Honoring women whose business or professional contributions significantly impact their industry and exemplify an understanding of the balance between outcome and responsibility in their workplace.

2015 honorees to be announced in April, 2015

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The 2014 HLA took place on June 4th at the Harvard Club of New York City. The program was hosted by Linda Baquero, Consumer Reporter – Better Get Baquero at NBC 4 New York. Award Honorees included Sharon Callahan, Maureen O’Connor-Cretella, Lori Epstein, Eileen O’Donnell and Nora Plesent.

2014 Highest Leaf Awards
Sponsors and Honorees


Sharon Callahan
LLNS, an Omnicom Group Company


For more than 25 years, Sharon Callahan has delved into all aspects of strategic healthcare marketing, and gained sharp skills in numerous disciplines including publishing, medical education, clinical programs, advertising, and digital. Sharon has spent her career helping clients to leverage the value of their messages through the seamless integration of multiple communication channels, making sure that every message is on point at every contact point.

From speaking at industry conferences, to authoring articles in professional publications, to managing global consolidations for blue chip healthcare clients, Sharon uses her boundless energy to promote good communications and maximize sales.

Maureen O’Connor-Cretella
Chief Executive Officer,
Center Sheet Metal, Inc.

Maureen O’Connor-Cretella is the Chief Executive Officer of Center Sheet Metal, Inc. (CSM) – a second generation family-owned sheet metal company located in the Bronx, New York. After 19 years with CSM, Maureen became owner and CEO of the company her father, James W. O’Connor, built along with his business partner, Joseph Gany.

CSM is known for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning construction in commercial facilities; their work can be found throughout the five boroughs, from hospitals like NYU Langone and Memorial Sloan Kettering, to other facilities such as the JetBlue International Terminal at JFK Airport and the new Yankee Stadium, to highlight a few.

Lori Epstein
VP, Advanced Markets, Financial Planning
and Special Needs Planning,
MetLife Premier Client Group

As Vice President of MetLife’s Advanced Markets, Financial Planning and Special Needs Planning organizations, Lori Epstein and her group are responsible for providing sophisticated estate, business and retirement planning case design assistance to top-tier representatives and financial planners. In addition, support for planning for families with special needs dependents, planning support for nontraditional couples and financial planning services are part of the package of solutions that she and her team bring to the table. Lori is a driving force behind MetLife’s policy standards and its value proposition as it relates to estate, business and retirement.

Eileen O’Donnell
Director, Health Advisory M&A Practice

Ms. O’Donnell is a Director in PwC’s Health Advisory M&A Practice. She has over 20 years of clinical healthcare experience and management consulting experience and supports health service clients across the country as they navigate the regulatory and market shifts of the Affordable Care Act. Her areas of emphasis include mergers and acquisitions, strategy planning, operations transformations, change management, contract negotiations, process improvements, clinical support, and GPO relationship management. Prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, Eileen spent many years working in various clinical and leadership positions within large academic medical

Nora Plesent
Founder and Managing Partner
Lexolution, LLC

Nora Plesent, the Founder and Managing Partner of Lexolution, LLC, a leading provider of temporary legal staffing services. Founded in New York in 2001, Lexolution has expanded to markets in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, providing the highest quality temporary legal staffing to the nation’s top law firms and corporations. She also founded the New Girls Network, an alliance of female leaders who promote the advancement of women in the legal profession. Nora frequently writes, speaks, and hosts seminars on cutting edge topics faced by the women who are redefining the legal marketplace.