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Entrepreneur, makeup artist Bobbi Brown to deliver keynote at 2011 WISE Symposium

April 07, 2011

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-3784

The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University will welcome makeup artist Bobbi Brown, founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, as the keynote speaker for the ninth annual Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Symposium on Tuesday, April 12, at 3:15 p.m. in the Convention Center at the Holiday Inn, Liverpool. The keynote address, “Making Beauty Her Business: Journey to Success,” will highlight Brown’s entrepreneurial journey from makeup artist to creator of one of the leading cosmetics brands worldwide.

brownbobbiThe WISE Symposium kicks off at the Holiday Inn at 9 a.m., with opening remarks by City of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, followed by breakout sessions and Brown’s keynote presentation, all of which will address issues of women in business and entrepreneurship and include expertise from more than 40 speakers throughout the day. In addition to motivational speeches and presentations, the symposium also features a business expo; the WISE Women’s Business Center Connections Café; an award ceremony honoring the Ann Michel Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year; a book signing with authors who are session speakers and numerous networking opportunities. The symposium will also include discussions on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, social media, leadership, marketing, business planning and work/life balance.

Brown changed the face of makeup with a handful of lipsticks and a simple philosophy: “Women want to look and feel like themselves, only prettier and more confident.” As a freelance makeup artist in the ’90s, she could not find makeup shades or textures that looked natural on a wide range of complexions. Taking matters into her own hands, Brown debuted a collection of 10 lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, New York City, in 1991. The universally flattering, brown-based lipsticks were a dramatic departure from the cosmetics available at the time and ushered in a new era of wearable, natural-looking makeup.

Brown’s unique approach to cosmetics was a long-awaited gift for women who wanted a more natural look and caught the attention of cosmetics empire Estée Lauder, who acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1995. Today, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is a global brand and has expanded beyond lipstick to a full range of color cosmetics, fragrance and skin care. Today, the brand has a presence in more than 988 stores in 56 countries and 17 free-standing stores, and is coveted by world-renowned makeup artists, celebrities and style makers who appreciate Brown’s unique approach to beauty and ability to translate the latest trends into wearable, real-life looks.

In addition to running her company, Brown regularly shares her expertise on television, in magazines and newspapers, and online. She is the exclusive beauty editor of NBC’s “Today Show” and contributing beauty and lifestyle editor of Health magazine. A sought-after lifestyle expert, she has appeared on high-profile daytime talk shows including “Oprah,” “The Martha Stewart Show” and “Dr. Oz,” and is a New York Times bestselling author, with six instructional and engaging beauty and lifestyle books. She continues to work editorially and is a permanent fixture backstage at New York Fashion Week, having worked with some of the industry’s most influential designers. As the brand continues to grow globally, Brown’s message remains the same: “The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are.”

Additional WISE Symposium speakers include:

  • JJ Ramberg, host of MSNBC’s “Your Business” and co-founder of, a website that has revolutionized the way people are able to help their favorite causes by providing them an opportunity to support designated charities and schools each time they search the web and shop online (at no cost to the user or organization);
  • Jennifer Wilkov, a No. 1 radio show host, best-selling and award-winning author, speaker, award-winning freelance writer, successful book business consultant and entrepreneur;
  • Denise Kiernan, a journalist, author and TV/film producer and former head writer for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire;”
  • Nelly Yusupova, a web technology specialist, consultant and strategist; and
  • local entrepreneurs and leaders in the business community.

“Now in its ninth year, the WISE Symposium is the premier event for entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the Central New York region,” says Tom Kruczek, executive director of the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. “There is something for everyone at the event. Whether you have an idea for a business, you’re a newly established venture, a seasoned pro or in a corporate setting, there will be speakers and seminars that you’ll find interesting. Plus it’s a great opportunity to network with like-minded individuals.”

Attendees may register for an all-day ticket for $75, which includes all sessions and meals, or may register for a ticket for only the Bobbi Brown keynote address and business expo for $25. Registration for full-time students is $10. To register, visit

The WISE Symposium is organized in conjunction with KeyBank, National Grid and the WISE Women’s Business Center. Launched in 2003 by the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, WISE fosters the pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities by women from all walks of life. Each year, the Falcone Center and WISE Women’s Business Center sponsor events to promote entrepreneurial thinking among women in Central New York and offer a way to help entrepreneurial women stay connected. Since its inception, the WISE Symposium has reached thousands of Central New York women, successfully evolving into a year-round initiative supporting entrepreneurs through the established WISE Women’s Business Center.

For more information, contact Lindsay Wickham, events coordinator for the Falcone Center, at or (315) 443-3550.

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