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The 92Y Extraordinary Women Awards is a celebration of exceptional women who have impacted the community.
Nominations for the EWA will open in June 2020.
Lisa Blau has spent the last decade as an active angel investor focused on consumer businesses, often in the health, wellness and active lifestyle space with a particular interest in supporting women-led entrepreneurial ventures …
Lisa Blau has spent the last decade as an active angel investor focused on consumer businesses, often in the health, wellness and active lifestyle space with a particular interest in supporting women-led entrepreneurial ventures. Together with Amanda Eilian, she is the founding partner of _able, an investment fund focused on funding early-stage startups in the healthy living and lifestyle space, with a focus on female founders. Some of their investments include Juice Beauty, Daily Harvest, The Wing, Primary Kids, Moon Juice, Goop and Chief. Previously, Lisa cofounded VitalJuice.com, a daily email newsletter on healthy living tips and trends that was acquired by Tasting Table. She also helped build and launch Portero, an online luxury goods auction platform sold to Richemont. She has experience building businesses from the ground up with partners such as AOL, Amazon, Kleiner Perkins and The Pilot Group. Lisa started her career as a producer at CNN. She is a Board Member of The New York Public Library, KIPP New York, and The Mount Sinai Parenting Center. Lisa also chairs the Investment Committee of the Leadership Now Project, a membership organization of business professionals committed to renewing democracy. She has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Lisa lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
Amanda Eilian is a General Partner and co-founder of __able Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage companies in the positive living space …
Amanda Eilian is a General Partner and co-founder of __able Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage companies in the positive living space. With over 40 companies in the portfolio, and more than 75% with female founders, __able’s investments include Goop, The Wing, Daily Harvest, and Bulletproof. Amanda was also the co-founder of Videolicious, an enterprise software video creation platform backed by Amazon, and served as its President from 2007 to 2019 when it was acquired by a multinational strategic buyer. Amanda was instrumental in the launch and growth of Videolicious to over 5 million users in 103 countries, including Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Walmart, SAP, Verizon and GE. Prior to forming Videolicious, Amanda was a founding partner of Capitol Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) that completed a $265 million initial public offering and became Two Harbors Investment Corp., a $3 billion REIT (NYSE: TWO). Amanda began her career in private equity and mergers and acquisitions.
Amanda is a Truman Scholar and received her MBA from Harvard Business School where she was a Baker Scholar, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service with Honors in Economics. Amanda serves on the Board of Directors of Juice Beauty, the largest organic skincare brand in North America, and on the Board of Directors of the Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest private funder of melanoma research. She is also a member of the Tech:NYC Leadership Council. Amanda resides in New York City with her husband and four children.
Shantell Martin’s work is marked by her trademark black-and-white, spontaneous freestyle compositions that break down walls between community and creator and immerse viewers in the creative process …
Shantell Martin’s work is marked by her trademark black-and-white, spontaneous freestyle compositions that break down walls between community and creator and immerse viewers in the creative process. As 92Y’s first multimedia artist in residence, and a leader in making art accessible, Shantell embodies the qualities and values that we at 92Y strive to celebrate, and she is committed to being part of the conversation and solution toward empowering women and fostering change. We are proud to have mounted Shantell’s groundbreaking exhibition, Why Now, and featured her in several talks and performances on our stage, including in conversation with Ilana Glazer. Her commitment to changing how the art world is seen and experienced, particularly at 92Y, has been an inspiration, and her impact as an extraordinary artist, role model and woman deserve to be recognized.
Below the surface of Shantell Martin’s signature black and white drawings is an artists’ inquiry into the role of artist and viewer, where a work of art is more than an object of admiration disconnected from its inception. With a meditative process defined by an uninhibited flow, her compositions embody her internal state and the impermanence of the world around her. Exploring themes such as intersectionality, identity and play, Martin is a cultural facilitator, forging new connections between fine art, education, design, philosophy and technology.
Judy Glickman Lauder is an internationally recognized photographer, humanitarian, and philanthropist …
Judy Glickman Lauder is an internationally recognized photographer, humanitarian, and philanthropist. Her work is held in private collections and public institutions around the world, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the United States Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC. She is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.
