Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2022. Pennsylvania, a state with a rich history, is home to countless women who have unique and noteworthy accomplishments in industries including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, mining, banking, and more. In the past centuries thousands of women have contributed significantly to the social, economic, political, and cultural richness of Pennsylvania. This year’s awardees are following in their footsteps making great strides for the women who will follow.
Among this year’s awardees are Tina Nixon, Vice President of Mission Effectiveness and Chief Diversity Officer of UPMC Central PA, who has spearheaded a cultural awareness education series focusing on unique needs and perspectives of various cultures at the organization; Felicity Williams, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor for the City of Pittsburgh, who has led economic development programs and worked to increase Black voter engagement throughout the city; and Paralee Knight, Vice President of Community Relations in the Social Impact and Sustainability Group of Wells Fargo, who manages stakeholder relationships and facilitates programs to drive team member engagement for the firm.
This year’s awardees span across many but remain equally dedicated to the individuals and markets they serve. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2022.
2. Paralee Knight
VP of Community Relations, Wells Fargo Foundation
Paralee Knight is the Vice President of Community Relations in the Social Impact and Sustainability Group at the Wells Fargo Foundation for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. In this role she manages functions related to philanthropy operations that are responsible for resource coordination of complex regional programs. She also works on initiatives and processes for Wells Fargo’s reputation management in the communities it serves, manages stakeholder relationships, and facilitates programs to drive team member engagement. Knight is also actively involved in the music industry where the scope of her work has included song writing, artist management, artist development, consultation, music production, event planning/management, creative direction, and video production assistance. She is a BMI affiliated songwriter/publisher and an active member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Knight’s community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for World Café Live, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, PA that creates innovative, boundary-crossing music programming and arts education. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House of Southern NJ, a non-profit dedicated to providing hope, help and home for families of seriously ill children.
5. Chatón T. Turner
Senior Associate Counsel & VP of Risk Management and Disabilities Services, UPMC
Building on more than 15 years of successful strategic and tactical leadership within the healthcare industry, Chatón T. Turner, Esq., is a consumer-centric transformational leader with deep expertise in delivering large scale, complex initiatives using analytical insights to solve difficult challenges and achieve enterprise objectives. Turner serves as Senior Associate Counsel and Vice President Risk Management and Disabilities Services at UPMC. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing UPMC’s litigation avoidance strategy for patient claims, including managing the UPMC Intermediation Program, an alternative dispute resolution program that gives patients the opportunity to express concerns outside of litigation. Because of these efforts, Turner was asked to serve as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Turner also provides executive operational support for the UPMC Disabilities Resources Center (“DRC”), which was created in 2007 with the goal of improving access to healthcare for people with disabilities who receive care at UPMC hospitals and from UPMC providers. She is honored to serve in this role because of her passion for equality and because she previously served as the VP of the board of the FISA Foundation, which was involved in the creation of the DRC. She is a graduate of The University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina School of Law and manages a personal blog where she discusses her quest for balance.
6. Cynthia Hayes Karcher
SVP, Wealth Management Advisor & Portfolio Manager, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Cynthia Hayes Karcher, Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, and Portfolio Manager, began her career with Merrill Lynch in June of 1977. Founded in 1914, Merrill is one of the largest wealth management businesses in the world. As a Wealth Management Advisor, Karcher draws upon her academic and industry experience and Merrill’s model portfolios and third-party investment strategies to provide a personalized and defined wealth management approach for her clients.
