Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Georgia for 2022. Established in 1732, Georgia has cultivated a rich history, developed significant economic contributions, and produced many successful individuals. Businesses within the state employ over 24 million people and undergo an annual job growth rate of around 2 percent. This year’s awardees are some of the top contributors for the state’s success. Fighting to create and maintain an equal playing field, these women offer significant contributions and achievements in the industries they serve. We acknowledge these women for their tenacity, strength, and resilience year after year.
Among this year’s awardees is Pamela Fletcher, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Delta Air Lines, who is tasked with building a sustainable future for air travel and combating the climate change crisis; Vanessa Allen Sutherland, Executive Vice President of Legal & Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary for Phillips 66, who uses her 25 years of experience to lead the company’s legal operations; and Tunisia Poole, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Southwire Company, whose contributions to the organization include commercial litigation, dispute resolution, pandemic response, and labor union negotiations.
We applaud the current and past contributions of this year’s impressive awardees. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Georgia for 2022.
1. Vanessa L. Allen Sutherland
Executive Vice President & Corporate Secretary, Phillips 66
Vanessa L. Allen Sutherland is the Executive Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary for Phillips 66. With nearly 150 years of experience, Phillips 66 is well-positioned to help fulfill global energy needs. They are a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company with unique businesses in refining, midstream, chemicals and marketing, and specialties. In her role, Sutherland focuses on the strategic delivery of legal services through restructurings, automation, process improvements and creation of legal operations.
Sutherland’s vast experience lies in the technology, manufacturing, transportation, and chemical sectors. Before joining Phillips 66, Sutherland was an EVP of government relations and chief legal officer at Norfolk Southern Corporation, and before that, a CEO and chairperson at the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Earlier in her career she worked with the U.S. Department of Energy in the Office of the Inspector General. Sutherland graduated from American University Washington College of Law with a JD, from American University - Kogod School of Business with an MBA in IT, and from Drew University with an undergraduate degree in political science and art history.
3. Julie Miller
Principal & Partner, Deloitte Consulting
Julie Miller is a Principal in Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice focused in the telecommunications and media industry. She has over 20 years of industry experience and leadership with strategic and digital transformation programs ranging from start-ups to large scale transformations. Miller’s eminence resides in marketing, sales, and service with a focus on driving an enhanced customer experience across all customer touch points through the enabling of cloud-based technologies as well as implementing Artificial Intelligence to drive insights and a personalized experience. She leads Deloitte’s TMT Artificial Intelligence Strategic Growth Offering and she leads Deloitte’s Technology, Media, and Entertainment Salesforce practice.
Previously, Miller was a partner at Accenture, and before that, a systems engineer at United Insurance Company. Earlier in her career she worked with Electronic Data Systems as a systems engineer. Miller earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Houston.
4. Julie Blocker
Tax Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Julie Blocker is a Tax Partner in the Greater Atlanta practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. She first joined the organization in 1995. PricewaterhouseCoopers is known for its outstanding corporate finance accounting services which provide services like audit, tax analysis, business compliances, corporate finance, risk management, security, and other services that are on par with the latest in the financial industry. Blocker serves as the lead engagement partner for retail and technology clients in the Southeast. She serves primarily large public companies and specializes in federal tax consulting and income tax accounting.
Blocker is a partner sponsor for the Atlanta Women Leadership Network, focusing on promoting professional growth and development for all women. She graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in accounting and is a Fisher School of Accounting advisory board member.
7. Pamela Fletcher
SVP & Chief Sustainability Officer, Delta Air Lines
Pamela Fletcher is a Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Delta Air Lines. She joined the company in February 2022 as the industry’s only Chief Sustainability Officer. In her role, Fletcher is focused on expanding current efforts to build a sustainable future for air travel and help combat the climate change crisis.
Before joining Delta Air Lines, Fletcher served in various roles with General Motors, most recently as the VP of global innovation. In addition to her current roles with Delta, Fletcher serves as a corporate director for Coherent Inc. She graduated from Wayne State University with a master’s degree in engineering, and from Kettering University with an undergraduate degree in engineering.
9. Nickie Parker
Senior Vice President of Merchandising Displays, WestRock Company
Nickie Parker is the Senior Vice President of Merchandising Displays for WestRock Company, a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions. Parker is responsible for leading sales and operations for promotional displays and packaging and visual and permanent displays in their corrugated packaging segment.
Parker has served in several leadership roles during her 24-year career with WestRock (and predecessor company MeadWestvaco), including vice president of commercial excellence, managing director of the company’s Asia-Pacific business based in Shanghai and vice president of WestRock’s liquid packaging business. Parker began her career with WestRock in process engineering and quality assurance. She serves on the board of Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Shop! Association. She was named the TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry) 2018 Woman of the Year. Parker earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Tulane University, Freeman School of Business.
