OWU to host ‘Powerful Women Paving the Way’ forum


Ohio Wesleyan University will present its first “Powerful Women Paving the Way” forum April 9, featuring back-to-back panel discussions on “Women in Finance” and “Women in Entrepreneurship.”

The event will be in the Benes Rooms inside OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.

The forum is free to the public, but email reservations are requested before April 4. Contact the university’s Office of Career Services at [email protected].

The event will kick off at 1:30 p.m. with “Women in Finance,” a four-person panel discussion featuring:

• Samantha J. Anderson, associate wealth manager at Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Inc., an independently owned, fee-only wealth management and investment advisory firm based in Columbus. Anderson is a co-founder of the firm’s women’s initiative, BRR 4 Women.

• Drianne Benner, managing director for Appomattox Advisory Inc., a New York-based, woman-owned and Securities and Exchange Commission-registered adviser, offering investment management services. Benner is responsible for business development and client service.

• Deborah Hope, president, chief financial officer and founding partner of Charles Hope Companies LLP, a Massachusetts-based real estate construction management and consulting company offering commercial and residential services from offices in North Andover and Lawrence. Hope has more than 30 years of experience in finance, including investment banking, equity securities research, commercial banking and real estate financing.

• Amy B. McCracken Weldele, senior wealth manager for Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Inc. In addition to being a certified financial planner, Weldele is a certified divorce financial analyst who has been advising clients for more than 17 years in comprehensive wealth management. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Ohio Wesleyan in 1997.

Following a short break, the forum’s second panel discussion, “Women in Entrepreneurship,” will begin at 2:45 p.m., featuring:

• Elizabeth Blount, president and owner of UNIGLOBE Travel Designers, a Columbus-based travel-management organization that collaborates with agencies and suppliers worldwide to help clients meet their travel objectives. Since joining the firm in 2006, Blount has helped it to nearly double revenue and enhance both customer service and technology.

• Rachel Friedman, founder and CEO of Columbus-based TENFOLD, a woman-owned and specialized brand consultancy that helps clients leverage the work environment – through strategy, environmental graphic design and interactive digital display technology – as a medium to communicate their story to employees and visitors.

• Stephanie A. Smith, co-founder and chief strategy officer/chief operating officer for Beagle Bioproducts Inc., a Columbus-based biotech company that provides products and services to help those who deal with harmful algal blooms and that has used the toxic blue-green algae found in the blooms to create proprietary extracts with anti-aging properties.

Following both presentations, attendees are invited to remain for networking and mingling.

“Powerful Women Paving the Way” is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Economics; Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship; Office of Alumni Relations and Parents Council; and Office of Career Services.

Staff Report

Information for this story was provided by Ohio Wesleyan University.

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