Erin Brockovich became an American icon when she was portrayed by Julia Roberts in the 2000 Oscar-winning film "Erin Brockovich.” The film showcased Brockovich as the force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. In 1993, despite a lack of legal education, Brockovich was instrumental in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric, which resulted in a $333 million settlement to 600 residents of the town of Hinkley, Calif. The 1996 settlement was the largest ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history. Her legal career began after she was seriously injured in a traffic accident in Reno, when Brockovich moved to California’s San Fernando Valley and in 1991 hired the law firm Masry & Vititoe to represent her in a lawsuit stemming from the accident. They won a small settlement, but still needing to work, she began a job at the law firm as a file clerk. While organizing papers on a pro bono real estate case, Brockovich found medical records that would explode into the now-famous lawsuit, spearheaded by Brockovich, then a single mother of two, and Masry. Brockovich’s solo investigation eventually established the health of Hinkley residents had been devastated for decades by exposure to toxic Chromium 6, which had leaked into the groundwater from the nearby PG&E compressor station. Brockovich’s celebrity led to a 2001 television special "Challenge America With Erin Brockovich,” in which she helped motivate and organize the rebuilding of a dilapidated park in downtown Manhattan. For three seasons she hosted the Lifetime series "Final Justice with Erin Brockovich,” which celebrated everyday women who triumphed when faced with overwhelming adversity. She is the author with Marc Eliot of the business bestseller Take It From Me. Life’s A Struggle, But You Can Win. Now president of Brockovich Research and Consulting, she is involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide. She has had requests for help in groundwater contamination complaints in all 50 states, Australia and other international locations. Today, Brockovich encourages others to stand up and make a difference.
Vice President of Sustainability
As vice president sustainability for Safeway Inc., Christy Consler is responsible for developing Safeway’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategy across the enterprise. She works to ensure that Safeway takes a leadership position in the grocery retail industry with respect to sustainability, including coordinating, developing and driving the CSR position and efforts throughout the company. Her responsibilities include providing strategic input, benchmarking, goal development, helping forge relationships with external entities and ensuring the company’s leaders and employees approach their roles with a broader mindset of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Consler joined Safeway in October 2006 as vice president of leadership development and planning, where she led a team to develop and drive Safeway’s leadership bench strength and talent initiatives. She moved full time into her sustainability and CSR role in August 2010. Prior to joining Safeway, Consler held a variety of brand management and strategy roles, including at General Mills. She also ran her own leadership consulting firm specializing in women’s leadership development. Consler was named one of the "Top 100 Women in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer in 2011 and 2010. She is a Network of Executive Women Board member and a member of the American Society for Training and Development. In 2012, Girl Scouts of America honored Consler with its Forever Green Award as one of the "top 100 women ‘greening’ the future of Northern California.” Consler is a graduate of Cornell University, where she received a bachelor of science degree in applied economics, and of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her master of business administration degree.
President and CEO
Food & Consumer Products of Canada
As president and CEO of Food & Consumer Products of Canada, the country’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer packaged goods companies, Nancy Croitoru sits on the board of directors, oversees the association’s operations, acts as an industry spokesperson and liaises with trading partners and senior government officials on issues of concern to members. Croitoru also is co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum Global Liaison Group, an alliance of consumer goods associations from around the world working on global issues and opportunities and providing strategic insight and support to the global Consumer Goods Forum. Prior to joining FCPC, Croitoru was president of GCI Group Canada, a full-service public relations and public affairs agency with offices in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Clients included some of Canada’s largest corporations in the healthcare, food and nutrition, technology, fashion, toy and retail industries, as well as associations and government bodies. Croitoru founded and served as president of CNC Communications, a public relations agency with offices in Montreal and Toronto, which she sold to GCI Group in 1989. Previously, she was president of an independent television production company and executive producer of national television specials in both English and French Canada. Croitoru sits on a number of not-for-profit boards. She holds an honors bachelor of science degree and a degree in dietetics from McGill University and is fully bilingual. She has completed programs in management and governance and was profiled in The NEW Woman Rules by Fawn Germer.
As marketing director for Kalypso, Jenna Dudevoir leads all aspects of the innovation consulting firm’s marketing strategy. She serves as the company’s Network of Executive Women co-Ambassador and is involved in developing programs dedicated to the personal and professional growth of the firm’s employees. Prior to joining Kalypso, Dudevoir held marketing and pre-sales roles at Alignent Software and served in marketing and client relationship management roles at Bates Communications, an executive coaching firm that she helped start. She contributed to and edited Speak Like a CEO and edited The Third Act: Writing a Great Ending to Your Screenplay.
Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community
Harvard Business School
Robin Ely, senior associate dean for culture and community at Harvard Business School, conducts research on race and gender relations in organizations with a focus on organizational change, group dynamics, learning, conflict, power and identity. Her recent work includes a study of men and masculinity on offshore oil platforms, research on the impact of racial diversity on retail bank performance and, presently, a study of how professional women experience holding positions of power. Ely is heading a culture change initiative at Harvard Business School to ensure all members of the community are able to thrive and reach their potential for advancing the mission of the school. She has taught courses in leadership, diversity, teams and statistics. She also teaches in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education programs, including leadership programs designed specifically for women. Prior to joining the Harvard Business School faculty, Ely taught at Columbia University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She received her doctorate degree in organizational behavior from Yale University and her bachelor’s degree from Smith College. Ely is a member of the Academy of Management and an affiliate of the Center for Gender in Organizations at Simmons School of Management.
Kim L. Feil, general manager for KLF Strategy, most recently served as vice president and chief marketing officer for Walgreens. At Walgreens, she lead a new marketing organization to respond to the evolving needs of the drug chain’s customers and pharmacy patients. Feil has 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and strategic planning. Previously, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Sara Lee North America, a $4.5 billion division of Sara Lee Corp. While there, she led a food and beverage marketing transformation that revitalized the company’s brand portfolio and built a new marketing organization. She also instigated comprehensive new marketing strategies for the meat, deli, bakery and sweet goods businesses under the Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Senseo brands. Other industry experience includes senior management roles at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Cadbury Schweppes and PepsiCo. In 2006, Consumer Goods Technology Magazine honored her as one of its "25 Marketing Visionaries” and in 2005 Ad Age named her a "Woman to Watch.” She is a past Network of Executive Women at-large Board member and serves as a student mentor at Southern Methodist University Cox Graduate School of Business. She holds a master of business administration degree, bachelor of fine arts degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts degree in English, all from Southern Methodist University.
President and CEO
League of Black Women
Sandra Finley is president and CEO of League of Black Women, a national organization that provides strategic leadership research to communicate the collective voices of black women impacting societal issues and sustaining joyful living in our families, our communities and in our workplaces. As president of the League of Black Women, Finley focuses the organization on advocacy for self-determination for black women. Finley is committed to innovative leadership research that accesses the authentic voices of black women as its main focus. Holistic in its approach, the League seeks to empower women and offer them strategies and approaches to ensure they engage in sustainable leadership experiences and joyful living. A graduate of Loyola University, Finley is active in her community. She is a past board member of the Illinois Health Maintenance Organization Guaranty Association, a former member of the Public Policy and Public Programs committee of the Field Museum of Natural History and a member of the Union League of Chicago’s Committee on Race. She is president of the Sandra Finley Company, a diversity consulting firm she founded in 1989. Its motto: All of The People, All of The Time. Finley has presented to institutions nationwide, including Fortune 1000 companies, and at the EU Commission Global Summit on Women Stabilizing an Insecure World in Brussels, Belgium. She also represented League of Black Women at The White House Forum On Women & The Economy.
President, Ralphs Grocery Co.
The Kroger Co.
As president of the Ralphs division of The Kroger Co., Donna Giordano is responsible for 247 stores in Southern California that employ more than 25,000 associates. Giordano is responsible for all aspects of the business, but, most importantly, customer and employee satisfaction. She encourages employees to pursue their goals and to define and live their values, much as she has throughout her career. Each week, Giordano can be seen at various Ralphs stores "touching base” and thanking employees. She also connects with customers to determine what drives their purchasing decisions and to thank them for their loyalty. Giordano’s retail career began when she joined King Soopers in 1972 while still earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing at Metropolitan State College in Denver. She was named store manager at King Soopers in 1982 and later held director-level positions in several key areas, including advertising, bakery, general merchandise, grocery and pharmacy. In 1999, Giordano was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing at King Soopers and named president of Quality Food Centers in Seattle in 2002. She has held her current position since July 2011. A strong advocate for giving back to the community, she has supported the YWCA and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Community Development Roundtable. In 2010, she was named one of the "Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Washington State.” The University of Washington Women’s Center also recognized Donna as one of 100 women who have broken barriers in the state of Washington and she was named by Progressive Grocer as one of the 2011 "Top Women in Grocery.” Giordano serves on the board of the Western Association of Food Chains and is the "executive in residence” for the Food Industry Management Program at the University of Southern California.
