Top Business Women of 2018 are Recognized

By Jennifer L. Warren

WAPPINGERS FALLS – Showing up. Being Calm. Working through challenges.

They are the top three abilities Trish Adlesic cites for her success, both professionally and personally. The Keynote Speaker at Thursday’s Hudson Valley Magazine’s Women in Business Awards Luncheon, held at the Villa Borghese, Adlesic, an Oscar-and Emmy-nominated film producer and director, has recently tasted the sweetness of that success; however, it did not come without some hard-fought adversity, riddled with sexual harrassment as well as other challenging obstacles. It’s that determination and perseverance which is readily visible in each of the films she has crafted. Whether it’s been about dairy farming or hydro-fracking, the passionate Adlesic in many ways embodies much of what the 15 women being honored symbolized.

“It’s not an option to fail,” affirmed Adlesic to a packed, attentive room of guests. “As a woman, it is important to remain calm and keep your dignity.”

Moving on to detail the riveting tales she boldly unravels in her work, Adlesic further noted her inability to find “women’s stories” at the start of her career. She set out to change that, doing a film on three generations of women and their relationships to God.

“We are all survivors,” said Adlesic. “It is not our differences that separate us but our inability to celebrate them.”

Nowhere more could these messages be more positively captured than in the spirits of each of the 15 women honorees. All survivors as well as selfless beings cherishing diversity in all its beauty, each female dedicates much of her life to uniting people while making a difference in their communities and beyond. Among the impressive list of those being paid tribute to was Tara Sullivan, Deputy Executive Director of the New York State Bridge Authority.

“The Hudson Valley event that honors women in business not only showcases these great women and their accomplishments, it inspires the future generations of female leaders with positive role models,” said a proud Sullivan. “I’m honored as someone who works in New York State Government with a lifetime of service.”

After pooling together a long list of potential winners, the Hudson Valley Magazine’s Editor’s select one top-tier group that has made a continual degree of success as well as left a lasting imprint on both the economy and in their communities. Recognized in four categories: entrepreneurs, executives, non-profit leaders and government leaders, the women represent a diverse, talented and influential spectrum. Also composing that elite group was Nina Smiley, Director of Mindfulness Programming at Mohonk Mountain House.

“Celebrating the talents and energy of women in the Hudson Valley offers an exciting snapshot of what’s happening right now; it also highlights possibilities and potential for others,” pointed out Smiley. “I appreciate the message that Hudson Valley Magazine is sending out that we are all in this together-both men and women; the world needs the best efforts of everyone, and never underestimate the power of women.”

Rounding out the honorees were Kathleen Bennett Harold (Owner, Floor 13 Textiles); Filomena E. Fanelli (CEO/Founder, Impact PR & Communications); Debra Forbes (Vice President/Change Scenic Artist, Scenic Art Studios); Carol Gordon (President & CEO Carol Gordon Consulting); Melody Gregory (Managing Attorney Finklestein & Partners) Jennifer Howland (Executive Pathways for Experienced Diverse Technical Talent, IBM); Beth Jones (Founder/President, Third Eye Associates, Ltd); Sandra Ludlum (Vice President of Branch Administration, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union); Kelly Mace (Director of Patient Care Services Mid-Hudson Region, Care Mount Medical); Kathy Merget (Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs, The Culinary Institute of America); Leah Penniman (Founding Director, Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc.); Susan Rajczi (CEO, Ginsberg’s Foods) and Erin Riley (Senior Vice President, Scenic Hudson).

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