Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Virginia for 2022. This group of esteemed individuals are leading organizations across fields including healthcare, financial services, engineering, education, and more. Their efforts come in the wake of other Virginia women who came before them. Women like Maggie Walker, the first woman bank president in the U.S. and advocate of black women’s rights, and Grace Arents, who established the city's first public housing and also built Richmond's first free circulation library, helped pave the way for today’s leaders. This year’s awardees encourage and promote lasting changes around them, impacting the lives of other women and empowering them to lead in their own path.
Among this year’s awardees is Izella Mitchell Dornell, Vice President Executive Partner with Gartner, who uses her diversified experience in leading people, managing resources, and developing processes and change for large-scale complex programs; Shally Stanley, Senior Vice President and Global Delivery Leader of Salesforce, who is responsible for creating and executing global delivery and talent strategies to support their rapidly growing business; and Stephanie Mango, President of CGI Federal, who is dedicated to leading and serving clients in IT and consulting services across civilian, defense and intelligence sectors of the U.S. Federal Government.
The energy, achievements, and commitment to excellence that this year’s awardees possess give us a look to the future. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Virginia for 2022.
2. Anika Walker
Vice President & Complex Business Service Officer, Morgan Stanley
Anika Walker is a Vice President and Complex Business Service Officer with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Having joined the firm in 2016, she currently oversees the service and business functions across two states and seven branch locations. Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered at 1585 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. With offices in more than 30 countries and more than 60,000 employees, the firm is guided by its core values: do the right thing, put clients first, lead with exceptional ideas, commit to diversity and inclusion, and give back.
Walker has over 18 years experience in financial services and has held various leadership positions at Merrill Lynch, Fidelity, and MetLife Financial. She earned her undergraduate degree in finance and multinational business from Florida State University and her MBA from the University of Florida.
3. Gloria Dicandia
SVP & Head of Claims Service Centers and Operations, Chubb Insurance
Gloria DiCandia leads the Chubb Claims Department for the Service Centers, Immediate Solutions Contact Center and Operations in the U.S. and offshore. She has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others and with her teams, delivers the service promise to customers in their time of need. DiCandia also dedicates her time to her employees, ensuring they develop professionally and are rewarded and recognized for their contributions.
DiCandia has over 25 years of Property and Casualty insurance claims experience, starting her career at GEICO and then joining Chubb Insurance in 1998. She has held various positions of leadership in Service Center Claims, Operations Excellence, Claim Strategy Management, and was the Claims Intelligent Process Automation Leader. DiCandia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Pre Law from East Carolina University. She also has formal strategy training from the Haines Centre for Strategic Management and formal process improvement training in LEAN and Six Sigma.
5. Shally Stanley
SVP & Global Delivery Leader, Salesforce
Shally Stanley began her professional career over 29 years ago. Today, she is the SVP and Global Delivery Leader of Salesforce. Salesforce is a global cloud computing company that provides business software on a subscription basis. Stanley is responsible for creating and executing Salesforce Professional Services’ global delivery and talent strategies to support Salesforce’s rapidly growing business. Her international team of over 400 people leads delivery innovation effort that support consistent delivery across the globe, supports global talent development and growth, drive high quality delivery through robust delivery governance and continuous improvement, and support the business' tremendous growth through global delivery centers.
Stanley’s 25+ years of experience as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies has focused on achieving better business outcomes using innovative information technologies and practices. Prior to her current role, Stanley served as the managing director for global consulting services and solutions at Acumen Solutions for 15 years. She served as the CTO of Greenwich Technology Partners. Before that, Stanley co-founded NetGain LLC, a highly successful network consulting business which grew to over $5 million in revenue within three years. Stanley began her career at McKinsey & Company. She has been regularly quoted as a subject matter expert in leading publications and has been a speaker at leading industry conferences. She holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
6. Loretta Williamson
SVP & Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth, Truist Bank
Loretta Williamson is the Senior Vice President and Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth with Truist Bank. She has been with Truist for 8 years and has served in the mortgage and banking industry for 24 years. As Head of Mortgage Strategic Growth, Williamson leads a team responsible for identifying and deploying profitable growth, forward thinking strategies that focus on the shifting demographics driving home ownership in the coming years. Those strategies include analyzing data science with a concentration on first-time homebuyers, veterans, and underserved communities including low-to-moderate income, millennials, non-English speaking clients, and inclusive lending overall.
In addition, Williamson partners with various non-profit organizations to promote and deliver homebuyer education classes to potential homebuyers while also volunteering by providing financial education to adults and college students. During her career, Williamson has held various roles within the industry, including sales, operations management and capital markets, all of which have fully equipped her to lead the mortgage strategy for one of the largest banks in the U.S.
7. Elizabeth Bizic
SVP for Wealth Management & Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Elizabeth Bizic has been with Merrill Lynch since 1995, where she has enjoyed a career of optimizing her clients’ investments in support of their financial and personal goals. Bizic is a team leader who leverages the firm’s extraordinary research to identify investment opportunities tailored to each client’s specific objectives. She guides clients’ investment decisions implemented by the Greene, Metcalfe, Bizic, and Associates team. Many of her clients are long term, multi-generational relationships built on a foundation of exceptional performance and trust.
Bizic has lived all over the world, and earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1994, which she continues to support today. She is a board member of the Greater Reston Arts Center and is involved with The Kennedy Center and The Tower Project of the National Gallery of Art. Through Merrill Lynch’s sponsorship of The Economic Club of Washington, DC, Bizic engages with Washington’s business leaders and officials.
8. Suzanne Murtha
Global Lead for Connected and Automated Technology, AECOM
Suzanne Murtha is the Global Lead for Connected and Automated Technology at AECOM. She is based in Mount Vernon, Virginia. She is on the board of directors of the OmniAir Consortium, a trade association that advocates for the development and promotion of certification for the intelligent transportation industry as well as the board of directors for AUVSI, a trade association dedicated to the promotion of the deployment of automated vehicles across all modes of transportation and logistics. Murtha is dedicated to improving transportation safety and mobility and is the chair for the ITS America eVTOL Task Force and the AUVSI AV Goods Movement Task Force.
As 26-year veteran of the transportation industry, Murtha has a background in advanced automotive technologies including deployments of connected and automated vehicles, smart cities, big data and most recently eVTOLs. She has worked with the international transport community and industry on advanced research, standards development, and certification processes. She has supported large-scale program management contracts and evaluation efforts for federal, state, local, and private clients. Murtha graduated from Villanova University with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and business.
9. Stephanie Mango
President, CGI Federal
Stephanie Mango leads as the President of CGI Federal, a wholly-owned U.S. operating subsidiary of CGI, Inc., which serves CGI’s clients across the U.S. Federal Government. Mango has worked with federal organizations in the civilian, defense, and intelligence communities to improve operations through business and information technology solutions. Her focus is on leveraging innovative business models and solutions to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and desired outcomes for her customers.
A respected thought leader, Mango drives transformational IT through leadership in the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council, Washington Executive, the Shared Service Leadership Council, the Professional Services Council, and the AGA. She is a founding member of the Chief Washington DC Chapter, a network that supports women leaders. Mango won a Pinnacle award for National Security Executive on behalf of her team’s delivery of innovation in cybersecurity and two Federal 100 awards for her advocacy of effective government. She was recognized as a finalist in the WeQual Awards for Leadership Excellence and inducted as a WeQual member. Mango holds a master’s degree in management of information systems and an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Virginia. She also holds certifications as a Project Management Professional and as a Certified Government Financial Manager.
View the complete list of awardees.
10. Marija Zivanovic-Smith
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, NCR
As a Fortune 500 technology executive, Marija Zivanovic-Smith serves as the Chief Marketing & Communications officer for NCR. She brings critical experience to the Board of Directors helping companies grow through international market access, brand reputation and modernization, and digital and growth marketing strategies. Her unique pairing of international expertise with risk management and market access skills makes her a sought-after advisor for global roles and initiatives.
Whether serving as CMO, CCO or Chief of Staff to the CEO, Zivanovic-Smith elevated the modernization of the NCR brand, and their brand reputation, to an integral part of the company’s overall growth strategy. In her CMO role, Zivanovic-Smith re-imagined NCR’s 136-year-old iconic brand across the globe, driving 91% positive engagement with employee communications in 2020. She played a crucial role in the execution of NCR’s international growth strategy and M&A and successfully led NCR’s market access initiatives that resulted in NCR entering Serbia, Malaysia, and Brazil. Zivanovic-Smith currently serves on the Board of Directors for Kashat, Egypt’s first nano financial service provider and entry point to financial inclusion for the country’s un- and underbanked population. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for Whiteboard, a digital agency where she counsels the founders on how to scale their business. Zivanovic-Smith was chosen by the White House as the US business representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council to formulate foundational policies for the digital economy across 21 nations. Zivanovic-Smith is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
12. Izella Mitchell Dornell
Vice President Executive Partner, Gartner
Izella Mitchell Dornell is a Vice President Executive Partner with the Gartner Executive Programs Service Delivery team, working extensively in the federal and public sectors and tribal markets. She serves as a strategic partner for federal, state, local, and tribal technology leaders, and CIOs, enabling their ability to successfully unlock transformative solutions for their respective organizational mission critical priorities. She is also the Americas Program Manager for Gartner’s Women CIO community. Dornell is an accomplished senior executive with a successful career in public service.
Prior to joining Gartner, Dornell was the deputy CIO for the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she was recognized for outstanding IT portfolio management and proven results across the department and among her peers in the federal government. Dornell also had an extensive career at NASA which began as a technical intern at the Johnson Space Center. While at NASA, Dornell held several progressive leadership roles in support of the Human Spaceflight programs, Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Constellation. She ultimately led the agency's transition of the Space Shuttle's annual multi-billion-dollar infrastructure/assets at the end of the program. Dornell was part of NASA’s senior management team that established the Exploration Systems Mission organization at NASA Headquarters in response to the Space Exploration Vision's Executive Order from the President of the United States. Dornell formal education includes an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics from Tennessee State University, an MBA from the University of Houston, along with completing Harvard’s Executive Management Program, Penn State University’s Leadership Program, and Simmons College Executive Program for Female Executives.
13. Marcelle Davis
Vice President of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, VCU Health System
Marcelle Davis is the Vice President of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at VCU Health System and has approximately 25 years of experience as a DEI strategist assisting organizational leaders in building DEI programs and advancing their culture using the collection and analysis of workforce metrics to ensure all aspects of the workforce have equity at its core. She is skilled in evaluating business landscapes and implementing projects and policies that enable organizations to integrate inclusion in business practices. Additionally, Davis is experienced in providing leaders with the tools and strategies that equip them to move from the ideation of inclusion to integration.
Davis’s experience extends to academia, which includes the design and facilitation of both MBA and PhD courses. These courses include but are not limited to leadership, strategic management, cross-cultural management, and human resource management. Davis has published a book titled Measuring Inclusive Leadership with G.R.A.C.E., articles in several academic journals, and has also authored micro-learnings for a global micro-learning company. She has been a keynote speaker and presenter at a variety of conferences, both nationally and internationally, for more than 15 years. Davis has an undergraduate degree in political science, an MBA, and a doctorate in strategic leadership.
14. Jessica Miley
Chief Operating Officer, Children's National Hospital Foundation
Jessica Miley is the Chief Operating Officer at Children’s National Hospital Foundation in Washington, DC. She leads strategic development of philanthropic giving for a $1B pediatric hospital and research enterprise ranked among the top-ten in the United States. She is an accomplished hospital executive with a proven record in developing and implementing transformational strategic initiatives and leads Children’s $500M comprehensive campaign, follow the leader.
Miley works with business leaders and others who share an interest in improving children’s health globally. She is an influencer skilled at communicating complex ideas and initiatives to diverse audiences with the goal of inspiring philanthropic support. She has spent her entire career in nonprofit management, increasing organizations’ revenues by uniting philanthropists to advance priorities. She has a successful track record of building, mentoring, and motivating high performing teams in complex institutions. Previously, Miley served as a senior director of international development at Boston Children’s Hospital. She also led teams at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation national headquarters in New York, NY. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to the university’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
15. Alicia Harkness
Alicia Harkness is a Partner and the Leader of Guidehouse’s Health segment. She is passionate about positively impacting the healthcare ecosystem by enabling access to care; improving health equity and patient experiences; designing cost-effective care delivery models; and efficiently fast-tracking the release of lifesaving drugs and therapies to the market. Under her leadership, the Guidehouse Health team brings together clinical, operational, technological, and analytics capabilities and expertise from diverse commercial and public health backgrounds to solve the industry’s most complex challenges.
Harkness has served as the firm's diversity leader, commercial healthcare practice leader, and global engagement partner for key federal healthcare accounts, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She has more than 25 years of consulting experience serving clients and growing high-performing teams. Throughout her career, she has also served the U.S. Military Health System, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Education, state and local governments, for-profit education organizations, public and private colleges and universities, academic medical centers, and commercial healthcare providers. Before joining Guidehouse, Harkness was a partner at PwC where she led the commercial healthcare provider practice and grew the academic medical center and education advisory business. She was also a vice president at BearingPoint and partner at KPMG Peat Marwick. Harkness graduated from Lehigh University College of Business with an undergraduate degree in management.
16. Elizabeth Krousel
Associate VP and Program Manager, Michael Baker International
Elizabeth Krousel is an Associate Vice President and Program Manager of Michael Baker International. She first joined the company in 2007 as a surface water section manager and program manager. Michael Baker International is a leading provider of engineering and consulting services, including design, planning, architectural, environmental, construction, and program management. The company provides its comprehensive range of services and solutions to support U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, foreign allied governments, and a wide range of commercial clients. Michael Baker’s more than 3,000 employees across nearly 100 locations are committed to a culture of innovation, collaboration, and technological advancement to help solve challenges for clients and communities throughout the country.
In addition to her current roles, Krousel currently serves as the first vice chair of the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF’s) Stormwater Committee and in 2023 will be the overall chair of the committee. She educates children on sustainability issues, including Earth Day events and more. She also presented and/or moderated technical sessions at the annual WEFTEC conference and served as a Chapter Champion for the update to the WEF publication, Rainfall to Results. Krousel earned an MS in civil and environmental engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Louisiana State University.
18. Marianne Bailey
Partner & Cybersecurity Leader at Guidehouse
Marianne Bailey is a Partner and Cybersecurity Leader at Guidehouse, leading the Advanced Solutions Cybersecurity practice to provide strategies and solutions which enable Guidehouse clients to manage their cybersecurity risks. Guidehouse’s cybersecurity offerings include strategy and security architecture, cyber resilience, executive cybersecurity support, incident prevention and response, identity and access management, high value asset management, and data protection and privacy. Bailey and her team bring the power of leveraging other Guidehouse Solutions areas of Artificial Intelligence, open-source solutions, advanced analytics, enterprise risk management, and digital and emerging technologies as they partner with clients to develop and sustain cyber resilience to mitigate cybersecurity risks against current and emerging threats.
