Class of 2005
“Doing the right thing” is a phrase that describes the actions and life of Joanna Lau. Born in Hong Kong, she is an entrepreneurial dynamo who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to solve problems, save companies, and take on new challenges. The CEO of Lau Technologies based in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1990 she took over a struggling company specializing in defense technology for the U.S. Army and Air Force and transformed it into a model of profitability and innovation. By 1994, Lau Technologies became a $49 million dollar company. Selling the defense contracting business to Curtiss-Wright Corporation in 2001, Lau Technologies is now a debt and equity financing and consulting firm. As a woman succeeding in the male-dominated defense industry, she has gained the attention and friendship of four-star generals and U.S. presidents. Possessed with outstanding leadership capabilities, she balances her success with a commitment to her employees. In fact, when purchasing her first company, it was her employees who stepped forward to help invest in the company and bring it to financial stability. Such was the faith they had in her management. She has received numerous business and civic awards including the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by INC and Ernst & Young, as well as the National Turnaround Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year.
As a young girl growing up in the small town of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, population 2,500, Donna Shirley was fascinated by flying, space travel and Mars. Encouraged by her parents to follow her dreams, she entered college to study aeronautical engineering. When told by her advisor that “Girls can’t be engineers,” she stated, “Well, yes, I can.” It’s that “can do” attitude that propelled her to be the manager of the Mars Exploration Program. In 1997, she and her team achieved two of the greatest distinctions in the U.S. Space Program: the successful landing of the Mars Pathfinder and the Sojourner Rover on Mars, and the Mars Global Survey successfully orbiting the red planet. Managing teams assigned to developing space stations, robotics, and automatic surface vehicles, she has overseen budgets from $25 million to $1.6 billion. Entrepreneur, adventurer, understanding big sister, spokesperson, and bureaucratic warrior are qualities that have been used to describe her leadership style. She has been inducted into the United States Academy of Achievement, named Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine, and profiled as part of a PBS special entitled Masters of Technology. A visionary who embraces and advocates creativity, she is not afraid to empower people in order to go beyond their limits, and, like the universe she explores, to reach for the stars.
JUDY REEVES '65
A woman of great integrity and personal convictions, Judy Reeves has risen in the ranks of the real estate field to be one of the most highly regarded industry leaders in the country. A graduate of Bay Path College, she began her career as an office administrator and relocation specialist in Montclair, New Jersey in 1982. Through hard work and tenacity she achieved the admiration of her peers, culminating in her recognition in 2004 as one the 25 most influential women in New Jersey business by NJ Biz magazine. Currently, the executive vice president and chief operating officer for NRT Incorporated, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company with an annual sales volume of over $200 billion, she is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of NRT’s local operating companies and its nearly 1,000 offices throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Known for her passionate zeal to take an idea and make it reality, she daringly proposed and then led a team in 2000 to reengineer her company to provide more effective customer service. Her risk-taking efforts resulted in the company attaining a stronger long-term position, both financially and operationally. In 1998, she received the Bay Path College Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary professional accomplishments. A woman of tremendous principles, one of her most rewarding accomplishments is the devotion, love and respect of her family—her husband, John, and three children.