Since 1995, as part of our mission to promote and celebrate the achievements of women, YW Boston has held the Academy of Women Achievers luncheon. This is a program through which we recognize and honor some of Boston’s brightest, boldest, bravest and most influential women. All proceeds from the Academy of Women Achievers celebration support YW Boston’s programs to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. 

2018 AWA Luncheon – June 5th, 2018

Boston Park Plaza Hotel 11:15 am – 1:30 pm • Over 500 attendees • 80% female audience • Age range 25-65 • Industries include banking, commerce, education, finance,  government, healthcare, law, media, nonprofit, real estate  • Majority of attendees at management level or above

If you have questions about the 2018 AWA Luncheon, contact Meredith Lynch,, 617-585-5473.  Also, if you’d like to support this event, please fill and submit a sponsorship packet.  Thanks!


2018 Honorees

YW Boston is thrilled to induct five distinguished honorees into the Academy at our 2018 luncheon. 

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D 
Chief Executive Officer – Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., is the CEO of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, a community development corporation dedicated to empowering and engaging individuals and families to improve their lives through high-quality affordable housing, education, and arts programs.  Through her leadership, IBA has become the largest Latino-led nonprofit organization in Greater Boston. 

In 2009, Dr. Calderón-Rosado was selected for the prestigious Barr Foundation Fellowship.  In 2010, she became the first Latina ever to be appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.  In November 2013, Mayor-elect Martin Walsh appointed Dr. Calderón-Rosado to co-lead his housing transition team.

In 2017, she was selected to the Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank. Among other civic engagements, she is a Founding Board member of the Margarita Muñiz Academy, the first dual-language innovation high school in Massachusetts; and the Co-Founder of the Greater Boston Latino Network.


Kip Hollister 
Founder & CEO Hollister Staffing & Hollister Institute

Kip Hollister is the Founder & CEO of Hollister Staffing & Hollister Institute. Hollister is one of the leading Certified Women-Owned, full service recruiting firms headquartered in Boston. The Hollister Institute creates High Impact programming focused on Communication, Self-Awareness, and Mindful Leadership for Hollister Staffing employees, clients, and the larger business community.
As a certified Leadership Coach, Kip works with companies to create high-performance cultures of blameless, excuseless, accountable communication.

Hollister has consistently been named one of the Best Places to Work by BBJ, a Top 100 Women-Led Business, and was recently named one of this year’s Top Places to Work by the Boston Globe.  Kip herself has been personally named one of Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year, YW Boston’s Academy of Women Achievers, as well as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for her service in New England.


Wanda McClain  
Vice President of Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Wanda McClain is Vice President of Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is the senior leader overseeing the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at the Brigham, its two licensed community health centers and its relationships with the nine affiliated health centers in Boston, helping to ensure the Brigham fulfills its strategic commitments to health equity and high-quality patient and family-centered care.  

Ms. McClain joined the Brigham in 2002 as the Administrative Director of the President’s Office.  In addition to her tenure in health care, she has experience in community development and the financial services industry.  She serves as the chair of the board for Boston After School and Beyond, and the Workforce Development Committee of the Boston Private Industry Council, and serves on the boards of The Dimock Center and Care Dimensions.

Ms. McClain received the 2018 President’s Award from Whittier Street Health Center, was named one of The 50 Most Influential People of Color in Healthcare & Life Sciences in 2017, a Regional Excellence Champion award in 2016 from Health Careers Connection and the 2014 Brigham and Women’s Hospital Pillar Faculty Development and Diversity Award.


Jeannette M. Mills 
Senior Vice President of Safety, Health and Environmental at National Grid

Jeannette Mills is currently serving as Senior Vice President of Safety, Health and Environmental at National Grid where she is the executive responsible for all aspects of Safety, Health and Environmental within the company’s US region. 

Prior to joining National Grid, Ms. Mills was appointed to the Maryland Public Service Commission where she was a member of a five-person panel that regulated gas, electric, telephone, water, sewage disposal companies, and transportations companies. 

