Betsy Hollo, Morristown
When Betsy Hollo was a girl growing up in Pelham Manor in Westchester County, NY, she discovered something about herself – all kinds of people interested her. She led cheers, swam competitively, and played field hockey, but she also wrote for her high school newspaper; her circle of friends was never limited to one clique or team.
This interest has served her well throughout her life, especially now as a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice, but it didn’t immediately lead there.
After majoring in English from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Betsy hoped to get a job in publishing, and landed a job as an editorial assistant for the photo department at Newsweek, where her responsibilities included assisting in pulling photos for the magazine’s lead stories. One of her most vivid memories from that time was seeing the first photos taken involving a hijacked airplane.
When opportunities at Newsweek didn’t present themselves, she interviewed and was hired into a management training program that was highly selective (only 10 applicants out of 200 were chosen) at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She soon found herself writing the Port Authority’s newsletter and was exposed to a variety of different departments, one of which was the Planning Department where she worked with two managers who became invaluable mentors to her.
After a year in the training program Betsy narrowed her choices to two: Public Affairs and Human Resources. Betsy quickly realized that a career in Public Affairs would not suit her because “I learned that I was not good at talking and saying nothing.” The Port Authority’s Human Resources Department suited her better. She was put in charge of conducting job classifications, determining compensation for management level positions and evaluating organizational needs for the World Trade, Public Affairs Departments, and the Office of the Chairman.
It was at her next Human Resources position at Standard Brands where she met her future husband, Tom Hollo, who worked for the International Division at that time. They began a five-year, long distance relationship, with Tom working in Puerto Rico and Athens, Greece while Betsy worked in Wilton, Connecticut, directing human resources for the Corporate Technology Group. When the newly created company of Nabisco Brands constructed a state-of-the-art R&D lab in East Hanover, NJ, Betsy and Tom moved to NJ.
They chose to live in Morristown because they loved its mix of historical, commercial, and residential life and it enabled Tom to commute into the city for his Wall Street job. When RJ Reynolds, the new owner of Nabisco Brands, eliminated Betsy’s job, she channeled her HR expertise into Career Consulting, first at AJ O’Connor & Associates and later at Manchester Partners International. In this role she interfaced with managers who were in transition, helping them as they moved from one job to another.
In 1995 she began a Master’s degree program in Addictions Counseling at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, and completing the academic requirements, earned her Master’s in 1998. This was followed by several years of providing clinical counseling and case management to clients, including running a support group for 25 9/11 families, passing the national licensing exam, which led to Betsy’s earning her license in 2006. She began her private practice, as a Licensed Professional Counselor soon after, and today has an office on Dehart Street in Morristown. She counsels adults and couples and specializes in women’s issues, life transitions, grief, mood disorders, anxiety and stress.
Betsy has served on the Morris Area Red Cross as Board President, launched the Morristown Festival of Books, and Lunch with the Authors for the Junior League of Morristown. She joined Impact 100 Garden State four years ago and has served on a grant review committee; Betsy currently serves on our Nonprofit Outreach and Annual Awards Meeting committees.
Betsy embodies the type of person that Impact 100 seems to attract – a woman with a deep desire to help others. Betsy sees that her ability to help others is exponentially strengthened thanks to her Impact 100 Garden State membership because “Impact 100 is the power of one multiplied by three hundred.” We couldn’t agree more!
By Debby Seme
Trish Grushkin, Morristown
The first thing that you notice about Trish Grushkin is the warm Irish lilt to her voice which instantly makes you want to sit down and have a cup of tea with her. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Trish is one of six children and attended the University of Dublin where she majored in Pure Economics.
Her plan to do post-graduate work in business got put on hold when a manager at Price Waterhouse Ireland believed that Trish had the perfect set of skills to be their Management Information Specialist. In that role, Trish worked with partnership accounts, analytics, metrics, employee surveys and even planned the annual Christmas party every year.
While at PW a mentor taught her a valuable lesson: don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution. If you’ve ever worked on a committee with Trish, you will have witnessed that lesson put into practice.
Wanting a better opportunity for advancement, Trish landed a job at Credit Suisse in London in Human Resource Finance, having earned her accounting accreditation while at PW. She loved living in London and working for Credit Suisse, and soon became the European Compensation Finance Manager. After 2 years in London, she took up a 3-year expatriate assignment in New York as Global HR Chief Operating Officer. Soon after she was promoted to Global Head of Compensation, HR Finance and HR Information Technology. Subsequently, she held the position of Global Chief Operating Officer reporting to the Chief Financial Officer.
