Pathways to Progress SPEAKER SERIES

The Foundation provides opportunities for women in all stages of their careers to network, learn, and grow as leaders.


Since 2008, the Pathways to Progress Speaker Series has provided an informative platform for conversations with aspiring women leaders and change agents to inspire and motivate all women to take action. With up to 100 diverse women attending each event, the Series acts as a forum to discuss and develop action around timely issues for girls and women in WNY.

The first step to progress is having the conversation.

2019 Events

This year’s 4-part speaker series events will show attendees how to Take Care Of Yourself While You Conquer The World. Each event will cover a different topic focused on either your personal self or your business self.

Salary Negotiation: Know Your Worth

Attendees will learn how to research competitive salaries, articulate their skills, qualifications and experience, and ask for — and get — the pay they deserve.

Friday, November 22

8:30 – 10:00 am

Hyatt Place Amherst, 5020 Main St.

$15/person, includes light breakfast & coffee


  • Arlene Kaukus, Director of Career Services, SUNY Buffalo
  • Lauren Johnson, Manager of Counseling, Career Services, SUNY Buffalo
  • Holly Justice, Career Counselor, Career Services, SUNY Buffalo
Space is limited. Register by calling 716-887-2621 or online here.




Cover Your Assets: It IS Worth Making the Time: On July 22, 2019, Wendy Irving, Associate Vice President for Planned Giving, Office of Planned Giving Division of University Advancement, University at Buffalo; Katie Orem, Geriatrics & Palliative Care Program Manager, eMOLST Administrator, Univera Healthcare; and Kelly (Hair) O’Neill, Financial Advisor, LightHouse Financial Asset Management, LLC, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, spoke to attendees about financial planning for the future, including retirement and end of life planning.

Own Your Financial Future: On Friday, April 12, 2019  Nicholle Overkamp, Founder and CEO of Wilcox Financial Group, Certified Holistic Health & Functional Medicine Coach and Melinda Yoder, Registered Dietitian taught attendees about “Money Types”, how their “Money Types” may be holding them back from achieving financial goals and what they may be doing every day to impact their financial success.

Your Mind, Body & Nutrition Are Impacting Your Life. Are They Working For You? On Friday, February 22, 2019  Elaine Pauly, Certified Holistic Health & Functional Medicine Coach and Melinda Yoder, Registered Dietitian taught attendees about their mind, body & nutrition.

2018 Events

Ageism, The Unspoken Bias Impacting Each Stage of a Woman’s Life: Held on December, 7th and presented by Ann Monroe, certified master trainer and nationally renowned expert on heath and human services.

Pathways to STEM: On Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 10:30am -12:30pm the WNY Women’s Foundation, in partnership with James H. Cummings Foundation, Buffalo Community Schools Initiative, and WNY STEM, hosted a movie screening of “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap” followed by a talk back about the movie. The focus of the morning will be supporting women and girls in STEM by overcoming barriers and taking advantage of opportunities.

Pathways to School Readiness: The WNY Women’s Foundation’s Pathways to Progress, Vol. 2 report outlines the barriers and opportunities faced by women and girls in WNY throughout their lifetimes. “Sophia”, a young girl (age Birth – 9 years old), was the focus of our discussion on March 23rd.  A panel of experts discussed how we can support the “Sophias” in our community to ensure they are prepared to enter school and be successful.

2017 Events

Pathways to Progress, Vol. 2 Report Launch: Hosted by Mount Mercy Academy, with special keynote from Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul.

Overcoming Barriers: A Conversation with Women Who Excel in Male-Dominated Fields: Moderator: Kelly O’Neill, Lighthouse Financial Asset Management, Panelists: Julieta Ross, M&T Bank; Erica Muhleman, Pegula Sports & Entertainment; Jane Griffin, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute

2016 Events

Dream, Girl film screening: Watch the trailer. Followed by a conversation about female entrepreneurship facilitated by Sabina Ramsey

Barriers and Bias Research Report Release and Panel on Women in Leadership: Download the full report and watch the summary video

Reinventing Yourself in the Land of Opportunities: Sponsored by: Workforce Development Institute, Moderated By: Amber Dixon, Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology and Panelists: Shandra Spicer, Spicer Group; Liz Callahan, Buffalo Niagara Partnership; Colleen Heidinger, 43North