2012 Pinnacle Award Honorees.

The Greater Boston Chamber Women's Network was pleased to honor eight outstanding female professionals as part of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards.


Lifetime Achievement
Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Harvard Business School




Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School (HBS), where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change.  Professor Kanter is also the author of 18 books, including The Change Masters, which was named one of the most influential business books of the 20th Century by the Financial Times, and is the co-founder of Goodmeasure Inc., a consulting group.  She also serves as a Senior Advisor for IBM’s Global Citizenship portfolio, and as Chair and Director of the Advanced Leadership Initiative of Harvard University.  Professor Kanter has been repeatedly named to the lists of the “50 Most Powerful Women in the World” (Times of London), and the “50 Most Influential Business Thinkers of the World” (Accenture and Thinkers 50 research).  She has also been cited as “Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year” by the World Teleport Association, and in 2010, she received the International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals.



Achievement in Entrepreneurship
Suzanne Bates
Chief Executive Officer

Bates Communications, Inc.




Suzanne Bates, CEO and founder of Bates Communications, Inc., is an executive coach, author, and Certified Speaking Professional.  Bates Communications strives to improve its clients’ businesses by transforming leaders into powerful communicators.  Some of the firm’s clients include Fidelity, Habitat for Humanity, John Hancock, Raytheon, Deloitte, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Before launching Bates Communications in 2000, Bates was an acclaimed on-air personality with major market television stations, and won an AP News Award.  She has also served as President of the New England Chapter of the National Speakers Association, a member of the board of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass, a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization, and past president of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.



Achievement in Management, Private Sector
Marcy L. Reed
President, Massachusetts

National Grid




Marcy L. Reed, now President of National Grid in Massachusetts, has worked for National Grid for over 20 years.  During her time with National Grid—one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world—she has held positions in finance, merger integration, and corporate affairs, and spent three years in London as the National Grid Head of Investor Relations.  In addition to her work at National Grid, Reed sits on the Boards of the New England Council, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Jobs for Mass, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the United Way of Central Massachusetts, and more.  Marcy is also a member of the Rockefeller Fellows Program within the Partnership for NYC, and the global executive sponsor for National Grid’s Women in Networks employee affinity group.



Achievement in Management, Government
Carmen M. Ortiz
United States Attorney

District of Massachusetts




Carmen M. Ortiz was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and confirmed by the US Senate in November 2009.  As the chief federal law enforcement officer for Massachusetts, Ortiz supervises the prosecution of all federal crimes and litigation of all civil matters of federal interest.  Since coming to office, she has focused her priorities on crimes related to terrorism and national security, healthcare fraud, civil rights, violent crime reduction, and white collar crime.  She also implemented the District’s first civil rights initiative.  In addition to her work as US Attorney, Ortiz serves as Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee’s Healthcare Fraud Working Group, and is a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rights.  She has dedicated much of her professional career to public service, and has been recognized with the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s President’s Award, as well as the Alianza Hispana Lifetime Achievement Award.



Achievement in Management, Non-Profit
Mary Jo Meisner
Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs

The Boston Foundation




Mary Jo Meisner is the Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs at the Boston Foundation, a community-based organization devoted to building and sustaining a vital, prosperous city and region.  Since 2001, Meisner has been responsible for all of the foundation’s communications, media and government relations, as well as its civic leadership, public affairs activities, and public policy initiatives.  Prior to joining the Boston Foundation team, she spent 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter, editor, and executive at newspapers throughout the US.  During her tenure in the newspaper industry, Meisner served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize numerous times, and has taught writing, editing, journalism ethics, and management courses at various institutes.  She currently serves on the board of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the ACCESS Scholarship Program, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, and more.



Achievement in the Professions
Joan W. Miller, M.D.
Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology & Chair, Department of Ophthalmology,
Harvard Medical School
Chief of Ophthalmology,
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital


Dr. Joan W. Miller is the first female Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and the first woman to serve as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. She also serves as the director of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Angiogenesis Laboratory, and is a vitreo-retinal physician in the Retina Service at the Infirmary.  Dr. Miller has written 130 peer-reviewed papers, 50 book chapters and review articles, and is co-editor of the third edition of Albert and Jakobiec’s Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. She has also been a named inventor on 14 patents, and along with her colleagues at Mass. Eye and Ear, has pioneered the development of photodynamic therapy, the first pharmacologic therapy to reduce and slow vision loss for age-related macular degeneration.  For her work, Dr. Miller has won numerous awards, including the Rosenthal Award and Donald J. Gass Medal of the Macular Society, the Harvard Medical School Joseph B. Martin Dean’s Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty, and the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.



Excellence in Arts & Education
Helen G. Drinan

Simmons College



Helen G. Drinan is President of Simmons College, a nationally known institution with a distinguished liberal arts program.  As president, Drinan has led Simmons to a position of competitive strength financially, academically, and operationally.  Before her time at Simmons, Drinan served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Caritas Christi Health Care, and Executive Vice President of Human Resources at BankBoston Corporation.  During her time at BankBoston, the Bank’s performance-driven executive compensation program was rated number one by Credit Suisse First Boston, and its diversity program won the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Ad Club of Boston’s Diversity Recognition Award.  Drinan has been recognized with the John D. Erdlen Five Star Award, the highest award given annually by the Northeast Human Resources Association.  She has also been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts since 1995. 



Emerging Executive
Michelle Shell, CFA
Senior Vice President, Research
LPL Financial



Michelle Shell serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist for the LPL Financial research team.  Prior to joining LPL Financial in 2012, Shell served as a Vice President and Business Line Manager in the Global Asset Allocation division of Fidelity Investments. In that role, she was responsible for the financial and administrative operations of the investment consulting, asset allocation research, and quantitative research teams, and managed the division’s Investment Committee on behalf of its Chief Investment Officer. Before joining Fidelity, Shell was a Principal at State Street Global Advisors in Strategic Product Development.  She is the current Chair of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and she sits on the boards of Community Servings, My Sister’s Keeper, and WGBH.

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