Karcher is a graduate of Dickinson College with an undergraduate degree in economics, cum laude, and was recognized as an Anthony Math Scholar as well as a Dana Scholar. Combining the Total Merrill Platform, and a disciplined Wealth Management Process, Karcher is able to offer clients personalized strategic recommendations to address their complex financial needs. She holds the Series 3, 7, 8, 63 and 65 FINRA registrations. Karcher serves on the board of directors for Garvey Manor Our Lady of The Alleghenies and as an advisory board member to Catholic Charities. She has taken several courses through the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
8. Tina L. Nixon
VP of Mission Effectiveness, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, UPMC Central PA
Tina Nixon joined UPMC Central PA (formerly PinnacleHealth System) in May 2015 as Vice President of Mission Effectiveness-Chief Diversity Officer. UPMC Central PA is a not-for-profit healthcare system. Through remarkable teamwork among physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, UPMC Central PA delivers the most advanced, compassionate care to its patients every day. In her dual role at UPMC Central PA, Nixon ensures that all business and clinical programs and services delivered are consistent with the system's mission and that its programs and services are aligned with the system’s strategic plan and community benefit programs. Nixon ensures that the system’s mission is embedded in its core values and permeates the culture, business practices, and delivery of health care across the system and facilities. She is also responsible for creating an environment for patients, visitors, employees, and caregivers where the uniqueness of all races, ethnicities, colors, religions, beliefs, abilities, appearances, genders, and sexual orientation are understood, respected, and welcomed.
Prior to joining PinnacleHealth System, Nixon served as CEO and director of resource development of the YWCA Greater Harrisburg for 15 years. Her career started in the Pennsylvania State Legislature working for former Speaker of the House K. Leroy Irvis. She has worked in the human service field for over 25 years, collaborating on issues dealing with hunger, homelessness, the welfare-to-work program, health care, domestic violence, sexual assault, childcare, and racial justice and is compelled to make sure those less fortunate have a voice. Nixon is a native of Harrisburg and holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Walden University and an undergraduate degree in political science and sociology from East Stroudsburg University. Nixon holds certification as a Certified Diversity Executive certification from the Institute for Diversity and is a certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer.
9. Mary Dickerson
EVP & Chief People Officer, Radian
As Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Mary Dickerson is responsible for all aspects of human resources at Radian, including workforce strategy, employee benefits, compensation, employee relations, executive development, human resource operations, diversity, equity and inclusion, talent acquisition, organizational development, future work design, facilities, safety, security and resiliency, and administration.
Dickerson has more than two decades of experience leading human resources at organizations including DLL Group, XL Catlin, Accolade, and the Hartford Financial Services Group. Before joining Radian, she served as EVP of HR at DLL Group, a subsidiary of Rabobank Group, where she led a team of 150 human resource professionals globally for its 6,000 employees in 32 countries. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the company’s global human resources function and worked to build the organization’s diverse culture, globally connected workforce and best-in-class learning and development program. Dickerson was recognized as the 2020 CHRO of the Year by the Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Award. Earlier in her career, she also held human resources roles for AIG, VisionQuest, Allied Irish Banks and Fitzpatrick’s Hotel Group. She earned an undergraduate degree in economics with a minor in sociology from National University of Ireland and holds an MBA in management from Saint Joseph’s University. She also earned a JD from Widener University School of Law. A licensed attorney admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar, she is a member of The American Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel, and The Society of Human Resource Managers.
10. Brooke Pierce
VP & Division Manager, Leidos Health Group
Brooke Pierce (Patterson) is the Vice President and Division Manager for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Division within Leidos’ Health Group, a $1.4B, 587-person division. This division supports the Nation’s largest healthcare payer’s information technology and innovation objectives through mission critical hosting, technology insertion, data analytics, end-user support, and modernization
Previously, Pierce served as a senior program manager for the Infrastructure Hosting & Centralized Connectivity Services contract for CMS. Prior to the role, she was the senior program execution consultant for the Government Health & Safety Solutions Operation where she was responsible for engaging with and restoring troubled programs. Pierce was also responsible for creating and implementing the first-ever Independent Program Assessment initiative. Before joining Leidos, Pierce served as a VP of government solutions for Cotiviti, and before that, she was an SVP of government services for ARDX, a small, 8(a) woman-owned business that focuses on government healthcare management and technology consulting. Throughout her career, Pierce has worked with several federal contractors, focusing solely on healthcare IT, mainly in CMS. She has led many key initiatives while focusing on delivery and growth. Pierce graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland University with an undergraduate degree in elementary education, with an emphasis in information technology, and with a master’s degree in teaching with an emphasis in technology.
