“Trailblazers: Women of Courage.”
General Business

Trailblazers Share Advice During Women’s History Month at Berkeley College

Be fearless. Set boundaries. Lead with integrity. This was some of the advice given by leaders in government who shared their professional challenges, lessons, and victories during Berkeley College’s 12th Annual Women’s History Month Celebration, “Trailblazers: Women of Courage.” The event, which honored the late Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, was held this week at Berkeley College in Woodland Park.

Speakers included Lizbeth DeJesus, Woodbridge Councilwoman; Elissa Frank, Vice President, Government Affairs, New Jersey Business and Industry Association; Rosie Grant, Executive Director, Paterson Education Fund; Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara, Passaic County Commissioner; LaMonica McIver, Newark Council President; Marjorie Perry, CEO, MZM Construction; and Senator Holly Schepisi (R-39).

Teri Duda, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Berkeley College, shared a letter from Renee and Charles Oliver of the Sheila Y. Oliver Civic Association. Duda noted that Oliver had served as Berkeley College’s 2010 Commencement speaker, where she had been awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree.

“Sheila was a huge advocate for women’s organizations and movements, and was a fan of Berkeley College,” said the letter from the Civic Association. “We wish you all the best as you continue the amazing work you are doing, serving as a source of inspiration for future women leaders to live up to.”

In her keynote address, Perry spoke about courage, resilience, and fearlessness. Her Newark-based construction and transportation firm has completed major projects at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Liberty International Airport, and other Garden State landmarks.

“A trailblazer is someone who prepares the way for others to follow,” Perry said. “They are visionaries. The dreams have to be bigger than all of the obstacles. There were times that I doubted my vision. … But I’m not looking for accolades. I’m looking to make a difference.”

“Today, as part of our Women’s History Month observance, Berkeley College celebrates trailblazers,” said Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College. “As I reflect on today’s speakers, I see women who have truly made significant contributions with lasting impacts in their fields. Their involvement in today’s event opens the future to our students by instilling confidence and giving them the opportunity to see leaders just like themselves in prominent positions across the professional landscape.”

“Treat yourself with kindness. Tell yourself you can do things. Because you are here for a reason and you will make a difference if you believe in yourself,” said Elissa Frank, vice president, government affairs, NJBIA.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

Related Articles: