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



Announcing the 2018 Speaker Lineup!



Rick Tamlyn inspires people to be their best. In 2001, Rick co-created The Bigger Game: a tool that inspires people from all walks of life to get out of their comfort zones and invent the lives they want. He is the author of Play Your Bigger Game: 9 Minutes to Learn, A Lifetime to Live (Hay House).

Rick is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and a Master Certified Coach (MCC) as designated by the International Coach Federation (ICF), and is a senior trainer for The Coaches Training Institute.

Learn more:


Sarah Chamberlain

Sarah Chamberlain, Women2Women

Activist, entrepreneur, public speaker, Washington D.C. powerbroker, and passionate advocate of women’s political engagement — Sarah Chamberlain plays many roles. As President and CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership, Sarah leads an organization that supports the governing wing of the Republican Party in Congress. She is the only woman in the country who serves as the CEO of a major Republican organization. As the creator and facilitator of the Women2Women National Conversations Tour, Sarah has become one of the most important national voices calling for women to become more involved in the political process.

A native of upstate New York, Sarah received her undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Delaware and master’s degrees in Business Administration and Education from Elmira College. She also completed the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University. She has written for the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and other national publications and is a frequent guest on national media programs. She was chosen by CQ Roll Call as a 2017 Rising Star, and featured as one of Elle Magazine’s 10 Women in Washington in 2017.


Samantha Tassone

Samantha Tassone, Growth Fuel

Samantha Tassone is President of GrowthFuel, a boutique professional services firm, focused on gender intelligence, how to perform under pressure, and advancing women’s leadership.

For more than 20 years, Samantha has worked with public, private, nonprofit organizations and individuals to accelerate their performance. She is experienced in influencing the C-suite and has expertise in driving business strategy with exceptional results. She is a strategist, facilitator, speaker, and performance coach. Her passion is to grow her client’s personal leadership impact and value, enabling them to perform under pressure, at higher levels.


Carrie Majewski

Carrie Majewski, Next Gen Leadership

Carrie Majewski, Founder and CEO of the Women in Leadership Nexus, fiercely believes in shattering traditional definitions of leadership that posit that title and hierarchy make a leader. Alternatively, Carrie believes that leaders unwaveringly support ideals surrounding empowerment, spirited collaboration, authenticity, positive impact and self-conviction; they do not wait for organizational charts to grant them “permission” to start living these principles.

The Women in Leadership Nexus creates safe space for female luminaries to convene to redefine the notion of leadership through an interactive online community and in-person events.

A seasoned speaker and blogger on topics related to next-gen leadership, personal branding, workplace culture and management style, Carrie delights in being able to bring a new way of thinking to audiences. She has forged a career around strategic writing and storytelling, having led a digital marketing agency for almost three years and today also working as Marketing Principal for Trilix Tech.



Jess Ekstrom

Jess Ekstrom, Headbands of Hope

Jess is the founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a company she started as a junior in college in 2012. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The company has been featured on the TODAY Show, Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Good Morning America and more. More importantly, she’s given over 100,000 headbands and donated to every children’s hospital in the United States. Jess is also an award-winning speak-er, author, and writer for Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Aliza Seeber

Aliza Seeber is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Spark.Orange, a Salesforce Consulting company with HQ in Syracuse, NY that transforms the way companies do business. From local non-profits to global companies, Spark.Orange has improved operational efficiencies among a wide range of businesses, helping them scale and grow. Aliza has been a business owner for more than 5 years and a mother for more than 11. As a woman in tech, she hopes to inspire other women to break down barriers in male-dominated fields.

Janet Lutz

Janet Lutz is the owner of Calico Gals Inc, a retail destination in Syracuse, NY for passionate stitchers and sewists, and Row by Row Experience LLC, event production for independent stores around the world, helping them to bring shoppers through their doors. She is passionate about creative retail strategies using a diverse spectrum of technology. Janet and her husband Karl live in Syracuse and enjoy travel and spending time with their 4 grown children and families.


