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Beth Hilbing

Co-CEO C-Sweet & Sr. Program Manager and Principal IT Business Partner, Boeing

Beth Hilbing is a versatile, experienced, successful executive with extensive experience in managing infrastructure and global client services for the entertainment, insurance, aerospace, and banking industries.

In her most recent role at Boeing Corporation as Sr. Program Manager and Principal IT Business Partner. Beth has a focus on innovative technologies in Engineering, Manufacturing and Supplier Management, and Data Analytics.  Delivering agile, cost-competitive solutions, so customers can reduce costs, drive efficiency and optimize operations. Manage IT costs and budgets and IT spend in excess of $85M. Beth also remains a Senior Consultant with Strategic Alliance Consultanting Division working with client offerings and key engagements.

 Prior to that Beth was director of Global Collaboration Services at Northrop Grumman Corporation (NG), focused on engineering and operations to support collaboration technology spanning domestic and international operations for NG. Prior experience includes managing teams up to 500 in size, budget responsibility of $120 million+, Project/Product Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, Vendor Management, Cloud, Mobile, Cyber Security, Global Client Service Structure and Support, Application Support, and Financial management. 

As a former Vice President for Northrop Grumman Federal Credit Union, Beth was responsible for all design and implementation for Information Technology Systems and Program Solutions, including Enterprise Resource Planning programs, Internet security, and disaster recovery. 

With a strong ability to clearly articulate how complex technologies improve business operations, Beth is a highly sought-after speaker at executive forums and technical conferences.   Her topics include organizational key strategy and leadership, collaboration technology, unified communications, cloud-based services, and mobility.

Beth’s education includes a Master’s in Business Administration from California State University and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Webster University.  Additionally, she is a certified Project Management Principal, Six Sigma Black Belt, and has earned technical, leadership certifications.

Dianne Gubin

Co-CEO, C-Sweet & Principal, Capital InVentures, Inc. and President, Amplify Professional Services, Inc.

For Capital InVentures Dianne actively sources deals, networks and introduces institutional investors, private equity, VC firms and Family Offices to CEOs and management teams seeking $5 to $100 mm in debt and/or equity financing.   She expedites deal flow, reviews business plans, and is responsible for program management.  She has strong relationships and a solid network of corporate and financial sponsors.

Dianne supports a portfolio companies in a number of ways including becoming part of the management team, serving on the board of directors, sourcing key executives, and introducing clients and investors. Working closely with client CEOs and their teams, Dianne helps develop collateral materials and preps CEOs for investor meetings.

Dianne’s background includes over 20 years in B2B sales and account management.   She’s owned two technical staffing agencies working across industries with Fortune 1000, middle-market and fast-growth companies.

Concurrently, she is President of Amplify Professional Services Inc, an executive search and consulting agency including senior executive placement, staffing and consulting services across industry sectors, particularly in Information Technology. 

Dianne also works as an Expert Witness on compensation, labor issues, technology hiring, ageism in technology, and women in business.

Additionally, Dianne’s produced hundreds of executive level networking events for peer professionals in finance, technology and business.   

Her highest passion is her work as Co-Founder and Co-CEO of C-Sweet, the premier national networking association for female executives across industries.  

Dianne has outstanding business acumen, communication skills and emotional intelligence. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Dianne holds active Series 79, 7 and 63 FINRA licenses.  She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Advisory Board

Terrisa Duenas

Founder and President, ESTE Leverage 

Dr. Terrisa Duenas is a startup executive, founder, and board member for those navigating the scale up of high-risk high-return technologies into product-market fits.

As a seasoned executive Terrisa captures, incubates and accelerates emerging technologies through concept development, funding, and deployment. She does this for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations who need to implement a problem solution that is immediate, impactful and sustainable. Her ability to be concurrently tactical, strategic, and visionary enables her to direct programs from any position or point of view in the organization that aligns to everyone's success.

She leverages her background as a Fortune 200 Division Chief Scientist and Startup Executive to guide innovation strategy. She was responsible for the merger of two technology production lines leading to increasing the P&L of the combined organization by $10mm. In her startup work she attracts investment, resources and assistance that launches teams from pre-revenue to accelerated growth.

Terrisa is a startup executive, founder, and board member for those navigating the scale up of high-risk high-return technologies into product-market fits.

As a seasoned executive Terrisa captures, incubates and accelerates emerging technologies through concept development, funding, and deployment. She does this for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations who need to implement a problem solution that is immediate, impactful and sustainable. Her ability to be concurrently tactical, strategic, and visionary enables her to direct programs from any position or point of view in the organization that aligns to everyone's success.

She leverages her background as a Fortune 200 Division Chief Scientist and Startup Executive to guide innovation strategy. She was responsible for the merger of two technology production lines leading to increasing the P&L of the combined organization by $10mm. In her startup work she attracts investment, resources and assistance that launches teams from pre-revenue to accelerated growth.

Her latest project is an AI-assisted SaaS EdTech / Career Tech platform.

Alexandra Soleil Dumas

Account Executive, Google

Alexandra Dumas is an Account Executive at Google, where she consults with national and global retailers to build integrated digital partnerships. As a strategic business partner she’s responsible for helping retailers grow their business through a deep understanding of omnichannel industry trends and by aligning Google solutions to customer challenges. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Alexandra began her career in New York City with Macys.com, before transitioning to Google. A resident of Marina del Rey, Alexandra leads several of Google’s community engagement groups and is an active board member on C-Sweet, the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, and Pacific Asian Counseling Service.

Susannah Emami 

Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Advisor, Capital Group

Susannah is a Financial Advisor responsible for providing investment and wealth planning advice to individuals and families and their trusts, estates, foundations, endowments, and pension plans. In conjunction with Bernstein Private Wealth Management, she provides counsel to clients and their professional advisors on a variety of matters, including tax and estate planning, multi-generational asset allocation, individual and corporate retirement planning, and the sale of closely held businesses.

Veronica Lah

Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Veronica Lah is a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She focuses her practice on corporate and financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, corporate finance and general corporate representation.

Veronica represents clients on buy-side and sell-side acquisitions, divestitures, business combinations, restructurings and buyout transactions, public and private equity and debt offerings, including initial public offerings and SPAC transactions, and secured financings. She also provides counsel on formation, joint venture and other corporate matters.

She has represented companies, investors, private equity firms and investment banks in corporate transactions spanning numerous industries, including healthcare, financial services, media and entertainment, technology, retail and consumer products, real estate, energy, cannabis, manufacturing and insurance.

Prior to joining the firm, Veronica was an associate at an international law firm in its New York office, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, and general corporate governance.

Yiwen Li

Principal, Alumni Ventures

Yiwen has over a decade of experience in investing and operations and is well-versed in the venture landscape across the U.S. and Asia. She is currently Principal of Alumni Ventures, world's 3rd most active venture firm, and focuses on investing in web3, healthcare, fintech. She is also a venture partner at Revere VC and CerraCap Cares.

Yiwen was most recently Director for Corporate Strategy and Development at the global healthtech company Masimo (MASI).She started her career in equity research at the leading investment management company Capital Group, covering emerging markets stocks in Asia. Thereafter moved to venture investing with a focus on deep tech and healthtech at NantWorks, a global conglomerate at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and innovation.

Yiwen has been investing and building in the blockchain space since 2015. She is Co-Founder of Los Angeles Blockchain Lab (now part of Global Blockchain Business Council), a collaboration between academia, governments, investors, and entrepreneurs to innovate and elevate the blockchain ecosystem.

Yiwen received dual master’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and global studies from the University of Vienna. She is a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Union. She is fluent in Mandarin and German. Yiwen is passionate about connecting East and West, making social impact, and supporting women empowerment. She serves on the board of directors at several non-profits and foundations, including Give 2 Asia, Asia Society,and C-Sweet. Yiwen is the author of a best seller in China, Make the World Your Playground, inspiring Chinese women to follow their own unique paths.

Pandora Ovanessian

Technology Sr. Consultant/Board Advisor, CMTC

Pandora Ovanessian is a technology executive with over 22 years as a Chief Information Officer (CIO) experienced in startups, mid-size to multi-billion dollar global operations. Consulting career at Ernst & Young. She has diversified expertise in strategic planning and tactical execution, product development, ERP selections and implementations. She has extensive experience in selecting relevant innovative technologies, leading the technology lifecycle and cost-effective secure infrastructure.

She has proven abilities in driving agility with innovative technologies for quick returns on investments. She has diversified industry experience in manufacturing for medical device, pharmaceuticals, retail, aerospace and apparel. As CIO, she contributed in delivering on innovation and high growth for companies: Diality Inc., Community Pain Center, Thermo Fisher/One Lambda Inc., Golden State Foods, NASA JPL, Alpha Therapeutics/Baxter and ARAMARK.

Pandora currently serves as an Advisory Board member for Corenova Technologies and Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum.

At California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), Pandora is a Technology Senior Consultant leading the consulting practice and providing interim CIO services. She is dedicated to helping leverage technology investments, increase revenue and productivity for the manufacturing industry.

