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Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). To learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Peace Through Business program or donate to the organization, visit www.ieew.org. Contact her at msmiley@enterprisingwomen.com.

Enterprising Women Recognizes Tara Russell and Laurie DeJong With Advocacy Awards

Enterprising Women Magazine Recognizes Outstanding Academic, Nonprofit And Business Leaders At Annual Awards Event

RALEIGH, N.C., March 22, 2016 – Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women magazine, recognized Tara Russell and Laurie DeJong as the 2016 Enterprising Women Advocacy Award winners during the 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration & Conference, an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs, from February 28 to March 1 in Miami, Florida.

Russell is the recipient of the 2016 Enterprising Women Advocacy Award. Russell is president of Fathom, a social impact company that offers a new category of travel as the global impact venture of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest travel and leisure company. Today, Fathom offers purpose-driven travelers authentic cultural immersion and social impact opportunities that enable them to make enduring contributions to local communities worldwide. Prior to joining Carnival, Tara founded Create Common Good, a non-profit social enterprise that provides training and employment to refugees and other populations experiencing barriers to employment through a creative food production model. Tara also founded Jitasa, a for-profit social venture with offices in the United States, Bosnia and Thailand, which provides financial services to the non-profit sector and serves hundreds of global, social-sector employees. She serves on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board.

DeJong is a recipient of the 2016 Enterprising Women Legacy Award. DeJong is founder and CEO of LDJ Productions, a multi-million-dollar event management and production company based in New York City. She is a leader in the fields of fashion, beauty and corporate events, serving Fortune 500 companies and producing and managing major events, including New York Fashion Week. After winning the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Award, DeJong began to participate in the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women’s Peace Through Business program, mentoring a young fashion designer from Rwanda along with many other entrepreneurs from the East Africa Great Lakes Region. She also recognized the need for change beyond the realm of fashion, so she founded the Paper Fig Foundation, a non-profit that supports sustainable community development projects locally and in developing nations. DeJong serves on the Marist College board of trustees and the Enterprising Women Advisory Board.


“We are honored to recognize Tara Russell and Laurie DeJong as our Advocacy Award winners for the important work they are doing to advance women’s entrepreneurship and create a lasting legacy in the women’s business community,” said Smiley. “This annual celebration is a perfect opportunity for us to honor such leaders and encourage women to share their own best practices, successes and opportunities.”

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