Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Maryland for 2022. Maryland, commonly referred to as “Little America” due to the widest variety of terrain from mountains and farmland to beaches and sand dunes, is home to many accomplished and notable women. This year’s awardees are making strides in the state in a number of industries including education, human rights, technology, financial services, and more. Their dedication to their profession is making it possible for future generations of women to thrive in their respective fields.
Among this year’s awardees are Hala Jassim AlMossawi, Vice President of Global Health for RTI International, an accomplished global health professional who has served for more than 24 years with government ministries and agencies; Elisa Gil-Pires, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of Charles E. Smith Life Communities, who oversees the healthcare delivered to over 1000 residents within their network; and Adrienne Hunter, Vice President of Industry Marketing and Field Enablement for IBM, who is responsible for marketing strategy and execution of IBM’s largest clients in the government and healthcare industry segments.
We applaud the efforts and successes of this year’s awardees. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Maryland for 2022.
2. Gaynelle Swann
Vice President, Stanley Black & Decker
Gaynelle Swann is the Vice President of the Business Analytics and Transformation Office of Stanley Black & Decker. She first joined the company in 2019 as the vice president of engineering. Swann is an award-winning systems engineering, technical and program management leader with significant experience and success implementing complex, large-scale projects within scope, schedule, and budget. She has over 30 years of experience. She began her career in 1991.
Prior to joining Stanley Black & Decker, Swann was a program and engineering manager for Raytheon. Before Raytheon, she was a senior manufacturing systems engineer for Ford Motor Company. She previously established the new college for Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management, and Aviation programs at Southern New Hampshire University where she led programs and curriculum development with a team of 27 professors, department chairs, and program coordinators. Swann graduated from Tuskegee University with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and from Georgia Institute of Technology with a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
4. Caroline Roche
Partner, IBM Consulting
Caroline Roche is a Partner at IBM who leads the Customer Transformation in the Utility, Telecommunications, High Tech and Media Industries for IBM Consulting. In these industries, she is responsible for user experience design, UI / UX, web & mobile development, Salesforce, Adobe, and Commerce transformation and is focused on weaving together technology to deliver customer outcomes. Since taking the leadership role 4 years ago, she has led to significant growth of the business area for IBM. She leads a team of over 150 consultants and is known developing high performing teams. She has won multiple awards at IBM, including the Best of IBM in 2018.
IBM Consulting is the professional services and consulting arm of IBM focused on business strategy, experience design, technology, and operations. Roche graduated from William & Mary with an undergraduate degree in finance and a concentration in accounting and joined IBM out of college. A mom of 3 young children, Roche is particularly passionate about advocacy for DE&I in the work place, especially for working mothers. She writes a popular blog, The Roche Report, where she writes about women’s leadership topics.
6. Adrienne Hunter
Vice President, Industry Marketing and Field Enablement, IBM
Adrienne Hunter is the Vice President for U.S. Public and Federal Marketing at International Business Machines (IBM). IBM is the global leader in business transformation through an open hybrid cloud platform and AI, serving clients in more than 170 countries around the world. With 28 consecutive years of patent leadership, IBM is committed to being a responsible innovator and a force for good in the world. Hunter has held various leadership positions in IBM across sales and marketing in both global and U.S based positions. Currently, she leads the organization responsible for marketing strategy and execution in support of IBM’s largest clients in the government and healthcare industry segments. In this role, she is responsible for the execution of B2B marketing best practices which build new client relationships and drive strategic business growth.
Previously, Hunter was a director of marketing for IBM US East. In this role, she was responsible for marketing IBM's portfolio of offerings to industry and enterprise clients in the region. Earlier in her career, she was responsible for development of the cross-brand integrated marketing strategy for the retail, consumer products and travel & transportation industries world-wide. Hunter earned her undergraduate degree from Hampton University.
9. Hala Jassim AlMossawi
VP of Global Health, RTI International
Dr. Hala Jassim AlMossawi is a servant leader who works with passion and strives to deliver results and bring out the best in others around her. Dr. AlMossawi champions strong values, strategic thinking with excellence, and high performance. She is an accomplished global health professional with more than 24 years of experience as a technical expert, strategist, and leader at the implementing partner level, program level, with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and with government ministries. Dr AlMossawi is a published expert on infectious diseases and a certified Master Trainer. She is a seasoned leader in business development and in the design and management of programs covering health system strengthening, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning, reproductive, maternal and child health, and global health security among others. Dr. AlMossawi has led programs funded by various donors, e.g., USAID, DTRA, DOS, CDC, MCC, and MCAs. She has extensive field-based experience managing infectious disease and health system strengthening programs in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as managing multi-country programs and developing policies and strategies, guidelines and protocols, assessment tools, and communication and training materials.
