Kelly Becker leads Innovation Partnerships for Under Armour. She grew up as the daughter of an officer in the United States Marine Corps. At Ursinus College, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and a teaching certificate, she was a member of the field hockey team, winning an NCAA Division III National Championship. Kelly took her passion for athletics and teaching to collegiate coaching, where as a Graduate Assistant Coach she not only played an invaluable role in the recruiting process by bringing on one of the largest classes in the last fifty years, but also contributed to the improvement of the team’s record from last in the conference to runner-up.
Additionally, Kelly earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management. After completing her degree, she was recruited to work for Founder and CEO of Under Armour, Kevin Plank handling communications and special projects. Kelly was swiftly promoted to her current role managing the Brand’s Open Innovation site for Under Armour, Idea House and plays an integral role in the annual innovation Challenge – Future Show which has resulted in landmark innovations such as the MagZip. She is also a member of the leadership team for Kevin Plank’s Cupid Cup and has collaborated with entrepreneurs named to Forbes 30 under 30 list and appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. Recently, Becker received the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s Future Industry Leader award. In her free time, Kelly continues to coach for USA Field Hockey, and is an assistant varsity coach at a Baltimore area high school. A committed lifelong learner, this past May, Kelly graduated from the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland with a Master of Technology Entrepreneurship.
Angelique (Angel) Bovee began her competitive martial arts career in high school but it wasn’t until she picked up the gloves after college that she became enamored with the power, speed, and grace of Olympic boxing. Taking her newly found love on the road, she set her sights on competing in the 2004 Olympic Games, which were widely expected to be the first Olympics to include women’s boxing. In 2000, Angel won her first national title by winning the gold at the U.S. National Golden Gloves in Augusta, GA. In 2001, she won gold again and was crowned the U.S. light-middleweight Champion being ranked #1 in the US. In 2002, she was able to pull off another gold medal performance in a new weight class, being crowned the U.S. light-welterweight Champion.
Angel was one of only six athletes in the country to represent Team USA at the first two World Championships ever contested for female boxers. She went on to win multiple national titles and was ranked #8 in the world, showcasing her talent from Istanbul to Madison Square Garden. The focus of Angel’s competitive career drastically changed when she reached the mandatory retirement age for Olympic boxers without having realized her Olympic dream simply because she is female. Taking her fight outside the ring, Angel’s new mission was to work to ensure that no other female boxer would be denied their Olympic dream simply because of their gender.
In 2006, she was elected as the only female member on the USA Boxing Board of Directors, also serving as the Chair of the USAB Athlete Advisory Council where she fought tirelessly for equal respect, training resources, media exposure, and Olympic inclusion for female boxers. Through the work of many pioneering advocates, women’s boxing finally made its debut at the London 2012 Olympic Games, making London the first Olympic Games in history to have men and women represented in all sports. Angel was ringside to complete a personal journey and witness the first U.S. female boxer, 17-year-old Clarissa Shields take home the gold.
Upon retirement, Angel received the Diversity scholarship from the SUNY system and completed a master’s degree in Recreation Management. Her thesis was on the constraints and facilitators facing U.S. elite female boxers in their quest for Olympic Gold. In August of 2011, she was hired by the Adecco Group and the U.S. Olympic Committee to be a Career Coach for the Athlete Career and Education (ACE) program, an initiative that supports Olympic and Paralympic athletes by providing career services and job placement assistance during and after their athletic careers to assist in a smoother transition from the field of play to their next professional endeavor. In 2017, Angel was voted to serve on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athlete Career Program Steering Committee to help provide guidance and best practices to the global program.
As an out LGBT athlete and advocate for her entire career, Angel Bovee has been invited to speak for various community groups and her message is one of risk-taking, resiliency, and redefinition as her fight in and out of the ring has been an incredible journey of life lessons.
Colette Herrick is the owner and CEO of Insight Shift, a Utah-based firm since 2003. A highly experienced Executive/Leadership Coach, Strategic Facilitator, and Organizational Consultant, clients have described her as “compassionately insightful.” She builds trust quickly by evoking courageous conversations through the art of skillful questions, mindful attention, and a thoughtful curiosity of each client’s unique experiences and aspirations.
Her mission is to unleash the creative capacities of leaders to envision and co-create better futures that they own. In partnership with her clients, she designs and delivers high quality learning forums that ensure a high return on their investment. From seasoned C- suite healthcare leaders and academic physicians, to educational leaders and non-profit directors, she guides transformational learning through best practices, evidence-based methods, and a wealth of professional and practical knowledge.
Early in her career, she served as the Chief Cardiac Transplant Nurse at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, and was a pivotal contributor to the launch, development and rapid growth of that world-renowned cardiac transplant program.
In 1990 she joined a biotech division of Johnson & Johnson, a Fortune 100 company. She worked in consultative sales, designed training programs for national and international affiliates; and ultimately led a team in more than half the geographic United States. In that leadership role, she had frontline responsibility for 18-20 million dollars of revenue per year in a dynamic, complex corporate environment.
She is a Certified Integral Coach through New Ventures West, an Integrative Somatic Coach through Coaching to Excellence, has certified in the Leadership Circle Assessment Tools and Workshops, Grove Principles of Facilitation, Six-Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment and Workshops, Barrett Cultural Values Assessments and Tools, and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah.
In 2007 she was awarded the Outstanding Leader Award in Medicine and Health by the YWCA Utah and was the recipient of many leadership awards in her corporate roles.
In community affairs, she is the Past President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA Utah; serves on the Governing Board of Directors of Park City Hospital and Salt Lake Acting Company; and is the current President of Utah Women’s Forum.
With an abiding appreciation for the natural world, she enjoys hiking in beautiful places with her partner and two dogs.
Thea Culley is enthusiastic and committed to having a positive influence on the Canadian and global sport landscape. As manager of KidSport BC, a charitable non-profit with the mission to remove financial barriers to sport participation, Thea strives to ensure that no child is left behind. A strong believer of athlete-centered sport, she is currently the Vice President of AthletesCAN, the voice of Canadian national team athletes, and previously served as Treasurer from 2014-2017. Thea ensures that the collective athlete voice is heard as Athlete Director for Field Hockey Canada’s board of directors, a role she has fulfilled since 2009. Before retiring from international competition in 2016, Thea led the Canadian National Field Hockey Team to capture a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, the first Canadian women’s field hockey team to medal at the Games since 1999. Additional international career highlights include competing in two Pan American Games (2015 and 2011), two Commonwealth Games (2014 and 2010), two Pan American Cups (2013 and 2009) and multiple Olympic and World Cup qualifying events. Thea was Canada’s Top Goal Scorer in both 2015 and 2013 and played 157 senior international matches for Canada making her the fourth most capped all-time women’s player. In 2014 she was inducted into the Trail, BC Home of Champions Hall of Fame. Thea holds a Bachelors of Human Kinetics (BHK) from the University of British Columbia and will be starting her Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) at Queen’s Smith School of Business in the Fall of 2018.
Jill Earthy is the Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform connecting entrepreneurs and everyday investors. Jill serves on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University, and as Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre. She co-chairs We for She, an event creating action for the economic advancement of women. BC Business Magazine named her one of 35 Most Influential Women.
Caryn Davies is an Olympian, attorney, motivational speaker, and performance coach. She represented Team USA in three Summer Games, earning a silver medal in Athens 2004, a gold medal in Beijing 2008, and another gold in London 2012, all in the women’s eight-oared rowing event. As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Caryn studied psychology and Germanic languages. She went on to earn a JD from Columbia Law School and an MBA from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. These days, Caryn works as an attorney for Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, assisting clients with private equity fund formation, mergers and acquisitions, early-stage company financings, and institutional debt financings. She also acts as a performance coach for Valor Performance, Inc., a digital learning and coaching platform focused on igniting and sustaining peak performance for sales professionals, managers and executives. Caryn currently serves as a Vice President of the United States Olympians and Paralympians Association. She is passionate about helping athletes transition to “real life” after retirement from Olympic competition, including identifying and excelling at public speaking opportunities.
