Women’s Roundtable raises funds for scholarships, names six incredible women at October event
Pictured at the Women's Roundable event Oct. 14 were, left to right, Lynn Schubert, Margie Johnson, Kelly King, Mary Helen Hackney, Steve Ballard, Holly Garriott and Sylvia Brown. The women were honored for their outstanding achievements. Not pictured among the honorees was Dorothy Pruitt. (Contributed photo)
The Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University held its third event in the ECU Incredible Women Series on Oct. 14, raising more than $35,000 to support the group’s activities and scholarships.
The event at the Greenville Convention Center focused on financial issues facing women and featured Jean Chatzky, best-selling author and financial editor of NBC’s “Today” show, as keynote speaker.
|Author Jean Chatzky speaks at the Women's Roundtable at ECU. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
Chatzky, who has written numerous financial planning books for adults and children, spoke to the 350 attendees about how to figure out for themselves what makes “the difference” in their lives. Her most recent books are “The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times” and “Not Your Parents’ Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Your Own Money.”
“What’s the difference between all of you and Warren Buffet? Rachael Ray? The guys who launched Facebook or Google?” Chatzky asked. “It’s not that these people were born into money or got a big divorce settlement. They aren’t even smarter than we are.
“These are the folks who have a goal and they plot the course to get there. You have the power to make a different in your own life,” she said.
She encouraged the group through eight points from “The Difference” including to become more happy and optimistic – “Happier people are more likely to achieve their goals” – and find your passion, either do what you love or love what you’re doing.
“Become a habitual saver,” she said. “We are terrible savers in this country. In 2005, we were spending $1.05 for every $1 made. The savings rate today is around 5 percent.
“Psych yourself in saving. Visualize your goals. It’s not choosing between the beautiful pumps and retirement. It’s choosing between the pumps and a specific beach house,” she said as she showed a photo of a two-story beach house on the New Jersey shore that she has her eye on as her goal. (She noted with a laugh that this not the same “Jersey Shore” area made famous by MTV’s show with that name.)
Later in the morning, Chatzky met with seven ECU business and social marketing students. The students asked her about her career path and advice for helping them find jobs in a recession.
As an English major at the University of Pennsylvania, Chatzky had a goal of writing for magazines. After graduation, she started as an assistant to the business editor at Working Woman magazine, which is no longer published. When she was ready to move on from that job and couldn’t get hired as a business writer at Fortune or Forbes, she went to work on Wall Street. After a few years, Forbes hired her a writer. You build on your experiences, she said.
And about the recession: “I do think we are coming back,” she said. “It will take a while. We have to take care of our own household.”
Other financial issues addressed during breakout sessions, included investment options, philanthropic giving, and creating financially grounded female leaders of tomorrow. Nationally known humorist and North Carolina native Jeanne Robertson was the luncheon speaker.
Marcy W. Romary, senior major gifts officer and director of women’s philanthropy at ECU, described the event as “a wonderful day for the Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University.”
She said, “More than 350 people attended the event to hear dynamic and interesting speakers, participate in informative breakout sessions, and to help recognize and honor six Incredible ECU Women. Proceeds of more than $35,000 will support the Women’s Roundtable activities and the Access Scholarship program at East Carolina.”
Kelly King, BB&T CEO and chairman, led the recognition of six women as Incredible ECU Women.
The six honorees, selected by the Women’s Roundtable at ECU, were chosen for their achievements in the fields of public service, performing arts, fine arts, business and industry, sports, education, health sciences, media, professional and research. They join the 100 Incredible ECU Women recognized in 2007.
The women recognized this year for being outstanding leaders are as follows:
- Holly M Garriott, ’01, ’05, of Greenville, founder and executive director of Emerge Gallery, which became the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge in 2009, is a ceramics artist who was invited to create an ornament for the White House Christmas tree in 2008. Garriott developed an internship and professional development course for the ECU School of Art and Design. She is secretary of Uptown Greenville, an organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown and has helped coordinate PirateFest, an arts and music festival that draws more than 20,000 people to Greenville.
- Dr. Sylvia T. Brown, ’75, ’78, dean of the ECU College of Nursing and a published scholar, considers her greatest professional accomplishment to be her role in preparing future nurses. She helped to develop the nursing education concentration in the ECU master’s program. She also was instrumental in the development of the ECU doctoral program in nursing. Brown has written or co-authored more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and proceedings and 27 funded research grants. She has served as president of the Dream Factory of North Carolina, an organization that grants dreams to chronically and critically ill children, and as a board member of the National Dream Factory. Brown also has been president of the Beta NU Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, an honor society for nurses.
- Dr. Dorothy G. Pruitt, ’56, of Oxford, retired principal and educational consultant, was the first elected to the Granville County Board of Education, serving as vice-chair and chair of the board. She was a mentor to emerging education leaders in her community. Pruitt was principal of the C.G. Credle Elementary School when it was recognized as a National School of Excellence. She accepted a model school award from President George H.W. Bush in a White House Rose Garden ceremony; the school was one of two N.C. public schools recognized that year. Other honors include a two-time winner of the Granville County Wachovia Principal of the Year and the National Association of Elementary School Principals Award for Excellence.
- Lynn M. Shubert, ’77, Washington, D.C., is president of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America, a trade association of insurance companies that write fidelity and surety insurance. The SFAA serves as a statistical organization for states and represents its member companies in matters of common interest before government agencies. She was the first woman and youngest chair of the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance practice Section of the American Bar Association. Schubert was the founding executive director of the International Surety Association. She has presented educational programs on the industry for numerous organizations, including the International Chamber of Commerce. Recognitions include the Women Builders Council Champion Award and the Private Sector Leadership Award of the Jamaica Business Resource Center in 2008. Both were for leadership in assisting women and minority contractors to come bondable businesses.
- Margie P. Johnson, ’69, of Virginia Beach, Va., is president of Shop Talk, a retail and research consulting firm concentrating on retail, hospitality, health care and financial industries. Johnson was a partner and general manager of the Galleon Esplanade and secretary and treasurer of Cabana East, a corporation owning several businesses on the North Carolina coast. Her accolades include the Fred Lazarus National Retail Federation Award; the NC Employer of the Year Award; the Inside Business 2006 Women in Business Achievement Award; and the 1998 Outstanding Women of Hampton Roads Award.
- Dr. Mary Helen Hackney, ’88, of Richmond, Va., associate professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, specializes in the treatment of all stages of breast cancer. She received the 2009 Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement Award from WISDM and has been recognized as one of Richmond Magazine's Top Doctors in medical oncology and women's health/breast cancer care for several years. Hackney is director of the Rural Cancer Outreach Program sponsored by the cancer center, which serves rural Virginia. She also provides support at the Crossover Ministries Clinic, which serves uninsured Richmond residents.
Created in 2003, the Women’s Roundtable at East Carolina University seeks to elevate and encourage leadership and philanthropy by women. Through its network of women graduates and friends of the university, the Women’s Roundtable creates a culture of giving at ECU by focusing its efforts on raising funds for ECU’s Access Scholarship program; building a strong volunteer base of women committed to advancing the university; and forming a deeper pool of women to be considered for other leadership roles at ECU.
In addition, those who join the Women’s Roundtable will have an opportunity to network with a diverse group of intelligent, influential and resourceful women. These women demonstrate the leadership that distinguishes ECU and personifies the role that women can play in shaping the future.
# # #