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OUR 2020 Stories & News


Virginia P'an.jpg
Nov 30, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Virginia P'an who was nominated and receiving on Dec. 3 the "Sustainable Supplier of the Year" award from the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) as a trailblazer in advancing the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

As many of you know, Virginia is the Founder & CEO of Yumi EcoSolutions Inc., an award winning sustainable consumer products company.   Her company is an environmentally conscious manufacturer of innovative, premium quality products made from sustainable and renewable bio-materials.  In addition to the two successful eco-friendly product lines, Virginia is also advising companies in developing sustainable packaging for consumer products utilizing her company's expertise in bio-materials technologies.  Previously Virginia held various Senior executive positions including with American Express and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


Feel free to join the celebration on Dec. 3 and register at the following link 

Meanwhile, please take a minute and reach out to Virginia to congratulate her on this special award.


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Nov 28, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Valarie Gelb who was appointed as the Treasurer of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) during its 55th National Council Session (NCS) that took place virtually on October 23, through Monday, October 25.

As many of you know, Valarie is the CEO of Gelb Business Growth Advisors providing strategy and consulting for Businesses and Non Profit organizations.  Previously Valarie held various Senior executive positions including Mastercard International and Global Fund for Women.


Valarie received her BA and MBA in Finance and Economics from Baldwin-Wallace University and earned her Women's Director Development degree from Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management. 

More information about Valarie's appointment can be found at the following link

Please take a minute and reach out to Valarie to congratulate her and to wish her the best in her new Board role.

Welcoming New Member

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November 1, 2020

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Tekisha Everette as one of our new members. 

Tekisha is currently the Executive Director at Health Equity Solutions (HES) and is the Principal and Founder of TDE Consulting Group.

Before taking the helm of Health Equity Solutions (HES), she served as the Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs with the American Diabetes Association, where she provided strategic leadership on policy and advocacy initiatives with the White House, several federal agencies, and Congress, which led to important victories for people with and at risk for diabetes. Prior to this, Everette worked as a government relations consultant with Drinker, Biddle, and Reath, LLC, where she represented the interests of several nonprofit health care organizations on issues such as health reform, Medicare, Medicaid, and federal appropriations. Everette has also worked for the Service Employees International Union, RESI, the State of Maryland, and the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation.


Everette earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology from American University with a concentration in race, gender, and social justice as it relates to social policy.  She received her Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Center of Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies from the same institution.  She currently holds a faculty appointment at the Yale School of Public Health.


Everette is an alumna of the Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders and the National Urban Fellows America’s Leaders of Change program. She is a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Association of Black Sociologists, and a member of The Links, Inc. and the Connecticut Public Health Association. She is a founding member of two black giving circles – the Black Benefactors (Washington, DC) and the Black Giving Circle of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving (Hartford, CT).

Additional information can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

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September 17, 2020

IWFCT is pleased to welcome Shari Aser as one of our new members. 

Shari is currently the Vice President for North America Digital Sales at IBM.  In her role, Shari is responsible for leading and implementing the strategy, business growth, and client satisfaction across IBM's Digital Offerings, Sales Acceleration team, and Digital Sales Development Organization for both the US and Canada.  She has direct management for more than 200 employees and $1.5B in new marketing lead creation across C&C Software, services and systems.

Previously Shari was the Director of IBM's Digital Sales for Software Solutions, where she led an organization of highly experienced sales professionals and was responsible for strategy, business growth, and client satisfaction for IBM's Digital Software Sales business. 

She has also served as the Chief of Staff to IBM's North America's General Manager where she was responsible for managing the effective operations of the office. In her 22 years with IBM, Shari held numerous sales leadership positions including Business Unit Executive for Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure solutions, Software Sales Manager for Financial Markets and Insurance Industries, and Client Exec for Goldman Sachs and Bank of New York Mellon.

As an engineer with a job in technology, Shari is passionate in supporting and mentoring high school women to pursue STEM studies in college.  As an IBM executive, she serves as a sponsor and advocate for the advancement of women employees to achieve the certification as distinguished engineers.  She has served on the New York Jr League Board of Directors and the council head to promote volunteerism, developing women and improving communities through effective leadership. 

