Become a Member
Become a Member
Women make up almost half of the U.S. labor force, but only 5% of top leadership and 17% of corporate boards at Fortune 500 companies*.
As of the 2014 mid-term elections, women made up 20% of the U.S. Senate and 19% of U.S. House of Representatives*.
Building mentor relationships with leaders is at the heart of evolving into a leader yourself.
With their peers being in the minority within top decision-making levels, how do women create the connections that allow them to grow as leaders? Pass The Torch For Women has committed itself to addressing this issue by joining together women and men committed to empowering women through mentoring. Through our virtual mentoring program, on-line leadership training, and local chapter events, we create opportunities for women to build mentoring relationships and leadership skills. Our mission is to build the largest, most effective mentoring program in the world by ensuring that women of all backgrounds have access to mentors, starting with female college students.
Is growing the influence of women at the highest decision-making levels important to you? Are you passionate about supporting female college students? Interested in becoming a mentor? Join the Pass The Torch For Women community today.
with Pass The Torch For Women
Sign up today for the Pass the Torch for Women Relay Event being held in Indianapolis, IN on August 27, 2016! Register here.
Join the Movement
Pass the Torch for Women is more than a community of people dedicated to empowering women; it is also movement. Women and men around the world pledge to support women professionally by taking the pledge and joining our community. This movement starts with YOU. By “Passing the Torch for Women”, you are declaring you want to make an impact by mentoring, inspiring, and empowering other women. Tell us why it matters to you and share this campaign with others. Together, we will create a lasting impact.
The Pass the Torch for Women Relay Event is a fun and powerful way to take the Pledge. Join us Indianapolis, IN on August 27, 2016! Click here. for more information.
The Pass the Torch for Women Foundation is a 501c3 organization that exists as a community of empowered women developing one another professionally through mentoring relationships. We envision a world of equal opportunities for women in professional environments. We will accomplish this vision by creating the largest and most effective mentoring program for women in the world. We provide women with strategic, professional training aligned with unique networking opportunities, but most importantly, access to an impressive catalog of executive women dedicated to mentoring on a one on one basis. Our members receive improved leadership, problem solving, and communication skills in addition to connections with key decision makers in business. Companies that work with our partners to provide mentoring through our Companies who Care program enable women in their organization to access mentors and build strong networks.
Our fundraising efforts enable us to facilitate our mentoring program for women, create scholarship opportunities, and continue to expand our resource offerings to achieve our vision of a world of equality in the workplace. The Foundation provides membership scholarships for women with demonstrated need in the following categories: single mothers, women in transition, female entrepreneurs, and college students. Join our fundraising team here.
I like being a mentor because I want to help women, especially women who are in the process of starting a business. I hope to help them avoid common pitfalls experienced in the startup phase of a business. I gain fresh perspectives and ideas from each mentoring conversation. The MWN virtual mentoring system makes it extremely easy to form mentoring relationships.
I have been extremely fortunate with the mentoring relationships that I’ve had throughout my career. Not only have my mentors been able to point me in the right directions, but they’ve been able to help me develop the skills needed to confidently take that next step on my career path and in some cases help me realize that the skills were already there. I know that my success has increased as a result of their involvement. I am thrilled to be able to pay that forward, and am very excited about the opportunities that MWN provides so that I serve as a certified mentor and continue my learning as a mentee.
Although it is supposed to be and is very much a professional relationship, I often feel like my mentors have guided me not only on the ins and outs of my career but also provided invaluable information on balancing work and family, how to deal (and participate in) office politics, how to dress, etc. My mentors do not sugar coat their advice and are blunt and direct when needing to be without being unprofessional. This has given me the confidence I needed to reach for and obtain a position with more responsibility. This is a prime example of Passing the Torch and I look forward to continued connections to more mentors though MWN.
Mentoring to me is critical in seeking objective views on situations, career path, andeven perceived or real road blocks. Sometimes it is your mentor who helps you through a tough situation that has upside when over and done. Without your mentor, you may not have stuck it out. We all need a reliable and trusted person to engage in such discussions. What is great about the virtual mentoring, is that for those who do not have willing mentors available to them, this is an easy and safe place to find such a person.
