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Distinguished Speaker
Washington, DC ~ May 26, 2004

Nora Pouillon

Chef and Owner, Nora and Asia Nora

Nora Pouillon, true believer in a sustainable lifestyle, is a longtime advocate for increasing the quality and nutritional value of the food supply. She is the chef and owner of two of Washington, DC’s most popular restaurants. Featuring organic multi-ethnic cuisine, the internationally-known Nora opened in 1979 and has been praised for its delicious, high quality food, and healthy approach to eating in publications as varied as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times Magazine, USA Today, Gourmet, Self, Vogue, Modern Maturity, Southern Living, Good Housekeeping and Natural Health. Her second restaurant, Asia Nora, serves uniquely interpreted dishes from across Asia. In April 1999, Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country which means that at least 95% of all the ingredients served in the restaurant are certified and proving you can successfully run an upscale restaurant that is good for you and for the environment. Nora received a 4 star rating from Mobil travel Guide 2001, is consistently in Zagat Guide’s Top Ten Restaurants, and was voted one of the “Top 10 Healthiest Restaurants” by Health Magazine. Nora was named Chef of the Year - Award of Excellence by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).

Nora’s commitment to healthy eating extends beyond the kitchens of her two restaurants. She has partnered with Green Circle Organics to create a certified organic line of delicious ready-to-eat meals. Nora also consulted for Fresh Fields Market and Walnut Acres developing a number of products. She has also been involved with both the Agricultural Department and Adopt-A-School programs, educating children on nutritional choices. Nora was a founding member of Chefs Collaborative 2000, a national organization promoting environmentally sustainable living, acted as leading spokesperson for the NRDC/SeaWeb “Give North Atlantic Swordfish A Break” campaign and is a charter member of the Seafood Choices Alliance. Nora is a member of the Organic Trade Association, serves on the International Committee on Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and the advisory boards of Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) and Foodfit.com. She also participates in the Harvard School of Nutrition Roundtable discussion. In 2003 Citizens for Better Health awarded Nora the first annual Nora Pouillon Award for Sustainable Living recognizing her long-term commitment and integral role in advancing better food through organic agriculture. Nora has made a number of appearances on TV and radio shows and speaks nationally on her efforts in the organic food industry.

Nora is the author of Cooking with Nora, a seasonal menu cookbook. With over 120 photographs, this user-friendly cookbook with wine suggestions, nutritional information, and helpful “Nora’s Notes,” is written with the home cook in mind. Cooking with Nora was a finalist for the Julia Child Cookbook Awards, “First Book” Category.

Nora puts her philosophy of a healthy lifestyle into practice with a balanced organic diet and regular exercise. Her daily routine begins with yoga, weights, dance, aerobics or just a brisk walk . Nora loves all outdoor activities especially skiing, rollerblading, swimming, ice skating and hiking with family and friends. Fitness Magazine honored Nora as one of America’s healthiest chefs and her organic lifestyle was the topic of feature articles in two of Japan’s top food and living magazines. Nora’s house and kitchen have been featured in magazines such as Bon Appetit, Home Magazine, Modern Maturity, The Washington Post Magazine as well as in Great Kitchens, At Home with America’s Chefs, published in 1999 by Taunton Press and TV Food Network’s “Ultimate Kitchens.”

Working to promote women in the culinary profession, Nora is an active member of the Washington chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and serves on the board of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR). The Washington Post chose Nora as one of three women among the dozen “power chefs” in Washington. Born in Vienna in 1943, Nora attributes her commitment to healthy dining to her French schooling and her parents. Breaking with Austrian culinary tradition, they believed in eating simply prepared meals made with top-quality seasonal ingredients. She lives with her partner, Steven Damato, and two of her four children in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.


Four Distinguished Speakers featured at
Recent Event in Washington, DC on April 28th

Wilhelmina Cole Holladay
Founder and Chairman of the Board
National Museum of Women in the Arts

A personal interest quickly developed into a social and educational cause for Wilhelmina Holladay. During a tour
of Vienna with her husband, Holladay became interested in the work of the artist, Clara Peeters, a contemporary of Rembrant. Holladay was amazed and dismayed to learn that the talented woman artist was not listed in major art references, nor were many other deserving women artists. She also found that the major American art museums had devoted few shows to the work of women artists.

