March is Women’s History Month, and it is dedicated to commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of women’s vital roles in American history. The timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States, from Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks. This year, we look at six women who honor the women who came before them and who are making their mark in their respective fields.
Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin
Cofounder & CEO of SohoMuse
Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin is the cofounder and president of SohoMuse, a career networking site for creative professionals around the world to network and collaborate across various creative industries. SohoMuse, which debuted in 2018, is home to many of the world’s top creatives, including fashion designer Malan Breton, former executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and creator of New York Fashion Week Fern Mallis, as well as New York Times fashion writer Ruth La Ferla. Consuelo is a successful tech entrepreneur and a seventh-generation descendant of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. She began her career as a singer-songwriter, artist and entrepreneur, landing her first record deal in the United Kingdom at the age of 21. In 2010, she founded her own record label, which earned her the title of Billboard Recording Artist, with all of her singles reaching the top 10, and her most recent single reaching the top 5. On HSN, Consuelo also debuted a jewelry collection inspired by Vanderbilt family heirlooms. Her illustrious family history was honored with the Homage line. Consuelo recently hosted Runway Muse, the first national student fashion design competition, and walked the runway for designer Malan Breton’s Fall/Winter 2022 Collection debut during New York Fashion Week.
Maria van Vlodrop
Founder & CEO of MvVO ART
Maria van Vlodrop is the founder and CEO of MvVO ART, a New York-based innovative art venture comprised of a team of art, advertising, and marketing professionals committed to creating new opportunities for artists, art lovers, and brands to connect and form powerful partnerships. She was named a top ten cultural shaper in the pandemic and beyond in Adweek’s 100 Creative list in 2020. Maria van Vlodrop, a global business executive and art enthusiast, founded the AD ART SHOW in 2018 to celebrate creativity and the artists in advertising who create art outside of their day jobs. AD ART SHOW debuted successfully at Sotheby’s in New York in 2018 with 100 artists and will return for a fourth year in May to the Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center. AD ART SHOW is a unique experience bringing ART directly to people by transforming an advertising platform—monumental digital screens—into a public gallery space for an entire month. The artists of AD ART SHOW have a background in advertising/design and related fields. MvVO ART continues to innovate with each addition of the show, adding new opportunities for artists.
Owner & Manager of the Southampton Inn
Dede Gotthelf, the Southampton Inn’s owner and manager, purchased the idyllic inn in 1998. Since then, Dede has transformed the Inn into Southampton’s premier family and pet-friendly, affordable hospitality and event venue. Dede, who is well-known and respected among her peers and those in the hospitality and business communities, has always been the go-to woman who has graciously given her time, attention, and resources to a variety of local causes and worthy charities. Dede is a community activist who serves on or advises the boards of the Pianofest of the Hamptons, the Southampton History Museum, the Southampton Business Revitalization Committee, and the Peconic Land Trust, among others. She also generously donates the Southampton Inn’s meeting and event spaces, as well as Claude’s Restaurant, to local businesses and charitable organizations such as the Southampton Animal Shelter, Children’s Orchestra Society, and the Fresh Air Fund. Dede has also been named one of the Top Women in Business by Long Island Business News. With a distinguished background in real estate and finance, Dede has taken on unique challenges such as being a key player in one of the first waterfront condominiums at Battery Park City; assembling the land and site planning for Southampton’s first Planned Development District (PDD); and repositioning the Southampton Inn, International Plaza, and Claude’s restaurant in the historic Village of Southampton.
Actress, Philanthropist & Author
Leesa Rowland, the daughter of an artist and a college professor, grew up in Austin, Texas, where she studied broadcast journalism before becoming a classically-trained actress at the world-famous Stella Adler Studio in Los Angeles. She is well-known for her work as a philanthropist and animal rights activist, in addition to her extensive career and credits as a film and television actress. She has been involved with the national non-profit organization Last Chance for Animals since 1989 and is the president of the New York non-profit group Animal Ashram, which she founded in 2013. Leesa recently began adding another exciting role to her sizzle reel: comedienne. Meanwhile, she continues to develop her work as a philanthropist and involvement with these and other charities while exploring new dramatic roles. She has been taking comedy classes in Los Angeles with Richard Kline, the actor best known as Larry on the late-1970s classic Three’s Company. She has also studied improv and sketch comedy in New York at the illustrious Upright Citizens Brigade, whose alumni include Amy Poehler, Horatio Sands, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian McKay. Leesa is also the author of two best-selling books, Discovering the It Factor within You: Developing Your Charismatic Personality, and its follow up, The Charisma Factor: Unlock the Secrets of Magnetic Charm and Personal Influence in Your Life.
Founder & CEO of MarieBelle Chocolates
Maribel Lieberman, Founder & CEO, grew up on the cacao fields of Honduras. Her rich knowledge of cacao and with her enterprising sensibilities have allowed Maribel to empower other hard-working women of the cacao farms. Maribel buys directly from the producers, offering opportunity for the female cacao farmers to improve their own standards of living. Her combined passion for chocolate and fashion has inspired her to continuously reinvent how we enjoy and experience the delectable and indulgent world of chocolate.
Woman-owned MarieBelle New York is a world-renowned luxurious global bean-to-bar chocolate company. The fine art edibles are produced in the Brooklyn factory with retail locations throughout New York City, Japan, and Dubai. MarieBelle’s flagship store in New York’s famous Soho District offers chocolate lovers a sumptuous shopping experience. MarieBelle has a rustic-style Cacao Market in trendy Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and a new retail shop located in Midtown Manhattan’s stunning Japanese Kitano Hotel. Each location pairs perfectly with the lavish and decadent chocolate designs. For almost two decades, MarieBelle New York has been tantalizing both the eyes and the palate with sophisticated chocolate expressions. Whether it is the signature, artisanal ganache, the lavish truffles and bars, or the incomparable Aztec Hot Chocolate (featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things) – the name MarieBelle is synonymous with everything that is refined, beautifully designed and decadent.
Holistic Performance Coach & Intuitive Healer
Jona Genova is a Focus & Flow Integration™ coach and intuitive healer with over 25 years of formal study and practice. Using a unique blend of compassion meditations, energy work, and intuitive gifts, she reaches what she refers to as “the preverbal” – what cannot be seen and often cannot be spoken – through her coaching. She currently works with super high achievers in the NFL and other fields to help them be their best selves on and off the field, on stage, and in high-stakes negotiation rooms. Jona’s sensitive nature, exceptional intuition, and palpable charisma enable her to connect authentically with nearly everyone she meets. Her genuine trustworthiness is deeply healing, and working with her has a wide-ranging impact on her clients’ spiritual and emotional well-being. Jona’s latest project is a coaching program geared towards veteran NFL players and coaches. The sought-after program has a one year waiting list. While most elite athletes know how to build and maintain ideal fitness and nutrition programs, they do not always take care of their mental and spiritual well-being. Jona has spoken at professional conferences and her work has appeared on Good Morning America, the Los Angeles Times, MSN, and Women’s Health Magazine, as well as in the book Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers. She is a former Vice President of the Foundation for Active Compassion’s Board of Directors.
- Lead-In Image (Composite);
- Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin (photo credit: SohoMuse);
- Maria van Vlodrop, photo credit: Patrick McMullan;
- Dede Gotthelf (photo credit: Sean Zanni);
- Jona Genova (photo credit: JonaGenova.com);
- Maribel Lieberman (photo credit: Neil Tandy); and
- Leesa Rowland (photo credit: LeesaRowland.net)