October 29, 2018
Focus on oustanding women in business

Outstanding Women in Business: 2011 Alumnae

Lisa F. Wilk

Lisa F. Wilk

2011: President & owner of Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. in Marlborough

Now: Owner & CEO at Capaccio Environmental Engineering Inc. in Marlborough

Lisa Wilk has been onboard at Capaccio Environmental Engineering since its beginning, in 1992.

She is now the company's owner and CEO (with Lori Harrington recently named president, a title Wilk had previously held). The firm is a certified women-owned business through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, and a women-owned business enterprise through the State of Massachusetts.

Since winning the Outstanding Women in Business award in 2011, Wilk has seen more women in leadership roles not just in her industry, but in clients' industries as well. The 30-person firm works with business owners to align their business objectives with environmental, health and safety (EH&S) standards – going beyond regulatory compliance.

"For example, an industry might use a lot of water in its manufacturing process," she said. "If they can reduce water, they can save environmental costs to the community, but also reduce costs to the operation."

One client was able to avoid building a facility outside of the region after working with Wilk and her team.

"They were able to double production without increasing cost," she said.

Since 2011, the company built out its own space in a new office building within Marlborough, where it has been since December.

Capaccio built a new data-management system, the EHS-Dashboard, which sets clients up for easier data collection, verification and analysis.

"It's really taking advantage of technology to offer better solutions," she said, "with a lot less data manipulation and handling," allowing Capaccio and its clients to make more-informed decisions, faster.

Wilk said although it was years since her win, she thinks the Outstanding Women in Business awards are an important way to recognize women, especially with more women in leadership roles.

"It helps make these leadership roles more visible," she said, adding she is encouraged, reading the stories of other women.

Karen A. Koller

Karen Koller

2011 & now: President & CEO of RCAP Solutions, Inc. in Gardner

What have been your career highlights since 2011? Received 2013 Women in Leadership from the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise; co-chair for National Board Executive Director Selection Committee of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership in Washington D.C.; financial growth of RCAP from 2011 to 2018.

And personally? I am not the same person who took this position in 2011. I am confident in my leadership and the capacity I bring to the table. I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer while maintaining a full positon and meeting the goals of the organization. I have a true sense of happiness for a job and career well done. I smile a lot these days and look forward to many more to come.

How has the world changed? Accountabilities, delegation and a new management model is one of the most interesting and challenging requirements of the new remote-working and interconnected professional world. Game on.

Cheryl M. Lapriore, MBA

Cheryl Lapriore

2011: Vice president & chief of staff at UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester

Now: Senior vice president & chief of staff, chief marketing officer and president for UMass Memorial Health Ventures, Inc. at UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester

What have been your career highlights since 2011? I have been promoted to a senior vice president within the healthcare system and have taken on additional responsibilities to include: assuming the president role for UMass Memorial Health Ventures, Inc. which is essentially a division of UMass Memorial Health Care with a focus on business development and investing.

And personally? I have built wonderful relationships with several women business leaders. They have become my advocates, mentors and decompression buddies when the balance in work and life gets off kilter.

How has the world changed? The professional world has continued to increase in its pace, the expectation of immediate, 24/7 responsiveness because of mobile devices and an influx of social media putting your organization on camera for the world to view. However, I am encouraged by the younger professionals who continue to create innovative ideas, processes and techniques to run businesses.

Karen E. Ludington

Karen Ludington

2011: President & CEO of Children's Friend in Worcester

Now: Vice president at Children's Friend, Inc., an affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation in Worcester

What have been your career highlights since 2011? Led successful fundraising for important programs for children and families. Negotiated an affiliation between Children's Friend and Seven Hills Foundation after an extensive, year-long process to find the right partner for Children's Friend.

And personally? The best part of my life has been watching my grandchildren grow up.

How has the world changed? The not-for-profit world has become much more difficult. The needs of children and families in our community have grown, while many of the resources have shrunk. Women's leadership has become more recognized – although still not enough – as being essential to business and societal health.

Tina M. Sbrega

Tina Sbrega

2011 & now: President & CEO in GFA Federal Credit Union in Gardner

What have been your career highlights since 2011? Recipient of Heywood Healthcare Community Health Hero 2016. First credit union in nation to acquire a stock-owned bank in 2012. First credit union in Massachusetts to provide basic banking services to legitimate cannabis industry to minimize public safety risk of an all-cash business industry.

And personally? Built a home on Lake Monomonac in Rindge, N.H. and am enjoying decorating it and making it home.

How has the world changed? With technology driving 24/7 access, I am afraid that we are seldom down from the demands of work, so we need to become more focused on work/life balance.

• The 2011 alumnae not pictured is Kimberly Rozak, a partner at Mirick O'Connell in Worcester.

Read more about the 2018 Outstanding Women in Business:

Kate Sharry, president of Group Benefits Strategies

Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA, co-managing partner of AAFCPAs

Laurie Masiello, president of Masy Bioservices

Jennifer Luisa, vice president of marketing and communications at The Hanover Insurance Group

Marianne Lancaster, president of Lancaster Packaging Inc.

Sandra Brock, PE, vice president and chief engineer at Nitsch Engineering

Read about this year's judges

Read about the nine previous years of Outstanding Women in Business award winners:

2017 alumnae

2016 alumnae

2015 alumnae

2014 alumnae

2013 alumnae

2012 alumnae

2011 alumnae

2010 alumnae

2009 alumnae

Check out a column from this year's Innovative Business Leader of the Year on the importance of women business leaders in the Central Mass. community

Successful women shape our community

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