In an effort to correct the inequity, Holladay established The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). Opened in 1987, it promotes a greater awareness of women in the arts and their contributions to aesthetics throughout the ages. Six years after the museum opened its doors in Washington, D.C., it boasted an organization of national and international chapters and a membership of more than 125,000, which makes its the third largest museum in the world in terms of membership.

To fulfill its mission, the museum cares for and displays a permanent collection, presents special exhibitions and conducts educational programs. A state-of-the-art, 200 seat auditorium serves as a center for the performing arts and other creative disciplines in which women excel.

NMWA also maintains a Library and Research Center containing substantial specialized holdings for research. Numerous publications have been developed by the Center, including a quarterly newsletter, exhibition catalogues, books, brochures and curriculum materials.

Said Holladay, "When substantial accomplishments and excellence are known, the right to be taken seriously surely will follow. Women should know their heritage which has been so long ignored." (Above copy was takeng from the National Women's Hall of Fame - Women of the Hall.)

Mrs. Holladay studied History of Art both in the United States and abroad. She holds a B.A. from Elmira College and has done postgraduate study at the University of Paris. She is listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in American Art, and Who's Who in the World.

Her present positions include: Chariman of the Board, National Museum of Women in the Arts; Advisory Board of the International Student House; Board of the National Women's Economic Alliance; Trustee, The Fund for the Endowment of the Diplomatic Reception Room; Trustee, US Capital Historical Society; and the YMCA World Service Council.

Some of her most recent awards include: 2003 National Women in Arts Award, Phoenix Art Museum League; Honorary Athenian by Mayor of Athen (2002); Leadership Award, Pine Manor College (2002); Women's Caucus for Art Award (2001); The National Institute of Social Sciences Gold Medal Honor Award (2000). Additionally, she has received the following awards: Distinguished Washingtonian Award (1998); Induction, National Women's Hall of Fame (1996); Women That Make a Difference Award, International Women's Forum (1991); Washingtonian of the Year (1987); and WETA Women's Achievement Award (1984), to name a few.


Distinguished Speaker to be featured at Upcoming Event in
Washington, DC on April 28th

President and Chief Executive Officer

Marcia Bullard is President and Chief Executive Officer of USA WEEKEND magazine. With a readership of 50 million, USA WEEKEND is one of the nation’s largest-circulation publications.

USA WEEKEND has won numerous awards for its community service and its journalism. The national general interest magazine is distributed by nearly 600 U.S. newspapers, including the New York Daily News, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Denver Post and newspapers in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Detroit and Minneapolis.

USA WEEKEND leads the Sunday magazine field in circulation growth and reader interaction. Under Ms. Bullard's direction, the magazine created and sponsors the nation's largest day of volunteer action "Make A Difference Day" which is held on the 4th Saturday of October. In 2003, more than 2 million people spent time that day helping an estimated 15 million Americans in need. The magazine's editorial contributors include historian Ken Burns, journalists Cokie Roberts and Steven Roberts, finance expert Jean Sherman Chatzky, food science expert Jean Carper and business leader Stephen Covey.

Ms. Bullard has been with USA WEEKEND since 1985, first as managing editor and then as editor. In 1996, she became President and CEO. She started in the newspaper business at age 17 as a reporter with the State Journal-Register inSpringfield, IL. She was a reporter and editor at the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY, and then from 1982 to 1985, worked as one of the founding editors of the national newspaper USA TODAY.

Ms. Bullard was named 1998 Revlon Business Woman of the Year. She was awarded the 1999 Distinguished Service Award from Southern Illinois University for her leadership in the media and in journalism education. She serves on the Boards of Directors of the Points of Light Foundation and America’s Charities. She is a member of the Newspaper Association of America, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a past board member of the Associated Press Managing Editors. In 1997 and again in 2000, Ms. Bullard served as a judge for the Miss America pageant. In 2004, Ms. Bullard judged the International Water Tasting in Berkeley Springs, WV.