In 2008 during the recession her position as the head of an Innovation Think Tank at Credit Suisse was eliminated. She considers this one of the best things that has happened to her, since her work responsibilities were taking so much time away from her infant and toddler daughters.
In addition to Alexandra, who is now 15, Trish and her husband Orren have a second daughter, Charlotte, who is 12. In early 2011, Trish was contacted by Ally Bank to take on a five-month consulting job that lasted over four years. As her girls like to tell it, she is now “retired”.
Trish and her family live in the Historic District of Morristown in a 19th century home that they have extensively renovated. In addition to serving on both the Annual Awards Meeting and Finance committees for Impact 100 Garden State, Trish serves on the Mayo Performing Arts Center Starlight Ball committee, on the Board of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum and Gardens and is the 2019-2020 Middle School Parent Representative for Charlotte’s middle school.
When asked what her primary hobby is, Trish likes to say, “my kids”.
Trish joined Impact 100 Garden State in its second year and has always been impressed by “these women who kick butt”. She loves its very efficient philanthropic model and all-volunteer structure which fosters the “can-do” attitude that members bring to everything that they do.
Trish loves that working with so many impressive women offers her the continuous opportunity to learn in multiple ways and Trish has seen countless times that what we as members give, we get back a hundredfold.
By Debby Seme
Melanie Smith, Morristown
Returning to NJ with her family after three years living in Shanghai, China, Melanie joined Impact 100 Garden State to help reconnect with her community. As a new member in 2018 she immediately jumped in and joined a Grant Review committee because she wanted to learn something new and was intrigued by the process, eventually leading a site visit for the Grant committee.
As a child Melanie, who is biracial, was adopted into a family in Bristol, Connecticut and she, along with her brother, who is Chinese, had to get used to standing out in a unique family that included four white biological and two non-white adopted children.
Melanie graduated from Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Business where she received a Masters in Marketing. Her 20-year marketing career included working for large, public and privately held companies in the wine & spirits, automotive and OTC/Consumer industries.
One of her career highlights was creating a 2008 Super Bowl commercial that ended up on USA Today’s list of Top 10 Super Bowl commercials that year!
Melanie left the full-time workforce before leaving for China, and while overseas developed a passion for fitness, received several fitness certifications and taught boot camp and Barre classes for two years.
In addition to serving on a Grant Review committee, Melanie serves on our Non-Profit Outreach committee as well as our Communications committee, where she has been instrumental in helping us create, launch and analyze our Membership Survey.
Melanie is also on the Morris Educational Foundation (MEF) Board of Trustees, chair of the Morristown OnStage Committee (MEF’s premier event), and is a member of the Morris County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Melanie and her husband Alan live in Morristown with their two daughters, Alina, 17, and Ava, 11.
“Impact 100 Garden State has been an amazing experience that has afforded me the opportunity to try new things (Grants) and to use my marketing expertise (Communications) to add value to the organization. It’s an unbelievably passionate group of women who proudly invests money and time in the local community.”
By Debby Seme
Lee Bashe, Randolph
If there is anyone who knows their way around our grant review process, it is Lee Bashe.
Since joining Impact 100 in 2015, Lee has been involved every year on a grant review committee, and this year she served as the Coordinator of Grant Committee Member Recruitment. This means being responsible for recruitment and communication with all potential grant committee members. She managed a committee to hold telephone interviews with all potential new members, assigned members to grant committees, and made sure there was a balance between new and returning members. Additionally, she assisted grant committee training coordination.
Raised in Queens, NY, Lee attended Vassar College, majoring in mathematics. After graduation, she worked as systems engineer for IBM in Chicago while her husband attended graduate school and transferred to the Newark office when her husband’s work at Exxon relocated them to Morris County. Several more moves, domestic and international over the next dozen years provided great broadening experiences for her and her family. Returning to Randolph Township with 2 grade school daughters, she got involved in local education and ran for the school board, serving 3 terms (9 years). She also worked for the United Way of Morris County, Northern NJ as their database administrator. In her early years with the United Way, the organization used community volunteer action teams that would review grant application and make funding decisions, much like the recommendations from Impact’s grant review committees. This early work with non-profits provided her with invaluable experience that she has shared with us.
Like many of us, Lee attended one of our socials at the home of a good friend, joined, and has served on grant committees ever since.
