Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2023. The state's economy is multifaceted, encompassing industries including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, finance, and technology. Pennsylvania's strategic location, excellent infrastructure, and skilled workforce have attracted numerous businesses, fostering job growth and economic development. This year’s awardees have made noteworthy strides in leadership positions at world-renowned companies including Comcast, United Airlines, PNC, and more. Their presence in executive roles, boardrooms, and entrepreneurial endeavors has not only brought fresh perspectives but has also resulted in improved diversity, equality, and overall success within the organizations they serve.
Among this year’s awardees is Catherine Monte, Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer, who spearheads Fox Rothschild's strategic initiatives in innovative program development, practice and business process re-engineering, and elevating the quality and client satisfaction of their services. Awardee Willa Hightower, the VP of Customer Operations at PHI Holdings, is a utility industry veteran who prioritizes customer experiences, proactive communications, self-service advancements, and overall business growth. Also awarded is Jennifer Khoury, EVP and Chief Communications Officer at Comcast Corporation, who is responsible for overseeing all communications activities, including for their cable division, product launches, campaigns, media relations, corporate events, and developing cybersecurity and privacy communications strategies.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2023.
1. Jennifer Khoury
EVP & Chief Communications Officer, Comcast
Jennifer Khoury is Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Comcast Corporation. Jenn oversees all communications activities for the corporation. Previously, Jenn led communications for Comcast's $58 billion Cable division including Xfinity's Video, Internet, Mobile, and Home businesses as well as for Comcast Business. Over her 20 years with the company, she has managed strategic communications for numerous product and technology launches, campaigns, media relations, and corporate events as well as the development of the company's cybersecurity and privacy communications strategies.
Previously, Jenn led communications, public affairs, and social responsibility initiatives for MediaOne and AT&T Broadband and served as a consultant for ML Strategies, a strategic consulting arm of Mintz Levin where she created and implemented marketing, public affairs, and crisis communications campaigns for a diverse range of clients, primarily in media and telecommunications.
Jenn has been involved with several nonprofit organizations, including The Barnes Foundation, and The National Constitution Center, as a Trustee of the National Braille Press and as VP and trustee of the Massachusetts Governor's Committee for Physical Fitness and Sports. She earned her master's degree from The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and received her undergraduate degree in communications from Boston College.
4. Marisa McWilliams
Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting
As a Leader in Deloitte’s GPS SAP Practice, Marisa McWilliams manages some of the most complex SAP Transformation programs and understands the importance & nuances of balancing strategic priorities, business requirements, and technical capabilities with user adoption and change management preparations. She has more than 20 years of SAP implementation experience. She is an SAP project manager with deep technical experience in areas such as data conversion, analytics, reporting, and data warehousing. She is accomplished in large-scale SAP program management and complex program cutovers.
Before joining Deloitte Consulting in 2004, Marisa served as a consultant with IBM. She graduated from Villanova University with an undergraduate degree in management information systems and French language and literature.
5. Jennifer Neglia
Global Trust Chief Data Officer & Digital Assurance Transparency Partner, PwC
Jenn Neglia is the Global Trust Chief Data Officer and a Digital Assurance Transparency Partner at PwC. In her role, Jenn is focused on data strategy and governance. She is passionate about driving a consistent strategy around corporate assets and data on which to build regenerative AI.
Jenn has over 25 years of experience serving clients primarily in the financial services industry, leading teams in financial accounting, system transformations, data governance, IT internal controls, and business process controls. Additionally, she is a leading thinker in the fast-evolving area of digitization of financial data and disclosures. She serves as the firm's US XBRL technology leader focused on delivering the full spectrum of data structuring services.
Jenn is a partner champion for PwC’s Enrich program which invests in deeper career development of high-performing diverse PwC professionals. She also serves as the Womens’ Inclusion Network leader for the Philadelphia office, providing programs, development, mentorship, and support for women of PwC locally.
