Women to Watch in 2023

April 27, 2023
  • Private Banking
In this issue’s feature article, we highlight an inspiring group of women business owners and leaders and share their insights as they anticipate the opportunities and challenges of 2023.

Since the launch of the Center for Women & Wealth, we have met and been inspired by many powerful women who are pioneers in their respective fields. In their leadership roles, they are challenging the status quo, reshaping industries, and changing the way we live our lives.

Here, we showcase an inspiring group of women business owners and leaders and share their insights as they anticipate the opportunities and challenges of 2023.

Robin Berzin, M.D.
Founder and CEO, Parsley Health

Dr. Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health, an advanced primary care provider for women and families that uses root-cause resolution medicine to drive powerful outcomes and lower costs for patients with complex health needs. Since founding Parsley, she has seen more than 85% of patients improve or resolve their chronic conditions within their first year of care, demonstrating the life-changing value of making modern holistic medicine accessible to everyone, anywhere.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry right now?

One major challenge in healthcare is the massive primary care gap for women – an underserved population that continues to be left behind by our medical system, even though women spend an average of two times as much as men on their healthcare. As a founder, CEO, doctor, mom of three, and a woman in my own right, I see the ways that women’s concerns are routinely dismissed and how they’re diagnosed later than men – indeed, women are diagnosed later than men in more than 700 conditions.

While it’s been incredible to see women’s health beginning to be taken seriously, the majority of funding is poured almost exclusively into fertility care, leaving millions of women without the foundational primary care they need. Women are more than wombs. Twenty percent of women don’t have a primary care doctor, yet experts estimate that 130,000 lives could be saved per year by improving primary care access. This is why I founded Parsley Health: to close the primary gap for women and make life-changing healthcare as affordable and accessible as possible.

Leah Cohen-Shohet
Chief Business Officer, GlossGenius

At GlossGenius, Cohen-Shohet leads revenue-generating functions and teams and supports the company’s growth trajectory. GlossGenius has helped over 50,000 beauty and wellness small business entrepreneurs reach new heights with its all-in-one business management software that helps professionals maximize their time and income.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from a woman in your life?

Start first with the end goal. If you can crisply define the end goal, you’re more than halfway toward it. Clarity of what you’re after and why will set you up for success to build the right framework, system, and execution to achieve it.

Ashley Fina
Founder and CEO, I.E. Ventures

Fina serves as a consultant, advisor, and investor to startups, middle-market companies, and family businesses. Through I.E. Ventures, she helps the next generation of leaders and companies excel and prosper. Having led transformations, she helps leaders avoid pitfalls and take advantage of opportunities and synergies. Fina is also a third-generation owner of Michael C. Fina Holdings. Today, she helps spearhead the family’s investments.

What is the most energizing aspect of your work today?

After selling my family business, I have spent the last several years as an advisor and executive coach to privately held companies – specifically, family businesses and entrepreneurs. I am most energized helping my clients find their “zone of genius.” Your zone of genius includes the things that you are uniquely good at in the world and that you love to do. This is where you can add the most value to the world and yourself. It’s incredible to watch clients find this space and see how they transform both professionally and personally.

In addition to helping leaders find their zone of genius, I am most energized helping companies undergo business transformations and create a culture of leadership. It gives me such pride to help businesses continue to innovate and thrive in this everchanging landscape.

Bregan Herrold
Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Americas, Cushman & Wakefield

As Cushman & Wakefield’s chief financial and operating officer for the Americas, Herrold leads all financial and operational processes for the firm’s largest region. With a focus on fostering continuous forward motion, her role includes assessing and leading the operation’s effectiveness in delivering value and measurable return. An inclusive and collaborative problem solver, Herrold’s passion for strategic thinking with integrity and agility guides her in delivering operational efficiencies, providing valuable insights through analytics, and advising on investments that drive long-term strategic growth.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to take risks (and don’t be afraid to fail). It’s so important to build that muscle over time to help you learn to trust your instincts and grow from your mistakes. In addition, ensure that you have balance in your life – I’ve learned that I have to fill my cup outside of work so that I can bring my best, most engaged and authentic self to my role each and every day.

Josie Horchak, D.V.M.
Medical Director and Owner, GoodVets

Dr. Horchak is a veterinarian by training, but her passion ultimately led her to follow an entrepreneurial path. In 2020, she joined GoodVets, a next generation animal health platform redefining the veterinary healthcare experience for pets, pet parents, and veterinarians. Initially launched in Chicago, the company has now expanded to several locations across the U.S. as it continues to act on its mission to reimagine today’s companion animal care experience, empower veterinarians to have autonomy and buy-in as participating owners, and deliver a wonderful healthcare experience.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry right now?

There are many challenges facing the veterinary industry right now, but one of the most pronounced is burnout and compassion fatigue, and it is a major mental health crisis. Most people think that veterinarians are playing with puppies and kittens all day long, but that is a major misconception. Like other caregivers, we deal with death and illness daily. We deliver heart-wrenching news to clients, deal with animal cruelty, and see clients struggle to balance financial constraints with the needs of their pets. Research shows that veterinarians face ethical dilemmas three to five times per week, and such moral stress is a primary contributor to compassion fatigue. When I decided to open GoodVets, I knew I wanted to prioritize the quality of life of my employees. I recognize that I cannot eliminate the inherent stressors of our field, but I can create a positive, team-oriented work environment, ensure that staff members have adequate appointment times, and emphasize the importance of work-life balance – and I believe we are doing just that!

