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NEW honors Kelly Rolader, NEW Northwest Arkansas

NEW Northwest Arkansas

NEW Atlanta chair Kelly Rolader of The Coca-Cola Company received the Bobbie O’Hare Award for NEW Regional Leader of the Year and NEW Northwest Arkansas was named Region of the Year at The NEW Awards, Sept. 27, 2018 during the NEW Leadership Summit 2018 in Chicago.

The NEW Awards, hosted by entertainment journalist Tanika Ray, celebrate the leadership and achievements of more than 800 volunteers working to advance women in 21 regions across North America. Ten awards were announced during the evening, which opened with a performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir and included a message of congratulations by PepsiCo Inc. Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

Rolader “is a visionary who sees what can be — and makes it happen,” said Accenture’s Mike Gorshe, a past NEW Board member who presented the award alongside its namesake, NEW Board Member Emeritus Bobbie O’Hare of JOH. “She challenges others to discard old practices and reach for something new, something better, something stronger.”

NEW Northwest Arkansas was recognized as Region of the Year for building NEW membership and regional sponsorship by reaching out to men, Millennials and multi-ethnic leaders with specific programming and events. The region has promoted networking between NEW members in similar life stages and created a mentoring program that addresses women’s personal and professional pivot points and timely topics such as the MeToo Movement. “This region’s leaders are sparking positive change,” NEW President & CEO Sarah Alter said when presenting the award.

Pathfinder and innovator

Two awards — the NEW Pathfinder Award and the NEW Innovation Award — were presented for the first time. NEW Gen Committee Member and NEW Northwest Arkansas Co-Secretary Mary Rivard of Hormel Foods presented the awards.

The NEW Pathfinder Award, which recognizes a NEW region for finding creative ways to develop women and expand NEW’s influence, was awarded to the volunteer leaders of NEW Phoenix. “NEW Phoenix is notable for its nontraditional approaches to programming and engagement and for its relentless ingenuity in finding new avenues of growth and visibility,” Rivard said. Cathy Kloos of Albertsons Companies accepted the award on the region’s behalf.

The NEW Innovation Award was awarded to NEW Ambassador Nicole Wright of Acosta, who also serves as a NEW North Texas director of communications. “Nicole has been an idea incubator and a change agent who has propelled NEW and her region’s presence, especially through social media,” Rivard said while presenting the award.

The NEW Inclusion Award was presented to Melody Richard of The Coca-Cola Company for her efforts to engage more men; young, emerging leaders; and women of color in regional activities and programming.  Richard, who serves as NEW Northwest Arkansas co-chair of programming, “understands the importance of fresh perspectives and her inclusive mindset has taken events to the next level,” Rivard said.

Excellence awards

NEW also honored five region’s volunteer leaders with achievement awards, presented by NEW Vice President of Regions, Community and Marketing Julie Basile and NEW Vice Chair of Regions and Managing Director at Accenture, Beth Marrion.

“All of our regional leaders are doing heroic work — planning outstanding events that teach women and men new leadership skills, spread awareness of the career barriers women face, and spur thousands of new professional connections every year,” Marrion said.

NEW New York Metro was recognized for outstanding achievement in engaging and developing the next generation of leaders through college outreach. Lori Stockel of Nestlé Waters NA accepted the award on the region’s behalf.

The award to bringing NEW’s message of gender equality to life through exceptional programming went to NEW Cincinnati. Kroger’s Jill McIntosh accepted the award for the region.

NEW Northern California was honored with the award for outstanding achievement in establishing mentoring relationships. Julie Oxner of Simpactful accepted the award on the region’s behalf.

NEW Mid-Atlantic was recognized for the best use of social and traditional media to grow membership, support the region’s activities and amplify NEW’s message. The award was accepted by NEW Mid-Atlantic Co-Chair, Programs Micky Nye.

For building a strong sponsor community to engage more people and produce events that move NEW’s mission forward, the outstanding achievement award for sponsorship was awarded to NEW North Texas. Jaime Groce of Crossmark accepted the award on the region’s behalf.

“I’m so impressed by the commitment to women’s leadership and gender equality displayed by tonight’s honorees,” host Tanika Ray told the more than 1,000 NEW members attending The NEW Awards. “It’s so important to recognize women and men who speak out and lend their valuable time and talent to gender equality. There are so many people who have found the courage to, as U.S. Representative John Lewis says, ‘Make good trouble.’ They don’t all get awards, but they all should!”