Dr. AlMossawi is an American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) designated Master Trainer and holds Master Training Program (MTP) and Human Performance Improvement (HPI) certificates from ASTD. Additionally, she holds a Strategic Planning Expert level certificate. As Vice President of RTI’s International Development Group Global Health Division, Dr. AlMossawi provides strategic leadership and overall management for RTI’s global health portfolio. She is responsible for ensuring excellence in program implementation and advancing RTI’s technical and scientific leadership.
11. Elisa Gil-Pires
SVP of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer, Charles E. Smith Life Communities
As Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Elisa Gil oversees the healthcare delivered to over 1000 residents on the Charles E. Smith Life Communities (CESLC) campus. This spans the Hirsh Health Center, an outpatient private geriatric practice, a house call practice, inpatient post-acute rehabilitation and long-term care including palliative and hospice care for over 400 residents at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. She also provides geriatric primary care as well as palliative care to her patients on campus. Dr. Gil manages a full-time medical staff of six physicians and two nurse practitioners. She also monitors many consultants and specialists that attend to patients at CESLC. She is very involved with CESLC community hospital partners in navigating the future of healthcare delivery and achieving triple aim outcomes.
Dr. Gil is a Certified Medical Director (CMD) as well as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP). She is triple boarded by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Geriatrics, Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine. Additionally, she serves as the Site Director for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where two palliative care fellows are trained each year. She is passionate about serving our older adults and ensuring they receive the best specialized medical care and are treated with dignity and reverence. With CESLC she is very involved in planning, hosting and speaking at many educational events held throughout the state of Maryland. She is also an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Medical Directors Association.
12. Shinta Hernandez
Dean of the Virtual Campus, Montgomery College
Shinta Hernandez is the founding Dean of the Virtual Campus at Montgomery College in Montgomery County, MD. Previously, she served as its Department Chair of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice. From the time she started at the College in January 2007, she has helped to advance work in the social science disciplines, open educational resources and open pedagogy, social justice and equity, inclusive curriculum, faculty professional development, international collaborations, and online education.
Prior to academia, she worked as a public policy analyst at think tank organizations in the Washington, DC area, namely the Urban Institute and Westat. Dr. Hernandez received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Brandeis University, MPP degree in social policy from Georgetown University, and PhD degree in sociology at the University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Hernandez was previously awarded the Montgomery College Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and Advising for AY 2016-2017 and the NISOD Excellence Award in 2018.
13. Rachel Resch
Operating Principal, Keller Williams Integrity
Rachel Resch is the Operating Principal of Keller Williams Integrity located in Ellicott City MD where she was born and raised. Resch became one of Keller Williams Realty International’s Top CEO s in North America by leading her team to Number #1 in the MD/DC Region and 1 of only 6 in 700 market centers to achieve Top 25 rankings in Owner Profit, Profit Share, Gross and Net Recruiting during her role as CEO.
After 5 years of hard work, Keller Williams Realty International awarded her with a Keller Williams franchise back in her hometown of Ellicott City where, with the help of her talented leadership team and associates, she led the brokerage to over 1 Billion in sales volume within her first few years. Resch’s journey in the real estate industry has been paved with hard work and a tenacious servant's heart as she has led and supported close to 1000 real estate business owners to accomplish their goals and dreams. Resch earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
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14. Laurie Henry
Dean, Salisbury University
Dr. Laurie Henry is the Dean of the Seidel School of Education and Professor in the Department of Literacy Studies at Salisbury University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Henry served as Associate Dean of Clinical Preparation and Partnerships and Interim Department Chair of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Henry came to Salisbury University after 11 years at the University of Kentucky. She is originally from Connecticut where she began her career as a middle school teacher. She earned an undergraduate degree in special education, a master’s degree in education, and a PhD in cognition and instruction with an emphasis on literacy and technology. Dr. Henry is a member of AACTE's Clinical Practice Commission.
16. Brigid Peterson
Partner & Head of Endowments & Foundations Business, Brown Advisory
Brigid Peterson is a Partner and Head of the Endowments & Foundations Business at Brown Advisory. She has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations, institutions, and private foundations on strategic, operational, and development issues, as well as advising families on structuring their philanthropic legacy. In her work with clients, Brigid helps boards, staff and investment committees develop a vision and policy around aligning their investment portfolio with their organizational mission.