I have had the privilege of having some great mentors throughout my life and I couldn’t imagine where I would be without them, so my decision to become a certified mentor with the Mentoring Women’s Network was an easy one. The virtual mentoring program they have developed is by far one of the best mentoring programs I have seen. This virtual mentoring provides you with the opportunity to have a mentor or mentee geographically anywhere, not just located in your own city and state.
Companies Who Care
Who We Are
NATIONAL BOARD CHAIRPERSON
Linda Matkowski serves as executive vice president at City Securities. Having spent the bulk of her career in Chicago, Linda recently joined City Securities to manage the Fixed Income Capital Markets division, which comprises Public Finance Banking, Underwriting, Institutional Trading & Sales, and Retail/Taxable Trading. Linda is a graduate of the University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana. She holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 52, 53 and 63 licenses. Additionally, she is involved in a number of governmental and industry organizations nationally as well as in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Prior to joining City Securities she was employed by Raymond James and was located in Chicago Illinois.
Linda has been involved in number of volunteer activities including serving two terms as an elected board member for a school district in Illinois. She served two years as an appointed board member on the Financial Oversight Panel for East St. Louis School District 189. In previous years she also served on various committees for the Illinois State Board of Education dealing with financial and educational policy issues. She is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences addressing financial policies and procedures for local governmental entities.
BOARD VICE CHAIRPERSON
FIFTH THIRD BANK
Natalie Guzman is a Marketing, Public Relations and Business Development Executive successful at providing the vision, strategies and leadership required to build reputation and brand for the sixth largest contributing affiliate in company. She is an innovative strategic leader with experience transforming concepts into high impact results. In addition, Natalie has a proven record in development and execution of winning marketing strategies that drive profitability and growth while positively impacting the bottom line. She has notable success in developing programs that differentiate the organization from its competition.
KATZ SAPPER & MILLER
Howard J. Ross
COOK ROSS INC.
Howard J. Ross is a builder of innovations in the field of diversity and inclusion and a unifier of people, organizations, and causes. He is founder & Chief Learning Officer of Cook Ross Inc. and an advisor to major global educational, corporate, philanthropic, and governmental organizations. Through his unique combination of a personal and system-focused approach, Howard is an advocate for high-performing organizational cultures that advance people, performance, and profits. He is the author of ReInventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and Performance.
FINISH LINE INC.
Melissa Greenwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, leads human resources, communications and corporate social responsibility initiatives for Finish Line Inc., a national specialty athletic retailer. Melissa has applied her expertise in the design and development of organizations in many industries to help create high performance companies. Her career includes senior human resource leadership positions with Sallie Mae, Brightpoint North America, JP Morgan Chase, Oak Street Mortgage and Made2Manage Systems.
UNITED WAY WORLDWIDE
Darlene Slaughter is leading efforts to expedite and advance worldwide diversity and inclusion strategies, partnerships and initiatives working closely with community-based United Ways, as well as corporate and community partners.
Prior to joining United Way Worldwide, she served as the Principal Consultant and Chair of Linkage Institute for Leading Diversity and Inclusion where she trained corporate leaders on developing and leading diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. Before Linkage, she led an integrated strategy to utilize and support the talents at Fannie Mae and designed the first Executive Diversity Council as its Chief Diversity Officer.
Her work in diversity and inclusion has been recognized in various ways. She has won many awards and honors including SAVOY’s 2012 Top 100 Influential Women in Corporate America, Profiles in Diversity Journal’s list of Women Worth Watching, Black Enterprises’ Top Executives in Diversity and Heart & Soul’s Women of Substances in Finance. She is also a frequent speaker on topics such as changing management, women’s initiatives, financial literacy, leadership development and concepts on diversity and inclusion.
She holds a M.S. in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development from American University and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Howard University.
