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SBC 2020


The theme of the 2020 Spring Business Conference was Reaching New Heights.  The event featured female speakers who have all broken barriers in their respective fields of business. 




to all of the amazing speakers & sponsors who made this event possible. 



Joanne Smith is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Delta Air Lines. She is responsible for preserving the airline's unique culture of positive engagement with its more than 80,000 employees, overseeing talent management and development, recruitment, HR service delivery, diversity and inclusion, labor relations, and HR policies and programs. Under Joanne’s leadership, Delta was named one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Throughout her 30-year career in the travel industry, Joanne has received numerous awards and recognition including 25 Power Women to Watch in Atlanta, Advertising Age Top 10 Women to Watch, Wall Street Journal’s Top Women to Watch, Honored Alumni of the Orfalea College of Business and Gold Spotlight Award for distinguished alumni, AWNY Changing the Game Award, and YWCA Academy of Women Achievers. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Delta Air Lines Foundation, Board of Trustees for Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia and is an Advisory Board Member of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Joanne holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University.

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Allison Ausband is Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service for Delta Air Lines, leading a team of 24,000 flight attendants, supervisory and support personnel around the globe, as well as Delta's onboard global food and beverage operation and experience. She previously served as Vice President – Reservation Sales and Customer Care, where she was responsible for 10 customer engagement centers in four countries, which handle over 37 million customer contacts each year and generate over $2 billion in annual revenue. While in Reservation Sales, she developed and launched Delta’s social media customer service model as well as a home-based employment program, creating a new virtual workforce culture that yields more than $2 million in savings each year. She also led the corporation’s strategy to move from the bottom to the No. 2 position in DOT Consumer rankings and under her leadership achieved JD Power certification for Delta's engagement centers--the first US airline to ever achieve. Allison began her career at Delta in May 1985 as a flight attendant. Currently, Allison is Delta’s executive sponsor for human trafficking and leads their annual Breast Cancer Research Foundation campaign. She is a member of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2014. She is a University of Georgia Board of Trustee and serves on the Board of Directors for Delta Community Credit Union and the Board of Trustees for the William R. and Sara Babb Smith Foundation. She is also an active member of her local church serving on the personnel committee. Allison received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia.

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With experience in wholesale and retail buying working for brands such as Rachel Zoe, Kate Spade, DVF, Guess?, and Kimberly Ovitz, Hillary has  comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the fashion industry from product development to end consumer. A Graduate from Duke University with majors in art history and studio arts, her studies are a compliment to her innate analytical and marketing abilities which have helped her launch new brands and several brand extensions. Hillary was selected to participate in the first NYCEDC Fashion Fellows Program for 2013 initiated by mayor Bloomberg to promote fashion business and commerce in NYC and is currently a Mentor for the NYCEDC Design Entrepreneurs.  Hillary created Brand Assembly in 2013 with one purpose in mind: to help emerging fashion brands grow their business by creating a community that leverages resources and provides a platform for brands to support one another through managed services, tradeshows, co-working spaces. By creating a nurturing and collaborative atmosphere, Brand Assembly removes the barriers of entering a highly competitive contemporary market and assists in building a successful business. Hillary was a junior national tennis champion and collegiate All-American. When not in the office or traveling for work, Hillary spends her time in Hudson, NY with her partner Lucas.

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Misty Maddox graduated from Duke University in 2004 with a B.A. in Psychology, minoring in French, and obtaining a Markets and Management certificate. She then moved to Paris, France, where she taught English to elementary school students and completed an M.B.A. specialized in International Marketing at ESLSCA Business School. Her professional career brought her to New York, where she worked for Coty, L’Oréal and L Brands on iconic brands such as Calvin Klein fragrances, Maybelline, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. After nearly a decade in the city, Misty returned to her home state of North Carolina and is currently a Creative Project Manager for Burt’s Bees, focused on their color cosmetics and permanent merchandising categories. In her free time, she enjoys traveling domestically and internationally and welcomes any opportunity to put her French and Spanish language skills to use.

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Brandi Fowler’s love for travel, fashion, and entertainment news led her to a career as a multimedia

journalist in Los Angeles. After graduating from Duke University and obtaining a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California, Brandi went on to work as a writer/editor for E! Online, a writer/host for AOL, and served as the Hollywood correspondent for Australia’s 9News’ TheFIX. She has also contributed to the Travel Channel, MTV News, Citysearch, Us Weekly, Madame Noire, Hello Beautiful, and more as a writer, on-camera host, reporter, editor and/or digital content producer. Her articles have been syndicated by the likes of Health, Marie Claire, Essence, Shape, Yahoo!, People, and more. Currently, she serves as a contributing writer and red carpet correspondent for InStyle and Variety, is the founder of her own travel and lifestyle site Destination Fab, and is the host of "Change Makers," an upcoming national radio/podcast special (airs January 2020).

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Sterling Ingui, Vice President, Information Security Office at Fidelity Investments. With a passion for technology, data and the customer experience, Sterling works to keep Fidelity cyber safe and secure while also enabling the business to continue to grow and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Prior to Fidelity, Sterling led business to business marketing efforts at IBM, bringing a global storage product to market. At American Express, she sourced new lines of business by expanding client partnerships and driving greater charge volume from customers. At Duke University, she built corporate partnerships and a program to support a new masters program. Sterling’s focus on the customer began during her time at Tiffany & Co. where she worked across sales, operations, and product category management roles. Sterling serves on Fidelity’s NC IT Council, NC Women’s Leadership Group Advisory Board, and NC Extended Leadership Team. She was a mentor for the 2019 Female Founders in FinTech, member of the Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership, and VP of the Alumni Board at Durham Academy. Sterling earned her MBA from Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business and a BA from Columbia University.  She lives in Durham, NC with her husband and two children.


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