Honoring Women Leaders
Since 1993, Michigan has hosted a women’s leadership
event that features women business leaders, panel discussions, and
skill-building workshops. The Women in Leadership Award recognizes business
leadership and achievements that promote women’s success in business.
The 2009-2010 award was presented to
Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of Women for Women International, at the
Ross School of Business spring Commencement on April 30, 2010.
Past award recipients include:
Smith, retired co-founder and Managing General Partner of
Phillips-Smith-Machens Venture Partners of Dallas
Christine Poon, Johnson & Johnson Vice Chairman, Board
of Directors, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Group
Mary Kay Haben, Group Vice President, Kraft Foods North
America President, Kraft Cheese, Enhancers & Meals Group
Linda Dillman, Executive Vice President and Chief
Information Officer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Mary Sue Coleman, President, University of Michigan
Madeleine Korbel Albright, Former Secretary of
State of the United States of America
Muriel Siebert, President of Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.
Kay Koplovitz, CEO, Working Woman Network
Barbara Mowry, President & CEO, Requisite Technology, Inc.
Connie Duckworth, Managing Director & Partner, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Sheli Rosenberg, President & CEO, Equity Group Investments, Inc.
Sheila Wellington, President, Catalyst, Inc.
Paula Sneed, SVP, Marketing Services, Kraft Foods
Elaine Ullian, President & CEO, Boston University Medical Center
In conjunction with the Award presentation, the school
and Michigan Business Women sponsor the Women in Leadership Conference. This
event brings together highly accomplished women in business to interact with
2009: Zainab Salbi
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women
International, a group that is dedicated to helping women survivors of war
rebuild their lives. A survivor of war herself, Ms Salbi started Women for
Women International in response to the rape and concentration camps in
Bosnia in 1993. Since then, the organization has served more than 250,000
women in eight conflict and post-conflict areas from Congo and Rwanda to
Afghanistan and her native country Iraq.
Ms. Salbi is the author (with Laurie Bucklund) of the national best selling
book "Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of
Saddam," that is an account of life in Iraq and the hold that Saddam Hussein
had over her family. She documents the stories of women survivors of wars in
her second book "The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival and
For her life dedication to providing educational and economic training and
opportunities for women survivors of wars, Ms. Salbi has received many honors including but not limited to: A White House Honor from Former
President Bill Clinton for her work in Bosnia (1995),
the Forbes’ Trailblazer Award (2005), Innovator of the Month by Time
Magazine (2005) and most recently a nomination from President Clinton as a
Harper's Bazaar 21st Century Heroine. Women for Women International was the
recipient of the prestigious Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize Award in
Her work has been featured in major media outlets, including eight appearances
on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and countless appearances on CNN, The Washington
Post and The New York Times.
Ms. Salbi has a master’s degree in Development Studies from
the London School of Economics and BA in Sociology and Women's Studies from
George Mason University. She is a blogger for Marie Claire Magazine and the
Huffington Post and documents her travels and encounters with women
worldwide on Twitter.
2008: Cece Smith
Cece Smith is the retired co-founder and managing general partner of
Phillips-Smith-Machens Venture Partners of Dallas, a $140 million group of
venture capital funds that invested in retail and consumer businesses.
Portfolio companies have included Cheap Tickets, White House/Black Market,
PETsMART, Hot Topic and Jamba Juice.
Prior to starting Phillips-Smith in 1986, Ms. Smith was Executive Vice
President-Finance and Administration of Pearle Health Services, the world’s
largest retail optical chain.
Ms. Smith has been a director of many retailers, including Brinker
International, Michaels Stores, Pier 1 Imports, Cheap Tickets, Hot Topic,
BizMart and A Pea in the Pod. She also served as a director and as Chairman
of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She is on the Executive
Board of the Dallas Symphony Association and the Executive Board of the Cox
School of Business at Southern Methodist University. She is a Magna Cum
Laude graduate of the University of Michigan and a CPA.
