side menu icon

Our Honorees

Michelle Gadsden-Williams

Managing Director – Human Resources
North America Inclusion & Diversity Lead
Accenture

Woman of Distinction

michelle-gadsden-williams-web

As Managing Director of North America Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture, Michelle Gadsden-Williams is responsible for further strengthening and accelerating the company’s efforts to foster an inclusive culture. Michelle joins Accenture with more than 25 years of experience as an advocate for equality within corporate America and a thought leader around diversity and inclusion.

Michelle is an award-winning author and seasoned diversity practitioner with experience working in the consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries before transitioning to financial services in 2011. Michelle was the former, Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Credit Suisse AG. She provided strategic direction, thought leadership and championed the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity practice into all aspects of the business.

She has held positions of global responsibility in the diversity management arena by living in Switzerland for close to 10 years of her corporate career and managed staffing functions for large multi­national corporations such as Credit Suisse, Novartis and Merck & Co, Inc. Prior to her tenure at Merck & Co., Inc, Michelle has also held positions in Human Resources and Product Development at Philips­Van Heusen Corporation and Wakefern Food Corporation, both headquartered in New Jersey.

Michelle earned a B.S. in Marketing, a B.A. in Communications from Kean College of New Jersey and an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and the Executive Leadership Council. Michelle serves on several boards including the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Black Girls Rock, the SLE Lupus Foundation and an Executive Committee Member of the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Michelle and her husband David Jamal Williams, Co­-Founder and CEO of Ceiling Breakers, LLC, live in New York City.

Sang J. Lee

Chief Executive Officer, Volta Talent Strategies, LLC
Co-Founder, jurdu.com
Founder, SJL Attorney Search, LLC

Woman of Distinction

sang-lee-web

Sang Lee is the CEO of Volta Talent Strategies, LLC, a national management consultancy that is focused on the legal sector, and also the Founder and Owner of SJL Attorney Search, LLC, a NYC-based legal recruiting company that is consistently ranked one of the city’s premier legal talent companies. Interested in leveraging her industry knowledge and broad-based insight into the legal market, Sang also recently launched jurdu.com, a digital community for lawyers (and future lawyers) that she hopes will revolutionize hiring practices in the legal industry. 

In each endeavor, Sang brings her passion for helping lawyers and law firms connect, thrive and develop. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Sang has established herself as a go-to advisor on every aspect of legal talent management for AmLaw 200 firms and other sophisticated legal-sector employers. Her expertise has made her one of the industry’s most highly regarded executive coaches and consultants for law firm managing partners and practice group leaders. She speaks at law firm partner retreats, bar committee programs and legal-sector panels, as well as at conferences run by major industry organizations. She is currently writing a book that explores intersectionality and leadership. Sang is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center.

Born in Seoul and raised in Queens, New York, Sang attributes her strong entrepreneurial spirit to her immigrant roots and family culture.  She was a board member of Girls Write Now for four years and is actively involved with the Melting Pot Foundation, a culinary school in Brownsville. She is on the Board of Trustees for Poly Prep Country Day School. Sang and her husband, Chris, are proud parents to Ben and Emily, and their two dogs, Kimchee and Charlie. When she isn’t traveling for work, Sang is happiest in her kitchen in Park Slope, creating recipes to feed her family and friends.

Carolyne Murff

Senior Vice President,
Head of Asset Management
LS Power

Woman of Distinction

carolyne-murff-web

As Head of Asset Management for LS Power, Ms. Murff oversees the operations and commercial activities of more than 15,000 MW of power generation. Ms. Murff also serves on the Investment Committee and supports LS Power’s acquisition and divestiture activities. Since its inception in 1990, LS Power has raised over $41 billion to finance investment in energy infrastructure, including  $10 billion of committed equity capital across its private equity funds and additional partnerships. Through these efforts, LS Power has developed, constructed, managed or acquired more than 41,000 MW of power generation and over 600 miles of transmission assets throughout the United States.

Ms. Murff joined LS Power in 2005. Prior to joining LS Power, Ms. Murff held positions in acquisition/divesture, development, construction, asset management, and the operation of power generation facilities. She has previously served in management roles at Coastal Power Company, Entergy, and DTE Energy Services and has worked in a variety of power markets including India, Pakistan and Australia.  Ms. Murff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Ms. Murff is an advocate for women in Engineering and Finance, and serves on the Board for Princeton University’s BioLEC Energy Frontier Research Center that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Cara Stein

Chief Talent Officer, NBCUniversal

Woman of Distinction

cara-stein-web-updated

Cara Stein is Chief Talent Officer and Senior Vice President for NBCUniversal, a newly created position that she was appointed to in June 2011. She is responsible for talent management, including hiring staff, executive development. Since joining the company, she has been a trailblazer in how the company hires, trains and retains talent throughout NBCUniversal.

Stein and team have developed a series of unique leadership experiences for executives at all levels of the company. Under Stein's leadership, the NBCUniversal Talent Lab was created with the purpose of creating a more strategic, well-informed and engaged workforce. She has also modernized the traditional employee survey and performance feedback process at the company. Stein's currently re-imagining the early career development programs, including the premier Page Program, NBCUniversal's longest running franchise. Stein is currently working on a company-wide initiative to maintain and nurture an inclusive environment for women across the entire NBCUniversal Portfolio.