Pam Hamlin is a dynamic leader with nearly three decades of experience building brands and providing marketing and business strategy to a wide range of industries. She has been an engine for growth, evolution and cultural vibrancy at Arnold Worldwide for nearly 20 years – stewarding accounts, developing important business opportunities and ultimately running the company.
As Global CEO, Pam oversees the entire Arnold global network. She is responsible for driving the vision and strategy for the agency and helping Arnold’s clients achieve their goals. Previously, Pam served as President of Arnold’s Boston office from 2006-2013, and as Managing Partner, Director of Account Management from 1998-2006, with responsibility for leading the account management department and overseeing the Fidelity, Royal Caribbean, Gillette and Ocean Spray accounts.
She joined Arnold from Leonard/Monahan where she was a partner and Director of Client Services. While there, Pam was responsible for providing strategic leadership to the agency’s accounts and driving new business efforts. Prior to that position, she worked at HBM/Creamer where she was responsible for managing the Digital Equipment Corporation account. Her career began at Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson, first in media, then in account service.
An active contributor to the advertising industry and Boston community where Arnold is headquartered, Pam has received many honors. She has been recognized with the “Power 50” award from the Boston Business Journal, the “Women to Watch” award from Advertising Age, the “40 Under 40” award from the Boston Business Journal, the “Leading Women Award” from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and the Pinnacle Award for Achievement in Management from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Pam is a graduate of the Boston College Carroll School of Management.
Sasha DiGiulian is an athlete, ambassador and writer. She first began climbing at 6 years old, in 1998. Sasha has won the World Championships for Female Overall, placed Silver in the Bouldering World Championships, and Bronze in the Duel. She has remained the undefeated Pan American Champion since 2004, and is a three-time US National Champion. Outdoors, Sasha is the first North American woman to climb the grade 9a, 5.14d, recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs achieved by a female. She has completed two climbs at this grade and was only the third woman in the world to do so. Additionally, Sasha has on-sighted multiple 8b+’s, 5.14a’s, ascended groundbreaking multipitch routes of up to 1000 feet of 8c climbing, and has accomplished multiple First Ascents and 28 First Female Ascents around the world, including a First Female Ascent on the north face of the Eiger mountain, part of the Bernese Alps.
She graduated from Columbia University in New York City, having studied Nonfiction Writing and Business. Sasha is on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club. She previously served as an Athlete Representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing. Sasha is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including GLAMOUR Magazine’s Top College Women of the Year, 2016, the Cutting Edge Athlete Award for 2014 performance, presented by the American Alpine Club, The Golden Piton Award, and the Arco Rock Legend Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Outdoors. In addition to climbing, DiGiulian has a column with Outside Magazine and has had works published by National Geographic, Rock and Ice, SELF, Seventeen, and CRAVE.
Gayle brings a driving passion to everything she does, from personal pursuits to the entrepreneurial arena where she has been involved for over 45 years.
Since 1972 with her business partner husband, Gayle has been co-founder of startups concentrating predominantly in health, wellness and social responsibility. Their business, Kashi Company – a producer and marketer of institutional and retail consumer cooking and ready-to-eat cereals and cereal based products – was sold to the Kellogg’s in 2000, and the Taubers continued under the Kellogg’s umbrella through 2001.
Founded in their home in 1983, Kashi Company grew into an international company with sales and distribution to all levels of trade in the food industry. In her capacity as co-founder, Gayle was actively involved in all aspects of the business: product creation, strategic positioning, production, distribution, sales and marketing, planning and implementation, governance, human resources, and financial planning. Kashi’s emphasis on marketing and sales to attain its goals led the Taubers to originate, develop, and sponsor cause-oriented events by working with many charitable organizations that focused on health and human services, the environment, and cultural and social issues.
It was in 1981 that the Taubers co-founded AMEX Marketing, an American-Mexican real estate venture that participated in the inflationary real estate boom of the early ‘80s. AMEX Marketing focused on distressed property turnarounds. The company was dissolved with the creation of Kashi Company.
At Los Angeles’ Vince’s Gym in 1979, Gayle became involved in the re-branding and marketing of celebrity and legendary bodybuilder, Vince Gironda. It was at Vince’s Gym that she took part in the introduction of women to bodybuilding, making Vince’s Gym the first coed bodybuilding gym in the United States. It was also during this time that she learned the importance of nutrition to health and well-being, not only for men but also for women, and the corresponding relationships of high protein foods, complex carbohydrates, and nutritional supplements. The experience was transformational and was a catalyst for the development of the future Kashi line.
From 1972 to 1978, the Taubers developed startup business, California Specialties, a leader in popularizing indoor plants and trees in the United States. These were exciting years in a new and unknown industry, and Gayle spent her first years experimenting and developing her sales and marketing skills. During the six years, California Specialties pioneered important aspects of the indoor foliage industry: wholesale and retail sales, the plant/tree rental and plant maintenance services – services that became separate industries. California Specialties, dba “The Plant Pusher”, was the first to commercially produce the beaded macramé and the plastic-lined basket plant holder and to additionally develop containerized air shipping for indoor foliage. The company was also responsible for bringing indoor foliage into the grocery sector as a sales category. It was sold in 1978.
Gayle is currently CEO of Seedling Fund LLC, a family investment company that takes positions in first-stage companies. Gayle and Philip provide consultation services to businesses on strategic marketing positions and are speakers on entrepreneurial business issues.
Gayle is past president of The Trusteeship, a Southern California chapter of the International Women’s Forum, an international organization that advances women’s leadership across careers, cultures and continents and remains a Director. She is co-founder and former co-president of Women Give San Diego, a 142-member, nonprofit organization with a focus on economic security and self-sufficiency for low-income women and girls in San Diego County and remains on its Executive Committee. She is also a founding board member of Allies for Women. Gayle is a past board member of: Women’s Foundation of California, an organization that focuses on low-income women and girls throughout California; the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, and; San Diego Women’s Foundation.
Gayle has been married to her business partner/husband for 49 years and has two daughters and two granddaughters. She is an artist and remains a devoted athletic enthusiast.
Dr. Maria Magdalena Sandoval Donahue is the Founder of Think Ubiquitous, LLC, a data visualization and communication software development company. She combines her background in geoscience, mobile technology, and art to create data visualization tools, mobile education apps, and other science outreach and education efforts. Her work specializes in interactive data visualizations, science application and community building, report automation, and (geo)science education for agriculture, resource management, ecologic, conservation and rural economic sustainability problems. Dr. Donahue has a research background in tectonics and geomorphology. She lectures at the University of New Mexico, is a consulting geologist, and is authoring two books on the geology of Colorado and New Mexico with Mountain Press, USA. Dr. Donahue utilizes her fascination with the visual aspects of Earth science data and her formal fine art education to create visualizations from Earth datasets (e.g. ocean salinity, fossil records, etc.), which she prints on fabric to create apparel. She is also an active photographer and weaver in the traditional northern New Mexico loom style.
Dr. Donahue is a 2-time Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier, and is sponsored by Brooks Running Company. She is a USATF Level 1 Running Coach and has held a personal coaching business since 2014. In college, Dr. Donahue specialized in the 5000m and her great love, cross country. She qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Nationals both in cross country and indoor/outdoor track while at the University of Oregon (2001-2005). Her love of running began while watching her father, 1980 Olympic Marathon Champion, Anthony Sandoval, compete. Dr. Donahue is presently training for a third Olympic Trials qualifying marathon, in spring 2019. A native of northern New Mexico, growing up in the mountainous landscapes of Truchas and Los Alamos were the basis for much of her curiosity about and appreciation of Earth processes; her family and cultural ties also ground her interest in increasing science awareness and usability for rural and diverse populations.
Sabrina has served as CEO of Palo Alto Software since 2007. She and her husband, Noah, founded a UK software distribution company in 2001 that was acquired by Palo Alto Software in 2002. Sabrina is a successful Internet expert, having served as Director of Online Marketing at Commtouch, Senior Producer at Epinions, and founder of her own Web consulting company, Lighting Out.
