Wednesday, September 28, 2022 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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Oak Hill Country Club 
146 Kilbourn Road
Rochester, NY 14618

Driving Directions 


Linda Ranslow 
SCORE Greater Rochester 
Greater Rochester SCORE in partnership with the Rochester Women's Network has planned an inspiring in-person learning event embracing success for businesses and professionals.  Featured speakers will focus on key topics to drive your success!

Workshop Summaries:

9:00-10:30 Full Group Session: Plenary Session with 5 Panelists

Increasing Business & Professional Success by Identifying & Eliminating Barriers

While we all know what slows our own progress and impedes reaching our professional and career goals, it is rare that we are able to identify barriers in our own systems, services, products and operations that impede others from fully engaging with us.  In this timely plenary session, you will hear from experts on how you can identify and eliminate barriers in your professional, business and community environments toward greater success and growth.

Nikki Hall, MS is the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility Services at SUNY Brockport. She obtained her school building leadership certification from Niagara University, her MS in special education from Roberts Wesleyan, and her bachelor's in English literature with a general education teaching certification, grades 1 - 6 from SUNY Brockport. Nikki has extensive experience working with students with disabilities ranging from grades 1 - 12 in public school settings and diverse college student populations. Before leading the charge for accessibility at SUNY Brockport, she was a; classroom teacher, director of special education, high school principal, and long-time disability rights ally.

Claudette Brown-Smythe, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Brockport in the Department of Counselor Education where she also serves in the role of clinical coordinator for the mental health and college counseling program. She is an avid reader who enjoys the arts. Dr. Brown-Smythe has international experience in leadership and advocacy for different marginalized groups and continues to be committed to advocacy in professional counseling. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Accredited Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Brown-Smythe's major areas of research center around spirituality, wellness, and college students' mental health.

John Rodriguez, MA, change consultant and leadership coach. He has worked on closing racial equity gaps with organizations in 37 states, including Kellogg, Whirlpool, Mount Sanai Hospital, NYU Langone, Verizon, Roc the Future Alliance, Rochester Economic
Development Corporation, and Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield. Pre pandemic, he consulted healthcare organizations on improving service delivery to women, people of color, and underserved populations throughout the United States. He is a former Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, recipient of the New York State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the year award, and a SUNY Brockport and Rochester Institute of Technology alum.  Website: https://johnrodriguez4change.com

Aqua Y. Porter, MBA is the Executive Director, Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI), a collective impact initiative that focuses on increasing upward mobility and prosperity for City of Rochester and Monroe County residents. Aqua has held numerous leadership positions with Xerox Corp. She earned an Executive MBA from RIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University. Aqua is a 40-year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the first Greek Sorority established by African-American college educated women. She is the President of the Rochester Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and a member of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, Inc. Board or trustees.

Dr. Deanna Kimbrel is the Chief Diversity Officer and Director of the Department of DEI for Monroe County. She has worked as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practitioner, educator, entrepreneur, and executive leader for the last 16 years. Dr. Kimbrel holds a Bachelor’s in Communication and International Business, a Master’s degree in Communication and Marketing from RIT and a Doctoral degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from University of Phoenix. Dr. Kimbrel led DEI and leadership strategies for Paychex, Sears, and RIT. Dr. Kimbrel also leads a team of consultants through the Kimbrel Management Consulting Company, guiding small-mid sized organizations with DEI.

10:45-12:15 Choose One

100% Sales Growth - Leverage Your Marketing Elements

In this session you will:

  • Determine How Leveraging Applies to Your Marketing Plan
  • Identify Which Marketing Methods You Should Us to Start Leveraging
  • How to Leverage Awareness Building Activities
    • How to Leverage Interest Simulation Activities
    • How to Leverage Trial/Sale Activities
    • How to Leverage Retention Activities
    • How to Leverage Them All by Developing and Integrated Marketing/Slaes System (IMS)
  • Set Your Leveraging Goals
  • Reduce Your Marketing Costs
  • Increase Your Marketing Results
  • All Followed by:  Action Steps We Recomment; Planning Your Action Steps

Joe Chimera is President of Network 4 Success and a Senior Consultant with the Consulting Task Force.  He brings over 30 years of marketing and sales experiences across a wide variety of industries to help businesses successfully grow. Leveraging your marketing plan is Joe’s prime mission.


