Past Award Recipients

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Past Award Recipients

2018 Business Woman of the Year Una Martone

Prior to joining Leadership Harrisburg Area, Una experienced a fulfilling career in non-profit development, specializing in aiding the growth of start-up and small organizations. As a fundraising consultant, Una served much of the East Coast increasing funding sources for diverse groups including arts organizations; ministry programs; homelessness initiatives; and micro-enterprise development programs. Una moved to the Harrisburg area in 2005 where she was the first Director of Development for the fledgling Harrisburg University.

As an active member of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg since 2006, Una served on the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015. Una was 2012/13 President of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg and was 2013/14 President of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg Foundation. In 2015, Una was elected as District Governor for the Rotary District 7390 which serves 7 Central PA Counties, 45 clubs and nearly 2,500 members. Una’s term as District Governor will be 2017/18. Una serves on the Board of Directors for the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and formerly served the American Heart Association; the Association of Fundraising Professionals; Catholic Charities; and Communities in Schools of PA.

Una earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Central Florida and earned the CFRE distinction or Certified Fund Raising Executive for a history of successful fund raising. Una has completed the Rotary Leadership Institute and earned a certificate in Organizational Development from the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

A native Floridian, Una is a first generation American whose parents were both born in Ireland. Una is the youngest of seven children; aunt to 27 nieces and nephews; great aunt to 7 little ones; and Godmother to four. (The holidays are always an adventure!) Una currently lives with her spouse of 23 years, two children, and the family rescue dog, Teddy, in Mechanicsburg.

2017 Business Woman of the Year Dr. Karen M. Scolforo

Karen M. Scolforo, Ed.D., became President of Castleton University in December 2017. Dr. Scolforo is the fourth woman to lead the university since its founding in 1787, and the tenth president of the modern era. She joined the Castleton family after a four-year tenure as President at Central Penn College.

While at Central Penn, Dr. Scolforo successfully elevated the college’s profile, forging strategic partnerships with local and regional leaders to develop programs that helped the advancement of both the college and the surrounding area. She helped to develop and implement a strategic plan that expanded college operations, renovated campus facilities and housing, added both undergraduate and graduate programs, and developed curriculum options that impacted training and employability of graduates.

Her commitment to academic excellence is reflected in Central Penn’s new research and faculty professional development opportunities, academic technology integration, and the development of a rigorous academic program assessment process.

While completing her doctorate at the University of North Florida, Scolforo served as Executive Director of Fortis College in Jacksonville, Florida, where she developed new academic programming and led enrollment growth over four years. Previously, she served as President of the Jacksonville campus of Keiser University and Regional Vice President of Operations for Southeastern Colleges.

In 2016, Dr. Scolforo was honored as both a Woman of Excellence by the YWCA and one of the Central Penn Business Journal’s Women of Influence. Dr. Scolforo also received the Care to Share award at the Conference for Women, and her executive leadership team was nominated by the Central Penn Business Journal for the Executive Leadership award. She was named CenturyLink Business Woman of the Year in 2017.

2016 Business Woman of the Year Patricia A. Husic

In March 2007, Patricia A. Husic led a team of shareholders to acquire and establish Centric Bank and Centric Financial Corporation. In less than 120 days, she raised $12 million of capital in 58 days, obtained regulatory approval and closed on the acquisition for the troubled institution. In just 2 1/2 yrs, Patti lead a team to turnaround the troubled institution, successfully rebranded the new bank into a growing and profitable community bank.

As one of only 13 female bank CEOs in the Commonwealth, Patti Husic is committed to increasing the voice and influence of women at Centric Bank. The majority of her senior management team and vice presidents are women and many of them worked with Patti at prior institutions and knew the opportunities her leadership would afford them. Throughout her nearly 30-year career in finance and banking, Patti has always led by example. One of her most impressive leadership qualities is that she has opened doors for all women while forging paths to advancement for herself. “I have always desired to advance in business with an ‘us’ mentality. Early in my career I learned to seek the knowledge and strength of mentors and role models. When younger women see a female CEO, they begin to reimagine their own careers and realize they, too, can achieve a C-suite position.”

Patti is a Past Chair of the Board of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association (PBA), the third-largest banking association in the nation. She is only the third woman in 118 years to serve as Chair. Patti is also chair and Founder of Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s Women in Banking (WIB) Advisory Committee and is the Conference Committee organizer. She has attracted statewide and national attention with this initiative, which launched in 2014. She also currently serves on the board at Holy Spirit-A Geisinger Affiliate and the American Bankers Association as Communications Council Member.

2015 Business Woman of the Year Lisa Stokes

Lisa Stokes, owner and president of B.R.P. Entertainment, began her career at Penn National Race Course, located in Grantville, PA, where she served as Director of Group Sales and Marketing during her 18 year tenure.

Her career took a turn in April 1999 when she partnered in the purchase of then Bruce Rohrbach Productions. Changing the name to B.R.P. Entertainment, the 47 year-old company serves its clients by providing first class entertainment for events as well as assisting in all arrangements associated with the entertainment production.

