Every day, countless women make irreplaceable contributions to the success of family-owned businesses. The Warren Group’s editorial board set out to honor female family business professionals who demonstrate outstanding leadership in both their businesses and their local communities, and they were thrilled by the caliber of the nominations they received. The exceptional group of women receiving the 2016 Outstanding Women of Family Business Award epitomizes the dedication and spirit needed to make a family business successful.
New England Die Cutting
Kimberly Abare runs a woman-owned company that is in a difficult and challenging business – manufacturing very precise parts for the defense industry. She has balanced her growing company – which has just expanded into a modern, state-of-the-art manufacturing factory – grown her employee count, and leased some excess space to another company, all while balancing her role as wife and mother. Her two sons are now working at the company and are a part of the company’s success.
Co-Owner, Treasurer & Secretary
Dolphin Insulation Inc.
Amanda Alphen took great pride in assisting her (then) technology-challenged father with invoices, as she was able to type 100 words per minute, answering the phone and getting answers to people who needed them, creating a challenging and exciting role for herself. At the young age of 20, she became a partner. With her self-taught administration skill and organization, she helped the company double in size, which in turn created job opportunities for others. She wears many hats, including treasurer, sales assistant, customer service, human resources and mentor. In her spare time, she has collected hundreds of pounds of food for donation to local communities.
Alvin Hollis Inc.
Laura Bicknell-Carbone is the fifth generation of her family to take an active role in the company, a highly respected and successful energy company serving the South Shore of Massachusetts. She is not only sustaining the family legacy, she is strengthening it, as she helps guide the business in a mature industry that is in transition. She has worked in the family business since she was a teenager, and over the past 30 years has been involved in almost every aspect of the company. She is now proudly helping to bring her 16-year old son into the business, thus ensuring a sixth generation of family management.
Amuleto Mexican Table
Karen Bressler was the CEO of her family-owned business for over 20 years, and after selling it in the one of the largest private-company sales of 2012, founded a new and successful venture. For more than a decade she has been on the board of, and currently chairs, Community Servings, a nonprofit food and nutrition program providing services throughout the state to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Her commitment to Boston, serving those less fortunate, and her continued entrepreneurial spirit make her a pioneer in family business sector.
Chief Operating Officer
As COO of a large building products holding company, over the past ten years Kathy Garfield has been the person to sustain a dialogue about the future strategic alternatives for the businesses, address management succession and ownership succession, and serve as a motivator for driving operational improvements at all of the companies, along with her father and three uncles, all of whom run a section of the business. The granddaughter of the founder and daughter of one of the businesses’ presidents, she has also been instrumental in bringing other third-generation cousins into the business, preparing it for sustained longevity and success.
Cape Cod Sea Camps
In addition to owning and managing one of the top children’s camps in the nation, Nancy Garran also owns and operates a collection of more than 13 rental properties, as well as an inn. She hosts a year-round staff of 24 and a summer staff of more than 250 employees. The company was founded by her grandfather 94 years ago and continues to offer purposeful programs for youth. She is well respected in the industry; she has served as a national standards representative for the American Camp Association and continues to serve on the board of directors for the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.
Founder, Owner & Chief Buyer
Since founding her business over 10 years ago, Stacy Gilman grown a loyal customer base, developed an innovative line of clothing and most importantly hired and inspired the hundreds of women who have worked with her over the years, many of whom have gone on to start businesses of their own. She has infused the business with her spirit of honesty, hard work and a big heart – which is why customers keep coming back in a very difficult decade for retail companies. She is a pillar in her community and a force of nature.
Wendy J. Goodwin
Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co.
With more than two decades of experience, Wendy Goodwin now runs the oldest American sailboat builder in continuous production. In his later years the founder commented that the boats he built were not deteriorating enough for people to replace them, but it is that simple fact that has kept the company in business for over 100 years. The boats last for generations – as does the company. With this third-generation outstanding woman at the helm, the company’s goal is to produce boats with timeless designs and unquestionable quality for generations to come.
R.J. Kenney Associates
The business was founded in 1970, and Aline Kenney and her husband worked as a team over the years, each with their own expertise. After losing her husband in 2010, she continued to run the company with the help of her remarkable family, who were taught by their parents the very principles that have made the company such a huge success. The family members all have different roles, but all work in tandem, which is why the company is as successful as it is. Its reputation is due to her dignity and professionalism.
Michele J. Lawlor
Co-Owner, President & CEO
D’Alelio Management Company
Michele Lawlor’s father was working at a Union Square Dunkin Donuts when it went up for sale in 1977, and with assistance from his parents, he bought it. From there he and his wife purchased several more, and now their two sons and daughter manage 19 franchises throughout the Greater Boston area. The siblings pride themselves on running great stores, being compassionate neighbors and giving back to the communities in which they do business. With over 35 years of experience in the business, she is well known and respected in the Dunkin’ Donuts community. She is a member of the Boston Ad Committee and the Boston Pricing Committee.
Jane Kaplan Peck
Chief Operating Officer
Kaplan Construction was founded in 1976 by her parents; Jane Kaplan Peck and her husband took over as COO and president, respectively, in 2014, after extensive training and a three-year management transition. Her father stepped away from the president’s role with the full confidence that the new husband-and-wife team would continue to follow the company’s guiding principles and that the company would thrive with them at the helm. Since the transition, the company has been named as a Best Place to Work two years in a row and business has grown by 30 percent. In addition to running the company, she is actively involved in the Brookline community.
Chief Financial Officer
E.B. Rotondi & Sons
After many years of success, the company’s profits took a sharp decline over the past decade, and the company – founded in 1932 – was close to bankruptcy. Heather Rotondi, a third-generation family member who had never been involved in the business, left a successful career working with nonprofits in D.C. and came to the rescue. Well educated and diplomatic, her talents were what was needed to save the company. She asserted herself in the very male dominated construction industry and has had great success. She made sweeping changes – some popular, some not – and the end result is a company that will survive and flourish again.
A person who is always true to her word, Donna Warren has taken the reins at a 100-year-old construction company and makes it all happen in a mostly male-operated field. She works tirelessly to keep a well-tuned group of construction workers and support staff running, in addition to being a mother, grandmother and all around good, honest person. She is a true standout in a family-owned business, in the construction industry, and among women everywhere.
Alicia Williams decided in 2008 to pursue her dream of owning a business. With zero investors or clients, she took a leap of faith to build a creative marketing company that brought businesses to the forefront of their target audience. Under her leadership, the company grew from a one-person operation to a global marketing company, and now employs her brother and father. She has the exceptional skill of being able to see the big picture of a situation and come up with unique solutions. She is smart, caring, kind and passionate about what she does and she is a role model for women in marketing and business.