New York iRelaunch Annual Return to Work Conference - October 2, 2013

Keynote Speakers

Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin

Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin are the co-authors of the acclaimed career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work, and the Co-Founders of iRelaunch.

Carol and Vivian have presented their career reentry strategies to over 10,000 people at more than 150 events since 2006. Both Harvard Business School graduates and relaunchers themselves, Carol and Vivian understand every phase of the relaunch process first hand. Between the two of them they have nine children, and both took multi-year career breaks to care for their families. They each returned to work in very different ways before writing Back on the Career Track and founding iRelaunch.

Carol was on maternity leave with her first child when her employer, investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert, collapsed. She subsequently worked part time for five years while having three more children and then left the paid workforce entirely after her fourth was born. After six years at home, she returned to a full-time position at an investment firm.  Carol's "relaunch" is the subject of a Harvard Business School case

Vivian began her career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers in New York City. Following a move to Washington, DC, she initially continued working in finance, then subsequently moved into recruiting and HR at The Advisory Board Company, before taking a seven-year career break to be home with her five children. She relaunched her career by joining a small executive search firm, growing her part of the business to the point where she needed to hire someone to help her - another relauncher of course.

Carol and Vivian are regularly featured in the national press and speak nationally and internationally on the career reentry topic.


Edith W. Cooper, Opening Speaker

Executive Vice President and Global Head of Human Capital Management - Goldman Sachs

Edith has been an executive vice president of Goldman Sachs since 2011 and has led Human Capital Management since 2008. She is a member of the Management Committee, serves as vice chair of the Partnership Committee, and is on various other committees at the firm. Edith also served on the Business Standards Committee.

Previously, Edith was in Sales Management and led several businesses within the Securities Division. Edith first joined Goldman Sachs in 1996 to build and lead the firm’s Energy Sales Group in New York. In 2002, she was responsible for the firm’s Futures business and, prior to that, she was Co-Head of the commodities business in Europe and Asia, based out of London.  Edith was named managing director in 1998 and partner in 2000.

Prior to joining the firm, Edith spent a combined 10 years at Morgan Stanley and Bankers Trust, structuring and marketing derivatives.

Edith earned an MM from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an AB from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges.

Janet Kraus, Lunch Speaker

Senior Lecturer, Co-Director, A New Path - Harvard Business School

Janet is Faculty Cochair of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, A New Path: Setting New Professional Directions. This program is designed for women with significant professional experience who are seeking to return to the workforce, recharge their careers, or take their professional lives in a new direction.  

Janet is a serial entrepreneur having founded and sold Circles, the global leader of concierge services and Spire, a media company targeting the affluent with differentiated persona-driven travel and lifestyle content.

Janet Co-Founded Circles in 1997 and grew it to be a $50 million company with nearly 1000 people operating from Boston, MA, and Burlington, Ontario. By providing extraordinary experiential services, Circles grew quickly by helping its customers create powerful ties of loyalty with their employees and customers. Circles sold to Sodexo on October 31, 2007. Since the acquisition, Circles has expanded its base of operations into five countries.

Relauncher 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 NYC 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 15, 13 and 11), and dog Lola.

Relauncher Panel

Cecile Anderes

Vice President, Retail Capital Markets, Municipal Bond Sales - Morgan Stanley

Cecile Anderes is a Vice President in Morgan Stanley's Capital Markets Group, focusing on  Municipal Bond sales in the Wealth Management division.  She has been with Morgan Stanley since May 2011. Prior to that,  she spent thirteen years at Citigroup as a Director in the Institutional Fixed Income department. She sold municipal bonds to mutual fund companies and corporations nationwide. Ceci graduated from Lafayette College with a BA in Economics and Business in 1989. She earned her CFA designation in 1999.  Ceci took a 9 year break in 2001. She resides in Connecticut with her three children, ages 7, 9 and 11. She enjoys triathlons, baking and hiking. Read more about Ceci's relaunch in our Success Story Gallery.

Dave Carty

Director of Strategic Initiatives - Kent Place School

Dave Carty is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ. Dave attended the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference at NYU last year and found the experience invaluable in helping him to relaunch both back to full-time work and relaunch in a new career field as well.

In 2000, David left his job as an International Business Development Manager with Bestfoods Corporation (now part of Unilever). What was supposed to be a short-term hiatus from the work force, turned into a 13-year unpaid career as a full-time parent of three young children, homemaker, house keeper, coach, volunteer, school trustee treasurer, as well as part-time work in the mortgage and construction industries.

Last year, with two of his three children in high school, Dave decided it was time to go back to work full time and used the iRelaunch Conference to help him focus his search and motivate himself for the hard work of finding a job. Dave has a BA from Colgate University and MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU. 

