GRAPHIC: 25th Anniversary Women Mean Business Luncheon benefiting Coalition for the Homeless' First Step Job Training Program. Friday, April 12, 2019, The Plaza HotelGRAPHIC: 25th Anniversary Women Mean Business Luncheon benefiting Coalition for the Homeless' First Step Job Training Program. Friday, April 12, 2019, The Plaza Hotel
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Women Mean Business Luncheon 2019


Keynote Speaker
Eve Ensler
Acclaimed Author, Playwright and Activist

Lisa Evers
Reporter, FOX 5 NY

Special Guest
Senator Alessandra Biaggi
34th District of the New York State Senate

Corporate Heroes Award
The Estée Lauder Companies

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Plaza Hotel
770 5th Avenue, NYC

11:30 AM Reception | 12:00 PM Luncheon

Each year, more than 400 of New York City’s most accomplished and engaged leaders gather 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. Past events have also featured guest speakers including Arianna Huffington, Hillary Clinton, Christine Quinn, Anna Quindlen, Ashley Graham, Darlene Love, First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray and Dari Alexander.

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.


First Step Advisory Board

Susan Lerner, Chair
Cindy Arnold
Yvette Arsenec-Weir
Vanessa Barnett
Christy Burke
Sarah Cave
Marisol DeLeon
Austin Fremont
Pat Fulco
Kathleen Kelly
Barbara Kolsun
Deborah Krulewitch
Natsayi Mawere
Rachel Noel
Ruth Pryor
Wendy Samuel
Frankie Shahar
Jane Singer

Luncheon Committee

Natalie Lederman, Chair
Amanda Agati
Kimry Blackwelder
Emily Blatt
Joseph Forgione
Sara Fusco
Shannon Hedvat
Tara Lubin
Mehan Nigolian
Justine Nowosatko
Anna Panettiere
Alexandra Rodda
Alexandra Simmerson
Kelsey Werber

Eve Ensler – Keynote Speaker

Writer, Playwright, Activist

Eve Ensler is the Tony Award winning playwright, activist, and author of the Obie award winning theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues, published in over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries and recently heralded by The New York Times as one of the most important plays of the past 25 years, among numerous other honors.

Her plays include LemonadeExtraordinary MeasuresNecessary TargetsOPCThe Good Body (Broadway and National Tour), and Emotional Creature and most recently Fruit Trilogy, which debuted Off-Broadway in June of 2018. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir and The New York Times bestseller I Am An Emotional Creature. She recently finished performing In the Body of the World as a one-woman show which she adapted for the stage from her critically acclaimed memoir to rave reviews at Manhattan Theatre Club after its debut at the American Repertory Theater. Film credits include The Vagina Monologues (HBO) and What I Want My Words to Do to You (Executive Producer, Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Freedom of Expression Award, PBS) and Mad Max: Fury Road (Consultant). In May of 2019, Bloomsbury Publishing will release her new book, The Apology.

Eve is founder of V-Day, the 20-year-old global activist movement which has raised over 100 million dollars to end violence against all women and girls (cisgender, transgender and gender non-conforming), and the founder of One Billion Rising, the largest global mass action to end gender based violence in over 200 countries.  She is a co-founder of the City of Joy, a revolutionary center for women survivors of violence in the DRC, along with Christine Schuler Deschyrver and Dr. Denis Mukwege, and appeared – along with Christine and Dr. Mukwege – in the award winning documentary film City of Joy released globally on September 7 as a Netflix Original in 190 countries.

Her writings regularly appear in  The Guardian and  TIME Magazine. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”

Eve is the 2018 recipient of the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lily Award.

A survivor of violence, Eve has dedicated her life to ending violence against women and girls.

Lisa Evers – Emcee

Reporter, Fox 5 News

Lisa Evers is a general assignment reporter with WNYW-TV/Fox 5 News. You can see her most nights reporting live from just about every possible location in the tri-state area. She often covers crime and terrorism, drawing on her extensive police, law enforcement, street and community contacts. These sources enable her to give FOX 5 viewers inside and often exclusive information during breaking news stories.

While most of her work is in hard news, Lisa’s contacts in the entertainment and sports worlds have helped her land interviews with P. Diddy, 50 Cent and Usher as well as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. She has also hosted some illuminating editions of “Good Day Street Talk,” Fox 5’s public affairs show.

Before FOX 5, Lisa was a general assignment reporter for 1010 WINS. That’s where she developed her love of going live on a breaking news story. In addition to her FOX 5 news position, she also hosts a No. 1-rated weekly talk show on HOT 97 FM called “Street Soldiers,” which is geared to a young, urban audience. Lisa says what she likes most about her job is that she gets to meet so many different people and be in the middle of what’s happening every day. She speaks conversational Spanish and French.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter at @lisaevers.



The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Jennifer & Peter Wallace



Friends of Deborah Krulewitch & Jane Singer

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP




Burke & Company LLC

Dow Jones

Richard H. Lewis & Joan M. Sapinsley

Helen Lowenstein

Page Group



Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.

Havas New York


Deborah Krulewitch

Susan Lerner



Ingrid Burke

Clutter Therapy, LLC

The Morrison & Foester Foundation

Fran Lebovitz

Mutual of America

Nardello & Co.

Ruth Pryor

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
Eta Nu Sigma Chapter

Leila Maw Straus



Kristina Berke

Dentons US LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Patricia Steele

Sullivan & Worcester LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Claude & Yvette Weir

Giulia P. Weisman



Diane Coffey

Austin Fremont

Vincent & Shelly Fremont

Francesco & Marina Galesi

Josh Goldein

Lucy Grollman

Barbara Kolson & Paul Mider

Joy Vida Jones

Rudolph Landin

RAND Engineering & Architecture, DPC


Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner

Abigail Wald / Tart Wald Foundation

Martha & Alex Wallau


As of April 12, 2019