She is a staunch supporter of entrepreneurs, and supports entrepreneurial organizations. She is President of the Princeton Entrepreneurs Network. Sabrina has also chaired and sponsored both the Princeton Business Plan Competition and the Willamette Angel Conference in Eugene, Oregon for several years. She additionally gets invited regularly to participate as a judge for other business plan competitions across the U.S., as well as to speak on business planning, leadership, and women in technology.
Sabrina believes in community involvement and is helping and volunteering in different organizations in Eugene, OR to help further economic development and public education in the community. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors for Whole Earth Nature School, and has been nominated by the School Board to join the budget committee for the 4J School District (since January 2012). She is also the technology adviser for the Fox Hollow Charlemagne Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association.
Sabrina blogs at MommyCEO.org and Forbes Women, where she writes about running a business while balancing her business life with her husband and three young sons. When Sabrina is not at work she can be found chasing her kids all over Oregon: biking, hiking, swimming, skiing, and anything outdoors that uses up a lot of little boys’ energy.
She is a graduate of Princeton University.
Dr. Vanessa Dorismond works as a first year postgraduate physician resident in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Howard University Hospital. She left Montreal, Canada and her young love for figure skating for the warmer weather of North Carolina. There, with the support of her family, she began her volleyball career. While excelling both academically and on the volleyball court, Vanessa was offered a full scholarship to attend Georgetown University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English. During her time at Georgetown, she was named to the Big East All Conference Second team in her last two years, and to the Pre-Season Big East team in her last year of college. Despite a broken foot that had her miss almost half of her senior year season, Vanessa persevered and finished her collegiate volleyball career with an offer to pursue professional volleyball in Trieste, Italy for a year. After mastering the Italian language and falling in love with Italian cuisine, she sought a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Northumbria University (Newcastle, England) and self-published her first book, all while also playing volleyball for Team Northumbria and for Volleyball England. Retiring after two years abroad, Vanessa attended medical school at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, where she served on the medical school council for four years as the organization of student representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges. In light of her passion for women’s health, most especially in underserved populations, Vanessa hopes to further her leadership skills and bring health awareness to the underserved women in the Washington DC metro area.
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. Marrying her management skills and strategic thinking to tackle challenging problems, she has a track record of redesigning complex organization’s management infrastructures to reflect the needs of evolving strategic environments and position the organization for success.
The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean. A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she served since 2011.
Prior to MSM, she served as dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of health affairs at Meharry Medical College where she founded and directed the Center for Women’s Health Research, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color.
Dedicated to the creation and advancement of health equity, she holds membership in many organizations and boards such as: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Office of Research on Women’s Health/National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory councils (2013-present); Society for Women’s Health Research board (2012-2015); March of Dimes board (2012-2016); Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans Administrative board (2012-); Consultant, FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs (2011-2015); President’s Commission on White House Fellowships Regional Panelist Selection Committee (2010); Every Life Matters, Every Dollar Counts Campaign chair, National AIDS Fund board of trustees (2009-2010); National Aids Fund board of trustees (2007-2011); and Wal-Mart External Advisory Board (2006-2008).
Dr. Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades, including the National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Women of Impact (2014); YWCA – Women of Achievement (Atlanta-2014 and Nashville-2007); American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell Medal (2011); and Working Mother Media Multicultural Women’s Legacy Award (2011).
A Georgia native, Dr. Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, MI.
Dr. Montgomery Rice has been married to her fellow Georgia Institute of Technology alumnus, Melvin Rice, Jr, for 25 years. They have two children, Jayne, an entering medical student at Harvard Medical School, and Melvin, a senior at Ringling College of Art and Design.
Vicky Ellis is a public speaker and consultant. She established her own speaking and leadership training program using lessons from her offshore racing career to illustrate leadership in challenging conditions and high performance team building. Vicky is one of only a handful of women who have ever led a team in a round the world yacht race. A sailor from a young age and exceptionally driven, Vicky has never been afraid of hard work which has led her to succeed in several fields. Offshore yacht racing became her sporting focus following her first offshore race win at the age of 19. After attaining a first class honors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bristol, during which time she represented the university in sailing, Vicky embarked on a spell as a professional sailor. She competed in the legendary Rolex Fastnet race and later went on to win the ARC transatlantic race despite encountering a hurricane on the way.
Next followed a land-based career in engineering consultancy, analyzing the structural integrity of aircraft wings. Vicky became a Chartered Engineer, further specializing in project and program management. In addition, she set-up and led an award winning initiative that inspired young people to enter science, technology and engineering careers. In 2011 Vicky decided to return to professional offshore racing full time, determined to attain one of the toughest positions in the sport, that of skipper in the Clipper Round the World yacht race. She was successfully selected as one of the 12 international skippers for the 2013-2014 edition of the race and was tasked with leading a multinational team around the globe for 11 months. Vicky was the only female skipper selected that term and became the first female skipper to ever win a leg of the race in its twenty-year history. Her passion is to inspire the next generation of female sailors and business leaders. Vicky lives in Hampshire, UK, with her husband, son and water-loving dog. She continues to support a few sailing charities whose work is close to her heart.
Sue was Director of Strategic Programmes at the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In this role she developed and managed the overall Strategic Programme approach for London 2012 and played a key role in delivery of a widely acclaimed Olympic and Paralympic Games – IOC “happy and glorious,” IPC “best Games ever.” She ran the Nations and Regions team supporting the promise of delivering a UK wide Games, Sustainability for the Games and all aspects of International Relations and Protocol.
Sue joined LOCOG after 20 years with Goldman Sachs, most recently as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer for the European Special Situations Group and previously as International Treasurer for the firm. While she was there, she sponsored a number of diversity initiatives and received a Global Leadership and Diversity Award. She was also on the board of their Business School and a patron of Community Teamworks – Goldman Sachs’ programme of activities in the community. Sue studied Geography at Cambridge University and then trained as an accountant with KPMG and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Sue is passionate about allowing people to reap their full potential, as part of her portfolio she is a non-executive director with Impact International, a leading global learning and development organization and involved with a number of charities, including The Lullaby Trust and Amref Health Africa which are both focused on health. Sue enjoys keeping fit, trying new things and a sense of adventure.
Tess Gerrand is a National Business Executive with the Leadership Graduate Program at Coca-Cola Amatil, managing a portfolio with the biggest grocery retailer in Australia. She is an Australian Rower who competed for Australia in the Women’s Eight in the London 2012 Olympics. Tess also participated in the 2013 World Championships and numerous World Cup regattas as part of the women’s eight and pair crews. Prior to competing for Australia, She competed as a student athlete at Yale University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Economics. During her time at Yale, Tess won three NCAA National Championships in the Varsity Eight and was and awarded All-American honours all four years. She also became the World Indoor Rowing Champion during this time, winning the title in both 2008 (Open) and 2010 (Collegiate).
Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in disruptive strategy and building the capacity of leaders to execute change. Emergent, has worked with the likes of Microsoft, Virgin, INPEX, Europcar, KPMG, & the AIS, as well as local, state and federal government departments globally.
Holly is an experienced non-executive director across the private, government and non-profit sectors, in a statutory and advisory board capacity. In 2014, the Australian Prime Minister appointed Holly to Chair the G20 Youth Summit, resulting in the first summit to secure its policy demands from G20 leaders. In 2016, Holly became the youngest ever woman appointed to the board of an AFL football club with her appointment as a Director of Port Adelaide Football Club and was also asked by the AFL to serve on their advisory Board for the launch of the AFL Women’s League.
Her corporate career has involved working as Chief of Staff to NAB Wealth CEO Andrew Hagger and for Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh, giving her a strong background in complex change strategy, public affairs and risk management, government and stakeholder engagement, and innovation and technology driven performance improvement.
Holly holds a Law degree and BA (Economics). In 2012, she was the youngest person to be named in Australia’s ‘100 Most Influential Women’, and also became the world’s youngest-ever Rotary President.Her work with Rotary has played a key role in the global efforts to lift youth participation in the organisation, more than doubling engagement.
An accomplished global keynote speaker, Holly has presented across 6 continents, including delivering a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama. She has featured on ABC’s ‘Q&A’, Channel 7 News & Channel 10’s ‘The Project’, and is renowned for her commentary on intergenerational economic and social issues. A top-ten age group finisher in her most recent Ironman Endurance Triathlon, in 2016 Holly was listed by Sir Richard Branson as one of his dream dinner guests.
Sarah Hanffou is the President of Ping sans Frontières, a non-governmental organization which aims to develop table tennis as an educational support globally. During her sport career, Sarah won many medals in both the youth and senior categories. In 2006 and 2007, she became vice-champion of France in doubles with Xian Yifang. In 2007, after three years at the National Sport Institute based in Paris, Sarah decided to stop the competition to devote herself to her law studies. In 2009 and 2010, she became the France champion by team in the first division of the French league with the club of Evreux. Sarah is also a two-time French university champion. She resumed international competition in 2010 under the colors of Cameroon and won the African Championships, held in Yaoundé that year. Sarah participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics. After completing a master degree at the University of Aix en Provence, she became an officer in the French army. At the same time, she continued her doctoral studies in public law and published her thesis on the African Court of Human Rights in 2017. Sarah is now a trainee lawyer in Marseille, in the south of France. She is still very devoted to her NGO and has started participating in specific development missions for the International Table Tennis Federation.
Christa Herrmann serves as the President of the Women’s Commission for the Swiss Rugby Federation, and as a Project Manager for Millionsports, aiding on strategy and development. She was previously an International Olympic Committee Junior Project Manager, supporting the committee’s venue and infrastructure team. Christa is a current volunteer for the Rugby Europe Women’s Commission as a Commission Member. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Zurich in the Science of Geography, writing her thesis on fair trade. Christa went on to earn a level 6 Diploma in Advanced Sport Management from the New Zealand Institute of Sport, graduating with distinction. She is the Co-Founder, former captain, and now head coach of the Albaladejo Rugby Club Alba Ladies, the first women’s rugby team in Lausanne, and has performed internationally with the Swiss XV’s and VII’s team. Christa has participated in multiple European Championships, most recently winning 6th place, Pool A with the Swiss VII’s team.
Paula Cruzat has a Master in Education from Harvard University and a degree in Business Administration from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. She has both worked in the private and public sector.
She is currently Executive Director of Fundación Educacional Crecer con Todos. In 2010, she decided to create the foundation as a means to reduce the educational gap between the more vulnerable children in Chilean society and their more fortunate peers. Today Fundacion Crecer con Todos has a cutting edge reading program “Primero Lee” for children from pre-kinder to third grade from public schools, with the mission to achieve comprehensive reading and writing at an early age. The foundation currently works with more than 10,000 students, 1,000 teachers and 100 schools from across Chile. It also has a collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Education and it is the biggest in the country with intervention on students attending public schools from pre-kinder to third grade.
Paula has served as Vice President of the board of the Harvard Club in Chile and is currently a board member of Fundación Memoria Viva whose mission is to recover, preserve and spread the testimonies of the Jewish holocaust survivors that made Chile their new home after escaping Europe. With their testimonies, Chilean society understands first-hand what lack of tolerance and inclusion can generate, especially in a moment when it is receiving large quantities of immigrants.
Before studying for her master’s degree at Harvard, Paula was Deputy Director of the Education Department of Peñalolen County, overseeing 17 public schools and 20,000 students.
She also had a successful career in the private sector, having been marketing manager of Laboratorios Davis, one of the biggest consumer companies in Chile.
Paula is married with four college-aged children and is fluent in Spanish and English.
Madeleine Hogan is an Account Coordinator with BlueScope. Born in Sydney on December 8th, 1988 missing her left forearm, she began playing cricket when she was 10 and continued through her adolescence until the age of 18, where she was playing at a National women’s level. Deciding she wanted to compete against girls who were just like her, missing an arm, Madeleine left the sport of cricket and took up throwing Javelin in the hope of qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. She represented Australia at the 2008 games, bringing home a Bronze medal.
Following the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Christchurch, where Madeleine won gold, she underwent an MCL restoration on her elbow to rectify a throwing injury which would see her be fit in time for the London 2012 Paralympics. Here she won again, a Bronze medal. 2013 saw selection for the next World Athletics Championships in Leon, France. Two weeks leading into her competition, Madeleine ruptured her knee ACL during a routine training session. She flew back to Australia to undergo reconstruction surgery. This coincided on the same day she was due to compete in France. Following 18 months of rehabilitation, Madeleine returned to form and qualified for the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Her ‘comeback’ games as a now senior, teammate saw her selected to be the flag bearer during the opening ceremony. Six days prior to her competition, Madeleine ruptured her right ACL during a throwing session. Devastated, Madeleine thought the rupture would see her Javelin career come to an end. Her hope of throwing in Rio 2016 had disappeared.
Although at this point the chance of recovering in time was slim, Madeleine believed she had ‘nothing to lose’ so why not try to qualify. Her persistence, dedication and motivation was rewarded and she threw a qualifying distance in the last sanctioned event before the games. Madeleine finished 5th at the games in Rio and describes it as the best competition of her career. While competing, Madeleine completed a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science and worked full time in the construction industry. She formally retired from competition in April, 2017.
Gabrielle Dolan is considered a global thought leader on authentic leadership and business storytelling. She’s worked with thousands of high-profile leaders from around the world, helping them to become better leaders and communicators using the art of business storytelling. Gabrielle is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker, and works with some of Australia’s top 50 ASX companies, including National Australia Bank, Australia Post, Telstra and ANZ, and multinationals such as Accenture, Bupa, Ericsson and International Committee Red Cross.
In the past, Gabrielle has held various senior leadership roles at National Australia Bank in change management and organisational change. She also co-founded One Thousand & One, one of Australia’s leading storytelling companies, before launching her own practice in 2013.
In 2015 Gabrielle became an Australian and New Zealand Partner of Thought Leaders Global, where she works with organisations to help them gain a competitive edge through Thought Leadership. In the same year, she was also nominated for Telstra’s Business Woman of the Year award, one of the most prestigious business awards in the Asia–Pacific region.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education in both the Art and Practice of Leadership Development and Women and Power: Leadership in a New World. Her other academic qualifications include a master’s degree in management and leadership from Swinburne University and an associate diploma in education and training from the University of Melbourne.
Gabrielle is also the bestselling author of Ignite: Real Leadership, Real Talk, Real Results, which was published in 2015 and reached the top 5 on Australia’s bestselling business books. Her other published books include Storytelling for Job Interviews, published in 2016, and Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling, published in 2013. Her latest book, Stories for Work: The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling was published by Wiley in March, 2017.
She is also passionate about changing the way we communicate in business and is the founder of the Jargon Free Fridays global revolution #jargonfreefridays (jargonfreefridays.com).
When she is not writing or working, she can be found wandering in her vegetable garden at her 25-acre rural property on the southern coast of New South Wales. She believes the world would be a better place if there were more manure in gardens and less in business.
Farrah-Hani Imran is a member of the Faculty of Medicine and is the Head of the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery on the Burns Unit & Wound Care Team in the Department of Surgery at the National University of Malaysia. She is a PhD Scholar from the School of Medicine University College Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. Farrah represented Malaysia in Rhythmic Gymnastics from 1989 to 1994, and was awarded the Malaysian Ministry of Youth & Sports Full Sports Scholarship to pursue her medical schooling. She was the first Malaysian gymnast to represent Malaysia at the World Championships: World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Alicante, Spain in 1993. She ranked 85th out of 200 competitors. She was the overall champion at the British Open in 1994 in Edinburgh, Scotland and the South-East Asian Games, championing the South-East Asian Games five times. Farah is also a five-time Malaysian National Champion and Malaysian National School Sports Champion. She currently serves as the Team Manager for the Malaysian National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. In her free time, Farrah enjoys working as an academic and motivational speaker, chair, or moderator.
Megan is chief science officer at Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app which is scaling to become the most comprehensive guide to health and happiness. Previously, Megan was chief science officer at Lantern, an evidence-based digital mental health company that she helped found. Lantern’s establishment is the culmination of Megan’s pioneering digital health research aimed at making mental health care more effective, affordable, and accessible. Commitment to changing cultural norms about mental health and wellbeing is an integral part of Megan’s beliefs.
Megan is also a consulting assistant professor at Stanford University where she advises the university on mental health care strategy. She was visiting scientific faculty at Medical University of Vienna for five years and a co-principal investigator of an EU-funded study, ICare, aimed at implementing digital mental health technology in six European countries. Her academic and advocacy work has been recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. House of Representatives, the European Union, and Stanford University, among others. Megan has a longstanding commitment to activating female leadership and served on the board of directors for I Am That Girl, is a member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and mentor for the IWF & EY Women Athletes Business Network Mentoring Program. Megan earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating cum laude from University of California, San Diego. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from PGSP-Stanford University, and completed fellowships at Yale University and Stanford University School of Medicine. Megan is a Fellow of the second class of the Health Innovators Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Patricia Jaworski is the subject matter expert in Maintenance Planning & Scheduling at Suncor Energy. She holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, with Minors in both Management and Mining. While achieving her Bachelor’s, Patricia was a full time varsity athlete, representing McGill University in rugby. In her final year with the program, she was named both her team’s and the conference’s Most Valuable Player as well as an All-Canadian. Following graduation, Patricia headed to Northern Alberta where she focused her work efforts on the maintenance of massive mining haul trucks and cable shovels. During this time, she satisfied the requirements to receive her Professional Engineer designation.
Patricia also took up triathlons, competing in various events in Canada, which culminated with representing her country at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, as an age group athlete. A change of role at work brought her to Calgary, Alberta, which provided an opportunity to try another sport: Australian Rules Football. Patricia then joined the provincial team, winning the National Championship in 2016 which led to an opportunity to be named to the national team. In 2017, she travelled with the national team to Australia to compete at the triennial International Cup, finishing as silver medalists. Patricia is newly involved in formally giving back to sport, and recently became an Athlete Ambassador for KidSport Calgary.
Leah Lawrence is a Canadian clean technology executive, entrepreneur and writer. In June 2015, she was appointed President and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). With just under $1 billion in projects under management, SDTC is the largest funder of pre-commercial environmental technologies in Canada. Since Leah joined SDTC, the foundation has received $450 million in additional funding from the Government of Canada. In 2016 and 2017, she was named a Female Executive of the Year by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Leah founded her first entrepreneurial venture in 2003. Clean Energy Capitalists Inc. focused on supporting the adoption of climate change technologies in Canada’s primary industries. A second venture, Prairie Peaks News, was a non-profit independent media organization that covered environmental and natural resource issues. It was through these efforts that Leah learned first-hand the trials and tribulations of being a start-up entrepreneur.
Leah has significant for-profit and non-profit board experience, including serving as chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). She is currently the Ottawa Chapter Chair of the International Women’s Forum of Canada. Leah was – and continues to be – a student of engineering and economics. She received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Regina and a Master of Economics from the University of Calgary. Her master’s research focused on the impact of environmental investment on a company’s stock price. She is an Honorary Life Member of APEGA and was named a fellow of both Engineers Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2013.
Leah is a frequently-published author, with features and columns appearing regularly in Alberta Oil and Oilweek magazines and several Canadian newspapers. Her feature article recounting her own global energy tour won a Kenneth R. Wilson Award for Canadian journalism.
Arianne Jones is a self-described professional tobogganer and lover of life. She got her start in luge following the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City after attending a summer recruitment camp at Canada Olympic Park. She quickly progressed through the Canadian development system and has been competing for 15 years. Standing smaller in stature, Arianne was repeatedly told that she would never be successful in her sport or achieve the national level. Despite this, she became the smallest slider on the World Cup Circuit, dubbed the “pint-sized wonder” by many of her peers and media, proving that hard work and resilience can push past barriers that could have hindered her ability to compete.
Since 2010 she has posted consistent top-10 results on the world circuit, establishing herself as top contender. Arianne competed for Team Canada at the Olympics in 2014 in Sochi, finishing 13th. Following this, Arianne showed the world what she was made of when she won a Bronze Medal in the Calgary World Cup in December 2014. In June 2015 she broke her back, and spent the next eight months in intensive rehab with the uncertainty that she might not return to compete at an elite level in her sport. Arianne came back stronger than ever, posting some of the fastest starts in the world and personal bests in every physical testing feat.
The peak of her comeback occurred when she stood atop the podium with her teammates to sing O Canada after winning a Gold Medal in the World Cup Team Relay in February of 2016. Arianne finished a successful luge career comprised of 51 World Cups, 10 Canadian Championships, 5 World Championships, 1 Olympic Games and multiple World Cup medals. In her free time, she can be found playing in the mountainous outdoors, at her favorite coffee shop reading, meditating at a yoga class, or surrounded by friends and family. Arianne has used her platform in sport to inspire others to become the best versions of themselves. She strives to accomplish this through public speaking on a sport and corporate level. As well as her many years of volunteer work with organizations such as Helmets for Heroes, Classroom Champions and Fast and Female.
Iasha King founded and serves as the Executive Director of Winners to Champions (W2C Dream Team), a non-profit organization focused on creating leaders in all realms of society from sport to business. Throughout high school, Iasha ran track, placing and qualifying as a state medalist each year. While participating in school athletics, Iasha began her journey in martial arts and soon became a World Champion in both Tae Kwon Do (2008) and Boxing (2013). She was a State Champion in her weight division for boxing in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Iasha won gold at Ringside World Championships in 2013 and silver at the Women’s National Golden Gloves in 2016.
Growing up as a highly skilled, competitive athlete, she learned and exercised a strong business mindset. The principles and lessons Iasha learned throughout her athletic career, which are vital in today’s business world, were the inspiration for founding her organization. Iasha has worked with other non-profits and within the criminal justice system for over 10 years. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and lives on the island of Oahu, where she continues to teach boxing and enjoys taking dance.
Christa Gannon is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc. (“FLY”). Eighteen years ago, FLY was only an idea held in the mind of incarcerated boys, boys who were spending most of their teenage years, and for some their lives, behind bars for choices they had made. After being asked by Christa (a Stanford Law student at the time) what would prevent other youth from ending up like them, they helped design FLY. FLY believes that all our children deserve a chance to become more than their past mistakes. FLY’s mission is to prevent juvenile crime and incarceration through legal education, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring.
Today, FLY’s 60 staff and 150 volunteers each year serve 1,000 youth on probation and 1,000 at-risk middle school students in three counties in California, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda. Providing services at less than one-tenth the cost of incarceration, FLY helps at-risk and justice involved youth transform their lives, builds a community of people willing to support them in the process, and helps local juvenile justice systems become more effective.
Christa has received numerous awards for her work at FLY, including the James Irvine Leadership Award, Human Rights Award for the City of San Jose, Stanford Law School’s Inaugural Alumni Public Service Award, the Law Foundation’s, Youth Advocate of the Year Award, a Bay Area Women of Influence Award, and an induction as an Ashoka Fellow (one of the first in the field of Juvenile Justice in the United States).
Christa has B.S. in sociology and law and society, graduated with honors from Stanford Law School, and is a member of the California Bar. After law school and before founding FLY she clerked for Napoleon A. Jones Jr., of the US District Court, Southern District in California. In addition to her work at FLY, she sits on the leadership team of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (an alliance of nonprofits in Santa Clara County), serves as a strategic advisor to Thrive (an alliance of nonprofits in San Mateo County) and was formerly a member of Stanford’s National Haas Advisory Board.
Christa is also a wife, mother of two children and a volunteer basketball coach.
Phaidra Knight is the CEO of Peak Unlimited, as well as an attorney, athlete, sports media talent, and motivational speaker. For nearly 18 years, she has traveled the globe as a professional rugby player, establishing herself as the one of the premiere players in the sport. Phaidra made three appearances in the Rugby World Cup and was selected as the top player in the world in her position in 2002 and 2006. In 2010, she was named the US Rugby Player of the Decade and most recently, was inducted in to the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Phaidra was born and raised in the small, decidedly rural town of Irwinton, Georgia. Growing up, she learned the core values of dedication, commitment, hard work and discipline that have fueled and guided her career. On the field, she learned the indispensable attributes of teamwork, leadership and effective communication.
Phaidra earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Speech Communications at Alabama State University before she went on to study Law at the University of Wisconsin. Just as her studies weren’t limited to one field, her athleticism isn’t confined to one sport. She has competed on the regional level in CrossFit Games and Strongman. In 2013, Phaidra was a member of the United States Developmental Bobsled Team. She speaks to many audiences on leadership, resilience, fitness, childhood obesity, and anti-bullying. When Phaidra is not coaching youth or collegiate rugby, she’s working as a Rugby Analyst for NBC Sports. She also devotes time to commentating rugby during the fall, spring and summer seasons. Over the past six years, she has appeared on ESPN, Universal, The Rugby Channel, World Rugby and USA Rugby TV and serves on the USA Rugby Board of Directors.
Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals at the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. In recognition of this historic achievement, Bonnie was quoted on millions of Starbucks coffee cups and was honored with her portrait in the Main Hall of Trinity College at Oxford as a distinguished alumna.
Bonnie has achieved the highest levels of success in a variety of endeavors throughout her life. In addition to her success as a Paralympic athlete, she is a bestselling author, a highly acclaimed keynote speaker and leadership consultant for the Fortune 500, a television and radio personality, and an experienced conference facilitator. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University, and won the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, taking an M.Litt. in Economics. Upon her return to the United States, Bonnie was appointed by President Clinton as a Director for Human Capital Issues on the White House National Economic Council.
Today, Bonnie travels the globe speaking, leading seminars, and researching her various writing projects. As CEO of the Blue Circle Leadership Institute, Bonnie leads several international virtual leadership programs including Transformational Leadership – designed to address the unique challenges of multicultural women in the workplace. The celebrated author of seven books, Bonnie co-authored her latest work, MICRO-RESILIANCE: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive, & Energy, outlines a quick, easy, and immediately effective program of tools and techniques to give you a competitive edge in today’s dynamic world of changes and challenges
Bonnie St. John has been featured extensively in both national and international media including: The Today Show, GMA, CNN, CBS Morning News, NBC News, PBS, NPR, and The New York Times, as well as People, “O”, Forbes, Success, and Essence magazines, to name just a few.
NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.”
For more information, please see: http://bonniestjohn.com
Angela R. Lewis is the founding Director of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s (NFTE) St. Louis Region. NFTE is a global nonprofit which inspires students from underserved communities to start businesses and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. She is a former professional basketball player, championship winning coach and author who is passionate about helping female athletes grow as leaders. Basketball became Angela’s first love, giving her the confidence and work ethic to excel in life. After years of training, Angela received a full athletic scholarship to play basketball at St. Louis University. In four years, she scored over 1,000 points, grabbed over 500 rebounds, and received multiple All Conference selections.
After playing in Germany, Angela coached at Webster University and Southeast Missouri State University and served as director of basketball operations at Marquette University. In her last coaching stint with the St. Louis Surge, she helped lead the team to a national championship. After working with numerous athletes over the years, she decided to help them develop beyond the game. She facilitated a leadership session at the Nike Elite 100 Camp, coached at Nike’s Pre-Draft Camp, and the National Youth Summit on Economics, Justice, and Education. Driven by her desire to empower youth globally, Angela published two books on personal responsibility and future planning to maximize success, the first being, The Game Changing Assist: Six Simple Ways to Choose Success and an accompanying workbook. Her most recent book, Post Moves: The Females Athletes Guide to Dominate Life After College, highlights fifteen women who are former college athletes who offer guidance on how to successfully transition to life after sport.
In addition, Angela is the host of the Athletes as Educators podcast where she interviews current and former athletes who are doing extraordinary work in the community. In addition to managing corporate partnerships, she leads a board of executives and provides business coaching to help students launch businesses. Angela has been recognized as a leader and most notably was awarded the Robin Roberts Sports Communication Award, honored by Black Girls Rock St. Louis, and received the Distinguished Young Professional in Education and Youth Empowerment from the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Angela is a St. Louis native who holds a B.A. and M.A. in Communication from Saint Louis University.
Franca is the CEO of the McCall MacBain Foundation, which is committed to improving the welfare of humanity through focused grants in education, health and the environment. Prior to this, she served as CEO of the Loran Scholars Foundation for 13 years. The organization, which chose Franca as its first-ever Loran Scholar in 1990, is a charity that identifies exceptional young Canadians who demonstrate character, service and leadership and funds them to study at Canadian universities. To date, Loran has awarded over $28M to more than 2,500 students. During her time as CEO, Franca raised a cumulative $50M+ and stewarded the foundation to provide the most comprehensive leadership-development program for undergraduate students in the country, by launching or revitalizing the mentorship program, annual peer-led retreat, summer internship program, orientation expedition and alumni relations strategy.
Having grown up in Sicily, Franca immigrated with her family to Toronto in the 1980s and subsequently graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BA in Political Science and French. She spent a year as a legislative intern at the Ontario Legislative Assembly and worked as an assistant producer on TV Ontario’s Fourth Reading during the 1995 provincial election. After obtaining a MA from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Franca learned the fundraising ropes at Brampton Caledon Community Living, a non-profit organization that helps people with developmental disabilities lead enriched and meaningful lives. She then joined Canada’s Millennium Excellence Awards as Founding Director, designing and implementing the $325M/year program from its inception, before returning to Loran as CEO in 2004. Franca is recognized as a global expert on merit scholarships and is the author of Recognizing Excellence? Merit Scholarships in Canada, the first report of its kind assessing undergraduate scholarships in the country.
An advocate for the value of community service, especially by young people, Franca has served as a selection committee member for the Public Policy Forum’s Emerging Leader Awards and as board director for Volunteer Canada and College Montrose Children’s Place. She currently sits on advisory councils at Western University, the University of Guelph and McGill University.
Franca was named a Fellow of the International Women’s Forum in 2013 and completed the Leadership Foundation Fellows Program at INSEAD and HBS. That year, Diversity Journal featured her as one of its Women Worth Watching. Franca holds a C.Dir, Governance from The Directors College, where she received the Gil Bennett Gold Standard Governance Award for outstanding achievement (2014). In 2016, she returned to HBS as one of two HBS Club of Toronto scholarship recipients for the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program. Other recognitions include the CATAAlliance Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (2015) and the University of Waterloo Arts Alumni Achievement Award (2017).
In collaboration with Alan Broadbent, Franca co-authored You’re It! Shared Wisdom for Successfully Leading Organizations from Both a Seasoned and a First-Time CEO, released in May 2017.
Carmen Marton is a Manager and Coach at the Melbourne Taekwondo Centre. Raised in Melbourne, she began learning taekwondo at the age of 8 with her fathers’ encouragement. At age 14, she won her first international gold medal as a junior at the Korean Open and months later became the youngest athlete from Australia to secure a place on a senior National Team competing at the 2001 World Cup. Carmen competed in her first World Taekwondo Championships later that year. She has since competed in an Australian record of 9 Senior World Taekwondo Championships which are held every two years. As a junior, Carmen achieved a number of international benchmark results winning silver at both the 2001 and 2003 Junior Asian Championships.
In 2002, at the age of 16, she became the first female and youngest athlete from Australia to win a silver medal at the senior World Cup. Since then, Carmen has secured a Bronze at the 2004 Asian Championships, Bronze at the 2005 World Championships, Bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Test Event, Bronze at the 2011 World Universiade, Bronze at the 2012 World University Championships, and became the first ever Australian to win Gold at the 2013 World Championships. She has competed in 3 Olympic Games- 2008 Beijing Olympics where Carmen was narrowly defeated by Brazilian athlete Natália Falavigna in the quarterfinals and the 2012 London Olympics where she narrowly missed out on a Bronze medal as she was defeated by German Helena Fromm in the final round.
