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On Wednesday, October 26th, 2011, the Women’s Venture Fund’s 14th Annual Defining Moments Gala & Auction took place in NY at Capitale. Hosted by CBS News anchor Rebecca Jarvis, with CNBC Fast Money’s “Negotiator” Guy Adami as auctioneer, and co-chaired by Tracy Callendo and Danielle Greenberg with Honorary Chairs Ashleigh Hults and Urvi Sheth. The event honored Ida Liu and Alitia Faccone, Esq. Guests included luminaries and notables from the business, law, technology, philanthropy, broadcast and lifestyle sectors such as Fern Mallis, Cheryl Casone, Amy Palmer, Tracy Stern, Michelle Harper and more.

Established in 1996, Women’s Venture Fund (“WVF”) is a non-profit organization that helps women of diverse backgrounds start, build and grow their own businesses. Under the leadership of Founder and President Maria Otero, Esq., Women’s Venture Fund has spent the last 15 years providing women with the tools they need to turn their business ideas into reality by training them in all aspects of entrepreneurialism and providing them with consultation on creating business plans, finding financial assistance and other resources. Ms. Otero, who was appointed in 2002 by Mayor Bloomberg to New York City’s Commission on Women’s Issues and has been honored by several business and finance organizations for her work, remarks that “so much of the news today focuses on the economic downturn and the unprecedented unemployment rate. On the upside, it is during these times of uncertainty when many women choose to go into business for themselves as a way of gaining financial stability. This is where we can help, with training, technical assistance and micro loans to guide entrepreneurs from startup to success or to help an existing business grow.” CBS’ Rebecca Jarvis adds, “Women’s Venture Fund is a great resource for women who want to own their own business. They help women take control of their dream of owning a business and make it a reality. I can’t think of anything more empowering”.

WVF has helped over 14,000 women launch, maintain and grow their own businesses – and aims to increase that number significantly over the next few years with funds raised from its annual Defining Moments Gala. This year, WVF will honor two women who not only have achieved great distinction in their careers, but who have harnessed their success to help other women in business: Ida Liu and Alitia Faccone, Esq. Formerly the Global Head of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Vivienne Tam and now a Managing Director and Head of the newly formed North America Asian Clients Group at CitiBank, Ms. Liu has been integral in building the wealth management practice. The feature speaker at numerous industry conferences and seminars, Ms. Liu also is an Advisor to Asia Society’s President’s Circle and Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle, and is the recipient of the 2011 Top 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business award and the 2010 Emerging Leader Award from the National Association of Asian MBAs. Ms. Faccone, who is a partner in the Business and Financial Services practice group at McCarter & English has handled a broad spectrum of complex commercial litigation matters in all areas of business law with a focus on the area of e-Discovery. She is a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers and serves as an Advisory Board Member to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum. The honorees will share their own “defining moments” throughout their notable careers with a view toward inspiring other women in developing their careers and building their own businesses.