‘Women Entrepreneurs in NYC’ Panel to Feature Successful SU Alumnae

Three Syracuse University alumnae who successfully launched their own businesses and ventured into new realms in the professional world will come together on Tuesday, Sept. 24, for the panel discussion “Women Entrepreneurs in NYC: Creative Ideas and New Beginnings” at the Joseph I. Lubin House, 11 E. 61st St., New York City. Emme ’85, Cindy Touma ’82 and Ryan Wilde ’02 will be joined by moderator Nicole Samolis for the 6:30 p.m. discussion, which will include an audience question-and-answer session. A reception will precede the panel discussion at 5:30 p.m.

The panel discussion and reception are presented by the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and the WISE Women’s Business Center of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

Panelists

Emme

Emme

Emme, a 1985 VPA graduate with a bachelor of science degree in speech communication, is an iconic supermodel; TV host; nationally recognized women’s advocate for positive body image and self esteem; adult and children’s book author; sought-after national lecturer; creative director for her women’s community EmmeNation, EmmeNation Whole You National Tour series and clothing lines; and proud mom. The main goal of EmmeNation, her newest business venture, is to help women connect with their bodies, minds and spirits. Her tour series includes the EmmeNation Whole You Cruise, which will take its maiden voyage to Bermuda in May 2014 on the Norwegian Breakaway.

Emme is also a member of the Healthy Media Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls and is a proud ambassador of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Cindy Touma

Cindy Touma

Touma co-founded CanUWorkTomorrow.com, a New York City-based, women-owned company. This dynamic job search web site and social network is directed at the underserved return-to-work and mid-career woman. Touma co-founded CanUWorkTomorrow with friend Karen Frankel after seeing a need in the current job market and discovering that no one was meeting it. Her idea was to make positive connections with businesses and educated women who needed short-term work and would be available to work tomorrow, on site, at local businesses. She is determined to change the way companies hire, re-introducing them to brainpower ready to work hard and smart.

After a career at Macy's New York, Touma left the corporate world and for 10 years owned and operated her own retail store that offered fabrics, furniture and interior design accessories. She is an avid supporter of St. Jude Children's Hospital and a 1982 graduate of the Whitman School, with a bachelor of science degree in retailing.

Ryan Wilde

Ryan Wilde

Wilde, a 2002 VPA alumna with a bachelor of fine arts degree in art photography, has become an integral part of the New York City hat-making community. Ryan Wilde Millinery was founded in 2005 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In 2008, she opened her shop Tria and then IDA in 2011. Her hats have been carried in Henri Bendel, Patricia Field and Harvey Nichols. She has also been featured in Vogue, Bazaar and W Magazine, along with many other notable publications.

Most recently, Wilde took on the role of millinery director for J.J. Hat Center and Pork Pie Hatters. J.J. Hat Center is the oldest hat store in New York City and a staple in New York menswear since 1911. J.J.'s and Pork Pie will be launching Phrenology NYC, an in-house, handmade collection that will include both men's and women's headwear. Wilde will be designing and handmaking this new bespoke collection out of the Morgan Fine Arts Building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. See her work at http://ryanwilde.com.

Moderator

Nicole Samolis

Nicole Samolis

Samolis, a Certified Special Events Professional, is the president and founder of the Events Company, an event design, planning and production firm headquartered in Syracuse. Founded in 1996, her firm works with corporate, not-for-profit and social clients predominantly in Central New York, with a handful of national clients. She has more than 20 years of experience in sales, business development and operations, product design and presentation, project management and human resource training and development, with 15 of those years specifically in event management.

Samolis, who holds a bachelor of professional studies degree in fashion design and business management from Marist College, is an active member of the Central New York business community and a connector. She sits on the CenterState CEO advisory board, the WISE Women Business Center’s board of directors and the Entrepreneurial Society of CNY board of directors. She is also a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization.

The panel and reception are free. SU alumni who wish to attend should R.S.V.P. at invite.syr.edu/WomenEntrepreneursEvent/. For additional questions, contact Traci Washburn, VPA director of alumni affairs, at 315-443-4728 or tmwashbu@syr.edu.