Wonder Women

From corporate board rooms to the theater stage, these five inspiring South Shore women are making a big impact on the South Shore community.

By Maria Allen • photography by Jack Foley


Carol Bulman

President/CEO, Jack Conway & Co., Inc.

Carol Bulman heads up the largest privately owned realty firm in Massachusetts. The daughter of the company’s founder, Carol has more than 25 years of experience at the firm. She also sits on the board of trustees for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and Bridgewater State University.

Carol Bulman_5892_FinalSiloSmooth copyWhat has been your primary focus since becoming CEO in 2009?

My main focus has been to find out what our 700+ member company needed to
service their customers to the best of their ability.  It was a difficult time then, as we were still suffering from the financial crisis. Those first few years were rebuilding years; determining what we needed to modernize and sustain the company. I’m happy to say that our company closed more than $1 billion in sales volume in 2015! I’m very proud of the sales force, managers, staff and leaders of this company. They are a passionate, committed and professional group and I’m honored to work with them.

What makes the South Shore a great place to buy a home?

I love the South Shore! I’ve lived here my entire life. We love the ocean, the beach and the intimacy and small town feel of the South Shore, while having the access to Boston, travel, food, shopping and education. I cannot imagine living anywhere else so it’s an easy sell for me!

What is your proudest career achievement?

By far my proudest career achievement is beating the odds. Only 30 percent of family-owned businesses successfully make it to the second generation, and only 25 percent are led by daughters. I have always been driven by the idea of continuing my family’s business and made a promise to my father before he died that I would keep the company going.

Did you have any mentors or idols that inspired you

to succeed?

My father was an inspiration to me; he was passionate, fearless, and hugely committed. I always looked up to my dad and wanted to share that same commitment to succeed. I’ve also been fortunate to meet many successful women in my career who have helped me to overcome some of the more subtle nuances of being a woman in business; in particular, Phyllis Godwin, Owner and CEO of Granite City Electric in Quincy. In addition to taking over her father’s business and growing it to new heights, she returned to school in her 40s to earn her MBA at Suffolk University. I returned to school this past year to pursue my MBA – definitely the oldest person in class but I just love it!

Laurel Egan Kenny
COO, South Shore Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO at Turningpoint Communications

Marshfield resident Laurel Egan Kenny became the chief operating officer at the South Shore Chamber of Commerce in 2012. A former president of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce, she was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives as the head of the Massachusetts Association of Membership Directors. She is also the founder of a marketing, communications and training company called Turningpoint Communications.

DSC_5059What do you like most about working at the South Shore Chamber?

I enjoy connecting and promoting business leaders and being able to bring business, community, municipal and political leaders together to bring about thoughtful economic development for the South Shore.

What is the focus of your work at Turningpoint Communications?

The focus is on marketing and sales communications and specialized training programs to promote the thought leadership of treasury and wealth management focused clients. Our clients range from large U.S. and offshore money center banks who hire us for industry specific marketing communications, events and initiatives to global financial services technology providers who hire us to train their clients on relationship sales and financial services institutions with industry specific employee training needs. 

What is your proudest career achievement?

I served as a founding member of a rare “corporate entrepreneurial” venture that grew from $0 to $150 billion in assets under administration and from 0 to 600 employees in a little over one year, while I earned an MBA with a focus on innovation from Simmons College. This time in my life fostered my love of entrepreneurialism and innovation.

Did you have any mentors or idols that inspired you to succeed?

My parents, Kenneth and Jacqueline Egan, instilled in me a strong work ethic. They encouraged me to challenge boundaries and stereotypes and to lead with authenticity, ethics and compassion. People often tell me I am not what they expect. I usually respond, “thank you.”

Are you involved with any other local organizations/

I am honored to serve on the (not-so-local) Board of Directors of the Dallas, TX Association of Financial Professionals after rolling off of the Board of Directors of the New England Association of Financial Professionals after 8 years, most recently as president. I also remain in a leadership position on the Marshfield Chamber after serving as president for two years. I was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives as the head of the Massachusetts Association of Membership Directors.

Meg Doherty
CEO, Norwell Visiting Nurse Association  (NVNA) and Hospice

Norwell resident Meg Doherty has been CEO at the NVNA for 29 years. She currently sits on the Board of Health for the town of Norwell and is an appointed member of the Massachusetts Public Health Council.

MegDoherty_4322_FinalSilo copyWhat is your proudest achievement?

I’m proud to have helped grow an organization, with the help of loyal staff and good guidance from board members, into a multi-million dollar, nationally award-winning visiting nurse agency.

What makes the new VNA hospice home in Hingham unique?

It’s the only non-profit hospice residence on the South Shore and has peaceful, beautiful surroundings. But the staff makes it unique—people compliment us all the time about how caring our staff is. And how many hospice residences have Galloway Belted cows right outside to watch graze?!

How has your business changed over the years?

