Stephanie Sonnabend, Co-Founder, Chair of the Board
Stephanie is passionate about making the world a better place. Former CEO and President of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Stephanie led a publicly traded global hospitality company, built a strong corporate culture applauded by the industry and spearheaded significant growth, internationally and in the U.S. She currently is an advisor to SAFR, a startup ridesharing company focused on empowering women drivers and passengers. Previous board experience includes Sonesta Hotels, Century Bank and SVN. Today, she is a director, speaker, executive coach, and consultant, with a special focus on family businesses, hospitality, and transitions and succession planning for boards, CEOs, senior executives and organizations. Stephanie resides in Sarasota, FL, and Portsmouth, NH.
Malli Gero, Co-Founder, Vice Chair of the Board and Senior Advisor
Malli served as President of 2020 Women on Boards from 2010 through 2017. Before launching 2020 Women on Boards, Malli had an extensive career in marketing communications and public relations. She was principal of Gero Communications, a boutique PR firm founded in 1985, specializing in B2B, non-profit and hospitality sectors. She previously worked for large public relations agencies in New York and Boston. Malli is an active community volunteer, serving on the Mayor’s Commission on Women (Boston) and on the boards of More Than Words, the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation and the Brookline Educational Foundation. She resides in Boston, MA and Tenants Harbor, ME.
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, Chief Executive Officer
See bio under National Office.
As Principal of Baker Media Consultancy, Bridget advises and represents major media and technology companies. Previously, she had a distinguished 23-year career at NBCUNIVERSAL where she was a co-founder of CNBC and the company’s first president of TV Networks Distribution from 2006 – 2013. She was instrumental in building and later overseeing a $5 billion content distribution business. She was tapped by parent company General Electric to develop the first-ever corporate Women’s Network affinity group in 2006, and in 2008 her division contributed the largest consolidated operating profit at the company.
In 2013, she was the first and only woman named to the board of directors of GCI, Alaska’s largest communications company, which provides data, wireless, video, voice and managed services to consumer and business customers throughout Alaska and nationwide. In March 2018 GCI completed its $1.5 billion merger with Liberty Interactive to form GCI LIBERTY (Nasdaq: GLIBA). As director, Bridget served on the Special Committee of the Board for the year-long diligence process and was pivotal in creating the company’s first employee resource group for women.
Bridget serves as a trustee of Pitzer College, where she received a BA in Political Studies and in 2010 was the “Distinguished Alumni Award” honoree.
Steven has extensive experience as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, private equity investor and corporate lawyer, and is based in Boston. He is currently Co-Founder and Chairman of Swaponz, Inc. and has developed a patented technology platform for incorporating Infinite Swap Technology and Augmented Reality Technology into new everyday consumer products. He is a Founding Partner and Director of Healthier Cleaning Innovations, LLC. HCI successfully launched a new product–a device that produces an all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant and odor-killer that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. Steven also serves on the board of advisors of Rental Beast, a real estate database company. Previously, he was the CEO and a Director of Rotobrush International LLC, Chairman and CEO of Unger Software Corporation, and Chairman and CEO of Specialty Catalog Corp.
Steven has served as an independent director on public and private boards, and is a member of several nonprofit boards, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and The Boston Children’s Museum. He holds a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and a B.S. in Economics/Accounting, summa cum laude, from S.U.N.Y. at Albany.
Robin is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Farient Advisors,a compensation and performance advisory firm that provides compensation and performance advisory services to public and private companies. Robin currently serves on the boards of Trupanion, a public company, Oaktree Capital Funds, and Enlight, a software company. Previously, Robin was President of the Human Capital business of Mercer, Chairman of the U.S. West Region for Mercer’s parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies, and President and Chairman of SCA Consulting, a firm she co-founded in 1985 and sold to Mercer in 2001.
She is the author of the book entitled, “Fair Pay Fair Play: Aligning Executive Performance and Pay.”, She is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and Directorship Magazine, and frequent presenter for the Council of Institutional Investors, Society for Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and The Conference Board.
For the past seven years, Ms. Ferracone has been named to the NACD Directorship 100, the prestigious list of the most influential people in corporate governance and the boardroom. In 2014, Ms. Ferracone was selected as one of EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women, a competition that annually recognizes female entrepreneurs.
She received her MBA degree from the Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar and a B.A. summa cum laude in Management Science and Economics from Duke University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Renee Fraser, Ph.D.
Renee Fraser, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of Fraser Communications, the largest female owned and led integrated advertising agency in Southern California. Renee serves as the Chair of the Boards for Wise and Healthy Aging, as well as, Girls Inc. She was previously on the boards for National Volunteers of America, United Way of Greater LA County, Harvard University Women’s Leadership board at The Kennedy School, NAWBO-LA Leadership Board and Women Presidents Organization.
Renee was honored as one of the “50 Most Influential Women” by Los Angeles Magazine for her many contributions in civic leadership (United Way board, VOA National board and Co-Chair of Business Task Force to end homelessness in L.A./Home for Good). Renee encouraged entrepreneurship through her radio show “Unfinished Business”, for five years. She’s a featured columnist on Business.com and has been featured on Forbes, the Huffington Post, and many others. She is also the creator and host of The Deciders on KABC 790AM in Los Angeles every Saturday at 5:30 PM PST.
Since 2012, she has co-chaired the 2020WOB Los Angeles/Orange County events for the National Conversation on Board Diversity. On the 2020WOB board, she chairs the strategic branding committee.
