Women’s Philanthropy Board to feature Women & Co. president at winter board meeting

AUBURN – The Women’s Philanthropy Board, in Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences, will host its annual winter board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. The featured speaker will be Linda Descano, president and chief operating officer of Women & Co. This meeting reflects the board’s yearlong focus on “Thriving in the ‘New Normal:’ Maximizing your Philanthropic Footprint.”

Descano oversees management of Women & Co., a division of Citigroup Inc. that provides women with educational resources for financial planning and navigating life transitions. Prior to joining Women & Co. in 2003, she served as director and portfolio manager in Citi’s Private Portfolio Group from 1999 through 2002 where she co-managed customized investment portfolios for individuals and institutions and oversaw the firm’s socially responsible investment program. In 1994, she joined Citi predecessor company Saloman Inc. and served as its senior vice president and director of environmental affairs.

Over the course of her career, Descano has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world on an array of personal finance, investment and leadership topics. She is a member of several professional associations, including the CFA Institute, New York Society of Security Analysts, Financial Communications Society and Women in Communications. She also serves on the New York Board of Step Up Women’s Network, co-chairs Dress for Success’ Financial Literacy Committee and is a member of the National Organization of Italian American Women. From 1997 through 1999, she chaired the steering committee of the United Nationals Financial Institutions Initiative on the Environment. She has served on the Environmental Financial Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as the boards of the René Dubos Center for Human Health and the Environment and Recycled Paper Coalition.

Descano recently endowed the National Organization of Italian American Women with the Nina Anna Scholarship, in honor of her grandmothers, Nina Gaspari Pennachietti and Anna Fortunato Descano, which is a needs-based scholarship awarded to an Italian-American woman pursuing higher education. She also supports the Prudy Astrella Legacy Scholarship in honor of her fifth grade teacher, Ms. Astrella; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Descano was the New York recipient of the 2009 Corporate w2wlink Ascendancy Award for her career achievements and her dedication to mentoring women. She was recognized as a Wise Woman by the National Organization of Italian American Women in 2008. She received a Human Rights Leadership Award from Church Women United in 1999 and an Environmental Leadership Award from the United Nations Environment Programme – North America in 1997.

A native of Philadelphia, Descano received a bachelor of arts degree in geology from Temple University. She holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Women’s Philanthropy Board will offer a panel discussion on “Making Successful Transitions in the ‘New Normal'” featuring Henry Saxon, regional service director for Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Karen Hughes, founder of Image Assets; and Carrie Carpenter, director of development in Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts.

Women’s Philanthropy Board corporate partners Alabama Power, The Kiplinger Foundation, The Dubberly Group/Total Merrill, Charlotte Gaston Interiors, Gallery One Fine Art, The Auburn University Office of Outreach, Moore Wealth Management, The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center and the Flower Store have helped underwrite this event.

Cost for WPB members and the public for the luncheon is $35 per person. For those wishing to sponsor students to the luncheon, the fee is $20 per student. Each student must pay a registration fee of $15 in order to be sponsored for the luncheon. Seating is limited and early registration is recommended. To register, contact Sidney James Nakhjavan or Samantha Allbrook at (334) 844-3524 or by e-mail at wpbchs1@auburn.edu.

Contact: Sidney James Nakhjavan, (334) 844-9199 (www.humsci.auburn.edu/wpb), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)