Emerging Leaders

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Begun in 2017, the BWAF Emerging Leaders program is a New York-based, selective professional development opportunity for women 5-10 years out of school. In small group format, (maximum of 20 selected participants) invitees engage with significant senior women in architecture, engineering, construction, real estate, law, and financial services to advance their own career goals. Participants share common experiences and trade personal strategies for success.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the New York Building Foundation for the program. 

Meet the Spring 2021 Emerging Leaders Program participants:


2021 Spring Sessions:



Angelica T. Baccon, AIA

Principal, SHoP Architects

This has been a really challenging year to “hang in there.” And what about managing with two little ones at home? That takes perseverance, grace, and imagination – Angelica T. Baccon, AIA, Principal, SHoP Architects, will share insights with us.

When: Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 6:30-8PM

Virtual session



Sherida E. Paulsen, FAIA

Principal, PKSB Architects
 You can’t make it to the top by professional competence alone. Sherida Paulsen, Principal PKSB Architects, and former Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commission, will discuss politics with a small “p” and Politics… now.

When: Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 6:30-8PM

Virtual session



Phoebe Yee, AIA

Senior Vice President, Design, Related California

Hear from architect turned developer, Phoebe Yee, Senior Vice President, Design, Related California, about both the importance of realizing your personal power, and the necessity of understanding where the power is in the real estate industry.

When: Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 6:30-8PM

Virtual session

Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation certificate of attendance provided at completion of the program.

Total program cost: $200


2020 Fall Sessions:

Meet the Fall 2020 Emerging Leaders Program participants:




Juliet Hernandez-Eli

Founding Partner, Hernandez-Eli Architecture

Possibly the single most significant facet in every leader’s success story, determination is nevertheless difficult to sustain against the odds. Gain insights with Juliet Hernandez, Founding Partner of Hernandez-Eli.

When: October 13, 2020

Virtual session



Pat Bosch

Design Director and Principal, Perkins&Will
Explore the challenges and rewards of collaboratively pursuing good design, and the importance of undertaking responsible research involving multiple perspectives and customs, with Pat Bosch, Design Director and Principal at Perkins+Will.

When: November 12, 2020

Virtual session



Frances Bronet

President at Pratt Institute

Disruption always creates new connections. But taking the leap into disrupting your own trajectory for the better takes courage and confidence. Learn with Frances Bronet, architect, and President of Pratt Institute.

When: December 3, 2020

Virtual session


Total program cost: $200



Margaret Newman, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Principal, Integrated Planning Team | Arup

How do we ever know what to do first? How do our priorities change as our career develops? Discuss these challenges with Bloomberg administration veteran New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Chief of Staff, Arup Urban Planner and Principal, Margaret Newman.

When: April 14, 2020

Virtual session



Ann Rolland, FAIA

Partner | FXCollaborative

Are there challenges for non-heteronormative professionals in the workplace? How can you learn to bring your full self to work? Hear from Annie Rolland, FAIA, Partner at FXCollaborative on her journey.

When: April 28, 2020

Virtual session



Bolanle Williams-Olley

Chief Financial Officer | Mancini Duffy

Meet industry CFO Bolanle Williams-Olley to discuss profit in professional services, how best to talk about it with your clients and how to retain it in difficult times.

When: June 23, 2020

Virtual session


2019 Sessions:



Carol Loewenson, FAIA, LEED AP

Partner | Mitchell Giurgola Architects LLP

When: June 26, 2019

Where: Mitchell Giurgola Architects LLP 



Suzanne Pennasilico, SPHR

Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Managing Principal | Dattner Architects

When: July 25, 2019

Where: Dattner Architects



Susan Hayes

Founder and CEO | Susan Hayes Enterprises

When: August 27, 2019

Where: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP

Past sessions:



Sharon Greenberger

President and CEO | YMCA of Greater New York

When: November 5, 2018

Where:KPF, 11 W. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036



Fiona Cousins, PE


When: November 13, 2018

Where: Arup, 77 Water Street, New York, NY 10005



Jill Lerner, FAIA

Principal | Kohn Pedersen Fox

When: December 18, 2018

Where: KPF, 11 W. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

Meet our 2018 #2 Emerging Leaders:


Explore the power of your personal magnetism, friendships, and authentic relationships in small group setting with the guidance of a seasoned networker. Understand the importance of making strong connections and how to use them to advance your career.


Victoria J. Cerami

CEO | Cerami & Associates


When: February 27, 2018

Where: Cerami & Associates


Learn from a master demonstration of a compensation negotiation between two attorneys well versed in the dark art. Hear from the experts and your peers on developing the best strategy to get what you deserve.



Patricia Harris, Esq., LEED AP

Chair | BWAF; Special Counsel | Zetlin & De Chiara LLP; Founder and CEO | LicenseSure LLC


Elyssa Cohen Muldoon, CCEP

Senior Associate General Counsel | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP



When: March 27, 2018

Where: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill


Meet with an established industry leader to unpack the implications of being perceived as “nice” in the business world. Senior women leaders reveal secret strategies to navigate the double standard for professional behavior and transcend the necessity of “nice.”


Diana Taylor

Chair | Hudson River Park Trust Board of Directors | Former Superintendent; Banking for NYS | Vice Chairman; Solera Capital


When: April 26, 2018

Where: Brookfield

All sessions 6:30–8:30 PM 

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.
Full program cost: $350

We thank the New York Building Foundation, Inc. for their generous underwriting of the program


Meet our 2018 Emerging Leaders







Take advantage of this opportunity to imagine a future informed by significant leaders in architecture, engineering, construction, real estate, law, and financial services. In small group format, you and your fellow Emerging Leaders (professionals with 5-10 years of experience) will engage with senior level women to advance your own career goals.



Mary Byron

Independent Investor

When: May 9, 2017

Where: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Emerging leaders explore taking risks along multiple paths to success. Senior women leaders share experiences of courage and risk taking to achieve daring careers and personal power.


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Jill Lerner, FAIA

Principal | Kohn Pedersen Fox

When: June 13, 2017

Where: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Explore the power of your personal magnetism, friendships, and authentic relationships in small group setting and understand the role of strong allies in your career trajectory.


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Sabrina Kanner

Executive Vice President of Design & Construction | Brookfield Office Properties

When: July 11, 2017

Where: TBA


Have a conversation about common work situations from an expert in construction and development with other influential women who have taken unexpected career turns and landed on their feet. Are you getting what you deserve? Do you know how to ask for it?

All sessions 6:30–8:30 PM 

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.
Full program cost: $250

Request an invitation or nominate a participant:

Complete the Emerging Leaders Nomination Form
Submit to info@bwaf.org


Meet our 2017 Emerging Leaders




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