Shari received her Bachelor in Science in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and her MBA from Cornell University - S.C. JohnsonGraduate School of Management.

Additional information can be found at the following link


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September 7, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Nancy May for the release of her new book called "How to Survive 911 Medical Emergencies: Step-by-Step Before, During, After!"


The book lays out a smarter process, that can improve the odds that your elderly parent, and you as a caregiver, have a successful outcome (i.e., survive) when going through an urgent care emergency. That means getting yourself, your family, your charge, your home, and your environment ready for a medical emergency. This great resource lays out, in an easy-to-follow format, what you need to do to be "responder ready." Being prepared helps you make better decisions on giving critical aid that can keep your loved one stable until EMTs, Paramedics, or other professional help arrives. You’ll see quick tips on how to get responders to your aging parent or special needs child quickly, and learn how to be as helpful as you can while they are there. 

More information about the book can be found at the following link

Please take a minute and reach out to Nancy to congratulate her and support her in sharing the book with others while sharing your reviews on the website.


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September 7, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Michele Etzel for her appointment as the Chair of the Villanova School of Business Dean's Advisory Council starting May 2020.  Michele has also been elected in December 2019 as a Director on the Board of Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA).  


CBIA is the voice of business in Connecticut with thousands of member companies championing change at the State Capitol, shaping debate about economic competitiveness, and fighting for a better future for all. 


Michele is the CEO of National Enterprise Solutions, a privately women owned and WBENC certified business providing customized solutions to clients in the manufacturing, print, marketing, advertising, medical, education, finance and nonprofit fields.  Michele also continues to oversee National Graphics Inc., a family business office.  Michele's roles make her an ideal leader for advising the Villanova School of Business Dean's Advisory Council and helping Connecticut Businesses at a larger scale through CBIA. 


Michele holds a BS in Accountancy from Villanova University and a Management Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University. 


Please take a minute and reach out to Michele to congratulate her and to wish her the best in her roles..


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July 29, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Mary Barneby who was announced as the American Red Cross Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Greater New York Region (New York, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland Counties and Greenwich, Conn.).  Mary will assume her new role on September 14, 2020.


In her role, Mary will oversee Red Cross service delivery to support the 12 million people who live in the region. In the 12-month period between July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020, those services included:

  • providing immediate emergency assistance including temporary housing, food and clothing, comfort and support to families after 2253 home fires and other disasters;

  • making 11,579 households safer through the installation of 35,188 free smoke alarms as part of the Home Fire Campaign;

  • teaching 55,025 people life-saving Health & Safety skills such as CPR and First Aid;

  • providing 6204 case services to support members of the military, veterans, and their families; and

  • helping collect 7096 lifesaving blood donations from volunteer donors.

As many of you know, Mary is currently the CEO for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.  During her tenure, she successfully led a major transformation of volunteer support systems with a focus on streamlining volunteer onboarding and introducing services improvement.  Prior to joining the Girl Scouts in 2012, Mary held various executive positions in the financial services industry, including at UBS and Merrill Lynch.


Mary received her undergraduate degree from NYU and earned her MBA in finance from Fordham University. 

More information about Mary's appointment can be found at the following link

Please take a minute and reach out to Mary to congratulate her and to wish her the best in her new role.


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July 29, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Dolores Ennico who was nominated to the RBC Bearings' Board of Directors  to be elected on September 9, 2020.  RBC Bearings Incorporated is a leading international manufacturer of highly engineered precision bearings and components for industrial, aerospace and defense industries. 

As many of you know, Dolores served as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Olin Corporation, a fortune 500 vertically-integrated global manufacturer and distributor of chemical products and leading U.S. manufacturer of ammunition.  Dolores was a key member of the executive team helping drive financial results, global growth and employee engagement through the design and deliver of human capital systems, processes and solutions.

Dolores has also been on the Board of the University of New Haven since 2011 and Chair of the Academic & Student Affairs Committee since 2016.  Dolores also serves as a member of the Advisory Council at Sacred Heart Academy, a committee she has represented since 2016.  Dolores was recently elected a Board member of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Dolores holds a BS in Microbiology and an MS in Biochemistry from Southern Connecticut State University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of New Haven. 

