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Claim Your Space: Identifying and Leveraging Your Highest and Best Use

November 15, 2023 at 5:30pm8:30pm (EDT)
730 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10017

As women in the workplace, balancing expectations – from others and ourselves – with our own objectives can present daily obstacles to growth and fulfillment. And while those challenges can often make it difficult to maximize output and value, identifying and leveraging our highest and best use can help. 

“Highest and best use” (HBU) is understood in the real estate industry as the reasonably probable and legal use of land that is physically possible, appropriately supported, and financially feasible, that results in the highest value. In other words, to achieve the highest and best use of a piece of property, one should identify and leverage its potential to maximize its value.

The same concept applies to our professional lives. Identifying and leveraging our own HBU through taking stock of goals, priorities, talents, and circumstances can lead to maximizing potential and enhancing success.

How can we identify and leverage our own HBU, and what does that process look like at various stages of our lives and careers? Please join us for an evening of networking, small bites, drinks, and a panel discussion as we explore the concept of HBU and find ways to focus our goals through personal assessment and the support of those around us.

Panel discussion topics will include: 

  • Defining and harnessing our HBU to enhance efficiency and personal and professional satisfaction.
  • Helping colleagues find their own HBU to maximize team productivity and collaboration.
  • Using HBU as a filter when deciding what projects to own and delegate - how can this enhance efficiency and drive professional and personal growth?
  • Balancing and managing external expectations (and pressures) with our own objectives.


Rhonesha Byng
Founder and CEO Her Agenda
Rhonesha is a visionary entrepreneur and media trailblazer who is transforming the landscape of millennial women's empowerment and representation. As the Founder and CEO of Her Agenda, Rhonesha embodies the guiding principle encapsulated in her acronym N.E.S.H.A. – No one Ever Slows Her Agenda. This philosophy not only propels her own journey but also fuels the mission of HerAgenda.com, a digital media platform she established to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women.

Kelly Harbour
Chief Business Development OfficerGoulston & Storrs
Kelly directs the firm’s business development, client service, legal practice management, and marketing and communications efforts. She oversees a team of talented professionals leading initiatives to generate revenue throughout the client lifecycle, from acquisition through retention and growth. A member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Kelly spends her time providing leadership, guidance, and tactical support related to business plans for practices, teams, and individuals from conception through implementation. 

Molly Holder
Senior Product Director | Spotify
Molly is the Senior Product Lead for Spotify’s Personalization team, where she leads product strategy for Spotify’s personalized listening experiences. Overseeing a team of innovative product thinkers, she works at a senior level to craft, concept and build personalized products that will shape the Spotify experience for millions of listeners around the world. Throughout her nearly seven years at Spotify, she has propelled Spotify’s personalization and recommendations engine into a new era – spearheading innovative products like Daily Mix, Discover Weekly, Blend and foreground Discovery Feeds, as well as Spotify’s newest AI experiences like DJ, and Podcast Voice Translation. Molly is passionate about empowering teams to deliver their best work and driving strategy to build platformized, machine learning-based solutions for personalization and recommendations. With a B.A. in Music Cognition from Mount Holyoke College, an M.A. in Music Technology from New York University, and over a decade of experience in music, machine learning and product development at organizations like Sourcetone, NPR and SiriusXM, Molly has honed a true expertise and profound authority in her field.

Clara N. Jiménez
Sr. Counsel, IP Litigation | Johnson & Johnson
Senior Counsel in the Intellectual Property Litigation group at Johnson & Johnson, Clara manages global litigation to protect the company's IP rights in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. Clara worked as a process chemical engineer before attending law school and spent the first half of her professional legal career at Finnegan, representing global clients in IP matters in the chemical, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. Clara is actively engaged in organizations focused on advocating for and supporting children of color who have faced poverty, violence, abuse, or neglect. She is a volunteer court-appointed advocate (CASA) for children in foster care in NJ and sits on the board of One Simple Wish. Clara also supports the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, York Street Project, House of Ruth (DC), and Fundacion Color y Esperanza (Choco, Colombia). Additionally, Clara is invested in opening doors for the next generation of people of color in STEM and IP Law and is a trustee of the Foundation for the Advancement of Diversity in Intellectual Property Law.

Alyssa Zabell
General CounselRockrose Development
Alyssa is the go-to advisor at Rockrose Development, a premier NYC owner-builder-manager with a name for architectural excellence, sensitivity to neighborhoods, vision for "creating community,", and reputation for carefully managing projects in Manhattan, Long Island City, and Washington DC. 

Planning Co-Chairs:

Jackie Grodin (Moderator)
Counsel Goulston & Storrs
Jackie Grodin is a commercial litigator with nearly 15 years of experience in the private and public sectors, including as a civil prosecutor with the New York Attorney General’s Office in the Investor Protection Bureau. She represents individuals, companies, private equity, and hedge funds and their advisers, and real estate participants (owners, operators, general partners, investors, developers) in business disputes, securities-related matters, government investigations, and litigations in courts across the country, including the New York State Supreme Court Commercial Division and Delaware Court of Chancery. 

Maura Brancaccio
Director Goulston & Storrs
Maura Brancaccio is a real estate lawyer representing landlords, tenants, sponsors, principals, and developers in commercial leasing and transactional matters. Maura has significant experience in leasing, ground leasing, acquisitions, and dispositions and development. Maura is a proud Princeton Tiger, having played on their Women’s Soccer Team, and a member of the New York Athletic Club. 

Who should attend? While this event will focus on the workplace and home life challenges of those who identify as women, many of the themes are universal, and we encourage everyone to join us, regardless of gender identification

Sometimes leveraging your highest and best use means helping others identify and leverage theirs. This year, we are excited to shine a light on New Women New Yorkers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides workforce development and other programs to empower immigrant women to secure their first paying, meaningful job in the NYC workforce or pursue higher education.