Gloria Nantulya is the Government Senior Communications Specialist for Abt Associates. Born in Nairobi, Kenya to Ugandan parents, Gloria spent her childhood in Kenya before moving to Boston midway through her junior year of high school. Graduating shortly after her 17th birthday, she chose to take a year off when her parents moved to Switzerland, during which Gloria learned to speak French, had her first internship at a global health organization, and played club field hockey and soccer. That internship is what made her decide that global health and development was the field for her. Gloria attended Syracuse University where she was also a Division 1 field hockey player.
During her time on the Syracuse University Field Hockey team, Gloria received several athletic and academic accolades, including NFHCA Division I All-Region Mideast Team honors in 2007, NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad honors during all four seasons, and was a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award recipient. She also had a Syracuse University field hockey leadership award named after her. Gloria completed her bachelor’s degree in public relations with minors in French and psychology in 2008 and her master’s degree in international relations in 2010.
Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. Before assuming leadership of the Trust in October 2017, Dr. Gayle was CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit that brings together varied stakeholders to address complex global social challenges.
From 2006 to 2015, she was president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian and health issues, Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She also worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America and the ONE Campaign. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Public Health Association, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women,” she has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality and social justice.
Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. She has received 13 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
Colleen Ogilvie graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Biomechanical Engineering and finished her varsity volleyball career as an OUA First Team All-Star and a CIS Academic-All Canadian. She went on to join the Canadian indoor national team as a Full-Time Training Center athlete and Senior National Team member before pursuing a professional career in Germany and France. Colleen also represented Canada in the sport of beach volleyball. She began her graduate studies at the University of British Columbia in 2016, where she was awarded an NSERC Engineers in Scrubs fellowship, a program designed to foster innovation in medical technology. Colleen is currently completing her thesis through the Collaborative Intelligent Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory where she is researching emerging trends in wheelchairs and assistive technologies. She complemented her studies with business courses in technology entrepreneurship and aspires to start her own tech company.
Cristal Glangchai, Ph.D., is a scientist, entrepreneur, and mentor with a passion for teaching and engaging girls in technology and entrepreneurship. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the TODAY Show, NPR’s The TakeAway, and Mashable. She is the Founder/CEO of VentureLab, an academy that develops project-based technology entrepreneurship programs that prepare K-12 students with 21st century skills. Dr. Glangchai’s innovative curriculum boasts 60% female participation, with three student companies having raised $240K in funding. Previously, she was the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Trinity University. Prior to joining Trinity, Dr. Glangchai managed the Idea to Product Program at UT Austin, and was the founder of NANOTaxi, a drug-delivery company that developed disease-responsive nanoparticles to target tumor tissues. She holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from UT Austin, as well as doctoral certificates in Cellular and Molecular Imaging for Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. She holds an M.S. in biomedical engineering, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in the Plan II Honors Program from UT Austin.
Catherine Phillips is as an engineering consultant at Arup, specializing in Energy and Resources. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Mathematics and Statistics, and a Master of Mechanical Engineering with First Class Honours from The University of Melbourne. She has received numerous university academic and sports awards, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Rhodes Scholarship. Catherine is passionate about using her engineering skills to contribute to Australia’s sustainable energy future, as well as other global issues that require collaboration between STEM, business and policy makers. She sees amazing scope for technology to facilitate change in the world, and approaches problem solving with a respectful, cooperative and positive attitude.
Catherine is a 7-time Australian representative in Ultimate Frisbee and has led numerous Australian teams. She also currently captains Ellipsis, the reigning back-to-back National Women’s Ultimate Champions. As a founder and captain of this club, Catherine has worked to build the foundations of an inclusive, growth-minded, and elite performance culture. This has been extremely successful, leading to a number of on and off-field firsts in Australian Ultimate. Catherine was also drafted to the Melbourne Football Club in the inaugural Women’s AFL season, successfully making the switch to playing AFL without any footballing background. Within months of her first game of football, she was able to make an impact for the Melbourne Demons, finishing second in their goal kicking and eighth in their Best and Fairest. Through her involvement with Sport and STEM, Catherine has developed a keen awareness of the barriers facing women in these fields. She is committed to empowering young women to strive for excellence, and as part of this, she enjoys regularly speaking at schools, attending youth sports events, and tutoring.
Sue Renkin is an experienced business leader and company director who possesses in-depth understanding and strengths in the areas of executive coaching, corporate governance, strategic planning, business growth, fiscal management and risk management. Sue has been responsible for turning a number of businesses from loss making enterprises to profitable entities in her roles as Chief Executive. Sue now enjoys a portfolio career including non-executive directorships and executive coaching and currently holds several roles as Chair of the Board.
The skills that she brings to the table are accentuated by her experience in various Chief Executive Positions. In addition to the CEO’s usual operational responsibilities of business growth, people management, establishing business stability and the setting and guiding of strategic direction, she has experience across crisis management and media responsibility and reputational risk; organisational re-structure, change and union negotiation; property development and project management; management of high profile stakeholders and fiscal re-engineering to ensure business solvency.
Sue is an extraordinarily capable business networker and works comfortably with all levels of Business and Government, garnering respect from all with whom she works. She has also worked extensively in mentoring and coaching roles within emergency services, corporate sector, not-for profit entities and the university sector, and has a broad understanding of the challenges within each of these areas.
Sue is often called upon to assist CEO’s achieve growth in their own personal and professional development.
Sue was a finalist in the Women Chiefs of Enterprise International (WCEI) Business Leaders award (1995); awarded the Victorian and also the Australian Telstra Business Woman of the Year for private companies with more than 100 employees (1997); received the Monash University Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2012).
Taylor Ritzel is an Olympic Gold Medalist, Yale University graduate and currently works as Coordinator of Original Content at Hulu. Originally from Colorado, Taylor began rowing at Yale, winning three NCAA Championships as part of the Varsity Women’s 8+ and serving as Captain of the team her senior year. She then went on to win an Under-23 World Championship, two Senior World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games as part of the US Women’s 8+. While training full-time for the Olympic Games, Taylor served as the Frank Shields Fellow for the National Rowing Foundation, a role which seeks to help fundraise and bridge the gap between past and present national team rowers. She also worked for Digital Firefly Marketing as their Head of Social Media for two years in addition to working for Thuzio, an online marketplace that provides experiences with top athletic talent to consumers.
After moving to Newport Beach to train in 2014, Taylor negotiated a $350,000 sponsorship deal, the biggest ever in American rowing for just two athletes, enabling her and her pair partner to train at the highest level outside of the established training center. After retiring from rowing, Taylor moved to Los Angeles to work for the legendary William Morris Endeavor Entertainment talent agency. She joined the television literary department and then moved to Hulu, helping to develop and manage Hulu branded television shows. She co-founded the women’s group, Hula, and started a program that donates the hundreds of Emmy screeners received at Hulu to halfway houses around Los Angeles.
Erika Taugher is lead contact for the US Power and Gas Retail Business at Macquarie Group, a global financial, advisory, investment and funds management company. She works with wholesale clients, assists with trading and execution, as well as structuring and origination of new deals. Erika has over ten years of experience working at investment banks. Prior to Macquarie, Erika worked for eight years at JPMorgan in London, New York and Houston. She worked on the Natural Gas Financial Derivatives Trading Desk, and also spent time on the Crude Oil Physical Trading Desk. Awarded a full athletic scholarship, Erika earned her Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master’s of Science in International Business from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She spent most of college working a fulltime job in addition to her soccer schedule. Ten years later, Erika still holds the school record for goals scored, game winning goals, total points, and most assists. She was elected Captain for Team Ontario and chosen to train with Team Canada from 2000 to 2004. Erika was originally born in Canada, but due to her ancestry was chosen to play with the Portuguese National Women’s Soccer team both in 2006 and 2007. She currently resides in Houston, Texas.
Carrin Patman is chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. She is METRO’s first woman chair, appointed in 2016 by Mayor Sylvester Turner. She previously served on the board from 2010 to 2013.
