The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

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Alice Vilma, Executive Director, Multicultural Client Strategy Committee, Morgan Stanley
Ms. Vilma has been at Morgan Stanley for over 10 years, beginning her first 3 as an Analyst after her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami. She returned to the Firm in 2009 and has worked in different roles primarily in the Global Capital Markets Division, including Equity Capital Markets – where she covered companies in the Industrial, Transportation, Power & Utilities and MLP industries from an equity financing perspective – Securitization, where she structured and executed corporate asset-backed bond transactions and GCM Management, where she worked closely with the division heads on strategic projects, operations of the division and the analyst and associate programs among other responsibilities.
Ms. Vilma has spent her career in the financial services industry, and worked at Sallie Mae in their Strategic Planning and Corporate Development group before attending business school. Prior to returning to Morgan Stanley, Ms. Vilma was an Assistant Vice President in the Communications, Media and Entertainment Group at CIT, where she spent her time advising clients on and making investments in production and content related companies in the entertainment sector.
Ms. Vilma has over 15 years of structured finance experience across various asset classes and sectors, executing over $25Bn of securitization and structured finance transactions over that time. Her different experiences have rounded out her skill set and provided unique perspectives that have proven advantageous to her in her current role. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Miami and received her MBA from the Harvard Business School.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Alice Vilma, Executive Director, Multicultural Client Strategy Committee, Morgan Stanley Ms. Vilma has been at Morgan Stanley for over 10 years, beginning her first 3 as an Analyst after her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami. She returned to the Firm in 2009 and has worked in different roles primarily in the Global Capital Markets Division, including Equity Capital Markets – where she covered companies in the Industrial, Transportation, Power & Utilities and MLP industries from an equity financing perspective – Securitization, where she structured and executed corporate asset-backed bond transactions and GCM Management, where she worked closely with the division heads on strategic projects, operations of the division and the analyst and associate programs among other responsibilities. Ms. Vilma has spent her career in the financial services industry, and worked at Sallie Mae in their Strategic Planning and Corporate Development group before attending business school. Prior to returning to Morgan Stanley, Ms. Vilma was an Assistant Vice President in the Communications, Media and Entertainment Group at CIT, where she spent her time advising clients on and making investments in production and content related companies in the entertainment sector. Ms. Vilma has over 15 years of structured finance experience across various asset classes and sectors, executing over $25Bn of securitization and structured finance transactions over that time. Her different experiences have rounded out her skill set and provided unique perspectives that have proven advantageous to her in her current role. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Miami and received her MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Amie Barnes, Executive Director, Seven Dancers Coalition
A Native American Coalition of Professional from all over New York State and Haudenosaunee Country, Seven Dancers Coalition works to better the lives of Native American Women and their families. The major areas of focus are domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Amie Barnes, Executive Director, Seven Dancers Coalition A Native American Coalition of Professional from all over New York State and Haudenosaunee Country, Seven Dancers Coalition works to better the lives of Native American Women and their families. The major areas of focus are domestic violence, sexual assault, teen dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking.

Angela Guzman, Director, Supplier Diversity, NBCUniversal
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Angela Guzman, Director, Supplier Diversity, NBCUniversal

Angelina Darrisaw, Founder and CEO, C-Suite Coach & Google Digital Coach
Angelina Darrisaw is a social entrepreneur, an international business career coach, and digital media strategist. Angelina is the founder and CEO of C-SuiteCoach, a groundbreaking career coaching platform that provides accessible professional development content and resources to diverse, millennial professionals.Prior to founding C-Suite Coach, she was the Senior Manager of Digital Business Development at Viacom where she developed strategic business opportunities and partnerships with social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and more. Angelina did similar digital strategy work previously at ESPN.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Angelina Darrisaw, Founder and CEO, C-Suite Coach & Google Digital Coach Angelina Darrisaw is a social entrepreneur, an international business career coach, and digital media strategist. Angelina is the founder and CEO of C-SuiteCoach, a groundbreaking career coaching platform that provides accessible professional development content and resources to diverse, millennial professionals.Prior to founding C-Suite Coach, she was the Senior Manager of Digital Business Development at Viacom where she developed strategic business opportunities and partnerships with social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and more. Angelina did similar digital strategy work previously at ESPN.

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, Renowned Scientist
Fortified with a clay called attapulgite, her new cement could one day prevent the sort of blowout that sent 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. For her groundbreaking work, Augusta earned acceptance to all eight Ivy League schools and started at Harvard in August.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, Renowned Scientist

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, Renowned Scientist Fortified with a clay called attapulgite, her new cement could one day prevent the sort of blowout that sent 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. For her groundbreaking work, Augusta earned acceptance to all eight Ivy League schools and started at Harvard in August.