Lee enjoys what she does for Impact 100 Garden State. “It’s a truly wonderful way to give back, and to understand where your money is going and what it is doing – to help local non-profits in your community.”
One of Lee’s daughters, who lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, is a member of Impact 100 Philadelphia and served this year on a grant review committee. Wouldn’t it be nice to think that there is an Impact 100 gene?
By Debby Seme
Wendy Aresty, Morristown, Art Dealer
Wendy Aresty is a modern Renaissance woman – successful business woman, mother of two adult sons, non-profit board member – and soon to be, bride!
Raised in Morristown by a single mom, Wendy had a hardscrabble childhood and had to work hard for the things that mattered to her. Self-taught and motivated, Wendy held jobs in retail, banking, banquet management, and event planning before turning her love of books and paper into a successful business called The Artful Unicorn.
Starting with the purchase of an art historian’s private collection of lithographs, Wendy began collecting both vintage and contemporary works and selling them on consignment. After a move to Aspen, Colorado, she took her business a step further and opened a gallery, Prints Charming, which became so successful she opened a second. After ten years in Aspen, she moved back to Morristown in 2014 “because it’s home” and joined Impact 100 through her friendship with charter member Sally Epstein and member France Delle Donne. Wendy will be closing her Morristown gallery in the next month, making The Artful Unicorn completely digital via Etsy, the online marketplace for crafters and sellers.
Wendy is on the Executive Board of the Morristown Festival of Books, which was started 5 years ago by Impact 100 members Linda Hellstrom and Laurie Siegel. Wendy is also a Board Trustee for the Mayo Performing Arts Center, serving as a co-chair of the Starlight Ball Committee with Impact 100 member, Marylyn McLaughlin, which raises money for educational programs for MPAC.
But the most important planning committee that she chairs is the planning of a September wedding to artistic painter Chris deVries who proposed to her in front of a Jackson Pollock painting at MoMA!
Wendy appreciates Impact100’s ethos and values and believes in giving back to the community that has been so good to her. The inscription inside the handmade locket she wears sums that up: “The only things we get to keep are the things we give away.”
By Debby Seme
Bette Schultz, Chatham, Pharma Exec and Entrepreneur
Just when we think that Impact 100 Garden State has garnered every terrific woman in the area, along comes someone like Bette Schultz to set the standard even higher. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School, she currently resides in Chatham and has been a member of Impact 100 since 2015. Her resume fills several pages and reflects a stellar career in the pharmaceutical industry. She has been on advisory boards, negotiated globally for licensing initiatives, was Senior Director at Schering-Plough, has been Vice President of Business Development at Novartis, and founded her own company, Business & Licensing Strategies, LLC in February, 2008.
Despite a demanding schedule, Bette found time to help others through Dress for Success in Morris County where she originally served as Vice President of the Board. She first heard about Impact from a fellow Board member who suggested Dress for Success submit a grant proposal. “Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a grant but through the process, I learned about the Impact organization and their mission. I joined a few years later.”
As a member of the Health & Wellness Grants Committee in 2015 & 2016, Bette’s skill set was profoundly valuable. Her pharma experience helped the committee to analyze grant applications with regard to the populations they serve, the outcomes they hope to achieve, and the metrics with which to measure them. Her general business experience helped determine if a proposed project is achievable financially and tied to an overall strategy that promotes the group’s mission. She served as co-chair of the Environment, Preservation & Recreation Grants Committee in 2017 and will serve as a co-chair of a Grant Committee in 2018.
“I’m still on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success (now expanded to 10 counties in Northern NJ) and serve as the Immediate Past President.” She describes one memorable client who had just completed a program at Passaic County College and was delaying job interviews for three months while she paid off a $25 suit on lay-away at Walmart. “We provided her with a suit and accessories and she started interviewing right away.” Another client grew up in poverty and was homeless as a child. After receiving professional clothing and attending career services programs, she developed skill and confidence. “She went on to earn an advanced degree, got a good job, and is now a role model for her children.”
“Being involved with Impact 100 has been revelatory. Reviewing grant applications made me even more aware of the incredible need in our state, which can be overshadowed by the prosperity in NJ.” Bette enjoys a role reversal of sorts, giving funds to worthy nonprofits rather than raising them — the usual responsibility of the many Boards on which she has served. “It’s been nice to be on this side of the equation as well.”
by Marion Filler
Clare McCoy, Wealth Director, BNY Mellon
For more than 25 years, Clare McCoy has helped people navigate critical transitions in their lives, both personal and financial. Having previously served as a member of the Grant Committee for Impact 100, Clare is now an Ambassador, serving as a mentor to new members as they begin to familiarize themselves with the organization. “I’m grateful to be able to serve as an Ambassador for Impact,” she says. “I was drawn to the group because of the ongoing positive impact it has on New Jersey’s underserved. It’s a privilege to be a part of this great group of women who work so hard to make a difference in people’s lives.”
