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Inclusive Leadership Impact
Awards Recipients

Join us in congratulating these Inclusive Leaders for their exceptional contributions to creating a more inclusive world. 

Meet The Award Recipients

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Iliana Zúñiga- Miranda
Community Award Recipient

A passionate Diversity and Inclusion leader, Iliana
founded Latinos Unidos Norwalk in 2020, now supporting 5,500+ members of the Latino community in Fairfield County, CT. With deep insights into the struggles of the Latino community, she ensures vital resources are accessible during challenging times.

A fervent advocate for women's rights, she's a core member of Norwalk Women Who Vote
and an advisor for Womerang in Mexico.


Recognized as a founder and commissioner for the City of Norwalk Commission on the Status of Women, Iliana recently spoke at the global Grace Hopper Celebration, sharing her impactful journey.

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Candace Freedenberg
Workplace Award Recipient

Founder - Untapped Potential Inc. Candace is a technologist and business leader with experience at Laboratory for Laser Energetics, IBM, Eastman Kodak, and Orafol. Her work, historically at the forefront of new technology and new industries within corporate America, yielded a number of US patents.
Often a catalyst for organizational change, now, as the Founder of Untapped Potential Inc., she is engineering social change for women impacting gender equality, diversity, and work-life balance. She is the recipient Woman-owned Small Business of the Year Award, Woman-CT Woman Of Innovation Award,  CT Entrepreneur Award, and a reSET Incubator Award.  Candace was recently honored by the Girl Scouts of Connecticut for their 27th Annual Breakfast Badge Awards, Honoring Women Who Inspire and Lead. She has championed equity for women as a Keynote, Speaker, Workshop Leader, or Panelist for Diversity Network (a global organization), Community Economic Development Fund, sheLeadsTECH, Women in BioCT, Greater Hartford’s Women’s Conference, and Society of HR Management (SHRM) Conferences for NY, CT, MA & RI. With her passion for STEM Education and Diversity, Candace serves as an Advisor to Our Second Innings, LLC, a non-profit organization providing on-line learning,  and, a diversity recruitment platform. 
Candace holds an MS in Business from Boston University, an MS Certificate in Manufacturing Systems, from NTU, and a  BS in Optical Engineering from the University of Rochester. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children. 

Untapped Potential Inc.

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Lorraine Gibbons
Non-Profit Award Recipient

Executive Director of the Cardinal Shehan Center and the McGivney Community Center. She has served in that role since January 2019. She previously was the Director of Development at the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport, a subsidiary of the Diocese of Bridgeport, where she served in that capacity for almost 14
years. As a critical member of the senior management team, she was responsible for grant writing, grant research, grant reporting, managing 9-10 fundraising events annually including two major golf tournaments, gift solicitations, donor database management, website and communications for the Center, as well as, program implementation and execution. She began her career in Accounting and Shareholder Relations.

Lorraine is the Chairman of the Board of Amistad Academy High, Amistad Middle School, and Amistad Elementary Schools in New Haven. She also is the President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, New Haven Metropolitan Chapter. Lorraine previously served as the President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Fairfield County Chapter. She is a board member of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the Burroughs Fund in Bridgeport. Lorraine is the recipient of numerous community awards and is a mentor to many.

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The LiveGirl Team
Youth Award Recipient

Founded in 2014, LiveGirl, Inc. is a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization that builds confident, inclusive leaders. Their mission is to prepare the next generation of diverse, brave female leaders with the skills, community, and connections so that ALL girls may thrive and make a positive impact on the world. 

They provide free-of-charge leadership development, mentorship, and career readiness to girls/young women ages 10-24, centering girls/young women that have been historically underrepresented. They also advocate loudly for policies and practices that open doors for girls & women. Since 2014, LiveGirl has reached over 15,000 girls, including 72% girls of color.

The members of the LiveGirl Team are:

  • Veronica DeLandro (Executive Director)

  • Shamare Holmes (Program Director)

  • Farrell Lindeman (She Cares Program Manager)

  • Hannah Jean Pierre (SHE WORKS Program Manager)

  • Amanda deLauzon (Marketing &. Engagement)


All team members are exemplars of inclusive leadership, demonstrating compassion, empathy, and collaboration in their daily work. They also coach and encourage the girls we serve to build authentic bridges to people whose lives are different from their own. What sets LiveGirl apart- is our focus on inclusive leadership - and working tirelessly to build an equal, inclusive future.


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