3 RIVERS FCU
Don Cates is the President and CEO of 3 Rivers FCU, and $780 million, 70,000 member Credit Union in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He joined the Credit Union in October of 2011 as the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. Prior to coming to 3River he was President/CEO and served on the board of Directors of AmericanTrust in Peru, Indiana. At 31 he was the youngest Bank CEO in the State of Indiana, and served in that capacity for 10 years. His previous experience includes sales management, branch administration and commercial lending. He was Chairman of the Miami County Economic Development Corporation for 5 years, and has been active in Economic Development for over 15 years. He is involved with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnerships Regional Opportunities Council, United Way Campaign Cabinet Chairman, and is on the board for Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana.
STOCK YARDS BANK & TRUST
Laura Haynes is Vice President and Relationship Manager for Stock Yards Bank & Trust Commercial Banking division. She has worked in the commercial banking arena for more than 27 years. Laura has extensive experience and expertise in all facets of lending including middle market, small business, asset-based and floorplan lending.
Outside of banking, Laura keeps active in her community serving various organizations including being the Vice Chairperson of the Advisory Board for Mentoring Women’s Network in Indianapolis, Treasurer and Past President of the Central Indiana Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA), Rotary Club of Indianapolis member sitting on various committees and member of Executive Women in HealthCare. She was an active volunteer for the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana for 14 years where she served as troop leader and Treasurer for the Pike Township Service Unit. Laura is listed as one of the Outstanding Young Woman of America.
Laura is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Mathematics. She is married and has two daughters.
Melissa E. Buck
Melissa Buck is a Relationship Manager and Vice President for Comerica Bank in the Texas Market. She received her B.A. Degree from Florida Atlantic University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Retail Management. She started her career in clothing retail with Banana Republic and ran the third largest location in the country with over 14,000 square feet and over $14,000,000 in sales. She transitioned to banking in 2004 and helped establish a new bank in the Indiana market. Melissa has excelled in the transition winning numerous awards and in her first year of banking was awarded one of the top Branch Manager awards. Her success in banking started early, as she was asked to be on a panel that discussed the retail environment of banking to the executives of Charter One Bank just three months after her hire date. Melissa is a certified Business Banking Advocate and has spent the majority of her volunteer efforts being an advocate for women’s initiatives. She is an active member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and Comerica’s Women’s Forum. In 2015, she was elected to serve as Chairperson of the Dallas chapter of Mentoring Women’s Network.
CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE, Career Consultants OI Global Partners
Patty has over 30 years of experience in partnering with organizations in the delivery of effective and measurable solutions to a variety of leadership development issues. She has assisted a broad base of client companies, both locally and nationally in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors, in growing, developing, and retaining their high potential leadership talent.
As a corporate executive with a multibillion dollar global organization for 12 years, followed by 20+ years as the head of a highly regarded career and leadership development firm, Patty has both experienced and understands many of the challenges and opportunities facing organizations and their key leaders today. Her expertise lies in an ability to assist leaders and teams in understanding themselves, the impact they have within their organizations and on others, opportunities for growth and enhanced leadership effectiveness, and action planning to meet both professional and personal goals. Her approach is collaborative and focuses on helping individuals build upon the strengths, skills and experiences that have contributed to their current success, while identifying opportunities and tools to help them significantly raise their leadership capital within the organizations they serve.
Patty is a recognized and active leader in the Indianapolis business community, sitting on a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit boards and is the immediate Past Chair of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She believes strongly in the concept of “paying it forward” and that leaders have a responsibility to be role models and strong stewards in their communities.
Patty has a B.S. in Education from the University of Kentucky, as well as numerous post-graduate hours in career management and professional and leadership development. She is a Certified Integrity Coach and a graduate of the Marshall Goldsmith Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Academy. She is certified in numerous leadership assessment and developmental tools that she uses to both diagnose situations and create effective and measurable action plans.
With the "friendraiser" event of the year approaching fast, we are so excited to announce the launch of our Pass the Torch for…
The 2016 Pass the Torch for Women Relay Event is coming up! Register Early & Win Congratulations to Ayden Koster…