“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 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.



Carol Coppola Headshot

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.    


Kristen Harris Headshot

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. 


Cara Pollard Headshot

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!

Show resources:

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.

Show resources:

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.