Women in Emerging Digital Leadership


Women In Emerging Digital Leadership was the subject of a recent panel discussion that we were honored to moderate for International Women’s Day on March 8th.  Over 85 women attended.  The goal of our event was to empower women to be inspired no matter what stage of their career they were in and also to see if  there is local interest in starting a networking group for women in innovation.


Rye TV Video on Women In Emerging Digital Leadership

Our friend and neighbor Margot Clark-Junkins wrote an incredible piece for our local paper, The Rye Record, on the highlights of the  our panel discussion.

You Can’t Be What You Can’t See: 

Digital Media Panelists Inspire Women to Move Ahead 

by Margot Clark-Junkins

On International Women’s Day, over 85 women attended a panel discussion entitled, “Women in Emerging Digital Media Leadership,” at The Rye Arts Center.

The audience listened intently to a lively discussion moderated by Suzanna Keith, disruption and digital media executive.

Topics ranged from the imminent arrival of virtual reality, augmented reality, and HoloLens, to the ever-blurring lines between content and marketing, the tech industry’s infamous “bubble” collapse of start-ups and its gradual recovery, and the challenges faced by working mothers seeking a work/life balance.

“Disruption in the media business is happening at a rate that most people couldn’t have imagined,” said Tina Exharos, a Rye resident who was one of the five accomplished panelists and former CMO of MTV.  “Embracing change is critical to survival.  It’s a great honor to discuss the trends that are impacting the landscape with such a fantastic group of accomplished women.”

Panelist Johanna (Jose) Zeilstra, a resident of Mamaroneck, described the odyssey that led her to create womensdebate.org, an organization that is calling for a national debate among presidential candidates on the topics most relevant to women.

Tiffany Pham, the founder and CEO of Mogul, was coaxed by some of the other panelists to admit that she had just flown in from Paris where she had met with that city’s mayor.  Mogul is a platform connecting women to trending content, including stories, products, and jobs, that is personalized to their interests.  Tiffany, who lives in New York City, was named one of Forbes “30 Under 30” in media, and one of the “30 Most Important Women Under 30” by Business Insider.

Panelist Shenan Reed, President of MEC Digital and a resident of Bronxville, was named iMedia’s Agency Marketer of the Year in 2015, and under her leadership, MEC was voted iMedia’s 2015 Agency of the Year.  She described for the audience how her mother’s vision, intelligence, and entrepreneurial spirit set the tone for much of what Shenan has gone on to accomplish.  Halfway through the discussion, Shenan’s young daughter jumped up on stage and hugged her proudly.

Bedford resident Fran Hauser, a partner at Rothenberg Ventures and former President of Time Inc. Digital, spoke at length about virtual reality and its imminent arrival in our daily lives.  Many in the audience shook their heads in wonder as she explained how the applications for VR go far beyond gaming and would soon become our new normal.

The evening was filled with useful advice intended to help women move ahead in their careers within the complex, rapidly changing world of all things tech.  One phrase particularly aimed at women that really drove home the importance of role models was, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”  Another gem was, “Your network is your net worth.”

After a heart-felt round of applause, Kim Berns and Deborah Sanguineti of the Rye TV show “What’s My Brand?” led the audience through a question-and-answer session.

Given the great success of this event, the team hopes to hold additional events and start a Westchester-based network for women in tech, advertising, and media.

The next panel event will be held at NYU’s Leonard N. Stern Graduate School of Business on April 20th at 7 pm, with the exact location to be determined.  Please email us at skconcepts@hotmail.com if you would like to be part of the Women in Innovation Networking Group.

Also, special thanks to Beso Del Sangria and Burbio Calendar for sponsoring our event.

We hope you will check out the video of the Women In Emerging Digital Leadership Panel and give us your thoughts!

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Email Author Meet TechandTravelmom:

Suzanna Keith is an experienced marketing professional who believes in leveraging revolutionary insights and ideas to grow extraordinary brands. Her expertise includes researching consumer insights and building on these insights to drive long-term strategic direction in all aspects of brand management. read more

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