Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University



Check out the lineup of speakers for this year’s event below. We’ll be updating this list with even more 2017 speakers soon… stay tuned!

Interested in submitting a proposal to speak at the event? Click here to submit a speaker proposal to the event planning committee!



Iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author, and Emmy award-winning television commentator, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. She has been honored widely for her achievements, most recently being inducted into the USA National Women’s Hall of Fame for creating positive social change. The ramifications of this work is both joyful and profound, changing forever the face of sports, health, and opportunities for women around the world and fearlessly empowering millions beyond the finish line, especially through the non-profit “261® Fearless, Inc.” To learn more about Kathrine, visit



Isisara Bey is an film festival and live events producer, keynote speaker,  facilitator for conferences, festivals, workshops, retreats and board meetings. As an event producer, she serves as Executive Producer of the March on Washington Film Festival (MOWFF), an annual Civil Rights-themed, week long  summer festival of short, documentary and narrative films, first person accounts, scholarship, the performing arts and student filmmaker and journalist competitions in the nation’s capital. The festival’s mission is to unearth the untold stories and unsung icons and foot soldiers of the Civil Rights movement, impact the way the movement is taught, and to connect the movement’s aims and strategies to present day social justice activism in this country and abroad.

Prior to joining the March on Washington Film Festival, she served as VP of Programs for Count Me in for Women’s Economic Independence, designing and leading business pitch competitions and multi-day events promoting and supporting entrepreneurship for women around the country.

As a keynote speaker, Isisara brings her powerful presence, rich subject matter and engaging delivery to audiences exploring the principles of business leadership and personal empowerment.  As a workshop facilitator, she creatively blends core content with human development processes and theater games, allowing participants to experience individual agency and an enhanced capacity to accomplish goals and manifest dreams.  She also moderates panels and meetings for a variety of organizations.



Cynthia Hellen is a globally recognized, Peruvian-American entrepreneur, writer-producer-director and technologist.

Hellen is the founder and CEO of SMPLCT Lab (pronounced “simplicity lab”) a design laboratory based in New York, that creates sustainable products, services and experiences for people and planet. SMPLCT Lab’s mission is to improve life, build communities and protect the environment.

Hellen regularly gives keynote speeches and hosts workshops at conferences, corporations, universities, nonprofits, and community groups on women entrepreneurship, “frugal” innovation, and startups worldwide. In 2017, she was honored with the “Mayor’s Award For Outstanding Civic Contribution” for her work in entrepreneurship and technology. In 2016, she was honored with the “Phenomenal Women Award” by Baruch College for her leadership and commitment as an entrepreneur. In 2015, she was awarded The Coaching Fellowship for being an extraordinary young woman leader. In 2014, Hellen became the Chapter Leader of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE), a nonprofit promoting young women social entrepreneurs. In 2013, she became a U.S. Department of State “Expert Speaker” where she travels worldwide engaging local communities. 2012, she became the recipient of a Bloomberg Businessweek and Sandbox Network Fellowship for empowering women in a remarkable way. Her work has been profiled nationally and internationally. She mentors college students from Columbia University, Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Harvard University and Harvard Business School.

Joanne Lenweaver


Joanne Lenweaver is a life-long student of the creative spirit, whether as an entrepreneur within her women-owned business or “intrapreneur” in other large corporations, Joanne believes in creative problem solving, calculated disruption, and never accepting the status-quo in any situation. Starting in 1985, Joanne with her husband, Dave, guided their design firm of remarkably talented creatives through many award-winning years. Lenweaver Advertising+Design Inc. featured in national media for its innovative use of the first version Apple MacIntosh computer installations in a design firm setting led the way in a new world.

As Director of the WISE Women’s Business Center, Joanne has taken the women’s business center to new levels by: relocating to a downtown location in The Tech Garden to achieve greater branding presence; initiating the first fund raising effort for the WISE Women’s Business Center; and building an Advisory Board engaged to create a center to serve entrepreneurial women of the future. She currently lives on a scenic, organic farm in Fabius, NY with her husband, Dave.

Most recently, she has been awarded:

  • 2015 “Successful Business Women” Award, BizEvents
  • “Economic Champion” 2013 (WISE Women’s Business Center)– CenterState CEO
  • Zonta – “Crystal Award” 2013 – Zonta International
  • The US Small Business Administration “Women’s Business Center of the Year” 2010
  • Red Cross “Women Who Mean Business” 2012
  • Falcone Center “Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award” 2012 Syracuse University