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Betsy Bernard and Laurie Peter, Partner In Hope Award Recipients

March 27, 2012

Betsy Bernard and Laurie Peter

Partners for Women and Justice is proud to honor Betsy Bernard and Laurie Peter for their inspiring leadership and dedication to public service.

Betsy Bernard is an accomplished CEO, experienced public company Board Director and popular speaker.  As the first woman President of AT&T, she led more than 50,000 employees in a $27 billion business that served the needs of four million global business customers.  For three consecutive years, Betsy appeared on Fortune Magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business”.

Betsy’s significant board experience spans more than a decade and includes United Technologies, Principal Financial Group, Serco Group plc, URS, and Zimmer Holdings.  She currently chairs the board of Telular Corporation, as well as chairing the Nominating and Governance Committees at Principal Financial Group.  Betsy serves on various board committees of Zimmer Holdings in addition to serving on the Advisory Boards of Gro Tech Ventures and Silverfern LLC. 

A popular speaker, Betsy has delivered keynote addresses at the global conference of the International Women’s Forum, the national conferences of the National Urban League and the Rainbow/PUSH coalition, and at many universities. 

During Betsy’s career she noticed the rarity of women and ethnic minorities in executive positions in her industry, and tried to enhance the chances of advancement for people she believed had been subject to discrimination. 

Laurie Peter has dedicated her personal and professional life to serving the public good.  For over two decades she has worked, served and devoted herself to the nonprofit world.  

Laurie holds a Masters of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work and a Masters of Arts in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Missouri.  Laurie started her career working on the “front lines” providing services as a clinical social worker in medical and mental healthcare systems.  Her experience and expertise includes clinical assessments and case management for patients/families in medical crisis.  Laurie supervised and coordinated clinical trials, client advocacy, development and presentation of in-services for healthcare professionals.  She developed and maintained community networks to better meet the needs of clients. 

Since 2003, Laurie has provided leadership, best in class governance practices and successful development activities in the board room.  She has been an active board member of Jersey Battered Women’s Services for the past six years.  In addition, Laurie served for seven years as a Trustee of the National AIDS Fund, holding various leadership positions.

We are honored to present our 2012 Partners in Hope Award to this special couple for their commitment to helping those in our midst who need it most.