2019 Women In Leadership Honorees

Peggy SullivanMarch 2019 Honoree

Peggy Sullivan
President & Founder

WKBW Interview

In 2018, shortly after Peggy Sullivan’s father, Ted Kahn, passed away, she decided to celebrate his life with a legacy that would endure the test of time. The result is SheCan, a nonprofit, membership-based organization focused on providing tools and resources to help woman become the best version of themselves in all aspects of their lives.

SheCAN! offers inspirational learning and networking events twice a month, one focused on the personal (health) and one with a professional slant. They plan on creating e-learning modules (SheCAN University), offer networking opportunities, and mentoring programs.

Peggy serves on the board of directors for the Jewish Community Center and had previously worked at United Care and Materion Corporation as director of customer experience and for TribeCX in marketing and communication. She has a MBA from State University of New York at Buffalo.

SheCAN! has three paid employees and two non-paid as members of the executive board. The organization’s steering board has 16 members. Peggy is proud to have a diverse board, “Slowly but surely, we built an ethnically and age diversified team. We have a 20-year-old student and a 69-year-old woman who has come out of retirement to help.”

LoriFebruary 2019 Honoree

Dr. Lori V. Quigley
VP for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer - Medaille College, Buffalo NY

WKBW Interview

Dr. Lori V. Quigley is the VP for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY. She earned her bachelor of arts from St. Bonaventure University, and her master’s and Ph.D. from Fordham University. She grew up on the Allegany territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians and is a member of the wolf clan.

Lori serves on the boards of the YWCA of Erie County and Health Sciences Charter School in Buffalo. Lori held a gubernatorial appointment on the NYS Minority Health Council (2010-2017). In 2004, Lori received a U.S. Presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, serving as chairperson until June 2010. Lori was awarded the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Research and Scholarship in 2006, and was honored by the National Federation of Just Communities with the Community Leader in Education Award 2008. Lori received the Hackman Residency Award from the NYS Archives in July 2007, enabling her to research the history and sociological impact of the former Thomas Indian School. The documentary “Unseen Tears: The Impact of Native American Residential Boarding Schools,” for which she served as an advisor, was released in December 2009. Lori received a Bundled Arrow Award in 2016 from the Native American Community Services for her many contributions to the Native communities in WNY.

Throughout her career, Dr. Quigley has been afforded the opportunity to extend her expertise and talents to help her Native community revitalize and maintain their indigenous language. This past October, Lori was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). In 2006, she chaired the 13th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium in Buffalo, NY. She served as the topical issue editor of the “Rural Special Education Quarterly” (Spring 2006), which featured several research-based articles on Native American students with special needs, including an article which she authored entitled Weaving Common Threads, focusing on the critical importance of culturally responsive methods of teaching. In addition, she has been the principal writer for several grants targeted at Native education initiatives, totaling nearly $4 million in funded awards.

Dr. Quigley’s academic leadership roles have involved articulating a vision for the future and building a culture of intellectual excitement to shape centers of excellence and distinction by establishing a diversified portfolio of programs. Her research interests include second language acquisition, culturally relevant methods of teaching, learning community theory and multigenerational trauma. In her work, Lori focuses a great deal of energy on the development and sustainability of programs that are socially just, culturally responsive, and aggressively seek to serve all students.

Merry ConstantinoJanuary 2019 Honoree

Merry Constantino
Owner/Founder, ProductLogic LLC

WKBW Interview

ProductLogic LLC, a Buffalo-based industrial design consulting firm, was founded in 1990. It started with one person – Merry Constantino, founder – and now has three employees and one intern. Their services include product development, prototype fabrication, engineering solutions, and manufacturing procurement.

Merry graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Design; her first job after college was junior product designer at Fisher Price. She designed toys, arts & crafts, wood cribs and dressers, plus infant products such as infant seats and changing tables. After 11 years, Merry left her management position at Fisher Price to work as an industrial design consultant which led to the founding of ProductLogic.

Merry’s first clients were other companies in the children’s product industry. Sauder, one of the two largest ready-to-assemble furniture manufacturers in the U.S. was her first client. According to Merry, “When a client approaches us, their product may be merely an idea, an unmet need in the market that we will develop from scratch, or it may be a product that needs to be updated to meet the demands of an industry or it’s competition.” Industrial design clients in the WNY region took quite a few years to develop. Most jobs came by referral and still do. Today, about 75% of ProductLogic business is in based in WNY. Referrals come from other clients, patent attorneys, manufacturers and other professionals. One of their international clients is Voiceitt, a 43 North winner based in Israel. Most of the team in now located back in Israel but technology makes it very easy to continue working and communicating.

The goal originally for ProductLogic was the design of consumer products. Merry says, “I did not expect to be working in the medical device industry, and that has been a natural evolution. Another benefit of the job are the patents we accumulate. I am named on 15 U.S. and international patents and my team is building their own list of credits. It is a small badge of honor that we all wear quietly but proudly.”

ProductLogic is founded on the principal of honesty and fairness. Merry says, “We will not provide a quote for services if our experience tells us that the customer or the market place cannot support their product idea. We will provide advice and resources, and an open door if they want us to reassess at a future time.” And her clients rely on that honesty, “Our clients come back repeatedly for our services and refer us to others.”

Merry is actively involved in the entrepreneurial community, serving as executive director of the WNY Invention Convention, a program which encourages critical thinking and scientific problem solving in school-aged children. She mentors emerging entrepreneurs in the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (MWEE Program) at U.B., and serves on the Industrial Design Program Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania College of Technology. She is a founding member of NAWBO Buffalo Niagara (National Association of Women Business Owners), life-long member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) where she has served many leadership roles. Merry recently graduated from the U.B. Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), a 10 month program designed to help entrepreneurs advance their business.