Egypt ‘Ify’ Ufele, CEO, Chubiiline LLC, Bullychasers Inc., & Anti-Bullying Advocate
Egypt “Ify” Ufele responded to the bullying she regularly experienced in elementary school with a metaphorical one-two punch. In January 2015, she launched (with the help of her mother) Chubiiline: a collection of caps, backpacks and T-shirts emblazoned with anti-bullying slogans like “No hate just love” and “No kid should ever feel bad about how they look.” The items are for sale via Ify’s website and have so far netted more than $30,000. She’s also taken her creativity—and her message—to the runways, with a second line of clothing for curvy girls and women that features bold colors and African-inspired prints. “My dad is from Nigeria,” she said, “and when I visited there I fell in love with the fabrics.” The pieces have been shown in New York and Philadelphia and on the West Coast. Ify hopes the collection will be available in stores soon.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Egypt ‘Ify’ Ufele, CEO, Chubiiline LLC, Bullychasers Inc., & Anti-Bullying Advocate Egypt “Ify” Ufele responded to the bullying she regularly experienced in elementary school with a metaphorical one-two punch. In January 2015, she launched (with the help of her mother) Chubiiline: a collection of caps, backpacks and T-shirts emblazoned with anti-bullying slogans like “No hate just love” and “No kid should ever feel bad about how they look.” The items are for sale via Ify’s website and have so far netted more than $30,000. She’s also taken her creativity—and her message—to the runways, with a second line of clothing for curvy girls and women that features bold colors and African-inspired prints. “My dad is from Nigeria,” she said, “and when I visited there I fell in love with the fabrics.” The pieces have been shown in New York and Philadelphia and on the West Coast. Ify hopes the collection will be available in stores soon.

Chanda Gibson, Executive Director, Council of Urban Professionals
Chanda Gibson is the Executive Director of the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP).  She has dedicated her entire career, which has spanned the nonprofit, legal, political and financial services sectors, to advocacy and service with a dedicated focus on advancing social justice issues like diversity and inclusion, educational access, and corporate responsibility.   

Chanda joined us at CUP after spending 14 years at Goldman Sachs, where she was the Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance for the Corporate Services and Real Estate division. Some of her key areas of focus included vendor diversity and inclusion, local and state government and community engagement, and environmental stewardship.  During her tenure at Goldman Sachs Chanda served on her division’s People Development Committee, was the Chief Operating Officer of the firm-wide Black Network for six years and was the founding Executive Director of America Needs You-New Jersey, the first expansion site of the nonprofit organization that provides first-generation college students with transformative mentorship and career development opportunities. 

Chanda is originally from California but left her legal career in 2002 to support now United States Senator Cory Booker’s first mayoral race in Newark, New Jersey.  She has a law degree from the University of Southern California and her B.A. in Political Science and African & African-American Studies from Stanford University.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Chanda Gibson, Executive Director, Council of Urban Professionals Chanda Gibson is the Executive Director of the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP). She has dedicated her entire career, which has spanned the nonprofit, legal, political and financial services sectors, to advocacy and service with a dedicated focus on advancing social justice issues like diversity and inclusion, educational access, and corporate responsibility. Chanda joined us at CUP after spending 14 years at Goldman Sachs, where she was the Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance for the Corporate Services and Real Estate division. Some of her key areas of focus included vendor diversity and inclusion, local and state government and community engagement, and environmental stewardship. During her tenure at Goldman Sachs Chanda served on her division’s People Development Committee, was the Chief Operating Officer of the firm-wide Black Network for six years and was the founding Executive Director of America Needs You-New Jersey, the first expansion site of the nonprofit organization that provides first-generation college students with transformative mentorship and career development opportunities. Chanda is originally from California but left her legal career in 2002 to support now United States Senator Cory Booker’s first mayoral race in Newark, New Jersey. She has a law degree from the University of Southern California and her B.A. in Political Science and African & African-American Studies from Stanford University.

