Our Impact

What you see—you can be.

Posted by Lydia Zepeda on February 25, 2020

Each year we are proud to host our Annual Pinnacle Awards, where we honor eight leading #BosBizWomen who are paving the way for women in business and beyond. 

This year was certainly no exception as our honorees left us feeling inspired, empowered, and even a few shedding tears.

Particularly, our Emerging Executive honoree, Rita Germán, who kicked off our program with a heartwarming tribute to her mother.

The mother of Rita Germán,reacts as her daughter addresses her during the Pinnacle Awards ceremony.

My mother is an example of hard work, resiliency and hope. And please indulge me a second as I address her directly here today: Mami, eres la otra mitad de mi alma, y todo lo que logro es para ti y por tu ejemplo y apoyo. Te amo de todo corazon.- Rita Germán

Our Emerging Executive award represents a leading woman in the Boston business community who demonstrates strong leadership potential, and as the Director of Community Investments at John Hancock, Rita demonstrates just that. From overseeing the company’s grants portfolio, working to create a healthier more equitable Boston, or supporting several Boston non-profits, Rita is a leader on the rise—and she’s just getting started. 

The impact of representation.

As our 2019 Pinnacle Honoree, Deborah Hughes of the Brookview House said, “what you see, you can be.” From a young age, Deborah was surrounded by women in charge and recognized that the possibilities for her own success were endless. Seeing women nurturing and fostering leadership in all realms of her life, she was able to become a strong leader herself.

Each year our Pinnacle Awards selection pool becomes more diverse and representative of our region’s talent, and this year was no exception.  

From left to right: Women's Network Chairwoman, Yvonne Garcia; Rita Germán, Shari Nethersole MD; Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD; Phyllis Yale; Jane Steinmetz; Ashley McCown; Attorney General Maura Healey; Jennifer Tseng, MD, MPH; and Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Jim Rooney.

Built by Boston.

As the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Rita’s journey to her Pinnacle award was inspiring not only for the young professionals in our sell-out crowd of over 1,300 guests, but particularly for all our first-generation immigrants and young professionals of color in the room. 

 As Rita noted in her remarks- it takes a village to reach the pinnacle of one’s career, “Through it all, I have been so fortunate to have a consistent constellation surround me throughout my entire life’s journey.”

Without a strong foundation of role models, mentors, and support systems, these landmark achievements would not be possible. It is no surprise that each of our honorees credited their success to the women who paved the way for them.

Empowered women, empower women.

There is immense power in hearing the genuine stories of struggles and successes of other women.

As our Achievement in Nonprofit honoree, Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), reminded us, the path to success is not always easy, especially when navigating a new country, language, and even climate.

The most challenging adjustment for me when I came to Boston was to face racism and micro-aggressions. I am very proud of being a Puerto Rican woman. But coming here made me think about hiding my identity and trying to lose my accent; I just wanted to fit in. -Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD

Through sharing these experiences, these stories serve as an inspiration to others and as a much-needed reminder that their dreams are possible and infinite. 

While our Pinnacle Awards may be over, here at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce we’re celebrating women in business each and every day.

Check out the photos from our Annual Pinnacle Awards and be sure to join us as we carry the inspiring momentum from our Pinnacle Awards into the rest of the new year at our Women’s Network events.