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YPOWR-Young Professionals Of Waterbury Region-To Host Feb. 7 "CEO Speaker" Event

Paula Van Ness, CEO/president CT Community Foundation
Paula Van Ness, CEO/president CT Community Foundation

The Waterbury Regional Chamber’s Y.P.O.W.R. – Young Professionals of Waterbury Region - will continue their new “Influential Business: CEO Speaker Series – Making It Happen” on Friday, February 7 with Paula Van Ness, president and CEO of the Connecticut Community Foundation. On Friday, February 21st the final presentation in the series will be made by Donna Palomba, founder of Jane Doe No More.

The CEO Speaker Series began on January 24th with a presentation by Charles Boulier III, president and CEO of Ion Bank on “Starting Over at the Top”. Ion Bank is sponsor of the series that is being hosted by the Connecticut Community Foundation. The two February presentations will be held at Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown Waterbury at 63 Grand Street from 8:00 to 9:15 a.m.

“Making Dreams Come True” will be the subject of the February 7 presentation by Paula Van Ness, president and CEO of the nonprofit Connecticut Community Foundation. Ms. Van Ness will discuss how she is fulfilling her dream to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people across our region and the nation, and how to meet goals in an economy that no one thought was attainable. She will teach what she did to make her dreams a reality and how one can make their career goals happen. In November 2013, Van Ness completed the first-ever Give Local campaign that raised over half a million dollars for more than 125 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills region. Van Ness is recognized as helping to make a difference in countless nonprofits through her perseverance, dedication and commitment. She is also the former COO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in New York; former president and CEO of the Starlight Children’s Foundation; president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America; CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness; and founding president of the National AIDS Fund.

“Persevere and Never Quit” will be the inspiring theme of the February 21st presentation by Donna Palomba, founder of the national nonprofit Jane Doe No More, an organization dedicated to improving the way society responds to victims of sexual assault. Palomba is recognized nationwide as a powerful voice for survivors of sexual assault. She is the face, founder and driving force behind Jane Doe No More, Inc. In her presentation, Palomba will help attendees find ways to have others hear their voice while sharing their drive and passion to make their next career step. Since first telling her story on a 2007 episode of Dateline NBC, Palomba has become a much sought-after author, public speaker and media resource, logging appearances on local and national television and radio shows, including NBC’s Today and Biography’s I Survived. She has also successfully lobbied for legislative changes that protect the rights of sexual assault survivors. Through Jane Doe No More, Inc., Palomba established Raising Awareness through Personal Experience (RAPE). She also released her book, Jane Doe No More: My 15-Year Fight to Reclaim My Identity – a True Story of Survival, Hope and Redemption.

Y.P.O.W.R.’s mission is to energize young professionals aged 21 to 39 who are growing their careers in the Waterbury area by engaging them in positive opportunities for professional development, educational, social, and community service. The Y.P.O.W.R. series of events are sponsored by Post University as partner, and corporate member sponsors are Belle Case Verde, Crowne Plaza Hotel in Southbury, Connecticut Community Foundation, and New Opportunities, Inc.

The Y.P.O.W.R’s CEO series programs are held 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott in Downtown Waterbury at 65 Grand Streets. Costs are $15/event and $35 for the series. To register, visit www.ypowr.org, or contact Courtney Ligi at info@ypowr.org or call 203-757-0701.

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