10. Tracey Brown
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Fiserv
Tracey Brown is a Senior Vice President and General Manager for Fiserv, a global leader in financial services and payments technology solutions for financial institutions, businesses, and consumers. Fiserv serves clients in more than 100 countries, was named among the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2021 and 2022 and has been recognized as one of FORTUNE World's Most Admired Companies® for 11 of the past 14 years. With Fiserv, Tracey is responsible for delivering solutions for Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis, Risk Management, Reconciliation, Automation and Data Archives to help clients achieve their objectives of saving time & money, reducing risk, growing profitably, and managing compliance. Tracey has 25 years of experience partnering with multinational and global organizations to improve bottom-line performance through more effective management, development, and implementation of business operations.
Tracey got her start in 1997 in Human Resources at HealthSouth Corporation. From there, she went on to Federal Reserve Bank before eventually rising to become the VP of Client Success at ADP, her most recent position prior to joining Fiserv. Tracey graduated from Samford University with an undergraduate degree in business. Tracey attributes her career success to saying yes, taking chances and finding amazing mentors along the way!
11. Sam Finley
Vice President & GM of Benefits Solutions, ADP - National Account Services
Sam Finley is Vice President of Benefit Solutions for National Account Services (NAS), charged with advancing the operational, product and growth strategy for the business. She leads all facets of the organization, including client services, operations, project management, technical services, partner development and enablement. At ADP, Finley has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility across strategy, operations, and service. Most recently, she was VP of talent management solutions for NAS, where she focused on accelerating growth of the portfolio in the enterprise space. Finley is a seasoned strategist, having spent over a decade in Accenture’s Management Consulting practice, leading global teams in the identification and prioritization of business investment and improvement opportunities for Fortune 500 companies.
In addition to her work at ADP, Finley serves as an executive coach for Emory University's Goizueta Business School and supports non-profit organizations including the American Cancer Society, Junior Achievement, the Kula Project, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is also the National Board co-chair for ADP’s Military Strong Business Resource Group. Finley holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and lives with her husband and three children in Atlanta.
View the complete list of awardees.
12. Rita Evans
Vice President & Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch
Rita Evans is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch. She first joined the company in 2000. Evans is known for being superb at networking and designing innovative business development seminars and marketing efforts. She is tasked with developing and maintaining high net worth relationships, while providing all aspects of financial advice from investments to insurance, retirement and estate planning, mortgages, commercial and small business lending, endowment, and 401k plans, all while leading a team of client associates and product specialists.
During her time at Merrill Lynch, Evans has been awarded national and regional recognitions for bringing in new relationships and assets to the firm, as well as annuity sales, and mortgage financing. Evans first got her start serving in director roles with various medical facilities including Georgia Baptist Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Dekalb Medical’s Arthritis Care Center. Evans earned an MSW from The University of Georgia.
14. Tunisia Poole
Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Southwire Company
Tunisia Poole is an executive adviser with 17 years of experience in multinational business and elite law firms. Today, she is Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary for Southwire Company, LLC, one of the leading manufacturers of wire and cable used in the transmission and distribution of electricity. In this role, Poole leads the legal team and advises on corporate transactions including mergers, acquisitions, and strategic investments. Poole also is responsible for legal operations where she focuses on process improvement – including technology and automation – for maximum efficiency. Prior to her current role, Poole served as employment and labor counsel as well as managed all commercial litigation for Southwire.
Over the course of her career, Poole has served as primary counsel on corporate transactions, corporate restructuring, corporate governance and entity management, facility closures, commercial litigation as well as labor and employment matters. She has conducted internal investigations related to whistleblower claims and employee malfeasance. Poole also has worked on incentive plans, employment agreements, employment policies, and diversity initiatives.
16. Vanessa Elkins-Rogers
VP of Enterprise Procurement, Mutual of Omaha
Vanessa Elkins-Rogers is an exceptional leader for global procurement. She currently serves as the Vice President for Enterprise Procurement for Mutual of Omaha. Elkins-Rogers has more than twenty years of successful procurement experience, and has held leadership roles in vendor, materials, and marketing management, strategic sourcing strategy, project management, supply chain, and supplier diversity. She is committed to leading for profitable growth while expanding global operations and sales. She has been instrumental in transforming companies into global consulting and diversified services organizations while achieving success via leveraging their supplier network as a tool and mechanism to positively impact their bottom-line.
Throughout her career, Elkins-Rogers has held positions of leadership with such noted companies as The Coca-Cola Corporation, Home Depot, Johnson Controls and Bellsouth/AT&T where she has applied her expertise and knowledge of procurement. She regularly engages audiences at conferences and workshops nationwide on various aspects of project management, procurement, and strategic sourcing. Elkins-Rogers graduated with an MBA and undergraduate degree in finance from Kennesaw State University. She is an active member and contributor for the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc and is a chairman of the International Executive Board.
17. Susan Gambardella
President of North America, Kimberly-Clark Professional
Susan Gambardella joined Kimberly-Clark Professional (KCP) as President of North America in February 2020. She is responsible for leading Kimberly-Clark Professional’s largest region, spearheading a transformational growth strategy that accelerates North America’s financial, strategic, and operational results. Kimberly-Clark Professional partners with businesses to create Exceptional Workplaces, helping to make them healthier, safer, and more productive. Key brands in this segment include Kleenex, Scott, WypAll, KleenGuard and Kimtech.
For more than three decades, Gambardella has been instrumental in building strong teams and delivering significant results. She spent 27 years with The Coca-Cola Company and held senior leadership positions in marketing and general management, both domestically and globally. Gambardella began her career in Procter & Gamble’s General Management Training Program. In addition to her role leading Kimberly-Clark Professional North America, Gambardella recently joined the board of BevSource (Shore Capital) and serves on the national board of directors for Girls, Inc., and the University of Connecticut Foundation. Gambardella holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut and executive education certifications from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
18. Kathryn Kieser
EVP & Chief Reputation Officer, Primerica
Kathryn Kieser is Executive Vice President and Chief Reputation Officer of Primerica, Inc. She also serves as President and Chair of The Primerica Foundation. Primerica is a leading provider of financial services for middle-income households in the United States and Canada. The company helps educate people on the principles of personal finance including reducing debt, planning for the unexpected, and gaining access to appropriate financial products and services to protect their families and save for the future.
Kieser joined Primerica in October 1995 and has held many leadership positions over her career at the company including EVP of investor relations, VP of sales and product marketing, SVP of auto and homeowners Insurance, and chief marketing officer for Primerica Life Insurance Company. Kieser earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Auburn University and a Master of Science degree from Georgia State University. She serves on the board of directors for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. She also serves on the board of advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
19. Lisa LoRusso
VP of Product Management & Development, InterContinental Hotels Group
Lisa LoRusso is the Vice President of Product Management and Development for InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom. InterContinental Hotels Group is one of the world’s largest hotel groups with 6000 hotels around the world. LoRusso is a 30+ year veteran of the travel industry, with extensive distribution and product management experience in hospitality, airlines, car rental, and rail. Additionally, she has experience in sales and airline hosting systems. In her current role, LoRusso has the responsibility of IHG's Property Platform, IHG Concerto™, the enterprise Guest Reservation System, Property Management Systems and Payment solutions.
LoRusso has held roles of increasing responsibility with InterContinental Hotels Group, Travelport/Worldpsan, Sabre and American Airlines. She was elected to and served on the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association Board of Directors, the Open Travel Alliance Board of Directors, and co-led the HEDNA Connectivity Working Group. LoRusso is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington.
20. Kim Adams
VP of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Culture and Engagement, Papa Johns International
Kim Adams is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Culture and Engagement of Papa John's International. Papa Johns is the world’s third-largest pizza company with over 5,300 restaurants in 49 countries. With 16,500 corporate and 100,000+ franchise team members, the company’s top strategic priority is building a culture of leaders who believe in diversity, inclusivity, and winning. Adams drives this strategic priority as an accomplished leader with 20 years of professional experience in human resources, DEI, and business process. Adams executes the global DEI and culture strategies for Papa Johns. Her goal is to differentiate Papa Johns’ brand from its competition in collaboration with the board of directors, executive leadership team, and enterprise stakeholders by integrating DEI to realize a vision for having the best culture in the restaurant industry.
Prior to Papa Johns, Adams served as vice president for engagement, inclusion, and diversity at Equifax. She has also served as senior director of employee experience and culture at AECOM and held increasing leadership roles in human resources, diversity business marketing, and operational excellence at global organizations like Coca-Cola, Cox Automotive, and Marsh Inc. Adams has an undergraduate degree in finance with honors from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Georgia State University Robinson College of Business. She also holds an executive certificate from Harvard University Kennedy School for Promoting Racial Equity in the Workplace and a D&I Professional Certificate from Cornell University.
View the complete list of awardees.
23. Khadijah Abdullah
Vice President, Economic Development & Social Impact, Shipt
Khadijah Abdullah is the Vice President of Economic Development and Social Impact at Shipt. In her role, she leads Shipt’s national community strategy and champions Shipt’s mission to “spark the connections to show why every person counts.” Her team works to ensure Shipt is a strong corporate citizen via philanthropy, employee engagement, volunteerism and most importantly, creating and leveraging catalytic initiatives with a focus on food insecurity, families in crisis, and increasing economic opportunity for marginalized and often disenfranchised communities.
Abdullah is a “reformed attorney” and brings nearly 15 years of experience and expertise in rural and urban non-profit leadership, fund development, diversity, equity and inclusiveness, and community building. Previously, she was the executive director for both Teach For America Alabama and Teach For America Metro Atlanta where she scaled and stabilized both organizations in order to equip high need communities with educators and leaders in order to increase student achievement and access. Abdullah is a committed and passionate advocate for increasing educational and economic access and opportunity across the communities she is privileged to lead alongside. She is a community leader and has been tapped to engage in a number of initiatives. In 2021, she was appointed by Mayor Woodfin to serve as co-chair for the Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Transition Committee. Additionally, Abdullah is a member of Leadership Birmingham Class 2015, Leadership Huntsville Class 28, and the Alabama Leadership Initiative. Abdullah serves on a number of boards, including the Birmingham Education Foundation, Birmingham Promise, New Schools for Alabama, Prosper Birmingham Core Team, The Penny Foundation, and The World Games. Abdullah received her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University. She obtained her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law and completed the Young American Leadership Program at Harvard Business School in 2018.
24. Sonia Sardana
Senior Vice President, Analysts
Sonia Sardana is the Senior Vice President at Analysts. In her role, Sonia leads recruiting operations and is responsible for strategic sales and business development. As the leader of recruiting operations and service delivery, Sardana oversees our global delivery centers for service excellence and has an unwavering commitment to quality. She runs a delivery organization that is client-centric, process-driven, and comprises a highly skilled and qualified talent pool to exceed client delivery expectations. Sardana is also instrumental in shaping and nurturing strategic business alliances by reinforcing client relationships and responding to client requirements with the best approach.
Sardana joined Analysts in 2012 and has since held multiple strategic and leadership positions in the company. She started as an IT program manager where she led digital transformation across the back office and financial systems. She then went on to play a key role in restructuring the operations department by building a global operations strategy and implementing the plan across several geographies. With almost 10 years in the industry, Sardana is a key driver of analysts growth with proven expertise in areas of talent solutions and digital transformation across a variety of industries. She holds an undergraduate in industrial and system engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
25. Jessica Kirkwood
Associate Vice President of Supporter Engagement, CARE
Jessica Kirkwood serves as Associate Vice President of Supporter Engagement at CARE. CARE is a leading humanitarian global organization. They deliver lasting change to some of the world's poorest communities and place special focus on working alongside poor women to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. In her current role, Kirkwood leads media partnerships and cross functional efforts to engage the Community of CARE. Recently, her work has been focused on the design and execution of social and behavioral change communications campaigns to reduce COVID vaccine hesitancy in 19 CARE countries.
Before joining CARE, Kirkwood was the chief of staff at Matchfire, a cause marketing firm where she helped LG Electronics select and launch their philanthropic and cause marketing focus in the U.S. Prior to joining the Matchfire team, she was deputy chief of staff for a U.S. Senate race in Georgia. In her role as a senior digital strategist with Social People she helped nonprofit and corporate clients conceive of, plan, and implement innovative online marketing projects. Before joining Social People, Kirkwood was a VP for digital strategy at Points of Light, a national nonprofit focused on volunteerism. Over the past 25 years, she has served in numerous, executive-level roles in nonprofit management with a focus on fund and program development, marketing, and event management. Kirkwood graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an undergraduate degree in English.
27. Sherika Ekpo
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Anaplan
Sherika Ekpo is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of Anaplan. She first joined the company in 2021. Anaplan is building a future where connected leaders and teams are able to constantly adapt, transform, and reinvent their businesses. They make it possible to share actionable insights, empower and unleash creativity, and drive innovation. With Anaplan, finance and operational leaders across the organization can model complex scenarios, forecast continuously with added intelligence, and make agile decisions with confidence. Ekpo is a passionate diversity, equity, and inclusion leader with nearly 20 years of experience in strategic human capital consulting and management.
Ekpo has the ability to design and execute workplace diversity programs and product inclusion strategies that contribute to an organization’s bottom line. She is a skilled facilitator and diversity champion who provides subject matter expertise to senior executives using evidence-based best practices to drive results. Previously, Ekpo was a global diversity and inclusion lead in artificial intelligence at Google, and before that, a head of people operations and diversity at United States Digital Service. Earlier in her career she worked with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a business analyst. Ekpo earned an MBA in human capital and organizational development from the University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business and an undergraduate degree in marketing from Howard University.
29. Anu Seam
Assistant Vice President - Senior Legal Counsel, AT&T
Anu Seam began her career in New Delhi, India, over 30 years ago. In the U.S., she practiced in utilities law with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and honed her skills in telecommunications law at the Federal Communications Commission and the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice. She is currently Assistant Vice President – Senior Legal Counsel at AT&T, where she represents AT&T in international and domestic telecommunications matters before the Federal Communications Commission.