12. Vanessa Smith
Senior Vice President, Industries & Solution Sales, ServiceNow
Vanessa Smith is a digital technology executive with more than 20 years of experience across sales and go-to market functions. As SVP of Global Go-to-Market for ServiceNow, Smith oversees the company’s global go to-market strategy, with a focus on maximizing success and accelerating time-to-value for ServiceNow’s customers. Smith joined ServiceNow in September 2020, and her Global Go-to-Market organization is a key element of ServiceNow’s commitment to drive deeper customer success and build an exceptional partner ecosystem as it scales growth to $10 billion and beyond. Smith’s philosophy that customer value is a mindset is at the heart of her approach to end-to-end customer engagement across the relationship lifecycle. Smith leads ServiceNow’s value management program, “Now Value,” the Inspire Program, and the Industry Solutions teams. These functions unify the company’s go-to-market strategy under one common vision focused on delivering industry-relevant customer outcomes to drive customer digital transformation and innovation journeys. She also oversees ServiceNow’s top accounts program, focusing on ServiceNow’s largest customers.
Prior to ServiceNow, Smith spent 16 years at SAP in increasingly senior roles. Most recently she was the head of SAP’s SuccessFactors Line of Business in North America, where she was responsible for driving human capital management sales and go-to-market strategy, overseeing core operations including pipeline development, demand management, and revenue growth. Prior to that, Smith was regional vice president for SAP’s Strategic Customer Program, driving multi-year, technology-enabled strategic engagements with strategic accounts across North America. Smith also served as chief of staff for former SAP CEO Bill McDermott and instituted the chief diversity officer role as part of the Office of the CEO mission to drive diversity and inclusion as a marketplace differentiator for SAP. She also held several leadership positions in SAP’s industry value engineering organization. Before joining SAP in 2004, Smith held product and solution marketing positions at GE Global Exchange Services (GXS, now OpenText) and was an associate at A.T. Kearney, a strategy and operations management consultancy.
View the complete list of awardees.
15. Felicity Williams
Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
Felicity A. Williams, Esq. is a racial and economic justice advocate, passionate about politics and community equity. In January 2022, she accepted the 61st Mayor of Pittsburgh’s appointment to become his Deputy Chief of Staff. Over the last 4 years, she led economic development programs, drove effective and strategic communications, and shaped regional equitable development policy at the Hill CDC. She also worked to increase Black voter engagement and turnout through a campaign for eight counties in Western, Pennsylvania, contributed to the development of a policy agenda for Black Pittsburgh, been published on issues impacting the Black community, and engaged in both successful electoral and issue campaigns from criminal justice reform working with the ACLU of Pennsylvania to education reform.
In her past role as programs and policy manager and special assistant to the president & CEO, Williams led the programs and policy teams, as well as communications across the organization. Specifically, she oversaw the policy work promoting equitable development; as well as the legislative advocacy at the local and federal level by tracking, researching, and commenting on legislation that impacts community and economic development. Williams also managed all economic development programs at the organization. In her role as special assistant to the president and CEO, she frequently represented the organization with different stakeholders, business partners, elected officials, media, committees, funders, and other entities. Williams holds an undergraduate degree from Washington and Jefferson College where she double majored in economics and international studies with a concentration in East Asia, and minored in French. She also earned a JD from William & Mary School of Law. Immediately following law school, Williams worked as a consultant in DC for several Department of Defense government contractors, an investment fund, and a national business valuations firm. Williams is admitted to both the Pennsylvania and Virginia bars.
16. Leslie Gillin
Chief Growth Officer, Pagaya
Leslie Gillin is Pagaya’s Chief Growth Officer, overseeing the company’s global growth strategy,
business development, partnerships, marketing and public relations, and external communications. Gillin joined Pagaya in 2021 from JPMorgan Chase, where she served as chief marketing officer of the firm. In this role, she was responsible for global marketing, advertising, media, communications, sponsorships, and customer research and insights. She also served as their president of CoBrand Cards, partnering with some of the most high-profile brands and creating the largest co-brands card portfolio in the world. Gillin has also held senior executive leadership positions at Bank of America, Citi, and MBNA, which included assignments in Canada and the U.K. With over 30 years of experience, Gillin has extensive expertise in marketing, product, and business development for financial institutions. She adamantly believes in Pagaya’s mission to reshape the lending marketplace by using sophisticated AI and data driven analysis to bring more Americans into the mainstream economy.
Gillin was recognized as a Top 25 CMO to Watch by Business Insider in 2020. She serves on the board of Establishment Labs, a women’s biotech company, and has served on the board of Ad Council, MasterCard UK Forum, the Philadelphia International Council of the Arts and the Delaware Bankers Association. She holds a degree in international relations and Spanish from the University of Delaware and attended the University of Salamanca. She resides in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and three children.
21. Christina Mazzella
Chief Human Resources Officer, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Christina Mazzella is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). For more than a century, PCOM has trained highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a "whole person" approach, treating people, not just symptoms. At the main campus in Philadelphia, and the branch campus in Suwanee, Georgia, PCOM students learn to approach problem solving in a more professional, more team-oriented manner, which prepares them to work successfully in integrated healthcare settings with other health professionals. Mazzella has 33 years of experience. She began her career in 1989.
Mazzella lives by the motto “let's keep looking onward and upward, looking back at the past doesn't make tomorrow any different.” Not only is she a CHRO, but she is also a transitional coach for individuals looking to move to the next level in their career or need to change things in their lives. Before joining Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mazzella was an executive director of HR at Allentown School District, and before that, a division director of HR at Emory University. Mazzella graduated from Capella University with an MS in industrial and organizational psychology and from Chapman University with an undergraduate degree in psychology.
22. Rashmi Radhakrishnan
VP & Chief Information Officer, Arcadia University
Rashmi Radhakrishnan is a Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Arcadia University. As a member of the President's Cabinet, she manages IT strategies for the University’s long-term technology needs. Currently, she is leading a multi-phased Digital Transformation Strategy as part of the University's strategic plan, Arcadia2025. Her experience includes driving mission-critical technology initiatives through building and executing the infrastructure for comprehensive technology solutions and advancing collaboration with campus leaders, executive management, and Trustees to gain the necessary buy-in.
Previously, she served in other technology leadership roles, where she led the successful Information Security and Data Analytics and critical system implementations. An innovator and data geek at heart, Radhakrishnan was named a Top IT Pro in 2013 by the Philadelphia Business Journal for her work with business analytics, and she was named to the 2022 Higher Education Power 100 by City and State Pennsylvania. Radhakrishnan recently completed the Chief Data Officer program at Carnegie Mellon University. She holds a master’s degree in instructional technology from Jefferson University and an undergraduate degree in business from Meenakshi College in Chennai, India.
25. Meghan Oakes
General Manager, Head of Hosted Enterprise Payments, FIS
Meghan Oakes is the General Manager, Head of Hosted Enterprise Payments at FIS. Meghan joined FIS six years ago and was first responsible for leading large scale transformation projects and rising to VP of Global Implementations for Integrated Receivables. Since 2021, she has served as Head of Hosted Enterprise Payments responsible for growth and expansion of FIS’s ACH, Real-Time Payment, and Wire rail applications. Meghan is an experienced payments executive with proven success of leading high performing teams, driving strategic business growth, client engagement and improving client satisfaction. She is most passionate about driving growth businesses with exceptional people, processes, and technology. Her favorite mantra is “what gets measured gets improved” and is constantly promoting a culture of innovation and revenue growth, while tackling the industries complex and rapidly changing landscape.
Throughout her career she has served numerous roles of increasing responsibility related finance, program management, and leadership, previously with Dana Holding Corporation and Pentair Inc., where she was responsible for global shared service operations, systems deployments, and finance management. Meghan graduated from Penn State University with a degree in finance.
