BETHANY, W.Va. – Award-winning author and poet Maggie Smith will be the closing speaker when the Ann Wilkin Trombadore Women and Leadership Symposium returns to Bethany College on March 25 and 26.


Smith’s luncheon address, “Inspirations for Moving Forward,” will begin at noon March 26 in Commencement Hall.

The Washington Post selected Smith’s “Good Bones” as one of the five best poetry books of 2017, and Public Radio International declared the title poem “the official poem of 2016.” Smith is also the author of four other award-winning books, “Lamp of the Body,” “The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison,” “Keep Moving” and “Goldenrod.”

The symposium kicks off at 6 p.m. March 25 with dinner and “A Conversation on Leadership,” featuring Martha Pomerantz, partner and portfolio manager at Evercore Wealth Management in Minneapolis. Beth Van Riper Miller ’79, owner of and consultant with BVRM LLC, will moderate the conversation.


The dinner is open to all Bethany College female students, faculty and staff, and alumnae.

Pomerantz is a member of Evercore’s Strategic Planning Committee and the firm’s investment decision-making body. She serves on the board of trustees for Miss Porter’s School, a girls’ boarding school in Farmington, Conn. She is the treasurer for the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable and is one of the Leaders Council Members for the Ultra High Net Worth Institute.


Miller graduated from Bethany with a degree in mathematics and economics. She began her career on Wall Street in information technology at Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter. In 2007, Miller made a career change into education and became a middle school library media specialist in the Atlanta area. She retired in 2018 and now serves as a consultant in instructional technologies and educational services.

Saturday begins at 10 a.m. with a “Habits for Success” panel discussion and a continental breakfast.

The panelists are:

Melinda Elliott ’80, M.D., FAAP, a neonatologist and chief medical officer at Prolacta Bioscience, graduated from Bethany with a B.S. in Biology and received her M.D. from West Virginia University.

Kelly Kowalski ’10, CFA, a portfolio manager at MassMutual in Boston, graduated from Bethany with a B.A. in Economics and from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business with an M.B.A.

Lisa Callamaro ’87 is the owner of Story & Voice, which manages, coaches and produces stories and storytellers. She graduated from Bethany with a degree in English literature and received a postgraduate certificate from the Harvard Publishing Program.

Sally Dorwart, a retired coach, athletic director and co-founder of fitness programs, is a former assistant professor in the Bethany Department of Education and was the first women’s athletic director. She became the first female coach inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Bethany.

Jena Martin, a researcher, author and professor at the West Virginia University College of Law, will serve as the emcee.

The Women and Leadership conference is named for distinguished Bethany alumna Ann Wilkin Trombadore, a native of Wheeling, W.Va., who grew up in Wellsburg, W.Va. She graduated magna cum laude from Bethany with a degree in economics in 1951 and received her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1954.

Trombadore was an active member of the Bethany College Board of Trustees for more than two decades, was the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Alma Mater award in 1996 and was made an Emeritus Life Trustee member following the 1998-99 school year.

The goal of the Women and Leadership Symposium is to unite students and alumnae in promoting the role of women and leadership and creating lasting mentorship opportunities.

To register for any or all of the events, click here. The registration deadline is March 22. While admission is free, donations are encouraged.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.