TaraLynn A. Casperson
TaraLynn A. Casperson is an associate in the Trusts and Estates Department at the nationally ranked Nutter McClennen & Fish law offices in Boston, MA. In addition to her summer associate work at Nutter, Taralynn’s professional experience includes serving as an intern at Greater Hartford Legal Aid and at an intellectual property law firm in Connecticut. During law school, TaraLynn served as the vice president of finance for the Student Legal Forum, the 2013-2014 Issues & Concerns chair of the Black Law Students Association, and on the Editorial Board of the Virginia Tax Review. Prior to law school, TaraLynn worked as a lead paralegal on international commercial litigation matters at a law firm in Washington, D.C.
Advice for speaking up: Accepting that your voice is powerful enough to effect change is a little scary, but you must. Do it afraid, do it thoughtfully, and get used to the idea that you can (and will) make a difference if you speak up.
Gina Coletti is a Trust Advisor at Choate, Hall, and Stewart in Boston, MA. She specializes in wealth management and estate planning and is responsible for delivering comprehensive advice to high net worth families throughout New England. She received her CTFA designation from the American Bankers Association and graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology. Gina gives back to her community through volunteering at inner city organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and Citizen School. She developed an entrepreneurship program for middle school students, which is taught as an afterschool program at a Boston Public school. She is also a member of the Boys and Girls Club Friends Council.
Advice for speaking up: You deserve to be part of the conversation. Your voice and opinions matter. You can make the world a better place by speaking up and standing true to your values.
Michelle Cove is the founder and Executive Director of MEDIAGIRLS. She is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and journalist whose projects have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Katie Couric’s talk show “Katie,” “The Today Show,” Fox TV, and national publications including The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Parenting, MORE, and U.S. World News & Report. She is the author of I Love Mondays (Seal Press, 2012), co-author of the national bestseller I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict (Viking, 1999), and author of Seeking Happily Ever After (Tarcher Penguin, 2010). Michelle continues to blog regularly for the award-winning Huffington Post Parents, and speaks at festivals and conferences around the country.
Advice on speaking up: Girls tend to speak up when they already know their answer is right but it’s important to speak up for the sake of sharing your ideas and participating in the discussion.
Marketing Operations Consultant
Netflix- The Jillian Group
Armandina Cueva is a Marketing Operations Consultant who has been in the media industry for 20 years between Mexico and USA Markets, producing, running operations, and management for TV/Radio/Media/Music platforms. Currently a digital marketing operations consultant for Netflix-The Jillian Group. Member of The Television Academy (Emmys), WGBH’s Corporate Executive Council (NPR Boston), Chief Communication Officer for ALPFA Boston (Association of Latino Professionals) and 2013 Latino Leader by Latino Leaders Magazine. Has a BA in Science of Communications from ITESM (2001), Business Management in Entertainment from UCLA (2014) and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Leadership Institute Program with MIT Sloan Management (2018).
Advice for speaking up: You have a voice, use it! you have a space, fill it! Take the time to get to know YOU, is ok to reinvent yourself, just be true and work to become the best version you can be.
Melissa Grossman has over 20 years of non-profit management experience with a focus on leadership development, program development and implementation, and fundraising with organizations both small and large, including Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In addition to her role at MEDIAGIRLS, she directs a national book and author program focusing on issues of gender and religion at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Melissa also serves on the Board of Directors of Families First, an organization dedicated to improving parenting skills in at-risk communities. A lifelong consumer of media, Melissa is also the mother of a ten-year-old girl and has tremendous passion for issues of gender, body image and self-esteem. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and has her Masters in Social Work from Yeshiva University.
Advice for speaking up: Believe that your ideas and perspective are important. The conversation is not complete without your voice.
Pebbles (Susan Semedo)
Pebbles (Susan Semedo) is a co-host of HOT 96.9FM’s morning show “The Get Up Crew,” and has been a top radio personality in Boston for more than 20 years. Prior to working on HOT 96.9, she was the co-host of “Ramiro & Pebbles in the Morning” on JAM’N 94.5FM, and began her radio career at the urban contemporary station WILD-AM. A graduate of Northeastern University, Pebbles has always had a deep and strong commitment to the community. An advocate on issues affecting women and girls, she has donated her time to numerous organizations serving youth.
Advice for speaking up: When that voice in your head tells you that what you have to say isn’t important, tell it to shut up. There is only one you, and you bring something to the world that no one else can. Get to really know who you are, what you believe, and find a way to let your voice be heard. It isn’t always in the things we verbalize either. Your voice is in all the ways you express yourself: your writing, music, dance, artwork, etc. Find your voice and use it.
Rachel Kalvert is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Boston seeing both individuals and couples. Rachel helps her clients understand their strengths in the workplace and also the patterns that may be causing dissatisfaction or conflict in their professional life. Through her consulting firm, Making Parenting WORK, Rachel also provides workshops to support working parents and expectant mothers in the workplace. Rachel became a Psychoanalyst after training at Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and obtained a MSW from New York University. Rachel received her BA from Smith College.
Advice for speaking up: Everyone has opinions on what is too aggressive or not aggressive enough for women in the workplace. You will never win unless you are true to yourself. Speak your ideas, and own what you know!
Kelli Morrison is the Assistant Controller and Vice President of External Reporting at Cengage Learning, a large educational publisher located in Boston. Kelli has more than 20 years of experience in both public and private accounting and finance, and is a Certified Public Accountant. She holds an MBA from Boston University, and a BS in Mathematics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. As a senior finance leader in a male-dominated field, Kelli has had plenty of practice in advocating for herself.
Advice for speaking up: I’ve learned it is important to be both a good listener and confident speaker. When in conversation, try active listening, such as repeating what someone else has expressed as their point of view, before responding to them. This will allow you to engage the listener and demonstrate you HEAR them and they will be more likely to listen to you and hear what YOU say to them.
Elisa Vincent has built a career in human capital and women’s leadership management and consulting. She is currently Director, Talent Management and Organizational Design at ThermoFisher Scientific. She has held many leadership roles in talent management, learning and development, international and intercultural education, diversity and inclusion strategy and training, and leadership development and coaching, specifically of women across their career journeys. Throughout her career, Elisa has been a leader and advocate for women’s advancement in professional and social contexts, having founded women’s leadership programs in many organizations she has worked for.
Advice for speaking up: Follow your heart always. There will be many people along the way who will tell you are too much or too little of something. Don’t listen to them. You are the right amount of everything you need to be. You define your own success.
Zanefa Walsh is a marketing and communications professional with diversity and inclusion experience. Currently, she is the Marketing Director for ChopChop Family, a not-for-profit that educates families about the benefits of cooking and eating healthy food together. She holds a bachelor’s in Anthropology from George Washington University, a master’s in International Relations from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland, and an M.S. in Digital Marketing and Design from Brandeis University. Her academic qualifications from the U.S. and Switzerland, as well as experiences from living abroad and traveling extensively throughout Africa and Europe, enhance her ability to communicate effectively with and on behalf of individuals from various cultural backgrounds. She uses cultural sensitivity, diplomacy, mediation, patience and empathy to limit misinterpretations that commonly occur in cross-cultural communication.
Advice for speaking up: During a conversation, have you ever said “Good point,” or “I never thought of that”? Well, those responses are a result of someone speaking up. Share your ideas and opinions. Speaking up exposes others to another way of thinking.