Board of Directors

  • Cindy Kushner

    Founder and Chairman Emeritus

    Cindy Kushner is the Office Managing Partner for the Crowe LLP Fort Lauderdale office. Cindy has 35 years of experience in the accounting profession of which 25 years with the “Big Four” as a trusted tax and business advisor serving large global clients in the public, private and private equity sectors. Cindy manages several tax outsourcing engagements where she and her team function as the tax department including income, property, sales and use, and franchise taxes, including foreign tax compliance, expat tax compliance, transfer pricing, tax provision assistance, and business and strategy planning.

    Cindy Kushner is the Office Managing Partner for the Crowe LLP Fort Lauderdale office. Cindy has 35 years of experience in the accounting profession of which 25 years with the “Big Four” as a trusted tax and business advisor serving large global clients in the public, private and private equity sectors. Cindy manages several tax outsourcing engagements where she and her team function as the tax department including income, property, sales and use, and franchise taxes, including foreign tax compliance, expat tax compliance, transfer pricing, tax provision assistance, and business and strategy planning.

    Extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions, tax structuring for global and multi-state companies, debt restructuring and recapitalization; tax efficient supply chain planning. Industry Specialties: Consumer products, healthcare/life sciences, and staffing/services industries.

    Presented on several topics for the HFMA, Tax Executive Institute (TEI), FICPA Healthcare conferences, Florida International University classes, and firm-sponsored conferences.

    Cindy serves as a Chairman and Founder of Women Executive Leadership (WEL) for over 20 years; and on the Financial Executive Institute (FEI) Florida board and executive committee. In the past, served on several committees and boards including the Health Financial Management Association (HFMA) Florida board for 5 years; National Board of InterOrganization Network (ION); Advisory Board of National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Florida, the United Way of Broward County’s Governance Committee; board of director for Florida Venture Forum; and served on the Ambassador committee for Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

    A member of the AICPA; FICPA; and served on the FICPA Mobility Task Force. Mentored in the Women of Tomorrow program for 7 years mentoring high school students in Broward School System.

    Received the following honors and awards during her career; Women Executive Leadership Trail-blazing Award 2019, Award Florida 500 The States Most Influential Business Leaders 2019, Florida 500 The States Most Influential Business Leaders 2018, Women Extraordinaire South Florida’s Top Leaders 2011, Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce – Women’s Circle of Excellence Honoree 2011, South Florida Business Key Partner’s Award – Honoree Accounting 2011, Women Executive Leadership Trail-blazing Award 2011, Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Volunteerism KPMG 2007, Rosemarie Meschi Award Finalist Ernst & Young 2001.

  • Katherine Young

    President

    Katherine brings over 20 years of talent management consulting experience to the formation of Young Search Partners, Executive Search- a boutique retained executive search firm- having worked for the largest global firms in both the executive search and career management consulting industries.

    Katherine brings over 20 years of talent management consulting experience to the formation of Young Search Partners, Executive Search- a boutique retained executive search firm- having worked for the largest global firms in both the executive search and career management consulting industries.

    Katherine formed Young Search Partners -Executive Search in 2009 with over 19 years experience in the executive search industry, previously as Director of the Retained Search Division for Hudson Highland Group and prior as a Principal with Korn Ferry International. Katherine’s search experience has spanned across industry and functional roles to include search assignments in the consumer/retail, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors, with a focus on critical leadership roles. A partial listing of Katherine’s corporate clients include: TECO Energy, Jabil, Raymond James, Bloomin Brands, Tupperware Brands, Gerdau Ameristeel, AAA Auto club, Masonite International, Checkers/Rally’s, Tech Data, Intelident Solutions, Darden, HSN and Catalina Marketing. Additionally, Katherine has conducted CEO searches in the Non-Profit sector in Tampa Bay for clients including- The Children’s Home, SPCA of Tampa Bay, The Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay, The Centre for Women, Big Brothers Big Sisters State Association of Florida, The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, and AMIkids ( CFO ).

