The 18th Annual Women in the Arts and Business Luncheon is coming to you — virtually — from your own homes!
Join us for an afternoon of celebratory connection, a live-streamed panel discussion with business and arts leaders, and a gourmet lunch (with a personal bottle of Prosecco!) — delivered right to your door!
This year’s theme is Women on the Rise: Resilience and Re-Emergence.
Panelists will discuss the relevant issues in Atlanta’s business and arts communities, and celebrate the pioneering women who make up its textured and diverse landscape. Topics also include: cultural value shifts, work/life balance, how the arts and business ecology are evolving, and the place for arts in our community’s future.
This year’s event will honor Carol Tomé (Chief Executive Officer, UPS), Angela Harris (Co-Founder & Artistic Director, Dance Canvas) and City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for their contribution to the arts and economic development in Atlanta.
Panelists include: Danielle Deadwyler (Actor, Poet, Filmmaker), Jai Rogers (Vice President, Business and Community Development, Delta Community Credit Union), Lara Smith (Managing Director, Dad’s Garage), and Joy Wilder Lybeer (U.S.I.S Chief Revenue Officer SVP– Global Partnerships Equifax). The panel will be moderated by Synchronicity Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Rachel May.
The networking component, one of the key opportunities for in-depth cross-industry connection, will be in the form of breakout sessions following the event.
Our 2021 Silent Auction is now live! Bid on a variety of new experiences, swag packages, and more here. Helpful hint: our auction site will require you to register before you can bid, so click the "Register as a bidder" option before you start browsing! Double the community impact when you bid on any of our Artist–led or Black-Owned Business packages. 50% of all proceeds to both our Artist-led and Black-Owned Business items will go back to those who donated!
Celebrate, as a company, the “Resilient Women on the Rise” in your community! This year, sponsorship packages offer an exclusive “Hall of Fame” for the women your company would like to honor, and a VIP pre-event cocktail lounge for your celebration!
As always, we are happy to discuss custom sponsorship packages to meet your organization’s needs. For more information about a customized package, contact Development Director, Dalyla McGee Dalyla@synchrotheatre.com
Artistic Director, Dance Canvas
Through Dance Canvas, Angela has been a catalyst, consultant, and resource for numerous new dance organizations and artists, both locally in metro-Atlanta and nationally. Angela has developed programs for the City of Atlanta's Office of Cultural Affairs and Department of Recreation, recording artist Usher's New Look Foundation, and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. Angela is a graduate of The Baltimore School for the Arts and studied at Dance Theater of Harlem, School of the Hartford Ballet, and The Eglevsky Ballet. She attended Mercyhurst College and City College of New York, earning a B.A. in Journalism, while on full ballet scholarship at Steps on Broadway in NYC. Angela danced professionally with The Georgia Ballet, Columbia City Ballet (SC) and Urban Ballet Theater (NYC). Her theatre credits include: Sophisticated Ladies and Degas’ Little Dancer (Marie u/s) at the Alliance Theatre; A Chorus Line (Kristine), Chicago (Mona Lipschitz), Camelot and Annie Get Your Gun at the Aurora Theatre; Hunchback of Notre Dance at Theatrical Outfit/Aurora Theatre. Angela was one of five Inaugural National Visiting Fellows at the School of American Ballet. Angela received the 2011 National Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts and American Express and the 2012 Emerging Artist Award from the City of Atlanta. Angela served on the national Emerging Leaders Council for Americans for the Arts and was a member of the 2014 class of Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA). In addition to her work through Dance Canvas, Angela is on faculty at Emory University and is a ballet instructor at Dekalb School for the Arts and Academy of Ballet.
