R.I.S.E WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
  September 8th 2022   |   Choose In-Person or Virtual

OUR VISION

R.I.S.E (Realizing Inspiration & Sustaining Excellence) envisions a world free of adverse social norms that impact all women and girls in the workforce. The RISE Women’s Leadership Conference brings discussion, thought leadership and connectedness across a diverse and broad range of phenomenal women. The experience creates a safe space for women and girls to engage in inspirational and courageous conversations surrounding the nuances of gender parity, social-economic, and workplace equality. 

OUR MISSION

R.I.S.E is a 501(c)(3) educational organization missioned to inspire, connect, recognize and help women and girls navigate the workplace and entrepreneurial landscape while recognizing the importance of work/lifebalance that exists between both spaces.

RISE supports women and girls live out their fullest potential in traditional, entrepreneurial, and creative professional experiences through peer engagement and mentorship opportunities.

In addition, R.I.S.E is deeply invested in the young women of today who will be leading the world and futures of tomorrow. We partner with many great organizations that positively shape the lives of youth for the future.  After all, the outcomes of tomorrow are grounded in the efforts of today!



OUR PILLARS OF CONCENTRATION

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

R.I.S.E confronts a range of challenges that many female employees face and learn howto emerge leaders at any stage of their career.

FINANCIAL LITERACY

Research conducted by the Family Wealth Advisors Council suggests women will hold two-thirds of our nation’s wealthby 2030. Coupled with the reality of longer life expectancies, in comparison to their male counterparts(cite),women cannot afford to be disengaged from finances as they amass higher levels of wealth and live longer. Come here strategies at R.I.S.E !

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Good health begets wealth, buthow do balance both in your pursuit of happiness? Explore strategies to level up your health and wellness two main ingredients to living a longer, fuller and healthier life. Learn how to incorporate the science of balance into the art of life. Afterall, the pursuit of health, personal growth, and wealth lies in our ability to exercise self-care as a prerequisite to serve others.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP & EDUCATION

The rise of women in business and education speaks to our immeasurable resiliency. Women leveraged curiously and insight from the Women’s Movement of the 1920’s to current day social justice movements of the new millennium. As a result,we have creatively leveraged our abilities to entrepreneurs and educational leadership circles that challenge and influence the minds of every industry.

MENTORSHIP & PAYING IT FORWARD

RISE believes in giving without the expectation of return. The return is positively powering the future, our souls and evoking positive change. Towards this end, R.I.S.E partners with schools like The Lincoln School for Girls and others all over New England as well as mentor as a team. Come see some of these amazing, young women at the Young Woman’s Circle at R.I.S.E!

A BETTER YOU!

 R.I.S.E has a holistic focus on helping to be a part of creating ‘A Better You!” Towards this end, we will also offer workshops with universal skills that are beneficial in many walks of life.

R.I.S.E. ADVISORY STRATEGY COUNCIL



Executive Vice President of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB)
Hilina D. Ajakaiye brings more than 15 years of sales, marketing and operations expertise as
well as an international perspective to her position at the GBCVB.
A native of Ethiopia, she immigrated to the United States in 1987, perfected English as a
second language, and simultaneously graduated with her high school diploma and an associate
degree at age 17. She went on to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of
Massachusetts and later earned her MBA in International Marketing Management from
Northeastern University in 2017.
Responsible for growing Boston’s market share of visitors, Ajakaiye has specific oversight of the
day-to-day operations across a variety of functions including: human resources, membership development, finance, leisure destination services (including two Visitor Information Centers),
marketing and operations, operating budgets, financial practices and revenue generation.
Previously, Ajakaiye worked for more than 15 years for Ahold Delhaize, an international grocery retail company servicing more than 54 million shoppers weekly. She was promoted throughout her tenure, during which she led 150+ direct reports across 22 stores with 3,600+ employees and received national recognition for her success in leading multiple teams and overseeing an operating budget of $805 million in annual revenue.
Ajakaiye is passionate about initiatives and causes to advance young women and women
empowerment overall, especially in underserved communities. She has been called on to serve on The Network of Executive Women (NEW), as board director for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Progreso Latino, as a board trustee for the Woodward School for Girls, and currently as co-chair for the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee for Destination International.
Ajakaiye is an inductee into the Big Brothers, Big Sisters “People We Admire” program and is a graduate of The Partnership, Inc.’s Leadership Program in Boston and of Leadership Rhode
Island. She was named 2019 “Rhode Islander of the Year” by Rhode Island Monthly for her
work as the Founder of the R.I.S.E. Women’s Leadership Conference.
Ajakaiye enjoys traveling and spending time with her two children and husband.