Ms. Bullard holds an M.B.A. from The George Washington University and a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University. She is a native of Springfield, IL, where her parents reside. She is married to journalist Tom McNamara and has a stepdaughter, Emily.


Distinguished Speaker to be featured at Upcoming Event in
Washington, DC on April 28th

Michele K. Synegal
President and Owner
Management Dynamics, Inc.

Ms. Synegal is President and owner of Management Dynamics, Inc. a management consulting firm specializing in Organizational Development and Diversity Management. A partial list of clients include: AOL Time Warner, Blockbuster Entertainment, Comedy Central, Defense Intelligence Agency, Eastman Kodak Company, Georgetown University, Home Box Office, Office of Naval Intelligence, Monsanto Company, SHOWTIME Networks, The Prudential and Warner Bros. Publications.

In her more than 20 years of experience, she has conducted Cultural Audits, provided Diversity Awareness and skills training, leadership development, consulted to senior managers regarding diversity, and addressed broader human resource issues. She has delivered management and employee training to over 5,000 participants.

Recognized as, “Minority Entrepreneur of the Year, 1991” for the Bay Area and listed in 1991 Who’s Who in U.S. Executives and 2002 Who’s Who in U.S. Business, she has made substantial contributions to organizations in the area of Human Resources and Organizational Development. She has held these positions: President of the Walter Kaitz Foundation; Director, National Training, Viacom Cable and; Regional Director, Branch Office Administration, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco in Human Relations and Organizational Behavior. She received a certificate in Organizational Development from the University of California at Berkeley and is a certified practitioner of the Leadership Diamond® from the Koestenbaum Leadership Institute and Quantum Solutions.


Distinguished Speaker to be featured at Upcoming Event in
Washington, DC on April 28th

Associate Director
Minority Business Development Agency
U.S. Department of Commerce

Chiling Tong is the Associate Director for Legislation, Education and Intergovernmental Affairs. Tong oversee MBDA’s Congressional outreach, intergovernmental affairs, international trade, advocacy and outreach to federal, state and local governments.

Prior to Tong’s appointment with MBDA, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia and the Pacific, for the International Trade Administration, in the Department of Commerce, with responsibility for improving access by U.S. companies to Asia-Pacific markets; strengthening the international trade and investment position of the United States; establishing international economic policies concerning the Asia-Pacific region; and carrying out programs to promote international trade. Previously, Tong worked for the State of California to promote California’s economic development, trade and employment services. She was the Director of California’s Office of Trade and Investment in Taipei, Taiwan, and served as Assistant Secretary for International Trade in the California Trade and Commerce Agency. She subsequently worked for the California State Senate Office of Public Affairs as the Chief Asian American Affairs Advisor and was appointed by President George W. Bush as a commissioner of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Tong received her MBA from California State University at Long Beach and a BA from the Chinese Cultural University in Taiwan. Before joining state government, Tong was awarded a Coro Public Affairs Fellowship. Tong was the President of the International Leadership Foundation, the Chairperson of the Los Angeles County Community Action Board, Vice President of the Monterey Park Community Relations Commission and the Public Affairs Director of the American-Chinese Business Journal. She was also a television anchor and reporter for China TV, a Los Angeles-based international television station. In Sacramento, she served on the Metropolitan Arts Commission and the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Tong is married to Joel Szabat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in the U.S. Department of Transportation.


Distinguished Moderator to be featured at Upcoming Event in
Washington, DC on April 28th

Jessica Abrahams
Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy

Jessica Abrahams focuses her practice on counseling and litigation in connection with both government and private sector contracts in the areas of information technology, telecommunications and related intellectual property matters. In addition, she works extensively with clients who are concerned with international contracts and transactions, and federally funded health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and FEHBA.

Ms. Abrahams litigates matters, including bid protests and other complex litigation and related discovery proceedings, before the Federal District and Appellate Courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Boards of Contract Appeals and various federal administrative tribunals. Some of her recent successes involve the Javits Wagner O’Day Act, breach of a teaming agreement for a multi-million dollar foreign assistance contract, and a significant weapons system procurement.

