 2003. WISE fosters the pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities of women from all walks of life and sponsor events to promote entrepreneurial thinking among women in the Central New York region.

For more information, contact Lindsay Wickham, Falcone Center events and communications manager, at (315) 443-3550 or lwickham@syr.edu.