    Katherine’s prior experience in Career and Leadership consulting only strengthens the value she brings to recruiting critical leadership talent for her clients. Katherine spent over 10 years with the top two global leaders in the career management services sector―Right Management Consultants and Lee Hecht Harrison. Here Katherine’s central focus was consulting to CEO’s around key retention and performance coaching initiatives.

    A native of Connecticut and a Tampa, Florida resident for over 25 years, Katherine received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Katherine remains very active and committed to her involvement in the Tampa Bay and Florida business community serving on several boards to include: The Board of Directors and Central Florida Chair of WEL- (Women in Executive Leadership) and the Board of Directors, Chair Elect, of the Florida State Association for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Katherine previously served on the Board of Leadership Tampa Alumni, the Florida Venture Capital Forum, and Chaired the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Council. Katherine is a member of the Athena Society, University of Tampa Board of Fellows, and is a Key Partner to the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay. Katherine was recently honored as a finalist for the 2015 TBBJ Business Woman of the Year. Katherine is a graduate of the Leadership Tampa class of 2005, a member of LTA Alumni, and member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

  • Michelle Eisner

    Past President

    Michelle Eisner is a business executive with extensive expertise and experience including: in global, strategic planning, acquisition integration, executive compensation, labor negotiations, change management, cultural formulation, executive coaching, succession planning, leadership development, productivity efficiency, automation integration, supply chain, manufacturing, finance, risk management, benefits, cost containment, team building, employee relations, communications and training and presentations.

    Michelle Eisner is a business executive with extensive expertise and experience including: in global, strategic planning, acquisition integration, executive compensation, labor negotiations, change management, cultural formulation, executive coaching, succession planning, leadership development, productivity efficiency, automation integration, supply chain, manufacturing, finance, risk management, benefits, cost containment, team building, employee relations, communications and training and presentations. Her experience ranges from Fortune 50 publicly and privately held organizations to entrepreneurial family owned and private equity held mid-sized companies. She has championed innovative and impactful Human Capital approaches with a proven track record of transforming organizational performance in REIT, telecommunications, food and textile manufacturing, financial, and printing industries and spearheaded major initiatives to position domestic and international companies for organic and acquisition growth. Also, she has served as a mentor and a dynamic and effective leader. She is an effective Chief Company Spokesperson/Labor Negotiator and has success in non-union and union environments.

    Michelle is a key member of the Senior Leadership team at SBA and advises on company strategy and cultural alignment. Michelle was a key participant on Hollander Sleep Products’ Board of Directors. She also served on Tyson Food’s Chairman’s Advisory Board of Directors as well as has presented at Fortune 50 Board of Director meetings for her previous organizations. She also serves on Women Executive Leadership’s Board of Directors as President and previously served on the Society Human Resources Management’s Board of Directors in Vice President and Treasury roles.

    Currently, Michelle is the SVP-CHRO for SBA Communications Corporation, a $2 billion publically traded REIT. She is a strategic partner to the senior leadership team and has implemented strategies to enhance team member engagement and maximize productivity. Michelle was the Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer at Hollander Sleep Products, a $500 million textile company that continues to manufacture in North America. As the key advisor and coach to the CEO and senior management team, she has been instrumental in formulating the organization’s vision and facilitating strategic planning to ensure corporate growth and profitability as well as integrating an acquisition, which doubled the company’s sales, tripled the profitability, positioning to the company sell at a high return on investment. Her accomplishments include revising and overseeing the executive compensation system, redesigning the benefit structure to produce significant annual cost savings and negotiating contracts that create competitive cost structures. She serves as the company’s Chief Spokesperson in labor negotiations, the Public Relations Spokesperson and on the Finance Committee for the 401K.

    Michelle holds a MS degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University/Baruch College, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She earned a BFA degree from City College of New York. She is also a Certified Global Human Resources Professional, a Certified Compensation Professional and certified by Birkman Individual and Team Assessment. Also, she has a certification in Corporate Finance from Florida Atlantic University. She has is also a National Association Corporate Directors Governance Fellow. Also, she received South Florida Business & Wealth Magazine’s 2017 Excellence in Human Resource Award.