Brigid serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland School of Law, the Investment Committee of Notre Dame Preparatory School and as Trustee for the Baltimore Community Foundation, where she serves on the Impact Investing SubCommittee and Race, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Prior to joining Brown Advisory, Peterson practiced law, working with tax-exempt organizations and philanthropically minded individuals. She earned a JD in law from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and an undergraduate degree in sociology from Connecticut College, and studied abroad at The University of Cape Town.
18. Mary Pratt-Henaghan
Chief Technology Officer, WETA
Mary Pratt-Henaghan joined WETA and NewsHour Productions in the newly created role of Chief Technology Officer in August 2021. In this role, she provides strategic and tactical leadership for WETA’s media and information technology, broadcast/digital content distribution, engineering, and infrastructure services. WETA is the flagship public media station in the nation’s capital and serves the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia with content that educates and inspires on WETA television channels WETA PBS, WETA Metro, WETA PBS Kids, WETA UK, and WETA World; and on WETA Classical 90.9 FM; innovative literacy websites; and educational content for learners of all ages.
Pratt-Henaghan returned to WETA after more than thirty years of leadership in technology and network operations. She held vice president and senior vice president roles with BBC Studios, and then with AMC Networks, serving as brand guardian for BBC America in the U.S., where she ensured all operations of the channel were executed to BBC editorial and technical standards. Prior to BBC America, Pratt-Henaghan worked at Discovery Inc., as part of the new technology group, directing network operations for the launch and operations of new channels. Pratt-Henaghan got her start in public broadcasting initially as an intern with the MacNeil/ Lehrer NewsHour. She then joined WETA as a production assistant on the documentary film series Smithsonian World. Pratt-Henaghan graduated from the University of Maryland with a master’s degree in management and from DeSales University with an undergraduate degree in English, communications, and foreign languages.
19. JoAnn Theys
SVP & CFO, Corus International
JoAnn Theys serves as Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of Corus International, responsible for the organization's overall financial and operational health and direction. Corus International is a family of organizations working together in the world's most fragile settings to deliver the holistic, lasting solutions needed to overcome the interconnected challenges of poverty, health care access, and climate change. Corus's nonprofit and for-profit subsidiaries include IMA World Health and its fundraising brand Corus World Health, Lutheran World Relief, CGA Technologies, Ground Up Investing, and Farmers Market Brands.
Previously, Theys worked at Jhpiego, an affiliate of John Hopkins University, where she was a director of global finance and administration. Earlier, she worked for the International Law Institute as director of finance and administration and at FINCA International as controller and internal audit manager. Theys, a fluent Spanish speaker, also spent three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. Theys earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
21. Ashley Brown
Dr. Ashley Brown is an executive leadership advisor at ghSMART. She serves Fortune 500 CEOs and senior executives, private equity investors, and boards in the areas of leadership assessment, coaching and development, and organizational effectiveness. Drawn to helping leaders thrive, Brown’s career has spanned the private, public, and social sectors.
Prior to joining ghSMART, Brown was at McKinsey & Company. She served high-performing organizations, bringing a cross-industry perspective to talent strategy and capability building. Internally, Brown provided guidance on strategic growth to leaders of dozens of client service teams and served as an advisor to 500+ integrative consultants. She built trust-based relationships across tenures from business analysts through senior partners, and she was involved in shaping initiatives on recruitment, learning, development, advancement, mobility, and inclusive leadership. Prior to McKinsey, Brown was in People Operations at Google, partnering with leaders on topics including performance management, succession planning, compensation, and post-merger integration. During her graduate studies, Brown was an instructor of political psychology, an assistant to the Dean of Academic Planning and Policy, and a research assistant in the Graduate Student Success Office. Dr. Brown also spent several years as an analyst in the United States Intelligence Community, focusing primarily on political instability and democratization. Brown graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Spelman College with a degree in economics. She completed her advanced degrees at the University of Michigan, earning a master’s degree in political science, followed by a joint PhD in public policy and political science. She is also a Certified Executive Coach.
23. Nekeisia Booyer
Chief Programs Officer, Maryland Food Bank
For two-decades, Nekeisia Booyer has dedicated her career as a change agent, advocating for social-economic equity and inclusion for low-income, underserved, and marginalized groups. As Chief Programs Officer at the Maryland Food Bank, Booyer oversees Regional Programs, Partner Logistics, Community Impact (Nutrition Education/Healthcare Partnerships) and Workforce Development Programs. As a member of MFB’s Senior Leadership Team, she collaborates with peers, team members, and community stakeholders around strategic initiatives to develop, test, and scale effective outcome-based approaches that build upon the existing impact of the food assistance programs and address the root causes of hunger.
