Women of Excellence Awards 

Presented by the Women’s Business Council 

2024 Women of Excellence Honorees:

Distinguished Career – Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, Producing Artistic Director, Capital Repertory Theatre

Excellence in Business Innovation – Hongwei Zhang, Senior Vice President of Operations, Consumer Directed Choices, Inc.

Excellence in Business – Mary Malone McCarthy, Founder/CEO, M3 Placement & Partnership

Excellence in the Professions – Dr. Kristen Navarette, Medical Director, Clinical Collaboration & Performance Management

Excellence in Management – Dr. Marion Terenzio, President, SUNY Cobleskill

Emerging Professional – Brenda Baddam, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the New York State Attorney General


The Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon will be held on Friday, May 10 | 11:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Albany Marriott.  Click here to register today!


Watch the 2023 Women of Excellence Recipient videos on our YouTube channel!

View a list of previous award recipients here.


Each year the Women’s Business Council (WBC) of the Chamber receives many outstanding nominations from throughout our region. The selection committee is comprised of prior Women of Excellence Recipients.

Nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

Emerging Professional (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) – The nominee must illustrate that she is making significant progress toward personal and professional growth, has continually accepted increased responsibilities, and has made significant contributions to her work environment. Criteria to be evaluated includes career progression, leadership skills, results and a promising future.

Excellence in Business (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) – The nominee, who owns at least 50 percent of a business that has been established for at least five years, will be evaluated on organizational culture, proven record on solving problems, growing and managing resources, and delivering results. She constantly strives to provide value and create a better experience for employees and customers. Solid business practices,   profitability, and the use of human and financial resources will be evaluated in relation to the overall success of her business.

Excellence in Business Innovation (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) – The nominee utilized innovation to develop a new market, product or service, or to solve a significant challenge, develop new business model/operational strategy. Innovation does not have to be something that’s considered a breakthrough, but it could be applying new processes, new techniques to the existing business.

Excellence in Management (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) – The nominee demonstrates steady growth and continued development of management and leadership skills. She maximizes organizational effectiveness and sustainability through decisive action, empowerment of her team, and strong financial management. She ensures that people have the support and tools they need, and that the workforce has the capacity to meet organizational objectives. Criteria to be evaluated include the nominee’s initiative, willingness to take risks, her ability to implement creative solutions to overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

Excellence in the Professions (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) – The nominee may be an employee of an existing for-profit or non-profit organization or company or a self-employed professional. She demonstrates leadership and a willingness to teach and mentor others in her profession and consistently upholds the standards and ethics that govern her field. A professional license is not required for this category.

Distinguished Career (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) – The nominee must have at least 25 years of experience and demonstrate a lifetime of exemplary contribution to her field and the community. Willingness to teach and mentor others in her profession and consistently uphold the standards and ethics that govern her field.