Seagrave-Whittle, McCaughey among top honorees recognized in PBN’s 2021 Business Women Awards program

BRENDA SEAGRAVE-WHITTLE, left, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island’s chief marketing officer, and Tracy McCaughey, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island's managing director of compliance and ethics and corporate compliance officer, have been named Career Achiever and Outstanding Mentor, respectively, in Providence Business News' 2021 Business Women Awards program. / COURTESY HUGHES FIORETTI PHOTOGRAPHY / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
BRENDA SEAGRAVE-WHITTLE, left, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island’s chief marketing officer, and Tracy McCaughey, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island's managing director of compliance and ethics and corporate compliance officer, have been named Career Achiever and Outstanding Mentor, respectively, in Providence Business News' 2021 Business Women Awards program. / COURTESY HUGHES FIORETTI PHOTOGRAPHY / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

PROVIDENCE – In looking back on her 30-plus years working in health care, Brenda Seagrave-Whittle is in awe of those who worked with her and pushed to make health care accessible to as many as possible, especially in the last year.

Seagrave-Whittle, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island’s chief marketing officer who was named Providence Business News’ Career Achiever in the 2021 Business Women Awards program, said Thursday that the last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging across the area, has been difficult for many and it was when the organization – and society in general – faced the most challenging health issues in her lifetime.

She firmly believes that Neighborhood Health Plan is a part of the acknowledgement she has received from PBN because it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for “the incredible people” she works with daily.

“Our provider community, our community health centers, our hospitals, they are all an important part of this health care system,” Seagrave-Whittle said. “Now, we have to keep working to ensure that we improve health care every day.”

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Seagrave-Whittle also said the last year shined a light on inequities, and she pledges that Neighborhood Health Plan will spend the next period of time addressing those issues.

Tracy McCaughey, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s managing director of compliance and ethics and corporate compliance officer who was named Outstanding Mentor for this year’s program, said in her acceptance speech Thursday that every woman should be a mentor and every woman needs a mentor. She recommends that everyone leave open the opportunity to discover something new about themselves.

“Supporting each other is critical to our success and well-being, whether it’s in the workplace, at homes or in our communities,” McCaughey said. “I know I would not be where I am today without the help of other women.”

Seagrave-Whittle and McCaughey were among 28 leading women in various business, government and nonprofit sectors honored Thursday in a virtual ceremony for their work in their respective organizations. A special section highlighting each honoree will be published Friday as part of PBN’s May 28-June 10 print edition.

Other 2021 PBN Business Women award winners honored Thursday include:

Creative Services Industry Leader

JoEllen Fiorenzano, F.A.F. Inc. CEO and president

Creative Services Woman to Watch

Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing founder

Financial Services Industry Leader

Mary Leach, BankNewport executive vice president of consumer relationships

Financial Services Woman to Watch

Jess Hutchinson, Bank of America Corp. vice president and talent mobility adviser

Government/Quasi-Government Industry Leader

Doris Blanchard, R.I. Commerce Corp. SupplyRI assistant director

Government/Quasi-Government Woman to Watch

Amy Grzybowski, R.I. Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner executive director of R.I. Higher Education & Industry Centers

Health Care Services Industry Leader

Christine Gadbois, CareLink Inc. CEO

Health Care Services Woman to Watch

Jessica McCarthy, Care New England Health System vice president of marketing, public relations and communications

Professional Services Industry Leader

Diana Ducharme, Cervenka Green & Ducharme partner

Professional Services Woman to Watch

Melissa Shaw, Shaw Search Partners LLC founder and owner

Social Services/Nonprofit Industry Leader

Karina Holyoak Wood, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Rhode Island executive director

Social Services/Nonprofit Woman to Watch

Meghan Grady, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island executive director

Technical Services Industry Leader

Rebecca Chhim, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport director of cybersecurity undersea warfare combat system integration for submarines and USW systems

Technical Services Woman to Watch

Andrea Baranyk, Northeast Collaborative Architects LLC principal

The 2021 Achievement Honorees include (listed alphabetically):

  • Cassie Collinson, Cassie’s Cans Inc. owner
  • Christine Soave Crum, Gentry Moving & Storage owner
  • Lori Duquette, Duquette Family Eye Care Inc. owner
  • Sheryl Guglielmo, DiPrete Engineering Associates Inc. architect
  • Lisa Mattiello, Pranzi Inc. CEO
  • Kelly McShane, The Granny Squibb Co. LLC partner-owner
  • Susan Mocarski, Cleverhood LLC owner and principal designer
  • Carole Ann Penney, Penney Leadership LLC founder
  • Stephanie Robat, FR Engineering Group Inc. owner and president
  • Yemi Sekoni, Donahue Models & Talent LLC owner and director
  • Rita Danielle Steele, Steele Realty Consultants International LLC owner
  • Kaitlyn Szczupak, S&S Transmissions and Auto Repairs Inc. owner

The partner sponsor for PBN’s 2021 Business Women Awards program was Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.

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

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