Cathy Tanelli

Vice President, Strategic Projects – Edison Properties LLC

Cathy is the Vice President – Strategic Projects for Edison Properties LLC, and in this role is chief-of-staff to the CEO.  Edison is a privately held real estate company that operates a variety of businesses on over fifty owned properties in New York City, Newark NJ and Baltimore MD.  The businesses include Manhattan Mini Storage, one of NYC’s most beloved brands, thanks to the edgy, provocative, hilarious subway ads and billboards.

Cathy earned her BA at Southern Methodist University and her MBA in the Executive Program at Vanderbilt University Owen School of Business.

Cathy is a two-time relauncher - one planned and one not – but with details to which many can relate.

Read more here.

Cynthia Wells

Staff Attorney - Sidley Austin LLP

One of the more compelling comebacks from New Directions is that of Cynthia Wells, a mother of six who took a 20-year career break. A 2009 graduate of the PACE New Directions program, Cynthia did one externship at The Juilliard School and another at Sidley Austin LLP. Originally at Brown & Wood, which merged with Sidley Austin LLP during her career break, Cynthia returned to Sidley after completing her New Directions externships. Cynthia commented on the unique and interesting opportunity they were presenting: "The firm was interested in training someone to assist with the practice related to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act had a significant impact on this practice area, and the new legislation presented a wonderful opportunity to get in on the ground floor and develop an expertise in the new statutes and related rules." Cynthia is now a staff attorney charged with becoming one of the firm's private fund specialists.

Employer 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 9,000 people at over 140 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 21 years of diverse business experience, including leadership roles in finance and human resources, in the media, financial services, consulting and executive search industries. She is a mother of five children, and she returned to work after 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

Jennifer Lemaigre

Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Onboarding - LexisNexis

In her role at LexisNexis, which she has held for two years, Jennifer creates and drives global strategic recruitment solutions; develops and streamlines processes; and leads global teams. She also leads the development of strategic recruitment initiatives including employment brand and on-boarding. Jennifer has fifteen+ years’ recruitment experience managing global functions for Misys, Deloitte Consulting, Bankers Trust and AIG. She also has start-up experience at Jungle Media, and non-profit experience at Johns Hopkins and Harvard graduate schools. Jennifer holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS, a BA in Economics, and a BA in French from the University of Michigan.

Joe Lopes

Americas Recruiting Manager - Bloomberg

Joe Lopes has been the Head of Americas Recruiting at Bloomberg since June 2012 and is 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 2 children and lives in New Jersey.

Kimberly Miller-Olko

Senior Vice President, Video Development and Programming - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Kim Miller was named Senior Vice President, Video Programming and Development in February 2013.  In this role, she is responsible for all television and digital video at MSLO.  She previously held the title of Vice President of Productions and Supervising Producer of The Martha Stewart Show. In this position she won Employee of the Year in 2007 for leading a groundbreaking video campaign with Macy’s and spearheaded successful partnerships with divisions of tourism worldwide.

Winner of four Emmy Awards, 10 Emmy Nominations, and a Gracie Award, Kim has worked closely with well-known talent throughout her career, including Anderson Cooper, Tim Gunn, Ty Pennington, Rosie O’Donnell, Joan Lunden, Maury Povich, and Donny Deutsch.

Kim has conceived thousands of corporate videos. She produced fashion and tourism videos for New York City-based Applevision Vidicom earlier in her career and later was President of Image Stream Productions, where her accounts included Deloitte and Touche, Avon, Pepsi, Morgan Stanley, and Hanes.

Today, Kim combines her television and corporate video experience in creating cutting-edge digital video campaigns for clients and partners of MSLO. These most recently included a 40-video series for The Home Depot, a Toyota campaign, and MSLO’s first ever Vine video ad for Avery.

A graduate of Montclair State University, Kim resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband Henry and twin eight-year-old sons.  She is a former Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the North Jersey Chapter of the National MS Society and volunteers with Make-A- Wish Foundation.

Carol A. Sawdye

Chief Financial Officer - PricewaterhouseCoopers

Carol rejoined PricewaterhouseCoopers in November 2012 after spending two years with the National Basketball Association (NBA), where she served as the Executive Vice President and CFO. She oversaw the financial affairs of the league and its related entities, including managing the NBA's financial relationships with its 30 teams. Prior to that, she spent eight years at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, initially as CFO and later also assuming responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. Carol began her career at PwC and spent her first 17 years (the last six as a partner) mostly serving clients in the media and entertainment practice.

Carol is a CPA, licensed to practice in NY. She received her BS in accounting from the University of Virginia and her MBA, with specialization in international business and corporate finance, from Columbia University. She and her husband reside in New York City.




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Success Stories

Antoinette Wannebo

Success Stories

Motivation, inspiration and ideas to shape your own story. Find your role models.

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"The Bible of Career Reentry"

"The Bible of Career Reentry"

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Book cover of Back On the Career Track

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