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Savvy Ladies Annual Benefit Gala 2016

  • Nasdaq MarketSite 4 Times Square New York, NY, 10036 United States (map)

Economic Empowerment: Igniting the Full Potential of Women

Savvy Ladies returns to the Nasdaq MarketSite this fall to celebrate the 11th Savvy Ladies Annual Benefit Gala. We are thrilled at the opportunity to host our event at the Nasdaq MarketSite in the heart of Times Square. The MarketSite houses a state-of-the-art digital broadcast studio that transmits approximately 100 live market updates and is the broadcast home of Fast Money.

Our honorees, Suni Harford, Managing Director and Regional Head of Markets for North America at Citi, and Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC Anchor and Co-Anchor of Weekend TODAY on NBC, are two women who are champions of women’s empowerment and the importance of financial independence.

Once again this year Savvy Ladies will  present The Sayra Fischer Lebenthal Award for Professional Excellence in Finance, The Change Maker of the Year Award, and The Savvy Lady of the Year Award.

We are delighted to have as our Master of Ceremonies, financial expert, author, and motivational speaker, Jean Chatzky.

More images from the event

Master of Ceremonies

Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC's Today Show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP's personal finance ambassador, and the host of Money Matters with Jean Chatzky on RLTV. She is a longtime magazine columnist and the best-selling author of eight books, the latest of which is Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security. She believes that knowing how to manage money is one of the most important life skills for people at every age and has made it her mission to help simplify money matters by increasing financial literacy. To that end, she recently launched Jean Chatzky's Money School - online classes on crucial financial topics like saving, budgeting, getting out of debt, and planning for retirement - that she teaches herself at

Chatzky's books include the New York Times bestseller Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved. Her book The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times received the 2009 Books for a Better Life Award in the personal finance category. She is also the author of the New York Times and Business Week bestseller Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day, which was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show's successful "debt diet" series.

Chatzky is a sought-after motivational speaker and a respected consultant to businesses and company executives. She regularly shares her advice and opinions as a guest on popular television shows such as The ViewThe Talk, and Morning Joe and made regular appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In 2009, the Consumer Federation of America awarded her the Betty Furness Consumer Media Service Award for her nearly two decades of pioneering personal finance education. She has also received the Clarion Award for magazine columns from the Association of Women in Communications and a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television. The Chicago Tribune named her one of the country's best magazine columnists.

In addition to her professional work, Jean Chatzky serves on the board of the Children's Heart Foundation and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she is also a member of the Trustees' Council of Penn Women and on the board of the Kelly Writers House.

The Sayra Fischer Lebenthal Award

A formidable business woman with the highest of standards,Sayra Fischer Lebenthal believed that serving clients with honesty and integrity was the best and only way to do business. This award is presented to a woman in the financial services profession who, like Sayra, believed in teaching women the importance of understanding their investments and taking responsibility for their financial lives.

Sayra Fischer Lebenthal (October 1898 – March 1994) was a Wall Street Legend.

In 1925 at the age of 27, Sayra Fischer Lebenthal cofounded the investment banking firm Lebenthal & Company with her husband Louis Lebenthal, and was responsible for democratizing the Municipal Bond business.  The company thrived, continuing to do so even after the death of Louis Lebenthal in 1951. Mrs. Lebenthal, grieving, decided to stay in business, becoming the first woman to run a Wall Street brokerage firm. She specialized in tax-exempt municipal bonds for small investors, and watched the market for them soar. Among her innovations: She organized a department exclusively for women investors. Sayra continued to work full time until the age of 92.

Inaugural honoree:

  • Alexandra Lebenthal, President and CEO, Lebenthal & Co.

Savvy Lady of 2016

Ms. Bucaoto is a senior marketing manager with fifteen plus years’ experience in managing global marketing programs for major financial institutions. Her expertise lies in transforming concepts into solid and successful promotions, branding, and marketing campaigns.  She is currently a marketing lead for a major insurance carrier where she is responsible for the promotion and marketing of a suite of retirement products.  

