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Center for Women and Business Team Bios

Joanne Headshot
Joanne Kamens (she/her)
Interim Executive Director

Joanne is serving as the Interim Executive Director in the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, where she is leading the team on strategy and supporting our mission drive work.

Joanne has been advancing diversity and inclusion for decades. She founded the Boston chapter of the Association for Women in Science (MASS AWIS) after a whole week went by at work when she had no meetings with any other women (and was asked to fetch coffee or take notes 3 times). Joanne presents over 80 talks and workshops each year all over the world. She speaks widely on topics such as Winning Company Culture, Implicit Bias, Management Excellence for Inclusive Cultures, Making the most of Mentoring Relationships, Work/Life Negotiation, and Building Relationships for Success. She is active in creating and supporting mentoring programs for science trainees and other organizations. She also consults for start-ups on creating a culture and inclusion road map for growth. You can find her @jkamens on Twitter.

Joanne received her PhD in genetics from Harvard Medical School and has had a varied career in academia, pharma, biotech and nonprofit. She most recently served as executive director of the nonprofit biotech, Addgene.

Yaro Fong-Olivares Headshot
Yaro Fong-Olivares (she/her)
Director, Corporate Education

Yaro Fong-Olivares serves as Director for the Center for Women and Business and Executive Education at Bentley University, where she leads the design and delivery of customized training programs for organizations and coaching for individuals. A sought-after speaker and facilitator, Yaro has extensive experience in organizational development and management, including facilitating racial equity initiatives, diversity, and inclusion, strategy development, leadership coaching, and change management. Yaro leads Bentley Executive Education’s DEI Champions Certificate and will be launching a new program in the fall, Strategies for Emerging Leaders.
Yaro is currently pursuing a doctorate in Organizational Leadership Psychology at William James, holds an M.S. in Organizational Change Management from The New School, a B.A. in Sociology from Barnard College, and Clark Wilson’s 360 feedback Task Cycle Survey Certification. Yaro serves as president of the Executive Committee of the New York Center for the Study of Groups, Organizations and Social Systems, an affiliate of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems and is a member of the A.K. Rice Institute.

Becky McDougal
Becky McDougal (she/her)
Director of Program Operations

As the Assistant Director of Events, Becky McDougal develops strategy and executes details for signature programs in the CWB and Executive Education, including Gearing Up, the Executive Working Group, and Taking Charge: Women’s Executive Leadership. She supports community partnerships and engagements with the Ruderman Family Foundation, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and other campus collaborations. She supports the work of our custom program facilitation team through training and development opportunities and partners on creating new programs such as the Strategies for Emerging Leaders open enrollment.

Prior to Bentley, Becky was an Event Manager at Combined Jewish Philanthropies, managing programs for their Professional Networks, Women’s Philanthropy, and Planned Giving, creating a vibrant Jewish community in Boston and beyond. Previously she worked at CBI, managing over thirty domestic and international lifescience conferences annually to support continuing education.

Becky was named 2019 Meeting Planner of the Year by MPI New England for her work engaging members in diversity and inclusion topics as they relate to the industry, and in 2020 served on their board as Director of Education and Chair of DE&I to lead educational programs and guide the association’s strategy on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She holds an Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management from Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. Becky earned her degree in Marketing from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, with a minor in Sociology.

Ryan Brennan Headshot
Ryan Brennan (he/him)
Director of Strategic Accounts, External Relations Division

Ryan serves at the Director of Strategic Accounts for the External Relations Division.  In this role, he works with companies and organizations to create customized educational solutions from the Center for Women and Business and Executive Education at Bentley.  These educational solutions can include professional development workshops; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings; and full corporate graduate programs.

Before joining Bentley, Ryan worked in Academic and Corporate Engagement at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  At WPI Ryan collaborated with companies in the life science, healthcare and technology industries in building customized trainings and graduate programs.  In addition, he held several sales positions with the biopharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.  Ryan received both his BA and MBA from Assumption University.

Dominique Headshot
Dominique Wilburn (she/her)
Assistant Director of Programs

Dominique Wilburn serves as the Assist Director of Programs for the Center for Women and Business and Executive Education at Bentley University. In her role, Dominique is responsible for the successful delivery of Bentley’s corporate education offerings and the overall logistical arrangements for Executive Education and CWB training programs. She oversees the development and implementation processes required to effectively deliver a wide variety of custom corporate programs, provides input on program development, and manages critical relationships with corporate partners. Dominique also manages social media for the CWB.

Prior to Bentley, Dominique worked for a nonprofit study abroad provider where she developed and oversaw the implementation of a global diversity training program which educated international staff, faculty, and homestay families on matters of diversity, inclusion, discrimination, and mental health. She has a background in digital marketing and has worked in politics. She has been mentioned in a number of publications, including the New York Times and the Better Business Bureau’s Magazine’s spotlight on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dominique earned her BA in Liberal Arts from Drew University where she majored in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program with a concentration in Leadership at Bentley University.

