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What to Expect at the 17th Annual WISE Symposium

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Each year, the WISE Symposium provides a setting of inspiration for Central New York’s leading female entrepreneurs, creators and innovators. The day offers a chance to learn from women who actively shape a life they love, network and form lasting connections. This year’s conference will host a diverse crowd, from start-ups, to women business leaders, and leaders-in-development.

We spoke with Anna Hartwell, one of the 2018 “Women of WISE,” to get her take on entrepreneurship and the value of the event itself. Anna was previously awarded a scholarship to attend the program, and was inspired by the events that unfolded. Now, she’s working to grow her career as a financial planner.

What is it that you do? Can you talk briefly about your current role and your goals/aspirations?

I have a unique, fun and insightful way of helping women get to their realizations, perceptions and solutions around their money. I do this in a very safe, supportive structure that allows women the freedom to speak openly. I love seeing the transformation when someone moves from a place of uncertainty to a position of power and confidence. My goal is to grow a firm of female advisers who are specialists on the specific financial challenges women face.

What are the top skills you believe women can gain from attending WISE?

What I find most exhilarating about WISE is the anticipation of what I will walk away with. Women have asked me what they should expect and I find myself answering in a different way each time. The simple answer is whatever you are seeking you will find it here: a valuable tool to grow your business, inspiration to push through a challenge you’re facing, or perhaps a life-line for when you’re second guessing everything.

Last year I learned to ease up on myself and recognize where I’m at and what resources I needed to pull in to move me forward. In the spirit of continuous growth, we will always have challenges. I learned that every solution and resource is right in front of me. I just have to figure out where to look and how to access it. Now I’m having a blast moving through the game board of life facing challenges and finding solutions!

How have you made and formed connections over the years?/ Why do you feel this is important?

I lead from the heart and always do my best to be kind and true. When you make a connection with sincerity, an open heart and an open mind, you will build rock solid connections. I enjoy looking back and connecting the dots to where I am today. It’s incredible to see how someone you connected with years ago shows up in the present in a completely different way. That doesn’t come from making connections with a personal agenda. That only comes from sincerity. Listen, take action, get involved, never second-guess your intuition and above all be genuine!

What advice do you have for prospective women entrepreneurs?

From the words of Ellen Degeneres,

“Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path… unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means, you should follow that.”

Ellen is super funny and there’s a lot of truth to her anecdote, but I would caution you to know the difference between a storm and being lost. If you’re in a storm, push through it and break through. If you’re lost and see a path, take it.

This year's event will take place at SKY Armory from 9A-5P, and will include a jam-packed, high energy day of keynote speakers, inspiration sessions and panel discussions. Visit to learn more about our speakers and purchase your tickets!



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