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Women In Business 2011


This is the ninth year Inside Business has recognized women in Hampton Roads for their business acumen. By honoring these achievements we seek to encourage them and other women to trust in their abilities, strengthen their self-confidence and participate in the economic growth of the community.
The 25 women we honor were selected from nominations from the public. We greatly appreciate the efforts of our judges, who are listed on this page.
The women we honor are a diverse group who do everything from running a hospital to handling the accounting of a Fortune 500 company to creating cupcake sensations. They’ve created businesses and excelled in professional positions while raising a family, sometimes as a single parent or in the face of other adversities, and being involved in the community and their industries. They’ve done it while reaching out to help other women and men along the way.
And that’s just the beginning, because this group of women are not done. We hope this recognition spurs them on to even greater things. We’re proud to introduce them to you.

– Carol Lichti, Editor of Inside Business

The judges
Anne C.H. Conner
President, TowneBank
2003 Women in Business honoree

Susan Kelly
CEO, Jo-Kell
2008 Women in Business honoree

Lisa Smith

Louisa Strayhorn
President and CEO, Louisa Strayhorn & Associates Consulting
Virginia Beach
2008 Women in Business honoree

Marian B. Ticatch
President, Ticatch Financial Management
Virginia Beach
2005 Women in Business honoree

Photos by Vincent Schilling


Scroll down to meet the honorees.
Learn more about each honoree by clicking on her name or photo.

  • Patricia L. Robertson CEO of Mary Immaculate Hosptial and Extended Care Service Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System

    Updated: November 30, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Posted: December 9, 2011

    Growing up in a rural farming community in North Carolina, Patricia "Pat" Robertson came from a civic-minded family where giving back was important.

    "As a teenager, I started to pursue things that I wanted to do," Robertson said. "I told my parents I wanted to work in a community hospital to see what it was like.

    "I worked as a candy striper. It was a great introduction to health care and being around the hospital staff."

  • Shira Itzhak Owner Remedy Intelligent Staffing

    Updated: November 30, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Posted: December 9, 2011

    As the owner of an employment agency and a co-founder of the region's first pre-secondary school for Orthodox Jewish students, Shira Itzhak has a knack for zeroing in on the needs of clients and community members alike.

    For example, Itzhak's company, a Virginia Beach franchise of Remedy Intelligent Staffing, had recruited some employees for a local warehouse. Working conditions tended to get uncomfortably hot there, so she began providing water bottles labeled with Remedy's logo.

  • Shirley B. Sasser Executive Vice President and mortgage sales manager TowneBank Mortgage, a division of TowneBank

    Updated: November 30, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Posted: December 9, 2011

    There are many in the residential real business who say they love helping people achieve the dream of home ownership. For Shirley Sasser, this has been true for a generation.

    The executive vice president and mortgage sales manager for TowneBank Mortgage comes to the table with a list of awards including Top Originator at Atlantic Permanent, First Washington Mortgage and Columbia First Bank. She received the President's Club Award at CTX Mortgage.

    She came to TowneBank Mortgage following her tenure at CTX Mortgage and was named to her current position in 2003.

  • Shirley McGee President and Owner Home Sweet Home Care Inc.

    Updated: November 30, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Posted: December 9, 2011

    When Shirley McGee's mother was alive, she suffered from emphysema, and McGee would make the round trip to her mother's home several times a week.

    But there was no time for chatting.

    "I had always worked full-time, and I would drive the 35 to 40 minutes a few times a week to run to the grocery store and to the pharmacy," she said. "I never felt like I had the time to sit down and have dinner with her, or just a decent visit, because I had to run home and do all this for my own family."

  • Suzanne M. Beckstoffer Director of Technology Development Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries

    Updated: November 30, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Posted: December 9, 2011

    Suzanne Beckstoffer, director of technology development at Newport News Shipbuilding, is a proud advocate for STEM education - and a mentor to students she hopes will follow in her footsteps one day.

    Growing up, she gained an early respect for educators.

    "I'm the product of two educators," she said. "My mom was an elementary teacher and my dad was a college professor. So education is very important in our family."

    Now, Beckstoffer works with students and professionals, helping them to understand the importance of math and science training.