A number of her photographs were recently published by the Aperture Foundation in a book titled Beyond the Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception (2018). These photographs are also the subject of two traveling exhibitions, Holocaust: The Presence of the Past and Resistance and Rescue: Denmark’s Response to the Holocaust, which have been shown at more than two hundred institutions around the world. Other books include Upon Reflection: Photographs by Judy Ellis Glickman (2012) and Both Sides of the Camera: Photographs from the Collection of Judith Ellis Glickman (2007), as well as a book on the work of her father, For the Love of It: the Photography of Irving Bennett Ellis (2008).
Ms. Glickman Lauder serves on the Board of Trustees of the Portland Museum of Art and is a member of both the Getty Museum Photographic Council and the Photographic Visiting Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition, she is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.
Dre Thomas, 30, was raised in Los Angeles by a hardworking, service-minded single mom. Thomas works full time in the marketing department of WeWork, but she has become known for singlehandedly conceiving and launching Smile On Me …
Dre Thomas, 30, was raised in Los Angeles by a hardworking, service-minded single mom. Thomas works full time in the marketing department of WeWork, but she has become known for singlehandedly conceiving and launching Smile On Me, an organization that seeks to change the trajectory of girls’ lives through the basic tools of self care and the self esteem that comes with them.
Growing up in a “family of hand-me-downs,” sharing things like clothes and hygiene products with her mom and sisters, Thomas understood how important it is for young girls to have their own stuff. She also knew that 30 percent of New York City girls live in poverty. The cost of feminine hygiene products can be as high as $100 annually and can compete with other basic necessities like toilet paper, food, and lodging. Often times, lower income girls do not feel adequately prepared for puberty. By not educating girls about this transition, we are neglecting an opportunity to build a healthy foundation for sexual and reproductive health.
Since its 2017 launch, Thomas and Smile On Me have collected more than 5,000 feminine hygiene products, facilitated workshops and an annual summit focused on personal hygiene, leadership, and self-esteem, and distributed bags filled with hygiene products to hundreds of girls in low-income communities throughout New York City.
Sharon Hite is a philanthropist whose areas of focus range from supporting opera and classical music to protecting endangered wildlife and empowering vulnerable children to live their dreams …
Sharon Hite is a philanthropist whose areas of focus range from supporting opera and classical music to protecting endangered wildlife and empowering vulnerable children to live their dreams.
She is a board member of The Hite Foundation, which was established by her husband Lawrence D. Hite in 1987 with the mission of assisting various cultural and humanitarian causes. Sharon’s involvement in charitable organizations frequently goes far beyond financial contributions from The Hite Foundation. She is a board member of The New York Philharmonic, board member of the Aspen Brain Lab, is the president of the board for the Little Orchestra Society, and is on the education committees of the 92nd Street Y and The New York Philharmonic. She is also actively involved with the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, and the African Parks Foundation. In 2017, Sharon co-produced “Perfectly Normal for Me” a documentary film about an innovative performing arts program for children with cerebral palsy that will be screened in Aspen on July 8, 2018 and has been invited to be screened at the ReelAbilities Film Festival.
Sharon was born and raised in Brooklyn, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College. After working as a special education teacher in the New York City public school system, she built a very successful 30-year career as a real estate broker. Since retiring from real estate, Sharon has devoted the majority of her time to philanthropic pursuits with The Hite Foundation alongside her husband.
Jennifer Hyman is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway, a company that is disrupting the $2.4 trillion fashion industry by introducing clothing rental as a utility in women’s everyday lives …
Jennifer Hyman is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway, a company that is disrupting the $2.4 trillion fashion industry by introducing clothing rental as a utility in women’s everyday lives. In her role, she sets the strategic priorities and leads the company in growing all areas of the business. She co-founded Rent the Runway in 2009 and has since raised over $210 million in venture capital, growing the business to over 9 million members, 1,200 employees and 500+ designer brands. As the CEO, Jennifer has built Rent the Runway from an idea into a profitable, high-growth company and one of the most beloved brands in the U.S.
