Chair Chat- Lessons from the Women of Excellence Unplugged

From the desk of Amanda Goyer, Co-Chair of the WBC, Community Relations Manager, Cap Com Federal Credit Union

Have cheerleaders in your corner you can trust.
-Whether it be your Board of Directors or a community of people going through the same thing in their lives.

Walk into every new situation with an open mind and a willingness to learn, don’t come in entitled.

You may be carrying the weight of other people’s dreams on your shoulders…recognize this and be kind to yourself.

Never again. If you’ve gone through an experience that should have never happened or was wrong. Make a commitment to ensure you will do what you can to ensure that happens “never again” to another person.

Have an accountability partner to help you navigate on the path toward your dreams…

Do not shut down the voice of others. The voices need to be all-inclusive. Be not only mindful but intentional when building voices around the table.

LISTEN 90%, TALK 10%….100% of people want recognition.

You need more girlfriends! WBC is a perfect place for just that!

Microsoft Outlook - Memo Style

Voices in the Crowd – WOE Unplugged

Jen and John

John Mackowiak, Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs, The Martin Group

“It was tremendously valuable to learn from the experiences of the Women of Excellence honorees. Their stories were inspiring, and their advice was actionable. Listening more. Supporting each other. Finding positive people who will have your back, rather than letting negativity hold you back. Grateful to gain such great advice over lunch!

Jennifer Hunold, Senior Brand Manager, The Martin Group

“I found the entire event to be incredibly uplifting, and there was a lot upon which to reflect. Listening 90% and speaking 10% – important for someone as social as myself! I also liked hearing the one thing that gets each one going in her day. Particularly Dr. Hathaway, who shared the joy she finds when someone’s face lights up having learned something new. All of the honorees’ reflections remind me to revisit where I find passion in my life and work, which will ultimately help me better serve others.”



Brooklyn Esposito, Interim Director of Marketing, YWCA-GCR

“Hearing the Women of Excellence speak to their personal and professional struggles was influential as a young professional navigating a career.  It’s a good reminder that when you fall down you pick yourself back up and move forward.”



Shannon Forkin, Partner, Dannible and Mckee, LLP

“All of the Woman of Excellence 2018 recipients had great stories.  What I found particularly motivating was how each woman encountered challenges but that did not prevent them from succeeding in their careers – whether trying to break into an industry that women were fairly new to or finding a support system when others were not so encouraging. My takeaway from the 2018 recipients is that with dedication and the right people in your corner you have the capability to succeed at whatever you put your mind to.”

Voices in the Crowd- WOE Event

What inspired you at the Women of Excellence luncheon?

Takara Wiles- Creative Director, Gramercy Communications


I found all of the women to be inspiring. Each woman had her own unique story on how she got to where she is today. They each showed how perseverance, passion and desire will help overcome any obstacle life puts in your way. I left feeling I could take on anything thrown my way, professionally and personally!


Fatin Haddad- Associate, Phillips Lytle

“I was inspired by the passion of each of the women. It was clear that each award recipient was incredibly passionate about the work they were doing. I love that they shared their personal experiences and struggles to show that the road to a successful and meaningful career is not easy but rather filled with challenges, failures and disappointments.  I loved hearing each woman share about how she chose to use those difficult moments in life to fuel her forward instead of hold her back.  I was inspired by how CMSgt Amy Giaquinto described herself as “a person, that happens to be a woman” when she described herself and her role with the NY National Guard, which has broken down barriers for women who choose to serve our country in the armed forces and I will definitely put to use the advice of Nancy Martin who encouraged us all to always add “for now” to the end of our sentences.  She reminded us that whatever setbacks we face in life, they are not permanent and only a season we will face “for now” which can one day be a source of motivation and/or wisdom as we push forward in our careers and personal lives.”

Voices in the Crowd From “There is No Finish Line: Defining Success through Passion and Purpose”

Becky Daniels, ED Discover Schenectady
I really loved the question posed to our table about motivation and the change that happens when you’re able to reframe your motivation from “working harder” to “adding value.” Coming from a previous job in a corporate environment, I struggled to feel like my contributions made a tangible impact on my company or community. Transitioning to a role with an organization where I can see every day that what I do is making a difference to my community has, without a doubt, made me want to work harder, rather than working more for the sake of working more. My new role as the Executive Director of Discover Schenectady aligns my professional skills and abilities, with my personal passion for growing and giving back to the community that I love and call home. Aligning my work with my values and passion has been a game-changer for me and I cannot imagine doing anything else.