As a Wealth Director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Clare assists women entrepreneurs and business owners in developing strategies that provide for their long-term financial stability and security. Having helped to build and operate a multimillion-dollar business herself, she understands the challenges and opportunities that women entrepreneurs face as they try to juggle their personal and familial needs alongside their business obligations. Working with amazing, entrepreneurial women inspires Clare, and she enjoys being able to help them grow, protect and manage their financial lives so they may leave a legacy for the next generation. This extends beyond her role at BNY Mellon — she also serves on the Women of Leadership Committee for the New Jersey chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, helping women in senior-level leadership positions share their experiences and build connections from which they can draw support when needed.
Clare is also deeply passionate about helping women and children in need, and has devoted herself to several organizations dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence, including Healing Abuse, Working for Change (HAWC) in Massachusetts and 180 Turning Lives Around in New Jersey. These organizations provide both immediate and long-term support for clients who have experienced trauma. She is also a member of the Thursday Morning Club in Madison, which sponsors programs and projects tackling a diverse array of subjects, including women’s health, conservation, literacy and equality.
In addition to being a Certified Financial Planner, she is also a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, helping to guide and motivate others in achieving their health goals. In her spare time, Clare enjoys gardening, yoga and spending time with her husband of more than 30 years, William, and her two daughters, Catherine and Caroline.
Gina Pontoriero, Attorney, Watchung
Anyone who has ever said that women “can’t do it all” has never met Gina Pontoriero of Watchung.
She is an attorney, the mother of four young children, is socially engaged in her community, and still finds time to be an active participant in Impact 100 Garden State. Gina serves on the Membership Committee, a Grant Committee, and as an Ambassador to new members. She recently hosted a reception for 40 new and old members. Her attention to so many extra details—like gaily wrapped favors for all guests–earned her the title of hostess with the mostest. “I was first introduced to Impact in 2015 and immediately knew it was the perfect fit. I was honored to host a gathering to introduce my personal network to this organization and the incredible women that serve it.”
Before her current position as VP and Corporate Counsel for Crum & Forster, Gina was Assistant General Counsel at Travelers and in private practice as a litigator at the prestigious firm of Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis. “I focus my practice in complex commercial litigation, regulatory counseling and the quickly evolving field of data privacy. I love practicing law and designing strategies to achieve optimal results!”
Her 24-month old twins and daughters nine and five years old, have barely slowed her down. Gina serves as Trustee of the Watchung Educational Foundation and is a dedicated class mom. “I live to make my children and family happy. My days are non-stop and as long as needed to give 110 percent to my family and job. I am uber-busy and incredibly blessed in every facet of my life.”
Blessed with boundless energy and inexhaustible enthusiasm, Gina makes it all look easy. “Impact 100 embodies so many of the values I treasure. When I learned women were collaborating to make a difference by providing transformational funds to local charities, I had to be part of it!”
by Marion Filler
Nancy Dougherty, Maplewood, Architect
She relaxed against the sleek black banquette, her soft gray scarf creating a perfect contrast to the minimalist surroundings. Nancy Dougherty seemed right at home, anticipating lunch at Common Lot, one of the many restaurants her firm, Studio 1200, has designed.
A graduate of Barnard College and The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, Nancy has lived in Maplewood for 24 years and been a principal of Studio 1200 in Millburn since 2008, when she joined designer, Sandee Markwith, a former colleague and friend, as a partner of the firm. Together they have expanded the business and now employ a staff of 30. The Studio 1200 portfolio includes projects for corporations, the hospitality industry, including both hotels and restaurants, and private residential clients.
Nancy has lost none of her enthusiasm for her work as their reputation has grown. She loves seeing the vision her clients have and then making it happen. “Putting all the pieces together challenges my brain,” she says.
Despite her demanding career, Nancy also has a commitment to her community. She has served on the boards of Kent Place School in Summit and Grace Counseling Center in Madison. In 2013, when she first heard about Impact 100, she was “all in.” She has served on a grant committee for all four years. She says, “Impact creates an environment where as a working woman you can personally have an impact within the specific time parameters you may have.”
by Carole Rogers