Jenn was recognized by Crain’s NY in 2020 as a notable woman in accounting and consulting for her efforts in the XBRL space, developing a publically available data taxonomy that is being leveraged globally to further the transparency of reporting corporate ESG information. She graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1998 with undergraduate degrees in accounting and biology. She is certified as a CPA and CISA in the state of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she is also a member of Impact100 Philadelphia, a nonprofit engaging women in philanthropy.
7. Alicja Plonska
SVP & Branch Manager, Morgan Stanley
Alicja Plonska serves as a Senior Vice President and Branch Manager at the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management office in Yardley, PA. She and her team develop personalized strategic advice to address the complex needs of individuals, business owners, and executives who have unique planning and wealth management needs. Her team combines the true intimacy and personal attention of a boutique shop and the global resources of one of the world’s largest financial services firms.
Alicja has been awarded America's Top Women Wealth Advisors ranking by Forbes in 2021.
She is a magna cum laude Temple University graduate. She received her undergraduate and master’s simultaneously graduating with 2 majors, a minor and a specialization. Alicja has also earned the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ™ designation, awarded by The Institute of Divorce Financial AnalystsTM.
12. Michelle Everill
Senior Director & Head of Clinical Business Operations, Bristol Myers Squibb
Michelle Everill is the Senior Director and Head of Clinical Business Operations at Bristol Myers Squibb, where she joined in 2020. Under her leadership, she built a new organization of 51 team members to increase cross-functional collaboration and improve clinical trial performance across Clinical Trial Business Planning, Clinical Trial Business Delivery, Clinical Trial Planning & Execution, and Study Optimization & Assessment Planning (SOAP). Her efforts resulted in $300M in savings over three years through process improvements, informed decisions, cost avoidance, and enhanced efficiencies.
Michelle is skilled in analyzing complex data and applying insights across diverse environments. She co-led a pillar of the Innovation Program on trial design and modeling and served on various committees and core teams. Prior to Bristol Myers Squibb, she held senior positions at Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. Michelle holds an undergraduate degree in economics, behavioral science, and health from the University of Utah.
13. Catherine Monte
Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer, Fox Rothschild
Catherine Monte leads Fox Rothschild in developing strategies for innovative programs and solutions, creating efficiencies through practice and business process re-engineering, and helping to enhance the delivery and value of client services and the client experience. Part of Fox’s senior administrative team, she works closely with the firm’s Innovation Committee and other professionals in providing program management for these initiatives. Catherine served as the firm’s chief knowledge officer before her promotion in 2019. She has added data analytics to her purview and continues to oversee knowledge management research, risk mitigation, and business/competitive intelligence initiatives.
Previously, Catherine worked as head of information services at Clifford Chance, and as head of reference services at Dewey Ballantine both based in New York City. She has also worked as a reference librarian at Pepper Hamilton & Scheetz and as a legal assistant at Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia. Monte graduated from Columbia University - Graduate School with an MLS in library science and from Haverford College with an undergraduate degree in English.
14. Willa Hightower
Vice President of Customer Operations, PHI Holdings
Willa Hightower is a 20+ year veteran of the utility industry. She is an experienced leader with a track record of success in achieving ambitious objectives, combining strategy, business acumen, and financial knowledge with a commitment to growth and development. As the VP of Customer Operations, Willa is responsible for all call center and service operations, customer field operations and billing, and revenue management, as well as large customer services for all PHI utilities. She is on the front line with customers daily, earning business by creating memorable moments through a personalized experience, proactive communications, and offerings. She is responsible for CIS and digital system support and the business planning process for the customer organization, focusing on expanding self-service offerings to meet evolving customer expectations.
Before joining PHI, Willa was the EU strategy director responsible for developing the broader utility of the future strategy with a focus on customer strategy. As the director of customer financial operations at PECO Energy Company, she was responsible for the billing, payment processing, and revenue collection of over $4 billion in annual revenues. She has implemented new process improvements with greater focus and attention on the customer and efficiencies.
