2019 Annual Conference

Power of You – The Game Changer

Reception – Charles H. Wright Museum

Thursday, May 16
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Charles H. Wright Museum
315 E Warren Ave
Detroit, MI 48201


Thursday night’s reception and networking event will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The Wright Museum houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials. The Museum is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, Coleman A. Young Collection and Sheffield Collection. Cocktails and appetizers will be served and both Men and Women are welcome.

Thursday evening reception registration and name tag pick up will be available at the Warren entrance of the Charles H. Wright Museum (“CHWM”).

Parking and Busing: Parking is available in the Cultural Center parking lot behind the CHWM for approximately $7. A shuttle bus will be available to and from CHWM and Westin Book Cadillac.

Buses will leave from the Westin Book Cadillac (pickup on Michigan Avenue) beginning at 5:45 p.m. and run continuously, with the last bus leaving the CHWM at 9:00 p.m.


Conference Venue – The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit

Friday, May 17
7:30 am – 2:30 pm

The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
1114 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226


The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit will be the site for our conference on Friday. Originally built in 1924 by the Book brothers, the hotel is a member of the National Registry of Historic Buildings and is located in the up and coming “Book District” in Detroit. Please register by May 3rd to ensure your inclusion in the event program directory and assist us with the planning both the Thursday reception and the Friday Conference.

Registration will be open starting at 7:30 a.m. directly across from the elevators on the 4th floor of the Westin Book Cadillac. Breakfast will be available starting at 7:30 a.m. in the common area with seating in the Venetian Ballroom. If you requested a vegetarian, gluten-free or vegan lunch, please ensure that you have a ticket attached to your name tag. Your server will collect the ticket at lunch time.

Parking: Daily valet parking at the Westin Book Cadillac is $20 and overnight valet parking is $25 for guests that booked within the MWIF room block. Self-parking is not always available at the structure behind the Westin Book Cadillac, since availability is limited. There are also flat lots and street parking spaces available surrounding the Westin Book Cadillac for Friday only parking (non-overnight).


President’s Corner

President’s Corner
Michigan Women in Finance invites you to join us for our 2019 Annual Conference, on Thursday and Friday, May 16 and 17, 2019, in Downtown Detroit.

We have planned a breathtaking conference this year as we join together in the Midtown/Downtown Detroit area. Starting on Thursday evening, Michigan Women in Finance invites you to our networking event at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History located in the Midtown Detroit Cultural Center. The luxurious museum’s unique exhibits and the Ford Freedom Rotunda space will undoubtedly demonstrate to our guests its mission to “open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture”. The energy continues on Friday at the historic Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. This year’s theme is “Power of You – The Game Changer.” Our keynote speakers that have all excelled in the private and/or public sector will deliver their exclusive motivational messages that will truly captivate the audience. Michigan Women in Finance is extremely excited to share with you two empowering days of networking and a dynamic speaker line-up at this year’s conference.

You are really in for an epic experience – make sure to join us at this year’s conference in Midtown/Downtown Detroit!


Venita A. Terry
President, Michigan Women in Finance

Conference Speakers

Dr. Judith Wright, Founder, The Wright Foundation

Dr. Judith Wright , founder of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential and the Wright Graduate University, is a successful entrepreneur, sought-after speaker, best-selling author, corporate consultant, and women’s empowerment pioneer. Dr. Judith founded the Society of Femininity in Action (SOFIA) which provides revolutionary leadership training and development for women. Her work has been covered in over 1,000 media appearances including ABCs 20/20, Oprah, Good Morning America, and the Today show.

A forerunner in the field of human development, Dr. Wright first rose to national prominence by developing innovative education and early childhood development programs for individuals with developmental disabilities and demonstration programs for college students with disabilities. These experiences fueled her passion for supporting people to lead lives they love, fulfilling their potential, and making a difference in the world. She went on to co-found The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University where she also serves as Professor of Transformational Education and Chief Academic Officer. A media favorite, Dr. Judith Wright is the author of multiple books including Transformed: The Science of Spectacular Living, The Heart of the Fight, The One Decision, The Soft Addiction Solution, and There Must Be More Than This.


