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President's Message - January 14

Friday, January 10, 2020   (0 Comments)
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New Beginnings


“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.*


Dear FWA Members, Sponsors and Friends,

Simone VinocourSimone Vinocour
FWA President 2019-2020

Happy New Year, to all of you: FWA members, sponsoring firms, supporters and friends!! May 2020 bring each of you health, prosperity and happiness!

In case you thought you missed my December letter, rest assured - you did not! With three birthdays, a wedding anniversary and the various holiday concerts, performances and visitors, December is known as the “Month of Mayhem” at my house. We (half) joke that, like the FWA, our fiscal year end is June 30th. However, in our case, it’s to adjust for seasonality of cash flow!

Hopefully, you are entering the new year renewed, refreshed, resolved and ready to go...with the FWA, of course.

1) The World

Much is made of the fact that we are entering a new decade and pundits from economists to futurists are predicting what we can expect in the 20’s. One thing is certain, it will be a decade of increasing importance of the role of women in the economy in general and our finance industry in particular. It has been one hundred years since women obtained the right to vote in the US and while we are making great strides, we still have not seen full parity. Why is that?

The answer is a complex one: lack of inclusion in the workplace, in some cases a declining number of women (and men) studying finance or choosing a more traditional finance-related position, and the structural changes facing our industry. However, understanding this industry, the domestic as well as global markets, and economics is crucial in a well-functioning economy, no matter its composition. Proudly, the FWA will continue to lead the way in educating, mentoring and advancing women in this field.

The next decade will be filled with unpredictable threats around: market stability, inflation, global trade, oil, Brexit, artificial intelligence, and regulation. The best way to manage through uncertainty and threats is to be armed with the skills and information to ensure excellence and success.

2) The FWA

I am pleased to say that the FWA’s two major year-end events, Giving Tuesday and the Holiday Benefit, were great successes! We surpassed our Giving Tuesday goal and the Benefit was not only a great fundraiser, but also great fun! Thank you to the Development and Benefit Committees for all of your outstanding work on these projects and a special thank you to those of you who supported these efforts.

If you were unable to participate, fear not, we have terrific events coming up to expand your skill set and knowledge base:

January 16th: The Cutting Edge of Israeli FinTech: An Introduction to Israeli Innovation” with panelists: Inon Elroy, the Economic Minister to North America, Government of Israel, Rafi Cameli, Partner at Viola Growth, and Charlie Javice, the founder of Frank. Space is limited for this in-depth look at the Israel’s role in FinTech and how it’s driving innovation. Please register today! .

January 30th: Join our FWA New Jersey Committee, members and guests at our Meet & Mingle to Kick Off the New Year! This is sure to be a terrific gathering.

January 30th: Are you located on Long Island? Then join the Long Island committee for “Create Your Style Within Your Lifestyle”!

Proposed Upcoming Events:

We are finalizing some terrific events in the coming weeks which are not yet open for registration so stay tuned!

  • Discussion of oil and the current state of geopolitics around energy with Helima Croft, Managing Director and Global Head of Commodity Strategy and Global Research at RBC Capital Markets.
  • February 18th: An Interactive workshop with Monica Guzman – “The Power of Putting Yourself First”
  • Blockchain teach-in
  • De-mystifying impact investing
  • March 31st: The FWA’s Annual Directors’’ Reception. This year’s theme is “Board Oversight in the #MeTooMovement” with a focus on how misconduct will be managed by the Board and succession planning.

3) YOU!

January is always the Reset/Resolution Month. There is something powerful in seeing a brand new calendar just waiting to be filled and feeling empowered to steer how YOU want to fill it. Of course, any day of any month can be a starting point, but 01/01/2020 has such a great ring to it.

So, here is another resolution for you: invest in yourself. You may have committed to a gym or hired a trainer, promised to finally tackle the paperwork piling up at work and at home, but your resolutions are not complete without actively working on building your professional network and skill set.

  1. Join: The FWA’s membership is an investment in yourself and your career. In addition to helping you, the fee helps to support the terrific work we do in advancing and mentoring young women in the industry. Your gym membership can’t say the same....
  2. Participate: Plan to come to at least one event a month. Be sure to pick at least one topic you know nothing about, totally out of your usual area of expertise. Really network with those experts to expand your industry contacts. It’s the only way to truly learn and grow.
  3. Commit: Being part of a committee is the best way to be an FWA member, to build lasting connections and leadership skills.

And lastly, check out the new and improved FWA website!

We look forward to seeing you this year!


Simone Vinocour
FWA President 2019-20


*“Dr King’s quote can inspire us to persevere against what may seem difficult odds. Over 100 years ago - Jan 10, 1917 - the Silent Sentinels began protesting in front of the White House. These suffragettes protested six days a week for over TWO YEAR%;S until the 19th Amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919 to be ratified a year later. I doubt they ever realized how long and steep their staircase would be!”
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