2019 Honorees

Erika Irish Brown
Chief Diversity Officer
Goldman Sachs

Erika is chief diversity officer, responsible for global diversity and inclusion strategy and driving inclusive culture initiatives and efforts related to the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse professionals. She joined the firm as a managing director in 2018.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Erika was global head of diversity and inclusion at Bloomberg from 2015 to 2018. Prior to this, she led diversity hiring efforts at Bank of America between 2009 and 2015 and Lehman Brothers between 2005 and 2008.

Erika’s background includes a range of banking and finance roles, including head of business development for Black Entertainment Television, senior associate in the high yield capital markets group at Morgan Stanley and senior policy analyst for domestic finance for the United States Department of the Treasury. She began her career as an analyst in the public finance department at Lehman Brothers.

Erika is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, vice chair of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and serves on the Board of Advisors for Catalyst.

Erika earned a BS in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Tonya T. Robinson
General Counsel

Tonya Robinson joined KPMG LLP as its General Counsel in 2017. Previously, Tonya served as the Acting General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), working as legal advisor to the Secretary and as principal-in-charge of nearly 600 professionals in HUD’s Headquarters, 10 Regional Offices, and 40 Field Offices. Prior, Tonya served as HUD’s Principal Deputy General Counsel and, earlier, as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy in the White House. She also convened President Obama’s National Equal Pay Task Force; co-chaired an interagency working group charged with addressing employment opportunities for previously incarcerated individuals; co-chaired an interagency roundtable focused on leveraging civil legal services to promote access to housing, education, employment, healthcare, and other outcomes; and co-convened the White House Interagency Policy Committee on Human Trafficking.

Before her service at the White House, Tonya was a partner at the international law firm WilmerHale LLP, where her portfolio included a mix of complex commercial litigation, Congressional investigations, and discrete civil rights matters. Indeed, as a young associate, Tonya worked on the groundbreaking University of Michigan affirmative action cases, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. Tonya left Wilmer for a few years in 2001 to work as counsel to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs – her fourth stint on Capitol Hill – and returned to the firm in 2004.

Tonya received her B.A. in Public Policy Studies and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University. She earned a post-graduate degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Upon graduation from Harvard, Tonya served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Gena Smith
SVP, Human Resources
Global Executive & Creative Recruitment

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Gena Smith is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Head of Global Executive & Creative Recruitment for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. A highly experienced human resources executive, Gena ensures that LVMH is best in class at selecting, developing, and retaining senior executive and creative talent. During her tenure with LVMH she has helped to further develop talent at all levels of the organization, including through attracting accomplished senior-level executives, instituting learning and development programs to prepare executives to meet business needs, and promoting mobility for high performing executives across the LVMH brands. She led the first ever Diversity & Inclusion initiative for LVMH launching it across North America in 2012. She has also led the Group’s regional gender diversity initiative, EllesVMH which included the Regional CEO’s signing of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Prior to joining LVMH in September 2011, Gena was Global Managing Director at Karen Harvey Consulting, where she led the luxury & retail executive recruitment practice worldwide. She previously spent 10 years as an executive search consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates and Ray & Berndtson, working with many leading retail, luxury and consumer brands. Her earlier experience included several years in International Education.

Gena holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business. She also studied French, Greek and Mandarin.

She currently resides in New York City with her husband Carlton Smith and two children, Madeline and Gage.

Past Honorees & Keynote Speakers

Over the last ten years, we’ve had the privilege to honor the following women for their professional accomplishments, commitment to philanthropy, and passion for giving back to their communities.

Cathie Black Wilhelmina “Willie” Manzano
Peggy Blumenthal Renee McClure
Haley Boesky Chris Meier
Debra Carey Jeanne B. Mulgrav
Carolyn Cassin Deanna Mulligan
Aurora Cassirer, Esq. Jeanne L. Murtaugh
Maureen Clancy Mihal Nahari
Ruth Clark Soledad O’Brien
Joy Collins Racquel Oden
Marianne D. Cooper Shawn Outler
Jeannette Corey Anna Patruno
Kim Davis Ellen Patterson
Kriss Deiglmeier Karen Peetz
Francine Delgado Neddy Perez
Christine Driessen Dr. Regina S. Peruggi
Kendall Farrell Lisa Peters
Ivette Fernandez Rosemonde Pierre-Louis
C. Virginia Fields Ellen Pinschmidt
Arminda Figueroa Margaret M.V. Preston
Ellen Fine-Levine Cindy Price-Gavin
Debra Fraser-Howze Amanda Pullinger
Nancy Gardner Jennifer Raab
MaryAnne Gilmartin Susan Raymond
Pamela H. Goodman Martine Reardon
Dr. Karen Gould Suzy A. Reingold
Pamela Haas Avis Richards
Dr. Eda Harris-Hastick Dara P. Richardson-Heron, MD
Susan Haspel Wendy Rowden
Kim Healey Lori Silverbush
Darlane Hoffman Dia Simms
Katherine Hunt-Morr Loretta Smith
Sharne Jackson Margaret M. Smyth
Sheila Johnson Susan Sobbott
Daphne Jones Susan Taylor
Andrea Jung Laurie M. Tisch
Karen Katen Maroa C. Velez
Jacki Kelley Diane von Furstenberg
Pamela Kersey Sylvia Wagner
Sallie Krawcheck Jennifer Warren
Nicole Lanni Maryann Watt
Linda Lee Sheena Wright
Ann Limberg Kathyrn Wylde