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Hotel Council of San Francisco 6th Annual “Women in Leadership” Forum Friday, May 13 at Fairmont San Francisco

Media Contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry (415) 676-7007 / 

Hotel Council of San Francisco 6th Annual “Women in Leadership” Forum

Friday, May 13 at Fairmont San Francisco

Resilience, Rebuilding & Reinventing

Keynote Address by Toni Atkins, California Senate President Pro Tempore

22 March 2021— San Francisco, CA: “Don’t listen to the voice that says you can’t,” said Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. “Listen to the voice inside yourself that says I can.”  With the inspiration of such leadership and vision, this year the Hotel Council of San Francisco’s Women in Leadership Forum returns, live-and-in-person, for the first time in two years: Friday, May 13 (8am – 1pm) at the Fairmont San Francisco. Sponsored by Alaska Airlines, the event features a “who’s who” of California leaders from the world of hospitality, health, government, and education, all speaking to this year’s theme of Resilience, Rebuilding and Reinventing. The day begins at 8am with breakfast and networking followed by panel discussions from 9am – 11am then culminating with a lunchtime keynote from California Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins.  Registration is available online at .  Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences with the hashtags #BreaktheBias, #IWM2022, #WILSF2022

“Our program was created to encourage and support women to grow into leadership positions,” said Kelly Powers, Director of The Hotel Council.  “Women, and especially women of color, are underrepresented in corporate and government management positions at a time when diverse work teams are proven to be more successful.”

The conference includes discussions on the value of a diverse workforce, gender pay equity and how COVID has impacted women’s work and personal lives. The impressive lineup of speakers at this year’s Women in Leadership Forum is designed to inspire all attendees, women and men, by being together and hearing compelling stories from our panelists and speakers.

The event will kick-off with welcome remarks by Malia Cohen, Chair of the California Board of Equalization. Following her lunchtime keynote, Atkins will take part in a live dialogue with Melinda Yee Franklin of J.P. Morgan Chase. Featured panelists are:
Resilience / Heroes of COVID Panel:
Dr. Monica Gandhi
, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at UCSF
Elizabeth McCusker– Emergency Room R.N
Dr. Susan Phillip, San Francisco Public Health Officer
Janet Reilly, Co-Founder / Board Chair for Clinic by the Bay
Grace Vedad, San Francisco Fire Department, Paramedic

Rebuilding / Advocacy Leaders for Tourism Panel:
Amy Arbuckle, Hotel Council Chair
Carmen Chu, San Francisco City Administrator
Barb Newton, President & CEO CalTravel
Keri Robinson, Marriott International
Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines

Reinventing / Positive Lessons We’ve Learned Panel:
Joanne Desmond, I.A.T.S.I Local 16
Papia Gambelin,
United Airlines
Ann Goggins, Westin St. Francis Hotel
Ceylan Karsli, Expedia Group
Jhonae Mazique, Harbor Court Hotel
Stephanie Thomas, Hyatt Regency Hotel

“The strength and power of women leaders continues to inspire me every day, Kevin Carroll, Hotel Council President and “During the last two years of unprecedented challenge, women leaders have truly shown us how to survive and thrive as we move beyond COVID.”

Presenting sponsor for the 6th Annual Women in Leadership is Alaska Airlines with additional support from partner sponsors Expedia, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Clearway Community Energy, ( Add) Recology, United Airlines , Local 16, Add and Visa.  Supporting sponsors include Athleta, The Bay Club, The Fairmont San Francisco, The Golden State Warriors, Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) & San Francisco Travel.  Media Sponsor is the San Francisco Business Times

Attendees at the day’s event will have an opportunity to win two free roundtrip tickets from Alaska Airlines: no blackout days, destinations are anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. Winners must be present to win.

The Hotel Council of San Francisco is a non-profit membership-based organization advocating for the economic and social vitality of the hospitality industry in San Francisco. With a membership roster of over 200 hotels, allied members, and partner organizations, the Council is dedicated to protecting the San Francisco hospitality industry and connecting its members to support its growth and success.