Manoush Zomorodi, Author of “Bored and Brilliant”

Manoush is co-founder of Stable Genius Productions, a media company with a mission to help people navigate personal and global change. StableG uses podcasts as a lab to test new ways journalists can educate, entertain, and inspire through narrative. Their first project is “ZigZag,” a podcast about changing the course of capitalism, journalism, and women’s lives. In 2012, Zomorodi created, hosted, and was managing editor of “Note to Self,” a podcast out of WNYC Studios for “anyone trying to preserve their human¬ity in the digital age.” Each weekly episode examines life’s digital quandaries through experiments and conversations with experts and listeners, exploring the new questions tech has brought into our lives.

In 2012, Zomorodi created, hosted, and was managing editor of “Note to Self,” a podcast out of WNYC Studios for “anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age.” Each weekly episode examines life’s digital quandaries through experiments and conversations with experts and listeners, exploring the new questions tech has brought into our lives. Topics include information overload, digital clutter, sexting “scandals” and the eavesdropping capabilities of our gadgets. The podcast received wide acclaim, including being named Best Tech Podcast of 2017 by the Academy of Podcasters.

In 2015, Zomorodi led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Her book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self builds on that experiment to demonstrate how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter in this new digital ecosystem. Zomorodi explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, exploring how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering,” she illuminates what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all.

In 2017, Zomorodi and “Note to Self ” launched “The Privacy Paradox” a five-part plan to help people take back control over their digital identity. Tens of thousands of listeners have completed the five-par t plan so far, which Fast Company calls Zomorodi’s “challenge to us to stick up for our internet rights.” Through her career, Manoush Zomorodi won numerous awards, including The Gracie in 2014 and 2018 for Best Radio Host. She is especially proud of the Webby her team won in 2018 for The Privacy Paradox. In 2017, she gave a TED Talk about surviving information overload and the “Attention Economy. Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2018. Prior to her work in podcasting, Zomorodi reported and produced around the world for BBC News and Thomson Reuters.


Photo: courtesy of Ameen

Suzanne Shank, Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co LLC

Suzanne Shank is Chairwoman, CEO and a co-founder of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC. During her tenure as CEO, Siebert Cisneros Shank has grown from a start-up investment banking firm in 1996 to one which has participated in over $2 trillion in municipal bond, corporate bond and equity transactions. Ms. Shank is active in various industry and civic organizations and serves on several boards. She serves as a Director of Pensare Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:WRLSU); CMS Energy (NYSE:CMS) and Consumers Energy’s Boards of Directors and is on the boards of the Skillman Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center Executive Council on Infrastructure, Wharton Graduate Board of Trustees, Spelman College Board of Trustees, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, among others. Ms. Shank was recently appointed to the SEC’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee.

Ms. Shank has won numerous awards and honors throughout her career and has been recognized by U.S. Banker Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Women in Finance”. Ms. Shank was selected by the Wharton School of Business from among 100,000 graduates as one of its “125 Influential People and Ideas”. She has appeared on Wall Street Week, CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Ms. Shank is a graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance, and the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.


Speaking Panel

Angie Kelly, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young

Angie Kelly is an assurance partner and Office Managing Partner for EY Detroit, responsible for managing a Detroit office practice of 700 professionals and leading client and community engagement. She previously was the automotive and transportation assurance leader for EY’s Central Region and led the Entrepreneur of the Year program for Michigan and Northwest Ohio. In her 20 years with EY, she has extensive experience serving both SEC registered and privately held companies in a variety of industries.

Active in the community, Ms. Kelly currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Detroit Economic Club, TechTown Detroit, Hatch Detroit, and Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and previously on the Professional Ethics Task Force of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and on Michigan State University’s External Advisory Board for the Department of Accounting and Information Systems. She also serves as a mentor for Endeavor Global, supporting innovative high-growth companies.

Ms. Kelly is a Certified Public Accountant and graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Administration degree in Accounting.


Beth Niblock, Chief Information Officer, City of Detroit

Spend enough time with Beth Niblock, and you will understand two things clearly. One, she is earnest in her belief that transparency is the lifeblood of a healthy government. The other, she loves big challenges.

