The Innovation Imperative for Women in Leadership Certificate Program

Presented by La Salle University Professional and Corporate Education

Every successful woman has a story to tell, a story of her journey to the C-suite, of starting a successful business, of reaching the pinnacle of her profession, or of fulfilling an aspiration. In every case, these high achievers had to innovate their way to the top of their field.

La Salle University wants to give you the opportunity to tell your story and join our community of learners during a five-day certificate program, The Innovation Imperative for Women in Leadership.

La Salle has gathered a superb group of women recognized by their companies, industries, professions, and peers as leaders of distinction to share the story of their journey and how they innovated their way to success.

The program will be held at the Judge Roberts law library of Montgomery McCracken and at ParenteBeard’s state-of-the-art training facility, both located in Center City Philadelphia, on five consecutive Fridays, Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28 and March 7.

Program Objectives

The Innovation Imperative for Women in Leadership program is designed to be a highly interactive, hands-on, and engaging experience for those attending. Participants will leave the program with a personal action plan for success and a certificate in leadership from La Salle University.

Who should attend the Innovation Imperative for Women in Leadership? Women who aspire to reach their personal and professional best, women recognized as having high potential in their field, women in middle management eager for the next step up in their career, entrepreneurs, and those ready for change.

Presenters and Instructors

Letizia Amadini-Lane, Vice President/Global Head, Employee Value Proposition/Member, Office of CEO and Corporate Strategy 

Dr. Letizia Amadini-Lane has more than 25 years of experience in corporate development, strategic alliance creation, and government relations in the global pharmaceutical industry.

Susan M. Barrett, Member, La Salle University Board of Trustees, Investment Adviser 

Susan Barrett is an investment adviser and retired President of Dearden, Maguire, Weaver & Barrett, an investment management and consulting firm.

Kathleen Brunner, CEO, Acumen Analytics, Inc. 

Kathy Brunner has more than 20 years of experience in the technology and financial fields as both an entrepreneur and corporate accountant.

Linda Descano, CFA, Managing Director and Head of Content and Social, North America Marketing, Citi; and President and CEO, Citi’s Women & Co. 

Linda Descano is responsible for developing strategic digital partnerships and programs for Citi. She is also President and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co., a service providing women with financial education.

Denise DiSimone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance, PNC Bank, National Association 

Denise DiSimone is Senior Vice President at PNC and Group Manager for the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey Corporate Finance Group. She also serves as Senior Vice President. She is responsible for strategic planning, forecasting, and development of a multimillion-dollar annual sales budget for a portfolio of corporate clients with revenues in excess of $500 million.

Vail Garvin, FACHE, President and CEO of Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce 

Dr. Vail Garvin serves on many boards including Independence Blue Cross, Doylestown Historical Society, and Heritage Conservancy, and she is a trustee at the Naval War College Foundation in Newport, R.I.

Carmon M. Harvey, Partner, Montgomery-McCracken 

Carmon Harvey is a partner in Montgomery-McCracken’s Labor and Employment Practice and serves as co-Vice Chair of the firm’s Higher Education Law Practice.

Donna Massanova, Practice Leader, Employee Benefit Plans, ParenteBeard 

Donna Massanova is a partner in ParenteBeard’s audit and accounting services group and is the practice leader of the firm’s employee benefit plan (EBP) audit services group.

MarySheila McDonald, Esq., Associate Dean, La Salle School of Business 

MarySheila McDonald works in curriculum and faculty development in the La Salle School of Business at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her areas of expertise include corporate governance and ethics and First Amendment rights in employment.

Susan McDonald, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Career Concepts, Inc. 

Susan McDonald is responsible for building and managing client relationships in the Greater Philadelphia region. She established and ran a woman-owned executive search firm working with clients in the financial services and health-care industries to find and secure top-tier talent. She serves on the Advisory Panel to the La Salle Center for Entrepreneurship.

John Park, Ed.D., Principal, ParenteBeard 

John Park is Principal and Director of Learning and Development at ParenteBeard, where he leads the internal professional, management, and executive development initiatives.

William Weaver, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Integrated Science, Business, and Technology, La Salle University 

Bill Weaver joined the La Salle University faculty in 1999 after leaving the defense industry. He teaches courses in the Integrated Science, Business, and Technology Department. He is the author of A Decade of Innovation: Technology from the First Decade of the 21st Century. 

Susanne La Frankie, M.A., Core Professional Associate in Media and Public Relations, Professional and Corporate Education, La Salle University 

Susanne La Frankie will facilitate the event. She is an expert in professional communication with an extensive background in broadcast journalism, business communication, crisis management, and public relations. A former reporter at WPVI-TV Action News and radio talk show host at 1210 WPHT-AM CBS, La Frankie is an adjunct instructor at the Wharton School and La Salle University Professional and Corporate Education in media relations and crisis management.

Program Schedule

Each session will feature luncheon speakers from various disciplines, as well as these daily themes:

Day 1 | Feb. 7, 2014 | 9 a.m–4 p.m.
“The Innovation Imperative” and
“Defining Innovation”

Day 2 | Feb. 14, 2014 | 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Due to inclement weather, this session has been rescheduled for Mar. 14, 2014. “Leading for Innovative Performance”

Day 3 | Feb. 21, 2014 | 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
“EQ: Your Own Edge in Innovation” and
“Innovate? Be Prepared to Negotiate!”

Day 4 | Feb. 28, 2014 | 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
“Decision-Making at the Speed
of Innovation”

Day 5 | March 7, 2014 | 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
“Building an Innovative Network”

Program Cost

Cost per session: $550


For more information or to register,
contact Wendy Ardagna (215.991.3793; or Blair Saba (215.991.3575;


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