Cheryl W. Snead, founder, president and CEO of Banneker Industries, was inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame in December. Prior to Banneker, Snead worked for Peerless Precision. When the company went out of business in 1991, she purchased it and shifted the business’ focus to supply-chain management. Now named Banneker Industries, the company is one of the co-founders of the annual SCM Summit at Bryant University. Snead holds an MBA/MSIA in business administration and management from Purdue University. She was the first African-American woman to receive a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Vittoria Pacifico-DeBenedictis, president of Bay View Academy, was selected as one of the 2015 Three Wise Women by the National Organization of Italian Women. Pacifico-DeBenedictis was born in Avellino, Italy, and she moved to Massachusetts when she was 7. She has had a longstanding career in Catholic education, beginning as a middle school teacher in South Boston. She soon moved from teaching to administration, where she held several leadership roles in Catholic schools around Massachusetts. Pacifico-DeBenedictis is involved with NEASC, serving as a chairperson, commission member and speaker. She holds a master’s degree in school administration from Emmanuel College and she is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she is pursuing her degree in leadership in urban education. Pacifico-DeBenedictis will be honored on Jan. 27, during the organization’s Rhode Island Epiphany Celebration.
Benjamin L. Rackliffe, an associate at Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC, was recently elected to serve on the board of directors for the Steel Yard. At PLDW, Rackliffe’s practice focuses on health care, nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and he is also a participating attorney and advisory board member of the Roger Williams University Pro Bono Collaborative. For the past two years, Rackliffe was named a Rhode Island Rising Star by Thomson Reuters. He shares this distinction with less than 2.5 percent of Rhode Island lawyers who are younger than 40 and have been in practice for less than 10 years. Rackliffe holds a B.S. in business management from Providence College and a J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law.
Cindy Laughlin, president of Recruiting Specialists, was recently elected to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame Board of Directors. Laughlin began her career as an executive recruiter for a search firm that specialized in retail. After acquiring ownership of the firm in 1993, Laughlin built Recruiting Specialists into the talent-acquisition firm that it is today. Recruiting Specialists focuses on many facets of the retail industry, including big box and luxury retail. Outside of the office, Laughlin is also very active in the community. She was previously the president (and now the chairwoman) of Justice Assistance. She is also the education chairwoman for the Massachusetts Association of Personnel Services, as well as a trustee of the Providence Performing Arts Center and she continues to support several of Rhode Island’s nonprofit organizations.
Eileen Howard Boone is the senior vice president, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS Health and president of the CVS Health Foundation. After removing tobacco from nearly 8,000 CVS locations nationwide and implementing more health and wellness programs, the company was given the Workplace Hero award by the American Red Cross Rhode Island chapter. Under Boone’s leadership, CVS Health donated more than $6.5 million to Rhode Island nonprofit organizations last year. Other praised initiatives included the Totes of Hope Program, the CVS Charity Classic golf tournament and the CVS Health Emergency Response Team. Boone has held this role for a little over a year and she most recently served as CVS Health’s senior vice president of corporate communications and community relations.
Eliza Squibb, executive director of the Global Alliance to Immunize against AIDS Vaccine Foundation, has taken an unlikely path with her fine arts education. While studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, Squibb became the first artist in residence at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, where she helped researchers develop visual tools in order to analyze cephalopod camouflage. Later, during a summer internship in Peru where she studied textile productio, Squibb noticed that the village’s vibrant prints told stories and had a social impact on the community. Her observation and interest in textiles brought her to Mali through GAIA, where she designed prints that were both eye-catching and informative in order to raise awareness of HPV. She holds a BFA from the RISD.
Christine Cunneen, of Hire Image LLC, was named 2014-15 chair of the board of directors of the National Association of Background Screeners. Cunneen began her career as a CPA for major companies, such as Barnes and Noble and ING. While she was pursuing her MBA, she had an accounting client for an investigative company. The company had noticed a demand for employment screening and Cunneen’s business proposal landed her a position as CEO to lead the employment-screening market. She later became the co-founder of Hire Image LLC, a nationwide background screening, employment-verification and drug-testing company.