End of Year CWiB Presidents Letter


Sophia Dadas and Kelly Garnes-Pages

Dear CWiB Members and Recent Alumnae,

Congratulations on finishing the school year and to the second years on their graduation! Thank you for being active members and contributors to CWiB and to CBS. We hope that you had the opportunity to enjoy all of the benefits of being a club member.  2014-2015 was a hallmark year for CWiB, and it would not have been possible without all of you.

Careers and Corporate Relations: The year started long before August with fundraising and the planning for the annual CWiB Conference.  Our Careers & Corporate Relations team worked with corporate partners to secure funding for one of the largest conferences at Columbia. Beyond raising money, the team also hosted events, such as the professional networking event and the app development workshop, in order to help CWiB members expand their horizons.

Meanwhile, the Conference Team hosted the 22nd Annual Columbia Women in Business Conference, “Dare to Disrupt” and provided the tools, inspiration, and encouragement to push for the things that matter to us as CBS women.  The event was attended by over 300 women and featured keynote speeches from Joyce Chang, Editor-in-Chief of SELF Magazine, Michelle Peluso, CEO of Gilt, and panelists from companies including Amazon, Etsy, NBCUniversal, Pepsi, PwC and many more. The smaller panels gave CBS women a more intimate setting in which to network with company representatives and with each other.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, CWiB held our Annual Women’s Week for the third year. The Women’s Week Team hosted an array of events celebrating the female community at CBS and highlighting the accomplishments of women in the business world.  This year’s theme was “In Her Shoes” and showcased our signature hot pink sunglasses and other swag. We were honored to have Tamara Mellon, Former Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Jimmy Choo on campus for an intimate fireside chat. Other events included women in finance and tech industry panels, a school-wide CBS Matters, a voice empowerment workshop, an admissions webinar and a sponsored happy hour.

Our Leadership Development Team has taken the lead in providing solutions for our State of Women report by renewing our mentoring program.  We provided 80 first years with trained, second year mentors who served as an additional CBS resource.  We also launched a partnership with SELF Magazine to provide even more tools to not only our business school students but to our undergraduate students as well. We also launched our Leadership Circles, which allowed members to spend time reflecting on the things that mattered to them with trained professionals.

Our Events Team held a wide range of events, from community service projects to networking events. Earlier this year, we hosted the CWiB retreat, which provided an opportunity for our members to discuss wellness, building personal brand, and community building. We have also launched our CWiB cohorts, which turned our large organization into micro-communities in order to build deeper, more meaningful relationships.  We have also hosted our Pyramid Dinner and our 5K wellness race in partnership with Girls, Inc. Thanks to our Events team, we offered professional headshots to our members, went to a Broadway Show, honed our golf skills, and visited New York Vintners.

Behind the scenes, our Marketing team worked tirelessly on an exciting rebranding, which included a new website and new social media channels.  The team conducted the marketing for all our events, including Conference and Women’s Week, while maintaining comprehensive Weekly Events emails and strengthening our social media presence.

Our Membership & Finance team launched the first ever CWiB’s Manbassador program.  As part of this program, CWiB invited male members of the CBS community to promote CWiB’s mission of advancing women in business.  In partnership with the Office of Admissions, the team hosted two events specifically for prospective female students and lunches at both Connect events.  CWiB also reached out to every woman admitted to CBS to answer questions and share experiences.


The CWiB board went far beyond their requisite duties in order to realize our goal of fostering a lifelong community that enables all of us to achieve our personal and professional aspirations. In particular, we would like to thank our Board, as well as our CWiB Committee Members, for their dedication and tireless efforts to make this year a success.  In addition, thank you to the Faculty, the Admissions Office, the CMC, the Dean’s Office, External Relations, Finance & Operations, OSA, CBS alumni, and our corporate sponsors for their continued support of CWiB.

The community at Columbia Business School is comprised of motivated, accomplished, passionate individuals, and it has been a privilege to work closely with so many of you.  Our connection does not end at graduation, and we encourage each of you to stay engaged with CWiB in the future.  We will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve as Presidents of CWiB.  It was the most rewarding aspect of our experience at CBS.

We know CWiB is in great hands with Sreya Bhattacharya and Aparajita Singh as Presidents and the rest of the incoming board.  We look forward to remaining connected as alumni and seeing all that you accomplish in the coming years!

Yours in service,

Sophia Dadas & Kelly Garnes-Pages

Presidents, Columbia Women in Business

About CWIB

Columbia Women in Business exists to support women to Connect, Advance and Influence. With over 400 members and over 30 events each year, the club fosters a lifelong community that enables all Columbia Business School women to achieve their personal and professional aspirations through programming, mentoring, coaching, and advising that provides education, support, and friendship to our members.

2014-2015 CWiB Board

Kareen Gilmore, VP Careers & Corporate Relations

Feryal Hirji, VP Careers & Corporate Relations

Caroline Kirwin, VP Careers & Corporate Relations

Björg Áskelsdóttir, AVP Careers & Corporate Relations

Divya Goenka, AVP Careers & Corporate Relations

Laura Pouderoyen, AVP Careers & Corporate Relations

Nadia Iqbal, VP Conference

Christiana Kwon, VP Conference

Ruchi Bhambhani, AVP Conference

Jaime Lewis, AVP Conference

Jane Hendrick, VP Events

Marisa Reisman, VP Events

Angela Ma, AVP Events

Temitope Fawibe, AVP Events

Charlotte de Vaal, VP Finance & Membership

Eugenia Gandoy, AVP Finance & Membership

Ashley Hines, VP Leadership Development

Kanyisa Ncemane, VP Leadership Development

Lily Aidem, AVP Leadership Development

Jessica Rogers, AVP Leadership Development

Aparajita Singh, AVP Leadership Development

Kristen Bierfeldt, VP Marketing

Victoria Bresnahan, AVP Marketing

Johanna Singer, VP Women’s Week

Clare Premo, AVP Women’s Week


About cwib blog

Columbia Women in Business (CWIB) is an organization that strives to provide Columbia Business School women with resources and contacts to assist them in their academic, professional, and personal development. CWIB is committed to working with faculty, administrators, alumni and the greater business community to promote the role of and opportunities for women in business.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s