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2021 Women in Business Honorees

Leading the way, despite it all

There are many inspiring things about women leading organizations in our region- the range of industries they represent, the obstacles they overcome and the milestones they achieve. 

Hartford Business Journal's Women in Business awards are an annual opportunity to recognize those at the forefront. The challenges of COVID make the honorees that much more significant, having shown resilience during uncertain times. 

Nominated by readers and chosen by a panel of independent judges, 25 women are honored here. 

Their stories of success have a few things in common: Strong mentors- men and women- have helped these leaders with workplace challenges, professional development and like-minded camaraderie.

COVID has posed difficulties, for sure, but networking of support have helped organizations and its leaders make it through. In turn, leaders profiled here are committed to mentoring others, building strong professional communities that breed cyclical success. COVID gave them no choice but to adapt, and within that adaptation they sought opportunities for growth, insight and advancement. It leaves them, and their companies, stronger.

Across industries

The representation gap for women in the C-Suite is gradually closing, across the board. Executives within these pages represent government, healthcare, culture, finance, education, marketing, nonprofits, real estate, construction and more. More representation leads to more mentors, and more support in the ranks. 

HBJ is happy to document women leading the way with Women in Business. We are proud to present the nominees and their achievements.

We thank our nominees, the community, our panel of judges, Lucy Gilson, Associate Dean for Faculty & Outreach at the UConn School of Business, Kate Baumann, Chief Investor Relations Officer at MetroHartford Alliance and Gail Lebert, Director of Partnership Development at Klingberg Family Centers. 

We also thank our Education Leadership Sponsor UConn School of Business and Supporting Sponsor UHY LLP.

Let's hear it for another successful year ahead!

2021 Honorees

  • Andrea Ravitz
    Andrea Ravitz
    Director, Marketing & Communications, Access Health CT
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  • Christine Cappiello
    Christine Cappiello
    Senior Director, Government Relations, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut
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  • Christine O'Rourke
    Christine O'Rourke
    Chief Operating Officer, FoodShare
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  • Colleen McGuire
    Colleen McGuire
    Co-Founder and CEO, Silver Fern Healthcare
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  • Elizabeth	Johnson, Ph.D.
    Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D.
    Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Post University
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  • Emily Bailey
    Emily Bailey
    Managing Principal, OneDigital Health & Benefits, CT
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  • Erin Hatzikostas
    Erin Hatzikostas
    Founder and CEO, b Authentic inc
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  • Ilene Frank
    Ilene Frank
    Chief Curator, Connecticut Historical Society
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  • Karen Donorfio
    Karen Donorfio
    Vice President of Operations, Apple Rehab
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  • Kate	Pendergast
    Kate Pendergast
    Vice President of institutional Advancement, University of Hartford
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  • Kathleen Christensen
    Kathleen Christensen
    Partner, Connecticut Wealth Management, LLC
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  • Kathryn Redican
    Kathryn Redican
    Chief Operating Officer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties
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  • Lakisha Hyatt
    Lakisha Hyatt
    Chief Executive Officer, Connecticut Valley Hospital
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  • Lesa Vanotti
    Lesa Vanotti
    President & CEO, Torrington Savings Bank
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  • Madhavi Gorusu, M.D., MBA
    Madhavi Gorusu, M.D., MBA
    Hematologist & Oncologist, Starling Physicians, Hartford Healthcare, Kritnad, LLC
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  • Melissa Sheffy
    Melissa Sheffy
    Owner, Network Interiors, Inc.; Network Framing Solutions, and Network Design & Construction
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  • Neha Nathwani
    Neha Nathwani
    Tax Principal, UHY Advisors
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  • Nicole Wagner
    Nicole Wagner
    Chief Executive Officer, LambdaVision, Inc.
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  • Rebecca Hopkins
    Rebecca Hopkins
    Project Architect, Manager of Emerging Technology, Tecton Architects
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  • Reem Nouh
    Reem Nouh
    SVP, Strategic Services, Adams & Knight, Inc.
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  • Sabrina Trocchi
    Sabrina Trocchi
    President and CEO, Wheeler
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  • Shanyelle Young
    Shanyelle Young
    Broker and Owner, S Young Realty & Associates, LLC
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  • Shari Cantor
    Shari Cantor
    Mayor, Town of West Hartford
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  • Sharon Traficante
    Sharon Traficante
    Deputy Executive Director - Administration, Connecticut Airport Authority
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  • Susan Martin
    Susan Martin
    Chief Financial Officer, Middlesex Health System
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