New York iRelaunch Annual Return to Work Conference - October 1, 2014

Keynote Speakers


Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin

Co-Founders - iRelaunch
Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, authors of career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work and founders of iRelaunch (, are globally recognized experts on career reentry strategy. Harvard MBAs and relaunchers themselves, they have nine kids between them, and each returned to work after multi-year career breaks.
Carol and Vivian have engaged with hundreds of hiring managers to understand their biases and the risk they associate with hiring people who are returning from career break. They understand the challenges of returning to work after multi-year career breaks first hand, and have spoken with thousands of professionals who have successfully returned to work after a hiatus. They have presented their career reentry strategies to nearly 13,000 people since 2006, and have documented over 200 return-to-work success stories on their website, and in over 180 presentations. They are regularly featured in the national press as commentators on career reentry topics.
Vivian has over 22 years of business experience, primarily in finance and human resources. A mother of five, she returned to work by joining a boutique executive search firm after a seven-year career break. Carol’s return to investment firm Bain Capital after 11 years out of the full time workforce is documented in a Harvard Business School case study about professional career reentry. She has four children. Her widely disseminated Harvard Business Review article “The 40-Year-Old Intern”was recognized as an “HBR Article That Changed the Way I Think” as part of HBR’s 90th anniversary recognition of HBR articles that made the biggest difference in readers’ and contributors’ lives, and was the subject of a TODAY Show segment.


Jeffrey S. Brodsky

Chief Human Resources Officer - Morgan Stanley

Jeffrey S. Brodsky is Morgan Stanley’s Chief Human Resources Officer and a member of the Firm’s Operating Committee. Since joining Morgan Stanley in 1987, he has held various senior positions within Human Resources, becoming a Managing Director in 2001.

Jeff has led HR for many of the firm’s businesses including Global Wealth Management, Investment Management, Infrastructure units and Discover (prior to its spin-off). He also served as the department’s Chief Operating Officer in 1996. Following the announcement of the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Joint Venture in 2009, Jeff was the head of the combined MSSB HR team and was appointed to the MSSB Executive Committee.

He was named Co-Head of Human Resources in 2010, where he held global responsibility for the department’s Generalist teams and Talent areas. In 2011, he became the Global Head of Human Resources, expanding his oversight to the department’s Compensation and Benefits areas. Jeff was named to the Firm’s Management Committee in 2010 and joined the Firm’s Operating Committee in 2012.

Jeff has served on the boards of the New York Blood Center and SUNY Purchase. He recently joined the Safe Horizon Board of Directors and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the
Morgan Stanley Foundation.

He earned a BS in Accounting from Binghamton University and is married with three sons, ages 17, 19 and 22.

"Successful Relaunchers Tell Their Stories" - Panel Moderator

Michelle Friedman

Founder - Advancing Women's Careers, LLC

Michelle Friedman is a certified executive coach, organizational consultant, facilitator and speaker, with expertise in women's career paths. She is the founder of Advancing Women's Careers, LLC, an organizational consulting and executive coaching firm dedicated to advancing women into greater leadership roles in traditionally male-dominated industries. Her clients are located across the U.S., Canada, and Asia.  Michelle has worked with clients in a variety of organizations, including Goldman Sachs, KKR, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, GE Finance, various hedge funds, the National Center for the Arts (Canada) and the Department of Justice (Canada), The Junior League, as well as privately held businesses and entrepreneurs. Michelle also designs and teaches workshops and facilitates ongoing coaching groups for professional women, including iRelaunch’s Coaching Circles.

Michelle earned an M.A. in Organizational Psychology, with an emphasis on Change Leadership, from Columbia University. Previously, Michelle graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.S.B.A. in Marketing and a concentration in Psychology. Michelle lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, their three sons (ages 16, 14 and 12), and dog Lola.

Relauncher Panel

Nancy Butcher

Vice President - Deutsche Bank

Nancy Butcher spent eight years in increasingly senior roles in audit and risk analytics in the U.S., London and Tokyo for Bankers Trust before taking a 14-year career break to be home with her three children. During her career break she was active in her church, community and the Boy Scouts of America. She relaunched her career in 2011 as an Assistant Vice President, Principal Auditor for Deutsche Bank, which had acquired Bankers Trust in the interim. She has since been promoted to Vice President, Corporate Banking and Securities Principal Audit Manager, where she is responsible for audit coverage of corporate finance, emerging markets debt, commodities and Canada. Nancy is a graduate of Fairfield University (BS, Finance) and the NYU Stern School of Business (MBA). Nancy attended the 2010 iRelaunch Return to Work Conference.