Ms. Mills previously served as the Executive Vice President of Take Shape For Life, the direct-selling division of Medifast a healthy living products company.  Ms. Mills began her career in with Baltimore Gas and Electric as BGE’s Chief Customer Officer and Vice President of Customer Operations. 

She was named to Maryland’s Top 100 Women’s Circle of Excellence in 2016. She also received the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Pioneer Award in 2009. Savoy Magazine recognized her in 2008 as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. The Baltimore Business Journal selected her as a “40 under 40” in 2006.


Sylvia Ferrell-Jones Award Recipient

Nai Collymore-Henry
Vice President of Partnerships at the Alliance for Business Leadership

Nai Collymore-Henry is the Vice President of Partnerships at the Alliance for Business Leadership where she engages with business leaders across Massachusetts about progressive policy. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was the Director of Fundraising and Engagement for Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley. In this role, she fundraised and established key partnerships for the Councilor’s successful 2017 re-election campaign.

Nai is the former Communications Director of the Equal Pay Coalition where she engaged over 50 organizations regarding equal pay legislation and urged lawmakers to vote in favor of the legislation which passed in August 2016.

Nai serves on the Finance Committee of Emerge Massachusetts and actively volunteers for the organization. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Nai currently resides in Roslindale, MA.


Past Awardees

2017 Honorees

YW Boston is thrilled to induct five distinguished honorees into the Academy at our 2017 luncheon. 

Liz Brunner
CEO & Founder of Brunner Communications

Liz Brunner is the CEO and founder of Brunner Communications. Leveraging more than 30 years of media and communications experience, expertise, and leadership, Brunner is sought by high-profile individuals and organizations to build meaningful reputations within their
markets. Prior to launching Brunner Communications, Brunner served as a main news anchor and reporter at ABC-TV, WCVB NewsCenter 5 in Boston. During her tenure, Brunner
co-anchored the #1 rated 6pm newscast and covered countless breaking news stories. She conducted exclusive one-on-one interviews with prominent figures ranging from professional athletes to global political leaders including President Barack Obama. Among Brunner’s industry recognitions are multiple New England Emmy Awards, two national Gracies from the Alliance for Women in Media, an Edward R. Murrow Award, an Associated Press Award, and a Communications Achievement Award from the American Women in Radio and Television. Brunner serves on the Board of Directors for Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is Executive Vice President of Boston Women in Media & Entertainment and is a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board. Brunner was also appointed by Mayor Marty Walsh to the elite Boston Women’s Commission, a group charged with attaining equal rights and opportunities for women citywide. In addition to speaking engagements, Brunner continues to make TV and radio appearances as well. A classically trained vocal performer and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.

Dr. Beverly Edgehill
Vice President, Organizational Development, TJX Companies, Inc

Beverly “Bev” Edgehill has committed her career to being a catalyst for organizational and individual development and change. As an accomplished organization development (OD) adviser, Bev guides leaders and their teams in achieving alignment between business strategy, organizational priorities and individual work performance. She is currently employed at TJX Companies as vice president and global head of the OD Center of Expertise. Dr. Edgehill has received numerous awards for her work and is featured in two books on leaders who make a difference – Boston Inspirational Women, and Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership. Bev teaches graduate level courses in Leadership, and OD and Change Management. In addition to serving as an organization development adviser, Dr. Edgehill is equally committed to mentoring career professionals in the practice of work-life success. As the former President and CEO of The Partnership, Dr. Edgehill updated the program content for the two flagship leadership programs, and designed and implemented an executive development program to complement the suite of offerings. She has also served under both the Bush and Obama administrations as a regional selection panelist for the White House Fellows program. Bev completed her doctoral studies at Columbia University, Teachers College, with a degree in Adult and Organizational Learning. 

