Photo of Martha Firestone

Photo of Marsha Firestone

Marsha Firestone (NC ’65)

Marsha Firestone (NC ’65) has been a trailblazer for women throughout her distinguished career. The university recognized her accomplishments at the 2015 Tulane Alumni Awards Gala.

Firestone is founder and president of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), which began in 1997 as a peer advisory organization for women who own multimillion-dollar businesses. She is also the Founder and President of the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization, dedicated to increasing access to business opportunities for women’s business enterprises.

Under her leadership, WPO has become a transformative organization that promotes women business leaders across industries and interests. It now has over 115 chapters on six continents, and more than 1,700 members from around the world. In 2013 alone, the WPO expanded into new markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Mexico City and the Middle East/North Africa, where women are achieving unprecedented levels of success and hitting the multi-million-dollar revenue requirement for membership.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, her current role is just the latest chapter in an impressive biography. She previously served as Vice President of Women Incorporated and as Vice President of Training and Counseling at the American Woman’s Economic Development Corporation (AWED). Her career also includes positions as President of a for-profit educational institution; National Executive Director of Women’s American ORT, a volunteer organization; and a faculty member at the American Management Association Competency-Based Management Development Program, at City University of New York, and at Adelphi University. In addition to her work in the corporate sphere, Marsha is the author of The Busy Woman’s Guide to Successful Self-Employment and has published research in business and educational journals on adult learning theory, nonverbal communication, and managerial competency. Marsha earned a master’s degree in communication from Teacher’s College of New York and a Ph.D. in Communication from Columbia University, where Margaret Mead sat on her dissertation committee.

As Firestone built her impressive dossier, she still found time to serve her alma mater. She served on the Tulane Alumni Association’s Board of Directors from 1999-2000, the Newcomb Dean’s Advisory Council in 2006, evolving into a role on the Newcomb Institute’s Director’s Advisory Council. She was also a vital part of the Class of 1965’s fundraising efforts in honor of its 50th Reunion. In 2003, the Newcomb Alumnae Association honored Firestone with the Outstanding Alumna Award.