Women of FIRE
The Commercial Record asked its loyal readers to nominate deserving women in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors for its 2017 Women of FIRE awards. From dozens of nominations, the judges narrowed it down to 14 women who stood out from the crowd. They have shown substantial success in their fields, they have demonstrated a commitment to professional and personal growth, and their work has enriched and advanced their fields of endeavor.
“There’s Amy, and then there’s everyone else,” reads one of Amy Arcano’s nominations for this year’s Women of FIRE Awards. Another nomination likens her to the protagonist in the TV series “MacGyver,” the top agent who rights all wrongs of the world, mostly through ingenuity.
A career banker, Essex Saving Bank’s Diane Arnold is not exactly someone you’d expect to find climbing ladders on construction sites. But Arnold, vice president, senior commercial loan officer and senior loan administration manager, counts many contractors among her clients, described the work zones as “incredibly enjoyable.”
Homebuyers need details – and not just property details.
One of the most important driving factors behind Susan Friedlander Calzone’s life – personally and professionally – is the ethical pursuit of purpose. She’s been fortunate to have a league of influential leaders in her life to help her work toward making an impact, but she also strives to connect with great leaders.
What would drive a fourth-grade teacher to become the CEO of a real estate holding company that currently has over $20 million in assets?
Virginia Giuffre is well aware that women are a rarity in finance. During her 21-year career as a financial adviser operating within Merrill Lynch, she’s actively sought to recruit women financial advisers to expand her practice. The problem? They’re very hard to find.
Bringing a genuine sense of caring to the demographic she serves, Kathy Godwin, New England team manager at Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, oversees a group of 17 in the Medicare division. Through client interactions, community outreach and presentations, her group keeps the public informed of the services and products available to seniors and those living with disabilities, and helps eligible clients to make the best choices.
Yolanda Lowe has a habit of taking opportunities and running with them. It’s a trait that served her well about 15 years ago, when a career she’d worked hard to build came to an end.
One of Lisa Mulvey-Cozzi’s nominators writes that it’s nearly impossible to buy or sell multifamily investment properties in Hartford County without knowing her name.
During her nearly 30 years at Guilford Savings Bank, Renee Pallenberg, currently senior vice president, retail banking and marketing officer, has done it all. Since starting as a teller, Pallenberg has been involved with everything from IT to customer service, branch administration to marketing management.
Working full-time both during her undergraduate days and while she pursued her MBA, Jennifer Rodriguez learned the value of a dollar and the importance of responsible spending.
When Dime Bank decided to upgrade more than 50 of its technology systems – a project the 150-year-old financial institution has since described as the most transformative and expensive project in its history – bank leaders knew just who should help lead the way: Crystal Sides.
Getting things done has always been a way of life for Alexis Trzcinski, who began dabbling in the business word at an early age. “As young as thirteen, I baked cakes, had a neighborhood pet care business, sold Avon, and even ran a pretty vast babysitting empire, if I do say so myself! I learned quickly, if you want something, go out and get it.”
Patti White joined Norcom in 2008, after 20 years in the legal industry. She now serves as president of Military Direct Mortgage, a division of Norcom Mortgage. She is a licensed MLO in 23 states.
Women of FIRE Archive
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