The Private Equity Trailblazer Award honors pioneering women who have paved the way for their peers in the industry. The award was created by the Falk Marques Group in 2012 and is presented annually at the Women's Private Equity Summit. We are proud to be associated with such dynamic and accomplished mentors and role models.
2018: Kate Mitchell, Co-founder and Partner, Scale Venture Partners
Kate is a co-founder of Scale Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based firm that invests in early-in-revenue technology companies that are looking to scale. She is past chairman and board member of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and is active in policy matters that impact entrepreneurship, start-ups, innovation, and inclusion. She co-authored the IPO section of the 2012 JOBS Act and is currently working on additional legislation to help small company IPOs. In 2014, Kate co-founded the NVCA Inclusion & Diversity Task Force, which focuses on advancing opportunities for women and minorities across the venture ecosystem. Kate continues to have and extraordinary career as an investor, industry advocate, mentor, and activist.
2017: Kelly M. Williams, Robin A. Painter, and Jill Kitazaki
The sixth annual Award was awarded to three women who have not only paved the way for their peers in the industry, but were also the earliest Sponsors of the Women's Private Equity Summit. Each has made a profound contribution to the industry and we look forward to seeing what the next decades of their leadership will bring.
2017: Kelly M. Williams, J.D., Senior Advisor, GCM Grosvenor; Chair & CEO, PEWIN
Kelly is the former President of GCM Grosvenor Private Markets, where she was a member of its Management Committee and Investment Committee. Today, she is a Senior Advisor to the firm, with a focus on diversity and corporate social responsibility. Kelly was previously Group Co-Head and later Managing Director and Group Head of the Customized Fund Investment Group of Credit Suisse Group. She is the founding board chair of the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN). Kelly has been at the forefront of championing diversity efforts in the private equity industry on behalf of women and people of color for more than two decades.
2017: Robin A. Painter, Partner and Global Head of the Private Investment Funds Group, Proskauer
Over her more than 25 years of experience in the private equity and venture capital industry, Robin has built a powerful global network of clients. She advises fund managers, institutional investors, and investment advisors on a broad range of issues. In recent years, Robin has managed teams of lawyers in fund structuring projects with capital commitments of well over $10 billion, and also has advised clients on significant secondary transactions, spin-outs, and restructurings. A frequent lecturer, author, and industry board member, Robin takes an active role in the global private equity community. Her work has made her an exceptional and trusted advisor.
2017: Jill Kitazaki, President, Denning & Company
As President of Denning & Company, Jill is responsible for all aspects of private equity advisory services. Prior to joining Denning, Jill was a senior member of the Partners Group at Whitney & Company, working with the firm's institutional limited partners worldwide across multiple investment areas. Her broad financial sector experience also includes work as an institutional equities trader, a commodities trader specializing in counter-trade activity for Asian, European, Russian, and U.S. clients. Jill is a generous mentor to industry professionals, and her integrity and professionalism sets an example for all of us to follow.
2016: Denise L. Nappier, Treasurer of the State of Connecticut
Treasurer Nappier defines the word "trailblazer." She holds three distinction as the first and only African-American woman elected as a State Treasurer in the United States; the first and only African-American woman elected to a statewide office in Connecticut; and the first and only woman to be elected Treasurer in Connecticut history. Treasurer Nappier oversees $54 billion in state funds. A fierce advocate for promoting the policy of inclusion, she has significantly increased the number of women-owned and women-led alternative investment firms managing a share of the treasury's business. In another "first," Treasurer Nappier delivered the inaugural keynote address at the first Women's Private Equity Summit in 2008, setting the bar very high for all the speakers who have followed.
2015: Diana H. Frazier, Co-Founder, FLAG Capital Management
Diana Frazier was at the forefront of the private equity industry for more than three decades, setting a brilliant example for those who followed. As a founder, investor, mentor and industry advocate, she elevated the private equity industry as a whole, while blazing a trail for women to succeed in this space. Diana co-founded FLAG Capital Management, LLC in 1994. Today FLAG manages more than $4.4 billion in client commitments. Prior to launching FLAG, she spent a decade with BancBoston Ventures, rising to the rank of President and established the family office of a high-tech entrepreneur. Now, in retirement, Diana continues to influence the next generation of women in private equity and remains a valued supporter of the Women's Private Equity Summit.
2014: Sandra A. Urie, Chairman Emeritus, Cambridge Associates
Sandra Urie was honored for her groundbreaking leadership role at Cambridge Associates, a pioneering organization that helped define the field of private equity. Since its beginnings in 1973 and continuing under Sandra, the firm has emphasized hiring and promoting women. Many of these women, in turn, have gone on to play key roles at institutional investors, private equity firms and industry service providers. Sandra joined Cambridge Associates in 1985 and rose steadily through the ranks to become Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for directing the firm's consulting practice. She was named Chief Executive Officer in 1985. In 2016 Sandra stepped down from day-to-day management at Cambridge Associates to serve as Chairman Emeritus, actively advising the firm's new leadership and the Board.
2013: JoAnn H. Price, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners
For more than three decades, JoAnn Price's groundbreaking leadership and mentoring role in the public and private sectors has inspired countless women and minorities to gain influence and power in the private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurial worlds. She began her career on Capitol Hill, involving herself in public policy issues at the intersection of capital availability and gender and ethnic diversity. Her commitment to these issues continued during her 12 years leading the National Association of Investment Companies. In 1994 JoAnn blazed yet another trail when she co-founded, with Larry Morse, Fairview Capital Partners. The nation's first minority-led fund of funds, Fairview today manages almost $3.5 billion of investor commitments across multiple strategies, sectors and geographies.
2012: Patricia M. Cloherty, Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Delta Private Equity Partners
Pat Cloherty is not only a trailblazer for women in private equity, she is an industry trailblazer, period, elevating private equity to its rightful place in the global economy. She is former Co-Chairman, President, and General Partner of Apax Partners, Inc. (formerly Patricof & Co. Ventures, Inc.), a multi-billion-dollar private equity company that she joined in 1970 and remained for three decades. Pat is Chairman and CEO Emeritus of Delta Private Equity Partners, LLC, manager of The U.S. Russia Investment Fund and Delta Russia Fund, L.P., two venture capital funds with over $500 million invested in 55 Russian companies. She also is Senior Advisor to UFG Private Equity, partner firm to Delta Private Equity.
2012: Ginger More, General Partner, Oak Investment Partners (retired)
Ginger More joined Oak Investment Partners as an associate in 1978, the year the multi-stage venture capital firm was founded. Two years later she became a partner. When she retired from Oak in 2002, Ginger had left her mark on the firm and the industry. Ginger has invested in both Information Technology and Healthcare. She was responsible for Oak's investments and/or board positions in numerous companies including such standouts as Genzyme, Stratus Computer, Compaq and Esperion. In a 2012 interview with USA Today, Ginger commented on her early experiences at Oak Investment Partners. "There weren't a lot of options back then, so I stayed...It is a fraternity, and it is hard to crack into any fraternity. But now, if you make a profit, gender doesn't matter."