Women's Career Symposium Banner. Text reads:  Winona State University Women's Career Symposium. Pathways into Business and Science and Engineering Careers

Women's Career Symposium

Dream Big and Explore the Possibilities | Oct 4, 2017

Women’s Career Symposium is an opportunity to connect with senior level professionals representing national and international corporations committed to the recruitment, development and advancement of women in their organizations.

Don't miss this chance to explore the wide breath of career options available for all WSU students from any major. Students should register through Handshake using their StarID@winona.edu and password (the same login credentials used to log into their laptop).

Hear personal success stories and tips on how to successfully navigate your career path. This event is open to all majors, genders and ages.

Chubb, Ayco/Goldman Sachs, IBM have all earned the prestigious Catalyst Award for diversity and inclusion. 

Schedule of Events

Business Panel

3-4:30pm in Harriet Johnson Auditorium

Moderator: Julie Nugent, VP & Center Leader at Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice


  • Trevor Gandy, SVP Chubb, Deputy Chief Culture Officer
  • Amy Kendall, SVP Chubb Branch Manager, Cincinnati
  • Vonny Carrington, VP Financial Counseling, Ayco/Goldman Sachs
  • Mary Elliott, SVP, Chubb, Retired (WSU alumna)
  • Courtney Burke, Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Early Career Program


Q & A with Presenters

4:30-6pm in COB Engagement Center


Science & Engineering Panel

5-6:30pm in Miller Auditorium (Stark 103)

Moderator: Julie Nugent, VP & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice


  • Robin Covington-Charles, AVP Risk Engineering Manager
  • Tammy Van Hove, Distinguished Engineer at IBM
  • Courtney Burke, Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Early Career Program


Q & A with Presenters

6:30-8pm in SLC Atrium

Mary Elliott ('77, BA Paralegal), retired Senior Vice President and Worldwide Fidelity and Surety Claims Manager, and Chubb Group of Insurance Companies played an instrumental role in establishing the WSU Women's Career Symposium. 

After visiting campus and engaging with WSU students and faculty in 2016, Mary was so impressed that she wanted to help connect WSU students with national corporations who have a successful history of hiring, supporting and promoting women in leadership roles.

"As an alum, my hope is for young women and men to dream big and explore the possibilities for their future careers. I am excited about this Symposium, as it will help students learn about innovative career opportunities, connect with award winning companies, hear the personal journeys of successful business people and learn what it takes to get there. ” - Mary Elliott




Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion, creating workplaces where employees representing every dimension of diversity can thrive.

Catalyst provides many resources to help make workplaces more inclusive, such as how to change up common phrases and avoid reinforcing sterotypes about female workers (PDF).
Julie Nugent

Julie Nugent – Panel Moderator

Julie S. Nugent is the Vice President and Center Leader of the Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice. Julie frequently speaks to corporate and public audiences and the media on topics including:
  • women’s leadership and advancement
  • mentoring
  • diversity and inclusion strategies
  • LGBT inclusion
  • the Catalyst Award, which she chaired for over six years
In her position, she leads multiple groups in evaluating global corporate and professional strategies to advance diversity, inclusion and business results.

In addition to her extensive consulting, research, and public speaking experience, Julie taught a course on gender in the workplace as a former Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Julie holds her MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from New York University and received her BA in Psychology and English from Ohio University, where she graduated with top honors.
Mary Elliot


Mary Elliott

Mary Elliott is a retired Senior Vice President and Worldwide Fidelity and Surety Claims Manager with the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. She graduated from Winona State University, class of 1977, with a BA from the Paralegal Program. Mary joined the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies in 1985 as an Environmental Examiner. She was promoted to Claims Supervisor, then Regional Claims Examiner.

After passing the bar, Mary moved from Los Angeles to New Jersey to pursue her career as a Corporate Liability Lawyer and Assistant Vice President for Chubb. She was promoted to Professional Liability Unit Manager and Vice President and later promoted to Zone Claim Manager and Senior Vice President working first in Connecticut and then in Phoenix, Arizona. Finally, Mary obtained the strategic role of Worldwide Fidelity and Surety Claims Manager working in New Jersey.


Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company and the largest commercial insurer in the U.S. With operations in 54 countries, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients.

