Every year International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8, honoring the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women. “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future” is this year’s theme. We celebrate this day by saluting the women of the Côte-Nord who own their own business and giving them the chance to talk about the women who have made a difference in their own lives.
Director at Lark Fine Foods
After 20 years in financial services and “on a lark”, Brooke Carroll ventured into the world of specialty food. Lark Fine Foods in Essex manufactures a range of all-natural biscuits and crackers that have flavor profiles designed to appeal to mature palates (hence its tagline, “Cookies for Grown-Ups”). Its best-selling cookie, for example, is the Salty Rosemary Shortbread, a traditional buttery shortbread with a hint of rosemary and a dusting of sea salt.
One woman Carroll looks up to is his grandmother. “After losing her husband in 1948, she took over her trucking business and raised my father and aunt who were 10 and 12 at the time. I can only imagine how difficult it was for a woman to run a trucking company in the 1950s in a perfectly fitted dress and heels to boot. But she did it…with grace and style,” says Carroll.
Founder of Goldthwait Advisors
Marblehead’s Virginia Buckingham broke a few glass ceilings early in her career, serving as the first female chief of staff to two successive Massachusetts governors and as the first female CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority. She then spent 14 years driving public policy change in support of biopharmaceutical innovation at Pfizer Inc, including the launch of its COVID-19 vaccine. In 2020, she released Amazon’s number one bestseller, On my watch on leading Logan Airport’s response to the 9/11 attacks and the lessons the experience taught him about leadership and resilience.
She recently launched Goldthwait Advisors offering executive-level advice on building thought leadership platforms, designing digital and traditional public affairs strategies to influence an organization’s operating environment, and advising on public business engagement on key social and environmental issues.
The woman she admires the most is her daughter, Magdelynne Lowy. “At almost 20, already understands what it took me three decades to learn – who she is, what she wants and how to achieve it, all with grace, insight and relentless determination,” Buckingham says.
Katie Azevedo, M.Ed.
Creator and founder of SchoolHabits
Katie Azevedo, M.Ed. has been an educator for over 16 years, with expertise in learning disabilities, ADHD, executive functions, and SAT/ACT test preparation. Through private and individual coaching and online tutorials on SchoolHabits.com, His Topsfield-based company teaches students and professionals strategies to learn and work better. She is also the creator of the Executive Function Journal, a 90-day journal that targets and builds core executive functions.
The woman Azevedo most admires is his mother, Nancy Marquis. “She was a pedagogue in every sense of the word, and she exposed me early on to the magic of education in all its forms. Today, I teach students how to learn, thanks to my mother who taught me that learning itself was a superpower,” says Azevedo.
Founder and CEO of New Leaf Speaker Management
Prior to founding New Leaf, Marblehead’s Amy Gray spent nearly a decade as a global conference producer, which involved hiring hundreds of top speakers. Discouraged by the transactional and condescending manner of many agents representing sought-after authors, artists, entrepreneurs and innovators, Gray created a new model. New Leaf has found its niche by providing effective representation that generates high fees while conducting business with an emphasis on honesty, transparency and kindness.
Gray admires Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX and self-made billionaire. She notes that after selling a large stake in SPANX in October 2021, Blakely gave each of her 750 employees $10,000 in cash and two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world they wanted. go. “She strikes me as the embodiment of an incredibly powerful and profoundly good power. She runs her business based on intuition, empathy, kindness and vulnerability – which is truly unique. She believes that supporting women is her calling and she has done so throughout the spectacular growth of her business,” says Gray.
Chef and owner of Nightshade Noodle Bar
Rachel Miller describes herself as a southern transplant with Moroccan Jewish heritage from a very blended extended family. “I come from a culturally diverse neighborhood. I was exposed to a range of foods and experiences at a young age that inspired me to pursue a career in hospitality,” says Miller. Black nightshade noodle bar is a French and Vietnamese-inspired seafood restaurant in downtown Lynn, featuring tasting menus, chic jungle vibes, tropical cocktails and natural wines.
