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Leon Hess Business School

2nd Annual Women’s Forum

Panelist Biographies

Valerie Montecalvo

Valerie Montecalvo

Valerie Montecalvo is owner and CEO of Bayshore Recycling Corporation (BRC), a nationally-recognized and award-winning facility in Woodbridge. A New Jersey native, Montecalvo leads the most diverse and multifaceted operation of its kind on the East Coast. BRC’s Eco-Complex and Energy Campus has been coined the “Mega-Mall for Recycling” by former NJDEP Commissioner, Lisa Jackson, who was a former USEPA Administrator under President Barack Obama.

As an avid environmentalist, Montecalvo champions and supports many environmental groups including The Nature Conservancy, Clean Ocean Action, Edison Wetlands. She is the national president of the Construction Materials Recycling Association. Her firm was recognized in 2014 by ConAgg/ConExpo in Las Vegas for their work on local projects demonstrating the wise use of recycled materials.  Both Sustainable New Jersey and the NJ League of Municipalities named BRC their Outstanding Corporate Citizen for 2014.

As a named “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ; the NJ Chapter of Professional Women in Construction; CIANJ (Construction Industry Association of New Jersey, and the Governor’s Conference for Women, Montecalvo has led many panel discussions advocating for non-traditional careers for women in business. Some of the organizations that the Montecalvo family has supported: The March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Associate Humane Society, Monmouth County SPCA, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Bayshore Community Hospital Foundation, Operation NJ Cares, Hope for Highlands and the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development.

Linda Bowden

Linda Bowden

Linda Bowden is New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank, where she is responsible for providing executive leadership and supporting client relationship and business development initiatives, including corporate and institutional banking, commercial banking and wealth management, as well as supporting the firm’s community-based activities.

Bowden has previously served as portfolio manager, trust and investment officer, and as a manager overseeing private banking officers. She has been named among the “25 Women to Watch” by U.S. Banker magazine and was recognized as one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” and “Power 100” by NJBiz.

Prior to joining PNC in 2009, she was the managing director of Wachovia Wealth Management. Bowden began her career as a teacher in Wyckoff, NJ, and authored two children’s math books.

Bowden is active in a range of community programs. She serves on the board of the Drumthwacket Foundation, as well as the executive committees of the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, NJ, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Choose New Jersey. In addition, Bowden is a member of the board of trustees of Newark Celebration 350, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the William Paterson University Foundation. She is also a Fairleigh Dickinson University PINNACLE recipient, the highest honor awarded to alumni.
Bowden earned an M.S.W. from Columbia University, an M.A in institutional counseling from William Paterson University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.A in education from Rowan University. Additionally, Bowden completed the National Trust School at Northwestern University, earned her Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation and has completed numerous sales management and leadership programs.

Karen Siciliano

Karen Siciliano

“I am becoming more of my authentic self every day and strive to elevate the awareness and circumstance of others,” said Karen Siciliano who is president of Siciliano Landscape Company in Red Bank, NJ, which is a full-service landscape architecture firm in addition to providing maintenance and installation. She had been working in finance for 18 years, serving as vice president of JP Morgan and Chase Manhattan Bank in Mortgage Backed Securities, and then the 9/11 attacks changed her world. Several months later she left Wall Street to take over her family’s 80-year old landscape business.

Since then, the business has quadrupled in size and has generously donated their services to local businesses. Along with the help of some of her clients, Siciliano’s company has expanded the children’s hospital and planted a garden for the breast center at Monmouth Medical Center, created a popular outdoor patio garden and bar at a local theatre, and supported the Visiting Nurses Association each year through their role as a show house designer.

Siciliano received a B.A. in Communication in 1983 from Purdue University where she was also named the first female in the school’s history ever elected president of the 35,000-member student body.

Siciliano also serves as an executive officer on the board of trustees for the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, as a board of director for the Count Basie Theatre Foundation and a member of the advisory board for Investors Bank.