Hilina D. Ajakaiye

Katje Afonseca
Katje Afonseca
Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island Read Full Bio

Leiyina Tavarez
Leiyina Tavarez
VP, Consumer Banking Sales & Service Coach, Webster Bank Read Full Bio

Felismin Andrade
Felismin Andrade
Director, External Communications and Community Relations Giant Food Read Full Bio

Willette Brown-Fatoyinbo
Willette Brown-Fatoyinbo
Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Education Read Full Bio

Jillian Balzano
Jillian Balzano
Wavemaker Fellowship Director, Rhode Island Commerce Read Full Bio

Emilie DeVito
Emilie DeVito
Specialist, External & Community Relations, Stop & Shop Read Full Bio

Rosie Fernandez
Rosie Fernandez
Manager, Community Relations, Cox Communications Read Full Bio

Elsa Franco
Elsa Franco
Specialist, Local Marketing & Communications, Stop&Shop Read Full Bio

Claudia Garlett
Claudia Garlett
Vice President, Branch Manager, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Read Full Bio

Tracey Giron
Tracey Giron
Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Providence Read Full Bio

Ashia Graziano
Ashia Graziano
Associate Director of Parent & Family Giving, Brown University Read Full Bio

Theresa Matos Agonia
Theresa Matos Agonia
Cheif of External Affiars, City of Providence Read Full Bio

Sinbiat Hassan
Sinbiat Hassan
Sr. Web Analyst/Product Owner - Eversource Energy Read Full Bio

Sarah Hemphill
Sarah Hemphill
Outside Sales Representative, ADP Read Full Bio

Alejandra Pena
Alejandra Pena
VP Retail Sales and Service Coach, Eastern Bank Read Full Bio

Adriana I. Dawson
Adriana I. Dawson
Community Engagement Director, Verizon Read Full Bio

Jessica Khokhlan
Jessica Khokhlan
Sales Associate, Stryker ENT Read Full Bio

Kate Coppola
Kate Coppola
Social media & Design Read Full Bio

Lavonne Lopes
Lavonne Lopes
Keller Williams Coastal Read Full Bio

Patricia Raskin
Patricia Raskin
Raskin Resources Productions Read Full Bio

Gisselle Perez
Gisselle Perez
Head of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and People Relation, Biogen Read Full Bio

Lynelia Raposo
Lynelia Raposo
Global Marketing (Partnerships) Duracell Inc. Read Full Bio

Cathleen Urdi
Cathleen Urdi
Sponsorship Team Read Full Bio

Reem Said-Awad
Reem Said-Awad
Private Client Banker, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Read Full Bio

Natasha Ballou
Natasha Ballou
JP Morgan, VP Investment Middle Office Read Full Bio

Olga Lowe
Olga Lowe
Global Brand Manager @ Hasbro Read Full Bio

Annisha Vasquez
Annisha Vasquez
Read Full Bio

Katie Thornell
Katie Thornell
Director of Pharmacy Operations, Stop&Shop Read Full Bio

COUNTDOWN!

Testimonials

As a mom of two who works full time and runs a business, I am extremely selective of how I invest my time and energy. This full day conference exceeded my expectations. The organizers paid attention to every detail and attracted attendees who I fully enjoyed meeting and spending the day with. The speakers were credible, relatable, and informative. This is an event not to miss! Well done.

Cleonie Mainvielle

This event exceeded all of my expectations. It was planned with attention to all details. As both an attendee and an exhibitor, there was many conference staff available to answer any questions to ensure a great experience. The speakers were empowering and inspiring, and I can’t wait until next year!”

Natalia Lima

Exhibitor at RISE

A day filled with inspirational women! I’m so glad I attended this event. I met a lot of great women that are doing fabulous things locally, nationally and internationally. I can’t wait until the next event!

Bria Johnson

Attendee

Realizing Inspiration and Sustaining Excellence

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