The woman Miller looks up to is his partner, Alexandra Caruso, who is general manager and director of beverages at Nightshade. “She is an incredible leader who hones our service at every opportunity, hosts daily wine classes to keep us engaged, and so much more that is underappreciated and less known from the front in our industry. the real star here and I love working alongside her in the atmosphere she creates every day for the team and our guests,” says Miller.
Amy Pocsik and Melissa Gilbo
Founders of the Women’s Business League
the Women’s Business League, founded by North Shore mothers and entrepreneurial refugees Amy Pocsik and Melissa Gilbo — residents of West Newbury and Georgetown, respectively — is a community focused on helping women connect, grow and thrive. The heart of their mission, they say, is kindness and community, values that drive the bonds created between their members. Pocsik and Gilbo have created a community for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen to come together, share resources and promote their businesses.
The women they admire the most are their mothers. “My mother showed me what it means to love with all her heart. She taught me the power of kindness and the importance of compassion. Her example of caring for others fueled my passion to do the same” , says Pocsik. “Strength is a gift that my mother passed on to me,” adds Gilbo. “She taught me that it’s not what happens that matters, it’s how you handle it. Persevere in challenges and never give up.
Owner and CEO of Harbor Sweets
Phyllis LeBlanc started working at Salem Harbor Sweets like a chocolate ladle while in college. What started as a part-time job became her life’s work when she bought the company from the founder in 1998.
The woman LeBlanc considers very inspiring and influential is his mother. While both of her parents worked while she was growing up, her father’s job required her to be away seven days a week, more than 14 hours a day, so her mother often had to raise all four children. “Not only did my mother work to support our family, but she thrived in a male-dominated business. For 35 years, she built and led a very successful real estate company where she was respected and respected by all. While cooking us breakfast every morning before school and having dinner with the family every evening, sometimes at 10 p.m. if necessary. Now that I own my own business, I have no idea how she managed to do everything she did,” says LeBlanc.
Founder of Pirouette
Lorenzo-Hervé from Marblehead had the idea of Pirouette when she noticed the gap in the market for classic, motion-appropriate dresses made in the USA using the highest quality fabrics available. Growing up in Miami, Lorenzo-Hervé developed an aesthetic that favored feminine and flattering silhouettes, so she developed Pirouette as a size brand. Friends and colleagues helped her along the way, trying out each iteration of the initial collection.
Lorenzo-Hervé’s grandmother had a major positive impact on her despite her difficult childhood in Cuba and her struggle to restart her life in the United States after losing everything to the dictatorship. “She sacrificed her working days to provide my father and uncle with the education she never had the chance to pursue, committed to ensuring a better life for them, and for us, her grandchildren. Her closet full of fabrics and her Singer sewing machine next to the kitchen introduced me to the world of bespoke clothing and creatively countering scarcity, leading me to envision a life in fashion one day.” , explains Lorenzo-Hervé.
Founder of Pam Older Designs
Pam Older, who lives and works in Newburyport, learned the lost art of chain link hammering, soldering and jewelry polishing at a jewelry store in Coconut Grove, Florida. She launched Pam Old Drawings in 2003 which offers a collection of feminine and organic jewelry.
The woman she most admires is Nina Link of the Children’s Television Studio, the publisher of all of CTW’s publishing businesses (at the time included the Sesame Street Electric Company and 321 Contact Magazine). “I met Nina during an interview for their position as production manager. Nina seemed very formal and reserved but quite impressive but I didn’t have a good read on her. I knew one thing for certain that I bombarded the interview. To my surprise, I got the job. She was the first female boss I had in my short career. The surprise ending to the story is that I was the first person I Nina had ever interviewed for a leadership position and she was more nervous than I. We’ve been friends for more years than I care to reveal,” Older says.