Dee C. Marshall, Author, Speaker, and Founder, Girlfriends Pray
A sought-after international speaker, published Author, certified Coach and TV Lifestyle Expert, Dee Marshall is Managing Director at Raise The Bar, LLC a WBENC Certified providing coaching training and development. She is Founder of Girlfriends Pray Inc.an international non-profit organization of over 200K women (currently in three countries and over 26 US markets) and Marshall is also a contributor for Essence Magazine and FOX NY. Her speaking credits span from small to large audiences around the world. She has been covered by numerous media outlets to include ABC, MSNBC, Fox, Black Enterprise, Upscale, Rolling Out and many more in addition to her role as the resident Life Coach on TV One Makeover Manor.
Prior to launching out on her own Marshall spent over ten years working on Wall Street in management and organizational development for Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities, Moody’s Investor Service pre- September 11th and post September 11th prior to going into business she worked for Johnson & Johnson and managed advertising sales for over a dozen categories of business at The New York Times.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Dee C. Marshall, Author, Speaker, and Founder, Girlfriends Pray A sought-after international speaker, published Author, certified Coach and TV Lifestyle Expert, Dee Marshall is Managing Director at Raise The Bar, LLC a WBENC Certified providing coaching training and development. She is Founder of Girlfriends Pray Inc.an international non-profit organization of over 200K women (currently in three countries and over 26 US markets) and Marshall is also a contributor for Essence Magazine and FOX NY. Her speaking credits span from small to large audiences around the world. She has been covered by numerous media outlets to include ABC, MSNBC, Fox, Black Enterprise, Upscale, Rolling Out and many more in addition to her role as the resident Life Coach on TV One Makeover Manor. Prior to launching out on her own Marshall spent over ten years working on Wall Street in management and organizational development for Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities, Moody’s Investor Service pre- September 11th and post September 11th prior to going into business she worked for Johnson & Johnson and managed advertising sales for over a dozen categories of business at The New York Times.

Dorinda Walker, Vice President, Consumer Strategy and Key Initiatives Multicultural Marketing, Prudential Insurance Company of America
Dorinda Walker is a vice president of consumer strategy and key initiatives within multicultural marketing for Prudential’s U.S. businesses. Ms. Walker is responsible for supporting, planning and executing profitable growth strategies among diverse consumer segments. To expand new business opportunities, she incorporates strategic planning, targeted marketing campaigns, program management, event planning and community engagement. In addition, Dorinda is accountable for educating distributors about the benefits of adapting Prudential’s “Total Market Strategy.” To ensure targeted segment alignment has positive business impact, Ms. Walker directs expansion of consumer engagement strategies via experiential sponsored events, marketing initiatives, B2B and B2C content management, and social media. Team leadership and staff development are integral to her role. Since joining Prudential in 1999, Dorinda has held a variety of positions within group insurance, individual life insurance and finance. She is a past co-chair of the Black Leadership Forum, a business resource group at Prudential that provides personal and career development resources for African-Americans and other employees of color. Dorinda is a frequently sought-after featured presenter and panelist at national conferences and programs.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Dorinda Walker, Vice President, Consumer Strategy and Key Initiatives Multicultural Marketing, Prudential Insurance Company of America Dorinda Walker is a vice president of consumer strategy and key initiatives within multicultural marketing for Prudential’s U.S. businesses. Ms. Walker is responsible for supporting, planning and executing profitable growth strategies among diverse consumer segments. To expand new business opportunities, she incorporates strategic planning, targeted marketing campaigns, program management, event planning and community engagement. In addition, Dorinda is accountable for educating distributors about the benefits of adapting Prudential’s “Total Market Strategy.” To ensure targeted segment alignment has positive business impact, Ms. Walker directs expansion of consumer engagement strategies via experiential sponsored events, marketing initiatives, B2B and B2C content management, and social media. Team leadership and staff development are integral to her role. Since joining Prudential in 1999, Dorinda has held a variety of positions within group insurance, individual life insurance and finance. She is a past co-chair of the Black Leadership Forum, a business resource group at Prudential that provides personal and career development resources for African-Americans and other employees of color. Dorinda is a frequently sought-after featured presenter and panelist at national conferences and programs.

Jacqueline Ebanks, Commissioner, New York City Commission on Gender Equity
 
Jacqueline Ebanks is an innovative manager and policy maker with extensive experience in philanthropy and the non-profit sector. She has worked for over 30 years to promote economic and social justice for women and girls, and marginalized communities.
Since 2014, Ebanks has served as the Executive Director of the Women’s City Club of New York, where she guided the civic-engagement organization into its second century of activism. Previously, Jacqueline served as the Vice President of Programs at the New York Women’s Foundation and worked at Citigroup as their Vice President & Director of U.S. Partnerships and Program Development for Global Community Relations Division and then as their Regional Community Relations Director for the Northeast and Puerto Rico. Prior to Citigroup, Jacqueline served as the Vice President for Community Investment at the United Way of New York City. Ebanks began her career at citywide and community based service organizations services, serving as Child Welfare Policy Analyst at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies,  Director of United Neighborhood Houses’ Staff Development and Human Resource Management Initiative,  Director of Program Development and Quality Assurance at the Society for Seamen’s Children, and Director of Development at Harlem United Community AIDS Centers.
Ebanks holds a M.S. in Policy Analysis and Public Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She resides in the Bronx with her husband and their three daughters.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Jacqueline Ebanks, Commissioner, New York City Commission on Gender Equity Jacqueline Ebanks is an innovative manager and policy maker with extensive experience in philanthropy and the non-profit sector. She has worked for over 30 years to promote economic and social justice for women and girls, and marginalized communities. Since 2014, Ebanks has served as the Executive Director of the Women’s City Club of New York, where she guided the civic-engagement organization into its second century of activism. Previously, Jacqueline served as the Vice President of Programs at the New York Women’s Foundation and worked at Citigroup as their Vice President & Director of U.S. Partnerships and Program Development for Global Community Relations Division and then as their Regional Community Relations Director for the Northeast and Puerto Rico. Prior to Citigroup, Jacqueline served as the Vice President for Community Investment at the United Way of New York City. Ebanks began her career at citywide and community based service organizations services, serving as Child Welfare Policy Analyst at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Director of United Neighborhood Houses’ Staff Development and Human Resource Management Initiative, Director of Program Development and Quality Assurance at the Society for Seamen’s Children, and Director of Development at Harlem United Community AIDS Centers. Ebanks holds a M.S. in Policy Analysis and Public Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She resides in the Bronx with her husband and their three daughters.

