Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 100 Women Leaders of New Jersey for 2021. This year’s awardees represent an elite group of leaders who have used their knowledge and insight to lead in companies across nearly all industries. New Jersey women have long played important roles within our country’s past. Clara Barton, Civil War nurse, founder of the first public school in New Jersey and the first president of the American Red Cross, grew her roots in the state. Alongside her was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an early leader in the women’s rights movement, who dedicated her life to make it possible for women today to lead in the workplace. Their perseverance, followed by countless other women after them, has allowed for the success of this year’s awardees.
Awardee Jane Connell, an SVP and CIO with Verizon, helps lead the mobile service provider into new territories, recently announcing their plans to launch a faster, stronger 5G network for their users. Meanwhile, Kuenhe+Nagel expands their ever-growing business into new parts of the world with the help of their leaders like Nadine Jones, a VP and Corporate Counsel for the company. Sandy Green, the VP for Production Management with Discovery, uses her expertise to continue the success of the well-loved entertainment company to provide so much of the world with their favorite television shows.
In the midst of their own professional achievements, these leaders have also served as passionate advocates for other women. They have strived towards creating a diverse workplace, diligently working to make certain that their employees, companies, and services are the highest of caliber. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 100 Women Leaders of New Jersey for 2021.
2. Lauren Jensen
Lauren Jensen is the Vice President of Strategy for Enabling Solutions U.S. Businesses with Prudential Financial. Prudential Financial was founded on the belief that financial security should be within reach for everyone, and for over 140 years, they have helped their customers reach their potential and tackle life's challenges for now and future generations to come. Today, they are one of the world’s largest financial services institutions, offering individual and institutional clients a wide array of financial products and services.
Jensen first joined the company in 1996 as a business manager. Since then, she has served in several positions including director and manager roles. Jensen graduated from James Madison University with an undergraduate degree in communications.
7. Sue James
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
Sue James is the VP of Global Regulatory Affairs of Consumer Healthcare of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose to improve the quality of human life. GSK is the world’s tenth largest pharmaceutical company and #296 on the 2019 Fortune 500. James has over 21 years in the pharmaceutical industry. She began her career in 2000.
James graduated from the University of York with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry.
8. Jane Davila
Jane Davila is the VP of Global Benefits & Talent Mobility COE of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines for patients with serious diseases. Their medicines are helping millions of patients around the world in disease areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, immunoscience, fibrosis and others.
Over the past twenty-five plus years, Davila has held several positions at BMS of increasing responsibility both domestically and internationally. She has led many major large-scale transformational initiatives, including many M&A activities. She is an active member of a number of industry and advisory boards and forums.
13. Yin Becker
Yin Becker is the Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Stryker. She first joined the company in 1998 as Vice President of Healthcare Innovations. Stryker is driven to make healthcare better by advancing medical technologies through innovative products and services in orthopaedics, spine, and neurotechnologies.
Previously, Becker was a Senior Manager of Sales Services at Pfizer and before that, a Human Resource Manager at Macy’s Inc. Becker earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Rider University.
14. Carrie Parikh
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Carrie Parikh is the Chief Privacy Officer and Assistant General Counsel of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. She first joined the company in 2019. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the only licensed Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan in the state, provides health insurance coverage to more than 3.8 million people throughout all of North, Central, and South Jersey.
Previously, Parikh was the COO and chief data and privacy officer for the State of New Jersey and before that a senior legal counsel and legal privacy lead at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Earlier in her career she worked with Kaye Scholer as a paralegal. Parikh earned a JD from the Rutgers University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University.
17. Shannon Simon
Arch Insurance Group
Shannon Simon is the AVP of Learning and Development with Arch Insurance Group. Arch Insurance Group, a division of Arch Capital Group Ltd., is a market-leading specialty insurer. They provide a wide range of property, casualty and specialty insurance for corporations, professional firms and financial institutions across the United States and Canada. Simon has nearly 23 years of experience. She began her career in 1999.
Simon first got her start with Peak Performance Consulting as a learning and development strategist before moving on to become a training coordinator for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She spent 8 years with AIG in various positions including director and manager roles before moving on to Arch Insurance Group in 2021. Simon is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in accounting and of New York University with a master’s in business education.
