FierceWomenProject uses contemporary portrait art to create a platform for young women and girls to discover and connect with accomplished women leaders from diverse fields. Through this platform, the women share their stories with the students to inspire, engage, and empower them.
At the center of the project is the mission of helping young women and girls create a mental portrait of their future selves -- envisioning what they would do with their lives if there were no limitations put on them, and then helping them get there. The project also engages men to actively support women and girls, and invest in their their success. The three core themes are: leadership development, mentoring, and men as allies.
Fierce Women are dynamic, confident, and kind. Fierce Women are accomplished leaders who mentor, and who are actively engaged in their communities. Fierce Women are connecting to, and supporting, the next generation of Fierce Women.
Latasha Wilson Batch, M.S., serves as the Executive Director of Best of the Batch Foundation. The role and the Foundation’s mission is her passion. The passion empowers Latasha to fulfill the vision of making the impossible, possible for countless area kids. The result is a community committed to becoming the “best of the batch” in life.
Latasha’s leadership has helped spearhead the growth of the Best of the Batch Foundation that reaches more than 3,300 boys and girls from financially challenged communities annually. Latasha’s direction has resulted in new and innovative educational and extracurricular activities which collectively encourage children to become engaged and active participants in their education and in after-school activities. She is a constant presence at “The Clubhouse” and the participants know that they can talk with her about anything. She has developed special programs for young girls and women with emphasis on education, sports and growing up. The most important component of these relationships is being present.
Wilson Batch has been honored by the Get Involved! Woman of the Year, Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania Woman of Distinction, National Association of Women Business Owners “Make the Connection Award,” Pittsburgh Courier Women of Excellence and is a recipient of the UPMC Center for Inclusion “Champion Award.” She serves on several boards, including Strong Women Strong Girls, Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Women and Girls Foundation, Hill House Association, Off the Field Players’ Wives Association, and more.
Adrienne Phillips, M.D. I am a hematologist/oncologist and conduct research in leukemia, lymphoma, and bone marrow transplantation. I see patients in my clinical practice and also teach medical students, residents, and fellows. I’ve had an inquisitive nature since elementary school and currently research a rare blood cancer caused by a virus. I love conducting this research because I am constantly asking questions, tackling problems, and solving puzzles. This satisfies my inquisitive side. Second, I get to work and collaborate with experts in a variety of fields which raises my knowledge base and forces me to think creatively. Lastly, for a blood cancer where people generally survive less than one year, research allows me to remain hopeful and advance medical science to help my patients live longer. As an academic physician, I also get to travel, present my research to new audiences, and learn from those around me. No day is ever the same and I like the frenzy of it all.
Lynn M. Banaszak is executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at Carnegie Mellon University, and recipient of the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award. DHTI was created to invest in innovation that will increase the affordability, simplicity and accessibility of health care. Lynn’s career includes extensive experience in the commercialization of university innovation, start-up company formation, seed and venture capital development, technology-based economic development initiatives, investor and community relations and the facilitation of many public/private collaborations. Lynn was appointed to Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto's Transition Team and is a founding Board member of Pittsburgh Chapter of Women in Bio, a founding member of the ACG Women's Leadership Forum and is an advisor for the Pitt Coulter Program. She is on the Board of Directors of Coro Pittsburgh and in 2013; she was the inaugural instructor for the $5M Pitt Coulter Program Bench to Bedside course to educate scientists and clinicians about commercialization of innovation. She is a commercialization mentor for AlphaLab Gear and a 2014 SXSW V2V entrepreneurs coach, Advisory Board member for the 2015 SXSW Impact Pediatric Health Startup Pitch Competition
Stephanie Morimoto has 16 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and nonprofit organization management. Currently, Stephanie oversees New Leaders' expansion, development, and marketing; working to fulfill the organization's mission of high academic achievement for all children through transformative school leaders.
Terri Alpert is a serial entrepreneur and consumer marketer. Currently the CEO of Stony Creek Brands, LLC which operates two direct-to-consumer companies, Uno Alla Volta, LLC and Cooking Enthusiast, LLC from a common infrastructure. Alpert’s first entrepreneurial venture was Professional Cutlery Direct(PCD) founded in 1993 with $8000.
Jennifer S. Gass, MD is Chief of Surgery at Women & Infants Hospital, Director of the Breast Fellowship at the Breast Health Center, as well as Clinical Assistant Professor at Brown Medical School from 1993-present. She is Board Certified in both general surgery and critical care.
Preetha Basaviah, MD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University where she serves as Assistant Dean of Pre-clerkship Education, Director of the Practice of Medicine Course (two-year doctoring course) for Stanford medical students, an Educator for CARE (Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, Advocacy), and as inpatient and outpatient attending.
She received a BA and MD from Brown University. She completed a Primary Care Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard University, and she then served as a Primary Care Chief Resident for the Beth Israel Hospital residency training program at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, located in West Roxbury, MA. After completing residency, Dr. Basaviah pursued a fellowship in medical education at the Harvard Institute for Education and Research as well as a faculty position as Associate Firm Chief and hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University. While at Harvard, she received the Lowell B. McGee Teaching Award and the Katherine Swan Ginsburg Award for humanism in medicine.
Kimberly Gill, News Anchor
I got my start in TV in my home state of South Carolina working for CBS affiliate WBTW News 13 in the Florence/Myrtle Beach market. While there, I solo anchored three hours of morning weekday news and produced and anchored News 13 at Noon.
I have volunteered my time to numerous charitable and civic organizations over the years including the Junior League of Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I've served on a lot of boards too -- just too many to list here.
I've been fortunate enough to be recognized in newspapers and magazines for my work in front of the camera and in the community. The Ohio Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame named me its Personality of the Year for 2009. I'm also a two time Emmy award winner. I have a Journalism degree from The University of South Carolina. I also hold a Master’s degree in Business from Ashland University, Ashland, OH I paid my way through college by driving 18-wheelers for FedEx. On the weekends I fueled airplanes for Eagle Aviation. One day, I'd like to learn to fly. In case you're wondering, I ALWAYS keep my Class A commercial truck driver's license current - just in case this TV gig doesn't work out.
Dr. Tanya Hagen, UPMC Sports Medicine
"The Fierce Women Project, for me, is a motivating and gracious reminder to always pay it forward; to keep the fire burning that was once ignited within me by an extraordinary woman that identified my ability, invested in me and brought visibility to what I could not see, so that I too, could pass the light along." - Amelia Papapetropoulos, business owner and 2014 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient
Rona Nesbit, Executive Vice President, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Mary Ann Dunham, Attorney and Athena Award winner http://blog.larrybodine.com/2010/03/articles/sales/mary-ann-dunham-2010-woman-rainmaker-of-the-year/
Sherree Goldstein, Business Owner
Valerie Sutton, Director of Career Services, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Mary Murrin, Board Chair, Quantum Theatre; Social Investment Team Lead, Chevron U.S.A.
Emily Bowman Pompei, Business Owner