Senior Vice President, Home
Michelle Gloeckler leads the home business for Walmart US. She and her team are responsible for categories that include cook and dine, bed and bath, décor, home organization and outdoor living. Her responsibilities include buying, branding, product development and collaborating across functions. Previously she was vice president of merchandise execution. Her team led the implementation of merchandising strategies at store level across Walmart US operations and developed all communication and localized assortments for stores, including unique assortments for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The team consisted of resources in merchandising and operations. In addition, the visual merchandising team (signage and fixtures) and the corresponding budget reported to her. Gloeckler joined Walmart in February 2009 as vice president leading candy, seasonal food gifts and impulse items at the front end for Walmart US stores. Prior to this, she spent 21 years at The Hershey Company. During her time at Hershey, she held field and home office positions, including vice president positions in sales, marketing and category development across all U.S. retailers and brands. She also served as general manager of The Hershey Experience, where she led the direct-to-consumer business, which included Chocolate World Visitors Center, New York and Chicago flagship stores, web and catalog business, including fulfillment and call center, manufacturing and product licensing. Gloeckler serves in a broad array of community and industry leadership roles, including Network of Executive Women Board chair. She is a board member of the Northwest Arkansas Komen chapter and an advisory member of the Northwest Arkansas American Heart Association. She served as a board member for United Way Capital Region for more than two years and was honored as one of the "Top Women in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer. Gloeckler is a graduate of University of Michigan.
Jeffery Halter is a consultant, gender strategist and president of YWomen. His 30 years of business experience include roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble and Alberto-Culver. The first 15 years of Halter’s career focused on sales management, customer management, category management supply chain and regional marketing. For the past 15 years, he has he led a series of initiatives focused on senior leadership development, understanding the significant role of women in organizations and creating integrated diversity leadership strategies. Halter is the author of Selling to Men, Selling to Women. His work regarding gender differences in the sales process has been used in Tom Peter’s Xellence Always. He has been a contributing writer to the Tom Peters Times, W2WLink.com and PINK Magazine. A passionate advocate for the development of women in leadership, he sits on the Simmons Business School’s business advisory board, and has held national advisory board positions for Women’s Food Service Forum; the Network of Executive Women, serving as co-chair of the Multicultural Workforce Conference; and Linkage Inc. Halter has taught business communications at Georgia State University and has been a guest lecturer at The Goizueta School of Business at Emory University and the Coles School of Business at Kennesaw State University.
Founder and CEO
After a 33 year career at Procter & Gamble, Barb Hartman founded GoBeyond, a corporate and entrepreneurial consulting firm that guides companies through every facet of building exceptional business relationships. Hartman joined Procter & Gamble in 1975 as a sales representative and throughout her career completed several field and district manager positions in the health and personal beauty care operations, grocery and national accounts. She was responsible for customers across the drug, mass, grocery, global military, pet specialty and dollar segments, as well as new business development. Hartman also served in human resources and customer business development and served as vice president of Customer Business Development North America. She served on the National Association of Chain Drug Stores advisory board and Foundation board of directors and was awarded the prestigious Robert B. Begley Award. Today she speaks to organizations across the globe about the art of building strong business relationships that win.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Nestlé Waters North America
As president and chief executive officer of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., Kim Jeffery oversees the largest bottled water company in North America, with 9,000 employees, 27 plants and more than 100 facilities. Jeffery joined the company in 1978 as central division sales manager. Over the following years, he advanced to lead posts in sales, marketing and operations, progressing to executive vice president and chief operating officer before assuming the company’s top position in 1992. For 30 years, Jeffery has been at the vanguard of the rapidly growing bottled water industry. When Jeffery joined the company, shortly after its inception, Perrier was the only brand of bottle water marketed. Since then, Nestlé Waters North America has developed into the leading bottled water company in America. With sales of more than $4.2 billion in 2007, the company holds seven of the top 10 U.S. brands, including Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ozarka, Zephyrhills and Nestlé Pure Life. Nestlé Waters N.A. also is the leading bottled water company in Canada. Throughout his tenure, Jeffery has made environmental stewardship a priority and has been an industry leader in building green plants, reducing water use, protecting 14,000 acres around more than 100 spring sites the company owns and reducing raw material usage through light-weighting and self-manufacture of packaging. Additionally, Jeffery launched a decade-long partnership with The Nature Conservancy and as part of his personal commitment to the environment, he co-led the Nature Conservancy of Maine’s historic Campaign for Conservation, which was the most successful corporate campaign for conservation in the state's history at the time, helping to protect more than 185,000 acres of the wild St. John River. Jeffery chairs the recycling task force of American Beverage Association, where he is working with other beverage companies to develop new and tangible recycling solutions for beverage containers. Jeffery was the recipient of the Beverage Forum Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and is a member of the International Bottled Water Association Hall of Fame. He serves on the executive board of American Beverage Association and is on the board of directors for Kendall Jackson Wine Estates and Stew Leonard’s. Prior to joining Nestlé Waters, Jeffery held positions with Kraft Foods and the PepsiCo. A native of Wilmette, Ill., he received a bachelor of arts degree from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich.
