Birmingham-based publisher to be keynote speaker for Women’s Philanthropy Board Spring Symposium

AUBURN – A leading figure in the publishing industry will be the keynote speaker at the ninth annual Women’s Philanthropy Board Spring Symposium on Monday, April 11, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, president and CEO of Hoffman Media Inc., has made a name for herself as a savvy businesswoman and entrepreneur. Hoffman’s company produces a number of magazines that define and celebrate Southern women’s lifestyles. “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade” and “Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate” are her newest products. June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences, called the Birmingham-based Hoffman “a state gem” for her successes as a female executive.

The Women’s Philanthropy Board is a part of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University. The spring symposium is the culminating event for this year’s campaign, “Living Well and Giving Generously.”

Elisabeth L. Marchant is another success story scheduled to appear at the symposium. She founded Womenetics in Atlanta and continues to run the popular website to address the changing needs of today’s professional woman in the workplace and at home.

Mary Ann Bartels, head of technical and market analysis for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and economist Fritz Meyer, who often serve as experts and commentators for financial TV news and various publications, will also present at the symposium.

The symposium is free for Auburn University students and faculty, and the cost for the luncheon is $85 per person. Reservations are required by April 1, and can be made by calling the WPB office at (334) 844-3521 or by visiting Auburn students interested in attending the luncheon are encouraged to contact the WPB office. Each student will be matched with a sponsor to cover the cost, but more importantly, to serve as a resource for the student.

“Our members and sponsors are mentors to our students,” said Henton. “They can provide students with advice and connections to the business and philanthropic world. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the students at Auburn University to learn from leaders who are out in the world, making a difference.”

Henton said the WPB specifically invites and encourage students to attend the symposium because it enhances the quality instruction they receive in the classroom.

“This year we have a veteran economist, a global market adviser, and two women who have found success in the creation of media that celebrate and exemplify today’s woman,” she added.

In conjunction with the annual conference, the WPB will present a Business and Professions Expo for WPB corporate partners and grantors, members and mentees to showcase their businesses and professions.

For additional information about the Women’s Philanthropy Board and the spring symposium, visit

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contact: Sidney James, (334) 844-9199 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (