2017 Nominations are open for 20 Women Leaders in Business


Lynden, WA - - January 19, 2017 - - James Obermayer of The Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) announced that the 8000 member organization is accepting nominations for this year’s “20 Women to Watch in Business” recognition program.  Nominations, accepted until midnight on Monday, February 28, 2017, are for women working in all areas of management for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies.  Nominations are encouraged for c-level executives and women in sales and marketing management. 

The SLMA also asks for nominations from vendor companies such  as marketing automation software, digital lead generation, direct marketing agencies, traditional branding agencies, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management software, telemarketing and database companies, and sales lead management firms. This is the seventh year for SLMA’s recognition program.

SLMA members (membership is free) and non-members are encouraged to nominate women leaders.  From the nominations, twenty will be selected as the “SLMA 20 Women to Watch in Business 2017.”   Winners, chosen by a panel of independent judges, will be announced on Friday, April 3, 2017 at 8 a.m. PST. 

Author, podcaster and partner at The Pedowitz Group, Debbie Qaqish said, “Today’s successful women marketing leaders are making a measurable revenue impact on their organizations.  They have earned their seat at the executive table and are role models for the next generation.  Organizations like SLMA that recognize the value these women bring are beacons of light, encouraging women to own their power and lead the global workforce of the future.”

Liz Sophia,  three-time winner of the “20 Women to Watch” said,  “Kudos to the SLMA for doing such a phenomenal job showcasing female leaders in sales lead management. Being named a Top 20 Woman to Watch was an incredible honor. I am deeply humbled to be recognized in the same category with these amazingly talented women.” 

Nominees are judged on their contributions as leaders in B2B and B2C companies.  Qualifications, such as book and article authorship, board positions, and speaking on behalf of the subjects of sales lead management, marketing management and ROI, and sales management are taken into account.  This program is not a popularity contest, it is a judged event.      

Nominations for the “20 Women to Watch in Business 2017” are being accepted here.  

About the Sales Lead Management Association

The SLMA has 8,000 worldwide members, and its website includes 300-plus articles from 60 industry authors.  Activities throughout the year include a popular and ‘opinionated’ blog, recognition for the ‘20 Women to Watch in Business,’ and recognition of the ‘40 Inspirational Leaders in Sales Lead Management.’  There is also the SLMALive Radio Program, currently with 353 episodes and 87,600 listeners. SLMA Radio is one of seven marketing and sales shows for at-work listeners on the Funnel Radio Channel.  For more information about SLMA call Sue Campanale at (360) 933-1259. The SLMA is a division of the Funnel Media Group.   

Alessandra Ceresa, GreenRope


Alessandra Ceresa, Content Manager at GreenRope was nominated by Lars Helgeson

Alessandra has been on the forefront of writing clear, helpful content about CRM and marketing automation for the past several years. She has built a reputation of explaining the how and why of modern CRM theory, especially around process for developing and understanding the customer journey and how to manage it with straightforward strategies and tactics. She routinely writes thought-provoking blogs, articles, and e-books on the subject and is recognized as a thought leader amongst her peers in the industry.

Connect with Allesandra:

LinkedIn | Twitter

Jennifer Yanoff, PricewaterhouseCoopers



Jennifer Yanoff, Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers is nominated by Adam Nonig

ennifer is an inspirational leader know to guide and lead her teams to extremely high results.

At Innoveer Solutions, she lead the sales team to four years of record growth and was instrumental in building the company to one of the largest salesforce.com consulting partners worldwide.

Following the sale of Innoveer to Cloud Sherpas, she assumed a leadership role at that organization and is now a senior leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Connect with Jennifer:

LinkedIn | Twitter

Melissa Riba, GreenRope


Melissa Riba, Director of Education at GreenRope was nominated by Lars Helgeson

Melissa has taken the reins of developing an end-to-end certification and training program for CRM and marketing automation. Using GreenRope's built-in learning management system (LMS), she has written a complete curriculum that educates and trains people in how to employ Complete CRM in their business or NPO. Her training plans include multimedia explanation, testing, and validation and focus on building lasting, measured relationships with a company's leads and clients. Using novel techniques to explain complex ideas, Melissa has pioneered effective integrated educational methods that will change the way CRM and marketing automation users and designers work.

