22nd Annual Conference


October 4-5th, 2018 in Boston, MA


Keynote Speakers

Abigail Posner
Head of Strategy
Google’s Brand Unit

As a thought leader, author, manager and corporate executive, Abigail Posner has spent her life catalyzing change and creating impact. Thanks to her degree in Social Anthropology from Harvard University, Abigail shines a unique, humanistic lens on culture, business and technology that brings fresh perspective to corporate culture, product development, branding and marketing.

Whether by leading brands at DDB and Publicis to new strategic spaces; guiding teams to reinvent themselves with new tools and practices at Google; stimulating organizations to adopt new cultures and modes of behavior; challenging the cultural conversations around beauty; or motivating audiences to reexamine themselves, Abigail is driven to spark novel thinking and lead people to take action on it.

Today, as Head of Strategic Planning at the ZOO, Google’s creative think tank for agencies and brands, Abigail’s role is to help advertisers and marketers make sense of human beings’ deep, emotional relationship to the digital space and convert those insights in strategic and creative efforts.  While at Google, she launched an industry-first thought leadership series on human beings’ emotional relationships with the digital space: Humanizing Digital.  This research decodes technology in an inspiring and useful way.

Prior to joining Google, Abigail was Executive Vice President, Strategy Director at Publicis New York, and Head of Strategic Planning at DDB New York.  She blogs regularly on topics around beauty in our culture at Beautyskew.com, she has published a range of articles on marketing, digital culture and beauty, and is a contributor to Advertising Age & Google’s sites.  Abigail’s been featured in a host of publications including: Business InsiderHuffington PostNY TimesLa PresseCNBCMumbrella, AdNews, B&T & Globes Israel.


Verna Myers

Vernā Myers
Inclusion strategist & Cultural Innovator
The Vernā Myers Company

Vernā Myers is an inclusion strategist, cultural innovator, thought leader, and social commentator. She’s known for her high-energy keynotes, her captivating insights, and her ability to help people bridge differences and connect more meaningfully. A Harvard-trained lawyer and founder of The Vernā Myers Company , Verna was recently made VP, Inclusion Strategy at Netflix. In this newly created role, she will help devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.

Vernā is the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People . Her inspiring TED talk, “ How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them ,” offers three ways any person can become an active participant in countering bias in themselves and in others to create a more just world. Vernā has been cited in The Atlantic, Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, and TED NPR Radio.

For the last two decades, Vernā and The Vernā Myers Company have helped organizations eradicate barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other differences with the aim of establishing a new, more productive and just status quo. As Vernā puts it, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”® Vernā calls Baltimore home and when she’s not working, she’s unwinding on long road bike rides, visiting with family, or traveling the globe with her son, Tres.


2018 Founders’ Award Recipients

Rising Star Award – Lori Schreckengost
She’s Our Hero Award – Emily Brock
Lifetime Achievement Award – Karen Daly


Past Founders’ Awards Recipients

Rising Star Award – Nora O’Brien
She’s Our Hero Award – Robin Prunty
Lifetime Achievement Award – Courtney Shea


Rising Star Award – Natasha A. Holiday
She’s Our Hero Award – Katie Koster
Lifetime Achievement Award – Carole L. Brown


Rising Star Award – Jessica Akey
She’s Our Hero Award – Monika Suarez
Lifetime Achievement Award – The Honorable Denise L. Nappier


Rising Star Award – Dana Sodikoff
She’s Our Hero Award – Harriet Welch
Lifetime Achievement Award – Robin L. Wiessmann

2018 Host Committee

Natalie Brill – City of Los Angeles
Angela Colton – City of San Diego
Michele Crichlow – San Diego County
Cindi Evangelisti – Chicago Park District
Patricia Filippone – University of Massachusetts Building Authority
Carole Fleck – University of Minnesota
Anne Fritz – City of St. Petersburg
Emme Handy – City of Boston
Lisa Marie Harris – San Diego County Water Authority
Heather Johnston – Past President, National GFOA
Chrystal Kornegay – Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency
Connie Kravitz – College of Lake County
Lauren Liss – Massachusetts Development Finance Agency
Rachel Madden – Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency
Charisse Mosely – City of Houston
Sanja Noble – University of Chicago
Karol Ostberg – Massachusetts State College Building Authority
Sue Perez – Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Elizabeth Reich – City of Dallas
Kelly Rogers – State of Rhode Island
Georgia Sanchez – Texas Water Development Board
Marina Scott – Salt Lake City Corporation
Biljana Seki – County of Los Angeles
Rebecca Sullivan – Massachusetts Development Finance Agency
Anna Tenaglia – Massachusetts Port Authority
Ha To – City of Los Angeles


Pre-Conference Chapters’ Meeting

Location: UMass Club, 1 Beacon Street, 32nd Floor
Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Time: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Founders’ Awards Event

Location: The Grand Boston, 58 Seaport Boulevard
Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Reception and Presentation of Awards

Conference Schedule

Location: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
Date: Friday, October 5, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM Registration Begins
2:30 PM Conference Concludes
3:30 – 5:30 PM Boston Harbor Cruise
Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Boulevard

In accordance with WPF Press Policy, all Conference functions are designated *public with restrictions*; attendance at the Conference by members of the press is deemed acceptance of these terms.



Westin Boston

Limited overnight accommodations have been reserved at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. We recommend booking early to ensure room availability – Group rate available until September 11th.

The Westin Boston Waterfront
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 532-4600

Reservation Booking Link


Other Accommodations

Aloft Boston Seaport District
401 D St # 403
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 530-1600
Rates from $221. Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel
Distance from venue: .6 miles or an 11 minute walk
Across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, this trendy, modern hotel is also 2 miles from the New England Aquarium and 3 miles from Boston Logan International Airport.
Element Boston Seaport District
391-395 D Street
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 530-1700
Rates from $259. Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel
Distance from venue: .6 miles or an 11 minute walk
Opposite the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, this stylish, all-suite hotel in a funky modern building is 2 miles from the New England Aquarium.
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
606 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 338-4111
Rates from $475. Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel
Distance from venue: .6 miles or an 11 minute walk
Overlooking Boston Harbor, this upscale, modern hotel is 1.3 miles from Faneuil Hall and 3.4 miles from the Museum of Fine Arts.
YOTEL Boston
65 Seaport Blvd.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 315-6794
Rates from $430.
Distance from venue: .6 miles or an 11 minute walk
Trendy lodging offering a 24-hour fitness room, plus a rooftop restaurant/bar with city views.
Boston Harbor Hotel
70 Rowes Wharf
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 415-4396
Rates from $550.
Distance from venue: 1.1 miles or a 21 minute walk
This high-end harborfront hotel is a mile from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and The Freedom Trail historic path.

We would like to thank our sponsors for supporting Women in Public Finance.


Program Sponsors


Lunch Sponsors


Breakfast Sponsors

Hilltop Securities

Post Conference Reception Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors




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