Anne Paradis’s strong leadership and ideals that people make the connection has been the backbone to MicroTek’s achievements and prepares the company for continued success. For more than 20 years, Paradis has held her place as a chief executive officer in the male-dominated industry of computer hardware. As CEO of MicroTek Incorporated, Paradis has succeeded in positioning the multi-million dollar, international manufacturer of custom cables and wire harnesses to become highly competitive. MicroTek is recognized for its first-rate products as well as its customer service and attentiveness to employees. Her concentration on providing a strong foundation for employees—especially those with disabilities—to be successful has translated into a corporate culture where individual differences and diversity are recognized, valued, and supported. Under her leadership, MicroTek has started a new initiative partnering with other area businesses to expand the number of work opportunities for people with disabilities. President of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts Board of Directors, Paradis is also an active member of the Women Presidents Organization, the Social Enterprise Alliance and the Human Rights Campaign.
Founder and publisher of the regional magazine The Women’s Times, Eugenie Sills is an entrepreneur, a community activist, and an advocate for women’s issues. In just over 15 years, she has taken the once bi-monthly publication to a 12-issues-per-year magazine with a combined, monthly circulation of 32,000. Sills’s publication has twice been awarded the New England-wide American Cancer Society Sword of Hope Award for excellence in print journalism relating to cancer. Throughout the years, Sills has been honored with Woman of Achievement awards from the Berkshire and Springfield chapters of Business and Professional Women, and she was named Entrepreneur of the Decade by Berkshire Enterprises and the Commonwealth’s Corporation for Business, Work and Learning.
In addition to her hours at The Women’s Times, Sills has dedicated herself to local communities. She was a founding member of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts Board of Directors and the Berkshire Creative Economy Council. She is a corporator for Lee Bank, a member of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors. Sills is often called upon to provide mentorship to aspiring entrepreneurs and young women embarking on new careers.
In 1995, Dianne Doherty, Sally Livingston, and Martha Richards attended the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. When they returned, they joined forces, forever changing philanthropy in western Massachusetts with the creation of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts. Since 1997, the organization has awarded over 1.2 million dollars in grants to nearly 100 programs in Western Massachusetts. These programs have helped at-risk girls enroll in and graduate from college, allowing them to step into leadership roles in schools, communities, and homes. Women have also benefited from grant-funded programs, which have enable them to purchase their first homes, design and implement new or additional community service programs, and transition families into safe and secure housing.
Today, Dianne Doherty oversees free and confidential business advisory services, training programs and information and referral to small businesses in the region as the regional director of the Western Massachusetts Regional Office of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network. Active in civic affairs in the Greater Springfield area, Dianne serves on the boards of the Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress, Bay Path College, The Community Foundation of Western Mass and the Regional Technology Corporation (RTC). Dianne is also a board member of Digital Divide Data, a U.S.-based company offering employment and education to disadvantaged youth in Cambodia and Laos.
Sally Livingston remains a perfect example of a risk-taker, and has held an array of roles in her professional life over the course of 30-plus years. She has served as an assistant professor of cultural history at Hampshire College and a fundraising consultant in New York. Livingston has even established her own investment firm. At age 61, she obtained her doctorate from Harvard University and today, she is a lecturer of history and literature at Harvard.
Since establishing the Women’s Fund with Doherty and Livingston, Martha Richards founded and currently serves as executive director of The Fund for Women Artists. She has over 30 years of combined experience as an arts administrator, and she has a life-long commitment to women's issues and women artists. Richards has served as a business advisor to many individual women artists and women-led arts organizations throughout her career. Martha has been honored as one of the “founding mothers” of the Women’s Fund and in April 2007, she was one of three Americans, along with Wynton Marsalis and Quincy Jones, nominated for the prestigious international Montblanc de la Culture Award.