Booyer is a strategic, collaborative and results-driven leader with more than 20 years of non-profit operations and program management experience. She achieves organizational success through strategic planning, coaching, and mentoring high performing management teams, driving cross functional teams to achieve results, budget planning and fiscal management, and creating and implementing policies. Her ability to build and manage partnerships and leverage resources has proven effective in developing and leading innovative initiatives that influence and improve outcomes. Further, Booyer has previous experience serving as a Board Director for various nonprofits and government entities such as, Bernadette's House Inc. RESOURCE Inc. and Council of Black Minnesotans boards. She graduated from Metro State University with an undergraduate degree in human service and from Saint Mary's University in Minnesota with a master’s degree in management.
24. Bayliss Fiddiman
Senior Counsel & Director of Educational Equity, National Women's Law Center
Bayless Fiddiman is a Senior Counsel and Director of Educational Equity for the National Women’s Law Center. She first joined the organization in early 2022. The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families, including economic security, education, employment, and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. Fiddiman is a dynamic attorney experienced with legal and policy research, authoring policy reports, legislative advocacy, drafting legislation, and managing strategic partnerships.
Prior to joining the National Women’s Law Center, Fiddiman was an associate director for K-12 education for the Center for American Progress. Before that, she served with the Educational Testing Service as a professional work fellow and a legal fellow for the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project. Fiddiman graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with an undergraduate degree in legal studies and African American Studies, and from Northeastern University School of Law with a JD.
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26. Whitney Hood Robinson
Controller, Dakota Consulting
Whitney Hood Robinson serves as the Controller of Dakota Consulting, Inc., and is responsible for all financial operations, planning, forecasting, and financial analysis for the firm. She brings a long history of financial management experience with government contractors, specifically in the areas of information technology, defense, and healthcare. Robinson is specialized in indirect rate analysis, cost pool allocation, and corporate factor management. Her other areas of expertise include financial systems design and implementation and auditory compliance.
In addition, Robinson is a founding partner of Pogo Electronics & Distribution, LLC, a manufacturer of consumer electronics for guitarists and the music industry. Pogo is home to several brands of guitar pedals that have gained momentum in recent months. Robinson has an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business, and holds long-standing memberships with the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance and the Society of Human Resource Management.
29. Dawn Hendricks
President & CEO, FM Talent Source
Dawn C. Hendricks is the President and CEO of FM Talent Source LLC, an award-winning professional services firm. Under Hendricks’ leadership FM Talent has evolved from a start-up staffing company to its current status as a mid-sized management consulting firm employing more than 150 professionals across 12 states. With over 20 years of subject matter expertise and strategic business insights in project management, Hendricks’ progressive and focused vision creates optimum growth opportunities for her clients and team. Dedication and forward-thinking leadership have been the cornerstone principles for FM Talent Source. These principles aligned with the core values of service, diversity, and excellence have earned the organization a reputation of quality and reliability.
Hendricks holds a master’s degree in human resource management from American University, an undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, and is a Project Management Professional, certified by the Project Management Institute.
30. Anjali Kataria
Co-Founder & CEO, Mytonomy
Anjali Kataria, CEO and Co-Founder of Mytonomy, is a serial entrepreneur and executive in both the public and private sectors. Mytonomy is her third venture / growth equity-backed enterprise software company and is rapidly expanding. The company was named #13 fastest- growing company by Inc. 5000 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and #835 fastest-growing in the U.S Under Anjali's leadership, Mytonomy has developed a novel CRM platform for clinical engagement across the patient journey. The Mytonomy Cloud for Healthcare has been named best-in-class in healthcare and is the pace car driving patient-provider engagement through innovation in live content streaming and integrated communications. Mytonomy has also quickly become the market leader in producing a new category of broadcast-quality microlearning content for healthcare. The Mytonomy film Studio Anjali founded in 2018, has built the largest healthcare microlearning library in the industry and has received more than 100 Digital Health and Telly Awards for innovation in content creation.