Connect with Melissa:

LinkedIn | Twitter

Debbie Qaqish, The Pedowitz Group



Debbie Qaqish, Chief Strategy Officer & Partner, The Pedowitz Group is nominated by Elizabeth Fairleigh.

Why Debbie Qaqish is a Standout Woman to Watch in Sales Lead Management

Debbie Qaqish first bought marketing automation in 2004 as VP of Marketing for an Atlanta-based software company. She understood then that marketing automation would change sales and marketing roles, forever. In 2004 she became an owner and partner at The Pedowitz Group and is a visionary, pioneer and thought leader in the field of B2B modern marketing. She coined the term “Revenue Marketer™” in 2011 to describe the new role of marketing, created the Revenue Marketing Journey™ in 2011, launched WRMR Power Talk Radio for Revenue Marketing Leaders in 2009 and published the award winning book “Rise of The Revenue Marketer” in 2013. This Queen of Revenue Marketing is working on her PhD and writing her dissertation on B2B CMO accountability in a digital world. She also teaches an MBA program on Revenue Markerting at the College of William and Mary.

Her Approach to Marketing

As a sales leader veteran, Debbie understands what it takes to create sales and marketing synergy – a critical ingredient to Revenue Marketing and sales lead management success Her approach to marketing is full throttle, no-holds barred as she recognizes the strategic advantage a firm can gain as a result of transforming marketing from the pens and mugs department to the line of business responsible for repeatable, predictable, and sustainable revenue growth.

Leadership Qualities

Debbie is a transformational leader. As a visionary change agent, her greatest skillset is helping organizations assess the need for change, create a vision for change, inspire others to believe in the change and execute the change. This leadership style has helped The Pedowitz Group become a widely recognized and regarded marketing agency. The Revenue Marketing Journey and the principles for Revenue Marketing became tools of change evangelized. Companies like Schwab, Cisco and Microsoft have fully embraced and leveraged these key elements of change.


Debbie has worked with hundreds of organizations to help them transform from cost centers to revenue centers, demonstrate credible return on marketing investment (ROMI) and contribution to pipeline and closed deals. In the last year, key clients included Microsoft, Schwab and MedAssets. At Microsoft, she was the executive coach to the leader of global marketing transformation and recorded an inspirational Revenue Marketing video watched by thousands of global Microsoft marketers through their Modern Marketing University. She worked with corporate and field marketing leaders to help transform marketing at Microsoft and worked with the global marketing operations team to better envision and communicate their martech stack (over 50 different technologies).

Debbie is laser-beam focused on identifying the key ingredients for building a successful Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence. Through research and reporting, she has been prolific in the area of Marketing Operations, authoring a white paper series (http://bit.ly/2eWqF0I) - Debbie has bylined numerous articles on the rise of this critical functional area (http://bit.ly/2eoSpr4) and is frequently quoted in CMO.com, Chief Marketer and other notable industry publications. A strong industry voice, Debbie is a regular columnist for Strictly Marketing Magazine, B2B Marketing Magazine and AMA’s B2B Marketing newsletter.

Honors / Awards

Top 40 Most Inspiring Women in Marketing - Kapost
Top 40 Most Inspiring/Most Influential in Sales Lead Management - Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) – 4 consecutive years
Top 20 Women to Watch distinction – SLMA
Top 10 Woman CMO to Watch – FierceCMO
Gold Medal for Best Book – Tops Sales World

Connect with Debbie:

LinkedIn | Twitter

Susan Meell - MMS Education


Susan Meell, CEO MMS Education is nominated by Matthew Cohen

Susan Meell is an extraordinary leader who works tirelessly---personally and professionally---to improve the lives of others.  While it may sound trite, she truly leads by example and works daily to empower others---at all levels---with whom she interacts.

Perhaps most impressive, Susan seamlessly integrates the needs of corporate clients alongside their strongly held desire to improve the lives of children thereby creating winning programs for over hundreds of thousands of children each year with the goal of educating, inspiring, entertaining and enriching communities.  By adhering to this "double bottom line," Susan ensures her corporate endeavors and successes have an outsize societal benefit.