Lisa has a strong commitment to the community in which she lives and works. She served as the President of the Harrisburg Chapter of Executive Women International, and serves on various committees at local chambers and convention bureaus. She is a member of the International Entertainment Buyers Association, St. Thomas UCC, PASAE, The PASAE Foundation, The Hershey Partnership and Central PA Association of Female Executives. Lisa also serves as an Ambassador for Team Pennsylvania. Lisa recently received the Harrisburg Regional Chamber’s “Volunteer of the Year Award” for her service to the chamber.

Lisa has been a mentor to many people, ladies and men.  She is a member of EWI (Executive Women International) and was the past National President a couple of years ago.  She is a demonstrated leader in the community.  She belongs to many organizations, including Harrisburg Chamber (on the Board), Westshore Chamber, EWI, Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, MPMPI, PASAE to mention a few.  Her company also raises money over the holidays by baking cookies and selling them to companies, all money raised goes to countries like Haiti, Jamaica, etc.  Lisa is a well-respected individual in the business community and is well known throughout Central PA, but is not limited to this region as she has key accounts throughout the United States.

2014 Business Woman of the Year Sister Romaine Niemeyer

For 24 years, Sister Romaine has been CEO of an organization that has a predominantly female workforce. Of the approximately 2,900 employees, about 78 percent are females who have benefited from her willingness to embrace, support, and promote a culture of caring, teamwork and customer service at Holy Spirit.

Within Nursing, Sister Romaine has supported efforts to increase the number of nurses with advance certifications by five percent a year—a goal that has been exceeded each of the last five years. In addition, she is a proponent of Nursing’s Shared Governance Model, which has led to a growing number of nurses who lead councils, participate in process improvement teams and have chosen a path of nursing leadership within the organization. All of this was done as the health system sought and was awarded the prestigious Magnet designation, which recognizes excellence in nursing services.

Additionally, under Sister Romaine’s guidance, Holy Spirit recognizes that 51 percent of its service area’s population is female. Knowing that percentage continues to grow, the health system developed Holy Spirit’s Women’s Services, which includes two Centers for Women’s Health, The Birthplace, Holy Spirit Women’s Imaging Center, Women’s Behavioral Health Services, Laser & Aesthetics Services and the Spirit of Women health education program that empowers women to guide their own wellness journey.

Finally, Sister Romaine serves as an inspiration for professional women both within her organization and in the community as the recipient of several awards that celebrate her model of leadership. Among those awards are the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award, the Professional Catholic Women’s Forum’s “Woman of Faith” Award, and the “Alumna of the Year” Award, Assumption College for Sisters.

2013 Business Woman of the Year Donna Schankweiler

donnaDonna, along with her husband David, are the owners of Journal Multimedia. She serves as the Business Manager, Corporate Treasurer and Secretary of the company. This entails overseeing all financial, benefit and personnel operations for the following 9 companies: The Central Penn Business Journal, NJBIZ, Lehigh Valley Business, Pet Age, FGV Visual Media, PageTurnPro, Best Companies Group, Central Penn Parent and JM Expo.

Donna’s contributions to the advancement and leadership of women in Central Pennsylvania are quite extensive.  She has helped to develop both Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business awards and the Women of Influence awards events.  She was instrumental in the creation of Central Penn Parent magazine and Inclusion, a diversity in business publication.

Donna is frequently asked to speak to women’s groups and women business organizations about her personal and business lives and the challenges of being successful in both. Donna also mentors women from the company as well as women business owners in the community.  She is always the first to arrange meals for a family in need, organize and chair a fundraiser for a nonprofit, lead a committee or project, or simply make a difference.

She heavily participates and often leads the company effort in the annual United Way campaign and other employee fundraising events, donations for the Central PA Food Bank, the Ronald McDonald House, an annual Giving Tree, the Bethesda Mission, donations to distressed school districts, the Salvation Army and so much more.

Donna currently serves on the boards of the YWCA, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, and The Wildcat Foundation, Mechanicsburg School District. She was the keynote speaker for the March of Dimes in 2012 and is a member of the Harrisburg Chamber’s Business Women’s Network.  She has also served as the fundraising chair for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Diabetes, American Cancer Society and other local nonprofits.

Today we celebrate Donna not only for her tremendous business success but for all the inspiring contributions she has made to Central Pennsylvania both professionally and personally. Congratulations, Donna!

2012 Business Woman of the Year Debra A. Pierson

debDeb Pierson is owner and President of Pierson Computing Connection Inc (PCCi).  An established business with presence across the East Coast, PCCi employs a team of 50 and installs technology for its large enterprise, government and school district customers.

Deb was recognized as a 2010 Woman of Influence by the Central Penn Business Journal, and was a 2006 winner of their “Best Forty Under 40” contest.  PCCi has received the Harrisburg Regional Chamber’s Business of the Year award, and has been honored as a finalist for the Central Penn Business Journal’s Business of the Year Award for three years running.

Despite her impressive business success, Deb feels her most significant accomplishments are rooted in her deepest passions, which are supporting working women, serving as President of the Christian Business Women’s Fellowship of Central Pennsylvania, mentoring for the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, and sponsoring Dress for Success.  Deb also serves as Board Chair for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania, and uses her leadership skills and influence to push towards the goal of a world without Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Deb is the proud wife of Jeff and doting mother to two daughters, Jackie, a freshman at Hofstra University, and Elizabeth, a sophomore at Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.

Past Event Photos

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