Conference Workshops

Conference attendees will benefit from the expertise of women leaders from a variety of businesses, as they lead workshops designed to empower and excite.


During the registration process, you will be asked to select your two workshops from the following choices:

Building Your Personal Brand

Led by Rosa Gatti, Former Senior Vice President for Communications Counsel and Corporate Outreach, ESPN

Whether you have been in your career for a long time or are just starting out, it is important to present your best self to the world and find what makes you unique and immediately recognizable – your brand. This session will focus on enhancing your personal brand through sharing examples and best practices in regular communication, speaking up and being heard in meetings, requesting a promotion or salary increase, as well as tactfully, yet firmly, dealing with those who sabotage you.

About the Workshop Presenter

A pioneer at ESPN, in cable television and as a woman in sports, Facilitator Rosa M. Gatti retired in 2013 as ESPN’s Senior Vice President, Communications Counsel and Corporate Outreach, after 33 years of service. She currently serves on several nonprofit boards including the University of New Haven’s.

Gatti had joined ESPN in 1980 as director of communications, and helped to grow the ESPN brand through public and media relations strategies. During her tenure, she developed ESPN’s global corporate outreach programs, including multi-faceted projects for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN; Special Olympics, the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, Military/Veterans, and disaster relief. She created crisis management plans for ESPN and the U.S. Olympic Committee PR Committee in the mid-1980s; launched ESPN diversity initiatives in the early 1990s; oversaw the reorganization of Human Resources in 1996; and was the ESPN corporate information liaison to public and investor relations for The Walt Disney Company, parent company of ESPN.

Prior to ESPN, Gatti enjoyed a distinguished career as the first female sports information director at an NCAA major college, her alma mater Villanova University (1974). She became the Ivy League’s first female sports information director at Brown University in 1976. Gatti received an honorary doctorate degree in business administration from the University of New Haven.

Finding Your Voice, Making it Matter

Led by Patricia Russo, Executive Director, Women’s Campaign School at Yale University

How to lead a civically engaged life. Develop ways in which you can create a more professional and persuasive way to get your opinions across to make an impact in your world. Magnify your magnificence and scatter it around!

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Patricia Russo is a nationally respected leader focused on improving the quality of life for women in Connecticut and the United States. For over twenty five years, she has held numerous leadership positions in public, private and not-for-profit organizations centered on women’s rights. She has also held leadership positions on federal, state and local political campaigns.

Currently, Russo serves as Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. The Women’s Campaign School at Yale is a non partisan, issue-neutral political campaign training program for women interested in running for public office, and for women interested in campaign management. Based at Yale Law School, it is a leading program attracting women from the U.S. and internationally. She is also a member of the Council of Women’s Health Research at Yale University and chairs its Philanthropy and Communications Committee.

The Power of Storytelling

Led by Phoebe Sweet, Vice President, Summers Strategies

Personal narrative, or sharing someone else’s compelling story, is a powerful way to persuade audiences and connect with even your toughest critics. In this workshop, we’ll test the power of storytelling to make human connections in professional and personal communications, examine why 140-characters aren’t always enough to change the conversation, and workshop our own persuasive narratives.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Phoebe Sweet is vice president of Summers Strategies, a firm that combines policy, communications and campaign expertise to win the day, build brands and change policy. Summers Strategies works with national nonprofit organizations, trade associations, government agencies, elected officials and progressive political candidates on communications strategy, media relations, marketing and advertising. Prior to joining Summers Strategies, Sweet served as director of speechwriting at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C., and as speechwriter and communications advisor to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, Sweet served as communications director for the Nevada State Democratic Party during Leader Reid’s 2010 re-election campaign, after a decade in journalism. An experienced writer and communications strategist with extensive expertise in environmental, energy, and water policy, Sweet has elevated her clients to a number of campaign and legislative wins. Sweet, who was raised in Maine, holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism from Boston University.

Do You Have the DNA of an Entrepreneur?

Led by Janet Siegenthaler, Manager of Business Counseling and Access to Capital, Women’s Business Development Council

Have you ever wondered if entrepreneurship was right for you?  Well, you’re not alone!  There are nearly 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States – a number that is only expected to continue to increase as more and more women respond to the call to run their own firms. Join WBDC’s business start-up expert as we take an interactive look into the DNA of an entrepreneur and the traits necessary to be successful running your own business.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Janet Siegenthaler is a finance executive with over twenty years of experience in commercial banking, marketing and corporate sales. Her expertise is helping entrepreneurial companies to obtain capital and achieve profitable growth. Siegenthaler’s specialties include: new venture development; strategic planning; debt restructurings and turnarounds of small to mid-sized companies.

At WBDC, Siegenthaler is responsible for managing the business financial counseling and training programs for entrepreneurs. Through one-on-one counseling, Siegenthaler helps clients increase productivity, maximize business revenue and achieve their personal and professional business dreams. Siegenthaler instructs WBDC’s 12 session intensive business plan development program, which is held five times a year. In addition to her work with WBDC, Siegenthaler has been a panelist at several business plan funding competitions for students of Baruch College and Yale University. Siegenthaler has her B.S. in Accounting from Boston College and lives in Fairfield.