Bailey brings over 35 years of experience across the Department of Defense, intelligence community, and civil government sectors. She served as deputy national manager for National Security Systems and senior cybersecurity executive for the National Security Agency. She also served as both principal deputy for cybersecurity and deputy chief information security officer (DCISO), Department of Defense, CIO. Bailey has led U.S. cyber policy and technology issues internationally and is well known for her global leadership in cyber. Bailey earned an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s in economics from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University. She is also a graduate of the NSA Senior Leadership Development Program, the Harvard Executive Leadership Develop Program, and the Executive Leadership at the Peak Program.
View the complete list of awardees.
19. Nichole Hahn
SVP and Chief People & Diversity Officer, Valiant Integrated Services
Nichole Hahn serves as Senior Vice President and Chief People Resources & Diversity Officer of Valiant Integrated Services. In this role, Hahn leads Valiant’s global People Resources (PR) organization in support of Valiant’s 5,000 employees. She is responsible for global PR strategy and operations and attracting, developing, and retaining talent to build a globally diverse and inclusive organization. Hahn has over 25 years of success leading organizations to meet corporate objectives and customer requirements by developing leaders, influencing team direction, building talent pipelines, and managing organizational change.
Previously, Hahn spent 17 years at AECOM (now Amentum) in various roles of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as VP of HR. In this role, she provided HR leadership to AECOM’s Strategic Business Units in support of the Department of Defense, Department of Treasury, Department of State, and the Intelligence Community. She has also held various HR leadership roles at Deloitte and Wells Fargo. Hahn, a certified Human Resources Professional, holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from West Virginia University and an Advanced Certificate in Human Resources Strategic Management from Cornell University. She is also a national member of the Society of Human Resources Management, the WashingtonExec Human Capital Council, Executive Mosaic, and the National Association of Professional Women.
20. Cameron Over
Partner and National Cybersecurity & Privacy Practice Leader, CrossCountry Consulting
Cameron Over leads CrossCountry’s National Cyber and Privacy Practice where she is responsible for the overall strategy, practice development, business development, and client delivery across all accounts. Over has extensive experience driving cybersecurity and privacy initiatives at organizations from global highly regulated clients to mid-market, and due diligence on M&A and pre-IPO readiness. Over leads a team of talented cybersecurity and privacy experts across strategy, risk management, cloud and application security, privacy and data protection, and offensive security.
Prior to joining CrossCountry, Over was a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she led a large portfolio of cybersecurity programs for the department of defense, including critical infrastructure systems such as the defense industrial base, satellite communications infrastructure, and classified networks. Over earned her undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Mary Washington and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and regularly speaks at events including RSA Conference, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), ISC2, Risk Management Association (RMA), and other events.
22. Ana Paula Montanha
VP of Strategy & Implementation, HAYMAN-WOODWARD
Ana Paula Montanha began her professional career over 28 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Strategy and Implementation of HAYMAN-WOODWARD GLOBAL MOBILITY SERVICES. HAYMAN-WOODWARD offers a wide range of services to meet its clients’ global mobility needs. These include tax planning, tax compliance, insurance, wealth management, logistics, and global visas, helping their clients plan and manage the global expansion of their businesses and investments. HAYMAN-WOODWARD is composed of a growing team of consultants, lawyers, financial advisors, business managers, relocation experts, and other talented and innovative professionals who are passionate about enabling global citizens to succeed.
Montanha first got her start in 1994 as a finance coordinator at Royal Dutch Shell. From there, she went on to Embratel, before eventually rising to become a partner at Jobplex Inc., her most recent position prior to joining HAYMAN-WOODWARD. Montanha graduated from the University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business with an MBA, from FGV - Fundação Getulio Vargas with MBA in marketing, and from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro with an undergraduate degree in economics.
23. Candace Nicolls
SVP of People and Workplace, Snagajob
Candace Nicolls serves as the SVP of People and Workplace at Snagajob, the nation’s largest marketplace for hourly jobs and shifts. There, she leads the talented team responsible for helping to build and maintain Snagajob's award- winning culture, talent acquisition, people operations, facilities management, training and development, administration, community involvement, employee resource groups, and employee engagement. With over 20 years of experience in talent management, Nicolls is passionate about creating exceptional candidate experiences, an environment where every employee can thrive, and inclusive and equitable people practices.
Nicolls is also an ardent supporter of many community organizations but is particularly fond of the work she does with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Richmond. There, she serves as Board President, and has been an active Big for nearly 10 years. Earlier in her career, Nicolls led talent acquisition for boutique consulting and staffing firms. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and holds SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.
24. Michelle Rios
EVP & Managing Director of the DC Office, MikeWorldWide
Michelle Rios began her professional career over 30 years ago. Today, she is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the DC Office of MikeWorldWide. MWW is one of the world’s leading independent, integrated PR agencies with offices across the U.S. and U.K., and a global network of partners. With dedicated insights, strategy, data, and analytics, digital and content and creative teams, MWW’s expertise spans consumer lifestyle marketing, corporate communications and reputation management, public affairs, issues and crisis management, LGBTQ, technology, sports, and entertainment, B2B, food and beverage, and health and wellness.