Jamira Burley, Head of Youth Engagement and Skills, Global Business Coalition for Education
Jamira Burley is a White House Champion of Change and Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree. For over a decade she’s worked as a strategist for both private and public entities with an expertise at the intersection of youth, policy and social good. Currently, Jamira is the Head of Youth Engagement and Skills for the Global Business Coalition for Education, helping to ensure a collaborative relationship between youth and business leaders; to enable innovative ways to educate, engage and activate young people around the world. Prior to joining the Global Business Coalition for Education, Jamira was the National Deputy Millennial Vote Director at Hillary for America.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Jamira Burley, Head of Youth Engagement and Skills, Global Business Coalition for Education Jamira Burley is a White House Champion of Change and Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree. For over a decade she’s worked as a strategist for both private and public entities with an expertise at the intersection of youth, policy and social good. Currently, Jamira is the Head of Youth Engagement and Skills for the Global Business Coalition for Education, helping to ensure a collaborative relationship between youth and business leaders; to enable innovative ways to educate, engage and activate young people around the world. Prior to joining the Global Business Coalition for Education, Jamira was the National Deputy Millennial Vote Director at Hillary for America.

Jodie Patterson, Co-founder, DooBop Beauty and Georgia by Jodie Patterson
Jodie Patterson is a former PR director turned fashionista. She is the owner of Georgia by Jodie Patterson, a natural skin and haircare line, and DooBop, an e-commerce beauty site
In 2005, Patterson realized that it was too difficult to be both a mom and a fashion representative. She was on her way to having what is now five children. At the time, she was the PR director at Zac Posen, an American fashion designer. And it was here where she saw a gaping hole in the beauty industry — Women of color were being underserved when it came to hair and makeup products
So she opened a beauty line in SoHo, Georgia by Jodie Patterson. The store remained open for four years before transitioning to online only.
That’s when she found her business partner Benjamin Bernet, a forme L’Oreal executive, and decided to do something about it. Then DooBop was born.
Doobop launched in November 2013. Described as the “first beauty e-tailer uniquely curated and edited for multi-ethnic women,” the site allows customers to fill out a questionnaire about their hair type, skin color and preferences so that they can receive customized recommendations.
Launching with only 25 brands, DooBop has only grown since then.
A graduate of Spelman College, Patterson lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She has five kids, ranging in age from college to elementary school.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Jodie Patterson, Co-founder, DooBop Beauty and Georgia by Jodie Patterson Jodie Patterson is a former PR director turned fashionista. She is the owner of Georgia by Jodie Patterson, a natural skin and haircare line, and DooBop, an e-commerce beauty site In 2005, Patterson realized that it was too difficult to be both a mom and a fashion representative. She was on her way to having what is now five children. At the time, she was the PR director at Zac Posen, an American fashion designer. And it was here where she saw a gaping hole in the beauty industry — Women of color were being underserved when it came to hair and makeup products So she opened a beauty line in SoHo, Georgia by Jodie Patterson. The store remained open for four years before transitioning to online only. That’s when she found her business partner Benjamin Bernet, a forme L’Oreal executive, and decided to do something about it. Then DooBop was born. Doobop launched in November 2013. Described as the “first beauty e-tailer uniquely curated and edited for multi-ethnic women,” the site allows customers to fill out a questionnaire about their hair type, skin color and preferences so that they can receive customized recommendations. Launching with only 25 brands, DooBop has only grown since then. A graduate of Spelman College, Patterson lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She has five kids, ranging in age from college to elementary school.

