Four alumnae who are now successful businesswomen returned to campus to talk about their journey from a desk at Montclair State to the upper echelons of their industries. The women participated in a panel discussion moderated by Gloria Feldt, a women’s empowerment expert, who also gave a keynote address.
The event kicked off the first of three public events held at Montclair State for Women Entrepreneurship Week, which was organized by the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship. About 175 people came to the free event on Oct. 14.
The alumnae included:
Wamwari Waichungo ’90, a CEHS grad who is now VP Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for The Coca-Cola Company;
Kathy Duva ’75, a CHSS alum who is CEO of Main Events, a professional boxing promotion company that has launched or promoted the careers of a stunning array of world champions, including Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis;
Elena Kilpatrick ’87, an SBUS alum who is VP and general manager of Pennsylvania Operations for Frontier Communications; and
Tracy Doyle ’88, a CHSS alum who is president and CEO of Phoenix Marketing Solutions, with more than 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience.
Before the event, the alumnae reflected on what it was like to return to campus, for some after many years. Kilpatrick said it was “stunning” to see the changes on campus. Waichungo said, “It felt like coming home.”
The discussion during the formal program focused on women empowerment and leadership. During her keynote, Feldt shared her three keys to success: clarity of intention, courage to act, will to connect.
“Power unused is power useless,” Feldt said.
The event received positive buzz from attendees on the Montclair Entrepreneurs Meetup page.
“I left feeling inspired, encouraged and ready to use my power,” Pat wrote in a comment.
“Your amazing Montclair State alumni panelists as well as Gloria Feldt were so grounded, level-headed and insightful,” wrote Eva on Meetup.
“Don’t follow your dream. Lead it.” – Feldt.
“The women tended to solve the problems before they happened.” – Duva
“We shouldn’t question why the door opened. We should walk in.” – Waichungo
“There is nothing better than to take over a position that has been failing.” – Kilpatrick
“Power is like a hammer. You can build something with it, or you can break something.” – Feldt
“If you invest in a woman, you invest in a family, a community. You will get your return.” – Waichungo
“The rooster crows, but the hen delivers.” – Feldt
“Women just get it done.” – Doyle
Read more about the event:
Makeba Green’s story in The Montclarion
Ellen Yu’s post on the Verizon Small Business Blog
Penina Rybak’s post on Huffington Post