Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Finalists

Awarded to a woman who has founded her own company or helped found a company – a woman who has taken great professional and financial risk to make her idea a reality.

JESSICA BAILEY

Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
CEO
Organization
Greenworks Lending
Hometown
Norwalk, CT
Passion
Buildings consume more energy than anything else in the United States and Jessica’s goal is to make it a simple, easy decision for commercial property owners to reduce the energy consumption of their building – it’s smart for their bottom line and it’s good for the environment.
Bio
Jessica led the design, management, and implementation of the nation’s first successful C-PACE program prior to co-founding Greenworks Lending. From 2004-2012, Jessica worked at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as the program officer for sustainable development. She focused on mitigating climate change and promoting clean energy. Jessica has received numerous awards and positive recognition for her work including Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women of 2019 program, “Champion of Change” by the White House, dubbed a “Green Warrior” by Hartford Business Journal, and named to Connecticut Magazine’s 2018 “40 under 40.”

VIRGINIA JULIANO

Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Founder and CEO
Organization
CobbleCord
Hometown
Brooklyn, NY
Passion
Virginia’s passion is to transform how people manage their entertainment, empowering them to take a more active role.
Bio
Prior to starting CobbleCord, Virginia worked at Showtime Networks leading award-winning marketing campaigns and trailblazing projects. While launching their streaming service, she recognized that the rapidly changing space would cause tremendous confusion for average people and built a user-friendly solution in CobbleCord to help. Her hobbies include painting, yoga, salsa dancing, reading and documentaries. She also enjoys cooking and wine tasting with her husband. She holds an MBA from NYU Stern.
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DONNA LECKY

Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Co-Founder and CFO
Organization
HealthVenture & HealthHavenHub
Hometown
Philadelphia, PA
Passion
Donna’s passion is to provide resources to underrepresented entrepreneurs via education, technology, capital and mentoring to enhance their competitiveness.
Bio
Donna is Co-Founder of HealthVenture Corporation, HealthHavenHub and the Managing Director of HealthVenture Capital. Previously she was VP, Chief Tax Counsel and Treasurer at Omnicare, a CVS Company, and held similar roles at HealthSouth. She operated in management roles at KPMG, Ernest & Young and Deloitte. She holds a Yale MBA, completed University of Oxford’s Private Equity and Emory’s LLM Taxation programs, and holds a JD from Howard and Bachelor’s from Temple.
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COLLEEN MCGUIRE

Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Founder and CEO
Organization
Silver Fern Healthcare
Hometown
West Hartford, CT
Passion
Colleen is an impact-oriented entrepreneur with an audacious goal to transform healthcare for people suffering from chronic disease.
Bio
Colleen has 35 years of business experience, a passion for healthcare reform, and a commitment to addressing the unmet needs of people with chronic diseases. Colleen co-founded Silver Fern and is responsible for leading the company through its current phase of fast-paced growth. Over her career, Colleen has held senior P&L leadership positions in large public financial service companies and has worked as a consultant to executive leadership teams in large and small companies.
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SHANA SCHLOSSBERG

Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Founder and CEO
Organization
Upward
Hometown
New York, NY
Passion
Shana’s mission to reinvigorate second-tier cities across the U.S. begins with Hartford, Connecticut.
Bio
Shana is a serial entrepreneur with a vision to reinvigorate second-tier American cities through strategic public-private collaborations. A lifelong technologist and social entrepreneur, Shana’s will to build a tech-enabled, talent-driven, and equitable nation drove her to found Upward, a Hartford-based real estate and community advancement venture that promotes entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and talent retention. Shana’s latest venture, Upward Labs, is a venture fund and pilot program for global startups in AgeTech and PropTech.
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ERIKA SMITH

Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Winner

Occupation
CEO
Organization
ReNetX Bio
Hometown
Westport, CT
Passion
Erika is committed to driving innovation in life-science by encouraging leadership diversity.
Bio
Erika is the CEO of ReNetX Bio, a clinical stage company committed to reversing neurological damage and disease. Over the last 25 years, she has driven the advancement of innovative life-science technologies as an executive, investor and entrepreneur. She is an invited TedX presenter, was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year (BioCT), and co-authored “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs” sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. She serves as a board member for BIO and holds a bachelor’s in Biomedical & Electrical Engineering and MBA from Vanderbilt University.
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