Renee received her BA, MA and Ph.D. from University of Southern California. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.
Sharon D. Garrett, Ph.D
Sharon is a management consultant, providing advisory services, primarily to private equity companies, regarding acquisitions, divestitures and operational process improvements. Sharon serves as a director on several boards: Ross Stores Inc. since 2000 and served as Lead Independent Director; Catalytic Capital Investment Corp.; and Corio, Inc.,and previously as director at TriZetto Corporation; SimplyDone Business Solutions; Scott’s Liquid Gold, Inc. She was Senior Vice President of Reimbursement Services at American Medical Response, Inc.; president of CSG Systems, Inc., and Executive Vice President of Pacificare Health Systems, Inc. Sharon served as Chief Executive Officer of S.D. Garrett Enterprises, a management turnaround company; Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of The Walt Disney Company; and Chief Executive Officer of Zyan Communications. She also served as Chief Operating Officer – U.S. Operations for Porton International Plc.
Sharon previously served as Deputy Director of UCLA Medical Center. She holds a Doctorate and a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Statistics and Planning, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, all from UCLA. She also serves in an advisory capacity for the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Global Access
Bonnie Hill, Ed.D.
Bonnie Hill, Ed.D., is president of B. Hill Enterprises, LLC, a consulting firm focusing on corporate governance and board organizational and public policy issues. Her experience includes more than 24 years in corporate governance serving on eleven corporate boards. Bonnie currently serves on the boards of Banc of California and the RAND Corporation. Recent board service includes California Water Service Group, Yum Brands; The Home Depot (lead director 2008-2014) and AK Steel Holding Corp. She is also a founding member of the Lead Directors Network, and a member of the SDX (Shareholder Directors Exchange). She was honored by the National Association of Corporate Directors with the 2015 B. Kenneth West “Lifetime Achievement Award,” recognized by the NACD Directorship as one of America’s most influential people in Corporate Governance in 2010, and as a 2011 Outstanding Director by the Financial Times’ Outstanding Director Exchange.
She earned her doctorate in Education at University of California at Berkeley; her Masters in Educational Psychology at California State University-Hayward; and her BA in Psychology at Mills College.
Julie Hill is a member of the board of directors of Anthem; The Lord Abbett Family of Funds; and was previously on the board of Lend Lease, based in Sydney, Australia. Julie founded Hillsdale Development, a home building and land development company based in Newport Beach, CA, and The Hill Company, which has a portfolio of interests, after being chief executive officer of Costain Homes-US, a division of the Costain Group based in London, England. She was previously a senior executive with Mobil Land Development Corporation in Atlanta, GA, a division of Mobil Oil.
Julie was a long-time Chair of the board of Human Options, a shelter for abused women and children, and serves on the board of directors of the Orange County Community Foundation. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and Los Angeles Trusteeship, and prior member of the Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Julie is the 2018 chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of California-Irvine (UCI) Foundation, and past chair of the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable; the Paul Merage School of Business Directors’ Board.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UCLA, and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Georgia. She lives with her family in Newport Coast, CA and London, England.
Joanna Lau is founder and CEO of Lau Technologies, a provider of debt and equity financing and consulting services. Lau Technologies was the first in the world to introduce facial recognition technology into driver’s license, secure document, access control and surveillance. The division went public as Viisage Technology Inc., and later merged into L1 Identity and Security Systems, now a division of BAE of the UK. Joanna is a Director of DSW, where she chairs the technology committee and is a member of the audit committee. She was formerly on the board of ESI, InfoSoft, FSI International, Boston Federal Bank and TD Bank. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Nellie Mae Education Foundation, New England’s largest philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to education; the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; and the National Defense Industrial Association.
A member of the Marshall Scholarship Committee, Joanna was appointed by the United Kingdom as Chair of the New England Committee in 2010. She belongs to the Young/World President Organization (YPO/WPO) and served as Chair of the New England Chapter. She has been honored as Ernst & Young National Turnaround Entrepreneur of the Year, the Mass High Tech All Star Award, and the New England Women Leadership Award.
Joanna received her MBA from Boston University, her MS in Computer Science from Old Dominion University and her BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from SUNY at Stony Brook. She has also received numerous Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Commercial Sciences from Bryant, Bentley and Suffolk Universities.
At the law firm of Reed Smith, John Iino serves as Global Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, a member of the firm’s Global Leadership Team and an ex-officio member of the Talent Committee of the Reed Smith Executive Committee. John leads the Japan Business Team, responsible for coordinating the firm’s work for clients doing business in Japan and for Japanese clients doing business outside of Japan. He has substantial experience representing U.S., Asian, Canadian and multinational companies in corporate, financial and commercial transactions. John previously served as Global Chair of the firm’s Business & Finance Department, Chair of the U.S. Corporate & Securities Group and Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office. The first Asian American to serve on Reed Smith’s Executive Committee and Senior Management Team, John also served as the Chair of Reed Smith’s Asian American Affinity Group. He recently was named among the top 500 ”Most Influential People in LA” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and ”One of the Nation’s Most Influential Minority Attorneys’.’ John received the ”Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Asian Business Awards, and the Leadership Award from the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association, and the President’s Award from the USC Alumni Association. John is a frequent speaker and panelist on matters involving diversity and inclusion, law firm management, corporate law and cross-border transactions.