President Obama nominated Marina Garcia Marmolejo (pictured) to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Marina, who holds a JD from St. Mary’s University School of Law, is a Partner in the firm of Reid Davis. See White House press release.
President Obama nominated Maria Elizabeth (Maribeth) Raffinan to serve as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Maria is a supervising attorney in the Trial Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. See White House press release.
Linda Descano is President of Citi's Women & Co, the group at Citi that gives women access to education and resources, and also provides a network of women interested in finding the right mix for their financial future. Prior to joining the Women & Co team, Linda was a Director and Portfolio Manager with the Citi Private Portfolio Group. Linda has this to say about finance and careers:
Citi's Women & Co is an innovative approach to helping women with their finances. How did you become President of the group?
I was a portfolio manager at one of Citi’s predecessor companies, Salomon, when I met Lisa Caputo, who was creating a financial educational program for women at Citi. I was thrilled to see Citi take this step, and, as both Lisa and I shared a belief that women were being underserved in our industry, I offered to help. Initially, I served as an internal advisor and a featured speaker. Then in 2003, I joined as Chief Operating Officer and 4 years later was promoted to president of Women & Co. and I’m proud to say, we’re celebrating our 10-year anniversary this year!
Most of my academic coursework was in geology and communications. My passion for women and money developed when I went through my divorce. Over the course of my first marriage, I really didn’t pay attention to the household finances. When we were going through our divorce, I realized just how much we had amassed in debt on a joint credit card, which I eventually became responsible for paying off as the “breadwinner” in the family. Then throughout my business travels, I heard from women across all walks of life, about how divorce, their husband’s death or job loss, left them financially devastated and without the confidence to make smart financial decisions about their future. Reflecting on my own financial wake-up call, I realized how important it is for women to stay educated and involved in the household finances – and to have a Plan B for when love, life or the markets tosses you a curve ball. So I began looking for opportunities to help women become financially savvy. I’m also proud to say that before saying “I do” the second time around, my now-husband and I had a very frank conversation about money and set up clear “rules of the road” about how to handle “our” money, “his” money, and “my” money.
Were you always interested in finance? Even in college?
How do you explain the importance of learning to be financially secure to women in other industreis who do not have a background in finance?
Knowing what financial moves to make, when to make them, and understanding all that can affect the health of our finances can be consuming. One way to help sort through all the details is to create a financial plan. Knowing what you're aiming for today, 5 years, or 15 years from now, will help determine what steps to take to help you reach those goals. Resources like womenandco.com can help you get started. Also a financial professional can offer insight and help your plan stay in sync with your changing life. Women need to stay educated and involved in their finances - especially when most of us will wind up solely responsible for our finances at some point in our lives, either due to divorce, outliving our partner, or because we stay single.
You talk with women about money every day. What are some tips at different decades in their lives to invest in their financial future?
Financial fitness is like physical fitness – it comes down to hard work, discipline, and an ongoing commitment. Whatever your age, here are some ways to invest in your financial future:
-In your 20s, focus on living on a budget and make saving automatic.
-In your 30s, set up an emergency fund to cover at least 6 months of living expenses and seek out a financial professional to put a comprehensive plan in motion.
-In your 40s, help protect yourself and your family financially through appropriate insurance and estate planning vehicles (e.g., will, power of attorney, living will, health care proxy) and maximize retirement contributions, with your earnings at its peak.
-In your 50s, have a long-term care strategy in place and catch up on retirement savings, as you become eligible to make “catch-up” or extra, contributions to your retirement plan.
-In your 60s, know your Social Security benefit options, manage your expenses, have a plan for how you are going to draw down your savings, and update your estate plans.
As a leader in the financial industry, what advice do you have for women trying to get ahead in their careers?
-Own your career and make your own opportunities for development.
-Get to know your customers/clients and never stop listening to them or asking for feedback.
-Build strong relationships with people of influence within your business unit and across your company – create your own cheerleading squad.
-Constantly network and build your knowledge.
-Find a mentor, be a mentor.
J.P. Morgan Treasury Services appointed Andrea Leonel Regional Trade Sales and Advisory Head, Latin America. Andrea will be responsible for Trade Sales and Advisory for the LatAm markets. Andrea had been Head of Trade Finance and interim Head of Cash Management Corporates with particular exposure to Brazil and South America at Deutsche Bank S.A. - Banco Alemao. J.P. Morgan also hired Kao Fang Ming as Trade Head for China. Ming had been China Head for Global Trade Sales, Trade, and Supply Chain at HSBC in China. Read more in the Business Wire press release.
So many people want to help others, but sometimes just don't know where to start. Here are some events coming up that may inspire you to get involved.
Kelly Ripa and other stars are hosting Ovarian Cancer Research Fund's (OCRF) 13th annual Super Saturday on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at Nova's Ark Project in Water Mill, New York, with the proceeds going towards a cure for ovarian cancer.
Girls in Tech Boston is hosting a networking event on August 10, 2010 for women in technology. All ticket proceeds are going to the Science Club for Girls, a group that connects women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with almost 1,000 girls in the greater Boston area in an effort to increase the confidence of the girls and encourage female participation in the field of science.
The eighth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk San Francisco raising more than $5.6 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The race continues in other cities with Santa Barbara September 11-12, and New York October 16 - 17. The Avon Foundation has other intiatives to help women. Reese Witherspoon, the company's global ambassador and honorary chairperson of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced the Avon fundraising product, the Women's Empowerment Ring, this past March. The company anticipates the product, to be sold through Avon representatives, will raise significant funds to support local country initiatives to end violence against women.
Even TV characters are getting in on the effort to help women. TNT has a new promotion with Curves for a summer long "Strong Women Challenge" based on the TNT TV characters like Brenda Leigh Johnson played by Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer.
What events do you have coming up you would like to share with us so we can be inspired to help?
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America appointed Suzanne Dowd Zeller Vice President of Human Resources. Suzanne had been Vice President of HR for International Wealth Management at The Hartford. Read more in the Business Wire press release.
What does the FIRST organization mean to you?
"FIRST is my highest priority, after of course, my family. While I have had a wonderful and exciting career in professional sports, had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest athletes in hockey and at the most highest level of that athletic performance - the Olympics, FIRST is the first time I ever felt that I have made a difference in someone's life. Sure, many may look on a career in professional hockey as glamorous and are jealous of the fact that I can call athletes such as Brett Hull good friends, but in the 25+ years I worked for a team, the NHL and the NHL Player's Association, did I really make a difference? I would suggest that from the first time I volunteered for FIRST, I felt like I could."
How did you get involved in FIRST?
"I got involved with FIRST as an "accidental" volunteer. In the spring of 2001 my brother (who was a member of the FIRST Board of Directors at that time asked me "why his high school wasn't involved in FIRST?" He went to high school in St. Louis and moved to California). I did some research and replied "the closest competitions are in Houston and Chicago and it really is not feasible that high school teams would travel that far to compete." End of story, I had answered his question. A couple of weeks later he asked if my daughter and I would like to go to Disney World in Orlando and we accepted the invitation. Lo and behold, it was the venue for the FIRST Championship competition. Later that summer he asked if his company (along with NASA) would agree to fund a competition in St. Louis, would I volunteer to help run the event. I thought, at the time, that I was volunteering for a weekend of event management. Thus, in the spring of 2002 we held a competition in St. Louis. The rest is simply the typical story FIRST volunteers tell repeatedly -- some incredible students, enthusiastic teachers, devoted mentors and volunteers who are smart, savvy and totally dedicated to spreading the program -- and in an atmosphere that I was most comfortable in -- a sports arena."
Do you feel FIRST gives young women an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have?
"As we in St. Louis are about to enter our 10th season of FIRST events, it is fun to look back at the young women who have excelled because of FIRST. From the female captain of the ‘Robohawks’ who is now pursuing a degree at the University of Missouri at Columbia and working tirelessly to start FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams in that area, to the first young woman I met in 2002 who had no aspirations beyond her high school diploma - she had siblings to care for - who later started courses at the community college in programming and is now working as a programmer. At all ages, FIRST affirms that the so called "fairer sex" can be strong contributors in math, science engineering and technology."
What was your experience with math and science growing up?
"I was fortunate to grow up in a family of over achievers - my father was a mechanical engineer, my mother a chemist. My oldest brother an EE and MBA, my younger sister also an engineer who turned to a career in technical sales, add to that mix an internist (MD) and dentist (DDS), there was no shortage of high level scientific, technical and stimulating discussions at our dinner table. I think however, that was a rarity and my parents were unique to encourage us all to pursue our dreams, mine happened to be sports."
Any advice to young women interested in owning their own company down the road?
"There are no barriers unless you create or allow them."
Read more about FIRST, its competitions and its scholarship programs.