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Center for Women and Business

Gearing Up Speaker Information

Gearing Up Speaker Information

Gearing Up Speaker Information

Lisa Sun
Lisa Sun
Keynote Speaker
National Bestselling Author of GRAVITAS
Founder and CEO of Gravitas New York

Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of GRAVITAS, electrifies audiences as she unpacks the transformative power of letting go of fear and embracing life's changes. Sun seamlessly blends stories from her personal journey with data and experience-driven insights from her 11 years at McKinsey & Company to offer talks that encourage audiences to choose self-confidence, work to harness their “superpower,” and use gravitas to advance personally and professionally.

Sun founded GRAVITAS in 2012, and its origin story dates to her first professional review. The feedback that changed her life? Being told that she “comes across as young and overly enthusiastic at times,” that she “lacked gravitas,” and “should go buy a new dress, big jewelry, and great shoes.” With those words in mind, an understanding of the transformative power of clothing, and a determination to create a game-changing company, Sun filed for a global patent to build shapewear directly into dresses. She launched GRAVITAS as a company with a mission to catalyze confidence. GRAVITAS offers innovative size-inclusive apparel, styling solutions, and content designed to makeover women from the inside-out. Two months after launch, her first collection was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, PEOPLE, and "TODAY" in the same month. Sun and GRAVITAS have not slowed down since; she has been featured on CNN and in Forbes, Fast Company, New York Magazine, Elle, Marie Claire, InStyle, and more.

Lisa delves into the importance of pushing past potential, transforming ideas into movements, and betting on oneself daily. Recognized for her passion, Lisa has spoken for esteemed groups such as JPMorgan Chase, HSN, and Dress for Success Global Success Summit. Lisa graduated Magna cum laude from Yale University in Biology and Political Science. 

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Wiley Davi Headshot
Wiley Davi
Professor in English and Media Studies

Wiley Davi is Professor in English and Media Studies (EMS) at Bentley University. Previously, Wiley served as Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences and also as chair of the EMS Department. Wiley has published articles on leadership, on the value of liberal learning in a business curriculum, and on diversity in the classroom. In 2020, Wiley co-authored and published the book Leading with Uncommon Sense: Slowing Down, Looking Inward, Taking Action.  

Fully committed to diversity initiatives, Wiley has served as a facilitator of Bentley’s faculty and staff workshops on diversity, on being an LGBTQ ally, and on being a transgender ally. For this work, Wiley received Bentley’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award. Wiley has also received numerous awards for their teaching, including Bentley’s Innovation in Teaching Award and the Gregory H. Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching.   

Since 2015, Wiley has served as a Women in Leadership program facilitator for the Erasmus Center for Women and Organizations (ECWO) out of the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. Through ECWO, they have worked with women in organizations such as ING Bank, TNO (a nonprofit that focuses on applied science), and the European Central Bank. Wiley received their PhD from Tufts University.   

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Kiana Pierre-Louis Headshot
Kiana Pierre-Louis
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Kiana Pierre-Louis is an Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to Northeastern, Kiana was a Senior Law Lecturer, Pre-law Advisor, and a Course Coordinator at Bentley University in the Law & Taxation Department. In addition to being a Professor at Bentley University, Kiana is also an alumnus of Bentley University having graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Communications and a minor in English in 1999. She received a Juris Doctorate, from Suffolk University Law School in 2002 cum laude and passed the bar that same year.

Although, Kiana has a passion for teaching, she equally has a passion for Social Justice and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Her work at Bentley centers on social justice. Kiana serves on several committees across the Bentley Community; she is a Co-Chair of the Teaching and Scholarly Activities Committee and is an advisor to three student organizations. Kiana was the 2017 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, the 2017 and 2018 Innovation in Teaching Award, and the 2019 Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising at Bentley University. She has also won awards for Exemplary Educator, faculty of the year and outstanding alumni through Bentley University.

Kiana also sits on the Board of Directors for KodeConnect, Inc. a non-profit organization helping marginalized youth to get access to STEM classes for little to no cost.

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Dr. Mateo Cruz
Mateo Cruz
Assistant Professor Management

Dr. Mateo Cruz is an award-winning teaching-scholar at Bentley University. His primary research focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice (DEIJ), and change in groups & organizations. His research has been published in top management and psychology outlets including, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Research in Organizational Change and Development and presented to academic and executive audiences in the US, UK, and South Africa.

As a scholar-practitioner, Mateo’s work is guided by one central goal: To design and deliver evidence-based interventions that advance change leaders at the intersection of identities. He holds 20+ years of experience as an executive coach and organization development & change (ODC) consultant & trainer specializing in inclusive leadership, group & team dynamics, and organizational change.

Mateo views his academic work as an extension of his passion for teaching and training, leadership development, and community advocacy. He currently serves as a Faculty Advisor to the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University and is a proud member of the Executive Board of Directors for GLSEN National, the #1 LGBTQ+ education advocacy organization in the US. In 2024, he was awarded the Dr. Earl L. Avery MLK Leadership Award for his efforts to advance inclusion in organizations.

Mateo holds a Ph.D. in social/organizational psychology from Columbia University; an M.A. in organizational psychology from Columbia University; and a B.A. in social work/psychology from the University of Portland.

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Dr. Laura Young
Laura Young
Associates Professor of Economics

Laura Jackson Young is an Associate Professor of Economics at Bentley University. She is the founder and co-advisor of WEB: Women in Economics at Bentley. WEB is a network of faculty, current students, and alumni with an interest in supporting women in the discipline of economics and expanding professional opportunities in the field. The mission is to reach out to women both within and not yet in the program at Bentley, with the hopes of advancing diversity of thought, background, and experiences in the field of Economics.

Laura frequently serves as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, after holding research fellowships at both the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and Kansas City. She regularly collaborates with leading researchers on questions related to macroeconomics, monetary and fiscal policy, and business cycle dynamics. Her work has been published in top-ranked, international economics journals.

At Bentley, Laura teaches introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in the Economics-Finance, Business Economics, and Quantitative Economics programs. She is co-advisor to Bentley’s Fed Challenge team, an undergraduate collegiate competition for students interested in monetary policy.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics from Bentley University and a Master’s and PhD in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She now resides in Westford, MA with her husband and son.

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Katherine Wood Headshot
Katherine Wood
Assistant Professor, Finance

Katherine Wood has a professional background rooted in accounting and finance. Graduating with a degree in the field, she embarked on hher career journey at RSM, a renowned public accounting firm, where she honed her skills in internal audit, specializing in community banks, and earned her CPA certification. Transitioning to the financial sector, they served as a financial controller at a small bank, overseeing accounting and finance operations.

Driven by a passion for continuous learning Katherine Wood pursued further education, earning a Master's in Quantitative Finance from the University of Manchester and a PhD from the University of Georgia. Her research interests lie at the intersection of community banking, particularly in credit access, and the innovative applications of Machine Learning in Finance.

Beyond their professional endeavors Katherine Wood finds joy in the company of her two feline companions, who obviously are in charge of her household. Actively engaged in local running groups, she maintains a healthy balance between work and leisure by indulging in hobbies such as crafting, baking, and reading whenever she has the time.

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Becky McDougal Headshot
Becky McDougal
Director, Programs & Engagement
Center for Women and Business

As Director of Programs & Engagement for the CWB, Becky McDougal builds community with corporate partners, DEI leaders, and associations. She leads the development of new and innovative programs that support the mission of advancing intersectional gender equity. Through process consultation, Becky engages partners in developing programs that address their challenges of fostering more inclusive and equitable cultures that support intersectional gender equity. Becky facilitates the CWB’s workshops and leadership development programs, with areas of expertise including but not limited to: Unconscious Bias for Inclusive Leaders; Networks, Mentors, and Sponsors to Drive Career Advancement; Bentley Brave DialoguesTM; Active Allyship: Justice and Equity at Work; Creating Anti-Racist Cultures; DEI Champions Certificate, and Building Employee Resource Groups.  

Becky’s professional experience began in the event management industry. Prior to Bentley, Becky was an Event Manager at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, leading initiatives to make events more inclusive and accessible while fostering a vibrant Jewish community in Boston and beyond. During these years she was an active member of MPI New England, a professional meeting and event planners' association, where she was awarded Meeting Planner of the Year for leading new programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion tailored to industry professionals. She then became Director of Education for the association to further infuse chapter education with DEI principles, and this appointment led to the creation of a DEI committee, which she led in 2020-2021. 

On campus, Becky partners with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to facilitate Accessibility 101 training and the Whiteness Accountability Group for Faculty and Staff who are committed to fostering racial equity. She also co-chaired the Equitable Return-to-Work Practices Working Group to support improved practices to support employees before, during, and after a leave of absence from the university. She has previously served on Bentley’s Racial Justice Task Force and facilitated the Racial Healing Handbook within the External Relations division. Becky has also been an instructor of the Career Development Introduction 101 Class for first- and second-year students to prepare for their career journey through a strengths-based approach. 

Becky holds an Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management from Georgetown University. Becky earned her BS in Marketing from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, with a minor in Sociology, and holds a Master’s in Organizational Psychology from William James College, with a concentration in Talent Management.  

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Ruby Chan
Ruby Chan
Founder and CEO of FreshZen Foods

Ruby Chan is a mother of 4; she received an MBA from Bentley University. 

After spending 20 years in corporate marketing and working with many companies like HP, Gillette, Staples, and Citizens Bank, she realized it was time to transform how she saw entrepreneurship—as a way to embrace her passions. Today, Ruby is the founder and CEO of FreshZen Foods, the only plant-based and gluten-free Asian pesto on the market, made with clean ingredients, 75% less sodium, and rich flavors passed down through the generations that make cooking healthy, delicious meals fast and easy. "I believe that the food we eat can heal our bodies," says Ruby. "I wanted to show my kids, especially my three daughters, that as a woman, a mother, I can dream big and make something happen out of nothing."

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Amy Pocsik
Amy Pocsik
Co-Founder and CEO of the Women's Business League
Founder of Bold Moves

Amy Pocsik is an award-winning champion for business leaders. She’s the Co-Founder and CEO of the Women's Business League and the Founder of Bold Moves, empowering ambitious entrepreneurs and executives to exponentially increase their success. Her professional accomplishments have gained extreme praise with FastCompany hailing her a “national leader in helping others find purpose and success,” Forbes naming her to their prestigious Coaches Council and one of Boston Business Journal’s top 40 Under 40. A Northshore Massachusetts native, she received the honor of Northshore Magazine's Movers & Shakers award.

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It’s a beautiful event celebrating women in business with concrete suggestions to help our careers. The networking is easy and I’ve met some really interesting people through it.
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