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2020 Outstanding Women in Business

Depending on how you count it, Outstanding Women in Business is WBJ’s most sought-after award. The 40 Under Forty gets the most nominations, typically around 200, but roughly one in five nominees wins the award. Business Leader of the Year is WBJ’s oldest award and has become a who’s who of the Central Massachusetts business community, but only a select few are even considered for the award each year. Outstanding Women in Business, however, gets a large number of nominations every year for a select few spots, and nearly all of the 40-50 women who are nominated each year have a strong case for why they should win the award. This year, the judges considered 53 nominations for 40 nominees.

What has always separated the winners from the rest of the nominees are their roles in advancing the causes of women in the workplace, through direct mentoring, leading by example, and breaking through the glass ceiling previously holding half of the workforce back.

This year, the Outstanding Women in Business winners are breaking new ground in all sorts of ways. Tamara Lundi is the first Black CEO of either gender in the UMass Memorial Health Care System. Susan Kalk has risen in the ranks in the typically male-dominated STEM industry, particularly in biotechnology. Kate Roy Alexander broke new ground when she was promoted to CEO out of Southbridge Credit Union’s retail department, and the financial institution has grown and reshaped itself since she took over. All seven of this year’s winners have an amazing story to tell, joining the 66 other alumnae of this award in creating a rich tapestry of female empowerment and accomplishment in the Central Massachusetts business community.

I would like to thank Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, where we held the photo shoot this year and in the previous two years. Everyone there was very accommodating while still offering proper social distancing. It is a great location, and if you have never been, I encourage you to go.

Normally, WBJ would honor these Outstanding Women in Business at a November luncheon event at Tuckerman Hall in Worcester. Of course, nothing about 2020 is normal, so the awards event will be virtual, airing in November. We hope you will join us for this unique experience.

- Brad Kane, editor

WBJ Web Partners

2020 Outstanding Women in Business

  • Kate Alexander
    Kate Alexander
    CEO, Southbridge Credit Union
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  • Karin Branscombe
    Karin Branscombe
    CEO, Quaker State Special Risk
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  • Liz Hamilton
    Liz Hamilton
    Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club of Worcester
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  • Susan Kalk
    Susan Kalk
    Senior Vice President, Chief Quality & Technical Operations Officer , Sunovion Pharmaceuticals
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  • Sheila King-Goodwin
    Sheila King-Goodwin
    Senior Vice President and Chief Retail Banking Officer, Fidelity Bank
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  • Tamara Lundi
    Tamara Lundi
    President & CEO, UMass Memorial Community Healthlink
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  • Valerie Zolezzi Wyndham
    Valerie Zolezzi Wyndham
    CEO, Promoting Good LLC
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