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Women Mean Business Luncheon 2014


Keynote Speaker

Chirlane McCray

First Lady of New York City
CEO of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City


Kramer Levin

Thursday, April 3rd
11:30 AM – Guest Check-In
12:00 PM – Luncheon and Awards Presentation

The Pierre Hotel
2 East 61st Street, NYC

Each year, more than 400 of New York City’s most accomplished and engaged leaders gather at the Pierre Hotel to attend the Women Mean Business Luncheon, which supports the Coalition’s First Step Job Training Program.  The event features program graduates sharing their moving stories and experiences, and also honors First Step’s wonderful corporate partners. The highlight of the event is the keynote address – past speakers include Arianna Huffington, Hillary Clinton, Christine Quinn, Anna Quindlen and First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray.

First Step gives homeless and low-income women the skills and confidence needed to achieve financial independence. Our innovative 14-week curriculum offers computer and job skills training, an internship with a major corporation or nonprofit organization, mentoring, job placement assistance and extensive post-graduate support.

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Terry Andreas & John A. Hewig
Burke & Company LLC
Friends of Deborah Krulewitch & Jane Singer
Helen Lowenstein

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Richard H. Lewis & Joan M. Sapinsley
Nardello & Co.
Sony Corporation of America
Vornado Realty Trust

Lucy Bondi Grollman
The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
Laurie & Barry Siegel

Adrenaline – A Havas Company
Donovan & Yee LLP
Gina Greer
Amanda Moretti & Gregory Lee
Phyllis Schwartz
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Martha Wallau
Yvette & Claude Weir
Giulia Weisman

Pippa Cohen
Vincent & Shelly Fremont
Cheryl Klauss
Krakoff Family Foundation
Deborah Krulewitch
Patricia A. Lanza
Susan C. Lerner
Wendy B. Samuel
Enzo Viscusi, ENI
Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner

Gift Bag Sponsors
Alecia Bakery
Bumble + bumble.
Butter Lane Bakery
Fat Witch Bakery
Lane Office
Texas de Brazil

First Lady Chirlane Mccray Delivers Remarks At The 20th Annual Women Mean Business Luncheon
Thursday, April 3, 2014

NEW YORK—On Thursday, First Lady Chirlane McCray delivered remarks at the 20th Annual Women Mean Business Luncheon Benefiting the Coalition for the Homeless’ First Step Job Training Program. Below are the remarks as prepared for delivery….

Chirlane McCray vows to use her influence to reduce homelessness
Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Lady Chirlane McCray, in a passionate speech at a Coalition For The Homeless luncheon, pledged to use her “influence” as both the wife of Mayor de Blasio and Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to help reduce the number of people living on the streets….

New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray makes push towards ending homelessness
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First Lady committed to ending “these terrible situations”…

First Lady Chirlane McCray Embraces Increasingly High-Profile Role in Husband's Administration
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First Lady Chirlane McCray is stepping out on her own more, embracing an increasingly high profile role within her husband’s administration, a marked change for a woman who used to fear speaking in public….

The Women Mean Business Luncheon Raises $239,000 for First Step!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On April 3, the Coalition for the Homeless held the 20th Annual Women Mean Business Luncheon. Four hundred caring New Yorkers – from business leaders to government officials to social activists – attended…

The Women Mean Business Luncheon Raises $239,000 for First Step!

On April 3, the Coalition for the Homeless held the 20th Annual Women Mean Business Luncheon. Four hundred caring New Yorkers – from business leaders to government officials to social activists – attended the event, which raised an impressive $239,000 to support the First Step Job Training Program for homeless and low-income women.

Event emcee and Coalition board member Laurence Boschetto warmly welcomed the guests and highlighted the tremendous accomplishments of the First Step program. First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray gave a stirring keynote address, commending the graduates on their commitment and resilience and pledging to use her influence to reduce homelessness in the city.

This year’s graduate speaker, Rosalind, bravely told her life story and how she came to First Step. After graduating high school, Rosalind left her home in Antigua and Barbuda to come to America to pursue her career, only to have her dreams put on hold for nearly twenty years by one setback after another. With the help of First Step, she was able to overcome all of her past difficulties and now has a career she loves – and is an inspiring role model for her teenage daughter.

Another high point of the event was the premier of our most recent video profile, featuring First Step graduate Lakisha. Lakisha’s challenges started young, as she lost her father to a drug overdose when she was only seven years old – and then tragically a few years later, her mother to AIDS. Orphaned at such a young age, Lakisha was placed with a foster family who emotionally abused her. When she aged out of foster care, she found herself on her own without any support. She enrolled in First Step to refresh her skills and find her career passion. She was placed in an internship in the Coalition’s Eviction Prevention Program, where she discovered her own drive to help those in need – and was eventually hired into the position where she is a true star, beloved by her clients. Watch Lakisha’s story here:

The luncheon culminated in the presentation of this year’s Corporate Partnership Award to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP – one of New York’s premier law firms, which continues to provide internships, full-time jobs and financial support to First Step. They are true leaders in bringing compassion and corporate responsibility to our city.

Guests were treated to gift bags filled with goodies from Alecia Bakery, Bumble + bumble, Butter Lane Bakery, Deloitte, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Fat Witch Bakery, Lane Office and Texas de Brazil.

We’re sincerely thankful to the attendees, sponsors, committee and board members, and First Step graduates who helped make our 20th anniversary event a wonderful success. The event wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s incredible generosity!