Understanding & Maximizing Hybrid Work Models

Discussion Summary:  Components of working remotely; fact on effectiveness; setting policies & agreements with employees; building culture and teams; utilize while recruiting new talent; cost savings for businesses and individuals.

Karen LaGraff is the Corporate Vice President, Human Resources for Rochester Midland Corporation. She has a Bachelor’s degree in HR from Roberts Wesleyan College and an Executive MBA from RIT. Karen has 35+ years of HR experience, is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a leader in the areas of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Flexible Work Strategies. She implemented a global remote work policy for a Fortune 500 employer and created tools to support flexible work strategies including a Flex work guide for FlexJobs to help companies on work from home arrangements in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

1:00-2:30 Choose One

Driving Sales with Effective Customer Engagement

This workshop will teach you how to convert leads from all sources of social media to paying customers by creating life time value through real time customer communication.

Social media marketing can help drive sales and long-term customer relationships when used correctly, but costly if not managed appropriately. This discussion will offer an overview of the various social media platforms, how each may be used to reach your target customers, and how to determine what is and is not working to minimize customer acquisition costs and maximize top line revenues.

Without extensive IT dollars or knowledge, you can have an effective end to end connectivity plan that ensures you never miss an opportunity to engage with customers and keep them coming back for more.  Learn how to use telecom as an asset, not a utility, to increase productivity, control costs, and gain more customers.

Kristine DePippo is a Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Verizon specializing in Small Business Solutions.  She has helped over 100K small businesses by launching simple, but effective products needed to stay connected and close deals.

Khara Grant has been in Sales/Marketing for over 15 years with a focus on business development and account/project management. Ms. Grant is widely recognized for qualities such as resourcefulness, insight, adaptability, and common sense. She brings to her current role as Director - Rochester Women’s Business Center core attributes comprising integrity, accountability, honesty and a truly professional work ethic.


LinkedIn or Lose It

  • There’s a universe of business you probably are ignoring. It’s where more than 800 million people hang out. It’s where 4 out of 5 of those who work for a company have access to business decisions.
  • But LinkedIn is confusing to a lot of people. It has secret algorithms and lots of features that change all the time. Business owners don’t use it as much as other platforms—maybe because it seems like it’s mostly for job seekers. They are wrong.  Business owners who are not on LinkedIn are missing a great way to reach clients and customers.
  • LinkedIn is a social media platform designed uniquely for business. It has many great features that can help you optimize your marketing. And it is within these features that a lot of power resides, and that’s what we are going to talk about in this session.
  • RWN member Ruth Sternberg is going to show you some of the basic features of the platform. You will learn: What makes an effective profile; What features you can use to promote your business; Ways to find and engage with potential customers.
  • Ruth uses LinkedIn every day. She is a career coach who advises people in career transition about using LinkedIn to promote themselves and attract attention from the right employers or clients. She also enjoys showing fellow business owners how to use it by sharing some of her own strategies and tactics. Join her to learn ways you can start growing engagement that can lead to collaboration, sales, and knowledge, and growth.

Ruth Sternberg is a Certified Career Coach, Resume Writer, Interview Coach, and Online Profile Expert. She helps people transition to new roles, whether this means moving to a new company, a new profession, or into a consulting business. She writes resumes, LinkedIn profiles, pitch decks, bios, other types of personal marketing collateral for clients across the country. Ruth worked for 25 years as a print journalist, mixed in with 20 years of copy writing and grant writing. She is new to the region, moving here in 2020 from Ohio. You can find out more at www.confidentcareersearch.com


2:30-4:00 Full Session

Wrap-Up with Megan Mills

Networking Ice Breaker & Networking with Art Roberts  (don't forget to bring some of your busines cards)

Cash Bar

We'll wrap up the day's events with a casual networking segment.  This will provide your with an opportunity to meet other professionals and business owners just like yourself.  Making new contacts is an important part of your journey to success!



Please keep these special details in mind:

  •  September 9, 2022:   Registration cut-off for Accommodations, such as sign language interpreter
  •  September 16, 2022  Registration cut-off for Food Restrictions/Accommodations
  •  September 23, 2022  Registration will close on OR before if maximum reached

Special THANK YOU to our sponsoring partner ESL.