Pandora earned her MBA, Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management and BA from University of California, Los Angeles. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, University of Redlands.

Deanna Rockefeller

New York Executive Committee, C-Sweet 

Deanna Rockefeller is an Emmy-award winning producer, education activist, and community-builder, no matter where in the world her dreams take her. Sarah Ban Breathnach once said, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” That quote has both articulated and inspired how she aims to make her impact.

Currently, Deanna is Lockheed Martin’s corporate interface to the global science and technology community, where she collaborates with country, industry and academic leaders to develop programs spanning the globe.  Her work centers around a mission to increase opportunities through science and technology.  Projects have ranged from a Research and Development Center which creates new technologies in Australia, to a girls’ STEAM camp in Israel to an entrepreneurship program in India, and she recently launched science & technology seed funds in Israel and Germany.

She is a two-time NOVA award winner, Lockheed Martin’s highest recognition for individual and team achievements, a recent graduate of the Women’s Executive Leadership Program at the Impact Center, and a speaker at SXSW and Thrive NYC.

Her success comes from her passion for connecting community through storytelling, relationship and action, which has led to a nomination for a New York Festival TV & Film Award and a PR News Corporate Social Responsibility award for Nonprofit and Corporate partnership.

An active volunteer since age 16, she supports the local community through Restore NYC, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, the New York Public Library, the Alzheimer’s Association and is a long-standing mentor for veterans across the US.  In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, writing and is attempting to find her hidden artistic talents.

Deanna graduated from the Leadership Strategies program at Carnegie Mellon University, has an Executive Coaching degree from the University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from Baylor University, and a Project Management Certification from Boston University. She lives in NYC with her husband and lively rescue dog.

Nadia Xiaowan Tian

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Bridge Point Capital   

Co-founder and Managing Partner at Bridge Point Capital, focusing on private investment into late stage Consumer Health and MedTech companies. Leveraging her experience in cross-border investment between US and China, she worked with high net worth individuals, single family offices, and multi-family offices from the US, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, to identify and invest into high growth deals with average exit time of 3-5 years. 

Managing Partner at Co.Fund, Inc., a cross-border co-investment platform headquartered in NYC, dedicated to creating an open and transparent cross-border financing & investment community between US and China. Worked with local Chinese government and technology parks to source deals, many of which were U.S & China cross-border. The overall funding capabilities of these technology parks exceeded ~200mm RMB each.

Business Unit Manager at Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Investment Management Division, where she was responsible for developing sales strategy and managing sales force for the Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Banks channels in the mutual fund Third Party Distribution division. She also managed the launch of two Closed-End Funds from 2013-2015, each with over US$500 million AUM.

Was selected from 2,000+ applicants and started career with Goldman Sachs Asia (Hong Kong) in the Securities Trading Middle Office, covering 14 Asia Pacific markets and managing real time trading risk, trader surveillance, new product/new market entry for multiple trading desks. Identified as a high-potential analyst (top 5% performer) and was awarded to enter into the firm’s New Markets Mobility Exchange Programs in New York.

Advised both non-profit and for-profit businesses in Ghana, Tanzania, Haiti, Mexico and Swaziland to help improve operations, secure funding, and expand into new markets. Many of these companies went public through IPOs or RTOs.

Obtained an MBA degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business, where she concentrated in Finance and Strategy.

LA Executive Sponsors & Committee

Carolyn A. Sims, M.S.

Senior Manager, Community and Climate Equity, Southern California Edison

Carolyn Sims is the Senior Manager for Community and Climate Equity in the Customer Program & Services division at Southern California Edison (SCE). In this role, Carolyn is responsible for leading both internal and external engagements with SCE’s community partners focused on equity and access. Through this work she has championed sponsorships for community organizations and she educates underserved communities on SCE’s programs and services that benefit their communities focused on their lived experiences.

Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women empowerment and leadership, earning a reputation as a master connector for having helped make connections for hundreds of women based on their personal needs or professional interests.

Carolyn currently serves on the board of directors for the Bloom Again Foundation, which assists women with rapid response grants to help bridge the gap in their living expenses when they experience a medical situation. She is also on the committee of C-Sweet, a professional women’s networking group that fosters executive-level relationships among women for business development, collaboration, and expanded career paths. 

Carolyn was previously the president of the company’s African American Business Resource Group (BRG), Networkers, and the Women’s Roundtable. Currently services as an Advisor for Networkers BRG and is very engaged in high performing organizations, culture and work enviornment through the development and implementation of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging transformation.

She is also a 2018 recipient of the J.K. Horton Humanitarian Award, a distinction given to employees of SCE for exemplary acts of citizenship or service under emergency conditions. Carolyn earned a Master of Science in Human Resources and a Bachelor of Science in Human

Relations and Business from Amberton University. She is a mom to three adult daughters, and is happily married to her husband for over 30 years.  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolynsimsms

OneDegreeofConnections Groups on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

Georgia Zachary

Executive Care and Advocacy, AT&T Services, Inc.

Georgia is a dynamic thought leader, with 24 years' experience at AT&T and 18 years in Real Estate. Georgia a recipient of the 2012-2020 Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the prior President of Women of AT&T (2009-2016), a 501ce non-profit Employee Resource Group within AT&T. Georgia is an advocate for helping women and children in the community. Believing in the value of helping others through her leadership and business expertise, Georgia has spent time supporting several organizations such as March of Dimes, United Way, City of Hope, Ronald McDonald House, St. Anne’s, UC Santa Barbara, Los Angeles Community College District, and a host of others. Georgia is on the Board of Governors for The California Science Center/Exposition Park and the Board of Governors for City Club Los Angeles, she is the Chair of the Board for YMCA’s Weingart Wellness and Aquatic Center. Also, on the Advisory Board for Women in Leadership at UC Santa Barbara. Georgia realized that people is her passion and in 2020, she launched Good Vibes Women’s Business Roundtable where she can share valuable resources, her network, and business expertise to support small women business owners. Georgia is a pillar in the community gracing the cover of Women Lead Magazine and in the Huffington Post in 2016. Georgia enjoys volunteering by giving her time and talents wherever they can help or assist others.

Georgia received her AA in Social and Behavioral Science from Harbor College her Bachelor of Science in Business and her Master of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands. Georgia graduated with her Masters in Human Resources and Project Management from Keller Graduate School. Georgia is also passionate about mentoring. Actively working with mentees.

Georgia is a member of Faithful Central Bible Church, she loves golf, Zumba, yoga, swimming, watching basketball and traveling.

Georgia’s favorite quote: “Other people will always have opinions about what you do. But at the end of the day, it’s what you choose for yourself that matters. BE the CEO of your OWN LIFE!”- Working Women 

Kim Kaselionis

A dynamic, results-driven executive with 25 years’ experience in the U.S. financial/banking industry and M&A market with strong track record of building high performing organizations in turnaround and high-paced environment, Kim Kaselionis currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer / Chief Compliance Officer at O’Donnell Financial Group, Inc.

Entrusted by senior leaders to direct multifunctional teams, while managing financial resources and synchronizing program activities across various business units, Kim has a sterling reputation as an innovative problem solver; team builder; stakeholder advocate; and trusted advisor on a broad range of programs, policies, operations, and best practices. 

She has received numerous awards for her leadership role including Francisco Business Times, One of the Most Influential Women in FinTech, Blossom Wealth Management, Pioneer of the Year, Marin Women’s Hall of Fame – Finance & Profession, Top 150 Most Influential Women in the Bay Area, San Francisco Business Times and Most Admired CEO, Small Business Category.

Lois Ungar

CFO, SBL Venture Capital, LLC

Lois has over 25 years financial and operational experience in entertainment, consumer products and start-ups including Disney, DreamWorks, and Universal Studios. A Senior Financial and Operating Executive with a broad range of experience in public and private companies, Lois has extensive experience in strategic, planning; financing; M&A; increasing efficiencies; negotiations; operational management; and building strong teams. Her specialties include holding P&L responsibility, raising capital, strategic planning, operational leadership, M&A, negotiations budgeting and forecasting and building infrastructure.

Melinda Chelliah

President & Founder, Tailored for Growth

Melinda Chelliah is a dynamic executive and accomplished strategic leader that combines a keen customer centric mentality with financial and governance accountability.  She brings a deep understanding of finance, operations, technology, legal/risk management, human resources and the profitability levers that impact a company’s overall brand and customer experience.     For over 25 years, she has a demonstrated track record of leading diverse teams to deliver committed results for all stakeholders, including team, investors, customers and partners in E Commerce, CPG, Marketplace, SaaS, Technology, Professional Services and Entertainment industries.  

Melinda Chelliah serves as the Board Director/Audit Chair of Wag! the premier pet marketplace (PET), and CEO of Tailored for Growth, Inc, emerging growth fractional CFO firm.  She has co-founded a B2B Professional Services Firm that IPO’d as RECN (Resources Connection, Inc.) and operated as CFO and Head of Operations for Target’s (TGT) beauty E-Commerce subsidiary (Dermstore), and as CFO for a diversified international SaaS technology firm (Beyond Blue Holdings). She actively maintains a trusted network of respected thought leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors. 

