NY Women in Government Talk Series

May 14, 2021  
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Presented By Spectrum
Event Description

On May 14th, join us for the start of a two-part webinar, NY Women in Government Talk Series presented by Spectrum. The virtual event will include one on one interviews with influential women who work behind the scenes of New York State government and a round table discussion bringing together leaders from government, industry, labor and technology to highlight some of the most powerful women in New York State politics while featuring the unique and insightful perspectives of the women who work both behind the scenes and front and center.

Topics to be addressed include the following:

1. What does leadership mean to you and what is your leadership style?

2. What advice do you have for young women looking to enter in your field of choice?

3. How did you navigate power structures early in your career?

4. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced thus far in your career?

5. What are some individual actions and systematic changes that can be made to continue to develop and encourage women to enter politics/leadership roles?

Sheryl Huggins Salomon
Chair, City & State NY Advisory Board and Contributing Editor
Sheryl Huggins Salomon isChief Communications Officer at the McSilver Institute, where she oversees internal and external communications, events and policy initiative promotion. Prior to joining the McSilver Institute, Huggins Salomon was the Principal of Media Adept, a communications consultancy through which she served as Communications Lead for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, among other roles in the non-profit and corporate sectors. Also, she has been Editorial Director of NewsOne.com; Managing Editor of The Root; Managing Editor of Black Voices (at AOL); and held prior roles in digital and traditional news media at the Washington Post Company, Time Inc., Dow Jones Newswires, and other outlets. She is a Contributor to Everyday Health, where she reports about diabetes, nutrition and other physical health conditions. She was an Adjunct Lecturer for journalism at York College – The City University of New York. Huggins Salomon holds a BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS degree from Columbia Journalism School.
Camille Joseph
Camille Joseph-Goldman
Group Vice President for Government Affairs, Charter Communications
Camille C. Joseph-Goldman is currently a Group Vice President for Government Affairs at Charter Communications. In this role, Mrs. Joseph-Goldman oversees and manages all government affairs, strategic partnerships and investments, consumer protection and telecommunications regulation from New Jersey to Maine, which includes the company’s large presence in New York State and throughout New England. Mrs. Joseph-Goldman previously served as New York City's youngest appointed Deputy Comptroller. As Deputy Comptroller for Public Affairs, she served as the inter-governmental liaison to the public, mayoral agencies, federal, state, and local authorities. In addition, the bureau she spearheaded handled all external functions, including community relations and outreach, contact with the media, financial education forums, and other duties – including the Community Action Center, which provides information and assistance to New Yorkers who have complaints about inadequate or lack of municipal services. Mrs. Joseph-Goldman has an extensive background in politics and public policy and is dedicated to promoting the public interest. Previously, she served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Special Adviser in the Office of United States Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand. As a member of the Senator’s senior team, Mrs. Joseph-Goldman was responsible for advancing Senator Gillibrand’s public policy priorities as well as establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders statewide. She was also the National African American Vote Deputy Director for the Obama Presidential Campaign in 2012. In this role, she worked with national campaign leadership to develop and implement constituency outreach strategies to increase African American voter registration, motivation and turnout in key battleground states. Mrs. Joseph-Goldman was the Campaign Manager and Political Director for former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign, and has worked on several other national, state, and local campaigns. She also served as Director of Youth Engagement for SHOW UP New York, an organization focused on increasing civic participation among youth and people of color throughout New York State. Born and raised in the Bronx, Mrs. Joseph-Goldman earned a BA in Politics and History as a Presidential Scholar as well as her MA in Politics at New York University. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, participates as a mentor at various youth empowerment programs across the City, and is involved in several educational and healthcare initiatives for undeserved youth in Jamaica and Haiti. Most recently, Mrs. Joseph-Goldman joined the board of the National Action Network, one of the leading civil rights organizations in the country founded by the Reverend Al Sharpton. She also serves as a trustee for the Citizen’s Budget Commission of New York City, a civic organization whose mission is to achieve constructive change in the finances and services of New York State government.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
New York State Senate Majority Leader
