Actress Susan Saint James will be a featured speaker at the Forum.

   “Power, Passion, Purpose” will be the inspiring theme of the 29th annual 2011 Business Women’s Forum (BWF®) that will be held October 18 in Hartford, CT. Renowned as Connecticut’s largest and longest-running full-day annual conference for women, the Business Women’s Forum ( is anticipated to attract over 700 business women from throughout New England. The full day of professional development workshops, networking and motivational speakers will feature radio/TV personality and author of “10 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd”, Connie Podesta, plus Special Olympics Advocate and TV actress Susan Saint James with Special Olympics Champion Loretta Claiborne. The 2011 Business Women’s Forum will be held Tuesday, October 18th at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

   Celebrating 29 years of success in 2011, The Business Women’s Forum (BWF®), is a program of the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Waterbury, CT, and led by 35 female executives dedicated to the professional and personal growth of working women. The BWF® is sponsored annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration and supported by numerous Connecticut-based companies. “During the past 28 years,” explained Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, and a BFW® director, “The BWF® has generated in excess of $100,000 in scholarship funds for female Post University students to pursue a business education. The 2011 BWF® will feature workshops on the topics of leadership, public speaking, financial fraud, interviewing skills, career reinvention, social media and women’s health. For 29 years, the mission of the non-profit BWF® is our continual commitment to equality of opportunity and advancement for women in business.”

   Chairperson of the 2011 BWF®, Barbara White, and marketing professional with Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, CT, commented, “We anticipate that more than 700 business people from across Connecticut, New York and the New England states will attend our annual mega-business event. The 2011 BWF® features three highly dynamic and accomplished speakers and professional business trainers, breakfast, lunch, and an exciting networking event with raffles and prizes at the end of the day. Experience has shown us that every participant benefits greatly from this very informative and wonderfully exciting day.”

   Lynn Ward commented that, “For 28 years the BWF® has provided an unprecedented number of attendees with access to phenomenal speakers, networking opportunities and diverse training during the course of one day. Each year, the BWF® has featured such prominent, high-profile keynote speakers as Paula Abdul, Robin Roberts, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Suze Orman, Jane Seymour, Chris Madden, Ann Curry, Jack Ford, and Faith Popcorn.”

Connie Podesta       

  Comedienne, TV/radio personality and board certified therapist Connie Podesta is a top-rated professional keynote speaker across the United States. She is an executive career/life coach and one of the industry’s leading experts in sales strategies, leadership development, relationships, and change. Podesta is also the author of “10 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd: How to Out-Think and Out-Perform the Competition”, and she is known to deliver high-energy presentations that creatively combine laugh-out-loud humor with compelling insights. “We chose Connie Podesta as one of our speakers,” stated White, “because she is known to inspire people in ways to increase sales performance, attract and keep more customers, plus build long-lasting and healthier relationships, both professionally and personally.”

   Emmy Award-winning TV actress Susan Saint James is best known for her roles as a divorced mom on “Kate & Allie”, the crime-fighting spouse on “McMillan & Wife” with Rock Hudson, and as a young career woman in “The Name of the Game”. Ms. St. James is a dedicated friend of the Special Olympics, and she will accompany Special Olympics Champion Loretta Claiborne who was born partially blind and intellectually challenged, and she was unable to walk or talk until the age of 4. Eventually she began to run, and crossed the finish line of 25 marathons, placing twice among the Top 100 women in the Boston Marathon. She carried the torch in the International Special Olympics, has won dozens of medals, and currently holds the women’s record in her age group for running 5,000 meters in 17 minutes. Claiborne was honored in 1996 with ESPN’s ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, and her notable life of achievement has been recounted in Walt Disney Productions’ “The Loretta Claiborne Story”, and in the biography “In Her Stride”.


Loretta Claiborne

   Event sponsorship opportunities are available from $15,000 to $500 for the 29th Business Women’s Forum® on October 18. To inquire about supportive sponsorships, contact Lynn Ward or Courtney Ligi at the Waterbury Regional Chamber at 203-757-0701, or email them at or

Tickets for the 2011 BWF® are $175/person, which includes continental-style buffet breakfast, lunch, eight workshops, speakers, and the closing wine and cheese reception with raffles and prizes. Tables of ten (10) with preferred seating and signage are available for $2,000. Tables and individual tickets can be obtained by visiting, and participants can join in discussions on, and