Stein spearheads the NBCUniversal women's initiative, HERE SHE CAN, focused on respect, equity and opportunity for women at all stages of their career at NBCUniversal.

Prior to her work at NBCUniversal, Stein served as partner and television packaging agent at WME, a worldwide leader in the talent representation industry. Stein represented numerous well-known writers and producers for both late night and prime time television series. She also represented actors who built their own production companies, most notably Whoopi Goldberg. Stein also oversaw operations and human resources for the WME New York office during her 25 years at WME and its predecessor, the William Morris Agency, which represented some of the most well-known entertainers of the 20th century. Stein served on the Board of Directors at WMA and subsequently was a senior partner at WME.

Widely known and highly regarded for identifying talent and developing careers, Stein has been named by The Hollywood Reporter in its Women in Entertainment Power 100.

Born and raised in Huntington, N.Y., Stein is a graduate of Grinnell College, and she is married to Dr. Barry Rosenfeld, a forensic psychologist and professor at Fordham University. They reside in Manhattan with their three daughters: Jane, Kate and Anna.

Heidi Wood

Senior Vice President, Strategy and Technology
L3 Technologies

Woman of Distinction

heidi-wood-web

Heidi R. Wood was the Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy and Technology of L3 Technologies, a global aerospace and defense electronics company. Reporting to L3’s Chairman, CEO and President, Wood oversaw corporate strategy as part of the company’s commitment to deliver sustainable long term shareholder value. She was responsible for performing operational analyses, works in close alignment with business development and the merger and acquisitions teams. She also worked closely with the Chief Financial Officer to oversee L-3’s investor relations function.

In 2018, when the newly appointed CEO Kubasik took over L3, Wood was put in charge of finding a major strategic acquisition for the corporation, which quickly turned in running the largest Merger-of-Equals in Aerospace/Defense history in the merger with Harris. This significant deal succeeded in transforming the combined companies into a powerhouse defense electronics house, now the #6 largest defense company in the nation. Wood not only secured L3’s Board approval and ran the merger, she then co-lead the complex integration of the two companies, which involved combining $10B and $7B in sales and putting over 55,000 employees together seamlessly by time of the deal’s closure in July 2019.

In July 2019 she left the new L3Harris company to pursue new opportunities.

Wood joined L3 in June 2016 from Spirit AeroSystems, where she was responsible for strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and investor relations. She was widely credited for shaping the new Spirit leadership team’s focus towards cash flow, shaping the external messaging and internal metrics which helped drive the successful turnaround of the company.

Wood was a top ranked Aerospace & Defense analyst for nearly two decades, widely regarded as one of the Aerospace & Defense industry’s thought leaders, often with highly contrarian assessments that proved correct. She served as managing director, Global head of Aerospace & Defense equity research at Morgan Stanley from 1999-2013. She built an award winning Wall Street franchise and was one of few to have been ranked as a top analyst by Institutional Investor magazine for 12 consecutive years, and cited as a rising star in her first year. In addition, she was regularly ranked top by Greenwich Associates and was frequently cited by the Wall Street Journal and Barrons and won several awards for best stock picking and research estimates. While at Morgan Stanley, she took a number of companies public, including Embraer, Spirit AeroSystems, I-Robot and Wesco.

An honors graduate with a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, Ms. Wood has previously served on the board of the Space Foundation, was a Board member and Treasurer of Rise-Up for Youth and was appointed by President Bush to serve on the Presidential Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry.

Ella Gwyn Guenther

Ambassador Girl Scout,
Troop 3199
2019–2020 Future Woman of Distinction

Ella “Gwyn” is a Senior at The Chapin School where she has attended the last thirteen years except for a semester abroad at the St. Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls in Perth, Australia. Gwyn’s journey as a Girl Scout began in first grade when her mom started Troop 3199. She has remained an active and committed Girl Scout ever since. Over the years, Gwyn has embodied the Girl Scout values by becoming a leader, developing a strong commitment to community service, and achieving high academic results as an AP Scholar with Honors. 

An influential part of Gwyn’s education has been her involvement in her school’s environmental club, Student Advocates for a Viable Environment, where she now serves as Vice President. Her passion for the environment and sustainability were the foundation for her Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Gwyn’s Gold Award Take-Action Project addressed an issue directly impacting her friends and community: a garbage dump was being built in the middle of her community’s recreation center, where her school and thousands of kids play.

Living the Girl Scout mission to make the world a better place, she decided to make a difference. Gwyn co-founded the non-profit, W.A.S.T.E. No More, to connect consumers with New York City programs to reduce the amount of waste and educate them on how to correctly reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose their waste. In order to help facilitate and sustain her organization’s mission, Gwyn successfully designed an app for all New Yorkers to easily learn how to reduce their waste output.

Using this experience and the confidence she developed as a Girl Scout, Gwyn traveled to London, England for a summer internship with ecoACTIVE, an environmental education charity. She and her co-worker successfully initiated, created, and launched a sustainability program to educate and enlist secondary and college students to become active participants in fighting for the environment.

When not advocating for a healthy environment, you may find Gwyn on the volleyball court as the starting setter or meeting with her school’s administration as President of Life Skills —a program devoted to teaching the student body leadership, social, and financial skills. Gwyn’s environmental mission does not stop there as she plans to pursue Environmental Science and Business in college while continuing her advocacy and leadership work.