Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin
Executive Vice President of Human Resources - Staples
Shira is Executive Vice President of Human Resources, responsible for Staples' global HR strategies and programs that advance the company's commitment to be the world's best office products company. Shira joined Staples in 1992 and has served in a number of leadership roles across the company. She recently served as Executive Vice President of Marketing responsible for Staples' marketing, advertising, public relations and charitable giving programs and led the company's global business integration efforts following Staples' acquisition of Corporate Express in 2008. She previously held senior executive positions in the company's delivery business units that serve business customers of all sizes.
Shira came to Staples from Bain and Company where she was a manager. Staples was one of her clients and she helped develop the strategy to launch Staples' catalog business.
Shira is a member of the Board of Directors of CarMax, Inc., and previously served as a board member for The Stride Rite Corporation from 2001 to 2007. A native of Chicago, she was raised in Minneapolis. She holds a Master of Management Science degree with a concentration in Strategy and Marketing from MIT's Sloan School of Management, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and bachelor's degree from Princeton University. Shira is married and lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband, Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz, and their three children.
Her favorite office product is the Staples one-touch stapler.
Certified Financial Planner, PIA Portfolio Manager and Certified Special Needs Advisor - Merrill Lynch
Edye began her career with Merrill Lynch in the Providence, Rhode Island office after graduating from Santa Clara University with a degree in Finance in 1981. She is a Certified Financial Planner, PIA Portfolio Manager and Certified Special Needs Advisor.
Edye leads a five-person team and is a member of the Circle of Excellence. She has been recognized by Barron's magazine as one of the "Top 1000 Financial Advisors" for the past three years. She is currently ranked #2 in Rhode Island and is the only woman Advisor to have been recognized in the state. Edye is also a recipient of the 2011 Providence Business News Achievement Award.
Edye serves as a member of the GWIM Diversity & Inclusion Council, as Executive President for the Eastern Division Women's Exchange and President of the Women's Exchange for the Boston Coastal Complex. She also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Trinity Repertory Company and is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Rhode Island.
Her prior Board service includes the Women's Center of Rhode Island, the United Way of Rhode Island, the Planned Giving Council of Rhode Island, the French-American School of Rhode Island, and Ocean State Lyric Opera.
Edye has been interviewed on such topics as "Women & Money," "Kids & Money," and "Marriage and Money,” She has been interviewed by Investors Business Daily on the topic of "Healthcare Costs & Retirement," by the New York Times on "Organizing One's Financial Life," and was recently featured in Providence Business News.
Edye enjoys fitness, travel, food, wine and gardening. She lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, with her husband, Tom and their, 12-year-old daughter, Emma.
Elizabeth Brown, Moderator
Adjunct Professor of Business Law - Brown University
Liz Brown is an Adjunct Professor at Bentley University, where she teaches business law. Before coming to Bentley, Liz was a partner with the international law firm of Fish & Richardson. In private practice, Liz advised executives at Fortune 500 companies on legal strategies and intellectual property matters. She managed multi-million dollar patent cases from inception to successful resolution and negotiated strategic agreements with opposing counsel. She also has significant pro bono experience representing low-income clients in housing access and civil rights litigation.
Liz practiced law in London and San Francisco before returning home to Boston in 2007. After her daughter was born in 2008, she took an extended leave from her firm and eventually did not return. Liz relaunched her career as a law professor with a side practice helping local companies resolve legal issues quickly and efficiently, and she couldn't be happier about it. She also serves on the Board of the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets. Liz Brown is a graduate of the Bentley University More Opportunities for Mothers Program. She lives in Dedham with her husband and daughter. Read more about Liz in her Relaunch Success Story.
Kerry Ann Carter
Vice President, eCommerce - Staples
From 1996 - 2000 Kerry Anne worked at Staples in a variety of positions and thoroughly enjoyed the challenging environment. Upon the birth of her twin boys in 2000, she became the mother of three children under the age of 19 months (her boys joined her toddler daughter). Three small children and a demanding job were too much for her to handle, so she left her position at Staples as Director of Marketing.
During the five years in which Kerry Anne was home with her children, she did a variety of things to “keep her hand in the game” professionally. Her former company, Staples, hired her to do several part time consulting positions over the course of the last three years she was home. Many of these projects would be considered “at a lower level” than the one she had before leaving the company. Additionally, she continued to subscribe to business journals such as The Harvard Business Review and would occasionally send pertinent articles to former colleagues. Finally, she made a concerted effort to stay in touch with colleagues at various levels by getting together occasionally for coffee, lunch or dinners. All of these contributed to Kerry Anne “being on the radar” when she was ready to come back to work full time.
In April of 2006, Kerry Anne returned to Staples as VP, eCommerce for the business-to-business division, working for a former boss with whom she had maintained a close relationship. Since that time she has held a variety of interesting and challenging positions of strategic importance to the company, including her current position as VP, Copy & Print Global Growth. Says Kerry Anne: "Most importantly, my family has thrived during this time. We've learned what's really important to us, and turns out that a super neat house isn't one of them! Our lives are not perfect, but it works for us and I wouldn't have it any other way!"
Financial Advisor - Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
When it comes to money, Lynne Marino is passionate about educating women, their families and their employees. Simplicity and ease of doing business is essential to a strong client relationship. Lynne strives to make complex financial language understandable so her clients are empowered to make smart decisions about their money. Marino's approach helps to create deep and valued relationships with her clients. She works with affluent baby boom women who are senior-level executives and business owners.
Lynne is deeply rooted in the Fairfield County, Connecticut community. She is a board member with the Entrepreneurial Women's Network (EWN) and on the membership committee of the Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA). Other volunteer activities include singing and dancing with a women's choir called the ‘Treblemakers' who perform for area nursing homes. She is an active member of the Simmons College Alumnae Association and a former Junior League Sustainer Director. Lynne is also a coordinator for FISH (Feel I Should Help) which provide rides for the elderly. Lynne and her husband live in Wilton, CT with their two sons.
Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Lynne took a four-year career break, after working for several years in sales, marketing and management positions with IBM and AT&T.
Lynne works with her clients to provide financial and investment strategies; cash management; transitional services; the construction, management and reporting of customized investment portfolios; wealth preservation and transfer options; estate planning and concentrated stock strategies.
Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Lynne held management and marketing positions with AT&T and IBM. Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in management and finance from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She also has her Master of Science degree in information systems from Pace University in White Plains, NY.
Founder - Hooray for Books
Hooray for Books is an educational enrichment program that focuses on teaching children to read with a side of cooking! At HFB the goal is to bring books to life and make reading an enjoyable (yet edible) adventure. HFB is a multi- faceted program offering Kindergarten programs, preschool and "mommy & me" classes, birthday parties, first grade book/cook clubs and vacation mini-camps. Classes take place in a whimsical environment designed for young learners.
Founder Mary Murphy taught kindergarten in the Newton, Massachusetts Public School System for 12 years. While on maternity leave, she moved to Hopkinton, MA and saw a need in the area for quality programs geared towards younger children. When contemplating a return to full time work, she decided to take an entrepreneurial route instead. Mary began her business in her basement with 10 students. After 10 years of business growth, she is now franchising the concept nationally.
Mary created Hooray for Books by combining four things she is passionate about: children, baking, reading, and humor! She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston College and is now the proud mother of five children. Read more about Mary in her Relaunch Success Story.
Associate Director of Academic Programs - MIT Professional Education
Dawna, who has both a Bachelors of Science '83 and a Master's of Science '84 in Management Science from MIT, previously spent 18 years at Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting, in their Gas and Electric Utilities practice. Upon leaving Accenture, Dawna spent the next five years doing volunteer work while actively pursuing a job at MIT. As part of her current responsibilities within MIT Professional Education, Dawna manages the Advanced Study Program (ASP), the Career Reengineering Program (CRP), and a custom program with Accenture. Read more about Dawna in her Relaunch Success Story.
Vivian Steir Rabin, Moderator
Co-Founder - iRelaunch
Director of Human Resources, Boston Globe
Amy Allen joined The Boston Globe last year as Director of Human Resources. With 20 years of HR experience, Amy is a true HR generalist with a passion for human capital and its impact on a business's bottom line success. Amy led the HR Departments of Pine Manor College and Planned Parenthood League of MA, and spent six years in HR with Staples. Colleagues describe Amy as an HR superstar who has "ability to influence change through relationship building, and linking human resources initiatives to business objectives." Since joining the Globe, Amy has led the deployment of a Diversity and Inclusion Council, been a part of their Leadership Excellence architect team, and with her team has brought in more than 80 new hires. Amy enjoys working in an innovative environment such as the Globe's and looks forward to the upcoming launch of BostonGlobe.com and re-launch of Boston.com and the related enthusiasm those initiatives will bring to the culture.
Amy lives in Franklin MA with her husband and two teenage children. She is a graduate of Princeton University where she majored in Art History and played Varsity Women's Ice Hockey as a goaltender. She recently returned to the ice and has been back in net this past year with an "old ladies" league out of Walpole. She is an advocate for animal rescue and has two rescue dogs, a rescue cat and a rescue horse.
Director of Human Resources, Bentley
Ann Dexter joined Bentley in 2010 after serving as the Director of Human Resources, University Administration at Harvard University from 2003-2010. At Bentley, Ann is responsible for all aspects of Human Resources for Bentley's 1000+ faculty and staff and for aligning Bentley's HR programs with the University's strategic goals. Prior to Harvard, Ann practiced employment law as a partner at Goodwin, Procter LLP in Boston and as a principal and co-founder of Hsu & Dexter LLC, a specialty employment law firm.