Prior to Rent the Runway, Jennifer was the Director of Business Development at IMG, a sales leader at WeddingChannel.com and an intrapreneur at Starwood Hotels. She recognized the “experience economy” early and created the country’s first honeymoon registry, which was recognized on the Oprah Winfrey Show for its innovation.
In 2015, Jennifer Co-Founded the Rent the Runway Foundation to help female entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. build scalable, high-growth companies. She is an investor in and advisor to a diverse group of startups throughout the U.S. and is passionate about diversifying entrepreneurship.
Ms. Hyman serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies. She received her BA from Harvard University cum laude and MBA from Harvard Business School, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Susan Stern has been unflinchingly dedicated to Jewish communities across the globe for much of her life …
Susan Stern has been unflinchingly dedicated to Jewish communities across the globe for much of her life. Her work has taken her to countries such as Ethiopia, Cuba, Argentina, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Uzbekistan, and Bulgaria.
In 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Susan to chair his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; her primary issue on the council was human trafficking. In 2013 she was named one of New York’s “New Abolitionists.”
She served as chair for the Board of Directors of UJA – Federation of New York and is the founding chair of the Time for Good initiative promoting service and volunteerism in the Jewish Community. Previously she served as General Campaign chair. She also serves on the Advisory Committee of Repair the World.
Susan is the immediate past Vice Chair of Jewish Federations of North America JFNA) and National Campaign Chair. She served as national chair and president of National Women’s Philanthropy of United Jewish Communities and was the creator of the International Lion of Judah Conference. As chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet, she was asked to serve as an eyewitness to Operation Solomon, the Israeli rescue of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews in 23 hours. She was named a Wexner Heritage Fellow in 1993. She is the immediate past chair of the New York State Commission on the National and Community Service serving under two Governors. For the past two years she chaired Global Programs for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and is a member of the President’s Cabinet. She also serves on the President’s Advisory for Union of Reform Judaism.
A plumber for more than 20 years, Judaline Cassidy is a proud member of Plumbers Local Union No. 1 of New York City …
A plumber for more than 20 years, Judaline Cassidy is a proud member of Plumbers Local Union No. 1 of New York City. She was born in the beautiful twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Her career in plumbing started when she was one of the first three women selected to learn plumbing at the John S. Donaldson Technical Institute in Trinidad (now the University of Trinidad and Tobago).
Being a qualified plumber dramatically changed her life—and that of her family—for the better, financially and otherwise. Throughout her career, Judaline has overcome many obstacles that come with working in a male-dominated industry. She was one of the very first women accepted into Plumbers Local Union No. 371 in Staten Island, and was the first woman elected to the examining board of Plumbers Local Union No. 1. She serves on the advisory board for The Women’s Building, NYC.
In 2017, Judaline established Tools & Tiaras, a nonprofit whose mission is to expose, inspire and mentor girls and women about the highly lucrative occupations available in the construction industry. She was one of the featured speakers at the 2017 Makers Conference. She was named to City & State’s Responsible 100 list in 2017, and was named one of 2018’s Oustanding Women by the Women Builders Council.
Judaline’s dedication to equality extends beyond her own industry; she brings her powerful voice and passion to social and political issues that affect low-income and marginalized people across all communities. She works assiduously to promote a positive representation of women in construction, so that the many obstacles
Ms. Ibrahim believes in the power of artists to reflect the times and to utilize storytelling to build bridges, and to heal, unite and educate …
Ms. Ibrahim believes in the power of artists to reflect the times and to utilize storytelling to build bridges, and to heal, unite and educate. She is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York and working worldwide. Currently a producer at Redfitz Films, Ms. Ibrahim previously worked on and produced film projects that went on to screen at the top international film festivals such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Cinéma du Réel in Paris and Sundance Film Festival, among others. Ms. Ibrahim produced and directed the four-part 'Behind the Scenes' documentary Fishing Without Nets for VICE, filmed in Kenya based on the feature film of the same name, which won the best directing award in the US Dramatic Category at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Ms. Ibrahim’s work has taken her around the world and throughout Africa. She was most recently in Senegal, where she directed and produced the short film Sega, starring Alassane Sy (Restless City, Mediterranea), which examines the issue of migration and repatriation. She is passionate about human rights, humanitarian issues and global education. Ms. Ibrahim is actively engaged in domestic and international community service, including filmmaking workshops and volunteer efforts focusing on education initiatives and leadership. Ms. Ibrahim is proud of the organizations in which she has been able to combine filmmaking and advocacy such as Cell-ED, Kickstart International, Gobee Group, and the International Rescue Committee, as well as past participation with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for World Refugee Day in Kakuma Refugee Camp, where she participated in a film workshop for refugee youth. Outside of her film work and travel, she is currently developing filmmaking workshops for girls, which will be held at the Bronx Documentary Center.