  • Stacy Burgess

    Treasurer

    Stacy Burgess is an innovative leader with a results-driven attitude, possessing strong analytical, relationship management, risk management, presentation, and communication skills. As a strategic financial executive, she structures and negotiates complex debt and capital solutions involving mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, leveraged, and real estate transactions. Stacy is decisive and highly effective in a fast-paced environment leading and prioritizing multiple projects for various cross-functional teams supporting private, public, domestic, and international companies. She has a passion for building motivated and collaborative teams.

    Stacy Burgess is an innovative leader with a results-driven attitude, possessing strong analytical, relationship management, risk management, presentation, and communication skills. As a strategic financial executive, she structures and negotiates complex debt and capital solutions involving mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, leveraged, and real estate transactions. Stacy is decisive and highly effective in a fast-paced environment leading and prioritizing multiple projects for various cross-functional teams supporting private, public, domestic, and international companies. She has a passion for building motivated and collaborative teams.

    Stacy ‘s expertise is derived from many years as a financial leader. In her current role as a Senior Vice President at Valley National Bank, serving as the Commercial & Industrial Team Leader for South Florida, she partners with private and publicly traded companies in the region to provide innovative debt, treasury management, and capital solutions to help companies grow with an optimal capital structure.

    Stacy ensures the execution of complex financial modeling and extensive due diligence, while balancing risks with client needs, resulting in quality loan growth, exceeding client acquisition goals, and increasing profitability.

    Stacy’s prior experience includes her role as Senior Vice President and Loan Team Manager in Wells Fargo’s Middle Market Banking Group serving Broward and Palm Beach Counties, where she oversaw the team’s adherence to credit policy and regulatory compliance requirements, while surpassing all business development goals. Stacy’s previous roles with Wells Fargo included the Miami-Dade Middle Market Banking Group, which began upon her arrival in South Florida in 2000, and Asset Based Lending in Philadelphia. Industries and specialties served include agriculture, aviation, beverage, contractors, country clubs, distributors, education, factoring, healthcare, heavy equipment, hotels, manufacturing, marinas, media, real estate, restaurants, retailers, and sports franchises.

    A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stacy received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Delaware. She is also on the Board of Women Executive Leadership in Florida. Stacy is an active supporter of Women in Distress.

  • Christine Arnholt

    Marketing Chair

    Christine Arnholt, Managing Partner of BrandCraft Consumer Strategy and formally Vice President of Onboard Marketing at Carnival Cruise Line, brings a high level of marketing expertise to WEL.

    Christine Arnholt, Managing Partner of BrandCraft Consumer Strategy and formally Vice President of Onboard Marketing at Carnival Cruise Line, brings a high level of marketing expertise to WEL.

    In her 28 years at Carnival Cruise Line, Arnholt’s leadership roles included commercial marketing, guest experience and business development, and most recently onboard marketing where she led the creation of brand relevant guest experiences with the vision and strategy centered on core brand equities, market trends, and business data to drive engagement and results.

    As WEL’s Board of Director, Arnholt will chair WEL’s Marketing Committee where her talents will elevate WEL’s Brand and messaging for all of WEL’s initiatives. With the appointment of Christine, WEL’s Board of Directors has been expanded from 11 to 12 members.

  • Christine Cannella

    Advocacy Chair

    Christine A. Cannella is the Vice President Investor Relations Officer for Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE: FDP). Christine has over 20 years of experience in the investor relations profession. Throughout her career with large-scale, multinational organizations, she has had the opportunity to drive change and excellence by developing and leading corporate communications, financial media, investor relations efforts, messaging, and executive-level strategies.

