Recognizing Community Builders

AWE established this award in honor of Iris Newman, a founder of AWE and a lifelong leader who made an incredible impact on women entrepreneurs. We present this award every year to a leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing women, women’s entrepreneurship and especially women’s high-growth entrepreneurship.

The award recipient will exhibit exceptional strengths in most or all of the following areas:

  • Leadership in the greater Philadelphia entrepreneurial community
  • Commitment to mentoring and educating others
  • Impact innovating and improving opportunities for women in business
  • Outstanding support of women founders and entrepreneurs

We also take this opportunity to celebrate the great successes achieved by our network as we continue to move the needle for women high-growth entrepreneurs.

Past Recipients

  • 2018 Ellen Weber
  • 2017 Joy Taylor
  • 2016 Denise Devine
  • 2015 Donna DeCarolis
  • 2014 Fran Pierce
  • 2013 RoseAnn Rosenthal
  • 2012 Barbara Schilberg
  • 2011 Maria Maccecchini
  • 2010 Maxine Ballen
  • 2009 Kathy Crothall
  • 2008 Lucinda Duncalfe Holt
  • 2007 Jane Holmes Hollingsworth
  • 2006 Kathleen Shay
  • 2005 Brenda D. Gavin
  • 2004 Gerianne DiPiano
  • 2003 Geri Swift
  • 2002 Irene Horstmann Hannan

The Original Iris Newman

Iris Newman was the consummate business leader. She played a pivotal role in AWE's development and was a mentor to many younger entrepreneurs throughout her career. She believed that helping open doors for others was not just a smart thing but the right thing to do.

She founded several brokerage firms and was the founder and CEO of Veritas Medical Services. Iris Newman left an indelible mark not just on women entrepreneurs but on the business community as a whole. The winners of The Iris Newman Award reflect her high level of commitment, energy, and desire to give something back.