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2007: Christine Poon
Christine Poon is Vice Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, and a
member of the Office of the Chairman. She serves as a member of the
Company’s Board of Directors and the Executive Committee and has direct
responsibility for the Pharmaceuticals Group. Ms. Poon began her career with
Johnson & Johnson in November, 2000, as Company Group Chairman,
Pharmaceuticals. In August, 2001, she was promoted to the Executive
Committee and named Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Poon was
appointed Worldwide Chairman, Medicines & Nutritionals, in October 2003. She
was named a Vice Chairman of the Board in January 2005 and was elected to
the Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors in April, 2005. From January to
December of 2007, she also had responsibility for the Johnson & Johnson
Development Corporation, the Corporate Office of Science and Technology, the
Corporate Office of Information Management, Worldwide Procurement and
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Ms. Poon spent 15 years at Bristol-Myers
Squibb where her most recent position was President of International
Medicines. Her career at Bristol-Myers Squibb included marketing and
strategic planning positions. In 1990 she was named Vice President,
Cardiovascular Strategic Product Planning, and she became Vice President and
General Manager of Squibb Diagnostics in 1992. In 1994 she was named
President and General Manager of the Canadian operation. She was named Vice
President, then Senior Vice President for Canada and the Latin America
Pharmaceutical Operations, and from 1997-1998 she was President of Medical
Ms. Poon is on the Board of Directors of Prudential Financial, Inc., in
Newark, NJ, and the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. She is a
past member of the Board of Trustees of the NJ Institute of Technology. In
2004 she was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s
Association and in November 2005 was named Business Leader of the Future by
CNBC/Wall Street Journal. She was named to Fortune Magazine’s list of the 50
Most Powerful Women in Business for 2006 and 2007.
Born in Brentwood, Missouri, Ms. Poon received a bachelor's degree in
biology from Northwestern University, a master's degree in
biology/biochemistry from St. Louis University and an M.B.A. in finance from
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2006: Mary Kay Haben
Mary Kay Haben is Group Vice President, Kraft Foods North America, President of the Kraft Cheese, Enhancers & Meals
Group, and is a member of the company’s Management Committee. She is
responsible for brands such as: Kraft, Philadelphia Brand, Velveeta, Cheez
Whiz, Cracker Barrel, Athenos, Churny, Breakstone’s Knudsen and Polly-O
cheeses; Kraft and Velveeta boxed dinners; Di Giorno pastas and sauces;
Stove Top stuffing mix; Minute rice; Kraft and Miracle Whip spoonable
dressings; Kraft and Good Seasonings salad dressings; Kraft and Bull’s-Eye
barbecue sauces; and Shake ‘N Bake coating mix. She was named to her current
position in February 2001.
Haben joined Kraft in 1979 as a Marketing Research Analysis in the Cheese
Division. A year later, she moved into brand management where she worked on
most major cheese brands including Velveeta, Cracker Barrel and Philadelphia
Brand cream cheese. In 1984 she became Category Manager of the Churny Cheese
Company and in 1993 she assumed the added responsibilities of the U. S.
confection business of Kraft’s European Jacobs Suchard and Callard & Bowser
organizations. Haben was named Vice President for the Pizza Division in July
She moved to General Manager of Kraft’s Enhancers Division in March 1997.
Later that year, Haben was named Executive Vice President of Kraft Foods,
Inc. with oversight of Kraft’s Foodservice Division and Pizza Division, as
well as the Sales & Customer Service, Information Services, Marketing
Services, and Technology organizations. A year later, in 1998, she became
Executive Vice President Kraft Foods, and President Kraft Cheese Division.
In 2000, Haben was named Group Vice President, Kraft Foods, and President,
Kraft cheese, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Haben previously chaired the University of Michigan Business School’s Board
of Governors, and now serves on the school’s Visiting Committee. Haben is
also on the Business Advisory Board for the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. She serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive
Committee for Junior Achievement, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to
helping children succeed in the business world. Additionally, she is a
Trustee of The Goodman Theatre.
Born and raised in Chicago, Haben received her B.S. in Business
Administration from the University of Illinois in 1977 and her M.B.A. in
Marketing from the University of Michigan in 1979.
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2005: Linda Dillman
Linda Dillman serves as executive vice president and chief information
officer (CIO) of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Prior to her promotion in 2003, she
served as senior vice president and CIO.