Ms. Seam also serves on the Board of Directors of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network. In addition, Ms. Seam is Past President of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association and past Board Member of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
30. Susan Schayes
Chief Transformation Officer, ChenMed
Susan Schayes, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, is Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) for ChenMed, a national leader in primary care recognized as a Fortune magazine “Change the World Company”. Dr. Schayes joined the innovative company now operating nearly 100 medical centers in 15 states, nine years ago. She is an expert in the clinical and business execution of ChenMed’s proven/highly personalized approach to primary care. As CTO, Dr. Schayes is accountable for preparing new center leadership teams to transform care with VIP service that delivers best-in-class health outcomes. Plus, Dr. Schayes oversees creation of a winning road map for growing each ChenMed center opening in a new market. Physician led, ChenMed is a hyper-growth company providing integrated care to Medicare-eligible seniors, many living with multiple and major chronic health conditions. The global risk medical practice, frequently recognized as a great place to work, is presently expanding into South Carolina, North Carolina, and rural Georgia, while also growing rapidly in all current markets. In June 2022, Newsweek celebrated ChenMed as a “Most Loved Workplace”, reporting on how “employees feel wanted and challenged – and have numerous opportunities for advancement.” One notable example being advanced by Dr. Schayes, is ChenMed’s 2022 launch of the nation’s first Fellowship in Transformative Care (FIT), designed to train physician leaders of the future.
Dr. Susan Schayes formerly was a faculty member for 16 years at Emory University School of Medicine, where she was the Division Chief of Family Medicine, as well as the Residency Program Director for the Emory Family Medicine Residency Program. Prior to joining Emory, Susan worked for the University of Toronto, and was in private practice. As the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians educator of the year in 2012, Susan has been a champion of educating and training medical students, residents, physicians, and other allied healthcare learners for more than two decades in two countries. She received an M.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, and an M.P.H. in Management from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She did her Family Medicine Residency at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is board certified in Family Medicine in both Canada and the United States, and actively practices medicine.
32. Jennifer Jones-Mitchell
SVP of Marketing & Communications, Acronym
Jennifer Jones-Mitchell began her career in technology PR in the mid-90s when she helped launch the dot-coms that defined the decade. As one of the early adopters of social media, she began speaking and writing about social media marketing in the mid-2000’s, cementing her position as an industry leader. She’s since held senior marketing positions in global agencies and served as the president of a mid-sized PR agency, driving a 45% year-over-year increase in revenue.
Today, Jones-Mitchell leads marketing and communications for the search and performance marketing agency, Acronym which serves clients in the travel and hospitality industry, retail and eCommerce, banking and financial, as well as B2B and technology categories. Acronym is known as the innovator of search marketing and helps brands connect their products with customers at every stage of the funnel. Within this role and in the industry at large, Jones-Mitchell is recognized for harnessing the power of content marketing to solve business problems, ranging from a brand's share of voice to driving lead generation and converting calls to action. As an industry mentor and a subject matter expert in corporate branding, marketing, and public relations, Jones-Mitchell is regularly quoted in leading publications and presents at top industry conferences. She has also written and performed stand-up comedy and co-wrote an animated feature film. She is a celebrated painter and a healthy lifestyle and clean foods influencer. Jones-Mitchell earned her undergraduate degree in communications from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
View the complete list of awardees.
33. Audrey Hall
Chief Product Officer, Brightwell
Audrey Hall is the Chief Product Officer at Brightwell, a payments technology company that builds financial products to send money securely anywhere in the world. There she is focused on developing and executing strategies that support business growth and enhance brand awareness.
Previously, Hall served as vice president of client strategy at 352, where she was responsible for business development, innovation consulting, community building, and client management for new and existing relationships agency wide. With an eye for detail and a fancy for whimsy, Hall believes in the art of storytelling and the practice of making a good cup of coffee.
34. Beth Anne Price
Principal & EVP, The Medical Affairs Company
Beth Anne Price is a Principal and Executive Vice President of The Medical Affairs Company. She is an accomplished senior executive and strategic team-oriented leader with a demonstrated 28-year history of working in the biopharmaceutical industry. In 2007, Price and several key executives became partners in The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC), with a vision of providing biopharmaceutical and medical device clients with an integrated offering of field medical/medical affairs staffing services, medical information, and consultative medical affairs solutions. In 2017, Parexel International acquired TMAC and Price remained at TMAC in key leadership positions, contributing to the continued growth and diversification of TMAC.