27. Ryan Gibboney
Assistant Professor of Integrated Media Arts, Juniata College
Ryan Gibboney is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Media Arts at Juniata College. One of the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S., Juniata's mission is to provide an engaging personalized educational experience empowering students to develop the skills, knowledge, and values that lead to a fulfilling life of service and ethical leadership in the global community. Gibboney first joined the college in 2014 working as a consultant to develop the newly created Integrated Media Arts program as well as serving as an instructor to the program. Now as the Program Coordinator, she oversees the interdisciplinary program representing a unique collaboration of art, communication, information technology, computer science, and English departments.
Gibboney founded a local revitalization organization called ReInvision Huntingdon in 2015. Working with the community to identify and execute projects based on community input, they facilitate discussion meetings to identify the current issues and needs in the community. Through this initiative, the organization oversees the Huntingdon Community Food Garden and offers revitalization grants to local community members. Gibboney graduated from Pittsburgh Technical College with an associate’s degree in graphic design, from Savannah College of Art and Design with an undergraduate degree in graphic design, from Purdue University with a master’s of fine arts degree in visual communication design.
31. Stephanie Metkus
VP of Strategy & Commercial Integration, Korres
Stephanie Metkus is the Vice President of Strategy and Commercial Integration of Korres. She first joined the company in 2021. Κorres is a Greek company founded in 1996 in Athens by pharmacist Georgios Korres from the island of Naxos. For over 2 decades, Korres has invested in conducting its own primary research in order to bring the most optimal, cutting-edge natural actives to skincare. Each Korres product is made by a leading team of scientists that specialize in working with natural ingredients. Built on a library of over 3,000 herbal remedies, Korres formulas are born from a deep knowledge of homeopathy and biological research.
Previously, Metkus was a director of brand strategy at Creative Commerce LLC, and before that, a VP at Laura Geller Beauty where she crafted and executed a complete worldwide direct to consumer brand strategy. Earlier in her career she worked with QVC as an assistant buyer and marketing analyst. Metkus earned an undergraduate degree in fashion marketing from Immaculata University and an undergraduate degree in political science and government from American University.
View the complete list of awardees.
33. Eileen Clark
Chief Human Resources Officer, Imagine360
Eileen Clark has over 30 years of experience in human resources, employment law and consulting. Today, she leads all HR functions as Chief Human Resources Officer at Imagine360, a leading provider of health plan solutions that deliver deep cost savings that companies can redirect into their business and people. Her team supports Imagine360’s extraordinary growth by focusing on attracting and retaining an engaged and high performing team through a comprehensive total rewards program, an innovative talent acquisition strategy, and a leadership and high potentials development program.
Prior to joining Imagine360, Clark focused primarily on providing executive consulting to high- growth companies. She previously served as vice president at PROXUS, LLC’s HR Client Services Division, vice president of global talent management at CCI Consulting, and vice president of business development at AonHewitt. She also spent time with AmerisourceBergen Corporation where she served as SVP of HR. Clark earned her JD from Villanova University’s School of Law and her undergraduate degree in business administration from Drexel University.
35. Courtney Kelly Peters
Vice President of Partnerships, FreedomPay
Courtney Kelly Peters serves as the Vice President of Partnerships for North America FreedomPay where she has substantially impacted the company’s sales and business development teams. She is responsible for cultivating net new business, partnerships, opportunities, and strategy within the organization. Courtney currently works directly with international corporations with an appetite to influence the innovative payments experience across the various commerce channels. This approach guides merchants through the commerce they support today and helps get them to where they aspire to be. With a key focus on expanding international partnerships, Courtney continues to build strategy and growth with top innovative software vendors across FreedomPay’s Next Generation Commerce Platform.
Over her tenure with FreedomPay, Courtney has cultivated strategic partnerships with hundreds of technology partners. These efforts have enabled FreedomPay’s merchants the opportunity to leverage an omnichannel approach to payments across all commerce channels while delivering multiple options for world class software functionality. Most recently, Courtney has taken on leading cross-functional, company-wide efforts to support continued organizational improvement surrounding FreedomPay’s expansion into Ecom and the emerging trends associated with Touchless Commerce. These efforts have allowed FreedomPay to enhance its product offering and position itself as thought leader in this space. Courtney holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware.