Johanna DeJesus, Senior Vice President, Programs and Operations, SoBRO
Johanna DeJesus comes to SoBRO as a Bronx native, a product of the New York City public school system, public housing, and a former teen mom.  Ms. DeJesus has over 15 years of managerial and direct-service experience, having built exemplary youth, young adult, and family programs for underserved communities throughout New York City.  She received a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle and has an M.A. in Human Services Leadership from St. Joseph’s College.  In addition, Ms. DeJesus is a graduate of the National Urban Fellows’ Leadership Development Program.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Johanna DeJesus, Senior Vice President, Programs and Operations, SoBRO Johanna DeJesus comes to SoBRO as a Bronx native, a product of the New York City public school system, public housing, and a former teen mom. Ms. DeJesus has over 15 years of managerial and direct-service experience, having built exemplary youth, young adult, and family programs for underserved communities throughout New York City. She received a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle and has an M.A. in Human Services Leadership from St. Joseph’s College. In addition, Ms. DeJesus is a graduate of the National Urban Fellows’ Leadership Development Program.

Jummy Olabanji, Anchor/Reporter at NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Award winner Jummy Olabanji anchors NBC 4 New York’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekend newscasts.  During the week, Olabanji also covers breaking news around the Tri-State area as a general assignment reporter.
A native of Fairfax County, Virginia who most recently served as a co-anchor for Good Morning Washington and News at Noon on Washington, D.C.’s WJLA-TV, Olabanji recently back travelled to Washington, D.C. and Virginia for NBC 4 New York’s live coverage of the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. She reported directly from the crime scene, covered the subsequent investigation and interviewed numerous elected officials participating in the subsequent Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park. 
Olabanji has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for breaking news anchor coverage.  Her commitment to journalistic excellence has also been recognized with two Virginia Associated Press Awards and six Capital Emmy Awards, including for Best Morning Newscast. 
Prior to her service in New York and Washington, D.C., Olabanji served as an anchor and reporter with WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Virginia and at WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, Virginia.  She began her career as a news assistant with CNN and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She also earned a Master’s degree in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University. 
A member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Olabanji serves on the Board of Directors of the National Kidney Foundation. An advocate for organ donation, she is also a supporter of Donate Life America.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Jummy Olabanji, Anchor/Reporter at NBCUniversal Media, LLC Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Award winner Jummy Olabanji anchors NBC 4 New York’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekend newscasts. During the week, Olabanji also covers breaking news around the Tri-State area as a general assignment reporter. A native of Fairfax County, Virginia who most recently served as a co-anchor for Good Morning Washington and News at Noon on Washington, D.C.’s WJLA-TV, Olabanji recently back travelled to Washington, D.C. and Virginia for NBC 4 New York’s live coverage of the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. She reported directly from the crime scene, covered the subsequent investigation and interviewed numerous elected officials participating in the subsequent Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park. Olabanji has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for breaking news anchor coverage. Her commitment to journalistic excellence has also been recognized with two Virginia Associated Press Awards and six Capital Emmy Awards, including for Best Morning Newscast. Prior to her service in New York and Washington, D.C., Olabanji served as an anchor and reporter with WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Virginia and at WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, Virginia. She began her career as a news assistant with CNN and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She also earned a Master’s degree in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University. A member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Olabanji serves on the Board of Directors of the National Kidney Foundation. An advocate for organ donation, she is also a supporter of Donate Life America.

Karen Kerr, Senior Managing Director, Advanced Manufacturing, GE Ventures
Karen Kerr leads a team focused on making investments and developing partnerships in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem. Karen comes to GE with two decades of experience in developing technology based businesses and venture investing. Previously she served as Senior Director of New Ventures and Alliances at the University of Southern California (USC) Stevens Center for Innovation where she was responsible for accelerating the formation of startup companies out of university research. Before joining USC, Karen led business development at Intellectual Ventures, served as a Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners, and founded Agile Equities LLC, a venture development company specializing in emerging technology companies. Focused on venture education and technology advancements, Karen has held a variety of board roles for organizations including the Center for Venture Education, National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advance Technology. Highly acclaimed, Karen was named one of LA’s Top Innovators in 2012 by C Suite Quarterly, selected to C200 leading business women in 2004, and selected by Crain’s Chicago Business for its 40 under 40 list of leading business professionals in Chicago. Karen earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and an AB in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Karen Kerr, Senior Managing Director, Advanced Manufacturing, GE Ventures Karen Kerr leads a team focused on making investments and developing partnerships in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem. Karen comes to GE with two decades of experience in developing technology based businesses and venture investing. Previously she served as Senior Director of New Ventures and Alliances at the University of Southern California (USC) Stevens Center for Innovation where she was responsible for accelerating the formation of startup companies out of university research. Before joining USC, Karen led business development at Intellectual Ventures, served as a Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners, and founded Agile Equities LLC, a venture development company specializing in emerging technology companies. Focused on venture education and technology advancements, Karen has held a variety of board roles for organizations including the Center for Venture Education, National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advance Technology. Highly acclaimed, Karen was named one of LA’s Top Innovators in 2012 by C Suite Quarterly, selected to C200 leading business women in 2004, and selected by Crain’s Chicago Business for its 40 under 40 list of leading business professionals in Chicago. Karen earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and an AB in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College.

Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global
Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global
Latanya Mapp Frett is the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. She has quadrupled the size of the program in four years to become one of the most innovative and sustainable global health organizations in the field.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global Latanya Mapp Frett is the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. She has quadrupled the size of the program in four years to become one of the most innovative and sustainable global health organizations in the field.

Dr. Lorna R. Lewis, Superintendent, Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District
Dr. Lorna R. Lewis is the Superintendent of Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District.Dr. Lewis is also on the executive board of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), where she co-chairs the curriculum committee and serves as a member of the Task Force for Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) and the Commissioner’s Advisory Committee. A former president of the Long Island Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (LIASCD), she remains an active member . Dr. Lewis has been an adjunct professor with Hofstra University, where she taught graduate science methods courses. Serving under the auspices of Phi Delta Kappa, she has conducted curriculum audits in several states. Dr. Lewis has also served as a keynote speaker at many major events for school administrators and has presented workshops at BOCES and local universities.
For the past five years, Dr. Lewis has served as superintendent of the East Williston UFSD. This district is the home of the Wheatley School, which has consistently been recognized as one of the top 100 high schools in the country by Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Dr. Lorna R. Lewis, Superintendent, Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Dr. Lorna R. Lewis is the Superintendent of Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District.Dr. Lewis is also on the executive board of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS), where she co-chairs the curriculum committee and serves as a member of the Task Force for Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) and the Commissioner’s Advisory Committee. A former president of the Long Island Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (LIASCD), she remains an active member . Dr. Lewis has been an adjunct professor with Hofstra University, where she taught graduate science methods courses. Serving under the auspices of Phi Delta Kappa, she has conducted curriculum audits in several states. Dr. Lewis has also served as a keynote speaker at many major events for school administrators and has presented workshops at BOCES and local universities. For the past five years, Dr. Lewis has served as superintendent of the East Williston UFSD. This district is the home of the Wheatley School, which has consistently been recognized as one of the top 100 high schools in the country by Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.

Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Senior Advisor, Office Mayor Bill de Blasio, City of New York
In September 2015, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez joined Emblem Health as Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Government Affairs. Previously, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez was the Executive Vice President for the American Association of Retired People (AARP). She oversaw implementation of overall Brand Awareness and Acquisition Campaign for target audiences. She also oversaw formation of the Multicultural Markets and Engagement Unit.

Prior to joining AARP, Lorraine was Secretary of State in New York from 2007 to 2010 – the first Latina to serve in that role. During her tenure she re-aligned the Community Services Block Grant Program to target specific areas that include at risk youth, healthy families and workforce development. Before her appointment by Governor Spitzer, Lorraine served as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at Cablevision. She also worked for 14 years at the New York City Department for the Aging's Bureau of Program and Resource Development. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of social impact positions in East Harlem.

From 1998 to 2004, Cortés-Vázquez served as President of the Hispanic Federation, aiding more than 2 million Latinos annually. She also has prior experience on the New York State Board of Regents; she was Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez; and she oversaw the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force and the Somos El Futuro Conference. She was also Executive Director of ASPIRA of New York, the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit Latino youth leadership development and education advocacy agency.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Senior Advisor, Office Mayor Bill de Blasio, City of New York In September 2015, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez joined Emblem Health as Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Government Affairs. Previously, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez was the Executive Vice President for the American Association of Retired People (AARP). She oversaw implementation of overall Brand Awareness and Acquisition Campaign for target audiences. She also oversaw formation of the Multicultural Markets and Engagement Unit. Prior to joining AARP, Lorraine was Secretary of State in New York from 2007 to 2010 – the first Latina to serve in that role. During her tenure she re-aligned the Community Services Block Grant Program to target specific areas that include at risk youth, healthy families and workforce development. Before her appointment by Governor Spitzer, Lorraine served as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at Cablevision. She also worked for 14 years at the New York City Department for the Aging's Bureau of Program and Resource Development. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of social impact positions in East Harlem. From 1998 to 2004, Cortés-Vázquez served as President of the Hispanic Federation, aiding more than 2 million Latinos annually. She also has prior experience on the New York State Board of Regents; she was Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez; and she oversaw the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force and the Somos El Futuro Conference. She was also Executive Director of ASPIRA of New York, the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit Latino youth leadership development and education advocacy agency.

