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Listee Features — July 2022

Abigail Harris

ABIGAIL A. HARRIS

Fascinated early on with the minutia of the medical work that goes on following a doctor’s visit, such as what happens to your blood after a blood draw, Abigail A. Harris, was encouraged by her parents to pursue a medical education and found additional inspiration from the Mayo Clinic Medical Guide and Dictionary. Joining Madonna University, she began her career as a chemistry lab assistant from 1996 to 1997 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry in 1998. She continued her studies at Oakland University, where she conducted microbiology research for her master’s thesis and had the opportunity to work alongside the research program’s principal investigator. She completed her Master of Science in biology at Oakland in 2003

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Zandra Harris

ZANDRA D. HARRIS

An accomplished aerospace professional and personal coach, Zandra D. Harris, PhD, began her career as a personal assistant at Boeing in 1980, rising to become the manager of marketing communications. During her tenure with Boeing, she earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration, cum laude, from West Coast University in 1990 and a Master of Business Administration in organizational management from the University of Phoenix in 1999. Subsequently, Dr. Harris joined Lockheed Martin Space, a division of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, in 2004, as the director of marketing communications and customer relations. Dr. Harris has earned several distinctions as a multilevel manager over the course of her 40 years in the aerospace industry. Notably, she considers her work as an

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CAROLYN CRAWFORD CHESNUTT THORSEN

Carolyn Crawford Chesnutt Thorsen knew she wanted to teach math by the time she was in high school, though she also holds longstanding love of music and has played the piano since age 5. First earning a Bachelor of Arts from Agnes Scott College in 1955, she began her career in 1964 as an assistant librarian with Hartsville Memorial Library in South Carolina before going on to join the Darlington County School District, where she taught music from 1965 to 1968 and math and psychology from 1968 to 1973. During this time, she furthered her education and obtained a Master of Education from the University of South Carolina in 1972. From 1973 to 1975, Ms. Thorsen served as a high

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Ljiljana Krizanac-Bengez

LJILJANA KRIZANAC-BENGEZ

Ljiljana Krizanac-Bengez, MD, DMSc, began her studies at the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb in Croatia, where she earned a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Medicine in 1985 and a Master of Science in biomedicine and molecular biology from the university’s Faculty of Science in 1988. After completing graduate coursework at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, now the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, from 1989 to 1990, she returned to the University of Zagreb to complete her Doctor of Medical Science in 1992. During this time, she served as a teaching and research assistant for the Rudjer Boskovic Institute between 1986 and 1992 before becoming a senior research associate from 1992 to 1993 and

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BECKY S. FRIEDMAN

First cultivating her skills with an Associate of Science in paralegal studies, Becky S. Friedman is the owner of Fireplace Outlet, Inc., which she began out of the back of van alongside her husband. Today, they operate out of two locations and provide installation, servicing and maintenance for fireplaces; custom mantel installations; and have recently branched out into tiling. Furthermore, Fireplace Outlet stands out among its competitors for the full-service nature of their business. Many other businesses subcontract out various aspects of a project, but Fireplace Outlet manages everything in house from beginning to end. They notably even liaise directly with their vendors instead of going through a middle-man supplier, a practice which only began because of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Sherry Miles

SHERRY MILES

Inspired to her career in the medical field by her grandfather, who was a nurse at a Veterans Affairs hospital, Sherry Miles earned a bachelor’s degree in allied health from the University of Kentucky as well as a specialty license in microbiology. Embarking on her career as a medical technologist with SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories before joining Quest Diagnostics as a medical technologist and microbiologist from 1991 to 2001. She rose to become a laboratory supervisor at Quest Diagnostics from 2001 to 2004 and then the quality assurance manager from 2004 to 2006. From there, Ms. Miles spent two years as a performance measure analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. from 2006 to 2008 and eight years as an administrative

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Sommer Kleweno-Walley

SOMMER KLEWENO-WALLEY

After earning her high school diploma from St. John Endicott High School, Sommer Kleweno-Walley embarked on her studies at Washington State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech and hearing sciences in 1995, followed by a Master of Arts in speech and hearing sciences in 1997. That same year, she joined Harborview Medical Center as a speech-language pathologist, a role she held until 2017. Drawn to work in leadership in addition to her health care role, she pursued a master’s degree in health administration at the University of Washington, graduating in 2009. In 2013, she began working with administrator patient care services at Harborview Medical Center and became the senior associate administrator for surgical, emergent and integrated

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Bridgett McKenzie

BRIDGETT A. MCKENZIE

First earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics and driver’s education from Illinois State University in 1974, Bridgett A. McKenzie served as an administrative assistant for Marriott Lincolnshire from 1974 to 1980 and as a manager for the Baxter Credit Union from 1982 to 1988. During this time, she completed a Master of Business Administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in 1985. In 2004, she joined BMAC Designs and became a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in 2014, after receiving certification from the Real Estate Institute. In 2021, Ms. McKenzie continued her career as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.   Having accomplished much throughout the years, Ms. McKenzie considers her

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Natasha Daniels

NATASHA DANIELS

Holding considerable expertise in client services and operations in health care, Natasha Daniels began her professional path by earning a Bachelor of Science in business administration, with an emphasis in accounting and a minor in business law, from California Polytechnic State University in 1992. That same year she joined the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services as a level three accounting officer, a role she held until 2002. In 2002, she joined USCB, Inc. as the assistant vice president, rising to vice president of Northern California operations in 2006. In 2021, Ms. Daniels achieved the position of senior vice president of client services, where her duties include overseeing client relations, onboarding new clients, and monitoring their basic day-to-day operations.

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Nazafarin Hedayati

NAZAFARIN HEDAYATI

Born to a Persian family in Iran, Nazafarin Hedayati, also known as Nazee Heda, immigrated to Yugoslavia with her father, where she spent a year and a half, before moving to Denmark to live with her other family members. Having been exposed to the oil and gas industries early on when she still lived in Iran, she found herself drawn to chemical engineering because she had not seen very many women in that field. In 1995, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen and during her study she had the chance to work on nitrate, phosphate, and silica storage methods with environmental scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia.

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