Nita Moritz

Chief Executive Officer, KOVA International, Inc.

Nita Moritz is the Chief Executive Officer of Kova International, Inc. She joined Kova International in 2013 during the carve out of the entity from its parent.  She has also held positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Kova International. Prior to joining Kova International Nita Moritz held various positions at companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Coca Cola Company, Sprint PCS, James Hardie Industries and Generali Insurance both in the US and internationally.  

Ms. Moritz holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Accounting and Finance, and an MBA in Finance.  She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Iris Hosea

Co-Founder, Festively

Iris Hosea is the co-founder of Festively. Festively is a custom gifts and celebration marketplace to find and book trendy and unique elements for any celebration, including balloons, custom cakes, cookies, catering, rentals and more.

As the co-founder of Festively, she is passionate about bridging the digital divide for women and minority-owned small businesses in the events and celebration industry. With Festively, small businesses get to showcase their products or services on a custom website that provides them with real time sales data, saves time with automated transactions and provides an additional sales channel for increased revenue.

Iris has more than 15 years of experience in event planning for fortune 500 corporations. She has planned community events, media events and celebrations both big and small for Southern California Edison, American Airlines, Harley Davidson and more. In addition to co-founding Festively, she serves chief of staff to the vice president of Southern California Edison’s energy procurement and management department.

Iris is the former co-founder of Sankofa Excursions, a travel agency that conducted tours to West Africa. With her company, she adopted a children’s orphanage in Ghana providing them with much needed toiletries, school supplies and books throughout the year.

Iris has a bachelor's degree in communications from Cal State Dominguez Hills. She was in the midst of her MBA program at the University of La Verne, then took a break for some real-world experience to become the co-founder of Festively. She loves to volunteer and has served as a trainer for the American Red Cross, volunteered with Great Beginnings for Black Babies, LA Food Bank and the Social Justice Learning Institute.

Iris is a loving wife and proud mother of two boys. In between working a corporate job, running a business, and raising her boys, you will find her exploring new recipes while dancing and singing in the kitchen and on the golfing in support of various charity tournaments. 

NY Executive Committee

Maria Malavenda

Managing Partner, KOL Ventures 

Maria Malavenda, Managing Director of KOL Ventures, is a tech and healthcare executive with 15+ years proven success in strategy, transformation, operating and investing roles. Her successes can be attributed to a keen focus on building, growing and scaling new ventures, managing P&L and capital investments, and unlocking areas of transformational growth. Maria has a proven track record of success in management roles (C-level, SVP, and GM roles), building and leading outstanding teams towards success, and creating, launching and scaling core businesses, net new businesses, and growth initiatives for both early-stage and large growth-stage organizations.

She loves to build great things with smart people.

Patricia Hinerman  

CISO, Interpublic Group

Patricia Hinerman currently holds the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Interpublic Group and has over 13 years of tenure with IPG. Previous to her current assignment, she was Corporate CIO and has performed IT Governance and Program/Project Management functions at IPG.

Her past work experience, includes an assignment at Covance in Princeton, NJ as the IT Lead of an enterprise-wide finance systems re-engineering program and at AT&T where she served as a member of the technical staff in various roles managing requirements, developing software applications, and measuring IT performance.  She was part of a team which re-engineered AT&T’s financial systems and processes which replaced approximately 150 disparate systems with a suite of integrated systems.

Ms. Hinerman began her career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as part of their research staff and participated on a team which delivered a hospital-wide disease management system (which integrated clinical practice with research and patient education into a single systems platform).

Patricia received her BS in neuroscience from the University of Scranton and an MBA from Rutgers University.

Ms. Hinerman is based in IPG’s Jersey City, New Jersey office and can be reached at 212-704-1298 or at patricia.hinerman@interpublic.com.

Sandy Pelland

CEO and Founder, MomLifeTV 

Sandy Pelland is the CEO and founder of MomLifeTV – a Webby Award nominated digital media site. With a primary focus on video, MomLifeTV presents informative lifestyle entertainment to support a new generation of women on their amazing journey through motherhood. 

Previously, an award-winning Creative Director in advertising and media, Sandy worked on global brands at such agencies as Grey/MediaCom, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Bozell Global Healthcare – overseeing creative and brand expression across all touchpoints and channels.

Sandy is a member of The Producers Guild of America and is an associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). 

Sandy Pelland


Sandy Pelland is the CEO and founder of MomLifeTV – a Webby Award nominated digital media site. With a primary focus on video, MomLifeTV presents informative lifestyle entertainment to support a new generation of women on their amazing journey through motherhood. 

Previously, an award-winning Creative Director in advertising and media, Sandy worked on global brands at such agencies as Grey/MediaCom, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Bozell Global Healthcare – overseeing creative and brand expression across all touchpoints and channels.

Sandy is a member of The Producers Guild of America and is an associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). 

Teresa Milano, Esq.

Vice President and Account Executive, Management Liability, Woodruff Sawyer

In her role, Teresa provides insurance solutions for high growth private and public company clients. Teresa has extensive knowledge in the management and professional liability insurance arena.

Currently, she  handles a multitude of pre-IPO, SPAC, and public clients in various industries. She has authored articles on D&O and cyber liability and is a regular speaker on management liability topics. 

Teresa brings significant knowledge of the claims and coverage landscape and has a strong background in advising on claims and legal trends, the litigation environment, and loss mitigation strategies.

In addition to working at several global insurance carriers and a multinational broker, Teresa has also provided management consulting services to a diverse client base.

She holds a business degree from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and earned her juris doctorate from Pace University School of Law.

Midwest Executive Committee

Jennifer Pfaff

Principal at Capgemini

Jen Pfaff is a Principal with Capgemini in the Client Services Division of the Chicago Region. She is a Senior IT leader with expertise managing global teams acquired over twenty years working with some of the world’s largest corporations. Jen refined her management experience in the automotive industry where she was responsible for large-scale delivery teams at Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Chrysler. More recently she served as the Director of Payment Strategy and Global Support at Domino’s.

Jen has a BSBA from the University of Arizona and a MBA from Oakland University in addition to several industry certifications. Jennifer served on the Board of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology for 13+ years. Her commercial Industry Strengths are in: Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, Automotive, Engineering, Consulting, and Education/Data Science.

Jen lives in Michigan, is married with two sons in their early twenties and enjoys trail running with her two Dobermans.

Robin Gareiss

CEO and Principal Analyst, Metrigy

Robin Gareiss is CEO and Principal Analyst at Metrigy, where she oversees research product development, conducts primary research, and advises leading enterprises, vendors, and carriers.

For 25+ years, Ms. Gareiss has advised hundreds of senior IT executives, ranging in size from Fortune 100 to Fortune 1000, developing technology strategies and analyzing how they can transform their businesses. She has developed industry-leading, interactive cost models for some of the world’s largest enterprises and vendors.

Ms. Gareiss leads Metrigy’s Digital Transformation and Digital Customer Experience research. She also is a widely recognized expert in the communications field, with specialty areas of contact center, AI-enabled customer engagement, customer success analytics, and UCC. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and trade shows, presenting at events such as Enterprise Connect, ICMI, IDG’s FutureIT, Interop, Mobile Business Expo, and CeBit. She also writes a blog for No Jitter.

Additional entrepreneurial experience includes co-founding and overseeing marketing and business development for The OnBoard Group, a water-purification and general contracting business in Illinois. She also served as president and treasurer of Living Hope Lutheran Church, led youth mission trips, and ran successful fundraisers for children’s cancer research. She serves on the University of Illinois College of Media Advisory Council, as well.

Before starting Metrigy, Ms. Gareiss was President and Co-Founder of Nemertes Research. Prior to that, she shaped technology and business coverage as Senior News Editor of InformationWeek, a leading business-technology publication. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois.

Vita Merlotti

President and Chief Transformation Officer, Avalon LLC 

Vita Merlotti brings 30+ years experience in the advertising, marketing, media & technology industry to her role with Avalon LLC. For the past thirty years she has been a ‘go-to-executive’ for a number of CEOs, CFOs and COOs to ensure the viability and ongoing health of their organizations. Vita is one of the few executive advisors with a proven track record across the full spectrum of business, operations & technology transformation solutions, with significant experience in growth & distressed situations. Vita is also a Certified Advisory Board Chair, having recently completed her certification with the Advisory Board Centre.

Prior to creating Avalon LLC, Vita was the Director of Business Transformation for The Interpublic Group of Companies, a $7.0+billion marketing, media, entertainment and communication multi-national. Vita has delivered measurable results as an employee, and as a consultant, across a diverse set of responsibilities – Director of Business Transformation, Global CIO, Director of Operations, Chief of Staff, Program and Account Director.

