Comerica Bank Best of LA Women's Business Awards Program 2018-19
The Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards Program recognizes women in leadership in Southern California, in tribute to their contributions. Winners were selected based on the following five categories:
- Woman of Entrepreneurship: Recognizing women business owners at companies of all sizes
- Woman of Business: Recognizing women executives (non-owner of the business)
- Woman of Philanthropy: Recognizing women who are changing our local community for the better
- Woman of Diversity: Recognizing women who are role models and breakthrough agents in our multicultural city, and who share their experience to guide our future leaders
- Woman of Promise: Recognizing women who are "rising stars" in their chosen field or industry
Honorees for the Month of March 2019:
Cassandra Stokes (Comerica Representative), Beatriz Gonzalez, Jessica Reveles, and Courtney Smith accepting the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards for March 2019.
In the category of Woman of Philanthropy is Beatriz Gonzalez. For nearly two decades, Beatriz has dedicated her career growing Coachella Valley Unified School District’s Expanded Learning After School Programs where she has gone above and beyond to ensure that her students have every possible opportunity to succeed. The Riverside Country Latino Commission dedicated “Bea’s House” Girl’s Youth Treatment Facility, in recognition of Beatriz’s work to promote mental wellness and healing, the first and only local facility of it’s nature. Beatriz is quite a Woman of Philanthropy, well known in her community for her big personality and even bigger heart.
In the category of Woman of Promise is Jessica Reveles. As owner of J Squared Communications, Jessica brings over 15 years of marketing and communications experience. She has worked with global brands including Yelp, Starbucks, and more. Jessica is deeply involved with organizations that provide professional development and career advancement opportunities for women. She is also dedicated to making an impact on her community. Jessica mentors young women entrepreneurs and uses her seat on the advisory board for the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission to advocate for the mentally ill as well as for families experiencing homelessness.
In the category of Woman of Entrepreneurship is Courtney Smith. As a self-made real estate entrepreneur, Courtney has used her considerable intellect, practical good sense, and charm to build her business over the past 12 years into a 186-million-dollar company. Since 2007, she has been the CEO/Founder of the Courtney + Kurt Real Estate team at Compass Brokerage. Courtney has appeared on ABC News and Spectrum News as a real estate expert, regularly been featured in the local press, ranked by the Wall Street Journal, and been named one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents. Further, she leads one of the top teams on LA’s Eastside, proving herself as a Woman of Entrepreneurship.
Honorees for the Month of February 2019:
Fatima Arshad (Comerica Representative), Mariana Rocha (Accepting award on behalf of Caroline Donelan), Lola Tillyaev, Wendy Spinner, Dr. Emerald Archer, and Nanxi Liu. accepting the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards for February 2019.
In the category of Woman of Business is Caroline Donelan. Accepting on her behalf is Mariana Rocha. In 2017, Caroline was named partner at Blank Rome, LLP, a firm of more than 600 lawyers. As one of the youngest in the firm’s history, she earned this coveted position. Caroline is also the co-founder of Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association, supporting other women in law address the competing demands of dual roles. Caroline deserves this honor as she is paving the way for future generations of accomplished women, leaving the world a little better than she found it.
In the category of Woman of Entrepreneurship is Lola Tillyaev. Lola moved across the globe to the United States, from Tashkent. Six years ago, she founded Harmonist, Inc. It was very difficult for Lola, as a woman, to break into the business of creating fragrances. However, her perseverance paid off and she now runs her businesses in both West Hollywood and Paris. Lola worked hard to make her own footprints in this industry and her community of Los Angeles which she now calls home. Her family have been her inspirations and her business an American dream come true.
In the category of Philanthropy is Wendy Spinner. In conjunction with Wendy’s successful career in Wealth Management, Wendy has been a dedicated volunteer and mentor for over 30 years to promote the success of economically disadvantaged teens through the Fulfillment Fund, a college access non-profit. Under her leadership and guidance, Wendy has permanently altered the lives of countless students by providing them with resources and counsel to not only attend college, but to successfully transition into a career. Wendy’s dedication to making a difference has proven that she is a Woman of Philanthropy.
DR. EMERALD ARCHER
In the category of Woman of Diversity is Dr. Emerald Archer. Dr. Archer is the Inaugural Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University promoting gender equity to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls. She has published nine peer-reviewed articles in national journals and has written a book titled “Women, Warfare and Representation: American Servicewomen in the Twentieth Century.” In addition, Dr. Archer is not only an engaging keynote speaker, but also a contributing expert to media outlets. She’s been described as a can’t miss speaker on diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
In the category of Woman of Promise is Nanxi Liu. Named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, Nanxi serves as an outspoken champion for women in tech in Southern California. After graduating, Nanxi moved to LA with a vision that turned into reality. She built Enplug, Inc., a leading digital display software company. Nanxi not only works as the CEO for her business, but also finds time to advocate the startup and tech community in LA, volunteer and serve on multiple foundation boards in support of her passion for community service and has even won an Emmy Award as a producer of the Amazon TV show, The Bay.
Honorees for the Month of January 2019:
Cassandra Stokes (Comerica Representative, Lindy Werges accepted award on behalf of Diane Holland, Seyie Putsure, Genein Letford, Christine Keith, Hilda Loury accepting the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards for January 2019.
In the category of Woman of Business is Diane Holland. As the first ever female global CFO in the digital industry, Diane’s commitment to her colleagues is unmatched, inspiring them to reach their own fullest potential. Amongst her success within her professional career, Diane also finds time to give back to the community. She has served as the Vice Chair on Step Up’s national board, a national nonprofit that serves to provide teen girls in under-resourced communities to be college-bound and career ready.
