Network honors founders with History site

Network honors founders with History site

Network of Executive Women members and supporters are invited to share their memories and photos of the Network's early years on the NEW History webpage devoted to NEW founders and its first leaders.

The pioneers who helped launch the Network before its incorporation April 1, 2001, include founding president Michele Hanson of ExecuInsight, NEW CEO Joan Toth, Debbie Grosh of DLG Strategies, Joy Nicholas of JN Retail Connections, Jennie Jones of S&D Coffee, Jamice Obianyo of Ecolab, former GMA executive Hilary Hoting, Priscilla Donegan of Avanade, Susan Sato Ellerbe, Kimberly Betts of Deloitte, Betsy Cohen of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, the late Hedy Halpert, Andy Lapayowker, T.C. Richards and Laura Canty-Swapp of Catalyst. Read more about the industry's early champions of women's leadership.

These industry leaders held organizational meetings in Atlanta, New York and other cities in 2000-2001. They gave the Network its name, its mission and the push it needed to get started. Five thousand dollars in seed money was provided by The Minute Maid Company, whose CEO Don Knauss, now CEO of The Clorox Company, was an early champion. Ahold USA CEO Bill Grize was the first major male retail leader to lend his support.

NEW held a kick-off meeting at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference, Jan. 22, 2001, and the Network’s first official meeting was held April 2, 2001 at VNU headquarters in New York City. On June 1, 2001, the Network held its second official meeting and elected its first Board and Officer slate.

"Many of the founding members remain active with NEW today," Toth said. "Without their leadership, there would be no Network now. We salute the pioneers who had the courage to say, 'It’s Time,' when it so many felt it wasn’t."

Email Director of Communications and Engagement Rob Wray with your memories and photos.