Eleni Headshot
Eleni Cobi (she/her)
Program Manager

Eleni serves as Program Manager for the Center for Women and Business and Executive Education at Bentley University. She provides project and client-relationship management for our corporate education programs and partnerships. This includes engaging in client communication and planning, as well as delivering virtual and in-person programs. She conducts research on relevant DE&I topics while supervising and mentoring student interns. In addition, she provides administrative, social media, and tech support to the team.

Previously as an Investment Operations Analyst at Global Atlantic Financial Group, she supported the Real Estate, Specialty Finance, and Transportation investment teams where she maintained relationships with third party servicers, executed investment fundings, and managed assets through their life cycle.

Eleni is a Bentley Alumni and earned her BS in Economics and Finance with a minor in Computer Information Systems. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program with a concentration in Leadership at Bentley University.

CWB Advisors and Facilitators
Donna Maria Blancero
Donna Maria Blancero (she/her)
Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs, Bentley University

Donna Maria Blancero is the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Bentley University. Donna Maria previously served as the interim Dean of Business and the McCallum Graduate School at Bentley, at which time she was one of three Latina business deans in AACSB accredited Universities in the United States. She is passionate about issues of inclusion and equity.

Dr. Blancero is the founding editor of The Business Journal of Hispanic Research and a national speaker on issues related to Hispanic leadership, inclusion and unconscious bias. She has received many awards including the Presidential Award (twice) from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science; the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s Brillante Award for Hispanic Education; the National Black MBA Diversity Educator Award; and Bentley’s MLK Leadership Award. She received her PhD in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, master’s degree from New York Institute of Technology, and bachelor’s degree from SUNY, College at Old Westbury.

Trish Foster
Trish Foster (she/her)
CWB Advisor

Trish Foster serves as an advisor and program facilitator for the Center for Women and Business. She develops and delivers a variety of DE&I programs for organizations throughout the U.S. and internationally. Speaking engagements range from workshops and keynotes to panel discussions and moderated roundtables. Venues include businesses, non-profits, and academic institutions such as MIT, Harvard Business School, and University of Chicago’s Booth School.

She has authored numerous DE&I research reports. Topics include: elevating allyship in the workplace; inclusive culture; intersectionality; mentorship and sponsorship; gender equity and more.

Previously, Trish served as Executive Director of the Center for Women and Business (CWB) at Bentley University, where she led the center’s mission-driven work to create more inclusive organizations. While there, she guided strategy and thought leadership along with marketing and program development on behalf of more than 100 clients.

As a passionate advocate for inclusion and allyship, Trish spearheaded formation of Bentley University’s Men of Alliance initiative and co-led development of the university’s Women’s Leadership Group. She co-developed and facilitated the Bentley Executive Education DE&I certificate program, and also served on Bentley’s Diversity Council and Racial Justice Task Force.

Earlier, Trish served as senior vice president of FleishmanHillard Global PR and vice president of Ogilvy PR.

Wiley Davi
Wiley Davi (they/them)
Professor in English and Media Studies, Bentley University

Wiley Davi is Associate 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. Currently, they are working on a co-authored book on leadership and metacognition.

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 fcilitator 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

Mateo Cruz
Mateo Cruz (he/him)
Assistant Professor of Management, Bentley University

Dr. Mateo Cruz is an Assistant Professor of Management at Bentley University. His primary research examines the different ways women and people of color contend with systemic stereotype threat in occupations where they face chronic underrepresentation. His work has been published in top management outlets and presented to academic and executive audiences nationwide.

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 intersections of identities. He holds 15+ years of experience as an organization development (OD) consultant and coach and currently serves as a faculty advisor to Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business.

Mateo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Portland, a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

KPL Headshot
Kiana Pierre-Louis (she/her)
Senior Law Lecturer, Bentley University

Kiana Pierre-Louis is a Senior Law Lecturer at Bentley University in the Law, Taxation, and Financial Planning 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.

CWB Student Interns
Isabella Contessi Headshot

Isabella Contessi '22 (she/her)

Office Assistant 
Major: Business Economics
LSM: Global Perspectives 

Elizabeth Varnum Headshot

Elizabeth Varnum '22 (she/her)

Office Assistant 
Major: Accounting 

Rhea Vengurlekar headshot

Rhea Vengurlekar '22 (she/her)

Office Assistant 
Major: Economics-Finance
Minor: Computer Information Systems 

Alyssa Carolan Headshot

Alyssa Carolan '23 (she/her)

Office Assistant 
Major: Marketing
Minor: Information Design and Corporate Communications

Sarah Gioiosa Headshot

Sarah Gioiosa '24 (she/her)

Office Assistant
Major: Management with a Concentration in Global Studies

Sia Goel Headshot

Sia Goel '24 (he/him)

Office Assistant 
Major: Data Analytics
LSM: Global Perspectives and Business Studies 

Lauren Manning Headshot

Lauren Manning '24 (she/her)

Office Assistant 
Major: Corporate Finance and Accounting