Alexis Jones
Founder and CEO, Noted

Jones founded Noted to provide a trusted, reliable, hassle-free returns process, saving families time and money. Noted has a dual mission to help promote charitable donations for customers who are not able to return a product or prefer to gift it to a local charity. This year, Jones is determined to continue to build Noted as a brand and solution for families around the country.

What are you doing to make 2023 your year?

When starting a new business, the best thing you can do is keep an open mind on the vision and direction of the company. The world and people are always evolving and changing. Sometimes, the product or service turns out to be something entirely different than you originally thought – but it meets a more perfect need. At Noted, we have had those moments a lot since the beginning, but through the pivots and changes, we have found our clear vision. 2023 is the year we get to clearly execute on that vision. We have the right team, and it’s the right time to make Noted a success.

Shana Plott
CEO, Coleman Lew Canny Bowen

Plott has been a Partner at Coleman Lew Canny Bowen for over a decade and is the first female CEO in the company’s history. In her role, she manages all facets of the firm and leads executive-level search for her clients. Plott is heavily involved in the search industry on an international level and serves on the Council of the Americas for the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants. She is also committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in leadership and serves on the advisory board for the Director Diversity Initiative through the UNC School of Law.

What are your resolutions for the next decade?

Having been in the executive search industry for many years, I am less motivated today by my monthly paycheck and more motivated by the opportunity to support, and sometimes mentor, women who are coming along in our industry. I had the great benefit of strong mentors early in my career, and I feel a personal sense of responsibility to pay it forward to others. Therefore, I am intentional about allotting time for this endeavor. And in return, there’s no greater joy than having a front-row seat to the success of some pretty incredible women.

Ida Posner
Vice President – Strategic Planning and Chief of Staff, Railroad Development Corporation (RDC)

Posner supports RDC’s portfolio of businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, including serving as a Director of the Iowa Interstate Railroad, RDC-Deutschland, and Eurorail. In addition, she is a Principal at The Hawthorne Group and a Strategic Advisor to the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, where she leads a growing portfolio of investments in food waste solutions. She is passionate about transportation and food systems, and the intersection of the two.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Actively be looking for ways to help others, and accept help when it is offered to you. Social media does not reflect reality. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about something, anything, and then ask them as many questions as possible about that thing. Engage in conversation with those who have opposing opinions and perspectives to yours – you may not agree, but you will learn. The ability to listen is a superpower. When in doubt, choose adventure.

Michelle Sparrow
Founder and CEO, Sparrow’s Gourmet Snacks

As founder and CEO of a new family food manufacturing business, Sparrow pivoted from a career in healthcare to lead Sparrow’s. Alongside her husband and daughter, Sparrow is building a company that makes premium ingredient, all-natural, gluten-free foods. This year, Sparrow is focusing on corporate philanthropy, both financial and physical, while managing a company in rapid growth mode.

What is the most energizing aspect of your work today?

When we launched our new food company in 2021, we had the mission to manufacture all-natural, gluten-free foods that we’d serve our own family and the vision to provide meaningful jobs and training to an at-risk population. So far, we are making good on our food manufacturing goals: We’ve brought on several contract manufacturing customers and are developing an exciting grab-and-go food concept that we expect to launch in the fourth quarter. Most energizing to me, we are making strides toward our vision. We partnered with UrbanPromise in Camden, New Jersey, to identify candidates for employment that may not otherwise have many options. Currently, we have three full-time young adults and three part-time high school students working at our manufacturing facility that is located near the campus of UrbanPromise. Navigating the challenges that our employees face has necessitated a different kind of agility as a leader than I have experienced before. The short-term reward of our program has been a feeling of fulfillment, but the prospect of the long-term possibilities for these young adults is really exhilarating.

Nathalie Walton
Co-Founder and Exited CEO, Expectful

In 2020, Walton took over startup Expectful, a holistic wellness app for hopeful, expecting, and new moms. In her 28 months at the business, she pivoted the company to a more expansive opportunity and led it to a successful sale to Babylist, the leading vertical marketplace for baby. She did this by doubling revenue, building a cult-following brand, boosting press mentions, and building viral relationships in the influencer/celebrity community.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from a woman in your life?

Bozoma Saint John profoundly inspires me. I first read about Bozoma in The New York Times in 2017, and I was smitten: a Black woman executive who showed up as herself – it was revolutionary. In the six years I’ve followed Bozoma, I’ve devoured every type of content she produces, including her recent book, “The Urgent Life,” and all her masterclasses.

My favorite lesson from Bozoma is, “Bring your whole self to work because, that way, you can bring full ideas and the wholeness of your unique abilities.” I love this advice because before Bozoma, as a Black woman working in predominantly white environments, I didn’t dare to show up as myself. Once I started to embrace my uniqueness, I realized that my authenticity is my superpower, and I now encourage others to show up as their authentic selves.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to our Center for Women & Wealth.

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Up Next
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The Next Generation of Women Business Owners Infographic

In this issue’s infographic, we look at the state of women business owners and the next generation of women entrepreneurs – why they are starting businesses and how they are doing.

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