Speakers - Marcum Women's Forum - New York

  • Convene Conference Center, NY
  • September 14, 2018

Featured Speaker


Hillary Rodham Clinton


Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and presidential candidate.

Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947. After graduating from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, she began her life-long work on behalf of children and families by joining the Children's Defense Fund.

In 1974, she moved to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton and became a successful attorney while also raising their daughter, Chelsea.

As First Lady of the United States, from 1993 to 2001, Hillary Clinton championed health care for all Americans and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, and create the Children's Health Insurance Program.

In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate, and the first woman elected to statewide office in New York. As Senator, she worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care. After September 11, 2001, helped to rebuild New York and provide health care for first responders.

In 2007, she began her historic campaign for president, winning 18 millions votes and becoming the first woman to ever win a presidential primary or caucus state.

In her four years as America's chief diplomat and the President's principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton led the effort to restore America's leadership in the world. She negotiated a cease-fire in Gaza that defended Israel's security and headed off another war in the Middle East, mobilized an international coalition to impose crippling sanctions against Iran, and championed human rights around the world, as she has her entire career.

In 2016, Clinton made history again by becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. As the Democratic candidate for president, she campaigned on a vision of America that is "stronger together" and an agenda to make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top., earning the support of nearly 66 million Americans.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the author of seven best-selling books. What Happened – released in September of 2017 – spent 16 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

She and President Clinton reside in New York, have one daughter, Chelsea, and are the proud grandparents of Charlotte and Aidan.

Other Distinguished Speakers


Barbara Bradley Baekgaard
Co-Founder, Vera Bradley Designs Inc., Founder, Baekgaard USA, Co-Founder, Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer

When Barbara Bradley Baekgaard co-founded Vera Bradley with Patricia Miller in 1982, her stunning use of brilliant colors and decorative patterns redefined women's fashion. By approaching luggage, handbags, and other functional accessories as a creative canvas, Ms. Baekgaard distinguished the Vera Bradley brand for more than three decades as Co-President and Chief Creative Officer. Today, Ms. Baekgaard serves on the Vera Bradley Board of Directors, and her iconic designs color the lives of millions across more than 100 countries on every continent.

A steadfast philanthropist, Ms. Baekgaard established the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer in 1994, following the loss of her dear friend Mary Sloan. The Foundation has raised more than $30 million for breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Ms. Baekgaard also chairs the Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation, which furnishes financial and fundraising support for a range of causes, including disaster relief, Alzheimer's disease research, and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

In many ways, Ms. Baekgaard's design career is just beginning. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Vera Bradley Designs Inc., she recently founded Baekgaard USA, a line of contemporary men's fashion accessories in the Danish-American style of her late husband Peer Baekgaard, and began construction of a boutique hotel in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Ms. Baekgaard has earned numerous recognitions and awards, including: the ACE Humanitarian Award from the Accessories Council in New York City (2016); Lifetime Achievement Award from AmericasMart/Icon Honors (2014); Country Living Entrepreneur Award (2007); Gifts and Decorative Accessories Industry Achievement Award (2006); and Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Indiana from Arthur Young/VENTURE (awarded jointly with Ms. Miller in 1987).

In 2017, Ms. Baekgaard published her memoirs, A Colorful Way Of Living: How to Be More, Create More, Do More the Vera Bradley Way, in collaboration with St. Martin's Press.

Ms. Baekgaard attended Marymount College in New York and Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois. When she isn't engaged in new design projects and philanthropy, she enjoys interior design, travelling, and spending time with her four children and thirteen grandchildren.

Laura Fredricks, JD
Founder & CEO of THE ASK©

Laura Fredricks is the Billion Dollar ASK-maker Powerhouse, who as Founder & CEO of THE ASK©, teaches individuals, nonprofits and businesses how to confidently, willingly and successfully ask for anything they need and deserve. Fredricks is today's leading authority on "How to A$K© for Money – and More of It!" She has helped hundreds of organizations worldwide raise multi-millions through her unique approach to fundraising.

Laura just received on January 11, 2018, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Ralph Chamberlain Award, NYC Chapter's highest award for a lifetime achievement in philanthropy, and in November 2017, received the New York Nonprofit Network's 50 Over 50 Award for excellence in Media and Philanthropy.

As an attorney-turned-philanthropic advisor, Laura knows how to ASK. She comes from a seasoned career in industries best known for making the most high profile of multi-million dollar A$KS – law and philanthropy – and is the first to merge strategies from both professional sectors into a mainstream practice now known as THE ASK©, available also for the business and consumer lifestyle marketplace. This new practice has placed LAURA on the national and international speaking circuits at conferences around the world from Amsterdam to Ann Arbor, Bologna to Boca Raton, Kenya to Kentucky, Moscow to Montreal, Sydney to Seattle, plus Australia, Italy, and the Netherlands. THE ASK© has also led LAURA to TV and radio appearances on local talk shows across the nation,and her expertise featured in national publications. Her five books on "How to A$K© for Money – and More of It" have become industry leaders.

