Meet the 2020 WINi Panelists

WALTER magazine’s speaker series for young women gathers leaders from a variety of fields.
Written by Ayn-Monique Klahre

At WALTER’s third annual WINi summit in downtown Raleigh on February 23, guests will gather to celebrate young women, diversity and innovation. At the even, four panelists from different career tracks will share their professional journeys of overcoming obstacles, pushing boundaries and achieving goals. The afternoon will also include workshops geared toward sharpening problem-solving skills and creative thinking.

This year’s speaker lineup include women in the technology, art, news and nonprofit worlds. Here’s a sneak peak at the 2020 WINi panelists.

ARSHEEN ALLAM, Founder and CEO, CNanoz

Allam founded CNanoz, a company that develops water purification systems based on nanotechnology. She launched GOLeafe to create Graphene-based products. Allam has a Bachelor’s in Materials Sci- ence and Engineering from NC State and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

What is the best advice you were given as a young woman?

Always remember why you are doing something. That purpose will motivate you to keep going when things are not going quite as planned, and just as importantly it will keep you grounded when you are thriving.

What is one thing you wish you knew starting out?

It’s ok to not know everything, no one does. You never stop learning, no matter how many degrees you’ve earned, or how long you’ve been working in your career.

MAYA FREELON: Visual Artist

Freelon is an award-winning artist who has been commissioned by companies like Google, Cadillac and the NCMA to create original work. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is currently an artist-in-residence at QueenSpace in NYC.

What is the best advice you were given as a young woman?

My grandmother told me that I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams. Excellence is a standard, mediocrity is unacceptable, failure is not an option.

What is one thing you wish you knew starting out?

I wish I recognized that you don’t need anyone else to be successful, the most reliable person is yourself.

MAGGIE KANE, Founder & Executive Director, A Place at the Table

Kane started her career at a non- profit for people experiencing homelessness. Her pay-what-you- can restaurant is now a model to fight hunger and remove the stigma of homelessness and poverty while inviting the community to participate. She graduated from NC State.

What is the best advice you were given as a young woman?

Your passion meets halfway with the worlds greatest need. Find it and the world needs you to do that!

What is one thing you wish you knew starting out?

Get to know everyone around me and their stories—otherwise known as “network.” People want to help, so get to know them and just ask!

 

AMBER RUPINTA, Reporter and Anchor, ABC 11

Rupinta anchors the 4:00 and 5:30 evening newscasts on ABC11 for Central North Carolina and reports on various stories throughout the state. She has a bachelors in journalism from Towson, as well as degrees in Meteorology and Geoscience—which she earned while working full time on the morning news.

What is the best advice you were given as a young woman?

Don’t hold yourself back or sell yourself short. My now-husband told me, ‘Kobe Bryant went straight to the NBA out of high school—go for it now.’

What is one thing you wish you knew starting out?

Your definition of success will change throughout your career.

Click here for tickets and more information about WINi 2020.