My Favorites

The annual gala, held on October 27 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, celebrates WBDC’s more than 25 years of promoting economic equity for women and strengthening communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services.

Retired tennis star and former President of the United States Tennis Association Katrina Adams delivered the keynote address at the Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) 2023 Women Rising Annual Gala and Awards Celebration<> last Friday, October 27. This year’s event was held at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich and featured an awards ceremony recognizing several individuals and entrepreneurs from throughout Connecticut for their contributions to women’s economic empowerment.

The gala recognized several business leaders and entrepreneurs. Leander Dolphin, Managing Partner at Shipman & Goodwin LLP, accepted the Impact Award on Friday which honors individuals who have exemplified WBDC’s mission and goals by promoting economic equality and prosperity for women.

Dolphin was recognized for her commitment to cultivating equity as an attorney, and in the community at large. As the first African American woman to serve as Shipman’s managing partner, Dolphin is committed to enhancing diversity among the firm’s leadership. Her law practice is dedicated to advising educational institutions and organizations that foster the development of children and young adults. A gifted leader, Leander was named by Governor Ned Lamont as a Commissioner of the Connecticut Judicial Selection Committee and was elected to Chair the Commission. She was recently named to the Hartford Business Journal’s Power 50 List and Top 25 Women in Business.

“It is an honor and a privilege to receive the Women’s Business Development Council Impact Award,” said Leander Dolphin. “I have long supported WBDC and believe deeply in WBDC’s mission to provide tools and resources to help women thrive in business. I am grateful to represent Shipman – a law firm that strives for equity and inclusion every day in our business.”

Jeffrey Flaks, President and CEO, Hartford HealthCare also received an Impact Award last Friday. Dr. Joanne Brun, Ph.D., CEO, Xlerant accepted the 2023 Patricia Billie Miller Award for Outstanding Community Service. Six women received Women Rising Awards which are presented annually to Women’s Business Development Council clients who show a strong commitment to WBDC and demonstrate success in their business and tenacity in pursuing their goals.

In addition to the recognition of the above award winners, the Women Rising Gala celebrates 26 years of supporting economic prosperity for women and strengthening communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services.

About Shipman & Goodwin LLP
Shipman’s value lies in its commitment to its clients, to the profession, and to the community. With more than 140 lawyers in offices throughout Connecticut and New York, the full-service law firm serves the needs of local, regional, national, and international clients that include public and private companies, educational institutions, governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and individuals. Shipman is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the firm, the legal profession, and the community. Shipman has participated in Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule since 2019 and earned Mansfield Certification Plus status for the fourth consecutive year in 2023. Shipman was also recognized by Women Inc. Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Law Firms for Women.” The National Law Journal also ranked Shipman as the eighth most inclusive firm for women in their 2021 national survey. For more information, visit