More information about Dolores's appointment can be found at the following link

Please take a minute and reach out to Dolores to congratulate her and to wish her the best in her role.

Welcoming New Member

Jane Whitney.jpg
July 24, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Jane Whitney as one of our new members. 

Jane is currently the moderator and Managing Editor for the CPTV (CT Public Television) series "Conversations on the Green" which features nationally known voices on topical issues in an interactive setting.  The programs are also broadcast virtually to benefit charities involved in helping victims of the coronavirus pandemic.  She also manages two family foundations which support services for domestic violence victims, the homeless and at-risk children and is a consultant and special events producer for political campaigns and non-profit organizations.


During her 25-year career in television, Jane was a correspondent for NBC News based in Central America and a reporter for "Entertainment Tonight." Ms. Whitney also anchored broadcasts for PBS, CNN and CNBC.  Finally, she was dubbed a "recovering talk show host" by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd after she hosted the Warner Bros. nationally syndicated TV program "The Jane Whitney Show." Her political columns and social commentary have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine and The New York Observer.

Additional information can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

Martha Crawford.jpg
July 24, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Martha Crawford as one of our new members. 

Martha is the Dean of Welch College of Business and Technology at the Sacred Heart University.  Her Background is rich across multiple roles and companies.  Most recently she was a Professor of Practice at the Harvard Business School.  Previously Martha was the Director General at L'Oreal, Sr Vice President at Areva and Air Liquide and multiple other roles and companies.

Martha has and continues to be on multiple boards as an Independent Director.  This includes Suez, a Water Waste Management company; Altran Technologies, an engineering and technology consulting company; and ISPEN Pharmaceutical.

Martha received her BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona and her MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs and her PhD in Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Harvard University


Additional information can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

Sohini Roy.jpg
July 24, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Sohini Roy as one of our new members. 

Sohini is an entrepreneurial, yet institutional, CFO responsible for shaping enterprise value in a capital efficient manner.  Her background include experience in navigating accounting, liquidity & tax challenges, raising capital, designing & scaling controls, and building & managing operating platforms. She also has track record in transforming talent by creating high performing teams across organizations.  

Sohini is on the board of Nexeeer Capital, a Private Equity (PE) owned mid ticket equipment finance company.   Prior to joining the board at the end of June, Sohini was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Senior Executive Team member for Nexseer Capital.  Previously Sohini was the Co-founder and CFO of Allsop MyR+A, a Fintech Software company in the UK and Stamford, CT.  Sohini's has had a rich background and roles across companies such as Bridgewater Associates, Diageo, Majestic Research Inc, Roy Consulting Inc., Avatar Investor Associates, Prime Time Holdings LLC, International Foreign Exchange Concepts Inc. and Thompson International.

Sohini received her BS in Accounting from Franklin and Marshall College and an MBA from New York University, Stern School of Business.


Additional information can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

Deirdre Kalamani.jpg
July 20, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Vanessa Richards as one of our new members. 

Vanessa is an accomplished investigator, attorney, leader, and manager with extensive experience in complex factual investigations, litigation, cyber security, and export compliance. Trusted advisor on a full range of legal issues as well as procedures for minimizing cyber risk, managing incident response, and remediating data breaches. Trial counsel and senior litigator on high-profile national and international cases. Frequent instructor and trainer on legal topics. 

Vanessa currently serves as the Head of the Fraud Defense Command Center at PayPal. In this role, she collaborates and coordinates with various teams within the company’s Risk, Cyber, and Global Investigation groups to identify, triage and mitigate fraud.  Previously, Vanessa held multiple positions including the role of the Deputy Chief and Assistant District Attorney, National Security and Cyber Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Connecticut, Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan's District Attorney's office, Litigation Associate at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman, LLP and Paul,, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. 

Vanessa received her BA in Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University and her Doctor of Law, JD from the University of Pennsylvania


Additional information can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

Deirdre Kalamani.jpg
July 17, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Dr. Deirdre Kamlani as one of our new members. 

Dr. Kamlani is a board member, economic policy advisor and former banking executive who has lived and worked in the US, Europe and Asia.


