2013 Advisory Council
- Senator Beatrice Lanzi (Chair)
- Sally Genster Robling
- Kathleen Carroll
- Becky Fleischauer
- Vanessa Maddox
- Cathy O’Brien Yaffa
- Kristan Peters-Hamlin
Beatrice Lanzi is completing her final term as a RI State Senator, after serving 20 years in the Rhode Island Legislature. While serving in the State Legislature, Bea assumed many leadership positions including serving as Deputy Majority Leader and Deputy President Pro Tempore. She also served as Secretary of the Senate Education Committee, Secretary of the Senate Committee on Corporations, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and on the Special Commission on Reapportionment. She Chaired the Special Commission to Study Fire Safety Standards. As a legislator, Bea has introduced landmark legislation known as the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, which made Rhode Island the first state to establish an education program about teen dating violence in public schools. She also sponsored the Safe Schools Act that created a statewide policy for schools to deal with bullying and cyberbullying. Bea is active in Mothers and Dads Educating about Teen Dating Violence and the Liz Claiborne, Inc. organization aimed at educating young women about teen dating violence. She participated in their 2009 and 2010 Radio Rows in New York , NY ; a day of interviews by national media on the topic of teen dating violence. She is also a lifetime member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), a bipartisan non profit organization, funded through USAID with a mission to provide political leaders with international understanding and opportunities for collaboration. She received their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002 and remains active with the organization. Bea has been working at the United Way of Rhode Island for 14 years and has been teaching Communication courses online and in traditional college classrooms for 20 years.
Sally Genster Robling is a senior business leader with a history of generating growth and stakeholder value across categories, channels, geographies and business conditions. She is a pragmatic idealist who grows businesses through intellect, drive and intuition.
Sally most recently led the Birds Eye Frozen Division of Pinnacle Foods, a $2.5 B Blackstone company that completed a successful IPO in March. At Pinnacle, she played a key role in the transformational Birds Eye acquisition and was the founding President of the $1.2B Birds Eye Frozen Division. As President, Sally delivered record earnings and industry leading levels of innovation. She championed a breakthrough public-private partnership that put Birds Eye vegetables in the center of the national dialogue on health and wellness, growing the business and earning a first ever-public endorsement from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Sally began her career at Kraft, working on iconic brands and advancing through the marketing ranks. At Campbell’s, she held the positions of Marketing and Sales leadership and was the General Manager of the $500M Beverage Division. Immediately prior to Pinnacle, she served as the global CMO of American Standard (Trane).
Sally is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University and earned her MBA from the Darden School of Business. She currently serves on the Share our Strength Leadership Advisory Council and has served on the Darden Corporate Advisory Board and as Vice Chairman of the Campbell’s Soup Foundation. She is married, lives in Larchmont, New York and she and her husband Steve have two terrific children. As a business leader, mother and citizen, Sally believes in the powerful positive impact of capitalism and the essential contribution of women in business, at all levels.
Kathleen Carroll is the President of The Branding Clinic, a company she founded in 2000. She helps some of the most prominent household brands reposition themselves to achieve double-digit growth. Some of her clients include: Abbott, American Express, Avon, Bath & Body Works, Benjamin Moore, Cendant, Domino Foods, The GAP, Glaxo-Smith Kline, Johnson & Johnson, Playtex, Samsung, Stryker and Unilever. Her fingerprints are on many recognized marketing successes including Unilever’s Simple skincare, Citibank’s U-Promise credit card program. Benjamin Moore’s Aura Paint and Procter & Gamble’s Puritan (Crisco now) cooking oil.
She is often hired as a branding, positioning, new product development and insights expert by other consultancies and agencies. She gained her experience in top-notch marketing and consulting organizations including Procter & Gamble, Marketing Corporation of America and CNBC.com where she held senior marketing, consulting and CMO roles.
She graduated from Cornell University’s accelerated, advanced dual-degree program with a BS in Food and Retail Marketing and MBA in Marketing. She is an annual judge for the HSMAI Advertising Awards for the hotel, travel and tourism industry. She is an officer in the highly prestigious President’s Council of Cornell Women and actively lends her marketing expertise to several not-for-profit organizations.
Betty Cotton serves on the boards of The Westchester Community College Foundation, Project Interchange, Jewish Council of Public Affairs, and American Jewish Committee-New York Region. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Westchester Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit and is chairperson of the Greyston Foundation Wisdom Council.
Betty is a former President of the Westchester American Jewish Committee and formerly served on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s National Finance Committee. She was honored by the Women’s Campaign Board in 2005.
Professionally, Betty has worked as a consultant to not for profit organizations for many years. She received a BA from George Washington University and an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College.