The patients are sicker and field clinicians need to have more and more cutting-edge skills to care for them. Technology and drugs allowing people with complex medical issues to live longer in the community have changed tremendously over the last 29 years. People are being discharged directly from ICUs straight to home. There is more and more government cost cutting. We are creating partnerships to provide more seamless transitions for patient care.

Did you have any mentors or idols that inspired you to succeed?

If you really want to know the truth, my idol was Lillian Wald, the founder of the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) of New York in the late 1800s. She was caring, concerned and extremely innovative. My mother inspired me by saying, “always leave a place better than you found it.” And Bob Dwyer, a long-time board member, taught me how to do the right thing no matter what.  From a nursing standpoint, I’ve been inspired by all the nurses I’ve worked with over the years at Boston City Hospital, MGH and the Norwell VNA and Hospice. In fact, I’m inspired every day.

Are you involved with any other local organizations/charities?

I’m very involved with the Visiting Nurses Association of New England, Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts and Boston City Hospital Alumni. I continue to be a visiting lecturer at UMass, Boston College of Nursing and Boston College William Connell School of Nursing Continuing Education.

Michele Pecorar0
Executive Director, Plymouth 400

Before landing at Plymouth 400, Plympton resident Michele Pecoraro’s diverse career path included posts at Plimoth Plantation and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, where she honed her tourism and destination marketing skills. She currently serves on the board of directors for Destination Plymouth and the Plymouth County Development Council.

MichelePecoraro_5196_FinalSilo copyPlymouth 400 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony. Have you always been interested in American history?

I’m intrigued by history and how it has the power to inform our future decisions if we take the time to examine it. Our American history tends to begin with the Revolutionary War since that’s the point when we became an independent and free nation. However, the seeds of what we now know to be America were sown in the exploration that led the to the Mayflower voyage, which is one of the world’s most significant ocean voyages because it brought an unlikely group of travelers, the Pilgrims, to the shores of this continent in search of a better life. It’s truly the beginning of America’s immigration story. However it was not without its controversy. A nation of indigenous people was here long before colonization, so Native American history is impacted by the founding of Plymouth Colony and subsequent Massachusetts Bay Colony as well.

What are your hopes and goals for Plymouth 400?

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, a milestone where we can reflect on the past and act on the future. First, it’s important to honor our past and the people, both Pilgrims and Wampanoag, whose courage and sacrifice led us here. So one important outcome is to tell the accurate and inclusive story of these two cultures, and own our history with all of its triumphs and tragedies. Second, we will use this opportunity to open discussions and build legacies through educational events, civic engagement, and National and International participation. Finally, this is an economic development project that can last beyond 2020 and benefit communities throughout Massachusetts and greater New England.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the incredible chance we have to make a difference, to change our world for the better, to elevate Plymouth Colony’s and Massachusetts’ important role in the making of America and to bring economic prosperity to the Commonwealth through tourism and business development. It’s a time when it seems that all things are possible.

What is your proudest career achievement?

I’ll let you know in 2021!

Lisa Rafferty
Playwright and director

Scituate resident Lisa Rafferty is a playwright and director of “The MOMologues,” a series of comedic stage performances about motherhood. Her most recent project is a documentary theater production called “Finish Line—The Untold Stories of the 2013 Boston Marathon” co-created with Joey Frangieh of the Boston Theater Company.

LisaRafferty_4477_FinalSilo copyDid you always know you wanted to be a playwright?

I have always been involved in theater. I grew up acting, switched to directing in college and never looked back. Playwriting happened when my first child was born and my actor friend Stefanie and I were bemoaning our lack of a creative outlet. We decided to write about what was consuming our world—motherhood—and how funny it can all be in hindsight.  Sheila Eppolito came on board and off we went. Four plays later (one with fellow breast cancer survivors Pam Ahl and Jane McGovern), I’m delighted to say our productions have been produced around the country and around the world.

Did you ever expect MOMologues to be so successful? 

MOMologues has surpassed our wildest dreams. Our initial run in Boston was created with a tiny budget and sold out 3 weeks before we opened, through word-of-mouth. We had clearly touched a chord. Moms need a night out to laugh and cry together. Once we started writing, we couldn’t stop, and as our kids grew we just kept pouring forth material.  At last count, productions have appeared in 21 states and five countries.

What is your latest project?

‘Finish Line – the Untold Stories of the 2013 Boston Marathon,’ is a documentary theater play to honor and remember those who were impacted almost three years ago. Last spring we interviewed over 85 people including survivors, runners, doctors, EMTs, clergy, students and others. The script is being created verbatim from the interviews. ‘Finish Line’ will tell of the community that arose that day, based in compassion, caring and kindness. It will also focus on the recovery and resiliency of those who crossed the finish line in 2014. Preview performances will happen in April, in advance of the world premiere in 2017, in association with the Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston.

Did you have any mentors or idols that inspired you to succeed?

For writing funny about real life, I’m inspired by Erma Bombeck, Wendy Wasserstein and Tina Fey. 

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