A panel of women who have demonstrated their abilities to lead and thrive in their respective areas of the business world will be the focus of the Distinguished Speaker Series at the West Virginia University John Chambers College of Business and Economics. The event, also sponsored by the WVU Women’s Business Center, is at Ming Hsieh Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 2.
The panel will feature Dee Ann Remo, CEO of Heritage Wealth Advisors; Anne Barth, Executive Director of TechConnect West Virginia; and Chelsea Ruby, Tourism Commissioner for the State of West Virginia. The panel discussion will be moderated by Virginia Kleist, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Research and Academic Operations at the Chambers College.
“It’s important for students and young business professionals to have women to look up to, to have women they see as having made great achievements,” Kleist said. “These panelists are there, having reached highly respectable levels based on their credentials and competencies. It will be so interesting to hear about their experiences in business and industry from their perspectives.”
Victoria Greene, director of the WVU WBC, said this powerful, energetic group of women can offer great insights on how to be change agents across West Virginia.
“By supporting more women to build on their achievements and to be at the forefront of change and growth in their own communities, we can uncover more economic opportunities, encourage community growth and keep jobs local,” Greene continued. “By empowering business success, we move West Virginia forward.”
Remo founded Heritage Wealth Advisors in 2005 and serves as CEO and managing director of the business, which has locations in Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Through her previous work as a tax and wealth management partner at KPMG, she developed a passion for helping clients work through complex financial, estate and tax planning strategies. She recently joined the West Virginia University Foundation Board of Directors and currently serves on the board of directors for The Community Foundation serving Central Virginia and the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Richmond. Remo graduated magna cum laude from WVU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the then-College of Business and Economics.
Barth is the executive director of TechConnect West Virginia, a non-profit organization focused on driving innovation, cultivating entrepreneurship and creating greater economic diversity. In her tenure with TechConnect, Barth has helped to advance programs and initiatives that foster startups, commercialization and entrepreneurship, while also founding the West Virginia Women & Technology Conference.
She is a member of the WVU Women’s Business Center Advisory Committee, the board of directors of the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, the West Virginia Science & Research Council, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center Advisory Committee, the West Virginia Bioscience Association, the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Advantage Valley and the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education. Barth earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from West Virginia University.
Ruby was appointed tourism commissioner by Gov. Jim Justice in January 2017. As commissioner, Ruby leads the effort to advance tourism development, expand West Virginia’s travel and tourism industries and promote the Mountain State to a broader audience, featuring West Virginia as a year-round travel destination to both national and international travelers. Prior to her appointment, she served as director of marketing and communications for the West Virginia Department of Commerce. She was also a member of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s communications staff and served as executive director of West Virginia’s acclaimed 150th birthday celebration. In 2014, Ruby was named Young Practitioner of the Year by the West Virginia Public Relations Society of America, and in 2015 was recognized as one of West Virginia’s 40 top young professionals by Generation Next. She serves on the Friends of the Clay Center board and is the marketing chair for Carnaval, an annual gala hosted on behalf of the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.
Topics of small business development and business leadership/ownership by women and minorities have been identified as goals for the WV Forward initiative to advance the state’s economic future.
The Women’s Business Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and serves as the community portal to the WVU IDEA Hub, a university-wide network of centers, offices and programs that fosters and supports innovation and entrepreneurship among WVU students, faculty and staff, while engaging the statewide community.
The Chambers College Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored, in part, by Wells Fargo.