Claire Chamberlain

Managing Director, Development - Robin Hood Foundation

Claire Chamberlain joined the Robin Hood Foundation in 2012 as a Managing Director in Development. Robin Hood has invested over $1.5 billion since 1988 in hundreds of the most effective programs that help lift and keep children, families, and adults out of poverty. Claire is responsible for cultivating leadership donors, developing new pipelines for future major gifts, with a special focus on the West Coast and NYC growth companies and recently, she worked to secure seed funding for the Immigrant Justice Corps, a new legal fellowship program launched this fall in New York City.

Claire graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 1981 with a B.A. in Economics. She joined McKinsey & Co. and then earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1985. Upon graduation, Claire worked at Goldman Sachs for 10 years, first as a banker in the firm’s LBO group and then as Director of General Services in the operations division. For 17 years between 1995 and 2012 Claire focused on her family and her community. She held a variety of board leadership positions in several non-profits and co-founded the Women’s Health Philanthropy Council at Morristown Medical Center. Claire was an active political fundraiser and was elected to the NJGOP State Committee in 2009. In 2010 she was nominated by Governor Christie to serve on the twelve-member New Jersey State Board of Education.

Anticipating a return to the workforce as her children entered college, Claire enrolled in the HBS A New Path Program in 2011. She also attended the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference in New York that same year.

Virginia Ryan

Assistant General Counsel - Barnard College

Virginia Ryan worked as a public finance lawyer for six years, and then took a 16-year career break to be home with her children. As Virginia told Jennifer Preston of the New York Times, she woke up one morning and “I felt the clock ticking, and I felt that I had to get a job right now or I would never get one.”  

After an unproductive year trying to make headway, Virginia enrolled in the Pace University New Directions for Attorneys program in fall 2012. As part of the program, Virginia was placed in a legal “externship” at Barnard College, her alma mater, in the Office of General Counsel. After the Pace program and her externship concluded, she took on part-time positions at Barnard, Fordham and Columbia. In June 2014, Virginia became Assistant General Counsel at Barnard where she is today.

Photo Credit : The New York Times

Joyce Shulman

CEO - Macaroni Kid

Joyce is the founder and CEO of Macaroni Kid, the nation’s largest source of family events and activities serving more than 500 communities in 47 states. The business’s success is driven by the more than 500 “Mompreneurs” who publish Macaroni Kid in their hometowns. Joyce has guided housewives, school teachers and even MBA’s to success with their local Macaroni Kid editions. 

It began in 2009 with her need to find local events and activities for her own children. A few months after starting Macaroni Kid in her hometown of Southampton NY, she abandoned her law practice and blazed a trail now followed by hundreds of other moms. As the leader of this community, she has her finger on the pulse of the daily lives of moms who “try to do it all” many of whom opted to “lean out” of successful careers and “lean in” to something new. She is an expert on importance of moms taking care of themselves in the midst of it all.

Joyce shares how moms need to think about “taking care of mama bear.” She writes regularly about this subject via Macaroni Kid as well as other websites and news outlets. Her article "Do You Suffer From the Martyr Mom Syndrome?" remained among the top ten articles on the popular website for nearly six months. Her experience in business and leading mompreneurs makes her a coveted speaker at leading mom conferences. With her influence over 500 Macaroni Kid local Macaroni Kid sites and Publishers – 95% of whom are moms -- she sees this message translated to the nearly 1 million moms Macaroni Kid touches each month. 

“Taking care of yourself against a sea of responsibilities and a culture that idolizes the martyr mom is not easy,” she admits. “But I believe it is essential to our own happiness, our professional success and our families’ well-being.”

"Relaunchers at Returning Professional Internship Programs" - Panel Moderator

Jennifer Preston

Senior Editor - The New York Times

Jennifer Preston is a reporter for The New York Times, covering the intersection of social media, politics, government, business and real life. She took on the new beat in January 2011 after working as the newsroom’s first Social Media Editor, helping her fellow journalists use social media for reporting, real-time publishing and building community.

Jennifer has worked for The New York Times since 1995 as a political reporter, a section editor and newsroom manager. As a reporter, she has written about the role of social media in the unrest that has spread across the Middle East and North Africa.