A 13-year veteran of Wal-Mart, Dillman joined the company through the
acquisition of The Wholesale Club in Indianapolis, Ind. At Wal-Mart, Dillman
has served in several key information services management positions
including applications development manager for SAM”S CLUB and application
development manager for Wal-Mart store systems before being promoted to
director of applications development in 1997. The following year, Dillman
was named vice president of applications development where she led the
system conversion for Wal-Mart’s acquisition of ASDA in the United Kingdom.
Prior to serving as senior vice president and CIO, Dillman served as vice
president of international systems.
Dillman has been instrumental in helping Wal-Mart to develop one of the most
sophisticated information services networks in the world. In addition to her
role in the ASDA conversion, Dillman’s most notable accomplishments were the
implementation of the perpetual inventory and store Telxon systems at
Wal-Mart. Prior to Wal-Mart, Dillman worked for the Hewlett-Packard Company
for five years.
In addition to memberships in professional and retail organizations, Dillman
serves as a board member of the Uniform Code Council and the Northwest
Arkansas Community College Foundation.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood
Markets, and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the
company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany,
United Kingdom, Argentina and South Korea.
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2004: Mary Sue Coleman
Mary Sue Coleman became the 13th president of the University of Michigan on
August 1, 2002. She is professor
of biological chemistry in the U-M Medical School and professor of chemistry
in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Prior to her appointment
at Michigan, Coleman served as president of the University of Iowa for seven
Preceding her term at Iowa, Dr. Coleman’s wide-ranging experience includes
her appointment as a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, where she
taught for 19 years in the biochemistry department and worked as a Cancer
Center administrator. She then served as associate provost and associate
dean of research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Subsequently, she was appointed provost at the University of New Mexico.
Her extensive leadership positions in higher education also include serving
on the Association of American Universities executive committee, the
National Collegiate Athletic Association board of directors, and the Knight
Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Recently, she completed a
three-year appointment as co-chair of the Committee on the Consequences of
Uninsurance at the Institute of Medicine.
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2003: Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Korbel Albright served as the 64th Secretary of State of the
United States. She was the first woman Secretary and is the highest-ranking
woman in U.S. history.
Dr. Albright is the founder of The Albright Group LLC, a global strategy
Dr. Albright is the first Distinguished Scholar of the William Davidson
Institute at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the first
Michael and Virginia Mortara Endowed Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy
at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She is also the Chairman of the
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
Accomplishments during former Secretary Albright’s tenure included the
expansion and modernization of NATO and NATO’s successful campaign to
reverse ethnic cleansing in Kosovo; the promotion of peace in Northern
Ireland and the Middle East; the reduction of nuclear dangers from Russia
and North Korea; the expansion of democracy in Europe, Africa, Asia, and
Latin America; the expansion of our multifaceted relationship with China
including trade as well as human rights; and the growth of trade in the
Americas, in Africa and through the conclusion of hundreds of other
agreements that facilitated American business overseas.
From 1993-1997, Dr. Albright served as the United States Permanent
Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President’s
Cabinet and National Security Council. In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation
to the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, China.
Dr. Albright was the Director of Women in Foreign Services Programs and a
Research Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University during
the decade prior to her return to public service. From 1989-1992, she was
the President of the Center for National Policy.
From 1978-1981, Dr. Albright was a member of President Carter’s National
Security Council and White House staff. From 1976-1978, she served as Chief
Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Edmund S. Muskie.
Dr. Albright received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Masters and
Doctorate from Columbia University. Dr. Albright was born in Prague,
Czechoslovakia, and immigrated to America with her family after Communists
took control of that country in 1948. She is the mother of three daughters
and has five grandchildren.
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2002: Muriel Siebert
Muriel “Mickie” Siebert is the founder and president of the discount
brokerage firm that bears her name, Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. She
established her firm in 1967 when she became the first woman member of the
New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), and transformed it into a discount
brokerage house on May 1, 1975, the first day that NYSE members were
permitted under a new federal law to negotiate commissions. Muriel Siebert &
Co. is the only woman-owned NYSE brokerage firm with a national presence.