Bridget Sheridan Johnson
One2One Communications LLC
Bridget Sheridan Johnson has more than 20 years of experience in the leadership, development, selling, marketing and management of award-winning consumer and business-to-business magazines, websites and events. In 2002, she founded One2One Communications to assist publishing clients to develop, sell and execute new magazines, custom publications and other revenue-generating content opportunities. Clients include The Reader’s Digest Association, McGraw-Hill, Time Inc., American Express Publishing and Hachette Filipacchi Media. Since January 2008, she has worked with Reader’s Digest Association on a variety of projects in the Home & Garden Group and Emerging Businesses, including serving as publisher in the launch of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Connectionwebsite, magazine and community. In 2010, RDA asked her to join the company as vice president, publisher of Weekly Reader Custom Publishing. When RDA eliminated the department, she rolled her editorial and design experience into One2One and the team continues to do educational custom publishing for a wide variety of major advertisers. Prior to founding One2One, Johnson was vice president, group publisher at VNU/Nielsen Business Media, responsible for a $36 million business consisting of eight award-winning publications and branded websites in the architecture, design and commercial real estate fields. She formed a highly profitable conference group that executed 20-plus professional events nationally. Under her leadership, Facilities Design & Management magazine was awarded the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award for Best News Coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Other media leadership roles have included vice president, sales for Hachette New Media/Phase2 Media and publisher of I. D., The International Design Magazine, winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Johnson is a co-founder and director of Urban Samaritan Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps the homeless and in-need in New York City.
Vice President, General Manager, Refrigerated Portfolio
ConAgra Foods Inc.
As vice president and general manager of the refrigerated portfolio at ConAgra Foods Inc., Angela Joyner is responsible for developing the strategic vision and driving growth for the Reddi Wip, Eggbeaters and Hebrew National brands. Her previous leadership experience includes roles at Mattel Inc., Hallmark Cards and Sara Lee Knit Products. Joyner has served as a visiting professor at the University of California, Irvine’s Merage School of Business. She holds a bachelor of science degree from North Carolina State University and a master of business administration degree from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She is a doctor of philosophy degree candidate in organizational leadership at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her current research focuses on the relationship between character strengths and high performance in executive women. Joyner is a credentialed coach through the International Coaching Federation. She is the founder of The Wonder Loft LLC, a coaching practice specifically targeted to emerging women leaders. She has been recognized as one of the "25 Most Influential African Americans in Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Health Foods Industries” by Black Health Magazine.
Rosalind L. Hudnell
Chief Diversity Officer
Global Director of Education and External Relations
Rosalind L. Hudnell serves as chief diversity officer and global director of education and external relations for Intel Corporation. In this role, Hudnell oversees Intel's strategic approach to the development of a diverse workforce worldwide, college relations and the global branding and marketing of Intel’s image as a workplace of choice. A 14-year Intel veteran, Hudnell has held various management positions in community relations, government relations, charitable contributions, media outreach, employee volunteerism and workforce development. She is widely known for directing the implementation of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, a global award-winning program bringing leading-edge technology to underserved youth around the world. Hudnell has more than 20 years of experience in similar positions in the publishing and cable television industries, where she was instrumental in implementing a variety of technology training programs funded through the California Employment Training Panel, United States Departments of Labor and Education and numerous private sector corporations. Hudnell serves on the board of directors of Center for Talent Innovation, is the board executive vice president of the National GEM Consortium and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council. She has received numerous awards, including Black Engineer of the Year for Corporate Promotion of Education, the Ruth Standish Baldwin Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Association Good Neighbor Award. She has been recognized by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 100 Black Women, the Sacramento Observer magazine and the Greater Sacramento Urban League, which presented her with its President’s Award. Hudnell completed her undergraduate studies in management at St. Mary's College and has done specific study at UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is a senior fellow through the American Leadership Forum.
