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Our Team

We are a diverse international community coming together to drive the growth and development of women leaders in social and environmental change.

Jane Finette

Jane Finette

Founder

Jane is a passionate advocate for women and girls, and author of Unlocked: How Empowered Women Empower Women. Her expertise span two decades of building and empowering global communities at scale including eBay, Sothebys and Mozilla. She is a certified CPCC ACC executive coach and leadership expert. In 2020 Jane was awarded the Women Forward Gold Award from the Business Council of Peace for her work and commitment to advancing women.

Athena Katsaros

Athena Katsaros

Executive Director

Athena believes that the biggest social and environmental challenges of our day will only be solved when women are present at every decision-making table around the world. As Executive Director, she is committed to realizing WIA’s vision and mission by leading with clear vision, thoughtful strategy, and deep care for the WIA team. Athena’s expertise includes leadership development, designing transformative programs, and leading teams to create positive change.

Anuoluwa Ishola

Anuoluwa Ishola

Director of Operations

Anu is passionate about leadership development for women. She has over 14+ years of experience working in the global development space, particularly with project management. She is committed to efficient and effective programming that improves workspace outcomes for women. Anu brings her dedication to women’s development and extensive program experience to lead Operations at the Women’s Impact Alliance.

Brittany Lane Blitzer

Brittany Lane Blitzer

Director of Strategic Development

Brittany firmly believes that a more just and regenerative world requires more women in leadership roles. She is an experienced community builder, communicator, coach, and people leader in the impact entrepreneurship space. As the WIA’s Director of Strategic Development, she focuses on exploring new pathways of partnership, communication, and product innovation to both deepen and expand The WIA’s global impact.

Skylar Gieseke

Skylar Gieseke

Head of Systems and Innovation

Skylar is motivated by growth, both in herself and those around her. She believes that positive social change occurs only when those driving the effort are living their full potential. With a background in behavioral health and non-profit management, she brings the ingenuity and expertise needed to help our small team do BIG things. Her zoom calls are often interrupted by one (or all) of her four rescue dogs and sometimes a noisy parrot.

Elise Rankin

Elise Rankin

Head of Coaching

Elise is a seasoned leadership development coach and team performance consultant for change makers. She brings 20+ years of experience as a thought partner and change catalyst for organizations solving the toughest global challenges we face today. Elise brings her passion for women’s leadership and in-depth coaching experience to her role of spearheading Coach Engagement initiatives at The Women’s Impact Alliance.

Amber Smith

Amber Smith

Program Manager

Amber loves celebrating the process and journey of women embracing their potential and fully living out their strengths and abilities. She enjoys channeling her energy toward organizations where authenticity and empowerment are valued. Amber brings a diverse background in psychology, healthcare, social work, youth engagement, and non-profit programming. She strives to bring joy, support, and a spirit of 'figureoutableness' to any space or role she is in.

Charlie Friesen

Charlie Friesen

Campaign Leader

Charlie lights up when her energy is channeled towards vibrant, intentional community, which is why she loves being a part of the Women's Impact Alliance. Through her medical background as a Labor & Delivery RN, she brings grit, a burning passion to empower women, and occasional nurse humor. As Communications Coordinator, Charlie is grateful to champion both mission-driven and frontline heroines through supportive leadership development. She exudes Enneagram Seven playfulness, and a delight in pursing both mindfulness and personal growth.

Adila Wahdat

Adila Wahdat

Graphic Designer

Adila is a graphic designer, photographer, artist, and boundary-breaker. Originally from Afghanistan, Adila overcame cultural barriers and persistently pursued her dream of becoming an accomplished graphic designer. She uses her talents to expand and express the WIA brand in social media, print, and other materials. She has been instrumental in bringing our new brand look and feel to life.

Ebony Smith

Ebony Smith

Digital Strategy Consultant

Ebony Smith is a growth-driven digital strategist focused on redefining what it means to reach and connect with people through digital marketing. Ebony's purpose is to use all the proven tactics, strategies, and trends to create forward-thinking digital campaigns that lead with an empathetic approach.

Pascal Finette

Pascal Finette

Director of Digital

Co-Founder at be radical, EY’s wavespace Advisory Board Chair, Pearson Digital Advisory Board member. Also: TheHeretic.org and TCFS.org. Formerly leadership at Google, Mozilla, eBay. Pascal heads up digital initiatives at The Women’s Impact Alliance and is a Founding Coach and mentor.