    Christine A. Cannella is the Vice President Investor Relations Officer for Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE: FDP). Christine has over 20 years of experience in the investor relations profession. Throughout her career with large-scale, multinational organizations, she has had the opportunity to drive change and excellence by developing and leading corporate communications, financial media, investor relations efforts, messaging, and executive-level strategies.

    In addition to her work as the Vice President, Investor Relations Officer for Fresh Del Monte Produce, she is a regular Speaker on investor relations and leadership topics and has served on national and regional boards including the WNBA Board of Advocates, Women Executive Leadership (WEL)-Educational Committee, National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) South Florida, Jack & Jill Children’s Center-Finance Committee, and the MIT Enterprise Forum. Because of her work Chairing the Committee for the Forum’s Global Leadership Meeting in 2008, she was awarded the MIT Alumni Association’s Honor Role of Service in 2009. In 2007, she became the Co-founder of Cannella Custom Cycles, a company that designed and manufactured aftermarket parts and accessories for motorcycles, with global distribution through a network of distributors. She sold the Company in 2019.

  • Nina Gordon

    Director

    Nina Gordon’s focus is in representing early- and mid-stage public and private companies in corporate finance and acquisition transactions. In that regard, she works closely with executive management and boards of directors in a variety of transactions, such as early- and later-stage financings, initial public offerings and secondary offerings, acquisition transactions such as mergers and asset purchases, joint ventures, credit facilities and other debt financings, and a variety of other business transactions and agreements.

    Nina Gordon’s focus is in representing early- and mid-stage public and private companies in corporate finance and acquisition transactions. In that regard, she works closely with executive management and boards of directors in a variety of transactions, such as early- and later-stage financings, initial public offerings and secondary offerings, acquisition transactions such as mergers and asset purchases, joint ventures, credit facilities and other debt financings, and a variety of other business transactions and agreements.

    For both her public and private company clients, she works closely with executive management, including the general counsel and the board of directors, to monitor and adapt to changes in the applicable regulatory environments and to update corporate governance practices, establish compliance programs, oversee internal investigations, and assist with relationships with equity owners and other stakeholders.

    Ms. Gordon represents public companies in a variety of financing transactions, including public and private equity offerings; public and private debt offerings, such as senior notes, commercial paper, medium-term notes, and subordinated debt; and asset-backed and other secured and unsecured loans.

    She frequently handles matters for clients involving joint ventures, licensing and development agreements with universities, distribution agreements, and other transactions relating to the expansion of her clients’ businesses.

    In addition to the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and securities law, Ms. Gordon has experience in all aspects of banking law and bank regulatory matters, including de novo charters, holding company reorganizations, and bank acquisitions.

  • Laurie Green

    Governance Chair

    Laurie L. Green advises public companies on the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ, and the SEC’s corporate governance standards under Sarbanes−Oxley. In addition to her corporate governance experience, Ms. Green represents companies in securities offerings, proxy solicitations, mergers and acquisitions, cash tender offers, cross−border tender offers, and distressed debt restructuring and exchange offers.

    Laurie L. Green advises public companies on the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ, and the SEC’s corporate governance standards under Sarbanes−Oxley. In addition to her corporate governance experience, Ms. Green represents companies in securities offerings, proxy solicitations, mergers and acquisitions, cash tender offers, cross−border tender offers, and distressed debt restructuring and exchange offers. Before entering private practice, Ms. Green spent 11 years at the SEC and served as Special Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance in Washington, D.C. in its Office of Mergers and Acquisitions. A frequent speaker on topics related to Sarbanes−Oxley and corporate governance issues, Ms. Green provides the firm’s clients with SEC regulation updates. Notable Client Work Issuer’s Counsel for special purpose acquisition companies, including the initial public offering and acquisition of a target company.

  • Marie Lee

    Education Chair

    Marie Lee is a results-oriented, highly experienced Chief Information Officer with demonstrated success in technology leadership, planning and execution to support strategic business objectives. Her strength is in building world-class Information Technology teams and partnering with business leaders to leverage leading-edge technologies to innovate, improve operational effectiveness and transform the capabilities of companies.

    Marie Lee is a results-oriented, highly experienced Chief Information Officer with demonstrated success in technology leadership, planning and execution to support strategic business objectives. Her strength is in building world-class Information Technology teams and partnering with business leaders to leverage leading-edge technologies to innovate, improve operational effectiveness and transform the capabilities of companies.

    As President and founder of Lee Management Consulting, she assists clients in developing business strategies and transformative products that improve performance, create value and maximize growth. In her former position as EVP & CIO of ILG, Inc. she led an IT organization of 500+ technology professionals. ILG was a top 100 public Florida company and global provider of vacation ownership, timeshare exchange, rental and property management. As CIO, her responsibilities included overall technology vision, strategy and delivery of best-in-class technology solutions and services to over 550,000 owner families, 250+ managed resorts and an exchange network of nearly 2M members.

    Additionally, at ILG Marie established the company as a technology leader in the vacation ownership industry by launching the first online vacation exchange network. She developed an enterprise-wide mobile strategy that resulted in the launch of several mobile apps that received the industry’s top recognition award for innovation. She also fostered a culture of security awareness and established a world-class security organization to combat cyber security threats and provide security governance, risk management and compliance. Marie was instrumental in supporting ILG’s acquisition strategy and IT due diligence efforts which resulted in moving forward with seven acquisitions in less than 10 years and which doubled revenues and the employee base.

    Prior to joining ILG, Marie Lee held executive management positions in information technology with Policy Management Systems Corporation, American Bankers Insurance Group (Assurant) and SHL Systemhouse, Inc.

    Marie Lee earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Barry University and is on the Board of Women Executive Leadership in Florida.

  • Jamie Mitchell

    Partner Chair

    Jamie Mitchell is a business executive with nearly 25 years of experience in the financial services industry spanning investment banking, hedge funds and private equity.

    Jamie Mitchell is a business executive with nearly 25 years of experience in the financial services industry spanning investment banking, hedge funds and private equity.

    Jamie is a Managing Director at Inherent Group responsible for business development.  Jamie’s prior experience in the asset management industry included direct investing and leading fundraising, investor relations, marketing and business development at a number of hedge funds. Additionally, she spent time as CEO of an e-commerce business she founded. From 1998 to 2006 she was an investment banker at Deutsche Bank principally working with bulge bracket private equity clients.

    She is a founder and Co-Chairs the Columbia Business School’s Women’s Circle and spearheads its Women on Boards taskforce.  Additionally, she serves on the Women Executive Leadership of Florida’s Board of Directors as Partnership Chair. Prior board positions include Secretary of FinAnalytica, a sponsor-backed FinTech company, which was sold to BISAM then to FactSet; and McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship at DePauw University.

    Jamie holds a BA in Economics and Spanish from DePauw University and an MBA from Columbia Business School with a concentration in investment management. She also earned a certificate in Women’s Leadership from Yale School of Management.

  • Shari Roth

    Membership Chair

    As a cofounder of CAPITAL iDEA, Shari Roth leverages her 20 years of corporate experience to help organizations Build RightFit Teams, Develop Leaders from High Potentials, and Breakdown Unproductive Barriers that exist in Corporate Cultures. CAPITAL iDEA www.capital-idea.net was named by South Florida Business Leader as one of the Top 100 small businesses. An accomplished performance improvement consultant and executive coach, Shari’s ability to simplify complex problems into effective solutions has driven notable results in over twenty different industries. A few of the familiar companies where Shari has worked with executives and their teams in include: Altegra Health, Boston Scientific, Ryder, The Continental Group, and Ultimate Software.

    As a cofounder of CAPITAL iDEA, Shari Roth leverages her 20 years of corporate experience to help organizations Build RightFit Teams, Develop Leaders from High Potentials, and Breakdown Unproductive Barriers that exist in Corporate Cultures. CAPITAL iDEA www.capital-idea.net was named by South Florida Business Leader as one of the Top 100 small businesses. An accomplished performance improvement consultant and executive coach, Shari’s ability to simplify complex problems into effective solutions has driven notable results in over twenty different industries. A few of the familiar companies where Shari has worked with executives and their teams in include: Altegra Health, Boston Scientific, Ryder, The Continental Group, and Ultimate Software.