Ms. Abrahams advises clients on a full range of contracts matters, including compliance issues, technology transfer, licensing agreements, data rights, trade secret issues, foreign military sales, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, cost and pricing issues, contract administration, civil false claims, internal investigations, terminations, suspension and debarment. She speaks regularly and has co-authored numerous articles on topics such as commercial contracting, international procurement, procurement reform, task order contracts and Medicaid managed care.

In addition, Ms. Abrahams is a member of the Firm’s Homeland Security Task Force. In this capacity she counsels clients on their relevant statutory obligations and assists them with such things as market entry strategies and maximizing existing business opportunities.

In May 2000, Ms. Abrahams was selected as the District of Columbia Bar’s Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her work in the areas of domestic relations and child advocacy. She chairs the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Ms. Abrahams also serves as the Mid-Atlantic Admissions Representative for Wellesley College, is a member of the Washington, D.C. Executive Committee of the Jewish National fund, and is a National Ambassador and a member of the Washington, D.C. Board of Directors for the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Ms. Abrahams holds the following degrees: MALS, Georgetown University, 2003; J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1990 (Order of the Barristers; Director, Niagara International Moot Court Competition, 1990); and B.A., cum laude, Wellesley College, 1987. She also attended the Universite de Provence (Aix Marseille I), Aix-en-Provence, France.


Past Distinguished Speaker
Washington, DC, April 1, 2004


Marie Johns is former President, Verizon Washington, DC. Ms. Johns has been an engaged business leader in the Washington metropolitan region for nearly 20 years. She has provided leadership in a wide range of professional, civic and cultural organizations. She has worked to enhance and improve the District's viability on several fronts, particularly in efforts related to strengthening education, health care and economic development systems in the District of Columbia.

Ms. Johns has participated in a wide range of organizations that support education and youth. During her tenure as president, she was instrumental in the effort to obtain a $10 million grant for the DC Public Schools to implement a school to careers reform initiative. She also helped develop DC Reads, a literacy coalition that provides support to programs that offer leadership, training, and development. In addition, Ms. Johns spearheaded a Verizon sponsored program called SEEDS (Students Educated for Economic Development Success) that trains out of school youth for jobs in information technology industry. Ms. Johns was also instrumental in decreasing the digital divide in underserved communities by providing computer workstations in recreation centers in all eight Wards throughout the District. Ms. Johns also served as a director of a non-profit organization that provided funding for every public school and library in the District to install cabling to provide high speed connections to the Internet and local computer networks. In addition, Ms. Johns brought together committed members of business organizations, educational institutions, non-profit entities and the government to form the Washington DC Technology Council, where she served as its Founding Chair. Ms. Johns also helped create the Verizon branded Georgia Avenue Business Resource Center, which has become a leading, District-wide provider of technical assistance to small businesses and nonprofit organizations to level the playing field for neighborhood-based businesses.

Ms. Johns is currently a mayoral appointee to the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, a Trustee of Howard University, on the Boards of Directors for the DC Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Club of Washington, the International Women's Forum and an Emeritus Trustee for the Federal City Council. Ms. Johns also is on the Advisory Board for Adonix, Inc. and is a member of the Senior Board of Stewards of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The recipient of over 100 awards for her business and civic leadership, Ms. Johns was also presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Trinity College in May 1999, named as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999 and 2001, named Alumnus of the Year from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs in May 2003, honored as one of the Twenty-five Most Influential Black Women in Business by the Network Journal in April 2003, received the Corporate Responsibility Award from Black Women's Agenda for her outstanding leadership in September 2003, and was selected as one of Profiles in Diversity Journal's 2003 Women of Initiative.

An alumna of Indiana University, Ms. Johns earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees and has completed graduate management studies at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.



