Bank of America Women's Leadership SeriesVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Women Leading the Evolution of Skincare
Thursday, October 5, 2023
11:30 a.m. Registration
12 p.m. Lunch and panel discussion
Over the past two decades, the beauty and skincare industry has undergone a profound transformation. Online platforms have empowered consumers to share their experiences with beauty products and have also introduced Americans to the captivating world of Japanese and Korean skincare trends, igniting an unprecedented demand for their innovative beauty products. At the same time, consumers are increasingly prioritizing safer, ethically sourced, and environmentally friendly ingredients.
Join Asia Society Texas for a luncheon and panel discussion with Dr. Susan Chon, MD Anderson Cancer Center Dermatologist; Janet Gurwitch, operating partner with Advent International; and Elise Hu, NPR host-at-large and author of the new book, Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital, on the evolution of the skincare industry, their unique experiences in the beauty landscape, and how the intersection of beauty and wellness can create meaningful and joyful approaches to beauty.
About the Speakers
Dr. Susan Chon is a highly accomplished dermatologist. She currently serves as the Chair ad interim and Professor in the Department of Dermatology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In addition to her teaching role, Dr. Chon serves as the Program Director for the Skin Cancer Screening and Education Program and as the Quality Improvement Officer at the institution. Dr. Chon has an impressive record of research and publication. She has authored many peer-reviewed articles that have contributed to the field of dermatology. Additionally, Dr. Chon is the Principal Investigator for a skin cancer screening program funded by the Doss Foundation. Dr. Chon obtained her medical degree and dermatology training from Stanford University.
Janet Gurwitch is a highly successful corporate executive with over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry. She is currently an operating partner with Advent International, a Boston-based private equity firm, where she focuses on the beauty & wellness consumer sector. Gurwitch is the founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics & Skincare, a global brand of high-end niche cosmetics. Prior to founding Laura Mercier, Janet Gurwitch was the Executive Vice President of Neiman Marcus. Today, Gurwitch is an investor in and on the Board of Directors of Olaplex (OLPX) and the Houston Astros baseball team. She formerly served on the boards of consumer brands Tatcha, Drybar, First Aid Beauty, Dollar Shave Club, and Urban Decay Cosmetics, as well as the public company La-Z-Boy.
Gurwitch’s personal community involvement includes the President’s Leadership Council for Houston Methodist Hospital and trustee for Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has also served as Underwriter for the Drawing Institute for the Menil Collection, and she’s an avid supporter of the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera. Gurwitch will be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in November 2023.
Elise Hu is the author of Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital and a correspondent and host at-large for NPR. Since April 2020 she has been the inaugural host of TED Talks Daily, the daily podcast from TED that’s downloaded a million times a day in all countries of the world. For nearly four years, she was the NPR bureau chief responsible for coverage of North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Her work has earned the national DuPont Columbia, Edward R. Murrow and Gracie awards, along with a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles with her three daughters.
About the Moderator
Rita Touma is a Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager focusing on delivering key banking solutions to healthcare, education, and not-for-profit entities in Houston, South Texas, and Louisiana. Based in Houston, Rita has over 25 years of diversified financial services experience in various roles including marketing and sales, strategic and technology development, and relationship, product, and program management. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2018, Rita was a Managing Director leading national sales, marketing, and business development for a growing healthcare technology company focused on revenue cycle management and patient and provider portals. Prior to that role, Rita was with JPMorgan Chase for 20 years, holding key roles in investment banking, treasury services, government banking, and commercial banking in both New York City and Houston.
Rita earned her Master of Business Administration from the Columbia Business School in 2002, and a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual major in Finance and Management, with a minor in Political Science from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Rita is FINRA Registered, holding Series 7 and 63 security licenses. Rita is active in local non-profit organizations in Houston, serves on committees at the Asia Society Texas Center and the Greater Houston Partnership, and is a leader in the Bank of America Diversity & Inclusion Council.
Asia Society hosts today's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Asia Society views.
About the Women's Leadership Series
The Women's Leadership Series (WLS) celebrates influential, diverse women making a substantive impact in both the business and culture arenas, locally and globally.
2023 | Asian American Women in Law
2022 | Philanthropists Leading With Passion
2022 | Huma Abedin on Public Service and Private Legacies
2022 | Cooking at Home, Writing from the Heart with Priya Krishna
2021 | Asian American Leaders Standing Up for Racial Justice
2021 | Women in Space: Breaking Barriers on Earth and Beyond
2021 | Innovation and Investment in Climate Change Solutions
2020 | Building Black and Asian Solidarity: Women Leading Across Race, History, and Culture
2020 | Women Responding to COVID-19
2020 | Women in Journalism: Ann Curry
2019 | Leadership and Success: Conversation with Former PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi
2018 | Women in Entertainment
2018 | Energy Executives on the Importance of STEM Education
2018 | Women in Culinary Arts: Christine Hà, Jenni Tranweaver, and Kiran Verma
2017 | Women in Fashion: Chloe Dao, Becky Hollands, Khanh Nguyen, and Naina Shah
2017 | Innovators in Medicine & Science with Keynote Dr. Huda Zoghbi
2017 | Women's Education and Empowerment with Keynote Cherie Blair
2017 | Changing the World Through Social Innovation with Keynote Mina Chang
2016 | Women in Energy
2016 | Leading from the C-Suite with Keynote Lulu C. Wang
2016 | The Advancement of Women in Public Service with Elaine Chao
2015 | In Conversation: Dr. Anne Chao, Donna Cole, and Y. Ping Sun
The Women's Leadership Series Steering committee is co-chaired by Theresa Chang and Rita Touma. Members include Dr. Anne Chao, Kathy Goossen, Dr. Ellen Gritz, Brigitte Kalai, Mandy Kao, Shirley Kwan, Anu Lal, Sultana Mangalji, Niloufar Molavi, Sue Sim and Y. Ping Sun.
Anne and Albert Chao
Nancy C. Allen
The Honorable Theresa W. Chang and Dr. Peter Chang
Kathy and Marty Goossen
Mandy and William Kao
Dr. Peter and Shirley Kwan
Anu and Shirish Lal
Sue and Randy Sim
Leigh and Reggie Smith
Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron
Sahana and Kishore Sundararajan
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004