17th Annual Women's Leadership Breakfast
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View Photos from the 17th Annual Women's Leadership Breakfast.
BOSTON - More than 1,200 female business leaders today attended United Way's 17th Annual Women's Leadership Breakfast, one of the year's foremost events on philanthropy for women. The event celebrates women's role in philanthropy as women are increasingly becoming top earners and are having a greater impact on the philanthropic industry. According to a study by the Center of Philanthropy, women will live longer than men and could oversee more than $41 trillion dollars passed from generation to generation over the next 50 years. United Way set a goal to raise $1.5 million as a direct result of the breakfast, which last year raised $1.3 million to fund programs to help children, youth, and families.
This year's event was emceed by WCVB-TV's Shayna Seymour and featured a keynote speech by Steve Pemberton, a nationally recognized expert on diversity and a leader in child advocacy issues, who brought the crowd to its feet with his emotional and inspirational story of growing up in the Massachusetts foster care system, which he writes about in his bestselling book "A Chance in the World". In additional to being a best selling author, Pemberton is currently the first ever Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens.
"Giving back is what community is all about and United Way is leading this work by giving a chance to children, youth and families who are facing challenges most of us- thankfully- cannot imagine," said Pemberton.
Guests also heard from Shakeeda Bartee, an inspiring young woman from United Way partner agency Family Service of Greater Boston (FSGB). The 21-year old shared her story of how, as a homeless teen Mom, the Family Independence Teen Living Program within FSGB and United Way changed her life. Shakeeda is now studying at UMASS Boston to be a social worker.
"The TLP and United Way gave us a chance. The TLP was the family I never had, the safety net I never knew we needed. My son and I have a new future because of this program," said Bartee.
The Women's Initiative LIVE UNITED Award was presented to Marcela Aldaz Matos, Executive Vice President for the Boston chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), for her work promoting the participation, recognition, and growth of the Hispanic community. Marcela serves as chair of the Women of ALPFA committee and for the last two decades has devoted her energy to helping young Latino students, women, and professionals reach their full potential.
"Our Women's Initiative continues to engage women in our work to end poverty, ensure kids enter school ready to learn, closing the achievement gap and providing families with affordable housing and investing in financial stability centers," said Michael K. Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley.
The event was sponsored by United Way corporate partners such as Deloitte, State Street, Sun Life Financial, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Cabot, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Eaton Vance Investment Managers, IBM, MFS, Nordstrom and Staples.