Past Distinguished Speaker
Philadelphia, PA, March 4, 2004

Lynn Nowicki
President & CEO
Fox Run Craftsmen

After enjoying several years and much success in marketing both at General Mills and then PepsiCo, Lynn took a leap of faith. She approached her boss and asked
 to leave her Marketing Manager position and move into Sales Operations. Although surprised at this request, he gave her the opportunity. Moving to this level, Lynn faced many new elements, such as managing unionized workforce, being fully responsible for P&L, and working with a territory that was a soft market for her products. Additionally, she mostly worked with men, who had never had a woman boss. However, despite the difficult task that lay ahead of her, Lynn excelled. She successfully worked with her team, grew profitability, led sales growth (+30%) with creation of innovative channel/partnership development strategies, gained the support and respect of the guys, and found that she loved to do "turn around" work. When Lynn decided to leave PepsiCo, she had full P&L responsibility for $100 million business and 350 people. She led all functions including sales, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, equipment/fleet repair, and customer service.

After PepsiCo, Lynn became the President, Chief Executive Officer for Wireless-To-Go/Message Link. She doubled profitability in one year through sales/customer focus, reorganization, improved controls/processes, and increased same unit revenues by 15%. She led the integration of eight acquisitions to common operating processes, measures and goals. In this position, Lynn had full operating responsibility for $15 million privately held provider of wireless products and services with 100 employees. She was also a Member of the Board of Directors. Again, this opportunity was the springboard to her next pursuit.

In 2002, Lynn moved to Fox Run Craftsmen, where she is currently the President, Chief Executive Officer. In this position, she has full operating responsibility for mid-sized privately held importer and distributor of kitchen gadgets to specialty and grocery retailers worldwide with 80 employees in the U.S. and Canada. She's rebuilt the management team, introduced new packaging and a new corporate identity, created proprietary new products and restarted the company-wide installation of an enterprise software system. Once again, Lynn's track record reflects great leadership, excellent business acumen, innovative thinking, and strong teamwork.

It is exciting and inspiring to see Lynn setting the example for generations of women leaders to come. Her journey into areas where most women have not ventured or have not had the opportunity to participate, makes it even more possible for other women to follow. Additionally, Lynn has held several Board seats for both for-profit and not-for-profit entities. She is actively involved with the Young Presidents Organization and strongly supports the Forum of Executive Women. In 2002, Lynn was selected as one of ten Fellows for the U.S. program of the Eisenhower Foundation. Lynn has also been very involved with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Courageous. Bright. Funny. Genuine. Lynn Nowicki is a great Leading Lady whom you will be glad you met!


An Interview with Vivian W. Pinn, M.D.

By Pattie Cinelli

Setting an appointment with Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) took months. Despite the incredible demand for Dr. Pinn’s attention during the interview, she was devoted to answering all my questions. Upon completion of the interview, an hour and a half later, I found myself stunned and inspired. I was not surprised when she told me she worked out regularly with a personal trainer. Her energy, focus, clarity and enthusiasm could only be honed by disciplining both her mind and her body. This woman’s life, who by any cultural standard has far surpassed achieving life-long dreams and ambitions, seems to have just begun.

World renowned for her leadership in women’s health research, Dr. Pinn is profoundly affecting the lives of countless people through her professional and personal efforts. As the first full time Director of ORWH, Dr. Pinn and her staff of 16 are significantly improving the research agenda for women’s health around the globe. The Office for Research on Women’s Health serves as the focal point for women’s health research at NIH. It strengthens and enhances research related to diseases, disorders and conditions that affect women and ensures that women are appropriately represented in research studies and that research conducted at NIH adequately addresses issues relevant to women’s health. In addition to her responsibilities of running the ORWH office, Dr. Pinn travels around the world giving presentations on women’s health research – her appointment calendar is booked into 2003 – and she is often called upon to testify before Congress.

Untraditional and unplanned are words that came up frequently in my conversation with Dr. Pinn about how she came to be who she is today. Much of what she created and continues to create at ORWH was a natural extension of her life experiences. She was open to change despite what life threw her, and she became a catalyst for innovation as well.

