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Press Release:


Women, Business and Power is the Subject of the FAU 2011 Women's Leadership Forum

Alex Sink is Keynote Speaker for Event

            BOCA RATON, FL (February 28 , 2011) Florida Atlantic University's Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and the President's Diversity Committee will host the third annual Women's Leadership Forum, titled "Women, Business and Power" on Friday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the DeSantis Center of the College of Business on FAU's Boca Raton campus. The keynote speaker for the event is Alex Sink, former chief financial officer of the State of Florida and former president of Florida operations for Bank of America. Admission for the forum is $50, which includes lunch. There will also be a VIP fundraising breakfast with Alex Sink from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. FAU faculty and staff are $25. Admission for the breakfast and forum is $100. Pre-registration is required, and information can be found at

             "An important area of growth for women in business today, particularly during this period of economic recession, is small business ownership," said Josephine Beoku-Betts, director of FAU's Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Women are increasingly attracted to owning their own businesses because it gives them autonomy and flexibility to maintain work-life balance, to be innovative, and to develop alternative economic options for themselves.

            Sink's address is titled "Women and Business: Do Values Matter?"  Sink was the chief financial officer for the State of Florida from 2007 to 2011. She ran for governor of Florida in 2010 and was defeated by Rick Scott. Sink was appointed by former Governor Lawton Chiles to the Commission on Government Accountability to the People, and also served on Chiles' Commission on Education. She was vice-chair of Florida TaxWatch. Sink has also served with the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Beth El Farm Workers Ministry, and as chairman of the board of the United Way of Hillsborough County.

The forum will be broken into three panels. The first panel is titled "Showcasing FAU Research and Pedagogy: Women and Business." This panel will be moderated by Diane Alperin, interim provost at FAU. Panelists include Kimberly Ellis, assistant professor in FAU�s department of management programs; Anita Pennathur, associate professor of finance; and Judith Selzer and Trudy Myers, adjunct professors in FAU�s Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The second panel is titled "Breaking Barriers: Successful Women in Business." The panel will be moderated by Rhonda Swan, columnist for the Palm Beach Post. The panel will include Debbie Rand, CEO of Rand Eye Institute; Monica Kennedy, president of Elite Solar Services; Dinah Stephenson, Stephenson Construction; and Clare Whelan, president and CEO of Doors Incorporated.

             The afternoon panel is titled "Getting Money to Make Money: Accessing Capital to Stimulate your Business," and it will be moderated by Lisa Armbrust of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Panelists include Gerald Valletta with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney ; Annette Gray of the Florida Women's Business Center; and Lisa Marcus of Feminenza North America.

            In celebration of Women's History Month, the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies launched the Women's Leadership Forum in 2009 to promote understanding among students, faculty, and the wider community about issues of critical concern to women in our society and globally. For more information about the forum or about women's studies at FAU, call 561-297-3865.

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University , established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges : the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science . FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit .

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