Newswise — Women business leaders will share insights via a panel discussion and virtual networking, as the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business hosts Women Inspire, via Zoom, from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 4.

In its 10th year, the annual event celebrates Maryland Smith alumnae leaders in business and encourages participants to strive to reach their full potential.

The 2021 program’s featured speakers and honored guests are Maryland Smith graduates Wendy Sanhai, PhD, EMBA '09, specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting, and Ali von Paris ’12, CEO and founder of Route One Apparel. The pair will give insights in a panel discussion moderated by Nicole M. Coomber, assistant dean of Smith’s Full-Time MBA Program.  

This year’s event “builds on a tradition of showcasing fearless Maryland Smith alumnae succeeding at every level in business and influencing future leaders,” says event organizer Mark Forrest, program director for Maryland Smith’s Office of Alumni Relations.

“From finance to marketing to business development and all areas in between, the list of past Women Inspire honorees is filled with Smith alumnae leaders in a variety of disciplines,” Forrest says. “This year’s honorees will expand that list of disciplines and continue to raise the bar of excellence for business leaders.”

Following a one-hour discussion, a special virtual networking hour will take place, with attendees welcome to enter breakout rooms catering either to specific industry groups or general networking.

The networking event, Forrest says, provides an opportunity for attendees to glean insights from their peers, discuss important issues and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

“The virtual networking hour will be similar to the reception that normally takes place at an in-person Women Inspire program,” Forrest says. “We hope attendees will use the hour to connect with fellow leaders, forge new contacts, and engage in thoughtful conversation around being successful business leaders.”

For more information and to register, go to the Women Inspire homepage at

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