CHICAGO – Chicago-based Women in Public Finance has named former Pennsylvania Treasurer and Artemis Capital Group co-founder Robin Wiessmann the recipient of its lifetime achievement award as part of its 8th annual Founders’ Awards.

The national organization chose public finance lawyer Harriet Welch to receive its “She’s Our Hero” honor and Fitch Ratings healthcare analyst Dana Sodikoff to receive its “Rising Star” honor, said one of the group’s four founders, Courtney Shea.

The three will be honored by the organization during a Jan. 14 reception at the Encore Lounge in the Hotel Allegro in downtown Chicago.

For the lifetime achievement award the organization considers women involved in the public finance field for 10 years or more who have consistently demonstrated skill, drive, integrity and vision. Wiessmann’s career has spanned investment banking, asset management, and the issuer side in addition to her launching her own firm.

Wiessmann, who currently sits on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, served as Pennsylvania treasurer from 2007 to 2009. She served as a deputy director of finance for Philadelphia beginning in 1980 and in 1984 joined Goldman Sachs.

Wiessmann in 1990 co-founded and served as president of Artemis, the first women-owned investment banking firm on Wall Street. The firm was sold to the former RBC Dain Rauscher in 1999. She continued her career at Dain, then formed Brown/Wiessmann Group advisors, and later joined Merrill Lynch where she stayed until she became treasurer.

The “She’s Our Hero” award recognizes a woman’s successful management of career, self-development, family issues, and civic involvement. Welch, a partner at Squire Sanders in Los Angeles, has worked in the field for 25 years in both California and New York City. 

Welch has served as bond counsel and underwriters’ counsel for local and state issuers with her practice focused in recent years on acting as bond counsel for colleges, universities, private schools, and other nonprofit organizations. She serves on numerous boards and is a founding member of Women in Public Finance in Los Angeles.

The “Rising Star” award honors a woman in the field for under 10 years whose work has demonstrated skill and intelligence that will have a long term impact on public finance. Sodikoff started at Fitch in 2009 as an associate director in the tax-supported public finance group and in 2010 shifted over to the nonprofit healthcare public finance group where she serves as the primary analyst on a portfolio of more than 50 acute care and senior living credits. She previously worked as a healthcare group funding manager at the Illinois Finance Authority.

The group’s founders — Shea, a financial advisor, Chicago Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott, Standard & Poor’s senior managing director Sarah Eubanks, and consultant Nancy Remar — launched the awards eight years ago to recognize women with a range of experience for their contributions to the field. The four, along with past recipients of the awards, review new and past nominations to make their annual selections.

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