Ms. Siebert continues to oversee the firm’s day-to-day operations at its
Ms. Siebert started her career as a $65-a-week trainee in research at Bache
& Co., and became an industry specialist (airlines/aerospace). She later
became a partner at Finkel & Co., as well as at Brimberg & Co. She was born
in Cleveland, Ohio and attended what is now known as Case Western Reserve
University. Although she never graduated, she now holds 13 honorary doctoral
In 1977, Ms. Siebert took a leave of absence from her firm to serve five
years as the first woman Superintendent of Banking for the State of New York
under Governor Hugh Carey. As such, she was responsible for the safety and
soundness of not only the banks, but other financial institutions chartered
by New York State.
In October 2000, Ms. Siebert announced the purchase of two women’s websites
which were used as the basis for the creation of a pioneering women’s
financial institution. The Women’s Financial Network at Siebert (www.wfn.com)
recognizes that women have unique investment needs and provides products and
services to meet these needs. WFN at Siebert empowers women to manage their
own financial affairs with confidence, regardless of their situation or
Reflecting upon her commitment to philanthropy and “giving back”, Ms.
Siebert started her own charitable program in 1990, the Siebert
Entrepreneurial Philanthropic Program (“SEPP”). Under SEPP, half of the
firm’s net commission revenue on new issue underwritings is donated to a
charity, usually chosen by the issuer or purchaser.
In 1999 while president of the New York Women’s Agenda, she developed a
Personal Finance Program that was introduced into the economics curriculum
of New York City’s public high schools. The program was designed to equip
seniors with two essential financial management skills – managing a
checkbook and understanding the use and abuse of credit cards. In the
interest of improving the financial literacy of our nation’s young people,
Ms. Siebert has expanded the curriculum to include topics such as mortgages,
retirement accounts, taxation, financial planning, etc. In keeping with her
personal agenda, she hopes to see this program established nationally.
Throughout her career, Ms. Siebert has been actively involved with a wide
range of non-profit, civic and women’s’ organizations. To name only a few of
her affiliations, she is currently on the boards of The New York State
Business Council, the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America,
and the Guild Hall Museum. She is one of five founding members of The Museum
of Women – The Leadership Center, an institution in the initial planning
stages to be built in Battery Park City.
Ms. Siebert was an appointee of the National Women’s Business Council, a
founder and former president of The New York Women’s Forum, former treasurer
of the International Women’s Forum, and was a member of the Deloitte &
Touche Council for the Advancement and Retention of Women. She is a former
president of the New York Women’s Agenda (“NYWA”), a non-partisan coalition
of 88 diverse women’s organizations. NYWA provides a unified “voice for
women” on all issues, policies and programs. She is a member of The
Committee of 200, an international organization of pre-eminent business
women. Ms. Siebert serves on the New York State Commission on Judicial
Nomination, involved in the selection of Associate Judges for the Court of
Ms. Siebert has received countless awards and honors throughout her career,
including the first woman selected as “one who has made a difference” for
the Working Women’s Hall of Fame. In 1994, she was inducted into the
International Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Women’s Hall of Fame in
Seneca Falls, NY and The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. She was the recipient of
the Sara Lee Frontrunner Award in Business, which honors the service,
accomplishments, and abilities of women who represent achievement and shape
the future. She was honored at Mattel/Barbie’s 40th Anniversary Gala as an
“Ambassador of Dreams”, representing women who have embraced the power of
their dreams by becoming the very best in their chosen fields. She also
received The Athena Foundation’s highest award, given to those “who open the
doors of leadership opportunity for women.”
Her most recent honors include Town Hall Friend of the Arts Award, NAWBO
First Signature Award for Lifetime Achievement as a pioneering women’s
business owner, the Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger Award for Contributions to
Family Life from Inwood House, and the Pride of New York Award.
Muriel Siebert is a sought-after speaker on current financial matters and a
commentator on several television financial news networks.
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2001: Kay Koplovitz
Kay Koplovitz joined the Board of Working Woman Network in November 1999 and
became Chief Executive Officer as of January 1, 2000. She is implementing
the transformation of the business brands, under the Working Woman title,
into a global multi-media resource of goods and services designed to serve
the fast growing sector of career-committed, entrepreneurial, corporate and
WWN was formed by the acquisition of the brands and content assets of
MacDonald Communications Corporation and its subsidiaries. Included in the
properties are WorkingWoman.com, which launched this summer as the first
online center providing applications, information and community exclusively
to the dynamic businesswomen’s market; Women’s Business Exchange, an online
marketplace that facilitates selling to corporate and government procurement
agents; Working Woman and Working Mother magazines with a subscription base
of 1.6 million and monthly readership of 6 million. The company also owns
the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), the largest women’s
membership organization with over 150,000 registrants; WWN Events, hosting
12-15 major conferences a year; and Business Women’s Network, the largest
directory of businesswomen’s associations, publications and events.
