Women We Admire is pleased to announce Top Women Leaders for 2023. Historically women have been underrepresented in the workforce around the world, but that is starting to change. 

In contrast to their male counterparts, women have witnessed a more rapid escalation in labor force participation rates. This trend can be attributed to a range of contributing factors, namely the growth of healthcare and other industries traditionally led by women, significant advancements in women's educational attainment, and their growing presence in historically male-dominated sectors such as construction, finance, and information technology. According to data furnished by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 75% of what's termed as "prime-age women" (those aged 25–54) are engaged in employment, in contrast to just over 66% a decade ago. In short: there are more women working jobs than ever before.

However, it is important to bear in mind that there is still a long journey ahead of us. The list of leaders this year is particularly remarkable as it underscores the ongoing struggle of pioneering women who are dismantling obstacles and dispelling preconceived notions. These exceptional individuals have showcased remarkable innovation, tenacity, and resolve across a spectrum of traditionally male-dominated domains. Through their forward-thinking guidance, they have set new standards of leadership, driven transformative endeavors, and nurtured inclusive professional atmospheres. 

Among this quarter’s awardees is Vanessa B. Beasley, the 20th President of Trinity University, who took office in July 2022, marking a historic milestone as the first woman to hold this position in the institution's 153-year history. She is dedicated to advancing the university's student-centered mission and vision by collaborating with an outstanding leadership team to uphold its values and aspirations. Awardee Ning Duong holds the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Credit Union West, where she drives the formulation of strategic initiatives to uphold the institution's mission of promoting financial well-being and life quality for members and communities. Also awarded is Lexie Komisar who holds the position of Director and Global Head of Partner Products & Growth at Meta (formerly Facebook), overseeing the global advancement, monetization, and revenue-driven expansion of partner products spanning diverse domains such as Business Messaging, Telco, Commerce, FinTech, Core Ads, and Measurement & Signals on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of this group of Top Women Leaders of 2023. These awards provide a major platform for acknowledging the exceptional leadership of today's women leaders, while also laying the foundation for celebrating the potential leaders of tomorrow.

Hiba M. Anver
Partner, Erickson Immigration Group
Adjunct Faculty, George Washington University School of Law

Hiba M. Anver is a Partner with Erickson Immigration Group (EIG) and Adjunct Faculty at the George Washington University School of Law. At EIG, she leads an international team that manages clients in various industries, including tech, e-sports, fintech, e-commerce, medicine, and education. She advises corporate clients on complex immigration matters resulting from restructuring, including mergers and acquisitions.

Widely respected within the field, Anver was named one of the top immigration attorneys for start-ups by Business Insider and received the 2022 Diversity in Business Award by the Washington Business Journal in recognition of her efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She was also named to the National Association of Women Lawyers Rising List in 2023.

Chitra Arora
SVP of Investments & Private Client Advisor, J.P. Morgan Wealth Management

Chitra Arora is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with J.P. Morgan Wealth Management. In her role, Chitra helps clients and their families plan and invest to reach their goals. She has over 17 years of experience in financial services and was ranked on the Forbes list as one of America's Top Women Wealth Advisor-Best in State in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Chitra was also featured in Working Mother's Magazine as one of the Top Women Wealth Advisors & Working Mom in 2021 and she was awarded the Indian Icon Award by Des Pardes Magazine & Business NJ in 2022.

Chitra joined J.P. Morgan in 2010. She holds the required Finra Series 7,66 and life and health insurance licenses. She graduated from CSJM University, India with a Bachelor of Commerce. As of today, she manages over $400M of clients' assets and she has been a National Achieving Wealth Advisor for the past 6 years and a member of President's Club at JPMorgan for the past 2 years. She and her team are located in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.

Vanessa Beasley
President, Trinity University

Vanessa B. Beasley began her tenure in July 2022 as Trinity University’s 20th President in the school’s 153-year history. Guided by the University’s student-centered mission and vision, Beasley stands ready to lead one of the nation’s top liberal arts universities. Beasley is committed to working with an exceptional leadership team to continue the momentum of realizing the University's vision and values.