Lois Whitman is the founder and former director (1994-2012) of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division …
Lois Whitman is the founder and former director (1994-2012) of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division. Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Division investigates and works to end human rights abuses of children around the world, including the use of children as soldiers; objectionable forms of child labor; torture of children; attacks on students, teachers, and schools; children incarcerated with adults or subjected to extreme sentences; police violence against street children; and migrant children. Ms. Whitman has been associated with Human Rights Watch since 1987 and is currently Senior Advisor to the Children’s Rights Division. She has conducted human rights investigations and written reports on abuses in many countries around the world, including Turkey, Greece, Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Liberia, Jamaica, Cuba, and Sri Lanka and has testified before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and United States Congressional committees. Earlier, as General Counsel to the NYC Commission on Human Rights, she drafted the gay rights bill that was passed by the NYC Council in 1986. Ms. Whitman has taught Women and the Law at Hunter College, Law and Social Work at Stony Brook School of Social Work, and Human Rights of Children at the Columbia School for International and Public Affairs. A lawyer and a social worker, Ms. Whitman received a BA from Smith College, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and a law degree from Rutgers University. She received the Smith College Medal in 2002, the Dean’s Medal from CUNY Law School in 2009, and an honorary degree from Le Moyne College in 2015. She is currently on the board of Physicians for Human Rights and the Board of Visitors of CUNY Law School.
Dr. Sheypuk has combined her psychologist’s expertise with her bedrock sense of social justice to advocate on behalf of the mainstreaming of Americans with disabilities, in the context of their professional, consumer, social and sexual lives …
Dr. Sheypuk has combined her psychologist’s expertise with her bedrock sense of social justice to advocate on behalf of the mainstreaming of Americans with disabilities, in the context of their professional, consumer, social and sexual lives. Her tireless promotion of her own story as an active urban professional woman living with a disability has earned her the tagline "Carrie Bradshaw on Wheels," and has brought hope and inspiration to hundreds of thousands of disabled women around the world.
Earning the title of Ms. Wheelchair New York in 2012, and becoming the first fashion model in a wheelchair to "walk" the runway at New York Fashion Week in 2014, Dr. Sheypuk has used her expanding global media profile to advocate for greater commercial attention to women with disabilities as a major consumer market. Dr. Sheypuk has written passionately about this "unseen giant" of the demographic, constituting more than $200 billion in consumer purchasing power. Her emphasis on the glamour and sexuality of the disabled female has encouraged countless disabled women in their quest to explore and express their own inherent beauty and desirability.
Professionally, Dr. Sheypuk has focused on issues of dating, intimacy and sexual fulfillment among people with disabilities. Her private practice, employing Skype-therapy methods to treat disabled patients, is a model for reaching out to those who might not otherwise seek help from the psychological profession. People with disabilities seek her out as a psychologist who has experienced and overcome obstacles similar to theirs.
In a more popular context, Dr. Sheypuk has initiated a regular expert-in-residence column for the women’s magazine SheKnows, and she is also an editorial board member and writer for Women’s eNews.
Barbara Schwartz is a leading faculty member with the programs in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education where she is engaged in teaching …
Barbara Schwartz is a leading faculty member with the programs in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education where she is engaged in teaching, field supervision, professional development, program administration, as well as development and field-based research. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2003, she was Director of the Head Start Disabilities Services Quality Improvement Center for federal region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands), where for 20 years she supported the implementation of services to support children with disabilities in Early Head Start and Head Start. She has been a Mayoral appointee to the NYC Early Intervention Coordinating Council (1994 - 2013), an adviser to the New York State Education Department and the New York State Early Intervention Program under the Department of Health, a Board Member of New York Zero to Three, and an active member of the NYS Association for Early Childhood Teacher Education, engaging in activities related to the NYS Regents review of Early Childhood Special Education Certification. She is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.
Barbara has been actively engaged in providing training and presentations at international, national, regional, and local events for over 30 years and has co-authored chapters on Head Start and early childhood special education. Over recent years she has been engaged with an intensive consultation process with the NYS Early Childhood Direction Center in Manhattan to support training to NYC Early Learn programs on effective inclusion of children with disabilities. Barbara has been a presenter at the renown 92Y Wonderplay Early Childhood Learning Conference for many years, most recently leading an interactive workshop called, Looking Beyond Labels: Feelings & Perceptions about Working with Children with Developmental Delays and/or Disabilities.
Leila Foulon is a 16-year-old high school junior; she is a social activist, budding scientist, photographer and a committed volunteer …
Leila Foulon is a 16-year-old high school junior; she is a social activist, budding scientist, photographer and a committed volunteer at the 92nd Street Y Teen Center.
Leila considers her work to promote women’s education in Bhutan as one of her greatest accomplishments. When she discovered (at age 7) that girls in some parts of the world did not have access to education, she and her father researched different parts of the world where education for girls is not a given, and eventually settled on the all-boys Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) in Bhutan. The school agreed to accept girls if funding could be found to build a girls dormitory. Leila got to work, raising $7,780 through bake sales at school and other fundraising projects; she raised the rest by extending her fundraising efforts to the grown-ups in her life. CTAS built the dormitory, and Leila attended the opening (with her family) in Bhutan when she was 9. She returned in 2015 to celebrate the first graduating class, and seeing how her actions had profoundly affected the lives of the young women in Bhutan -- who were all able to get jobs because of their education -- inspires her to continue giving back.
Leila is also committed to the scientific field, with particular interests in biology, bioengineering and bioethics. She attended the Engineering Academy at the University of Pennsylvania, where she developed a detailed research proposal on preventing cancer cell growth in tumors by over-exaggerating the presence of an essential protein. After a brief introduction to the world of in-vitro fertilization (shadowing a doctor in that field), she went on to explore bioethics through an internship at the NYU Center for Bioethics, where she is writing a teaching resource module for high school teachers who want to include ethical issues around gender selection and “designer babies” in their lessons or curricula.
Leila’s favorite hobby is photography, inspired in part by the beauty of Bhutan. She had a photo published in Photographer’s Forum Best of Photography 2015, and received eight medals from the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, including a Golden Key award for her photo of the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan, “Isolation.” That award led to her photograph being exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a student art exhibit.
She also volunteers regularly at 92Y’s Teen Center, working with children as a homework helper, reading to Kindergartners and helping out in an after-school science and art program.
Amanda Nguyen is the Founder and President of Rise, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors …
Amanda Nguyen is the Founder and President of Rise, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors. Amanda is the architect of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, federal legislation that was signed into law by President Obama in October 2016. Amanda was motivated to pursue justice after battling the legal system to keep her own rape kit from being destroyed in Massachusetts. In addition the federal legislation, Rise is pushing similar measures in Statehouses across the country.
Amanda began her start in public service at NASA headquarters where she worked on the last space shuttle launch, public-private partnerships and the Asteroid Redirect Grand Challenge Mission. She previously worked at the White House in the Office of Public Engagement and the Chief of Staff’s office, at Morgan Stanley in public finance investment banking, and at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Center as an Origins of Life fellow analyzing the Kepler exoplanet mission. Most recently, Amanda was the Deputy White House Liaison at the Department of State. Before this role, she served in the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons as a speechwriter. Amanda is also a 2016 TED fellow.
Amanda graduated from Harvard College, where she created the first student-written course on modern slavery. While in college, Amanda co-founded Wema Children, an orphanage in Kenya.
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