CHICAGO — Chicago-based Women in Public Finance will recognize three industry professionals — a rating agency analyst, the deceased founder of a prominent financial advisory firm, and the deputy treasurer of California — at its annual awards reception later this month.
The organization will give its lifetime achievement award in memoriam to Patricia A. Garrison-Corbin, founder of the Philadelphia-based financial advisory firm PG Corbin & Co. who died at 62 in October after battling breast cancer.
The “she’s our hero” award will go to Katie Carroll, who had headed California Treasurer Bill Lockyear’s public finance unit until her promotion in February to deputy treasurer. The rising star award will go to Fitch Ratings analyst Melanie Shaker.
The lifetime achievement award recognizes the accomplishments of a woman who has worked in municipals for at least a decade, demonstrating skill, drive integrity and vision.
The hero category recognizes a woman who successfully juggles career, self-development, family, and civic activities.
The rising star award honors a professional who has worked less than a decade in the business and demonstrates skill and intelligence likely to have a long-term impact on the field.
Women in Public Finance will hold a reception and awards ceremony on Jan. 19. The organization received about 15 new applications this year and reviewed past nominations in making their selections, said one of the group’s founders, Courtney Shea of Acacia Financial Group.
“The main things the committee uses in their selection criteria is achievement in the industry, commitment to service, and in some cases the strength of the nomination,” she said.
The WPF founders — Standard & Poor’s senior managing director Sarah Eubanks, consultant Nancy Remar, financial adviser Lois Scott, and Shea — launched the awards in 2007. Though the organization started in Chicago, it now has a membership of hundreds, with representatives of issuers and financial and legal firms across the country.
Corbin founded her firm 23 years ago with the goal in mind to create a boutique-style firm where clients would be known by name. She was a trailblazer in the industry, and was the first African-American woman to start such a firm.
Corbin was a prominent voice for expanding opportunities for both minorities and women in public finance and encouraging women to sit at the executive boardroom in the financial sector. The firm grew to become one of the top advisory firms in the industry.
Carroll was nominated by former lifetime achievement winner and former California Treasurer Kathleen Brown.
As deputy treasurer, she helped shepherd $19.74 billion of bonds into the market, considered “no small feat given the changing credit of the state of California and the difficulties of the capital markets last year,” Scott said. “In a whole career, few could hold a candle to what she actually got accomplished in a single year.”
Carroll started with the office more than 20 years ago as an analyst and has worked successfully under both Democratic and Republican treasurers.
Shaker, Midwest director for the tax-supported group in public finance at Fitch, which she joined in 2003. She showed leadership serving as president of WPF in 2008 and speaking for Fitch on emerging credit issues while also providing career counseling and working as a mentor.