Before joining customer operations, Willa spent her first 10 years at Exelon in finance in various capacities with increasing levels of responsibility at ExGen and PECO. As the manager of revenue and load forecasting and regulatory support, she was instrumental in helping PECO file its first gas and electric rate cases in over 20 years. Before joining Exelon, she gained experience in the energy industry at Southern Company in Atlanta, GA. Willa has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Georgia State University.
View the complete list of awardees.
18. Stephanie Gorski
Strategy Managing Director & Global Strategy Lead for Software & Platforms, Accenture
Stephanie Gorski is a Philadelphia-based Strategy Managing Director in Accenture’s Strategy & Consulting practice and she is the Global Strategy Lead for Software & Platforms. Throughout her career, she has also advised companies across the communications, media, technology, and products industries. Stephanie is a forward-thinking thought partner and strategic advisor with expertise in companies that are driving industry-transforming innovation. She has an extensive understanding of marketing, sales, and product launch & a comfort level with the “fail fast mentality” to improve product trajectory. Stephanie additionally has deep expertise in growth strategy, go-to-market strategies, SMB sales, M&A, digital transformation, and operating model redesign. She is passionate about helping companies and business units decide if it is best to “Build, Buy, or Partner”.
Stephanie interned with Accenture in 2012 before joining full-time in September 2013. She holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University with a concentration in strategy. Before Accenture, Stephanie was one of the first employees of two government start-ups (TARP and CFPB), where she was responsible for implementing the organization structure, integrating lean six sigma techniques, and developing office systems.
19. Jennifer Allison
Vice President of Human Resources, Keystone Human Services
Jennifer Allison is the Vice President of Human Resources for Keystone Human Services (KHS). KHS is a 204 million multi-state, multi-site, not-for-profit organization that provides a broad array of services in the areas of intellectual disability, mental health, and autism as well as Head Start services through Capital Area Head Start and assistance dogs through Susquehanna Service Dogs. KHS offers technical assistance and educational opportunities to governments, regulators, and other affiliated organizations. Jennifer is responsible for the leadership of Human Resource and Operations Education functions for over 3000 employees.
Jennifer has held administration, management, consulting, and executive positions in private, public, and nonprofit organizations encompassing over 20 years of experience. She has extensive involvement in employee relations, managing change/organizational transitions, mergers and acquisitions, market trend analysis, leadership development, strategic planning, project management, process improvement, organizational effectiveness, talent acquisition, employee development, and retention, problem resolution/mediation, and the design and implementation of performance/compensation/benefit systems.
Ms. Allison received her undergraduate degree from Shippensburg University and a master’s in human resource management/industrial relations from Saint Francis University where she also served as adjunct faculty teaching strategic compensation in the HR graduate program. She holds a certification in workplace mediation from the Atlanta Justice Center and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources with SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations. In conjunction with the Harvard Community Health Plan Quality Improvement Facilitator Program, she has facilitated corporate quality improvement efforts and led multidisciplinary Business Action Teams. Additionally, Jennifer has served as a jury analyst and implemented Jury Focus Groups for both defense and plaintiff counsel during trial preparation.
23. Erika Lloyd
Senior Client Account Manager and Principal, Woodard & Curran
Erika Lloyd is a dynamic Senior Client Account Manager with 25+ years of experience in providing innovative, programmatic solutions to national and global clients to meet their business objectives in the environmental services industry. She currently serves Woodard & Curran, an integrated engineering, science, design-build (DB), and operations company specializing in water and environmental projects. They are a privately-held firm with 1,200 professionals.
Erika has a diverse background in operational leadership, program and project management, environmental information management, and the use of technology to support and optimize operations. She is an exceptional leader skilled in building and managing trusted client relationships, seamlessly orchestrating complex projects, and working with cross-functional teams to deliver successful project outcomes. She serves as clients’ trusted advisor and is proficient in developing and implementing efficient and cost-effective strategies to meet sustainability and ESG, EHS compliance and oversight, and operational goals. Lloyd earned a master's in geology from the University of New Hampshire and an undergraduate degree in geology from Bowdoin College.
