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August 2020 Update
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Message from the Chair

DirectWomen is thrilled to announce a slate of virtual programs, which will be held over the course of the coming year. For more details, click here to download the virtual program series flyer or visit DirectWomen's website.

In this Update, you will find registration information for two upcoming programs: a video webinar on the importance of board diversity and a video book conversation with Valerie Jarrett. In addition, you will find news on the remarkable recent accomplishments of the members of our network.

Webinar: Why Corporate Board Diversity is More Important Than Ever

Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern
Register Now
Research reveals that companies with women board members, particularly those with three or more women board members, financially outperform, on average, those with fewer or no women board members. Join our distinguished panelists as they discuss why, in the era of COVID-19, board diversity is more important now than ever before. 

Featured Speakers:

Elisa D. Garcia, Chief Legal Officer, Macy's, Inc.; Director, Dollarama Inc. 
Sharon Y. Bowen, Former Commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Partner, Seneca Women; Director, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and Neuberger Berman
(Moderator) Denise F. Keane, Chair, DirectWomen; Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Altria Group Inc.

Virtual Video Discussion: A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 12:00 PM Eastern
Register Now
Join DirectWomen board member Patricia K. Gillette as she sits down for a candid conversation with Valerie B. Jarrett to discuss her New York Times bestselling memoir, Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins.

Throughout her incredible career in law, business and public service, Valerie Jarrett was often the only woman—particularly the only African American woman—in the room. In FINDING MY VOICE, Jarrett invites readers into her life along her remarkable journey from childhood in Iran to the White House and beyond. Through personal stories, Jarrett offers her optimistic view on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.

Need to buy your copy of FINDING MY VOICE? Visit to purchase.

DirectWomen Alumnae Added to Boards

Mary J. Dent (Class of 2018) was appointed to the board of Aspiration Partners, Inc., an online financial institution offering banking and investing products and services. Mary previously served on the board of Green Dot Bank. 

Teresa M. Sebastian (Class of 2018) was appointed to the boards of Edward Jones Bank and Juul Labs Inc. Pending FDIC approval, Edward Jones Bank will help Edward Jones better serve its clients' needs for saving, spending, and borrowing. Juul Labs is an electronic cigarette company. Click here to read more. These are Teresa's second and third board appointments. In 2019, Teresa joined the board of Kaiser Aluminum Corporation.

Loria B. Yeadon (Class of 2014) was appointed to the board of Laird Norton Company, a seventh-generation, family-owned enterprise with significant investments in real estate and operating companies. Click here to read the full press release. Loria previously served on the board of TiVo Corporation.
To date, more than 33% of DirectWomen alumnae have been elected to serve on a corporate board. 

Save the Date: 2021 Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon

Mark your calendars: DirectWomen's next Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award Luncheon will be held in New York City on October 8, 2021. If you would like to sponsor DirectWomen and reserve a table for your firm or company, please contact DirectWomen's Executive Director, Shawn Taylor Kaminski.

DirectWomen in the News

Simone J. Wu (Class of 2014) was recently featured in a Law360 article on "GCs' Biggest Concerns for the Rest of the Year." Click here to read the full article. 

DirectWomen Board Members Roberta D. Liebenberg and Stephanie A. Scharf co-authored an article which was published by Law360 in late July. The article, entitled, "Law Firms Must Note Pandemic's Outsize Impact on Women," explored how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting gender roles. Click here to read the full article.

Christine J. Spadafor (Class of 2008) was recently featured in a CIO article on board diversity trends in the tech world, saying, "Board composition needs to reflect the demographics of customers and the real world." Click here to read the full article.

Articles and Research of Interest

Thank you for your help in supporting our mission. If you have suggestions for additional ways to strengthen DirectWomen’s outreach during this unprecedented time, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Take care and stay safe.
All the best,

Denise F. Keane
Chair, DirectWomen

Thank You to Our 2020 Sponsors and Individual Donors!

Platinum Ambassador Sponsors





2020 Individual Donors To Date

Susan Alexander
Catharine Biggs Arrowood
Michelle Banks
Roya Behnia
Alan L. Beller
Janet L. Carrig
Mary J. Dent
Sarah C. Dodds-Brown
Deneen L. Donnley
Ulrika Ekman
Randa Fahmy
Lisa M. Fairfax
Elisa D. Garcia
Mark J. Gentile
Patricia K. Gillette
Peggy A. Heeg
Mary Ann Jorgenson
Denise F. Keane
Christine B. LaFollette
Roberta D. Liebenberg
Patricia A. McQuater
Trevor S. Norwitz
Marla S. Persky
Hillary A. Sale
Teresa M. Sebastian
Karen E. Silverman
Brande Stellings
Rachel R. Stern
Andrea E. Utecht
Linda J. Vilardo
Robin Walker-Lee
Michelle M. Warner
Jennifer Wolfe

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Latham & Watkins LLP and
Karen E. Silverman

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
Garrison LLP

Thompson Hine LLP

Toyota Motor North America, Inc.


Silver Sponsors


Huntington Bancshares Incorporated


Interested in sponsoring DirectWomen in 2020? Contact Laura Beth Hooper for more information. 

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