Executive Women of New Jersey (”EWNJ”) will honor 36 women of professional distinction in New Jersey at its Salute to the Policy Makers 2012 Awards Dinner on May 17, 2012.  Wells Fargo Regional President Lucia DiNapoli Gibbons serves as the event’s honorary dinner chair.  Kay Koplovitz, Founder of USA Networks and Chairman of the Board, Liz Claiborne Inc., will serve as guest speaker for the event, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick in New Brunswick, NJ. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is serving as this year’s Distinguished Honorary Dinner Chair.

“Since its founding in 1980, EWNJ has championed the advancement of women to the most senior levels of international corporations, non profits, and public service firms. At this year’s ‘Salute to the Policy Makers’ event, we will celebrate the professional accomplishments of 36 exceptional New Jersey executives,” said EWNJ President-Elect and 2012 Salute Dinner Chair Keitha M. Lackey, who also serves as a Director for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. “It is my honor and pleasure to serve as Chair for this year’s gala, which serves a dual purpose: Honoring an outstanding group of women and benefiting an excellent cause.”

Proceeds from the biennial event will fund EWNJ’s scholarship program, which has provided over $1.1 million in scholarships to more than 350 deserving New Jersey women enrolled in advanced degree programs at New Jersey institutions since instituting the program in 1986, as well as other programs that advance women.

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For more information on corporate sponsorship or tickets to the Salute to the Policy Makers awards dinner, contact EWNJ at 609-249-7982 or visit EWNJ on the web at www.ewnj.org.

The 2012 honorees are:

Lara Abrash, MBA, CPA, AERS Partner in Charge, Deloitte + Touche LLP; Laurie Smaldone Alsup, MD, President, PharmApprove;  Michele Blackwood, MD, FACS, Director of Breast Health and Disease Management, Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., President, Caldwell College; Margarita Camacho, MD, FACS, Surgical Director, Cardiac Transplantation &    Mechanical Assist Device Program, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Kathryn Carlson, Managing Director - Market Executive, US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; Karen L. Clark, Vice President Medicaid, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey/President, Horizon NJ Health; Sandra Cottrell, MA, Ph.D., Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Drug Safety, NPS Pharmaceuticals; Michellene Davis, Senior Vice President for Policy Development and Governmental Affairs, Saint Barnabas Health Care System; Caroline Dorsa, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.; Tracey B. Early, CPA, Managing Principal, Untracht Early, LLC;  Jennifer Feldsher, Partner, Bracewell & Giulliani; Margaret M. Foran, Chief Governance Officer, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Prudential Financial, Inc.; Karen A. Giannelli, Esq., Chair, Financial Restructuring & Creditors' Rights Department, Gibbons P.C.; PJ Hilbert, Executive Vice President, Global Operations/Chief Service Officer, Synchronoss Technologies Inc.; Ellen Oran Kaden, Senior Vice President - Chief Legal and Public Affairs Officer, Campbell's Soup Co.; Andrea Kalliaras, CPA, Principal, Rothstein Kass; Linda M. Kassekert, Chair of the NJ Casino Control Commission & Board Member, Cooper University Hospital; Margaret Lanning, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; Wendy Johnson Lario, Esq., Shareholder and N.J. Chair of Labor & Employment, Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Nancy Lurker, CEO & Director, PDI Inc.; Tracye McDaniel, President & CEO, Choose New Jersey; Margaret M. McMenamin, Ed. D., President, Union County College; Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver, Speaker, New Jersey State Assembly; Kimberly O'Loughlin, Senior Vice President, Customer Care and Managing Director, International Markets, Vonage; Kimberlee S. Phelan, Partner, WithumSmith+Brown, PC;  Barbara A. Santoro, Vice President - Corporate Governance and Secretary, Ingersoll-Rand plc; S. Nicole Schaeffer, Senior Vice President, Administration & Human Resources, Amicus Therapeutics; Sharon Seitzman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, QualCare, Inc.;  Claire Y. Stevens, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, PNC Wealth Management, PNC Bank;  Rochelle Tarlowe, SVP Treasurer, Avis Budget Group; Kathleen Waldron, Ph.D., President, William Paterson University;  Robin Walton, Director of Community and Government Affairs, Thomas Edison State College and Board Member, Children's Specialized Hospital; Clare E. Wherley, CPA, CFP, Chief Executive Officer, Lassus Wherley; Wendy White-Baxter, Executive Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions; Cheryl Williams, Vice President, e Commerce, Digital & Loyalty Initiatives, Wakefern Food Corp.

In addition, one New Jersey company will be named to EWNJ’s esteemed Business Honor Roll for its dedicated efforts to represent women at the highest levels of its organization and ensure they are actively involved in corporate governance, while implementing policies to help all employees balance work and family responsibilities. 

“Since 1998, EWNJ’s  prestigious Business Honor Roll has recognized New Jersey companies that have actively supported their female executives both personally and professionally, and more broadly have cultivated employee-centric cultures characterized by employee trust, pride and appreciation,” noted Donna Meade,  EWNJ President who also serves as Executive Director & President of JFK Medical Center & Muhlenberg Foundations. “EWNJ has made it part of its mission to honor these corporate values that are so critical to an organization’s employee satisfaction, business success and ultimately, its competitive advantage.”

Past Business Honor Roll honorees have included several of the state’s most venerated corporate leaders including Lucent, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough, Prudential, Summit Bank, Hoffman-Laroche, Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey, Cooper University Hospital and Children’s Specialized Hospital.

About Executive Women of New Jersey

Founded in 1980, EWNJ is where New Jersey’s executive women connect and collaborate across all sectors to share experiences, develop relationships and build their businesses. Since the organization’s founding, EWNJ has given out over $1.1 million in scholarships to deserving New Jersey women pursuing advanced degrees.