    With over twenty years in key leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies, her clients find Shari’s ability to create clarity combined with her unique blend of business experience invaluable. Through Shari’s coaching her clients have been able to achieve professional and personal goals they once thought were not possible. Shari is also an adjunct instructor for MBA students at Florida Atlantic University taking the Global Leadership Assessment Development course. Shari is on the Board of Women Executive Leadership as well as loves being a Rotarian and is on the Board of the Rotary Club of Weston. Shari is committed to the missions of the organizations she is connected with and works to empower others in her business and through her volunteer initiatives.

  • Maureen Shea

    Director

    As CEO and Co-founder of Right Management – Florida/Caribbean Region, Maureen Shea drives Right’s growth in diverse talent management and career management services for privately and publicly owned companies throughout Florida and the Caribbean Region. Previously, she served as Chief Financial Officer since 1986.

    As CEO and Co-founder of Right Management – Florida/Caribbean Region, Maureen Shea drives Right’s growth in diverse talent management and career management services for privately and publicly owned companies throughout Florida and the Caribbean Region. Previously, she served as Chief Financial Officer since 1986.

    As a strategic resource, Maureen makes it her mission to “Guide and Inspire” her team and colleagues region wide. Recognized for helping shape and support South Florida’s HR profession, she serves on the President’s Council of the Human Resource Association of Broward County. She was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2009.

    Maureen was honored with the Florida Diversity Council’s Glass Ceiling Award, and has received South Florida Business Journal’s CFO of the Year award. Recognizing her community leadership, the National Conference of Community and Justice presented her with its Silver Medallion Award, and she was inducted into Junior Achievement’s South Florida’s Business Hall of Fame. Right Management – Florida/Caribbean was named 2013’s Socially Responsible Corporation of the Year by the Casimiro Global Foundation.

    Maureen has served on the Board of Trustees and the Finance committee for Holy Cross Hospital. She is a Leadership Broward Foundation alumna, a board member of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California and of the Business Advisory Board of St. Thomas University. She currently serves on the finance committee of United Way of Broward.

    A prominent insurance and HR executive before joining Right Management, Maureen was director of Recruiting for Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company and Lincoln National Life. Among many honors, while at Lincoln National Life she earned the “Recruiter of the Year” Award as the top recruiter in the nation. Her undergraduate degree is from Kean College in New Jersey.

  • Sophia Andonisio

    Board Member

    Sophia Andonisio is a successful Executive with a history for coaching and developing teams, cultivating environments where individuals can thrive, and delivering transformational change to achieve the goals and objectives of key stakeholders. With over 20 years of experience at Bank of America, Sophia has held a variety of leadership roles across the company, allowing her the opportunity gain expertise in different areas within the financial services industry.

    Sophia Andonisio is a successful Executive with a history for coaching and developing teams, cultivating environments where individuals can thrive, and delivering transformational change to achieve the goals and objectives of key stakeholders. With over 20 years of experience at Bank of America, Sophia has held a variety of leadership roles across the company, allowing her the opportunity gain expertise in different areas within the financial services industry.

    Sophia currently leads a highly complex operations organization for the Bank of America Wealth Management line of business. Her team of 200+ associates extend across four locations and are responsible for facilitating and processing money movement activities, managing securities based lending products, and conducting research and maintenance to fulfill service requests. In this role, she is responsible for understanding the strategy of and partnering with several other front-line organizations, making critical financial decisions, managing risk, and successfully identifying, executing, and completing multiple process improvements.

