Above and Beyond 2015 Class

Four years ago, City & State published its first Above & Beyond issue. That inaugural class was extraordinary, made up of honorees who are in high-ranking positions of government and business, including several top advisors now in the de Blasio administration.

The inspiration behind honoring 25 remarkable women each year from traditionally male-dominated industries is that it doesn’t happen enough. We wanted to share the experiences of the current and future leaders of the city and state, celebrating their success not only strong women but as first-class professionals.

As in past years, all 25 members of this year’s class are simply exceptional. The fact that they are women is just one characteristic they hold in common, in addition to their achievements and abilities. But as successful women, they are also role models to young females seeking to break into the fields of labor, business, government, nonprofits and the media. And in that role they have shown great leadership and taken on responsibility of helping those who will rise even higher by standing on their shoulders. 

Each honoree shared stories of hard work and determination, highlighting the importance of a supportive work environment that helped guide them on the path to success. While it’s clear that all the members of this class are gifted and driven, and would have likely achieved greatness no matter the hurdles they encountered, a common theme was that more needs to be done to improve the workplace culture and provide women with more support.

Reading through the exemplary careers of this year’s class, it is clear that they will be at the forefront of that changes as they blaze a path forward. 

Executive Director, Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade

Jean Barrett


Executive Director, Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade

Co-founder and CEO, Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network

Valeisha Butterfield-Jones


Co-founder and CEO, Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network

Executive Vice President, East West Bank

Wendy Cai-Lee


Executive Vice President, East West Bank

Partner and co-founder, Bolton-St. Johns

Emily Giske


Partner and co-founder, Bolton-St. Johns

President and CEO, M Public Affairs

Maggie Moran


President and CEO, M Public Affairs

Assistant to President for Communications, 32BJ Service Employees International Union

Elaine Kim


Assistant to President for Communications, 32BJ Service Employees International Union

President, New York State United Teachers

Karen Magee


President, New York State United Teachers

Legislative and Political Director, New York State Conference of Operating Engineers

Marina V. O’Donnell


Legislative and Political Director, New York State Conference of Operating Engineers

Assistant to the President, United Federation of Teachers

Maureen Salter


Assistant to the President, United Federation of Teachers

Director of Political Action and Legislation, District Council 37

Wanda Williams


Director of Political Action and Legislation, District Council 37

Dean, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism

Sarah Bartlett


Dean, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism

Founder, Futuro Media Group

Maria Hinojosa


Founder, Futuro Media Group

Editor, NBCNews.com Latino Section

Sandra Lilley


Editor, NBCNews.com Latino Section

Editor-in-Chief, Hechinger Report

Liz Willen


Editor-in-Chief, Hechinger Report

Publisher, Corner Media

Liena Zagare


Publisher, Corner Media

Executive Director, New Destiny Housing

Carol Corden


Executive Director, New Destiny Housing

Executive Vice President, The Doe Fund

Harriet McDonald


Executive Vice President, The Doe Fund

Executive Director, Partnership for After School Education

Alison Overseth


Executive Director, Partnership for After School Education

CEO and founder, Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani


CEO and founder, Girls Who Code

CEO, Food Bank for New York City

Margarette Purvis


CEO, Food Bank for New York City

Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs, New York University

Lynne Brown


Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs, New York University

Deputy New York City Comptroller, Contracts and Procurement

Lisa Flores


Deputy New York City Comptroller, Contracts and Procurement

Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology, New York State

Rachel Haot


Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology, New York State

Executive Vice President, Metro-North Railroad

Catherine Rinaldi


Executive Vice President, Metro-North Railroad

SUNY Chancellor

Nancy Zimpher


SUNY Chancellor