Back in November, NJBIZ held an event to celebrate our so-called 40 under 40—that is, the 40 professionals in New Jersey who are killing it in business.
Needless to say, more than a few women made the cut, and in the spirit of better-late-than-never, here's a rundown of the big winners. Congrats ladies; you inspire.
Wendy Cai-Lee, 39, is the senior managing director and head of the eastern region for East West Bank. The best business advice she's ever received: "Never present a problem unless you have an idea for a solution, and it doesn't have to be 'the' solution."
Jennifer Critchley, 38, was elected partner this year in the Roseland office of Connell Foley LLP. On top of her legal work and some laudable philanthropic efforts with the Junior Women's Club of Verona, she can also juggle — and I don't mean multitask, but really juggle.
Tricia Gasparine, 39, is a member of Wolff & Samson in West Orange. The best business advice she's ever received is something a lot of women might benefit from: "After I had my first daughter and was about to go back to work 'part time,' a former colleague and mother of two told me that 'part time' doesn't work. She said, 'You need to have full-time child care available because there will be times when you have to work full-time hours. There will also be times when you can take more time off to spend with your family, but you have to be flexible.' She was absolutely right."
Kiran Gill, 33, is the president of PARS Environmental Inc. in Robbinsville. She bought her company when she was still in her mid-20s and is now working to grow her business. Her most influential role model is her mom: "She went to medical school at the age of 13, has probably read every book in the library at least once, and she always taught me nothing is out of reach if you put your mind to it."
Bridget Hartnett, 38, is a member of Sobel & Co LLC, an accounting and consulting firm in Livingston. She has developed an expertise in the nonprofit sector and has become a mentor to her younger colleagues. She also strives to strike that elusive balance between life and work: "Times when I have to work long hours, I try to balance it out by coming in late one morning and joining my kids for breakfast, or attending an activity I might sometimes miss. I also try to determine what events (even small things) are important to them and try to make sure I am there for them."
Nichole LoPresti, 32, is vice president of Tonio Burgos & Associates of New Jersey, a lobbying firm in Trenton. She is a trustee and member of the New Jobs PAC, a pro-business political action committee, and assists in yearly fundraising events for the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey. One thing she wishes she had known earlier: "That I am, and always will be, my harshest critic. People don't judge you and your work nearly as hard as you do."
Karyllan Dodson Mack, 35, is a partner at K&L Gates LLP in Newark. She specializes in environmental law and oversees complex matters for clients, including companies alleged to be responsible for one of the nation's largest Superfund sites. One thing people might be surprised to learn about her: "I have a license to teach jazz, ballet and tumbling."
M. Courtney McCormick, 38, is general corporate counsel and corporate secretary at PSEG in Newark. She also serves as a trustee for the Bridge of Books Foundation, which distributes new and gently used books to underprivileged and at-risk children. One thing she wishes she knew earlier in her career: "Early mistakes and failures will prove invaluable later in your career, provided you are capable of learning from them and moving on."
Mary O'Dowd, 36, is the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health. Her most influential role models are her parents: "They brought me up with a strong sense of independence, an appreciation for the privilege of education, the importance of personal integrity, and the value of kindness and generosity. These are the principles that have guided me throughout my life and career."
Christine Patricia Oliveri, 37, is the vice president of client services and operations at I.Predictus in Parsippany. Her most influential role model was her grandmother: "For 91 years, she touched the lives of everyone she encountered through her kindness, her selflessness and her ability to always see the good in others and in life."
Kathryn Richardson, 38, is the vice president and administrator of long-term care at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus. She also competes in triathlons to raise money for Parkinson's Disease research and awareness. The app she can't live without? "The New York Giants app, of course! It keeps me up to date on my favorite sports team."
Christine Rufolo, 39, is a project manager at Jingoli-DCO in Lawrenceville. She's another triathlete, competing to raise money for Special Olympics New Jersey and other charities. The best business advice she's ever received came from her boss, Paul Ryan: "Sometimes what appears to be a huge, time-consuming task in one's mind is really simple, if you stop thinking about it and just actually do it."
Kristi Telschow, 30, is the president and CEO of Jersey Staffing Solutions LLC in Mount Arlington. Something people would be surprised to learn about her? "I own a race car and have never driven it on a racetrack."
Helen Tuttle, 39, is a partner in the labor and employment group at Drinker Biddle & Reath in Florham Park. One thing she wishes she had known earlier is the importance of self-promotion in the workplace. "In most workplace environments, your colleagues may be too busy to notice all that you do. And you should not expect them to 'just know' of your accomplishments. Find a way to appropriately self-promote and market yourself internally and externally."