36. Mary Pao
Chief Medical Officer, ANI Pharmaceuticals
Mary Pao is Chief Medical Officer at ANI Pharmaceuticals, where she leads medical and scientific strategy across multiple autoimmune disease states. ANI Pharmaceuticals is a diversified bio-pharmaceutical company serving patients in need by developing, manufacturing, and marketing high quality branded and generic prescription pharmaceutical products.
Prior to ANI Pharmaceuticals, Pao was managing partner and head of clinical affairs at Real Chemistry, a global healthcare consultancy, where she led medical strategy for a commercialization service platform designed to optimize launch success. In addition to working at Real Chemistry, Pao was a founding partner of Arcus Medica, a consulting company specializing in launch strategy and execution. She previously served at GSK as a global and a North American medical affairs oncology lead and at Genentech as both clinical lead for the B-Cell Diagnostics Team and Rituxan Medical Affairs lead. She has over 30 years of basic science and industry experience developing novel therapies and executing launch strategies, working with medical affairs, clinical development, and commercial teams. Her disease state expertise includes hematology, oncology, rare disease, nephrology, neurology, and autoimmune disease. Pao earned degrees from Princeton University in molecular biology and public and international affairs, and her MD and PhD from New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Harvard School of Medicine and her hematology and oncology fellowship training at Cornell Weill Department of Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
37. Cara Schlie
VP of Commercial Operations, RedSail Technologies
Cara Schlie is a strategic, data oriented, and problem-solving leader with 16 years of experience working with healthcare technology companies. Most recently, she has been responsible for the commercialization strategy and general management of the clinical, financial, and transactional programs throughout RedSail’s Pharmacy Network. Schlie serves as the Vice President of Commercial Operations. Starting in accounting, and moving over onto the commercial side, she has had a rewarding experience thus far finding success in roles within general and technical accounting, sales/ leadership, enablement, training and development, marketing, program management and commercial operations. Due to her passion for problem solving, ability to manage resources, drive results with persistence and motivate others alongside her, Schlie has seen great triumph leading teams and programs through the strategic planning, launch execution and sustainability cycles.
Throughout her time at EY, McKesson, Aesynt, Omnicell and RedSail Technologies, Schlie has cultivated numerous teams and relationships, continuous improvement initiatives and processes. These developments have yielded increased efficiencies and effectiveness for her companies while arming them with the appropriate tools, resources, and training to migrate through growth times as well as the ability to quickly course correct through down times. Prior to joining the healthcare technology space, Schlie was employed by EY as part of their Risk Advisory & Assurance Group. She has attended Wharton’s Executive Development Program and is an active member on Duquesne University’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Sales Advisory Board. She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Duquesne University.
39. Sue Meitner
President & Founder, Centennial Lending Group
In a traditionally male-dominated field, Sue Meitner knew early on that she would start her own mortgage company one day. This goal was achieved in 2010 when she started Centennial Lending Group and ran this independent mortgage company until 2019 when CLG joined forces with Success Mortgage Partners. At that time, Meitner knew she had accomplished a lot as CEO but wanted more than running a successful mortgage company, being a best-selling author, and speaking about how to double your loan origination volume. Today, she works tirelessly to motivate and inspire her staff and other industry professionals, sharing her “keys to success” both online and in-person using every platform available. In addition to her videos and podcast, Meitner is a member of the Women Mortgage Speaker Bureau as well as several other professional women’s groups, encouraging others to believe in themselves to accomplish their goals.
Confidence, trust, and determination are top key qualities for success, which are traits Meitner infuses into her daily activities. Each workday she has a rigorous schedule of calls, meetings, and presentations to educate, mentor, and inspire her team, plus she dedicates time each day to follow changes in the real estate and finance markets so she can educate and advise consumers, all while being a top-producing loan originator. Meitner is well-known for thinking creatively in sales, operations, and marketing. She cultivates a collaborative environment in the office, so each team member freely shares tips and past experiences to help one another succeed. With her leadership, CLG truly embodies the term “Stronger Together.” Over the years, Meitner has helped many industry professionals, inspiring them to grow and succeed in whatever path they choose. She has achieved many accolades and awards for being a trailblazer due to her passion and accomplishments, as illustrated in her best-selling book Crazy Lucky Girl: Do You Have The Keys To Success? Her latest book Women Who Dream, to be released in August 2022, is a collaboration of stories from 30 inspirational authors where Meitner shares her fresh perspective of the pursuit of happiness and success.
