“Advancing ALL Women” with Sarah Alter


Welcome to “Advancing ALL Women”!

In this podcast, host Sarah Alter, President and CEO of Network of Executive Women, gets deep with CEOs and experts on the toughest subjects facing women and our allies in the workplace. From advancing women of color to developing and engaging male allies, to how to navigate the workplace post-Covid-19, Sarah will cover it all.

Listen every Friday at 7 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel with rebroadcasts weekly on the VoiceAmerica Influencers Channel, and download episodes after they air wherever you get your podcasts!

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Episode 30: Mental Health in the Workplace

Episode 30: Mental Health in the Workplace

On this week's episode, our guests discuss the increasing openness of many organizations around mental health and wellness, and how to navigate conversations around mental health with compassion and true leadership.



Terri Latter Headshot


Teri Latter
State Program Director, NAMI Illinois 

Teri Latter’s passion for mental health began when her 19-year old son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and she vowed to do everything in her power to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness. Two years later, she became a Family Education Leader for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. After six years of volunteering as a leader in numerous NAMI program, she assumed the role of NAMI Illinois State Program Director in 2018. She is responsible for training, delivery, and development of NAMI peer and family programs in Illinois. She is also on the Board of Directors of NAMI Barrington Area. 

Teri spent 27 years at AT&T, primarily concentrating in Marketing and Product Development. After leaving AT&T, she worked for a boutique marketing company where she was the Director of Program Management. 

Teri received an Executive Development Certificate through the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and is also a Certified Professional Coach. 


Lauren Romero Headshot                         

Lauren Romero
Category Leadership Manager – Treehouse Foods, Advantage Solutions 

Lauren Romero has spent more than 25 years in the CPG industry and others, providing marketing research and advisory services across a wide variety of marketing projects and functions.  

Her work has served 30 brands within clients such as Coca Cola, Mars, Nestle, Pepsico, Ingredion, AT&T, State Farm, PPG, Home Depot, Lowe’s, UPS, GlaxoSmithKline, Publicis, The Marketing Arm, plus various nonprofits, and government agencies. An extrovert, Lauren has enjoyed a winding career that’s allowed her to speak with and learn from hundreds of people from all walks of life. Being of Puerto Rican heritage, Lauren is a native bilingual in both English and Spanish, and has served as a U.S. Hispanic subcultures marketing researcher and advisor.  

She currently provides category management advisory services to Treehouse, Inc. food company, on behalf of Advantage Solutions, one of the largest food industry brokers in the U.S. 

Lauren holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She also speaks broken French and German, is fascinated by political and social economics, has traveled extensively, loves the water, the outdoors, dogs, gardening, and spending time with her teenage kids. She’s a champion of numerous causes related to human betterment, including that of those like herself with temporary or chronic mental health challenges. 


Brian Shoo Headshot

Brian Schoo
Director of People Analytics, Nestle USA 

Brian Schoo, Director of People Analytics, has worked at Nestle for 14 years.  Prior to his developmental transfer to HR, Brian held various US and Global Supply Chain and Manufacturing roles across Nestle, most recently as Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations for the Beverage and Global Brands Divisions.  He is currently a member of the Talent Leadership Team and the Digital Leadership Team at Nestle, USA.  Additionally, he founded and leads the Mental Wellness Pillar within the THRIVE Ability Employee Resource Group at Nestle, USA. 

Brian graduated from Ohio State University in 2007 with a degree in Logistics Management.  He has a passion for surfing, wrestling, soccer, and pole vaulting.  He was a founding member of the Ohio State Surf Club, has held various high school and kids club coaching positions in wrestling and pole vaulting throughout his career, and is currently a board member for the International Surf Therapy Organization. 


Episode 29: Uplevyl: Levelling up professional women

Episode 29: Uplevyl: Levelling up professional women

This week, our guests, Michelle Fontana, Head of Global Processes, Kraft Heinz Company; Mark Slocum, Partner, Technology and Executive Recruiting Practice, Hirewell; and Roshini Varma, Director of Social Impact, Visa Inc., will talk through their personal experiences with being let go. They'll discuss how to absorb the shocking impact of being fired or laid off, and what a truly great leader does next. 



Shubhi Rao Headshot


Shubhi Rao
Founder & CEO, Uplevyl

Shubhi Rao wears many hats—Software engineer, finance and corporate executive, CEO, tech company founder, board member, global citizen, community leader, daughter, wife and mother. Shubhi Rao is the founder and CEO of Uplevyl, a global digital platform designed to transform the lives of all professional women through shared experiences, peer connections, and highly curated, personalized content.  

A true trailblazer, Shubhi has paved the way for modern female leadership, having served as a senior executive with Alphabet Inc./Google, Tesco (U.K.), PricewaterhouseCoopers(U.K.) and Ford Motor Company, among others. Shubhi also sits on the board of directors for organizations such as the Open Lending LLC, Center for Global Development, International Center for Research on Women and is an Honorary Advisory Council member of the Federal Reserve San Francisco.  


Patti Greene Headshot                         

Dr. Patti Greene
Director of Research, Uplevyl Partner

I have an eclectic career path: drug store soda clerk, server, temp, inventory auditor, nursing home administrator, professor (Rutgers and University of Missouri – Kansas City), dean, provost, program designer (Babson College), presidential appointee (Director, Women’s Bureau, US Dept of Labor), investor (Portfolia), start-up supporter (Tilted Windmill Games) and now Director of Research at Uplevyl. Along the way, I earned three degrees: BS from the Pennsylvania State University, MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Ph.D. from the UT@Austin.  My program design work included serving as the founding national academic director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses for which I led the Babson College team to design, develop and deploy the program’s curriculum, train the teams from the participating community colleges and manage the quality control system. I also served as the global academic director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative. Most recently, I led the design team for FMO, the Dutch economic development bank and their EmPow(H)er program to be offered in developing economies around the world. The theme across almost everything I have done and continue to do is the advancement of women in the workforce, particularly women business owners. Of the things I’ve published, my favorites are those written with others: the Diana Project for Clearing the Hurdles: Women Building High Growth Businesses and Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach (volumes I and II with H. Neck and C. Brush) as they are now the top selling books on teaching entrepreneurship in the world.  Working with Uplevyl is exciting as it brings together my personal mission with an extreme focus on how we use technology to change the world of work for women.   



Episode 28: You've been let go: What comes next

Episode 28: You've been let go: What comes next

This week, our guests, Michelle Fontana, Head of Global Processes, Kraft Heinz Company; Mark Slocum, Partner, Technology and Executive Recruiting Practice, Hirewell; and Roshini Varma, Director of Social Impact, Visa Inc., will talk through their personal experiences with being let go. They'll discuss how to absorb the shocking impact of being fired or laid off, and what a truly great leader does next. 



Michelle Fontana Headshot


Michelle Fontana
Head of Global Processes, Kraft Heinz Company Owner, Newport Coffee House 

Michelle Fontana has over 20 years of experience across numerous functions and industries including Procurement, Sales, Technology, and Continuous Improvement for various organizations, such as Deloitte Consulting, SAP Ariba (formerly FreeMarkets), Schering-Plough, and American Eagle Outfitters.  Currently she serves as the Head of Global Processes for The Kraft Heinz Company, where there has not been a boring moment for the last 13 years!  She is grateful to get with work with outstanding team members at KHC to improve processes and learn something new every day. 

Prior to her current role, Michelle spent three years as Head of IT for HR and Corporate Functions at KHC where Michelle has led the strategy for our HR and Corporate initiatives on behalf of IT to drive efficiency and accuracy across the business. 

Michelle is passionate about empathetic and inclusive leadership, and shares this passion an ally and member of the KHC Pride Business Resource Group (BRG), KHC Black BRG, and as a Co- leadership team member of the KHC Women’s BRG.   

Michelle hold a BS in Business Administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA where she resides with her husband, Michael, their son, Jackson, and the best family dog on earth, Sunny. 


Mark Slocum Headshot                         

Mark Slocum
Partner, Technology and Executive Recruiting Practice, Hirewell 

Mark Slocum is a Partner with Hirewell and manages the Technology and Executive Recruiting Practice.  He graduated from The University of Illinois in 2006 and has been with Hirewell ever since.  The Technology Recruiting Practice is the longest-standing practice at Hirewell and has over 2 dozen Tech Recruiters.  Since Mark joined Hirewell they have grown from 6 people to over 80 employees, raised $21M in Fall 2021 from a global PE firm, Prytek, and acquired an AI Recruiting Software Company.  Outside of work, Mark lives in the West Suburbs of Chicago with his wife "Liz, sons Hayes (5) and Reid (3), and daughter Maeve (9 months). 


Roshini Varma Headshot  

Roshini Varma
Director of Social Impact, Visa Inc. 

Roshini is an Engineer turned Product Manager, whose passion to create social impact and enabling others to make a difference led to her joining Visa’s Social Impact team. Roshini currently leads the global employee engagement programs at Visa, to engage employee in giving, volunteering and empowering small businesses. 

Prior to joining the Social Impact team in early 2020, she was in the Visa Digital Products team for 5 years focusing on product management and analytics for a suite of consumer facing and back end products. Previously, she was in product marketing at Oracle and at a non-profit ‘Sustainable Silicon Valley’, and also worked as a Business Analyst at Infosys Technologies in the California Bay Area & in India. She holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. 

Even though she has been a Bay Area resident for the past 14 years, she still holds her native country India close to her heart. Roshini is an Indian classical dancer & teacher, who also enjoys reading fiction and spending quality time with her family. 



Episode 27: Empowering Women in Coffee

Episode 27: Empowering Women in Coffee

This week, our guests will discuss the experiences of women in the coffee industry, and supporting DEI&B efforts in coffee, from coffee farmers to corporate workplaces."




Lotta Bengtsson Headshot

Lotta Bengtsson
Owner, Newport Coffee House 

I grew up in Sweden outside Stockholm. My parents have a fast food wholesale company, so I have always been involved in a family business. Already since first grade my sister and I took turns helping out in the business during the weekends. After high school I went abroad to study Hotel & Restaurant Business Management in England, and got to do internships in London and Guernsey, which have helped me throughout the years in my own businesses. 

Coffee and food has always been my passion and in the late 90’s my sister and I started our first cafe/restaurant, Systrarna Lundberg that is still around today with the same name and pretty much the same concept. Sweden has always been a big coffee country and was early out learning about specialty coffee. It was at that time I got my passion for artisan coffee. 

In the 2000’s I got married and started a family. I stayed home with our two boys for a few years before we decided to move to Chicago. After a couple of years in retail I decided to continue my passion for specialty coffee and building businesses. I am now running Newport Coffee House with our own roasting, bakery and two shops. 


Michelle Burns Headshot

Michelle Burns
Executive VP Global Coffee, Tea & Cocoa, Starbucks 

Michelle Burns is Executive Vice President of Global Coffee, Tea and Cocoa for Starbucks. In this role Michelle drives the company’s strategy for delivering a diverse portfolio of high-quality, ethically sourced coffee, tea and cocoa to partners and customers around the world. She leads a global team of industry experts responsible for sourcing, developing and roasting coffee; advancing coffee R&D and innovative farming practices; developing and executing programs, initiatives and partnerships to support Starbucks people and planet positive goals thru the lens of farmers and coffee, tea and cocoa communities; and driving partner and customer engagement, education and experiences to bring coffee storytelling to life – all with the aspiration of ensuring a sustainable future of coffee for all. 

Michelle is a 26-year Starbucks partner, with much of her career focused on business development and relationship management, driving strategic retail relationships across numerous segments through licensing and foodservice channels. She previously led the Branded Solutions team and has been a key member of the Starbucks Channel Development and Licensed Stores leadership teams.  

Contributing more broadly to Starbucks culture, she is the executive sponsor for Starbucks’ Women’s Impact Network (WIN) and also serves on the board of The Starbucks Foundation.  Outside of the company, Michelle is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and serves on the Board of Directors for FareStart and the National Coffee Association.  

Prior to joining Starbucks, Michelle worked in sales and distribution in the Natural Foods Industry where she first found her passion for coffee. After an expedition to the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard Norway in 2018 and her many conversations with farmers around the world over the course of her career, that passion has grown to include a desire and sense of responsibility to care for the future of our food supply and the many people who grow it.  

Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from The University of Iowa. Following a great Starbucks journey living in many cities across the country, Michelle, her husband and two children enjoy calling Seattle home. She starts every day in a Starbucks store. 


Kelly Marsh Headshot

Kelly Marsh
Director, Director of Coffee Experiences and Industry Affairs, Nestlé Coffee Partners 

Kelly Marsh is the Director of Coffee Experiences and Industry Affairs for Nestlé Coffee Partners. A contagiously passionate coffee leader in the industry for nearly 20 years, Kelly spends her time educating on all facets of the coffee sector from challenges facing coffee producers at the soil level to tips on creating your personally crafted cup at home.  

Her coffee career has been in marketing and sales roles growing coffee brands through community programming, sponsorships, and retailer partnerships. She spent 17 years with Starbucks before joining Nestlé Coffee Partners through the Global Coffee Alliance that formed in 2018 between Nestlé and Starbucks.  

An avid champion for inclusion and creating opportunities for women, she was a co-founder of the Starbucks Women’s Impact Network, an employee resource group. Kelly currently serves as Leadership sponsor for the Nestlé Coffee Partners Green Team, and Nestlé employee resource group focused on Sustainability and driving awareness about the impact our choices make on the future of our coffee.  

Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana Wesleyan University. She lives in Seattle with her family and enjoys a freshly brewed cup of Pike Place Starbucks by Nespresso to start her morning.  



Episode 26: Creating a Culture of Belonging

Episode 26: Creating a Culture of Belonging

This week, our guests will discuss what belonging at work truly means, finding allies to change work cultures, and how to help others feel worthy and appreciated.




Kelly Crowley Headshot

Kelly Crowley
User Experience Researcher, Visa Accessibility team

Kelly Crowley is a two-sport Paralympic medalist, a retired professional cyclist, and the lead accessibility evangelist at Visa. She joined Visa in 2018 through the Olympian & Paralympian Business Leadership Program and is currently working as a User Experience Researcher on the Visa Accessibility team. Kelly also serves as the co-Chair of Viable ERG.  

Prior to coming to Visa, Kelly was a self-represented athlete and small business owner, speaking all over the country on topics related to disability-inclusion. She has been a middle-school PE teacher and director/head coach of a high school swimming program, and has run clinics for a variety of audiences on Para sport development. Prior to that, Kelly spent nearly a decade working in a variety of roles in the non-profit sector. She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and is current pursuing an MBA in Business Intelligence. 


Amelia Dunlop Headshot

Amelia Dunlop
Chief Experience Officer for Deloitte Digital and US Customer Strategy & Applied Design Leader 

As Chief Experience Officer at Deloitte Digital and leader of the US Customer Strategy and Applied Design practice for Deloitte Consulting LLP, Amelia Dunlop helps companies develop winning strategies that combine innovation, creativity, and digital strategy. 

Amelia received Consulting Magazine’s 2020 Top Women in Technology Award for Excellence in Innovation. She is author of the national bestselling book, Elevating the Human Experience: Three Paths to Love and Worth at Work. 

Amelia leads a team of problem solvers who use human-centered design and customer insights strategy to help businesses shift their focus from the customer experience to the human experience. As marketers, she says we have an opportunity to create more human experiences—earning long-term loyalty and trust in the process. 

Amelia loves helping clients tackle their toughest problems. For her, the best kind of problem requires thinking in a new and different way. She enjoys helping clients create solutions and build the organizational momentum to turn the future they imagine into a reality. 

She writes and speaks regularly about human experience, creativity, and customer strategy, and contributes to the Wall Street Journal’s CMO Journal and Adweek.  She also serves on the board of the MacDowell Colony, a national not-for-profit organization that creates space for artists. 

Born in London, she has lived and worked across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and India. These days she lives with her husband and three children in Boston. 

Connect with Amelia: LinkedIn and Twitter 


Tamara Myles Headshot

Tamara Myles
Author, Speaker, Researcher; Positive Psychology Instructor at University of Pennsylvania 

An accomplished consultant, trainer, and researcher, Tamara helps leaders make work meaningful to engage employees and improve business performance. 

Tamara’s approach blends the latest research in Positive and Organizational Psychology with evidence-based strategies to deliver trainings that yield tangible business results. She has trained leaders at high-performing organizations like Black Rock, Microsoft, KPMG, and Unilever and delivered keynotes to international business audiences.  

Tamara is the author of The Secret to Peak Productivity: A Simple Guide to Reaching Your Personal Best, and her work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, and USA Today, among others. 

Tamara has a Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she currently serves as an Instructor and Trainer for the Penn Resilience Program. 

Tamara lives in New England with her husband and three children and does her best thinking on long walks with her 2 dogs. She loves to cook and is in awe of the power of wonderful food to bring people together for deep, meaningful connection. 



Episode 25: Leading in Sales

Episode 25: Leading in Sales

This week our panelists will discuss what their sales experience has taught them, the key tenets of a great sales leader, and best practices to develop your skills.



Michael Alter Headshot

Michael Alter
Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business 

Michael Alter is a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.  Alter was the Executive Chairman (and former Interim CEO) of Vanco, the largest provider of electronic payment solutions to the faith-based and education communities. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of The Tie Bar, LLC - the #1 e-commerce destination for stylish men's accessories. Prior to The Tie Bar, Michael was a co-founder and CEO of SurePayroll, a SaaS technology company that is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex®. Alter co-founded SurePayroll in 2000 after six years as a Consultant with McKinsey and Company.  Prior to receiving his MBA from the Harvard Business School, Alter worked in various sales positions at IBM. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Northwestern University. 

Alter is an active board and advisory board member for leading industry and entrepreneurial organizations including: Vanco – the leading payments provider to the faith-based and education communities, First Stop Health – a leading telemedicine services company, Big Time Software – a leader provider of Professional Services Management SaaS to engineering, accounting and other small and medium size professional services firms, Quevos – maker of the award-winning low carb/high protein chips made from egg white, Pippin Title - provider of SaaS technology for the title search industry, and Noble Rock Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ:NRAC) - a SPAC focused in the technology and technology services space.  Previously, Alter served on the boards of MAX Digital/FirstLook — the SaaS leader in Mobile Showroom and Digital Performance Management for Auto Dealers (acquired by NASDAQ:ACVA) and Nambe, LLC — a leading design and lifestyle brand known for their award-winning tabletop giftware (acquired by Portmeirion Group PLC (LON: PMP). Alter is a member of the JDRF International Board of Directors, a member of YPO Gold, and a former officer of the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization. 

A past recipient of the Illinois Technology Association CityLIGHTS CEO of the Year Award, Alter has been a nationally recognized spokesman on business issues, having served as a columnist for INC.com and appeared regularly in media outlets nationwide, including Bloomberg TV, and the Wall Street Journal. 


Ramona Giderof Headshot

Ramona Giderof
Vice President of Small Format, Anheuser-Busch 

Ramona Giderof is currently the Vice President of Small Format at Anheuser-Busch, leading the Convenience and Global Military business units. 

Ramona Giderof has over 26 years of Adult Beverage industry experience. Since joining AB in 2006, Ramona has exemplified leadership in every role that she has held, mentoring colleagues along with way from her time as a Key Account Manager all the way to her current role as Vice President of Convenience & Military Channels. In her current role Ramona leads a team of Retail and Regional Sales Directors and Key Account Managers that span the entire country and military bases worldwide. She continues to be respected in the industry for her customer first collaborative approach with her retail partners. 


Denise Inmon Headshot

Denise Inmon
Vice President, US Channels, General Mills 

Denise Inmon currently serves as a Vice President of US Sales at General Mills, overseeing Strategic Growth Channels and our National Retail Organization.  In this role Denise leads Club, Dollar, Drug, Discount and Natural/Organic Channels for North America Retail.  She also leads our National Retail Organization, spanning all customers. 

Denise holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Marketing from The University of Arizona.  She joined General Mills in June of 2000 and has held many roles of increasing responsibility over her tenure at General Mills.  Denise and team were awarded the company’s highest honor, a Champion’s Award, in 2013 for the launch of Yoplait Greek 100.  She has also been recognized in the Industry as Rising Star from Progressive Grocer’s, Top Women in Grocery.  Denise’s proven track record is known for delivering consistent topline performance, cultivating best in class customer relationships and leading a People First culture. 

Denise enjoys staying active outside of work with time outside, running marathons, a joy of cooking and lots of time with her children.  Denise and her husband, Steve, have a blended family of six kids who keep them quite busy with sports and activities.  She also is very actively involved with JDRF and sits on their Board of Directors.  Her oldest daughter, Abby, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac and many other autoimmune issues at a young age.  Through their family efforts, in conjunction with JDRF, they are working hard to increase awareness, funding and research for a cure. 



Episode 24: Acclimating to the U.S.

Episode 24: Acclimating to the U.S.

This week our panelists will discuss their personal journeys to the United States, the biases still present against workers who join companies from abroad, advice for leaders acclimating to the United States, and how their companies can better support them.



Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses


Diana Figuerora Headshot

Diana Figueroa
Travel Merchant Business Development Lead, Visa 

Born and raised in Mexico City, she has a B.A. in Marketing from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, where she graduated head of her class. Diana started her professional career in the Publishing Industry where she was a Brand and Public Relations Manager for The Reader’s Digest Association for the Mexican Market for about 5 years. 

After that, she made a significant career course change entering the Payments and Technology Industry by joining Visa Mexico, where she helped build and implement the Merchant Client strategy for the Mexican Market as a Business Development Manager.  

5 years in into her Visa career, she relocated to Maryland in the U.S. to join the Visa Inc. North America Merchant Sales and Solutions Team. Where she has managed Merchant Client Accounts from a diverse array of industries, from Insurance and Bill Payment, to Carriers and e-Retailers. Currently, Diana leads the Visa North America Business Development function for the Merchant Travel vertical, working closely with client accounts within the airline, cruise line, hotel, and car rental segments. As well as proudly serving as the Global Lead for Visa’s Latinx Employee Resource Group. 

Outside of Visa, Diana enjoys volunteering, swimming, concerts and traveling. Especially to Mexico because of family, friends and food. 


Yang Luo-Branch Headshot

Yang Luo-Branch
IT professional, Tyson Foods and Founder and President, Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses 

Dr. Yang Luo-Branch is the founder and president of the Arkansas Association of Asian Businesses, a member of the advisory board of the George H. W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, an IT professional at Tyson Foods, and an artist at Yillustrations.com. She was named one of the “Top 25 Influencers in Arkansas in 2020” by Arkansas Money and Politics magazine. Born and raised in China, Dr. Luo-Branch holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture, a master’s in sociology, and a PhD in land-use planning. Passionate about building meaningful and sustainable communities for the future, she delivered a TEDx speech about “the meaning of place” in 2016. Dr. Luo-Branch now lives in Rogers, Arkansas, with her husband, Andrew, and daughter, Lucy. 


Bhagya Subbareddy Headshot

Bhagya Subbareddy
Vice President, Business Process Intelligence, SAP 

Bhagya Subbareddy works as Vice President at SAP, leading the business transformation of large enterprises across ERP, HR, Business Networks, and Supply Chain solutions. With over 25 years of experience in the software industry, Bhagya has led business outcome-driven customer engagements in sales, presales, and product development roles. Bhagya has advised Fortune 500 customers in 20 industries on complex digital transformation journeys. An Electronics Engineer by education, Bhagya learned to program as an after-school activity that gravitated her to a career in software. Bhagya lives in Georgia and enjoys time with family, friends, outdoors, and contributing to causes related to education, children, and women. 



Episode 23: Hacking Hybrid

Episode 23: Hacking Hybrid

This week, our panelists will discuss the 'third culture,' hybrid work, and best practices for making it work for your organization.




Liz Gulliver Headshot

Liz Gulliver
CEO & Co-Founder, Kunik 

Liz Gulliver is the CEO & Co-Founder of Kunik, a SXSW speaker, writer of an award-winning newsletter, and mom of 2. Kunik partners with employers to support employees where work and life meet. Integrating work and life is a never ending challenge, made harder by the rapid pace of change in the workplace. Kunik aims to solve this challenge through community support and expert guidance. 


Tamara Myles Headshot

Tamara Myles
Author, Speaker, Researcher, Positive Psychology Instructor at University of Pennsylvania 

An accomplished consultant, trainer, and researcher, Tamara helps leaders make work meaningful to engage employees and improve business performance. 

Tamara’s approach blends the latest research in Positive and Organizational Psychology with evidence-based strategies to deliver trainings that yield tangible business results. She has trained leaders at high-performing organizations like Black Rock, Microsoft, KPMG, and Unilever and delivered keynotes to international business audiences.  

 Tamara is the author of The Secret to Peak Productivity: A Simple Guide to Reaching Your Personal Best, and her work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, and USA Today, among others. 

 Tamara has a Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she currently serves as an Instructor and Trainer for the Penn Resilience Program. 

Tamara lives in New England with her husband and three children and does her best thinking on long walks with her 2 dogs. She loves to cook and is in awe of the power of wonderful food to bring people together for deep, meaningful connection. 


Megan Witherspoon Headshot

Megan Witherspoon
VP of Communications, Altria Client Services 

Megan Witherspoon serves as Vice President, Communications for Altria Client Services. In this role, she leads communications and engagement strategies across multiple audiences on behalf of the Altria family of companies. 

Previously, Megan served as Senior Director, Brand Management at Philip Morris USA, where she led brand equity and digital marketing for Marlboro. Prior to this role, Megan served as Senior Director, Financial Communications on the Investor Relations team and Senior Manager, Strategy and Business Development, leading Altria's strategic planning processes. 

Since joining the Altria family of companies in 2004, Megan has held a variety of corporate responsibility and community relations roles within Altria Client Services. 

Megan currently serves on the Board of Directors for the James River Association, where she chairs the Marketing and Membership Committee. Megan received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's degree in studio art from James Madison University. 

She’s a mom, executive leader and advocate for flexible work.  Megan’s LinkedIn post on flexible working hours went viral resonating with many working parents juggling demands during and post pandemic, https://www.mother.ly/life/viral-linkedin-post-flexible-work/.  Her ongoing posts bring relentless optimism and best practices for leaders to create a flexible working environment for all. 



Episode 22: Alternate CEO Paths

Episode 22: Alternate CEO Paths

This week, our panelists will discuss alternate pathways to CEO, the role of sponsorship, and supporting women on their path to the c-suite.



Luann Abrams Headshot

Luann Abrams
Founder, CEOX 

Luann Abrams is the founder of CEOX, an organization with a mission to elevate women into CEO and board roles. From her time in venture capital as a partner at FoundersPad, an early-stage venture fund, she was compelled to find a solution to the inequities in leadership she saw at growing startups. 

She is a founding board member of Strengthening Central Oregon Political Action Committee (SCOPAC) with the mission of recruiting and supporting under-represented individuals to run for political office. In the 2020 election, five of their six endorsed candidates were elected to office, ensuring diverse representation in the local community. 

She is the inaugural member of the Women in STEAM group led by the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), whose mission is to support and encourage women in male-dominated industries for a gender-balanced future.   

Luann has a background in aerospace engineering and spent most of her 15 years in aviation working for a start-up aircraft company in Bend, OR.   

When she is not working and living the Bend life with her husband and two sons, you will find her curled up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee. 


Wendy Davidson Headshot

Wendy Davidson
President, Americas, Glanbia Performance Nutrition 

Wendy Davidson is a global executive with over 25 years of experience in the branded CPG, retail, and foodservice industries, with a record of accomplishment in innovation, turnaround and profitable growth of mature businesses. As the President of the Americas for Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Wendy is responsible for leading the $1.2B business across North America and Latin America for leading brands in sports nutrition, healthy lifestyle and weight management including Optimum Nutrition®, BSN®, think!®, Amazing Grass®, Isopure® and Slimfast®. 

Previously, Ms. Davidson spent 7 years as President of the $1B Away From Home business for the Kellogg Company leading business from small format retail to foodservice, vending, ecommerce and unique business models and strategic ventures. Prior to Kellogg, she was Vice President & General Manager for the US & Latin America for McCormick & Company and spent over 15 years as a part of the executive team at Tyson Foods, Inc. During her tenure, she held a variety of leadership roles including Senior Vice President and General Manager Prepared Foods; Group Vice President Food Service; and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the McDonald’s Global Business Unit. 

A graduate of Luther College, Wendy serves as the Chair of the Board of Regents. She is a non-Executive Director on the Board of First Horizon National Corporation (NYSE: FHN), a leading regional financial services company, is a Trustee on the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Global Board and serves on the board of Consumer Brand Association. She is past board chair of Women’s Foodservice Forum, and a member of The Network of Executive Women, International Women’s Forum, The Chicago Network, Commercial Club of Chicago, Women Corporate Directors, and the Economic Club of Chicago. 

A frequent keynote speaker, Ms. Davidson was named to the 2021 Women of Influence by Chicago Business Journal, the 2020 Crain’s list of Notable Women Executives over 50, the 2019 list of Most Influential Corporate Board Directors by WomenInc. Magazine, awarded the National Diversity Council’s 2017 Top 15 Business Women in Illinois and received the Luminary Award in 2016 from Girl Scouts of Chicago & NW Indiana. She was previously named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” and “Diamond Decade”. A passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and community service, Wendy regularly volunteers her time at the Northern Illinois Feeding America Food Bank and on the Bishop’s Advisory Council for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Davidson resides in Wheaton, IL with her husband, Thor and their two children. 

Martha Donato Headshot

Martha Donato
Founder and CEO, Bonsellas Tech Inc., dba TipZyp, and Founder and President, MAD Event Management 

Martha Donato is the founder and president of MAD Event Management, which she established in 2009. For more than 25 years she has produced large-scale events and conferences, including pop culture events Long Beach Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Expo, and New Jersey Comic Expo. She has also led numerous consulting projects, expos, tradeshows, and conferences. MAD produces C3: Comic Creator Conference, which is produced in Southern California and, in 2017, in Havana, Cuba. MAD also produces the UAS/Drones for Public Safety Conferences in Miami and LA and is a partner in the Side Hustles & Opportunities Con (SHO CON) in Detroit.  

Donato is also the founder and CEO of Bonsellas Tech Inc., dba TipZyp, a New York-based company with a microapp technology product (SaaS) in the hospitality sector. Donato possesses a strong entrepreneurial background, with more than 25 years of experience in the live event, marketing, and consulting space. 

In January of 2021, Donato co-founded and became the President of the International Women in Exhibitions Network North America Chapter.  

Donato's skills include leadership, business development, budget planning and management, event planning, marketing, business development/sales, and operational expertise. Perhaps her greatest skill is the ability to create meaningful communities. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Marist College in communications and business management. 



Episode 21: The Changing Landscape of Business Tech

Episode 21: The Changing Landscape of Business Tech

This week, our panelists will discuss how data has grown in importance, and how new tech can help meet customer needs in fresh new ways.



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Kristi Eckert
Partner/Principal, EY 

Broad range of experience in business and IT transformation, process improvement, shared services, finance and employee services initiatives.  Primarily serves as a solution architect that brings relevant industry experience and unique ways to solve problems. 

Currently serves as a global account leader on one of EY’s most significant consumer goods clients responsible for work we do across their employee services function managing over 100+ people in 30 countries. Additionally, serves as consulting leader responsible for EY consulting services on a major retail client that is focused on initiatives such as redefining the customer shopping experience, investments in omnichannel technologies and supply chain reinvention. 

Deep client relationship management experience in working with global accounts on large transformations, including culture, process and methods that drives strong partnerships. Kristi lives downtown Cincinnati with her husband, Kyle, and three boys, Thomas, Mackie and Kelly.  As a family they enjoy many of the city parks, restaurants, arts, sports and spending time at the lake / boating. 


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Navi Grewal
EVP, Digital and Technology, MasterBrand 

A leader passionate about the intersection of technology and business strategy. Especially Skilled in the areas of digital marketing technologies, IT Integration, Trade Promotion Management, Analytics, Strategic Planning and Process Optimization . Key focus has been on solving business problems with creative thinking, innovative and cost effective solutions. 

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Beth McCormick
VP of Commerce and Customer Engagement Technology, Data, Analytics, and Engineering, PetSmart

Beth McCormick joined PetSmart in 2014 and currently serves as VP of Commerce and Customer Engagement Technology, Data, Analytics, and Engineering.  She has over 20 years of retail IT experience. Her current responsibilities include technology strategy and execution supporting all customer touchpoints (eCommerce, Mobile, Marketing, Stores and Services) In addition, she has responsibility for enterprise data and advance analytics. During her tenure at PetSmart, she has driven major IT transformational change, and her team has delivered significant technology capabilities and business value. Beth is a retail industry expert and serves on the Salesforce Retail Advisory Board. She was recognized in 2017 as one of the “Top Ten Women in Retail Tech” by Chain StoreAge magazine.  Prior to PetSmart, Beth spent more than 14 years at American Eagle Outfitters in Pittsburgh, PA, where she held a variety of IT leadership positions delivering technology for the multi-brand, international retailer. Beth earned her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University.   



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Ebony Wyatt
Customer Vice President, General Mills; Founder, Ebony Wyatt Speaks L.L.C. 

Ebony Wyatt is a Customer Vice President for General Mills and is the owner of Ebony Wyatt Speaks L.L.C.  Ebony is a business leader, a dynamic speaker, and is the creator of the “Building Your BadAss Brand” and “Building Your BadAss Network” workshop series.  

Ebony is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.  She is the founder of the Multicultural Mommas Group of Northwest Arkansas, the chair of the University of Arkansas’ Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board and is the Regional Co-Chair of the Network of Executive Women Twin Cities region.  Ebony has been recognized by her alma mater, the University of Arkansas, as a Young Alumni Award recipient, a Silas Hunt Young Pioneer and as an Inclusive Excellence Champion.   

She is married to William and is the mother of three children, ages 3, 6 and 9. 


Episode 20: Mental Health and Wellness for Black Women

Episode 20: Mental Health and Wellness for Black Women

This week, our guests discuss the unique pressures on Black women, and best practices for organizations to support their employees and for black women to better support their own mental health.




Dr. Tai Headshot

Taisha Caldwell-Harvey, PhD. (Dr. Tai)
Licensed psychologist, Founder of ‘The Black Girl Doctor’ CEO & Co-Founder, Kunik 

Taisha Caldwell-Harvey, PhD. (Dr. Tai) is a licensed psychologist and founder of The Black Girl Doctor, a virtual therapy practice that specializes in the mental health of professional Black women and workplace wellness programs. She is a published author and has over 12 years of experience as a clinician and consultant where, most notably, she spent 7 years advising the 10 campus University of California system on best practices in mental health innovation. Currently, in addition to operating The Black Girl Doctor, she serves as a mental health consultant and advisor to organizations committed to workplace wellness. She believes her purpose in life is to inspire people to dream bigger and is a fierce advocate for Black Joy as a social justice issue. 


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Natasha Miller Williams,
Ferrara, VP, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

Natasha leads Ferrara’s DE&I strategy and is responsible for programs to promote diversity and foster an open and inclusive work environment. She is recognized as one of Crain’s Notable DE&I Executives and Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Executive Leaders and Top 100 Women of Influence.  

Natasha has parlayed her love of mentorship and career guidance as a contributing writer for several career and lifestyle magazines. She sits on the editorial board for Training Industry Magazine and the executive board of directors for the Village of Oak Lawn’s Chamber of Commerce. Natasha is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Chief, a private network for executive women.  

Natasha graduated from Northern Illinois University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and has an Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute. She is the president of her local elementary school PTA and lives in the Chicago area with her husband and their sons. 


Ebony Wyatt Headshot

Ebony Wyatt
Customer Vice President, General Mills; Founder, Ebony Wyatt Speaks L.L.C. 

Ebony Wyatt is a Customer Vice President for General Mills and is the owner of Ebony Wyatt Speaks L.L.C.  Ebony is a business leader, a dynamic speaker, and is the creator of the “Building Your BadAss Brand” and “Building Your BadAss Network” workshop series.  

Ebony is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.  She is the founder of the Multicultural Mommas Group of Northwest Arkansas, the chair of the University of Arkansas’ Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board and is the Regional Co-Chair of the Network of Executive Women Twin Cities region.  Ebony has been recognized by her alma mater, the University of Arkansas, as a Young Alumni Award recipient, a Silas Hunt Young Pioneer and as an Inclusive Excellence Champion.   

She is married to William and is the mother of three children, ages 3, 6 and 9. 


Episode 19: Supporting Caregivers

Episode 19: Supporting Caregivers

This week, our guests will discuss how caregiving is a missed opportunity for employers to step up, advice for caregivers, and best practices for organizations.





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Liz Gulliver
CEO & Co-Founder, Kunik 

Liz Gulliver is the CEO & Co-Founder of Kunik, a SXSW speaker, writer of an award winning newsletter, and mom of 2. Kunik partners with employers to support employees where work and life meet. Integrating work and life is a never ending challenge, made harder by the rapid pace of change in the workplace. Kunik aims to solve this challenge through community support and expert guidance. 

Learn more about Kunik here.


Jessica Kim Headshot

Jessica Kim
CEO & Co-Founder, Ianacare 

Jessica Kim is the co-founder/CEO of ianacare on a mission to encourage, empower, and equip family caregivers with the practical tools and communities, so no one does it alone. The platform leverages the powerful combination of technology + caregiver coaches to organize and mobilize all the layers of support. Her dedication stems from being the primary caregiver for her mom who fought a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She is a 3x startup founder, speaker, and caregiving advocate. Jessica was honored as Crain’s Top 40 under 40 and currently serves as a Venture Partner at Praxis Labs, the inaugural Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Presidential Council advisor at Brown University, and board member of Be the Bridge for racial reconciliation and justice. She graduated from Brown University and received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Boston with her three young children, husband, and 82-year-old father. 

Learn more about ianacare here.


Lisa Walsh Headshot

Lisa Walsh
Operating Advisor, Atlantic Street Capital Advisors, Inc.;
NEW Board Immediate Past Chair 

Lisa is an experienced change agent, having led organizations in both Fortune 50 and Private Equity owned mid-market companies. She has built relationships and connections from her 30+ years in the retail, consumer goods, and services industries, obsessing about customers, consumers, and team members. She has been successful by focusing on results, creating amazing corporate cultures, and building diverse teams for growth, whether it be leading a $1.5Bn global business or accelerating growth in a $100MM domestic private enterprise. Her vast experience covers Management, Strategic Planning, Sales, Marketing, Innovation Development, Manufacturing and most importantly, Talent Optimization.  

Lisa has been an Operating Advisor for Atlantic Street Capital Advisors, Inc. since 2019 working with executive teams across a variety of businesses in both retail and digital marketing to drive profitable growth.  Prior to her current role, Lisa was the CEO of Truco Enterprises, a Private Equity owned snack manufacturer.  She also had a long and successful career at PepsiCo, holding several senior leadership positions across all product lines.  Her vast experience at PepsiCo covers SVP general management roles of both global and domestic businesses, as well as expertise in strategic planning, franchise management, marketing, innovation development, manufacturing, and talent optimization.  Prior to PepsiCo, Lisa developed her analytic and market research acumen with roles at both Nielsen and Information Resources, Inc.   

Lisa serves as the Immediate Past Board Chair of a $7MM national non-profit organization, Network of Executive Women, which supports attracting, retaining, and advancing women in business.  Lisa has served on the Board for the past 10 years and has led the organization through various transformations including capital fundraising, rebranding, strategic expansions, and a CEO transition. 


Episode 18: Conscious Language

Episode 18: Conscious Language

This week, our guests discuss the power of conscious, concise communication, and key tips and tricks to refine workplace communication.





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Pilar Gerasimo
Author of The Healthy Deviant, and award-winning journalist 

Pilar Gerasimo is an award-winning health journalist, pioneering social explorer, and author of a new book, The Healthy Deviant: A Rule-Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World (North Atlantic Books, 2020). 

Best known for her work as founding editor of Experience Life magazine, which today reaches more than three million people with each issue, Pilar has also served as top health editor for The Huffington Post, and as visiting faculty for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. 

Today, Pilar co-hosts a top-rated podcast called The Living Experiment and teaches online courses through her digital learning platform, Healthy Deviant Academy. She guest lectures at universities, leads workshops at top retreat centers, and consults for organizations committing to transforming health and happiness at work andaround the globe. 

When she’s not travelling, Pilar hangs out on an organic, communal family farm in Wisconsin with her pitbull pal, Calvin. 

Learn more at www.pilargerasimo.com and www.healthydeviant.com (where you can also take the “Are You a Healthy Deviant?” quiz). 

Connect with Pilar on Facebook at @pilargerasimo or follow her on Instagram at @pgerasimo. 


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Michelle Maldonado
Founder and CEO, Lucenscia 

Michelle Maldonado is Founder and CEO of Lucenscia (pronounced loo-SENSE-see-ah), a firm dedicated to human flourishing and mindful business transformation. She is an internationally certified mindfulness and emotional intelligence teacher and practitioner with the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association, Genos International and GolemanEI, respectively. 

Michelle is a former corporate and tech attorney turned business leader who understands diverse industry sectors, mission, and service. She is passionate about learning, helping elevate human consciousness and alleviating suffering in the world. Her work focuses on personal and professional leadership development at the pivotal intersection of mindfulness, unconscious bias, emotional intelligence, authenticity, and compassion, nestled on a solid foundation of neuroscience and research and taught through an equity lens to help leaders do their inner work to create positive and sustainable outer impact. 

Michelle also serves as Senior Faculty for 1440 Multiversity's Leadership Center, founding faculty for Daniel Goleman's inaugural Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification program and Senior Fellow with Bill George's True North Leadership program, co-teaching with Bill George (former CEO of Medtronic) and Scott Kriens (Chairman and former CEO of Juniper Networks). She is a highly, sought-after keynote speaker, thought leader and strategist collaborating with government agencies, corporations, non-profits/NGOs and higher-ed communities worldwide helping to make workplaces and world places more human. 

As a result of her work and impact, Michelle has been recognized among the “12 Powerful Women in the Mindfulness Movement” (U.S. 2020), as “Woman of The Year,” “Top Corporate Leader,” and inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society for her holistic approach to cultivating leadership presence, compassion, well-being and performance impact. Her work has been featured in conference venues and publications including, the DQ Institute in association with the World Economic Forum, United Nations Global Engagement Summit, Human Capital Institute, the Mindful Leader Summit, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Training Magazine, Leadership Excellence, Huff Post, and Thrive Global. 

Michelle is a graduate of Barnard College at Columbia University and The George Washington University School of Law. She also is the Democratic Nominee for the Virginia House of Delegates (District 50) running for state legislature. Michelle currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with her family. 



Episode 17: How Fur Parents Adapt to Going Back to Work!

Episode 17: How Fur Parents Adapt to Going Back to Work!

This week's episode of 'Advancing ALL Women' with Sarah Alter is 'How Fur Parents Adapt to Going Back to Work!' Our panel will discuss the pet situation during COVID-19, and the importance of flexibility for pet parents.

Purina has many additional resources for companies that are interested in making this transition, including a Pets at Work Starter Kit and an employer toolkit to help guide companies and their employees toward a better, more integrated workplace for our furry friends.    



Brad Bedwell Headshot

Brad Bedwell
Senior Merchandising Director - Pets, Walmart

Brad Bedwell is currently the Senior Merchandising Director of Pets at Walmart, responsible for durables, services, and new business development. Brad has spent his career in various roles across Walmart marketing and merchandising, including the last decade in the toy business. New to his role on the Pets team, Brad is passionate about making pet ownership easy, affordable, and stress-free, and believes Walmart can play a unique role in making this happen for all pet lovers out there. Working right along him at home, Brad has 2 rescue dogs, Jack & Georgie.


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Annie Valuska, PhD.
Sr. Scientist, Purina 

Dr. Annie Valuska brings over 15 years of animal behavior experience to her role as a Senior Scientist on Purina’s Pet Behavior team. After a variety of undergraduate research experiences at Kenyon College, Annie received her PhD in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis, then went on to serve as the Post-Doctoral Behavior Research Fellow at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Since joining Purina in 2013, Annie has gotten to use her expertise to serve as the “voice of pet,” ensuring that the needs of cats and dogs are kept top of mind in all of Purina’s products and outreach efforts. Annie’s passion for pets extends into her personal life – she is an award-winning animal shelter volunteer and currently has a rescued pit bull/shih tzu mix (Arya), a beagle (Bubblegum), and black cat (Jack) sharing her home in St. Louis, MO. 


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Lilly Voelker
Associate Brand Manager Marketing, PepsiCo. 

Lilly Voelker is a dynamic CPG professional with experience in and a passion for brand strategy, data analytics, and business development. These interests developed throughout her time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Marketing as well as Hispanic Studies. After graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the Kenan Flagler Undergraduate Business School, she joined Kraft Heinz as a Management Development Associate. For nearly 6 years, she explored a variety of roles in retail, insights, and customer development with a focus on key customers like Costco, Kroger, and Boxed.com. 

Most recently, Lilly joined PepsiCo as a part of the Brand Marketing team at Quaker where she manages the Hot Cereal Cups portfolio. She is focused on delivering a long-term portfolio growth strategy and driving greater understanding and penetration of Millennial consumers. Lilly is fueled by leveraging her experience in sales to bring valuable perspective to her new role in marketing.  

Lilly lives in Chicago, but is a native North Carolinian, which is clear from the passion she exhibits for her alma mater. While in Chicago, she has enjoyed regularly volunteering at the Ann Lurie’s Children’s Hospital, exploring neighborhoods and restaurants with her husband, and of course, joining the NEWGen Board this year. 



Episode 16: Parenting Tips for Working Leaders

Episode 16: Parenting Tips for Working Leaders

This week, our panel discusses their personal journeys as working parents, tips for working parents, and how our workplaces can better support their employees as they make their way through the complexities of working parenthood.



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Carlo Coppola
Chief Commercial Officer, US, Beam Suntory

Carlo Coppola is the current Chief Commercial Officer, US at Beam Suntory. Carlo started in the spirits industry in 2003, joining Allied Domecq as Finance Manager, North America. Several years later, in 2007, he joined Beam Suntory as East Region Director of Marketing Activation, and in 2009, he transitioned to sales as the Metro New York State Manager. In that role, Carlo began building his sales leadership skills, ultimately rising through company ranks to reach Regional Vice President, Franchise States in 2015. During his tenure in that role, he managed 35% of the US business, leading his team to winning market share for the first time in 5 years. In 2018, Carlo took on a new role as General Sales Manager – SGWS Region, covering roughly 50% of the US business and a talented team of more than 150 people.  

Carlo’s strategic approach, paired with strong relationships with distributors and partners and years leading large teams, ultimately led him to his current role of Chief Commercial Officer, US in 2020. He is responsible for the full US sales and regional marketing organization of more than 450 people, and he manages Beam Suntory’s expanded partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.  

Importantly, Carlo is a strong proponent for his team members – he is deeply invested in ensuring they are supported with the proper tools to develop their professional skills and pursue their career ambitions. Of equal importance is Carlo’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it is a top priority to ensure that DE&I remains a focus area for growth, not just for his team, but for Beam Suntory overall.  

Prior to joining the spirits industry in 2003, Carlo worked at both Arthur Andersen and Deloitte,  becoming a CPA during that time. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He lives in Wilton, Connecticut with his wife of more than 17 years, Amanda, and their four children: Anna Rosa, Mario, Sofia, and Carlo.  In his free time, he enjoys watching his children play sports, experiencing new places, and creating lifelong memories with family and friends.    


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Kristen Harris
Vice President - Diversity and Inclusion, Hallmark 

Kristen Harris moved to Kansas City in 2006 after graduating with a B.S in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas. In 2016, she completed the MBA program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City with an emphasis in Marketing. 

She has 14 years of progressive experience at Hallmark Cards building business partnerships within corporations and in the community, leading highly effective teams, creating strategies to promote accountability, and driving employee engagement. She is currently leading development and implementation of enterprise-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies as well as leading organizational culture change. She regularly consults with various HR professionals and facilitates employee resource groups and diversity councils to advance D&I initiatives within the specific areas of talent acquisition, professional development, product development and marketing, as well as community involvement and advocacy. 

Some of her professional affiliations include the World 50 impact platform for executives, the Network of Executive Women, and the Executive Leadership Council where she has completed management courses, mentorship and advocacy seminars, as well as D&I and inclusive leadership certifications. Kristen was also featured in the spring 2021 edition of Savoy magazine highlighting diversity and inclusion in corporate America. 

Outside of work, Kristen’s passion has always been in community advocacy and she currently serves as a board director for Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City. She also volunteers with several organizations across the city supporting education, health, and affordable housing services. Her newest pandemic pastimes include bike riding and yoga. 


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Cara Pollard
CEO and Founder, Cara Pollard Coaching (CpC) 

Cara Pollard is the CEO and founder of Cara Pollard Coaching (CpC). CpC partners with corporations to support parent employees. They develop transformative programs to help people parent successfully while working. They also partner with schools and organizations to provide parent support groups, workshops, and teacher trainings. 

Cara offers individual coaching services to executives, families, couples, men, women and teens. She transforms lives by drawing upon her in-depth background in her legal and academic experience. She is a lifelong learner and is highly trained in a variety of disciplines. She is a PCI, Certified Parent Coach™, trained in DE&I Initiatives, and conflict resolution/mediation skills training. Cara creates the scaffolding individuals need to meet the demands and complexities of our modern world. She also hosts the podcast Mindfulness at Work. 



Episode 15: Supporting Women with Disabilities

Episode 15: Supporting Women with Disabilities

This week, our panel discusses best practices around supporting women with disabilities at work, combating ableism, and what you can do to step up.






Michele Adams
Vice President Risk Management Operations & Casualty Claims, Walmart

In 2020 Michele Adams was appointed Vice President of Risk Management Operations & Casualty Claims at Walmart Claims Services in Bentonville, Arkansas. Before joining Walmart, she was the Vice President, Risk Management Services at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida where she spent more than twenty years in the risk management organization. She has experience leading dynamic and diverse teams managing all aspects of risk and casualty claims. 

Michele is a national speaker on a wide range of topics involving risk management and workers’ compensation. In 2019 she received the Summa Comp Laude award from Work Comp Central, recognized for the positive impact she has made to the national workers’ compensation community. In 2017 Michele was inducted into the Florida Workers' Compensation Hall of Fame for her contributions to the betterment of the workers' compensation industry in Florida. 

Michele is the past-Chair and Executive Committee Member of the Medicare Advocacy and Recovery Coalition; serves on the Boards of the Florida Self Insured Guaranty Association and the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute; and is a past member of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Self-Insureds. 

She is a summa cum laude graduate of Rollins College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications. She also holds an MBA from the Crummer School of Business, Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. 

Michele is a native Floridian and when she is not working, is an avid reader and enjoys writing, college football, bike riding, and spending time with her family. 



Rachel Arfa
Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago 

Rachel Arfa, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Chicago 
Rachel Arfa was appointed Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in July 2020.   

Commissioner Arfa is the first deaf commissioner of MOPD, and the highest ranking deaf person to serve in a City government leadership role.   Arfa comes to MOPD with years of experience as a disability and civil rights attorney.   She has held numerous civic and leadership roles, including advocating to make Chicago’s cultural spaces accessible to people with disabilities.  

As MOPD Commissioner, Arfa leads the City of Chicago’s efforts to make Chicago a more accessible city.  MOPD provides services including in the areas of independent living services (information and referral, home delivered meals, and home maker services), employment and youth transition services, home modifications, assistive technology, accessible housing and architectural accessibility.  MOPD also creates policies on disability accessibility, accessible transportation and emergency preparedness.  

Arfa is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A. American Culture) and the University of Wisconsin School of Law (J.D.) 


Lori Golden
Abilities Strategy Leader, Ernst & Young 

Lori Golden is EY Abilities Strategy Leader, driving global efforts to build an enabling, inclusive environment for the firm’s nearly 300,000 people of all abilities. She leads initiatives to enhance accessibility in EY offices, communications, meetings, trainings and technology, educate on disabilities issues and inclusive practices, and collaborates on new recruiting and employment models. She advises the firm’s disabilities networks and works across the organization to enhance support for people with disabilities. Lori’s helped build innovative programs including WorkWell@EY on ergonomics; EY’s Neuro-diverse Centers of Excellence; and We Care, which helps colleagues support colleagues struggling with mental illness. 

A frequent speaker on disabilities employment issues, Lori serves on the US Department of Labor's Circle of Champions, the Disability: IN Global Roundtable, the Autism at Work Employer Roundtable, is Vice Chair of the Board of TransCen and served on the Board of Directors of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and its Corporate Advisory Board. 

Lori has multiple non-visible disabilities and has children with disabilities. She is a recipient of EY’s Chairman’s Values Award and a two-time winner of the firm’s Better Begins with You Award. She's been with Ernst & Young 22 years and is a graduate of Harvard University. 


Christina McGleam
Deputy Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago 

Christina McGleam was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in April 2021 by Commissioner Rachel Arfa.    

In her role as Deputy Commissioner, McGleam oversees MOPD’s Employment, Training and Youth initiatives aimed at elevating employment opportunities, reducing barriers to employment for people with disabilities and increasing awareness on how to best interact with people with disabilities.  

McGleam also collaborates with Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Diverse Learners and Support Services as well as the City Colleges of Chicago to support professional development activities and works with both teams to fill the gaps between high school and college for students with disabilities. As MOPD’s Access Officer, another leadership role within the City of Chicago, McGleam serves as the main contact for City departments and sister agencies on questions related to communication access.    

McGleam represents MOPD as a member of the Regional Transit Authority Eligibility Review Board, the Accessible Airport Advisory Committee and was recently selected to serve as a member of the Chicago Cultural Access Sub-Committee. McGleam is a member of MOPD’s internal Office of Racial Equity and Justice cohort, working to ensure equity is at the forefront of all the services MOPD provides.  

McGleam is a graduate of John Carroll University (B.S. Business Administration) and Roosevelt University (M.S. Human Resource Management) and earned a certification from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals as a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core competencies.  



Episode 14: Women in P&L Roles

Episode 14: Women in P&L Roles

Our panel demystifies P&L roles and discuss the importance of bringing women and people of color into these key positions.



Carol Jones
VP, Finance & Administration, Network of Executive Women

Carol Jones leads the finance and administration team, which manages the finances of NEW, facilitating its sustainability and ensuring that the books/records are appropriately managed and reported. Her team also develops the long-range financial plan and directs the annual budget and planning process. They provide contract management oversight and review appropriate levels of control, efficiency and effectiveness. Carol previously was at IRI as the financial lead for the retail organization. She also worked closely with the head of finance, planning and analysis at United Airlines in their capital planning group. She received her MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business and her bachelor of science degree in accounting from DePaul University. Carol enjoys volunteering in the community and traveling with family and friends.



Val Oswalt
Executive Vice President and President Campbell Snacks, Campbell Soup Company

Valerie Oswalt was named Executive Vice President and President Campbell Snacks in March 2020. She reports to Mark Clouse, President and CEO, and is a Corporate Officer and member of the Campbell Leadership Team. Oswalt leads the company’s $3.9 billion Snacks division, which includes brands such as Goldfish, Milano, Pepperidge Farm, Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Kettle Brand, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps and Late July, among others and the company’s Latin America businesses. The combination of these brands makes Campbell the No. 3 snack food company in the United States.

She has more than two decades of experience in the snack food industry, leading both large and established brands in senior positions at Kraft Foods and Mondelēz International, as well as at fast-growing start-ups. Prior to joining Campbell, Oswalt served as CEO of Century Snacks, a privately held trail mix and nut products company, where she led the turnaround of the business with a portfolio of more than 400 branded, private label and commercial products. Previously, she held the position of President of Mondelēz’s North American Confections business, a $1.5 billion portfolio that included well-known brands such as Oreo, Cadbury, Trident, Halls and Sour Patch Kids.  

Earlier in her career, she held executive roles including President of North American Sales at Mondelēz and Vice President, Walmart Customer Team at Kraft Foods Group. She began her career as an accountant at Deloitte. Oswalt earned her MBA in Marketing, Strategy and Finance from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management and her B.A. in Economics and Accounting from Queens College, City University of New York. She is a member of the Board of Directors for FMI – The Food Industry Association.



Molly White
GM / VP Taste Elevation, The Kraft Heinz Company

Molly White is the GM / VP Taste Elevation at The Kraft Heinz Company. Molly fell in love with CPG early and spent her full career in the industry including time at L'Oreal and IRI prior to getting an MBA. In her seven years at Kraft Heinz, Molly has been in various marketing roles. In 2014, she upended the Frozen Meals category with the launch of Devour and her own life with the birth of her first child. Today, Molly is leading the newly created Taste Elevation platform, including brands like Heinz Ketchup, A1, Miracle Whip, Kraft sauces, and Lea & Perrins. When not at work, Molly’s two young kids keep her very busy visiting Chicago playgrounds, but if she had an hour to herself (dreams), she’d be reading a novel or out on a run. 


Episode 13: Avoiding Burnout & Managing Mental Health

Episode 13: Avoiding Burnout & Managing Mental Health

Our panel will share best practices for leading and supporting your team through burnout, and managing their well-being through change and stressful times.



Kiera Fernandez
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer President 

In her current role, Kiera Fernandez serves as the Senior Vice President of Talent & Change and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. Kiera is responsible for leading and advancing Target’s enterprise-wide Diversity & Inclusion strategy as well as leading our Talent and Change team and strategy. In addition to her human resource expertise, Kiera has an extensive background in retail operations, process and project management, store operations, and team leadership. Kiera began her career at Target in 2001, as an Executive Team Leader for Stores, subsequently serving in a variety of leadership roles. Since that time, Kiera has lead teams in Merchandising, Stores, Operations and Human Resources. Over the last several years, she has continued to build a career across multiple HR functions. Kiera and her husband Dan are proud parents of Kaylan, Krystian, Kieryn and Kaleb. She is a certified yoga instructor, and spends much of her free time teaching and practicing. 



Pilar Gerasimo
Award-winning health journalist 

Pilar Gerasimo is an award-winning health journalist, pioneering social explorer, and author of a new book, The Healthy Deviant: A Rule-Breaker’s Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World (North Atlantic Books, 2020). Best known for her work as founding editor of Experience Life magazine, which today reaches more than three million people with each issue, Pilar has also served as top health editor for The Huffington Post, and as visiting faculty for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Today, Pilar co-hosts a top-rated podcast called The Living Experiment and teaches online courses through her digital learning platform, Healthy Deviant Academy. She guest lectures at universities, leads workshops at top retreat centers, and consults for organizations committing to transforming health and happiness at work and around the globe. When she’s not travelling, Pilar hangs out on an organic, communal family farm in Wisconsin with her pit bull pal, Calvin. Learn more at www.pilargerasimo.com and www.healthydeviant.com (where you can also take the “Are You a Healthy Deviant?” quiz). Connect with Pilar on Facebook at @pilargerasimo or follow her on Instagram at @pgerasimo. 


Episode 12: Power Moms

Episode 11: Tackling Board Roles

Our panel will cover the struggles and triumphs of being a Power Mom, best practices for businesses to support mothers, and how you can become a Power Mom yourself!



Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life, by Joann S. Lublin



Veronica Fernandez
North America Head of Business Solutions, Visa 

Veronica is Visa’s senior vice president and Regional Head of North America Business Solutions. Visa Business Solutions (VBS) enables businesses to thrive through products that provide better cash flow, administrative efficiency, control and acceptance.  From small business to large corporate and governments, VBS products cover all forms of business spending, including Small Business, Commercial, and Virtual Cards.  Veronica is responsible for the business, strategy and go to market for the U.S. and Canada. 

Veronica joined Visa in February of 2007, and has led numerous teams across Visa Business Solutions, North America Merchant and Prepaid.  Prior to joining Visa, Veronica held product management and business development roles at U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems in Minneapolis, MN.   

Veronica earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about the advancement of underrepresented at Visa and in Silicon Valley.  She serves as executive sponsor of Visa Latinx Connect Employee Resource Group.  Veronica also sits on the Advisory Board for Latinas in Tech Bay Area.   Ms. Fernandez is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina and lives with her husband and eight-year-old daughter in the Bay Area. 



Joann Lublin
Author of Power Moms, WSJ journalist

Joann S. Lublin is the former management news editor for the Wall Street Journal.  She created the Journal’s first career advice column and wrote it until 2020. She shared its 2003 Pulitzer Prize for stories about corporate scandals.  She won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gerald Loeb Awards, the highest honor in business journalism.  Her latest book about female business leaders is Power Moms: How Executive Mothers Navigate Work and Life.  Her first book, published in 2016, is Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with honors from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Stanford University.  She lives in suburban Philadelphia. 



Roma McCaig
SVP of Impact and Communications, Clif Bar 

Roma McCaig brings more than 25 years of corporate social responsibility and communications experience to this new role at Clif Bar & Company. She has a successful track record of driving high-profile business strategies and large change initiatives in the consumer-packaged goods, healthcare, and technology industries. 

Roma was most recently vice president, corporate responsibility, and sustainability at Campbell Soup Company where she led the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy. Her work focused on the development and implementation of 14 key issue action areas designed to enhance business performance, energize employees, support the company brand, and ultimately drive positive societal impact.  

Prior to this role, Roma held other leadership positions at Campbell including vice president, operations and continuous improvement, and vice president, procurement business operations and strategy. In her procurement role, she helped develop and implement supplier-related corporate responsibility and risk management strategies, focused on responsible sourcing, traceability, and animal welfare. 

Before joining Campbell, Roma spent 17 years in the San Francisco Bay Area in business and communications leadership roles at Uber Technologies, Kaiser Permanente, and The Clorox Company.  

Roma earned her Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.   


Episode 11: Tackling Board Roles

Episode 11: Tackling Board Roles

Our panel gets into the brass tacks of getting board-ready, the obstacles that hold women back from board participation, and how companies can help.


2020 Study Of Gender Diversity On Private Company Boards
Roadmap to Landing Board Roles




Jocelyn Mangan 
CEO & Founder, Him For Her 

Jocelyn founded Him For Her, a social impact venture aimed at accelerating diversity on corporate boards. She has over two decades of technology experience building iconic global mobile apps and market-leading software products at some of the world’s best local, consumer, and marketplace companies, including CitySearch, Ticketmaster, OpenTable and Snagajob. Jocelyn currently serves on the boards of Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA), ChowNow, an online food ordering system and marketing platform, and is an advisor to Homebase, a platform to help local businesses manage hourly work. She is a part-time moderator for the Netflix Leadership Program. Jocelyn was honored as a member of the 2016 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute, was a global ambassador for the Vital Voices Global Partnership, and was one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” in 2015. 



Dr. Kim Villeneuve 
President & CEO at Centerstone Executive Search & Consulting 
Co-Founder at bluSPARC™   

Throughout her career, Dr. Kim Villeneuve has placed CEOs and executive teams and built Boards for companies ranging from new ventures to Fortune 500 firms. As CEO of Centerstone Executive Search & Consulting, she leads succession strategies and assignments, including CEO and Board searches.  

Kim is also an elite Executive Coach, known for her work with executives and those preparing for succession opportunities or developing complex leadership capability. Drawing on her experience in search, she co-founded bluSPARC™, an executive coaching program delivered on a digital platform.  

Kim holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University and a master’s degree in Management from the University of Redlands. She is a Guest Lecturer at The George Washington University doctorate program and an Adjunct Professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business teaching graduate courses in Leading High-Performance Teams and Organization Diagnostics. 



