Ascend Greater Philadelphia 2021 IAG Annual Conference
Resilience and Agility: Thriving Amid Change

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Event Details:

Date: October 18 - 22, 2021

Venue: Zoom Meeting


To succeed, we must be resilient. To be resilient, we must demonstrate agility to survive and thrive in today’s environment while developing substantially new mind-sets and capabilities. Join us to learn how to grow your resilience and agility – and how to put those insights into immediate action!


  • $50 Individual Member ticket

  • $75 Individual Non-member ticket

  • $150 Ascend Membership + IAG ticket

Zoom link for each day will be shared with registrants one day prior to each event date.



Wednesday, October 20, 2021

How to Take Control of Your Career - Are you feeling less motivated than usual in your career? Or, do you want to take your role and career to the next level? In this interactive workshop, Gorick Ng, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Unspoken Rules, will help you reflect on the gap between where you are and where you could be—and develop an action plan for aligning what you *are* doing with what you *could* be doing.

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM ET: 

Virtual workshop with Gorick Ng, author of The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Please join us for a discussion led by Sunil Wattal from Temple University to explore some of the monumental forces behind workplace change and trends shaping the future workplace, the workforce, and the nature of work itself?   Join our panelists from Bank of America, Gallup, Inc, and PwC who will share their insights on the adoption of artificial intelligence, automation, workforce transformation that is impacting workers, employers, educators and communities.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET: 

Panel discussion: " The Future of Work". 

Moderator Sunil Wattal, Managing Director and Professor, Temple University

Panelist Vipula Gandhi, Managing Partner, Head of U.S. Enterprise, Gallup, Inc

Panelist Robert Ringelspaugh Jr., SVP, Digital Strategy Manager, Global Banking and Markets, Bank of America

Panelist Kelly Thornton, Health Industries Assurance Partner, PwC

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Join a workshop with Laura Sicola followed by a virtual networking session with our community of professionals.  

Laura is a professional speaker, leadership communication coach and the founder of Vocal Impact Productions and through the workshop she will provide live coaching and training on "Developing Virtual Influence".  Her workshop will shed light on the importance of virtual presence and influence and how the way we deliver our message can influence the response and reception received from the audience.  

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM ET: 

Workshop with Laura Sicola, author and professional coach on “Maximizing Virtual Influence”

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM ET:

The OtherSide – Storytelling

Moderator Sudhir Kondisetty, Principal,


Panelist Abeera Aguira, SVP, U.S.  Payments Delivery, TD Bank

Panelist Ravi Acharya, Consumer Distribution Program Delivery Executive, TD Bank

Panelist Hussain Hassan, Principal, Risk

Consulting, RSM US LLP

Panelist Suriana Nordin, Senior Manager, EY

Monday, October 18, 2021

In the age of COVID-19, an economic crisis, a highly divisive presidential election and a nationwide reckoning with systemic racism, bouncing back from hardships has taken on a whole new meaning this year. Resilience, and showing up at work, in particular, even if it is virtually, takes significant physical, mental and emotional effort.  Join our speakers on October 18th, to hear their perspectives on resilience and how to be adaptable amidst this challenging environment. 

3:30 PM - 3:40 PM ET: 

Kick-off by Elaine Cheong, Chapter President

3:40 PM - 3:50 PM ET: 

Opening remarks by DuPont, presenting sponsor Alexa A. Dembek, Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer


3:50 PM - 4:30 PM ET:

Keynote Yie-Hsin Hung, President/CEO New York Life

4:30 PM ET:

Closing Remarks 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Tackle tough topics head on! Discrimination, bias, the fight for meritocracy. We must find our voice.

12 Noon -1:00 PM ET:

Speaker Kenny Xu, author of “An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy”

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET:

Speaker Steve Miska, Finding Our First Amendment Voice

4:30 PM - 4:40 PM ET:

Closing Remarks by Faye Sahai, Ascend Executive Network Co-Chair and Partner, Mirai Global; Managing Director, Vinaj Ventures

Kenny Xu, journalist and author of An Inconvenient Minority - the attack on Asian American Excellence and the fight for meritocracy. In An Inconvenient Minority, Xu discusses the consequence of the Harvard Admissions case and its identity politics ideology.  Even in the midst of nationwide surge of bias and incidents against them, Asians have quietly contributed to the nation’s economic wealth and success.  Xu documents the harm these artificial barriers present to the high level of Asian achievement if Asian Americans are to lead the U.S. toward a true meritocracy

While the Constitution of the United States maintains the original principles upon which our nation was founded, it has been a “working” document as reflected in its amendments.  The First Amendment provides for five guaranteed freedoms: speech, religion, press, assembly and the right to petition the government.  Together, they make the people of the United States of America the freest in the world.  Did you know there is no legal age to reach to exercise your First Amendment rights?  They are guaranteed to you the day you’re born.  There is also no citizenship requirement for its protection. Being educated about our rights is fundamental to ensuring these rights will continue to be exercised, valued, and cherished in our work towards self-determination and the preservation of our liberties.

Keynote Speaker:

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Yie-Hsin Hung

President/CEO, New York Life

Yie-Hsin Hung is the chief executive officer of New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM), New York Life’s $450 billion global multi-boutique third-party asset management business, a role she has held since 2015. She is also a member of New York Life’s Executive Management Committee and its highest-ranking female operating executive. Since joining the company in 2010, Hung has grown NYLIM’s assets under management nearly four-fold through a combination of geographic expansion, organic initiatives and acquisitions. Prior to that, she held a number of senior leadership roles at Bridgewater Associates and Morgan Stanley in both its Investment Management and Investment Banking divisions.

Hung was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance by Barron’s in both 2020 and 2021 and was named among the 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance by American Banker in 2020, the fourth consecutive year she has received this award. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University, the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, and the Board of Directors of the Turtle Beach Corporation.

Hung earned her MBA from Harvard University and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University.  

Other Speakers and Presenters:


Ravi Acharya

Consumer Distribution Program Delivery Executive

TD Bank

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Abeera Aguira

SVP, U.S. Payments Delivery

 TD Bank


Elaine Cheong

President, Ascend

Greater Philadelphia

SVP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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Alexa A. Dembek

Chief Technology &

Sustainability Officer



Vipula Gandhi

Managing Partner

Head of U.S. Enterprise

Gallup, Inc

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Hussain Hasan

Principal, Risk Consulting



Sudhir Kondisetty



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Steven M. Miska

Executive Directory

Finding Our First Amendment Voice

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Gorick Ng


The Unspoken Rules

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Suriana Nordin

Senior Manager




Rob Ringelspaugh Jr

SVP, Digital Strategy Manager,

Global Banking and Markets

Bank of America

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Faye Sahai

Ascend Executive Network Co-Chair

Partner, Mirai Global

Managing Director, Vinaj Ventures

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Laura Sicola

Author and Professional Coach

Developing Virtual Influence

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Kelly Thornton

Health Industries Assurance Partner


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Sunil Wattal

Managing Director and Professor

Temple University


Kenny Xu


An Inconvenient Minority

 Presenting Sponsor:Sponsors

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