24. Marybeth Gray
SVP of Health and Welfare Benefits, Marsh & McLennan Agency
Marybeth Gray has spent more than 25 years in the employee benefits field as an advocate working to help put access to quality healthcare within reach of every employee and their family. She currently serves as a Senior Vice President of Health and Welfare Consulting with Trion, a Marsh McLennan Firm. She serves as the team lead and manages the overall account teams for her clients. She works with all-size employers to deploy cost-effective strategies that will raise the quality of care, increase access to equitable care and lower the cost to both the employer and employee. Her strategic approach, coupled with her vast industry knowledge, is how her team develops solutions for cost drivers without cost-shifting to employees. Together with her team, Marybeth has saved clients millions of dollars with an innovative strategic approach that helps employers understand what’s coming next.
Formerly a VP with AON Consulting, Marybeth specialized in utilization and data management to understand key cost drivers. She is an expert in developing and redesigning pharmacy programs and understanding the cost drivers within these programs. She has developed key strategies for specialty medication, gene therapies, and many other emerging treatments employers will have to solve. Prior to Aon, she served as a national account manager with Aetna Inc., for eight years. Marybeth was responsible for clients with more than 10,000 employees operating in multiple locations. She served on the Aetna Presidents Roundtable Committee, fostering communications between clients and the president’s office regarding suggested changes that would improve Aetna’s operational procedures.
Recently, Marybeth was named EBN’s 2017 Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising, among 30 leaders whose unique client management strategies, innovative data manipulation, and other industry-leading skills are transforming the field. Marybeth is featured on the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement site. She earned an undergraduate degree in health policy and administration from Penn State University.
25. Cathy Thomas Hess
VP and Chief Clinical Officer for Wound Care, Net Health
Cathy Thomas Hess is Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Wound Care at Net Health. She gained expertise in various acute care, long-term care, sub-acute care facilities, home health agencies, and outpatient wound care department settings. With over 35 years of experience in wound care, she's been engaged to share her command of knowledge in the industry with manufacturers, including biotechnology firms, product suppliers, insurers, law firms, and governmental agencies.
Cathay is the author of the Product Guide to Skin and Wound Care – Eighth Edition, and hundreds of articles and book chapters. Additionally, she serves as a board member for Today’s Wound Clinic. She is certified in wound care, an expert witness for the OIG, and a workflow strategist. Cathy earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Maryland.
28. Andrea Lawrence
Senior Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor, Bryn Mawr Trust
Andrea Lawrence received her undergraduate degree in accounting from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, and her JD and LL.M. in tax from Villanova Law School. Before joining Bryn Mawr Trust, Andrea served as COO of Quantitative Foundation and provided family office and philanthropy consulting services through Tapestry Advisors, LLC, which she founded in 2007.
A former CPA and practicing trusts and estates attorney, Andrea is a trusted advisor to nonprofits, family offices, and ultra-high-net-worth investors. Her areas of expertise include estate and charitable planning, private foundation administration, and business and family office succession planning.
Andrea has a certificate in landscape design from Longwood Gardens and is a master gardener and master composter volunteer. She enjoys helping friends and family "bring nature beautifully back" through sustainable land management practices. An avid rower, Andrea is treasurer of the historic University Barge Club of Philadelphia located at No. 7 Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. She played D1 tennis in college, is currently rated 5.0, and is captain of the 2023 USTA Addie Cup Team for the Middle States. She has formed several nonprofit youth sports organizations, notably, Blue Mountain Racing, in support of junior alpine ski racing. A naturalist at heart, she enjoys backcountry skiing, paddle boarding, and hiking with friends and family.