Ms. Bucaoto started her career at JPMorgan Chase as a customer service representative. Her stint in this role provided the impetus to seek out positions in marketing leading to senior marketing positions at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), and Citi.  She has been involved in a comprehensive array of marketing initiatives and customer services that involve business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) programs.

She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Baruch College.


Suni Harford is a Managing Director and Citigroup’s Regional Head of Markets for North America.  In this capacity, Suni oversees the North American sales, trading, and origination businesses of Citi's securities and banking franchise. Suni is a member of Citi’s Pension Plan Investment Committee, and a Director on the Board of Citibank Canada.  From 2010 - 2015, Suni was the Co-Head of Citigroup’s global women’s initiative, Citi Women.

Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Harford held a variety of senior positions at Citi/Salomon Brothers including the Global Head of Fixed Income Research and the Co-Head of Fixed Income Capital Markets Origination where she led an advisory team focused on financial institutions.

Ms. Harford serves on the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the financial services industry advocacy group, as well as the Board of Directors of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the world’s largest post-trade financial services company.   Suni also serves on several non-profit Boards, including Friends of Hudson River Park, Taproot Foundation, and recently finished her second term with The Forte Foundation, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women leaders in business.   Ms. Harford is also passionate about awareness and support for our veteran community, and is involved in many organizations in this regard.  In addition to serving on the US Chamber of Commerce Veteran’s Employment Advisory Council, Suni has worked with First Lady Michele Obama’s Joining Forces initiative.  She represents Citi as a founding member of Veterans on Wall Street, a coalition of major financial services firms established in 2010 to engage the broader industry in efforts to support our transitioning veterans.  Having helped formalize Citi’s very successful Veterans Initiative, CitiSalutes, in 2009, Ms. Harford remains the senior business sponsor for the initiative.   For those efforts, Ms. Harford recently received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the US Army.

Ms. Harford joined the Markets division of Salomon Brothers, after five years with Merrill Lynch & Co. where she worked in Investment Banking.  She joined Merrill upon graduation from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.  Suni received her Bachelor of Science degree from Denison University, where she majored in physics and math.

Suni lives in Connecticut with her husband Woody, three children (Devon (18), Jenna (14) and Liam (11) and their dogs, Sully and Mike Wazowski. 

Stephanie Ruhle is an MSNBC anchor and co-anchor of Weekend TODAY on NBC.

Ruhle previously served as anchor and managing editor for Bloomberg Television and editor-at-large for Bloomberg News, where she co-hosted Bloomberg <GO>, Bloomberg TV’s flagship morning show featuring global thought leaders across business, tech and media. At Bloomberg, Ruhle regularly interviewed industry titans such as Donald Trump, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller, NBA MVP Stephen Curry, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Jamie Dimon, Martha Stewart, Sean Parker, former Vice President Al Gore, Masters winner Jordan Spieth, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, CEO and Chair of Macy’s Terry Lundgren, and music moguls Sean “Diddy” Combs and Kanye West.

In 2015, Ruhle produced and hosted the documentary Haiti: Open For Business?, which sheds light on the country five years after it was hit by a devastating earthquake and explores its viability as the next emerging market. Ruhle also participated in a short-form documentary, Sharkland: A Mission Blue & Fusion Expedition, which brings attention to the plight of sharks and the urgent needs to conserve our oceans.

Ruhle plays an active role in women’s leadership development, having founded the Corporate Investment Bank Women’s Network and co-chaired Women on Wall Street. Ruhle is a member of the board of trustees for Girls Inc. NYC, an organization that provides life-changing programs inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold; in 2016, she was honored as one of their Women of the Year. Ruhle currently sits on the board and advises for "React To Film," an issue-based documentary film series, and formerly served on the corporate councils of iMentor and The White House Project, a non-profit organization that works to advance women in business, government and media.

Prior to Bloomberg, Ruhle worked at Deutsche Bank, serving as a Managing Director in Global Markets Senior Relationship Management. Ruhle began her career at Credit Suisse, where she was the highest-producing credit derivatives salesperson in the US.

Ruhle received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Lehigh University and resides in New York City with her husband Andy Hubbard and their 3 children, Harrison (10), Reese (7) and Drew (3).

Thank you for a wonderful evening!