CharterCARE Foundation’s Iacono among 28 honorees for PBN’s Business Women Awards program

PROVIDENCE – Paula Iacono, executive director for the CharterCARE Foundation, has been selected by Providence Business News as this year’s Career Achievement winner among local businesswomen, heading a group of 28 honorees in the 2023 Business Women Awards program.

The annual program recognizes leading women in various business, government and nonprofit sectors and their work for their respective organizations. Iacono and this year’s Outstanding Mentor, Marianne Monte, chief people and administration officer for Shawmut Design and Construction are among 16 industry leaders and women to watch, along with 12 achievement honorees, unveiled on Wednesday.

The honorees will be recognized May 25 in a lunchtime ceremony at noon at the Providence Marriott Downtown for their work in their respective organizations. Tickets for the event can be purchased on A special section highlighting each honoree will be published as part of PBN’s May 26-June 8 print edition.

Career Achievement: Paula Iacono

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Iacono has been with the CharterCARE Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofit agencies to provide health care services and programs to improve Rhode Islanders’ lives, for 15 years. In her time there, she worked with volunteers and donors from all three CharterCARE entities to establish a more comprehensive and focused philanthropic arm. Iacono has also served on multiple community boards, including Make A Wish of Rhode Island and the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island.

Outstanding Mentor: Marianne Monte

With Shawmut, Monte was vital behind the construction firm’s partnership with Roger Williams University to develop talented underrepresented students majoring in engineering and construction management. The resulting Shawmut Scholars Program provides three RWU students with four-year scholarship support, paid internships at Shawmut, career and professional development, and an additional stipend for housing and transportation costs. Monte also helped develop at Shawmut various strategies to support diversity, equity and inclusion at the company.

In addition to Iacono and Monte, the other 2023 PBN Business Women Award winners are:

Creative Services Industry Leader

Judith Lynn Stillman, Rhode Island College artist in-residence and professor of music

Creative Services Woman to Watch

Ally Maloney Winzer, Maloney Interiors principal

Financial Services Industry Leader

Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, Bank of America Corp. senior vice president and private client advisor

Financial Services Woman to Watch

Elizabeth Desautel, JPMorgan & Chase Co. vice president

Health Care Services Industry Leader

Debra Reakes, Coastal Medical Physicians director of quality

Health Care Services Woman to Watch

Rachel Best, Small Steps Therapy LLC clinical director and speech language pathologist

Legal Services Industry Leader

Karen Grande, Locke Lord LLP partner

Legal Services Woman to Watch

Elizabeth Manchester, Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP partner

Professional Services Industry Leader

Judith Chace, Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty owner and broker

Professional Services Woman to Watch

Amanda Langlais, Falvey Insurance Group marketing manager

Social Services/Nonprofit Industry Leader

Nina Pande, Skills for Rhode Island’s Future executive director

Social Services/Nonprofit Woman to Watch

Angelyne Cooper-Bailey, Cranston Municipal Court associate judge, R.I. Department of Labor and Training legal counsel and Roger Williams University School of Law adjunct professor

Technical Services Industry Leader

Kelly Mendell, MIKEL Inc. president

Technical Services Woman to Watch

Alison Wicks, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport policy division head and contracting officer

The 2023 Achievement Honorees are (listed alphabetically):

  • Dawn Apajee, City Personnel Inc. owner
  • Tracey Beck, The Beck Cos. co-owner and chief operating officer
  • Mary Blue, Farmacy Herbs LLC owner and founder
  • Audrey Finocchiaro, Nitro Bar co-founder
  • Meghan Gamboa, Ageless Innovation LLC co-founder and senior vice president
  • Kristen Gossler, American Trophy and Supply Inc. president
  • Marisa Head, Marisa’s Skin Care LLC owner and founder
  • Haverhill Leach, Haverhill Leach LLC founder, owner and designer
  • Jo Lee, PopUp Rhody founder
  • Shirley Moore, Be Moore Interpreting LLC owner
  • Enith Morillo, Cadoret Global Inc. principal consultant
  • Milena Pagan, Rebelle Artisan Bagels LLC owner

Amgen Rhode Island and Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage Inc. are the sponsors for PBN’s 2023 Business Women Awards program.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.