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National speakers, industry experts to share insights at Mount St. Mary's 2014 Women's Leadership Conference

Contact:Phillip Jordan

Los Angeles, Sept. 8, 2014 — A national celebrity chef, the founding principal of one of Los Angeles' leading arts-centric architecture firms, and an award-winning journalist. Those are just three of the national experts and local Angelenos scheduled to speak at Mount St. Mary's open-to-the-public Women's Leadership Conference on Sept. 20, from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

This is the third straight year Mount St. Mary's has organized this leadership experience for women, which provides practical skills and strategies for professional and personal leadership development. Participants also have the chance to network with successful women from a variety of fields.

Speakers will include:

  • Susan Feniger, chef; media personality; author; co-owner, Border Grill Restaurants
  • Annie Chu, founding principal, CHU+GOODING Architects
  • Tess Vigeland, journalist; former anchor, "Marketplace" on public radio
  • Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, executive director, Stanford University's Clayman Institute on Gender Research
  • Joumana Silyan-Saba, senior policy analyst, City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission
  • Judge Michelle Williams Court, Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Sande Smith, senior director, Women's Foundation of California
  • BJ Gallagher, author; inspirational speaker
  • Jennifer Ferro, general manager, KCRW
  • Carolyn DeVinny, principal, The DeVinny Group; consultant, Commute & Emission Reduction
  • Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD, president, Mount Saint Mary’s University

The 2014 Women's Leadership Conference takes place amidst new evidence of the need for women leaders in both the public and private sector in California.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research's 2014 rankings rate California 20th in the U.S. in women's job equality; the last time they produced this report, in 2005, California was in the Top 10. And the 2014 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California (published by Mount St. Mary's) found that, since 2005, California has dropped from 10th to 19th nationally in the number of women serving in state legislative office.

About Mount Saint Mary’s University
Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles offers a dynamic learning experience in the liberal arts and sciences. Mount St. Mary's has a diverse student body, and we are dedicated to providing a superior education enhanced by an emphasis on building leadership skills and fostering a spirit to serve others. For more information, visit

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