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Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

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A virtual conversation featuring designer Chris Madden hosted by Karen Trivette, Head of Special Collections and College Archives, FIT 

Check back soon for more information.

Headshots of designer Chris Madden and Karen Trivette.

Past Conversations

Unconventional Career Paths with Colleen Salonga, Amanda Munz, and Ruth Wimer, moderated by Rodney Hutton

Friday, April 23, 1:00 pm ET

Life after graduation can go in many directions. Join three professionals who leveraged the skills they learned at FIT to propel them onto diverse career paths.


Speaker bios

Colleen Salonga is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and served as the Director of Supply Chain Management for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter supporting 12 countries. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Economics. She also has an MBA from The George Washington University, a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a master’s degree in Global Fashion Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is attending Iowa State University’s PhD program for Apparel, Merchandising, and Design, where her eventual dissertation will be on Circular Economy for the supply chain.

She has worked as a consultant for sustainability and supply chain management for retail and technology, and is currently supporting personal protective equipment (PPE) efforts for COVID-19 on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Amanda Munz is the founder of The Fashion Foundation, a nonprofit that recycles fashion samples to provide school supplies to local children in need.  To date, Amanda has recycled over 100,000 pounds of designer merchandise to impact 15,000 local children.  

Amanda received a Bachelors in Fashion Merchandising Management from FIT and a Masters of Public Administration from Baruch College and has since been featured in the New York Times, WWD, ABC News and more.

Ruth Wimer, Esq. has extensive experience advising clients on complex compensation tax issues, including reporting and withholding. She has deep industry knowledge with respect to incentive compensation and multibillion-dollar fee deferral issues for hedge funds and private equity firms. She advises on large deduction timing issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions.

Ruth’s practice includes structuring optimum ownership of private aircraft and business jets, factoring in deduction and income inclusion for personal use, excise tax, depreciation, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Standard Industry Fare Level (SIFL), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues. Ruth frequently resolves a gamut of compensation issues such as employment taxes, stock options, Section 162(m), Section 83, deduction limitations, the entertainment disallowance, and a wide variety of fringe benefits, including health insurance.

While working as a senior partner in the national tax department of a Big Four accounting firm, Ruth was the firm resource on executive compensation, reporting issues, personal use of company aircraft, and nonqualified deferred compensation. Earlier in her career, she served as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service.

Ruth received her B.S and B.A. in Business Management from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. She received her J.D. from American University – Washington College of Law, and her LL.M. in Tax from Georgetown University Law Center

Rodney Hutton is an entrepreneurial product-driven brand marketing executive. Hutton’s full suite of expertise in business management, design, merchandising, creative development, and global marketing strategies, have been groomed over 25 years of working with some of the world’s most notable brand marketers including Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Ann Klein, and Iconix Brand Group, amongst others.

In 2007, Hutton founded Fashion Iconic LLC, a consulting firm that offered private equity groups strategic insights and options into brand value in both pre- and post-acquisition considerations.  

In 2015, Hutton, in partnership, founded Simon James London & Empire Beauty Group, an innovative boutique fine fragrance and beauty company that designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes a growing portfolio of unique licensed fine fragrance and organic beauty brands.

Since 2019, Hutton has served as the CMO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., one of the nation’s largest furniture and interior design companies and has been instrumental in driving the brand’s growth and modernization efforts working closely with legendary Chairman and CEO Farooq Kathwari. Hutton holds a Bachelor of Arts in business and political science from the City University of New York.


Norma Kamali in conversation with FIT's president, Dr. Joyce F. Brown

Originally aired, Friday, April 9, 12:00 pm ET

Headshots of designer Norma Kamali and FIT President, Dr. Joyce F. Brown

The first event in the FIT Foundation's brand new FIT Entrepreneurship Series. We are thrilled to share this exclusive conversation between iconic designer Norma Kamali and Dr. Joyce F. Brown.

Aligning Social Justice and Business with Sergio Guadarrama, Lauren Maillian, and Cheryl Ann Wadlington, moderated by Jacqueline Jenkins.

Originally aired on Friday, April 9, 1:00 pm ET

Headshots of Sergio Guadarrama, Lauren Maillian, Cheryl Ann Wadlington, and Jacqueline Jenkins

Over the past year, businesses have had to ask: what is our role in addressing issues pertaining to social justice? How do we engage and how do we build diversity, equity, access, and inclusion into our business practices? Join three FIT alumni as they discuss their insights on building a strong pipeline to ensure we are thinking holistically about these issues.

Watch the event


A virtual conversation featuring Douglas Hand and Monica Phromsavanh of Equal Hands hosted by Fern Mallis.

Originally aired on Friday, April 9, 2:00 pm ET.

Headshots of Douglas Hand, Monica Phromsavanh, and Fern Mallis

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