Juniors Network at Leading Ladies Luncheon

By Mairead Mark, Sports Editor

The junior class attended the second annual Leading Ladies Luncheon at Eagle Oaks Country Club on May 16, where they branched out and met leading ladies of all different backgrounds and careers. At assigned tables based on interests, juniors enjoyed lunch with the leading ladies and listened to the event’s keynote speaker, Holly Migliaccio, co-founder of Rook Coffee.

The leading ladies in attendance were eager to offer their expertise as well learn more about Trinity Hall. Gelorma Persson, a pioneer in leadership with accolades including the Presidential appointee by Ronald Reagan to the first National Board for Small Business and the founder of the NJ Association of Women Business Owners, was happily in attendance and reflected on her experience.


Junior Olivia D. speaks with Betsy Palazzo-Dudick of Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts at the Leading Ladies Luncheon at Eagle Oaks Country Club on May 16. Photo coutesy of Shilpa Iyer Photography

“The questions I answered were thought out with an eye towards the future of the young ladies questioning. I know the ladies were amused and interested and showed it with their attention and smiles,” Persson said. She spoke from her heart and experience when she offered this piece of advice: “I would tell each and every woman anywhere to follow the path that God leads you on while traversing the speed bumps in your journey. Don’t be deterred by any influences other than those dreams you feel in your heart.”

Persson’s daughter, Joede Persson, owner and founder of Dance Plus, was also in attendance and and enjoyed offering her wisdom while learning about Trinity Hall. Referred by her dance students as “Joede’s fortune cookie moments to live by,” Persson has words of wisdom she is always willing to share with each student she encounters in order to leave a positive impact. Among them are “Positive thoughts bring positive results” and “When given the chance always choose kindness.”

Students all enjoyed the afternoon and took away important advice. Junior Kathryn Murray learned from Katie Trotter, an accomplished runner and now practicing podiatrist in Monmouth County, valuable tips that she will carry with her beyond high school. “I realized networking is very important and received tips on how to be successful and happy simultaneously,” Murray said.

After students immersed themselves in conversation and a delicious lunch, Migliaccio took the stage and shared her story on how she rose to become the co-founder and co-CEO of Rook Coffee Company. She encouraged students and guests to take away “one ‘something’” from her speech, including above all to just simply ‘be human.’


Holly Migliaccio, co-founder and co-CEO of Rook Coffee Company, gives the keynote address at the Leading Ladies Luncheon  at Eagle Oaks Country Club on May 16. Photo coutesy of Shilpa Iyer Photography

“I loved Holly’s speech. The pieces of advice she gave were very helpful, and I realized it’s good to take risks. Her speech really spoke to me,” junior Diana Biolatta said.

Director of Advancement and Admissions Theresa Kiernan and Director of Development Kristy Geoghan, who coordinated and organized the event, truly believe junior year is the appropriate time to be exposed to this type of environment. “I think in that grade you have reached a level of maturity and you’re looking forward to senior year,” Kiernan said. “However, it’s before all of the college crushing really happens, so [juniors] are able to really come with an open mind.”

Kiernan and Geoghan also believe the event embodies the mission of the school to educate and empower young women. “Since we have no alumni, it is really important for the mission of the school to [the] girls in front of these kind of people, and also for these people to understand who Trinity Hall is through meeting our students,” Kiernan said.




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