Navigating Economic, Professional and Personal Change at SFNet's 2023 Women in Secured Finance Conference

June 12, 2023

By Eileen Wubbe

Whether arising from the challenges of the fluctuating economy, significant professional decisions or the sometimes-overwhelming demands of personal life, change is a constant. SFNet's Women in Secured Finance Conference will bring together industry peers on June 15 to examine and learn to navigate the various changes everyone is experiencing.

“We have a great agenda planned for this year,” said WISF Committee Chair Laura Kemper Glass, and SVP, East Region Senior Portfolio Manager, Bank of America, N.A. “We’re bringing back, by popular demand, the small group Roundtable discussions on personal and professional change, which provide a great opportunity for intimate networking with others in the industry.”

The Conference’s Opening Reception will take place the evening of June 14 at the offices of Paul Hastings in New York, NY. With food, fun and great networking, this event will be the perfect kickoff to the conference.

This year’s Fireside Chat speaker is Suzanne Yoon. Yoon is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kinzie Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in lower middle market companies in the manufactured products, business services and consumer industries. She serves as Chair of the Investment and Executive Committees for Kinzie. Yoon has over 25 years of experience investing in and advising middle market companies and is a respected leader in the business and civic communities. She serves on several private-company and civic boards, including as Board Chair of Kinzie’s portfolio companies and as Board Chair of the National Philanthropic Trust, a nearly $25B donor advised fund.

“Although we all face unique challenges in this industry, we can gain valuable and actionable insight by listening to one another’s experiences,” Yoon said. “I greatly look forward to sharing my journey and connecting with others on navigating universal changes as well as those changes specific to women as driven professionals in this competitive landscape.”

Following a networking break will be the Managing the Current Economic Cycle panel, which will feature secured finance professionals discussing the current environment and how they are handling the changes recently experienced as well as how they are preparing for the future. The Moderator will be Kathy Bell, Partner, Global Finance practice, Paul Hastings LLP. Panelists will include Liz Sarhaddi-Blue, Managing Director, Retail Marketing & Business Development, Gordon Brothers; Caitlin Sanders, Managing Director, Callodine Commercial Finance; Alison Franklin, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Lynn Whitmore, Managing Director of Retail Finance, Wells Fargo Capital Finance

“We expect to have a lively discussion this week with our panel representing diverse perspectives from different sectors of the industry,” said Bell. “We will touch on observations about the current state of play and emerging trends, reflections on lessons learned in prior distressed cycles, and tips for navigating professional waters successfully in times of distress or transition.”

After lunch, attendees will hear from Sarah House, a managing director and senior economist for Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank. Based in Charlotte, NC, House covers the U.S. macro economy, including the labor market, inflation trends, and monetary policy. She frequently speaks about the economy to the national media, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, CNBC, and National Public Radio. House will provide in-depth, data-driven information on where we are in the current economic cycle and help us prepare for what’s coming down the road. She’ll also share information on the economic inroads women are making, and the challenges they continue to face, through the business cycle.

 After a networking break, attendees will break out into Roundtable discussions. According to last year’s SFNet WISF survey, the Roundtables were a highlight for many attendees, with one saying, “My favorite part of the WISF Conference was the Roundtable discussions. As someone who has never attended this event before, I found this to be such a natural way to meet other women in the industry and we had great discussions.”

The event will wrap up around 3:15 p.m. Head to to register. For those attending, be sure to use #SFNetWISF23 for sharing photos or content on social media.

About the Author

Eileen Wubbe 150x150
Eileen Wubbe is senior editor of The Secured Lender magazine and TSL Express e-newsletter.