On Re-imagining Leadership


Emilie Baltz

COMMUNICATION: EMILIE BALTZ works at the intersection of food, sex and design. She creates work that provokes our relationship to eating and drinking through imagery, products, books and experiences. Her clients include Ebay, The Museum of Sex, Droog Design, The New York Parks Department, The Vitra Design Museum and GOOD magazine. She is one of the founding faculty members for the School of Visual Art’s MFA.


VISION: ISISARA BEY provides the vision for Journey Agent Productions, which creates empowering and transformational programs and events. She also currently serves as Vice-President of Programs for Count Me In For Women’s Economic Independence, and Journey Agent for its Make Mine a Million $ Business, Urban Rebound, and Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps competitions and conferences. Before that she was Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Sony Music, directing its philanthropic arts education partnerships with noted national arts organizations. In her government relations work she helped launch the Congressional Tri-Caucus, a consortium of the Black, Hispanic and Asian Caucuses, and produced the first two Tri-Caucus retreats attended by over 40 members of Congress.


Christa Bell

INSPIRATION: CHRISTA BELL is an award-winning feminist spoken-word poetry and theater artist. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion and her work includes the one-woman show CoochieMagik: A Spoken Word Musical Comedy; 1001 Holy Names for Coochie; and SHEism: The Woman Worship Workshop.  Her work, featured on NPR and afterellen.com, is concerned with the feminine embodiment of the divine as well as how women’s spiritual self-esteem impacts their participation in the political processes that govern their lives. Bell’s performances engage the woman-centered question:  What kind of world would it be, if the God I worshipped was me?


Lea Webb

AMBITION: COUNCILWOMAN LEA WEBB is an award-winning activist, working to bridge the gap between local, state, and federal government to bring positive change in her community. She was the first, and youngest, African American ever elected to this city’s governing body. Lea is an alum and speaker with the White House Project. She was recognized as one of tomorrow’s leaders by Oprah Magazine and the White House Project, and featured in several magazines such as O Magazine, Heart & Soul, Rolling Out Magazine; received various awards including the President’s Award by the Broome-Tioga NAACP for her significant contributions to her community.


COURAGE: MELISSA MAXWELL is an actor, director and award-winning playwright and filmmaker. As a director, Melissa specializes in helping playwrights develop new plays. Her short film, FETUS ENVY, a social commentary on where our culture is headed when critical decisions affecting women’s healthcare are commandeered by ambitious politicians and faceless bureaucrats, recently won the AAPEX filmmaker award and second prize at the Artlightenment Film Festival. As an actor, Melissa has recorded countless books on tape and voice overs, appeared in theatres across the country, in film and on television.


Jennifer Gilbert

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT: JENNIFER GILBERT is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the New York based, 30 million dollar, special events company Save the Date®. She earned the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 1998, followed by recognition in Inc. Magazine as one of the “Great Companies Started” and received the Entrepreneur Award of Excellence from Working Woman Magazine. Jennifer’s new memoir is titled I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag.


Michaela Murphy

RESILIENCE: MICHAELA MURPHY  is a writer, playwright, and interactive web specialist.  Her work has been featured on NPR, Off-Broadway, The Liar Show,The Moth main-stage and The Clinton White House. She currently lives in Seattle: working on her memoir, The Green Monster and for Microsoft Advertising.


Rachel Schutt

ADVOCACY: RACHEL SCHUTT is a Senior Statistician at Google Research in New York, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Columbia University, where she educates a new generation of problem solvers on how to responsibly handle and find meaning in massive data sets. She is co-authoring a book (with Cathy O’Neil) called “Doing Data Science” to be published by O’Reilly in Spring 2013. Rachel is a founding member of the Education Committee for the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering at Columbia.


Linda Kay Klein

NEGOTIATION: LINDA KAY KLEIN is a writer, speaker, and spiritual strongwoman based in New York City. She is a frequent speaker at colleges, universities, conferences and nonprofits, and has been featured by outlets such as NPR, PRN, and the American Prospect. She writes the Fierce, Faithful and Free column for Feminst.com, and blogs about women, sex and God at manmadegirls.com. Linda is also the Director of Echoing Green’s Work on Purpose program which inspires and equips young people to do work that is right for them and good for the world.


Karen Washington

LEVERAGE: KAREN WASHINGTON is a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. A community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. She is a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, helped launched a City Farms Market, is a Just Food board member, a board member and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition and she co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS).