Mary Walsh Boatfield

Walsh Boatfield

ROCHESTER — Rochester Business Journal has selected Mary Walsh Boatfield, president and CEO of Ability Partners Inc., as a Circle of Excellence honoree for 2021.

The Circle of Excellence recognizes women of longstanding, notable success in the community who are leading the way for other women. Boatfield and the other nine honorees were selected by Rochester Business Journal editors from among previous Women of Excellence winners.

Women of Excellence awards, which will be given to 40 individuals in 2021, identify high-achieving women for their tremendous career accomplishments. The women are selected based on their professional experience, community involvement, leadership and sustained commitment to mentoring.

“The 2021 Women of Excellence/Circle of Excellence honorees are blazing trails professionally and personally,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, group publisher of the Rochester Business Journal, in a press release. “Their leadership, accomplishments and commitment to mentoring are extraordinary. These high-achieving women are breaking barriers and lifting up the Greater Rochester community. We at the Rochester Business Journal are pleased to honor them.”

“I am honored to be a Rochester Business Journal Women of Excellence and Circle of Excellence honoree alongside my colleagues, also selected as awardees,” Walsh Boatfield said.

Ability Partners is the 47th-largest corporation in the Greater Rochester area. In 2014, it was formed as a passive parent corporation, formally affiliating CP Rochester, Happiness House and Rochester Rehabilitation Center. The three affiliates continue to operate as separate subsidiaries, sharing executive leadership. Walsh Boatfield serves as the leader of all three organizations and Ability Partners Foundation. The three agencies play critical roles in the economic well-being of the communities in which they operate.

Ability Partners employs 700 staffers serving 7,100 individuals and families in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes areas with combined annual operating budgets of $36 million.

Walsh Boatfield’s work includes time with the Women’s Council, eventually serving as president, and chair of the Athena Award steering committee program. She was instrumental in launching the Young Women of Distinction Scholarship program.

“This experience provided me the foundation and opportunity to be mentored and become a lifelong mentor to many women in our area,” Walsh Boatfield said.

In 2009, Walsh Boatfield received the Geneva Athena Award. A year later, former state Sen. Mike Nozzolio presented Walsh Boatfield with a New York State Senate Women of Distinction Award.

The Women of Excellence/Circle of Excellence awards will be presented during an online celebration that begins at 5:30 p.m. May 25. For tickets, visit The event hashtag is #RBJevents.

Winners will be profiled in a special magazine that will be inserted into the May 28 issue of Rochester Business Journal and will be available at

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