Virtual Session 5:

Messages to My Younger Self

If you could write a messages to your younger self, what advice would you give? 

In this panel discussion, experienced female leaders discuss what advice they would give to their younger selves and what they wished they had known early on in their career. We compiled a panel of leaders from various backgrounds and careers, who will provide unique insight to those looking to follow in their tracks. 

Panelist Details:

Margaret (Maggie) U. Horne, MBA, CVA is the Director of Gannon University Small Business Development Center.  Maggie earned an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentration in marketing and management from Penn State University, and her MBA from Point Park University.  She is also an Certified Valuation Analyst. Her background includes experience in law, accounting, education and business valuation. Maggie co-launched the first independent valuation firm in Western Pennsylvania where she consulted with numerous clients, including Microsoft, UPS, Ford, Proctor & Gamble, and Caterpillar.  She was involved in over 50 mergers and acquisitions. Maggie developed and conducted numerous presentations related to business valuation and competitive intelligence.


Susan Traverso, Ph.D., took office on August 1, 2016, as Thiel College’s 20th and first female president.

In her first year, President Traverso concluded the largest fundraising campaign in school history, dedicated the new track & field complex and oversaw the construction of the new Haer Family Science and Arts Connector. She put in place a new strategic plan to lead the College into 2021, revamping Thiel’s first-year student experience, initiating several new programs, including Environmental Safety Management, Exercise Science, Sports Management, and Equine Studies, and launching a renewal of the College’s residential facilities and Academic Center.

Prior to coming to Thiel, Traverso served as the provost and senior vice president of Elizabethtown College (Pa.). She was previously the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Professor of History at the University of Redlands (Redlands, Calif.); director of the Associated New American Colleges (ANAC) Academy; and associate professor and chair of history at North Central College (Naperville, Ill.). Additionally, Traverso served the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco, Yemen and Bulgaria.

A recognized and accomplished speaker on academic leadership issues, Traverso has presented to the Council of Independent Colleges, American Academic Leadership Institute, Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Network for Vocation in Higher Education. An American social policy and women’s history scholar, she is the author of “Welfare Politics in Boston, 1910-40.”
Traverso is a board member of the Pittsburgh-based Dietrich Foundation. She previously served as a trustee of the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design and on the board of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, which she also chaired. Since becoming President at Thiel, Traverso has deepened the College’s connection with The Pittsburgh Promise and established a partnership with the Hope Center for Arts and Technology, which is affiliated with Pittsburgh’s Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

Traverso holds doctoral and master’s degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in history and communications from Simmons College (Boston, Mass.). She has continued her education through a series of leadership development programs in recent years.


Kathryn Lima – Legacy Award Recipient 2020

Although trained as a teacher, Kathy left the classroom after six years and since has worked in all aspects of marketing, sales, media and fund raising for both not-for-profit and for-profit  organizations in five different communities in four states.  After years as a provider of business development and fundraising services, consulting, training, and workshops in marketing and fundraising, today she travels the world.

For nearly 14 years, Kathy owned Faro Enterprises providing marketing, public/media relations, fundraising consulting, training, and services, meeting facilitation and communications services.  Throughout her successful entrepreneurial career, she was and continues to be a fierce advocate for the causes of women’s equality.  She was recognized as one of PA's Best 50 Women in Business in 2006 and received the Lawrence Mercer County ATHENA International ATHENA Leadership Award in 2014. Kathy has served as a board member for ATHENA International and has participated in numerous women leadership initiatives and programs.

Diane Gardner – CFP®, CDFA®

Diane has been a Financial Advisor since 2010. She works with LPL Financial in Hermitage and Cottrill Arbutina Wealth Management Group in Beaver. Prior to joining LPL, Diane worked as a financial consultant. She learned both the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(™)(CFP®) and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) professional designations.

Using an established process, Diane builds personalized financial strategies for her clients that strive to pursue their unique goals. She begins by taking the time to truly listen to her clients and assess their needs. She then constructs measurable objectives that are comprehensively tailored to their circumstances. Once the strategies are implemented, Diane continues to partner with her clients to inform them of any developments, address any of their needs, and keep them on track. Throughout the planning process, she educates her clients on their investments and provides ongoing advice to all parties involved. In order to provide a comprehensive service, Diane regularly collaborates with a team of CPAs, attorneys, and other trusted professionals, always keeping client information confidential. Diane is proud to serve a variety of clients with wide-ranging goals. She specializes in navigating women through major life transitions, including divorce and widowhood. She also regularly works with multi-generational families to develop customized strategies of wealth transfer and with business owners toward creating strategies for business succession, asset growth, and tax reduction. Outside of her roles with LPL, she enjoys golfing, traveling, and volunteering. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Beaver and currently serves on the boards of Community Counseling Center and The Arc of Mercer County.

Diane may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residences of the following states: CA, FL, OH, PA, TX, VA, WV. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial,a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.