CCCBI’s Women Influencing Business Conference:

Networking, collaboration & helping women grow on their professional journeys

By Kim Chiomento, News Editor, The Times


Conference attendees (L-R) Michelle Venema, Director of Business Development, Brumbaugh Wealth Management; Mary-Ellen Allen, Partner – Lamb McErlane; and Christina Wagoner, Director of Corporate Partnerships – YMCA of Greater Brandywine.

WEST CHESTER – This week, more than 100 professional women gathered at QVC’s headquarters to network, learn from top female executives and share best practices.  This marked the third annual conference hosted by Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry’s (CCCBI) Women Influencing Business Committee, and featured record setting attendance.

CCCBI President and CEO, Guy Ciarrocchi said, “The Chamber is committed to being a strong thought leader and impacting the economy.  Chester County’s economy is extremely important to the region and the state – home to the largest state employer, Vanguard; QVC’s incredible e-commerce and sales operations, major Biopharma companies, and the state’s largest and cash crop, mushrooms. ” He enthusiastically explained that the conference was an ideal example of collaboration between the chamber’s membership and hosted at a member company.


(Front row, L-R) QVC’s Chief Information Officer, Linda Dillman, and CCCBI’s President & CEO, Guy Ciarrocchi take a moment to enjoy time with conference guests.

QVC’s Chief Information Officer, Linda Dillman and CCCBI’s Vice President of Operations, Marianne Martelli offered a warm and spirited welcome to the group.

Dillman shared, “QVC is a leader in the community and we are pleased to host the 2015 conference…we believe in the power of relationships,” and added, “On a personal note, I am delighted to support this program; these same events helped my career immensely.   I believe in mentorships and have benefited from the top leaders who have taken time to teach and invest in me…I applaud CCCBI for organizing this event and the role they play in helping the business climate of our region.”

Martelli received a rousing response to her remarks, “One of the things I love about women, WE JUST DO IT!” She explained that attendees would benefit from CCCBI’s focus on relationship building, and the women attending would receive each other’s contact information and also have the opportunity for additional networking during breaks and lunch.

The half-day event featured opening remarks by NBC10s News Today anchor, Tracy Davidson.  In addition to being a six-time Emmy winning journalist, Davidson is a sought after empowerment speaker and a recent breast cancer survivor.  Her powerful message to attendees was to apply a mantra of “Don’t Wait” to every aspect of their lives.


‘Modern Day Mentoring’ panelists (L-R): Mary Ellen Harris, Human Resource Manager, Global Tax Management, Inc.; Janet Moran, VP of Human Resources, Krapf Bus Companies & Joy Brown, Digital Technology Executive, Vanguard

Davidson encouraged women to seek medical help immediately, even when they might be uncertain whether something is wrong; not to hesitate and go pursue those relationships they are hoping to develop, and not to set-aside any personal or professional goals they aspire to. She also encouraged attendees to question, “Am I living the life I want to be living?  Am I putting my energy into where I say  want to go?”  Davidson added, “Reach ahead to those a bit ahead of you in their careers, reach behind you to help others and reach out to the people walking beside you to connect.”

Working sessions included ‘Get Over Yourself: Owning & Growing your Emotional Intelligence’ presented by Deana Travetti, Senior Director Customer Experience, Comcast Spotlight.  Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.  Great time was spent discussing the impact of emotional intelligence on professional and personal growth, relationships and perspectives.

The topic ‘Modern Day Mentoring’ was presented by a panel comprised of Mary Ellen Harris, Human Resource Manager, Global Tax Management, Inc.; Janet Moran, VP of Human Resources, Krapf Bus Companies; Joy Brown, Vanguard Digital Technology Executive and was moderated by Betsy Niedziejko- Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Team Leader, Fulton Bank.  Topics covered included were gender differences, mentoring within your organization, and getting the most out of your mentoring relationship.


NBC10 News Today anchor, empowerment speaker and breast cancer survivor, Tracy Davidson, provides insight from her personal and professional growth.

Harris remarked, “Mentoring is self-directed.  The most successful mentoring programs were self-directed by people actively seeking out a mentor, who knew their needs and sought out someone with skills they admired.”  Brown believes that mentoring relationships were key during transitional points in her career, “Mentors give the gift of clear, helpful feedback; often from a perspective that we are just not able to see of ourselves.”

The morning’s last session focused on salary negotiation in all stages of careers and was presented by Kenya Jacobs, Compensation Manager at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Jacobs has more than twenty years of Human Resources experience and is an expert on entry-level through executive compensation packages.

The conference closed with remarks from QVC’s Beth Rubino, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Workplace Services.  Attendees were also invited to attend a networking lunch and complimentary behind-the-scenes tour of QVC’s impressive 58,000 square foot facility.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment