Staff

 

Who We Are

 

National Board

Kay Whitaker

Kay Whitaker

National Board Chairperson

Kay is a founding partner of One Torch Fund, investing in early stage companies with a “gender lens” – an approach that serves as a “viewfinder” for identifying opportunities to increase ROI by having a woman on the senior executive team with a meaningful equity stake in the company.

As a senior executive, entrepreneur and successful investor, she has focused on growth companies and has experience in all the business life cycles in both private and public companies. Most recently she took First Internet Bancorp public by executing on a successful capital strategy culminating in an IPO. She was COO of Citizens Energy Ventures which held a portfolio of operating entities. Kay’s first successful exit was at Golden Care, a woman led health care equipment provider (acquired by Sun Health). She co-founded the Indianapolis office of Grameen America, an international micro-financing program for women. As an investor, Kay consistently delivered top quartile performance in managing the Central Indiana Community Foundation endowment conducting due diligence and ongoing monitoring of its significant investment portfolio. Kay was named CFO of the Year by the Indiana Business Journal in December 2012. She was one of the first women to join PriceWaterhouseCoopers Indianapolis office specializing in financial services, health care, energy and entrepreneurial organizations.

In addition to serving as the National Board Chairperson for the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation, she is also the Treasurer of Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership which provides financial education and other programs that lead to homeownership. She graduated from Indiana University with both her masters and undergraduate degrees in business.  Contact Kay today!

Patricia Roe

Patricia Roe

Board Member

Patricia Roe has served as Senior Program Officer in the access and outreach department for the last several years. Her role focuses on increasing success in higher education, by working collaboratively locally and nationally with entities, to develop strategies which serve to support college success and completion for students and adult learners. In this work she interfaces with consultants, policy and principal investigators as well as with colleagues from other foundations to support institutions of higher education and best in class community based organizations. Ms. Roe has been instrumental in getting community, foundation and corporate leaders to increase their philanthropic giving in support of higher education by leveraging USA Funds philanthropic dollars. This background is instrumental in the work she will assume for USA Funds as Senior Program Director of Community Relations.

Ms. Roe is currently the USA Funds liaison with national scholarship organizations such as Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund, American Indian College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Asian Pacific Island American Scholarship Fund.

In her spare time, Ms. Roe can be found in her church, Phillips Temple CME, working as a mentor with young ladies in the Church and community, working with students and their families to identify and determine the best institutions and financial options for PSE, and providing counseling to students on the importance of education and making positive choices in their lives.

Dottie Gandy

Dottie Gandy

Board Member

Dottie Gandy is a seasoned professional with successful careers as an author, speaker, business owner, management consultant, facilitator and women’s advocate. Dottie is the founder of The Up to Something Group in Dallas, TX, whose members choose to be intentional about designing the lives they want – and create extraordinary results in the process and the co-founder of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She has successfully led teams, provided many keynote presentations and facilitated a wide range of business-related topics. She has chosen to “rewire” rather than “retire” by recently accepting her new role as the Market Director for the Mentoring Women’s Network in the Dallas, TX area.

Natalie Guzman

Natalie Guzman

Board Member

Natalie Guzman is a Marketing, Public Relations and Business Development Executive successful at providing the vision, strategies and leadership required to build reputation and brand for the sixth largest contributing affiliate in company. She is an innovative strategic leader with experience transforming concepts into high impact results. In addition, Natalie has a proven record in development and execution of winning marketing strategies that drive profitability and growth while positively impacting the bottom line. She has notable success in developing programs that differentiate the organization from its competition.

Darla Beggs

Darla Beggs

Board Member

Darla Beggs holds a degree from Scottsdale Community College, where she graduated with honors. Her broad business experience includes consulting with HR professionals to evaluate and establish effective managed care plans with a focus on cost effectiveness coupled with employee satisfaction and retention. Darla has held positions in account management, marketing, and benefits administration leadership. She has succeeded in balancing the needs of the employee population with cost-effective solutions for business clients to provide solutions that provide a “win-win” solution at every turn.

Howard J. Ross

Howard J. Ross

Board Member

Howard J. Ross is a builder of innovations in the field of diversity and inclusion and a unifier of people, organizations, and causes. He is founder & Chief Learning Officer of Cook Ross Inc. and an advisor to major global educational, corporate, philanthropic, and governmental organizations. Through his unique combination of a personal and system-focused approach, Howard is an advocate for high-performing organizational cultures that advance people, performance, and profits. He is the author of ReInventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and Performance.

Melissa Greenwell

Melissa Greenwell

Board Member

Melissa Greenwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, leads human resources, communications and corporate social responsibility initiatives for Finish Line Inc., a national specialty athletic retailer. Melissa has applied her expertise in the design and development of organizations in many industries to help create high performance companies. Her career includes senior human resource leadership positions with Sallie Mae, Brightpoint North America, JP Morgan Chase, Oak Street Mortgage and Made2Manage Systems.

Staff and Market Directors

Alison Martin-Books

Alison Martin-Books

Founder

With impressive background work and roughly 17 years in nonprofit work, Alison Martin-Books has a passion for doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others.

After serving as Executive Director at two different national nonprofit organizations, her commitment to her passion for developing female talent led her launch Mentoring Women’s Network and the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation.  She is also the author of the book, “Landing on My Feet: Learning to Lead Through Mentoring” and speaks regularly on behalf of the organization. Contact Alison today!

Tina Imperial

Samantha Lawson

Director of Corporate Partnerships

As a founder of a non-profit, author, and motivational speaker, Samantha harbors deep passion for giving back to the world through inspiration and motivation. Her journey, thus far, has led her to the wonderful opportunity of working for Mentoring Women’s Network as the Director of Corporate Partnerships. Samantha values the notion of leveraging opportunity for women in the workplace and hopes to make a difference by helping women live their full potential through mentoring relationships.

With a high-energy and persistent personality, Samantha will be developing the corporate market in order to utilize the resources that Mentoring Women’s Network has to offer women of all ages. While harboring and maintaining relationships are at the top of her agenda, Samantha is up to the challenge of wearing different hats and trying new things- perhaps even skydiving one day!  Contact Samantha today!

Elcira Villarreal

Senior Consultant, Indianapolis

Dr. Elcira Villarreal was born in Colon, Republic of Panama. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas and received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. She spent more than 25 years in advanced roles in the pharmaceutical industry and has a passion for sharing her knowledge and experience to help advance other women leaders. In her role, she consults with organizations to align strategies to support this.  Contact Elcira today!

Madelyn Zalon

Madelyn Zalon

Executive Assistant

Madelyn spent the majority of her career as a Quality Assurance professional working for major retailers such as Lane Bryant, Sears, Montgomery Ward and Brylane where she developed and ran their quality control programs. After spending over 30 years in this field she switched to the non-profit world using her successful organizational skills in an administrative capacity. Madelyn is on the board of the Carmel Green Initiative and spends much of her time on her passion for helping the environment through educational programs in the community.  Madelyn and her husband, John are avid cyclists.  Contact Madelyn today!

Toni Widman

Toni Widman

Fort Wayne Market Director

Toni Widman is the CEO of Women’s Executive Search Group. An industry expert with more than 20 years of successful experience in full life cycle Recruiting and Business Development, Toni Widman has a proven ability to foster relationships with C-Suite and senior executives in the Financial, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Non Profit and Retail Industries.

Toni co-founded Women’s Executive  Search, an Executive search firm specializing in placement of Executives (including Presidents, CFOs, CEOs, COO’s Division Presidents, VPs of Operations, and Director level positions) in a variety of Industries. She has successfully completed hundreds of successful searches, helping professionals grow and advance in their careers.

Toni offers both clients and candidates exceptional professional service, absolute confidentiality, and the most ethical values in executive search.  For almost 20 years, Toni has guided the careers of many candidates; helping them with their career transitions.  Toni has developed an exceptional background in people and project management and a professional style based on excellent interpersonal communications and has an ability to make the best use of her personal network.

Contact Toni today or learn more about upcoming events in Fort Wayne.

Kim Kelly

Kim Kelley

Market Director for Houston, TX

Kim has over 34 years of professional business experience in various positions and industries. Her background includes Administrative/Office Management, Human Resources Management, and Financial Services. Her HR career includes generalist/employee relations management positions at large companies like Mercer and Equifax, as well as two start-up companies.

Kim changed careers in 2005 and is now a financial services representative with Wealth Design Group, LLC helping individuals and business owners establish strategies to fulfill financial goals and stay financially organized and balanced. She also specializes in providing a wide array of business owner, executive and employee benefit solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.

She is very involved in the woman business owner market and has a heart to help women succeed and fulfill their life calling, whether they own a business or are on a corporate career track. She knows that identifying and utilizing mentors and “cheerleaders” that support and encourage us as we progress is absolutely critical to our success.

Kim has a history of serving on non-profit and professional boards, as well as serving on various committees and ministry projects. She is the current President of the Houston Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and was NAWBO’s “Woman of Excellence” honoree in 2010. She is a charter member of the Houston Lady Lions Club and is very involved in her church.

Kim has a MA in Human Resources Management and a BBA in Personnel Administration.

Susan Tolles

Susan Tolles

Market Director, Austin, TX

Susan Tolles is the Founder of The Flourishing Life™ and Flourish Over 50® and a Certified Life Purpose Coach® whose clients surround the globe. Her expert guidance leads women to celebrate their unique value, follow their life’s purpose and live authentically from the inside out. Susan is a passionate advocate for professional women, equipping and motivating them to envision more and reach higher, building a career they love without sacrificing their personal wellbeing. Through Susan’s dynamic coaching programs, workshops and keynote speeches, she embodies her own life purpose “to inspire and empower women to flourish from the inside out.”

Anne East

Anne East

Market Director, San Francisco

Anne is a forward-thinking, social innovator with more than 20 years experience managing fund development programs for social service organizations, such as the March of Dimes. Her experienced includes all aspects of nonprofit development; from the identification and qualification of donors, to grant writing and administration. Anne’s funding strategies and programs have delivered over $10 million to social service causes to date.

Most recently, Anne served as CEO and Founder of AED Events where she engaged in event planning and management consultancy for social service organizations. AED Events built ongoing strategic relationships throughout the volunteer community and delivered over 100 events with budgets ranging from $10,000 to $600,000.

Anne continues her affiliation with several service and professional development organizations, including: National Association of Business Women, Association of Junior Leagues International, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Meeting Planners Association, Business Civic Leadership Center, AARP Women’s Leadership Circle, Cause Marketing Forum, and Center for Nonprofit Success.

Anne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from William Woods University, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Lesley University.

Annette Tirabasso

Atlanta Market Director

Annette is an experienced advisor to the highest levels of executives. Her expertise results in value creation in strategy and operations, business transformation, and the advancement and retention of women. Annette engages and works effectively with diverse cultures and management teams using creative problem solving skills. She is a former Partner from Deloitte Consulting who served in numerous industry, geography, and service line leadership roles. She is currently an independent consultant, coach, and business advisor and board member of OnBoard, the leading authority and catalyst for women in the boardroom. Annette has 30 years of experience across multiple industries and positions of influence at financial services and healthcare companies selling, advising and delivering measurable results within budget.

She is a sought after speaker on topics of business transformation, the retention and advancement of women and most recently two of her programs called “Selling to Women” and “Creating Purposeful Life Plans”. Annette was a Task Force Member for the creation of the first Executive Women’s Day at The TOUR Championship sponsored by Coca-Cola, the PGA Tour and the Eastlake Foundation. She was also recognized for her leadership and people development skills as a recipient of the “Woman of Inspiration”
award from the City of Atlanta.