W.I.S.E. Annual Event: Women Trailblazers

Join us at our Annual W.I.S.E. Event for a panel discussion with several of the area’s most well known and respected Women Trailblazers. This remarkable group of women have paved the way, broken barriers and achieved significant milestones in their respective fields. These women are pioneers, leaders, and visionaries who have who have demonstrated exceptional courage, resilience, and innovation, inspiring generations to come.

Wednesday, April 24th


Vesper Country Club – 185 Pawtucket Boulevard – Tyngsborough

Individual Tickets $60, Table of 10 $500, Sponsorships (includes ticket(s) range from $250-$1,000)



Amy Hoey, RN – President, Lowell General Hospital

Amy Hoey, RN, BSN, MS, was named President in September 2022. She is responsible for overseeing daily operations of Lowell General Hospital while working closely with her peers across Tufts Medicine to identify and execute upon operational opportunities

Ms. Hoey leads the preparation of the organization’s annual goals and objectives, and continually evaluates the plans to ensure the successful performance of Lowell General Hospital and its ability to meet its mission. She also works to ensure that the hospital earns and maintains accreditation, licensing, and quality patient care through the establishment of performance improvement programs and standards.

Ms. Hoey previously served as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer (COO), responsible for overseeing the daily operations of Lowell General Hospital. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as the hospital’s Incident Commander, leading all operations inside the hospital as well as the creation of two field hospitals and an off-campus mass vaccination site.

Prior to her role as COO, Ms. Hoey served as Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer. As Vice President of Patient Care Services, Ms. Hoey was responsible for daily operations related to patient care, compliance with regulatory standards and performance improvement, risk management, infection control, and case management. Ms. Hoey began her career at Lowell General as the Director of Ambulatory and Transitional Care Services.

As Chief Nursing Officer, Ms. Hoey provided leadership for the Division of Nursing, encouraging the spirit of nursing and empowering her staff to develop and manage their departments to provide excellence in patient care. Her organization achieved Magnet Designation in 2010.

Ms. Hoey is part of the successful clinical management of several Lowell General expansion projects such as: The Legacy Project Dahod Building, addition of the Emergency Department Extension, Labor and Delivery Triage Expansion, and the Heart and Vascular Center. She also developed and implemented a shared governance model that is enculturated and disseminated through Lowell General Hospital.

Outside of the work Ms. Hoey does within the hospital, she is an active participant in multiple community organizations and events including the Board of Trustees of Lowell Five Cents Savings Bank, Board of Trustees New England Life Care, Board of Trustees D’Youville Life and Wellness Center, Member American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society.

Ms. Hoey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education from the University of Lowell, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Salem State College, and a Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Daynia La-Force, Executive Director/CFO – Terance Mann Complete Player Foundation (TMCPF)

Daynia is the executive director and driving force behind the Terance Mann Complete Player Foundation (TMCPF), a non-profit organization she co-founded with her eldest son, Los Angeles Clippers’ Terance Mann. An advocate for diversity, Daynia works tirelessly, along with her youngest son Martin, to fulfill the TMCPF’s mission of providing underserved youth access to educational and athletic opportunities as a pathway to success.

Established in 2023, Daynia has been instrumental in raising significant funds for TMCPF, which, in a short period of time, has enabled the organization to contribute critical resources and mentorship to youth across the United States and in Daynia’s native, St. Lucia. TMCPF’s impact has been so profound, Daynia was recently invited to represent the TMCPF at White House and the St. Lucian Embassy.

No stranger to the spotlight, Daynia has been influencing and motivating young people most of her life. Her determination and commitment led her to success both on the court as a player at Georgetown University and off the court as a coach.

Daynia was an assistant coach in the WNBA for the Atlanta Dream after spending nearly 25 years coaching women’s college basketball at the Division I and II levels. The former head coach of the University of Rhode Island’s women’s basketball team, Daynia was URI’s first minority woman head coach in any sport. This is one of the many achievements Daynia earned during her extensive collegiate coaching career. Prior to making history at URI, she served as the head coach at Northeastern where she was twice named the CAA Coach of the Year.

