She Runs It honors “Women of the Year”

She Runs
(l-r: Lewis, Paige, Verdone)

In pursuit of its mission to pave the way for more women to lead at all levels of marketing, media and tech, She Runs It routinely celebrates women and men who transform and set the pace for the industry, including an annual salute to three leaders who best embody the fearless spirit of the organization: Women of the Year.

Now in its 58th year, the 2021 recipients of the award are: Lynn Lewis, US CEO of UM; Kimberly Paige, CMO of BET; and Meredith Verdone, CMO of Bank of America.

Winners are selected from dozens of nominations who stand out because they lift up and champion women while also driving growth and innovation for their companies.

“The pool of nominations is almost always overwhelming because so many women are setting the bar on what outstanding leadership is all about,” said Lynn Branigan, President and CEO of She Runs It. “After the year we’ve had navigating a global pandemic and the social justice reckoning following George Floyd’s murder, I’m especially proud of this year’s winners. Lynn, Kimberly and Meredith truly embody what it means to be a leader. They have achieved as much for their companies as they have for their communities and their teams, always leading with empathy, advocating for DE&I and challenging the status quo.”

Lynn Lewis, US CEO, UM

A passionate advocate for diversity and gender equality, over the past year Lewis doubled down on UM’s core values of commitment, caring and community, appointing more women of color to the C-suite and empowering the company to increase C-suite diversity by 15. She is always looking for opportunities to raise women up: more than 50% of her direct reports are women; women represent 45% of EVPs, 86% of SVPs and 63% of VPs. Lewis is also a celebrated leader in marketing. She was named Campaign’s 2019 and 2020 Media Agency Head of the Year, Adweek’s 2020 Media All-Stars Executive of the Year, a 2021 Campaign Female Frontier and, under her leadership, UM US was named She Runs It’s 2021 Outstanding Company for Working Mothers.

Kimberly Paige, CMO, BET

Paige – who joined BET in 2019 as CMO – spearheaded BET’s marketing during some of the most pivotal moments of the company’s recent history, including the brand’s 40thanniversary, marketing a network record of new shows, the first virtual BET Awards in the brand’s history, in 2020, and the reimagining and debut of the extraordinary new BET master brand at the 2021 BET Awards. During her 22-year career at Coca-Cola, Paige delivered record growth of the $3.5B Sprite and Flavors portfolio and influenced a new mindset, teaching the organization how to “shift from multicultural marketing to marketing to a multicultural nation.” As a member of Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA), Paige is also actively working to build a powerful pipeline to the next generation of Black leaders.

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Meredith Verdone, CMO, Bank of America

During the pandemic, Verdone rallied her marketing organization to keep the brand tightly connected to customers. She advocates being the voice of, and voice to, the Bank’s customers. A 22-year veteran of Bank of America, Verdone helped transform the company after the 2008 financial crisis and championed the mantra of “making people’s financial lives better.” Her core values of managing with empathy, being a decisive leader and building purpose into the bank’s culture is one of many reasons Verdone has built a world-class team of marketers focused on innovative ideas that keep the brand and the business relevant and competitive. 

She Runs It will honor the three Women of the Year in a virtual awards celebration on Wednesday, July 28. For tickets, please visit here.