Prior to Mytonomy, Anjali's second enterprise software company was acquired by Oracle, and she served as the VP of Product Strategy in Oracle Product Development. Anjali's federal government experience started in the Obama Administration, where she was one of the first Entrepreneurs in Residence at the FDA and went on to serve as Senior Technology Advisor in CDRH, FDA, and in the Office of the CIO to the President at EOP. Anjali is a former Springboard Fellow, and Echoing Green Fellow, and has received numerous awards herself, including top 40 under 40 in DC, FDA Commissioner’s Award, Silicon Valley’s FWEE Trailblazer Award, and was recently named a 2022 Ernst Young Entrepreneur of The Year finalist in the Mid-Atlantic region. Anjali received her AB in Public Policy from Duke University as a Benjamin N. Duke merit scholar and her MPP from Harvard Kennedy School. She has guest lectured at Wharton and the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.
32. Loretta Smith
Data Governance Oversight Managing Director, Citi
As the Managing Director in Technology/Cyber Operational Risk for Data Governance Oversight, Loretta Smith provides oversight and challenge of firmwide data governance policy and standards, identification and implementation of data controls, development of a risk appetite, and effective data risk identification, management, and reporting to all levels of the firm. An experienced and noted data thought leader, she has a proven track record of implementing business value through innovative uses of enterprise information with data governance, data strategy, logical data models, metadata management, enterprise data warehouse and data mart design, data profiling and master data management. She is an accomplished speaker, writer, and facilitator, adept at relationship building in both business and technical environments. Smith enables communication between business and technical professionals using data modeling, technical writing, and presentation skills by creating technically accurate visual and written documentation of data requirements at the conceptual, logical, and physical levels. She acts as mentor on all facets of data stewardship, data governance, data architecture, data modeling, and Business Intelligence.
Additionally, Smith is the past president of DAMA International, a not-for-profit, vendor-independent, global association of technical and business professionals dedicated to advancing the concepts and practices of information and data management. In this elected position, Smith focused on transparency, trust, and effective operations in all DAMA-I's initiatives. As past president, she serves on the DAMA International Board of Directors. Smith has achieved mastery level certifications from DAMA International as a Certified Data Management Professional DMBOK v1, from TDWI as a Certified Business Intelligence Professional and from the ICCP as a Certified Computing Professional and Certified Data Professional.
34. Bridget Rice
Senior Director of Transportation Continuous Improvement, United States Postal Service
Bridget Rice has served in multiple senior director roles at the United States Postal Service. In her current role, she provides strategic direction for the development, implementation, and ongoing improvement of transportation procurement and logistics strategies necessary to reduce costs and improve the delivery network. Rice has worked in the supply chain management and logistics industry for 16 years. She has been recognized with multiple awards to include the Postal Executive Achievement Award in 2021, Supply Chain Management 2016 Distinguished Leadership Award, 2017 EPA Climate Leadership Award for Supply Chain Sustainability and is a multi-recipient of the Supply Management Vice President’s Award.
Since assuming her first executive position in 2013, Rice has been passionate about partnering with highway transportation suppliers to convert vehicles to natural gas, electric and other sustainable fuel options. In 2018, she delivered the Keynote Speech at the Compressed Natural Gas Industry Leadership Conference discussing the work that the Postal Service has undertaken to convert highway trucking suppliers over to natural gas fuels. Additionally, in 2019, she spearheaded the Postal Service’s first ever autonomous pilot test for highway tractor trailer service. Rice has an undergraduate degree in marketing and logistics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s degree in acquisition and supply chain management from the University of Maryland, University College.
36. Barbara Slusher
Professor & Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Barbara Slusher is Professor of Neurology, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Medicine and Oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery program. Slusher has published over 250 scientific articles and is the inventor on over 100 patents and applications.
Before joining Johns Hopkins, Slusher spent 18 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including several years at the level of SVP of research and translational development. She has extensive experience in drug discovery through early clinical development and was involved in the successful development, launch and post marketing support of four FDA approved medicines. In 2010, she joined Johns Hopkins to lead the largest drug discovery program on campus with a team of over 25 medicinal chemists, assay developers, pharmacologists, toxicologists, and pharmacokinetics/drug metabolism experts. The team is engaged in identifying novel drug targets arising from the faculty’s research and translating them into new drug therapies for clinical development. Since joining JHU, she has co-founded four companies including Cerecor, Dracen Pharmaceuticals, Adarga, and Lorem Therapeutics amassing over $150M in venture support. She also founded the International Consortium of Academic Drug Discovery with over 150 university-led translational centers and 2000 members to coordinate and enhance university-led drug discovery efforts. Dr. Slusher received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College where she graduated valedictorian, majoring in Chemistry. She received her PhD in pharmacology and molecular sciences from John Hopkins School of Medicine while simultaneously earning her master’s degree in administrative science from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.
