Marissa Brett Honored as New York Business Journal 'Woman of Influence'
JANUARY 23, 2015
Program Recognizes Women Who Stand Out for their Achievements and Commitment to Community and Mentoring
Marissa Brett, president of the Westchester County Association, was honored as a New York Business Journal “Woman of Influence” at a luncheon Thursday afternoon in Manhattan. The Journal identified women in the Greater New York City area who have both a successful business career, as well as a strong track record of paying it forward to use their success to help other women. Brett was one of 78 women in the Greater New York City area honored by the New York Business Journal's Women of Influence program, which is part of a national effort by American City Business Journals to identify and celebrate women business leaders and to foster business environments that will create even more successful women in the future.
Nominations for this first-time program were sought publicly in the fall and submitted by a variety of sources, including association partners, entrepreneurs, business owners and executives. The winners were picked by a group of American City Business Journal editors, led by Mary Johnson, editor of Bizwomen.com. “I am deeply honored and consider myself most fortunate to have been surrounded by people who supported me throughout my career,” said Brett, who was named WCA president in 2013. “I plan to use my success to educate young professionals who are just starting out in their careers.“
As president of the Westchester County Association (WCA), the business leadership organization that serves Westchester County and the region, Brett is leading efforts to drive economic vitality. Westchester County is undergoing a dramatic transformation, thanks to her and the WCA's efforts, with development and repurposing projects underway, designed to create Work.Live.Play communities for young professionals, new initiatives to attract and grow early stage companies, and critical support to help Westchester’s burgeoning healthcare and life sciences sectors flourish. These positive developments result in large part from Brett’s leadership of the WCA’s aggressive economic development initiative, the BLUEPRINT for Westchester, which she has spearheaded for the past three years.
Among Brett’s many accomplishments is establishing a network of partners to support the development of the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network, which now encompasses nearly 40 business partners, and supports nearly a dozen early stage enterprises. She has also launched networking groups for the county’s expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem and for its top scientists, to spark further innovation in Westchester.
Track record as a mentor
A native of Yonkers whose early aspiration was to work in a nail salon, she knows from experience what encouragement and mentorship can do for a young person. For her, it became the motivation to attend college, achieve a 4.0 GPA, and eventually attain a C-level position ¬– president of a major business organization. In turn, she spends time mentoring others. She re-energized a networking group for individuals in the early stages of their careers, the WCA's Young Professionals group, now 700+ members strong. She is also frequently asked to give presentations on career development and leadership to college students. Brett serves on the board for the United Way of Westchester and Putnam, the Leadership Council of the YWCA of Westchester, and on the Board of Advisors for the Fordham University School of Professional Studies.
William M. Mooney, Jr., CEO of the WCA, congratulated Brett on the honor. “This program shines a light on women who are a force in the region—and that’s how we see Marissa,” he said. “She has worked hard to create her own path, and along the way has taken the WCA to the next level. Marissa is making a difference in Westchester and is highly deserving of this recognition.”