Connect with Susan:


Stefanie Nastou, OpenText



Stefanie Nastou,VP of Global Demand Generation is nominated by Ericka McCoy

Stefanie Nastou is an inspiring leader that has lead our team on a digital transformation journey. She has been a fierce advocate of providing the right digital marketing training to ensure a data driven marketing team that is positioned to always think digital first. Anyone who speaks to Stefanie can see how passionate she is about Martech and the critical role technology plays in a marketers ultimate success. Stefanie has driven marketing innovation through a number of different initiatives, our most successful one being the digital guerrilla marketing innovation award, which outlines specific quarterly challenges for the entire team and encourages marketing innovation and experimentation of new methods and platforms. As a marketing leader, she ensures we are in lock step with sales management by managing a strong account development team that is directly partnered with sales and field marketing.

Stefanie has been instrumental in creating an agile and innovative demand generation culture at OpenText, delivering better and more qualified pipeline performance while utilizing the same amount of resources and reducing program costs. Year over year she continues to inspire her team and raise the bar when it comes to marketing innovation and results.


Connect with Stefanie:

LinkedIn | Twitter

Debra da Costa, Direct Marketing Partners


Debra da Costa, President Direct Marketing Partners is nominated by Jacquelyn Herzig

Debra da Costa has been leading her company, Direct Marketing Partners, since 1991, passionately believing in the goal of creating an effective marketing company truly responsive to the individual needs of clients. To this end, she structured DMP so that the company would be large enough to have the depth of expertise required by corporations with worldwide interests, but of a size that would permit close project participation by all the firm's senior staff, as well as flexibility, scalability and customization in a somewhat rigid contact center world.  

Debra is all about creating pipeline growth and stability for clients by offering mid-funnel solutions.

For more than two decades, Debra has helped shift the lead generation model from quantity to quality and market-ready to sales-ready. She has done this by leading a team that stays ahead of the technology curve, combining the human touch within the multi-touch process, including various emarketing and social marketing endeavors. Early on, Debra developed nurturing campaigns and continues to tailor them to the ever increasing output from marketing automation. She has also guided her company and the industry by evolving database marketing to metrics-based marketing and is considered a pioneer in this metrics-based approach to demand generation.  Most recently, she has expanded operations globally through trusted strategic relationships.

For the past several years, Debra was named one of the “50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management,” by the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA). In 2011, she was one of SLMA’s “20 Women to Watch” winners.

Tracie Orisko - Managed Sales Pros


Tracie Orisko, President, Managed Sales Pros -is nominated by Carrie Simpson

Tracie added 1MM to the Managed Sales Pros top line in 2016.  She is responsible for growing Managed Sales Pros over 600% in three years.  Starting as an appointment setter with the company when MSPros was established, she quickly became a SME and team lead, and was promoted to President in 2014.  As President of a young, self funded startup, Tracie is often required to do a lot with very little, and is not above dialing the phone for clients when necessary.  She can turn a new team member into a successful appointment scheduler in under 7 days. Her team has grown from 4 to over 40, and her successful clients include "unicorn" backup company Datto and established technology companies like Cisco.  She also finds time to sit on her community Habitat for Humanity board, raise two children, and run half-marathons.

Connect with Carrie:


Lydia Sugarman, Venntive



Lydia Sugarman CEO, Venntive is nominated by Lisa Padilla

Lydia Sugarman has led her own company and been a mentor for women CEO's for more than two decades. Her expert knowledge and experience in marketing and sales are unmatched. She can teach to a room or one on one and add massive value to the marketing that you already have in place. Her ideas are groundbreaking and simply work as business strategies to help generate leads and increase sales. Recently, she connected me to some amazing women in her network that have opened a door for growing my membership. I value her as an expert in her field and I treasure her heart for giving. I highly recommend as a Woman Leader in Business.

Connect with Lydia:

LinkedIn | Twitter

Erika Goldwater - CIPP/US


Erika Goldwater is nominated by Carlos Hidalgo

Erika Goldwater was most recently the Vice President of Marketing for ANNUITAS, one of the leading demand generation and change management agencies. In her role, Goldwater led all aspects of marketing, demand generation and public relations for the firm. Under her leadership Goldwater developed the approach and strategy for an ongoing demand generation program.

During her tenure and as a result of her marketing, ANNUITAS acquired 12 new logos which were sourced directly from marketing and accounted for more than 50% of the firms revenue through 2014-2016. Erika is a frequent writer on the topic of lead management, demand generation and content marketing and continues to exhibit her skills as she consults with B2B marketing organizations.

Connect with Erika Goldwater:

LinkedIn | Twitter