Meet Our

Board of Directors

Christina Meade

Executive Director & Founder

A self-described nerd girl, Christina used her expertise in education, business experience and passion for women’s issues to launch the organization whose mission is to educate and encourage teen girls in the pursuit of business and political leadership positions. Her programs help teen girls understand the power and importance of their voice and how to use it to affect change within their communities.

Tracie Parent

Tracie Parent

President

As Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer and Vice President, Tracie assists Kahler Slater to drive the strategic plan, expand into new markets and with firm-wide growth. With a background in strategically guiding organizations to achieve revenue growth as well as improved budgeting and forecasting procedures, she directs the financial, operational, risk and technological aspects of the organization.

Miara Shaw

Vice President

Miara Shaw, also known as, ‘Maven’ Miara is a life and business strategist, executive coach, and sought-after transformational speaker. She specializes in supporting black and brown business leaders, executives, and hi-potential talent to cultivate confidence, develop leadership skills, and define their Balanced Rhythm™ (work-life harmony). Before starting her business, Maven Miara worked for over 25 years as a no-nonsense, high-powered energy trader at some of the nation’s largest oil companies.

Tara Racer

Treasurer

As Managing Partner of Aberdare Business Solutions, Tara is proud to lead a team dedicated to providing clients with comprehensive, flexible and highly personalized service. She is a founding member of the Katy Woman’s Leadership Circle, a Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor and a member of the National Association of Certified QuickBooks Advisors.

Chidinma Aham-Neze

Chidinma Aham-Neze

Program Co-Director

Chidinma, a Financial Analyst at HP Enterprise, is a part of the Women’s Network Employee Resource Group at her company, to show support towards fellow women. She has served on the board of the National Association of Women MBAs -UH chapter, where she drove initiatives to enable professional development of women in the business graduate school.

Michelle Bufano

Michelle Bufano

Fundraising Co-Director

Michelle has been a lawyer almost 25 years with a focus on defense litigation and risk management counseling for corporations. Inspired by the many strong women around her, Michelle has pivoted her practice and uses her expertise as a corporate litigator to assist female entrepreneurs and founders. She also offers fractional general counsel support as the business grows. Michelle’s vision is: “A world where all women thrive.”

Christine Cioffe

Fundraising Co-Director

Christine Cioffe currently advises and consults for a variety of companies in Sustainability, Specialty Industrials, Agriculture and BioPharma. Her prior experience includes leading large R& D organizations at PepsiCo (food and beverage) and Merck & Co (pharmaceuticals). Chris is a passionate advocate for life-long learning and exploring (and breaking down) boundaries as well as mentoring and coaching people at all stages of their career.

Jocelyn Durant

Marketing Co-Director

Jocelyn has over 20 years of marketing experience, amassing strategic experience in several industries; banking, medical, manufacturing, and legal. Her creative marketing spirit is ignited by developing strategies for growth through rebranding, public relations, digital marketing and communications. As a leader she cultivates diverse teams, fosters varied perspectives and promotes continuing education and training.

Lisa Friscia

Lisa Friscia

Marketing Co-Director

Lisa’s passion? Assessing a problem, clarifying vision, aligning resources, and rallying a team to meet established goals, in a way that is inclusive, outcomes-driven and people-centered. She thinks of strategies like dress-making ~ the greatness is in the tailoring, and clean lines usually work best. Whether it is overhauling an evaluation system, spearheading a social media campaign, or organizing a learning conference.

Valarie Gilbert

Valarie Gilbert

Program Co-Director

Valarie is an Executive Coach and DE&I Consultant. With over 30 years’ experience as an IT executive, she now supports organizations by developing leadership and training programs and one-on-one coaching. She has been a speaker and panelist at several forums including, the Coalition of 100 Black Women, the NY Chamber of Commerce, and the US Department of Education on Multiliteracy. Serving on the Board for NGS is an honor for Valarie, as it embodies her drive to enable young women to explore professional careers and find joy in the work they do and the world they improve.

LaGina Harris

Volunteer Co-Director

Social Impact Entrepreneur l Chief Experience Officer l Founder at The Us Space l Co-founder of Melanin Minds l Thought Leader in the Future of Work & Community Building I Higher Education Matriculation Practitioner l Media Personality l Philanthropist

Pamela Oberg

Pamela Oberg

Volunteer Co-Director

A relentless optimist and experienced executive, Pamela uses her insatiable curiosity to solve complex problems and build high-performing teams in a global, education services non-profit. She is passionate about leading with authenticity and creating opportunities for others to achieve their potential. She loves writing crime fiction and has published two short stories; she is hard at work writing a third.

Kate Glasser

Kate Glasser

Past President

Kate is CSVP of the Adhesive Industrial Business for Henkel AG & Co. KGaA with over 20 years of executive leadership, strategy, and general management experience. She is passionate about great leadership, ending inequality and supporting others to be their best selves. She lives with her husband and three children in the Greater Chicago area.