The Role of Social Media in Business

Led by Amanda Mueller, Senior Vice President, Cashman + Katz Integrated Communications

Focus on how social media is an important marketing tool in today’s business and an integral part of all marketing plans for organizations small and large.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Amanda Mueller has led public relations efforts for start-up businesses, non-profits, state agencies and Fortune 100 corporations. While at Clarke & Company in Boston, she worked on IBM and Samuel Adams Boston Beer Co. At Cashman + Katz, she manages ubiquitous consumer product brand, BIC, supporting all of its categories including stationery, lighters and shavers, as well as numerous nonprofits and corporations. She also launched Kiehl’s into Connecticut, spearheading the grand opening of its first state store. With a specialty in media relations, Mueller concentrates on obtaining press coverage and generating exposure for her clients. Her efforts have resulted in national news and trade coverage in leading print, radio, digital and broadcast television outlets. Additionally, Mueller implements and manages social media campaigns for numerous clients. Mueller has a BA in Communications with a Minor in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Managing Conflict and Confrontation

Led by Carol Koziatek, VP of Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator & Diversity Officer, University of New Haven

Dealing with conflict is an unavoidable part of workplace dynamics. The workshop will explore sources of differences that usually lead to conflict and learn how to address conflict in a constructive manner.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Carol Koziatek joined the University of New Haven in September of 2007. She is the Vice President of Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator & Diversity Officer at the University of New Haven. Koziatek sits on the top leadership team for the University and takes part in strategic planning and direction. In the Human Resources area, she is concentrating on assessing human resources needs, providing development, improving policies, and managing talent. Prior to her current position, she worked for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for 19 years. During her career, Koziatek has collected twenty five years of management experience, nineteen plus years of project management and implementation, and included in that time is fifteen years of human resources experience increasing in responsibility.

Koziatek was awarded the “Top Forty Under 40” in 2000. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (concentration in human resources) from Bryant University and a Masters in Business from The University of New Haven.

What is My Space Saying to Me?

Led by Julia McFadden, AIA, Associate Principal, Svigals + Partners

As an architect I believe our environments matter and that they can nurture us. The psychology of Feng Shui shines a light on this aspect and points specifically to how our spaces can support us in all our undertakings in the world.  First, we’ll take a look at what your space is saying to you and how that may be influencing your sense of confidence and ability to manage your relationships at work and at home.  The next step is to consciously shift your space in order to send yourself new messages.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Julia McFadden is an Associate Principal with Svigals + Partners — a New Haven, Connecticut architecture and planning firm known for its imaginative integration of design, sculpture and artwork. Following an undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota, McFadden pursued post-graduate work at the Institute for Public Art + Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Prior to joining Svigals in 2008, McFadden worked for ten years in residential design and five years with her own residential firm. This work honed her design thinking around the immediacy and intimacy of our living spaces, strengthened by two years of study with the Wind & Water School of Feng Shui, becoming a certified practitioner in 2010. Among the projects McFadden leads are the Engineering & Science University Magnet School and the new Sandy Hook School, a project involving community workshops with 50+ members to develop a design that reflects the community’s identity and aspirations for this replacement school after the December 2012 tragedy.

Hear Me Out: Communicating with Confidence

Led by Katie Horwitch, Founder, WANT: Women Against Negative Talk

Communication is a two-way street: it’s not only about what you say, it’s about what other people hear. And what we hear isn’t always about the words we use. More often than not, women aren’t being heard – truly heard. Join us for an interactive discussion about what it means to powerfully communicate (and be heard) in a world that expects otherwise.

In this workshop you’ll learn:

  • The huge thing holding women back from communicating effectively both personally and professionally.
  • The different facets of “confidence” (and the myths surrounding them), and how to tap into it no matter how you’re feeling inside.
  • Specific and individualized tips, tools, and strategies to help yourself be heard — because we know that one size very rarely fits all.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Katie Horwitch is a writer, artist, activist, and the founder of WANT: Women Against Negative Talk – a platform that gives women tips, tools, motivation and inspiration to shift around their negative self-talk patterns. She is the host of the wildly popular WANTcast: The Women Against Negative Talk Podcast, where she interviews visionary women on the topics of self-worth, relationships, career, community, and taking a pragmatic approach to positivity. Horwitch has spoken at venues across the country from SXSW to Lululemon to body-positive pageants, was a founding editor of The Chalkboard Mag by Pressed Juicery, and has been featured in countless publications such as mindbodygreen, Darling Magazine, Headspace, Cameron Diaz’s The Body Book, xoJane, and more.

Plan to be Prepared for your Financial Future

Led by Tracy D’Angelo, Regional Vice President of Sales, MetLife

In today’s society, women feeling confident in retirement has never been greater.  Join us for a discussion and gain insights on strategies regarding the financial challenges facing women, setting goals, organizing your finances and preparing for the unknowns.

About the Workshop Presenter

Facilitator Tracy D’Angelo joined Brighthouse Financial established by MetLife Investors in June of 2016 with the responsibility of assisting financial advisors to help meet the retirement needs of their clients. D’Angelo’s territory spans throughout New England and upstate NY.

With 19 years of financial services experience, D’Angelo has held many positions in the Financial Industry including Operations Manager, Vice President of Investments, and brings with her a proven background in financial planning as well as retirement income strategies.  Prior to  joining MetLife investors, D’Angelo recently worked for Prudential as a Regional Vice President, where she had been for the last 13 years.

D’Angelo holds a Bachelor’s Degree from WCSU. She has multiple securities licenses as well as state insurance licenses. She resides in Hamden, CT with her husband and 2 children.