6 Boston Businesses You Didn’t Know Are Run By Women

Business is booming in Boston, and the city is known as a thriving job center for diverse industries from tech to health to finance.  However, there are several high profile women at the helm of amazing corporations and startups that aren’t often discussed in the context of successful women-owned companies.  Here’s our list of 6 Boston-based businesses that are run by women to watch.

Sheila Lirio Marcelo

Founder, Chairwoman & CEO of Care.com

Marcelo founded Care.com in 2006 after dealing with her own challenges as a young working mother who needed care for young children and ageing parents.  It was founded with the mission of helping care workers find quality jobs, and helps those seeking care services find high-quality, affordable care quickly.  Located in Waltham, Care.com boasts 1 US match between caregiver and seeker every 2 minutes, and 32.9 million members in over 20 countries. Before Care.com, Marcelo’s desire to help others through business was cemented through executive positions at Upromise and TheLadders.com.  She is also on the board of Boston Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees, and the Philippine Development Foundation among others.

image courtesy of    Forsyth

image courtesy of Forsyth

Catherine D’Amato

President & CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank

Since 1995, D’Amato has been at the helm of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), diligently working to expand the organization’s reach.  During her tenure, GBFB has increased its distribution from 7.5 to 50 million meals across Eastern Massachusetts each year. Her passion for ending food insecurity was instilled at a young age by her own Italian immigrant father who never turned a hungry person away from his restaurant.  D’Amato believes that, “Hunger can be solved,” and makes that belief a reality for many individuals and families throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

image courtesy of    Authority Magazine

image courtesy of Authority Magazine

Polina Raygorodska

Co-founder & CEO of Wanderu

Founded in 2011, Boston based Wanderu is the second entrepreneurial venture of co-founder Polina Raygorodskaya.  Wanderu’s goal is to make bus and train travel easy by creating a platform to compare and book tickets. Before Wanderu she was founder and president of Polina Fashion, a fashion boutique, travel, and luxury PR firm in New York city.  In addition to co-founding and running successful businesses, in 2015 Raygorodskaya was named in Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 best young entrepreneurs, and was featured in Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 Women to Watch. In 2016, she was featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in the Consumer Tech category.

image courtesy of  NBC Boston

image courtesy of NBC Boston

Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan

President & CEO of The Dimock Center

SInce 2013 Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan has been the president and CEO of The Dimock Center, which is the second largest health center in Boston.  Located in Roxbury, The Dimock Center fuses clinical and behavioral health care to reach more than 17,000 people a year. Dr. Jordan graduated from Brown University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business with an MBA in Health Services.  As Chief Medical Officer and then CEO of the Dimock Center, her leadership has been transformative for the institution. She led the transition to the electronic medical records system, created an infrastructure for clinical research, opened a residential drug treatment program, and helped establish partnerships with The Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, among other world-class institutions.  Dr. Jordan has also been published in The New England Journal of Medicine and other publications.  Her good work extends beyond Boston to care for all Massachusetts citizens, as Dr. Jordan has been appointed to several statewide health boards.

image courtesy of    New England VC

image courtesy of New England VC

Jody Rose

President of the New England Venture Capital Association

Jody Rose has a solid foundation in the business and entrepreneurship world, and now dedicates her working life to attracting entrepreneurs and investors to New England through the New England Venture Capital Association.  Rose began her career by distinguishing herself within large companies such as The Food Network, MTV Networks, and HGTV. She then was Director of National Brand Partnerships at Rue La La, and has worked in executive positions for other media and marketing agencies.  Rose also gives back to her community through several board positions, and by co-founding Hack.Diversity -- a program that tackles underrepresentation of Blacks and Latinos in computer science and engineering by recruiting and placing these students in jobs within Boston’s innovation economy.

image courtesy of    Exhale Lifestyle

image courtesy of Exhale Lifestyle

Jules Pieri

Co-founder & CEO of The Grommet

The Grommet, located in Somerville, is Jules Pieri’s third startup.  It is a product launch platform for innovative businesses, many of which have become household names, such as FitBit, SodaStream, and OtterBox.  The Grommet is focused on “bringing you things worth buying,” empowering small businesses in a big business world, and sharing the stories behind all of their product launches.  Their mission is to change the way people buy and launch products, and encourage consumers to vote with their dollars by buying better products from smaller producers. Pieri began her career as an industrial designer, and later attained executive positions with large companies such as Keds, StrideRite, and Playskool.  In 2013 Pieri was named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs. She is also the author of How We Make Stuff Now, which is a step-by-step guide for budding entrepreneurs that explains how to launch a successful business from product to consumer.

Becky Holder is a content contributor for JUGs and works in education. In her free time she looks for the next best cup of coffee and great food. Follow along @rebeccalizholder on Instagram.