    Sophia’s previous role was in the Global Banking and Markets operations organization overseeing corporate actions, proxy voting and dividend payments. In this role, Sophia gained experience creating and executing global location strategies and cultivating a global workforce team culture. She also overhauled and improved the associate experience and reduced attrition. By doing so, she attracted, retained and promoted top talent.

    Before becoming an operations leader, Sophia spent the majority of her career as a top performing sales leader, leading teams across the Consumer Bank, Wealth Management Banking and the Small Business Banking lines of businesses. As a sales leader, Sophia consistently exceeded her production metrics, client satisfaction scores, and employee engagement scores, thereby outpacing her peers and ranking in the top of divisional and national scorecards. However, her most memorable and impressionable experience was the opportunity to work with the local small business owners across North Florida. She listened to their stories, understood their passion for creating their companies, and learned how they overcame their challenges. Together, with her Small Business Banker, they created customized strategies to deliver the right lending or cash management solution to help improve their cash flow or fulfill a financial need.

    In 2015, she received the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Woman of Influence Award, in recognition of her passion for people leadership. She strives to be an influential leader that makes an impression and impact on those she leads. She believes being a leader requires a mindset of service, a commitment to helping others find their passion and potential while being an advocate for diversity and inclusion.

  • Deidre Brown

    Emeritus Director

    Deirdre “Dee” Brown, CPA, is former senior executive and a Women Executive Leadership (WEL) board member devoted to supporting women in their career journey to the C-Suite and on corporate boards. Brown worked for nearly 25 years at TECO Energy, Florida’s third largest utility and a Fortune 500 company. Dee served in various leadership roles including as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Chief Integration Officer, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. She was responsible for an array of financial and strategic functions, all essential in supporting the enhancement of stakeholder profitability.

    Deirdre “Dee” Brown, CPA, is former senior executive and a Women Executive Leadership (WEL) board member devoted to supporting women in their career journey to the C-Suite and on corporate boards. Brown worked for nearly 25 years at TECO Energy, Florida’s third largest utility and a Fortune 500 company. Dee served in various leadership roles including as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Chief Integration Officer, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. She was responsible for an array of financial and strategic functions, all essential in supporting the enhancement of stakeholder profitability. Dee’s wide-array of roles afforded her the opportunity to work with TECO’s board of directors on a regular basis and to assist in the preparation of financial and operational updates with financial analysts, bankers and investors.

    In addition to serving as WEL’s treasurer, Dee has served in various roles of other non-profit organizations including as board president for The Centre for Women, secretary for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida, and board member of Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay. Brown is a native Floridian with a BS in Accountancy from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of South Florida (summa cum laude).

  • Sebastian Valencia

    Board Member

    Sebastian Valencia is a partner with Clarkston Consulting. He is responsible for advising senior executives from global organizations through strategic business transformations. During his tenure at Clarkston Consulting, Sebastian has led global initiatives for life sciences, consumer products and retail companies. His focus areas include strategic planning, product and process innovation, organizational performance, supply chain strategy, digital transformations, enterprise technology implementations, and mergers and acquisitions including commercial due diligence. Sebastian has worked with clients in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

    Sebastian Valencia is a partner with Clarkston Consulting. He is responsible for advising senior executives from global organizations through strategic business transformations. During his tenure at Clarkston Consulting, Sebastian has led global initiatives for life sciences, consumer products and retail companies. His focus areas include strategic planning, product and process innovation, organizational performance, supply chain strategy, digital transformations, enterprise technology implementations, and mergers and acquisitions including commercial due diligence. Sebastian has worked with clients in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

    Sebastian holds leadership responsibilities in several of the firm’s key internal programs. Sebastian is active in several industry and charitable organizations in Florida and Latin America. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and universities and is fluent in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

    Sebastian is currently serving as a board member on the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) for the South Florida chapter, as well as on the Woman Executive Leadership (WEL) Florida Chapter. Sebastian earned his MBA in global logistics and supply chain management from the University of Dallas and his B.S. in production engineering from EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia. He earned a post-graduate certificate in leadership and strategy from the Sloan School of Business at MIT.