In just her first year as Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins led the most productive legislative session in state history. She has been widely recognized as a is a trailblazer in local and state government and champion for progressive action. In 2012, she became the first woman, and African American woman, to lead a New York State legislative conference. In 2019, she shattered the glass ceiling when her peers elected her as Temporary President and Majority Leader of the State Senate. Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins oversaw the passage of historic and transformative legislation on issues including voting reforms, gun safety, women’s rights and health care, immigration and DREAMers, the LGBTQ community, the justice system, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, the Senate Majority under her leadership passed the most comprehensive and aggressive climate change legislation in the nation, and the strongest tenant protections and affordable housing package in state history. Andrea Stewart-Cousins was born and raised in New York to parents who encouraged a life grounded in education and service. These values, along with her strong belief in advocating for the underserved and championing the needs of working families, have distinguished her as a public servant and progressive leader. Before entering public service, Andrea Stewart-Cousins worked in a variety of professions including customer service, sales and marketing with New York Telephone/AT&T, journalism, personnel, and as a teacher for Yonkers Public Schools. In 1995, Andrea was elected to serve as a Westchester County Legislator and, in 2006, she was elected to the New York State Senate. Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins resides in Yonkers, was married to the late Thomas Cousins, and has three children and four grandchildren.
Shontell Smith
Chief of Staff and Majority Counsel, Senate Democratic Majority Conference
Shontell Smith is an attorney at the NYS Senate who has worked in public service for over a decade. She is currently the Chief of Staff and Majority Counsel to the Senate Democratic Majority Conference. She is responsible for managing the legal, finance, press and public policy departments for the conference. Previously, she was the Director of Counsel and Finance for the NYS Senate Democratic Conference. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Siena College and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of law in 2007. She then worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael E. Loney for the Anne Arundel Circuit court in Maryland. Upon completion of her clerkship, she returned to Albany NY, went to work for the NYS Senate as the Floor Counsel for the Democratic Conference, and was later promoted to the Floor and Policy Development Counsel. Shontell Smith is a first generation American born and raised in Albany, New York. Her mother was born in Guyana, South America and her father was born in Jamaica, West Indies.
Candis Tolliver
Vice President and Political Director, 32BJ SEIU
Candis Tolliver is the Vice President and Political Director for the union, overseeing the political programs for 11 states and Washington, D.C. Candis Tolliver has been fighting for economic, racial and social justice for over a decade through her work as an organizer, activist, legislative and political campaigner. Candis leads the team responsible for passing legislation to lift standards for workers and promote social justice. Across the districts, she helped pass minimum wage increases, voting rights expansions, fair scheduling, a cap on for-hire vehicles, the farmworker bill of rights, driver’s licenses for the undocumented, paid family leave and criminal justice reform laws. Most recently, she oversaw the passage of the Healthy Terminals Act to provide health care to thousands of airport workers and Just Cause legislation to protect NYC fast food workers. She also leads the work of the union to elect progressive, pro-worker candidates at the local, state and federal levels. In 2020, Candis led the successful, historic, electoral program to elect Joe Biden and many other candidates up and down the ballot. Prior to her tenure at 32BJ, Candis led the New York Civil Liberty Union’s (NYCLU) police reform organizing efforts and managed NYCLU’s statewide organizing portfolio, as the assistant advocacy director. Before joining the NYCLU, Candis was the public affairs coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. There she helped shape the organization’s campus and grassroots-organizing projects and managed the political and legislative program. Candis earned a B.A. in Political Science from Norfolk State University and an M.A. in Urban Policy from The Milano School at the New School University.

Welcome & Introduction By Sheryl Huggins Salomon, Head of City & State NY Advisory Board and Contributing Editor & Camille Joseph-Goldman, Group Vice President, Government Affairs, Spectrum


Keynote Address

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins 


One on One Interview with Shontell Smith, Chief of Staff and Majority Counsel, Senate Democratic Majority Conference and Moderated By Camille Joseph-Goldman, Group Vice President, Government Affairs, Spectrum


Roundtable Discussion 

Camille Joseph-Goldman, Group Vice President, Government Affairs, Spectrum (moderator)
Candis Tolliver, Vice President and Political Director, 32BJ SEIU


Closing Remarks


Session Concludes

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