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OUR 2017 Stories & News

Welcoming New Members

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Year 2017

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Lynn Clarke to the IWFCT Membership.  

Lynn serves on several boards:  Abarta Coca-Cola  Beverages (Board Member, Governance Chair and member of the Compensation Committee); Kahiki Foods (Board Member); (Board Member); Top Notch Distributors (Board Member and Human Capital Committee Chair); and Nielsen-Massey Flavors (Chairman of the Board). 

Welcoming New Members

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Year 2017

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Alison Davis to the IWFCT Membership.  

Alison is an Executive Director at JP Morgan Private Bank in Greenwich, CT.  She also serves on the Board of Trustees, Ridgefield Academy; Board of the Exit Planning Exchange of Connecticut; Board of Directors, Greenwich International Film Festival; and is a member of NationSwell


Welcoming New Members

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Year 2017

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Donna de Varona to the IWFCT Membership

Donna is the President of DAMAR Productions, Inc.  An Olympic swimmer, Donna is also Chair of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Lead Advisor for the Ernst & Young Women Athletes Business Network.

Welcoming New Members

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Year 2017

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Filomena Soyster to the IWFCT Membership

Soyster is a Managing Director for U.S. Trust Company, Bank of America Private Wealth Management in West Hartford. She is President of the Malta House of Care Foundation and on the Board of Trustees of the Wadsworth Atheneum.


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Year 2017

Founder and President of Healthcare Navigation, LLC, was recently honored as a 2017 Healthcare and Life Sciences national leader at a dinner co-hosted by Irish America Magazine and ICON plc, a global clinical research company. The award goes to a broad spectrum of professionals making contributions in healthcare and the Life Sciences including executives of large hospital and others healthcare organizations, physicians and researchers, government officials and entrepreneurs.  Maura was selected for the award for her pioneering efforts in founding Healthcare Navigation, LLC, one of the first firms devoted to help patients and consumers navigate the complex world of healthcare.  

Pictured:  Maura Carley (right) accepts award from Patricia Harty, Editor of Irish America Magazine. Photo credit: Nuala Purcell

New Appointments

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Year 2017

Michele Etzel, CFO and EVP, National Graphics, Inc., has been appointed a Commissioner on the E911 Commission for the State of Connecticut. 


In addition to that appointment, Michele also serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut and an advisor and investor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.  She is also a member of the Villanova Women’s Professional Network and Alumni Recruiting Network.


Year 2017

Molly Gavin was recently recognized as a “60 over 60” honoree for her work at Connecticut

Community Care, Inc. She serves as its president, and for more than 40 years, has championed

a philosophy of customer first, employees second, and herself third.


During her time as

president, Connecticut Community Care has been named a Top Workplace by Workplace

Dynamics in recognition of the organization's quality of leadership, and employee satisfaction.

In 2011, Gavin was named one of eight "Remarkable Woman in Business" by the Hartford

Business Journal, and has also been recognized twice as a Connecticut Advocacy Champion


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Year 2017

Valarie Gelb, CEO, Gelb Global Business Growth Advisors, spoke on the panel "Women in International Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities” at Loyola University Chicago for the International Executive Resource Group. 


The IERG consists of members from around the world who have worked in foreign nations.  The panel included women with direct experience at varying levels in their careers and men who have played mentor roles and/or have observed what women face in international leadership roles.


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Year 2017

Virginia Giuffre SVP, Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch was awarded the Women

of Fire Award by the New England Family Business Council in October.  


Virginia was recognized for her leadership of women in the financial industry as well as her volunteer efforts, both at the IWFCT and at the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.   “While she serves a diverse client base, Virginia has always been a real champion for the financial empowerment of women,” noted Mary Barneby IWFCT member and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Featured Members

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Year 2017

Nancy May, President and CEO of The BoardBench Companies, was cited in Forbes as one of America’s governance experts.


Nancy hosts The Boardrooms’ Best Podcast, which has debuted and is available on the sites      below:



Welcoming New Members

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Year 2017

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Meredith Reuben to the IWFCT Membership

Meredith is the owner and and CEO of EBP Supply Solutions, a wholesale distributor of janitorial and food service supplies with three distribution centers (Milford, CT, Tewskbury, MA and Cranbury, NJ).

Featured Members

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Year 2017

Paddi LeShane, was recently featured in the article,

“Connecticut’s Largest Lobbying Firms Led by Women,” published in the Hartford Business Journal on January 9, 2017.  Congratulations Paddi!

Featured Members

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Year 2017

On January 16th, IWFCT member Marilyn Ford delivered the keynote address at the 3rd Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Stamford Community Breakfast, sponsored by the Stamford Community Collective.


Marilyn is the Neil Cogan Public Service Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University, and also serves as the Secretary to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  She also delivered the keynote address at the Westport tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held on Sunday, January 15th at the Westport Country Playhouse.  For additional details see article

Featured Members

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Year 2017

Marie Meliksetian CEO, Reliance Solution Services, was a panelist at a recent all-day

discussion of the pressing issue on Privacy and Security in the Era of Big Data at the

Annual Impact Symposium hosted by Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics.  


In line of this growing area, Marie recently completed several Certifications in Data and

Cyber Security which includes developing programs for businesses, detecting and mitigating

Cyber threats and attacks, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT) and more.  As an extended area,

she has also completed IBM Blockchain certification.  To address some of the gaps that exist

in this area, Marie has released a paper on the topic of “Data and Cyber Security in

Procurement and Supply Chain” available at the Reliance Solution Services website.


Marie also recently joined the board of The Executive Forum as the Special Interest Group (SIG) Chair.  The SIGs include groups in the areas of Private Equity, Angel Investment, Brand & Trends, M.E.D.I.A. and others.

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