29. Kary Milan
Vice President For Institutional Advancement, Mount Aloysius College
Kary Milan serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Mount Aloysius College. Established in 1853, Mount Aloysius is a comprehensive, liberal arts and science-based college with a commitment to career-directed study. Rooted in Catholic traditions, Mount Aloysius College is one of 17 Mercy-sponsored colleges and universities in the United States and is a member of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education. Their 193-acre campus is home to a wide variety of humanities and health sciences majors/programs and 16 NCAA athletic teams.
Previously, Kary served as the director of development and alumni relations with Penn State University. She has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, development, major gift solicitation, event management, relationship-building, public speaking, volunteer management, program development, project management, and community engagement. Kary earned her undergraduate degree from Seton Hill University and her master’s degree from the California University of Pennsylvania. Kary is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.
View the complete list of awardees.
30. Gina Cline Rose
Chief Executive Officer, American Reading Company
Gina Rose began her professional career 19 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer of American Reading Company (ARC), a mission-driven company, providing language arts solutions in English and Spanish K-12, in the pursuit of literacy and educational excellence for all students. They are a high-growth, triple bottom line, and 100% solar-powered organization. In ARC’s history they have been recognized as one of the Top 500 Women-Owned Businesses in the US, received the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and most recently ARC was the first and only company among its peers to receive an “all green report card” for their K-12 curriculum after review by the nationally recognized nonprofit, EdReports.
Before her current role, Rose was the leader of the program and product development, children's publishing, and marketing division of ARC. She is the proud co-author of ARC Core, the first Language Arts curriculum to receive an ALL GREEN, top-rated review from Ed Reports for all grades K-8. Rose graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s in education in reading, writing, and literacy and from Wesleyan University with an undergraduate degree in women's studies.
31. Nancy Rawson
Acting Director and President, Monell Chemical Senses Center
Nancy Rawson is the Acting Director and President of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research institute whose mission is to advance public health through the understanding of taste, smell, and related senses. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nancy’s career spans academia and industry, including a faculty position at the Monell Center studying the biology of taste and smell in humans and companion animals, and leadership roles in the pet and human food and ingredient industries where she built research teams from the ground up and received awards for new product innovation. Since 2016, she has been in leadership roles at Monell, catalyzing Monell’s relationships with academic and industry partners around the world and leading strategic and operational planning activities to support the Center’s growth and success. She serves on the board of the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences and is a founding advisory board member for the Smell and Taste Association of North America.
Dr. Rawson has authored over 100 publications, holds multiple patents, and is active in the Association for Women in Science and the Association for Chemoreception Sciences.
35. Michelle McMurray
VP of Program and Community Engagement, The Pittsburgh Foundation
In December 2020, Michelle McMurray was named Vice President of Program and Community Engagement at The Pittsburgh Foundation where she is responsible for the strategic direction, development, and management of the foundation’s grantmaking programs and community outreach efforts. Michelle joined the Foundation in 2014 and has served in multiple roles of increasing responsibility, including senior program officer and director of grantmaking. Over her tenure, she has led the creation of innovative initiatives, which include Small and Mighty and the Social Justice Fund and has embedded equity practices across the foundation's grantmaking portfolios which have significantly increased access to funding for small, community-based nonprofits and Black and Brown-led organizations. Under the foundation’s new strategic plan, Michelle will steward its commitment to invest $50 million of its unrestricted grant-making pool over the next five years to advance racial equity and racial justice.
Michelle is a seasoned leader with more than 20 years of professional experience, including academic research, clinical practice, policy advocacy, and organizational leadership. Throughout her career, she has been committed to serving low-income communities, working to eliminate racial inequities across systems, and strengthening the capacity of small, community-based nonprofits. Before joining the foundation, Michelle served as the CEO of Mental Health America Allegheny County, where she oversaw programs and advocacy to ensure the delivery of recovery-oriented services, increase awareness and understanding of mental illness, and protect the educational rights of students with mental health needs. She is the co-author of several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles documenting the relationship between race, income, age, and mental health.