37. Amiee Winchester
Continuous Improvement Program Director, Baltimore City Public Schools
As Baltimore City Public Schools’ Continuous Improvement Program Director, Amiee Winchester leads the strategy development and implementation of the continuous improvement efforts throughout the district and co-leads the Baltimore Secondary Literacy Improvement Community Network focused on improving literacy outcomes for students in grades 6–12. In this capacity, she supports the design and scale of a sustainable district wide improvement strategy, constructs systems and routines to successfully drive organizational change, and leads the creation of learning-by-doing professional learning opportunities to build improvement capacity of district leaders and practitioners.
Winchester first got her start in 2010 as a teacher of instructional technology at Howard County Public Schools. From there, she went on to Hager Sharp, before eventually rising to executive director of research and programs at Trinity Education Group, her most recent position prior to joining Baltimore City Public Schools. Winchester graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with an MA in education policy, from The John Hopkins University with an MA in elementary education and teaching, and from American University with an undergraduate degree in international relations and affairs.
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38. Deominic Napoleon
Executive Director of Sponsored Research & Accounting, American University
Deominic Napoleon, the Executive Director of Sponsored Research and Accounting at American University, is a dedicated and resourceful 21st Century business leader specializing in research administration and financial operations in the DC/MD/VA area. In this newly created role, Deominic strategically aligns the full lifecycle of sponsored research at AU thereby establishing in some areas and strengthening in others the seamless integration of pre and post award operations.
As a strategic and service-oriented leader possessing strong technical and analytical skills gained from more than 25 years of progressive work experience, Deominic has accepted several opportunities for continued growth. She began her career in the defense industry by working in companies such as Lockheed Martin and DynCorp International in Ft. Worth, TX. After fulfilling a strong desire to move to the beautiful state of MD, she transitioned to the non-profit sector where her leadership and continued growth at The National Academy of Sciences was the catalyst for the work she now performs. Time and time again Deominic has proven to use a high degree of organizational effectiveness to successfully shape and reshape organizations to obtain maximum efficiency, but her secret to this success is the team(s) and the people for which she leads. With the mind of an accountant, the heart of a psychologist, and the creativity of an artist, Deominic understands that when each person on the team wins, she wins. Her heart is centered around growing, training, and developing others to reach their full potential and she brings this same passion to everything she does inside the organization and to her coaching, planning, and volunteering endeavors outside of the organization. Knowledge is her driving force and sharing knowledge is her passion, so it should be no surprise that while she holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from Dallas Baptist University and the University of Maryland, College Park respectively, Deominic still believes that not everything that counts can be counted.
39. Lauren Laimon
Senior Study Director, Westat
Lauren Laimon has dedicated her professional career to leading public health research initiatives. For 20 years, she has managed a multitude of federally funded research projects designed to generate discoveries that inform public policy and impact the standard of care for HIV patients across the U.S. and in international settings. As a senior study director at Westat, she currently leads the coordinating center for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Prevention and Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-affected Adolescents in Resource Constrained Settings (PATC3H) program. This research network generates the scientific understanding needed to power innovation that will enable important public health interventions for adolescents and young adults affected by HIV in resource-limited settings in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Laimon has contributed to the scientific literature through numerous publications in leading scientific journals. She also served on a variety of education and training panels as well as promotion and public awareness panels. Drawing from her background in marketing, she has created expansive educational materials and informational products for various marketing and health initiatives. Outside of her professional career, Laimon is passionate about helping children in need. She founded the 4 Season Giving Tree, a grass-roots non-profit organization that creates the infrastructure needed to fulfill the immediate needs of disadvantaged families by providing new and upcycled donations from the local community. She holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and business management from James Madison University and a master's degree in clinical research administration from George Washington University.
40. Molly Tierney
Managing Director of North America Public Sector, Accenture
Molly Tierney is a member of Accenture’s Health and Public Services team where she helps lead the strategy for improving the results our country achieves for vulnerable children and families. She currently serves as a Managing Director for North America. In addition to holding a leadership role at Accenture, she is a professor in the School of Social Policy at Johns Hopkins University.