Before joining the Times, Jennifer worked for New York Newsday as City Hall bureau chief, covering three mayors and was the first woman to work as a bureau chief at One Police Plaza. She was also a deputy city editor and circulation marketing director.

Jennifer has won several awards for investigative reporting, including the New York Press Club’s Gold Typewriter Award for outstanding public service for a series about the use of deadly force by off-duty police officers.

She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and author of the book, “Queen Bess.”

Please say hello on Twitter: @JenniferPreston or on Facebook at

Returning Professional Internship Panel

Susan Cramer

Vice President, Strategy and Compliance Officer - Goldman Sachs

Susan Cramer returned to work after a seven-year career break via the Goldman Sachs Returnship® program, a highly competitive 10-week program for returning professionals. At the end of her Returnship®, Susan was hired for a permanent role.

With 10 years of investor relations experience before her career break, Susan knew she wanted to leverage her broad knowledge of financial services. An early job in regulatory reporting led her to focus on Compliance - a dynamic field with a growing number of opportunities. Susan was able to secure a role in Goldman's Compliance division in part due to this focus.

During her Returnship®, Susan scheduled numerous short meetings with Goldman colleagues who generously shared their experiences and advice and helped her identify her next steps. Her manager and mentor encouraged her to network with colleagues and newly established contacts which helped her to refine goals, gain confidence, and learn about different opportunities. Due in part to the contacts she made, Susan learned of a role in Compliance, where she landed after her Returnship®. 

Before the Returnship® program, Susan engaged career coach Michelle Friedman, (iRelaunch Boot Camp leader and moderator of the upcoming Annual Return to Work Conference Relauncher panel) for guidance on returning to work.   Michelle helped her with both the professional and personal challenges involved in this transition, including balancing the demands of home with relaunching.

A participant in the NYC 2011 and 2012 iRelaunch Return to Work Conferences, Susan credits iRelaunch's focus on skills assessment for her return-to-work success, which ultimately led her to the Goldman Sachs Returnship® program.

Note from iRelaunch: Susan attended the NYC 2013 iRelaunch Return to Work Conference as part of the Goldman Sachs conference networking team, and this year she is attending as a Conference panelist.

Carrie Hart

Vice President, Investment Bank Global Controls - Credit Suisse

Carrie Hart is a Vice President in Investment Bank Global Controls at Credit Suisse.  She returned to Credit Suisse in 2014 as a member of the inaugural Real Returns program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Colorado-Boulder and earned her MBA from the University of Chicago with concentrations in Finance and Marketing.  Her 16-year career history includes:  three years at Deloitte and Touche LLP, auditing financial services companies; five years within Equity Research at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, covering companies primarily within the Cable and Satellite Industry; and eight years at home, caring for her children and volunteering.  She currently resides in Rye, NY with her husband Matt and three children ages 9, 7, and 4.

Kristen Marx

Vice President, Investment Management Global Distribution Group - Morgan Stanley

Kristen Marx is a Vice President in Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s Global Distribution group, focusing on Project Management within Sales. Most recently, Kristen served as a Vice President in the Asset Management Division at Goldman Sachs & Co where she worked with a team to develop an internal sales force focused on Goldman Sachs’ high net worth client base.  She joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 in Global Securities Services within the Equities Division. 

Kristen took a nine-year career break after the birth of her second of three sons.  Always interested in returning to work, Kristen attended the 2013 iRelaunch Conference.  The Conference influenced how Kristen proceeded in her job search, providing her with new-found skills and confidence.  In December of 2013, Kristen applied to and was accepted into Morgan Stanley’s inaugural Return-to-Work program.  The twelve-week internship, which delivered real life work experience, training and support confirmed what she had known for a long time; a full-time job is what she was suited for and needed.  At the end of the program, Kristen was offered a full-time position, which she is thrilled to have accepted.  She continues to find the work rewarding and challenging in all the best ways.
Kristen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Providence College in 1991.

Julie Russo

Program Manager, Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits - MetLife

Julie V. Russo is a program manager, responsible for coordination, reporting and analysis of programs in the Group, Voluntary & Worksite Benefits group, which is focused on employee benefits solutions for MetLife’s corporate customers. She oversees the implementation of large-scale business initiatives spanning the organization. She works on various phases of the projects that involve large cross functional project teams. Julie began her career at MetLife in the Act2 Program, a ten-week program that gives experienced professionals an opportunity to re-enter the workforce after an extended career break in a supportive and diverse environment. 