Vice President, Environment and Sustainability
As vice president of environment and sustainability for Coca-Cola Refreshments, Bruce Karas leads the environmental sustainability strategy development and implementation for Coca-Cola in North America. He has more than 20 years of experience as an environmental, health and safety professional and has practiced in a wide range of industrial operations in the United States, Canada and China. Prior to his current position, Karas served as director of environment and sustainability for Coca-Cola Refreshments, as well as director of sustainability, environmental and safety for Coca-Cola North America. He previously worked for Owens Corning and General Dynamics. Karas is a certified industrial hygienist in comprehensive practice, a certified safety professional and a registered occupational hygienist in Canada. Karas holds a bachelor of science degree in medical technology from Michigan State University and a master of science degree in occupational and environmental health from Wayne State University. He serves on the International Bottled Water Association Environmental Sustainability Committee and as a director for the National Association of Environmental Management board of regents. He previously served as a director of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and on the advisory board of the Georgia Department of Labor EHS Conference.
Former President, Albertsons,
Southern California Division
As president of SUPERVALU’s Southern California division, Sue Klug had responsibility for all Albertsons and Lucky supermarkets and Sav-on pharmacies in Southern California and Southern Nevada. Klug’s span of responsibility included 248 supermarkets, 160 pharmacies and more than 20,000 SUPERVALU associates. With more than 30 years of retail experience, Klug has developed expertise in the areas of marketing, merchandising, category management, strategic planning and operations. Prior to SUPERVALU, Klug held senior-level positions with American Stores, Safeway Inc. and Catalina Marketing. She has led several important efforts for the City of Hope and is an advisor to the City of Hope Food Industries Circle. She is an officer and board member for the Western Association of Food Chains, where she is very focused on providing educational opportunities for food industry associates. In the fall of 2008, Klug was instrumental in the establishment of Network of Executive Women Southern California and remains very active in the region. In 2011, she was awarded the Network’s Bobbie O’Hare Award, which recognizes the NEW "volunteer of the year.” She was honored for her diversity efforts when she was named SUPERVALU’s 2010 Diversity and Inclusion Champion. Klug is generating awareness and raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation under the name Team ShelbyUSA, which is fielding fundraising events in 12 states. She holds a bachelor of science degree in food industry management and a master of business administration degree, both from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Vice President of Retail Marketing
As vice president of retail marketing for Walgreens, Catherine Lindner is responsible for marketing strategy, planning and execution for the $22 billion retail business. Lindner joined Walgreens in 1999 as category manager for the hair care category. In 2000, she was promoted to divisional merchandise manager for the beauty division and, in 2004, was promoted to divisional vice president, general merchandise manager of beauty, fashion and personal care. Two years later, Walgreens leadership tapped Lindner to create a marketing division as vice president of marketing development. She held this role until her current appointment in 2008. Lindner led Walgreens’ participation in the Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing. The commission of 28 retailers, manufacturers and agency partners developed a process for shopper marketing engagement designed to streamline the development of programs between retailers and manufacturers. Before joining Walgreens, Lindner spent 11 years at Information Resources Inc. (IRI). She held several positions in marketing mix modeling, client services and category management consulting. Clients included Pepsi-Cola, Campbell’s Soup Company, Johnson & Johnson, Ocean Spray, Safeway and Proctor & Gamble. In her last position at IRI, she was vice president of tactical sales consulting, managing a team responsible for creating fact-based category plans for both manufacturers and retailers. An active member of the Network of Executive Women, Lindner helped found NEW Chicago. She now serves as NEW vice chair. Lindner earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a master of business administration degree in marketing from DePaul University.
Janice F. Madden
Economist and Professor, Regional Science,
Sociology and Real Estate
University of Pennsylvania
Economist Janice F. Madden, author and professor of regional science, sociology and real estate at the University of Pennsylvania, held the Robert C. Daniels term chair in urban studies and for eight years served as vice provost for graduate education. She has also served as director of the university’s Alice Paul Research Center and the Women’s Studies program, director of graduate studies at the Fels Institute of Government and chair of the graduate program in demography. Madden’s research on the effects of race, gender and urban location on labor market outcomes and metropolitan variations in income distribution has been published in a number of academic economics and urban journals. She has written five books: The Economics of Sex Discrimination; Post-Industrial Philadelphia; Work, Wages and Poverty; Changes in Income and Inequality within U.S. Metropolitan Areas; and Mommies and Daddies on the Fast Track. The National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies and foundations have supported her research. Madden has served as an expert in labor economics and statistics in discrimination litigation. In 2004, she published a study that concluded that African Americans had to meet systematically higher standards than whites to be appointed to NFL head coaching positions because they were significantly more successful than white coaches. Attorney Johnnie L. Cochran used this study to convince the NFL to adopt the Rooney rule, requiring NFL teams to interview candidates of color before filling NFL head coach positions. This rule is credited with increasing the number of African American coaches in the NFL from two to seven within a three-year period. Madden is a fellow of the Regional Science Association International and recipient of the North American Regional Science Association’s 2010 David E. Boyce Award for leadership in the field. She came to University of Pennsylvania in 1972 after completing her doctorate degree in economics at Duke University. She received her bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Denver in 1969.
Group Vice President, Corporate Affairs
The Kroger Company
Lynn Marmer is group vice president for corporate affairs, a member of Kroger’s senior management team. In this role, Marmer is responsible for corporate external communications, corporate sustainability and social responsibility, media, government and community relations, consumer affairs, issues and crisis communications, corporate contributions, and The Kroger Company Foundation. She joined Kroger in 1997 as a senior attorney in the legal department. When appointed to her current position in 1998, she became Kroger’s first female corporate officer. An early Network of Executive Women supporter, Marmer serves as the executive sponsor of Kroger’s women’s associate resource group EDGE: Engage, Develop, Grow and Empower. Prior to joining Kroger, she was a partner in the Cincinnati law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl. Marmer has been involved in community building and education for many years, including serving on the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education for eight years, chairing the finance committee and serving as board chair. She is a member of the board of directors of Feeding America, the Cincinnati Zoo and Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and is vice chair of the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati. Marmer has been recognized by Progressive Grocer as one of its "Top Women in Grocery,” as one of the YWCA Career Women of Achievement, one of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s Women of Distinction and one of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Women of the Year. Marmer earned a bachelor of science degree in education, a master’s degree in urban planning and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. She was editor-in-chief of the University of Cincinnati Law Review.
Professor and Faculty Director
Center for Responsible Business
University of California, Berkeley
Kellie McElhaney is the Alexander Faculty Fellow and the founding faculty director of the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She launched the Center for Responsible Business in 2003, helping place corporate responsibility as one of the core competencies and competitive advantages of the Haas School of Business, which was rated the number-one business school in the world by the Financial Times in 2008. McElhaney’s work focuses on four areas: analyzing and developing companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and its alignment with corporate strategy, business objectives, core competencies and business value; exploring the link between diversity and CSR and using CSR as a hook to re-engage women with business as employees, consumers and investors; the business value and opportunities in branding, communication and CSR; and leveraging the power of social media to advance good or a company’s CSR impact. She is the author of Just Good Business: The Strategic Guide to Aligning Corporate Responsibility and Brand. McElhaney consults with several Global 1000 companies, developing integrated CSR strategy. Her client list includes Gap, eBay, McDonalds, Walmart, Target, Clorox, Ernst & Young, Driscoll’s Berries, Kimberly-Clark, Frontline, Accenture, Yum! Brands, Chevron, Pandora Internet Radio and others. She serves on the sustainability and environmental advisory committee for the Dow Chemical Company, is an academic partner with Blu Skye Consulting, serves on the boards of Globescan and iRazzle, and is a member of the advisory council for SustainAbility. McElhaney earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina and her doctorate degree from the University of Michigan.
Blythe J. McGarvie
CEO and Founder
Leadership for International Finance
Blythe McGarvie has operated profitable business units and managed employees in business endeavors from China to Chile, France to Finland. Since 2003, McGarvie has served as chief executive officer and founder of Leadership for International Finance (LIF Group), offering a global perspective for clients seeking profitable growth by providing leadership seminars for corporate and academic groups. McGarvie serves as a member of the boards of directors of Accenture, Viacom, Wawa and LKQ and formerly served on the boards of Travelers Insurance, Pepsi Bottling Group and Lafarge NA. In 2012, she accepted the invitation to join the Audit Committee Learning Network, a group of audit committee chairs of American and European companies with revenues of $10 billion or more. Previously, McGarvie served as chief financial officer of BIC and as senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Fortune 500 Hannaford Bros. Company, which was acquired by the Delhaize Group in 1999. She also served as chief administrative officer-Pacific Rim for Sara Lee Corporation, where she was responsible for the finance, strategy, information systems and human resources functions for the personal product business in Asia, Australia and South America, growing the division from $124 million to $600 million in sales over a three-year period ending in 1994. Her best-selling book Shaking the Globe, Courageous Decision-Makers in a Changing World provides entrepreneurs and executives with research and action ideas to overcome obstacles in a competitive and interconnected world. She is the author of Fit In Stand Out: Mastering the FISO Factor - The Key to Leadership Effectiveness in Business and Life, which reached wide distribution in the United States and was published in Spanish, Indian and Russian language versions. In 2010 and 2008, National Association of Corporate Directors selected McGarvie as one of its Directorship 100, which recognizes the most renowned and influential people in corporate governance. In December 2009, McGarvie received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Old Dominion University. McGarvie’s academic appointments include senior fellow for Northwestern University’s Kellogg Innovation Network, faculty member of Duke Corporate Education and visiting leader at Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School. A certified public accountant, she earned a master of business administration degree from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, which in 1992 selected her for the Schaffner Award, presented annually to an alumnus who is preeminent in his or her field and who provided outstanding service to the school. She earned an advanced professional director certification from the American College of Corporate Directors in 2012. McGarvie is a member of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago board of directors, The Chicago Network, National Association of Corporate Directors and CIVIC Institute.
Lisbeth R. McNabb
CEO and founder
After driving high levels of growth as chief executive officer and chief revenue officer for Match.com, in October 2007 Lisbeth R. McNabb launched a professional women’s content and community digital business, w2wlink, a portfolio company of Astia. Her professional background includes more than 20 years of experience in innovation across sales and business development, operations, finance and planning at Match.com, Frito-Lay, American Airlines, AT&T and Sodexo. McNabb serves on the board of directors and is audit chair of Nexstar Broadcasting, a media company, and Tandy, an accessories apparel company, both on the NASDAQ exchange, and is an advisory board member of Southern Methodist University and University Nebraska Entrepreneurship Center. She is company advisor to digital, technology and consumer companies, including ClubCorp, Sittercity.com, American Airlines and GenGreen. McNabb is the co-chair of Women Corporate Directors-Dallas and a member of National Association of Corporate Directors and Entrepreneurs Foundation of Texas. She is a mentor at Southern Methodist University and University of Nebraska, and a former mentor at Menttium. She received her bachelor of science degree at University of Nebraska and a master of business administration degree from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. McNabb was honored as a distinguished alumnae by SMU Cox School of Business and as a "Top 25 Women in Business” by the Dallas Business Journal.
CEO, Quintana Group
Formerly Senior Vice President, Multicultural Sales
As senior vice president, multicultural sales for PepsiCo, Marie Quintana led the sales activation of PepsiCo’s ethnic programs. Quintana drove the customer strategy for PepsiCo’s multicultural markets, taking an integrated approach to align brands, retail activation programs and community initiatives. She also developed strategies to enhance consumer loyalty and strengthen community partnerships with PepsiCo’s strategic customers. Her focus was company-wide integration achieved by working closely with multicultural and sales capability teams. She also operated a Center of Excellence to drive best practices. Quintana partnered with PepsiCo’s chief diversity officer and the company’s employee resource groups to drive diversity and inclusion throughout the company. Quintana began her career at PepsiCo in 1998 and held various executive positions, including vice president of technology and vice president of IT capability. Previously, Quintana served in leadership sales roles with major corporations, including IBM and Perot Systems. She also established an independent consulting firm providing consultancy services with industry leading companies. Among her many affiliations, Quintana is a Network of Executive Women Board member and chairs the Corporate Advisory Board for Latina Style. She also serves on the board of PLAN of North Texas. She has been named one of the "Top Women in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer and is featured in the book The NEW Woman Rules. Quintana holds a bachelor of arts degree from Louisiana State University and a master of business administration degree from Tulane University. The native of Cuba is fluent in Spanish.
Larree M. Renda
Executive Vice President
As one of Safeway’s top female executives, Larree Renda is responsible for all retail strategies and a broad range of administrative functions for one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. Her responsibilities include retail strategy, labor relations, public affairs, communications, government relations, health initiatives, human resources, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, industrial engineering, reengineering, IT, real estate and Property Development Centers. Renda began her Safeway career in 1974 at the age of 16. She progressed through Safeway’s retail ranks and earned the distinction of being the youngest store manager, district manager and retail operations manager in Safeway’s 86-year history. She was the first woman and youngest person promoted to senior vice president in 1994 and became Safeway’s first female executive vice president in 1999. In 2001 and 2002, she was voted one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Business” by Fortune magazine. Renda chairs the board of the Safeway Foundation, which oversees the company’s charitable giving activities. Under her direction, each year Safeway contributes more than $200 million to a range of charitable initiatives, including food banks, education, breast and prostate cancer awareness and research, and other health services and organizations supporting people with disabilities, such as Easter Seals, Special Olympics and MDA. Renda also serves as a national vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is a member of the board of directors for HSBC Finance Corporation and for HSBC North America Holdings Inc., and serves on their audit, nominating and risk committees. She is a member of the board of directors of Casa Ley, Safeway’s joint venture in Mexico. Renda is a member of the board of regents for the University of Portland and serves as a trustee on the National Joint Labor Management Committee. She was the first woman inducted into the California Grocers Association Hall of Achievement in 2008. In 2009, she was named Food Industry Executive of the Year by the University of Southern California Marshall Food Industry Management Program. Renda served as the 2010 chair of the California Chamber of Commerce and continues in her role as a board and executive committee member.
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Gisel Ruiz has served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart US since February 2012. She is responsible for Walmart’s United States operations, including more than 3,800 discount stores and Supercenter, Neighborhood Market and Walmart Express formats. Additional responsibilities include oversight of the U.S. asset protection, human resources and store innovation organizations. Previously, Ruiz was executive vice president of people for Walmart US, with responsibility for the human resources and store innovations organizations, supporting more than 1.2 million associates. She helped transform the company's approach to talent management and leveraged technology to drive changes that increased efficiencies and improved the customer and associate experience. Ruiz began her career at Walmart as a store management trainee in 1992 and has held a variety of leadership positions in store operations, labor relations and human resources. She became vice president, regional general manager in the field operations division in 1996, responsible for 150 Walmart stores in western Texas and New Mexico, representing $13 billion in revenue. From 2008 until 2010, Ruiz served as senior vice president of people, leading the field human resources organization for more than 3,700 stores across the United States. Ruiz has been recognized for her ability to lead and teach; she was honored with the 2008 Walmart Leadership Award and was chosen by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the "Top 25 Business Women of 2009.” In February 2011, Latina Style named her 2010 Latina Executive of the Year. Ruiz holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Santa Clara University, where she also completed the Retail Management Institute program.
Senior Vice President
Global Corporate Affairs, Communication
S C Johnson
Kelly Semrau oversees sustainability actions, public and governmental policy, public affairs and overall corporate social responsibility on a global and local level for SC Johnson. She also is responsible for community leadership and the company’s philanthropy efforts and sits on the board of trustees as the vice chairman and president of the SC Johnson Fund Inc. Semrau oversees all global public affairs initiatives for the company and its brands, including media relations, crisis communication and sustainability communication. She also leads development and establishment of worldwide government relations policy, strategy and U.S. implementation, plus oversees the company’s community relations and philanthropic contributions. She plays a lead role in issues management for SC Johnson, as well as directs the company’s archives, annual report and global website. Semrau also leads SC Johnson’s global employee communications, including business and human resources and benefits communications, employee events, a closed-circuit broadcast system, a robust intranet and award-winning employee publications, such as a global magazine and monthly newspaper. Prior to joining SC Johnson in 2000, Semrau owned her own company, managing communication needs for high-profile clients in consumer products, transportation and other industries. Previously, she served as executive vice president at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide. Semrau also served as director of public affairs and press secretary to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during President George H. Bush’s administration, as well as director of public affairs and press secretary to the U.S. Trade Representative during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. She also was press secretary to Congressman Joe McDade of Pennsylvania. Semrau is chairman of the Alliance for Consumer Education and is past chairman of the board of directors and executive committee of the Consumer Specialty Products Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bradley University.
Chief Executive Officer
Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP
David Williams, chief executive officer of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, has more than 25 years of experience providing advice and counsel to clients engaged in business transactions or facing critical business events. Williams has served in various leadership roles spanning Deloitte FAS’ two major business arms, Forensic and Dispute Services and Advisory Services. Most recently, he was the national leader of the Advisory Services practice. Previously, Williams served as the national leader of the Valuation Services practice and a principal in the organization’s Forensic and Dispute Services practice. Since 2004, he has been a member of the executive committee of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP and a member of the boards of both Deloitte FAS and Deloitte LLP. Williams has testified as an expert in litigation, arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution matters; served as an arbitrator and mediator; and consulted with management, executives and boards of directors. He has experience in the calculation of damages in commercial disputes involving breach of contract, financial and securities fraud, wrongful termination, adjustment of purchase price, regulatory noncompliance and other causes of action. He has provided consulting services to various industries on business and financial issues, including strategic planning and analysis, new business development and pricing, manufacturing and service delivery, cost measurement and control, performance measurement, financial accounting and reporting and the associated compliance requirements. Williams earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his master of business administration degree in finance from the university’s Wharton School. He is a member of the American Bar Association. In addition, he serves on the board of Teach for America New York.