Prior to joining the firm, she spent a 25-year career in the field of human services. Most recently, she spent 10 years as the director for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services where she managed the city’s child welfare and public assistance programs. Over that period, she championed a reform effort that dramatically improved the impact of services to vulnerable citizens of Baltimore, including reducing the number of children in foster care by more than 70%. She created a business model for the agency that is now considered a national model for modern social services. She joined the department after 5 years in Chicago where she designed and managed the social service programs that supported Mayor Richard M. Daley’s major human service reform plans. Prior to that she spent 10 years in public child welfare systems in Illinois and in Washington DC. She holds a master’s degree from Loyola University and is a fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
41. Katie Lake Jordan
Senior Director of Client Services, Morning Consult
Katie Lake Jordan is a Senior Director of Client Services for Morning Consult. Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, and better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. Jordan has experience in online marketing and communications with both an international business consultancy and with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining Morning Consult, Jordan was a research director for consumer and industry insights for National Retail Federation and before that a research associate with Wakefield Research. She previously served as a co-founder and chair of community outreach for the Elon Chapter of Autism Speaks. Jordan graduated with an undergraduate degree in marketing and leadership studies from Elon University.
42. Najma Knobloch
Director of Education, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
Najma Knobloch joined the National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation as the Education Director at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in February 2019. At NCCR, Najma has served as an academic liaison for parents, students, schools, and school districts. Najma creates individualized return-to-school plans for each patient, to determine the educational implications of each patient’s recovery from illness or injury, using firsthand information gathered from conferencing with families and school personnel, visiting patients’ schools, and working in collaboration with the patient’s physicians and therapy team. Najma has served NCCR families as an advocate, ensuring that NCCR patients continue their education and receive services and accommodations needed to ensure safe and successful reintegration into their schools. Najma also serves as the teacher for the pediatric unit, providing direct instruction and educational evaluation services to patients across grade-levels. Additionally, Najma organizes Continuing Education for the pediatric rehabilitation team to ensure continued professional development with relevant education and training opportunities for the team’s physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and therapists.
Prior to joining the NRH team, Najma worked in various education and leadership roles for Arlington Public Schools, the Foundation School of Montgomery County, and at the SEED Public Charter School of Washington, DC Najma also has a passion for research, beginning with her work for the Research Triangle Institute as a research associate, conducting research on the effect of a school-based intervention program on social, emotional, relational, and cognitive outcomes for students in Baltimore City schools. In addition to her current role at MedStar, Najma is a research associate for the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation Research Center, working on projects to promote learning and success among African American undergraduate students in STEM. Najma is also a research assistant for additional research projects out of Howard University, where she is currently earning her PhD in educational psychology. She earned her BA in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her MA in education and human development with a focus in special education from George Washington University.
43. Roshni Rao
Executive Director of Doctoral & Postdoctoral Career Design, The Johns Hopkins University
Roshni Rao is the inaugural Director of PHutures, a Career office at Johns Hopkins University focused on PhDs and Postdocs. Over the last two years, she has created and built an office from the ground up focused on impactful career education, exciting programming, and scalable and accessible resources for over 5000 doctoral students and postdocs. In her tenure thus far, Rao has created the first data-driven hiring event with over 80+ doctoral employers, the first free and global doctoral conference, the first inaugural Career Impact award and soon a brand new research communication competition centered on DEI.
Recognized for her work, she was recently the recipient of the inaugural first penguin award for diving in and motivating others despite uncertainty of outcome. Rao was also the recipient of the Diversity Leadership Council’s Diversity Award. In her previous role, she won the Kelly Distinguished Achievement award for creating impactful programs serving Postdocs. Rao earned a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of South Carolina, an undergraduate degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Otago, and an undergraduate degree in microbiology, chemistry, and botany from St. Joseph’s College.
44. Deb Poquette
Director of Community Outreach & Health Equity, Centennial Medical Group
Deb Poquette is the Director of Community Outreach & Health Equity of Centennial Medical Group. She has a multi-discipline background in public relations, non-profit management, civil legislative work, and health care management in the public health and health equity sector. Throughout her career, Poquette has been recognized by peers and community leaders for her exemplary business practices and community service. Her accolades include Honorary Resolutions from her local County Council for service to the community and civic activity, various Community Service awards, and was a Volunteer of the Year nominee in her home state.
Poquette has served by legislative appointment on various government commissions and task forces such as the Howard County Executive's Transition Team for Housing as well as Planning and Zoning, Spending and Affordability Advisory Committee, Public Engagement in Land Use Taskforce, HCAR Professional Standards and Grievances Committee, the Howard County Revenue Authority and the Howard County Ethics Commission. In her PR career, Poquette represented several professional athletes in the National Football League and Major League Baseball in their non-profit endeavors. She currently serves as the Fund Advisor for the Ray of Hope Foundation for Ray Lewis. Poquette is a member of the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution and has completed training as a transformative mediator through Baltimore Mediation.
