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Updated: October 16, 2023

WBJ names the 15th annual Outstanding Women in Business

WBJ Outstanding Women in Business 2023

The dynamo who turned the local rape crisis center into a sustainable operation that has become a national model for others to follow. The woman who helps small businesses with their marketing and launched a conference to help entrepreneurs get the expertise they need. The utility manager who supports the most vulnerable in affording their electricity. The healthcare CEO who found ways to build upon an elder services organization while others were struggling. The business owner who overcame institutional obstacles to build her furniture company. The vice chancellor who makes situations better for people of all backgrounds. The former architect who now directs operations at a fascinating business helping renovate existing buildings.

Over its 15 year history, the Outstanding Women in Business awards have honored a wide range of female leaders in Central Massachusetts. The 97 people who have won the award over that time all bring their own unique stories and accomplishments to the region’s business landscape. Their tales are ones of perseverance, talent, inspiration, intelligence, and success. This year’s winners are no exception, as each one redefines what it means to be outstanding in their lives and careers.

In this edition, WBJ profiles Claudia Russo, Damaris Dominguez, Holly Vaillancourt, Jennifer Hernandez, Kim Dawkins, Lisa Kubiak, and Marlina Duncan as the 2023 Outstanding Women in Business award winners. 

In the WBJ newsroom, we focus much of our attention looking forward, so we can give our audience of business leaders the market intelligence they need to operate their organizations successfully into the future. Still, every once in a while, we take a look back to see all that’s been accomplished. So, for this anniversary edition of our Outstanding Women in Business awards, we visit with some of our alumnae to see what they’ve been doing since they won the award and how they feel about the progress made (or not) for women in the workplace. You can read all these stories from winners past and present on the following pages.

If you’re in the mood to celebrate all these amazing professionals in person, I invite you to the Outstanding Women in Business awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 1 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. You’ll hear from this year’s winners and maybe manage to see a few alumnae, too.

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