22. Rachel Richter
Rachel Richter is the VP of Insights, Analytics & CRM Operations of Change Healthcare. Change Healthcare is a leading healthcare technology company, focused on insights, innovation and accelerating the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system through the power of the Change Healthcare Platform. Richter has over 15 years of experience. She began her career in 2006.
Before joining Change Healthcare, Richter was the VP of analytics, insights & operations at Dun & Bradstreet and before that a research director at Turner Broadcasting. Earlier in her career she worked with ACNielsen, The Nielsen Company as an associate client manager. Richter has an undergraduate degree in marketing and international business from McGill University and an MBA in marketing and statistics from Baruch College, CUNY.
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26. Beth Gaspich
Beth Gaspich began her professional career over 32 years ago. Today, she is the CFO of NICE. NICE is the worldwide leading provider of both cloud and on-premises enterprise software solutions that empower organizations to make smarter decisions based on advanced analytics of structured and unstructured data. Over 25,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, including over 85 of the Fortune 100 companies, are using NICE solutions.
Gaspich first got her start in 1989 as a mutual fund accountant at Dreyfus Corporation. From there, she went on to Oppenheimer Capital, before eventually rising to CFO at Archive Systems Inc, her most recent position prior to joining NICE. Gaspich graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
33. Cheryl Watson
Cheryl Watson is a Partner of CohnReznick. As a leading advisory, assurance, and tax firm, CohnReznick helps forward-thinking organizations achieve their vision by optimizing performance, maximizing value, and managing risk. The firm serves organizations around the world through its global subsidiaries and membership in Nexia International. Watson has nearly 23 years in the industry. She began her career in 1999.
Before joining CohnReznick, Watson was a managing director at KPMG US. Earlier in her career she worked with Rothstein, Kass & Company, P.C. as a senior manager. Watson graduated from Monmouth University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
39. Patricia Preztunik
Patricia Preztunik is the President and Owner of BrightStar Care. BrightStar Care is a full-service healthcare staffing agency and franchising organization that provides medical and non-medical homecare to private clients within their homes, ranging from infants to seniors, as well as supplemental healthcare staff to corporate clients. Preztunik has 47 years of experience. She began her career in 1974.
Before founding BrightStar Care, Preztunik was a VP of consumer products at IBM Corporation. Earlier in her career she worked with New Jersey Association of Student Councils - Leadership Training Conference as a senior staff member. Preztunik graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School with an MBA and from American University with an undergraduate degree in business administration, international relations and economics.
45. Shakeema North
Covenant House New York
Shakeema North is the VP of Youth Development, Equity and Inclusion of Covenant House New York (CHNY). For over 45 years, CHNY has been a leader in providing residential services to vulnerable homeless, runaway and exploited youth. It is the largest provider of runaway and homeless youth services in New York City. CHNY is open to all young people who need help, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. North has over 21 years in the nonprofit industry. She began her career in 2000.
Before joining CHNY, North was an adjunct professor at the New York Theological Seminary and before that a production manager of digital products at HBO. Earlier in her career she worked with Chubb Group of Insurance Companies as a programmer analyst. North graduated from Duke Divinity School with a Doctorate of Ministry, from New York Theological Seminary with a master of divinity, and from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with an undergraduate degree in computer science.
51. Dianne Batistoni
Dianne Batistoni is a Partner in the Insurance Industry Group and leads the Insurance Regulatory Practice at EisnerAmper, one of the largest business consulting firms in the world. The company is comprised of EisnerAmper, a licensed independent CPA firm that provides client attest services and Eisner Advisory Group LLC, an alternative practice structure that provides business advisory and non-attest services. Batistoni has over 30 years of professional accounting experience.
Batistoni was previously a senior manager at a regional firm where she was primarily focused on property and casualty insurance, insurance brokerage, governmental entities, and pension funds. She also spent time at Ernst & Young LLP as an audit manager specialist. In addition to her current roles, Batistoni serves as a member of the NAIC AICPA liaison committee. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter, Certified Financial Examiner and a graduate of Pace University.
53. Charlene Thomas
Def Jam Recordings
Charlene Thomas is the VP of Marketing of Def Jam Recordings. Def Jam Recordings is an American multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group and based in NYC, specializing predominantly on hip hop, pop and urban music. The label had a London-based UK arm known as 0207 Def Jam and was operated through EMI Records. Thomas has over 28 years in the industry. She began her career in 1993.
Before joining Def Jam Recordings, Thomas was a VP of marketing at Universal Music Group/Warner Music Group and before that a VP of marketing at Universal Music Group/Roc-A-Fella Records. Earlier in her career she worked with Steve Rifkind Company as a director of client services. Thomas graduated from Capella University with a PhD in marketing, from Seton Hall University with an MBA, and from CUNY York College with an undergraduate degree in marketing.
58. Hetal Parikh
Hetal Parikh is the President of Rangam Consultants. She first joined the company in 1995. Rangam is a minority, woman, and disability-owned workforce solutions company. It specializes in attracting and retaining talent globally for IT, engineering, scientific, clinical, healthcare, administrative, finance, and business professional sectors while integrating veterans and individuals with disabilities, including autism and neurodiversity, into the workforce.
Previously, Parikh was a senior consultant at Johnson & Johnson and before that a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Earlier in her career she worked with Apprise Insurance Services as a project manager. Parikh earned an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology.
63. Sabrina Browne
Sabrina Browne launched her career in public relations a decade ago. Today, she is a Vice President, Corporate at BCW Global, the third-largest global communications firm in the world. Burson Cohn & Wolfe is a multinational public relations and communications firm, headquartered in New York City. They deliver digital and data-driven creative content and integrated communications solutions. BCW is a part of WPP, the world’s leader in communications services.
Prior to BCW, Browne led public relations for Emerge New Jersey, the state’s premier organization that recruits, trains, and builds a network of Democratic women to run for office. Outside of the office, Browne advocates for menstrual equality in New Jersey and works to eradicate period poverty in her City of Hoboken. Browne graduated summa cum laude from Seton Hall University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in public relations and a masters in strategic communications.
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65. Vicki Guida
Vicki Guida is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Atlas. She is part of the senior leadership team and is actively shaping the future of the company, its employees, and clients. She is committed to the growth of the company through the success of both Fortune 100 Life Sciences clients and the Atlas A-team.
Guida is an expert in building relationships and trust among clients. She has many years of experience supplying companies with strategic solutions to proactively meet their competition head-on and be agile enough to react to ever-changing economic conditions. A graduate from Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development, Guida also holds an undergraduate degree from Fairfield University in mathematics with a concentration in computer science. She has been affiliated with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association for over nine years, currently serving as Global Chair of the Digital iLead Affinity Group and formerly serving on the NY/NJ Board.
69. Sharon Golubchik
Sharon Golubchik is the SVP of Healthcare of Antenna Group. Antenna is an integrated marketing and public relations firm that partners with its clients to build compelling brands and achieve sales and lead generation objectives with precision and creativity. The company’s strategic communications and results-driven integrated marketing campaigns accelerate brand’s growth for long-term success. Golubchik has nearly 15 years of experience. She began her career in 2007.
Before joining Antenna Group, Golubchik was a director of communications at CDx Diagnostics and before that a senior account executive at Rosica Strategic Public Relations. Earlier in her career she worked with MWW Group as an associate account executive. Golubchik graduated from Yeshiva University with an undergraduate degree in English communication and public relations.
72. Lisa Campanella-Coppo
LC Squared Legal Medical Consulting
Lisa Campanella-Coppo is the CEO of LC Squared Legal Medical Consulting (SLMC). SLMC is a legal medical consulting and patient advocacy practice. Its mission is to bridge the communication gap that exists between medical professionals and those who do not have formal medical training, whether that be a patient or a patient's legal advocate. Campanella-Coppo has over 17 years of experience. She began her career in 2004.
Before joining SLMC, Campanella-Coppo was an emergency medical physician at Englewood Hospital and before that she was in the medical director physician assistant's program at Seton Hall University. Earlier in her career she worked with Emergency Medical Associates as an emergency medicine physician of St Joseph's Wayne Hospital. Campanella-Coppo graduated from the NYU School of Medicine with an MD and from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry.
78. Catherine Luthin
Catherine Luthin began her professional career 34 years ago. Today, she is the CEO of Luthin Associates. For over 25 years, Luthin Associates has provided a wide array of energy consulting services to major industry sectors throughout the country, with a particularly strong footprint in the Northeast. The firm specializes in energy procurement and risk management, energy efficiency and sustainability, and regulatory affairs.
Luthin first got her start in 1988 as a senior financial analyst at the New York City Human Resources Administration. From there, she went on to the City of New York, Office of Energy Conservation, before eventually rising to independent contractor of the commercial team at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Luthin graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in marketing.
85. Sabina Gargiulo
AH & Association Headquarters
Sabina Gargiulo is the VP of Marketing and Industry Relations for AH & Association Headquarters. She is also a member of the company’s senior leadership team and is ultimately responsible for advancing AH’s brand, voice, and thought leadership in the non-profit marketplace. AH is a professional services firm that specializes in helping non-profit organizations achieve their mission, create value, and advance their causes, industries, and professions. Gargiulo has over 22 years of experience. She began her career in 1999.
Before joining AH, Gargiulo was a communities director at the Institute for International Research and before that a senior conference producer. Gargiulo graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island with an undergraduate degree in hospitality marketing with a concentration in business.
90. Jan Helgeson
Jan Helgeson began her professional career over 25 years ago. Today, she is a Managing Director of Deloitte. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a multinational professional services network with offices in over 150 countries and territories around the world. Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands.
Helgeson first got her start in 1996 as an international HR senior representative at The Walt Disney Company before eventually rising to cross cultural trainer at Window on the World/FGI, her most recent position prior to joining Deloitte. Helgeson graduated from the Thunderbird School of Global Management with an international MBA and from Hamline University with an undergraduate degree in business administration and international management.
91. MaryAnne Faschan
MaryAnne Faschan is a Managing Director and Lead Engagement Partner with Deloitte Consulting. She first joined the company in 2016. Deloitte provides industry-leading audit and assurance, consulting, tax, and risk and financial advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 and more than 5,000 private and middle-market companies. Faschan is a 30+ year veteran of the IT industry
Faschan’s career in technology began at electronic data systems and included a long tenure at Hewlett Packard/HPE, where she served as Vice President of Application Delivery Services with responsibility for all IT professionals within the US, Canada and Latin America. Faschan holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Montclair University and executive development from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, MA.
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93. Elizabeth Koehler
Elizabeth Koehler is the Managing Director of BlackRock. BlackRock is a multinational investment management corporation based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with US$9.5 trillion in assets under management as of 2021. Koehler has 18 years in the financial services industry. She began her career in 2003.
Koehler first joined BlackRock in 2003 as a marketing analyst before moving on to sales and marketing. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a masters in applied positive psychology and from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in commerce.
94. Natalie Acciani
Natalie Acciani is the Founder and Executive Director of DFTLY Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in mental health and suicide prevention. She speaks at events on mental health issues including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body image and bullying, and created the nonprofit using the skills and expertise she gained as a professional musician. As an independent singer/songwriter, she gained radio airplay in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, and opened locally for major acts like Chris Young, Zac Brown Band, and Peter Yarrow.
Acciani is also the Head Women’s Soccer Coach and Sports Information Director at Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown, NJ where she approaches coaching with a "mental health first" holistic mindset, mentoring her players as much off the field as on it. Prior to Saint Elizabeth, Acciani was the assistant women’s soccer and women’s basketball coach at Camden County College. She additionally coaches two NJ youth soccer teams, is a certified personal trainer, certified nutrition coach, and a youth exercise specialist. She graduated from Rutgers University - New Brunswick with an undergraduate degree in public policy and psychology.
96. Rume Joy Azikiwe-Oyeyemi
University of Pennsylvania
Rume Joy Azikiwe-Oyeyemi is the Executive Director of HR and Chief of Staff at the University of Pennsylvania, where she first joined in 2014. The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is one of the oldest universities in America. As a member of the Ivy League, Penn is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in all the world.
In 2007, Azikiwe-Oyeyemi served as an HR director with HCR ManorCare before moving on to Genesis HealthCare where she also served in various HR manager and director roles. Over the years, she took on consulting with LER Depot, a small company specializing in employee and labor relations. In addition to her current position, Azikiwe-Oyeyemi serves as an adjunct professor with both Rowan University and Wilmington University. She graduated from Hofstra University with an undergraduate degree in communications, the University of Phoenix with an MBA with a concentration in HR and holds a doctorate of management in strategic leadership from Thomas Jefferson University.
View the complete list of awardees.