Sujata Chaudhry – Woman of Excellence, Excellence in the Professions

Women of Excellence
Sujata Chaudhry is a Woman of Excellence (Cindy Schultz for the Times Union).

What is one thing that has inspired you in life that you think might have led you to be named a Women of Excellence?

“Reflecting on the question, I realize there isn’t one thing that has inspired me in life but many experiences that have shaped my passion for my work advancing Diversity and Inclusion within organizations, creating cohesive teams and promoting greater employee engagement.  Born in India, migrating to England then multiple locations in the United States, and growing up as one of three Indian children in rural Pennsylvania began the journey.  As a child of first-generation Indian parents of very humble means struggling to provide for their daughters, I strived to find an identity and a sense of belonging.  This challenge continued in my professional life as I found myself as one of the few ethnic women in my corporate positions.  My personal and professional experiences fueled my drive to want to assist others in similar situations by helping local and national organizations prepare for the challenges of incorporating diverse teams to work together in a collaborative, safe and rewarding environment. My passion and determination are what paved my way to starting Tangible Development, a diversity and inclusion consulting and training company. Tangible Development, my team, and all those that have supported, mentored, and believed in me have been my vehicle for positive change.  The journey and the people have led me to be named Woman of Excellence.”

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Sign up for the 28th annual Women of Excellence luncheon on May 30th here.

For more information:

Email Debbie: 

Victoria Baecker – Woman of Excellence, Emerging Professional

Women of Excellence
Victoria Carosella Baecker is a Woman of Excellence  (Cindy Schultz for the Times Union)

What is one thing that has inspired you in life that you think might have led you to be named a Women of Excellence?

“The biggest personal obstacle I faced during my career was my divorce. At the time, my daughters were just two and four years old, and my household income was suddenly cut in half. To make matters worse, my closest family members were three hours away, so there was little support locally. I knew I wanted to stay in my house and maintain some level of normalcy for the three of us, but financially, that was challenging. I set out to find a new job that would keep me in Troy, close to daycare, and give us the ability to remain in our home. I spent several weeks meeting with trusted colleagues and researching companies where I felt I could make an impact. I put together a job description, salary requirement, and scheduled a meeting with a local businessman who owed his own firm. After several meetings, I was hired as the Director of Communications and Business Development at Bouchey Financial Group and Bouchey & Clarke Benefits. Starting a new career while going through a divorce and navigating my new role as single mother was extremely challenging, but the support from my new work family and my network of friends made the journey possible and exciting.”

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Sign up for the Women of Excellence luncheon on May 30th here.

For more information:

Email Debbie: 

Voices in the Crowd – Call for Entries

It takes courage to take a stand. For this year’s Voices in the Crowd, we are Rising Against the Tide. We will hear encouraging stories of people who used their voice to make an impact. Inspired by Moth Radio, the Women’s Business Council invites you to be captivated by true stories of courage that exist in our community.

Hear short, live stories presented by “story tellers” who will connect us through their perseverance and character-building experiences in business. These stories will motivate us to Rise Against the Tide to make a difference.

Submit Your Story! 

In preparation for our Voices in the Crowd event, we want to hear from you! Please share your story and you could be chosen to be featured as a speaker at our event on November 12th. Your story should be told from your heart, in a short concise manner, 2 minutes total. No cliffhangers please! Your story should in some way tie back to business in order to align with the true mission of the Women’s Business Council.

Everyone is welcome to share/pitch a story, not only those who identify as women.

Story Theme: Rising Against the Tide

  • Call our Voices in the Crowd Submission Portal at 518-218-6622
  • Be prepared to share the following via voice message: name, phone number, email address and your story (in a short 2 minute pitch)

Deadline for Submissions: May 15, 2019

Chosen “Voices in the Crowd” will be notified in June, 2019.  

Reference story telling tips and tricks from Moth Radio, our inspiration for this event!

Register Now for Make Your Life an Exclamation! Not an Explanation

Angela S. Beddoe, President and CEO of Beddoe Publishing and Editor-in Chief of Herlife Magazine-New York, will take us through a journey of self- leadership.

On this journey you will focus on who you are, what you can do, and where you are going. Firm in her belief that effective leadership is being aware of your own emotional attribution and of those around you, join us as Ms. Beddoe takes us through the 6 principles of self-leadership.

She will also discuss your ability to influence your communication, emotions, and behaviors to become more effective in your relationships and interactions with others. You will leave with tools to look within and give yourself permission to dream and lead with awareness, control and empathy.

Join the WBC on this journey and the this event on Wednesday, March 13th at the Albany Marriott (189 Wolf Road, Albany) from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Register here.

All genders welcome.

Throughout 2019, the WBC will raise money for its adopted nonprofit, the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. Epilepsy can affect anyone with a brain, and anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation exists to #EndEpilepsy.

Support the Epilepsy Foundation by attending their Confections in Chocolate Gala on March 9.  

Help the WBC raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York. Learn more here

March 8th is International Women’s Day

From the desk of Julia Hayden, Community Relations and Resource Development, Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County

In 1975, the United Nation’s Adopted “International Women’s Day.”  This day represents the unification of women worldwide, their efforts to advance the safety and equality of all women and the celebration of Women’s Rights.

