2012.7.9 Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Will Honor Visionary Award Winners Susan Stautberg and Carol Aghajanian, MD, at Annual Teal Gala Supporting Advocacy for Women with Ovarian Cancer


Contact: Scott Perrin, The Event Office, 212-957-9155

New York, NY—The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance will celebrate its 15th Anniversary this fall with its first Annual Teal Gala in New York City. The celebration honors the advancement of women as leaders and decision-makers, and the increasing focus on women’s health—which has tracked women’s progress at top levels of influence in the corporate and public sectors. Two women will be honored for their visionary work in business and health care through the first annual Visionary Empowerment Award and Visionary Medical Research Award. Both awards will be given on November 8, 2012 at a Gala dinner at the Ana Tzarev Gallery.

“Fifteen years ago, a group of ovarian cancer survivors and advocates founded the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance,” said Terri McKnight, Board President of the Alliance. “Our founders envisioned an organization that would advance the interests of women with the disease. With our first Annual Teal Gala in New York City, we honor two leaders whose vision has improved the lives of women. By expanding the influence of women in top decision-making positions, our honorees have helped advance research in women’s health.”

The Visionary Empowerment Award will honor Susan Stautberg for her leadership in breaking barriers to increase the presence of women on corporate boards. “Susan Stautberg has worked selflessly to empower women, expanding their participation in corporate boardrooms and other circles that, in turn, influence the prioritization of women’s health issues. She has lived the ‘self-starter’ model,” said Denise Fletcher, Chair of the New York City Annual Teal Gala Committee.

The Visionary Medical Research Award will honor Carol Aghajanian, MD, for her research on ovarian cancer. “Dr. Carol Aghajanian has made critical inroads in ovarian cancer research. Her accomplishments demonstrate what women can do for each other when they reach decision-making positions,” said Judith Abrams, President Emerita of the Alliance.

Francesca Harper will honor women touched by ovarian cancer by dancing in memory of her mother, Denise Jefferson, the longtime director of the Ailey School, who lost her life to the disease.

Susan Stautberg is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Women Corporate Directors (WCD), the only global membership organization and community of Women Corporate Directors. She is the President of PartnerCom Corporation, and co-founder of OnBoard Bootcamps. WCD has over 1,400 members in 43 global chapters. Ms. Stautberg is also the co-founder of the Belizean Grove, TARA and SSS Fellows.

Carol Aghajanian, MD, a medical oncologist and authority on gynecologic cancers, is Chief of the Gynecologic Medical Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). She has unique expertise in germ cell tumors of the ovary. In 2003, Dr. Aghajanian was awarded the MSKCC Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biomedical Research, in acknowledgment of her translational research.

Francesca Harper is a dancer, actor, singer, recording artist, choreographer and director. She has performed on Broadway in Fosse, The Producers, The Frogs and The Color Purple. She was a consultant for the Oscar winning feature film Black Swan. Ms. Harper is adjunct professor at New York University and teaches at The Ailey School and Fordham.

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is the foremost advocate for women with ovarian cancer in the United States. To advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer, the Alliance advocates at a national level for increases in research funding for the development of an early detection test, improved health care practices, and life-saving treatment protocols. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance educates health care professionals and raises public awareness of the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.