WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP DAY ORGANIZATION PIONEER AWARDS WINNERS
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) Pioneer Awards recognizes and honors distinguished women who are leaders and innovators across multiple categories with inspiring accomplishments. We honor pioneers in the fields of Health, Education, Music, Business, Celebrity, Sports, Art, Fashion, Philanthropy, Beauty, Social Responsibility, Space/Science, Finance, Technology, and Environment/Animals. Each year we honor those selected on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
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Stephanie Newby is the former CEO of Crimson Hexagon and is responsible for the company’s vision, values, corporate strategy, and operational excellence. Under Stephanie’s leadership, revenues increased 8-fold. Currently, Stephanie was the CEO of Proseeder Technologies, a platform that empowers corporations with adaptive tools for collaboration, diligence, and execution. Stephanie also founded Golden Seeds, an early-stage investment firm for women-led companies. She wanted to grow the pipeline of female entrepreneurs and, ultimately, female executives. Follow Stephanie – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or Twitter.
In 2008, Francine started Same Sky, an initiative that provides training, employment, and a stable income for HIV-positive women survivors of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. These women are taught to crochet beads into jewelry. Same Sky has sold these pieces of jewelry at Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman, while creating a better living for numerous women. Francine’s social justice work has been honored with the UN Women For Peace Award, the Woman Who Cares Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. She is the Chair Emerita of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School and also serves as CEO of the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Foundation, which supports institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and cultural institutions. Follow Francine – Facebook Instagram, Linkedin, or Twitter.
Patty Baker worked at Tiffany & Co and is now a Broadway producer. She has received a Tony honors and has most recently produced the musical Beautiful, a Broadway show about singer/composer Carole King. Patty also serves on the boards of the Naples Players in Florida and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Jay Baker, former President of Kohl’s Department Stores, and Patty Baker believe in the education and future of the retail industry. They have donated $15 million to Hunter College, $10 million to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, $23 million to the Naples Community Hospital, $15 million to the Wharton School of Business, $2 million to the Milwaukee Art Museum, $10 million to FIT, and continue to support annual scholarships for forty Baker Scholars. By 2016, they had donated a staggering $150 million to charity and since then, have continued their philanthropic efforts.
Leah is General Partner at FUEL Capital, where she invests in early-stage companies across consumer technology, hardware, education, marketplaces, and retail. She’s passionate about supporting teams who are taking on world-changing ideas.
Leah relates so well to founders because she is one herself. She created one of the most widely recognized consumer brands of the past decade with TaskRabbit. As TaskRabbit’s CEO for eight years, Leah scaled the company to 44 cities and raised more than $50 million. In 2016, Leahtransitioned into the role of executive chairwoman and in 2017, TaskRabbit was acquired by IKEA.
Leah has spoken at the World Economic Forum and Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Time. She has also been named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company.
In 2020 Norma Kamali marks 53 years in the fashion business. Norma remains today the sole owner of her company. Her dream is to live a creative life. Her purpose is to help women feel good about themselves so they can reach their potential.
‘Norma innovations’ are the sleeping bag coat, sweats and the start of casual sportswear; parachute clothing, high heeled sneakers, sculptural swimwear influential in the global marketplace; and multi-style clothing made for easy care, easy travel. “Clothing should be practical and smart but at the same time be fun to wear and meant to make you feel good “.
In the seventies fifty percent of Norma’s clients were men and these were purchases made from her collection for women. Gender for the first time was blurred in the seventies and what existed was a creative spirit each person wore as their individual style. The return of the gender-neutral spirit exists today in her collections. Norma believes it was AIDS that stopped this creative expression in the seventies and it is her belief with the memory faded it is time for a non-gender specific approach to fashion.
Norma became an early proponent of a healthy lifestyle. The devastation of AIDS and the loss of close friends, prompted Norma to seek out alternative integrative pioneers in the field of a healthy lifestyle like Dr. Andrew Weil in Arizona.
After 9/11 Norma opened the Wellness Cafe and shared her findings about a healthy lifestyle to a small knowledgeable group of New Yorkers with similar interests. Norma presented products to help build a strong immune system to this growing community. There were a series of exercises at the end of each day, film presentations about farming and an interesting product assortment covering sleep diet and exercise.
NORMALIFE is democratic and inclusive, for men and women of all ages and ethnicity. #gobaredontcare presents the no-makeup concept in the first rollout which is the skin line. Men can finally have a skin line equal to that of women’s, confirming simple, timeless ingredients work. Sustainability is always kept in mind for all packaging as well as company policies.
“A healthy life supports how we feel about ourselves so we may all reach our potential.”
Twyla asked me to collaborate with her on a special dance and tribute for Herman Cornejo. With an eye on gender-neutral style what better expression than in costumes for dance.
Hannah Stocking is a multi-talented writer, director, and actress who brings her unique comedy to millions of viewers around the world. With a background in chemistry and biology, Stocking breaks down interesting and relevant topics in easily accessible ways. She has created two original series built around the concept of blending science with comedy: “The Science of Beauty” and “Science Party with Hannah Stocking,” the latter which is a product of a partnership with ATTN. Stocking has found ways to bring her talents to the world of music as well. She starred in the videos for Blink-182’s “She’s Out of Her Mind” in 2016 and the vertical video for Lele Pons’ smash hit “Celoso.” She also created the official lyric videos for “Celoso” and “Hard 2 Face Reality” by Poo Bear featuring Justin Bieber and Jay Electronica. Stocking’s talent has allowed her to also cross over to traditional media. She joined E! News for their coverage of the 2017 Grammy Awards and presented an award at MTV MiAws. She made her big screen debut, playing Anna in Tyler Perry’s no. 1 movie Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. She has landed features from PAPER Magazine, GQ Thailand, and others. Stocking’s talents and abilities make her a truly one-of-a-kind creator.
Missy Elliot is one of the most iconic figures in music history and has collaborated with other renowned artists such as Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, and many more. She’s been in the music industry for thirty years directing the global soundscape, visually reinventing herself, and redefining pop music. Her diverse career led her to new creative territory regarding songwriting, rapping, singing, and producing.
Although Elliot has received multiple awards in honor of her music, one of her all-time hits, “Work It,” won three ASCAP Awards, a Billboard award for Hottest Rap Track, a Grammy for Best Female Rap Solo Performance, an International Dance Music Award, two MTV VMA’s, an NAACP Award, a Soul Train award, a Soul Train Lady of Soul award, and a Vibe Award. She has also assisted with vocals, production, and the songwriting process for other artists during her career such as Mary J. Blige and Aaliyah. In May 2019, Elliot received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music and was then admitted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June. She has inspired generations with her stunning creativity and boldness through her plethora of projects and continues to impress today.
WEDO partnered with the Lalela Project
WEDO partnered with the Lalela Project founded by Andrea Kerzner! They provide educational arts for impoverished at-risk youth to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. By linking arts education to academic achievement, social and emotional development and civic engagement, Lalela teaches at-risk students in South Africa, Northern Uganda and the Bronx, New York how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching the possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities. Lalela also offers specialized programs based on the needs of the communities they serve. Lalela has developed a signature art curriculum, called Heart Mapping. Using this method, an impoverished female student will create a beautiful piece of art customized for each Pioneer Award Winner!