BOSTON – The Boston Business Journal recognized The Home for Little Wanderers President and CEO Lesli Suggs to its 2023 class of Women Who Mean Business. According to the Boston Business Journal, the recognized women have demonstrated significant growth in their companies and represent the scale of business in Greater Boston. Honorees were selected based on their professional achievements, leadership, entrepreneurial skills and dedication to the community. Recipients were recognized at the Boston Harbor Hotel on December 6.
“When I started in the field, women made up 80% of the human services, but few made it to positions of leadership – much less CEOs,” said Suggs. “Now as a leader myself, I encourage everyone to lean into their passion and take hold of opportunity. Leading an organization takes deep industry expertise, and business acumen, but it also means having hope in the future, one’s skills and abilities, and stepping up to the plate every time. Thrive, and create spaces where others can too.”
Carolyn Jones, Market President & Publisher, Boston Business Journal with honoree Lesli Suggs, President & CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers, the 2023 Boston Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Awards.
Photo by Gary Higgins/Boston Business Journal
This year’s class includes leaders in life sciences, retail, clean energy, hospitality and human services. Honorees included Julie Kim, US Country Head and President of Takeda’s U.S. Business Unit; Alicia Barton, CEO of FirstLight Power; Vivian Iannotti, CEO of Stop and Compare Markets; and Nia Grace, Owner of Grace by Nia, Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen and The Underground Café + Lounge.
“This year’s class of Women Who Mean Business epitomizes some of the very best that the Boston area has for female leadership across our most critical industries,” said Carolyn M. Jones, market president and publisher of the Boston Business Journal.
Suggs was appointed President and CEO of The Home for Little Wanderers in 2018, becoming the first social worker in over a generation to lead the historic organization. Previously, she held a number of roles at the child welfare agency including Vice President for Program Operations and Senior Director of Community Based and Behavioral Health Programs. Under Lesli’s leadership, the nonprofit grew to serve children and families across in New York, New Hampshire in addition to Massachusetts and is the largest provider of mental health services for Boston Public Schools. Suggs has also been named a Top 100 Women Business Leaders in Massachusetts for two years in a row by the Commonwealth Institute.
In addition to leading The Home for Little Wanderers, Suggs serves as Vice Chair of the Board of The Association for Behavior Health MA, Director of the Board of Directors for The Provider’s Council, Director of the Board of Directors for The Children’s League of Massachusetts, Board Member of the International Women’s Forum of Massachusetts, and Board Advisor of Flare Education.
Suggs earned her M.S. in Social Work from Simmons College and a B.S. in Social Work from Texas Christian University.
To read more about Suggs’ journey and view toward leadership, please read her feature in the Boston Business Journal HERE.