Price has extensive experience in strategic business development, global medical affairs and commercial launch strategy, product corporate and product marketing, operations and building diverse multifunction teams. Prior to TMAC, she served as an EVP at SOS for 10 years and was paramount to evolving and contributing to the success of the company. Price secured more than 75 new clients and enhanced client relationships by providing invaluable insight and support. She held a number of management positions within the healthcare communications industry providing pharmaceutical and biotech clients with strategic marketing solutions. She served as a Subject Matter Expert speaking on numerous medical affairs topics, often conducting workshops and presentations at industry meetings and conferences. Price graduated from Arizona State University with an undergraduate degree in communications.
36. Tauheedah Baker-Jones
Chief Equity & Social Justice Officer, Atlanta Public Schools
Tauheedah Baker-Jones began her professional career 19 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Equity & Social Justice Officer for Atlanta Public Schools. Atlanta Public Schools is committed to raising the bar for their nearly 52,000 students across 87 schools. Their mission is to ensure that with a caring culture of trust and collaboration, every student will graduate ready for college and career. Their vision is one of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. Baker-Jones is an innovative strategist, change-agent, and accomplished educator, who is seeking to eliminate the predictive link between demography and outcomes. She is driven by a core belief that demography is not destiny, and she works to ensure this by challenging the status quo and utilizing a social justice lens to develop systems that close opportunity gaps and improve learning for all students.
Baker-Jones first got her start in 2003 as a teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District. From there, she went on to Newark Public Schools before founding and becoming the chief school administrator for The Freire Charter School. Baker-Jones graduated from Harvard University with a doctorate degree in educational leadership, from Rutgers University with an MPA, and from the University of California, Los Angeles with an undergraduate degree in history and an MEd.
37. Franchesca Warren
Chief Executive Officer, The Educator's Room
Franchesca Warren is the Chief Executive Officer of The Educator's Room, an international platform for trainers focused on building capacity through amplifying their voice through learning development. She is an experienced results-driven, agile leader with over 18 years of a mix of corporate and education experience in programming, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, program development, project management, and managing cross-functional teams that support learning development across global companies. Warren has been recognized for team development and leadership with a portfolio in value of $10 million dollars around initiatives she has led.
Having held various roles in business development, government, education, consulting, and project management, Warren has been afforded the experience to learn and demonstrate cross-functional team management to facilitate seamless execution. With a reputation for driving diverse teams beyond comfort zones to drive strategic growth, she has been credited and recognized for being a change agent with leveraging the capacity of leaders through relationship building, building impactful teams, and innovative practices in programming, project management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion spaces. In addition to her roles with The Educator's Room, she is a Fulton County Schools Board Member. Warren earned an EdD from Georgia State University and master’s and undergraduate degrees from The University of Memphis.
38. Terri Bonoff
Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta
Terri Bonoff joined Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta as Chief Executive Officer in June of 2019. A former Minnesota Senator, and successful business executive, Bonoff brought her strategic vision and passion for making a difference to the Atlanta nonprofit. Since 1891, JF&CS has provided individuals and families of all faiths with services to support their ability to live to their full potential. JF&CS’ experienced professionals bring integrity and compassion to their work in the fields of aging and older adults, career counseling, dentistry, mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and need-based support services. Bonoff led the agency through the pandemic, providing the Atlanta community with essential support when it was needed most. Under Bonoff’s leadership, JF&CS was designated as a 2022 Atlanta Journal Constitution Top Workplace in Atlanta and received a special award for “meaningfulness.”
Prior to JF&CS, Bonoff served as a Minnesota State Senator from 2005-2016. As Chair of the Minnesota Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, she championed legislation to create the Minnesota PIPELINE Project, which expands dual training and apprenticeship programs in Minnesota. Bonoff also had a 20-year successful career in the private sector. She moved to Atlanta after her husband joined Delta Air Lines as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. Shortly after, she joined Georgia Tech’s CEISMC to launch an Atlanta-based PIPELINE Project in partnership with Purpose Built Schools. She serves on the Boards of Quality Care for Children and as the Chair of the Education Committee on the Board of the Alliance Theater in Atlanta.
39. Carrie Wheeler
EVP & COO, Liquid Web
Carrie Wheeler serves as an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Liquid Web's hosting and applications business. In this role, Wheeler is responsible for defining and driving the growth for Liquid Web's strategic product lines including Traditional and Sophisticated Hosting, Cloud Services, Managed WordPress, Managed WooCommerce, Managed Magento, and several other managed applications. Wheeler is passionate about building products, services and comprehensive solutions for entrepreneurs, designers, developers, and digital agencies who are building their business on the web.
Prior to stepping into this role, Wheeler had responsibility for all revenue and customer facing functions including sales, marketing, service delivery and implementation, customer care, and technical support. Prior to joining Liquid Web, Wheeler held several IT leadership positions at Cbeyond, AT&T, BellSouth, MCI Communications and Accenture. In previous roles, she held leadership positions across a variety of organizational functions including IT strategy, merger and acquisition planning and execution, customer operations, systems development, quality assurance, program management and capital management, and process definition and development. Wheeler holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University and an undergraduate degree in marketing and finance from Trinity University.
40. Marlena “Dezz” Mardigan
VP of People, Decisely Insurance Services
CEO, Mardigan Executive, LLC
Marlena "Dezz" Mardigan is recognized with several prestigious distinctions for leadership in business. As Vice President of People for Decisely Insurance Services and as CEO of Mardigan Executive (ME), Dezz has been instrumental in finding the best talent for the right company, at the right time, specializing in executive-level and professional talent whilst offering a special flair to the people side of business. In addition to talent acquisition and human resources services, ME also offers growth strategies for organizations, recruitment department boot camps, as well as career consultation for her candidates. With more than 25 years in recruitment (high profile and volume-based), Dezz has the industry knowledge and business acumen necessary to help other companies succeed. She founded her own company so that she can best serve all her clients, on both sides of the transaction: “ME signifies the ME in me, helping the ME in you.”
Also underway are plans to expand ME. “The future goals for my company are to increase the company brand nationally and globally, gaining exposure and visibility by participating in and becoming more community minded by sponsoring select events and organizations, mentoring to less fortunate and aspiring businesswomen and by partnering with like-minded companies in these endeavors,” says Dezz. She has previously won several awards both globally and nationally. Dezz graduated from West Virginia University Institute of Technology with an undergraduate degree in business, commerce, and legal studies.
View the complete list of awardees.
42. Marilyn Specht
Managing Principal, Integral Group
As the Managing Principal of Integral Group’s US Sustainability Consulting practice, Marilyn Specht is responsible for leading some of the firm’s most ambitious sustainability projects, directing the team’s strategy and financial success, and mentoring her colleagues.
Passionate about creating the most sustainable and healthiest buildings to enhance the built environment, the end goal for all of Specht’s work is catalyzing change and creating true impact for the planet and for people. She works directly with Fortune 50 companies on some of the world’s most ambitious projects and guides her clients in implementing sustainability programs and strategies across their global real estate portfolios. Combining her passion and deep sustainability expertise, Specht spends each day working to solve their most complex challenges at the intersection of sustainability, health & wellness, and equity. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, young daughter, and four-legged children.
43. Sheraun Britton-Parris
Chief Marketing Officer, VisionLabs B.V.
Sheraun Britton-Parris is a global marketing leader with over 20 years of experience producing competitive advantage and yielding sustainable results for B2B and B2C companies. She currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer for VisionLabs, an AI/ML company that creates world-leading facial recognition technology and supports seamless digital identity experiences for the connected world across the retail, security, transportation, and financial services sectors. Sheraun’s public and private company experience spans across industries including SaaS/technology, consumer goods, financial services, travel, beauty, and the creator economy. She is a strategic thinker who leads with a customer-focused, data-centric approach and is versed on how to unlock internal company culture to advance external, long-term brand development, with a focus on ESG factors. Sheraun applies classical marketing training, modern digital media experience, breakthrough creative and empathetic people leadership to deepen consumer connections and accelerate revenue.
Sheraun thrives in purpose-driven entrepreneurial environments and has had experience in Fortune 500, private and startup companies. In addition to her role with VisionLabs, she is a Senior Advisor for Fanbase.app, the first native app with full content monetization via photo, audio chat, lives, stories and both short and long-form video content. Sheraun earned a Corporate Board Readiness Certification from Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business in Silicon Valley. She holds an MBA from The Simon Business School at The University of Rochester, where she was a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow, and a BA in economics from Hampton University.
44. Jennifer Cozier
SVP of Product, CrossBorder Solutions
Jennifer Cozier began her professional career over 15 years ago. Today, she is the Senior Vice President of Product for CrossBorder Solutions. CrossBorder Solutions is the global leader in technology-driven tax solutions. Their advanced AI tax expert helps businesses move from the old ways to the new with greater clarity, efficiency, and more cost-effectively than ever before. Cozier helps transform tech companies through product management. As a software product management leader, Cozier’s ultimate goal is to create value for customers and help them grow their business with a portfolio of products that is easy to buy, implement, use, and service.
Cozier thrives in sales-driven environments, particularly those faced with significant growth goals and where challenges involve implementation, professional services, and support. While her experience is in banking and financial services, Cozier is considered a subject matter expert in tax, payroll, and HR. She has previously held leadership roles at companies like ADP, Paycor, Wolters Kluwer, and Fiserv. Cozier graduated from Emory University with an MBA and from North Central College with an undergraduate degree in international business and German.
46. Teia Beggs
CEO, The McKinlē Group
Teia Beggs is the Chief Executive Officer of The McKinlē Group. The McKinlē Group provides strategic solutions while mitigating risks for small to medium size companies. Their goal is to incorporate best practices, provide smart solutions, strengthen processes, while creating better work cultures. Beggs’ is a change agent, adept in finding great talent, and leading teams in maintaining compliance efforts needed to combat today's ever-changing work culture. She has worked with multiple Fortune 500 Companies, small businesses, churches, and non-profit organizations to provide professional services and expertise.
Prior to her current role, Beggs served as an SVP and HR director for OKJS Holdings. Before that, she was an executive director and HR and D&I officer for Assurant Educational Alliance. Beggs is a graduate of Hood College.
47. Amber King
AVP of Human Resource Business Partners, Atrium Health Navicent
Amber King began her professional career in healthcare over 20 years ago. Today, she serves as the Assistant Vice President of Human Resource Business Partners for Atrium Health Navicent, which is part of the larger Atrium Health enterprise, a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education, and compassionate care. She has been instrumental in leading Atrium Health Navicent’s transformational HR Service Delivery model. Servant leader, innovator, and change agent are just a few words that describe King’s leadership. She is always seeking to develop others to their fullest potential.
Prior to serving in her current role, King has held the positions of VP of human resources and chief compliance officer at a rural TN hospital and executive coach. King holds a master’s degree in Christian counseling from Covington Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in human services from Missouri Baptist University. King is very active in her community and serves as the Warner Robins, GA, Chapter Captain for Team Red White and Blue, serves as the Run Coordinator for GA Run for the Fallen/Honor and Remember, and supports her husband in his full-time ministry. One of her proudest accomplishments is being a mom to her two children, Delaney and Aiden.
48. Leslie Garner
SVP of Sales, InstaMortgage
Leslie Garner is the Senior Vice President of Sales for InstaMortgage. By combining superior technology with expert advice, excellent customer service, and competitive rates, InstaMortgage delivers mortgage options that are tailored to each client's unique financial situation.
Garner has over 39 years in the mortgage industry holding various positions such as loan officer, sales manager, regional manager, sales and performance coach, and VP of sales and development. Whether it's creating top producers in the mortgage industry, working with entrepreneurial spirits in financial services or real estate or meeting the mortgage needs of consumers, Garner has a track record of exceptional customer service. She has previously held leadership roles with Stearns Lending, Cornerstone Home Lending, PrimeLending, and Rocky Mountain Bank. Garner is a graduate of The University of Toledo.
49. Catherine Zhang
International Client Advisor & Portfolio Manager, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Catherine Zhang is an International Client Advisor and Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Catherine services clients globally and focuses on developing comprehensive and ongoing wealth preservation strategies and transfer plans, delivering holistic and customized investment and risk management integrating clients’ cross-border tax and estate strategies. She also assists companies with corporate retirement plans and employee benefits. Morgan Stanley, the Fortune 500 multinational investment bank and financial services company, is headquartered at New York City, with offices in more than 42 countries and more than 74,000 employees. The company mobilizes capital to help governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals around the world achieve their financial goals. For over 85 years, the firm’s reputation for using innovative thinking to solve complex problems has been well earned and rarely matched.
Catherine began her career in corporate strategy, then moved to Wall Street and spent 9 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s headquarter in New York in Investment Banking and Fixed Income Trading, prior to her joining in Morgan Stanley in 2016. Catherine graduated from New York University Stern School of Business with a MBA, from University of Florida with a master’s degree in Operations Research, and from Northwest University in China with a master’s and an undergraduate degree in Physics. Catherine is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), (Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist) CRPS™, and (Certified Equity Professional) CEP.
50. Jessica Rocker
VP of Sales & Marketing, Corrisoft
Jessica Rocker is a skilled business professional with over 15 years of sales experience and over 10 years of experience in cross-sector collaboration. Rocker has used her unique skill set of leveraging strategic partnerships for non-profit and for-profit organizations that impact positive change in the community. The last four years of her career have been rooted in alcohol monitoring where she has flourished and increased her visibility by building relationships with judges, attorneys, political officials, and C-Suite executives domestically and internationally. Rocker has a strong background in sales strategy implementation, cross-departmental project management and public speaking. In her current role, she serves as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Corrisoft. Rocker's mission is to expand the company footprint while destigmatizing reentry and drive better participant outcomes.
Prior to joining Corrisoft, Rocker served with Smart Start, Inc. in various roles including national solutions manager, regional business manager, and judicial services liaison. Before that, she was an operations manager with Operation People for Peace and a contemporary brand manager for Neiman Marcus Group. Rocker earned an undergraduate degree in history from the University of West Florida.
View the complete list of awardees.