International Women’s Day has an early heritage dating to the 1909 American Socialist Party’s Women’s Day.  In 1910, it was recommended by the International Socialist Party that a Women’s Day is held annually.  On March 8, 1917, women in Soviet Russia gained suffrage and that opens the door for the international recognition of Women and Women Rights.

The United Nations led the way and began celebrating International Women’s Day during the International Women’s Year, 1975.  By 1977, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed March 8 to be a day of recognition for women’s rights.

Throughout the years, a global theme has been defined to showcase the power of women and their influence on the world stage.  Themes have included; Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women.  A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women. Equality for Women is Progress for All.  Step it Up for Gender Equality.  Women Changing the World of Work.

In 2019 the International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceforBetter, which is a call to action for driving gender balance across the world.

Now, how will you make a difference for Women on March 8, 2019?

Sign up for the next WBC event on March 13th here.

For more information:


Please remember to support our 2019 Adopted Non Profit.

epilepsy foundation

2019 Women of Excellence Announced


Six women who have achieved success in their professional careers and dedicated themselves to community service will join the prestigious ranks of the Capital Region Chamber’s “Women of Excellence” at the 28th annual luncheon on Thursday, May 30.

The Women’s Business Council (WBC) of the Chamber received many outstanding nominations from throughout our region. The selection committee is different each year and is comprised of prior Women of Excellence award recipients. This year’s honorees are:

Distinguished Career
Paula Stopera,
CAP COM Federal Credit Union

Excellence in the Professions
Sujata Chaudhry,
Tangible Development 

Excellence in Management
Janine Robitaille, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless

Excellence in Business Development
Daquetta Jones,
YWCA of the Greater Capital Region 

Excellence in Business
Kat Koppett,
Koppett & Company/MopCo Improv Theatre

Emerging Professional
Victoria Baecker,

“This year’s Women of Excellence Award honorees demonstrate strong commitment to work, community service and their families,” said Mark Eagan, Chamber CEO. “They have distinguished themselves among their peers and are setting an example for everyone in business by enjoying professional success and personal fulfillment. We are proud to honor them as Women of Excellence.”

The event’s presenting sponsors are CAP COM Federal Credit Union, GE, MVP Health Care and Rivers Casino & Resort. The media partner is the Times Union’s Capital Region Women@Work.

Women of Excellence Nominations Due January 29!


If you’ve been thinking about nominating someone for a 2019 Women of Excellence Award, now is the time to do it!

The WBC’s Women of Excellence Awards honor a select group of women whose personal and professional character, conduct, service, leadership and achievements have contributed positively to the Capital Region. To get a better understanding of what these awards mean to the women who receive them, jump back to this post from 2015 WOE – Emerging Professional award recipient Kelsey Carr.

Our driving force in the WBC is to inspire excellence together. Help us recognize the women in the Capital Region who bring these words to life with their personal and professional contributions to our community!

Nominations must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Click here to submit yours, and save the date for the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon on May 30, 2019 at the Albany Marriott.

Get In Your Nominations for Women of Excellence 2019

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Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2019 Women of Excellence through Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 5 p.m.

To nominate a woman of excellence, please go to the Chamber page below:


Emerging Professional (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) 

Excellence in Business (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) 

Excellence in Business Development (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) 

Excellence in Management (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) 

Excellence in the Professions (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector) 

Distinguished Career (For-Profit or Nonprofit Sector)

6 Reasons Why You Should Attend the WBC’s Adopted Nonprofit Holiday Fundraiser

We’re less than a week away from the Women’s Business Council’s Adopted Nonprofit Holiday Fundraiser and it’s the perfect opportunity to get some holiday shopping done that is all for a good case. This is the final event for the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region as our 2018 Adopted Nonprofit and they could really use our support!

At this event, there will be a silent auction along with a wine pull ($20 each) and a jingle bell necklace ($20 each) game to win a gift card tree valued at over $750. There will also be three featured raffle items: ($25 a ticket, 3 tickets for $40) that includes a night out in Albany, a night out in Schenectady and a diamond heart necklace from Northeastern Fine Jewelry. We will also be announcing who are 2019 and 2020 Adopted Nonprofits will be!

The event will take place this Tuesday, December 11th at the Century House (997 New Loudon Road, Latham) from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Register HERE!

The YWCA also would greatly appreciate it if those attending could also help by bringing new bath towels of any size and new twin sheet sets that go towards the women and children who stay at their building in Troy.

Here are 6 reasons why you should attend and participate at this year’s Holiday Fundraiser:

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Who Will the Storytellers Be?


At the next WBC event, Voices in the Crowd on Tuesday, November 13th at 11:15 am four individuals will be doing a story slam. They will stand up on stage and tell their stories unscripted.  Come to this unique and fun event to network with your peers and experience a lively, finger snapping, story slam.  All genders welcome.

The storytellers will share their captivating stories about:

  • Hitting the glass ceiling and pushing through to success
  • Turning a personal story of abuse into an opportunity to help others tell their stories and build an innovative and successful organization
  • Transforming a struggle to find meaning in life into a successful career opportunity 
  • Using challenges and insight to pave the way for an entirely new model for thinking about education

For more information, please contact Marna Redding, Vice President of Member Services at the Capital Region Chamber, at or reach out to us via the blog or Facebook.