Profiles of Women Leading in a Crisis: Words of Wisdom

Friday, July 31, 2020
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Director, Communications and External Relations


Diverse Panelists Emphasize Flexibility and Collaboration
during Webinar Hosted by Newark Regional Business Partnership
and Sponsored by Berkeley College

Women leaders are stepping up to transform their organizations during the COVID-19 crisis, said speakers on a diverse panel during “Profiles of Women Leading in a Crisis,” a webinar hosted by the Newark Regional Business Partnership on July 29, 2020. Berkeley College sponsored the webinar, which featured panelists from global companies such as Audible and Panasonic, as well as Newark-based small businesses.

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Read the Press Release: Click here for the full recap of the event.


Angela Harrington 
“These transformational women are leading their organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic by reimagining the future of work. They are doing it with empathy, by collaborating, by being innovative, and by putting people first.” 
Angela Harrington, Vice President, Communications and External Relations, Berkeley College

Barbara Kauffman
“There is very strong evidence that companies that have gender diversity, and more diversity in general, are likely to outperform in every measure, from consumer loyalty to share price.”
Barbara E. Kauffmann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Newark Regional Business Partnership

Alejandra Ceja
“COVID has brought a lot of attention to the disparities that exist in our communities of color. We cannot lose sight that we have to restore our communities and put a lens on issues such as educational equity and the future workforce.”
–  Alejandra Ceja
, Director, CSR, Panasonic North American and Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation

Anne Erni
“We want to drive positivity, because we will get through this – we just need to work very closely together.”
–  Anne Erni, Chief People Officer, Audible

Gail Friedberg 
“At the beginning of the crisis, there was very inconsistent messaging coming from the federal government, regionally and locally. The onus was on business leaders to be consistent with their employees. We needed to assure them that we were going to keep them safe.”
–  Gail Friedberg, CEO, Zago Manufacturing

Michele Hayes
“Being connected and supportive goes a long way to help people manage what they need to manage. It’s a delicate balance, but we’ve taken a lot of initiative to allow flexibility to make sure everyone moves through this together and intact.” 
–  Michele Hayes, Associate Vice President, Marketing, NJ Advance Media

Laura Mashtaler 
“The (business) model has changed. We’re looking more to network with other organizations and people within the community to keep the business alive.”
–  Laura Mashtaler, Owner, Black Swan Espresso