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Simmons College President Helen Drinan to Receive Leadership Award from Boston Chamber of Commerce

BOSTON (January 26, 2012) — Simmons College President Helen Drinan will receive the distinguished 2012 Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Arts & Education from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today, Jan. 26, at the Copley Marriott Hotel in Boston.

The award ceremony, which honors business and professional women who have demonstrated excellence in entrepreneurship, management, and lifetime achievement, is expected to attract more than 1,000 attendees.

"I am delighted to be recognized by the Boston Chamber of Commerce, an organization that shares my dedication to women's leadership and success," said Drinan.

 Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Harvard Business School, who will receive a lifetime achievement award. Other winners include U.S. District Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Suzanne Bates, chief executive office of Bates Communications Inc.; Marcy L. Reed, president of National Grid's Massachusetts operations; Mary Jo Meisner, a vice president at the Boston Foundation; Joan W. Miller, M.D., chair of the department of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and chief of ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Mass General; and Michelle Shell, a vice president of Fidelity Asset Management.

Drinan has served as Simmons's president since 2008. Since then, she has led the college to a position of competitive strength financially, academically, and operationally. Her success in overseeing the largest fundraising campaign in the college's history, "Making Education Work," which is at 50% of the $85 million goal — is particularly notable given the economic environment of the past few years.

Before her time at Simmons, Drinan served as president of the Society for Human Resource Management, a professional organization with the largest human resource membership in the world, from 2000 to 2002. She also was senior vice president of Human Resources at Caritas Christi Health Care, and executive vice president of Human Resources at BankBoston Corporation. During her time at BankBoston, the bank's performance-driven executive compensation program was rated number one by Credit Suisse First Boston, and its diversity program won the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Ad Club of Boston's Diversity Recognition Award. Drinan has been recognized with the John D. Erdlen Five Star Award, the highest award given annually by the Northeast Human Resources Association.

Drinan has been a member of the board of directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts since 1995. She currently serves the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a member of the Court Management Advisory Board, a group of private citizens appointed to assist with improving the operations of the Commonwealth's court system. She is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Leaders for 2020 Women on Boards, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of women on U.S. public boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020, and a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum.

The Greater Boston Chamber is a broad-based association representing 1,500 businesses of all sizes from virtually every industry and profession in our region. It aims to provide leadership in creating a healthy climate for economic development and job creation.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston with a history of visionary thinking, and a focus on leadership and social responsibility. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.