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Women's Business Forum

To empower women to advance in their careers and to achieve the highest level of success through PIANJ.

PIANJ Women’s Business Forum is building community and diversity in the industry

Women Mentoring Women: Reaching New Heights Together, hosted by the PIANJ Women’s Business Forum, took place on May 1 at Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township.

More than 60 attendees heard Cynthia Heismeyer, vice president, director of marketing, Selective Insurance, discuss growth, opportunities and how to create a supportive network for women. She shared ways in which mentorship can benefit people as well as their organization, through increased employee retention, professional development, knowledge transfer, employee engagement and more.

She discussed key components of a successful mentorship program as well as various program styles and clarified the essential qualities of a good mentor/mentee relationship.

To expand on this theme, the PIANJ Women’s Business Forum paired with Dress for Success, an organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Many of the forum’s participants donated professional business attire, which filled two carloads. Gloria Epp, program manager for Latina Empowerment, Dress for Success Central New Jersey, shared information about the program and its mission. Those who would like to donate or volunteer to help Dress for Success can find more information at dressforsuccess.org.

The PIANJ Women’s Business Forum will continue the conversation of mentoring and working on how to best empower professional businesswomen to advance their careers and to achieve their highest level of success. Watch your PIANJ publications for information about upcoming events.

Scenes from the program:

Cynthia Heismeyer, vice president, director of marketing, Selective Insurance, during her presentation. PIANJ Director and Chair of the Women’s Business Forum Committee Jocelyn Rineer, CIC, CLP, CIIP, (left) presents Heismeyer with a certificate of appreciation for her participation in the PIANJ Women’s Business Forum. Gloria Epp, program manager for Latina Empowerment, Dress for Success Central New Jersey. Some of the two car loads of clothing that was donated to Dress for Success. Some of PIANJ Women’s Business Forum Committee members with the day’s speakers from (L-R): PIANJ Director Jocelyn Rineer, CIC, CLP, CIIP; PIANJ President Kacy Campion Renna, CIC; PIANJ past President Donna M. Cunningham, CPIA; Karen Murdock; Cynthia Heismeyer; Gloria Epp; PIANJ Director Maria N. Escalona, CPIA; and Angela LaPenna. PIANJ past President Donna M. Cunningham, CPIA (left); and PIANJ Director Maria N. Escalona, CPIA. PIANJ Directors Beth Frederickson, CPIA (left), and Esther Tanez, CPIA. Attendees at the PIANJ Women’s Business Forum, May 1.

Past forums

Sept. 19, 2017

Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno

PIANJ held its fall Women’s Business Forum on Sept. 19, 2017 at Forsgate Country Club, Jamesburg, N.J. Insurance professionals from across the state attended the event to hear from the state’s first Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. More …

Oct. 27, 2016

Washington Economic, Policy and Political Updatey

Joan Woodward, executive vice president for public policy at Travelers, gave us an update on policy and politics in Washington, D.C., in the midst of one of the most hotly contested and unpredictable election cycles. More …

May 17, 2016

How professional insurance women can overcome obstacles and biases in the industry

Jeanette Iglesias, of JI Coaching and Consulting in Princeton, NJ, facilitated an interactive workshop that focused on leadership and women's empowerment. Participants brainstormed practical solutions and possible approaches to counter biases and obstacles in the insurance industry. More …

Oct. 13, 2015

Networking luncheon with Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman took time out of her busy schedule to come and discuss the power of women in the insurance industry as well as business and politics in general. She talked about how women are now more than ever serving in in stronger roles in what has been primarily male dominated industries and the importance of continuing to do so. More …

May 12, 2015

Productivity Hacks: Today's Tools and Tips for Getting it All Done

On Tuesday, May 12, Deborah Smith, president of Foxtrot Media LLC, discussed the strengths women bring to the insurance workplace and shared the tools and tactics she uses to manage her business and personal life. More …

Nov. 12, 2014

Women and Wealth: Financial Planning Strategies (across a lifetime) for Women

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Wendy Murphy, CFP, financial advisor, financial planning specialists, The Murphy Group; Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, shared tips, tricks, advice and her experiences on building wealth across a lifetime.. More …

May 15, 2014

THIS IS NOT WHERE I INTENDED TO BE! But Boy, Am I Happy I'm Here!

Over 30 women came together for an interactive discussion with four distinguished female agency and company executives on May 15th at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township. The forum, which featured women at different stages in their careers, consisted of a question-and-answer format with free-flowing conversation. Attendees learned how the panelists chose insurance for their careers, why they stayed, and what's on the horizon for tomorrow. More …

Nov. 21, 2013

Stress Less! Strategies and Exercises to Manage Your Stressors

Attendees gathered at Forsgate Country Club on Nov. 21, 2013 for the luncheon program "Stress Less! Strategies and Exercises to Manage Your Stressors". Speaker, author and trainer Della Menechella facilitated the interactive session helping women to identify their top stress-producing situations and acquire the skills to manage them more effectively. More …

May 23, 2013

Powerful Women, Powerful Choices

Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey held its spring Women's Business Forum on May 23, 2013, at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township. Donna Cunningham (ADP/Statewide Insurance Agencies), Angela Bossbaly (Travelers Select), Karen Murdoch (Plymouth Rock Management Company) and Kathleen Scales, AAI, CIC (J.S. Braddock Insurance Agency), conducted an executive panel "Powerful Women, Powerful Choices" exploring the importance of women in the industry and the paths they have chosen to become leaders in a field which serves people and businesses in all walks of life. More …

Oct. 3, 2012

Developing Your Corporate Social Media Strategy

The Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey held its autumn Women's Business Forum, Oct. 3, 2012, at the Hyatt House in Branchburg. Deborah Smith, social media consultant, trainer and president of Foxtrot Media, LLC, presented a program geared to "Developing Your Corporate Social Media Strategy." Attendees enjoyed the networking luncheon and learned how to use blogs; Facebook; LinkedIn; and Twitter to build their professional brand, capture leads and keep the conversation going with customers. More …