meet lindsey mark LINDSEY MASK | Ladies America Founder and Director Emeritus

Lindsey Mask is the Founder and Former 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 over ten 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


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


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 MARK VLASIC | Professor

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 | 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


WASHINGTON D.C. | Natasha Flores
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CHICAGO | Joy Downey
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NEW YORK CITY | Alana Sisnett, Shruti Panchavati
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