She currently serves as a director of the Case Method Institute for Education and Democracy, the Institute for American Ideals and the League of Women Voters of Greenwich. Her board work focuses on protecting and strengthening our democracy, contributing to public policy research and advocating for reforms which lead to greater citizen participation in government.


Dr. Kamlani has acted as an issues director, economic policy advisor and treasury manager on political campaigns for candidates running for the US Senate, Connecticut State Senate and Connecticut General Assembly. Her aim in state races has been to help outstanding first-time women candidates develop robust economic platforms aligned with their values.


Dr. Kamlani spent more than two decades at JP Morgan Chase, where she built and led businesses in several areas including investment banking, institutional asset management, and credit risk policy. She worked on landmark acquisition financings for major U.S. corporations and acted as an investment advisor to central banks across Asia during the 1997 financial crisis.


Dr. Kamlani completed her PhD in political economy in 2008 at the London School of Economics. Her academic research interests include financial crisis, sovereign default and financial regulatory reform. Her publications explore the power dynamic between bondholders and sovereign debtors from the early 19th century to the present.


While in London, Dr. Kamlani also served as the head of the Policy Action Network for Economics, Finance and Regulation, a group that focused on global macroeconomic policy, the banking sector and financial regulatory reform.


Dr. Kamlani received her BA, summa cum laude, from Columbia University in Philosophy and Economics. She earned her MSc in International Political Economy (Hons.) and her PhD from the London School of Economics.

Additional information can be found at the following link


Debra Hertz.jpg
July 9, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Debra Hertz for her appointment as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Liberation Programs, Inc (LPI), starting its new fiscal year on July 1, 2020.

Liberation Programs provides prevention, treatment, and recovery services to help individuals and their families impacted by substance use and mental health conditions to foster hope and maintain wellness.

Debra's role as a management consultant and founder of The Strategy Group, LLC with over 25 years advising nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, makes her the ideal chair for the Board of LPI. 


Debra holds a PhD. and Master of Social Work from Fordham University where she also teaches leadership courses in the Graduate School of Social Service.  A Darien resident, she is on the Board of Directors of Achievement First - Bridgeport. 

More information about Debra's appointment and LPI can be found at the following link

Please take a minute and reach out to Debra to congratulate her and to wish her the best in her role.


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July 1, 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Molly Gavin for moving forward with Connecticut Community Care (CCC) as she retires from her President position.  


Molly came to CCC’s predecessor, the SAIL (Strengthened Assistance for Independent Living) Project at the North Central Area Agency on Aging in 1976, a 26-year-old “kid” wanting to change the world. Thanks to decades of stellar Board, Corporator and staff dedication, she has, in fact, done just that. Every single night over 9,000 clients and their families are resting a little easier because CCC is in their lives.


Under her leadership, CCC worked decisively and collaboratively with public and private stakeholders in the development of the Connecticut Home Care Program, Money Follows the Person and Community First Choice.  They joined forces with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, the Congregation of Notre Dame and countless elder care attorneys and probate judges to provide customized care management to their private clientele.  They spoke in hundreds of classrooms and lecture halls across the country sharing their unique brand of care management; one of the most respected and emulated models in the nation. 

Molly stated "over the years I have been blessed with extraordinary teachers; primarily our clients and our staff. Clients share decades of lived experience, from the Depression to World War II, to the joy and suffering of their own lives. Their resilience never ceases to amaze me. They never stop reminding us to always allow them to direct the course of their own lives in any and every way possible. Our staff, on the other hand, share all the challenging lessons of teamwork, negotiation, prioritization and perspective; learning that have served me well".  More information about Molly's announcement can be found at the following link.

Effective August 3, 2020, Julia Evans Starr will succeed Molly as the President of Connecticut Community Care.

Please take a minute and reach out to Molly to congratulate her and to wish her the best in the next chapter of her life. 


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July 2020

Join us in congratulating our own Lynn Nowicki Clarke for her appointment to the board of A. Duie Pyle Transportation & Logistics in the Philadelphia area.  

This 90+ year old company serves the North eastern part of the US.  They operate warehouse, distribution, trucking, logistics and LTL businesses.     