As the Chief Information Officer for the City of Detroit, she was able launch GO DATA, the city’s first effort to make non-personal, public information broadly accessible to the public during her first year as CIO. She launched similar efforts as CIO for Louisville Metro, where open data also included financial details made readily available on the city’s website through services like Louisville Checkbook and LouieStat.

Before coming to Detroit, Niblock was the first CIO appointed to a merged Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government in 2003. She was challenged with unifying IT systems and infrastructure, while concurrently implementing a new financial system. During her 11 years at the helm, her teams won several Best of the Web Awards and top rankings in the Digital Cities Survey. GovTech.com also recognized Niblock in 2011 as one of the nation’s top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers. In 2016 she was recognized by Crain’s Business Detroit as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan and has been recognized as one of the Most Social CIOs for the past several years.

Niblock was tapped by the Obama Administration to serve as part of a team of technology officials to support the City of Detroit. That team of five was tasked with making recommendations that could support the city as it emerged from bankruptcy and beyond.

It was her first introduction to Detroit; and the opportunity to come back, knowing the challenges ahead of her, was too enticing to walk away from. As the CIO for the City of Detroit, she is managing significant upgrades to infrastructure, putting systems in place to make city business transparent, and making Detroit online an easy place to do business with.


Jennifer Rigterink, Legislative Associate

Jennifer Rigterink is the legislative associate for the Michigan Municipal League where she advocates on behalf of communities with a concentration on municipal services, economic development and land use issues. Jennifer joined the League in April 2016.

Prior to joining the League, Jennifer directed technical assistance for Community Development at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), including the Redevelopment Ready Communities® and Michigan Main Street programs. She also managed the Genesee Institute, now the Center for Community Progress, where she focused on building awareness of Michigan’s land bank authority model and vacant property initiatives. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University.

In addition, Jennifer, a certified economic development finance professional, represents the League on the Michigan Main Street Advisory Committee. She lives in DeWitt with her husband Chris and two children. She’s also co-owner, along with her husband, of a small business called The Mattress Source in East Lansing, Michigan.


2019 Honorary Chairs

Laticia Clemons, Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants , Detroit Institute of Arts

Laticia Clemons serves as Director of Corporate, Foundation, and Government Grants for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). She is responsible for stewardship of a $25M+ grants portfolio; providing strategic leadership to grow revenue and meet annual goals. Laticia has over 20 years of experience in program management and philanthropy. Before joining the DIA, Laticia served as Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Ascension St. John Providence, where prior she led corporate and foundation fundraising initiatives for six hospitals and 125 medical facilities. In addition, she facilitated statewide efforts with Ascension Michigan, encompassing 15 hospitals and over 100 medical facilities throughout 26 Michigan counties. Laticia has also served as Program Specialist for the Detroit Housing Commission, directing the Community and Supportive Services Program for 16 public housing sites.

Laticia is a native Detroiter, graduating from Cass Technical High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University, and is a life-long member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Laticia has received the Unsung Hero Award and has been recognized for her commitment to the Detroit metropolitan community by the City of Detroit, Who’s Who, and others. She and her husband, Keith, have three children, and are the proud owners of Ready Rooter Group, a plumbing and sewer repair company serving southeast Michigan.


Desiree Kirkland, Deputy Treasurer of Financial Services, Wayne County

Desiree Kirkland currently serves as the Deputy Treasurer of Financial Services for Wayne County where she is responsible for the general supervision and operation of various financial departments. She has a long career in both public and private financial sectors as well as supporting non-profit organizations and community colleges with her financial and business talents. As a business owner and entrepreneur, she is passionate about encouraging women to fulfill their dreams, which led to her development of WIN (Women in Action), a professional Christian women’s organization in 2009. Desiree is also the owner and operator of DK Accounting and Financial Services.

Desiree earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Ferris State University, master’s degree in Christian Leadership from Grand Canyon University and is currently pursuing a MBA from Davenport University. She is a Certified Public Funds Investment Manager and a Michigan Certified Professional Treasurer and serves on the Michigan Municipal Treasurer’s Association Board, Lansing East Chapter of Links, Inc., and was actively involved with Lansing Community College Advisory Board of Coalition for College and Career Readiness (C3R), and The Davies Project. Desiree is a wife and mother of four sons.