Rios is a seasoned communications leader with more than 20 years of experience leading teams on award-winning, integrated, and global public relations campaigns and marketing communications programs for some of the world's top corporate, nonprofit and government clients, including several Fortune 100 companies. She has expertise in message development, brand positioning, executive visibility, influencer engagement, partnership development, thought leadership, media relations, and issues management. She is renowned for her strong leadership, team development and coaching, client nurturing and business development skills. Rios graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in international business diplomacy and from Colby College with an undergraduate degree in political science and Spanish.
26. Gabriela Christie Toletti
Arts & Humanities Chair and Professor, Tidewater Community College
Gabriela Christie Toletti was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. She is Arts and Humanities Chair and Professor at Tidewater Community College. Toletti is also Associate Adjunct Professor of World Cultural Studies and World Literatures at Old Dominion University. Additionally, she is a member of the board of directors of the Uruguayan American Foundation. Previously she taught Spanish and literature at Wingate University, and English at the Alianza Cultural Uruguay-Estados Unidos. She has specialized in the areas of Latin American literature, interdisciplinary studies, Hispanic theater, world cultural studies, psychology, pedagogy, academic program development, study abroad programs, and Spanish and English teaching and translation.
Toletti has been a speaker at conferences and keynote events and has been interviewed for TV and radio on a variety of topics such as Hispanic heritage, diversity issues, literature, academic programs, and the work of the Uruguayan American Foundation. She has written articles and compilations, has translated plays, and has been awarded grants to carry out research on literature, interdisciplinary studies, and multicultural issues. Her publications explore issues of migration, oppression, dictatorship, diversity, cultural identity, group dynamics, pedagogy, and online teaching. She is also the author of two research books titled On the Scene with Migration and Dictatorship: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Work of Uruguayan Playwright Dino Armas and Migración y dictadura en escena: Un acercamiento interdisciplinario a la obra del dramaturgo uruguayo Dino Armas. She is currently writing two books; a bilingual children’s book that explores issues of immigration, diversity, health, education, and growing up in a multicultural family; and a poetry book titled Patchwork Life. Toletti graduated as a teacher of English as a second language from the Alianza Cultural Uruguay-Estados Unidos, as clinical psychologist from the University of Uruguay, and with an MA and PhD in Latin American literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
28. Philippa Levenberg
Senior Vice President & Head of Digital, Qorvis Communications
Philippa Levenberg is a Senior Vice President and Head of Digital at Qorvis Communications, a global public affairs firm based in DC and part of the Publicis Groupe. Levenberg leads a team focused on using digital, social and paid media strategies to build brands and thought leadership programs, engage advocates, navigate crises, and shape policy outcomes on behalf of corporations, non-profits and governments.
Levenberg has been named a Social Media “Mover and Shaker” by PR News and Social Media Today, and nominated for both the “2018 Excellence in Advocacy Awards” by Professional Women in Advocacy and the “2017 Emerging Leader Award” by Washington Women in Public Relations. She was recently invited to join the Digital Marketing Advisory Council at the George Washington University School of Business. Levenberg resides in Great Falls, Virginia with her husband, three-year-old daughter, three-month-old son, and two dogs.
View the complete list of awardees.
29. Lizz Chambers
Vice President of Team Member Engagement, Newport Hospitality Group
Lizz Chambers began her professional career over 30 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Team Member Engagement of Newport Hospitality Group. Newport Hospitality Group Inc is a premier hotel management company dedicated to improving hotel performance through cost effective operations, national marketing and purchasing programs, comprehensive training, and sales development at the local level.
Chambers fervently believes in the merits of training, not only to ensure excellent guest service delivery, but also as a means to let associates know how much they are valued. She is a member of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, The Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers and is also a Certified Hospitality Administrator and a Certified Hospitality Educator with American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Educational Institute. Chambers graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with an undergraduate degree in music performance.
30. Shana Hammond-Adler, B&A
Vice President of Capture and Proposal, Bart & Associates
Shana Hammond-Adler brings over 20 years of experience in Federal government contracting and possesses a wide range of skills to execute high-level initiatives, in both large and small business environments. Today, she is the Vice President of Capture and Proposal at B&A and oversees all marketing initiatives ensuring alignment to B&A’s strategic plan. Shana is responsible for leading B&A’s capture management and proposal development efforts focused on the organization’s business development and growth objectives.
Shana is a registered advocate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) by being an active voice to help make changes to Federal legislation and policies that can save lives. As a member of the AFSP National Capital Area chapter, Shana serves on the Volunteer Committee for the ‘Out of the Darkness’ Walks to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
32. Tarah Williams
Chief Operating Officer, Prospera Financial
Tarah Williams is the Chief Operating Officer of Prospera Financial. She first joined the company in 2007 as SVP of marketing. Founded in 1982, Prospera Financial is a company that is focused on service and based on a strong set of core values. By operating with honesty, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to the investor, they exist to support the success of financial professionals which can lead to success for those they serve. Williams is an experienced financial professional with over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. She brings a strong sense of strategy and vision to roles at Prospera.
