November 4 @ Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel
(5 – 7:30pm)


Tickets are $20 each, includes one drink ticket, appetizers and parking 

Meet some of the most influential women in Central New York

One-on-one coaching sessions in a speed-networking setting on Monday, November 4, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel. Mentors include women from all areas of life and business – executives, entrepreneurs, marketers, health professionals, risk takers, and more.

Attendees will have multiple opportunities for one-on-one coaching conversations with mentors.

The agenda: Networking, refreshments (one drink ticket per participant), gain new insights, meet new friends, have some fun.


Our 2019 Agenda

5 to 5:30 p.m.: Registration

5:30 to 5:45 p.m.: Networking and refreshments

5:45 p.m.: Official welcome, tips on getting the most of your Mentoring Monday conversations

6 to 7:30 p.m.: Speed coaching mentoring

Tickets are $20 each, include parking and refreshments

Our 2019 Mentors

Cheryl Abrams
Director of Communications and Digital Media

Crouse Health

Cheryl Abrams serves as Director of Communications and Digital Media for Crouse Health in Syracuse, New York.

She earned a Master of Science in Communications Management from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, where, in August 2015, she presented her capstone research project, Building Trust and Reputation in Health Care’s Digital Age. Her professional interests include interpersonal and organizational trust; leadership; brand loyalty and reputation management; and brand journalism.

A graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse, Cheryl earned a bachelor’s degree in English/Communications from Le Moyne College, where she was inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society. She also completed a graduate certificate through The Academy of Healthcare Leadership Advancement at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Cheryl joined Crouse in 2006, and is focused on expanding the hospital’s digital footprint via the Crouse website and social media platforms; leading the hospital’s brand storytelling endeavors; serving as editor of the hospital’s community publication; and serving as a member of the creative team for Crouse service line marketing and branding campaigns. She also develops and executes internal and external communications for various hospital departments and programs.

Prior to joining Crouse, Cheryl served as Director of Public Relations at the Everson Museum of Art and for the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, where she led a major public and community relations initiative for the orchestra’s return to Carnegie Hall in 2003. She has also served as an adjunct professor in the public relations department at the Newhouse School since 2014.

The recipient of a number of local and national writing awards, Cheryl is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the Executive Committee of PRSA’s Health Academy. She is also a member of the Syracuse Press Club, which presented her with the Bernard and Dorothy Newer Service Award for Member Contributions; the American College of Healthcare Executives; and the American Hospital Association’s communications arm, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development.

Jill Anderson
Managing Director

Syracuse Stage

Jill A. Anderson has served as managing director of Syracuse Stage since 2016. Previously, Jill spent a decade as GM at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. During her tenure, the O’Neill completed a $7M capital project, doubled its operating budget, and received the 2015 National Medal of Arts and the 2010 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Under the O’Neill’s aegis, Jill also developed the Baltic Playwrights Conference, a new play development retreat held in Hiiumaa, Estonia. Previously, Jill worked in the production office at Arena Stage and as an SM in Minnesota, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. Jill is also an instructor in the Syracuse University Department of Drama, building on work with high school and college students elsewhere, including KC/ACTF. Jill was part of the CNY Business Journal’s 2017 “40 Under Forty” and serves on several local boards. Jill is a proud cheesehead, hailing from Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Ruthnie Angrand
Director of Communication and Marketing

City of Syracuse

Ruthnie Angrand is currently the Director of Communication and Marketing for the City of Syracuse where she is responsible for managing and directing the City of Syracuse’s external communication strategy to promote the mayor’s agenda. She delivers the voice and vision of the mayor’s initiatives to citizens and visitors, marketing the city to stakeholders and strategizing marketing efforts around the betterment of the city’s reputation. Ruthnieis Haitian-American and brings more than 10 years of experience in communications and nonprofit business to the Mayor’s Office. She volunteers her time with the arts, adolescent programs,and neighborhood organizations. She is an alumna of Brenau University and Syracuse University.

Elenore Arquette
Real Estate Broker/Owner

Century21 Arquette Properties

“Along with my husband and partner, John Arquette, founded and launched John Arquette Properties in 2009, we later affiliated with Century21 in 2017.  Our Company is a full service residential real estate firm with 2 offices in Syracuse and over 50 agents.

Prior to forming our own company, I had extensive real estate sales experience with Nothnagle Realtors in Rochester, NY, in the sale of new construction and existing homes from 1986 through 2008.  I was consistently a top producing agent beginning with Rookie of the Year in 1987 to achieving Top 25 agent status beginning in 1991 in a company of over 500 agents.

Prior to real estate sales, I obtained a BS in Psychology at the University of Rochester in 1977 and an MSW at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA., in 1979.  In my previous work “”life””, I held management analyst and administrative positions in the Washington State Legislature House of Representatives, the Dept of Social and Health Services in Olympia, WA and Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY.

I published a journal article about the transformation of women’s work roles in the Journal of the American College Health Association in 1977, “”Women’s Work in a Time of Transition.””  A second publication, an analysis of clinical social workers moving to administrative roles, appeared in the Journal of the National Association of Social Work in 1979, entitled “”From Direct Service to Administration.””

Since 2013, I have been an active member of the Board of Directors for Toomey Residential and Community Services, a non-profit agency in Syracuse providing direct service and residential treatment for children through adulthood.  Toomey’s goal is to help clients achieve their highest level of ability.

I also serve on the Parish Council of All Saints Catholic Church since 2016.

I am married to John Arquette, we live in Syracuse with our 2 rescue dogs, Lucy and Buddy Boy.  We have one son, Rudy, daughter-in-law Angela, and 4 grandchildren, Aliyah, Steven, Caleb and Claire.”

Tracy Bauer
Graduate Career Development Specialist
Syracuse University

As Graduate Career Development Specialist, Tracy delivers career development coaching and workshops for Syracuse University master’s students. Tracy also teaches yoga throughout CNY. Tracy earned a B.S. in Business from Geneseo, a M.S. in Adult Education from Buffalo State, and an Executive Master’s of Public Administration and a C.A.S. in Conflict Resolution from Syracuse University.

Randi Bregman
Executive Director

Vera House, Inc.

Since 1990, Randi Bregman has worked with Vera House, Inc., a not-for-profit human service agency which prevents, responds to and partners to end domestic and sexual violence and other forms of abuse. During her first eleven years at Vera House, she was the Coordinator of the Syracuse Area Domestic Violence Coalition. In August of 2001, Randi began serving as Executive Director of Vera House, Inc. Throughout 2005, after helping to effect a successful merger with the Rape Crisis Center of Syracuse, Inc.,Randi served as Co-Executive Director in partnership with the Executive Director of the former Rape Crisis Center. In her current role as Executive Director, Randi is responsible for administration and financial management, supervision of staff, fundraising and fund development,community education and professional training and program development. Randi is active on the Steering and Advocacy Committees of the Human Services Leadership Council of Central New York and serves on the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence Legislative Committee. In addition, Randi continues to answer Vera House’s 24-hour domestic violence/sexual assault hotline, the “gateway to the agency”.

Eileen L. Brophy

Brophy Services Inc.

In January 2007 I became the proud owner of Brophy Services after the death of my late husband, Tim. I became a quick study in finance, sales, human resources, marketing, client retention and company operations. In my previous life, I worked at Mutual of New York (now AXA Towers) and O’Brien & Gere where I was an executive assistant and a facility manager respectively. These two roles allowed me to focus on client and employee relations. Knowing that I want to treat clients and employees the way I want to be treated has allowed me to build upon the foundation Tim created.I graduated from high school and attended Central City Business Institute where I received my Associate’s degree. I furthered my education by getting another two-year degree in general studies and was also 10 classes short of receiving my Bachelor’s when Tim passed. Given my new role and responsibilities, my degree was and has been put on hold.I am active in organizations such as Women President’s Organization (WPO), Centerstate CEO Board of Directors, and Centerstate CEO Partners Advisory Committee all in an effort to help support myself in business and the community in which I live. New in 2018,I was asked to serve on the board of directors for the Haven at Skanda which provides a loving home to rescued and endangered animals where they can relax, live in their own natural rhythms of life, and emerge into who they really are.

Emily Carroll
Marketing Coordinator

Drive Research

Emily uses social media like it’s her job-partly because it is-but mainly, she sees social media marketing as the focal point of content creation and community engagement within the digital world. It is often the reason audiences become familiar with a brand. Being the person behind the start of a customer’s journey with an organization, well that’s pretty cool. A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research. Here she is able to flex her creative muscles to grow the success of the team and clients alike

Kathleen Carroll 
Business Manager


  • BS Accounting University of Mass Lowell
  • MBA Southern New Hampshire University
  • Commenced career with 1 year in Public Accounting & 1 year in privately held Door & Window Manfacturer & Supllier
  • Covanta started in 1988 as Facility Accountant at Covanta Haverhill
  • Promoted to Northeast Financial Analyst
  • Promoted to Business Manager – Covanta Onondaga LP
  • Promoted to Community Outreach & Affairs Manager Region 2
    • -focus facilities – Covanta Onondaga, Covanta Niagara, Covanta Indianapolis & Covanta Haverhill
  • Hobbies: swimming/jogging/visiting family in Boston

Mara Charlamb

United Radio

Mara Charlamb is the Vice President and Owner of United Radio, Inc.She returned to United Radio as a third-generation family member after completing her undergraduate degree, and after having worked in Human Resources (HR) at the Mirage Resort Hotel and Casino. She took the lead as The Mirage’s first American’s With Disabilities Act Employment Compliance Officer. In this role she had 250 indirect reports for a company with approximately 7,200 employees.Mara returned to Syracuse and United Radio in 1992. She was charged with designing, developing and leading a formal HR Department, as United Radio was growing and needed to formalize this vital function, within their organization. Today she has a team of six who effectively run the day to day HR function while she concentrates on maintaining United Radio’s corporate culture, strategic planning,and business operations.She also provides their three General Managers with the support, tools, and resources necessary to accomplish their goals.Mara is a former Dale Carnegie Instructor; Currently she serves on the Advisory Board of M & T Bank and is serving as the Circle of Red co-chair for the American Heart Association. She is a former board member of the Jewish Federation of CNY and former member of the Women Presidents Organization, as well as an former executive board member of the Syracuse Hebrew Day School (SHDS) as well as serving as a volunteer in many other organizations in the community.A graduate cum laude (BA) of Boston University, Mara completed her MBA at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, Wellesley, MA, with a focus on Entrepreneurship. Mara resides in Skaneateles with her husband Mark, and their two sons.

Amy Collins
General Manager

NBC3, CBS5, CW6 &

Amy Collins is General Manager of Sinclair Broadcast’s WSTM NBC3, WSTQ CW6 and Granite owned WTVH CBS5, collectively known as CNY CENTRAL, in the Syracuse market.Amy has spent the last 20 years in Broadcast Television, previously holding the title of Vice President of Sales (March 2009-June 2014) overseeing TV and Digital Sales for these stations. Prior to 2009, she held the role of Local Sales Manager, National Sales Manager, Business Development Manager and Account Executive at WTVH. Amy is very active in her community and carries that commitment over to the work her team and stations contribute every day. CNY CENTRAL has partnered to raise nearly $1M for local non-profit organizations and disaster relief efforts that extend even far beyond Central New York. Amy has served on TVB’s Station Sales Advisory Board, the American Red Cross Board, is currently on NYSBA (NYS Broadcasters) Board and in 2020 will move from her role as VP of the CNY Ronald McDonald House Executive Board to President.Amy graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from The State University of New York at Oswego and has a MBA from Lemoyne College. She lives in Fayetteville with her husband Randy, and 3 teenage children, Ben, Ryan & Makenzie.

Robin Cortese
Vice President & Partner

AT&T Premier Technologies

27 years in the Wireless Mobility Industry seems like just yesterday. A proclaimed “Intrapeneur” turned “Entrepreneur” has joined the ranks of esteemed colleagues who have created a Brand and Leading Authorized Representation on behalf of the 9th ranked Fortune 500 Company AT&T.

Recruited from a career in Fashion into Telcom, Robin has found her passion for keeping people connected and aligning talent with careers that fit individual’s needs.

Stephanie Crockett 
Executive Vice President, Managing Director


With 20+ years of experience Stephanie is responsible for growth, culture and elevating client service at Mower. She leads many key accounts including National Grid, Crouse Health and Turning Stone.Stephanie is Vice-Chair of the United Way of CNY Board, and is a Board Member for CenterState CEO,Landmark Theatre and Visit Syracuse. She also served as Communications Director for the Ben Walsh for Mayor campaign.

Susan Crossett
Consultant/President and CEO
Harris Beach PLLC and Partners in Franciscan Ministries

Susan is a corporate strategy advisor to the clients of the Harris Beach Energy Industry Team. She brings an in-depth background in government, regulatory, public affairs and corporate management. As a former corporate executive in large corporations, Susan provides an overall communications strategy for clients, tied to their global and regional business objectives. Additionally, she assists client management in formulating and executing strategic goals to engage stakeholders which could positively impact the client’s ability to operate successfully.Susan is also President and CEO of Partners in Franciscan Ministries (PFM) and responsible for the oversight of several businesses for sustainability, governance and adherence to mission on behalf of the Sisters of Saint Francis. Susan oversaw the turnaround of several organizations that were in fiscal crisis.Susan has developed a charitable fund within the (PFM) to continue the mission of the Sisters of Saint Francis. Susan currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Nascentia Health. She serves on the board of directors at CenterState CEO and is co-chair of the finance and sustainability committee. She is a member of the executive leadership team for Go Red for Women and the Syracuse Heart Walk.Susan was previously a senior officer at National Grid and served in a number of roles including vice president of U.S. Economic Development and Community Investment. Prior to National Grid and Niagara Mohawk Susan was responsible for government affairs at Carrier Corporation.Susan resides in Fayetteville, New York with her husband William Crossett.

Carol Eaton
Senior Vice President

Visit Syracuse

Carol Eaton has served in progressive roles with Visit Syracuse, most recently as Senior Vice President, leading a team of marketing professionals responsible for identifying market opportunities and developing short and long-term strategies with the objective of attracting overnight business to the Greater Syracuse area. Together with her team, Eaton manages and directs tourism partnership programs on local, regional and statewide levels, working to instill a sense of collective energy within the tourism industry, while building a spirit of ambassadorship not only from local tourism professionals, but from community residents as well. A graduate of LeMoyne College, Eaton holds a BA in English Communications. She previously chaired, and continues to serve on the board of directors of the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council, and was named Tourism Executive of the Year by the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association.

Marnie Eisenstadt 
Public Affairs Reporter

The Post-Standard |

Marnie Eisenstadt is a public affairs reporter for and The Post-Standard. She’s on the The Post-Standard team for 15 years and a reporter for 22 years. Eisenstadt has received numerous statewide awards, including the 2018 New York State Associated Press Journalist of the Year; 2018, 2017 and 2016 Best Feature Writing for the New York State Publishers’ Association; and 2016 Best Feature Writing for New York State Associated Press.Her stories are about the people at the heart of our community who are often forgotten or overlooked.From a teen who died while being allowed to work, illegally, on a farm, to a homeless, mentally ill man who had water dumped on him as he slept in a Dunkin’ Donuts store, her stories tell us something about humanity in the world around us.While her written words are what draw people in, the stories are built through thoughtful listening and dogged questioning. Eisenstadt lives in Onondaga County with her husband and two school-aged children

Lisa S. Germain, CRPC
First Vice President
Senior Financial Advisor
Global Wealth Investment Management at Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch

Lisa has been with Merrill Lynch since 1991 and brings her deep knowledge and enlightened perspectives to active and retired high-net –worth clients and businesses that span generations and the nations geography.   “Understanding your life priorities is an important part of how I work with the clients I serve. It’s not just about markets and returns, it’s about what matters most to you.”

Lisa has a bachelor’s degree from Alfred University. Lisa has completed advanced industry training sponsored by the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. Additionally, she holds the Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) designation from the College for Financial Planning.

Simone Gonyea
Dean of Students

Onondaga Nation School

I have lived and worked in Central New York for my entire career. My foundation here is as a Haudenosaunee, Onondaga Snipe clan member being born and raised on the Onondaga Nation, South of Syracuse. I am a honored graduate of the Onondaga Nation School and Onondaga Central Jr./Sr. High School. I attended Messiah College where I earned my B.S. in Elementary Education.  I began my career as a fifth grade teacher at the Onondaga Nation School in the fall of 1995.  I filled a need shortly after in Kindergarten and co-taught this grade level for a number of years with great joy. As I was teaching and raising my own family I earned my M.S. in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University.  I then attended the State University of Oswego and earned a Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) for school building and district leadership. As an educator at the Onondaga nation school for 23 years the potential to make a greater impact on the community and the students as an administrator for ONS was made available for me as dean of students. I am currently working in my 3rd year as Dean of Students at the Onondaga Nation School, facilitating learning through the lens of a Haudenosaunee woman.
Throughout my journey I have always looked and listened for various sources of knowledge, experience and understanding from others. The wisdom of life experiences can be shared through a person’s personal narrative and perspective in a very powerful way. I look forward to a journey that is enriched by the wisdom of the Onondaga’s.

Catherine Goodwin-Boule
Nurse Practitioner

Syracuse University

BS-University of Rochester

MS-University at Buffalo

NP Surgical Services VA Medical Center (General, Vascular, Thoracic Surgery) 1997-2016

NP Upstate Medical University-Oncology Department, per diem 2015-2016

NP Syracuse University-Barnes Center at the Arch 2016-present

Rita Grimaldi
Grimaldi’s Luna Park

Mohawk Valley Community College

New York Associate of Arts (A.A.), Commercial and Advertising Art

Utica College, Public Relations/ Image Management

Catering Sales at Turning Stone Casino Resort

Restaurant Manager, Wildflowers, Turning Stone Casino Resort

Sunny Hernandez

The Post-Standard |

After years of teaching social skills in the Syracuse City School District, Sunny spent time honing her social media marketing and writing skills through a recipe blog. Her work has been recognized by both Pillsbury and Betty Crocker. Since joining Advance Media NY as a Community Manager, she now writes about entertainment and food in CNY

Helen Hudson

Syracuse Common Council

Helen Hudson was born in Mississippi, but has lived in Syracuse, NY since the age of two.  She graduated from Nottingham High School.  Worked at New Process Gear for over 10 years. Where she is currently working for AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison for the United Way of Central New York.

Helen has been a catalyst in our community for equality and justice.  She is a co-founder of the organization “Mothers Against Gun Violence.” Helen serves on the City of Syracuse Trauma Response Team. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Volunteer Lawyer Project, the Onondaga Historical Association, and for Women Transcending Boundaries. She is also a co-chair of the HOPE Initiative (Healing Opportunity for Prosperity and Empowerment) a task force dedicated to addressing poverty in Syracuse.

Helen severed on the Syracuse Common Council as Councilor-at Large for six years.  In the 2017 general election she was voted in as Syracuse First Women African American Common Council President.

President Helen Hudson has a deep passion for serving the people of Syracuse and stands strong on fair treatment and equal opportunity; which she showed it in the 2017 General Election by putting her own credibility on the line by supporting Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.

Her pledge to work hard to serve the people of the City of Syracuse, is not lip service, it is who she is.  She is not just another politician, but someone who truly loves others; she is encourager and an advocate for all people, especially those that who are suffering and/or has faltered along the way.

Helen has received many awards and a number of terrific career opportunities.  However, she charged will always be a continual fight against the struggles of “her babies”, our youth, the innocent, those without a voice, or those who has faltered along the way.  But, if anyone is up for the job of “getting us to see our similarities rather than being defined by our differences” is our very own Syracuse Common Council President, the Honorable Helen Hudson.

Amanda Hughes
Founder & Owner

The Ice Cream Stand

Amanda is happy to be back in her hometown creating, connecting, and contributing to the community she loves so much. Founder of The Ice Cream Stand, SYRbaton, November Project Syracuse, and (coming soon) Jayne’s Collective, she is focused on delivering enriching and elevated experiences. She is grateful to deepen her community connection in Syracuse and beyond as a new lululemon Ambassador, too!

Evelyn Ingram
Director, Community Engagement


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Nikita Jankowski
Marketing Director

Destiny Pyramid

Nikita Jankowski is the Director of Communications for Destiny USA, the largest shopping, dining and entertainment venue in New York State (6th largest in the country). She oversees all marketing efforts to promote Destiny USA as a family-friendly shopping and tourist destination. Nikita and her team are responsible for  Destiny USA’s social media sites, website management, signage, promotional material, graphic design, community partnerships, external/internal advertising, media relations, photography/video and events. She also oversees the Guest Services department.

Prior to joining Destiny USA, Nikita was the Communications Director for Onondaga County’s leading tourism organization, Visit Syracuse. She led the organization’s public relations and communications initiatives, developed the seasonal visitors guide, was responsible for the company’s international outreach initiatives and presence at travel shows. Her role also involved hosting and generating content for travel trade professionals and media representatives to encourage travel to the Syracuse area; contributing to $850,000,000 of annual direct visitor spending.

Before moving to Syracuse, Nikita worked as a tourism PR professional in New York’s Finger Lakes region, owned a small marketing firm and worked in the corporate communications department of the Fortune 500 company, Corning Incorporated.

Nikita started her professional career as a television news reporter; delivering “live”, daily news coverage on ABC, FOX and CBS affiliates throughout New York State and Maine. Nikita is a graduate of the historic Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Concentration: English/Communications).

Nikita serves as President on the Board of Directors for the Public Relations Society of America of Central New York (PRSA-CNY), she’s a board member of the national PRSA Travel & Tourism Section and serves on the Advisory Committee of Social Media Breakfast (SMB) Syracuse; a national initiative for teaching, sharing and learning about industry best practices. She recently joined the Board of Directors for the Syracuse YWCA.

Heather Jensen
Sales Managing Partner

Mirror Mirror Inc.

As an Event/Wedding Planner and Marketing Director for 20 years, Heather Jensen brings her experience and humor to offer insight to all Professionals.Heather is one half of the dynamic duo that is Mirror Mirror Inc. Bridal Boutique.In just 4 years, Mirror Mirror Inc. has been rated in the top 2% of Bridal Salons in the country by They have been acknowledged personally for their Customer Service by Senator John D.Francisco. Several designers have awarded them the prestigious level of being a leading Stockist, selling in the top 20% nationally in the industry. Designers often consult with Mirror Mirror Inc. when developing their new bridal lines.

Nancy Kern Eaton

United Way of Central New York

Nancy Kern Eaton is the president of the United Way of Central New York. She has spent her entire career working in non-profit organizations. Just prior to coming to United Way, Nancy was the Chief Development Officer and Director of Inclusive Recreation at ARISE.She has served as director of development at the Syracuse Salvation Army, director of the Syracuse Weed & Seed Community Partnership, community services manager at Home Head Quarters, and vice president of Housing Visions Unlimited.Nancy began her non-profit career working as a client advocate for the Erie County Mental Health Association. Nancy has served on numerous local and national boards and initiatives and is a graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse. She received the Outstanding Fundraiser award from the Association for Fundraising Professionals in 2017, NYS Senate Women of Distinction award in 2013, and has received awards from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse, Syracuse Northeast Community Center, and Syracuse Police Department

Lauren Kochian


Lauren Kochian serves as President of the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) and has held the position since August 2018. Prior to her appointment as President, Kochian championed the MOST Foundation and museum operations efforts as Executive Vice President beginning in May 2016. She has more than 18 years of fund development, marketing and public relations experience.Her previous roles include marketing and development for Arc of Onondaga and Syracuse Stage, and public relations for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League. Kochian serves on the board of GiGi’s Playhouse and volunteers for countless charities. Kochian is the fourth president of the MOST and second woman to head the Museum. A Syracuse native, Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School and a Master of Science in Media Management from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School & Whitman School of Management

Angela Lee
Vice President, Talent Development


Angela Lee is an HR executive with over 20 years of experience within the HR discipline. Angela has assumed a variety of seats in Human Resources, including Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations,Compensation, OFCCP Administration, Global Business partnering roles and Talent Development. She is a trusted, results oriented thought leader with significant success in driving business strategy,innovation, and change through variable market conditions and transitions. She has a rich background in systems, processes, and methodologies to reduce costs and drive profitability. Angela is a lean six sigma Greenbelt who develops and implements successful initiatives while cultivating and retaining top talent.She is collaborative and nurtures strong partnerships with business leaders.Angela is currently responsible for organizational capability interest at Hillrom for over 10K employees.Her professional brand includes leadership development, acquisition and divestiture, business readiness,organizational design, talent acquisition, program development, diversity, inclusion & belonging, cost saving initiatives, retention strategies and learning content design. Angela is the winner of Hillrom’s 2018 Innovation award and was selected by the Network Journal as one of their Most Influential Black Women in Business in 2019.Angela lives in Fayetteville NY with her husband Joe of 30 years. The couple has two daughters.

Lura Lunkenheimer
President & CEO

Peaceful Schools

Dr. Lura is the President and CEO of Peaceful Schools, an educational consulting company serving New York State for over 20 year. With an Education Doctorate in Executive Leadership her studies have focused on leadership development, management of school culture and climate, development of tiered intervention strategies focused on student social emotional development and structures to support teachers forming secure base relationships with students. Dr. Lura earned her Masters’ Degree in Counseling & Psychological Services, from State University of NY at Oswego, specializing in School Psychology, and her combined experiences uniquely qualify her to support the development and maintenance of pro-active and response systems of support for students in k-12 settings. As an educator and staff development trainer Dr. Lura has expertise in youth development, social emotional learning, conflict resolution, restorative practices, multi-tiered systems of support including response to intervention and positive behavioral interventions and supports. Under her guidance Peaceful Schools has delivered a variety of education initiatives including initiatives related to school improvement, school climate design, school violence prevention education, after school and expanded learning time programs and development and management to build capacity in support of the community school model.

In addition to her work with Peaceful Schools, Dr. Lura has been involved with numerous organizations to benefit the safety and well-being of children, including work as a volunteer for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as a committee chair for the Central New York Ride for Missing Children, as a founding member of the Central New York Out of School Time Network, and as a regional representative for New York State Network for Youth Success.

Sarah Merrick
Commissioner – Department of Social Services

Onondaga County

In my 6th year as Commissioner of Social Services and worked in the Department for 10 additional years in various roles.Previously spent 15 years at United Way of Central New York, primarily as Vice President of Community Initiatives.Merrick has served on numerous local boards including Board President of the Women’s Fund, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Onondaga Citizens League.Sarah has a MPA from Maxwell School-Syracuse University and a BA from Skidmore College.

Lisa D. Mondello
Director, Corporate Communications

SRC, Inc.

Lisa Mondello is a corporate communications and public relations executive for SRC, an independent,not-for-profit research and development organization that specializes in defense, environment and intelligence. Mondello oversees corporate marketing initiatives, manages SRC’s internal and external communications, assists with recruiting and employee relations, directs community relations activities,provides counsel for executive messaging, coordinates corporate-wide project groups, and helps develop initiatives to improve the overall company culture. Mondello has been with SRC since 1998 and believes that coaching and mentoring others is one of the most important aspects of a leader’s role in any company. Her background includes teaching and she worked in marketing for various companies in CNY. She also gained valuable knowledge working in a family business while growing up.She holds an MBA from Columbia College and a BFA from Alfred University. Mondello is a Leadership Greater Syracuse program alum and has been given several awards for her civic involvement that include: Girl Scouts Women of Distinction, Partners for Education and Business “Business Leader of the Year” and for the development of the “STEM Program of the Year.” Mondello is very active in the community. Her personal focus is on educating our youth and facilitating collaboration between various organizations to enhance services for those in need. She is a member of the United Way Marketing Committee, the SCSD Partnership Council, The Early Childhood Alliance,Hillside Work Scholarship Advisory Board, the PTSA, and the chair of the Partners in Education and Business CNY Technology Sector. Mondello resides in Camillus with her husband and three children. She enjoys traveling,volunteering in the community, attending cultural events, and participating in outdoor activities.

Molly Mulvilhill
Senior Vice President, Syracuse/Utica Local Market Manager

Bank of America

Molly Mulvihill is Senior Vice President, Syracuse and Utica Local Market Manager at Bank of America.She is part of the Market President and Local Market Delivery team that focuses on Delivering One Company, building Corporate Reputation, upholding ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) and providing influential leadership in the Syracuse/Utica markets.A graduate of the University of Michigan, she started with the firm in January 2006 as a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor, and has held roles as Wealth Management Banker and Business Banking Relationship Manager. Prior to her experience in Financial Services, Molly worked with Sears as a Store Manager,District Manager and in the buying offices in Chicago. Molly was recognized for her community leadership as a Syracuse Honoree 40 Under 40 Award, is on the Board of Trustees of Syracuse Stage and is a Steering Committee member at Onondaga County Community Development. She and her husband live in Syracuse with their sons Danny and Teddy.

Juhana Rogers
Director of Community Engagement & Empowerment

Centerstate CEO

Juhanna Rogers, PhD. is a motivational speaker, commentator, artist, and education activist currently residing in Central New York. As a native of Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Rogers has a commitment to social justice, education, and the arts, having grown up in a diverse and resource rich environment. Dr. Rogers earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Arts from Penn State University – Altoona. While at Penn State, she wrote, directed, and produced artistic performances that celebrated Black history and culture. Her work in theater earned her Central Pennsylvania NAACP Woman of the Year at the age of 20.  Upon graduation, Dr. Rogers sought a career in higher education and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University.  In 2007, she was selected as an alternate Fulbright Scholar based on her research in race and equity within international education. Dr. Rogers used her Fulbright proposal to create a study abroad program that has taken more than 100 students on trips abroad, increasing Indiana University’s diversity efforts.  In 2010, Dr. Rogers returned to Indiana University to pursue her doctorate in higher education. Her research focuses on critical race theory, racism in education, and the international experiences of Black students and scholars.

Paloma Sarkar
Vice President, Credit Risk Team Leader
Pathfinder Bank

Paloma Sarkar is a Vice President of Credit Risk and Team Leader at Pathfinder Bank. She manages a team of loan underwriters, loan system analysts, and the collections department. In her day to day she analyzes loan portfolios, determines the risks associated with various loans and analyzes credits,  balance sheets,  and income statements. Originally from Kolkata, India; she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering in 2007 and worked for an IT company named Tech Mahindra for three years developing codes and reports for various modules of Enterprise Resource Management. She came to the United States in 2010 and graduated with an MBA from SUNY Oswego in 2011. Paloma started as an intern at Pathfinder Bank and then grew in the company having worked in Loan Operation and Loan Underwriting. Most recently, she is a board member for the Safe Haven Museum and Fort Ontario in Oswego and also the board member for RMA (Risk Management Association). She is also a member of Zonta Club.

Laura Serway

Laci’s Tapas Bar

Laura Serway is a serial entrepreneurial executive with more than 35 years of experience managing and training consultative sales, marketing, communication and business development at the local, regional and corporate level for media companies. Serway has lent her motivational management style to dozens of local non-profits including, but not limited to, AccessCNY, Salvation Army, Vera House, WISE Women’s Business Center, American Heart Association, Women United and Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation. Laci’s Tapas Bar has also given away over $125,000 to nine different non-profits in Onondaga County.
Most recently she has been chosen as the 2020 prestigious Crystal Ball winner that is awarded annually by CNYSME to a local businessperson or group of business people in recognition of their contributions to our community.

Megan Smith Gill
Chief Marketing Officer

Marathon Energy

Megan Smith Gill began her marketing career working in ad agencies in New York City serving clients around the world. After a decade, Megan transitioned to the client-side and became CMO for some of the most well known energy companies in New England, leading large scale business expansion efforts and extended vertical integrations.

She pioneered 10x growth across commercial and residential markets over a short period of time. Not surprisingly, demand for her rare combination of visionary marketing tactics and strategic insights led to the creation of her own full service marketing agency, Gill Marketing Group, in 2014 whose client portfolio includes some of the biggest energy companies across the US and Canada.

Most recently, Megan was recruited by Marathon Energy to once again return to the client side and currently services as Marathon’s first ever internal Chief Marketing Officer. Megan is an influential thought leader and frequent speaker at large scale industry events across the country.

Sheena Solomon
Executive Director

The Gifford Foundation

Sheena has been at the Gifford Foundation since 2007, and was recently named Executive Director. Her prior work at the foundation had been primarily focused on expanding its community impact initiatives,as well as working with the grants management team.Before joining the Foundation, Sheena spent several years working at local non-profit organizations where she developed an understanding and joy for working with people in the community. Sheena was essential in the creation and implementation of Gifford’s city-wide initiative, the “What If…” Mini-Grants, which provides a resource in fostering growth in neighborhoods and strengthening the capacity of residents who are focused on making positive changes in their communities. Sheena has been instrumental in the design and planning of Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders a leadership development training that focuses on increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of nonprofit boards.Sheena is a 2012 graduate of the PLACES (Professionals Learning About Community Equity and Smart Growth) program, a yearlong professional development program designed to explore critical issues that affect grant making decisions that are responsive to the needs and assets of low-income neighborhoods and people of color. She now serves on the Advisory Board for the program. Sheena also dedicates her time by serving on local and national boards such as You Can’t Fail Inc, the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation, and The Near Westside Initiative. In her role as Executive Director she remains fully committed and engaged in racial justice and equity work.Sheena is passionate about fostering growth in others. She understands the need to have patience and understanding in addressing the needs of the community. She truly believes the “teaching people howto fish” concept and celebrating diversity is the best way to build and sustain strong, vibrant and inclusive communities.In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and treasuring every moment because tomorrow is promised to no one. She looks forward to continuing her journey of being a confident, calm and courageous leader.