Chief Executive Officer, UPS
Carol B. Tomé is the Chief Executive Officer of UPS. She is the 12th CEO in the 113-year history of the company. Before joining UPS, Carol served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Home Depot, Inc., one of the world’s largest retailers. She joined the company in 1995 as Vice President and Treasurer. Carol began her career as a commercial lender with United Bank of Denver (now Wells Fargo) and then spent several years as Director of Banking for Johns-Mansville Corporation. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Carol was Vice President and Treasurer of Riverwood International Corporation. Carol serves as a trustee or board member for a number of organizations including Grady Hospital Foundation, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Sovos Brands, Catalyst, and GIA Partners. She is also a member of The Committee of 200, The Buckhead Coalition, The Business Roundtable and The Business Council. A native of Jackson, Wyoming, Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Denver.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Mayor of the City of Atlanta
Keisha Lance Bottoms is the 60th Mayor of Atlanta. A daughter of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms is committed to realizing her vision of One Atlanta–anaffordable, resilient and equitable Atlanta–which stands as a model city for both commerce and compassion. A lifelong public servant, Mayor Bottoms is the only Mayor in Atlanta’s history to have served in all three branches of government, serving as a judge and City Councilmember before beingsworn in as Mayor. Leading with a progressive agenda focused on equity and affordable housing, Mayor Bottoms serves as Chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee and the Census TaskForce for the United States Conference of Mayors. Georgia Trend magazine named Mayor Bottoms the 2020 Georgian of the Year. Among Mayor Bottoms’ notable accomplishments to date include the establishment of the City’s first fully-staffed Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the appointments of a LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator and a Human Trafficking Fellow, the citywide elimination of cash bail bond, the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center to ICE detainees, and the rollout of the most far-reaching financial transparency platform in the City’s history–Atlanta’s Open Checkbook. In 2020, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) Under Law awarded Mayor Bottoms the Distinguished Civil Rights Advocate Award in recognition of her equity-driven leadership tohelp guide and protect marginalized communities.In October, Mayor Bottoms was named one of Glamour’s 2020 women of the year.MayorBottoms was honored as a BET 100 Entertainer and Innovator of the Year in 2020, and named Smart Cities Dive’s 2020 Leader of the Year.Mayor Bottoms presided as Chair of the Platform Committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. In 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Mayor Bottoms as Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection.Under Mayor Bottoms’ leadership, the City of Atlanta led the historically successful staging of Super Bowl LIII, which included unprecedented community benefits–a $2.4 million renovationof John F. Kennedy Park on Atlanta’s Westside, more than 20,000 trees planted throughout thecommunity and the seamless coordination of 40 federal, state and local public safety agencies.A product of Atlanta Public Schools, Mayor Bottoms graduated from Frederick Douglass High School and received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. An active member of the community, Mayor Bottoms is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Jack and Jill of America, The Links, Incorporated, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.She has also served on the board of Families First and shares her personal story of adoption andadvocates on behalf of adoption and foster care. Mayor Bottoms is the daughter of Sylvia Robinson and R&B icon Major Lance. She resides in historic Southwest Atlanta with her husband, Derek W. Bottoms, their four children- Lance, Langston, Lennox and Lincoln, and their family dogs Ace and Zeus.
Danielle Deadwyler | Actress, Writer
Danielle Deadwyler is a multidisciplinary performance artist, actor, poet, and filmmaker. An Atlanta native, Deadwyler is rooted in theatre, dance, and creative writing. As a graduate student under Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, she focused her analysis on issues facing women and African Americans while attaining a Master’s of Arts in American Studies from Columbia University. She is the Creative Loafing Atlanta Critics’ Pick for Best Actress (2013) and Readers’ Pick for Best Performance Artist (2017). In 2015, she was the winning recipient of the Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a play. As a performance artist, Deadwyler’s race and gender-centric works have been included in MAMBU BADU collective's exhibition If We Came From Nowhere Here, Why Can't We Go Somewhere There? (D.C.), Mint Gallery (ATL), Whitespace Gallery (ATL), The Luminary (STL), and Atlanta Film Festival, among others.
Lara Smith Managing Director | Dad's Garage
Lara Smith was born in St. Louis, Missouri and was in her first show when she was seven. In May 2007, Lara moved to Atlanta for the role of Development Director of Dad’s Garage. Lara became the Managing Director of Actor’s Express in August 2010. While there, she helped lead the organization through a financial crisis, and ultimately retired 26% of the debt in two years.
From there, Lara returned to Dad’s Garage in August 2012 to become Managing Director. She helped lead the organization through losing their home of 18 years, including securing temporary space and purchasing a long-term home through a non-traditional capital campaign. The new home, located in the Old Fourth Ward, opened to the general public in 2015. Lara is a graduate of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2014 and received a scholarship from the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta to attend an executive education course, Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management, at the Harvard Business School in 2014.
