USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy to Host “Imagine. Spark. Activate.” Spring Symposium on March 21

Fifth annual event to focus on changing the world through activism, leadership and philanthropy

SAN FRANCISCO (March 8, 2018) — Women in Leadership & Philanthropy at the University of San Francisco (USF) will host its 5th annual Spring Symposium, “Imagine. Spark. Activate.” on Wednesday, March 21 at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. This year’s program will focus on changing the world through activism, leadership, and philanthropy and will feature keynote speaker Debbie Sterling, inventor and CEO of GoldieBlox, a leader in propelling young girls to grow their interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Organizations that will flourish in the future are ones that purposefully engage women and broaden their volunteer leadership and philanthropic practices,” stated Leslie Wetzel, Director of Women in Leadership & Philanthropy at USF. “The Women in Leadership & Philanthropy initiative seeks to draw upon the full strength of USF’s alumni body by giving meaningful voice to women and reflecting who the university is today. We’re focusing on engagement opportunities for women to grow their transformative leadership, engagement, and philanthropy for USF.”

The symposium will feature a new component this year, the ‘Community in Action’ nonprofit fair. The fair will feature local nonprofits offering volunteer opportunities to advance women and girls, with the goal of helping attendees gain new tools to use their energy and ideas to create change in their communities.

“The Women in Leadership & Philanthropy annual symposium is our opportunity to live our Jesuit values,” notes Eva Monroe, USF Trustee and Chair of the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Advisory Board. “We do this by creating a space where USF alumnae and the community can come together to be inspired and to explore and discover how our contributions to our communities can be a catalyst for change in our cities, states, and the world.”

Event Details:

March 21, 2018 - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m 
Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA
$150 (Full day)
$100 (Keynote Luncheon and Reception only)
$1,200 (Full day table of 10)

Journalists interested in covering the symposium should contact Kellie Samson at (415) 422-2697 or

Scheduled Speakers include:

  • Debbie Sterling, Inventor & CEO, GoldieBlox
  • Katica Roy, CEO, Pipeline Equity
  • Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, COO, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
  • Elisabetta Colabianchi, Founder, Global Dream Collective
  • Kimberly Connor, Program Director & Professor, USF
  • Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, M.P.A, Executive Director, SOMOS Mayfair
  • Dr. Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach, USF
  • Jacquelyn Horton, Assistant Professor, USF
  • Ai Huynh, Co-Founder, HappyTap
  • Anne Kronenberg, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
  • Jennifer Loving, CEO, Destination: Home
  • Maggie Miller, Hilton Humanitarian Prize, Hilton Foundation
  • Dr. Emily Murase, Director, Department on the Status of Women
  • Leslie Wetzel, Director, Women in Leadership & Philanthropy, USF
  • Christine Whelan, COO, The Greaves Group

About the University of San Francisco:

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” Find more information about USF.

About Women in Leadership & Philanthropy:

The mission of the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy initiative at the University of San Francisco is to inspire, empower, and advance women to become transformative leaders in service of their communities and throughout the world. We do this by providing educational, networking, and leadership opportunities, and catalyzing philanthropy through USF. Learn more about Women in Leadership & Philanthropy.