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Member Spotlights.

Get to know Ellevate members — women who are leading the charge — and learn from their stories.


Pradnya Deshpande

HR Generalist IPC Systems, Inc.

SHRM-CP certified graduate with a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Roosevelt University. I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management with electives in psychology from Murdoch University, Australia. I have 3 years of experience in recruitment primarily in the IT Services industry. I currently work as a HR Coordinator and Immigration Specialist for IPC Systems, Inc.

Member Spotlight
Joan Walsh

Founder and Partner Kashbox Coaching

I am a business coach who helps teams and/or individuals to achieve their vision. The journey is one that includes strategies, goals, processes and take action steps. This provides clarity and I walk with my client every step of the way.

Member Spotlight
Jo Burkholder

Associate Director for Mission Renewal Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Seattle/King County

I'm the kid who jumped in the pool before I knew I could swim. I'm the one who led the bored neighborhood kids to run away to Hawaii, from Pennsylvania! I traveled in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru alone, with not enough Spanish or cash, looking for inspiring problems to solve and questions to answer. I have stood up to bullies and stood up for friends even when it meant putting myself in harm's way. And I have always been happy to band together with like minds and souls to stir up a little "good trouble." Three years ago, I got caught in a storm. Recovering from my third half-marathon, looking at my fourth, I fell and tore all of my hamstrings off my hip. The accident came just as my partner and I filed for divorce, my kid announced his plans to spend a year abroad as an exchange student, and my university campus percolated with more plans to limit academic freedom and promote systems that perpetuate inequality. It was time for a change. In addition to learning to walk and run again I learned to dance on air - hanging from aerial silks and trapeze. Rather than stay in a back-water burg, I packed up and moved to Seattle. I found new love. And instead of just taking a corporate job, I hung out a shingle and began marketing the coaching, consulting, and organizational change services I had long offered for free. So now I'm a solo-preneur building a business in which this fearless outsider helps stir up a little bit of trouble so others can find a space where they feel like they belong.

Member Spotlight
Michaela O'Reggio

The Leadership Optimizer Awaken The Mastery

Greetings! I am Michaela, The Leadership Optimizer. As a leader, you spend a lot of time focusing on external factors - people, goals, and processes. Would it surprise you if I said that you would achieve better results, faster if you focused more on yourself? It is my pleasure to help you focus on you.

Member Spotlight

Senior Marketing Director World Financial Group

15 yrs ago, I went to Kenya to volunteer in a young mother's association & when I returned, I wanted to help the women I had met. However, my government job only paid me enough to get by & I couldn't afford to help them as I was barely getting by myself. I also realized that my 'good govt pension' really wasn't going to cut it when I retired so I realized I needed to find another career. That's when the Universe provided me with the gift of a career in financial services where I could earn the money I was worth, help poeple in a really big way and all on my own terms. Today, I run a successful agency and am focused on recruiting, training & licencing an army of women who want to do the same!

Member Spotlight
Lynn Yazbec

Leadership Coach and Organizational Development Consultant Yazbec Consulting Services

Hi. I'm an Organizational Development Consultant who helps leaders reach their potential. I'm currently focused on helping women be better leaders. I particularly enjoy working with millennials since they're the future leaders of our organizations.

Member Spotlight
Chantal Boeckman

Director, Corporate Communications, Americas Amadeus IT Group

My name is Chantal Boeckman, and I am co-president of the Ellevate Dallas chapter. I’ve been an Ellevate member and leader since 2017 and have valued this organization for the space it has provided me to up-level my networking skills and to meet exceptional women who are supportive and accepting of each other from the moment we meet. I’ve dedicated my career to communications and public relations driven by a fascination to understand what motivates people to take action or to believe in one another. Any public appearance, media interview, team meeting or customer call is an opportunity to build trust. I believe that our communication skills, the words we use, and the ways we choose to interact with people are at the core of securing trust from the people we want to do business with. I lead Corporate Communications in the Americas for Amadeus, a company based in Madrid, Spain, that is the global leader in travel technology. I’ve spent the bulk of my career working for European companies and have loved the exposure these companies have given me to people from all over the world and the opportunity to travel to amazing places. My most beloved role is being mom to my almost 10-year-old son. My passion for communication has blossomed into exploring how I can be a better a parent and spouse with empathy, patience and an open mind.

Member Spotlight
Ann Freeman

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Financial Advisor

My name is Ann Bettendorf Freeman and I’m a Financial Advisor with the Bettendorf Group at Morgan Stanley. I have been passionate about the stock market since early childhood and had the privilege of learning about the financial services industry from my father. My financial services career has taken exciting turns and loop de loops over the years, and I have loved every second of it! I have an amazing husband and four awesome children and really treasure spending my free time with family and friends. I currently lead philanthropy efforts for the Ellevate Chicago Chapter and am involved with many civic organizations that hold special meaning for me such as the Nova Network for women who attended women’s colleges.

Member Spotlight
Audrey Hametner

CEO The Hametner Group

Hi! I have spent over 20 years in the corporate world across the globe working with Media technology firms like PIKSEL; Educators like Swiss International scientific School, Dubai; recruiters like Monster Worldwide and Advertising Agencies like DIGITAS UK, bringing financial structure, risk management and Operations leadership to the table. I have had successes managing large scale departments spanning 22 countries, and small scale single location entities. Currently, I am Founder of The Hametner Group, where I manage two companies. The Bedrock Program is focused on Career coaching for teenagers & young adults and THG Advisory Group focused supporting SME's and educational institutions with Risk, Operations and Governance support.

Member Spotlight
Cynthia Jones

Cybersecurity Analyst General Dynamics Information Technology

My name is Cynthia Jones and I have spent the last 10+ years growing my IT career. I was blessed to obtain a double master’s in CyberSecurity. I then went on to get my dream job as a Information Assurance Officer and a Informations System Security Officer ISSO only to find out I was to start over yet again as an entrepreneur. I have been married for 18 years and have two beautiful children. I am very excited to start my journey in this next phase of my life .

Member Spotlight
Kelley Connors

Life Work Coach and Brand Consultant Self

I am a life work coach and use the power of the brave, wise self to claim your seat at the table and rise. Working with executive women, leaders, entrepreneurs who want to get out of their comfort zone, make brave moves and live well. Inspired by wellbeing and the science of positive psychology, I blend science with story. Just published my first guide book "Be Your Own BRAVE and Reignite Your Life's Work". Bringing my online mini-retreats "Reignite Your Life's Work(r)" to women leaders through my summer programs now available on my website.

Member Spotlight
Kate Liebelt

Chief of Staff / Director of Strategic Operations AbbVie

I am a healthcare strategy professional, an entrepreneur, and a civic leader who loves traveling the world and meeting new people wherever I go. My wanderlust stems from spending a good portion of my childhood in Asia, and traveling internationally often for business and pleasure.

Member Spotlight