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Women Who Inspire Us

Pushing Engineering and XWorx to Fly Higher: Elaine Vaught

Elaine Vaught was named Senior Vice President of Engineering and XworX in April 2006. Vaught writes, “People talk about having a five-year plan and a roadmap for their careers. I never had one…I don’t feel satisfied unless I connect with people in a personal way. I think about that every day on my way home. Did I help someone do a better job today?”

Tinkering Her Way to the Top: A Boeing Engineer Sees Her Career Soar

Curious to see how the family VCR worked, eight-year-old Tyria Riley took it apart, saw what she needed to see, and adroitly reassembled its many parts. Today, she is an electrical engineer in the St. Louis facilities of the largest technology company in the world—The Boeing Company.

Engineering Success At Every Level: Melissa Charles

Through multiple name changes, different locations and varied assignments, Melissa Charles has worked at L-3 for 13 and a half years. She provides guidance to other women (and some men) trying to find ways to balance work and home life. Suggesting ways for employees to approach their supervisors with modified schedules, effective ways of maximizing their time at work, and options for working some unclassified projects from home.

Building a Museum Working Women Can Call Their Own: Katherine Honey

Intrigued by the notion that many women do well in math and science in high school, yet do not pursue those fields in college, Katherine Honey did some digging. She created the Women at Work Museum in Attleboro, Mass., which honors the achievements of women and provides educational programs that promote leadership, economic independence, and careers in math, science, engineering, and technology.

Financing Futures Nell Merlino

Nell Merlino knows that while aspiring female entrepreneurs often have a host of innovative ideas, there is almost always one major obstacle blocking their path to success—Money.

Opening the World’s Eyes: Katherine Chon

While scanning an article detailing the plight of a group of South Korean girls who had been forced into prostitution at a massage parlor near her hometown, Katherine Chon couldn’t help but be struck by a sobering realization. She could have been one of those girls. Chon formed the non-profit Polaris Project, an organization that provides emergency shelter and comprehensive case management to victims of trafficking.

Break Bread, Strengthen Bonds: Sarah Moulton

Moulton is executive chef at Gourmet magazine, host of Sara’s Secret’s on the Food Network seven days a week, a frequent guest on ABC’s Good Morning America, and the author of several cookbooks, the newest of which, Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals, debuted in October 2005. When Moulton became a mom, she wanted comfort foods to create a warm and soothing atmosphere. She sees preparing meals as a distinct form of caring.

Volunteer With Style: Nancy Lubin and Dress For Success

Nancy Lubin exemplifies how vision and talent can be used to transform the lives of others. In 1996, she founded Dress for Success, using $5,000 that was left to her by her great-grandfather, Poppy Max, who had come to the United States from Eastern Europe to forge a new life. Armed with her experience as a law student, Lubin established the organization “to help low-income women take charge of their lives.”

Making Museums Cool: Edwina Meyers and Gail Velez

Meyers and Velez started Cool Culture, a non-profit program that connects low-income families from diverse backgrounds with more than forty museums, zoos, and botanical gardens in New York by educating them on why it’s hip, fun, and smart to take advantage of all that the city has to offer.

JJ Ramberg: Searching For Charitable Success

In 2005, journalist JJ Ramberg, who reports on business for MSNBC, partnered with her brother Ken, a dot com entrepreneur, to launch , a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half of its revenue to the charities and schools its users designate.

Amy Scott: Friendly Mentor

Amy Scott appreciates the value of women helping women and she exudes a unique blend of friendship and mentoring in the workplace every single day. As a managing partner at New York Life—one of the youngest people to be promoted to this top title—she supervises three partners and more than 70 agents while juggling her own family of three young children. Her colleagues say she’s a role model who inspires women to recognize that it is indeed possible to lead a balanced life and to be successful as well as compassionate.

Pamela Nicholson: Loyal Leader

You hear the stories all the time, from the mail room to the board room . They started as the intern and now they run the company. Enter Pamela Nicholson.

Linda Hall: Wise Winner

At 63, this Salt Lake City computer programmer knew she didn’t fit the profile of a traditional techie. Thirty years into her career, Hall received the worst possible news for a mature worker in the technology sector: She was being laid off. Four months after the layoff that turned her world upside down, Hall received an offer from one of the largest banks in the city as a programmer with regular nine to five hours and a $15,000 increase over her previous position.

Raising a Champion and Battling a Bully: Linda Armstrong

Linda Armstrong’s fight against an uphill battle in life while raising a future athletic superstar is the subject of her book, No Mountain High Enough – Raising Lance, Raising Me. “I always had a hope and dream that I could rise above it,” she says about the troubles in her life.

Racing to the Top: Beverly Kearney

When she was one of only two survivors out of five bodies pulled from the twisted metal of a car wreck in 2002, Beverly Kearney found herself having to rapidly embody the lessons she imparted to the athletes on her juggernaut track team at the University of Texas.

Refusing to be a Victim: Cindi Broaddus

She had already endured the deaths of her parents in a four-year span, a failed marriage, and the challenge of raising her three daughters as a single parent, but apparently all that hardship for Cindi Broaddus was preparation for the harrowing night of June 5, 2001.

An Astronaut and an Anchor: Mae Jemison and Linda Lorelle

Dr. Mae Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992, becoming the first African American woman in space. Linda Lorelle is an Emmy Award-winning anchor in Houston whose reports have not only touched lives but saved them.