Kathryn Cartini, WISE 2018 EMCEE

Kathryn Cartini is CMO for the entrepreneur-led nonprofit, Upstate Venture Connect, which connects entrepreneurs to the resources needed to succeed. She also helps startup founders attract the attention of investors through storytelling as the CEO of Peacock Media, LLC. Most recently, Kathryn co-founded Chloe Capital, an early stage VC firm focused on decreasing the gender gap in entrepreneurship by investing in women-led tech companies and building communities around them. She is a graduate of the Newhouse program at Syracuse University.



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.

Amy Robbins


Amy Robbins has been teamed up with 93Q Morning Show co-host Ted Long for the last twenty-nine years!  She is a 1983 graduate of Camden High School and a 1987 graduate of Ithaca College School of Communications with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Amy is a fan of cooking, gardening, naps, spending way too much money on bird feeders and her two kitties Riley and Kantishna. She is a fan of Fit Body Boot Camp and has constantly sore muscles.  She loves a good wood stove fire, a glass of wine and throwing fabulous dinner parties.

She and her husband Mark live in Cicero.  They are trying to visit all fifty states by the year 2020 so that is normally what their vacations consist of (they’re on state number 49!) and they are big fans of Finger Lakes Wine Country too!

Lynn Bowser

Lynn Bowser

Lynn Bowser, Northwestern Mutual in Syracuse

Lynn Bowser is a Growth and Development Director for Northwestern Mutual in Syracuse. Lynn attended Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in Syracuse, NY. Lynn has been an Advisor with NM since 2014, she and her husband Ryan have been personal clients of Northwestern Mutual since 2005.
At Northwestern Mutual, Lynn has been a speaker at the Annual Meeting as well as the Women’s Affinity Summit. She is on a national Field Committee, a part of Women’s Leadership Study Group and a member of Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Lynn qualified for The Million Dollar Round Table in the 2nd year of her career.
She is on the board of directors for The Women’s Fund of CNY. She is active in Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Catholic Charities as well as volunteering at her children’s schools.
Lynn lives in Fayetteville, NY with her husband Ryan, her 3 children, Caitlyn, Michael and Emily along with their dogs. Lynn enjoys running, kickboxing, being outdoors, traveling and reading.

Marisol Hernandez


Marisol Hernandez is the editor-in-chief of CNY Latino Newspaper, the only Hispanic-oriented publication in Central New York. Her main roles are to assists with Marketing/Advertising, serves as an editor and proof-reader of the CNY Latino Newspaper; manages the Translation Division, and many events that this organization creates and manages annually. Native of Puerto Rico, she graduated from Empire State College, State University of New York with a degree in Human and Community Services and a concentration in Child and Family Studies.

Marisol created WISE Latina, an annual luncheon to motivate, empower and connect Latina women in Central New York by supporting their existing and developing entrepreneurial objectives. WISE Latina is held within the renowned WISE Symposium in Syracuse, NY. Marisol has received the 2015 WISE Faces of Success Award presented by iHeartMedia’s Y94 and the 2016 Successful Business Women Award for Multicultural Diversity Achievement presented by BIZ Events.

Daisy Rivera Algarin

Daisy Rivera Algarin

Daisy Rivera Algarin is the Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC) Director for the City of Rochester. Mayor Lovely Warren appointed Daisy to the director role in February 2017. One of her priorities will be to help all residents and businesses feel welcome in Rochester and to provide opportunities for engagement with city government.

In addition, she is the Project Manager of the planning team for the North Clinton Avenue revitalization project. She has serve in her current role since June 2000.NSC’s empower and bring together City residents to discuss neighborhood quality of life issues and concerns and through this collaboration issues can be addressed quickly and effectively.

Daisy has served on many boards: Salvation Army, Governance Committee for Al Sigl Community of Agencies Board of Trusties, American Heart Association, Circle of Red Awareness Campaign for women, Latina Woman Scholarship Fund Chair and Founder- (Fund of $127,000 Awarded 19 scholarships), Democrat and Chronicle Blogger for UNITE Rochester, Center for Urban Entrepreneurship (CUE) at RIT., PathStone Loan Committee, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, 2014 United Way President Search Committee, and different capacities with Latinas Unidas. She was part of the founding team and has been the chair and now serves as Immediate Past president of Latinas Unidas.

