Let’s hear it for girl power! These five women are making waves in their respective industries and have big plans for Boston this year.
After 30 years of working in the technology and public relations industries, Bobbie Carlton was tired of witnessing all-male panels at conferences and events. She created Innovation Women, an online speakers bureau for entrepreneurial and tech-oriented women, which promotes women for speaking positions at events all over the country. Carlton also founded and has been running Innovation Nights for 10 years.
The free, monthly product launch parties and networking events promotes visibility for innovative, locally based organizations. Somehow, Carlton also finds time to run her own firm, Carlton PR & Marketing, working exclusively with startups and small companies.
POTOR (President of Trustees of Reservations)
Barbara Erickson, through her role as the first female president and CEO of the Trustees of Reservations, is making historical preservation cool. Under Erickson, the Trustees’ mission emphasizes healthy lifestyle, connection to nature, and environmental action. Erickson has nearly doubled the size of the Trustees, bringing valuable cultural assets under its care. She was also instrumental in developing the Boston Public Market. For the near future, Erickson has turned her attention to the waterfront with a project intended to create green space for city residents, while also finding solutions to climate change threats.
The Fun Boss
Veteran of Barbara Lynch’s restaurant empire, Haley Fortier has mastered the art of the wine bar with her Downtown Crossing hangout Haley.Henry, which she runs with her managing partner Kristie Weiss. The bar opens any bottle on its wine list as long as you commit to drinking two glasses, which means you have a huge selection to choose from. In 2018, Fortier opened Nathálie in the Fenway. She took her same Haley.Henry model and tweaked it to focus on women, i.e. the chic space serves up small production, natural and female-produced wines, thereby promoting women in the industry.
The Balance Queen
Boston native and first generation American, Annissa Essaibi George, was first elected city councilor-at-large in 2015. Since then she’s been applying her experience as a teacher towards supporting the city’s school systems and aiding children dealing with homelessness. George chairs the Committee on Homelessness and Mental Health and the Committee on Education. When she’s not helping run the city, George operates her handcrafts store Stitch House in Dorchester, and she almost never misses one of her four kids’ sports games. This powerhouse is bound to make waves while running for re-election.
The Rule Maker
Shaleen Title does not take her position serving in the social justice seat of the Cannabis Control Commission lightly. Since 2017, she has won awards for her work, which focuses on bringing more women and people of color into the realm of drug policy reform. She is also a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. Title uses her background as an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations—an educational path she was inspired to pursue because of alarmingly high statistics about Black and Latino populations sentenced to incarceration due to drug minimums—to lend expertise to consulting firms. With cannabis legislation coming into effect, we expect to see a lot more of her this year.