PBN honors Business Women winners

By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE – Providence Business News today held a luncheon to recognize the accomplishments of the 26 women honored over the past year as part of the newspaper’s second annual program recognizing women in the Rhode Island business community.

The luncheon this afternoon at the Providence Marriott Downtown on Orms Street spotlighted the achievements of 14 women chosen by PBN to receive awards in six business categories, as well as the 12 women who have been profiled in a monthly feature in the pages of the newspaper for their career success.

“All the women we have named rightfully should be proud of their accomplishments,” said Mark S. Murphy, editor of Providence Business News.

He added: “We hope that in a small way, PBN’s Business Women program proves not just how accomplished a certain number of women are, but how much greater the potential for achievement is here.”

In a statement, Merrill W. Sherman, president and CEO of Bank Rhode Island, the program’s presenting sponsor, said: “I have personally experienced the pressure and, in many cases, the perceptions associated with being a female professional at a time when Rhode Island’s business and human services community lacked diversity.

“Since then, the makeup of the professional community has changed tremendously,” Sherman continued. “It has been such a pleasure to witness many women make their mark.”

The honorees included Dr. Anne De Groot, founder and CEO of EpiVax and director of the University of Rhode Island’s new Institute of Immunology and Informatics, for overall career achievement, and Susan Keller, partner at Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge LLP, for her work as a mentor and ally to other business women.

The other women honored, listed by industry category, were:

• Creative Services – Industry Leader: Dale Venturini, president and CEO, Rhode Island Hospitality Association. / Woman to Watch: Lolita Healy, president and CEO, Designs by Lolita.

• Financial Services – Industry Leader: Patricia Thompson, tax partner, Piccerelli, Gilstein & Co. / Woman to Watch: Jennifer Chasse, manager, Certified Financial Planner program, Bryant University.

• Health Care Services – Industry Leader: Dr. Kathleen Hittner, president and CEO, The Miriam Hospital. / Woman to Watch: Virginia Burke, CEO, Rhode Island Health Care Association.

• Professional Services – Industry Leader: Sally Lapides, founder and CEO, Residential Properties. / Woman to Watch: Tracy Baran, partner, Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP.

• Social Services – Industry Leader: State Rep. Mary Ann Shallcross, president, Dr. Day Care. / Woman to Watch: Nellie Gorbea, executive director, HousingWorks RI.

• Technical Services – Industry Leader: Tia Bush, executive director and site-quality head, Amgen. / Woman to Watch: Lisa Cooper, vice president of engineering and client systems, FM Global.

The 12 women who have been profiled in PBN over the past year are:

Lisa Churchville, president and general manager, WJAR-TV.

Kyla Coburn, owner, Kyla Coburn Designs.

Donna DiOrio, director of catering, Providence Marriott Downtown.

Beth Eckel, senior vice president, The Washington Trust Company.

Diane Hurley, CEO, Newport Grand.

Connie McGreavey, owner, Conserve by Design.

Liliana V. Dolan, owner, Express Employment Professionals.

Ann Mulhall, owner, LDI Casting.

Deborah Norman, owner, Rue De L’Espoir.

Dr. Gail Skowron, chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Roger Williams Medical Center.

Cheryl Snead, president and CEO, Banneker Industries Inc.

Stacey Pires Veroni, criminal division chief, Office of the R.I. Attorney General.

All 26 women will be featured in a special section of Monday’s print edition of Providence Business News.

In addition to Bank Rhode Island, the other sponsors of the 2009 Business Women awards event are Banneker Industries Inc., Cox Business, CVS Caremark Corp., Lefkowitz, Garfinkel, Champi & DeRienzo P.C., Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, Plan USA and Waterplace.