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Center for Women and Business Team Bios

Deb Pine
Deb Pine
Associate Vice President, External Relations

As Associate Vice President of External Relations, Deb Pine leads Bentley’s corporate education initiatives including innovative CWB diversity, equity, and inclusion training programs and a robust executive education portfolio. With more than 20 years of leadership experience, Deb focuses on strategic initiatives that expand the breadth and depth of the university’s corporate education offerings.

Deb is a seasoned executive with expertise in both consumer and business-to-business industries, and has held several roles in higher education. She joined Bentley from Harvard Business School, where she served as a consultant and advisor as well as a student career coach and mentor for start-up teams. Previously, she served as COO of thegrommet.com, a curated online e-commerce site that was acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. She also co-founded PreVision Marketing, a customer marketing and technology firm which developed breakthrough customer loyalty marketing programs for Fortune 500 companies. Under her leadership, PreVision was ranked on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies and the Software 500 representing leading technology providers.

She is an internationally recognized speaker and has been featured as a thought leader in the Boston Globe, Fast Company, and Forbes.com. Deb earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Trish Foster
Trish Foster
Executive Director, Center for Women and Business

Trish serves as Executive Director in the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, where she sets strategy and guides thought leadership. A sought-after speaker, Trish develops and delivers programs and workshops for a wide variety of organizations on issues impacting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), often with an emphasis on intersectionality and gender. She researches and writes reports on a range of critical DE&I issues. Some of the topics she writes and speaks about include How to Lead Through an Intersectional Lens, How to Leverage Professional Mentorship, Sponsorship, and Networks, How to Be an Effective Workplace Ally, and for women, How to Overcome Hidden Barriers such as the Confidence Gap.

As a passionate advocate for inclusion and allyship, Trish spearheaded formation of Bentley’s undergraduate Men of Alliance group. She is a member of Bentley’s Diversity Council and frequently facilitates workshops for Bentley’s Women’s Leadership Group.

Previously, Trish served as vice president of Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations and senior vice president of FleishmanHillard Public Relations. She holds a B.S. in business from The University of Delaware.

Melissa Spiers
Melissa Spiers
Director, Strategic Accounts for External Relations and Center for Women and Business

Melissa serves as Director of Strategic Accounts for Bentley’s External Relations Division and Center for Women and Business. In this role, she engages with businesses and other organizations to help them identify a variety of Bentley corporate education programs, including: tailored in-house professional education workshops; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training; or open-enrollment courses for executives to attend at Bentley. Melissa emphasizes a personalized, collaborative process, working closely with corporate partners to help identify their needs and craft programmatic approaches that generate positive organizational change.

Melissa has deep experience in partnership development across a variety of industries including publishing, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. In her previous role at a Boston start-up she helped women re-enter the workforce after a career break, and she partnered with companies to help them bring women onboard and support them in their career journey. She has also mentored hundreds of women working as independent consultants for a social selling company both in the United States and France.

Melissa serves on the Boston Steering Committee of 2020 Women on Boards, the national campaign to increase the number of women in board positions. She is a graduate of Penn State University

Yaro Fong-Olivares Headshot
Yaro Fong-Olivares
Associate Director, Corporate Education

Yaro Fong-Olivares serves as Associate 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. Using a psychodynamic systems approach to organizational development and change, she focuses on the following topics: diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); leadership; and management development. A sampling of the programs she develops and facilitates includes: Race, Gender, and Intersectionality; Conflict Styles and Effective Communication; Inclusive Leadership; and Leading and Managing Inclusive Teams. 

A sought-after speaker and facilitator, Yaro 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 and a psychodynamic group relations consultant-in-training of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.

 

Becky McDougal
Becky McDougal
Assistant Director, Events

As the Assistant Director of Events, Becky McDougal develops strategy and executes details for signature events including Gearing Up, the Executive Working Group, The Leadership Breakfast Series, and Taking Charge: Women’s Executive Leadership. She also works with organizations to design custom workshops tailored to their specific workplace development needs.

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 serves on the Boston Steering Committee for 2020 Women on Boards, as part of the national campaign to increase corporate board gender diversity. She 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 now serves on their board as Director of Education to lead educational programs and further guide the association’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. 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.

