Our Honorees

biddle-leslie-cropped-for-web Leslie Dougherty Biddle
Serengeti Asset Management

Leslie Biddle is Partner for Serengeti. She joined Serengeti in 2013 to advise on investments in energy, power, and natural resources.

Before joining Serengeti, Biddle worked for ten years at Goldman Sachs where she was a Partner, the Global Head of Commodity Sales, and the CFO of the firm’s investments in metals and mining.   Biddle was a member of several committees at Goldman Sachs, including the Finance Committee and Business Practices Committee.   She was named Managing Director in 2004 and Partner in 2006. 

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Biddle was a Vice President at the AES Corporation focusing on project finance and power plant development.  

She holds an A.B. from Colby College where she is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. 

harrison-judith-cropped-for-web Judith Harrison
Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion
Weber Shandwick

Judith Harrison is senior vice president, Diversity & Inclusion at Weber Shandwick. She drives programs designed to build a multicultural workforce that leverages diverse backgrounds and perspectives to create innovative solutions for clients and an inspiring, high-performance workplace. Judith develops strategic plans, drives the sharing of best practices globally, partners with diversity & inclusion leadership development and professional organizations to increase awareness of Weber Shandwick’s commitment to diversity, and leads innovative talent outreach initiatives to build a strong pipeline of potential staff.

In addition to human resources and recruiting experience, Judith’s background includes public relations and marketing communications positions and projects at Burson-Marsteller, Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young), CBS, Media General, Random House, and the Italian Trade Commission

Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2006, Judith has guided the firm to recognition as a champion of diversity and inclusion, with honors including the PRWeek/PR Council Diversity Distinction in PR Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and the 2016 PR News Diversity Heroes Award as an Organization of the Year. She brought the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) together with the PR industry to form the PRIME (Public Relations Internship, Mentoring and Education) Program, launched in 2015 with sponsorship from Fortune 500 companies as well as leading PR agencies.  

Judith served the PR Council as chair of its HR Roundtable for three years.  She has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. She was awarded the 2011 STAR Award by New York Women’s Agenda and was named as one of Savoy’s Top Influential Women in Corporate America in 2012 and 2014. She won the 2016 PR News Diversity Heroes Award as an Individual of the Year. Judith is past president of New York Women in Communications Foundation, serves as president-elect of the PRSA Foundation and is on the 4A’s Diversity Steering Committee, as well as the advisory boards of the Ron Brown Scholar Program and ColorComm. She is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative Disability Working Group.

padilla-elisa-cropped-for-web Elisa Padilla 
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer 
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

As Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Elisa Padilla oversees all of the marketing efforts for the team and arena, including branding, advertising, merchandising, database research, creative, websites, and social media.

Padilla seamlessly led the rebranding strategy of the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and is the creator of the award-winning branding campaign, Hello Brooklyn. She played a key role in establishing the brand identity for Barclays Center by branding its five programming franchises. Padilla is also leading the marketing efforts for the venue’s sixth programming franchise, the New York Islanders, who will begin playing in Brooklyn in Fall 2015.

Padilla joined the Nets in 2010 as a Director, was named Vice President in 2012, Senior Vice President in 2014, and was promoted to her current role in 2015. She has defined her skills in the areas of sports, entertainment, event and Hispanic marketing, building success in developing creative marketing campaigns, strategies, and solutions with desired results.

A native of Newark, NJ, Padilla has an M.B.A in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.S. in Communications from Centenary College. She currently resides in New Jersey.

schnabel-stephanie-cropped-for-web Stephanie K. Schnabel 
Principal, Corporate Development Lead 

Stephanie is the lead of Corporate Development for KPMG LLP.  In this role, she is responsible for all of the firm’s acquisition and divesture activity—buying and selling businesses for KPMG LLP.  She is also part of KPMG’s Global Innovation and Investments committee.  She works closely with firm leadership to create and execute inorganic opportunities and help drive the firm’s profitable growth.

Before joining KPMG in December 2014, Stephanie was Managing Director at Accenture LLP. She joined Accenture LLP in 2001, and took on the role of Global Lead of Corporate Development in 2005.  During that time, Stephanie led M&A activity globally for the $30 billion consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.   She was responsible for the identification, structuring, evaluation, and negotiation of potential investments, as well as divestitures.

Prior to that, Stephanie was a Principal at Catterton Partners, a Greenwich CT based private equity firm. Stephanie was responsible for originating, negotiating, and executing private equity investments in the consumer, retail and technology sectors. Additionally, she assumed Interim CEO role in a turnaround situation, creating significant operational improvements.

Stephanie has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including being named one of Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine's Rising Stars (2010), "Power Player in Digital Media-2013", and featured in a December 2013 Women in M&A article on The Glass Hammer website.

Stephanie earned her AB in Economics from Princeton University and her MBA in Finance and Multinational Management from The Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania.  She is active in charitable activities, including as Vice Chairman-YWCA of Greenwich, Women in Leadership Steering Committee—Princeton, leadership roles in her church, and various fundraising activities.  She grew up in Queens, NY, where she was an active Girl Scout.  Currently, she lives with her husband and 13 and 10-year-old daughters in Connecticut. 

smith-sylvia-cropped-for-webSylvia Smith 
FAIA, LEED AP, Senior Partner 

Sylvia Smith is a Senior Partner at FXFOWLE, a global architecture, interiors, planning, and urban design practice with offices in New York and Washington, DC.  Focused on program-intensive projects, she formed the firm’s Cultural/Educational Studio in 1996. Under her direction, the studio has designed award-winning and distinctive structures and spaces throughout the United States, Africa and Turkey.

Sylvia’s signature New York projects include two buildings at the Bronx Zoo–the reconstruction of the Lion House and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Center for Global Conservation, the redesign of the Lincoln Center public spaces and the expansion of the Juilliard School and the renovation of Alice Tully Hall (with Diller Scofidio + Renfro), The New School Arnhold Hall Cultural Center, the Black Rock Forest Center for Science & Education, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, and  the Center for Integrated Technology Learning at Purchase College. 

She currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Dickinson College, the Board of Directors for the Design Trust for Public Space, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and the Yestermorrow School in Vermont, is former Chair of the Fellows Committee for the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board of the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

Her honors include the AIA New York State Fellow's Award in recognition for her commitment to professional development, mentorship of junior staff, women's advocacy, and design excellence; the Bernard Baruch Medal for Business and Civic Leadership from Baruch College for her outstanding success in business and commitment to her community; and in 2014 she was selected as the Kea Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture.

Sylvia earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and art history from Dickinson College, where she was named a Metzger Fellow. She received her Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. In 2008, Sylvia was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the organization's highest honor bestowed on an architect. 

She lives in upper Manhattan with her husband Stephen Wortman, an inspired Latin teacher at Brooklyn Friends School and talented musician.