Star's Corner

Star’s Corner: 2015 NAPW National Networking Summit – NYC Highlights



It’s a wrap! Our 2015 three-city National Networking Summit Series tour has come to an end. Wow . . . time really does fly when you’re having fun! I cannot even begin to sum up how AMAZING this ride has been. Traveling across the country, getting to see firsthand the power of success through networking, support, encouragement and empowerment. I am truly in awe of and inspired by the professional women of NAPW. Seeing women help each other—rising tides do lift all boats. None of this could have been possible without all of you. So, before I begin recapping our New York City Summit, I want to give a big shout out to YOU, our members—you help make my job the best job I’ve ever had. Thank you ♥


We took a bite out of the “Big Apple” and it was delicious! The NAPW Summit was right in the heart of Chelsea, at the Metropolitan Pavilion. It was sleek; it was chic; it was AWESOME!

We kicked off the Summit at the NAPW Foundation Luncheon, presented by GEICO. What an empowering way to start off the day!

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Louise Newsome, NAPW National Director of Chapters and NYC Local Chapter President, took the stage and thanked everyone for coming and making a donation to support the NAPW Foundation’s four philanthropic partners—the American Heart Association, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Dress for Success and Girls Inc.


A very special thank you to Karen Burns from GEICO and Donna Fielding, Division Vice President – Human Resources at ADP, for your leadership and support.


Energy, enthusiasm and excitement filled the room as our Keynote Speaker and my very dear friend Judy Smith—world-renowned Crisis Management and Public Relations Expert and the inspiration for the hit ABC drama series “Scandal”—took the stage.

Judy shared her wisdom and advice and spoke about the power of saying “No,” and being able to step out of your comfort zone to take unexpected leaps. Even better, she “leaped” off the stage to take questions from the audience. Judy’s best advice: “Too often we try to fit in to accommodate, and there’s no need for that. You need to be yourself and speak on what you believe in.” Fierce words of wisdom from the “Gladiator in Heels!”

The Luncheon concluded and the Summit commenced. Networking was in the air!


It was fantastic seeing attendees dive into all of the Summit activities like Industry and Speed Networking Meet-Ups and educational sessions. We had 25 members exhibit in our VIP Member Showcase, 20 vendors were in the NAPW Mall and 19 hiring companies in the Career Fair representing at our Summit! Thank you to all who participated. It was great seeing so many diverse companies, entrepreneurs and organizations coming together to provide opportunity and services for all who attended.

7Pictured left to right, Judy Smith, Star Jones, Donna Fielding

We got down to business at our “Whole Woman Power Panels!” Our keynote panel – Powerful Moves and Strides for Success (presented by ADP) included Judy and Donna, who shared on interesting topics such as building and maintaining a successful brand and making smart professional decisions.

We talked about the importance of monitoring Social Media and Donna stated, “What you do off the clock is as important as what you do on it.”

When it comes to moving forward professionally Judy said, “If you can’t learn to handle a crisis, it will hurt your ability to move up.”

Donna added that “it’s how you deal with difficult situations that sets you apart. Authenticity, integrity and transparency are important traits of a leader.”

I asked Judy what she wanted to be when she grew up. We were not expecting her answer: “A nun, or a police officer . . . anything in a role where I could help people.”

8Pictured left to right, Rita Mitjans, Dr. Holly Phillips, Star Jones, Jean Chatzky, Tamara Tunie, Yvonne Garcia

Women are busy. We take care of everything and everyone, balancing work and life and everything in between. I think we can all agree, the juggle is real!

At the “Whole Woman Power Panel” titled Powering through the Balancing Act, (presented by ACT-1 Group), we were enlightened by an extraordinary group of professional women leaders who shared how they power through.

Dr. Holly Phillips, Physician, Author and CBS Medical Contributor, provided the audience with three important questions to always ask yourself:  1. Does it need to be done this way? 2. Do I have to do this? 3. Does it have to be done at all?

Jean Chatzky, NBC News Finance and Budget Expert, taught us three basic financial habits everyone should practice: 1. Always spend less than you make. 2. Make smart investments for your financial future. 3. Make sure you have insurance.

Tamara Tunie, award-winning Actress, Director and Producer, was confident and candid when she addressed the audience: “Not having kids was a conscious choice for me. My career was going to be first. If that’s you too, don’t feel diminished.”

Yvonne Garcia, Senior Executive, State Street Corporation, explained how she learned that “sometimes your biggest professional success can also be your biggest personal sacrifice.”

Rita Mitjans, Chief Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, ADP told us, “Women can have it all—just not at the same time. We need to know our priorities and never miss out on the important moments.”

Thank you to our inspiring panelists for motivating us to be balanced, mindful and stress-free!


I really enjoyed meeting every single professional woman who participated in “Photos for Philanthropy” in support of the NAPW Foundation. Through leadership, mentorship and teamwork, we make a difference in the lives of women and girls.

One of the most incredible highlights of the day was bringing it forward for women empowerment on behalf of Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton who sent a congratulatory letter which I was so honored to read aloud at the Summit!

Secretary Clinton, who is vying to become the nation’s first female President, wrote in her letter:

“Thank you for your continued efforts as part of this organization to promote diversity and advocate for professional women, and to lift yourself by also lifting others. When women succeed, America succeeds.”

Amen to that! Well, ladies . . . that’s it for 2015, but we’ll be sure to POWER YOUR WORLD next year with more networking events and our 2016 National Networking Summit Series.

For now, Keep Calm and Network On!


Megan Bozzuto

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