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WILD Organization Evolves with New Board Members and Executive Team

Vian Tormis
Article by: Jessica Darmoni – The Title Connection 

Women In Listed Derivatives (WILD) elected six new Board members and the Board elected a new Executive team for the North American chapter. I was invited to a 2017 Board dinner to meet the new Members, talk about the Board’s goals for the year and how the organization continues to evolve under new leadership.

The 2016 WILD membership voted in Karen Chhokar, Manager of Marketing & Events Communication at Societe Generale; Cathey Curley, Manager of Strategic Initiatives in Market Regulation at CME Group; Natalie Oblazney, Senior Manager, Futures & Forex Clearing at TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC; New York located Member Erin Preston, Chief Compliance Officer/Associate General Counsel/Chief Administrative Officer of Dash Financial LLC; Diane Saucier, Manager of Client Relationships at Fitch Learning and Adrienne White, Commodity Risk Manager at BP for a two year term starting in 2017. Board Members, serving their second year, Carole Bovard, First Vice President – Compliance at the Options Clearing Corporation, Marisa Coleman, Head of Sales at Nadex, Stephanie Lyons, Business Development Specialist at Workspring and Leslie Sutphen, President at Financial Markets Consulting, round out the group.

The 2017 Board also elected a new Executive team including Leslie Sutphen as President, Marisa Coleman as Vice President, Carole Bovard as Secretary and Adrienne White as Treasurer.

While everyone is excited for the year ahead, the new Members are especially excited to be involved with the organization.

New Board Members

The new Board Members talked about why they decided to run for the Board and shared their thoughts on the organization.

Chhokar, who has been a member and involved with WILD since it’s inception in 2009, was appointed the WILD Marketing Chair in 2016. She has been responsible for the WILD social media strategy as well as a redesign of the website. She talked about why she ran for the 2017 Board.

“I have seen firsthand the impact WILD has had through educational seminars, networking events and thought leadership panels,” she said. “I believe in the WILD mission as well as liked the group of women that were already involved and that I would be working with.”

Oblazny got involved with WILD through its event planning initiatives and believes in its mission to promote women.

“I think WILD is a great organization that supports and empowers women,” said Oblazny. “I am excited to see how the Board runs, where I can contribute and how I can help move our initiatives forward.”

Preston played a key role in WILD NY’s Steering Committee in 2016.

“I am excited to be a WILD Board Member and look forward to engaging with my peers in the derivatives industry as well as offering my ideas, skills and support to like-minded women,” she said.

White has been a WILD member since 2014 and is eager to bring her experiences in the derivatives space as well as her passion for excellence to the WILD Board.

“I am excited about the opportunity to strategically think about WILD’s mission and help achieve diversity in the industry,” said the newly appointed Treasurer. “WILD is like a common career anchor and it’s exciting to know this group is all working towards the same goals.”

Curley got involved through the WILD Events Committee. She wanted to serve on the Board to get more people involved with the organization.

“I’d like to get more women and men involved with WILD,” said Curley. “I’d also like to assist WILD in continuing to plan quality programming that will attract broader audiences.”

Board Goals for 2017

Emphasizing the desire to plan valuable events for the WILD members, Events Chair Stephanie Lyons mentioned she was looking at initiatives that not only provided networking opportunities but professional and personal development.

“One of the ideas we are exploring is putting together an event looking at personal wealth and how women can better understand their investment options,” she said. “We will also re-visit a self defense class, which was well attended last year.”

Another initiative WILD will partake in for 2017 is getting more women involved in the derivatives industry.

“We have been talking about working with local schools and universities to get more women involved with derivatives,” said former WILD President Diane Saucier. “There are many groups that help develop emerging leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and these are areas we can tap into.”

Finally, former WILD Vice President Leslie Sutphen mentioned a goal to provide more member benefits including a password-protected section on the website.

“We recently redesigned our website and have been looking into a members-only section that would include a directory and maybe even a jobs board,” she said.

Sutphen spoke briefly on her new role as WILD President and a goal to support women outside of their careers.

“After co-founding WILD and supporting the efforts of many inspiring women, I am excited to continue the progress made by Jessica (Titlebaum Darmoni) and Diane (Saucier) by stepping up to lead WILD,” said Sutphen.  “I am also interested in finding more ways to support all women in life’s transitions including navigating mergers and reorganizations, dealing with motherhood and caring for parents, and supporting friends and family in decisions around health and mortality.”

WILD’s Evolution and Education

Besides updating the WILD website, the WILD Executive Committee has made other changes including expanding the Board from 9 to 10 members in 2016. With 9 members in Chicago, the Board will continue to include one member in New York to manage the Steering Committee out East.

“We are close to 300 members in North America,” Sutphen said. “While we have Steering Committees in New York and Chicago, we have pockets of members in Washington DC, Texas and Canada.”

Sutphen explained that WILD had also developed their one-on-one mentoring program into mentoring circles, built a more formal International Steering Committee to enhance communication with their sister branch in London, and introduced corporate membership opportunities.

“We want to thank our current corporate sponsors including BP, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Options Clearing Corporation and Societe Generale,” she noted.

Through the help of sponsorships, WILD has been able to promote and support women in the derivatives space. Besides bringing attention to the benefits of diversity and highlighting industry role models, WILD’s former Treasurer and recently appointed Vice President Marisa Coleman talked about the education being on the Board has brought her.

“I have a sales background but have always loved numbers. WILD has given me the opportunity to safely dabble with my different interests,” she said. “As Treasurer, I learned how the banking world works and implemented processes for WILD’s monetary accounts. I was able to learn skills outside my comfort zone but in a safe environment.”

Promoting, Highlighting and Advancing Women

While WILD would not be able to achieve their goals without the help of their sponsors, the hard work of these inspiring Board Members is equally important. With new Board Members, career-building initiatives and fresh perspectives; WILD aims to enhance the listed and over-the-counter derivatives space, and 2017 is looking to be their best year yet.