NBC10’s Emmy Award-winning anchor Tracy Davidson discussed the innovations in the broadcasting industry at Temple’s eighth annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference last Thursday.
“Nothing is more constant than change,” Davidson said. “Embrace change.”
The main goal of the conference, which was held at the Great Court in Mitten Hall, was to address issues pertaining to entrepreneurs and, more specifically, to discuss challenges to female entrepreneurs.
The event was attended by many female students and highly prestigious female entrepreneurs including Michelle Durham, a news-radio anchor for KYW; Cheryl Brida, the vice president of Small Business Banking for Wachovia Bank; and Irene Hannan, the senior vice president of Citizens Bank.
“I’m always honored to be in this room. I get reinvigorated by these women and what they’ve accomplished,” said Davidson, a Temple graduate.
Even though Davidson is a highly successful broadcast journalist, she was but one of many standard-setting entrepreneurial women in the crowd.
Hannan was one of three women to be inducted into the Women’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame at the conference.
“It’s very humbling, and I’m grateful to Temple for all they do to reach women,” Hannan said.
Lynn Ewell, the co-founder and chief financial officer of Prism Engineering, and Sharon Pinkenson, executive director for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, were also inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Despite the “kill-or-be-killed” mentality of the American business world, the attitude in this conference was that of deep respect and appreciation.
Along with the ambitious attendees, the entrepreneurial women shared a sense of pride in each other’s strengths and experience and utilized this event to network and learn.
Temple President Ann Weaver Hart told the audience it was important for everyone to learn at least one great idea from the conference.
“It’s really important for us to support female entrepreneurs because many women don’t look at themselves as entrepreneurs,” Hart said.
“We also need to focus in general on entrepreneurship on campus,” she added.
Although this conference was designed for women, several aspiring male students also attended.
Many of the concepts discussed by the two panels – consisting of three speakers each – were in regard to starting a new business and how finances affect a new business. This information is useful to any auspicious entrepreneur, regardless of their gender.
Mike Goldstein, a senior sport and recreation major, said the associate dean of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Jeffery Montague, recommended that he attend the conference.
“It’s good for everyone,” Goldstein said.
Of the few male students who attended this conference, president of the Entrepreneur Student Association Mark Peters said he came to learn entrepreneurship from a female perspective.
“It’s a very unique event,” said Peters, a senior marketing and entrepreneurship major. “When women have the power to speak, they should do so.”
Marissa Judge, a senior in STHM, said she had an idea of why more male students did not show up.
“The name is a misconception, but it’s something highlighting women,” Judge said. “It does say ‘open to the public.’ Perhaps they should have put something in the advertisement.”
Regardless of the male attendance at the conference, some critical advice was directed specifically toward women.
“I’ve told people from the very beginning,” Davidson said, “women have to do it better, do it faster, and look better doing it.”
Daniel Weisbein can be reached at email@example.com.