Crain's Women of Note Summit & Awards

cceimg Every year, Crain’s readers and event attendees are engaged, inspired and guided by the insight offered from our Women of Note honorees. On July 23rd, Crain’s Women of Note event will be bigger and better than ever. Partnering with the Cleveland Foundation, we’re adding a morning leadership summit to bring together generations of inspirational Greater Cleveland women.

The inaugural Leadership Summit has been designed to motivate, connect and celebrate women from all walks of life. Join us for a can’t-miss morning of learning, sharing experiences, acquiring new contacts and creating new ideas through interactive table facilitation and dialogue. Think of it as networking for the greater good to enhance the lives of other women in our community.

The IGNITE talks are short and powerful 10-minute conversations meant to "ignite" the audience on a subject, and generate awareness, thought and action during facilitated ideation sessions following each talk, right at your very own table. Our unique IGNITE pairings will cover a wide range of topics and give focus to new ways of thinking - from the "pay equity gap" to "navigating a male-dominated work environment." These topics were created by alumnae of our award programs, so we know these are the very conversations you want to be having. The Summit is not about being “talked at.” It’s about talking together.

Following the Women of Note Summit, join is us in the afternoon as we celebrate our 2015 Women of Note honorees at an awards luncheon presented by CBIZ.

Tiered ticket pricing is available for both programs.


  • Tracy Carter, Senior Director, Federal and State Affairs, MetroHealth System
  • Meena Morey Chandra, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
  • Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis, President, St. Joseph Academy
  • Cynthia Deyling, Chief Quality Officer, Cleveland Clinic
  • Evalyn Gates, Executive Director & CEO, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Laura Kepley, Artistic Director, Cleveland Play House
  • Natalie A. Leek-Nelson, President & CEO, Providence House
  • Heather Lennox, Partner, Jones Day
  • Sonia Hosono Mintun, Director, Portfolio Manager, Ancora Advisors
  • Tracey A. Nichols, Director of Economic Development, City of Cleveland
  • Marla E. Pérez-Davis, Deputy Director, Research and Engineering Directorate, NASA, John H. Glenn Research Center
  • Rosanne S. Potter, Senior Manager Pension Management, Eaton Corporation
  • Myrna Rodriguez Previte, Vice President, Kowit & Company Real Estate Group
  • Robyn Minter Smyers, Cleveland Partner-in-Charge, Thompson Hine LLP
  • Tatjana Zikov, President, NeuroWave Systems Inc.


Cleveland Convention Center 300 Lakeside Ave. NE Cleveland, OH 44114

7:30-8:00am – Registration / Networking / Continental Breakfast 8:00-8:30 – Opening Remarks & Table Introductions 8:30-9:15am – Morning Keynote Speaker & Audience Q&A 9:15-11:15am – IGNITE presentations and individual table dialogue

(Each table will have an assigned table host to help drive your conversations and provide valuable takeaways.CLICK HERE to view a list of our esteemed table facilitators. IGNITE Topic: “Supporting Women in Entrepreneurship” Jodi Berg, CEO, Vitamix Reka Barabas, Director, Bad Girl Ventures

IGNITE Topic: “Navigating a Male-Dominated Work Environment” Geri Presti, EVP, General Counsel, Secretary, Forest City Enterprises Mel McGee, Founder & CEO at We Can Code It. Founder at imageNation

IGNITE Topic: “Can you have it all? The reality of women in the working world.” Teresa Metcalf Beasley, Calfee Halter & Griswold ShelBy Beasley, Freshman, DePaul University and ShelLynn Beasley, Junior, Laurel School

IGNITE Topic: “Giving Back & Engaging with Your Community” Margot Copeland, EVP, Director of Corporate Diversity & Philanthropy, KeyBank Ashley Basile Oeken, Executive Director, Engage! Cleveland

IGNITE Topic: “Leadership and the Next Generation” Robyn Minter Smyers, Partner-in-Charge, Thompson Hine LLP Nichelle McCall, CEO, BOLD Guidance

IGNITE Topic: “Equal Say. Equal Rights. Equal Pay.” Sally Gries, Chairperson & CEO, Gries Financial LLC Michelle Park Lazette, Writer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

11:00am – Women of Note Awards Luncheon registration opens 11:15am – Women of Note Summit concludes 12 Noon – 2:00pm – Women of Note Luncheon 2:00pm – Women of Note Luncheon concludes