The 2017 Top 25 Leading Women Intrapreneurs recognition event, held Monday at the Liberty House in Jersey City, celebrated business leaders within corporations who have advocated for women and have directly turned ideas into innovative solutions for their companies.
“We introduced the intrapreneur awards category three years ago, after having only been focused on entrepreneurs,” Linda Wellbrock, founder and CEO of Leading Women Entrepreneurs, said. “After receiving almost 1,000 nominations this year, we decided it was time to give intrapreneurs their own event.
“Everywhere we are, we see smart, driven women like our honorees succeeding. We see them contributing wildly innovative ideas to businesses and leading them to greatness. We see them hiring and training underserved populations, contributing to charities and really helping to design new progressive solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems.”
Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP, gave the keynote address.
Engelbert said that when Deloitte gave her the top job in 2015 — becoming the first Big Four accounting firm to name a female as chief — she personally viewed it as a huge accomplishment.
She just didn’t understand the gravity of her promotion.
“What I didn’t realize was what a big deal it was to everyone else to be the first woman CEO in the professional services industry,” she said. “I said, ‘Wow, we have got to get this from novelty to norm.’ ”
The honorees had plenty to say. Here’s a look at some of their thoughts, followed by a complete list of names:
- “When you work for a large corporation like I do, you have to balance between driving results and needing to sometimes slow down, collaborate and get people on board.” — Chris Costello, vice president of sales, AT&T Business Northeast
- “My goal this year is to be a lot more cognizant and mindful of how, as a leader, my interactions, actions, emotions and day-to-day way of behaving affects the way the rest of our team feels.” — Alexis Breslin, vice president of human resources, Solidia Technologies
- “What keeps me up at night is the fact that the performing arts, and what is entertaining to people, is constantly changing.” — Anna Marie Gewirtz, CEO and president, State Theatre New Jersey
- “How I best define success is when I help someone else be successful, too.” — Sally Glick, principal, chief growth strategist, Sobel & Co.
- “I reinvented myself within the legal profession three times. I have been my own change on more than one occasion.” — Michelle Schaap, member, cybersecurity and construction, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
- “There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to care, but I think that this health care environment creates that type of system. In the end, I do believe that delivering the best care possible will ultimately triumph.” — Elizabeth Straus, executive vice president, CareOne
Here’s a look at the 2017 Top 25 Leading Women Intrapreneurs:
- Karen M. Barnes, president, Woodbridge Metro Chamber of Commerce
- Mary Ann Beltz, vice president, territory sales manager, Valley National Bank
- Alexis Breslin, vice president of human resources, Solidia Technologies
- Allison Colantuoni, principal, director of human resources, Maser Consulting
- Linda Corso, procurement manager, Turner Construction Co.
- Chris Costello, vice president of sales, AT&T Business Northeast
- Linda Cutler, director of marketing, Empire Valuation Consultants
- Michellene Davis, executive vice president, chief corporate affairs officer, RWJBarnabas Health
- Helen Flores, executive director, West Essex YMCA Branch
- Kim Fox, senior health care communications executive, Johnson & Johnson
- Sylvie Gadant, partner, Citrin Cooperman
- Anna Marie Gewirtz, CEO and president, State Theatre New Jersey
- Sally Glick, principal, chief growth strategist, Sobel & Co.
- Regina Hartley, vice president of human resources, UPS Technology and Engineering
- Ana Kaplun, senior human resources specialist, ExxonMobil Corp.
- Lynn Killeen, first vice president of private client services, HUB international
- Michelle Lifschitz, senior manager, CohnReznick LLP
- Suzanne Midlige, founding and managing partner, Coughlin Duffy LLP
- Elena Polansky, senior leader in global procurement, Pfizer
- Michelle Schaap, member, cybersecurity and construction, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
- Bernadette Sohler, vice president of corporate affairs, Middlesex Water Co.
- Angela Stelle, global head of customer experience, Dun & Bradstreet
- Elizabeth Straus, executive vice president, CareOne
- Rose A. Suriano, partner, Brach Eichler LLC
- Jessica Viotto, commercial treasury management officer, PNC Bank
- Ronnie Weyl, executive director, Raritan Valley Community College Foundation