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National Leadership

Founder & CEO

meet lindsey mark LINDSEY MASK, Ladies America Founder and Executive Director

Lindsey Mask is the Founder and Executive Director of Ladies America, a national network of professional women connecting to advance one another personally and professionally, following the motto “Women Helping Women”. The group focuses on connecting, mentoring, and educating women in technology, advocacy, and business. Lindsey founded the organization nine years ago in Washington, D.C. and has expanded it to a network of over 3,000 top-tier professional women in DC, NYC, LA, Nashville, Atlanta, and more. Lindsey is also the Director for the Center for Health Communications of Federal Occupational Health, a non-appropriated segment of the government providing competitive health and wellness services to 1.8 million federal employees across the country.| back to top

Board of Directors

Grace Toh Headshot GRACE TOH, Financial Professional.
Grace has extensive experience in various wealth management disciplines, including private banking, tailored credit structures, traditional and alternative investments strategies, as well as estate and legacy planning. In 2008, she co-founded a boutique wealth management firm serving the high worth client base in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. region.Previously, Grace was Senior Vice President at a number of financial institutions, including HSBC Private Bank and The Private Bank of Bank of America, now U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In such capacities, she provided financial and investment strategies to individual business owners, real estate developers, professional athletes, as well as to middle market commercial companies, law firms and medical practices. Earlier in her career, she gained international finance and marketing experience through positions with IBM and The World Bank… MORE > | back to top
Gwedolyn Beck Headshot GWENDOLYN BECK, Author.
Gwendolyn Beck has been in the financial industry for over fifteen years, and frequently participates in panels and speaks for various organizations including “Women Leading the Future”, John Hopkins University Carey School of Business, and the Wharton/HBS Alumni Associations. She began her financial career the bond trading floor at Credit Suisse in Taxable Fixed Income (TFI) on the U.S. Government Securities desk. After leaving the trading floor, she moved to the equity side at Morgan Stanley, and became involved in equity trading, personal portfolios, and the IPO markets. She had multiple FINRA and SEC licenses including the Series 7, Series 63, Series 31, and had a Life Insurance & Variable Annuity License, and a Florida Real Estate License. She is currently an Investment Advisor with a series 65 license… MORE > | back to top
Marissa Levin Headshot MARISSA LEVIN, Founder & CEO, Successful Culture.
Marissa Levin founded her first company Information Experts, a global strategic communications and education firm, in 1995. She launched her firm with no outside funding after working for a man that capped her worth at $34,000. Marissa has led her firm through the implosion of the telecom and internet industries, 9/11 terrorist attacks which shut down the DC business region, two recessions, one government shut-down, the collapse of the auto, finance, & housing markets, and two cancer scares, while raising two sons as a hands-on mom.
Under her leadership, Information Experts has won more than 100 awards for creativity & leadership, was named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for 2009, 2010, and 2011, and won the SmartCEO 2010 GovStar Industry Star Award… MORE > | back to top
Shep Buckman Headshot SHEPARD BUCKMAN, VP Investments, UBS.
Shepard Buckman entered the financial services industry in 1999 with Smith Barney. After two years with Smith Barney, he joined Morgan Stanley. In 2008 he moved to UBS to continue following his passion for the markets and their inner workings.
Shepard received a B.S. in business administration from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA and an M.B.A. in finance from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC He is active in the local Chartered Financial Advisor™ chapter, the CFA Society of Washington, DC, as a member of their University Outreach, Investment Research Challenge, and Scholarship committees. He is also currently a candidate for the CMT Level II exam.
Living in Arlington, VA he enjoys the arts, cooking, health and fitness, and traveling. | back to top
Twyla Garrett Headshot TWYLA GARRETT, Entrepreneur, Corporate Speaker, Author.
Twyla Garrett is an extraordinary entrepreneur, corporate speaker, and compelling author who has been personally invited to speak at The Whitehouse on the issues of creating jobs, economic growth and the controversial fiscal cliff of 2012. Garrett is known for her notable (sometimes 100% self-funded) business deals as much as she is for providing excellent opportunities to individuals facing immense challenges.
Ms. Garrett is an executive consultant to federal, state and local emergency management and homeland security programs nationwide. Her operational experience dates to Tropical Storm Isabel field response operations in 2003 and has continued for 10 years in direct or indirect support as a consultant to government. She managed national level preparedness and response programs at the Senior Executive Service level for eight years. Ms. Garrett has extensive hands-on experience in all facets of civil and military contingency planning at the federal and non-federal level… MORE > | back to top

Board of Advisors

meet betty hines BETTY HINES, Former Co-founder/Owner American Skyline Insurance Co (ASIC).
Ms. Hines is the former co-founder/owner of (ASIC) American Skyline Insurance Co., a Property & Casualty Company that provided small business, homeowners and automobile insurance to the under served urban markets in the greater Baltimore and Washington DC communities. In 2000, after the founders raised over $10 million in initial capital, they launched the sole minority owned Property & Casualty company in the USA, employing over 100 people and servicing over 10,000 customers. Prior to her entrepreneurial venture, she held executive and senior level management positions at American Skyline Insurance Co., USF & G Insurance Co., Allstate Insurance Co., and FILA USA. In her corporate career, she had underwriting management oversight for businesses with over five hundred million dollars P & L in the states of Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho,& Montana; Corporate Relations & Human Resources oversight for 2 R & D’s and design center in Oregon, Massachusetts & New York; and multi million dollar insurance operations in MD & DC… MORE > | back to top
Jeff Mascott Headshot JEFF MASCOTT, Managing Partner, Adfero Group.
Jeff Mascott is the Managing Partner of Adfero Group, a strategic communications firm headquartered in Washington, DC. Jeff is responsible for Adfero’s long-term vision and strategic planning to guide the firm’s continued growth and success. Adfero’s rapid expansion was recognized for four consecutive years in Inc. magazine’s top 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. With a unique blend of political experience, business savvy, communications and technology expertise, Jeff has helped Adfero become a public relations leader that is consistently recognized for staying ahead of industry trends and earned him a spot on PRWeek’s “40 Under 40.” This expertise also helped Adfero gain recognition from PRWeek as a “Top Place to Work in PR” and as a finalist for “Small PR Firm of the Year.” | back to top
meet navroop mitter NAVROOP MITTER, Chief Executive Officer, Gryphn Corporation.
Navroop Mitter is the CEO of Gryphn Corporation. Prior to founding Gryphn, Navroop worked at Accenture where he focused on building information security practices in emerging markets and led senior staff on international engagements. Navroop and his team helped expand the company’s security practice in both the United States and abroad. In this role, Navroop set the direction of the Scandinavian Security Practice, identifying high-value clients and crafting successful win strategies. MORE > | back to top
Sonya McCay Headshot SONYA MCCAY, Award Winning Television Personality.
Sonya Gavankar is an award winning television personality who can be seen hosting programs on PBS, BGTV, and MHz Networks. Her career has spanned diverse programs from international food shows to hard news. Ms Gavankar serves as the face of the Newseum by hosting live interview programs, appearing in video installations, video blogs and game shows. She brings a cohesive voice to the Newseum’s 250,000 square feet of exhibit and interactive programming. She is also a regular contributor to All Things Fashion DC, Be Inkandescent and Red Tricycle magazines. In her free time Ms Gavankar goes behind the camera. Her photography has been shown in several Washington area galleries and she is a casting director for independent films. Sonya is a social change leader on collaborative missions in the community. She served for 5 years as the President of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation in Washington, D.C. During her tenure she doubled the participation of high school students from the district by offering training to hundreds of students annually. In 2012 Sonya was recognized by the Envest Foundation as one of 40 Under 40 for her professional and philanthropic works in Washington, DC. In 1997 she represented Washington, D.C. in the Miss America Pageant and for a decade produced the annual Miss D.C. Pageant. She serves on the board of the HOBY, The Miss District of Columbia Organization, Ladies America and the Envest Foundation. Ms Gavankar holds a degree in broadcast journalism from The American University. | back to top
Prof. Mark Vlasic Prof. Mark Vlasic.
Raised in Ventura County, California, Mark Vlasic attended public schools in Thousand Oaks, worked as a lifeguard for the Conejo Recreation & Park District, participated in Junior ROTC in Los Angeles County, and studied Economics as an Army ROTC cadet at the University of California, Los Angeles. After studying business, theology, government and law at Georgetown University, and being commissioned an officer in the U.S. Army (where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal), he went on to be a NAF-Fulbright Scholar and served on the U.S. Delegation to the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie (Libyan) bombing case in the Netherlands. Motivated to help bring justice to those who have been oppressed by dictatorship, he joined the UN war crimes tribunal, as the youngest prosecution attorney in The Hague, and served on the Slobodan Milosevic and Srebrenica genocide trial teams. After working as an associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a Los Angeles-based law firm, and wanting to return to public service, Mark was competitively selected and appointed by the President as a White House Fellow, the nation’s most prestigious fellowship for leadership and public service. He served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, where he focused on foreign policy issues, and was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service by Secretary Robert Gates. Following his Presidential appointment, he was the recruited by the President of the World Bank to serve as the first head of operations of the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, where he helped recover looted assets from dictators and grand corruption cases. A professor and small business owner, Mark is a California and Washington, DC attorney, who practices internationally, and teaches at Georgetown University. The product of an immigrant family from Slovenia, he is currently identifying ways of combating ISIS and fighting terrorism financing, by reducing the market for blood antiquities. | back to top
samira-salman-250
Samira Salman, Business Advisor | Tax Lawyer | Entrepreneur | Speaker
Samira Salman is founder and CEO of Salman Solutions, LLC, a strategic planning and business development firm. Over the past 20 years, Samira has harnessed her out-of-the-box thinking and expertise in corporate and tax law to personally advise over 75 executives on a variety of business issues, build and sell over 30 companies, and raise over $60M in startup and growth capital. Using a proven formula she developed, Samira aligns companiesʼand/or individualsʼ visions, diagnoses and addresses shortcomings, and develops and helps implement strategies that guide people, businesses, and ventures to optimal levels of performance. In addition to serving as an advisor, Samira holds equity in several U.S.-based and international business and entrepreneurial ventures, which include real estate; business and advisory firms; and lifestyle, luxury, and health and wellness brands. She also serves as a consultant and special advisor to Think Global, a global business institute for female entrepreneurship; an advisor to Ladies America, a national network of professional women with a focus on connections, education, and mentorship; and has garnered a large social media following. Samira often serves as a speaker, moderator, and writer on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, brand building, negotiations, business development, energy taxes, strategic collaboration, and women in business opportunities. She has spoken at the American Bar Association, the United Nations, the National Association of Women MBAs, and various entrepreneurship weeks, and business and law schools. Prior to launching her own business in 2008, Samira held various positions at Arthur Andersen, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, and was in-house tax counsel at Shell Oil Company. She received her primary and secondary schooling both state-side and in Europe. She has an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Houston, and completed her JD and BS in international trade and finance with a minor in economics, from Louisiana State University. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Louisiana, and before the U.S. Tax Court. Throughout her career she has held many leadership positions within the American, Texas, and Houston Bar Associations and Tax Sections-including as the Vice-Chairman of the ABA Energy and Environmental Taxes Committee and is an honorary advisor and program project director on social impact projects for the United Nations NGO Committee on Sustainable Development. Samira is also the founder of Samiraʼs Table, LLC, a lifestyle brand curating a way to integrate work and play with health and wellness, travel and culture, spirit and self, and beauty and style. Samira currently allocates her time between New York, Texas, and Louisiana. *Photo Credit: Julie Soefer | back to top

Chapter Directors

Ladies Nashville HEATHER HALE, Ladies Nashville.
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Ladies NoVA  Ladies Northern Virginia.
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Ladies DC HEATHER CROTTY, Ladies DC.
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Ladies Atlanta STEPHANIE SAWYER, Ladies Atlanta.
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National Committee

Belinda Allen BELINDA ALLEN, Membership Director & Ladies DC Mentor.
Belinda Allen, a Connecticut native, is a renowned client service project manager. Known for her strategic planning support in the realignment and closure of the Walter Reed Military Hospital Legacy project, she focuses on operations of organizations and business developments for small companies. Her most recent project deals with one-on-one consultations with career candidates looking to transition discretely. With labor markets tightening, global competition increasing, and career exploring becoming time consuming, Belinda has launched a personalized career management boutique- type consulting service, using proven creative processes that connects candidates with great careers. She adds value to career journey by giving you tools that you can immediately use to help your transition. She holds a M.B.A in Business Management and serve as the Membership Director of Ladies America National Committee, a national network of professional women with a focus on connections, education, and mentorship. Honored to advance women professionally, Belinda volunteers for the Ladies DC Mentorship Program as a mentor for women interested in transitioning careers.
“Bridging creative concept to build professional growth”, is a motto Allen connects with.
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Alexa Gorman ALEXA GORMAN, Writer and Social Media Marketer.
Alexa Gorman is a writer, social media marketer and wine guide with The Traveling Vineyard. She has been juggling all three titles for a little more than a year. During the day, she worked as a bookseller at a boutique shop in Westhampton Beach, New York. Prior to the bookstore, she reported at a weekly newspaper on the East End of Long Island, where she covered breaking news, local government, community and school news. She graduated from Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism in May, 2013. She spent the fall of 2013 at the Republican-American covering Harwinton, Thomaston and Plymouth, Conn. Her work was featured in Newsday Opinion, The Huffington Post, and The Statesman at Stony Brook University. Gorman is currently working on her debut novel. In her spare time, she can be found buried in a book, lifting weights at the gym, or binge-watching Netflix with her dog, Java. She and her husband are relocating to Raleigh, NC in May of 2016, and are looking forward to new opportunities, a fresh start, and an average snowfall of six inches per year.
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Paulina Do PAULINA DO, Special Projects Committee.
Paulina Do, a Massachusetts native, graduated with a B.A. degree in Chemistry from Smith College. She lived and worked in Washington, DC for several years and has extensive experience on the topic of science, public policy and federal regulations as it relates to food safety and chemicals. Currently, she is taking some time to travel domestically and internationally, learning new skills, languages and peoples where her travel takes her. At the moment, she is cultivating personal pursuits in writing, digital media, and other creative endeavors. She serves on the Special Projects Committee supporting Ladies America with a focus on high-level and detailed research and analysis on all interest and initiatives related to Ladies America. She is excited to
align herself with Ladies America’s mission of “Women Helping Women” and provide peers of all age and backgrounds a supportive environment to seek advice and advance professionally. | back to top
Quinn McDonald QUINN MCDONALD, Moving Director.
Quinn McDonald is a passionate Realtor that serves as the Ladies Moving Director of Ladies America. The Ladies Moving program will provide real estate resources to members. The program will offer resources such as relocation assistance and seminars. Quinn launched her real estate business over 10 years ago. She is a graduate of Penn State University; she received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies and a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in human resources. Her specialized knowledge of real estate, human resources, business, and entrepreneurship enables her to be an asset to organizations and individuals. In addition to being a Realtor, she is a seasoned human resources professional and has worked in both private and public sectors. She is adept at talent acquisition, employee relations, dispute resolution, negotiation, workforce planning, change management, performance management, training, benefit administration, safety, and project management. Quinn prides herself in having a well-balanced lifestyle. In her leisure, she enjoys ballroom dancing, practicing Spanish, and traveling internationally. She values family, friends, and community. She also volunteers and donates to various charities. Quinn is honored to utilize her real estate and human resources background to educate, motivate and empower Ladies America members. Quinn is looking forward to contributing to the Ladies America mission by supporting other professional women’s goals and endeavors. | back to top
Kate Pardo KATE PARDO, International Outreach.
Kate Pardo is an analyst for ANSER Analytic Services, and consults in the defense industry focusing on information technology and cybersecurity. Previously, Kate was Federal Program Manager for Hirons & Co. Communications, a GSA-certified advertising and public relations firm. Kate graduated from the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University, and holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism with a concentration in History from the same university. Kate looks forward to expanding international outreach for Ladies America, and helping organizations overseas support women and combat human trafficking in these communities. | back to top
Nicole Craig NICOLE CRAIG, Mentorship Director.
Nicole Craig is the National Director of the Mentorship Program. Having spent the past 30 years in the corporate industry working in varies disciplines across Acquisitions, Legal, Human Resources, Marketing and Operations. Her innate talents in leading the organization, networking, negotiating, mentoring are astonishing. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Human Resources from Lewis University in Rockville, IL. Volunteering was always an integral part of her upbringing and when an opportunity presented itself to be part of Ladies America National Committee, she was elated because not only did in involved leading a piece of the larger mission, but very rewarding meeting women from all walks of life and witlessness their personal and professional triumph.
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Josiane Faubert JOSIANE FAUBERT, Director, Partnerships.
Josiane Faubert comes from a varied background. This Franco-Gabonese’s first encounter with the American culture was in 1999 when she dropped her suitcase in New York. The experience was overwhelming! Feeding her love for traveling she moved to San Francisco to discover the west coast while finishing her B.A in Economics at the University of San Francisco. After graduation she moved to Washington DC to work in the field of International Development and spent 3 years with the Academy for Educational Development and moved again… to London. London really fulfilled Josiane’s creativity. While working for Millward Brown, an international marketing research agency she enrolled in painting and photography classes and started her photography business. Josiane moved back to Washington D.C in 2011. | back to top
Roxana Muzzammel ROXANA MUZZAMMEL, Sponsorship & Partnership Director.
Roxana comes from a background in event planning and fundraising for nonprofits. Roxana currently serves on the Leadership Committee for the National Capital Area (NCA) Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) since 2013. Roxana has garnered the title First Runner-Up 2013 LLS Woman of the Year back in June 2013, where she had raised over $96,000 for cancer research in 10-weeks. She had been inspired to fundraise and promote awareness for cancer research through events after the loss of her father to leukemia in 2011. Roxana is also an active board member for Girls Health Ed and NetSAP DC. Roxana currently works as an IT Consultant for Maximus Inc. Roxana is a graduate of Northeastern University where she had earned her Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems. Roxana received her fellowship as a participant in the 2015 Class for the Women’s Executive Leadership Program at the Impact Center. She had attained this fellowship with the Impact Center through her participation with Ladies America mentorship program in 2015. | back to top
Erika Zois ERIKA ZOIS, National Committee: Events.
Erika Zois, is an event management professional overseeing internal and client-related events at Brunswick Group, a leading international corporate communications firm. Previously Erika interned at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the Department of Transportation: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration. Erika graduated from American University with a degree in Public Communications. A New Jersey native, Erika has been living in DC since 2008. | back to top
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