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Discuss importance of leadership at United Way’s Leading a Life of Purpose event

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The United Way of Greater Atlanta’s eighth-annual Leading a Life of Purpose event is May 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Woodruff Arts Theatre in Atlanta.

Leading a Life of Purpose is a networking event hosted by United Way affinity group Cole Women United, and this will be a fireside chat with some of Atlanta’s most dynamic women as they discuss the importance of integrating leadership and philanthropy into one’s life.

You can still register today by visiting unitedwayatlanta.org. Tickets are $75, and you can email, me, Michelle Marshall at mmarshall@unitedwayatlanta.org for more information.

The two panelists for the event will be Dr. Beatriz Rodriguez and Gail Evans — the panel will be led by WSB-TV News Anchor Sophia Choi. The Woman of Purpose honoree for the event is Monica Kaufman-Pearson.

Rodriguez is the chief diversity officer at The Home Depot.

Rodriguez joined The Home Depot in Florida in 2000 as an hourly store associate, but she went on to become a human resources representative. She has served as director at the store and regional levels in Florida and California.

In her role now at The Home Depot, Rodriguez acts as mentor to not only women, but all employees at the corporate office.

Evans is the author of New York Times best-seller, “Play Like A Man, Win Like A Woman,” an informative guide to the secrets men know about success but “women need to learn.”

Evans has lived in Atlanta since 1970. She was born in New York City. Prior to her time in Atlanta, Evans worked in the White House with the legal counsel office during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration and she helped form the president’s committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and the 1966 Civil Rights Act.

In the late 60s, Evans moved with her husband to Moscow, Russia where her husband served as bureau chief for CBS News.

In 1970, she helped found Global Research Services, and then she says CNN came calling in 1980.

Evans was promoted in 1996, and in September 2000 she was named Executive Vice President of Domestic Networks for the CNN Newsgroup. She was responsible for program and talent development of all domestic networks overseeing national and international shows and the booking department, which schedules about 25,000 guests each year.

Evans helped develop some of CNNs most popular programs before retiring in summer 2001.

Evans’ first book was published in 2000, and her follow-up, “She Wins, You Win” in 2003. Evans is currently a professor at the School of Management at Georgia Tech teaching a course on gender, race and ethnicity in organizational behavior.

Evans uses her role as a professor to encourage students by using much of what she has taught in her books and leadership roles in her career.

Click here to see a clip from last year’s event.


Michelle Marshall is the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership Initiatives at United Way of Greater Atlanta.

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