The UMass Lowell Women's Leadership Conference and Conversations Series are committed to providing focused, relevant and practical programming to help all of us lead in today's fast-changing work environment.
Barrier Breakers: March 22
A Conversation with Jacquie Moloney and Marcie Williams
Topics both for the in-person conference and the virtual conversations sessions include:
Advancing your career
And so much more!
Why You Should Attend
The UMass Lowell Women's Leadership Conference features a full day dedicated to the power and potential of women. This in-person event offers informative programming, inspiring speakers and numerous networking opportunities.
Building on the success of our conference, the virtual Women's Leadership Conversations series brings together top experts for targeted sessions on important topics. Free to attend, these interactive conversations allow you to join from wherever you are.
Feedback from past participants tells the story:
I was very nervous to come here. It was my first conference, ever. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Everything was incredibly organized, and everyone was incredibly kind. I am glad that I came.
Love, love, love this conference.
Please keep doing it for as long as you can - I've found it helpful in so many ways at different years in my professional career.
Copyright 2022, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lindsey Andella is a storyteller, marketer, and event planner for local community-based non-profits. Focused on aligning people's passions with ways they can create a positive impact in their community, Lindsey works to promote a culture of philanthropy through ethical fundraising. She is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Young Professional Award for her work raising funding and volunteer support at Lowell Humane Society and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell.
Irina Astashkevich, Ph.D.
Irina Astashkevich, Ph.D. was born in Moscow. In April 2013 she received her Ph.D. in Jewish Studies and History from Brandeis University. Since 2013, she has been a Visiting Research Associate at Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, Brandeis University. In 2018, Dr. Astashkevich published the book "Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in Pogroms 1917 - 1921". While continuing research on gender violence, she joined the new online branch of the Russian School of Mathematics (RSM) in 2017. Since 2021, Dr. Astashkevich has served as Principal of RSM Online Elementary School, the largest branch in the RSM system, serving three thousand students.
Diana has spent most of her career as a product focused marketing executive with extensive experience in product creation and execution within the sportswear industry, most notable for the past 16 years with Reebok International. In addition to her vast knowledge of product creation and go-to market planning, Diana also spent time working as a global strategy lead, working directly with markets to ensure flawless execution of the Reebok brand strategy. Diana is a proven, results oriented leader, driving successful cross functional teams throughout her career. Most recently Diana led the Reebok global kids footwear business, establishing notable partnerships during that time with organizations including the Special Olympics, as well as brand partners such as Hasbro and Disney. Diana lives in Melrose, MA with her husband, Chris, and their two children, Alexandra and Connor.
Marcie R. Black, Ph.D.
Marcie Black is CEO and co-founder of ASG. Black brings to the company expertise in building strong teams, managing development projects, patents, IP strategy, encouraging a healthy company culture, cost modeling and running a startup. In addition, she has a strong technical background in the areas of electronic materials, optics, semiconductors, solar cells/photovoltaics, batteries, renewable energy, nanotechnology, device design and opto-electronics. Prior to founding ASG, Black was the president and co-founder of Bandgap Engineering, which focused on lowering the cost of solar electricity through black silicon or silicon nanowire solar cells. She has also worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Motorola. Black has a Ph.D. from MIT in electrical engineering.
Renee opened her first private piano studio in Pennsylvania in 2007. Since relocating to the Boston Metro West Area in 2012, the studio has expanded into Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio, a team of instructors offering more than 25 different instruments to over 520 students. Renee currently serves as the Chair of the Sudbury Massachusetts Area Piano Guild Chapter and serves as a judge on the American College of Musicians/National Guild of Piano Teachers Board of Judges. She has successfully prepared students for their National Piano Guild Auditions since 2008 and became a Hall of Fame member of the Nation Piano Guild in 2019. In 2020, M. Steinert & Son of Boston endorsed Renee as a Steinway & Sons Top Teacher. Renee also supports small business owners by serving as a leader for Pepperlane - a mom entrepreneur business group, and volunteers for the www.instrumentalangels.org - a nonprofit that upcycles musical instruments for children and military veterans in need. Renee holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in Education from The University of Toledo.
Chantal Bray is a senior executive with 25 years of experience across the financial services, banking, insurance, and retirement industries in 6 different countries across the globe. She has held roles in risk, corporate sustainability, retirement benefits, corporate strategy, M&A, new business start-up, and is an actuary by background. Chantal joined MassMutual in January 2019 in her current role, reporting to the Chief Risk Officer. She also has served on boards.
Nancy Briefs is a strategic business leader with extensive experience translating technology from academic centers, creating value, driving IP strategy and launching products in diverse life science companies. She also possesses deep general management and fundraising expertise, having raised over $500 million in equity, including an IPO. Briefs is a seasoned CEO and independent director who brings more than 35 years of global leadership and entrepreneurship to the life science community. She is an innovator with deep experience across devices, biopharma and digital health technology. Prior to co-founding AltrixBio, Briefs most recently served as chief executive officer and co-founder of Infobionic, a cloud-based arrhythmia monitoring software company.
Dr. Constanza Cabello is an equity-minded leader committed to strategically positioning organizations to advance equity internally and with their constituents. With foundations in leadership, facilitation and counseling she has spent the last 10+ years working with groups on their goals to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Connie joined State Street in August 2021 as the inaugural Vice President for Equity Programs on the Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Team. She is a driving force behind State Street's efforts to become a more equitable organization. Connie applies an equity lens to initiatives and programs and leads the development and implementation of strategies to build greater equity related to human capital and business practices, services, and products.
Connie is an immigrant, Chilena, and a first-generation college graduate. These dimensions of her identity shape her work and life. She holds a PhD in organizational leadership studies from Northeastern University, a master's in counseling: student development in higher education from Central Connecticut State University, and a BS in social policy and planning from the University of Connecticut.
Liza Casella, Senior Director, Business Development and Strategy for Casella Waste Systems, Inc., is responsible for driving Casella's organic growth and development strategy. Liza brings a new and youthful perspective to the solid waste and resource management industry. She is a champion of change, leading and supporting strategic initiatives to evolve the Casella's brand, position, and capabilities.
Liza serves on various boards and chapters for the National Waste & Recycling Association including the Massachusetts Chapter Steering Committee, Women's Council, and she chairs the Future Industry Leaders Association. She is a recipient of the Waste360 40 Under 40 award. Liza serves on the Board of Directors for Goodwill of Northern New England. She holds a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University. Beyond her work, Liza enjoys spending time with her family – husband Will, and two sons William and Charlie – on the water or in the mountains.
Abby Chin is the Boston Celtics courtside reporter and studio host for NBC Sports Boston. While in her 10th season covering one of the most storied franchises in professional sports, Chin also served as an on-site reporter for NBC Sports at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
A graduate of the University of Colorado, where she earned a B.S. in broadcast journalism, Chin began her career as a production assistant for Monday Night Football at ESPN, moving on to become an on-air reporter and host in Alabama and then for NBC Sports Portland, where she covered the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and PAC-12 football.
Adeja Crearer '17, '18
Kelsey is the Director of Marketing at the Boston Red Sox, overseeing the organization's social media strategy, experiential marketing efforts, and digital presence. She joined the Red Sox organization in 2012 as an in-game marketing representative for fan club programs while completing her degree at Emerson College. Since then, Kelsey joined the social media team, and eventually came to manage all digital marketing efforts. Today Kelsey can be seen at Fenway working on anything from mascot appearances to Instagram stories.
Denise R. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Denise Dunlap, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in global strategic management, innovation and entrepreneurship at the Manning School of Business. She is the director of the Biotech East program for Ph.D. and postdoctorates in life sciences, a member of the executive board of the Massachusetts Medical Development Center and a principal investigator for the Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies, an NIH-funded collaboration between UMass Lowell and UMass Chan Medical School. Dunlap is best known for her research on breakthrough innovations in the global biopharmaceutical and med-tech industries. Her work has been presented at well-respected academic conferences and international audiences such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Her research has been published in the Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, the Journal of Product Innovation Management, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of International Management and Research Policy, among other journals.
Innovator. Entrepreneur. Educator. Nicole is Director of Development at MITRE Corporation where she creates enterprise level strategy for learning and growth. Nicole previously led strategy and operations for the New England Venture Capital Association's Hack.Diversity. Before joining the NEVCA, Nicole built Boston based startup - Savanna Technologies. Nicole steered the company through the MassChallenge, Boston accelerator and as an Alumni In Residence, Nicole was Chair of the Women Founder's Network. Prior to joining Savanna, she worked as a strategy consultant and has extensive experience in healthcare and finance. She enjoys teaching Economics at Harvard College and previously taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Nicole is a contributing author to a book on personal finance and has authored research on economic development in conflict environments. Nicole was also recently appointed as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the state of Massachusetts.
Nicole is a graduate of Tuskegee University and holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Jennifer Griffin, Ph.D.
Jennifer Griffin, Ph.D. is a Partner in the Cambridge office of early-stage venture capital firm, Mission BioCapital where she focuses on fund strategy and investor relations. Jennifer has spent the last 10+ years accelerating early-stage life science companies through direct investing, as well as creating ecosystems for them to thrive. As a VP at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), she designed and executed the Commonwealth's investment strategy with a particular focus on developing underserved and underrepresented markets and talent within the industry. Before this, she served as a management and strategy consultant at Back Bay Life Science Advisors. She began her career as a licensing professional at MIT's Technology Licensing Office. Jennifer holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Henrietta Isaboke is the executive director for World Farmers Inc., a non-profit organization assisting immigrant and refugee farmers with access to land and business development for their farming enterprises. Previously, Isaboke spent over 10 years working at her family's farming business, where she was responsible for production and marketing of produce. She also has more than a decade of experience working in the non-profit health care field. She graduated from UMass Lowell in 2011 with a B.S. in criminal justice and earned a master's degree in public health from Southern New Hampshire University in 2021. Isaboke has a passion for food sovereignty in Massachusetts and in educating the next generation of farmers on how to get into farming and run successful farming enterprises. Her passion in farming stems from her upbringing in an agrarian society in Kenya, from which she migrated with her family in 2001.
Charmain F. Jackman, Ph.D.
Dr. Jackman is a Harvard-trained licensed Psychologist with 23+ years in the mental health field. She is the founder and CEO of InnoPsych, Inc., an organization on a mission to disrupt racial inequities in mental health. She also consults with organizations on topics including mental health, racial trauma, and employee wellbeing. She has won several awards for her impactful work including the 2021 American Psychological Association's (APA) Citizen Psychologist Award and City of Boston's 2021 Innovator of The Year award. Dr. Jackman has been featured on national media outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, PBS, and the Boston Globe.
Katerina A. Kalabokis
Katerina A. Kalabokis, the founding partner at Kalabokis Law, concentrates her practice in all aspects of estate planning and domestic relations. Prior to founding the firm, Kalabokis worked in a distinguished family law firm in the Boston area and then as in-house counsel at a large corporation. While attending law school, Kalabokis was chosen to be a Rule 3:03 student attorney at the school's nationally ranked Family Law Clinic, where she represented individuals in domestic violence and restraining order cases. She also wrote her first publication and was awarded for her pro bono work. Kalabokis is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Lowell (B.A., Psychology 2014 | B.S., Criminal Justice 2014) and Suffolk University Law School (J.D. 2017). In addition, she has been admitted to practice law in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She holds membership in various professional organizations, and is an elected member of the Town of Tyngsboro's Board of Selectmen.
Elaine Keough is the executive director of digital strategy at UMass Lowell. She has spent the majority of her 25-year career telling the stories of students in public higher education. Beginning her career in public and media relations, Keough moved into the digital space 18 years ago and has expanded her team to include web, social media, videography and digital communications. She believes in supporting her staff and colleagues as people first and employees second. Keough earned a master's in marketing and research analytics from Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA in english and psychology from the University of New Hampshire. As a wife and mother of three, Keough benefited from strong mentors early in her career and is always looking for ways to pay that forward.
Ann Kronrod, Ph.D.
Dr. Kronrod is a member of the faculty in the Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at the Manning School of Business/UMass Lowell. Ann integrates her research and teaching with pro bono consulting to start-ups and non-profits on consumer insights from market research, marketing planning, strategy and tactics. Her international personal and business experience and mastery of several languages helps her develop creative approaches to international business.
Renu Kurien Bostwick
Renu Kurien Bostwick is a mom, an engineer, and a volunteer with Mothers Out Front, which seeks to protect all children from the effects of the climate crisis. She holds degrees in electrical engineering from MIT and Duke University. She has worked as a software engineer in a male-dominated field for over 25 years, observing and valuing the different skills and instincts women bring to their work. As a working mother of two grown daughters, she is aware of all the ways our society falls short in valuing girls and women, and the tremendous strengths they bring to all of life's efforts. As a Girl Scout leader for 8 years, Renu rejoiced in seeing even the shy girls learn that they have a voice, can share their opinions, and most importantly can make a difference in the world around them. Renu has been involved with Mothers Out Front since 2015, first with the Bedford chapter where she lives and then with the state organization. She currently co-coordinates the organization's Massachusetts Leadership Team.
Amy LaBelle is the founder and winemaker at LaBelle Winery. Formerly a corporate attorney, her lifelong interest in wine led her to open LaBelle Winery to pursue her passion for winemaking.
With LaBelle Winery developing into a destination winery with three locations, Amherst, Portsmouth, and Derry, Amy has slowly realized her dream: to focus full time on making world-class wine in New Hampshire. Building LaBelle Winery has taught Amy so much, and she's evolved from the many lessons learned along the way. She's emerged as a strong leader and mentor, a certified winemaker, farmer, producer of farm-to-table food, innovative entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
Amy is serious about her mission to provide customers with the very best culinary and wine experience, as her philosophy is to treat guests of LaBelle Winery like family. Her ultimate vision is to give back to the community through charitable giving in fulfilling, impactful and meaningful ways. Amy is also the founder of Empowering Angels, a charitable organization that empowers girls and young women to embrace the possibility of entrepreneurship.
Her formula for success is love of learning, dedication, integrity, love of craft, innovation, and passion. Amy's major success is growing LaBelle Winery with her husband, Cesar Arboleda, while also balancing family life with their two sons.
Mai Le is a serial entrepreneur and published author. She's the CEO and co-founder of Haystack Dx, a medical device start-up, whose mission is to improve the lives of those suffering from nerve and muscle disorders through better and early detection and monitoring of diseases. Since graduating from Lawrence High, Mai headed off to Bowdoin College and Princeton University. Before her entrepreneurial journey, Mai worked at the World Bank, the Social Security Administration, and Abt Associates, and travelled to Africa and the Near East on assignments. Mai's career path has been a zigzag since completing graduate studies. She spent most of her 20s saving the world in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In her 30s through now, she has been building products and companies in software, farm to table, and life science.
Izzy Lowell, M.D.
Dr. Izzy Lowell grew up in Massachusetts, where she attended Williams College, followed by the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine. She moved to Atlanta in 2013 and joined the faculty at Emory University, where she started the Gender Clinic at Emory. Lowell is driven by a sense of fairness and equality and realized that there are very limited options for trans people to get medical care in the Southeast, so she founded Queer Med, a telemedicine practice serving transgender and nonbinary people in 14 states.
As the Director of Programs for the non-profit Girls Get Going, Matilda believes that women's empowerment is more than just giving women and girls the opportunity to engage in the world. It is about equipping them with the tools to succeed. Creating real agency for women of color is founded in establishing a community to allow for everyone to rise to their fullest potential. Matilda has found her purpose in helping young women find theirs. Matilda currently serves as the Program Administrator in the Office of Community Engagement, Equity, Belonging at the Harvard Law School.
Matilda holds a BS in biology and political science from the UMass Lowell. Matilda is a current master's in international relations degree candidate at Harvard University Extension School.
Alex McAdams (she/her) is an activist and artist who has worked in the nonprofit space for years as a content producer, advocate and director of development. Currently, she is the director of development & operations at the Gender Equality Law Center—a Brooklyn, New York-based legal advocacy organization committed to gender and racial justice. She also heads up grant writing and development efforts at other organizations, including the global anti-war NGO World BEYOND War, and the visual artists advocacy organization The Clark Hulings Foundation. McAdams has also fundraised for several large-scale film and video projects and has produced, shot and edited multimedia content for organizations including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Carnegie Corp., Communication Workers of America, US AID, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the Brooklyn Museum, among others. With a B.A. in women and gender studies from the University of Vermont and a J.D. with a concentration in equality and civil rights from the City University of New York Law School, McAdams is deeply committed to issues of social justice. She is also a painter who believes in the power of art to shift cultural and political landscapes.
Pascha leads and manages student-focused engagements, including summer fellowship placements in mayor's offices, city participation in experiential field courses, student capstone thesis projects for cities, matching students to ongoing initiative projects, and advancing initiatives that strengthen the pipeline of Harvard students who work in and with cities.
She is a skilled student affairs professional who brings expertise in student program design, equitable governance, and managing stakeholder collaborations. Pascha previously held directorships at Barnard College, New York University, and Manhattanville College, where her experiences encompassed leading teams, implementing a global online tool for student engagement and advisor support, creating leadership development programs, and using assessment data to inform organizational strategies and student programming.
Pascha has a Master in Economic and Social Development of Regions and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from UMass Lowell, where she began her career in higher education.
Marie is the President and Executive Director for the Capital Network (TCN), a non-profit educating early-stage founders on fundraising with education, mentorship and access to a network of investors. In 2016, Marie Founded TCN's Female Founders Fellowship Program to engage and support more female founders through TCN's resources, in an effort to help more women 'Own Their Raise'. To date it has supported 75+ female founders, (50% BIPOC) 43% who have then raised over $50 Million+. In 2020 TCN created the Investment & Inclusion Series in collaboration with the VC Inclusion Lab out of Brown University to look at ways of diversifying VC and Angel portfolios. Marie serves as a judge & mentor for several accelerators and community organizations.
Marie has previously worked with Non-profits focused on international women's rights and global citizenship. She also worked with innovation consultancies helping Fortune 500s and small non-profits alike solve key issues through a creative process. Originally from France & the UK, she spent some time in the Middle East before moving to the US where she became a 'New American' in 2019.
UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney is a national leader in innovation in higher education. The first woman to lead the university since its founding in 1894, she was recognized in 2017 as one of seven prominent "Women Who Mean Business" by the Boston Business Journal. Since that year, UMass Lowell has been ranked in the top 15 of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe Magazine and the Commonwealth Institute.
In her 37 years with UMass Lowell—where she also earned two degrees—Moloney has served in a number of roles, including professor, researcher, dean and executive vice chancellor.
Tamara Montag-Smit, Ph.D.
Tamara is an Assistant Professor of Management in the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell. She researches timely micro-level workplace topics such as employee creativity, pay transparency, negotiation and work-life balance/satisfaction. With a PhD in industrial and organizational psychology, her work focuses on individual perceptions, attitudes and beliefs. She also teaches courses on Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. She is an expert in multiple areas of human resource management including talent acquisition practices, designing and evaluating effective training and development programs, and designing equitable pay systems. Prior to a career in academia, Tamara worked as a Leadership and Development consultant and a Training and Development Specialist.
As the Executive Director of Project LEARN, LZ has leveraged over $11 million in funding for programs that prepare young people for college, career and life. Prior to joining Project LEARN, LZ was the Director of Cultural Affairs & Special Events for the City of Lowell, and then worked with Boston Global Communications & Performance to provide management training in strategy, design thinking and women in leadership for global companies in Paris, London and Dubai. Passionate about civic leadership and building cultural vitality, LZ is most energized when collaborating on programs that range from developing large-scale murals in Lowell to expanding Early College access for young people. LZ holds a BA from the University of Washington, an MFA from Emerson College, and completed a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard's Graduate School of Design in 2013.
Kemi Olugemo, M.D., FAAN
Dr. Kemi Olugemo is a neuroscience researcher and health care advocate. She is currently head of clinical development at Laronde. After earning her undergraduate degree in clinical laboratory science from UMass Lowell, Olugemo went on to earn a medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Following a neurology residency and an additional fellowship in neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis at the Maryland Center for MS, Olugemo practiced as a community neurologist and then rejoined the pharmaceutical industry, holding progressive roles in clinical development, global medical strategy and business development at Parexel, Questor and Ionis Pharmaceuticals. Her current role at Laronde is focused on advancing a new class of RNA medicines for all patients and having a global impact on access to innovative lifesaving therapies. Olugemo is the current director of communications at Women of Color in Pharma and is a board member at Watermark, the Leadership Council at CNS Summit and the scientific committee of the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology.
Catherine W. Popper
Catherine Popper is currently an early stage Investor, Advisor and Board Member. She is an active angel investor and serves on the board of Launchpad Venture Group, the largest early stage investment group in New England. She is currently an advisor and board observer for Zippity and a board member for Beeyonder. She has a passion for supporting women entrepreneurial founders through investing, advising and mentoring. She is a Mastermind/Mentor at the Babson College Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership. She is a Business Mentor for the EforAll Accelerator Program in Roxbury. She is a member of the Tufts Presidents Council, the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board and the Women's Impact Initiative at Tufts. She is also the board chair at Potencia, a non-profit organization that promotes adult learning for immigrants. She recently joined the deCordova Museum Advisory Board and the Advisory Council and Enterprise Committee of the Trustees of Reservations. Over her 30-year career, she worked as an executive at large and small companies including Fidelity Investments, Mercer HR Consulting, Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), Towers Perrin and WFD Consulting. Ms. Popper received her B.S. in math from Tufts University and her MBA at Boston University. She lives in Lincoln, MA and is married with 2 adult children.
Karyn has over 20 years of experience overseeing various fiscal, personnel, administrative and procurement services that support businesses in achieving superior performance and customer service. Karyn is currently the Executive Director of Business Operations for Facilities Management at UML. She has served in varying elected and volunteer opportunities including: a 9-year member of the Tyngsborough Board of Selectmen; a 4-year member of the Tyngsborough School Committee, a 6-year member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board (current Chair), and a 3-year board member at Lowell Catholic High School (current).
Clara has oversight of the campus nondiscrimination and inclusion matters guarantee under the law and the university's policies and procedures. As the Title IX and ADA Coordinator, she is the designated agent of UMass Lowell with primary responsibility for leading and overseeing the application and review of university policies and practices and for guiding efforts to conceptualize, define, assess, nurture and cultivate goal in achieving an open, diverse and inclusive learning, living and working environment while ensuring compliance with Title IX, Title VII, VAWA, ADA and other state and federal levels.
She also provides consultation for successful institutional diversity and inclusion outcomes in direct alignment with strategic priorities and provides leadership in developing, connecting and partnering with the community in presenting UMass Lowell as a great place to work.
Reynolds has a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University.
Denise I. Saltojanes
Denise Saltojanes is managing director and deal flow lead with Golden Seeds-Boston and an early stage investor with NuFund Venture Group.
With a broad background in medical and technology development and financial analysis, she holds a multifaceted skill set from her engineering-based finance career of 25-plus years. As ops research chief with the U.S. Air Force, Saltojanes successfully modeled and defended $6 billion of congressionally approved appropriations and was responsible for numerous financial agreements regarding technology transactions with America's foreign allies. While working as vice president of investment banking at Medical Capital Advisors, she was an integral part of the firm's merger and acquisition team and led the valuation process. As a member of the founding team for Cambridge Polymer Group, she led marketing, financial strategy, new business development and licensing agreements. Saltojanes has a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA in finance from Babson College.
Yana is an accomplished consultant and coach with +20 years of global experience developing world-class leadership and steering organizational change. She is also a part-time professor at the Management and Organizational Department at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University. Yana previously led global leadership and organizational development at Intralinks and Intel corporations. She holds an MBA and BA in business administration and communication from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and earned her Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Williams James College in Massachusetts.
Adeja Shivonne is a producer at CNN in New York. A producer by night, content creator by day, Adeja covers breaking news overnight for CNN's New Day Show with John Berman and Brianna Keilar. She collaborates with brands to produce content on social media during the day. Among many other things Adeja uses her platform to help motivate men and women to show up as their best selves everyday by focusing on their wellness.
Adeja received her BA in English journalism with minors in digital media and political science at UMass Lowell. As a student, she covered many events including the 2016 Democratic National convention and the 2017 presidential inauguration as the school's first ever social media coordinator, helping to launch the university's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. Adeja was the 2017 student commencement speaker and later returned to receive her masters in peace and conflict studies in 2018. Adeja is also a member of the College of Fine arts, Humanities and Social Sciences advisory board. Adeja is a first generation Jamaican-American and credits most of her success to her parents, family, and her many mentors at UMass Lowell.
Studies towards her degree in Environmental Engineering at UMass Lowell. Competed with several teams in several engineering competitions such as the NASA Deep Space Food Challenge. Serves as CEO of the Arrakis Terrarium Project, which is currently at the second phase of the Deep Space Food Challenge and is preparing to commercialize their product â€“ a grow-it-anywhere food farm. Previously worked for an NSF research project (with Prof. Pradeep Kurup, UMass Lowell) investigating heavy metals and disseminating scientific discoveries to the public.
Dr. Amy Smalarz has worked in the public health, health care, consulting and teaching industries for over 20 years. Whether it be policy development, evaluating performance and effectiveness in delivery of healthcare services or engaging her students in the classroom, her focus has been on defining value and maximizing community impact. Most recently, Amy was a Professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Public Health at UMass Lowell. Amy is now Bureau Chief, Public Health Service, Policy, Performance and Equity in the Department of Public Health Services in New Hampshire.
Meg Sobkowicz Kline, Ph.D.
During her undergraduate studies at Columbia University, Dr. Sobkowicz Kline discovered her interest in human impacts on the planet through a summer course on ecology at the Biosphere II facility in southern Arizona. She worked as a field engineer in the petroleum industry and in the municipal water treatment industry in New Mexico and Colorado before returning to school to complete her doctorate with Professor John Dorgan in the area of renewable polymer nanocomposites. Following her graduate studies, she accepted a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland to research polymeric materials for photovoltaic applications. She joined the Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell in 2011.
Erica Steckler, Ph.D.
Erica L. Steckler, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of management in the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell, where she is also co-director of the Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Her recent research focuses on stakeholder perceptions of organizational authenticity within the global domains of sustainability and corporate responsibility. The recipient of the 2015 Best Dissertation Award by the Academy of Management Social Issues in Management Division, her work has been published in the Journal of Business of Ethics, Business and Society Review, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Humanistic Management Journal and in edited volumes. Currently a research fellow at the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University, Steckler is also the founding president of the U.S. Humanistic Management Association and sits on the advisory board of the International Humanistic Management Association. She received her doctorate from the Department of Management and Organization at Boston College.
Kathleen Tullie most recently was head of social purpose at Reebok International and founder and executive director of BOKS. Founded in 2009, BOKS is a physical activity program designed to reverse the public health crisis by getting kids active and establishing a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. Tullie has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, CBS, Huffington Post, NESN and NPR, and gave a TedX talk in 2017. Family Circle magazine has listed Tullie as one of the 20 Most Influential Moms. Prior to founding BOKS, she had an 18-year career in real estate finance. A graduate of Western Michigan University and The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where she earned her MBA, Tullie has spent her career in Japan, Scotland and the U.S. and currently lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children and two puppies, her favorite running partners.
Aileen M. Turnbull
Aileen Turnbull leads the corporate Quality Management System group, the central Commercial Quality organization and the SUMMIT program team. Her team is responsible for preparing and facilitating Enterprise-wide Quality Reviews for the J&J SCLT and she provides clear direction where management attention is required and translates outcomes into improvements to the quality systems processes and to products and services. She oversees the LRFP& business planning processes in alignment with the business segments across the Q&C Organization. In her 19 years at Johnson & Johnson, Aileen has held various quality positions of increasing responsibilities supporting commercial businesses and corporate functions in several operating companies in MD, Supply Chain and Corporate sectors.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Aileen served in R&D and Plant Quality roles with Tyco Healthcare, currently known as Medtronic. She earned her bachelor's degree in engineering from UMass Lowell and an MBA from Boston College.
As Chief Operating Officer, Elaine is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization in all services provided in day programming, residential supports, employment, housing, recovery supports and outpatient behavioral health. These services support people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed and productive lives. Elaine also provides oversight to the Quality Assurance and Facilities Departments. Her career with Bridgewell spans more than 35 years. She began as a direct support professional and advanced into numerous management positions within the company, in program operations, facilities and administration. Elaine earned a BS from Fitchburg State College and holds housing specialist certifications for HUD funded programs in Section 8 rent calculation and eligibility. Outside of Bridgewell, Elaine is a member of Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS and the North Shore HOME Consortium. She has also served as the President of the Lynn Continuum of Care and Massachusetts Bay Self Insurance Group.
Natalie White is the Founder and CEO ("Chief Everything Officer") of Moolah Kicks, the first footwear brand focused specifically on women's basketball. Natalie is a native New Yorker who grew up playing streetball and is a recent graduate of Boston College. Built by and for female ballers, Moolah Kicks embodies both purpose and performance. Moolah Kicks is fueling the hype, creating new opportunities, and igniting a unique culture in women's basketball. This female focused basketball brand blazed into the industry in 2020 with its sights set on elevating basketball for female ballers in every dimension — from performance, to products, packaging, and the press. In less than 2 years, White has earned the respect of industry leaders, raised seven figures of capital, secured production in one of the top factories in the world, and commercially produced sneakers which biomechanically fit female ballers, decreasing risk of injury and elevating performance. She has clenched a historic partnership with Dicks Sporting Goods, who has embraced both the product and movement by placing Moolah Kicks' debut sneakers and apparel in over 150 stores. Their presence in-store makes it clear: Moolah Kicks is making moves for women's basketball.
Marcie Williams began her more than 50-year career in higher education as a faculty member before holding several leadership roles at two of the nation's top land grant Research-1 universities, Michigan State University and UMass Amherst. Williams was the first woman to serve as chancellor at UMass Amherst. She retired in 2019 after 14 years as a senior vice president for the UMass system.
Jessica is the executive director of Mill City Grows, a food justice organization in Lowell that creates spaces for food growing, access and education throughout the city. MCG's programs ensure over 50,000 pounds of local, sustainably grown produce get back to the community each year. Jessica has been part of the team since inception, first serving as founding President of the Mill City Grows Board and then joining the development staff in 2016. Jessica took the helm as Executive Director in January 2020, and has worked collaboratively with the staff and leadership team through the pandemic, expanding food access and programming to meet the community's needs. She has over 15 years of non-profit leadership and fundraising experience in both Lowell and New York City. She holds a B.A. in communication from UMass Amherst, an M.A. in media studies from the New School, and a graduate certificate from the Institute of Non-Profit Management and Leadership at Boston University.
Nana is the executive director of the Boston-based Get Girls Going and a nonprofit leader with over 10 years of experience in youth development and community organizing. While obtaining her bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship from UMass Lowell, Younge founded Get Girls Going, a 501c3 that works to empower Black teen girls to become change-makers in their own communities. After graduation, Younge went on to earn a master's of education degree in community engagement from Merrimack College. Her work lies at the intersection of entrepreneurship, education and social justice—with the goal of disrupting the systemic inequities that prevent Black girls from achieving success.