Michelle earned multiple degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, including a master’s in social work, an undergraduate degree in sociology, and a certificate in women's studies. She is the recipient of several awards recognizing her work to advance equity, including the national 2018 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award from the Association of Black Foundation Executives. In 2020, she was also recognized for her advocacy for Black communities by the Pennsylvania Governor's Commission on African American Affairs.
36. Cara Ciminillo
Executive Director, Trying Together
Cara Ciminillo is the Executive Director at Trying Together (formerly the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children), the voice for early childhood in southwest Pennsylvania. Cara works to ensure early care and education providers are their best for our youngest and that the system providers operate through supporting their ability to focus on what matters to children’s optimal development, meaningful relationships, creativity, discovery, and play.
Cara’s had a lifelong interest in bringing diverse individuals around a common goal. As a founding partner of the Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, Cara has helped to establish an avenue where various stakeholders work together to ensure play is valued as a critical element in the lives of all people of all ages. Before her tenure at Trying Together, Cara was the project director for an evaluation and assessment collaborative at the University of Pittsburgh. She also spent thirteen years directing an international service program in native communities in Australia, the Caribbean, and North America.
Ciminillo graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a MED in administrative and policy studies and from Bowling Green State University with an undergraduate degree in ethnic studies.
37. Susan English
SVP and Director of Strategic Communications, Gatesman
With roots as a broadcast journalist, Susan English has a passion for rooting out angles and insights that fuel audience engagement, influence opinions and motivate action. Throughout her 20+ years of agency experience, English has channeled this passion into shaping impactful marketing and communications strategies for her clients, helping exceed their business goals, while driving agency growth and innovation. Her consistent track record of success is one reason she has maintained several client relationships for 15 years or more, and why so many of her programs have been recognized as best-in-class at the national level. Today, she serves as the Director of Strategic Communications for Gatesman and is responsible for leveraging the multi-disciplinary strengths of the agency to help clients hack human behavior and exceed organizational goals.
English has helped her clients establish and evolve their core messaging, such as vision, mission, and values. She has also helped them to identify powerful positioning and thought leadership platforms, and to initiate programs in new areas, such as corporate giving, multicultural marketing, managed care, loyalty programs, clinical research and education, and social media. English has led several research initiatives to develop frameworks for thought leadership and planning in areas such as business leadership, COVID response, and Gen Z opportunities. She initiated the development of Gatesman’s strategic communications function, which she now runs. In recognition of her stellar new business and organic growth track record and overall agency leadership, English is recognized and relied upon as a key business stakeholder for the agency.
English is a respected leader in her local community. She was a founding member of the One Young World Pittsburgh Partnership, is a board member for St. Lucy’s Auxiliary to the Blind, and is the lead organizer of Gatesman’s Parents for a Pause public service initiative addressing youth mental health. She is an active volunteer at her children’s schools and has been honored as a personal and professional role model for young women.
40. Kelli Tea
VP & Head of Commercial & Corporate Development, Protara Therapeutics
Kelli is currently the Vice President and Head of Commercial and Corporate Development at Protara Therapeutics, a New York City-based clinical-stage biotech company that is focused on advancing transformative therapies for people with cancer and rare diseases. In this role, she leads launch readiness, market development, and all external partnering & alliances. Along with an MBA and undergraduate degree in business management and marketing, she brings over 15 years of commercial leadership experience. Most recently, she has led and grown successful Oncology and Rare Disease Marketing Franchises while working at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, following an early career in finance and consulting.
Kelli is deeply passionate about channeling her energy and efforts to better the lives of others, particularly those battling life-threatening and life-altering diseases. She thrives in “build and grow” environments and is experienced in leading complex brand, organizational, and process transformations across disciplines. Consistently, she’s recognized for exceeding targets, building high-performing teams, unearthing impactful insights, delivering passionate & poised communications, and forging strong partnerships.
