AU Press Releases

Kitty Van Bortel featured speaker at AU’s Women’s Center

Kitty Van Bortel, founder and CEO of Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, will speak from 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 in the Knight Club, Powell Campus Center, Alfred University.

Van Bortel is the first speaker for this year’s Women’s Leadership Center’s “Women of Influence” series. Her presentation at Alfred University is co-sponsored by the College of Business. The series is open to the public free of charge.

Her discussion, “Women’s Roles in Building and Changing the Business Environment: Entrepreneurship and Change-Making Leadership in Communities,” will include Van Bortel’s perspectives on how women are building and changing the business world.

Van Bortel began her automotive sales career with a $500 investment in 1985, and opened the Subaru dealership in 1991. By 1999, Van Bortel Subaru became the largest Subaru dealership in the country and has received Subaru Stellar Performer certification since 2001. Van Bortel is well known in the greater Rochester area for her business acumen, as well as for her philanthropic involvement in the community.

Van Bortel is the 2003 recipient of the Alfred University Galanis Award for Excellence in Family Business. The Galanis Award recognizes the importance of family-run businesses in Western New York, and evaluates those businesses on a number of criteria including quality of life for employees, and contributions to the community.

Van Bortel partnered with her brother, Howard Van Bortel, to create Van Bortel Ford, and is a contributor to many area non-profit organizations.

The Women’s Leadership Center builds on Alfred University’s heritage as the first truly coeducational institution in the nation. The Women of Influence program brings powerful female role models to campus, providing opportunities for inspiration and guidance through lectures and small-group discussions. Past speakers have included a NYS Supreme Court judge, a dean of a medical college, and a lobbyist from Albany.

For more information on this presentation, the Women of Influence Series, or any WLC programs, please contact the Women’s Leadership Center at 607.871.2971.