“I never planned to be a pathologist. I wanted to be a pediatrician,” she said. But exposure to research and research opportunities while an undergraduate student at Wellesley College peaked her interest. Grabbing opportunity where there seems to be none is a trait Dr. Pinn has used to turn around life situations. For example, during her junior year Dr. Pinn’s mother became ill, so she took a semester off to care for her. The way her mother was treated by the doctors firmed up her resolve to become a health care professional. “My mother’s posture caused her pain, but the doctors didn’t take her complaint seriously,” she explained. It was Dr. Pinn’s father who discovered the tumor, which was diagnosed as bone cancer. Dr. Pinn fully dedicated herself to her mother during her battle with cancer and stayed with her until she died. “I hoped some day to have doctors who would listen to women,” said Dr. Pinn. Little did Dr. Pinn know at the time, but this experience would profoundly change her life, as well as the lives of many.

Because of the lost semester, Dr. Pinn took a summer job at Massachusetts General Hospital where she began to develop her passion in research. While in medical school at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Pinn returned each summer to Boston and Mass General. “My summer job experience is a good example of how an internship early on can make a difference in what you do in your life.” When Dr. Pinn graduated from UVA in 1967, she was the only woman and minority in her class. She returned to Mass General to complete her postgraduate training in pathology during which time she also served as a teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Each of Dr. Pinn’s positions in life seemed an easy evolution from the previous experience. Dr. Pinn entered academia in 1970 joining the faculty at Tufts University School of Medicine where she held numerous high level positions over the years. She was happy and accomplished there, and said she never envisioned working in a policy office. However, she sees her appointment at NIH as a “natural and really wonderful opportunity.”

In addition to impacting the direction of Dr. Pinn’s career, her decision to take a semester off to care for her mother gave her the impetus to address some of the issues that affect scientists in a similar position. As a result, she developed at ORWH a reentry program in 1992 to help fully trained scientists (women and men) re-establish careers in biomedical or behavioral science after taking time off to care for children, parents or other family responsibilities. Once again, Dr. Pinn found an opportunity to improve other’s lives through the lessons she learned by her personal experience.

Crucial to her success in pursuing a path not taken by many women was her network of supporters and advisors. Even though Dr. Pinn does not give credit to a single mentor, one person seems to stand out…her dad. “My father never told me that there was something I couldn’t do,” she said. “I didn’t always conform to expectations. I was always looking to go beyond what was expected.”

Recognizing the significance of her support network, Dr. Pinn always allocates time for others. She has taught, advised and mentored hundreds of students. She has also given countless hours and expertise to facilitate career opportunities for women and minorities. Her commitment and dedication extend beyond those within the health care profession. Dr. Pinn is a founding member of Washington Area Women’s Foundation whose mission is to encourage, stimulate and expand philanthropy in order to meet the critical needs to improve the economic status of women and girls. This is just the tip of the iceberg for this Leading Lady’s awards, recognitions and honorary degrees (seven) fill pages.

With such a rigorous schedule and steadfast dedication to her profession, one might wonder if she ever takes a break. “Balancing can be tough,” said Dr. Pinn. “It’s easy to put more time into one’s work. I don’t advocate that other women take as little time as I do for myself.” But Dr. Pinn is happily driven – she feels a personal responsibility for making things happen. Yet, when I asked what she likes to do in her spare time, she had no trouble telling me that she loves reading a good mystery, playing bridge, vacationing in the sun (although her laptop goes with her) and visiting with friends. “Making time for family and friends is so important,” she explained. “If you’re at a point (in your life) where you’re too busy to make time, then something is wrong.”

When I asked what she believes to be the greatest needs in women’s health today she cited several issues deserving special attention. “Women need more information from physicians to answer questions they have about their health” she said. “Women need to learn to take responsibility for their own health, and take care of themselves as well as they take care of everyone else. We also need to understand behaviors we can practice to protect our health,” she said.

In wrapping up my interview, I asked about her greatest accomplishment. For Dr. Pinn, it wasn’t the accolades or awards from the media and schools, nor the honorary degrees she received, nor the executive positions she held, nor the research projects she spearheaded. Quite simply, it was the personal notes, emails and visits from her students, who told her that she played a role in their accomplishment of great things.

