She never once considered her age, said Pat Flicker Addiss, Broadway producer and founder of 2nd ACT, a monthly storytelling series featuring women over 50.
“But, at the age of 50, other women become frozen because they are empty nesters, their husbands died or left them, or they’ve stopped working, and they don’t know what to do,” Addiss said. “But, I feel everyone still has skills to use.”
Addiss took part in a fireside chat with Vanessa Tyler, the Emmy Award-winning reporter, anchor and executive producer of “The Spot,” at the Leading Women Entrepreneurs’ 8th annual recognition event on Monday in Jersey City, honoring 25 top women entrepreneurs and 25 top “intrapreneurs,” or women who have driven value for their companies, in the state.
“I got married very young and all I wanted to do was have six children — but that is not what my husband wished for,” Addiss continued.
After 10 years, Addiss’ husband left her and her three children.
“I had no choice but to start a business to support my family,” she said.
Then, after 30 years of running Pat Addiss Enterprises, a promotions company that provided every conceivable widget with a company logo, Addiss began producing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows in 2005, beginning with “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life.”
She has since produced shows such as “Spring Awakening,” “Little Women” and “A Christmas Story: The Musical.”
Linda Wellbrock said remarkable women such as Addiss too often go unnoticed.
“Women, especially, need to hold the theme of reinvention true, because I think we must pivot more often than men in life,” said Wellbrock, founder and CEO of Leading Women Entrepreneurs, a for-profit visibility platform for women leaders in New Jersey.
More than 450 attended Wednesday’s event to honor colleagues and friends.
“These are the women business owners and corporate leaders who excel in innovation and advocacy for women,” Wellbrock said. “This prestigious group of women was selected out of hundreds of impressive nominations based on their strong business acumen and ability to both influence and inspire within their respective industries.”
The entrepreneurs honored were:
- Julie Ambrose, Product Central
- Denise Boudreau-Scott, Drive
- Beth Burke, BSTV Entertainment
- Maria Cappello, MedTile
- Lisa Carver, The Execu-Search Group
- Cathy Choi, Bulbrite
- Sharon Danzger, Control Chaos
- Mary Dougherty, Team Dougherty Real Estate at RE/MAX Select
- Ruth Dugan, Leading Woman Philanthrophy
- Gina Esa, CNC Construction
- Erica Ferry, Erica Ferry & Associates
- Talia Filippelli, Starr Therapy
- Patricia Fisher-Dally, Sunrise Tile Services
- Caroline Gosselin, The Gosselin Group of Prominent Properties Sotheby
- Rachael Grochowski, RHG Architecture + Design
- Robin Klein, Fashion Retail Group
- Orli Langer, Perinatal Associates
- Collette Liantonio, Concepts TV Productions
- Chrisanne Palazzi, Innovative Network Solutions
- Cristina Pinzon, Stateside Affairs
- Mindy Scheier, Runway of Dreams Foundation
- Lisa Tirone, Chef It Up and Chef It Up 2 Go
- Desiree Watson, Wellness Interactive
- Laurel Whitney, Push Beverages
- Lisa Lieberman Wang, Fine to Fab
The intrapreneurs honored were:
- Michele Ansbacher, executive-in-residence at Montclair State University
- Kathleen Barnett Einhorn, Genova Burns
- Alicia Bateman, Ralph Lauren
- Yin C. Becker, Stryker
- Cynthia Beveridge, Aon
- Gail Callandrillo, Valley Health System
- Mary Che, Connell Foley LLP
- Pamela Cornell, Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Sarah Ferrington, Atlantic Stewardship Bank
- Stacy Gilbert, Citrin Cooperman
- Casey Gocel, Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C.
- Dawn Hall, FTI Consulting
- Brett R. Harris, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A.
- Barbara Johnson, Thomas Edison State University
- Randi Kochman, Cole Schotz P.C.
- Kelley Kurtzman, Verizon
- Diane Menard, Prestige Title Agency
- Cheryl Michael, CentralReach
- Allison Nagelberg, Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp.
- Karen Parisi, CentralReach
- Rosalie Serapiglia, PSEG Services Corporation
- Christine A. Stearns, Gibbons P.C.
- Bhavna Tailor, Eastwick College
- Judy Troiano, NAI James E. Hanson
- Joanie Walsh, Fedway Associates
Leading Women Entrepreneurs has honored more than 500 women since Wellbrock founded the organization in 2009, all of whom will be recognized at Leading Women Entrepreneurs’ inaugural “Force for Change” conference on Nov. 14 at the Newark Marriott, featuring speakers such as first lady Tammy Murphy and the Grammy Award-winning Chaka Khan.
Learn more here.