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2018 Women of the Year Celebration

June 8, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

$35 – $60

You Are Beautiful

A Celebration of Women


June 8, 2017

5:30 in the evening

The Boylston Room

Each year, WBOA recognizes and honors a member as the Business Woman of the Year, a woman who has been inspirational and has “stood out” in both her business and personal life. This year, we are honoring two special women to share the award:

Business Women of the Year: Zesta Style

Anita Eliason and Jennifer Roberge co-founded Zesta Style in 2010 merging their strengths together to consult with women on branding their own personal styles. Their unique collaborative process allows clients to see themselves as the ultimate icon of their brand and the fuel behind their business and personal success.

Zesta Style brings women’s inner beauty outward thorough interactive events, speaking engagements, pop-up boutiques and one-on-one consultations.

Anita Eliason


Anita’s sense of style won her awards and accolades while still in high school. This sense of style helped Anita become a female industry leader in the men’s corporate worlds of Eli Lilly and Hewlett Packard. In motherhood, her entrepreneurial spirit and creativity combined when she designed her own children’s clothing line. This grew into a women’s clothing line featured at juried New York shows and her own store: Anita Eliason Designs. Anita’s boutique was described in the Republican newspaper as “New York Chic meets Valley Laid Back”; an oasis for women to find their inner beauty from the everyday to the important occasions of their lives. Anita’s extensive knowledge of clothing construction has earned her a reputation as a “magician” when it comes to alterations. “Anita has a true gift for bringing once loved but dated clothing back to life” said a follower of Anita’s.

Zesta Style is the natural extension of Anita’s talents in the worlds of style, color and creativity. Anita is a Grinspoon Award recipient.

Jennifer Roberge


Girlfriend in your Closet was borne out of Jennifer’s desire to combine many passions: style, fashion, visual arts and the exhilaration that comes from unlocking a woman’s beauty. New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) saw in Jennifer a budding stylist. There she honed her craft of applying visual aesthetics to fashion design. As a manager at Bergdorf Goodman, Jennifer put together outfits for women in many walks of life and from around the globe. It wasn’t long before Eileen Fisher added Jennifer to her team. There Jen influenced the evolution of the line and its indoctrination to a generation of women seeking to be clothed in luxury and quality. As Director of Sales for Saundra Messinger, Jennifer saw the world of accessories from the inside. This brought Jen’s fashion experience full circle. An industry expert noted “Jennifer’s natural ability to pull together custom looks for individuals has contributed to her longevity and success in the fashion industry.” All of Jennifer’s previous worlds have morphed into her doing what she loves through Zesta Style and Girlfriend in your Closet.

Jennifer is a member of the Western Mass Coaching Alliance.

Anita has been an experienced small business owner for many years, both as a clothing designer, as a partner in Zesta Style and as a business consultant with MSBDC. I have always admired her ability to tackle complex issues and present positive solutions. Anita is always ready to jump in to help, whether creating our new educational programming or picking up a paintbrush to help transform our new space. I believe she has given a great amount of energy to our organization and is very deserving of this recognition.

Anita represents what is best about the WBOA. She gives 100% to every project she is part of with the goal of elevating our members to become a better version of themselves. She is creative, kind, and always generous with her time (hey that rhymes) … Anita would approve.

Anita has been so passionate and dedicated with WBOA, she has gone beyond the call of duty to help further the vision for our group. She adds so much value to our events with her knowledge and insight.

Anita and Jen contribute so much to the organization.

Congratulations to nominees Susan Allen, Gretchen Duhaime, and Debra Sorcinelli!

We also recognize and honor a new member who has shown an immediate interest in involvement with WBOA.


Outstanding New Member

Maxine Bernstein, Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services

Maxine Bernstein has dedicated her career to making sure that everyone she knows can enjoy a secure retirement. With more than 25 years of experience in financial services, Bernstein has helped her clients sleep better at night knowing their hard-earned savings will be there for their lifetimes. She is an active volunteer and holds leadership positions on the boards of several local business and service organizations. A native New Englander, Bernstein resides in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters.

Maxine is a solid business woman who gives everything she does, Her ALL!!! She is positive and has taken WBOA to a new level!

Maxine joined WBOA and immediately hit the ground running by accepting a leadership position. Her professionalism is always evident and her willingness to cheerfully volunteer for a variety of roles is a great quality. Maxine attends many events and always pitches in wherever needed. She listens thoughtfully and I have never heard her speak negatively.

Maxine has jumped right in and become involved in WBOA. She is at the desk to great and get to know everyone. Also a smile and great inspirational verses. Goes out of her way to set people at ease and improve your day.

Congratulations to nominee Dr. Sue Keller!

Our four community awards recognize business women in the Pioneer Valley, and our members nominate recipients from WBOA and the community.

Woman of Influence

Amy Woolf, Amy Woolf Color Consulting

Amy is a woman of influence on many levels. She has passionate views about color, life, and society. Her impact on the community includes her spearheading PodCamp for the past 3 years.

Congratulations to nominees Anita Eliason, Pam Howland, Betty Lichtenstein, Irma Medina, Cynthia Sheridan Murphy, Jennifer Roberge and Pam Victor

Special Mentor

Julia Mines, Julia Mines Coaching

Julia is relatively new to WBOA but she has made a huge impact on our membership and the community. Her involvement with TEDxEasthamptonWomen and her passion about WBOA programing has influenced me to become more thoughtful about how I view my world. She has become the voice in my head when I am challenged … I hear her saying, “there there puppy” and it makes me smile 😉

Congratulations to nominees Bonnie Diamond, Nancy Kotowitz, and Lynne Paterson

Spirit Award

Jackie Griswold, Heartfelt Gifts

Jackie sparkles whenever she enters the room. Her artwork tells many stories that encourage us to be real and to be bold!

Congratulations to nominees Sandra Costello, Anita Eliason, Megan Joy, Ellen Pollock, and Debbie Sorcinelli

Quiet Achiever

Susan Allen, Susan Allen Financial

She is very low key but gets things done. You may not always notice how involved she is but she has her hands in several important areas and makes a difference.

Congratulations to nominees Freda Brown, Colleen Campbell, Marie Jablonski, Christine Southworth and Ida Tassinari

Your Support Helps Us Recognize These Amazing Local Women Business Owners

Event Details

Cocktail Hour

6:00 – 7:00

Our cocktail hour features:

  • Cash bar
  • Time and space for socializing with other attendees
  • The chance to win luxurious gift items in our “basket” raffle
  • Delicious hors d’ouevres and food stations with something for everyone

Recognizing Our Honorees

7:00 – 8:00

Our ceremony will recognize:

  • Our outgoing and incoming Leadership teams
  • Members who have reached 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 years’ service
  • Karen Cardoza memorial
  • Our special honorees

Dessert and Coffee

8:00 – 10:00

The party continues after the ceremony with dessert, coffee, raffle winners and we’ll enjoy a special playlist from Jen & Anita.

Thank you to our Sponsors



June 8, 2018
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
$35 – $60
Event Categories:


The Boylston Room East
122 Pleasant Street
Easthampton, MA United States
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