2015 WED Pioneer Awards

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards 2015 Winners

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) 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 (WED) at the United Nations.

  Education Pioneer Award

Education Pioneer Award - Kelly O. Chezum

 Kelly O. Chezum

President of External Relations at Clarkson University. She was named Women of Distinction Nominee for the 48th Senate District by New York State Senator Patty Ritchie. Chezum has been with Clarkson University’ External Relations since 2009 and has integrated marketing communications and long-range planning activities for the university. In addition to serving for external relations she has worked as Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees since 2003 for the school. She also has previous experience as a member of the Board of Directors of the Adirondack North Country Association and was also the past President of the Hospice & Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley Board of Directors.

 Music Pioneer Award

Leona Lewis

Grammy Nominee, British Singer, Songwriter, and Animal Welfare Campaigner. Lewis received national recognition when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006. After her win, she signed a contract with Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Music. Not only does she leave her presence in the music industry but is also a lover of furry animals. With her dog, Misty, she is a committed advocate for universal protection for animals and campaigns this through the World Society for the Protection of Animals’ (WSPA).

 Technology Pioneer Award

Heidi Messer

Chairman and Co-Founder of Collective[i]. Ever since selling LinkShare a couple decades back she is now an innovative entrepreneur and investor in digital economy. She has built her business around technology designed to transform the buying behavior using data, artificial intelligence and predictive technologies as noted on Collective[i]’s homepage.

 Philanthropy Pioneer Award

Martha "Muffy" MacMillan

Martha “Muffy” MacMillan

Director of Philanthropy for the Cargill Foundation. MacMillan’s great- great- grandfather, William Wallace Cargill began a grain flat house in 1865, which became a huge food giant known as the Cargill Inc. Although Martha MacMillan does not have an active role in the company, she has contributed her part by managing the Cargill Foundation. She primarily focuses on supporting health care, education, arts, culture, social, and human causes. The Cargill Foundation has remarkably gave over $8 million to many of these causes.

 Beauty Pioneer Award

Creator of bareMinerals and former CEO of Bare Escentuals. Serves on the Board of Every Mother Counts and Stella & Dot, and the Advisory Board of Spanx.

Leslie Blodgett

Creator of bareMinerals, former CEO of Bare Escentuals, Board Member of Every Mother Counts, Stella & Dot, and SPANX. Blodgett is a risk taker and is unafraid to accomplish the unthinkable. She “single-handedly made the mineral-makeup trend a thing,” once mentioned in her  interview with Glamour Magazine. Blodgett went about her risk taking strategy and first began selling her makeup products on QVC. In 2016 she stepped down from her CEO position and left Bare Escentuals but still remain serving as a member of Shiseido Americas Creative Center.

 Sports Pioneer Award

Dr. Jen Welter

Dr. Jen Welter

First woman to hold a coaching position in the NFL With previous background in women’s football leagues as a linebacker for 14 years. She was hired by the Cardinals as a preseason intern and remained with the team until her internship expired after the team’s third exhibition game. In the beginning of her coaching career,  many of the players had difficulty taking her serviously, but soon enough began to “appreciate and respect her coaching ability” as said in the Washington Post. Welter proved that women can have a presence in the sports industry and have shown that norms can be broken.

WED partnered with the Lalela Project

WED 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 the beautiful piece of art customized for each Pioneer Award Winner!

Tao Porchon - Lalela ProjectLeona Lewis - Lalela ProjectKids Lalela Project 2Kids Lalela Project 1

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