Maya Gorgoni, Co-founder, Royal Jelly Harlem
Royal Jelly Harlem is an African-inspired clothing and home decorating line founded in February 2011 by mother-daughter duo Teta and Maya Gorgoni. After many trips to West and South Africa, they were inspired by the artistry of the printed fabrics. These fabrics inspired an exciting new line of fashion and home décor that would become Royal Jelly Harlem.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Maya Gorgoni, Co-founder, Royal Jelly Harlem Royal Jelly Harlem is an African-inspired clothing and home decorating line founded in February 2011 by mother-daughter duo Teta and Maya Gorgoni. After many trips to West and South Africa, they were inspired by the artistry of the printed fabrics. These fabrics inspired an exciting new line of fashion and home décor that would become Royal Jelly Harlem.

Miko Branch, Co-founder, Miss Jessie’s
Miko Branch is the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie's LLC. She is celebrated for transforming the hair-care industry by pioneering an entirely new category of products specifically for natural and curly hair. She was featured on the cover of Women's Wear Daily and appeared on the cover of Beauty Inc.as a trailblazer, and Ebony listed her as one of its Power 100 Innovators and Influencers. She has also been honored by New York University and Delta Sigma Theta for her entrepreneurship. Miss Jessie's award-winning products have been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Teen Vogue, Redbook, Essence, Allure Latina, and other publications. She lives in New York with her son.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York
Miko Branch, Co-founder, Miss Jessie’s

Miko Branch, Co-founder, Miss Jessie’s Miko Branch is the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie's LLC. She is celebrated for transforming the hair-care industry by pioneering an entirely new category of products specifically for natural and curly hair. She was featured on the cover of Women's Wear Daily and appeared on the cover of Beauty Inc.as a trailblazer, and Ebony listed her as one of its Power 100 Innovators and Influencers. She has also been honored by New York University and Delta Sigma Theta for her entrepreneurship. Miss Jessie's award-winning products have been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Teen Vogue, Redbook, Essence, Allure Latina, and other publications. She lives in New York with her son.

Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO, Pipeline Angels
Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, a network of women investors that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Natalia is also Creator & Host of Pitch Makeover, a podcast on startups, pitching, investing, and #morevoices (women, non-binary people, and men of color). She holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale and she serves on the boards of Walker’s Legacy, Women 2.0, and iRelaunch. Inc. Magazine selected Natalia as one of “The Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016,” Latina.com included her in their list of “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech,” and Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012. Natalia was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” and Fortune’s “55 most influential women on Twitter.”
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO, Pipeline Angels Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, a network of women investors that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Natalia is also Creator & Host of Pitch Makeover, a podcast on startups, pitching, investing, and #morevoices (women, non-binary people, and men of color). She holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale and she serves on the boards of Walker’s Legacy, Women 2.0, and iRelaunch. Inc. Magazine selected Natalia as one of “The Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016,” Latina.com included her in their list of “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech,” and Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012. Natalia was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” and Fortune’s “55 most influential women on Twitter.”

Ninon Marapachi, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Ninon Marapachi is the head of Hedge Fund Origination & Product Management team within the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BAML”) Alternative Investment Group. Her team is responsible for (i) sourcing, (ii) structuring, (iii) negotiating, and (iv) managing hedge funds and managed futures products on the BAML’s hedge fund platform.
Before joining the Alternative Investments Group, Ninon was a senior member of the Structured Products Origination Group within Global Wealth & Investment Management where she was responsible for (i) the construction of innovative financial products across asset classes, including equity, fixed income, currencies and commodities and (ii) the development of delta-one open architecture platform offering retail clients at Merrill Lynch access to various asset classes.
Ninon graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2002 with a BA in Economics from  Holyoke College. She began her career at Merrill Lynch as summer intern in 2001 through the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Asset Management Career Program, and became a full-time analyst in 2002.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Ninon Marapachi, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Ninon Marapachi is the head of Hedge Fund Origination & Product Management team within the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BAML”) Alternative Investment Group. Her team is responsible for (i) sourcing, (ii) structuring, (iii) negotiating, and (iv) managing hedge funds and managed futures products on the BAML’s hedge fund platform. Before joining the Alternative Investments Group, Ninon was a senior member of the Structured Products Origination Group within Global Wealth & Investment Management where she was responsible for (i) the construction of innovative financial products across asset classes, including equity, fixed income, currencies and commodities and (ii) the development of delta-one open architecture platform offering retail clients at Merrill Lynch access to various asset classes. Ninon graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2002 with a BA in Economics from Holyoke College. She began her career at Merrill Lynch as summer intern in 2001 through the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Asset Management Career Program, and became a full-time analyst in 2002.

