LOS ANGELES, Calif. Oct. 30, 2019 ­–  The JVS Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) returns to the Skirball Cultural Center on Wednesday, Nov. 20  for the 7th Annual Woman to Woman Conference, an inspirational gathering that will bring together over 500 business leaders, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who share a commitment to empowering women in our community who face barriers to economic independence.

“We are looking forward to hosting our most impactful program yet,” said Kathy Suto, WLN Executive Council Chair. This year, the goal of the conference is to bring more change-makers and thought-leaders into the same room to share their stories and celebrate the impact women have in their communities through compassionate and thoughtful leadership.”

The theme of this year’s conference is Creating Connections, illustrated by a remarkable lineup of speakers including groundbreaking business leader Maria Salinas, global anti-genocide activist Janice Kamenir-Reznik and award-winning arts education advocate Diane Luby Lane. The 2019 WLN Empowerment Award will be presented to Sophie Alpert for her life-affirming work with residents of Skid Row and other underserved communities of Los Angeles.

Piece by Piece, the nonprofit founded by Alpert, offers mosaic workshops and materials free of charge for participants and provides opportunities for them to earn supplemental income, with the goal of empowering each person to learn marketable skills and improve their self-confidence. “I hope others are inspired to get involved because getting involved builds community,” said Alpert. “Sharing a passion can be a powerful connector and community builder.”

Maria Salinas is the first woman to lead the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in its 130-year history. She has dedicated her career to empowering women business leaders and advocating for women-led small businesses. “As a woman, my life story has been about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable,” said Salinas. “It’s been about having the courage to step out in front and take risks. In the workplace, many times, I’ve been the only female voice in the room, and I see the impact my viewpoint has had on decision making. I am a big advocate for women taking on leadership roles because quite simply, their voices are so needed.”

Janice Kamenir-Reznik co-founded Jewish World Watch and is a humanitarian leader in the global anti-genocide movement. She is a passionate advocate for victims of atrocity whom she describes as the most vulnerable and invisible population in the world. “Never stand silently by in the face of injustice,” said Janice Kamenir-Reznik. “There is always something you can do to make a difference.” A former environmental attorney and President of California Women Lawyers, she says that throughout her career she has learned the infinite value of collaboration and coalition building and believes strongly in the power of connections.

Diane Luby Lane is the founder and Executive Director of L.A. based nonprofit Get Lit–Words Ignite, that is transforming the landscape of teen literacy by empowering new generations in literature, self-expression and performing arts. She is also the founding producer of Get Lit’s Classic Slam, the largest youth classic poetry festival in the world. “Get Lit changes the student, the classroom and the entire culture of a school,” said Lane. “When you give a young person an opportunity for success and they experience a win, it causes a molecular shift. They go from being one person to becoming another. A potential statistic to a scholar.”

All proceeds support JVS programs serving women in need, with clients ranging from single mothers and the working poor to female veterans transitioning to the civilian workplace, as well as those participating in WoMentoring, WLN’s signature career mentoring program. The conference begins with a breakfast networking reception followed by a luncheon program hosted by award-winning actress Nikki Crawford. Presenting sponsors are Terri and Jerry Kohl and Brighton and Susan W. Robertson.

The morning begins with a networking reception at 8am followed by a luncheon program with actress Nikki Crawford returning as event host. Presenting Sponsors are Terri and Jerry Kohl and Brighton along with former JVS SoCal Board Chair Susan W. Robertson. WLN Leadership Council members Deborah Schwarz and Lauren Kurzweil are this year’s event chairs. For tickets and sponsorship information, please contact Lindsay Thomas at or (323) 306-4127. To register online, go to: #W2WCreatingConnections