Sandra L. Fenwick
President and Chief Executive Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital, Sandra L. Fenwick leads the nation’s foremost independent pediatric hospital and the world’s leading center of pediatric medical and health research.  Ms. Fenwick has been a driving force to improve the effectiveness and efficacy of the care provided at Boston Children’s while at the same time reducing the costs of care. Through a combination of hospital affiliations, outpatient specialty care centers, community health centers and regional partnerships, she has helped create a children’s health network providing high quality pediatric care in local settings. She has also expanded its commitment to and investment in both basic, translational and clinical research, care innovation and as well as prevention efforts focused on asthma, obesity, mental health and violence. Ms. Fenwick joined Boston Children’s in June of 1999 as senior vice president for Business Development, Strategy and Ambulatory Care Operations.  In November of 1999, she was appointed Chief Operating Officer, was named President in October 2008 and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2013.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of CRICO, Ltd.(Cayman), Wyss Institute, Children’s Hospital Association, Children’s Hospitals Solutions for Patient Safety, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, MASCO, Inc, Jobs for Massachusetts, Inc., Massachusetts Digital Health Council and Boston Children’s Hospital.  She is also a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum and Women Corporate Directors/Boston. Prior to her arrival at Boston Children’s, Ms. Fenwick served as senior vice president of System Development for CareGroup, Inc., and she served in a number of roles at the Beth Israel Hospital including vice president. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Simmons College with distinction and a Masters in Public Health degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Texas School of Public Health.  She has received numerous awards and honorary degrees for her contribution to healthcare.

Rebecca A. Lee
Member, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Rebecca A. Lee is a Member at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C., where she represents a wide range of entities, both for–profit and non-profit, in primarily development projects in the Greater Boston area such as the Aloft Seaport hotel and the Element Seaport hotel, the W Boston Hotel and Residences, and the Ritz Carlton Towers.  A particular focus of her work has been affordable housing projects such as The Mosaic on the Riverway, One Greenway in Chinatown, and a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Prior to joining Mintz Levin, Ms. Lee was a partner at two international Boston law firms and Chief of Staff/Special Counsel to the Director at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).  Prior to attending law school, she was Director of Economic Development for the Pittsburgh Redevelopment Authority and a program officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).  Rebecca has been long-active in community and civic affairs.  She has served for over a decade as a member of the Steering Committee for Ricesticks and Tea, Boston’s only emergency food pantry serving culturally-appropriate food to indigent Asian Americans.  She currently serves on the Finance Committee of WGBH, on the Board of Directors for Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), and on the Advisory Board of Boston Harbor Now.  She is a former president of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM) and recipient of many awards, including the Founders Award from AALAM, the Community Service Award from ACDC, and an Alumni Award from LeadBoston.  She is regularly recognized as a leading land use and zoning award by Chambers USA and American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell. Rebecca received her B.A. from Brandeis University cum laude, an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Valerie Mosley
Chairwoman and CEO, Valmo Ventures

Valerie Mosley is CEO of Valmo Ventures, which advises, partners with or invests in companies that generate value for shareholders and society. Valerie sees parallels between managing money and managing life and enjoys helping to make personal and financial wealth more universally accessible as “The Billion Dollar Mom.” Valerie spent 20 years at Wellington Management Company, a global investment management firm, where she managed billions for institutional clients and was Partner, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager. Valerie is an independent director of The Eaton Vance Fund Family, Dynex Capital (NYSE: DX), and Progress Investment Management Company, a privately-held fund of funds. She is an advisor to the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third largest pension fund in the US and the Risk Audit Committee of the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. Valerie also serves on the board of New Profit, a social venture philanthropy firm. She served as treasurer of Mass Ventures, a public-private investment fund through which she funded early-stage technology companies in Massachusetts. Valerie began her career at Chase Manhattan Bank as a Commercial Lending Officer. After graduate school, Valerie was an institutional salesperson at Kidder Peabody and the Chief Investment Officer at P. G. Corbin Asset Management. Valerie graduated from Duke University, where she served as President and Vice President of the student body. She received her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Black Enterprise has honored Valerie as one of the Top 75 African Americans on Wall Street and 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.