She was born in Bronx NY and educated in Rochester. Daisy came to Rochester in 1971. She is married has 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Carmen M. Peña

Carmen M. Peña

Carmen M. Peña, M.A. is a Coach, Speaker, and Writer with expertise in the areas of training and development consulting services within diverse industries and populations including education, non-profits, corporations and small businesses. Her specialty is to increase the happiness, health and success of organizations and individuals who want to create positive change and thrive. Carmen feels fortunate to have made a difference in the world for over 20 years using her education including a Master’s Degree from Columbia University, a Bachelor’s Degree from The University at Albany, and the valuable experiences and knowledge gained serving in leadership roles in her fulfilling career.

Her vision and mission has been to coach and inspire thousands of people, from various ages and life stages. Promoting self-empowerment, mindfulness, and transformation into the best version of themselves. Trained as a ‘Powerhouse Speaker’, delivering a universal message in a relatable way, led to her being featured as a speaker in colleges, corporations and organizations such as: Columbia University, The New York Times, Ogilvy & Mathers, and many more. Carmen also produces her own “feel good” empowerment events to teach women, men and young adults how to overcome challenges and achieve goals faster.

Most recently, Carmen is helping people succeed as a Coach for United Healthcare Group, the largest healthcare company in the world, and working individually with private clients.  She’s also happily developing “passion, purpose and profit” projects including: serving as the Founding Executive Director of a Women Veteran’s Housing & Workforce Development Initiative in Newark, NJ; and by “adopting” an elementary school enhancing their College and Career Readiness Program in New York City, NY. Furthermore, she’s committed to “spreading the good news” by working on book projects on how to use faith, hope, love and trust to create happiness, health and wealth on a global scale.

Clara N. Cedeño

Clara N. Cedeño

Clara N. Cedeño is Owner/Founder of La Patria Café, a Latin American and Latin Caribbean restaurant set to open in August 2018, in the Hawley-Green District of Syracuse, N.Y.

With over 13 years in the IT industry, Clara has held varying management positions with the most recent being a Global Manager in the Partner Services division. She recently decided to create a start-up in pursuit of her passions; business, total customer experience, cooking, entertaining, bringing people together, and sharing her Latin culture. She purchased the future location of La Patria Café and with the help of her mentors, Laura Serway and Cindy Seymour (the co-owners of Laci’s Tapas Bar), Clara is well on her way and excited to open.

Having been raised in a very traditional Dominican family; Clara learned very early on that opportunities in life had to be sought out because contrary to popular belief, they don’t just come knocking on your door. At the age of 18, Clara became a single mother and despite the many challenges she faced, she went on to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany. And in 2017, graduated from the Syracuse University, Whitman School of Management with a Master in Business Administration degree.

Clara lives in the Syracuse, N.Y. area with her fiancé. Together they are parents to five wonderful young adults and grandparents to two beautiful grandchildren. She enjoys getting involved in the community and looks forward to solidifying her roots in Syracuse.

If you were ever to ask Clara how she is doing, she will quickly respond, “I’m living the dream!” She hopes that you are as well.

Johanna Santiago

Johanna Santiago

Johanna Santiago is the Manager of Contract Services for the City of Rochester. In this role, Johanna oversees the City’s Demolition Program and supports owner-occupants and landlords through the Housing Repair Programs. Johanna has held multiple positions during her 17.5 year tenure with the City of Rochester’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development.

Ms. Santiago is very passionate about helping and teaching others; and as a result serves as the Chairperson for the City of Rochester Hispanic Heritage Committee and is a Board Member for the Rochester Housing Development Fund Corporation. Throughout her employment with the City of Rochester, Johanna has demonstrated her ability to be creative, innovative, and progressive. She has improved work production through streamlining program processes and procedures.

Johanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Keuka College. A native of Rochester, she spends her free time with her three beautiful daughters and fiancé.

Speaking Opportunities

Interested in submitting a proposal to speak at this event or a future WISE Symposium? Click here to submit a speaker proposal to the event planning committee!