Beasley, Trinity’s first female president, previously served as vice provost for academic affairs, dean of residential faculty, and an associate professor of communication studies at Vanderbilt University. Her areas of academic expertise include the rhetoric of American presidents, political rhetoric on immigration, and media and politics. She attended Vanderbilt as an undergraduate and earned an undergraduate degree in speech communication and theater arts. She also holds a PhD in speech communication from the University of Texas at Austin. President Beasley is married to Trey Beasley and they have two adult sons.

Melissa Bissen
Vice President & Controller, Whitney Bailey Cox & Magnani

Melissa Bissen has been providing professional accounting services to Baltimore area businesses for over 27 years. She has served in accounting leadership positions at Allen & Shariff, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Laureate Education, Euler Hermes North America, and Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani. Bissen specializes in creating and leading large teams through periods of robust changes in technology, processes, and organizational structure while instituting a culture of collaboration and innovation.  

As Vice President at Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani, Bissen oversees all aspects of accounting, reporting, budgeting, forecasting, payroll (225+ employees), treasury, audits, taxes and licensing, operating and legal agreements for the group of 30 entities and act as their primary liaison with auditors, governmental agencies and banks. Previously, at their Americas Headquarters in Owings Mills, she served for 7 years as VP and treasurer for Euler Hermes, overseeing all aspects of accounting, treasury, and investments for Euler Hermes North America’s Finance Operations in the US & Canada, and consolidated reporting of the Americas region to additionally include Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, and Brazil to headquarters in Paris France. 

Bissen led a finance team of 28 and also previously served as the chief investment officer for the Americas Region. She was a member of the due diligence and integration teams for new opportunities and led treasury and banking relationships for the Americas region. Bissen is also a former co-chair and current Corporate Advisory Board member of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and was recently recognized for her outstanding volunteer leadership with the organization for the past 12 years. Bissen was a founder of the Women’s Group at Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani, “WBCM Strong” encouraging women to support and empower other women. She is also the president of the Relief Society for her church’s local operations, supporting members and connecting them to local and church resources as they face adversity. 

Ashley Reid Brown
Senior Principal, ghSMART

Ashley Brown is a Senior Principal at ghSMART. She advises Fortune 500 CEOs and senior executives, private equity investors, and boards on their most critical leadership challenges. She has expertise in CEO succession planning, C-suite assessment and onboarding, individual executive coaching, and senior team effectiveness. Ashley is certified by the International Coaching Federation and the Center for Executive Coaching. Drawn to helping leaders thrive, Ashley’s 20-year advisory career has spanned the private, public, and social sectors. Prior to joining ghSMART, Ashley was a consultant at McKinsey & Company before shifting into professional development with the firm. She also spent time in people operations at Google, and academic administration at the University of Michigan, and was an analyst in the US Intelligence Community. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Spelman College with a degree in economics. She completed her advanced degrees at the University of Michigan, earning a master’s degree in political science, followed by a joint PhD in public policy and political science. Ashley lives in Baltimore with her husband, two children, and their dog.

Teresa Cerbolles
Director Head of Product Infotainment Services, General Motors

Teresa Cerbolles was named General Motors’ Director Head of Product Infotainment Services in November 2022. In this role, Teresa leads product management, as part of the Digital Business Team. This team helps connect our customer needs with Infotainment digital products for existing and future vehicles. 

In 2015, Teresa was selected for a role at Milford, as a systems engineering vehicle controls integration engineering manager, also taking on even more responsibilities as a reflash manager. This role was her first involving the full vehicle and software. In 2017, Teresa was promoted to senior manager of human factors. She led numerous teams, examined and elevated customer-focused decisions, and maintained and improved relationships with

multiple partners, including those associated with quality and design. In 2022 she continued to expand her leadership in the infotainment space with developers and future strategy. Her connected ecosystem partner integration leadership role led her to her current role leading the Infotainment Product Team and built on the relationships she has built.

Teresa’s career started young with co-op assignments through her high school and college years. She served in roles with Delphi Thermal Systems and later joined General Motors in 2006. Teresa holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in operations management from Kettering University. She is married and has two wonderful children. They keep her very busy, but when she finds the time, she enjoys photography, cheering her children on at sporting events, reading, and camping with family and friends.

Pearl Chen
EVP of Global Partnership, Bain & Company

Pearl Chen is the Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships of Bain & Company, a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change-makers define the future. Across 65 cities in 40 countries, they work alongside their clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. Chen is a sales, alliances, and business development executive with more than 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley at some of the most innovative companies in the world, including HP, Siebel Systems, SAP, GE Digital, and AWS. She has gained a reputation as a pioneer in the development of strategic alliances, new emerging markets, global channels, and M&A/JV transactions to drive the go-to-market for disruptive technologies, including:

Over an eight-year period at SAP, Chen contributed to more than $3B in incremental revenue growth through the design of a framework to stimulate local business development, the closing of major alliance agreements, and the acquisition & integration of newly acquired businesses.

Chen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley. She has served as an executive mentor at GE and was appointed to the board of directors at Berkeley Haas School of Business. She has been honored with multiple sales and leadership awards, including the Technical/Research/Business Achievement Award presented at the 2017 SASE national conference in Chicago.

Ning Duong
SVP & COO, Credit Union West

Leveraging more than two decades of excellence in the credit union movement, Ning Duong currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Credit Union West. In her role, she supports the credit union with efforts to create strategic initiatives to support the organization's mission, "To inspire our members, employees, and communities to achieve their financial goals and enhance their quality of life." She is responsible for leading more than 60% of the organization’s operations. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining kindness and care as a leader, seeking ways to help her teams thrive and achieve their goals. Her diverse background includes leading retail channels, business banking, business and community development, HR, IT, marketing and communications, organizational development, and operations. Ning is well-versed and well-respected for her work and passion in the credit union movement, strategic planning, board governance, and advocacy and education for diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

Among her professional accomplishments, Duong is proud to have been named one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Arizona in 2022. She was also featured in the Top 100 People of Finance by the Top 100 Magazine. As a dedicated civil advocate, she serves as a board member with the Arizona chapter of the Gift of Adoption Fund and also passionately volunteers in support of nonprofit organizations that give back in ways that align with her own values. During the pandemic and early days of vaccine availability, she provided executive consultation to the California Department of Public Health, establishing and leading contact centers to answer calls from Californians and medical providers.

Duong holds an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership from Colorado State University, received certifications from eCornell and the University of South Florida for completing diversity, equity, and inclusion courses, and is certified in adult mental health first aid through the National Council of Mental Well-Being. Well-qualified in her field, she holds designation as a credit union development educator from the National Credit Union Foundation. Duong is currently pursuing a master's degree in human resources and employment law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. 

Dana Erf Fortman
Director of Health Equity, Walgreens

Dana Erf Fortman leads Walgreens Health Equity Team. She is responsible for the development of the enterprise-wide health equity strategy and advancing the unification, operationalization, and sustainable impact of Walgreens' health equity efforts through internal and external cross-functional collaboration. Dana has more than 15 years of leadership experience as a business strategy expert where she leverages her strengths as a change agent and dot connector to identify strategic synergies, advance coopetition, establish partnerships, build diverse teams, and effectuate change. Her work is rooted in her passion for combining strategy, innovation, and doing good. She is a staunch advocate for equity and allyship and recognizes the power that businesses can bring to drive positive change and improve patient health outcomes.

Dana has built out the Health Equity team since late 2020, and in that capacity has had the privilege of launching the enterprise health equity strategy, collaborating with internal and external partners across Walgreens nationwide footprint to drive momentum, and establishing several internal forums and foundational structures to increase cross-functional engagement, awareness, and amplification of Walgreens collective impact. She is a recognized speaker and has shared perspectives on health equity advancement through thought leadership, industry conferences and webinars, and internal panels. Beyond her current position, Dana has served in various roles on the Pharmacy & Healthcare and Operations teams, leading clinical performance strategy and retail pharmacy healthcare value proposition efforts to support Walgreens' engagement with B2B stakeholders.

Dana earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and started her career as a management consultant with Huron Consulting Group in Chicago, where she led strategy and operations-focused engagements for higher education and life sciences clients. She then completed her MBA via the 1-year accelerated program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before joining Walgreens. She is an active member of Chicago Innovation, and an alumni ambassador and interviewer for Kellogg’s Alumni Admissions Organization. Dana is a mother of two and loves exploring Chicago’s food scene with her husband and kids, enjoying the outdoors with her dogs, and going on new adventures and travels with her family and friends.

Genevieve Gimbert
Lead Client Partner for a Global Financial Institution, PwC

Genevieve is a Partner in PwC’s Consulting practice out of New York and provides a wide range of consulting services, primarily to financial services clients. Genevieve is one of the top women leaders at PwC and has held multiple leadership roles to grow PwC’s businesses and teams as well as taking care of her clients. She is known for her authentic leadership style and is motivated by helping people achieve their personal and professional goals.  

Genevieve is also an experienced board member and most recently board chair of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, a 45+ year-old nonprofit organization known for promoting youth leadership opportunities through its Youth Assembly at the United Nations. Its mission has been to empower youth globally to become leaders and changemakers to create a world filled with peace, justice, and sustainability. Genevieve was born in the Philippines and moved to New Jersey when she was 13 years old. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Lexie Komisar
Director, Global Head of Partner Products & Growth, Meta

Lexie Komisar is an intrapreneur, operator, and investor. She currently serves as Director, Global Head of Partner Products & Growth at Meta (formerly Facebook). In this capacity, she leads the development and monetization of partner products and revenue-focused growth across Business Messaging, Telco, Commerce, FinTech, Core Ads, Measurement & Signals on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram & Messenger globally.

Lexie previously served as the head of IBM’s startup ecosystem and led the company’s global startup business, bringing emerging technologies to startups and early-stage companies in over 120 cities across the world.  Focused on accelerating IBM’s digital transformation, she was also a member of the founding team at IBM's first Digital Innovation Lab, where she incubated new digital businesses integrating AI and led strategic partnerships for the global developer ecosystem. Prior to joining IBM, Lexie served as an associate director at the Clinton Foundation, where she created the foundation’s first program dedicated to leveraging technology and innovation for social impact, prior to that, she worked for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. 

Lexie graduated with honors from Northwestern University and served as a Fulbright Fellow in Mexico City with the US State Department. She serves as a council on Foreign Relation's Term Member. She has been recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 in Tech, Crain's Business 40 Under 40, Crain's Notable Women in Tech, LinkedIn's Next Wave as a Top Professional Under 35, and 92Y WomenInPower Fellow. She is passionate about driving diversity and inclusion across industries. She co-leads Women at Meta NYC and co-founded the Women at IBM NYC ERG group. She also serves on the board of Belmont Charter School as well as Open Style Lab. She is an active angel investor.

Lori Lane
President & Managing Broker of the New Homes Division, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties

Lori Lane is President and Managing Broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties highly successful New Homes Division. Her many clients are some of the most respected builders and developers across Greater Atlanta. Lori and her team have created award-winning strategies for the marketing and selling of new construction and have won hundreds of awards that celebrate outstanding achievement and excellence in home building and marketing. This past year the New Homes Division and their clients took home an unprecedented 62 OBIE awards presented by the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association.

Lori has established herself as a powerhouse in the new home construction industry. In addition, she also manages luxury marketing and under her leadership, Luxury Collection sales have seen an increase of 395% in sales volume.

Lori has received numerous awards and accolades including Who’s Who in Residential Real Estate by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Power Players and Top Real Estate Professionals by The Atlantan, Women of Power and Influence by Modern Luxury, and in addition she was named a RIS Media Newsmaker Achiever and Influencer. Lori defines new home and luxury real estate sales and marketing and continues to make a lasting impact on Atlanta’s real estate industry.

Joanne Mizell 
Chief Operating Officer, Banner | Aetna

Joanne Mizell is the Chief Operating Officer at Banner|Aetna. She has over 30 years of experience as a healthcare industry executive and is highly regarded for her ability to cultivate strong teams and develop creative strategies. Mizell is passionate about improving the member experience and has championed innovative initiatives like Banner|Aetna’s diabetes reversal and telehealth programs. 

As an engaged community leader and advocate, Joanne also serves on the board of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix and as a state and global council member for multiple animal welfare nonprofits.

Paula Payton
Head of Data Science & Survey Advisory, Deloitte

Paula Payton is the Head of Data Science and Survey Advisory at Deloitte. In her role, she leads a global team of survey specialists, statisticians, and computational scientists using data discovery, advanced analytics, and behavioral science to probe data and explore complex research questions on behalf of nine industry centers. She is also an Associate Teaching Professor at Wake Forest School of Business, where she has been teaching in the MSc of Business Analytics Program since 2019. Working at the intersection of behavioral and data science, Paula teaches and advises data science and analytics leaders on topics such as leading strategic change with analytics, managing high-performing technical teams, and building a data-driven organizational culture by optimizing enterprise data literacy.

Previously, Paula headed the Applied Analytics Capstone Programs at Columbia University, where she built and managed a large portfolio of external industry partnerships, as well as taught experiential learning courses in the degree program. She has also been an academic director at NYU, where she had oversight for major degree programs in the Division of Business, and taught at INSPER, Lundgren Center for Retailing (University of Arizona), Kelley School of Business (Indiana University), Yeshiva University, and University of Alabama College of Business. Paula is an active mentor to up-and-coming women data scientists (Columbia University’s Data Science Society) and is working with the International Initiative for Analytics and Data Science Standards (IADSS) to define standards in data standard education.

Additionally, Paula is a lead instructor in the AI Future Leaders Program at Deloitte and advises Deloitte’s AI Academy on AI education and strategic partnerships. Prior to Deloitte, she was the chief commercial officer of SmartSports, a privately held sports analytics company that developed “Moneyball” data capture hardware systems, analytics, and software systems for digital health, professional sports, and universities, and has also worked in a wide variety of senior research and insight roles.

Marie-Pierre Pelletier
Partner of Transfer Pricing, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

Marie-Pierre Pelletier is a transfer pricing specialist at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton who helps multinational groups structure their cross-border transactions. She has a Master of Management Science with a major in applied economics from HEC Montréal and has acquired extensive transfer pricing determination and documentation experience.

Marie-Pierre’s assignments involve conducting economic analyses for various types of cross-border transactions, in particular tangible asset exchanges, intragroup services, intellectual property transfers, brand name utilization with royalties, and financial transactions. Additionally, she participates in planning the implementation of foreign transactions and recommending transfer pricing policies to be applied.

Emily Popovich
Chief of Sales & Business Development, L3DFX

Emily Popovich has more than two decades of executive sales and marketing leadership, business development, and project and event management with deep connections to and knowledge of the global amusement parks and attractions industry. She serves on various committees including those for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions as well as the Themed Entertainment Association. She is currently Chief of Sales and Business Development for L3DFX, an award-winning design and fabrication firm, that provides a wide array of turnkey design and build services to clients such as Universal, Disney, NASA, the US Space Force, Palace Parks and Entertainment, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Crayola, and many more.

Emily is an IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive and has degrees from the University of Virginia in both French language and literature and English. Outside of her professional endeavors, Emily has two daughters who she enjoys coaching in basketball and volunteering with at the local animal shelter. She and her family have served as diplomats in Copenhagen, Denmark, and have lived in many places domestically and abroad and currently reside in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.

Leslie Quinton
Vice-President Communications, Ubisoft

Leslie Quinton is the Vice President of Communications at Ubisoft. A passionate leader, a committed team player, an award-winning speaker, and a strategist, Leslie has expertise in a range of domains and sectors based on many years as an advisor and working within major corporations as head of communications and CSR, including ESG performance. A consummate professional, she scores very high in organizational thinking, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, and has been called the ultimate people person. She thrives in environments of high challenge and loves to drive change by creating scenarios that allow self-expression and empowerment of stakeholders. 

Leslie’s background in the arena of professional communications includes everything from acting as a publishing editor to crisis management, with deep experience managing corporate communications, strategic planning, teaching, and as a consultant in agencies with worldwide networks. A global thinker, Leslie is very adaptable, places a high value on collaboration, and is a good mentor to her colleagues. She has been on over 30 nonprofit boards in the past 20 years, was an award-winning instructor at McGill University, and strongly believes that more human places to work are more productive places to work. Leslie is a mentor and coach to young professionals from various sectors and is an accomplished speaker and budding author.

Whitney Soule
Vice Provost & Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania

Whitney Soule is Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in college admissions since 1991, at Bates College, Connecticut College, Bowdoin College, and now at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bates College and her EdM from Harvard. She is the co-founder of the CASCO conference for professionals who guide underrepresented and first-generation college students along the path to college preparedness, admission, and enrollment success. 

Whitney is a frequent speaker on test-optional admissions practices, change management, and designing for equitable and inclusive admissions processes. She has recently served on the board of directors for the Enrollment Management Association and the Coalition for College. She serves on the Common App Board of Directors, on the Enrollment Leader Group for the College Board, and on the Advisory Core for the College Board’s Admissions Research Consortium.

Cheryl Stargratt
Chief Human Resources Officer, IPEX

Cheryl Stargratt is the Chief Human Resources Officer of the IPEX. In her role, Stargratt is responsible for the organization’s People Agenda, which includes human resources, corporate communications, and change management. She has held roles in HR for over 25 years and joined IPEX in 2019 in her current role. 

Stargratt holds a master’s degree in industrial relations from Queen’s University and an undergraduate degree in public administration from the University of Windsor. She also has a master’s certificate in organizational development and change management from the Schulich Executive Education Centre and is a certified Executive Coach and Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Paige Strand
Director of Marketing & Communications, IR Labs Inc.

Paige Strand is a communications leader in Vancouver, Canada known for her strategic thinking and coaching teams to success. Listed on The Peak’s ‘Emerging Leaders of 2022’ list, she is renowned and recruited for supporting organizations through major transformations, including rebrands, mergers, acquisitions, and digital transformation projects. With experiences across investor relations, financial technology, hospitality, real estate, automotive, and publishing industries, Paige’s consulting abilities have translated seamlessly to her role with IR Labs Inc., a leading investor relations firm providing consulting, investor relations, corporate communications, and governance services for clients. 

Currently serving as the Director of Marketing & Communications, Paige leads strategy and execution for the marketing and communications division, while advising clients. In this role, she scales the company with new processes and operational planning, while effectively managing teams responsible for key areas, including digital marketing, corporate communications, creative design, project management, and media relations.

Recognizing the importance of development and staying on the cusp of methodologies, Paige is currently pursuing Waterloo University’s Leadership program. She earned an undergraduate degree from Simon Fraser University in communications and a certificate with Prosci’s Change Management Certification Program. Paige is a passionate advocate of the local economy and small business, she sits on the Economic Development Advisory Committee for the City of New Westminster to advise on how the city can continue to meet the needs of both existing and new businesses while enabling continued economic growth. She serves as a mentor for several initiatives, including The Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program and the International Association of Business Communicators’ Summer Mentorship Program. Additionally, she participates with the City of New Westminster’s Beekeepers Association through the management of sixteen bee colonies with the hopes of one day cultivating her own hives.

Emmanuelle Toussaint
Vice President of Commercial, Cleo Innovations

Emmanuelle Toussaint has over 25 years of management experience in the private and public sectors. She is currently Vice President of Commercial for Cleo Innovations, a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec. A member of the Quebec Bar as well as of the Chartered Administrators Order of Quebec, she holds a law degree and a certificate in administration from Université Laval.

Emmanuelle has worked for various organizations in the transportation electrification sector as well as in the manufacturing, medical, aerospace, computer science, biotechnology, transportation, municipal and university sectors. Until recently, she was the executive director of BIOQuebec, Quebec’s association of biotechnologies and life sciences. Prior to that, she was VP of legal, regulatory, and public affairs for Nova Bus and Prevost, divisions of the Volvo Group, for 9 years. Toussaint is a corporate director and she is a member of Women Corporate Directors. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Fédération des Chambres de commerce du Québec and is vice chair of the board of directors of Propulsion Quebec. She has also served on the boards of several other major organizations including the American Public Transit Association, the Canadian Urban Transit Association, CUTRIC, and Volvo Group Canada. She is a frequent guest panelist and speaker in North America to discuss a wide variety of topics.

Toussaint has been named in the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2021 by WXN, the Women’s Executive Network. She also received two other Canadian awards, being recognized as one of Canada’s most inspiring climate leaders in 2022 in the Women in Energy Transformation series, an initiative of Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), the GLOBE Series, and the Pembina Institute, as well as by the Delta Management Group, which selected her as one of the 2022 Clean50 Award, recognizing the 50 personalities who have contributed most to the cause of sustainable development and clean capitalism in Canada.

Tobie Webb
Senior Human Resources Manager, Sandia National Labs

Tobie Webb is the Senior Human Resources Manager of Sandia National Labs, the nation’s premier DOE science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation. Their team of scientists, engineers, researchers, and business specialists apply their knowledge and skills toward delivering cutting-edge technology in an array of areas. Across their main sites in Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA, their research ranges from nuclear defense and homeland and global security to innovative work in biotechnology, environmental preservation, energy, and cyber security. Webb has 22 years of experience. She began her career in 2001.

Before joining Sandia National Labs, Webb was an associate vice president of human resources at UNM Foundation and before that a benefits specialist at the University of New Mexico. Earlier in her career she worked with Robert Half, International as a branch manager. Webb graduated from The University of New Mexico with an undergraduate degree.

Brittany Westling
President / Owner, Team b. Strategy+

Brittany Westling started Team b. in 2011. Team b. Strategy + is a military spouse woman-owned small business founded in 2011. They combine strategic planning and creative ideas to help clients and partners achieve their goals. They specialize in defining objectives, devising strategies, and implementing plans. Team b. is a team of professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in private industry, the public sector, and military service. They are diverse and creative and take an agile approach to business that emphasizes relationships and results specializing in strategy, communication, marketing, design, training, and government relations.

Over the past years, Brittany has created a company that is bursting with knowledge and talent, using persistence, hard work, and a stubborn streak. While her years of experience in strategy, communications, marketing, and PR can be described as broad and random, it has given her a Swiss Army Knife toolset that can be utilized in almost any situation. On the corporate side, she has built Team b. from the ground up. From bookkeeping and legal to recruiting and IT, she has done it all. Clients love her ability to connect people and information through communication and strategic engagement. Over the years she has learned enough to know 'you don't know what you don't know' - and she will remind you if need be. Her sense of curiosity leads her and her clients to creative solutions to complex problems. 

Kiely Wilkerson
President & CEO, Strategic Engineering Solutions

Kiely Wilkerson is the President and CEO of Strategic Engineering Solutions (SES), a firm that provides innovative solutions to cutting-edge research and development efforts for the Department of Defense, White House, Intelligence Community, and R&D organizations. Kiely is a recognized leader in the industry and was selected as the 2014 DARPA Contractor of the Year.

Kiely ran two of the largest events ever held at the Pentagon and was awarded 40 under 40 by both the Northern Virginia Leadership Council and Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. As a believer in “to whom much is given, much is required,” Kiely devotes talent and treasure to numerous nonprofits. Additionally, her efforts have earned SES to be recognized as one of the best places to work by the Washington Business Journal.