IIhiana Rojas Saldana: Charting Her Career Path to Success

Boston, MA — Ilhiana Rojas Saldana is a Transformation Strategy Coach who approaches career advancement and leadership development from the inside out. Ilhiana’s career journey spans 20 years and several executive positions in Fortune 500 companies such as P&G and Hasbro. She is known for her transformational leadership approach. A specialist in global branding and marketing with a chemical engineering background, Ilhiana knows turns in career paths can be unexpected. “If I could give advice to

Bethany Van Delft: Boston’s Queen of Comedy

Boston, MA — Boston’s queen of comedy Bethany Van Delft made history in 2019 as the first woman of color (and woman!) to be crowned ‘Best Comic’ by Boston Magazine. “It was crazy to receive that news. I was so surprised,“ she exclaims. “I am proud of my progress and felt like things [really] do change in little increments; it’s exciting!” Van Delft understands that comedy is subjective and that as a female comic of color not everyone is going to be a supporter of her stand-up, but chooses not t

LIFTED Podcast Returns this December with New Content

One of Massachusetts’ most inspiring Latino leaders Eric S. Rivas returns with another season of LIFTED Podcast (Living Independently Through Educated Decisions)! The LIFTED podcast, now in its second year, educates local listeners on financial awareness and professional development through engaging conversations with local leaders, community stewards, and professionals from all backgrounds. “LIFTED podcast is about connecting our listeners with perspectives from successful people in their own

Kurt Faustin: Living in Your Gift

Sought-after public speaker and entrepreneur Kurt Faustin shares his message to empower young minds to step into their gifts. “I’m loud and committed to consistently speak the truth at a top-notch level,” Faustin explains. “My goal is to help people who are afraid of becoming, or transitioning into, the best versions of themselves. They may not know how too, and that’s where TriUmph comes in, to open new doors for leveling up onto pathways of success.” Kurt was a contributor to the Huffington P

Neddy Perez: A Master of Collaboration

Hunt Valley, MD — Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and Talent Management COE at McCormick & Company Nereida (Neddy) Perez charged up about the future and ready to lead the diversity strategy refresh at McCormick. Perez makes it her mission to level the playing field within the organizations that she has worked for. “One of the goals for Diversity and Inclusion, especially in today’s marketplace is to attract and retain top talent,” she explains. Since joining McCormick in February 201

Ava M. Mason: Promoting Inclusion in S.T.E.M. for San Diego Youth

San Diego, CA — Inspired by her daughter’s participation in an engineering summer camp prototyping solar-powered cars, Ava M. Mason founded Treobytes to expand S.T.E.M. career education in her neighborhood. “I envisioned helping parents and their children prepare for opportunities in S.T.E.M within the global economy,” says Mason. Graduating with a degree in Management Technology and Biochemistry from Purdue University, Mason has worked for startups and Fortune 500 companies. Her career trajec

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz: Ascending Above Adversity

Naperville, IL — As an entrepreneur, author, international speaker, philanthropist, pilot, and visionary, Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an empowerment pioneer in creating new ways to unlock personal and professional potential, and she is inspired to change the world. “As CEO of JJR Marketing Solutions and Fig Factor Media, it is my mission to take your business to ‘ascending’ mode, whether in public relations, content and creative, or marketing solutions,” explains the Make-It-Happen Director. In

Margarita Polanco: Building Pathways for Community Empowerment

Boston, MA — “At Suffolk Construction, we are creating a culture of inclusivity worth being proud of,” Margarita Polanco, Trade Partner Diversity Officer at the Boston-based construction firm. “In my role, I am honored to build pathways to success and help empower local residents to build bolder and stronger communities by hiring and partnering with people from our neighborhoods. No one should feel pushed out of their neighborhoods.” As Trade Partner Diversity Officer, Polanco optimizes and max

Startup Spotlight: SOUL MUCH

Written and Interviewed by: Karla Amador When you’re dining out at a restaurant, have you ever wondered what happens to the grains left unused at the end of the day? While working behind the scenes in the food industry, Reyanne Mustafa got to see first-hand as, day after day, the kitchen’s trash receptacles were filled with perfectly untouched, edible food. With true entrepreneurial spirit, she saw an opportunity and decided to do something about it.

Carolina Alarco: Think Globally, Act Locally

Vancouver, CA — When it comes to breaking into a global market for orphan drugs, Carolina Alarco’s go-to market approach is driven by a passion to help patients around the world who suffer from rare diseases. Carolina Alarco, President of Global Marketing and International Markets at Novelion Therapeutics, establishes new markets around the world to treat diseases, such as generalized lipodystrophy and homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. When asked how she breaks into global biopharmaceut

Dr. Cherie Butts: Leveraging the Powers of Expertise and Collaboration at Biogen

Cambridge, MA — Cellular immunologist, Cherie Butts, PhD, is a medical director, leading clinical trials in multiple sclerosis at Biogen (Cambridge, MA). Dr. Butts’ expertise builds upon a foundation of experience in academia, government, and industry, to shape biomedical research and medicine. “As part of my work at Biogen, I collaborate with biologists, engineers, and a variety of life sciences professionals, in developing meaningful therapies for patients with debilitating conditions,” she e

Make It Happen! Youth Author Anaya Willabus Publishes Fourth Book

Brooklyn, NY — At the tender age of eight, Anaya Lee Willabus made history as the youngest author of a chapter book in the country! Her debut, The Day Mohan Found His Confidence was inspired by her journey to her parents’ native homeland of Guyana in 2014. “My parents wanted my siblings and me to connect with our culture,” she explains. Anaya, who is now twelve-years-old remembers how it was a challenge to convince her parents at seven-years-old, that she was serious about becoming a published

Bernette Dawson: How Entrepreneurs Are M.A.D.E.

Boston, MA — Bernette Dawson, founder and co-owner of MADE organics, never anticipated she would become an entrepreneur. She discovered her new calling shortly after learning that her son would be prescribed a harsh topical ointment to treat his rare skin condition. From humble beginnings, Bernette’s skin care products grew in popularity. With the encouragement of her friends, she made the switch and began distributing MADE Organics online. “I never thought of turning my homemade products into

Daisy Auger-Dominguez: Revving the Engine of D&I Innovation

New York, NY — Daisy Auger-Dominguez is a culture game changer in industries ranging from finance, entertainment, media, and technology. She leads with a diversity and inclusion (D&I) approach to talent by beginning with the company’s culture. “When I think of building and sustaining inclusive workplaces, I center the experience of the employees, which is really the most important asset of any organization and the engine of innovation.” Her goal, she explained, is to maximize human capital and

Max Faingezicht: Prioritizing Digital Entrepreneurship

Boston, MA — Max Faingezicht is the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of ThriveHive, a digital marketing solutions company that helps small to medium-sized businesses increase sales through Guided Marketing. Max is responsible for overseeing the data science, systems, and engineering teams to make sure these operations working cohesively and effectively. “Our mission is to guide businesses to achieve extraordinary local marketing results. To deliver on that promise we build interconnected softwar

Dr. Shanna B. Tiayon: Inspiring Wellness

Because of the fast-paced lifestyles and the many demands that come with them, today’s employees may be burning out and not knowing it. In order to keep up in today’s market, it’s important for individuals to take a step away and refresh themselves, to become their best selves in their work, in their personal life, and in the balance between the two. Employees often present themselves as professionally successful, while experiencing large internal amounts of stress and the associated physical, m

Tonie Leatherberry: Cultivating Leaders

As Board Relations Leader for Risk and Financial Advisory Services at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Tonie Leatherberry is responsible for helping company officers and board member leaders to steer and foster inclusive board governance. In a recent forum at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas, with participants ranging from CEO’s to Board members from major companies, including tech financiers, chemical and life sciences industries, and more, Leatherberry described her leadership style as “cultivat

Sandra Garcia Lowery: 3C's to Marketing Success, Connection - Culture - Colloquialism

Before becoming the founder of Encounter Marketing and Public Relations (EMPR), for eleven years Sandra Garcia Lowery strategized media sales and marketing plans for brands including Toyota, L’Oreal, Almay, Estee Lauder, SnapChat, Apple, Verizon Wireless, Sephora, Pepsi, and American Express to name a few on behalf of media partners. Early this year, Lowery took a leap of faith and stepped away from Corporate America to pursue her vision as a female founder, something she had longed for. When a

Georgianna Meléndez: Inspiring A Generation of D&I Defenders

Boston, MA — Georgianna Meléndez is the Vice Chancellor and Title IX Coordinator at the University of Massachusetts Boston Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In her dual role, she is responsible for overseeing the university’s D&I strategy to sustain a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors alike. “The university is a microcosm of our world; over 140 countries are represented in our institution. In other words, we’re all a piece of the puzzl

Elissa Garza: Transforming Passion into Professional Lifestyle

San Diego, CA — Elissa Garza is the founder of Style Wire Inc., a social media marketing and consulting services company and lifestyle blog. In 2014, Style Wire Inc. began as a hobby for Garza to share her love of fashion, adventure, and marketing with readers around the globe. When her blog sky-rocketed to 20,000 followers, things began to shift dramatically for Garza, and local businesses started noticing. Today, Garza uses her unique social platform to promote local fashion, offer event cove
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