Debbi Hartley-Triesch, Nyakio Grieco, Dendy Engelman and More Honored at the Outstanding Mother Awards

The challenges in balancing highly successful careers with the daily demands and rewards of motherhood was the overriding theme at the 46th Annual 2024 Outstanding Mother Awards.

On Thursday at The Pierre hotel in New York, the event recognized Debbi Hartley-Triesch, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of accessories, beauty and home at Nordstrom; Nyakio Grieco, cofounder, Thirteen Lune and founder, Relevant; Dr. Dendy Engelman, board certified dermatologic surgeon at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue; Hannah Bronfman, activist, author, creator and founder, Pres10 Ventures, and award-winning actress Melora Hardin.

More from WWD

Mistress of ceremonies Joanna Coles, who is also chief content officer at The Daily Beast, entertained the crowd with her own personal stories of motherhood and the fact that her older adult son has moved back home. “I have no idea what he does during the day,” she quipped.

The event raised $650,000 benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Boys Hope Girls Hope New York, and included a live auction conducted by Lydia Fenet.

Each recipient spoke about the joys of motherhood and the importance of a strong support system.

Grieco said she dreamed of being a mother and used to mother her little brother. “I was a very bossy big sister,” she said. “My journey to motherhood was a team effort,” she said, noting that her husband David flew across the country to be at the event, and that she had “the best example” in her own mother.

“There’s no such thing as perfect balance….For any young mother’s listening, there’s categorically no such thing as doing it all perfectly,” she said.

Dr. Dendy Engelman was filled with emotion, saying, “I’m far from worthy of this recognition….Most days I feel like I’m failing on all fronts. I can be a better mother, I can be a better wife, I can be a better friend, I can be a better daughter and I can be a better doctor, the list goes on.”

Engelman thanked her parents and her husband for “supplying structure, support, structure, attention to detail, structure…..and did I mention structure?” She said that if she has one superpower it’s that she’s chosen “amazing super people” around her.

“Being a mother is probably the hardest and most rewarding job,” said Bronfman. “All the clichés really do apply. It really does take a village.” Bronfman’s journey to motherhood was a difficult one that took years. After IVF, she now has two children. Bronfman has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, and shared her fertility journey in an effort to normalize pregnancy loss and IVF.

Bronfman thanked her husband Brandon, and said she has learned so much from the way her own mother raised her three children. She also said she’s learned from her friends who have children older than her toddlers. She’s constantly reminded of that saying, “small kids, small problems.”

“I recognize that every mother is absolutely a superwoman,” she said.

Hardin thanked her mother, two daughters and her husband. “My husband made me a mother, which was quite fun,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of great jobs in my life. The very best I ever had is being a mother.”

Hartley-Triesch said she was “humbled and honored” to be recognized for a role outside of work, which she found a little bit unnerving, she said. She’s been at Nordstrom for 33 years, and met her husband after making “the best decision” to move from California to Dallas when Nordstrom opened the Galleria store. “He’s my best friend and my rock,” she said. In addition to having two “amazing stepdaughters” and being a grandmother, she said her greatest accomplishment is her daughter, Lily.

She signed off with a plug for those who may still be looking for Mother’s Day gifts: “There’s a great store on 58th Street and Broadway.”

Launch Gallery: Inside the Outstanding Mother's Day Awards 2024

Best of WWD