Vita is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Wayne State University with additional discipline studies at Northwood Institute. She is a member of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, The Power of 100 Women, Midwest Co-Chair for C-Sweet, on the board of Cook For YOUR Life, and a Certified Facilitator for the Kauffman Foundation FastTrac Tech Venture series. Beyond her individual mentorship and advisory work, the Avalon LLC team is committed to the health, growth and sustainability of the communities that they live and work in. As part of their efforts to support growth, a vibrant future and long-range success, the team proudly supports advisory, coaching and mentor services for a variety of community and entrepreneurial organizations, including the Michigan Women’s Foundation and the University of Michigan Entrepreneurial Panel.

Jill Maybaum Hart

Strategic Relationship Manager

During her career, JILL MAYBAUM has promoted financial literacy and educated many individuals on maximizing their outcomes while planning for a successful retirement. Her expertise, accrued through corporate roles of increasing responsibility, encompasses business development, strategic planning, key account management, brand management, content marketing, loyalty marketing, and public speaking. Having conducted extensive qualitative research on the changing landscape of retirement relationship management, she expands her focus to the employee benefits opportunity, to which she will bring fresh thinking and her uniquely consultative approach.

Lori Danner

Senior Director & Leader of the KPMG International Business Support organization for Global Audit

Lori currently serves as Senior Director, and the leader of the KPMG International Business Support organization for Global Audit. In this role, Lori is responsible for a team of Audit professionals located in countries all over the world, serving as the link between the Global Audit organization and the global member firm stakeholders responsible for local business support and operational efforts. 

With more than 34 years of experience in Information Technology, and 23 of those years with KPMG, Lori has established herself as a seasoned professional with significant domestic and international experience in the technology and business support area. Her key contributions include developing and executing strategy as well as solving problems, implementing innovative approaches to business issues, and establishing information strategies to better manage, integrate, share, and present information to her customers. 

Lori believes strongly in mentoring, and during her tenure with KPMG has been recognized with the KPMG Chicago Metro local mentoring award for her tremendous work in successfully helping others to develop their skills and build their careers. She is also a member of the Chicago Chapter of KNOW (KPMG Network of Women).

Tara Liceaga

Vice President, Equity Investment Oversight at Nuveen

Tara is a key liaison with Nuveen’s US and non-US equity managers across the market capitalization spectrum.  Her responsibilities include manager research for internal investment teams, assessing their investment process and performance.  She is also responsible for due diligence on new product development and implementation, and serves as an asset class expert, researching and analyzing market themes and their impact on Nuveen’s equity strategies.

Prior to joining Nuveen, Tara was on the Institutional Client Service team at BMO Global Asset Management.  She also spent eight years with Institutional Capital focusing on client service, consultant relations and business development for the firm’s US and non-US large cap value equity strategies. Tara began working in the financial services industry in 2007.

Tara earned an MBA in Finance from Loyola University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from DePaul University. 

Beth Schultz

Vice President of Research and Principal Analyst

Beth Schultz is Vice President of Research and Principal Analyst at Metrigy, where she conducts primary research and analysis to provide metrics-based guidance for IT, customer experience, and business decision makers. Additionally, Beth manages the firm’s multimedia thought leadership content.

Prior to joining Metrigy, Beth was with Informa Tech, where for seven years she served as program co-chair for Enterprise Connect, the leading independent conference and exhibition for the unified communications and customer experience industries, and editor in chief of the companion No Jitter media site. While with Informa Tech, Beth also oversaw the development, launch, and management of WorkSpace Connect, a multidisciplinary media site providing thought leadership for IT, HR, and facilities/real estate managers responsible for creating collaborative, connected workplaces.

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and lives in Chicago.

Greater Washington D.C. Executive Committee

Bonnie Green

Green Consulting: Customized Compliance Services

Ms. Bonnie Green is an established leader in the areas of ethics, compliance, human rights, and privacy with proven experience at an executive level in the public and private international sectors.

Bonnie founded Green Consulting LLC to provide customized ethics, compliance, human rights, and privacy services on an ad hoc basis and to serve as an in-house advisor on a temporary, ad interim, part-time or other basis. For more information on her expertise and services, access: GreenConsultingCompany.com. 

In the public sector, Bonnie served as the Chief Ethics Officer and Division Director of the Ethics Office for the World Food Programme (WFP), a program of the United Nations (UN) and a 2020 Nobel Prize Laureate, headquartered in Rome, Italy. She reported directly to the Executive Director and was an advisory member of the senior management executive committee. She led and managed the Ethics Office from end-to-end. While with WFP, Bonnie also developed knowledge, skills, and experience to combat various forms of human rights abuses including sexual exploitation and abuse: attempted and committed acts of sexual misconduct by humanitarian and development actors against those most vulnerable. Bonnie led innovative and impactful projects in WFP; and, in the greater UN system and international community, she played a leading role in several initiatives.