INDUSTRY LEADING AUTHOR
LAURA is currently the author of industry leading books under the umbrella of THE A$K© Literary Series. Each book, also translated into Russian, focuses on "How to A$K© for Money – and More of It." LAURA's books offer time‑tested tips, tools and best practices for acquiring financial rewards – and more of them. Readers learn to acquire financial growth and monetary sustainability. All four books in this series have become the "go‑to" guides for numerous organizations around the globe as well as for academic courses at prestigious universities. Her latest book "THE ASK for Business, for Philanthropy, for Everyday Living (Wiley October 2017) is filled with over 175 ways to ASK, and shows how anyone at any age can ASK their way to their best life possible personally and professionally.

MONEY WELLNESS EXPERT
Most recently Laura joined a star-studded list of Wellness Experts and is the "Money Wellness Expert" with an all new 30-day on-line money wellness program. Her book: "Money Wellness: Is Money Making You $ick?" (February 2016) was the first to explore how money affects your diet, sleep, exercise, spirituality, creativity and fun and how you can work out your Money Blockers that prevent you from having the best relationship with money.    

IVY LEAGUE LECTURER
In addition to her philanthropy work, LAURA also teaches nonprofit business management and fundraising techniques to master's degree candidates at Columbia University, New York University, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, The Smithsonian Institute, and The Harvard and Princeton Clubs. Her courses cover nonprofit leadership, fundraising trends, major gifts, planned giving, special events, and capital campaigns. She has been teaching since 1994 and is a current advisory board member for New York University and Columbia University's Masters in Fundraising Programs. 

FUNDRAISING TRACK RECORD
After clerking for an Appellate Judge and serving as a Deputy Attorney General IV, Civil Litigation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for eight years, LAURA entered the fundraising field serving as the Philadelphia Bar Foundation's Director of Development where she launched a major gifts program that increased individual giving by more than 75 percent.

As vice president of philanthropy at Pace University in New York City, LAURA was behind an unprecedented $100 million charitable raise during a six-year-campaign period right after 9/11. She oversaw all aspects of fundraising and alumni relations for a staff of 40 across five campuses.

Prior to her tenure at Pace, LAURA was associate vice president for development at Philadelphia's Temple University where she managed and coordinated major and planned giving programs, corporate and foundation funding, and alumni relations for fifteen schools and colleges, two hospitals, and the athletic program during a $300 million capital campaign. She raised a benchmark $1 million for Temple University's School of Medicine annual fund.

As major gifts manager for the Deborah Hospital Foundation, LAURA elevated the major gift program from $50,000 to $6.1 million from grateful patients in one year.

In addition to her contributions to academic boards, LAURA has served as an executive board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Greater New York Chapter, Philadelphia Chapter, and as a committee member on the national level, with the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.

She currently is an executive board member for OPERATION HOMEFRONT, an organization that supports military families and New York's Cherry Lane Theater, the oldest continuously running off-Broadway theatrical house. In addition, LAURA has been a long-time volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

MEDIA EXPERT
LAURA has appeared as "The Expert on THE ASK©" on KATIE's TAKE where she provided Katie Couric and her ABC News | Yahoo News viewers with tips on "How to Ask for What You Want." Most recently she was on Fox's America's Headline News, commenting on how presidential candidates should ask for money as well as Anderson Cooper's 360 sharing her views on funding cuts for Planned Parenthood.   

LAURA's "Asking Strategies for Better Living" have also found themselves on the pages of popular lifestyle publications such as The Huffington Post, Women's Health, SHAPE, Self, and The Bridal Guide, as well as in major market newspapers.The Chicago Tribune featured LAURA's "Easy to Please Asking Tactics" that deliver "How To Get Exactly What You Want (Or Don't Want!) On Valentine's Day." LAURA's tips, tools and best practices can be used and applied instantly to any facet of everyday life, at any time, from anywhere - in relationships, finance, health and careers.  LAURA's "Asking Advice for Everyday Living" has also become a topic for TV segments on local talk shows across the nation.

Listeners to radio programs on New York's WOR, Chicago's WGN and Sirius XM Satellite Radiohave also been benefitting from LAURA's motivational voice with tips on "How to Ask for Travel Upgrades" and "Questions You Are Not Asking Your Doctor that Could Cost You $$$."

In the corporate sector, LAURA's "Financial Asking Philosophies" have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and in the Financial Advisor IQ, as well as on WSJ Live: Dow Jones Wealth Advisor. She has provided entrepreneurs with tips on "How to Snag a Superstar Client Simply by Knowing How to ASK for Them." LAURA has additionally been quoted throughout the philanthropic community in The Chronicle of Philanthropyand Advancing Philanthropy.  

Laura holds a law degree from Western New England University School of Law and a BA in Communications from Rutgers College. To keep life in balance she mountaineers the Adirondack Mountains.