Pear Urushima

Pear Urushima

Writer & Storyteller

Pear has 25+ years of high-tech marketing and branding experience, solving innumerable creative challenges, all with a keen eye for details and aesthetics. Her focus now is supporting worthy causes that seek to empower women, keep arts and culture alive and thriving, provide business mentoring in developing countries, and promote peace and gratitude.

Hucky

Hucky

Chief Hug Officer

Hucky is Chief Hug Officer at WIA. His work focuses on the intersection of team wellbeing and eating treats. With decades-long dog years experience in tail wagging, ball fetching, and eating whatever he can score, Hucky is an invaluable member of the team.

Board of Directors

Karen Kimsey-House

Karen Kimsey-House

Board Chair

Karen is one of the earliest recognized luminaries in the coaching profession. She co-founded The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) in 1992, and co-created the Co-Active philosophy that informs CTI’s world-renowned coaching and leadership programs. She also is the co-author of Co-Active Coaching, the best-selling industry bible and Co-Active Leadership: Five Ways to Lead. Karen is a prolific author and dynamic keynote speaker - she joins us on a mission of global, transformative change.

Rocco Capobianco

Rocco Capobianco

Board Member & Treasurer

Rocco has spent decades driving growth for multinational companies both as a C-level Executive and highly successful founder in the advertising industry. He now dedicates his time to non-profits helping those currently underserved including minority populations, young women from US and around the world as a business mentor, and the physically challenged. Rocco is the Treasurer of The Women’s Impact Alliance.

Mary Ellen Muckerman

Mary Ellen Muckerman

Board Member

As a brand strategist, Mary Ellen has worked with for-profit and non-profit organizations to identify their core identity and translate that into experiences that people love. She has volunteered with organizations such as SHE-CAN and Peer Resources that empower young people, and especially young women, to develop their full potential. After spending 20 years on the East and West coasts, Mary Ellen has recently moved back to the Midwest, based in Minneapolis, MN.

Tamira Samuel

Tamira Samuel

Board Member

Tamira Samuel is the Co-Executive Director for The Urban Leaders Fellowship. She has co-founded schools targeted in intervention; developed over 50,000 leaders, teachers, and coaches; and increased funding for nonprofit organizations. Tamira has done extensive work in education, policy, and social impact in 20+ states, territories, and countries ranging from school accountability and choice, teacher compensation, reconstitution, racial equity, regulation, collegiate housing, domestic violence response, employment waivers, and sustainability.

Joanna Cotton

Joanna Cotton

Board Member

Joanna Cotton is a certified professional leadership coach, team facilitator, and faculty member with the Co-Active Training Institute. Prior to embarking on this career, she spent more than 25 years working in a variety of leadership roles within Higher Educational Publishing and Educational Travel. She has a passion for helping leaders, particularly female leaders, and organizations thrive in an increasingly complex world. Joanna has been volunteering as a coach and facilitator with WIA since 2017.

Jane Finette

Jane Finette

Board Member

Jane is a passionate advocate for women and girls, and author of Unlocked: How Empowered Women Empower Women. Her expertise span two decades of building and empowering global communities at scale including eBay, Sothebys and Mozilla. She is a certified CPCC ACC executive coach and leadership expert. In 2020 Jane was awarded the Women Forward Gold Award from the Business Council of Peace for her work and commitment to advancing women.

Strategic Advisors

Catherine Berman

Catherine Berman

Strategic Advisor

Catherine is a three-time entrepreneur with experience launching and building scalable businesses. She is a Co-founder at CNote and served as Managing Director of Charles Schwab where she led a strategy division focused on the future of finance incorporating behavioral economics and predictive analytics. Over the last two decades, Catherine has held senior roles in both management consulting and venture capital.

Dino Anderson

Dino Anderson

Diversity & Inclusion Advisor

Dino is a cultural capital architect and human resource strategist. He focuses on building and implementing people-centric interventions to dismantle systemic inequalities that adversely impact under and unrepresented human beings. Dino Anderson particularly focuses on women leadership and empowerment, equitable representation of people of color in business, and is an advocate for inclusion of people with mental health considerations. Dino is currently, Executive Director of Learning & Organizational Development, Inclusion & Diversity at Maxim Integrated.