She is honored to be able to live out her passions and leverage her expertise by serving as the vice chair of the American Cancer Society’s NYC board of directors, which enables her to make a meaningful and tangible impact on the cancer community, and Co-Leading a Peer Mentoring Group in Bucks County with the Women in Bio organization. Kelli is fueled by a belief that we are all much better together, and thus loves investing in, learning from, and collaborating with others.
41. Megan Dapp
Vice President of External Affairs, Triad Strategies
Megan Dapp brings more than 15 years of public affairs experience in several industry sectors including healthcare, energy, and education. She currently serves as the Vice President of External Affairs for Triad Strategies.
Megan previously spent 11 years working at a Harrisburg-based public affairs firm where she successfully developed and executed multi-faceted advocacy campaigns on behalf of a variety of clients. She has managed public affairs campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. Before that, she served as the State Advocacy Director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, where she represented the organization to the state legislature. Megan is a native of central Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Dickinson College.
View the complete list of awardees.
42. Cassandra Bailey
CEO, Slice Communications
Cassandra Bailey is the CEO of Slice Communications, the founder and current Chairwoman of Social Media Day, Inc., and the creator of the My Mom Is… children’s book series. She has been working in marketing communications for more than 20 years and has authored two books on the subject, Pay Attention! and Social Media is About People. She believes that integrated public relations, social media, and email marketing efforts are critical for growing businesses and nonprofits looking to accomplish their goals.
With a background in international politics, economics, and philosophy, communications has become her passion and she has been tapped by various industry associations and the media to share her insights and experiences. She has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and The Today Show and has written for, or been quoted in, Forbes, Philadelphia Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, TheNextWeb, and several other publications. Cass has also been named a Rising Star by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and received the Brava award from Philadelphia Smart CEO.
Cass is deeply involved with her community and has served on boards for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Philadelphia; the Business Leadership Forum at The Union League of Philadelphia; the Small Business Board at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Tree House Books; Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund; and Hopeworks. Cass graduated from The Catholic University of America with a degree in international politics, economics, and philosophy. Additionally, she has completed programs in business education from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and WBENC Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business.
49. Maude Le Roux
Clinical Director, A Total Approach
Maude Le Roux is an occupational therapist with an extensive following of professionals across the globe. She studies human development in different capacities of growth, spanning ages and stages, neuroanatomy, assessment tools as well as current trends of intervention. She completed the SIPT training in 2002 and Sensory Integration forms the foundation from which she continues to develop different tracks of assessment and intervention. Maude is certified in multiple different techniques that she applies uniquely through her Developmental Pathways Model (DPM). While she trains globally, Maude continues to operate an active center to continue to inform her work and develop the case studies from which she expands her assessment and intervention protocol. Her requirement for practice is a warm, embracing atmosphere operated through clinical expertise and professionalism that will provide quality of care to all entering her practice.
Maude gives back to her community by serving on different boards and currently serves on the board of directors for ATTACh, an international organization dedicated to serving families and children with attachment-related difficulties and trauma-informed care. She co-authored the book Our Greatest Allies in 2011 with Lauren O’Malley describing the journey of one child and also describing the DIR/Floortime Method.
50. Jamilah Lahijuddin
Director of Operations and Data Management, RentHelpPGH
Jamilah Lahijuddin began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is the Director of Operations and Data Management of RentHelpPGH, a program established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to provide financial assistance to individuals and families struggling to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in response to the economic hardships caused by the pandemic, RentHelpPGH aims to prevent evictions and homelessness by offering direct aid to eligible applicants. The program offers funds to cover past-due rent, rental arrears, and future rent payments. It is funded through federal stimulus packages and administered by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. RentHelpPGH has been crucial in providing support to residents facing housing instability and ensuring stability in the local community.
Lahijuddin first got her start in 2010 as a family intervention and prevention specialist at Community Empowerment Association. From there, she went on to Hill District Consensus Group, before eventually rising to become an operations manager at Sequal Consulting, her most recent position before joining RentHelpPGH.
View the complete list of awardees.