Ann graduated from Suffolk University Law School and holds her bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Minnesota. She lives in Belmont, MA with her two daughters. As a single mother who deliberately moved away from life at a large corporate law firm, Ann has a personal interest in issues facing women who are "relaunching" and who are interested in non-traditional jobs or flexible schedules.
Executive Talent Acquisition - CVS Caremark
Lisa is the Head of Executive Talent Acquisition for CVS Caremark. She is an accomplished Executive Recruiting leader with more than 15 years of experience in difficult-to-find, high-demand skill sets. Lisa joined CVS Caremark in February 2008 to lead the creation of an in-house executive search function. She developed behavioral assessments to determine culture fit, executive staffing plans and strategies to support to attract diverse talent.
Lisa graduated from Johnson & Wales with an Associate Degree in Pastry Arts and Bachelor Degree in Food Service Management. Her career began with ARAMARK as a Manager at Bryant University. She developed leadership skills in budget and inventory management and oversight of 60 employees. Lisa was offered an opportunity to expand her career in managing hotel sales. She managed all phases of selling, including market segmentation, prospecting, building customer relationships, account acquisition and negotiation. She was recognized for her ability to drive sales by cold calling and developing relationships with clients. Lisa was promoted to Director of the first Eastern Regional Recruiting Division for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. Prior to CVS Caremark, Lisa was the Vice President, Executive Recruitment at InSearch Worldwide, a premier talent acquisition firm specializing in the design and execution of customized search and selection programs.
Lisa lives in Cumberland, RI with her husband. She has a Master's Degree in Organizational Management and Human Resource Development from Manhattaville College and Bachelor Degree in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University. Lisa is committee member of the Regional Chapter of the Network of Executive Women. She was recently named by the Griffin Report in the 2011 Women of Influence in the Food Industry.
Senior Corporate Recruitment Manager, Staples
Joanne Wagner is a pioneering relauncher. After an eight-year career break, she relaunched her career at Staples in a part-time role - back in 1993 when part time roles were very unusual. She now serves as Senior Corporate Recruitment Manager at Staples.
Joanne began her career as a liaison between product managers and sales representatives at Union Carbide in 1977. When her husband was transferred to Massachusetts, she joined him and became the sixth employee at EMC. Once again, her husband was transferred across the country, and then back again to Massachusetts. When Joanne returned to Massachusetts, she interviewed with a staffing agency for a position with one of their clients. Instead of recommending her for that position, and even though she had no agency recruiting experience, she was offered a job on the spot to work for the agency itself. She worked at the agency for a few years, and then left the workforce for eight years to raise three children.
In 1993, Joanne decided to return to work and began her search by networking. She reached out to a friend now at Staples, whom she had placed into a Corporate HR role with another company while Joanne worked with the placement agency. This introduction opened the door to a new career at Staples. She started with them in a part-time role as a researcher for the recruiting group. After three months, Joanne was asked to head up recruiting for finance roles at Staples. The employment market was almost as dismal as in recent years and there were a lot of people lined up to take the job, so it was hard to say no, even though she was not quite ready to go back full time. Again in a progressive move, Staples promised her the flexibility she needed, and Joanne has now been there 17 years doing executive recruiting for a company that is No. 101 on the Fortune 500. Read her Relaunch Success Story.
In Residence - Bentley University
In residence at Bentley University since 2005, Toni Wolfman serves as a resource to faculty, students and alumnae on issues affecting women in business and the professions, is a liaison between the University and business leaders, helps to identify and develop career development opportunities, and participates in research and programming for current and future women leaders. She is a well-known and effective advocate for improved corporate governance and for the advancement of women in business.
Toni is a former director of and leads the corporate board search effort for The Boston Club (New England's largest organization of business and professional women), is a co-founder and former President of ION (a national network of organizations dedicated to advancing women to corporate leadership positions), leads Women Corporate Directors-Boston (public company directors who meet periodically to share perspectives on corporate governance issues), and was a long-time director of the Center for Women & Enterprise (the largest entrepreneurial training organization in New England).
From 1977 through 2004, Toni practiced law with Foley Hoag LLP in Boston where she was a partner in its litigation department focusing on the resolution of complex commercial disputes. While at Foley Hoag she held various leadership positions in the firm, in several bar associations, and in legal services organizations; she also has served on three Supreme Judicial Court committees. Toni is currently a Trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation.
Toni has been recognized for her contributions to the legal profession and to the advancement of women by the Boston Bar Association, the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts, Greater Boston Legal Services and The Boston Club. Most recently, she received the inaugural Advancing Women Award from the Boston Business Journal.
Toni is a graduate of Smith College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is a Trustee of Smith College.