Learn about career opportunities at Chubb.
Trevor Gandy


Trevor Gandy

Trevor Gandy is Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Culture Officer. He is responsible for developing and implementing inclusion strategies that foster innovation and market leadership. Mr. Gandy works closely with Chubb’s senior leadership and employee business roundtables to ensure that the company is viewed by its employees, customers and partners worldwide as an inclusive organization that promotes and leverages the business value of diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Gandy received his bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and has completed an Executive Education Program for Senior Human Resources Executives at Stanford University. He further completed the Human Resources Leadership Academy development program sponsored by the Corporate Executive Board and Boston College Carroll School of Management Corporate Responsibility Management program.

He has been featured in articles published by the Chicago Tribune, TheGlassHammer.com and DiversityInc Magazine.
Amy Kendall


Amy Kendall

Amy is the Cincinnati Branch manager at Chubb. She is responsible for building and leading the execution of strategic and tactical plans that cultivate producer relationships and maximize the development of targeted business in the Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky territories.

During her 26 year career at Chubb, Amy has worked in underwriting, marketing and branch leadership roles in Missouri, Michigan and Virginia. In 2011, Amy was named the Cincinnati Insurance Board’s Company Person of the Year. She was recently presented the United Way’s Living Her Legacy Award in 2017 for her work with Cincinnati Public Schools’ middle school girls on behalf of the United Way.

Amy received a B.S. in Marketing and an Executive Masters in International Business from Saint Louis University.
 Robyn Charles-Covington

Robyn Covington-Charles

Robyn Covington-Charles is the Risk Engineering Manager of Chubb’s New York City office. She currently manages a team of 12 engineers that support property and casualty business. Robyn started her 16 year career with Chubb as a Property and Casualty trainee in the New Jersey office and has led teams for the last 6 years.

She has a degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and holds a Certified Safety Professional designation.
Courtney Burke


Courtney Burke

Courtney Burke is a Vice President with Chubb responsible for their Early Career Program. She is responsible for the strategy and execution related to attracting, developing and retaining a pipeline of early career professionals and future leaders for Chubb.

In addition to her current role, Courtney has supported multiple businesses in executing their talent acquisition strategy to place the best talent into entry-level through senior leadership roles.

Prior to Chubb, Courtney was an HR Consultant with Aon Hewitt where she helped clients enhance and streamline their HR function to gain efficiencies through technology, role clarity, and process improvement. Courtney holds a BA in Communication and Media Studies and a MS in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from Fordham University.

Ayco | a Goldman Sachs Company

Ayco is a leading provider of comprehensive financial counseling for executives, employees and entrepreneurs.

Learn about career opportunities at Ayco.
Vonnie Carrington


Vonny Carrington

Vonny Carrington is Vice President of Private Wealth Management at The Ayco Company, L.P, a Goldman Sachs company. She provides comprehensive financial planning services to corporate executives and individuals, specializing in:
  • company benefits
  • income tax
  • insurance
  • investments
  • retirement
  • estate planning
With more than 10 years of experience, she has become her client’s trusted advisor.

Before joining Ayco, she obtained her Bachelor of Science from Bucknell University and Master of Business Administration from Montclair State University.


International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is an information technology company, which provides integrated solutions that leverage information technology and knowledge of business processes.

The company operates through the following segments:
  • Cognitive Solutions
  • Global Business Services
  • Technology Services & Cloud Platforms
  • Systems
  • Global Financing
 Tammy Van Hove

Tammy Van Hove

Tammy Van Hove is a Distinguished Engineer and chief technologist in IBM’s Watson and Cloud Platform business unit. She is responsible for setting the strategy for Cloud Services in support of IBM’s customers as they transform their businesses to one built upon cloud with deep insights via Watson cognitive services.

A veteran software developer, Tammy has been leading development teams across a broad spectrum of technologies including operating systems, virtual platforms, open source software and, most recently, technologies enabling clients to deliver applications born on cloud.


No, men have a critical role to play in diversity and inclusion efforts, especially initiatives to eliminate gender bias. Too often men are an untapped resource in such gender initiatives.

The entire student and faculty population is encouraged to attend this event, encourage others to join you and invite opportunities for discussion.

The discussions are relevant for any career. You will gain knowledge and perspective transferable to many aspects of your life.

Yes, this will be an amazing opportunity to hear personal stories and learn about careers you didn’t know existed in these organizations.

This symposium is a great place to learn about careers that align with your interests and skills.

These representatives are eager to meet WSU students and discuss career opportunities at their organizations. You will learn more about the hiring practices and culture at Chubb, Ayco/Goldman Sachs and IBM.