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President’s Update – May 2018

Dear IWF Sisters,

Back from Australia!

I think I left my heart in Australia. What a triumph of a conference IWF Australia hosted – I’m sure my fellow attendees would agree!  The conference content was compelling, and among other topics, featured a panel on “Fake News” around the world (no, it’s NOT just here) that was expertly moderated by our own immediate past president Dolores Sukhdeo. I attended all the sessions, but it was the small touches that made the conference so memorable – the smiling and clapping welcome line at the opening reception, the festive boas and engaging drag queens at the closing party, the dancing, the warm dine-arounds, delicious food and the Priscilla cocktail (which I understand was invented at a boisterous IWF gathering).

But what stayed with me all the way back to Miami was the way our Australian sisters made us feel. IWF Australia president Kate Mason put it best: “As influential leaders, we each stand for something. When we come together in IWF, we stand for each other.” I came home energized, inspired and more committed to IWF and our potential as an organization of top-notch kick-ass women.

OUR conference is next! We took careful notes and we’re motivated to wow our global sisterhood in October. I hope every single one of you will join us in showing the world that Florida can deliver a very good time. Melanie Damian and Lucy Morillo-Agnetti (Mdamian@dvllp.com and lucy2014law@gmail.com) are energetically and skillfully co-chairing the Conference Committee. If you’re not already signed up, contact one of them to volunteer.


This year many of you participated in revamping our membership process, and thanks to the committee (Ann Machado, Gepsie Metellus, Felecia Hatcher), along with the pipeline committee (Bernice Steinbaum, Kate Callahan, Jane Wooldridge and Mireille Chancy-Gonzalez), we came up with a wonderful slate of new members. But it’s not over. Because we had such qualified applicants and limited time to implement our new process, the committee submitted the first batch of 12 to the board, and is vetting some more over the summer. The committee considered accomplishment, leadership, recognition and overall diversity. I know you will enjoy meeting our new members in September.

Superwoman in the News

Just want to give a shout-out to Captain Tammie Jo Shultz, who was piloting a Southwest airliner last month when the left engine exploded, the cabin depressurized and a woman passenger was partly sucked out of the plane. Undaunted, Captain Shultz maneuvered the plane to a safe landing in Philadelphia, calling for medical help as she descended. She had learned to fly as one of the first women fighter pilots in the Navy over 30 years ago. (She joined the Navy because the Air Force wouldn’t accept women at the time.) Her skill and presence of mind saved all the passengers, except for one, and all the crew. I don’t know, but I hope she’s a member of IWF. She could teach us all a thing or two about leadership.

I hope you all have a terrific summer, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,


katy sorenson