Becky Fleischauer is the founder of Navigator Communications, an issues advocacy and communications firm serving clients whose work enlightens, promotes health and creates opportunity. She has more than 20 years of media and communications experience and loves a challenge. Prior to starting her own business, she was a vice president at GMMB, a nationally recognized public affairs and issue advocacy firm. At GMMB, Becky helped manage the communications planning and media outreach for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s education division, as well as the American Beverage Association’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity, the Pew Center on the States Government Performance Project, the National Governors’ Association, Civic Enterprises’ National Summit on America’s Silent Dropout Epidemic, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program.
Before joining GMMB, she was a U.S. Senate press secretary and led media efforts for the National Governors Association, the National Education Association (NEA) and NeighborWorks America. Her work in producing the NEA’s Crisis Communications guide received an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Silver Inkwell award.
Born in Washington, D.C. the youngest of 5 children, Vanessa Maddox began her career in the information technology (I.T.) in the 11th grade. Since then, she has evolved into a visionary leader with over 20 years of experience in several industries.
Vanessa began as a staff assistant and trainer for the U.S. House of Representatives. She went on to work for Fortune 500 organizations, federal government agencies and federal contractors such as Verizon, AOL, Nextel Corporation, Global Knowledge, Harris Corporation and the U.S. Congress.
Vanessa is well versed at building and supporting learning & development and human resources programs. She effectively manages teams and promotes learning as a competitive advantage. Ms. Maddox coined the term knowledge transfer strategist and is able to communicate and work with all levels of employees in an organization.
In 2008, Vanessa parlayed her 20 years of experience into her first entrepreneurial venture. She founded V.R. Maddox Consulting. V.R. Maddox Consulting is a boutique consultancy specializing in partnering with organizations to build and manage world-class employee development programs. In July 2010, V.R. Maddox Consulting proudly became a Certified Virginia SWaM business (Small, Women & Minority Owned). One year later in 2009, Ms. Maddox and her cousin Naomi Williams, co-founded a second enterprise called TheGirlfriendGroup (TGG). TGG is a global business/social community for women. TGG’s mission is women helping women in all aspects of life. Vanessa is known as the Chief Executive Girlfriend. TGG began as a tribute to her dearly departed sister Valerie. Less than a year later, TGG had grown quickly into a well-respected global online phenomenon. The group offers social events, an active mentoring program for young girls, an education series, a training institute, philanthropic outreach and media relations.
Her up and coming brands are GetAGirlfriendHired.com (GAGH) and GetAFriendHired.com (GAFH). GAGH and GAFH are employment and entrepreneurial portals for women and men respectively. GAGH was founded in 2010 in response to the “depression” of 2008 where women were disproportionately affected by the economic downturn. GAFH followed shortly thereafter due to overwhelming response from men who desired the same outreach!
Ms. Maddox’s personal philosophy is “collaborate and remain open-minded”. She enjoys working with smart, talented, innovative, fearless people that are willing to learn and contribute to the mission, values and goals of TheGirlfriendGroup brands. Vanessa lives in Northern VA with her husband Roger, sons Connor & Jamison and their over-excited Yorkie, Sal.
Cathy O’Brien Yaffa, the Chief Executive Officer of AAM Brand Management Group, is a strategic marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of global brand-building experience. She honed her considerable skills in the ultra-competitive and continually-changing entertainment and beauty industries. She has spent her entire professional career as an integral part of top companies’ executive teams – responsible for building businesses as well as identifying and launching emerging talent to worldwide success.
Cathy has held senior positions at prominent companies such as Estee Lauder, where she held global marketing and communications roles; BMG where she ran the International Division of Arista Records under Clive Davis; and Sony Music and Capitol Records in global marketing and creative roles.
Seeing the potential of turning personalities into global Brands…Read the rest here »
Kristan Peters-Hamlin is a lawyer and writer who has long been involved in groups working to promote women. A former Assistant United States Attorney and former partner in two major international law firms , Kristan now has her own firm. She is presently writing a book about women’s leadership. She has an endowment at Cornell called the “Kristan Peters-Hamlin Fund for the Development of Civil Rights for Women in the Middle East.” She was appointed by the president of Cornell to the President’s Council of Cornell Women. A member of Vital Voices, she has spoken internationally in Buenos Aires, Argentina about the glass ceiling and the illegal sex trade. Aside from a variety of articles on political and legal topics, she has published a scholarly legal article entitled “The Impact of Islamic revivalism in Contract and Riba Law in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran” in the Texas International Law Journal. She has been invited to speak as a legal commentator for local news programs about national and international matters. She has provided gender discrimination training for organizations such as Businessweek and DLJ. Her cases have received coverage in more than forty different newspapers here, and around the world, such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune and the Chechen Times.
She speaks four languages and resides in Westport, CT, with her husband and three children.