Throughout her time in the industry, she has served on many conference panels and conducted numerous seminars on fields including recruiting, transitions, client experience, risk management, and marketing for the broker-dealer marketplace. Being an avid writer, she has also published numerous white papers and articles on industry-specific topics. Williams earned an undergraduate degree in business family and consumer sciences and human sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
33. Poupak Afshar
Chief Executive Officer, Easy Dynamics Corp
Poupak Afshar is the Chief Executive Officer of Easy Dynamics Corp. Easy Dynamics is a leading technology services provider with a core focus in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and information sharing. They are builders, problem solvers, and trusted advisors who bring well-architected solutions and management consulting to their clients to align them with the best practices their missions demand. As industry leaders, they are committed to delivering unparalleled quality and service in all aspects of the organization and provide their customers with outstanding technical excellence and the business acumen to advise them on both tactical and strategic initiatives.
Afshar graduated from the University of Maryland with an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and political science.
34. Carrie Scott
Chief Information Officer & Senior Managing Director, KCIC
Carrie Scott is the Chief Information Officer and a Senior Managing Director at KCIC, a Washington, DC-based technology and consulting firm that provides financial, strategic, and operational services to help companies manage their product liabilities. She is responsible for technology development, operations, and infrastructure, and she consults with clients to develop solutions that help them succeed. Scott also is frequently tapped as an industry speaker, as well as to give testimony for cases involving product liability claims administration procedures, insurance allocation and billing practices, database analysis and more.
Scott began her career as a litigation consultant at Navigant Consulting. She holds undergraduate degrees in computer science and economics from Tufts University as well as graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University, both an MBA and a master’s in information technology systems.
36. Sabrina Plassman
Vice President of Program & Partnerships, New Teacher Center
Sabrina Plassman is the Vice President of Program and Partnerships of the New Teacher Center. New Teacher Center (NTC) is a national non-profit organization with a belief that every student from preschool through high school deserves an excellent and equitable education that empowers them to reach their full potential in classrooms, communities, and beyond. Their mission is to disrupt the predictability of educational inequities for systemically underserved students by accelerating educator effectiveness. Plassman has over 17 years of experience. She began her career in 2005.
Before joining NTC, Plassman was a partner at TNTP and before that, a partnership manager at Insight Education Group. Earlier in her career she was a teacher with Teach for America. Plassman graduated from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management with an MBA in management, organization, and social entrepreneurship, from Stanford University with an MA in policy, organization, and leadership studies, and from Boston College with an undergraduate degree in economics and English.
37. Srimal Wangu Choi
Chief Strategy Officer, TEC Solutions
Srimal Wangu Choi is currently the Chief Strategy Officer for TEC Solutions, a specialized consulting firm that provides comprehensive advisory services to the U.S. Government research and development initiatives. Choi is responsible for business strategy and growth, execution, and customer relationships. She has over 25 years of experience leading innovative technology programs. During her career, Choi has successfully solved complex challenges by building partnerships between diverse stakeholders including Government, industry, academia, and international organizations. She leverages her technical background to lead cross-functional and high-performing teams and deliver effective results.
Previously, Choi served as a business operations manager and systems engineer for Orbital Sciences, where she developed spacecraft and launch vehicles. She has held roles of increasing responsibility at Lockheed Martin, Redshift Technologies, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Choi has published papers in the field of small satellite technologies. She also dedicates her time to space advocacy, focusing on the importance of space and science education for the next generation. Choi graduated from MIT with undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and physics, and an MEng in electrical engineering and computer science. She also completed the International Space University Space Studies Program.
View the complete list of awardees.
38. Beth Ackerman
SVP of Rivermont Schools, New Story Schools
Beth Ackerman is the SVP of Rivermont Schools New Story Schools. She first joined the school system in 2020. New Story and its family of schools and clinics serve students with autism spectrum disorders and emotional support needs with an array of services aimed at helping every child write new stories of success. With a team of approximately 500 employees, Rivermont New Story Schools has 14 schools and 6 Your Life ABA clinics across the Commonwealth of Virginia, which provide individualized and intensive educational, behavioral, and therapeutic services for nearly 1,000 children and adolescents with emotional disabilities or autism across our state.
Previously, Ackerman was a teacher at Rivermont Schools before she moved on to assist in starting the special education program at Liberty University, where she later became a professor and administrator for 15 years. Her master’s degree is in special education with a postgraduate professional license from the Virginia Department of Education which endorses her to teach elementary education K-8, learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and administration and supervision K-12. Her doctorate degree is in educational leadership from UVA. Ackerman also continues to teach online for Liberty University and conducts professional development workshops for regional Christian school conferences where she shares her knowledge on leadership, differentiated instruction, and behavioral challenges for aiding Christian educators.
39. Caitlin Iseler
Founder and CEO, Happyly
Caitlin Iseler is the Founder and CEO of Happyly, a wellness company partnering with corporations to provide an employee benefit supporting the work from anywhere employee experience. Happyly is the innovative corporate wellness program designed to support working parents and their families find micro-wins in mental health through activities and hands-on service opportunities.
