BEDFORD, NH – Six exceptional women were honored February 15 as NH Business Review’s 2018 Outstanding Women in Business. The women – Kim Cadorette, Susan Ryan, Mary Johanna Brown, Amanda Grappone Osmer, Nicole Brassard Jordan and Lisa Maria-Booth – were presented their awards at the Manchester Country Club in Bedford.
The 13th annual Outstanding Women in Business Award, presented in association with Eastern Bank, honors the achievements of women who share a strong sense of self, success-driven work ethic, and leadership qualities business professionals – men and women alike – should strive for. In addition to the Outstanding Women in Business Award, NH Business Review also presented Girls at Work with the Advocate for Women’s Empowerment Award, which honors an organization that has made a lasting impact on empowering women and girls in the Granite State.
“The individuals we honored demonstrate tremendous drive, focus, talent and leadership,” said Jeff Feingold, editor of NH Business Review. “We congratulate this year’s recipients for their achievements thus far and, no doubt, what they will accomplish within their companies and communities for years to come.”
In addition to accepting a plaque during the February 15 celebration, each recipient was presented a video message from colleagues and friends sharing heartfelt stories, memories and recognition for her achievements and her path to becoming a leader. Links to each video are included below.
2018 Outstanding Women in Business Award Recipients
Kim Cadorette, Director of Operations, BAE Systems
Kim Cadorette recognized the opportunity for upward career movement in the high technology field early on, and began working for Sanders Associates, a local manufacturer later acquired by BAE Systems, as a high school graduate. In her 39-year career at BAE Systems, Cadorette went on to lead a team of 1,000 employees to produce products ranging from electro-optical to radio frequency technologies. Currently, as director of operations for BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems division, Cadorette is responsible for the execution of more than $100 million in company investment to meet its anticipated five-year growth in the company’s electronic warfare product line as well as other product lines.
Susan Ryan, President and CEO, Spaulding Youth Center
As a young adult coming out of a difficult childhood, Susan Ryan made the determination that only she could decide if she wanted a good life. Rather than being a victim of her circumstances, she could use her experiences to empathize with and teach others. That philosophy has aided Ryan throughout her 30-year career working in executive roles at nonprofits, health care, information technology and financial services. Today, Ryan serves as the president and CEO of the Spaulding Youth Center in Northfield, a 150-year-old organization that provides therapeutic residential and educational services to approximately 100 students, half of whom live on campus until they are reunited with their families or rejoin their community.
Mary Johanna Brown, Owner, Brown & Company Design
Mary Johanna Brown considered herself an unlikely champion for gender equality – until she learned about women’s low participation rates in business owner and executive roles. Brown was asked to join the state’s Commission on the Status of Women and led a series of actions over a 12-year period that consolidated New Hampshire’s dispersed women’s organizations. Brown helped negotiate the merger of the Commission with the NH Women’s Lobby and the New Hampshire Women’s Policy Institute into the New Hampshire Women’s Initiative. Years later, that organization merged with the Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, creating the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, where Brown served as the chair until 2017.
Amanda Grappone Osmer, Director of Sales, Grappone Auto Group
As the fourth generation-owner of Grappone Auto Group, Amanda Osmer led a dramatic change in the way Grappone conducted business. Tired of the nontransparent manner in which most auto dealerships sell cars, in 2013 Osmer decided to eliminate the company’s finance department, end sales commissions and advertise final prices on every vehicle. By 2017, the company reported a sales turnover of just 10 percent — the national average is 73 percent. Those results also stem from Osmer’s commitment to training employees and reinforcing the importance of body language and how to read customer’s moods, aligning her business practices with her personal values.
Nicole Brassard Jordan, Director of Sales, Marketing, Merchandising and Warehousing, New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC)
Joining NHLC in 1988, Nicole Brassard Jordan progressed upward in the ranks from cashier to assistant manager to manager of the Bedford NH Liquor & Wine Outlet, where NHLC was expanding its wine offerings. When Jordan became NHLC’s wine buyer in 1999, there was no formal wine education for NHLC employees and she immediately sought to educate, bringing in leaders from the wine industry and spending much of her personal time researching. Approaching 30 years with NHLC, Jordan now serves as the director of sales, marketing, merchandising and warehousing. She has been instrumental in establishing annual events such as New Hampshire Wine Week and the Winter Wine Spectacular that benefits Easterseals.
Lisa Maria-Booth, Co-Founder, Fortitude Health and Training
While working as a stock broker, Lisa Maria-Booth used her lunch breaks to teach aerobics at the gym nearby. What started as a hobby became a passion and full-fledged business. After working for several years conducting personal training and group training sessions around central New Hampshire, Maria-Booth and her business partner Danielle Bicknell founded Fortitude Health and Training in 2012. In 2016, Maria-Booth and her husband expanded their footprint with two additional businesses: Green Bike Organic Smoothies and FortCycle, central New Hampshire’s only indoor cycle studio. Offering 9,000 services to 38,000 participants – this nontraditional mix of fitness programs grew revenue in each of the businesses, from zero to seven figures within six fiscal years.
Girls at Work (2018 Advocate for Women’s Empowerment Award)
Only a handful of girls have had the opportunity to learn how to use power tools safely. Founded by Elaine Hamel and headed by Mel Gosselin, a previous Outstanding Woman in Business winner, Girls at Work empowers girls with tools to overcome adversity and build confidence to face life challenges. The experience helps girls recognize their capabilities and find excitement in working as part of a team toward a common goal.
The 2018 Outstanding Women in Business Awards are sponsored by Eastern Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Gold Sponsor); RJ Finley (Hors D’oeuvre Sponsor); Ketal One (Cocktail Sponsor); RiverWoods Exeter (AWE Award Sponsor); Edify Multimedia (Video Sponsor); and General Sponsors: Turnstone Corporation, Berry Dunn, NH Women’s Foundation and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.