40. Melissa Richards
Chief Human Resources Officer, Verland
Melissa Richards currently serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer for Verland, a $35-million-dollar service provider. Verland serves 94 Intermediate Care Facilities and another 140 residents in 43 group homes in southwestern PA. Richards joined the Verland family in January of 2020. She has over 20 years of experience in the human resources field.
Prior to joining Verland, Richards served as a director and VP of HR in the gaming industry for over 10 years. She has served on several community-based boards in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and Michigan. She is experienced in human resource management & strategic alignment, talent acquisition, learning and development, leadership development, organizational culture and engagement, benefit administration, employment law, and union labor relations. Richards is a Pittsburgh native that boomeranged back to the area in 2017 and is a graduate of Penn State University.
41. Julie Charlestein
President & CEO, Premier Dental Products Company
Julie Charlestein is CEO of Premier Dental Products Company, which develops, manufactures and distributes innovative dental consumables and devices for oral-health professionals worldwide, including the all-new izzo, the first and only 4-in-1 oral care system ($129.95) that goes significantly beyond just the typical toothbrush, delivering healthy confidence. Julie has been CEO of Premier Dental since 2015.
Recognized as a driver of inspired solutions for dentistry, Julie was honored with the Gold Award by the 2020 Best in Biz Awards as Executive of the Year; voted one of The Top 25 Most Influential Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report and nominated as one of IFAH Top 100 Healthcare Leaders.
View the complete list of awardees.
43. Stacy Mecham
SVP & Head of Sales & Pharma Operations, Navigating Cancer
As Navigating Cancer's Head of Sales, Stacy Mecham is responsible for driving the adoption of data-driven products and Digital Health solutions across the Pharmaceutical and Oncology Provider industries. She also oversees client services and operations for the pharmaceutical sector. A member of the executive leadership team, she drives strategic business decisions and is the executive sponsor for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as well as Navigating Cancer's Healthcare Business Women's partnership.
Having spent time in the academia, pharmaceutical and professional services sectors, Mecham offers nearly 20 years of commercialization experience, the majority of which is dedicated to the oncology space. She has worked for top bio-pharmaceutical companies, leading market research and consulting functions for in-line oncology agents. Her key areas of expertise include business development, executive client management, sales force effectiveness, patient relationship management, real world evidence, patient reported outcomes, and launch strategy. Mecham has an undergraduate degree in psychology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Temple University.
44. Ciora Thomas
Founder and Director, Sisters PGH
Ciora Thomas is a Pittsburgh native, Founder and Director of Sisters PGH. She founded the organization in 2013. The organization advocates for transgender rights within the social and economic realms in order to continue the demarginalization and equality of the trans community of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Ciora went on to lead SisTers PGH into opening Pittsburgh's only trans owned and operated community center, where trans and nonbinary people are able to obtain tangible resources, medical/mental health referrals, self-affirming groups, and/or a chance to enroll in the many programs SisTers PGH has to offer including BroThers PGH, which centers the lived experiences of our Trans Masculine Community, Grow To Succeed, which centers Drug & Alcohol sobriety for trans and nonbinary people and Project T, A brave temporary housing initiative garnished by Ciora leading the organization into becoming a home and landowner that provides respite and programming geared to support Pittsburgh's transgender community members to not only learn how to live independently but also a chance to transition back into the community within their own safe and affordable housing.
Additionally, Ciora is the Founder and Lead Organizer of People's Pride PGH. People's Pride PGH was created in the spirit of Stonewall to center those most marginalized within the TLGBQ communities of Pittsburgh by highlighting the need for Policy and Legislation that defends and protects TLGBQIA Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians. Through this, Ciora has garnished relationships with hundreds of organizations city, state, and countrywide that are beneficial to the relations of the TLGBQ community of Pittsburgh while also giving back annual grants in support of TLGBQ focused initiatives in Pittsburgh. Ciora is one of only a few black transwomen leading within Pittsburgh and a prime example of how perseverance against all odds can shape the movement of trans liberation.