Lara was named one of the “40 under 40” in the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2015, and was part of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute class of 2017. She was the president of the board of the Old Fourth Ward Business Association from 2018-2019. She was honored to serve on the Mayor's Advisory Council for Reopening the City during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VP, Business and Community Development | Delta Community Credit Union
Jai Rogers joined Delta Community Credit Union in 2012 as Vice President of Business and Community Development. She currently leads a team responsible for identifying and developing business strategies with leading corporations throughout metro Atlanta and multiple out-of-state branch locations. Jai manages the execution of a comprehensive community engagement strategy that aligns with the Credit Union mission to strengthen civic, high school and corporate collaborations.
Prior to joining Delta Community, Jai launched and directed the Corporate Development department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as the Corporate Development Officer. She and her staff cultivated corporate donors within Atlanta's large and mid-sized companies to tailor their philanthropic giving around the support of children, wellness and research.
Jai holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from California State University at Long Beach. She is past president of the Greater Atlanta Credit Union Chapter of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates and past president of the Board of Trustees for the Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta. She has served on the boards of the Georgia Council for International Visitors, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF – Atlanta, and the Midtown Neighbors Association.
Joy Wilder Lybeer
Senior Vice President – Global Partnerships | Equifax U.S. Information Solutions Chief Revenue Officer
Joy Wilder Lybeer is United States Information Services (USIS) Chief Revenue Officer and SVP of Global Partnerships. Joy focuses on accelerating all non-mortgage revenue for the USIS business. She holds revenue and customer responsibility across the USIS Automotive, Financial Services, Communications and Energy, Insurance, Big Tech and Public sectors. She has responsibility for the Equifax Global Alliances and Channel Partnerships Group, Inside Enterprise Sales and new business development.
Prior to her current role, Joy has served as the leader of Enterprise Alliances, Equifax Financial Services Group and has also held enterprise responsibility for the company’s Auto vertical and Retail Banking practice, where revenues more than doubled during her tenure. Before joining Equifax in 2009, Joy served as EVP and head of Retail Branch Banking for SunTrust Bank (now Truist Financial Corp.), and served on the Company’s Executive Management Committee as Chief Strategy Officer.
Wilder Lybeer earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Wofford College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude as the class valedictorian.
On behalf of Assurant and the Assurant Foundation, it is my honor to nominate Suzette Carty LeSane as a “Resilience and Re-emergence” Hall of Fame Honoree.
Suzette LeSane serves as the vice president of Product Management and Strategic Initiatives for Assurant’s Multifamily Housing business. In this role she is responsible for the innovation and growth of the company’s multifamily renters’ insurance and deposit solutions business.
Since joining Assurant in 2017, Ms. LeSane has been influential in expanding product offerings, enhancing operations, engaging with strategic clients and transforming various processes to increase agility and strengthen results.
In spite of her many business responsibilities and leadership role, she is a strong believer in giving back to help others and strengthen the community. Ms. LeSane currently serves on the board of directors for Synchronicity Theater and serves as Vice President on the board of directors for both the Tau Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Twenty Pearls Foundation located in Atlanta, GA.
Prior to joining Assurant, Ms. LeSane was vice president of Product Management and Integrations for CoreLogic, where she introduced the industry’s first integrated fraud solution platform and deployed innovation through partnerships with “FinTech” organizations. In her prior work, Ms. LeSane was vice president of New Product Innovation for Equifax, leading the development of new solutions for existing and new vertical in utilities, mortgage, banking and the consumer business.
Ms. LeSane holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of North Carolina with a specialization in Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions and Strategy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida A&M University.
Ms. LeSane enjoys spending time with her family, daughter and friends and enjoys attending art events, traveling and volunteering in the community. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
In so many ways she epitomizes resilience and commitment deserving of recognition for all she does to help companies solve problems for customers and strengthen the community through her engagement and leadership with multiple community partners.
Thank you for the opportunity to consider Suzette Carty LeSane as a Hall of Fame Honoree.
Shawn M. Kahle
Vice President, Social Responsibility & Engagement
Executive Director, Assurant Foundation
April 9, 2021