Mission Statement

We believe that the world would be a better place with greater equity in the workplace. We believe that when different experiences, different backgrounds, different perspectives all come together, they create better outcomes. In order to achieve this, we begin with the fundamental belief in the uniqueness and value of all individuals. We are inspired by what we see the future can look like.

What We Do

AWE | Advancing Women Executives is an enterprise solutions company that helps clients create sustainable workplace cultures by embedding equity in their companies. We partner with over 2,000 professionals from Fortune 1000 companies and train over 25,000 employees annually. AWE clients have the common goal of learning, growing, partnering, supporting and promoting each other with the shared philosophy that awareness and action lead to change.

AWE Milestones

AWE Milestones

Team

Alexandra Yan

Data Entry Specialist

Alexandra Yan

Data Entry Specialist

She/Her

Alexandra is a data guru with a passion for creating processes that help teams work smarter. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis which helped her develop strong research skills and use information to come to logical conclusions. Learning about the way our brains work at a physiological and behavioral level allows her to develop solutions that are more intuitive.

At previous companies, she improved business processes through analysis and research of data such as reducing content upload time by 45% and developing financial reports to inform better budget decisions. She has been praised for being able to collect information and present it in a way that’s easy to understand. Alexandra has also taught herself multiple coding languages such as CSS, HTML and Python.

Despite having a strong technical background, she regularly uses the other half of her brain to engage in creative hobbies. In her free time, Alexandra enjoys creating digital and traditional art that holds meaning as well as taking photos that portray warmth. In addition, she has been playing harp for 16 years, starting at a young age and continuing in university. Alexandra believes that being both artistic and analytical is, to quote Hannah Montana, “the best of both worlds.” Lastly, she is a proud owner of an 8 quart digital air fryer.

Dominique Zabala

Engagement Associate

Dominique Zabala

Engagement Associate

She/Her

Dominique is the Engagement Associate at AWE. She works to coordinate logistics and materials for the AWE Leader and Accelerator programs to ensure they both run smoothly. Prior to AWE, Dominique worked as a Localization Project Coordinator at PADI WorldWide, a scuba diver training organization. There she managed the translation of English scuba training material into 25 languages.

Dominique holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Law from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing her MA in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. She is passionate about providing mental health services to underserved communities. A Southern California native who currently resides in Orange County, Dominique loves to take advantage of the nice weather and spend time outdoors. She is currently learning Spanish and cannot wait to start traveling again!

Ebony Grover

Director of Sales

Ebony Grover

Director of Sales

She/Her

Ebony Grover is a top-performer passionate about fostering strong relationships with a track record of excellence in the sales industry. As Director of Sales at AWE, Ebony leads a team of purpose-driven sales professionals to break barriers and set new standards of excellence at the company. Thanks to her impressive career trajectory, she has been instrumental in contract negotiating, sales force support, training, developing, and motivating a successful sales team.

Ebony brings more than a decade of experience to the table. After minoring in Women’s Studies as an undergraduate, she continued at Stony Brook University for her MBA in Marketing and Management. Her educational background helped her hone her natural sales skills, including her expertise in contract negotiating, sales force support, training, developing, and motivating a successful sales team.

Before taking up her role at AWE, she worked as a National Sales Director for an International manufacturing company working with Retail executives in the C-Suite. She was pivotal in fostering new business accounts and was responsible for all of the new US business sales growth of the startup brand.

As a certified Pure Barre instructor, fitness is a core part of her life as she believes in maintaining a healthy body and mind. Ebony is also a Girl Scout leader, and board member on her local PTA who takes giving back to the community seriously. When she is not thinking of creative ways to take the company’s sales chart through the roof, you can find her traveling, cooking, or buried deep within the pages of a thrilling book. Ebony is very passionate about creating real change for both women and BPOCs. She and her husband live in Tampa, FL with their four children.

Françoise Meier

Associate Director, Sales

Françoise Meier

Associate Director, Sales

She/Her

Françoise thrives on building equitable communities and thoughtful partnerships. As the Associate Director at AWE, she leads AWE’s expansion into new territories across the US and internationally in order to scale the company’s growth and to strengthen the careers of hundreds of women across the Fortune 1000. Her detail-orientated approach to projects and relationships allows her to create customized solutions that drive engagement and long-term, lasting culture change within companies.