She stepped away from coaching to lead the TMCPF but has not put her whistle away for good. Daynia has teamed up with her husband, Eddie Benton (Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Robert Morris University and All-Time leading scorer at the University of Vermont), to run BentForce Basketball, a basketball training program for youth and elite athletes.

A champion for equity, opportunity and giving back, Daynia has a demonstrated history of being active in the communities with the most need and strives to make a difference. She is an active member of numerous organizations and is the founder and president of Mothers Against Racism, a non-profit educational resource center for disseminating information on how mothers, united, will defeat racism.

The co-founder of Courtside Moms Media, she is dedicated to supporting mothers of NBA and WNBA players and providing them with critical resources to help these families navigate finances, mental hurdles and the overall complex world of being a professional athlete. She also recently participated in Sinclair Health’s discussion on Mental Health and Opioids where she emphasized recognizing early indicators of deteriorating mental health that can lead to drug addiction and highlighted potential solutions, including those offered by the TMCPF, which can provide alternative paths to transform lives.

Daynia earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Long Island University (LIU) and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology from Georgetown, where she was an integral part of the Hoyas women’s basketball team that reached the first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 in 1993. In a tribute to his mom, Terance wears #14 on his Clippers’ jersey, the same number Daynia wore at Georgetown.

Julie Chen – Chancellor – UMass Lowell

Julie Chen, a recognized leader in research, STEM and economic development in higher education, is the fourth chancellor of UMass Lowell.

Chen was named chancellor after leading the university’s growing research franchise into a nearly $95 million annual operation. She was unanimously appointed by the UMass trustees in May 2022 and assumed her role as just the second woman to lead the university of more than 17,000 students on July 1.

In her first year as Chancellor, Chen led the development of a new five-year strategic plan, focused on four strategic priorities: 1.) Enrollment and Student Success, 2.) A Diverse, Welcoming and Inclusive Campus, 3.) Research Excellence and 4.) Partnering with Our Community for Mutual Benefit. In the past year the university has experienced increases in undergraduate enrollment, retention, six-year graduation rates and philanthropic gifts, which hit a new one-year record of $37.4 million. Forty-eight percent of 2023 first-year students identify as students of color.

Research funding has continued to increase in the last year – reaching $111 million – and UMass Lowell sits on the precipice of Research 1 status, the highest tier of research university in the country. The designation will further accelerate UMass Lowell’s growth in research, external partnerships with industry, non-profits and government agencies. It will also provide additional opportunities for students, faculty and alumni seeking internships, research collaborations and jobs.

Chen previously served as vice chancellor for research and economic development, a role that included managing industry partnerships, technology transfer, startups and innovation, core research facilities and economic development programs. As UMass Lowell’s chief research officer, she facilitated numerous innovative models that brought together industry, government and academia.

Chen joined the UMass Lowell faculty in 1997 after six years as an assistant professor at Boston University. From 2002 to 2004 she was director of the Materials Processing and Manufacturing as well as the Nanomanufacturing programs at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. Chen was appointed UMass Lowell’s vice provost for research in 2009, and she was promoted to vice chancellor in 2016 with an added external and outreach focus.

Chen has served on many editorial boards, advisory committees and review panels for journals and federal agencies including the National Science Foundation; the National Institutes of Health; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine; the U.S. Department of Energy; and the U.S. Department of Defense.

She serves on boards of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and MassTech Collaborative, as well as the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative and the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force.

An advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, she served as co-lead for UMass Lowell’s Council on Social Justice and Inclusion. Additionally, she was a co-principal investigator on a $3.5 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to support and elevate women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Chen received her Ph.D., Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering, where she was an Academic All-American in softball and field hockey.

In 2019 she was awarded an honorary degree from Queens University Belfast. She is a recipient of the U.S. Army Public Service Commendation Medal – the Army’s fourth-highest civilian honor – for her leadership in developing the innovation ecosystem.

Chen and her spouse, Susu Wong, reside in Wilmington.

Thank you to our sponsors:

UMass Lowell
Project Kompass
Better Business Bureau

Click here for sponsorship opportunities.

Thank you to our 2024 Platinum Partners: Enterprise BankTMI PropertiesMassHire Greater Lowell Workforce BoardJeanne D’Arc Credit Union, EforAll/EparaTodos Merrimack Valley and A&M Auto Body.


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