"Albany Women Business Leaders Share Their Success Stories"
This program is a moderated panel discussion during which the participants will share their successes in business and their challenges in achieving and managing success. The moderator is Anne Saile, President of The Saile Group. The presenters are: Sandra M. Fox, Vice President, Technology Operations at CHA; Trish Rost, President and Founder of Madison Handbags & Tobi Saulnier, Founder and CEO of 1st Playable Productions.
We are providing the speakers' pictures & bios below. Please continue to read if you wish to learn more.
Anne Saile is President of The Saile Group, a company committed to advancing the partnership for women owned and minority businesses with Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Saile is nationally recognized as a management expert and brings over 25 years of chief executive experience running complex, multimillion dollar companies. She holds a certificate from the prestigious Birkman International and coaches a select number of top executives and their key staff to build companies that grow, last and achieve.
She is Chair of the Capital Region Women Presidents’ Organization, the Founding Chair of the Women@Work Advisory Board, founding member of the Forum for Executive Women, and sits on numerous non-profit boards, including the American Heart Association’s Founder’s Board.
Ms. Saile has received numerous awards, including being honored by two governors for her work in women’s health and has been featured in Forbes Magazine. She was most recently honored by the Center for Women in Government for her outstanding work in advancing women’s rights.
She is a graduate of Russell Sage College, attended Oxford University Center for Human Rights and Responsibilities in London, England and was an invited guest at the international symposium at Harvard University.
Sandra M. Fox
Sandra M. Fox is Vice President of Technology Operations at CHA, an international engineering firm headquartered in Albany with over 1,250 employees and 41 offices in the United States, five offices in the Middle East, North Africa, Azerbaijan and the Pacific.
Ms. Fox’s professional accomplishments include being named a CHA Principal in 2000, establishing a technology profit center to complement CHA’s core engineering business, managing the M&A integrations of five companies into the firm, developing mentor and leadership programs, and serving on the firm’s Strategic Planning and Executive Management Committees. She received a Woman of Excellence award by the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and a 40 Under Forty Award from The Business Review. She is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Leadership and Tech Valley Leadership Programs.
Ms. Fox’s philanthropic involvement focuses on youth development; families affected by life threatening diseases; the Capital Region’s arts and culture, and promoting workforce development in the science, technology, engineering and math sectors. She embraces her responsibilities as a mentor and role model and works tirelessly to elevate the role of women in engineering, which resulted in CHA earning the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Award from Girls Inc. in 2006.
Ms. Fox’s current professional and community involvement includes being a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, serving on the Operating and Foundation Boards of Directors for Girls Inc., co-chairing the American Cancer Society’s 2012 Gala of Hope, and presenting and mentoring for Rockefeller College’s Center for Women in Government & Civil Society’s Leadership New York Program and SUNY’s Women in Leadership Program. She recently participated in Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Program by leading volunteering and fundraising efforts to help construct a new house in Albany’s South End. The full breadth of Ms. Fox’s philanthropic resume includes volunteering and fundraising for over 25 other locally-based community and non-profit organizations during her career. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Russell Sage College.
Trish Rost is President and Founder of Madison Handbags. She started Madison Handbags in 2005 with an interest in fashion and a determination to build a business. Through financial hardship and personal strife, including battling cancer twice, she persevered and has built a strong business on the foundation of solid work ethic and compassion for others.
Ms. Rost began the business on a small cutting table in her basement and hired seamstresses who worked from their homes making the bags. Several years later and with enough growth to purchase her own production facility, Ms. Rost continues to remain true to her network of women who sew from their homes. She believes deeply in allowing women the opportunity to find success. Though the journey has not been without obstacles, Ms. Rost stands firmly committed to producing high quality products that will remain Made in the USA.
The year 2011 was monumental for the company. Madison Handbags began its going green initiative in earnest with all aspects of the business taking on a facelift. The conversion to 100% wind energy at the production facility was the culmination of Ms. Rost’s determination to be more socially responsible and a better friend to the environment. Additionally, she announced at the Annual Conference in March that Madison Handbags was teaming up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by launching the Bubbles of Hope Campaign. Handbags can now be designed with a percentage of the profits being donated to support the efforts of LLS.The year 2011 was monumental for the company. Madison Handbags began its going green initiative in earnest with all aspects of the business taking on a facelift. The conversion to 100% wind energy at the production facility was the culmination of Ms. Rost’s determination to be more socially responsible and a better friend to the environment. Additionally, she announced at the Annual Conference in March that Madison Handbags was teaming up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by launching the Bubbles of Hope Campaign. Handbags can now be designed with a percentage of the profits being donated to support the efforts of LLS.
The business savvy displayed by Ms. Rost was learned in school. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at Messiah College and her MBA at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She honed her skills during years of working in the marketing and advertising fields. As she looks ahead to continued growth and development of new programs and products, Ms. Rost is more enthusiastic than ever for the direction that Madison Handbags is heading.
Tobi Saulnier is founder and CEO of 1st Playable Productions where she leads a game development studio that has created such hit games such as Club Penguin for the Nintendo DS, Ben 10 DS, Disney Princess DS, and a number of other DS games designed for very specific demographics ("kids' games," "girls' games," etc). The studio is also known for innovative gameplay, including networked features, downloadable content, and integration of real and virtual worlds. The studio also creates games for education and social change, including retail and research titles. Before joining the game industry, Ms. Saulnier managed R&D in embedded and distributed systems at General Electric Research and Development, where she also led initiatives in new product development, software quality, business strategy and outsourcing. An upstate NY native, she earned her BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her current interest is in the area of social entrepreneurship and the challenges of creating a community-centric local small business that can be sustainable in an aggressive global market.
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