Bonnie also has extensive work experience in the private sector. She established and led the standalone Office of Ethics, Compliance and Privacy for Sodexo, Inc., resulting in Sodexo recognized in successive years as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere during her tenure. She also spearheaded the development and implementation of the privacy and data protection infrastructure, led the privacy incident assessment team, and developed critical privacy and data protection policies and practices. Bonnie was part of senior level management at Sodexo and a member of the executive team of the Law Department, reporting directly to the General Counsel.

As in-house counsel at Sodexo, Bonnie advised on the full range of legal matters, collaborating with colleagues in business and functional areas and developing intimate knowledge of operational and financial matters. Bonnie also worked as an attorney at a law firm where she advised clients on real estate matters and for Marriott International, Inc. where she worked side-by-side with business developers, operators, and functional areas on international hotel transactions, operations/business matters, and corporate infrastructure and governance.

Bonnie received her J.D. from the American University College of Law, her M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University School of International Studies, and her B.A. in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She speaks at ethics, compliance, and privacy conferences. Bonnie is an active member of multiple professional and networking organizations. Bonnie was most recently published in the May Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) Compliance & Ethics Professional (CEP) Magazine: Examining the Ethics and Compliance Role https://bit.ly/3vWUeV0.

Caroll Thomas

President, Charles in Charge LLC

Ms. Carroll Thomas is a recognized expert in partnership development and organizational change management with more than 35 years public/private sector experience. A former small business owner, she served in C-Suite level positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce as acting associate director for innovation and industry services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and as director of the $300 million public/private Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership as well as for the Small Business Administration as the Associate Director for the national Small Business Development Center program.

Ms. Thomas is currently the president of Charles in Charge LLC business consultancy.  She also serves on the boards of the Information Technology Innovation Foundation- the top innovation think tank world-wide; MxD- the only digital manufacturing institute focused on manufacturing digitization; Scale for Climate Tech- advisory board to support climate technology entrepreneurs in second stage investment product development; Federal Laboratory Consortium- representing over 300 federal laboratories engaging in technology transfer; and the State Department Federal Credit Union a $2.5 billion global credit union with nearly 100,000 members. Ms. Thomas recently joined the International Economic Development Council’s Committee on Racism and Economic Development is a graduate and member of Leadership Greater Washington, C-Sweet, Fashion Group International.  Ms. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University in Design and a Master of Business Administration from John Hopkins Carey School of Business in International Business.

Charlotte, N.C. Executive Committee

Tara Schultz

Founder, Principal Consultant – Solvewise, LLC

Tara is the founder of Solvewise Consulting, a Strategic Business and Technology partner which specializes in helping companies achieve maximum return on investment for technology spend.  Ensuring new projects are set up for success by driving clarification and alignment of business, financial and technical objectives as well as offering recommendations for the “right” resources and tools in order to achieve success.  Known as a “Master Problem Solver”, Tara has a passion for root cause analysis, clarity and course correction with a proven track record turning around in-flight projects that are behind or not producing the anticipated business value.  Solvewise offers implementation oversight services and supplemental technical resources as needed.

A proven leader with over 20 years of Portfolio, Budget and Project Management experience in both infrastructure and software development projects, Strategy/Roadmap planning, RFP development, Vendor scoring/Selection and Audit prep services.  Equally savvy in both business and technical processes and best practices, she drives continuous process improvement and has proven extremely successful in finding common ground, setting clear expectations and reinforcing positive culture/behaviors.  She finds creative ways to motivate teams to work together to achieve successful outcomes.  

Tara has worked in various Information Technology roles throughout her career, including Software Developer, Business Analyst, Tester, Project Manager, Product Manager and before starting Solvewise, held Director/VP level positions with Syngenta Crop Protection, Advance Auto Parts, Remington, GE, Data Management, and MegaCorp, Logistics.  

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Francis Marion University, completed internship at IBM and has often experienced being the only “female” in the room.  Tara is Six Sigma certified and has co-led leadership/mentorship programs such as the John Maxwell Leadership Series at Advance Auto and taught IOT (Internet of Things) at the Annual GE Hitachi - Girls in Technology Summit designed to help middle school age girls learn more around the possibilities of pursuing a career in tech.  She is passionate around helping others grow and succeed both personally and professionally.

Tara currently lives in Wilmington, NC with her family and will be one of our Chairs for the C-Sweet Charlotte Chapter coming in 2023!

When Female Leaders Collaborate, We All Win!

When Female Leaders Collaborate, We All Win!

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