Prior to founding Happyly, Iseler spent 15 years in executive search in the software space, most recently with Korn Ferry. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a master’s degree in information technology management and was a member of the 2004 Women's Lacrosse National Championship team.
41. Kelly Plunkett
Staff VP of Advanced Analytics, Anthem
Kelly Plunkett serves as Staff Vice President, Advanced Analytics for Anthem, a fortune 50 health company with over 45M members. Plunkett drives the vision, strategy, and execution for the Community Health, Consumerism, and Government Growth domains within the Enterprise Analytics Hub. Plunkett and her teams harness the power of insights to maximize healthcare quality, manage healthcare costs and improve member experience.
For more than 20 years, Plunkett has championed innovation through insights driven decision making and healthcare opportunity modeling. She is respected as a thought leader in healthcare analytics. Making the complex simple, she turns insights into actionable opportunities that can be measured, monitored, and scaled, generating repeatable and sustainable value. Plunkett earned an undergraduate degree in economics from The College of William and Mary and an MBA from Columbia Southern University.
42. Trish Barber
Senior Vice President of Marketing, Presidio Federal
Patricia (Trish) Barber is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Presidio Federal, a purpose-built and mission-driven IT services and solutions provider dedicated to serving the federal government. She has spent the latter part of her career in leadership roles with companies during transitional periods of dramatic growth such as product launches, mergers, spinoffs, acquisitions, and large government projects. Her 20 years in the DMV led her to establish 3WaysDigital, enabling her to partner with companies such as Presidio Federal to establish marketing operations and strategy.
She believes in channeling her energy into the professional development of women and girls as evidenced by recent board positions with Women in Technology and STEM for Her.
43. Christi Cox
General Counsel, Epirus
Christi Cox is a General Counsel at Epirus. She first joined the company in 2021. Epirus is a high-growth technology company developing solid-state, software-defined directed energy systems that enable unprecedented counter-electronics effects and power management solutions to optimize power efficiency in defense and commercial applications. With a constant emphasis on innovation, they are redefining the future of power to bring tomorrow’s capabilities to life, today.
Prior to Epirus, Cox spent over seven years at Microsoft as senior corporate counsel for Microsoft Federal, where she focused on government compliance and contracts. She was instrumental in transforming the way Microsoft conducted business with the U.S. federal government and played a key role in negotiating the $22B Integrated Virtual Augmentation System contract with the U.S. Army and the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. She was also lead counsel on the formation of critical initiatives between Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which led to the development of VA’s Covid dashboard and the use of Xbox Adaptive Controllers to better support injured veterans. Before Microsoft, Cox spent nearly a decade as Corporate Counsel at Oracle. She holds a JD and an MBA from the University of Colorado Boulder and an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.
44. Michelle Stuntz
Senior Client Partner & North America Consumer Consulting Leader, Korn Ferry
Michelle Stuntz began her professional career over 20 years ago. Today, she is the Senior Client Partner and North America Consumer Consulting Leader for Korn Ferry. Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm that assists their clients to design their organizational structures, roles, and responsibilities. They help them hire the right people and advise on how to reward, develop, and motivate their workforce. In addition, they help professionals navigate and advance their careers.
Stuntz first got her start in 2002 as a fundraising and brand manager at City Year. From there, she went on to the Peace Corps, before eventually rising to become a senior manager at Deloitte, her most recent position prior to joining Korn Ferry. She is on the Board of Trustees for Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School. Stuntz graduated from The LBJ School of Public Affairs with an MPAff in public policy, public administration, and international relations and from The Ohio State University with an undergraduate degree in psychology, criminology, and French.
45. Allison Ewing
Allison Ewing is a Principal at HEDS. Founded in 2004, HEDS is a women-owned architecture firm based in Charlottesville, VA and serving Virginia and North Carolina with a practice that includes projects across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. They focus on the careful integration of buildings with their environment, a focus that operates at several levels in harmonizing buildings with their surroundings, and in the integration of building and natural systems, such as cooling through natural ventilation, rainwater collection, and harnessing energy from the sun. As an architect and leader, Ewing advances sustainability through design, implementation, and advocacy, both within and beyond the architectural profession by modeling change in the building industry with solutions both visionary and practicable. Working on commercial, institutional, residential, and mixed-use projects at both large and small-scale, Ewing’s architectural experience spans thirty years and three continents.
Ewing’s work exemplifies “Good Design” in its fullest meaning. Where the green architectural movement of the 70’s and 80’s fell short, she seeks a more integrative approach, arguing that beauty is not a trade-off for green design, rather that both must exist to create buildings that live on. She promotes a more adaptive species of building, one that has a lasting and fundamental impact on the building industry through the advancement of new aesthetic of ecology. Prior to forming her own firm HEDS with partner Chris Hays, Ewing was Partner at William McDonough + Partners, and design associate at the Italian firm of Renzo Piano Building Workshop. She received her master’s degree in architecture from Yale University Graduate School of Architecture and was a recipient of a Monbusho Fellowship to Japan where she studied Japanese housing.
