The Financial Women's Association, a 53-year-old Manhattan-based organization known for powerhouse speakers and members, as well as programs to bring along students and emerging leaders, is launching a presence on Long Island with a career panel this evening at The Inn at Fox Hollow in Woodbury.

This will offer local women in financial services "opportunities for professional development and networking with other women in similar positions," said Susan Ganz, financial services professional with The Center for Wealth Preservation in Syosset and head of the FWA of Long Island task force. This, too, will be "a chance to showcase senior women and role models as panelists," said Ganz, also president-elect of the Financial Women's Association, who'll take the reins in June.

Tonight's speakers, including Martha Stark, senior vice president of Signature Bank, will share their stories on "The Road to Successful Career Re-Inventions." Learn more at event/2010_0324_leadpathways .htm. The group also issues an annual report on the presence of women at the highest levels of major corporations in New York.

Though about 71 percent of FWA members hold senior-level positions within their organizations, the group also looks to bring along the next generation, said Nancy Sellar, executive director. That includes mentoring, internship, scholarship and professional development initiatives.

Frank Fumai, audit partner and head of women's initiative for the Jericho office of Deloitte & Touche Llp, said he expects the group's local activities will give his younger staffers a chance to "network and seek other role models." A comment he said he made at an earlier planning/membership meeting: "The organization does great things - just not enough of them on the Island."

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