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WIB members motivated for Hank Phillippi Ryan talk

By Rod Lee

Who better to speak at Woman In Business Inc.’s first-ever “Motivational Gathering” than Hank Phillippi Ryan?

That it took months for WIB to land the well-traveled and much-in-demand Ms. Ryan for her appearance on May 10th at Old Sturbridge Village only reaffirms, as if there was any doubt, the validity of her credentials.

From her start as a radio reporter in 1971 up to the present day as a sixty-seven year-old investigative reporter for WHDH-TV, author, wife and grandmother, Ms. Ryan has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for personal and professional growth; early on as a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate and as an intrepid sleuth who shines a spotlight on illegal or unethical conduct by businesses toward consumers.

The winner of thirty-three Emmys, twelve Edward R. Murrow awards and the author of nine mysteries including the recently released Say No More (a Library Journal Best of 2016 and a Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Award nominee), Ms. Ryan was the perfect choice, WIB President Karen Spiewak, said, to address WIB members and guests on a subject near and dear to her heart: “Mysteries, Television and the Mysteries of Television.”

Ms. Spiewak said Ms. Ryan is certain to offer welcome insights into “mid-life career change” and the challenges and risks women face in opting for a fresh start after putting a toehold down in one pursuit. Ms. Spiewak has some familiarity with this phenomenon. Since her graduation from Worcester State University, she has worked extensively to a continually shifting degree in the healthcare field as a consultant, as a facilitator and at the highest levels of management. She is founder of her own company—Spiewak Consultants. She also heads up WIB, a non-profit organization that represents mostly women (but also men who are interested in joining) in the workforce in south central Massachusetts. WIB holds monthly luncheon programs, workshops and seminars and offers other learning and networking opportunities throughout the year.

“We were thrilled to learn that (Ms. Ryan) will be able to attend,” Ms. Spiewak said. “She will bring out a lot of people (possibly enough of an audience to move the event from the Grecian Room at OSV to a larger space). A while back we had conducted a survey of our members and they said they wanted us to bring in more well-known speakers. We have a lot of women who are thinking about making a change in mid-life.”

A native of Indianapolis, Ms. Ryan attended Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio and also studied abroad at the International School in Hamburg, Germany. She is earning increasing fame as a novelist on the order of a Sandra Brown or Robert B. Spenser. The Associated Press has called Say No More “stellar.” Publishers Weekly describes the book as “thrilling,” “unflinching” and “gratifying.”

In sharing her philosophy on womanhood, she told the Fifty Plus Advocate “I have always vowed to leave the world a better place and leave a legacy;” and “we can all have amazing experiences if we take a chance, stay curious, stay connected and stay interested.”

She lives in Newton with her husband Jonathan.

While Ms. Spiewak says she was mostly just acquainted with Ms. Ryan’s name, she and “many of our women can identify with her. Some of us are around the same age as her and have re-invented themselves. I have done so a number of times! I will definitely buy a copy of her book!”

In keeping with its usual emphasis on the social aspect of its events, WIB will offer networking with a cash bar and appetizers at 5:00 p.m. on May 10th to start things off. The evening will also include a book signing for Ms. Ryan’s Say No More. Cost to attend is $15 for WIB members and $20 for nonmembers. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged; go to to obtain tickets in advance. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.