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2014 Keynote Speakers

A list of keynote speakers

Melissa Gonzalez

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on April 24, 2014 the Powerful Women Paving the Way Conference will feature a kickoff networking reception with keynote speaker Melissa Gonzalez, Founder & CEO of the Lionesque Group.

Melissa Gonzalez ’99 BS is CEO and Founder of The Lionesque Group. She provides pop-up retail consulting services to leading brands in fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries. Gonzalez began her career on Wall Street at Credit Suisse in Institutional Equity Sales, while juggling a dual TV career hosting BET’s Latin Beat for three seasons. Since leaving Wall Street, she has become the go-to pop-up architect for brands looking to either launch their brand, or insert it into strategic conversations. She and her team have produced more than 65 pop-up stores since 2009. Beginning with the vision of the branded experience, the Lionesque Group guides clients throughout the entire lifecycle of the "pop-up experience”.  In the fall of 2009, Gonzalez also co-founded RSPOP with the Roger Smith hotel and has since grown the venture into three street-level revolving storefronts, called The Market, with clients including Prince Tennis & Apparel, Johnnie-O, Ariana Rockefeller and Ellen DeGeneres' Halo Pets Foundation. In 2013, she joined the Advisory Board of the innovative online marketplace for short-term real estate spaces,, and actively works with them to expand business. Gonzalez is an active guest blogger on pop-up and immersive retail strategies and presents at conferences across the country. She has been awarded The Wall Street Journal’s Donor of the Day, one of the top 20 Most Inspiring People in New York City and one of the Top 100 Young CEO's- via Our Time's White House Initiative. Gonzalez is proud to have been a founding member of Women in Business and is a lifetime supporter of its initiatives.

Bob Moritz

On April 24, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. the Powerful Women Paving the Way Conference will feature keynote speaker Bob Moritz, Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC.

Bob Moritz currently serves as PwC’s U.S. Chairman and Senior partner, after being re-elected by the US partners to serve a second four-year term which began on July 1, 2013.  He is also a member of PwC’s global leadership team, serving alongside the Global Chairman as well as the senior partners from the global network’s four largest territories. Moritz has held various leadership positions during his tenure with the firm including leading the Assurance practice as well as serving as the managing partner for the New York region.  He started with the firm in 1985 and was admitted to the partnership in 1995.  Specializing in financial services, Moritz served some of the firm’s largest clients in banking and capital markets and went on to lead that practice both in New York and for the US firm. He also spent some time overseas, serving a three-year tour in PwC Tokyo, where he provided audit and advisory services to numerous European and US-based financial services organizations operating in Japan.  It was during this tour that Moritz learned the importance of developing a global mindset.  He also learned first-hand what it is like to be the minority, driving his passion and focus to create a more diverse and inclusive work environment for everyone.  He is an impassioned speaker on the importance of diversity in driving a successful organization. Moritz is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego and is involved in a number of boards, such as the Oswego College Foundation, the Conference Board, Atlantic Council, and the Partnership for New York City.   From a personal perspective, he has two college-age children, enjoys riding motorcycles, and plays the drums.

Beth Brooke

Named to Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on April 25, 2014 the Powerful Women Paving the Way Conference welcomes Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair - Regulatory and Public Policy of EY for a fireside discussion.

Beth A. Brooke is Global Vice Chair - Public Policy at EY and is a member of the firm’s Global Executive Board. She has public policy responsibility for the firm’s operations in 150 countries. In addition, she has global responsibility for the firm’s Diversity and Inclusiveness efforts. Brooke has been named six times to the list of Forbes "World's 100 Most Powerful Women", and was named 2009 Woman of the Year by Concern Worldwide. During the Clinton Administration, she worked for two years in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she was responsible for all tax policy matters related to insurance and managed care. She played important roles in the healthcare reform and Superfund reform efforts. Throughout her career, Brooke has been actively engaged in numerous civic and business organizations. She serves on the Boards of Vital Voices, The Committee for Economic Development, and TechnoServe. She is the Co-Chair of the Board of WEConnect International. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute, the Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School at Harvard, and the Women’s Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum. She is a member of the inaugural class of the Henry Crown Fellows of The Aspen Institute and the Committee of 200. Brooke serves on the public policy advisory councils for Georgetown University and Indiana University. She also served on the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership led by Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Karen Carter

On April 25, 2014 the Powerful Women Paving the Way Conference welcomes networking lunch keynote speaker Karen Carter, Executive Vice President of BP North America Gas & Power Trading.

Karen E. Carter ’88 German BS is the Head of Credit Risk for BP’s North American energy commodities business based in Houston, TX. Carter's career has focused on risk management in both financial securities and commodities trading.  She has worked in New York and as an expatriate in Sao Paulo, Brazil for several financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, ING Barings, Banco Wachovia and Citibank.  Her experience in financial institutions covered trading in equities, FX, Brady bonds, money markets, and derivatives.  She joined the energy industry in 2000 with Enron's power structuring/origination business and subsequently joined BP in 2005. Her energy experience includes power, natural gas, NGLs, biofuels, and structured energy derivatives.  In her current role she leads a team of fourteen credit professionals primarily focused on structured risk mitigation solutions for BP's energy commodities trading business. In addition to her work experience, Carter graduated from New York University with an MBA in Finance and completed a Management Associate training program at Citibank in New York. When not working for BP, Carter enjoys doing volunteer work with her church and spending time with her husband and two children on the ski slopes of Colorado.