Lynn is an independent director, Chair & CEO with executive experience in Fortune 50 companies, private equity firms and e-commerce.  She has worked in a variety of industries including: CPG, digital, home goods, energy, food service, manufacturing, distribution, and technology.   


To date she has served on more than 10 boards.  Lynn has also been an executive at PepsiCo and General Mills with roles in general management, branding, strategy, operations, manufacturing and distribution.  After serving as CEO for two PE companies, she acquired and recently sold an award-winning digital, direct to consumer e-commerce business in the upscale branded kitchen products category.  She is also a frequent speaker on entrepreneurial adventures, the independent director role and board governance.vernance. 

More information about Lynn can be found at the following link

Please take a minute and reach out to Lynn to congratulate her and to wish her the best in her role.

Welcoming New Member

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June 15, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Susan Dunn as one of our new members. 
Susan is a Consultant and Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. 
Susan Dunn joined United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut (UWCNCT) in 1990 as communications director and was named president and chief executive officer in 2006. She was the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1924. Susan was responsible for achieving a record high of $28 million in the annual fundraising effort, leadership giving, communications and public relations along with administrative responsibilities for the organization.
Since retiring, Susan co-founded “Beyond Books,” a speaker’s series on current issues for retired professional women in Greater Hartford. In addition, she has hosted several national webinars for UWRA and co-hosts a monthly Zoom “Idea Exchange” for United Way professionals nationally.  Susan is currently, serving as a paid consultant to United Way of New York City, chairs the board of NCCJ of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, a corporator of Hartford Hospital and an Ambassador for the Village for Families and Children and Secretary of the board of the United Way Retirees Association.
Susan was named one of Greater Hartford’s 50 Most Influential People (Hartford Magazine, July 2008, 2009, 2010) and the Hartford Business Journal 2008 Nonprofit Executive of the Year. In 2016, she received a Rising Star Award from the MetroHartford Alliance for her 25 years of service to the Greater Hartford community. 
Susan is one of the first women graduates of Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, cum laude. She resides in Clinton, CT with her husband, Ned, and has three adult children.

Additional information on Susan's background can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

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April 14, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Penny Maxwell as one of our new members. 
Penny is the Chief Financial Officer of IBM Canada with the responsibility of managing IBM Canada's Finance and Operations inclusive of Finance & Planning, Pricing, Tax, Treasury, Real Estate, Procurement, CIO and Enterprise Operations.  Penny is a Connecticut resident on assignment to Canada. 
Prior to her role, Penny had multiple roles at IBM ranging from Director of Finance for Watson and Cloud Platforms, Global Business Services.  Her scope has been both US and global in nature.  In addition to Canada, Penny had assignments to Singapore and Spain.  
Penny is involved in various women initiatives at IBM including the advancement of Women in Finance to executive ranks.  Great progress has been made to date and more in progress.  Penny is also engaged in building leadership and external eminence to women in sales through robust programs for both executives and non-executive women.  This includes how to get involved externally, to share expertise publicly, to participate on boards and more.

Penny has a Masters of Science in Accounting from Louisiana State University and a Bachelors of Science in Accounting, Math and Spanish Minors from Missouri State University

Additional information on Penny's background can be found at the following link

Welcoming New Member

January 24, 2020
IWFCT is pleased to welcome Laura Skandera Trombley as one of our new members. 

Laura is the President of the University of Bridgeport.  She is president emerita of Pitzer College and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Previously, she served as vice president for academic affairs at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A preeminent Mark Twain scholar, she has coupled impassioned advocacy for the humanities with deft and strategic leadership to transform some of the country’s most important cultural and academic institutions.  Laura is also a consultant to the Libra Foundation, a private foundation with $260 million in endowments, and the Harrington-Schiff Foundation. It supports nonprofits working in the areas of community-based health, the environment, arts, and culture.

Laura is "leading the University’s efforts to assert its value in uniquely combining career-oriented education with a strong tradition of local, regional, and international recruiting".

Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in English/Humanities and her Masters of Arts in English from Pepperdine University. She received her PhD in English from the University of Southern California as a Virginia Barbara Middleton Scholar and a recipient of the Lester and Irene Finkelstein Fellowship for Outstanding Humanities Student.

Additional information on Laura's background can be found at the following link

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