Janelle Gee
Janelle Gee
Assistant Director, Programs

As Assistant Director for the Center for Women and Business (CWB) and Corporate Education at Bentley University, Janelle develops, manages, and implements the processes required to successfully deliver custom corporate programs and thought leadership to corporate partners. She designs the processes to plan and implement a wide portfolio of programs, managing all details and timetables with corporate partners. Janelle provides critical creative direction and research assistance for thought leadership materials, including research reports and presentations. She also leads the social media functions for the CWB and Corporate Education.

Janelle joined Bentley from the YMCA of Greater Boston, where she served as Membership Director. In this role, she directed internal branch marketing strategies and managed branch external marketing strategies, including corporate partnerships. Janelle earned her BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Framingham State University and she is currently pursuing her MBA with a concentration in Marketing Analytics at Bentley University.

CWB Faculty/Staff Advisors and Facilitators
Donna Maria Blancero
Donna Maria Blancero
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.

Josh Brand, Vice President for External Relations, Bentley University
Josh Brand
Vice President for External Relations, Bentley University

Josh is responsible for building and strengthening the university’s relationships with external corporate partners. In this role, he oversees Bentley’s award-winning Center for Career Services, the Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business, and the executive education portfolio.

Before joining Bentley, Josh was managing director at Harvard Business Publishing’s corporate learning unit. He also served as a senior member of the executive education team at Babson College and adjunct faculty member at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, and he has spent over a decade as a management consultant specializing in formulating strategy for global organizations. Josh graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Engineering and holds Master of Engineering and MBA degrees from the University of Virginia.

Wiley Davi
Wiley Davi
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 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.

 

Mateo Cruz
Mateo Cruz
Assistant Professor of Management, Bentley University

Mateo Cruz is a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in the social-organizational psychology program at Columbia University and a Lecturer in organizational behavior at Bentley University. His primary research focuses on gender & diversity, specific to stereotype threat and social identity management in workplace contexts. Secondary interests include: women in STEM careers, stereotype threat interventions, and STEM organizational culture and change. 

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 has 15+ years of experience as an executive coach and organization development (OD) consultant specializing in diversity leadership, team effectiveness, and organization change. He has designed & delivered programming for organizations across industries and currently serves as a faculty trainer for The New York Academy of Sciences’ Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT), a program for early career scientists working to advance institutional transformation. He holds a Master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in social work from the University of Portland.

Antonio Willis-Berry
Antonio Willis-Berry
Associate Director of Housing & Residential Services at Bentley University

Antonio Willis-Berry is the Associate Director of Housing & Residential Services at Bentley University, where he is responsible for the housing, policies, systems, and processes associated with the student residential experience. Throughout his career, he has spent a significant amount time advocating for and changing policies and processes to be more accessible and equitable for all students.

Antonio describes himself as a “Diversity & Inclusion Engager” committed to welcoming and bringing other people, thoughts, and perspectives into the conversation. He has presented on and developed workshops and training sessions for law firms, regional and national conferences, and undergraduate and graduate students. He has been trained as an Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator and has used this training to facilitate weekend dialogue retreats on gender, as well as classroom presentations on race and ethnicity. In each workshop, session, or presentation, he reminds participants that we cannot have a conversation about race without discussing gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and the intersectionality of these identities. Antonio received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the College of the Holy Cross and his Master of Science in Education (concentrated on Higher Education) from the University of Pennsylvania.

KPL Headshot
Kiana Pierre-Louis
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 Workers and Interns
Hope Leonard

Hope Leonard '21

Communications Intern 
Major: Marketing 
LSM: Global Perspectives 
Minor: Information Design and Corporate Communications 
 

CWB_Oreoluwa_Onabanjo

Oreoluwa Onabanjo '21

Communications Intern
Major: Marketing
LSM: Media Arts and Society
Minor: Information Design and Corporate Communications  

CWB Kayla Bellody

Kayla Bellody '21

Office Assistant 
Majors: Data Analytics and Business Studies 
Minors: Actuarial Science and Computer Information Systems

Isabella Contessi Headshot

Isabella Contessi '22

Office Assistant 
Major: Managerial Economics
LSM: Global Perspectives 

Elizabeth Varnum Headshot

Elizabeth Varnum '22

Office Assistant 
Major: Accounting 

Kristin Novit Headshot

Kristen Novit '21

Office Assistant 
Major: Marketing
LSM: Media Arts and Society