The panel “Women in the Workplace: A Conversation with Hope Alumni” at Hope College on Thursday, Oct. 22, will feature insights from four women regarding the role that both their education and their gender have played in their career experiences.

The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cook Hall, in the Bil-Mar Room in the link to the Haworth Inn and Conference Center. Admission is free, although an RSVP is requested.  A time of chatting with the panelists from 11:30 a.m. to noon will precede the panel remarks and discussion, which will be from noon to 1 p.m.

The event has been organized by the college’s Women’s and Gender Studies program in partnership with the Development and Alumni Engagement division at Hope.  Each panelist will explore how she reached her current stage in her career and how a liberal arts degree helped facilitate that progress; the gender issues that she has faced in her professional journey; and what she sees regarding possibilities and progress for women in professional settings in the future.

The panel will consist of three Hope graduates and one parent of a current student.  The participants are:

Sandra Gaddy, a current Hope parent and graduate of Cornerstone University who is vice president of advancement for Inner City Christian Federation, and formerly was vice president of marketing and communications with Mel Trotter Ministries, vice president and private banking officer with National City Bank, and vice president and a business banker with The Chase Manhattan Bank;

Joan Lautenschleger, a 1974 graduate who is chief operating officer of Forest Capital Partners, and formerly was CFO of Monitor Clipper Partners, and managing director of finance and administration with Cambridge Associates;

Gaye van den Hombergh, a 1981 graduate who is a business leadership consultant, and formerly was president of Winning Workplaces, president of the Midwest Region of Vistage International and president and CEO of The Johnson Group; and

Jane Van Es, a 1983 graduate who is a sociology and psychology faculty member and Reformed Church in America (RCA) missionary at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya, and formerly served with the RCA in Sierra Leone, Malawi and the Gambia.

Hope students will have the option of dining during the event, and students not on the college’s meal plan can receive a complimentary lunch if they register in advance.

Those attending are asked to RSVP by emailing Dr. Virginia Beard, associate professor of political science and director of women’s and gender studies at Hope, at

Cook Hall is located at 115 E. 10th St., between College and Columbia avenues.