Barb Stone

Build Your Path LLC

For more than 25 years, Barb has worked in senior leadership positions in various types of manufacturing in Central New York after receiving her MBA in Operations and Finance from Syracuse University. During this time, she has always been actively involved in the community sitting on various boards and working hands on with many not-for-profit organizations.Although she achieved her career initiatives, there was always something tugging at her heart to be able to help individuals reach their potential. Being a life-long learner, Barb continued her personal growth in resilience, positive psychology and furthered her coach training. This led Barb to becoming a certified Life and Transition Coach to help people in transition to gain clarity and life tools to fully live their potential to reach their heart’s desire. Thus, Build Your Path LLC was born…In addition to coaching, Barb does speaking and training engagements on leadership and positivity for organizations.

Kerry Tarolli

King + King Architects

Kerry is a partner in a 70-person architectural design firm, where she focuses on K-12 educational facilities. She is committed to building client relationships and delivering successful projects, while also remaining the employer of choice for Central New York’s top architectural talent. Kerry currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Central New York and Child Care Solutions. She is also a women’s basketball official and serves on the Executive Committee of the Syracuse Oswego Board of Women’s Basketball Officials. Kerry lives in Camillus with her husband, Steve, and their three sons.

Kim Townsend
President & CEO


Kimberly Townsend–EdD, JD ,MPA ,MBA, CPA President & CEO, Loretto
Kimberly Townsend is President and Chief Executive Officer of Loretto, a continuing care system located in New York,with assets in skilled nursing, housing, managed care,short term rehabilitation and medical adult day services. Prior to joining Loretto, Ms. Townsend was the Associate General Counsel and Senior Director of Government Affairs for Welch Allyn, Inc. She has been an adjunct professor in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, as well as the Syracuse University College of Law.Ms. Townsend is currently a Governor’s Appointee to the New York State Workforce Investment Board. She also serves as a board member and in board leadership positions for a number of non-profit organizations. Ms. Townsend received her BS and MBA from the Whitman School of Management, her JD from Syracuse University College of Law ,her MPA from the Maxwell School of Public Administration and her Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College .She is admitted to practice by the New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. bars

Tracy A. Tucker
Nutrition Coach

Crossfit Syracuse

I’ve been at Cross Fit Syracuse for over a year and have my Master’s in Science from Liberty University and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.

Mission Statement: Using client-based coaching to help others experience the joys of life outside food focus. Motivating them to stay accountable every step of the way.

Fanny Villarreal
Executive Director


 Fanny Villarreal was born and raised in Peru, where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in law studies. She worked as a judge in Peru until 1991, when she moved to Syracuse and immediately began working in the community.  Her first position was as a cashier at Nojaim’s Brothers Supermarkets.  While pursuing her education and mastering her English-literacy skills, she became increasingly aware of and concerned about the state of the Latino people of Syracuse and Onondaga County. And so, typical for her, she got involved instead of standing around to watch from the sidelines and she created Nosotros Radio Inc., “Your Latino Voice”. Nosotros was created in 1993 and is an educational bilingual program that provides information, positive messages, hope and values along with Latin music based in Syracuse, NY but listening all around the world through social media and Tunein radio. She also Co-founded the Latino Festival; the Hispanic Coalition NY, Inc. and the Latino Scholarship in CNY Community Foundation. In addition, she was a volunteer for the Syracuse Newspapers from 1991 to 1993 where she was able to provide news, music and education in Spanish via “phone line”.

Fanny’s passion and love for her community has led her to run for public office, served as Executive Director of La Liga/Spanish Action League, and served as a Family and Community Development Director for P.E.A.C.E. Inc. Furthermore, she has been active member on several boards including, The Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative (SNI), Onondaga Citizens League (OCL), Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT), Fair Housing of CNY, Elmcrest Children’s Center, HomeHead Quarters Inc. and the American Heart Association to name a few. In addition, she was appointed as the first Latina board member in the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) and Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield Company.

Fanny has received numerous awards including The Lifetime Achievement of Successful

Business Women; the NY State Red Cross Good Neighbor Award; “40 Under 40”; Latina Leadership Award (representing NY State) from the National Foundation of Women Legislators in Washington DC; NY State Woman of Distinction; Syracuse University Commitment to Education, Notable Women in Human Services Hall of Fame Award along with several NY State Citations from Assemblyman William Magnarelli and Senator John DeFrancisco as well as recognitions from Congressman John Katko’s office.

Fanny became the new Executive Director for the YWCA in January 2013. The YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County Inc. is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The YWCA team, staff and board members, strives to develop intentional mission-based programs and services that meet the needs of women and girls in the community. Fanny loves her job and believe she has the best team ever working along with her.

Fanny’s personal goal is to assist all individuals to ignite self-discovery. She believes that education is the key to success and has encourage several members of the community to further their education, and that is her pride as she continues taking classes at Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She loves to teach people how to create their goals and follow their dreams. She hopes that her experiences, accomplishments and challenges will help others to succeed. Her immensurable love to God has helped her out of the darkness experiences she has encountered. Fanny lives in Syracuse with her two sons: Brian, who attends Rochester Institute of Technology and Carlos, who is in 8th grade.

Karen A. Hovey, CPA, CFE/CFF

Dermody Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC

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November 4, 2019

Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel
801 University Ave, Syracuse, NY 1321013057

(5pm – 7:30pm)