Women’s Venture Fund Honors Leading Women in Business for their Professional Achievements and Continuous Support of Women Entrepreneurs

The Women’s Venture Fund, Inc. (WVF) will be honoring five women this year for its “Highest Leaf Awards.” These women have made significant impacts in their industries and exemplify the balance between outcome and responsibility in their workplaces, all while continuing to nurture other women in business.

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The Highest Leaf Awards celebrates women who represent the characteristics we try to instill in our own clients: bold, strategic thinking, creativity and the ability to deal with uncertainty in order to grow to the next level of success.

New York, NY (PRWEB) May 29, 2014

The Women’s Venture Fund, Inc. (WVF) will be honoring five women this year for its “Highest Leaf Awards”. These women have made significant impacts in their industries and exemplify the balance between outcome and responsibility in their workplaces, all while continuing to nurture other women in business. The 2014 honorees are:

  •     Sharon Callahan, CEO of LLNS (an Omnicom Group Company)
  •     Maureen D. (O’Connor) Cretella, CEO of Center Sheet Metal, Inc. (CSM)
  •     Lori Epstein, Vice President, Advanced Markets, Financial Planning and Special Needs Planning of MetLife Premier Client Group
  •     Eileen O'Donnell, Director, Health Advisory M&A Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  •     Nora Plesent, Founder and Managing Partner of Lexolution, LLC

Lynda Baquero, NBC4 New York’s Consumer Reporter and host of the Better Get Baquero and Freebie Friday segments, will be the host for this year’s awards.    

This annual award celebrates trailblazing women business executives who have shown outstanding leadership. The honorees were evaluated on their career achievements, successes within their industries, creative use of resources and their commitment to mentoring others. The awards will be presented at a breakfast on June 4th.

Maria Otero, WVF’s Founder and President said, “The Women’s Venture Fund is proud to recognize these remarkable women. As business leaders in their respective sectors, they set a standard for aspiring entrepreneurs to emulate as they build their businesses. Our honorees understand the importance of developing talent while pursuing business goals.”

WVF supports women entrepreneurs through training, coaching and small business loans. “The Highest Leaf Awards celebrates women who represent the characteristics we try to instill in our own clients: bold, strategic thinking, creativity and the ability to deal with uncertainty in order to grow to the next level of success.” said Ms. Otero.

The breakfast will be held at the Harvard Club 35 West 44th Street, New York, on Wednesday, June 4th at 8:00 a.m. The 2014 Highest Leaf Award Sponsors are: LLNS, CSM, MetLife, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lexolution.

About the Women’s Venture Fund
Founded in 1994, The Women's Venture Fund (WVF) is a nonprofit organization that offers courses, business consultations and micro loans to help women establish thriving businesses in urban communities. By troubleshooting specific challenges and encouraging women to share their experiences with other entrepreneurs, WVF is able to expedite the growth of businesses participating in our programs. To date, Women’s Venture Fund has impacted the lives of more than 13,000 women. To learn more about Women’s Venture Fund, visit: http://www.wvf-ny.org/.

2014 Highest Leaf Honorees

Sharon Callahan
CEO of LLNS, an Omnicom Group Company
Sharon is CEO of LLNS, an integrated healthcare communications group of companies that has global capabilities in professional, consumer, and economic buyer promotion as well as public relations. In addition, over the past five years, Sharon has led global agency consolidations across disciplines and geographies for several of Omnicom's largest healthcare clients, and along the way has developed engaging innovative approaches for teamwork between agencies and their clients.

Maureen D. (O'Connor) Cretella
Chief Executive Office of Center Sheet Metal, Inc.
Maureen is a second generation family-owned sheet metal company located in the Bronx, New York. After 19 years with CSM, Maureen became owner and CEO of the company her father, James W. O’Connor, built along with his business partner, Joseph Gany. CSM is known for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning construction in commercial facilities; their work can be found throughout the five boroughs, from hospitals like NYU Langone and Memorial Sloan Kettering, to other facilities such as the JetBlue International Terminal at JFK Airport and the new Yankee Stadium, to highlight a few.

Lori Epstein
Vice President, Advanced Markets, Financial Planning and Special Needs Planning,
MetLife Premier Client Group
In her 20 years with MetLife, Lori has served in various positions related to estate and business planning. Currently, she and her team are responsible for providing sophisticated estate, business and retirement planning case design assistance to top-tier representatives and financial planners. In addition, support for planning for families with special needs dependents, planning support for nontraditional couples and financial planning services are part of the package of solutions that she and her team bring to the table. Lori is a driving force behind MetLife’s policy standards and its value proposition as it relates to estate, business and retirement.

Eileen O'Donnell
Director, Health Advisory M&A Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Eileen is a Director in PwC's Health Advisory M&A Practice. She has over 20 years of clinical healthcare experience and management consulting experience and supports health service clients across the country as they navigate the regulatory and market shifts of the Affordable Care Act. Her areas of emphasis include mergers and acquisitions, strategy planning, operations transformations, change management, contract negotiations, process improvements, clinical support, and GPO relationship management.

Nora Plesent
Founder and Managing Partner, Lexolution, LLC
Nora founded Lexolution, LLC in 2001. Her New York based company is a leading provider of temporary legal staffing services. Lexolution has expanded to markets in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, providing the highest quality temporary legal staffing to the nation’s top law firms and corporations. In addition to Lexolution, she also founded the New Girls Network, an alliance of female leaders who promote the advancement of women in the legal profession. Nora frequently writes, speaks, and hosts seminars on cutting edge topics faced by the women who are redefining the legal marketplace.


Contact

  • Maria Otero
    Women's Venture Fund
    +1 (212) 485-6250
    Email