With a background in nonprofit development and communications at Doctors of the World, Françoise worked on award-winning campaigns to raise funds for numerous emergencies including the Syrian civil war, the European refugee crisis and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.

In addition to her work in the US, Françoise has spent time working in both Asia and South America in communications-based roles. She received her BA in Political Science at New York University, from which she gained a keen understanding of the socio-political factors that influence economies and businesses around the world.

Born and raised in the UK, she loves to spend her free time reading historical fiction and cooking traditional French recipes that her Mum sends her. A travel enthusiast, her personal life goal is to travel to every country in the world. She is currently at 50.

Jiean Park

Finance

Jiean Park

Finance

She/Her

Jiean is a problem-solver and collaborator who loves to make other people’s jobs easier. Her background in finance and marketing provides her with an analytical and data-driven perspective while offering a creative viewpoint to evolving organizational cultures and organizations. She is inspired by maximizing efficiencies and loves improving processes, but her real passion is to develop, engage and motivate teams by building a culture of innovation, creativity and value. Before joining AWE, she spent many years as a consulting project manager, working with various Fortune 500 companies on new product launches, B2B initiatives and marketing campaigns.

Jiean earned her bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from Wellesley College and has three beautiful kids. Lately, she spends her downtime doing yoga and driving to Arizona on the weekends to watch her youngest son play baseball. She enjoys reading self-help books, playing piano and has a secret passion for event planning and decorating.

Joelly Lucien

Brand Communications Manager

Joelly Lucien

Brand Communications Manager

Joelly is an experienced media professional who comes to AWE with over 15 years of experience in the entertainment business in roles across television development, production, casting, and business affairs. Joelly has worked at Innovative Artists, ITV Studios, Figure 8 Films, and Pie Town Productions. Some notable networks she has produced for include FOX, NBC, MTV, HGTV, Lifetime, and Food Network.  

As Brand Communications Manager, Joelly is responsible for the overall messaging and marketing strategy for AWE.

Joelly received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago in Film/Video. In 2015, Joelly became an Advocacy Corps Organizer with Friends Committee on National Legislation where she spent a year educating and mobilizing her community to lobby their members of Congress to advance long-term change in immigration reform. She went on to work with FCNL in economic and sentencing reform and was brought back to train the next class of Advocacy Corps Organizers in media relations.

When Joelly isn’t busy filling up AWE’s content calendar, she can be found serving alongside her husband as Youth Ministry Leader at her church or at a Parent + Me swim class with her toddler son.

Karen Lew

AWE Accelerator Success Manager

Karen Lew

AWE Accelerator Success Manager

She/Her

Karen is an architect of culture. She ties in long-term goals and “big-picture” ideas into everyday processes to create experiences for genuine connections and collaboration. Led by her experience in community organizing in the non-profit world and her data-driven research background, she currently acts as the Accelerator Success Coordinator at AWE. Passionate about the real and scalable effects of L&D along with DEI in the workplace, she currently designs experiences for AWE’s Accelerator Program for mid-level women across the Fortune 500.

Karen’s career follows a narrative and trajectory of creating spaces for marginalized folks in academic institutions, nonprofits and now corporate spaces. Radicalized by her experience living in diaspora and her education at Wellesley College, Karen enjoys making connections between systems and daily life with her formative B.A. in Economics and unofficial study of critical race theory. A big believer in the process for social change and the tenants of transformative justice, she invests her time studying good social systems and designs along with the importance of form meeting function in everyday interactions.

Outside of work hours, you can find Karen trying to level up from a V1 to a V2 rock climber, talking about her love for Danish designs and tuning into Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers’ “Las Culturistas” podcast for culture updates. Moreover, in her free time she enjoys reading existential philosophy, studying linguistics and languages and doing impersonations of pop culture personalities.

Laura Civiello

Head of Operations

Laura Civiello

Head of Operations

She/Her

Laura is a producer and a problem-solver. No matter what the project, she brings to it a unique mix of project management savvy, an analytical mindset, purposeful persistence and a dash of creativity. Her latest project is being AWE’s Head of Operations which includes oversight of Marketing, Finance and HR.

Her producing career began at age eight when Laura talked her younger sister into acting in comedy skits for her new tape recorder (they got rave reviews from her parents). With that success under her belt, she went on to have a 28-year career in television as executive producer and network executive. An integral part of the launch teams for three cable networks (Paul Allen’s /TechTV/, Comcast’s /G4/ and NBCUniversal’s /Esquire/), Laura acquired, developed and oversaw more than 500 hours of programming, including American Ninja Warrior, which has gone on to become a prime time hit for NBC.

In addition to putting her extensive skills to work for AWE, she serves as Board member for the Village Green, a 627-unit, multi-family community in Los Angeles on the National Register of Historic Places. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in History and is looking forward to resuming her road trips to the Southwest with her husband and two standard poodles.

Macey Ke

Growth Associate

Macey Ke

Growth Associate

She/Her

Macey is a digital innovator. She is experienced at transforming complex ideas and objectives into emotionally resonant courses of action to drive customer engagement, experience, and revenue. Obtaining a B.S in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, she was taught the importance of meticulous coordination and planning—and how to optimize for efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Led by her ambition of flourishment and success, she joins AWE as a Growth Associate where she utilizes her talent to source and connect with Senior-level Executive women across the Fortune 500. Macey comes to AWE from California State University, Northridge and draws upon her professional experiences as a business developer and social media strategist. Her prior experience consists of expanding companies’ community and identifying new market opportunities in reaching their broad business goals.

Born and raised in North Pole, Alaska, and currently residing in Los Angeles, Macey spends the remainder of her time producing art in an assortment of mediums. If she is not painting or cross-stitching, you can find her exploring new ways to express her creativity. You can also find Macey allocating her talents to empower underrepresented and marginalized communities, including volunteering at Autism Speaks, a non-profit dedicated to promoting long-term solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Now joining AWE, she expands her large list of interests by adding the uplifting of underserved communities to accelerate the careers of women and to help them realize their potential.

Meiko Takayama

Founder & CEO

Meiko Takayama

Founder & CEO

She/Her

Meiko is a visionary CEO and entrepreneur, founding AWE | Advancing Women Executives, the leading enterprise solutions company focused on creating sustainable workplace cultures by embedding equity into companies. A 26th generation rebel born of immigrant parents, Meiko is a connector, a global change agent, and a tireless advocate for equity in the workplace. She is a sought after thought leader and expert and speaks annually to thousands of professionals on the topics of diversity in the workplace, branding, networking, sponsorship, unconscious bias and storytelling in business.

After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, Meiko had a successful career in the art field in Europe and New York before changing her focus to business consulting. She was a Managing Director with CEB (now Gartner), through the company’s successful IPO and growth to $450 million in revenue. After many years of managing the West Coast business, Meiko became an executive recruiter and continued to experience first-hand the lack of diversity on leadership teams. In an effort to create a paradigm shift in the way companies look at accelerating the careers of underrepresented professionals, Meiko created AWE in 2012.

Meiko has been named a Women of Influence by LA Biz, a Woman of Promise by Comerica Bank and the LA Lakers and was featured in BCBG’s Holiday Catalog as part of their series on influential and powerful women. She’s been on the Board of Directors for South Central Scholars and is active with her sons’ school. Meiko speaks regularly at Fortune 500 companies and conferences, including Northwestern University, Occidental College, IIT Global Conference, West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference, Women in Technology Hollywood, UPWARD, Women of LAVA, Harvard Business School Association of Southern California and Silicon Valley’s Influencer Series.

While making the world a better place, Meiko can also be found laughing with her husband and two sons in Los Angeles, enjoying a meal and mahjongg with friends, supporting political candidates and dreaming of her next international holiday.

Reena Kirspel

AWE Leader Success Manager

Reena Kirspel

AWE Leader Success Manager

She/Her

Reena’s diverse and storied career path spans the performing arts, education, and communications sectors within private, public, and nonprofit settings. She is an experienced content creator, curriculum developer, and dynamic instructor – having designed and delivered theater and public speaking programs for schools, as well as professional development workshops for Fortune 500 companies.

She holds a B.F.A. in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and an M.P.A. in Strategic Performance Management from Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration. Equipping individuals to realize their full potential as both leaders and team-players, while simultaneously encouraging them to be risk-takers is her passion. Along with helping organizations identify areas of needed growth and developing metrics that are in-line with company mission & vision.

Born in Zambia, raised in New York and currently residing in the Garden State (NJ) with her husband and teenage sons, Reena is an avid traveler – having visited Australia, Dubai, India, Singapore, South Africa and more! She cares deeply about people from all walks of life, as evidenced by her time spent mentoring inner-city youth, promoting anti-trafficking initiatives, and supporting women in recovery. Reena firmly believes that growth is on-going and learning is a life-long adventure!

Abigail Boudreaux

Executive Coach Consultant

Abigail Boudreaux

Executive Coach Consultant

She/Her

ABIGAIL BOUDREAUX is a Transition & Performance Coach, Educator, and Culture Strategist, on a mission to evolve how we experience work. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to drive individual and cultural transformation. She coaches people in career and life transition to lean into their strengths and superpowers, cultivating agency to design new career and life chapters they love. Whether changing careers, growing in a current role, or starting a new position, she supports them as they navigate change, and helps them perform at their best. She’s spent her career partnering with leaders of scaling organizations to create human-centered cultures and people-first business strategy. With a background in HR/Learning & Development, Business Consulting, and Professional Services/Market Research, her solutions blend Talent and Operations practices to power engagement. She is a Certified Hudson Institute Coach and holds certifications for multiple development instruments, including Strengthscope®, The Leadership Challenge® and Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI 360).

Beverly Philipp

Facilitator

Beverly Philipp

Facilitator

She/Her

Dr. Beverly Philipp is a Strengths Coach, Organizational Development Consultant, Facilitator and Educator. Beverly coaches executives, people leaders and individual contributors to discover their unique gifts, explore purpose and values, and create a fulfilling work–life balance. Through coaching with Beverly, executives and leaders have discovered their unique leadership style, gained support through work and life transitions, and developed a healthy lifestyle engaging in more intentional self-care. Beverly has created and managed executive development programs, developed leader development products and offerings, and implemented strategic analysis in various projects. She has worked with industries including technology, higher education, non-profits, professional services, and athletics. Beverly received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from . She holds coaching certifications from the International Coaching Federation, The Marcus Buckingham Company’s StandOut Strengths Coaching, and The Leadership Circle Profile.

Bree Riley

Facilitator / Coach

Bree Riley

Facilitator / Coach

She/Her

Bree Riley is a facilitator and coach with AWE. Trained as a social worker, Bree leverages a person-in-environment perspective and strives to take into consideration a client’s social context and intersectionality when co-designing person-centered solutions. Bree specializes in transitions and aims to help clients make life changes that align with their core values.

Bree is originally from the South and studied theatre and journalism at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) She holds a Master’s in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work. In addition to her work at AWE, she is a Senior Mental Health Clinician at a community-based organization in NYC. She also serves on the board of Housing Works, an NYC-based nonprofit specializing in housing and healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS. In her free time, she is an avid runner and cyclist. She enjoys cooking as much as she enjoys eating. She resides in Brooklyn with her partner and pets.

Gracie Inacay

Executive Coach Consultant

Gracie Inacay

Executive Coach Consultant

She/Her

GRACIE INACAY works with organizations and professionals to improve individual, team and organizational effectiveness through assessment, executive coaching, leadership development, team efficiency and strategic planning. As a coach, she provides support as a career accountability partner, leveraging strengths, uncovering vulnerabilities and blind spots, improving problem-solving skills, and helping implement behavioral change that drives business results and professional growth. While leveraging her strong business acumen, Gracie has developed a panoramic view of enterprise while working across a wide range of industries – financial, insurance and professional services – and brings more than 25 years of experience leading effective HR teams. As an approachable and collaborative senior HR executive, Gracie continues to be sought out for advice and unbiased coaching which has solidified her role as a trusted mentor and advisor. Gracie holds coaching certificates from the International Coaching Federation and Center for Executive Coaching and is trained in Hogan’s leadership assessment tool.

Nancy McCabe

Executive Coach Consultant

Nancy McCabe

Executive Coach Consultant

She/Her

NANCY McCABE‘s clients have spanned the corporate worlds of media, financial, technology and retail companies and the non-profit sector. Clients appreciate her executive experience and commitment to helping clients blend personal goals with professional excellence and achievement. With more than 20 years of creative executive experience in the entertainment industry, combined with extensive coaching training, Nancy understands the fast pace and the competitive nature of high-stakes industries, and how to balance the needs of the individual with the juggling act of competing corporate goals.  Purposeful coaching, encompassing 360s and emotional intelligence work enables clients to explore how they are perceived and where there are opportunities to enhance their strengths and broaden their range, for effective communication and even more successful leadership. Nancy holds certifications from Coaches Training Institute and the International Coaching Federation and is certified in Hogan, Leadership Circle 360 and The Team Diagnostic Survey leadership assessment tools.

Sean Morong

Executive Coach Consultant

Sean Morong

Executive Coach Consultant

He/Him

SEAN MORONG works with executives, private clients and corporate teams to leverage their natural gifts and talents, with a goal of living their most authentic life. His focus areas include improving team engagement, increasing morale, individual strengths assessment and shifting organizational culture. He is often referred to as “The Corporate Therapist.” Sean is also an HR Executive for one of the largest technology consulting firms in the world. He has over 18 years of experience leading teams at some of the largest corporations in Retail and Health & Public Service industries. With a Bachelor of Arts in Health Administration, Sean continues to be passionate about the study of human behavior and changing mindsets. He is regularly consulted to speak on topics including fear, anxiety, purpose and what makes people act and think the way they do. If you ask Sean where he gets his positive beliefs and inspiration, he’ll likely tell you about his good fortune of having a wise and spiritually connected grandmother, who was his teacher, mentor and biggest fan. Sean is a certified Gallup® Strengths & Engagement Coach and a Certified Professional Co-Active® Coach (CPCC).

Smruti Patel

Executive Coach Consultant

Smruti Patel

Executive Coach Consultant

She/Her

SMRUTI PATEL dreams of a world where each of us operates at our highest potential and her purpose is to help leaders and teams generate practical insights, increase their effectiveness and achieve exceptional results. As a seasoned leadership coach with a career spanning consulting and law, Smruti brings a unique combination of intellectual rigor, keen business acumen and practical experience. She is trusted for her discretion, mature judgment and tact. Smruti’s perspectives are drawn from her whole self which include a diversity of work experiences across five continents, an international upbringing and education plus a love for learning. Her specialty lies in influencing without authority, conflict coaching and navigating the professional landscape especially, inter-personal dynamics within teams and peers. Smruti’s client list includes CEOs, executives, lawyers and entrepreneurs from across industries in the USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Smruti has delivered over 1,000 hours of leadership coaching and holds the ICF’s second highest PCC accreditation. She holds a Masters in Law from Georgetown University, grew up and was educated in both the U.K. and Kenya.

Yael Utt

Facilitator

Yael Utt

Facilitator

She/Her

Yael Utt is a tireless promoter for the advancement of women, professionally and personally. She was hired to launch AWE’s New York membership in 2014 and has spent the past 6+ years working with thousands of women from Fortune 1000 companies in leadership development, team development, and DEI best practices. Part facilitator, part coach, part sales leader and strategist, Yael is a full time champion for the ways leaders want to, and should, show up in their organizations and communities.

Drawn to knowledge acquisition, other people’s stories, and trying to make people laugh, Yael has parlayed these traits into 20+ years with nonprofits, local government and public and private companies like Pfizer, HSBC, Viacom, PepsiCo, American Express, Condé Nast, Hearst, Avon, BD, Thomson Reuters, HP, Salesforce, Coach, LVMH, Tiffany & Co., CBS, Toyota, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Novartis, BNY Mellon, AOL, Verizon, Accenture, Scholastic and MasterCard.

In a previous life, Yael was a New York bar-admitted lawyer practicing employment law. A five-year move to London propelled Yael to the relationship side of business, and once back in NYC, was able to fulfill a lifelong passion in women’s leadership. Yael earned her juris doctor from Brooklyn Law and grew up in Virginia. Little known fact is that Virginia is called a Commonwealth, not a state. She loves to be outdoors, laugh, read, discuss tv and swear that “one day we’ll get a dog.” Maybe most importantly of all: Yael has three sons and is raising them with her husband in the little-known borough of Brooklyn.

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