Carrin was a partner of Bracewell where for three decades she worked as a trial lawyer representing diverse clients in major litigation involving commercial disputes, securities matters, antitrust and competition issues, and regulatory compliance. She was the first woman elected to the firm’s seven-member Management Committee. Carrin retired from Bracewell in 2016.
Carrin graduated from Duke University (with honors) and from the University of Texas School of Law (Texas Law Review).
In 2014, Carrin completed a year‐long Advanced Leadership Fellowship at Harvard University. One area of focus concerned transportation (including urban transit) and infrastructure. She is also an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow (Class XXIX).
Carrin’s civic involvement reflects her passion for community service. Currently, she is on the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board. She is a founding board member of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and a senior trustee of the UT Law School Foundation.
Some prior activities include serving as a board or executive committee member of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Legacy Community Health Services Endowment, Texas Appleseed, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston and Sheltering Arms Senior Services. Carrin was vice chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, and former president of the University of Texas Law Alumni Association and UT Law Review Association.
Carrin has chaired or co‐chaired fundraising events for worthy causes, including for Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, American Leadership Forum, the Texas Defender Service, the Houston Area Women’s Center, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and the Houston School for Deaf Children (now the Center for Hearing and Speech).
Carrin’s awards for professional achievements and community service include becoming the first woman to receive the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, given by the Anti‐Defamation League Southwest Region. In 2000, she was selected as a Woman on the Move by the Houston Chronicle, Channel 11 and Texas Executive Women. In 2012, she was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
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Jessica Vliegenthart is a civil litigator at Fulton & Company LLP and Canadian Paralympian in the sport of wheelchair basketball. Jessica completed law school at the University of Victoria while competing for Team Canada from 2007-2012. She retired from international play after competing in the 2012 London Paralympics and returned to Canada to start her legal practice. She is a 2010 World Championship bronze medalist, two time Canadian champion (2012 and 2010), a two-time PanAmerican Games silver medalist (2007 and 2011), and a veteran of many international caps. Following her international sport career, Jessica started her legal career, and now practices exclusively, in the area of tort law, representing clients who have been injured at the fault of others. Currently, Jessica serves on the board of directors for Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and as the athlete representative on the Revenue Generation and Government Relations Section of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Following the Paralympics, she co-founded the Kamloops Adapted Sport Association, a multisport adapted sport organization that provides adapted sport opportunities to the interior of British Columbia, and she continues to sit on this board today. Jessica has been recognized for her contributions to her community with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Ann Roberts Humanitarian Award from UVic Law, and the Terry Fox Gold Medal from Simon Fraser University. Jessica is passionate about the advancement of women in both the corporate and sporting worlds.
Evelyn is a passionate advocate for venture philanthropy as a model for scaling social impact in Chicago. She collaborated with a small group of founding partners to launch venture philanthropy Social Venture Partners Chicago in 2012. Her search for a strategic way to engage in the social impact ecosystem led her to take the helm at SVP Chicago, where she drives SVP’s mission to leverage the intellectual, social, and financial capital of its partners to help innovative nonprofits scale their impact. She is recognized as an innovator in the Chicago social sector and speaks on social innovation and venture philanthropy.
Previously, Evelyn served in various senior leadership positions in the Midwestern regional office of Fannie Mae, including as Associate General Counsel and as Director of Single-Family Business, where she helped to establish and lead Fannie Mae’s business development initiative to better serve small- and mid-sized lending institutions. Evelyn started her legal career in the commercial real estate practice at McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago.
She is the Vice Chair of the Local School Council of Alcott College Prep, a neighborhood preK-12 Chicago public school, and serves as co-chair of Alcott’s strategic planning steering committee. She has also served as a selection panel member for Ashoka Fellows and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.
Evelyn earned her BS in communications (with a concentration in political science) and JD degrees from Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.
Former Mentee 2017 (Swimming | US)
Aleksandra Efimova is a Chicago-based Russian-American entrepreneur and a leader in the arts, business and Russian-American communities. As president of Russian Pointe, Ms. Efimova is dedicated to spreading access to and enjoyment of the arts, and to forging cross-cultural bridges, particularly in the education, arts and business sectors.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION: Ms. Efimova’s path, in life and in her career, is unique among executives. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she attended the renowned Art School at the Hermitage State Art Museum. Her early education also included studies in classical dance and academics, and she became a competitive ballroom dancer after moving to the United States in 1993. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing at Eastern Michigan University, she founded Russian Pointe in 1998, basing the company first in Michigan and then in Chicago. As Russian Pointe continued to expand, Ms. Efimova sought further education as a corporate leader, to complement her lifelong interest in the fine arts and background in business and marketing. Toward that goal, she pursued a business degree in Harvard Business School’s elite Executive Owner/Management Program, graduating in 2010.
VISION: Ms. Efimova offers a unique blend of executive acumen, global teambuilding skills and community leadership. Also a high-energy, creative thinker and driven entrepreneur, she approaches every new business challenge with an inherent flair for innovation, creative problem-solving and measured risk-taking. These qualities have shaped her vision for the long-term, sustainable growth of her company, and helped propel Aleksandra Enterprises into the international spotlight for successfully transcending linguistic and cultural boundaries.
PUBLIC SERVICE: Since relocating Russian Pointe to Chicago, Ms. Efimova has been increasingly active as an ambassador for Russian-American relations, locally, nationally and internationally. In 2010, her dedication inspired former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley to appoint her chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International. In 2011, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk recognized her role in international relations by appointing her chair of the Eastern European Advisory Board, which was formed to address the concerns of Eastern European constituents, small business owners and community leaders from Russia, Armenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In 2014 Ms. Efimova was appointed Midwest vice president of the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Houston, TX.
ENTERPRENEURSHIP: Ms. Efimova is founder of Russian Pointe, a purveyor of luxury dancewear, dance shoes, accessories and educational materials. The company’s pointe shoes are the finest on the market, handcrafted in Moscow in the grand tradition of Russian pointe shoemaking. What began as a college project in 1998 has developed into an internationally recognized brand. Ms. Efimova maintains constant contact with dancers, instructors and dance retailers to keep the company’s designs current and in tune with dancers’ needs, both by creating new products and by steadily improving upon existing products. In 2006, Ms. Efimova opened Russian Pointe Dance Boutique, the company’s exquisite flagship store located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, which became renowned for its theatrical ambiance and outstanding customer service, and as a venue for glittering arts receptions. In 2010, Aleksandra Enterprises embarked on a new line of books and toys, Growing Through Arts, inspired by Ms. Efimova’s fascination with the fine arts and childhood development and her memories of her own early education in Russia.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: Ms. Efimova is a frequent speaker and keynote speaker for numerous professional organizations and events including Eastern Michigan Universisty Annual Alumni Awards, Women’s Executive Council, Bomond Rendezvous, Kendall College, Women’s Professional Leadership Network at Ogilvy Chicago, Association of National Advertisers, De Paul University, University of Illinois and many others.
COMMUNITY AND PHILANTHROPY: Ms. Efimova is very active in the arts and Russian-American communities. Russian Pointe is a frequent donor and sponsor, and Ms. Efimova serves or has served on the Lyric Opera Guild Board, The Joffrey Ballet’s Auxiliary Board, and the Auditorium Theatre of Chicago Junior Board. In addition, she is a member of Harvard Alumni Club, Economic Club of Chicago, International Women’s Forum, US-Russia Business Council, Chicago Loop Alliance and
Harvard Business School Club, and a founding board member of Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, Chicago.
Ms. Efimova has hosted and organized numerous events to promote and enrich the Chicago community with educational, business-related and cultural experiences, partnering with organizations including the Russian Embassy in Washington DC, the Russian federal agency Rossotrudnichestvo, Auditorium Theatre, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Goodman Theatre and The Joffrey Ballet, among others. Ms. Efimova has also been invited to host events including the Eurasian Business Forum and Women in Leadership panel discussions, and she has led a delegation of business and government leaders to Moscow and hosted numerous delegations from Moscow to the United States.