Sarah Zapp 
CEO & Founder of Beyond Board 

Sarah Zapp is an entrepreneur, award winning journalist and relationship curator.  

She is the CEO and Founder of Beyond Board. Beyond Board is nationwide community of today’s best board members and board eligible executives with live events, virtual offerings, board placement opportunities and a mission to place more women and diversity on boards. 

In 2019, Brown Brothers Harriman named her one of the 19 “Women to Watch”.  

As a relationship curator she currently advises, consults and sits on the board of advisors for various start-ups. She’s also a speaker and panelist on the topic of building relationships and board diversification, recently featured at national TED Women’s conference, Goldman Sachs Women’s Symposium and in Harvard Business Review.  

Formerly, she was the Director of Strategic Relationships for IVY where she built a national thought leader and investor relations program for 20,000 young professionals.  

As a TV host, reporter and producer, Sarah earned multiple Telly awards and 8 Emmy nominations.  She worked for Comcast as their national entertainment and political reporter interviewing some of today’s biggest names in entertainment and politics. She also executive produced and hosted her own weekly talk show, “New England Newsmakers”. She spent time in local news at WB56 in Boston and anchored the morning and noon news at KARK (NBC) in Little Rock, Arkansas.  

Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and holds a Master Degree in Communication Studies from Boston University. 


Episode 10: Navigating middle-aged adolescence

Episode 10: Navigating middle-aged adolescence

Our panel discusses the challenges of defining your career at a pivot point in the lives of many, and best practices for organizations supporting individuals going through this complex time. 




Kim Feil
Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of ASPIRE® Healthy Energy Drinks 

Following 32-years as CMO of OfficeMax, Walgreens, Sara Lee, Kimberly-Clark; CEO/President of divisions of Information Resources, Inc., and executive roles with Dr Pepper/7UP, Kim became an entrepreneur and is now Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of ASPIRE® Healthy Energy Drinks.  Kim serves on the boards of ASPIRE, Naturally Chicago and The CMO Club, and is a past Director of Roundy’s, On the Border and PowerReviews. Kim has been named a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Consumer Goods & Technology, and Diversity Journal magazines and recognized by Advertising Women of New York for “Changing the Game.” A passionate advocate for mentoring women, and of the American Heart Association, she is The Network of Executive Women national board nominating team leader, and serves on the Chicago Go Red for Women campaign executive team, where she was Chair twice.  She is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.  



Carol Franczek
Chief Executive Officer at Out dash Wit 

Carol’s currently serves as Chief Executive Officer at Out dash Wit, a start-up marketing consultancy that wants to wake up companies to the value of marketing to women over 50.  Carol’s has had a successful career having held leadership roles in consumer and business-to-business industries including healthcare, tech, consumer package goods, consumer insights and analytics including Clorox, Kraft, Information Resources and Comscore.  She most recently served as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications at NorthShore University HealthSystem- a $5 billion health system in the Chicago area. Her unique skills, and training in innovation honed her ability to anticipate what’s next before others. As businesses face new challenges, Carol continues to be a valued resource as a thought leader -- staying close to the changing needs of key stakeholders and building businesses that thrive. 



Hélène Tragos Stelian
Midlife Empowerment Coach, Speaker, and Community Builder

She helps women who are struggling in their 40s and beyond—who wonder if their best years are behind them and what’s next for them. She shows them how to put themselves first, reclaim their identity, and figure out what’s next, so they can create a NO-REGRETS future. Because she believes it’s OUR TIME and OUR TURN.  

She coaches women through her signature 6-week Discover Your Purpose group program and in her membership, Take Action on Your Passion

She also speaks on many topics, including purpose, the empty nest, perfectionism, procrastination, legacy, and goal setting. 

Hélène is passionate about connecting women to each other as well as to educational and inspirational content. She has built an active community through her Facebook group, Empowering Women in Midlife, where women support and encourage each other—and share a laugh or two! She also showcases women through her written and video interviews.  

Hélène splits her time between Chicago, Illinois and Sarasota, Florida, has been married to Peter for 26 years, and has twin girls in their twenties. She loves travel, dancing, crime shows, ranunculus—and eats chocolate every day! 


Episode 9: Women in STEM

Episode 9: Women in STEM

Our panel will discuss the importance of bringing more women into STEM fields, the barriers women face to entering the industry, and best practices for opening the door wider to women.




Monique Picou 
Vice President, Global Server Operations and Technology Strategy, Google 

Monique Picou is VP, Global Server Operations & Tech Strategy at Google, where she leads development and expansion of server floor operations and data center materials, including strategies for technology, planning, staffing, product, process, and capability for Google Cloud. With more than 28 years of experience in manufacturing, engineering, logistics, innovation, joint business planning, commercial negotiations, and new business development, Monique began her career with Procter & Gamble. She later became chief strategy and supply chain officer at Walmart, where she led enterprise strategy for Sam’s Club Enterprise and Club Brick & Mortar + Ecommerce Supply Chain. 



Tiffany A. Sargent
Chief Technologist for Cloud and Enterprise Sales,Senior Principal Engineer, Intel Corporation  

Tiffany A. Sargent is the Chief Technologist for Cloud and Enterprise Sales and is a Senior Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation.  Tiffany collaborates with her ecosystem partners to develop blended and multi-disciplinary solutions that drive value and advance their business objectives. These solutions include the full spectrum of Complex Systems across Internet of Things, Machine to Machine (M2M), Cloud, Enterprise, and Distributed Analytics. 



Dr. Jayshree Seth
Corporate Scientist, Applied Technology Development, Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division, 3M

Jayshree Seth is a Corporate Scientist at 3M and leads Applied Technology Development for Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. She joined 3M in 1993 after an MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University, New York, and she currently holds 72 patents for a variety of innovations with several additional pending. Jayshree was appointed 3M’s first ever Chief Science Advocate in 2018 and is using her scientific knowledge, technical expertise and professional experience to advance science and communicate the importance and benefits of science in everyday life. She is also a member of Carlton Society which is the 3M Science and Engineering ‘hall of fame.’ Jayshree is the 4th woman and 1st female engineer to be inducted. 


Episode 8: Stereotypes across generations

Episode 8: Stereotypes across generations

On this episode, our guests, each representing a different generation, will discuss the good and bad of stereotypes around those like them, and the value of learning from one another. 




Taylor Burks
Vice President of Operations, Wisdom Capture

Taylor Burks is from the Central Coast of California where he grew up surfing, playing soccer, and enjoying the great outdoors. He attended the University of San Diego where he earned his B.B.A in Marketing, and recently moved to San Francisco after living in San Diego for the last 7 years. Taylor has been with Wisdom Capture for almost four years, officially joining the company as its first employee in August of 2018. He has 5+ years of experience working in fast-paced startup environments, wearing multiple hats and managing everything from sales and marketing campaigns to account management and he now leads a team of project managers. 



Josh Hotsenpiller

With a resume of successful startups and exits, Josh offers a proven track record of managing top-performing teams. Under his leadership at Profits 4 Purpose, CrowdHub, Wisdom Capture, and JUNO, millions of users have connected to his community-based platforms. His clients have included, Unilever, UNICEF. HP, GoPro, Kaiser Permanente, among many others. As a TEDx alum and U.S. Department of state speaker ambassador Josh travels globally equipping and inspiring people across all sectors to re-learn and resurrect the power of human connection and soft skills.  



Asia Ray
Membership Engagement Coordinator, Network of Executive Women

Asia is a Dallas, TX native and a huge sports fan. She attended the University of Kansas where she studied Sport Management and Business. Asia has always been very enthusiastic about working with people and enjoys being the go-to point person. Asia joined NEW in March, as the Membership and Partnership Engagement Coordinator after working with various professional sports teams, including the Orlando Magic and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club. She has a background in Premium Service and events, where she built strong relationships with clients, and achieved a high client retention rate, in addition to helping create premium events. 


Episode 7: A time to act: Supporting the AANHPI Community

Episode 7: A time to act: Supporting the AANHPI Community

On this episode, we’ll discuss the wave of anti-AANHPI hate incidents across the U.S. over the last year and a half, the history of anti-AANHPI hate in America, and best practices for businesses to support the AANHPI community. 




Mariko Carpenter
Vice President of Marketing - North America, NielsenIQ

Mariko S. Carpenter is the Vice President of Marketing at NielsenIQ, a leading global research company. Mariko has served as a thought leader on U.S. multicultural consumer insights with focus on Asian Americans - the fastest-growing consumer segment in the U.S. With Multicultural Americans representing 92% of the projected population growth in the next 5 years, how to successfully service the American public will dramatically change.  Mariko delivers the narrative behind multicultural consumer data and trends to help brands, marketers and community leaders build strategies to win in our ever-changing, digitally connected world. 



Sue Ann Hong
President & CEO, The Center for Asian Pacific American Women 

Sue Ann Hong joined the Center for Asian Pacific American Women (CAPAW) May 2018 as the interim Executive Director. As of January 2020, she is the President & CEO. Her career was with State Farm Insurance Companies for over 28 years, including Data Processing, Diversity & Inclusion, Corporate Business & Technology Portfolio Management and P&C Auto Claims. She’s led up to 600 employees in multiple locations, managed 1000 contract employees and supported customers and State Farm agents in 23 states.  She’s worked in various locations, including MI, IL, NY and GA. 



Daphne Kwok 
VP, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Asian American & Pacific Islander Audience Strategy, AARP 

Daphne Kwok is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Asian American & Pacific Audience Strategy at AARP.  Her work empowers Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to choose how they live as they age.  She brings to AARP her experience as a “leader of leaders” through her community service in promoting and empowering the AAPI community. Ms. Kwok was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 to chair his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Commission served as the “eyes and ears” of the community advising the President and the federal government about the issues impacting the AAPI community.   


Episode 6: Supporting the Latina Community

Episode 6: Supporting the Latina Community 

On this episode, we talk about the bias Latinas face, the pressure on Latinas to curb their 'Latinaness,' and best practices for organizations to provide better support. 




Alberto L. Dominguez
VP Customer Development – Walmart, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Alberto Luis Dominguez is an experienced business executive with a diverse background and a proven leadership record. Currently leading the Kimberly Clark Customer Development team calling on Walmart, Inc., Al oversees sales strategy and execution supporting Walmart US; Sam’s Club and Walmart International. Prior to joining Kimberly-Clark, Al spent more than a decade at Walmart in senior merchandising roles. Al’s most recent role at Walmart was Senior Vice President of Snack, Beverage and Impulse Merchandising. 



Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa
Founder and CEO, Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications (L2L)

Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa is a multifaceted entrepreneur, highly sought-after communications professional and a true maverick.  She has successfully created-and executed- hundreds of complex and innovative strategic plans for entrepreneurs, corporations, and organizations of all sizes.  Mindy is widely respected for her knowledge, and expertise, in the areas of Hispanic/Multiculturism Marketing, Diversity & Inclusion, Entrepreneurism, and Healthcare. Her reputation, within the business community, is that of leading thought provocateur and masterful connector. 



Alicia Petross
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, The Hershey Company

Alicia Petross is the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for The Hershey Company. Alicia is regarded as an expert diversity, equity, and inclusion networker and advisor. A member of the Human Resources Leadership Team since December 2015, she leads the development and execution of Hershey’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. Alicia partners with key internal and external leaders to develop more innovation and robustness in Hershey’s global climate and inclusion programming. Externally, Alicia expands Hershey’s partnership framework and represents the company in key industry commitments, including the Network of Executive Women (NEW), Paradigm for Parity, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, and the National Organization on Disability Look Closer Campaign.


Episode 5: Female Allyship

Episode 5: Female Allyship

On this episode, we discuss the importance of women supporting women, their personal experiences as allies, whether policy works over informal efforts, and ways to put allyship into practice yourself. 




Cassandra Worthy
Founder and CEO, Change Enthusiasm Global 

Cassandra Worthy is Founder & CEO of Change Enthusiasm® Global, a well-respected boutique consulting firm. She is a former Fortune 100 Innovation Leader, highly dynamic speaker & presenter, chemical engineer, but above all else the world’s leading expert on Change Enthusiasm®. Through her corporate experiences, she has not only endured but THRIVED during major change challenges including acquisition and significant organizational restructure. This endurance was thanks to the creation and cultivation of her strategy of Change Enthusiasm®. In her dynamic keynotes and workshops, with wit and infectious energy, she now teaches this unique strategy with world-class business leaders across any and every industry, from CPG to Retail to Insurance to Healthcare…just to name a few. Cassandra is a two-time TEDx speaker, sharing her authentic message of resilience with millions all over the world. View Cassandra’s first Tedx Talk What If? to see her in action! 



Beth Marrion
Managing Director, Global Retail Consulting Practice, Accenture

Beth Marrion is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Global Retail Consulting Practice.  Beth has client and market responsibility for Accenture’s Midwest Retail portfolio across Strategy, Consulting, Digital, Technology and Operations. In this role, she is responsible for the P&L and go-to-market strategy for the Retail business in the Midwest. As a leader on the North America Retail team, she also contributes to the overall vision, thought leadership, and strategy for the Global Retail Consulting practice. Key elements of the role include defining the portfolio of clients, sales and growth strategy, offerings and the makeup of the talent needed to serve the retail industry. 



Treasa Bowers
VP & Chief Diversity Officer, 7-Eleven, Inc. 

Treasa Bowers is Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for 7-Eleven, Inc., the world’s largest convenience store retailer. In this role, she serves as a champion, change agent and subject matter expert overseeing the advancement of 7-Eleven’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) program. Bowers is responsible for connecting 7-Eleven’s DE&I strategy to business objectives with special focus on leadership growth, cultural awareness and engagement and talent management, in order to drive and cultivate a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture throughout the company’s workplaces, corporate stores and franchisee locations. 


Episode 4: LGBTQIA+ Allyship: Support matters

Episode 4: LGBTQIA+ Allyship: Support matters

On this episode, we discuss the differences between gender identity, gender expression, and gender orientation; making the case for the importance of allyship to leaders; and how the intersectionality of the community affects lived experiences. 



Ash Ganapathiraju
Brand Manager, Nestlé Coffee Partners, Emerging Brands 

Ash is a consumer-obsessed business leader, strategic thinker, and relationship-builder, with a track record of delivering results.  She is passionate about leaving the world around her better than she found it.  Ash loves building things – products, processes, solutions, and relationships that solve difficult problems. Over the last 10+ years, she’s had the chance to do this in large organizations working in Consulting, PR, and briefly, in Academia. In her current role as a Brand Manager at Nestlé Coffee Partners on the Emerging Brands team, she worked on launching a brand-new line of Organic Coffee in 2021. Ash is an active advocate for Workplace Diversity & Inclusion.  She currently co-leads the Nestle Pride Alliance and has successfully built diversity and inclusion into the heart of business solutions. 


Nicola Johnson
Principal, Global Lead Client Service Partner (GLCSP), Deloitte 

Nicola serves as global lead client service partner (GLCSP) for some of Deloitte’s largest global retail and consumer packaged goods clients where she is responsible for the firm’s relationship with various client stakeholders, recruiting and developing talent to serve clients’ complex business needs and ensuring client service excellence worldwide. Nicola has over 25 years of international consulting/ retail experience, she brings industry-leading insights and innovative solutions that help give clients the confidence to tackle their toughest issues. Nicola has led complex global business transformations which generated strong market, operational, and project results for large, retail and consumer business clients across the globe. 


Episode 3: The 'Shecession': What comes next

Episode 3: The 'Shecession': What comes next

On this episode, we talk through how COVID-19 set women back in the US and beyond, its even starker effect on women of color, and how workplaces can better support women moving forward. 



Emma Codd
Global Inclusion Leader, Deloitte Global 

Emma is Global Inclusion Leader for professional services firm Deloitte and leads delivery of the organization’s global inclusion strategy. Emma’s work in this role includes a focus on Respect & Inclusion (including the ‘Can You See Me’ campaign); gender balance (including the development of a series of interventions to enable Deloitte to meet its gender equality goals); LGBT+ inclusion (including actions to deliver on Deloitte’s commitment to the United Nations’ Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People]; and mental health (including the implementation of a mental health baseline globally and becoming a Founding Partner of the Global Business Collaboration on Better Workplace Mental Health). Emma’s role has also included the production of thought leadership aligned to this strategy, such as that relating to the impact of the Pandemic on women in the workplace.   


Abbe Luersman
EVP & Chief People Officer, Otis Worldwide 

Abbe Luersman is the EVP and Chief People Officer for Otis Worldwide Corp., based out of the Netherlands through June of 2021 and as of July, Atlanta, Georgia. Abbe is a member of the Otis Executive Leadership Team responsible for the global Human Resources function.  Primary area of focus:  development and delivery of the people strategy - inclusive of: Talent & Diversity, Leadership, Learning & Development, Organizational Effectiveness & Development, Total Rewards and Communications. 

Prior to Otis Worldwide Corp., Abbe was the CHRO for Ahold Delhaize for 5.5 years and for Ahold, prior to the merger with Delhaize, an additional 2.5 years.  Ahold Delhaize is an international retailing group with strong local consumer brands in Europe and the United States with ~€75bn in revenue, 414,000 associates and serving over 54 million customers in store and 20 million online weekly. 


Sarah McGowan
Senior Vice President Talent, Leadership & Diversity, member Ahold Delhaize Global HR Leadership Team 

Sarah grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Michigan State University where she studied Sociology and obtained her first Master’s Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources. She spent several years as a Change Management consultant at Accenture, working across a variety of industries including automotive, financial services, and consumer products. In 2000, Sarah joined Stop & Shop/Ahold and found her true passion in retail. She started in the organizational development function, and quickly moved into the strategy & business improvement area where she developed a formal strategic planning process, and overhauled and improved several key merchandising processes. 


Episode 2: Supporting and Advancing Women of Color 

Episode 2: Supporting and Advancing Women of Color

On this episode, we talk through why supporting women of color should be a key priority for all businesses, the benefits of doing so, and how to make it happen. 




Tara Jaye Frank
Speaker, Equity Strategist, and C-Suite Advisor 

As a sought-after equity consultant, speaker, and leadership experience designer, Tara Jaye Frank helps organizations define a vision and develop strategies to accelerate their culture and leadership goals. Before founding TJF Career Modeling LLC, Tara spent 21 years at Hallmark Cards, Inc., where she was the company’s first Black female vice president, and at the time of her promotion to executive management, the youngest person to rise into senior leadership in Hallmark’s history.  


Karen Jones
Senior Director, Head of Learning & Development & DEI, Network of Executive Women 

Karen Jones has more than 15 years of experience in Organization Effectiveness, Leadership Development, Talent Management, Inclusion Strategy Design and Execution, Change Leadership and Organizational Process Improvement. She currently serves as Head of Learning, Development, and DEI for the Network of Executive Women. Karen has worked for several Fortune 500 companies which include American Express, Sara Lee Corporation, U.S. Cellular, and Ulta Beauty. Her key strength is the ability to design and implement human capital strategies which realize desired and sustained outcomes. Karen has been commended for her ability to create an emotionally safe discussion environment in service to the achievement of strategic goals. 




Episode 1: Male Allyship

Episode 1: Male Allyship

On this episode, we kick our first show off with a rousing discussion of male allyship - including why allyship should matter to men, what it means to be an ally, what skills it takes to be more inclusive, and three actionable takeaways for listeners. 



Birlie Bourgeois
Petroleum Engineering Sponsor at Chevron 

Birlie has 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry. He joined Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico in 2001 as a Drilling Representative in Deepwater and Shelf assets. He spent the first 8 years of his career in production, reservoir and operations roles in the Shelf and Deepwater mature assets and large projects in New Orleans and Houston. Subsequent assignments have continued to broaden his enterprise experience: asset leadership as the Trinidad Asset Manager in South America and Project Manager in California; technology exposure as the Digital Capabilities Program Manager; and business acumen as Manager of Planning and Strategy in Canada and Strategic Advisor in Corporate Business Development. 


Thomas Foley
Social Entrepreneur, Attorney, and Professor 

Developing, launching, and strategically building businesses is the common thread tying together Tom’s 25 years of professional work. Tom started his career practicing law in New York, handling civil litigation as well as mergers & acquisitions. After practicing law for 15+ years, Tom decided to become a “recovering attorney” and founded Indigo Group, LLC on the belief that businesses must drive social impact. Every business or initiative encompassed under Indigo focuses on social entrepreneurially business models that drive social justice.

Tom regularly speaks and facilitates workshops for corporations aiming to advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and has recently partnered with the Network of Executive Women’s Beyond Allies program. Tom is an adjunct professor at Paul Quinn College, an HBCU in south Dallas and is a Fellow for the Dallas Economic Leadership Academy through the Aspen Institute. Tom earned his J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Colgate University. 


Raamel Mitchell
Director, Microsoft Corporate Citizenship and Market Development 

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As the Director for Corporate Citizenship and Market Development, I lead efforts to establish public-private partnerships, support economic development initiatives, drive civic and start-up innovation, and manage CSR investments and partnerships across commercial, education, government and community engagements throughout the central United States. 

For nearly my entire life I have been an avid believer in the power of technology and innovation to shape the world and transform lives. And as the U.S. Citizenship liaison for Microsoft IoT, NASA, and the Managing Campus Director for the Microsoft Las Colinas Campus, I work relentlessly to lead teams that are committed to making an impact across our industry and in the communities we serve.