National Women’s Business Council/Springboard
Koplovitz was appointed by President Clinton to chair the National Women’s
Business Council in 1998, the influential advisory board for women-owned
businesses. From her own experience, Koplovitz recognizes that the key to
empowering women in the business arena is to give them access to what
matters most: venture capital. But less than 2% of venture capital funds get
into the hands of women-run companies. That’s why Kay created – in
cooperation with NWBC, prominent women's business organizations and major
corporate technology partners -- Springboard 2000, a unique initiative to
accelerate women's access to the equity markets as both entrepreneurs and
investors. Since its launch in January, 2000, Springboard has generated more
than $160 million of investment capital and funding for women-owned
businesses. Koplovitz predicts that Springboard will generate $1 billion in
funding revenues by 2001.
Kay Koplovitz is the founder of USA Networks, television's first
advertiser-supported basic cable network, and was the first female network
president in television history. She served as chairman and chief executive
officer from USA’s premiere in 1977 as an all-sports service, until stepping
down in 1998 when it was a leading provider of original programming around
the world, consistently ranking in the top three networks in Nielsen
Under Koplovitz’s direction, USA launched the Sci-Fi Channel in 1992, which
has become one of the industry’s fastest-growing networks. In April 1994,
she launched USA Networks International, which now operates channels in
Latin America, Europe, Brazil and Southern Africa.
Koplovitz was the first to negotiate the national cable rights to major
league sports (Major League Baseball, NBA, and the NHL, among others). Upon
re-directing USA Network as a general entertainment network in 1980, she
engineered the acquisition of top off-network series and high-profile
theatrical movie packages on a pre-syndication basis.
In 1989, USA Network became the first basic cable network to feature
regularly scheduled original movies; the USA Pictures Original movie is
still one of the most successful and recognizable on television. Among the
award-winning movies developed under Kay’s supervision was Moby Dick,
starring Patrick Stewart. This Hallmark Entertainment mini-series became the
highest-rated entertainment program in cable history.
At USA, Koplovitz launched a non-profit national “Erase the Hate” campaign,
which grew into a public affairs initiative interacting with dozens of
national organizations in the promotion of tolerance. The documentaries won
numerous industry honors, including Emmy and Ace Awards; and the Erase
initiative with the Young Women’s Christian Association was lauded by the
U.S. Senate and honored with the designation of the National “Erase the Hate
Day” celebrated annually on April 30.
Koplovitz is a member of the corporate boards of Oracle, Liz Claiborne and
FirstSource.com, and is Chairman of the Board of Broadway TV Network. She
serves on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Television and Radio, the
International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Central Park Conservancy. She has
a record of investing in high growth and new media companies including
WiseBear and Digital Campus.
Koplovitz holds a Master's degree in Communications from Michigan State
University. She is also a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of
Wisconsin. A native of Milwaukee, Koplovitz is married to private investor,
William C. Koplovitz, Jr.
Currently, Kay is the founder of Koplovitz & Co., “a leading media and
investment advisory firm specializing in marketing and growth strategies for
early to late stage companies.”
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2000: Barbara Mowry
Barbara is currently President and CEO of Silver Creek Systems, Inc.
1999: Connie Duckworth
Connie Duckworth is now a retired partner of Goldman Sachs & Co., and the
founding partner of Circle Financial Group.
1998: Sheli Rosenberg
Sheli Rosenberg was President and CEO of Equity Group Investments, Inc. from
January 1, 1999 to January 1, 2000 and Vice Chairman of Equity Group
Investments, Inc. from January 1, 2000 to October 1, 2003. She has been on
the board of directors at Ventas since January 26, 2001.
1997: Sheila Wellington
President, Catalyst, Inc.
1996: Paula Sneed
Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Resources, Kraft Foods
1995: Elaine Ullian
President & CEO, Boston University Medical Center
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