Gloria Suggitt, Single Audit Coordinator, Michigan Department of Education

Gloria began her career with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in January 2005 as an auditor in the Office of Audits and became the Single Audit Coordinator and Pupil Membership Auditor for MDE in August 2007. Gloria is responsible for reviewing financial audits of school districts and non-school districts receiving Federal funds passed through MDE, conducting audits of Intermediate School Districts’ pupil audits of their local school districts, and writing and editing the Michigan School Auditing Manual. She speaks at many conferences, such as MICPA and MSBO regarding school finance reporting and compliance.

Life and raising children delayed her college plans for a while, but Gloria was determined and went on to earn her associate’s degree in Applied Science – Accounting and Finance from Jackson Community College, and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Spring Arbor University. Gloria is the Children’s Ministry Director of her church as well as teaching children’s services and a women’s Sunday school class. She has been married to her husband, Rob, for 37 years, has 4 children, 14 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.


Cyndi Willoughby, Executive Director of Shared Services, Oakland Schools

Cyndi Willoughby is the first Executive Director of Shared Services for Oakland Schools, a new department focusing on collaborative solutions and improving processes within the business, finance and human resource functions of school finance delivered in a partnership model. She has 26 years of experience working in school finance, specializing in assisting deficit districts with their strategic long-range planning, effective resource allocation, and creative financing initiatives.

Cyndi holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Oakland University and a master’s degree in Professional Accountancy from Walsh College. She is also an Associate Board Member for Vibe Credit Union (formally Oakland County Credit Union). Cyndi is married to her husband Brian and together they have three children.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Networking Reception – Charles H. Wright Museum


Friday, May 17, 2019

7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Introductory Remarks

      • VENITA TERRY, President, Michigan Women in Finance

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. “Feminine Leadership in the Modern Workplace”

      • DR. JUDITH WRIGHT, Founder, The Wright Foundation

9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Networking Break


      • ANGIE KELLY, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young

      • BETH NIBLOCK, Chief Information Officer, City of Detroit

      • JENNIFER RIGTERINK, Legislative Associate, Michigan Municipal League

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Networking Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. “Conversation on Women Changing the Game”

      • SUZANNE SHANK, Chairwoman, CEO and a co-founder of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Networking Break

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. “The Power of You”

      • MANOUSH ZOMORODI, Author of “Bored and Brilliant

2:30 p.m. Adjourn


Hotel Accommodations

A block of rooms has been reserved for conference attendees at:

1114 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226

To make reservations online, click on the following link: Room Reservation MWIF 2019 Conference

To make a reservation by telephone, you may call The Westin Book Cadillac at (313) 442–1600. Be sure to mention that you are with Michigan Women in Finance to receive the group rate.

Reservations must be made by April 26, 2019 in order to receive the group rate of $169.00 plus any applicable state and local taxes.


Early Bird Prize!

Don’t delay – win a free stay at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit!

Register to attend our 2019 Annual Conference by March 31, 2019, and your name will be entered into our Early Bird Drawing for a chance to win a one night stay at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit during our May 2019 Annual Conference!

Prize is non-transferable, and you must attend the conference to obtain the one night room credit.


We would like to thank the following companies for their generous support and contribution.

Signature Sponsor

ImageMaster, LLC

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor


Dress for Success for the 2019 Conference

During the Michigan Women in Finance reception on Thursday, May 16th, at the Charles H. Wright Museum representatives from Dress for Success will be in attendance to accept donations.


Requested donations include shoes, belts, scarves, purses, hosiery, and journals. In addition, monetary donations will be accepted on site (cash, check, debit or credit will be accepted). We request that all donated items be bagged.

During the event, you will hear from Dress for Success on their initiative and for those that donate, a prize will be raffled!

Dress for Success has various locations throughout the US and internationally, with the Michigan affiliate located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. There are numerous volunteer opportunities, including program mentors, group speakers, mock interviewers, resume critiques, inventory maintenance, makeup artists, hair stylists, and much more.


Dress for Success in an international not-for-profit organization that empowers disadvantaged women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools to thrive in work and in life. To date, Dress for Success has helped more than 925,000 women work towards self-sufficiency, helping them learn and develop new skills, make connections, improve their resumes and build confidence.

For more information, please visit Dress for Success’ website: