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.
Alison Campbell is an entrepreneurial e-commerce and merchandising leader with experience in high-growth startups and large organizations. In her current role as Senior Director of Global Merchandising at Workhuman she is responsible for catalog management and promotional merchandising for global enterprise clients’ Recognition Store platform. With teams across their Boston and Dublin offices, she leads the merchandising strategy that’s delivering a best-in-class e-commerce experience to employees in over 130 countries, and reinforcing the power of Workhuman’s Recognition software solution. As proud member of the Workhuman Women’s Network, she leads the events subcommittee within the network to deliver programming aligned with the groups vision to share unique perspectives and further career interests through networking and collaboration. Prior to Workhuman, Alison served as Head of Buying at Wayfair’s Joss & Main, and Director of Branding & Merchandising at HSN.
Advice for speaking up: Don’t be scared to use your voice. You may not always articulate everything perfectly, but having the courage to speak will build resilience, strength, and may be one of the greatest tools you’ll have to navigate this world. Be authentic and embrace all that you are – who knows, one day your words could change the world!
Armandina Cueva is the Creative Operations Producer for Netflix. She has been been in the media industry for 21 years between Mexico and USA Markets, mainly running operations, programming, marketing, production and management for TV/Radio/Media/Streaming/Music platforms. For the past three years Armandina has worked at Netflix overseeing the creative production scope for the promotion of titles worldwide. Before that, she worked for 17 years in broadcasting, launching an OTT digital channel and a network channel that earned membership at the Television Academy in the Interactive Media Group. She is part of WGBH’s Corporate Executive Council (NPR Boston) and was named 2013 Latino Leader by Latino Leaders Magazine.
Advice for speaking up: You have a voice, use it! You have a space, fill it! Take the time to get to know YOU. It is ok to reinvent yourself; just be true to yourself, and work to become the best version of you that you can be.
Susan Klink is the National Financial Services Industry Leader for Deloitte’s audit and assurance practice and has over 23 years of experience serving public and private companies in multiple financial services sectors. In the audit and assurance practice, Susan spearheads Deloitte’s efforts for financial services clients and is responsible for service quality, growth, operations, professional development, and overall performance.
Advice for speaking up: Always be curious, ask questions and share your opinions. For some, this may come easy, but for others, you will need to have the confidence to step out of your comfort zone. Just try it – the more you flex that muscle, the easier it will get.
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.
Yvonne Lynch is an accomplished senior leader with close to 25 years’ experience creating and executing strategic solutions. Known as a collaborator, Yvonne excels at building partnerships and is a sought-after contributor to cross-functional projects. Currently, Yvonne serves as a Vice President at Bright Horizons, where she has worked since 2007. Previously she held various sales and marketing roles at a number of international companies. For many years Yvonne has been very involved with fundraising for several organizations including The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, The Pan-Mass Challenge, Boston Children’s Hospital and more. She is also passionate about providing women and girls with the tools they need to excel and grow in business and in life.
Advice for speaking up: Be bold! Don’t hold back your questions or ideas. Share your vision with anyone who will listen. Building consensus and moving big ideas forward can only come through dialog and collaboration.
Kelli Morrison is the Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller at Cengage Learning, a large educational and technology company 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, 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.
Teresa Rodriguez is the Director of Family and Community Relations for Boston Collegiate Charter School. For the past 20 years, she has worked at district and charter middle and high schools, as well as a private elementary school as an administrator, guidance counselor and history teacher. She has been named a Boston Neighborhood Fellow by The Philanthropic Initiative and Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellow for Aspiring Public School Teachers of Color. Teresa serves on the boards of local non-profits focused on affordable housing and education. She lives in Jamaica Plain and speaks Spanish. Teresa graduated from Williams College with a major in History and Women’s Studies and the Harvard Graduate School of Education with an M.Ed in Teaching and Curriculum.
Advice for speaking up: “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” Ida B. Wells Barnett
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.