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Women for Women Summit scheduled for June 23

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The second annual Women for Women Summit, presented by the College of Charleston School of Business, will be June 23 at the Francis Marion Hotel.

“Grit” is the theme of this year’s one-day event, created to celebrate, elevate, share and connect exceptional women from across the Palmetto State, according to a news release.

The lineup of speakers includes women leaders in business, technology and government. Guests will participate in panel discussions, professional workshops, and networking opportunities designed to foster personal and professional growth.

“The workplace has changed dramatically over the last two years. The pandemic’s disproportionate strain on women is significant and varied,” Joanna Lau, founder and CEO of executive consulting and investment company Lau Acquisitions, said in the news release. Lau also is a member of the School of Business Board of Governors. “It is more important than ever to come together as a community to continue the conversations about navigating work and personal life.”

“Our inaugural event in 2020 put the School of Business on the map as a champion of diversity and inclusion,” Alan T. Shao, dean of the College of Charleston School of Business, said in the release. “It was phenomenal to have the business community, faculty, staff and students together to celebrate the mission of the Women for Women Summit. The school is proud to host the event again this year.”

Tickets are available.

Speakers include:

Jennet Robinson Alterman, nonprofit consultant and women’s rights advocate, is a native of Charleston and has been involved in women’s rights advocacy across the state for the last three decades.

Pamela S. Evette, 93rd lieutenant governor of South Carolina and the first female Republican lieutenant governor. An entrepreneur and businesswoman, Evette founded Quality Business Solutions (QBS), a payroll, HR and benefits services firm headquartered in Travelers Rest.

Katarina Fjording, head of Volvo Car University and Sustainability Americas at Volvo Car USA, is an automotive veteran with more than 30 years of global experience from Europe, Asia and America.  

Mary Garrett, leadership developer, global marketer and board director, is the president of M. Power Coaching and Consulting LLC.

Sara Hastreiter has lived, worked and travelled to more than 55 countries as a professional ocean racer, climber and humanitarian. She is currently studying industrial organizational psychology at Harvard University.

Lou Kennedy is president, CEO and owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp., a certified woman-owned business that employs nearly 2,000 people, produces 1 billion doses of life-saving medication annually and is a nationwide leader in manufacturing opioid-free pain management drugs.

Joanna Lau is a director, trustee, CEO and entrepreneur with broad strategic operation and technology experience on corporate, private and public boards. She is the founder and CEO of Lau Acquisition Corp., a technology development company and provider of debt and equity financing as well as consulting services to various industries.

Jodie W. McLean is CEO of EDENS, one of the nation’s leading private owners, operators and developers of retail real estate.

Barbara L. Melvin is COO at the S.C. Ports Authority. She will become the first woman to lead a Top 10 U.S. operating container port when she becomes president and CEO on July 1.

Kimmy K. Powell is a mentor, author, speaker, angel investor and serial entrepreneur with 30-plus years of expertise building and scaling multiple 7-figure businesses. Her expertise spans a diverse portfolio of construction to luxury hospitality.

Andrea Silbert joined the Eos Foundation as its first president in 2007. Eos is a private foundation making charitable investments in efforts to fight hunger and poverty and address structural barriers to gender and racial equity.

Monique Wilsondebriano is one half of the power couple behind the nationally-acclaimed Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. Her motto is “be so good that they can’t ignore you.”

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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