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 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.  

List of previous AWA honorees

2019 Academy of Women Achievers Luncheon
June 4th, 2019

Know someone who should be honored at the 2019 Academy of Women Achievers Luncheon? Nominate them today!


2018 Academy of Women Achievers Luncheon
June 5th, 2018

Thank you to our awardees, sponsors, and attendees of the 2018 AWA Luncheon!

Click here to read more about AWA 2018 and see a slideshow of the afternoon.

For more information, please contact Meredith Lynch at or 617-585-5473.

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.

Our Sponsors



Clarendon Residences

Massachusetts General Hospital

Yawkey Foundation II


Maloney Properties

Middlesex Savings Bank



BMC HealthNet Plan

Boston Red Sox Foundation


Fletcher Consulting, LLC

Hollister Staffing

HUB International New England

Lois Lindauer Associates

Modera Wealth Management

Neighborhood Health Plan

Webster Bank



Boston Common Asset Management, LLC

Boston Community Capital

Cleary Insurance, Inc.

Delta Dental of Massachusetts

East Boston Savings Bank

Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston

Koya Leadership Partners

Kramer Frohlich LLC

Lawrence and Atsuko Fish


Salem Five Bank
State Street Corporation