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Moving Up: "Daughters Running The Family Business," A March 1 Discussion At Simmons School Of Management

Stephanie Sonnabend, CEO and President of Sonesta Hotels, to Speak

BOSTON (February 25, 2010) — Defying long-held cultural norms, today's daughters increasingly have the opportunity and interest to step into top leadership roles in the family enterprise.  Global business leader Stephanie Sonnabend will share her experiences rising to the top of her family's multibillion-dollar hotel company, as part of the 2010 Leading Women Entrepreneurs Series held at the Simmons School of Management in Boston, beginning March 1.

Stephanie Sonnabend, CEO and president of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, will speak from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on the 5th floor at the School of Management and Academic Building, located at 300 The Fenway, Boston. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Sonnabend is the third generation in a family-owned and operated public company now engaged in the hotel, cruise and resort sectors of hospitality. She joined the business in 1979, and has held various managerial positions including vice president of sales, vice president of marketing, and executive vice president. In January 1996, she became president of the company, and in December 2003, she was named CEO and president.

Professor Teresa Nelson, director of the Simmons School of Management Entrepreneurship Program and a specialist in gender and entrepreneurship, said there is increasing social acceptance of women in business, as well as a broader view within many business families of the potential of daughters and granddaughters to be groomed for leadership and ownership in the family firm.  "Daughters are also more ready to request and accept the opportunity," said Nelson.  "The challenges to the economy ask that we find the best talent, not the best "male" talent, to build firms and industries."

Hosted by the Simmons School of Management Entrepreneurship Program, the entrepreneur series highlights women entrepreneurs who create social welfare, wealth, and jobs as they innovate products and services through business. Other series events include:

  • March 15, 5:30 — 8:30 p.m.: Creating an Entrepreneurial Career Path through the Professions
    Speakers: Dianne Savastano, CEO of Healthassist, Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof, founder of DBS Nutrition, and Marie Florcy-Celestin, founder of the G.I.R.L.S. Project and Girls TV.
  • March 24, 3:30 — 4:30 p.m.: Ben Barry: Changing the Face and Shape of Fashion Industry: A Young Entrepreneur's Story
    Speaker: Ben Barry, Founder and CEO of the Ben Barry Agency, entrepreneur, bestselling author & women's health advocate.
  • March 31, 5:30 — 8:30 p.m.: Entrepreneur CEOs Working Their Social Mission
    Speakers: CEOs Andrea Cohen of Houseworks, Christa Hagearty of Dependable Cleaners, and Susan Labandibar of Tech Networks of Boston.

The Simmons School of Management is the only AACSB-accredited business school designed specifically for women.  The school is committed to advancing women of diverse backgrounds into leadership positions.  Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.

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