Longmeadow, MA Businesswomen Suzy Batiz and Patrice Banks will join producer, investor and media personality Tyra Banks as speakers at Bay Path University’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference.
Batiz will deliver the morning address to open the conference. An audacious innovator, Suzy Batiz earned a place on Forbes list of most successful self-made women—and an estimated net worth of $260 million—by creating of a suite of eco-minded household products, including Poo-Pourri, a toilet spray she developed to combat bathroom odors.
Patrice Banks (no relation to Tyra Banks) will address the audience at lunchtime. She is the owner of the Girls Auto Clinic and Clutch Beauty Bar, an auto mechanic shop/beauty bar staffed by women. She is also the founder of the SheCANics movement, which looks to demystify car repair and engage more women in the automotive industry.
“These speakers are true visionaries. They’ve built businesses as women, for women, around the specific perspectives that women gain as consumers,” says Caron Hobin, Vice President of Strategic Alliances, the Bay Path division that produces the Women’s Leadership Conference. “They exemplify the true power of perpetual determination, hard work and boundless creativity, and we think this will be one of the most interesting and motivating conferences ever.”
Batiz has a history of founding—and folding—entrepreneurial ventures. Her long road into the self-made stratosphere includes stints selling exercise equipment; opening and closing boutiques and salons; repairing hot tubs; and offloading gearboxes, fabric and any excess inventory she was able to find a market for. Despite decades of disappointment, her hustle endured, and she eventually hit the commercial jackpot with Poo-Pourri.
As the force behind SheCANics, Patrice Banks left an engineering job at DuPont to build a movement focused on empowering more women through automotive knowledge and coaxing more girls into STEM careers. In addition to offering car maintenance and repair services, Girls Auto Clinic holds regular workshops to give women information on car care, safe driving and general automotive savviness. She was recently featured in a campaign for Ford Motor Company, titled “The New Power Suit.”
Now in its 25th year, the Women’s Leadership Conference brings attendees together for a day of networking and professional development, delivered through keynote speeches and in focus sessions where authors and thought leaders share insight on issues that impact women’s goals and careers. This year’s theme, Own Your Now will examine the forces that have shaped women’s careers, relationships and aspirations; prompt them to recognize what drives them and what holds them back, and inspire them to harness the confidence to move forward. The conference will take place on Friday, March 27 from 7:30 to 3:30 at the Mass Mutual Center in downtown Springfield. More information can be obtained at baypathconference.com.
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About Bay Path University
Bay Path University was founded in 1897. With locations in Longmeadow (main), East Longmeadow (Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center), Sturbridge (MA), and Concord (MA), Bay Path’s innovative program offerings include traditional undergraduate degrees for women, The American Women's College on-ground and online, the first all-women, all-online accredited bachelor’s degree programs in the country; over 25 graduate programs for women and men; and Strategic Alliances, offering professional development courses for individuals and organizations. Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.