Since 1995, as part of our mission to promote and celebrate the achievements of women, YW Boston has held the Academy of Women Achievers celebration. This is an event 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.
2023 Academy of Women Achievers
June 6, 2023
11:30AM – 1:30PM
The Westin Copley Place
YW Boston is thrilled to induct five distinguished honorees into the Academy at our 28th Academy of Women Achievers celebration on June 6, 2023.
Nora Moreno Cargie
Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Point32Health
Nora Moreno Cargie serves in a dual role. She is vice president of corporate citizenship for Point32Health and president of Point32Health Foundation.
Through Nora’s leadership, Point32Health and its Foundation have earned national and local recognition. Point32Health was named to The Civic 50 by Points of Light as one of the most community-minded companies in the United States in 2022. Point32Health also was one of the Boston Business Journal’s Top Charitable Contributors.
A leading voice for systems change, Nora has been recognized throughout her career for her candid and authentic engagement. In her first year at the Boeing Company, she received the Global Diversity Process Improvement Award for eliminating barriers to make it easier for nonprofit organizations to access resources. Since arriving in Boston, she’s been recognized as one of GK100 Boston’s Most Influential People of Color, El Planeta’s Most Influential People for Latinos, and YW Boston’s 150 Women of Influence. Last year the National Council on Aging honored Nora with the Trailblazer in Aging Change Agent Award.
Her professional background includes work at Boeing Company as director of global corporate citizenship; with Illinois Action for Children as vice president of communications; and on Barack Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign in the role of deputy communications director. She also has served in various leadership roles for the City of Chicago, including as deputy commissioner for the department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, Nora is on the board of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and the Executive Forum for Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship. She served on the Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts and remains on the Elder Stakeholders Group, convened by AARP to inform policy and practice in aging. She is a longtime mentor for Conexión, an organization advancing Latine talent.
Nora earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and a master’s from NorthPark University, both in Chicago, Illinois.
Executive Director, Boston Women’s Fund
Natanja Craig Oquendo brings a deep passion for grassroots organizations and over 20 years of nonprofit experience to her role as Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Fund. She’s worked in the philanthropic sector throughout the majority of her career.
Natanja used her grit, passion, and personal life experience to help define and shape
the Boston Foundation’s Grassroots Strategy — a unique strategy she built from the
ground up. As Vice President of Community Partnerships for The Possible Project,
Natanja led outreach efforts to ensure deep engagement with local leaders, families,
and organizations. Natanja has also held positions with Fidelity Investments, The
Partnership, Inc., and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
Natanja believes in philanthropy that seeks out leaders making positive changes in their
communities and centers their knowledge, expertise, and solutions. At the core of
Natanja’s work and beliefs is the concept “do nothing about me without me.” Natanja is
committed to working in partnership with the full diversity of our communities,
particularly women, girls, and gender-expansive people of color and the LGBTQIA+
community to build a better future for everyone.
She believes in giving back by sharing her knowledge and expertise to create positive
change within the community. She is a board member at Philanthropy Massachusetts
and Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House and is on the advisory board at Harvard Law
Center and Everyday Boston. Natanja also has an active family life with her five children
and husband Jason
Executive Vice President, Camp Harbor View
Lisa Fortenberry is one of Boston’s most established, innovative, and inspiring leaders in the youth development field, bringing nearly 20 years of experience to her current role as the Executive Vice President of Camp Harbor View. Since joining CHV in 2018, she’s led efforts to transform the organization from a summer camp for thousands of middle schoolers to an organization that partners holistically with young people and families through a vast range of wraparound supports. Today CHV offers year-round leadership development, college and career access, and clinical and family support programs for more than 200 young people and the adults in their lives. Furthermore, the organization has developed and launched several initiatives to address economic stability and mobility for families, including one of the most extensive privately funded guaranteed income programs in the United States to date. Prior to CHV, Lisa held various leadership positions at City Year and Scholar Athletes. In these roles, Lisa developed and scaled a variety of student support programs serving thousands of young people on their path to high school graduation and post-secondary success.
The depth and breadth of Lisa’s investment in the success of Boston’s young people is also evident in her community ties. Lisa is a current board member for the American Camp Association New England affiliate as well as a Founding Trustee Member of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School, former board member of the Orchard Gardens K-8 School, and a participant in many community initiatives over the last decade including Boston Public Schools’ Level 4 School turnaround efforts and district redesign teams. She also served as Senior Fellow for the Institute of Nonprofit Practice Core Certificate program. Lisa is an alumnus of Bridgewater State University and a graduate of UMass Boston’s Emerging Leaders Program and the American Express Leadership Academy. Lisa is a current fellow in the Black Leadership Institute out of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and a resident of Quincy with her husband, Stephen, and their two sons.
President, Eos Foundation
Andrea Silbert joined the Eos Foundation as its first president in 2007. Eos is a private foundation making charitable investments in efforts to fight hunger, support immigrants, and promote gender and racial equity. Prior to Eos, Silbert was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, campaigning on a platform of job creation, economic development, and economic justice. In 1995, Silbert founded and served as the first CEO of the Center for Women & Enterprise, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit entrepreneurial training centers. CWE has served tens of thousands of entrepreneurs ranging from owners of small home-based businesses to the founders of fast-growth technology companies such as Zipcar and iRobot.
Silbert began her career as a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York. She left Wall Street for Latin America, working in grassroots economic development in Costa Rica, Columbia, and Brazil. During her time abroad, Silbert worked for Women’s World Banking, an international network of microloan funds, and was named an Echoing Green Fellow for her work with Brazilian street girls. Silbert also worked as economic development director for Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation in inner-city Boston.
Nationally, Silbert served as the founding Board Chair for the Association of Women’s Business Centers, meeting with Congressional leaders to promote legislation to assist women-owned small businesses. In 2000, she was appointed to the National Women’s Business Council, which provides advice to Congress and the President on issues of concern to women entrepreneurs, particularly around access to capital and government procurement. Silbert was a co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, a national organization which has helped fast-growth women entrepreneurs raise over $2 billion in angel financing and venture capital.
Silbert serves as Vice Chair of the boards for the Alliance for Business Leadership and the Harwich Conservation Trust, and on the Outreach Committee for ADL New England. She is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned an MBA, a Master of Public Administration, and a BA in Economics. She lives in Harwich, Massachusetts.
Senior Arts & Culture Reporter, WBUR
Sylvia Ferrell-Jones Awardee
Cristela Guerra is an award-winning journalist and senior arts and culture reporter at WBUR. Before switching to public radio, she was a print reporter for more than a decade, working at The Boston Globe and The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. She’s driven to understand people, committed to local journalism, and hopes to use arts and culture as a lens to delve deeper into issues of race, equity, and social justice.
View a list of previous AWA honorees.
We are currently soliciting 2023 Sponsors! Please contact Shana Lothrop, with any sponsorship questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our 2023 Sponsors
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Ernst & Young
Foley Hoag LLP
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Paradigm Capital Advisors
The Boston Foundation
Trillium Asset Management
Boston Impact Initiative
The Boston Celtics
Our 2023 Host Committee
Annis Gill-Miller, Chair, Vice President W/MBE, Women Minority Business Enterprise, Business Banking, Eastern Bank
Beyazmin Jimenez, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Culture at Northeastern University
Marla Baskerville, Assistant Professor, Northeastern University
Patricia Hennessy, Principal at Hennesy Consulting Group
Christine Letts, Advisor in Non-Profit Leadership, Philanthropy, and Corporate Responsibility
Lisa Prior, Founder, Prior Consulting LLC
Sharifa Niles, Senior Vice President, Head of Social Media and Content, Citizens