Our Impact

Lessons from our 2019 Pinnacle Awards Honorees: Taking Risks and Saying ‘Yes’

Posted by Lydia Zepeda on February 21, 2019

Our truly remarkable 2019 Pinnacle honorees left a lasting impression on our guests. Read top takeaways below.

Our annual Pinnacle Awards have become one of the premier business gatherings in the region, and this year’s event was no exception. We welcomed a crowd of nearly 1,300 women (and a few great men) to honor and celebrate the achievements of the exceptional business women in Boston.

This year’s Pinnacle Awards were extra special because they marked the 25th anniversary of our Pinnacle Awards and our Women’s Network – the largest network of professional women in New England - kicking off what is sure to be a year full of landmark celebrations. Our 2019 Pinnacle Award honorees are truly remarkable and left a lasting impression on our guests as they shared their wisdom from their careers. 

While each honoree had her own unique path towards success – there were many common themes throughout the event. Here are the three key takeaways from this year’s Pinnacle Award recipients:


Success Isn’t Linear

This year’s Achievement in Entrepreneurship award winner, Marlo Fogelman, began her career in law and ultimately branched off into a career in public relations. She took a risk, started from scratch, and built her company, marlo marketing from four clients into a highly reputable firm with an equally impressive client roster.

When our Achievement in the Professions honoree Dani Monroe of Partners HealthCare finished graduate school, she began her career search with a cold call which led to her career in diversity and inclusion. Dani told us, “No one grows up wanting to be a chief diversity and inclusion officer. I certainly didn’t. In retrospect, I’ve come to realize that everything in my life prepared me for this mission… diversity and inclusion chooses you, you do not choose it.”

The recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, Brandeis Professor Anita Hill led an impressive career both in law and as an advocate for race and gender equality. Her courage to speak up and advocate for herself led to a lifelong pursuit of gender and racial equality throughout the nation. As Hill states, “I wasn’t supposed to be here… I remain because the struggle for equality is as important as it ever was, and I remain because a high price for demanding change often falls on the most vulnerable.” 

Raise Your Hand

As the first woman-engineer to lead an institute of technology in the United States, Doctor Zorica Pantic, president of Wentworth Institute of Technology, is familiar with taking the path less traveled. As a pioneer in a male dominated field, she is a major advocate for raising your hand and believing in yourself. In her speech, she told us that, “Even if you feel unsure about the opportunity, or don’t believe you have the capacity or the expertise, do it anyway – you must believe in yourself.” 

Amy Latimer of the TD Garden is the only female president of a sports arena in the United States and is a trailblazer in her industry. Echoing fellow honoree, Doctor Pantic, she is also a firm believer in raising one’s hand for new opportunities: “Ask for that job or role you may not ‘think’ you are qualified for and just go for it. The exact reasons you may not think you’re qualified just may turn out to be what sets you apart.”

Our 2019 Emerging Executive honoree, Julie P. Livingstone, of The HYM Investment Group knows what it’s like to take a chance a risk.  Julie took a leap of faith and joined HYM’s team as an intern to try a new industry. Her risk had a big payoff as she worked her way up HYM’s ranks.  She now applies her refined skillsets towards bold development projects in the Boston area.

Take Risks and Believe in Yourself

When Lisa Wieland was offered the opportunity to run Massport’s Maritime business, she bravely stepped up to the challenge. Like Marlo, Anita, and Dani, Lisa’s career has not followed a predictable path, yet through taking risks and saying “yes” to new opportunities, she has become an incredible leader for the Commonwealth, and for one of America’s oldest working ports.

From a young age Deborah Hughes of the Brookview House saw women in charge and recognized that the possibilities for her success were endless. By seeing women nurturing and fostering leadership in all realms of her life, she was able to become a strong leader herself. She says, “I always saw women in charge and knew it could be done. What you see—you can be.

For more on this year’s honorees and festivities, check out our Pinnacle 2019 highlights video and photos.

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