View the complete list of awardees.
46. Nikki Reid
Partner, KPMG Federal Advisory
Nikki Reid is a Partner in KPMG’s Federal Advisory Practice with over 15 years of experience providing federal financial management, project management, and federal grants services. She has extensive experience providing civilian and legislative branch agencies with financial statement and notes compilation, general ledger account analysis, grant financial analysis, accrual development, reimbursable agreements support, data quality review, budgetary to proprietary reconciliations, cost accounting, budget execution, and property, plant, and equipment analysis and reporting.
Reid also serves as KPMG's Federal Advisory Financial Management Lead and is a Local Office Instructor. She is a Certified Public Accountant in Virginia and DC, a Certified Government Financial Manager, and a Certified Internal Controls Auditor. Reid earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Hampton University.
47. Jenny Maugeri
Executive Director, Atlantic Shores Retirement Community
Jenny Maugeri serves as Executive Director for Atlantic Shores Retirement Community; a 100-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, featuring over 550 independent living apartment and villa homes, a 52-apartment assisted living community, a 14-bed Memory Care unit and a 50-bed skilled nursing facility. In 2020, the Board of Directors at Atlantic Shores and Life Care Services, the nation’s leading management firm for continuing care communities, appointed Jenny to the role of Executive Director and tasked her with the unique responsibility of continuing to lead the community through the pandemic while positioning Atlantic Shores to ensure financial growth and long-term stability. In this role, Jenny leads her staff to create a well-organized, highly efficient, and positive team-focused environment where employees love to work and residents desire to live.
Donna Kelsey, Board Member and CEO of American Senior Communities, shared her thoughts with us; “Jenny led Atlantic Shores during one of the most challenging times in Senior Living. She has maintained high quality and operational standards despite the significant barriers that the pandemic presented. She worked tirelessly to ensure the residents and staff were cared for. She is a driver, sets high expectations, motivates others and is a true servant leader.”
48. Olivia Trivisani Bowker
Founder and CEO, Amivero
As the daughter of U.S. Foreign Service Officers, Olivia Trivisani Bowker lived in nine countries on four continents by the time she was 18. Her immersion in a diversity of cultures cultivated the values and executive skills she is known for today as Founder and CEO of Amivero, including empathy, resourcefulness, inclusion, patriotism, and forging connections with everyone she meets. Bowker opened Amivero's doors in October 2018, following a 15-year career in various GovCon roles. She coined the name by combining two Latin words - ami (friend) and vero (true) – planting the seeds of her firm’s culture of openness, engagement, empowerment, authenticity, and agility.
Bowker has created seats at the table for everyone. She puts people first, securing the knowledge that taking care of both Amivero’s team members and its clients’ needs results in better outcomes and higher satisfaction on all sides of the table. Only three years in, Bowker’s strategy is paying dividends. Amivero finished 2021 with 53 diverse employees and 76 total team members, two more prime contract awards, a healthy opportunity backlog, industry and client recognition, and new company-sponsored charitable giving and outreach initiatives that put values into action.
49. Molly Mattessich
Managing Director of Project Delivery, Forum One
Molly Mattessich began her professional career over 21 years ago. Today, she is the Managing Director of Project Delivery of Forum One. Forum One amplifies the impact of mission-driven organizations through transformational digital solutions. For 25 years, changemakers have relied on their wide-reaching expertise in strategy, design, and technology to move their missions forward. They achieve lasting impact for their clients through innovation, pragmatism, and their belief in rich, diverse perspectives. Mattessich brings over two decades of experience in operations and managing website development projects for the federal government and NGOs, on-the-ground experience in international development, and a history of directing digital communications efforts, to lead the experienced team of project managers at Forum One and deliver top-notch digital services to organizations who want to make a different world.
Mattessich first got her start in 2001 as a research and publications coordinator at the Marketing Science Institute. From there, she went on to Van Ness Feldman P.C., before eventually rising to become the director of communications at VEGA - Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance. Mattessich holds a master’s degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University, an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley College, and is a Certified ScrumMaster.
50. Maria Voreh
Director, KPMG | Federal Advisory
Maria Voreh is a Director in the KPMG Federal Advisory Consulting practice. Before joining KPMG, Voreh was a senior leader in the Federal Government with over 30 years of data management, and project management working with Federal, state, local, and international law enforcement, and intelligence communities. During her federal career, Voreh served as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) first Chief Data Officer and in various IT management roles supporting FBI national security and law enforcement systems. As FBI’s CDO, Voreh was an active member of the Department of Justice Chief Data Officer Board and ONDI’s Intelligence Community’s Chief Data Officer Councils where she was instrumental in the establishment of community-wide Data Management Lexicons and the development of ethical principles and frameworks for the use of AI.
Voreh is a certified Project Management Professional. She received a master’s degree in engineering from George Washington University’s School of Engineering & Applied Science and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from West Virginia University. Voreh is also a founding member of Women Leaders in Data & AI where she currently serves as the non-profit WLDA Academy Committee Chair.
View the complete list of awardees.