Previously, Julie was a technical service supervisor at National Starch & Chemical Company holding leadership and project management responsibility for the global Specialty Polymer Technical Service group. She began her career as a product development/technical service chemist and was a key contributor in bringing new polymers from discovery to market launch throughout her tenure in the organization. She also led cross functional initiatives to develop new hair fixative systems that met changing industry regulations.

Julie holds a master’s in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the Skillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. She is a graduate of Douglass College at Rutgers University where she received a bachelor’s of arts in chemistry. In addition, she is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) from the Project Management Institute and holds a U.S. patent for a hair fixative. During her career break, she volunteered as a marketing director and school board member for a private grammar school.

iRelaunch Note: Julie attended the February 2014 iRelaunch FastTrack event at Montclair State University.

Hope Tully

Vice President - J. P. Morgan Asset Management

Hope Tully began her career on Wall Street at Citibank, where she joined the Global Derivatives Desk in New York after finishing her MBA. While at Citibank, Hope took on various Marketing and Structuring roles across several different derivatives asset classes, including: equities, fixed income, emerging markets, commodities, and foreign exchange. Prior to her MBA, Hope worked in the Philippines for four years in Corporate Finance: as an analyst in SGV & Co., the country’s largest auditing and consulting firm; and later as an associate in ICCP, a boutique investment bank.

Hope took a career break in 2000 to focus on family and later to successfully promote medical research on Dense Deposit Disease, a rare kidney disease. Hope helped organize the first ever international medical conference on the disease, a ground-breaking achievement that led to subsequent conferences and to two independent FDA-approved clinical drug trials. She also put together various grass-roots fund-raising activities.

In September 2012, Hope joined J. P. Morgan Asset Management, through the firm’s pioneer ReEntry program. After the 13-week program, Hope took on a role within the Global Strategic Relationship Team of U.S. Funds Management. As a Research Lead, she is a senior member of the Relationship Management team in the Institutional Advisor Channel.

Hope received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.S. in Business Administration and Accountancy from the University of the Philippines. Hope is a CFA and holds Series 7 and 63 license.

iRelaunch Note: Hope attended the 2010 London and the 2012 New York iRelaunch Return to Work Conferences.

"Job Search Advice from Employers" - Panel Moderator


Vivian Steir Rabin

Co-Founder - iRelaunch

Along with Carol Fishman Cohen, Vivian Steir Rabin co-authored the acclaimed career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track, and co-founded career reentry programming company iRelaunch. Carol and Vivian have presented their career reentry strategies to nearly 13,000 people at more than 180 events since 2006. A graduate of Harvard Business School and a relauncher, Vivian understands every phase of the relaunch process first hand.

Vivian has over 22 years of diverse business experience, including leadership roles in finance and human resources, and in the media, financial services, consulting, and executive search industries. She is a mother of five children, and she returned to work after a multi-year career break before writing Back on the Career Track and founding iRelaunch. Carol and Vivian are regularly quoted in the national press including TIME, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Fast Company Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Family Circle Magazine, NPR, and MSNBC.

Employer Panel

Kathleen Kennedy

Head of Americas Recruiting Delivery - UBS

Kathleen Kennedy is the Head of Americas Recruiting Delivery for UBS.  With over twenty years of human resource experience, as well as background in career services and counseling psychology, Kathleen brings extensive expertise in organizational planning and development, professional and campus recruitment, assessment, training, compensation, diversity, and employee relations.  She has served on global committees created to strategically align staffing processes across business groups at several firms.  Additionally, Kathleen has orchestrated the modernization of recruitment techniques and has comprehensively revamped local recruitment organizations from a talent and process perspective.  

Prior to joining UBS, Kathleen served at Virgin Mobile USA as the Director of Human Resources, East Coast, responsible for creating and delivering brand right recruiting, orientation and performance management programs.  Kathleen established the HR function at Zurich Capital Markets as Managing Director, Global Head of Human Resources.  She managed HR services on an international scale for this derivatives and alternative investment business.  During the sale of the company, she developed and executed the transition and wind down plan for all offices, HR programs and employee services.

Kathleen’s previous experience included management of firm-wide and diversity recruiting for Goldman Sachs and progressive positions at Merrill Lynch where she successfully served for six years in a variety of HR and recruitment roles.  Her early HR career was spent at Chase Securities, Inc. and PaineWebber.  

