NFBPWC-NYC would like to thank the following women for their dedication and past service as UN Reps.
Elizabeth “Liz” Benham is the past president of National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs USA (NFBPWC-USA) an affiliate of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW) and also a past president of the International Federation. A member for 28 years she served as IFBPW vice president from 2005-2008 and as an appointed delegate of IFBPW to the United Nations in New York from 1997 where the organization has had consultative status for 66 years since 1947.
Her outstanding achievements were acknowledged by receiving the prestigious proclamations from the United States House of Representatives recorded in the 111th Congressional Record of Congress, the Council of the City of New York and Woman of the Year award by BPW New York.
Born and educated in South Africa, Liz Benham has a full and varied professional and business career. Liz Benham has more than 20 years of import export, sales, marketing and management experience, competently serving customers which included major retailers and wholesalers like Home Depot and Georgia Pacific. While working in the industry and living in a beach home she recognized a need and created a solution, becoming the motivated inventor of a gadget called “the Footle” _www.thefootle.com a hands-free attachment for a sliding screen door The tagline “instead of a Hand-le you now also have a Foot-le!” has successfully marketed the product on the Web.
Liz’s hobbies are multitudinous. She was a fun skydiver for many years and an enthusiastic international skydiving judge, having participated in world championships in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Canada and the USA. In addition she holds an airplane glider pilot’s license. She is a music lover, a passionate reader, a horseback rider and a favors walking on the beach and gardening.
Harriet Friedlander is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College and a Ford Foundation Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Masters Degree). She earned a Certificat pour les Etrangers at Sciences Po in Paris. A co-author of a French textbook she taught French for sixteen years before founding, in 1977, Academic Arrangements Abroad, an Educational travel company. A Scholarship intern at the UN in 1952, she has a strong interest in international affairs and has served on the Advisory Boards of the Ludwig Foundation for Art in Cuba and the Taj Hotel in India, among others. A member of the Program Committee of the Harvard Club of New York, she was elected President of her Mt. Holyoke College Class and is beginning her 5th term as a UN Rep for IFBPW.
She has been married for 61 years to a very supportive husband and has three children and four grandchildren.
Eva Richter joined BPW in 2002 as a UN representative under the guidance of the beloved Claire Fulcher. At the time she was newly retired from a long career as a professor of English at the City University of New York and at various other colleges and universities in the US and abroad. She has served on the Executive Committees of the CSW, the Committee on Migration, which she co-founded, and the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and is a member of the NGO Committee on Human Rights. Both for various United Nations events and for academic and community venues she has written papers and lectured on migration, on various aspects of CEDAW, and in her commitment to the realization of women’s equality and gender justice has organized many workshops, seminars and panels.
She was honored for her UN work by BPW in 2014 and received the Esther W. Hymer Award in 2015 “for her outstanding commitment and her contribution as Permanent UN Representative in New York during 2003-2014.” She is now (since 2015) retired from the position of Main UN Representative for BPW but enthusiastically continues her active membership in the organization. She is currently following the development of the Business Mechanism of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and is working with the Empower Women Team at UN Women and BPW Main Representative and Chair of NGO CSW Susan O’Malley to include civil society in a special event being hosted by UN Women during CSW 61.
Mary Brophy graduated from Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York with a BA in 1971. Hired by Chase Manhattan Bank, she completed the training program and worked as a lending officer in the Corporate Bank, initially traveling in the southern part of the United States to call on existing and potential clients. This training honed her skills in accounting and financial analysis, researching industries and companies and developing the interpersonal skills necessary to market bank products. In 1977, as a second Vice President, Mary resigned from the bank to focus on her growing family and became more involved in local and volunteer activities. In 1990, she completed the MBA program at Columbia University and returned to the work force. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Academic Arrangements Abroad, Mary Brophy worked closely with Harriet Friedlander, the founder and president, to develop educational travel programs to destinations throughout the world that could be marketed to the members of the company’s not-for-profit clients. The travel programs were enriched with expert lectures, music, special access and events; all designed to culturally and intellectually enrich the lives of the members of the sponsor organizations. During this time, Mary traveled to six continents and over fifty countries, tapping into her passion to learn about the peoples and cultures in the modern world and throughout history. Now retired, Mary feels privileged to be a representative of BPW to DPI/NGO Committee for 2017 and hopes that her experiences, skills and time will help to improve economic opportunities for other women.
Ms. Hensle-Hirsch is an accomplished executive with over 35 years of experience with two of the leading US financial services firms. Her experience spans marketing, product development, branch management, and business development with PaineWebber and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
For two years ending in 2013, Ms. Hensle-Hirsch was a Managing Director and the Chief Administrative Officer for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Global Wealth and Investment Management Operations division. She was responsible for financials, project management, data analytics, communications and talent management programs.
Prior to this role, Ms. Hensle-Hirsch’s senior leadership positions included Director of Contact Center Experience and Associate Director of Business Development for Smith Barney’s Global Private Client Group. She led the Firm’s programs to recruit new and experienced Financial Advisors to Smith Barney and the sourcing and talent development of Branch Manager candidates. Additionally, she oversaw Smith Barney’s Professional Development Group.
From 1998 to 2005, Ms. Hensle-Hirsch was the Director of Marketing and Advertising, responsible for the development and implementation of Smith Barney’s overall advertising and marketing communications strategy to individual investors, private and public corporations, and philanthropic organizations. Ms. Hensle-Hirsch’s responsibilities included market research and target marketing, as well as the continued development of two of the firm’s flagship programs within banking services and interactive services.
Prior to joining Smith Barney in 1998, Ms. Hensle-Hirsch was a Senior Vice President at PaineWebber. She held a number of senior positions in marketing and management in PaineWebber’s Private Client Group, including managing the Beverly Hills, CA office and a complex of branch offices in New Jersey.
Ms. Hensle-Hirsch commitment to her corporate responsibilities and colleagues included being a co-founder of the Smith Barney Private Client Group Women’s Council which focused on the professional development of women working in the corporate headquarters; serving on Smith Barney’s Diversity and Hardships committees and the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Management Committee.
Ms. Hensle-Hirsch has a Bachelor of Science from Dickinson College and participated in MBA studies at New York University. In 1997, she was inducted into the Academy of Women Achievers of YWCA of the City of New York.
Ms. Hensle-Hirsch is on the Board of Trustees for the Metropolitan College of New York and a member of Enterprising and Professional Women-NYC/ Business and Professional Women International (BPW International).
Elizabeth B. Irwin (known as Liz) is the General Counsel for a tour operator in New York City. Raised as an expatriate child in Brussels, Liz moved to Chappaqua, New York in high school and subsequently attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and graduated in 1982 with a BA and a major in Medieval Studies. She continued her studies at Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where she was an editor of the International Law Review. She earned her J.D. in 1986, and is licensed in both New York and New Jersey. Liz clerked for Judge Serena Perretti, Superior Court, Law Division, Civil Part, working on both criminal and civil matters. After her clerkship, in 1987, she joined the Prosecutor’s Office of Newark, New Jersey, as an Assistant Prosecutor, and worked in the Grand Jury and the Juvenile Division. In 2001, she joined the specialist Tour Operator, Academic Arrangements Abroad in New York City as the General Counsel, and is responsible for all legal matters within the corporation. The broad nature of her responsibilities exposes her to government and private contracts, Federal and international law and regulation, and intellectual property law. She is also Secretary of the Corporation and serves on the Board of Directors.
From 1990 to 1998, Liz was a member of the League of Women Voters of Short Hills N.J. serving in various posts, including Vice President, where her position included educating high schools students in participation in the American legislative process. From 2007 to 2010, she served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Unitarian Church of Summit, New Jersey. She is also a member of the New York Bar Association.
Liz is married and the proud mother of two grown sons. Her other interests include yoga and meditation, as well as a love and enjoyment of the performing and visual arts. She lives in Short Hills, New Jersey and Pipersville, Pennsylvania.