Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Oregon for 2023. The state is home to major technology companies, startups, and research institutions, fostering innovation and technological advancements. This year’s awardees lead at major employers including Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear, Oregon State University, Intel, and more. They possess the ability to ignite passion, motivate others, and cultivate a shared vision, empowering future women leaders to reach their full potential and achieve extraordinary outcomes. Their contributions go beyond the workforce, extending to the realms of community, society, and personal growth.
Among this year’s awardees is Lakecia Gunter, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Global Partner Solutions at Microsoft, who leads the digital transformation and building of innovative solutions for customers, while navigating the advancements in AI and future technological innovations. Awardee Maureen Bradley, Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer for Legacy Health, has played a pivotal role in significantly increasing charitable dollars to nearly $43 million per year, while also fostering collaboration and engagement with the philanthropic community to drive healthcare innovations. Also awarded is Xiaomei Zhou, Vice President and General Manager within NEX Software at Intel Corporation, who leads the global software organization to enhance platform quality and capabilities, while also advocating for women's leadership development, and mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Oregon for 2023.
1. Maureen Bradley
Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Legacy Health
Maureen Bradley, Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer, joined Legacy Health in 2010. Since then, charitable dollars have increased from an average of $5 million per year to nearly $43 million. In addition to building a best-practice team, her leadership and collaborative approach have been critical in engaging the philanthropic community in multiple healthcare innovations.
Under Bradley’s leadership, she has guided the recruitment of trustees for Legacy’s hospital boards and was instrumental in establishing the Legacy Health Foundation aimed at making a system-wide impact on Legacy’s diverse community. In addition, she works closely with Legacy’s Governing Board and has become a trusted resource for the board of directors.
In 2020, Bradley assumed oversight of Legacy’s marketing, PR, and community benefit programs to better engage external stakeholders in a unified vision. In 2017, she was selected Woman of Influence by the Portland Business Journal and received national recognition for leveraging and developing an innovative campaign model to impact the behavioral health crisis. She serves as a charter member of The Advisory Board Company Leading Lights in Philanthropy and was part of the senior management team at Oregon Health & Sciences University Foundation before serving as a national consultant, supervising a $50 million campaign for Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and two campaigns for MultiCare Health System in Washington. Bradley graduated from Lewis & Clark College with an undergraduate degree in English and from Marylhurst University with an MBA.
2. Christine Schmidt
Chief Administrative Officer, Dutch Bros Coffee
Christine Schmidt currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer of Dutch Bros Coffee, where she is responsible for leading the administrative teams that serve as an integral part of business operations. Christine’s career with Dutch Bros started in 1996 when she joined co-founder Travis Boersma at the original Grants Pass coffeehouse. Since then, Christine has remained focused on helping grow the business, serving in roles supporting and growing marketing, finance, and operations.
Prior to her role as CAO, Schmidt served as CFO, VP of finance, and a variety of positions supporting and growing marketing, finance, and operations. Schmidt's current focus is leading the administrative teams that serve as an integral part of business operations.
3. Lakecia Gunter
Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Global Partner Solutions, Microsoft
Lakecia Gunter currently serves as Chief Technology Officer for the Global Partner Solutions (GPS) organization at Microsoft, the largest partner ecosystem in the industry, empowering partners to drive digital transformation. In this role, Lakecia defines the technical vision and strategy for GPS to achieve Microsoft’s mission through partners, enabling partners to build innovative solutions that help customers achieve their digital transformation goals and achieve successful business outcomes. She is at the forefront of helping guide GPS and partners through the next wave of technological innovations and advancements in AI.
Lakecia has held several leadership roles at Microsoft. Most recently, she served as VP and GM of the Device Partner Solution Sales group at Microsoft, and before that as the VP and GM of the Worldwide Internet of Things Partner Ecosystem, Global Channel Sales. Prior to joining Microsoft, she held several leadership roles at Intel Corporation and currently serves as an independent director for IDEX corporation, and is a member of the Board’s Compensation Committee and Nomination and Governance Committee.
Lakecia has been named to The CRN Women of the Channel list for 2023 and has been recognized as one of 100 Influential Women in Tech to Watch in 2022 by WomenTech Network. In 2021, Lakecia was named to Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Corporate Director’s list. She volunteers through numerous community service organizations both locally and nationally, serves on the board of trustees for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council as well as Black Women on Boards. She recently launched a podcast called ROAR with Lakecia Gunter where she spotlights leaders, industry experts, executive coaches, and successful entrepreneurs from around the globe. She earned an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
4. Xiaomei (May) Zhou
VP of Network & Edge Group & GM of Workload, Validation, & Infrastructure Engineering, NEX Software at Intel Corporation
Xiaomei (May) Zhou is Vice President of the Network and Edge Group (NEX) and General Manager of Workload, Validation, and Infrastructure Engineering (WViE) within NEX Software (NEX SW) at Intel Corporation. She is leading a global software organization to enhance E2E platform quality and capabilities on top of the base platform. Her organization is chartered to accelerate the development of consumable workloads, drive unified DevOps and automation, and provide support to other SW Development Operations within the NEX SW community. Her organization is also responsible for platform benchmarking and optimization and customer scaling.
A strong advocate for women's leadership development, Xiaomei is the co-chair of the Intel Network of Executive Women (iNEW) board. She champions diversity and inclusion, serving as the executive sponsor for the NEX Software (NEX SW) People First Initiative and the Shanghai Women at Intel Network (WIN). In her capacity as an internal coach, she focuses on developing the next generation of leaders through Intel’s Group Coaching program, leading manager group cohorts, and conducting 1:1 coaching and mentoring regularly. She is a certified Integral Coach from the New Ventures West and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from the International Coaching Federation.
5. Kristin Horak
Vice President Operations & Support, Global Payments
Kristin Horak is Vice President of Operations and Support for the Global Payment’s division of Commerce Enablement Solutions software business. Global Payments is a leading worldwide provider of commerce technology services. She leads the company’s efforts to support software solutions that help merchant customers, across the globe, more effectively run and grow their businesses, including point of sale, data, analytics, customer engagement, digital wallet, and stored value solutions.
As a member of the executive team, Kristin leads the business’s operations in North America, as well as the ongoing expansion efforts of operational and support into emerging markets expanding to Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Kristin has thrived in the fast-paced, ever-changing landscape of Global Payments for the last 13 years, witnessing expediential revenue growth during that time period.
Over the past 25 years, Kristin’s previous experience has spanned many industries with diverse business backgrounds including retail operations, event marketing, and software solutions. Her love of sports led to event management in both professional and collegiate sports for various Athletic Shoe companies, eventually transitioning into corporate retail for select national brands. Her talent for problem-solving, value engineering, and driving revenue launched opportunities for Kristin to lead teams in opening over 1,100 retail stores in 47 states while overseeing the hiring of top talent, training, merchandising, and real estate site selection. She has been recognized for her contributions throughout her career and has received awards including the CEO Advocacy Award, Outstanding Partner of the Year, and Encore Talent Awards.
6. Richelle Luther
EVP of Corporate Affairs & Chief Human Resources Officer, Columbia Sportswear Company
Richelle Luther is a senior executive and corporate officer with 25 years of executive and legal leadership experience. Her career has included significant involvement in board-level matters and governance, including in-depth knowledge of public company governance protocols and executive compensation practices. Most recently in her role as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for Columbia Sportswear Company, she has transformed the HR organization and oversees people strategy for over 8,000 employees globally.
Richelle applies her experience in both corporate and civic organizations to achieve long-term value with an emphasis on becoming an inclusive and dynamic workplace where the growth of the business and organization supports the growth of its people. She graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School with a JD, and from Willamette University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
7. Heather Wills
Senior Vice President and Managing Director, WSP USA
Heather Wills is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director in the Transportation Operations Strategy National Business Line, based in Portland, Oregon. Wills possesses over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in the transportation industry, including many complex and controversial mega-infrastructure projects. Megaprojects and programs have many moving parts, Wills strategically pulls the pieces together for her clients and colleagues providing pathways to success. She leads her team and guides the client on these complex projects by emphasizing strategic partnerships and collaboration. She is currently leading a large interdisciplinary team with the Oregon Department of Transportation to bring tolling to the Portland Metro area to create a sustainable funding source and manage congestion to improve the quality of life for travelers. In this role, Wills leads a team of strategic communication and engagement professionals, traffic and revenue analysts, environmental discipline experts, equity consultants, transportation modelers, and government relations specialists.
Wills always leads with heart. She cares about her team as people and professionals, just as much as she cares about project successes. She excels at matching skills and interests and is a fierce advocate for providing “stretch” opportunities and mentoring for team members that provide strategic career advancement. Wills is passionate about collaborative problem-solving where everyone has a voice and opportunity to add value. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her son and husband down mountains on a mountain bike and snowboard.
8. Rachel Pawlitz
Chief Public Affairs Officer and Lead Agency Spokesperson, U.S. Geological Survey
Rachel Pawlitz is the Chief Public Affairs Officer and Lead Agency Spokesperson of the U.S. Geological Survey. She first joined the company in 2022. Created by an act of Congress in 1879, the USGS provides science for a changing world, which reflects and responds to society’s continuously evolving needs. As the science arm of the Department of the Interior, the USGS brings an array of earth, water, biological, and mapping data and expertise to bear in support of decision-making on environmental, resource, and public safety issues. It provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help provide timely, relevant, and usable information.
Previously, Pawlitz was a public affairs specialist for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Regional Fire and Aviation Program in the U.S. Forest Service, and before that, a communications coordinator at NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Earlier in her career, she worked with Butterworths Lexis Nexis as an assistant editor. Pawlitz earned a PhD in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida, an MA in international communication from Macquarie University, and an undergraduate degree in biology from Truman State University.
9. Lucinda Moulding
Vice President of Employee Benefits, HUB International
Lucinda Moulding is the Vice President of Employee Benefits for the Southern Oregon team of HUB International. HUB International is a leading North American insurance brokerage that provides employee benefits, business, and personal insurance products and services. With over 14 years of experience in employee benefits and having worked on both the agency and employer side, Lucinda has a diverse perspective of today’s rapidly changing health insurance environment. Her experience includes working with clients of all sizes and industries across the West Coast. She understands the unique needs employers have when developing their benefits offerings and works alongside clients to ensure all aspects of their needs are met.
Lucinda specializes in complex employer group benefits, where a keen eye for problem-solving and creative solutions are needed. In addition to her work, she enjoys helping in our community. Lucinda has held several board positions and volunteers with numerous nonprofit organizations including ACCESS, Hearts & Vines, Youth 71:5, Hearts with a Mission, Living Opportunities, Family Nurturing Center, and Meals on Wheels.
10. Kristi Flores
Chief Marketing Officer, Accruent
As CMO of Accruent, Kristi Flores leads global marketing initiatives for product, industry, and channel marketing, brand marketing and strategy, demand creation, communications, public relations, events, campaigns, customer marketing, and marketing operations. Her teams, located in the US, Brazil, and Europe, are responsible for driving new business, delivering outstanding brand experiences, and bringing to life the Accruent mission of Unifying the Built Environment. Flores is known for building extraordinary teams and being adaptable to the changing business landscape. She has an unwavering commitment to continuous learning and helping people tap into unrealized potential.
Previously, Flores led and motivated a global team of marketers who drive demand and promote the Tektronix brand. Her scope included all aspects of marketing, including digital, branding, advertising, search, events, and public relations. They delivered profitable growth while building long-term brand connections with their customers. Flores graduated from Willamette University with an undergraduate degree in political science and government.
11. Irem Tumer
Vice President for Research, Oregon State University
Dr. Irem Y. Tumer is the Vice President for Research at Oregon State University. Dr. Tumer brings leadership to a research environment that promotes creativity, entrepreneurship, and collaboration; provides support for university-wide research efforts; and maximizes the benefits of research for the economic and social advancement of Oregon, the nation, and the world. As an accomplished researcher, a former associate dean for research in OSU’s College of Engineering, and a former program manager at NASA, Dr. Tumer's experience covers all aspects of the research enterprise. In her role, she is responsible for developing strategy and advocating for research while leading and managing the core functions of the research enterprise. This includes OSU-affiliated centers and institutes; the Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development; the Office of Research Integrity; and the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration.
Dr. Tumer received her undergraduate, master's, and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are in the areas of system design, reliability engineering, and risk analysis, and her work has been applied to spacecraft, aircraft, and nuclear power plant design.
12. Kate Richmond
Chief Talent Officer, WE Communications
As Chief Talent Officer, Kate Richmond is responsible for delivering on the agency’s global vision to be the employer of choice among professionals who want to use the gift of communications to move people to positive action. Richmond leads a global HR team in North America, EMEA, and APAC and sets the pace for an independent, energetic, and collaborative company culture that values employee engagement and development, diversity and inclusion, and talent management strategies that put people first.
Richmond and her colleagues are committed to building effective HR teams, designing next-gen workforce planning strategies, and driving cultural transformation within diverse, high-performance global organizations. She is recognized throughout her career for an extremely collaborative work style, her ability to diplomatically initiate critical conversations and a commitment to building best-in-class work environments characterized by superior employee engagement and retention. Richmond graduated from the University of Puget Sound with an undergraduate degree in business.
13. Lorie Tekorius
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Greenbrier Companies
Lorie Tekorius’ rise to the top of Greenbrier, a multinational freight railcar, and marine barge manufacturer, began 25 years ago. As a top executive, she has restructured and developed the company into one of the two largest freight railcar manufacturers in North America. Lorie’s success as CFO was followed by her being named COO in 2018 and President in 2019, the first woman in the company’s history to hold each of those roles. With her strategic mindset, she has managed two large-scale acquisitions, global diversification and expansion into foreign markets, and the integration of thousands of new employees.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Tekorius is a Certified Public Accountant. In addition to her board service with Greenbrier, she serves on the board of Alamo Group, Inc. In 2020, the Manufacturing Institute recognized her as a STEP Ahead honoree. In 2018, she was named a Railway Age Woman in Rail. As CFO, she was recognized as Oregon's 2017 CFO of the Year by the Portland Business Journal (PBJ). In the same year, the PBJ awarded her with the Women of Influence recognition. Tekorius serves as president of the Council of Trustees of Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation.
14. Nadya Boone
Chief Product Officer, Huntress
Nadya Boone began her professional career 33 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Product Officer of Huntress, a provider of advanced threat detection and actionable cybersecurity information that delivers easy-to-follow remediation steps into an existing ticketing system. IT Departments and MSPs worldwide use Huntress to enable their junior IT staff to confidently address cybersecurity incidents that slip past their preventive security stack. As a result, it discovers breaches before they cause downtime, costly cleanup, and damaged reputations. The company serves small and mid-sized businesses.
Boone first got her start in 1990 as an electrical engineer at Industrial Design Corporation (CH2M Hill). From there, she went on to Distinction in Design Consulting, before eventually rising to CPO at DAT Freight & Analytics, her most recent position prior to joining Huntress. Boone graduated from San Diego State University with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
15. Lisa Landreman
Vice President of Student Affairs, Willamette University
Dr. Lisa Landreman became the Vice President of Student Affairs at Willamette University in 2020. In this role she provides leadership to the Division of Student Affairs aimed at fostering healthy, inclusive learning communities and supporting students in the discovery of their passions, strategies to maintain their overall well-being, and commitment to care of the world around them. She oversees the work of several areas that include athletics, intramurals and recreation, residence life and housing, student activities that include Greek life, student clubs and organizations, and orientation, spiritual life, student conduct, the Bishop Health and Wellness Center, and supporting students in navigating difficult situations.
Throughout her career, Dr. Landreman has been an active educator on college student development and social justice issues in classrooms, in research and scholarship, and throughout student affairs. She has been an active member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and served on the governing board as the director for professional development. In 2011 she was recognized as an ACPA Diamond Honoree for her significant contributions of leadership and scholarship to her institutions, to ACPA, and students.
16. Jeanne Savage
Chief Medical Officer, Trillium Community Health Plan
Jeanne Savage is an experienced healthcare executive and practicing physician dedicated to providing comprehensive care to the most vulnerable and underserved populations on the West Coast. As the Chief Medical Officer for Trillium Community Health Plan and Health Net of Oregon, she advocates for patient-centered best practices and innovative efficiencies across all provider groups. As a bilingual family physician, Dr. Savage brings compassion, empathy, and efficiency to all her patients and teams. She brings nearly 20 years of family practice and hospital management experience to Trillium and Health Net of Oregon.
Most recently, Jeanne was the CMO at Willamette Valley Community Health in Salem, Oregon. Previously, she was a co-medical director at Salud Medical Center in Woodburn, Oregon, and before that, she held patient medical care positions at Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, California. Dr. Savage is also a volunteer clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Sciences University and continues to work with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, and Salud Medical Center in Woodburn, Oregon. She holds a Doctor of Medicine from Oregon Health and Sciences University and an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Oregon.
17. Mary Lou True
Chief Human Resources Officer, Moda Health
As a senior member of the executive leadership team at Moda, Inc., Mary Lou True is well known throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska as a dynamic innovator in health business strategies and a compelling advocate for diverse workplaces. At Moda and its affiliated companies, her responsibilities include directing and integrating comprehensive human resource management programs. Mary Lou’s areas of expertise include labor relations, recruitment, training and development, workforce planning, and affirmative action.
An avid advocate for work/life balance, Mary Lou is a veteran proponent of workforce wellness programs. She encourages all employees to make time for a broad range of community engagements. She did her undergraduate work in Industrial Relations at Oregon State University before joining Moda (then ODS) in 1982.
18. Reenie Benziger
Chief Product Officer, Orvis
Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer that specializes in fly fishing gear, dog products, and active lifestyle apparel, appointed Reenie Benziger as Chief Product Officer, in January 2021. In this position, Benziger provides executive oversite for all product-related functions to further Orvis’ leadership across all product categories. Her deep experience in merchandising, innovative tech design, and consumer-centric product strategy help shape and strengthen the company’s future product offering and continued growth and leadership in the outdoor industry.
Before Orvis, Benziger served as the VP of global apparel at Nike, where she led the brand to discover new opportunities in the global active lifestyle apparel market. Benziger brings over 20 years of executive and senior leadership experience in the apparel industry and has served in various leadership roles at Nike, Old Navy, Gap International, and Pacific Sunwear throughout her career. Benziger graduated from the University of Vermont with an undergraduate degree in English literature and studio art.
19. Abby Sears
President and CEO, OCHIN
As Chief Executive Officer, Abby Sears is responsible for the overall strategy and executive leadership at OCHIN. Sears has been with OCHIN since its inception and has helped grow the organization nationally, focusing on building a learning organization that supports the transformation of healthcare through the use of data and technology. A prominent national speaker and HIT advisor with over 15 years of healthcare expertise, she is focused on building a premier information and technology network leveraging Health IT products, services, and the use of practice-based research to help community practices nationwide achieve federal and industry standards for healthcare delivery, quality, and cost control.
Sears was appointed to the federal Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) for a three-year appointment, starting in January 2020, where she works to help elevate the voices of the patients and providers in historically underserved communities nationwide. HITAC advises policymakers on how to safely advance electronic access, exchange, and use of health information nationwide. In 2012, Sears was named CEO of the Year for Nonprofits in Oregon by the Portland Business Journal. She holds an MBA and MHA, both from the University of Minnesota.
20. Shoshana Deutschkron
Chief Marketing Officer, Wheel
Wheel, the health tech company powering the next generation of healthcare, welcomed Shoshana Deutschkron as the company's first Chief Marketing Officer in July 2022. Deutschkron brings over 20 years of Silicon Valley technology industry experience leading teams in digital health, marketplace, online work, and marketing organizations. She most recently served as CMO at Olive, a healthcare automation company, where she led a mission-driven marketing team to support the company's overall growth. She also served as the head of communications and brand at online work marketplace Upwork, where she helped establish the company's position as a category leader and drove awareness efforts through a merger and ultimate IPO. Deutschkron graduated from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and communication.
21. Tracy Fritts
Vice President of Quality and Outcomes, Consonus Healthcare
Tracy Fritts joined Consonus in 1995 as rehab director at Marquis Vermont Hills, and her success story has been defined by making the most of the company’s career development opportunities. After serving in area director positions for Oregon and Washington, she oversaw 51 rehab programs in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho as regional VP of operations. Now as Vice President of Quality and Outcomes, Fritts is responsible for clinical programming and outcomes, strategies for regulatory and payment reform, and corporate compliance.
Fritts is passionate about fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after losing her Dad to complications from blood cancer in 2010. She won Woman of the Year in the LLS fundraiser in 2015, heads the Executive Challenge for the Light the Night Fundraiser, and is a member of the Portland Board of Trustees.
Fritts graduated from Oregon State and also earned a master’s degree in physical therapy from Pacific University. She is a Certified Expert in Exercise for Aging Adults (CEEAA). Over the last decade, she has attended, mentored and now facilitates the Leadership Institute for Leading Age of Washington. A frequent presenter at industry gatherings, she shares her expertise on topics including functional outcomes, medicare regulations, and effective leadership strategies.
22. Christina York
EVP of Human Resources & Inclusion, Fortis Construction, Inc.
Christina York is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Inclusion of Fortis Construction, Inc. She first joined the company in 2022. Fortis Construction, Inc. is an employee-owned general contractor committed to making an impact through the built environments it delivers and the relationships it creates in the process. The firm adds value to each construction project with specialized services in estimating, value analyses, constructability review, construction management, in-house MEP and 3D modeling resources, sustainability expertise, and integrated commissioning. Dedicated to the markets of commercial, data centers, education, healthcare, and science & technology, Fortis has the resources to provide the highest level of quality for projects ranging from renovations of less than $100,000 to mission-critical campuses of more than $1 billion.
Previously, York was a CHRO at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, and before that, a VP of human resources at Marsh USA Inc. She earned a master’s degree in organizational development from Marylhurst University, an undergraduate degree in business administration from Oregon State University, and an undergraduate degree in international business from the University of Technology Sydney.
23. Karen Sherman
President, Akilah Institute
Karen Sherman is a strategic leader spearheading the growth and expansion of Akilah Institute, an all-woman’s college in East Africa. As President, she oversees strategy, partnerships, development, and thought leadership. She works with and manages the board of directors and global advisory council.
Sherman is also the Founder and CEO of Virunga Mountain Spirits, a new world-class craft distillery based in Rwanda, where she has worked for close to two decades. The business will employ and upskill Rwandans at every level of operations, with an emphasis on creating opportunities for women. Previously, Sherman was a senior executive at Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war to rebuild their lives, and Counterpart International, a global development agency working to build inclusive, sustainable communities.
Sherman is a successful author and began writing Brick by Brick -- Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere during the year she lived in Rwanda with her three sons to oversee the construction of a first-of-its-kind women’s opportunity center. She is also a sought-after speaker on global women’s issues and has been featured on BBC, CNBC Africa, Al Jazeera English, and Voice of America, and in numerous outlets including ABCNews.com, Council on Foreign Relations, Huffington Post, Africa.com, and other public media. She served as executive producer of The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope, published by National Geographic. Sherman holds a master’s degree in Russian and East European studies from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Oregon.
24. Shellie Yule
Senior Vice President, PSB
Shellie Yule is a Senior Vice President at PSB, with 20 years of experience in the research industry. She has deep experience across an array of methodologies, with a particular focus on the technology and financial services industry, as well as business development and account management. Shellie was most recently with GfK where she was a vice president and focused on financial services and technology sectors. She earned an undergradaute degree in political science and history from Purdue University and a graduate degree in economics from Clemson University.
25. Heidi J. Ellsworth
Partner & President, RoofersCoffeeShop.com
Heidi J. Ellsworth has worked in the roofing industry since 1993 and has held positions with Malarkey Roofing, Carlisle Construction Materials, and EagleView Technologies. She is currently a Partner and President of RoofersCoffeeShop® and owner of HJE Consulting. She is also one of the founders of National Women in Roofing (NWIR). She served as chairperson for the first two years of the association and in 2020 was awarded the WORLD Award.
Working with both RoofersCoffeeShop and HJE Consulting, she currently focuses on supporting overall marketing strategies, sales success, and content development for companies and associations within the roofing and metal construction industries. With a passion for networking and win-win-win scenarios, she continues to provide consulting and progressive digital advertising opportunities for companies and associations building strong collaborations for business profitability and success.
26. Shadiin Garcia
Executive Vice President, Metropolitan Group
Across education, philanthropy, advocacy, policy, strategy, and leadership, Shadiin Garcia works to counteract the systemic inequity created by colonization. She has an unrelenting belief that centers on the full humanity of all people and children. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Metropolitan Group. Garcia drives collective processes that harness people’s lived experiences by uplifting and reinforcing community practices. She achieves this by being in alignment with the land under our feet and leading client work with her deep knowledge of people power, curiosity and love.
Previously, Shadiin was senior strategy and operations advisor for the Oregon Department of Education, and before that, she was executive director of the Educator Advancement Council in Oregon. Before that, Garcia was deputy director of Policy and Research at the Chief Education Office. Earlier in her career, she was an Indian education lead consultant at Education Northwest. Garcia has an undergraduate degree in English from Yale University as well as two degrees from the University of Oregon, a master’s in educational leadership and a PhD in critical and sociocultural studies.
27. Sarah Jennings
Senior Vice President of Sales, Swoogo
Sarah Jennings is an 18+ year sales veteran with experience in both selling for and leading high-growth sales teams at SaaS companies. With a heavy focus on fast-paced growth, she has built and scaled sales teams from 1-100 in companies at varying stages and has a proven track record of turning around established, but underperforming teams. She prides herself on repeatedly meeting and exceeding her business objectives, with a specialty in increasing YoY sales thresholds.
As Swoogo’s SVP of Sales, Sarah heads up the pre-and post-sales teams, where she’s been a key player in Swoogo’s continuing growth, even through the pandemic and economic turbulence. Her secret is to approach business with creativity and analysis. Her business acumen and knack for execution have helped her team organize quickly into a cohesive, success-producing group. As a natural executive sales leader, Sarah thrives in a fast-paced, highly creative, innovative, and ground-moving environment. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with an undergraduate degree in political science.
28. Katie Poppe
Co-Founder, CEO, & Owner, Blue Star Donuts
Katie Poppe is the Co-Founder of multiple acclaimed restaurants, including Little Big Burger, Blue Star Donuts, Boxer Ramen, and Boxer Sushi, opening over 30 locations across Oregon, Japan, and Los Angeles. She has developed several multi-unit and franchise concepts, driven by a passion for high-quality, reasonably-priced food paired with an unforgettable brand experience. She is an industry leader, known for her expertise in brand innovation, marketing, customer experience, strategic planning, leadership development, and partnerships. Her tenacity is evident through her successful navigation of Chapter 11/Sub Ch.V reorganization during the pandemic while pivoting Blue Star Donuts into an omnichannel brand encompassing brick-and-mortar, CPG, and e-commerce.
Katie has grown three restaurant brands into multi-unit concepts. In 2015, she sold Little Big Burger for ~$6.2M, only five years after opening. She grew Blue Star Donuts to a pre-pandemic peak of 11 locations and ~$7M in revenue, and quickly adapted during the pandemic by introducing gourmet Donut Bites in local grocery stores and developing a best-in-class national shipping service. She continues to build the Blue Star legacy of bringing happiness to the world through delicious donuts and stellar hospitality, which now includes flourishing e-commerce and wholesale/CPG departments. Her vision has always been to build a dynamic and purpose-driven brand that is dedicated to providing a safe, fair workplace with excellent benefits, fostering talent, and helping employees develop long-lasting skills and friendships.
Katie has been honored as a recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Entrepreneur of the Year for the Entrepreneur’s Organization Portland Chapter, and recipient of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies. She was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, has been a member of EO for over 10 years, and serves on the board of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association for over 5 years.
29. Jensine Larsen
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, World Pulse
Jensine Larsen is an award-winning digital social impact entrepreneur, journalist, and global speaker on the power of technology to speed up global women's power - and how we can all be a part of this ground-up revolution. She is the founder of World Pulse, a safe social network connecting women worldwide for a greater global voice. Today, World Pulse is powered by more than 80,000 women from 200+ countries who are speaking for themselves, growing movements, and collectively improving the lives of 24.5 million people. For her work, Larsen received the 2018 Media Social Impact Award from the United Nations, in 2022 was jointly awarded a UNESCO Prize for strengthening "Gender, Wellness, and Cultures of Peace."
Larsen has the bold ambition of ensuring digital technology unleashes the untapped creative potential of women everywhere. She is a leader in digital communication, women’s leadership, online communities, reciprocal philanthropy, and strategic partnerships. She founded World Pulse magazine in 2004, growing that platform into WorldPulse.org, an independent global social network and leader in grassroots women’s digital empowerment training.
For 15+ years, Larsen has made it her job to listen to women in forgotten communities around the world. She is a frequent speaker on how social networking and technological innovation is a powerful accelerator for women’s global power, appearing in media and on stages from NPR and BBC to TED. Larsen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an undergraduate degree in comparative international studies.
30. Sheila Cox
President, Selectemp Employment Services
Sheila Cox is the President of Selectemp Employment Services. Having experience in almost every facet of the temporary employment industry, she has been given perspectives from so many different vantage points. Sharing her experiences, leading her team, and helping the people she works with to grow both personally and professionally are what continue to fuel her passion.
Raised in Eugene, Sheila has always had a very strong sense of community and a desire to give back. In 1996 she joined the Eugene Active 20-30 Club, a club that serves and raises funds for the special needs of children in the community. Sheila served on the Active 20-30 Club's board for over two years before becoming an Officer of the Eugene Club from 2003-2005 and then received her past-active life status in 2008. Sheila was awarded Activian of the Year, Spark Plug, and Outstanding Project Chair during her active years. Sheila graduated from Lane Community College with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
31. Melanie Wilkins
Vice President of Sales, A Kids Co.
Melanie Wilkins is the Vice President of Sales at A Kids Co. Founded in 2019, A Kids Co. is on a mission to empower a generation of kids through diverse storytelling. The company is built around the idea that kids were ready to talk about the important stuff of life and that books are a magical way to open up those conversations. The company has published over 100+ books ranging on topics like divorce, imagination, voting, cancer, shame, racism, gratitude, empathy, and being non-binary. They’ve sold hundreds of thousands of copies and more importantly started important conversations in homes, schools, classrooms, pillow forts, grandparent's houses, and therapists’ offices all over the world.
Prior to joining A Kids Co., Melanie served as the e-commerce manager of Laird Superfood and before that as a national sales manager for Circle Media Labs Inc. She graduated from St. Edward University with an undergraduate degree in art and psychology.
32. Andrea Cordova
Executive Vice President, Pacific Bath Company
Andrea Cordova began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is the Executive Vice President of Pacific Bath Company. Pacific Bath is proud to be the only Kohler walk-in bath provider in Oregon, Washington, Phoenix, and Southern Nevada, giving it the professional knowledge to transform your outdated bath into a relaxing oasis.
Cordova first got her start in 2010 as a head coach and assistant trainer at Legacy FC. From there, she went on to Eurest, before eventually rising to managing director at PGM Construction, her most recent position prior to joining Pacific Bath Company.
Cordova graduated from Portland Community College with an undergraduate degree in pre-law, and from Washington State University with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and history.
33. Diana Larsen
Leadership Agility Advisor, Partner, & President, Eos House Consulting Inc
As a Leadership Agility Advisor, Diana Larsen wears many hats. To serve her professional communities, Diana delivers inspiring conference keynotes, talks, and workshops around the world. She shares the wisdom she’s gained in more than three decades of working with leaders, teams, and organizations. Her talks add value through her pragmatic, yet visionary, approach. As a trusted advisor and coach of coaches, the continuing thread in her career has been a focus on team learning and leaders who “learn out loud” to support their teams and organizations. Familiar with leadership challenges, she co-founded and led six small businesses. She serves as an advisor to Retrium, Inc., on the advisory board of the Organization Design Forum, and as the former chair of the Agile Alliance board of directors.
A prolific contributor to readers who seek to improve leadership and team development, Diana coauthored pivotal books, including Lead without Blame: Building Resilient Learning Teams, Agile Retrospectives 2nd edition, A Practical Guide for Catalyzing Team Learning & Improvement, ebook The Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile, Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams, Five Rules for Accelerated Learning, and Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. A model maker, she co-originated the Agile Fluency® model as well as models covering aspects of leadership, learning, and teams.
34. Sarah Schwarz
President & Chief Executive Officer, Portland State University Foundation
The Portland State University Foundation Board of Trustees appointed previously Executive Vice President Sarah Schwarz to step into the top job as President and CEO in 2020. Schwarz has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and organizational management and a deep understanding of Oregon’s philanthropic environment. She has played a pivotal role in the recent growth of the PSU Foundation and the success of its landmark Campaign for PSU.
Schwarz was recruited in 2014 to lead the PSU Foundation’s planned giving efforts before swiftly rising to the roles of chief development officer and executive vice president, in which she now serves as primary fundraising strategist and a key liaison to PSU’s senior leaders and volunteer boards. As chief development officer, Schwarz increased annual fundraising to more than $42 million a year.
Before joining the PSU Foundation, Schwarz was a senior gift planning officer at the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation and director of planned giving for Providence Health System Medical Foundations. She earned an undergraduate degree in English and religion from the University of Iowa, and a JD from Drake Law School.
35. Danielle York
Chief Executive Officer, Children's Cancer Association
Former Children's Cancer Association’s president and GM, Danielle York, was named the new CEO in 2020. Danielle brings 25 years of corporate philanthropy, stakeholder relationship management, marketing, operations, and business development experience supporting highly successful US and global brands.
Prior to joining CCA, Danielle was COO of the US Western Region, for Edelman, the world’s largest communications marketing agency. She has worked across industries, running large functions at Fortune 100 companies like Nike and Albertsons. In addition, she has served on the board of directors of multiple nonprofit organizations, including Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Employers for Education Excellence, and The Children’s Relief Nursery.
36. LM Alaiyo Foster
President and Chief Executive Officer, Black United Fund of Oregon
A native Oregonian, Dr. LM Alaiyo “Dr. A” Foster fell in love with nonprofits when she was only a child. Inspired by her parent’s insistence on volunteerism at an early age, Dr. A remembers volunteering at the Black United Fund of Oregon as early as age 10. She quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work, education, and justice work.
This resolve stuck with her through college, leading her to get her undergraduate degree in Black studies with a focus on community development from Portland State University, along with degrees in sociology, education & community counseling, nonprofit management and development, and a doctorate in leadership along with administration credentials from Lewis and Clark College. Although she has worked full-time since high school, her first professional post-undergrad position was as a classroom teacher and also as a lead counselor at the former Portland Street Academy program of the Urban League of Portland.
Always having had an affinity for peer-based education models, Dr. Foster now has over 20 years of experience both locally and nationally, in educating, creating, and revamping educational programming. She now heads the Black United Fund of Oregon and is happy spending her days visioning and ushering the organization into its next iteration and displaying that her presence has power.
37. Kelsey Machuca
Vice President, Cresa
Kelsey Machuca is passionate about managing real estate requirements and transactions for occupiers locally in Oregon and Washington, and partnering throughout the globe. In her role, she actively manages transactions for several portfolio client accounts. Kelsey identifies client needs, negotiates new leases, renewals, relocations, expansions, and subleases, conducts property tours, and partners with other Cresa service lines to provide full-service consulting.
Cresa is the world’s largest occupier-only commercial real estate firm. In representing occupiers exclusively — no landlords, no developers — it provides unbiased, conflict-free advice. Its integrated services cover every aspect of a real estate transaction from site selection and financing to project management and relocation services. It offers customized solutions with nearly 60 offices in 75 markets worldwide.
Before joining Cresa’s Portland office, Kelsey gained seven years of experience in brokerage, property management, and project coordination. Kelsey graduated from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
38. Jody Schreffler
SVP of Marketing Business Development, Nonstop Administration & Insurance Services
Jody Schreffler is the Senior Vice President of Marketing Business Development of Nonstop Administration & Insurance Services. She first joined the company in 2013 as director of corporate & community relations. Nonstop Administration & Insurance Services is a provider of healthcare benefits and administrative services intended to reduce the inflationary costs of healthcare. The company operates a healthcare insurance agency and third-party administrator that offers technology, enabling employers and employees to reduce the costs of healthcare and offer enhanced benefits.
Previously, Schreffler was a marketing and sales consultant at International Cosmetic Suppliers, and before that, a public relations manager at Banfield Pet Hospital. Earlier in her career, she worked with Media Cabin as a public relations manager. Schreffler earned an undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Portland.
39. Ashley Thornhill
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Global Innovation Lead, Antonio & Paris
Ashley Thornhill is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Global Innovation Lead of Antonio & Paris, a global brand agency obsessed with finding and injecting humanity into every interaction in order to ignite the love affair between brand and consumer. Following a successful career marketing both off and online art and antique auctions for one of the major global auction houses, Ashley began at Antonio & Paris in 2016. After nearly a decade of managing countless estate sales and significant collections, overseeing complex client projects came like second nature. Ashley has a hand in every project that A&P undertakes, from consumer apps for AT&T to positioning political campaigns, new product development for Wrigley Gum to re-defining aging for Brookdale Senior Living or launching a fully integrated marketing campaign for Star Trek Beyond in seven countries.
Thornhill graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with an undergraduate degree in the history of art and visual culture.
40. Stacey Lee
Chief Executive Officer, Sweety Ice Cream
Stacey Lee is the Chief Executive Officer of Sweety Ice Cream. She first joined the company in 2019. The Sweety story began in 1978 when they opened a mom-and-pop ice cream parlor in Monterey Park, California. One of their family’s favorite treats was mochi ice cream and they couldn’t find traditional Asian-flavored ice creams in their neighborhood, so they decided to make them themselves. As the frozen treats grew in popularity, the entire family gathered on the weekends to help pack orders. Soon, Sweety ice cream was in markets across the country. Sweety Ice Cream is committed to sourcing the highest quality ingredients and crafting the best-tasting, most authentic mochi ice cream on the market.
Previously, Lee was a contract attorney in intellectual property at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, and before that, an assistant director at The Cheese School of San Francisco. Earlier in her career, she worked with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as a production assistant. Lee earned a JD from Washington University in St. Louis, an MA in food studies from New York University, and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business.
41. Robin Jones
Chief Executive Officer, Monsoon
Robin Jones, CEO of Monsoon, Inc., and a noted Portland-based startup Jill-of-All-Trades, has held executive and/or founding roles at seven entrepreneurial ventures. Monsoon is an eCommerce software company that helps merchants effortlessly manage orders, inventory, and fulfillment, as well as sell more products to more customers, more often through online marketplaces.
Jones has held leadership roles across a broad array of functions including marketing, partner/developer ecosystems, strategic alliances, product & project management, IP licensing, sales operations, HR, finance, M&A, and fundraising. She is a strong individual contributor and personnel manager, willing to get her hands dirty to get the job done efficiently.
Before joining Monsoon, Inc., Jones was the founder and CEO of Moica, Inc., and before that, an executive partner at Elevate Capital Fund. Earlier in her career, she worked with Motorola Ventures as a project manager/business development manager. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business with an MBA in entrepreneurship, and from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in biological science.
42. Kendra Pink
Director of Business Systems & Revenue Enablement, Docker
As a revenue designer and business systems leader, Kendra Pink builds and scales resilient infrastructures of deep investment, organizational meaning, and future efficiencies to maximize valuation. Responsible for driving valuation, she has led multiple companies into international markets, global acquisitions, and public offerings. Trained in RevOps and enablement, she leads Business Systems at Docker, the most loved developer platform on the planet.
Kendra is also the founder of Pink Noise Projects - a revenue design firm that helps for-profit and nonprofit organizations create intended consequences through the value of revenue. She graduated from Marylhurst University with an M.A. in organizational leadership (interdisciplinary studies), and an undergraduate degree in business management.
43. Brianna McCoy
Executive Director, Saturday Academy
Brianna McCoy brings more than fifteen years of executive leadership at the intersection of education, community-building, and nonprofit change management to Saturday Academy. Originally from Portland, Brianna's professional focus has been to translate a mission into programming for cultural arts organizations in the Washington, DC Metro Area with an emphasis on hands-on life-long learning. She brings strategic vision, fiscal savviness and responsibility, a powerful imagination, and critical interpersonal skills to each interaction.
Brianna believes access to creative exploration is a fundamental human right. These experiences result in a deeper awareness of self, community, and the world, nurturing the next generation of action-oriented, community-centered citizens. She developed and managed programs utilizing principles of repeat exposure, mentorship, community partnership, and an immersive curriculum. With a proven track record of financial management and adept at fostering dynamic fundraising strategy; transparent communication, expert organization, and joy are markers of her leadership style. She believes in our civic responsibility to ground our work in powerful anti-oppressive and restorative justice practices as the majority of her work has been in service and support of historically under-resourced multicultural communities.
For Brianna, the arts have represented more than a passion, but a lifestyle and career. She is a professional actor having performed in more than twenty productions in theatres nationally and internationally and holds an undergraduate degree in drama from The Catholic University of America.
44. Bri Condon
Executive Director, Bradley Angle
Bri Condon is the Executive Director of Bradley Angle, founded in 1975 by women who had enough violence for a lifetime and were ready to change their lives. Named in honor of Sharon Bradley and Pam Angle—who died from the violence of living on the streets in Portland, Oregon—Bradley Angle was the first domestic violence shelter on the West Coast. Today, it provides a continuum of domestic violence and sexual assault support services for survivors and their children. Bradley Angle serves individuals and families of all backgrounds, cultures, ages, and sexual orientations. Through all Bradley Angle programs, it continues to plant the seeds of social change.
Before joining Bradley Angle, Condon was a COO at Lotus Lantern Healing Arts, and before that, an associate director of course delivery at Colorado Outward Bound School. Earlier in her career, she worked with Looking Glass Youth & Family Services as a manager of the Independent Living Program Case. Condon graduated from Prescott College with an MA in adventure education, and from the University of New Hampshire with an undergraduate degree in outdoor education.
45. Gwenn Wysling
Executive Director, Bethlehem Inn
Gwenn Wysling is the Executive Director of Bethlehem Inn. She first joined the organization in 2010. Founded in 1999, the Bethlehem Inn transforms lives with shelter, help, and hope. It is the leading provider of emergency shelter services for adults and children in Central Oregon. Beyond providing temporary housing, food, safety, and health, Bethlehem Inn guides residents to programs and services designed to help them emerge from situational homelessness. Case managers work one-on-one with residents by providing support services, referrals, and avenues to self-sufficiency. Through the effective delivery of comprehensive services and access to resources, residents are given the tools and opportunities to make life-affirming choices with accountability.
Previously, Wysling was a director of human resources at Destination Hotels and Resorts, and before that, a regional human resources at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Earlier in her career, she worked with Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. as a director of people services. Wysling earned an undergraduate degree in hotel & restaurant management from Washington State University - College of Business and Economics.
46. Se-Ah-Dom Edmo
Executive Director, Seeding Justice
Se-Ah-Dom Edmo brings deep experience in community organizing for racial and social justice work across the nation. Prior to joining Seeding Justice, Edmo served as the sovereignty program director at Western States Center where she was the coalition convener of Tribal History: Shared History (Senate Bill 13, 2017) in Oregon, which established and funded the teaching of Indian History and Sovereignty in K - 12 schools across the state.
Edmo is also the co-editor of the Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes for Two Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country and American Indian Identity: Citizenship, Membership & Blood. A hallmark of her career has been fostering relationships and collaborations between tribes and organizations doing social, racial, environmental, and economic justice work across the region. She is an ALF Senior Fellow and a member of the Steering Committee of Oregon Recovers and the chair of the board of Oregon Consumer Justice. Edmo’s ancestors are from Celilo, a fishing village along the Columbia River and one of the oldest known settlements in the West.
47. Damilola Olajubutu
Founder & Executive Director, Rural Nurture Initiative
Damilola Olajubutu is an unconventional rural development practitioner with a drive to create sustainable solutions to developmental problems in rural and underserved communities. She holds her first and second degrees in agricultural extension and rural development, from the prestigious University of Ibadan, graduating as the best student at both levels. Her exposure to the precarious living conditions in rural communities stirred her passion to create sustainable solutions to the developmental problems in rural areas. Consequently, this birthed the establishment of the Rural Nurture Initiative (RNI), where she currently works as the Executive Director.
In her current position, she leads a team of change-makers to drive development initiatives, conduct research, organize outreaches, and implement projects to promote the actualization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in rural communities. Under her leadership, the organization has helped many rural primary pupils get back to school, provided food baskets to end hunger, given relief materials to ameliorate poverty, executed medical outreaches to improve rural health, and provided portable water to ensure access to water and better hygiene in rural Nigeria.
As a multi-award winner, Olajubutu received the Departmental Prize and ZARD Scholarships for the best graduating undergraduate student in 2016. She was recognized as the best graduating master’s student in 2019, emerged as Union Rise Challenge Winner in 2020, got the RNI Exemplary Leadership Award in 2021, and her NGO (Rural Nurture Initiative) received the Union Bank Enabling NGOs for Success Grant in 2019 and Go-for-it Africa’s Sustainable Impact Award in 2020.
48. Cassandra Trahan
Executive Director, A Village For One
Cassandra Trahan’s interest in working with youth began in Mrs. Retzlaff’s Child Services class at Tualatin High School. She later graduated from Oregon State University with an undergraduate degree in human, development and family science with minors in psychology and sociology. Following graduation, she had the privilege of working in a residential treatment center for children who had faced abuse and neglect. This work led her to seek additional education in order to better serve the youth she planned to work with.
Through the University of Denver, she received her master’s degree in social work with a focus on clinical practice. Cassie practiced as a child and family therapist in an intensive outpatient treatment program during which time she became a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Oregon. It was during this time in community practice that she became aware of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the reality that she lives in one of the areas with the highest rate of domestic sex trafficking. Cassie continued her formal education with the achievement of a nursing degree through Oregon Health and Science University while continuing her work with victims and survivors. It was the overwhelming realization that there are inadequate resources as well as a lack of education within their community that led Cassie to join Austin in the formation of this agency.
49. Sarah McDonnell
Founder & Executive Director, Play Works Children's Therapies
Sarah McDonnell, Founder and Executive Director of Play Works Children's Therapies, has transformed her vision into reality through her inspiring leadership and sound strategy development. Her passion for play and social connection can be observed in her direct treatment and as the director of the organization as she intuitively identifies needs within the community and meets the need through the creation of innovative pediatric programming. She is passionate about helping others extend their thinking and enjoys supporting the personal and professional development of her team members. As a leader who tells stories and uses examples of the ongoing positive impact of the organization to inspire action, she is also grounded in financial information and sound decision-making to leverage the business forward.
McDonnell received her master’s degree in communication disorders and sciences from SUNY Buffalo in 2006, and since that time has dedicated more than 15 years to developing her clinical skills as a pediatric speech-language pathologist. As a graduate of the Inaugural Apraxia Kids Intensive Training Institute, McDonnell holds a special interest in treating children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), severe speech sound disorders, and pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. She has been recognized as having Advanced Training and Clinical Expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of CAS. McDonnell has been an invited speaker for regional and national conferences, a university guest lecturer, and provided peer review for continuing education courses related to pediatric motor speech disorders.
50. Celeste Brash
Chief Executive Officer, Kamoka Pearls
Celeste Brash runs the US-based retail arm of Kamoka Pearl, an exceptionally sustainable and responsible Tahitian pearl jewelry company that uses pearls from her family's farm. She wears all the hats in this business from marketing and content creation to jewelry design and web development. Via this business, she has come to excel in social media marketing and much more, which blends well with her concurrent travel writing career.
Celeste is also a widely-published travel journalist specializing in Tahiti & French Polynesia, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Northwest (USA), Baja (Mexico), Honduras, Atlantic Canada, and the Guianas of South America. She knows many other countries well ranging from Europe to North Asia, and loves parachuting into new destinations and writing about them in a way that exhibits awe and a fresh take. Celeste graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with an undergraduate degree in anthropology.