45. CJ Bachmann
CEO, 1SEO Digital Agency
CJ Bachmann, CEO of 1SEO Digital Agency, is a tech-savvy thought leader, speaker, and digital marketer. Her years of experience have been instrumental in growing 1SEO into the digital marketing powerhouse it is today. Under her influence, 1SEO has become a top 1% Google Premier Partner with a team of over 100 employees representing all walks of life.
Bachmann is also the mind behind the leadership and businesswoman blog, SheHandlesIt, a thought-provoking forum diving into all topics from motherhood to running a multi-million dollar business, and co-host of In The Den, a popular business podcast on leadership and marketing.
46. Sarah Herrmann
Vice President of Sales, Marketing & IT Divisions, Juno Search Partners
Sarah Herrmann is a recruiting professional with over 10 years of experience partnering with rapidly growing organizations across a variety of industries, specializing in finding sought after talent within IT, sales, and marketing nationally. Today, she is the Vice President of Sales, Marketing & IT Divisions of Juno Search Partners, a women owned talent solutions firm headquartered in Philadelphia. Juno Search Partners specializes in the placement of HR, operations, administrative, legal, accounting, finance, tech, sales, and marketing candidates nationwide. Known as “The Ultimate Connectors,” their collaborative team of experienced sourcers and recruiters specialize in assisting growing companies to build out their workforce through custom-built recruitment solutions
In addition to her roles with Juno Search Partners, Herrmann is a co-lead for ChickTech, a nonprofit organization dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers. She first got her start in 2011 as a lead tech recruiter at Workbridge Associates. Herrmann graduated from Temple University with an undergraduate degree in fine arts.
48. Lauren Rawlings
Managing Director in the Technology Practice, ZRG
Lauren Argenti Rawlings joined ZRG in 2022 as a Managing Director in the Technology Practice, following the acquisition of Precita Placements, which she founded in 2019. At Precita, she and her team focused on placing diverse candidates across industries and functions. Precita’s suite of marquee clients, including Google Cloud Platform, Sonos, Intuit, Patreon, and Freddie Mac, along with their track record of client retention presented a valuable opportunity for partnership and growth for both firms. Rawlings brings deep expertise with technology startups and the broader Fortune 1000 landscape. She has placed executives in a broad range of C-Suite roles, but loosely focuses on finance and go-to-market positions. Her primary focus throughout her entire recruiting career is placing outstanding, and often undiscovered, diverse talent.
Rawlings was previously an executive recruiter at SPMB, a boutique firm based in San Francisco, placing executives in VC-backed tech startups. She began her recruiting career at Trewstar Corporate Board Services in NYC where she was a member of the founding team and helped grow the firm from its inception to placing 40+ women on corporate boards of directors. Rawlings is a graduate of Columbia College in New York City.
49. Katie Moore Sobuto
Managing Director & Senior Consultant, Hamilton Lane
Katie Moore Sobuto is a Managing Director on Hamilton Lane's Investment team focused on leading the firm’s Emerging & Diverse Investments platform as well as serving as Senior Consultant to several of the firm's institutional clients. In addition, Sobuto co-lead's the DE&I Council and is a member of the Responsible Investment Committee which has oversight of Hamilton Lane's Impact Funds and ESG strategy.
Throughout her career, Sobuto has had a passion for improving diversity both within private markets and more broadly in the financial services industry. She is a frequent speaker at industry and networking events and has been awarded several DE&I distinctions for her leadership in the field. She also currently serves on the executive team of Ellevate Network Philadelphia. Prior to joining Hamilton Lane, she was a valuation analyst for Murray Devine & Company where she performed valuation analysis and due diligence for private equity clients related to financial opinions, portfolio valuations, tax reporting, and other fiduciary advisory services. Sobuto graduated from Drexel University with an undergraduate degree in finance.
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