Adrianne Rickson, Director of Career Services, Maria College
My mission in life is to motivate students, family, and friends to make their life their own; you can do anything, so take the reins, and do what you love to do.  There is only one person in this world that will take the very best care of us and that is us, so look in that mirror and have a conversation with that person.  When the speaker addressed Mission, Passion, and Purpose… My mission is to have passion and purpose in everything that I do, every single day…and to practice what I preach!




Alyssa Stevens
Marketing Major, Class of 2019
The College of Saint Rose, Huether School of Business
My biggest takeaway from the WBC event was the message of the guest speaker, Jaime Butler Binley. As a marketing student, I really gained insight into what success means, from a woman in business. I liked how she stressed that there is no finish line to success. We can have big goals that take years to fulfill, but if we set small obtainable goals to meet over time we are successful at every step of the way. For me, this was very helpful because I am often overwhelmed by my large goals, as a junior in college looking for internships I have faith that I will meet my goal of becoming a social media marketing manager through time. You are always learning and growing and it is important to never give up on your dreams no matter what stage of life you are in.

Voices in the Crowd Call For Entries

Have you ever been so captivated by someone’s personal story that it changed your outlook on life, the way you interact with others, how you conduct business, what goals you set for yourself? Join the Women’s Business Council for a captivating group of stories inspired by Moth Radio that will expose you to a powerful network of people in this Region who you may have never seen or heard from before!

Hear short, live stories relating to the business world presented by 7  “storytellers” who will voice their varying perspectives and personal journeys relating to their careers – some making brave, hard choices where other paths may have been paved by an aha moment. All stories will stir the fearlessness in you and leave you with actionable advice you can pack up “to go”!

Submit Your Story!

In preparation for our Voices in the Crowd event, we want to hear from you! Please share your story and you could be chosen to be featured as a speaker at our event on November 13, 2018! Your story should be told from your heart, in a short concise manner, two minutes total. No cliffhangers please! Your story should in some way tie back to business in order to align with the true mission of the Women’s Business Council.

Story Theme: Risky Business

“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,” said author Tiffany Dufu. What story do you have that aligns with taking risks and reaping rewards in business? We want to hear it!

How to Share:

Call our Voices in the Crowd Submission Portal: 518-992-6511

Be prepared to share the following via voice message:

Name, Phone Number, Email Address, Your Story-In a Short 2 Minute Pitch

Deadline for Submissions:

April 30, 2018

Chosen “Voices in the Crowd” will be notified in June, 2018.

Here are some story telling tips and tricks from Moth Radio, our inspiration for this event!

WBC Annual Holiday Fundraiser Voices in the Crowd

From the desk of Kate Renna, Development & Marketing Specialist at Whitney Young Health.


Pictured: WBC committee members setting up for the Holiday Fundraiser.

On Tuesday, December 12th, the Capital Region Chamber Women’s Business Council ended the year on a high (and generous) note with their annual Holiday Fundraiser. Thousands of dollars were raised to benefit Whitney Young Health, the WBC’s 2017 Adopted Nonprofit.

As recapped in a previous blog, “A Year in the Life: Women’s Business Council 2017,” 2017 for the WBC was a wonderful year filled with lots of learning, networking and memories shared. Fellow WBC members spoke with their fellow colleagues, asking: What did you enjoy most about the WBC this year?

Carol H

“I love the non-profit they sponsored! Whitney Young Health is a great organization that provides critical services in our community, and I’m so appreciative of what the WBC did for them this year.” – Carol Hausamann, Marvin & Company, Member of the Board of Directors at Whitney Young Health.

Check out some more photos from the Holiday Fundraiser below. Don’t forget! The WBC is starting the year off 2018 with a program with Robbin Jorgensen, called “Ignite: Owning the Power to be You.” Get your tickets here.

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Inspiration to Persevere

If you missed last week’s Women’s Business Council Program event, here is a testimonial from a past Women’s Business Council Women of Excellence recipient, Alissa Quinn.

“I listened to one of the most profound speakers, Regina Calcaterra, author of Etched in Sand, a NY Times best seller about her emotionally powerful story of how she endured a series of foster homes, abandonment and abuse living on the streets of Long Island with her four siblings.  My mind is spinning about all of the possible ways each one of us could do one thing to help an older child in foster care, incidentally a topic being tackled by the TV show, This is Us. Congratulations to the Women’s Business Council of the Capital Region Chamber for hosting such an inspiring and shining example of this exceptional professional woman who went on to become an attorney and Executive Director of New York State Utility Storm Preparation, appointed by Governor Cuomo. Calcaterra gives back to the community she survives, and is currently a partner of a law firm.”

Alissa Quinn
Alissa Quinn, Senior Vice President, UBS, The Quinn Wealth Management Group and Regina Calcaterra, Partner, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP