Our mentors, or dreamMAKERS, are ready to #leadwithlight. Join today as a dreamCHASER or a dreamMAKER for exclusive access to content, inspiration and guidance.
We are experts in: career + hr; marketing + branding;
mentorship + leadership; small business + entrepreneurship;
wellness + fitness and more.
click on their pictures for more info
career + hr
CRISTINA SANTOS, SANOFI
Cristina is the Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Total Well-Being and EEO, North America at Sanofi. She is a seasoned professional in the pharmaceutical industry and is currently the Head of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D), Total Well-Being and EEO for North America at Sanofi. In this role, she leads the human healthcare company’s regional efforts to maximize the strength of difference within, enabling a culture where employees are engaged, empowered and included. Cristina has also just formally launched a private consultancy, LaMarca Consulting, through which she advises professionals and organizations on I&D strategy, Employee Resource Group excellence, the Latina Experience and Gender Partnership. Cristina has worked in several key commercial roles in the areas of Global Oncology Commercial Excellence, U.S. Sales Leadership, Multicultural Marketing, and Training & Development. Her passion for I&D sprung from years of devoted energy to global and local council work and leadership of several employee resource groups. She holds a strong belief that in order to achieve significant impact, we must invite the majority to the conversation alongside those traditionally underrepresented…in essence everyone should be included! This is a strong focus, along with efforts to enhance diversity and amplify inclusion at Sanofi. Her mantras: "See a need, fill a need" and "be the reason for the exception" have been driving forces for many of the opportunities she's earned personally and professionally. In 2018 she received the Trailblazer Award from the Women of Color in Pharma and her leadership has garnered several recognitions for Sanofi’s Inclusion & Diversity efforts. When not at work, Cristina volunteers her time on the Central NJ Board for Junior Achievement, is a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund NJ Advisory Council and is also an active member of Impact100 Jersey Coast, a women’s collective giving organization. She holds a certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University’s school of Industrial Labor Relations, where she is a member of the facilitating faculty in the Executive Education Department. She has an undergraduate degree in International Business from Florida International University in Miami. A proud wife and mother of four children that always keep life fun and interesting; she was recognized in 2012 as a "Working Mother of the Year" in Working Mother Magazine.
JULIE HARNIK, EXECUTIVE COACH
Julie Harnik is an accomplished executive and career transition coach with a passion for helping professionals maximize their potential. Julie believes that we spend way too much time at work for it not to be fulfilling – mentally, emotionally and financially! With this in mind, she works with career transition clients to seek out opportunities in line with their purpose and career objectives – helping them form a narrative that connects where they’ve been with where they want to go and create the confidence and bold action steps necessary to achieve their goals. Julie also believes we don’t spend enough time creating leaders – rewarding strong individual contributors with management responsibilities, but not the training and support for them to be successful. It is through this lens, that she also collaborates with high-potentials and new executives to develop good leadership habits (before they have to unlearn bad ones!). Julie works with these clients to help strengthen their leadership capabilities so they can have a lasting impact within their organizations. Julie is accredited as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) by The International Coach Federation(ICF) and as a Certified Professional Coactive Coach from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She is certified to administer The Leadership Circle Profile and has completed Gallup's Successful Strengths Coaching Program. She is a trained crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line and has previously served as a Self-Expression and Leadership Coach with Landmark Education. She is an alumnus of Seth Godin’s altMBA and The George Washington University.
MARISSA KLEIN + JAMIE SZTOSER, OUR FOUNDERS
Sisters Marissa Klein and Jamie Sztoser know a little something about dreaming BIG. The powerhouse duo runs the fashion/media division of their family’s staffing firm in NYC, Choice Associates. They have built a brand around helping others and good energy. Driven by their entrepreneurial spirit, they both also have several successful side-hustles and pride themselves on inspiring others to chase their dreams. In 2018, they launched their podcast, The Dreamcatchers (available on Apple), to raise their voices and reach a larger audience as career experts and motivational speakers. Sometimes referred to as "Sacred Hoops," dreamcatchers were traditionally used to protect sleeping children from bad dreams and nightmares. When hung in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dreamcatcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day. Known in their personal and professional worlds as lightworkers, igniters, and most of all, believers, Marissa and Jamie are not only dreamers, but they are doers, and their inspiring energy is contagious. They are your “go-to girls” for all things career…but they also know a little about a whole lot, from business to motherhood, work-life balance to the newest trends. They truly embody what it means to chase your dreams and build your dreams…so you can ultimately catch your dreams. A lifelong dancer, Jamie also consults as the Director of Operations for Tootsie Olan Productions, a NYC-based dance and yoga brand, and POE, a NJ-based yoga, dance and barre studio. Additionally, she serves as the Recording Secretary on her hometown PTA. Marissa wrote 2 children’s books about chasing dreams (The Dream Big Academy series) and does various forms of programming for local schools, talking to students about what they want to be when they grow up. In addition to being very active in the community and the classroom, the sisters also conceptualized and co-chair several notable local events, including their annual We’re Going Streaking for Breast Cancer fundraiser and the Holiday Shopping Boutique at their temple. Marissa and Jamie are originally from Harrington Park, NJ, a small town in Bergen County. Marissa graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in business and Jamie from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications. They both spent many years in Manhattan and Hoboken before landing gracefully in Fair Haven, NJ with their families. Marissa is loving #beachburbia with her husband David, her two beautiful dreamers, Sienna and Summer, and her poodle Simba Rose….and Jamie followed suit with her husband, also a David, and their two adorable boys, Sam and Elliot.
marketing + branding
ALI JAMAR TAYLOR, BELMARKETING DESIGN STUDIO
Ali Jamar Taylor is the CEO and Creative Director of BelMarketing Design Studio a design and marketing agency that helps companies look good and grow. Mr. Taylor most recently completed the rebrand of Grassi Advisors & Accountants and has worked with other national and international companies such as Maritz, MGMA, NYSHEX, Choir Nation, and a number of local businesses as well. In addition to his professional endeavors, he has a huge commitment to charitable and nonprofit work, primarily through his involvement as a past candidate and now leadership team member with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man & Woman of the Year initiative. Mr. Taylor has also been a member of LeTip International since 2012, serving on the board of his chapter Coastal LeTip (coastalletip.com) which is rapidly approaching the $2.2 million mark in closed business and revenue. Personally, he a huge comic book nerd and loves anything related to Superman, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Jameson Irish Whiskey, ‘Dad jokes’, and any reason to wear a jacket and tie.
CAREY BALOGH, BRAND GROUPIES
Carey is the Founder & Chief Executive Groupie of Brand Groupies/Host of the Brand Groupies Podcast. She boasts 20+ years of experience in brand development and management, public relations, social media, marketing, and high-profile events in fashion, design, hospitality, food/beverage, and entertainment. As a PR Director, Carey has worked with international powerhouse clients including Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Hublot Watches (LVMH) in New York City and Milan. She co-founded Frolic!, a children’s rock ‘n’ roll-themed play space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that was named “Best Play Space in NYC” by TimeOut New York Kids and acquired by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. In 2015, Carey founded her full-service branding agency Brand Groupies to guide brands toward success with a cohesive, 360-degree approach to marketing, connecting the right creative buzz-worthy initiatives to meet her clients’ goals with the “big picture” always in mind. She has been featured in several media outlets, including Inc., The New York Times, New York magazine, and Vogue. Carey received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland and a Masters in Fashion Promotion from the Marangoni Institute in Milan. She is a proud board member of Lotus Outreach International, with the mission to empower vulnerable women and children living in poverty, and lead guitarist in the mom-only band Mamadrama. www.brandgroupies.com Social: @brandgroupies
JANETTE CONWELL, WORKWAVE
Janette Conwell is a social media, content, and digital marketing expert passionate about human-centric marketing. She currently manages the complete social efforts of WorkWave, an NJ based SaaS company. She is a gifted strategist, loves to nerd out on data and analytics to unveil the deeper layers of digital marketing, and has a passion for challenging the status quo.
JENNI SCHWARTZ, SOLMARK CREATIVE
Jenni Schwartz is the creative visionary behind the top boutique fitness studios around the world. Her and her husband Mike own Solmark Creative, a branding and digital design studio specializing in the wellness space. Jenni established and ran her own design studio for over a decade, while Mike owned and operated a fitness facility in New York City. When Mike sold his business, he and Jenni joined forces and began focusing primarily on the boutique fitness industry. With their individual talents and passion for the industry, they developed the expertise necessary to anticipate and understand the creative and web-based needs of their clients. When Jenni's not building successful brands, she’s running around with (and after) her two energetic and adorable daughters in sunny South Florida.
MING CHEN, A SHARED UNIVERSE PODCASTUDIO
Ming Chen’s road to Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash all began in 1995, when the college student, video store employee, and Kevin Smith follower developed a fan website based on the movie Clerks. Smith, who appreciated Chen’s work, reached out and asked him to create the Web site for his production company, View Askew Productions. Twenty Two years later, not only does Chen continue to work on all of Smith’s online projects, but he has also ventured into several other areas within the Kevin Smith empire, most recently hosting a weekly podcast called I Sell Comics! with Michael Zapcic on Smith’s radio network, S.I.R.!: SModcast Internet Radio. Chen is not only the technical expert for The Stash, but he is also the perfect person to send out to do the jobs no one else wants to do. He takes it all with a smile, and is happy to be a part of the team. During his free time, Chen serves on the board for the non-profit organization Root to Rise. He also co-owns a podcast studio with Mike Zapcic called “A Shared Universe” and is a partner in a coffee, gaming and comics café called “Coral Sword” in Houston, Texas with major league ballplayer Hunter Pence. Chen has been married to his wife Debbie for 15 years and has two children, Lillian and Harrison.
PAOLA ZAMUDIO, NPZ DESIGN + CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF BELL WORKS
Paola Zamudio is the Founder + Head Designer at NPZ Style Décor + Creative Director at Bell Works. Her design approach is a collage of all the encounters, places and new cultures she has met from all corners of the world, the museums she visits, the images and inspiration she gathers for future trends to through her projects.She founded my firm NPZ Style + Décor in 2014 after working in fashion, design, and various startups. NPZ started as an interior design studio in 2014 and has turned into an all-round creative agency engaging in creative direction, branding, art direction, graphic design, social media strategy analysis + event planning. NPZ Style + Décor is an award-winning design firm, proudly received the 2017 Docomomo Commercial Design Excellence Award, listed in Interior Design Magazine as Top Interior Design Firm in 2019, and an honoree for the 2019 Design Rising Star by Interior Design Magazine. Paola has most recently been listed in the Top 50 Women in Business by NJBiz. NPZ Style + Décor is the lead interior design firm and creative team behind the world-known project: Bell Works. www.bellworks.com
mentorship + leadership
DEIRDRE SPIROPOULOS, IMPACT 100 JERSEY COAST
Deirdre Spiropoulos is the President and Co-Founder of Impact 100 Jersey Coast, which is a women’s grant making collaborative that funds nonprofit initiatives in the Monmouth county region. Started in 2015, the Impact Jersey Coast giving circle has awarded more than $1.2 million dollars to ten nonprofit groups serving the Monmouth County region. Deirdre holds Spanish and Business degrees from Villanova University and earned her MBA from NYU. She started her career teaching English in Spain then spent 10 years at Prudential Financial rotating across various business units. As a Director of International Projects she focused on operational initiatives and compensation plans for executives and sales teams across Prudential’s international businesses. Deirdre is a firm believer of, “to whom much is given, much is expected”. She has a passion for philanthropy and uniting with women to make a lasting impact in her community. She enjoys leveraging her experience in the corporate and international sector to inspire and mobilize women to share their time, talent and treasure to better our community. She currently resides in Fair Haven with her husband George and three young children. When she’s not “Impacting” she enjoys running, relaxing on the beaches of the Jersey shore and spending time with friends and family.
KRISTINE DEER, K-DEER
Kristine Deer is founder of K-DEER, one of the first specialty activewear brands to hit the market 10 years ago. With a foundation of high performance and high quality, Kristine is proud to share her collection around the globe with hot yogis, runners and fitness gurus alike. Her Signature Stripes have contributed over $150,000 to multiple charities in less than 5 years, raising the vibration for causes and communities in need. K-DEER, wear what makes you happy.
RACHEL ROTHMAN, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
Rachel is the chief technologist and director of engineering at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all labs. She also manages GH’s growing research division and the analysis of applicants for the Good Housekeeping Seal, the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, the GH Humanitarian Seal and the GH Innovation emblem. During her 12 years at Good Housekeeping, the self-described Gadget Girl has had the opportunity to evaluate thousands of products, including toys and cars for GH’s annual Awards programs, and countless innovative breakthroughs in consumer tech and home improvement. Rachel is regularly called upon as guest expert for leading media outlets, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox Business and MSNBC, and frequently presents to large groups on technology and trends at conferences like CES, the Women in Innovation Forum and the World Science Festival. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. As a female engineer and the proud mother of two young daughters, it is Rachel’s goal to create an encouraging, inspiring ecosystem for women of all ages to excel in STEM.
SARAH MARTINEZ, INTEGRAL AD SCIENCE
Sarah Martinez is a seasoned advertising and media professional with over 15 years of experience. She just recently joined IAS as SVP of Global Sales. Prior to that, she was the VP of Client Sales & Strategy at Verizon Media, where she led a National sales team focused on digital marketing for Fortune 500 brands. Sarah is passionate about inspiring her team and coaching them to success. Previously she held leadership positions at Yahoo, Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times. Sarah graduated from Rutgers University, holds a Masters Degree in Advertising from Syracuse University, and resides in New Jersey with her family.
SARAH PERSONETTE, TWITTER
Ms. Personette is Vice President of Twitter Global Client Solutions, where she leads Twitter’s partnerships with top marketers and agencies worldwide. Ms. Personette oversees a team of regional business leaders as well as Twitter’s global teams focused on client partnerships, agencies and brand strategy. Previously Ms. Personette was the Chief Operating Officer of Refinery29, where she oversaw business strategy and development, customer revenue, business marketing, growth and analytics, creative services, and research. Prior, she served as the Vice President of Facebook’s Global Business Marketing team from 2014 through 2017, responsible for providing their customers with innovative and effective marketing solutions for their businesses. Ms. Personette also built and led Facebook’s Global Agency Team. In addition, she was the US President of Universal McCann Worldwide, Inc. and Senior Vice President at Starcom Mediavest Group. Since 2016, she serves as a corporate director for Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW), a publicly traded small cap specialty retail company. In her philanthropic work, she is a director of Northwestern University’s Alumnae Board,and board member of All In Together. Ms. Personette received the 2016 Next Generation of Women in Communications from NYWICI and was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2015. In 2014, she was named one of Advertising Age magazine’s top “40 Under 40” marketing stars. She resides in New Jersey, holds a degree from Northwestern University, and is a proud wife and mother of two.
small business + entrepreneurship
JOSH GRYVATZ, DELIBOY
Josh Gryvatz ostensibly grew up in the food business. From stocking shelves and sweeping floors in his parent’s small New York convenience store at age eleven to now over thirty years later, working as the Chef/Manager at Lasolas Market, the full-service deli, butcher, market and caterer down the Jersey Shore. Although there was a period of about a decade after college when he worked in advertising and marketing, there was always something simmering away on the back burner of his mind (besides food puns); the allure of the professional kitchen. So he ditched his suit and tie for an apron and clogs and rejoined the family in business. For the last five years, Josh has taken his passion for everything culinary one step further. With the support of his wife and two young boys, he's feeding you door-to-door with Deliboy Delivery, a custom made, prepared meals delivery service covering Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Mercer Counties.
MICHELLE FAUSTINI, FAUSTINI WINES
STACIE SUSSMAN, SSR DIGITAL GROUP
Stacie Sussman is a leader in scaling SMEs and startups to grow their revenue through sales and marketing strategies that combine talent, tech automation, and operational tools to move at a very fast pace. As the Chief Technology Officer of SSR Digital Group, Stacie has built an impressive career managing over $50 million in digital partnerships for companies ranging from high-growth startups to Fortune 500 conglomerates. Stacie loves teaching her partners how technology can actually make your life easier and save you time. She'll assess, advise, and tackle your company’s tech stack to create efficiency in your workflows and optimize your revenue growth. As a former Sales Leader at notable companies, Stacie knows what it takes to scale efficiently and quickly with the right tools in place.
wellness + fitness
Bridget Riepl is the founder and owner of the NJ Yoga Collective and the VibeWell Yoga Festivals, as well as the co-founder of Boss Up and Brunch, a women's networking movement, founded to host female-lead power panels and masterminding events. Bridget has grown her teachings and business from a single yoga class to something that has touched almost every town and studio in the state of NJ through events, social media, and her online platform for connecting our incredible yoga community. Bridget has taught thousands of yoga classes in her career and has a profound belief in the practice's ability to transform lives, open eyes, increase compassion, enhance awareness, and make our world a more inclusive, diverse, and wildly wonderful place. To that end, Bridget serves as the chairperson for the Global Mala in NJ and will be the host of the 11th Annual Mala in 2020. A native Jersey girl, Bridget lives in Rumson, NJ with her husband two children, Sadie and Patrick. She spends her days by the beach, taking deep breaths, and figuring out new ways to grow her business and spread the love.
CAREN BOSCAINO + LORI SAWYER, CLEAN CUT FITNESS + NUTRITION
MAYYA FLEYSHMAKHER, LIGHTHEART COUNSELING + WELLNESS CENTER
MEREDITH KOLOSKI, WELLNESS + PROSPERITY COACH
Meredith Koloski is a empowerment coach, speaker, author, dance choreographer, yoga and meditation teacher. She is the co-creator of the mindset and life coaching company Happyfeelsgood working with individuals as well as corporations in the area of leadership, communication. and influence. Through mindset, movement and holistic wellness she guides others to tune in, tap in and turn on to step into living a life they love. Her motto is that we are all the choreographers directing the dance of our lives. Through her own health struggles, almost losing her life in 2018 and passions for holistic healing she created endOM yoga, workshops designed to help those with autoimmune “dis-ease” and trauma become less overwhelmed and more empowered advocates for their own healing. She is happily married to her best friend, a grateful mom to her brilliant nine year old son and bonus mom to three extraordinary humans and a rescue dog named Chewbacca.
TOOTSIE OLAN, TOOTSIE OLAN PRODUCTIONS
Tootsie Olan is a NYC born brand, birthed from an obsessive determination to share the things we believe make life deeply meaningful. With buckets of sweat, our workouts intentionally challenge physically, mentally and spiritually: Ignite Your body + Light Your Soul. Tootsie, a lifetime dancer and choreographer, created her signature cardio dance class, danceFLOORED™ and subsequent high voltage yoga class to fuel the #yes! of life, teaching people to let it go on the dance floor and yoga mat. She curates and leads her sold out dance + yoga retreats globally. She is mom to three really remarkable kids and wife to one solidly awesome husband.