Nubia Murray, Global Marketing Manager, McDonald’s Corporation
Murray has worked in sponsorship and partnership marketing for over a decade, spearheading various properties in global locations including the US, Frankfurt, South Africa, Sydney and Singapore. Capitalizing on this experience, Nubia recently joined the Global Marketing team at McDonald’s Corporation, contributing to the strategic oversight of the Family Experience in 120+ countries and 36,000 restaurants worldwide. The Global Family Marketing team also leads brand alignment and relationship management of McD’s nearly 30 different licensing partners including Universal, DreamWorks, SONY and 20th Century Fox.

As much as Nubia has gotten out of her professional experiences, she has given back tenfold. As a NY Junior League Volunteer, Nubia trained community leaders to be effective board members by facilitating a bi-annual Nonprofit Governance Training course and the Forum for Non-profits annual conference. Her focus on impactful civic involvement is also exercised through her selection as a Council of Urban Professionals CUP Fellow, a highly competitive year-long development program designed to prepare selected applicants for civic involvement. Nubia is active in Delta Sigma Theta, including a two-year tenure as North Manhattan Alumnae’s Fundraising Chair and Strategic Planning Chair.

Crediting sports for opening doors to educational opportunities as well as developing her strong work ethic and competitive drive, Nubia competed in Track & Field at Howard University and completed her fifth Olympic-distance triathlon and her second New York City Marathon this past year. She continues to contribute to her beloved HU, currently sitting on the School of Business Department of Marketing Advisory Board and founding board member of the Build as We Climb Scholarship Initiative.

Nubia was raised on Chicago’s Southside by her mother Linda, a 42-year veteran educator and Milken Award Winner, and her father, the Honorable Leonard Murray. She splits her time between Chicago and Harlem, with her fiancé and personal chef, Brian.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Nubia Murray, Global Marketing Manager, McDonald’s Corporation Murray has worked in sponsorship and partnership marketing for over a decade, spearheading various properties in global locations including the US, Frankfurt, South Africa, Sydney and Singapore. Capitalizing on this experience, Nubia recently joined the Global Marketing team at McDonald’s Corporation, contributing to the strategic oversight of the Family Experience in 120+ countries and 36,000 restaurants worldwide. The Global Family Marketing team also leads brand alignment and relationship management of McD’s nearly 30 different licensing partners including Universal, DreamWorks, SONY and 20th Century Fox. As much as Nubia has gotten out of her professional experiences, she has given back tenfold. As a NY Junior League Volunteer, Nubia trained community leaders to be effective board members by facilitating a bi-annual Nonprofit Governance Training course and the Forum for Non-profits annual conference. Her focus on impactful civic involvement is also exercised through her selection as a Council of Urban Professionals CUP Fellow, a highly competitive year-long development program designed to prepare selected applicants for civic involvement. Nubia is active in Delta Sigma Theta, including a two-year tenure as North Manhattan Alumnae’s Fundraising Chair and Strategic Planning Chair. Crediting sports for opening doors to educational opportunities as well as developing her strong work ethic and competitive drive, Nubia competed in Track & Field at Howard University and completed her fifth Olympic-distance triathlon and her second New York City Marathon this past year. She continues to contribute to her beloved HU, currently sitting on the School of Business Department of Marketing Advisory Board and founding board member of the Build as We Climb Scholarship Initiative. Nubia was raised on Chicago’s Southside by her mother Linda, a 42-year veteran educator and Milken Award Winner, and her father, the Honorable Leonard Murray. She splits her time between Chicago and Harlem, with her fiancé and personal chef, Brian.

Teta Gorgoni, Co-founder, Royal Jelly Harlem
Royal Jelly Harlem is an African-inspired clothing and home decorating line founded in February 2011 by mother-daughter duo Teta and Maya Gorgoni. After many trips to West and South Africa, they were inspired by the artistry of the printed fabrics. These fabrics inspired an exciting new line of fashion and home décor that would become Royal Jelly Harlem.
The List: Multicultural Women Leading in New York

Teta Gorgoni, Co-founder, Royal Jelly Harlem Royal Jelly Harlem is an African-inspired clothing and home decorating line founded in February 2011 by mother-daughter duo Teta and Maya Gorgoni. After many trips to West and South Africa, they were inspired by the artistry of the printed fabrics. These fabrics inspired an exciting new line of fashion and home décor that would become Royal Jelly Harlem.

Walker’s Legacy hosted its New York #WLPower25 Awards Reception hosted by WeWork, a global company that provides small businesses, startups, freelancers, large enterprises, and everyone in between with the workspace, community, and services they need to make a life.

Recipients of the Walker’s Legacy Power25 Award are women who thrive in an array of industries including technology, media, corporate business, and education. The award celebrates our recipients’ dedication to improving and innovating their community.

#WLPower25 New York City Award honorees also received formal recognition from the office of Senator Jesse Hamilton who additionally acts as the Chair of the New York State Senate Banks Committee.

Learn more about our 2017 New York award recipients by viewing the gallery.

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