Miah Armour is a marketing executive who has worked internationally with Accenture and AT&T France in Paris, as well as with the Points of Light Institute and White House Office of National Service in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she was Director of Marketing and New Customer Acquisition for Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee where she helped launch the Harley-Davidson Museum. In 2010, Miah started www.ThelmaSays.com, a website dedicated to “spreading the spirit of philanthropy” by sharing great stories of social impact and innovation. She is also an active marketing consultant with Chicago-area nonprofit organizations including the Taproot Foundation, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Urban League, Riders for Health and others. Miah is a Director and serves on the Executive Committee of the Lake County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Chicago Community Trust, and volunteers with the Parent Board of the Gorton Children’s Drop-In Center in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Miah graduated from University of Wisconsin and has an M.B.A. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She lives in Green Oaks with her husband, Kelley, and their son.
Ms. Bern is the former Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of Charming Shoppes, Inc., the second largest specialty retailer, specializing in women’s plus-size fashion. During her tenure from 1995 – 2008, she grew the corporation from a $1 billion single- channel, bricks and mortar retailer, to a $3 billion multi-channel corporation with e-commerce and catalog direct marketing. She launched and was publisher of Figure Magazine, a nationally distributed magazine devoted to plus-size women.
MsBefore joining Charming Shoppes, Inc, Ms. Bern was Vice-President of Women’s Apparel, authoring “The Softer Side of Sears” initiative, and then became the first women officer in Sears’ history. She was promoted to Group Vice President of Women’s Apparel and Home Fashions.
Ms. Bern is a 1972 graduate of the University of Washington in Business. She also is a course instructor for Board Leadership at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Retail Advisory Board. She has three sons and three beautiful granddaughters.
JUSTIN & ANN BULLION
Ann and Justin Bullion have been privileged to support ARZU for many years from their very first rug which lies proudly in their Wellesley, MA home. Ann, a native New Englander but bred francophile, takes care of kids Will, Jack, and Ellie. She received a BA from Smith College, focusing on Art History and Psychology, and an MFA in Interior Design from Drexel University. Justin, born and raised in Chicago’s suburbs, is a Managing Principal of the investment firm Payden & Rygel, and received a BA in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Aside from their harried family lives, they work with a few other organizations: Ann is on the board of the Wellesley Scholarship Foundation and is intimately involved with the American Liver Foundation, while Justin is on the boards of the Trust for Public Land (Massachusetts) and UPenn Volleyball.
Jayashri Deshmukh, M. Arch., OAA, is an award-winning Architect and Senior Associate at Cannon Design, and has played a key role in the design and development of several challenging projects in North America and overseas. Raised in Bombay, India, educated in the US, and with over 17 years of work experience in Toronto, New York, and internationally, Jayashri’s projects are frequently community-based and explore ideas of “glocal” architecture – global and local – at every scale. Her work engages contemporary design and innovative thinking with traditional modes of construction; brings an understanding of societies in flux into the shaping of space; and weaves local narratives, materiality and craftsmanship to bring resonance to the built environment. Her projects are in multiple typologies and locations – including Education projects in the US and Middle East, Corporate projects in India, and Healthcare projects in Canada. Jayashri is also a visual artist, and draws deeply on the arts, history, music and film to inform her work – be in a drawing or a building. She also engages with local Arts and Community Development communities – most recently with the Toronto Arts Council and the Textile Museum of Canada. Of special note, “Seven Blossoms”, the winning design for a series of rugs by Jayashri Deshmukh and Amy Piccinni for Arzu, is now being created in Bamiyan.
Christine DeYoung is a Managing Director of Executive Retained Search for Allegis Partners in the Chicago Office. Christine specializes in senior-level Executive Search assignments for Consumer Product and Services as well as Professional Service businesses. Additionally, across industries, she has a strong functional expertise in the Marketing and Sales/General Manager arenas. Prior to Executive Search, Christine spent 20 years leading and advising consumer driven businesses – from Procter & Gamble to private equity backed companies and boutique strategy Consulting firms. Together, her marketing expertise and high level business acumen enable Christine to understand her Clients’ senior level talent needs and to successfully attract true industry leaders.
Christine earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.S., magna cum laude and phi beta kappa in Packaging Engineering, from Michigan State University.
HELENE HAMILTON FAIGEN, Design Industry Committee
Over the past thirty years, Helene Hamilton Faigen has been integrated into the Commercial Real Estate, Design, Construction and Project Management industry holding a unique skillset. Her experience has been applicable to the oversight of projects with various size, scope and budget.
Her role at Northern Trust for the past 13 years has incorporated turnkey projects of high quality and design with detailed infrastructure for sites in the US. Midwest and Northeast. She has a strong sense of passion for business and humanity with a great belief that dignity leads to self esteem, which is the key to success. Her personal background as a single parent just starting her career with two young daughters and the responsibilities to “do it all”, gives her the understanding to “pay it forward” and support others to achieve their goals.
Jenny is a private wealth advisor in the Investment Management Division in Chicago. She works with high net worth families, privately held business owners, and foundations, advising on asset allocation and portfolio strategy. Jenny is the co-head and founder of the Chicago Women’s Network, co-captain of the Client Outreach Committee for the Firmwide Women’s Network (Americas), and a member of the Operating Committee for the IMD Women’s Network. She is also the divisional recruiting team captain for Chicago Booth School of Business. Jenny was named managing director in 2011.
Jenny is on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Illinois. She also serves on the board of the Big Shoulders Fund. Jenny is a member of The University of Chicago Women’s Board and has served on the Visiting Committee for The University of Chicago. In 2008, she was awarded the Highest Leaf Award for leadership and entrepreneurship from the Women’s Venture Fund.
Jenny earned a B.A. in Psychology with Phi Beta Kappa honors from The University of Chicago in 1998. She and her husband, P.Jay, have three children and live in the south suburbs of Chicago.
Deborah Gillespie is Vice President of Finance and Administration and Secretary/Treasurer of the Joyce Foundation. Joining the Foundation in 2000, she is a member of the executive management committee and has oversight responsibilities that include finance and accounting, compliance, human resources, information technology, facilities, grants management and taxes.
Currently Deborah is a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee, a Vice Chair of the Donors Forum board of directors, and serves on the Finance & Investment Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope. She is a member and a past-president of the Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG), a national organization of financial officers from large, private foundations.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2000, she was Director of Finance and Administration of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and Financial Director of the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
Before joining the Fund in 1990, she served as Financial Director and Administrative Officer for a consortium of not-for-profit organizations including Metropolitan Planning Council, Openlands, Friends of the Parks, Canal Corridor Association, and Friends of the Chicago River. Previously, Gillespie was an accountant with McGladrey & Hendrickson, an international certified public accounting firm; sole-owner of an accounting practice; and a controller for manufacturing companies in the toy industry.
A former Director of Project Development at ARZU STUDIO HOPE, Tricia Curry Glass helped to launch Peace Cord®, a bracelet handmade by Afghan women and sold in the U.S. and abroad to fund job creation and humanitarian aid efforts in Afghan villages. She coordinated construction of and designed programs for the ARZU Dragon Valley Women’s Community Center and ARZU Women’s Community Garden Center in Bamyan, Afghanistan. She serves on the board of the Afghan Scholars Initiative, which provides fully funded placement at private high schools and colleges in the U.S. for young Afghans who will become transformational leaders back home. In Boston, she supports several not-for-profits that provide education opportunities for children from underserved communities and volunteers time with the Home Base Program, which supports American veterans who return home with brain injuries. She is also active at all three of her daughters’ schools!
Ellen Nalle Hass is the Director of Major Gifts at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy a K-12 college preparatory school in Philadelphia that is single sex until 9th grade and coed in upper school. SCH’s differentiator is its Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership that prepares its students to be future/innovative ready in a world that is changing at a break neck speed.
In addition to her job at SCH, Ellen is President of The Henrietta Tower Wurts Fund, a foundation that supports the elderly and children in the city of Philadelphia. She is also on the Board of the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Ellen is married to Jay Hass and has 3 children-Charlotte, Johnny and Robert. She has a BA in English from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
TARA HILL, Design Industry Committee
Tara Rae Hill, IIDA, ASID is a state registered full-scope interior designer, brand developer, product designer, and color theorist. Before founding LittleFISH think tank in 2007, Ms. Hill was an Associate Senior Designer at HOK International and the Director of Interiors at Stanley Beaman + Sears. She has implemented award-winning, innovative architectural designs, product designs, brand platforms, color outcomes, and strategic solutions for leading industry manufacturers, blue-chip fortune 500 companies, and leading healthcare facilities. Her most recent design commissions include interior space for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Order of Saint Francis, and Piedmont Physicians Group; as well as showroom and product design for IoA Healthcare Furniture, Steelcase / Designtex, DuPont, and LG Hausys.
Ms. Hill feels strongly that the success of each platform and deliverable at LittleFISH, she and team designs, is strategically thought to game change, positively imprint, and improve conditions for all.
New York, NY.
Edie Hunt has been and continues to be an exemplary champion for the advancement of women from both a social and economic perspective. She is engaged, supportive and committed to helping women globally leave a footprint of success. For years, Edie has been active with key organizations and programs like the Forte Foundation (former chair), Women’s Campaign International (board member), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women (representative) and the Trustee’s Council of Penn Women (vice chair). Many of Goldman Sachs’ internal diversity programs for women have been initiated under Edie’s leadership. She has acted as mentor to the women at Goldman Sachs and has advocated for them, ensuring talented women are well represented at all levels – from analyst to partner. She continues to be the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer and serves in an advisory capacity on key talent management initiatives.
Lake Forest, IL.
In addition to serving on the ARZU STUDIO HOPE Advisory Board, Anne Hunting serves as Executive Director of the Board at The Hunting Foundation. She is also currently a Board Member at Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Historical Society. Anne received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from Denison University, and her Masters in Liberal Studies from Lake Forest College. Anne Hunting joined ARZU STUDIO HOPE as a Board Member in May of 2012.
New York, NY.
Ann Kaplan is a partner of Circle Wealth Management, an investment advisory firm. She is also the chair of Circle Financial Group, a wealth management membership organization, and teaches Asset and Wealth Management classes at the Columbia University School of Business.
Ms. Kaplan was previously a general partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a managing director after the firm became a public company. She was a member of the Fixed Income Division for 23 years and served as the head of the municipal bond department. During her last three years at the firm, she was a member of the Asset Management Division focusing on wealth management.
Ms. Kaplan serves as a board member of the Goldman Sachs Bank USA and LearnVest. She also serves on the boards of Columbia University, the Museum of Arts & Design, the Economic Club of New York and the Women’s Forum. She is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Columbia University School of Business and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ms. Kaplan holds a B.A. in government from Smith College and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
SUZANNE KASLER, Design Industry Committee
Suzanne Kasler is inspired. As the principal of Atlanta-based Suzanne Kasler Interiors, she often asserts that “a room should be collected, not decorated.” Incorporating the personal collections of her clients with fine art and antiques, contemporary pieces and custom-designed furniture, Suzanne’s meaningful interiors straddle that rare middle ground between sophisticate and ingénue. As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, Suzanne brings a comprehensive knowledge of interior architecture and decorative arts to her design work.
Suzanne’s classic interiors have been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Southern Accents, Traditional Home and Veranda. Her widely published work has won numerous awards, placing Suzanne among the elite of America’s top designers. In the fall of 2009, Rizzoli published Suzanne’s first book, Inspired Interiors, featuring her “deft use of couture-like detailing, a keen sense of sublime color selections, and an aesthetic that seamlessly bridges American and European sensibilities.” In June 2010 and again in June 2012, Suzanne was named to Elle Décor’s “A-List” of top designers in the country, and in January 2012, Suzanne was chosen for Architectural Digest’s New AD100.
“Being able to work as a designer is a gift—an amazing opportunity to connect to people and design spaces that inspire them.”
Julia Klein is a Chief Executive, Board Director, and leader in the building materials distribution industry. Her strategic vision, business, and financial acumen have been the foundation for building and managing profitable organizations and high performing teams. As President, C.E.O. and currently Chairwoman of C.H. Briggs Company, she transformed a local business into a super regional, professionally managed platform company.
She has served as C.E.O. of, Chairwoman of C.H. Briggs since 2007. She is a member of the Boards of Directors of Hedwin Corporation in Baltimore, Reading Hospital Medical Group, the Reading Hospital & Medical Center, and the Advisory Board of Modern Distribution Management. She is a former member of the Advisory Boards of Quaker Maid Meats, Inc. in Reading, Arbill Safety Supply Company in Philadelphia, and the Regional Advisory Board of Wachovia Bank. She earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy as an Urban Scholars Fellow at the University of Chicago and a B.A. from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Ms. Klein and her husband have a son and live in Reading, Pennsylvania.
MEG KULUNGOWSKI, Design Industry Committee
Meg Kulungowski serves as the Director, Government Relations for Navistar Defense. She engages with the Department of Defense, other executive Departments and agencies, and Congress to ensure that Navistar Defense has the greatest opportunity possible to achieve their business goals.
Meg previously served as the Director of Congressional Affairs for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). She integrated information to assist the Congress in understanding JIEDDO operations and requirements to support their $4B budget. She is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and previously served as the Senior Legislative Coordinator within the Budget Liaison office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller. Additionally, Meg provided the congressional affairs support to PEO Soldier and worked for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R- TX).
She graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) in 1981, and served as a Military Intelligence officer for eleven years. She is married to Colonel (Ret.) Mark Kulungowski (USMA ’80) and they have two daughters (CPT Meg Kelvington, USMA ’06 and Mallory, USMA ’14).
GINA MANSOURI LADENHEIM
Gina Mansouri Ladenheim is a native of Afghanistan and a U.S. citizen. She served as the Senior Cultural and Governance Advisor to various Commanding Generals of the United States Army and Senior Civilian Representatives of the U. S. Department of State from 2005 to 2012. In her role as Senior Cultural Advisor to the Command she was sought out by almost every directorate to assist in the Command’s day-to-day interaction with the people and the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. She was instrumental in assisting the Command in dealing with serious allegations of misconduct of soldiers from the Command that had international ramifications for the mission and the prestige of the United States. After her return from Afghanistan in 2012, she was a Director for Cultural Programs and currently is a consultant with IDS International Government Services. She has been training United States military and government civilians on culture, governance, development and strategic communication prior to their deployment to Afghanistan and has been invited by the Accession Command for speaking engagements to the Brigade Commanders and the Command Sergeants Major at Fort Lee.
Palo Alto, CA.
Vicki is Co-Founder and C.O.O. of Linqto Media, a software firm specializing in Facebook applications and live online business engagement solutions. For 15 years Vicki has been providing online platforms for small business users to maximize their internet presence and create income. She co-founded Home Search Information Network in 1994, the first online real estate communications and marketing solution provider to real estate brokers in 250 U.S. markets. Vicki has been a serial entrepreneur and small business owner for over 25 years. She has received grants from the New York State Science and Tech Foundation, MapInfo (now Pitney Bowes Business Insight) and Stanford University. Recently Vicki worked with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Vicki moved from Albany, New York to Pebble Beach, California in 1999. She has an academic background in Biology.
Rob Leahy, owner of Fine Rugs of Charleston, has been in the rug business since 1971 and has traveled widely to the countries where our rugs are made. Rob believes that only hand weaving makes art for the floor that lives up to his expectations of quality and durability. Further, Rob is committed to giving all customers landmark good service, from bringing as many rugs as necessary to a client’s home to free delivery and installation of their new rugs.
A former Director of Project Development at ARZU, Inc., Amy Letteney continues a long-term commitment to aiding the people of Afghanistan by managing projects that bring hope to rug-weaving families and their communities. As a founding board member of Boston-based Beyond the 11th, she drew on her background in corporate branding and marketing to shape a successful Afghan aid organization in the United States, including logo and web site design. Amy has also assisted a number of smaller non-governmental organizations with their day-to-day operations. Locally, Amy is active in planning and implementing a children’s event that supports the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bike-a-thon that has contributed over $239 million to support cancer research. Amy has B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College.
Vickie Marasco is passionate about all things art and service related. Her adventures have brought her from UW with a Textile Design degree to designing fabrics and clothing in Saudi Arabia for both Bedouins and Royalty. She was honored to design for the Kingdom for the World Fair in Spain. Vickie raised a family overseas in Germany, England and Greece. Stateside after 10 years, she ran her own business, V, designing paper for weddings. Most recently, Vickie served on the Board of Deer Path Art League for 8 years and was employed as Gallery Director. She steered several of the nonprofit’s fundraisers and their annual Art Fair. Vickie developed and conducted an after school art program for underserved children in North Chicago. She is currently partnered with creatives in Waukegan, where she designed and curates a gallery called Urban Edge, to assist in resurrecting the City’s viability through the Arts.
JULIE McCARTHY, Design Industry Committee
Julie joined the staff of Interior Design in 2000 as an account manager for the Midwest territory. McCarthy previously worked with the IIDA selling Perspective Magazine. Her earlier work experience includes both design and sales for a Steelcase dealership in Chicago.
Danielle Mergner is a former Project Specialist for the Corey Steel Company where she was engaged in business process analysis, employee training, contract review, negotiation and drafting, and a myriad of other projects. She has since transitioned to invest time into areas about which she is passionate, including her family and many volunteer leadership roles with non-profit organizations. Previous to her employment with Corey Steel, Danielle worked as a chemist with Stepan Company.
True to her love of learning, Danielle continues to hone her skills as a botanical artist and gardener. She earned her BS in Biochemistry at Indiana University, completed her JD at DePaul University, and is a member of the Illinois Bar and Patent Bar. Danielle looks forward to using her varied skillset to further Arzu’s mission.
New York, NY.
Janet is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University, where the mission is to promote mental health and reduce the burden of mental illness around the globe. She is also a Lotus Circle Advisor with the Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. In California, Janet serves on the Board of a college preparatory school, Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, as well as a Parent Advisory Board at Stanford University. She is a former Trustee of the Asian University for Women, a higher education institution for women across Asia based in Bangladesh. Janet holds a BBA degree in Finance from Emory University and she is a former corporate finance banker with JP Morgan.
JANE MOSBACHER MORRIS
Jane Mosbacher Morris is the Founder and CEO of To the Market, a social enterprise that promotes goods made by and stories told by survivors of abuse, conflict, and disease. Previously, Morris served as the Director of Humanitarian Action for the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Before joining the McCain Institute, Morris worked in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.
Morris drafted the Department of State’s first Women and Counterterrorism Strategy, as well as helped to develop the Department of State’s implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, a Presidential interagency initiative.
She has also worked at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and has served as an investment advisor to Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank. She has traveled, spoken, and written broadly on peace and security issues and regularly blogs for the Huffington Post.
Morris has received numerous awards from the Department of State, as well as has been named one of the “Top 99 Under 33 Most Influential Young Professionals”by The Diplomatic Courier in 2011. She also serves on the Board of Advisors of Women LEAD, wH20:The Journal on Gender and Water, and USA Cares. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University; a MBA from Columbia Business School; and is married to Nate Morris of Kentucky.
Gina M. Pereira was born in Bermuda and spent her childhood living between Bermuda and the Azores. She immigrated to Canada where she earned her undergraduate and law degrees; she was admitted to the bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2002. Gina worked as a trust lawyer and fiduciary in the international wealth management sector for more than a decade catering to private clients with multi-jurisdiction connections. Previously operating from Zurich, New York, Bermuda, The Bahamas and Brazil, Gina is currently based in Toronto, Canada.
Gina established Dana Philanthropy to assist her clients create sustainable social enhancement through informed, strategic giving. She supports private clients in developing and executing their philanthropy, helps global corporations invest in the communities in which they operate, and works with non-profit organisations around the world.
Chris devotes seemingly endless passion — and time — to what is important to him. He serves as managing director of CIMCO, the private wealth management firm he founded in 1994 after decades of experience as an investment advisor in London and New York. With a talented team of recognized independent experts in law, tax, banking and other proficiencies, CIMCO embraces the Japanese proverb: “None of us are as smart as all of us.” He is also committed to promoting social entrepreneurship (using entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change). Over six years ago, while helping CIMCO clients make decisions about personal transitions; Chris learned that people’s legacy, children and charity are important and significant. And, last but not least, Chris is an active connector; engaged in global professional organizations such as ACG, TiE Rockies, and FEI. Rising before dawn to fit in his exercise routine, he is often still sending e-mails late into the night.
Chris has a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Economics from the University of Missouri. He also earned a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from the American College and is a Registered Principal with First Allied Services, Inc. member NASD/SIPC.
Roz Rustigian began her career as an Operations Analyst in the Hotel Division of Prudential Insurance Company’s Real Estate Department in Newark, NJ. She is a graduate of Connecticut College and was one of first three women to attend the Cornell University Graduate School of Hotel Administration where she was a teaching assistant in accounting, operations analysis and finance.She currently owns and runs a retail store specializing in handmade oriental rugs. The store gained national recognition in 2001 when it received the Retailer of the Year award from AmericasMart in Atlanta, GA. In 2012 Roz was elected board co-chair of The Initiative to Educate Afghan Women whose mission is to help create Afghanistan’s future women leaders through higher education and career guidance.
Roz also sits on the Boards of the RISPCA and Furniture Bank of RI and is active in raising money for AIDS Project RI. She has catered, owned a gourmet shop, taught a cooking school in New York for divorced, male executives and was twice President of the Oriental Rug Retailers Association of America; A published author of articles on the rug business, she is also an avid gardener, tennis player, work-out enthusiast and the single mother of a springer spaniel and a cat named Ms. Dixie.
ADRIANA TRENEV PLUT
San Jose, CA.
Adriana Trenev Plut was originally born and raised in Southern C.A., in the quickly growing Northern L.A. areas of Westlake Village and Agoura Hills. Adriana graduated from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, P.A. in the Fall of 2006 with her B.A. in Art History and minors in Spanish and Psychology. From there, she went on to receive her M.A. from U.S.C. in the field of Broadcast Journalism. She graduated in May of 2008 and became a P.R./Marketing/and E-commerce specialist for her family’s company: Natren Probiotics Inc. In the Fall of 2009, she relocated to the San Jose Bay Area when she married Ian Plut. Adriana is now a practicing and full-time Realtor with Alain Pinel Realtors Los Gatos. She is happily married and lives in one of the new high rise buildings, the 88, in downtown San Jose. In her spare time, Adriana is passionate about Interior Design, fashion, negotiating, spending time with family and friends, learning new things, traveling the world, fine wine, and good conversation over espresso!
Gail specializes in professional portfolio advisory services, build-to-suit, brokerage, consulting and representation for the real estate needs of corporate clients. She is a commercial and industrial real estate professional with more than $2.5 billion in sales and leases completed during her 29-year career. Previously, Gail was a President of a National Real Estate firm. While there, she was instrumental in shaping the company’s structure and developing its philosophies.
Gail is a member of the Rocky Mountain Institute and its “Green Development Services.” She co-authored “Seeing the Light,” an article illustrating the impact of new lighting opportunities on lowering energy cost to tenants. Gail was a featured speaker at the 2003 Annual Crew Network Convention in San Francisco, “Energy & Real Estate – Adding Value in a Changing Market Place.” In 2007 Gail served as the moderator of a panel discussion on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design regarding neighborhood development (LEED-ND). Gail received her B.B.A. in Marketing and Management from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame.
Charity Wallace serves as the Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. As the Director, Charity is responsible for setting the vision and creating the programming for the Women’s Initiative, including the empowerment of women in the Middle East.
Most recently, Charity served as the Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush. In her role, Charity managed the team that supports Mrs. Bush and oversaw Mrs. Bush’s initiatives – from her wide ranging policy agenda to her recent book tour. Charity served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009. A native of California, Charity graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University, with a B.A. in Political Science, with a focus in International Relations. Following graduation, Charity began a career in professional musical theater before joining the Bush-Cheney campaign in January of 2000.
Micaela White is currently pursuing a full-time M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, concentrating on strategic management and finance. Prior to school, Micaela worked at Rite-Hite Corporation, an industrial equipment manufacturer, as a strategic account specialist and an active participant on acquisitions. She also has experience as an analyst from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the public finance investment banking group. Micaela received her Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Chicago, where she played varsity basketball and soccer.
Laura Willoughby was named the Director of the Washington, D.C. Metro region area in February 2010. In this role, she develops and coordinates BENS members and programs in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland regions. Laura helped develop and enact the BENS Women in National Security Initiative, a group of senior executive influential women in national security that meet over brunch quarterly. WINS is currently working a project women entrepreneurs in the MENA region to help better stabilize key areas.
Laura graduated from the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., with a B.A. in media communications and a minor in International Studies, Latin America. She is a Leadership Maryland 2011 graduate. She lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where she serves on several local non-profits committees and boards.
Rebecca Korach Woan is a principal and founder of Chartwell Insurance Services in Chicago. Chartwell Insurance Services arranges personal property and liability insurance, provides risk management solutions and other consultative services for high net worth individuals and their families. In addition to insurance programs for residences, automobiles, aircraft, boats and yachts, Chartwell has considerable and respected expertise in insuring collections of fine art, antiques, jewelry and collector automobiles.
Rebecca regularly comments on insurance matters for national and local publications. She currently serves on the governing committee of the Illinois Fair Plan and is a member of the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (PIIAI) and the Chicago Finance Exchange. She also serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rebecca received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in International Relations and French and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School.
DANIELLE WOHL, Design Industry Committee
Palo Alto, CA.
Daniele Wohl is a fine art advisor specializing in providing fine art and fine art services to the business community and individual art collectors. Danielle provides art advise, curatorial management, assistance in locating and obtaining specific artworks, and strategic assistance in developing interesting and dynamic collections for the corporate environment and individual collectors.
Danielle works with the business community including law firms, technology firms, financial institutions, municipal governments, hospitals, hotels and foundations.
Danielle’s professional background includes curatorial experience in Contemporary Art, Early American artifacts including Gold Rush Era objects, Plein Air paintings and African art and objects. She has taught Aubusson Tapestry Weaving, restored antique textiles for private rug collectors and prepared Antique Oriental Rugs for the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Danielle has a B.A. from San Francisco State University, has studied language and art history in Florence, Italy and has taken graduate courses from Stanford University. DanielleWohlFineArt.com
CYNTHIA WROBLE, Design Industry Committee
Cynthia Wroble is a marketing executive who has worked in the commercial interior design and furniture industry for over 25 years. She specializes in office furnishings, space planning, green solutions, project management and representation for the interior needs of corporate clients. Additionally, she has collaborated with multiple furniture manufacturers to custom design solutions to fit very specific needs. Cynthia’s vast knowledge of resources allows her to provide clients with the best possible resolutions to meet and exceed all the interior project objectives.
Cynthia received her B.S. degree in Environmental design from the University of Colorado. In addition she regularly contributes her time and resources to many charitable causes.
Katherine Wynne is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust in Dallas. Katherine
works with high net worth individuals, families, and institutions, helping them bring order and insight to
their financial lives. As the leader of a client & U.S. Trust team, Katherine harnesses the power of the Firm, assembling a hand-picked team of specialists with in-depth knowledge in the disciplines that clients require. She coordinates cohesive strategies across the organization, working in concert with a dedicated Portfolio Manager, Wealth Strategist, Trust Officer, Private Client Manager, and Philanthropic Specialist,as appropriate.
Katherine fosters a highly personalized approach to wealth management. She enjoys working closely with clients to help them align their values and priorities within their overall wealth framework. Channeling the extensive capabilities of the Firm, Katherine is a central resource for a range of needs, from socially innovative investments to charitable giving, legacy strategies to structured credit solutions. Her intense interest in client well being is mirrored by her accessibility and relentless pursuit of client goals. Katherine joined U.S. Trust in 2009. Previously, she held senior marketing positions for a number of Fortune 500 firms. She earned her B.B.A. in Marketing and major equivalent in English from Iowa State University.
Katherine is extensively involved in the community. Her current and former board positions include the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Literacy Instruction for Texas, the Dallas Children’s Theater and the Housing Crisis Center. She has served as chairman of the 2009 Cattle Baron’s Ball and member of the Dallas 2012 U.S. Wrestling Olympic Trials Committee and the Host Committee for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV. Katherine is the mother of two sixth-generation Texans and lives in Dallas.
Rahilla Zafar is the director of outreach and partnerships for the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Springside Chestnut Hill (SCH) Academy in Philadelphia. The program has been awarded funding by the NASDAQ Foundation and Dick Hayne, the Founder and CEO of Urban Outfitters who serves as board president of SCH Academy. While a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Rahilla helped Wharton Business School professor Keith Weigelt develop the cross generational program Building Bridges to Wealth, that provides entrepreneurship and financial literacy classes to inner city communities.
She previously worked in Afghanistan and is an advisory board member of ARZU STUDIO HOPE which is currently one of the largest private employers of Afghan women. Rahilla is also on the board of the Ibrahim Family Foundation helping run its annual leadership and dialogue trip where selected college students visit Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.