Regardless of all she’s done, Dr. Pinn couldn’t help comparing herself to other women she’s met over the years who she said have overcome far more serious challenges than she in their lives. “There’s a lot more I could have done, more I could and will do,” she said.

Truly, Dr. Vivian W. Pinn is a Leading Lady, a woman who leads by her example. Her relentless commitment to the improvement of other’s lives through her professional and personal efforts demonstrates the powerful impact one person can have in the pursuit of her life purpose. Indeed, this Leading Lady, who has already accomplished much, has just begun.

For more information on the Office of Research on Women's Health at NIH, http://www4.od.nih.gov/orwh/>http://www4.od.nih.gov/orwh/

Pattie Cinelli is a freelance writer, communications consultant and personal trainer. Her business is based the Washington metropolitan area.
To contact Pattie: fitmiss44@aol.com


Note from President and Founder ~ Anna Nardone

"Who are the Leading Ladies®?"

At the launch of the Leading Ladies® in New York, I found myself face to face with a man in an elevator who saw my Leading Ladies® materials and asked, who are the "Leading Ladies®" and what constitutes a Leading Lady? Recently, I was asked a similar question by another man, "What makes a woman a Leading Lady?" Hm. Good question. Actually, GREAT question. This is an excellent opportunity for us to promote one another and all the amazing qualities the women of Leading Ladies® possess and all the incredible works we are accomplishing.

So, who are these Leading Ladies®? Simply put, we are extra-ordinary women, who serve as catalysts for change -- in the way we think, act, work, and live. We lead by example through our daily lives. We forge forward with a positive attitude even though the shadows of doubt sometimes loom over our heads. We face the challenges of life with relentless courage and determination. We openly share our resources to help improve the lives of others. The Leading Ladies® are ordinary women, just like you and me, but we are extraordinary in our kindness, sincerity and willingness to help one another. We are committed to making a difference in our own lives, our families, our communities, and our world.

There. How is that for an answer?

Ladies, you are an incredible group of women. Your talent, intelligence, intuition, your sense of self and support of others is remarkable! I am so proud to be a part of this group. The way in which you are connecting with one another is significant because you are not only changing your own life, but also the lives of many. By your openness you are able to clearly see possibilities, where others may not. In your acceptance of others, you allow them to shed their defenses and share their dreams. When you disarm each other and listen carefully, you create an opportunity to forge a relationship in which you may mentor one another, exchange ideas and provide resources to help achieve your goals.

As a fact of life, we all contend with nay-sayers and our own inner voices of self doubt. With the support and encouragement the Leading Ladies® provide, defy the negative forces! Utilize the resources these women are offering you. Let them inspire you by their example. Never think you can't do something. Be positive! Harness the energy and enthusiasm the Leading Ladies® possess and go for it! Challenge yourself to reach for that shining star you have set your sites on. When people ask you why? Say, why not? Know that the bar is constantly raised for you and that the possibilities are endless, because you are…Leading Ladies®. As a Leading Lady, you do assume a certain level of responsibility. In pursuit of your aspirations, you will inevitably be a leader. Because you are dedicated to fulfilling your life's purpose, you will pave the way for others. Though they may not follow your exact path, by virtue of your achievements, you stand as an example to them. You serve as a role model for other women. If you can do it, so can they.

In this edition of our newsletter and subsequent issues, we will highlight a Leading Lady who truly leads by her example. She is a woman who has gone before us, who has defied the negative forces, the stereotypes, and conventional thinking to pursue her dreams.

Through all of the women in the Leading Ladies® network, we intend to inspire you to think outside of the box; to forge forward though your exact path may not be clear; to listen to your gut and trust yourself; to follow your passion and fulfill your life purpose.

Again, who are these Leading Ladies®? We are women unafraid of making positive changes, which will contribute to our personal growth and our communities. We are true leaders. Janet S. Owens, County Executive, Anne Arundel County (first woman to hold this position), sums it up best when she said in her Proclamation to the Leading Ladies®, "leadership is a serving relationship that has the effect of facilitating human development and, improving the lives of other people and the systems we live under. We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore and, Leading Ladies inspires that courage."

© Sunday, August 19, 2001, Anna Nardone