Kathleen has served as Assistant Dean of Career Development at NYU Graduate School of Business for seven years after working at Hofstra Law School and Barnard College.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Social Relations from Eastern Connecticut State University, two Masters Degrees from Columbia University, and was a Ph.D. candidate at New York University.  Her college awarded Kathe the recognition of Eastern Fellow for distinguished career achievement.  She is currently a consultant to Bucknell University's Career Services Office.

Kathleen lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband Stewart. Her children, Kate, Henry and Emily have completed college (Bucknell, Colgate/New York law School, Boston Conservatory) and are pursuing their careers in New York City.  She is very excited about her new role of becoming a grandmother in mid October.

Janet Kraus

CEO - Peach

Janet Kraus is the CEO of Peach, a company that is helping women feel beYOUtiful by bringing them better fitting and more thoughtfully designed lingerie and basics in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

Janet is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Harvard Business School where she advises students in entrepreneurship and also teaches an executive education course called A New Path, a course for women in transition.

Prior to her role at Peach and HBS, Janet co-founded and sold two companies in the high-end travel and leisure industry. Circles (sold to Sodexo in 2007) is a concierge and events company, and Spire (sold to Perfect Escapes in 2010) was a high end travel and leisure social resource of curated and user generated content

As an entrepreneur and CEO, Janet has been involved in every stage of the entrepreneurial process including idea generation, product development, building teams, fund raising, identification of key strategic partners, business development and direct sales, operational scaling, crisis and recovery, buying and exiting companies.

She and the companies she has lead or advised have been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fortune Small Business, the New York Times. She has been a speaker at conferences and educational institutions on the subjects of entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, building teams, vision, values leadership, happiness and life planning.

Janet is a recipient of Boston's 40 under 40 and was a finalist of Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year. Circles was awarded the Small Business of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce.

Janet received a BA from Yale University in Political Science and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

An entrepreneur's advocate, Janet sits on the board of directors of three start-up companies and advises many others. She currently lives outside of Boston with her husband and twin seven-year-old daughters.

Joe Lopes

Global Recruiting Business Partner, Market Data - Bloomberg

In July 2014, Joe Lopes assumed an expanded role at Bloomberg as Global Recruiting Business Partner, Market Data. Prior to moving into this role, from June 2012, Joe was Head of Americas Recruiting at Bloomberg and was responsible for experienced and entry-level recruiting strategy, operations, and initiatives across the region. Joe led recruiting globally for the Bloomberg Data Products Division from 2009-2012, during a period of rapid growth and expansion of the company’s legal, clean energy, and financial research and market data information services businesses.

Prior to joining Bloomberg, Joe was responsible for experienced accounting/finance recruiting for the Chief Financial Office at Merrill Lynch from 2006-2009 and for recruiting a wide range of professionals for the Annuities, Asset Management, and Insurance businesses at Prudential Financial between 1998-2006. He began his career in 1996 with Aerotek, Inc, a global technology recruiting firm, as a technical recruiter and sales representative.
Joe is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He is married with two children and lives in New Jersey.


Wilma Nacion

Recruiting Leader, Financial Services Advisory and IT Security, Privacy & Risk Practices - PwC

Wilma Nacion is a Recruiting Leader for two practices within PwC:  Financial Services Advisory and IT Security, Privacy & Risk.  She joined the Firm in 2011 to help formalize the alignment of experienced hiring for the FS sector and integrate best practices and process improvements to the recruiting process.  She established FS Advisory’s first ever Special Projects Group (SPG), which focuses on delivery, building COEs, quality, run the day to day functions including HR, finance, facilities and general operations, allowing Industries to stay focused and optimize time spent driving demand management and resource optimization with SPG. 

Prior to PwC, Wilma worked at Ernst & Young as part of the Americas People Team delivering talent on Direct Entry Partner recruiting for the EY’s Financial Services Office headquartered in NY, focusing on talent acquisition efforts on Banking & Capital Markets, Insurance and other financial services sectors.  She has over 21 years of prior recruiting experience with firms such as KPMG, Salomon Smith Barney and Lehman Brothers.
Her focus is on Diversity & Inclusiveness, meeting and exceeding goals year over year for women and minority hiring. In addition to Financial Services, she has managed the recruiting function for practices such as Risk & Advisory Services/RAS (Risk & Process Improvement), Transaction Support and Securities Operations in all three lines of services:  Assurance, Tax and Advisory.




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