College of Business Administration

Dean, Virginia and Char2015 Conference

The fifth annual Spirit of Women in Business Conference was hosted by Kent State University’s College of Business Administration March 9 in the Kent Student Center.


View photos from the 2015 conference

Keynote Speaker

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Sheena S. Iyengar

Since 1998, Sheena has taught courses at Columbia Business School to MBAs, Executive MBAs, and Executives. Her courses have included Thinking Globally, Leadership Development, Entrepreneurial Creativity, and an Advanced Doctorate Organizational Behavior Seminar. In 2005, Sheena’s course on Leadership earned her an Innovation in the Teaching Curriculum award from Columbia Business School. In 2012, she received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Core Teaching. In addition, she was recently named a member of the 2011 Thinkers50, a global ranking of the top 50 management thinkers, and chosen as one of the World’s Best B-School Professors by Poets and Quants.

Considered one of the world’s experts on choice, Sheena has written her own book, The Art of Choosing. In the book she explores topics such as why choice is powerful and where its power comes from, the ways in which people make choices, the relationship between how we choose and who we are, why we are so often disappointed by our choices, how much control we really have over our everyday choices, how we choose when our options are practically unlimited, whether we should ever let others choose for us, and if so, whom and why. Sheena’s book gained much recognition, including being chosen as a finalist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2010 award and being ranked #3 on the Best Books of 2010: Business & Investing Top 10

Throughout her career, Sheena’s work has received much recognition in both academic and popular circles. In 2002 she was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Social Scientists. Her work has been published in premiere academic journals across such disciplines as economics, psychology, management, and marketing, and is regularly cited in the popular press, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Time magazines, the BBC and National Public Radio, television programs such as the Today Show and the Daily Show, and in bestselling books such as "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell.

SWIB Award

Virginia.jpgVirginia Albanese, CEO and president of FedEx Custom Critical was the recipient of the 2015 Spirit of Women in Businiess Award. 

She has been recognized for her leadership both at work and in the community. In recent years she has been inducted into the Northeastern Ohio Business Hall of Fame (2013), received the Women of Power Award from the Akron Urban League (2013), and also received the Leadership Excellence Award from the National Diversity Council (2014). Albanese received both her Bachelor of Science degree and EMBA from Kent State University.

Read more on Albanese and the SWIB Award




The conference features three breakout sessions throughout the day with three options for each session, which provide valuable insights and lessons that can be transferred into the workplace.  

Breakout Session 1

  • Sheryl Sandberg meet Frances Willard presented by Allison McFarland
  • Getting a Seat at the Table: Spirit, Strategy and Choices for Change presented by Lisa Waite
  • Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Female Leadership in Northeast Ohio presented by EMBA Alumni 

Breakout Session 2

  • Importance of Having a Career Strategy presented by Virginia Albanese
  • Raise the Far: Strategies for Creating a Positive and Productive Workplace Environment presented by Karen Lefton
  • Building on Positivity Through Communication presented by Cathryn O'Malley and Marilynn McCoy

Breakout Session 3

  • Strategic Links: How Progressive Supports Women Leaders Through Employee Resource Group Partnerships presented by Monique Brownlee, Jim Curtis, Shari Hansen and Caroline Strumbly
  • Using Design Thinking to Improve Happiness Levels at Work presented by Marsha Huber
  • Financial Leadership and Organizational Success presented by Rosanne Potter

2015 Sponsors

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The fifth annual Spirit of Women in Business Conference offers several levels of marketing and advertising sponsorships. Each level is an easy and convenient way to show your support for the conference while promoting your company, product or service to attendees. 

Conference and Visitor Information

The 2015 Spirit of Women in Business Conference will be held in:

Kent State Student Center, Ballroom
1075 Risman Dr., Kent, OH 44242

Map, parking options and hotel accommodations


Contact Us


Kristin Williams

Honorary Chairperson
Career Services Office Director
(330) 672-2419

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