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46. Veary Kin
Director of Finance, BTI Security
Veary Kin has served for over 16 years as the Controller and Contract Manager for security services firms specializing in Federal and Commercial Security Services. Kin had been managing, directing, and guiding security companies, applying her skills in pricing and contracting management to take small emerging businesses and grow them into clearly defined companies that provide a quality product at a fair market price and set the standard throughout the industry. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation and general management of multiple government contracts. She promotes positive change throughout the organization by developing streamlined processes that reduce touch labor and increase corporate efficiency. She considers employee welfare first and foremost in everyday operations. Kin communicates mission-critical tasks, assigns responsibility, and successfully achieves company goals utilizing her extensive knowledge and experience in the industry and personal power of persuasion.
Kin’s foremost goal in any business endeavor is quality and efficiency of mission accomplishment within a positive environment that promotes individual growth and provides clear and direct leadership. On every available occasion, she shares the knowledge she has gained and enables her staff to grow into leadership roles. Kin graduated from the University of Maryland Global Campus with an undergraduate degree.
47. Julie Spangler
Director of Client Services, IMS Infrastructure Management Services
Julie Spangler is the Director of Client Services of IMS Infrastructure Management Services. She first joined the company in 2021. Infrastructure Management Services is an independently owned and operated pavement distress data collection firm with offices in Tempe, Arizona, Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and Cambridge, Ontario. Since its inception in 1985, IMS has progressively developed new automated pavement data collection technologies together with real-world software applications to become a recognized international leader in the field of pavement management and right of way asset management. Spangler has over 21 years of combined experience in the public sector.
Previously, Spangler was a director of technology and business development, and associate vice president at JMT Technology Group and before that, an adjunct faculty of the Geospatial Applications Program at Community College of Baltimore County. Spangler earned an MS in applied information technology and an undergraduate degree in geography and environmental planning from Towson University.
48. Victoria Zelefsky
Director of Brand & Communications, The Menkiti Group
Victoria Zelefsky has been an established leader in marketing and communications for the past decade, most recently being named to the Communications Council on Forbes as an expert in the industry. From leading growth marketing and building multi-channel digital strategies to successfully navigating complex communications and spearheading social media campaigns for multi-million-dollar companies, Zelefsky takes on any challenge that comes her way. As the Director of Brand and Communications for The Menkiti Group, it’s Zelefsky’s mission to lead the marketing and public relations initiatives for the enterprise. In her role she expertly crafts public facing and internal copy and strategically plans marketing initiatives for every business unit and company in The Menkiti Group family of companies.
Prior to joining The Menkiti Group, Zelefsky was the director of marketing for MenuTrinfo and the marketing manager at Johns Hopkins University for Bon Appetit Management Company. She got her start in marketing with the Monte Restaurant Development Group as the head of marketing and advertising at their corporate office, overseeing a fleet of restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. Today, in addition to her role with The Menkiti Group Zelefsky is the creative director for Kurv Agency, a national marketing agency with a focus on digital marketing, a writer for Forbes, contributing writer for Hotels.com, and has a robust freelance marketing and writing career writing with companies across the globe including Kraft foods and Indeed. Prior to her career in marketing, Zelefsky worked as an international tour guide for Euroadventures, a travel company based in Florence, Italy and was a producer, director, performer, and manager for theaters and music schools in Colorado, New York City, Virginia, and Maryland. As a classically trained opera singer, Zelefsky is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Today she continues to perform in Maryland with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Annapolis Opera, and makes regular appearances as the national anthem singer for the Baltimore Orioles.
49. Kathryn Procope
Executive Director, Howard University Middle School of Math & Science
Kathryn R. Procope is an accomplished Executive Director of the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. Her rich background in K-12 educational leadership boasts
numerous achievements as Principal of Friendship Collegiate Academy High School and Maya Angelou Public Charter High School. Lauded for transforming educational programs, Procope has earned many accolades, including the 2020 Digital Principal of the Year Award and 2016 State Principal of the Year Award. A valued educator and champion of student achievement, she taught AP calculus and served as a mathematics coach, receiving the Agnes Meyer Teacher of the Year Award in 2009.
Procope has a long and impressive list of professional successes. Prior to becoming an educator, she excelled as a leader across industries, including project manager at Bank of America and senior developer at First Union National Bank. Her strong technical acumen is often beneficial in academia, especially when integrating blended and remote learning. Procope truly understands the power of education. She holds several graduate degrees, including a master’s degree in leadership, a master’s degree in middle grade mathematics, and a master’s degree in secondary education and teaching. Committed to lifelong learning, she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and administration from American University.
View the complete list of awardees.