In the category of Woman of Entrepreneurship is Seyie Putsure. Seyie founded the company, Seyie design, in 2007. Since then, the company has grown to be an international brand. Through this, Seyie was recognized as Fendi Casa’s designer of the month, and has been featured in Time, Lucky, Vogue, Elle, DDI magazine, and has been named by Vogue India as one of “the new women of interiors” while also being an allied member of the American society of interior designers and a member of the costume council at Lacma.
In the category of Philanthropy is Genein Letford. As the 2015 charter school teacher of the year, Genein is an amazing role model for students in the San Fernando Valley. She is a national voice in student equity access, creative arts education and financial literacy. Genein is a board member of the national non-profit donorschoose.org and a financial literacy coach at her local church. Through this, she was recognized as John Maxwell’s Top 30 Transformational Leadership awardee and was the 2010 Great American Teacher of the Year.
In the category of Woman of Diversity is Christine Keith. After joining Aliso medical clinic in Boyle heights, she converted her family practice to a free clinic and offered another location for the Los Angeles mission to provide free medical care in the community. Christine then joined Elite Auto Network. While serving as president, they joined the greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce where her efforts earned the member of the year award. Christine strives to be a positive role model, leader, and business woman who can help others find their purpose.
In the category of Woman of Promise is Hilda Loury. As a woman of color, first-generation college student, Hilda has made her mark in academia. At age 25, she has taught philosophy to over 350 undergraduate students in both northern and southern California. As a mentor, she is dedicated to being of service in her profession, to advise young women and people of color on academics, career, and personal challenges. Hilda has presented her research globally in five countries, but also uses her ability to impact the lives of her students.
Honorees for the Month of December 2018:
Rachel Rabizadeh (Comerica Representative), Caroline Weilert, Patti Regan Nelson, Grace Kim, Nicole Hancock Husband accepting the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards for December 2018.
In the category of woman of business is Caroline Weilert. As Vice President of Marketing and Brand Management at Bright Landscapes, Caroline's commitment to developing others led her to found Brightview's first employee resource group, growth in relationships and opportunity for women. This group has had a meaningful impact on numerous women across the organization. Caroline's impact on the success of others embraces what it means to be a woman of business.
PATTI REGAN NELSON
In the category of woman of entrepreneurship is Patti Regan Nelson. Leader of the Regan Group, and CEO of TRG Fulfillment, Patti manages direct client realtionships while also positioning TRG as a partner for other marketing agencies. Under Patti's leadership, the Regan Group is now one of the top 50 promotions agencies in North America and has won multiple awards for its innovative campaigns. Patti's ability to manage these top-level businesses while also focusing on company culture and team building proves a true woman of entrepreneurship.
In the category of philanthropy is Grace Kim. After a tragic accident in 2015, Grace and her husband created the Dragon Kim Foundation in honor of their son, Dragon, who had a vision to impact his community through an instumental music program for underprivileged students. The Foundation also runs a Fellowship Program that provides leadership training and grants of up to $5,000 to inspire high schoolers to create social change. The organization has accomplished a tremendous amount in 3 years thanks to the commitment Grace has put towards creating meaningful opportunities for hundreds of people in Southern California.
NICOLE HANCOCK HUSBAND
In the category of woman of diversity is Nicole Hancock Husband. Nicole currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources at Warner Bros. Television. Nicole has demonstrated leadership through election to many positions on the board of directors of the Black Woman Lawyer Association of Los Angeles, including president. In 2015, she received the Diversity MBA Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leader. Nicole deserves the Woman of Diversity honor through her work of inspiring others in the legal profession to reach career goals while maintaining a positive mindset.
Honorees for the Month of November 2018:
Vangie Cumming(Comerica Representative), Rimsha Parvez, Sophia Yen, Sandy Stein, Kathy Jones, and Rosalind Pennington accepting the Comerica Bank Women’s Business Awards for November 2018.
In the category of woman of entrepreneurship is Sandy Stein. After 35 years as a flight attendant, Sandy invented a product called finders key purse and managed to sell 1 million in the first year of business. Sandy shares the success of the business with charities, schools, and foundations, along with blessing many at-risk kids with jobs.
In the category of woman of business is Sophia Yen. Identified in 2012 as a “Hollywood new leader” by variety magazine, Sophia has succeeded tremendously in the entertainment business. She was promoted quickly to partnership at the prestigious law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Philips, LLP and is the only female and minority partner within the firm’s entertainment group. Sophia has used her role to influence the hiring of more females and minorities within the group, while being an active member of the firms’ executive diversity committee and recruiting committee.
In the category of philanthropy is Kathy Jones. As a mother, wife, life coach, and former united states national guard, Kathy has used her belief that all things are possible to create Heart2Heart, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading words of hope into inner city communities. She has earned a Life’s Wisdom Certificate award in diversity and a human compassion award.
In the category of woman of diversity is Rosalind Pennington. Rosalind is the founder of business strategy and tactical consulting services LLC, which provides necessary assistance to entrepreneurs in her community. She has been mentoring youth for over 25 years through several organizations including Regalettes and the urban media foundation and is an avid volunteer.
In the category of woman of promise is Rimsha Parvez. As a former united states military civilian contractor deployed in Afghanistan, Rimsha is excelling in a coveted position at Deloitte. She has made it her mission to be the type of leader to empower other women and put them on the best path to success.
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