Global Women in Business Advisory Council

Meet the members

EY - GWBAC members

The GWBAC is committed to creating a strong network to empower women entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, learn from one another, gain the benefits of mentoring and demonstrate best practices.  Its members are:

Maria Pinelli
GWBAC Founder and Global Vice Chair
EY Growth Markets

Maria oversees the EY business unit that is the world leader in advising, guiding and recognizing entrepreneurs and high-growth companies. With more than 25 years of experience providing professional services to private and public companies, Maria is truly passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and is heavily involved in creating a support network for them. She founded EY’s global Strategic Growth Forum®, oversees EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Program and founded EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™, designed to accelerate the growth of high-potential female entrepreneurs.

Mylene Abiva
President and CEO
FELTA Multi-Media Inc.

Mylene is a developer of innovative educational materials and technology for the school market. She introduced LEGO Robotics in elementary and high schools in the Philippines and is the national organizer of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad from 2002 to the present. An EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009® finalist, Mylene is an active member of the Women Business Council of the Philippines and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs in her home country.

Yasmina Azhari
Founder, Owner and General Manager
Mira Trading LLC

Yasmina is a pioneer businesswoman in Syria and the founder, owner and General Manager of Mira Trading LLC. She is also a partner and Vice President of Trade Coordination Office (TCO), a shipping agency representing Maersk Shipping Line in Syria. Yasmina was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Syria Award winner. In 1999, Yasmina was the first woman to be on the Board of the Lattakia Chamber of Commerce in Syria, and she was elected three times as the Head of Lattakia Business Women's Committee.

Beth Brooke-Marciniak
Global Vice Chair
EY Public Policy

Beth is a member of EY’s Global Executive Board and has public policy responsibility for the organization's operations in 140 countries. In addition, she has global responsibility for the EY's diversity and inclusiveness efforts. She has been named six times to the Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women list and was named 2009 Woman of the Year by Concern Worldwide. Beth is a member of the inaugural class of the Henry Crown Fellows of The Aspen Institute and serves on its Board of Trustees, and she is a member of The Committee of 200. Beth frequently speaks about the EY Women Athletes Global Leadership Network.

Monique Brummans
Owner and Director
Diemen & Van Gestel

Monique has led Diemen & Van Gestel, a search and diversity development firm, for the past 20 years. In her work she has demonstrated the importance of bringing diverse talent to all areas and levels of an organization. Monique was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2001 Netherlands Award winner, and she served as chairman of the jury for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2003 Netherlands.

Amy Buckner Chowdhry
Chief Executive and Co-founder

Amy leads AnswerLab, a digital experience research consultancy. Since 2004, Amy and her team have built AnswerLab into a leading brand in user experience research helping Fortune 500 companies build best-in-class digital products. Amy is a member of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman™ Class of 2011, and that same year she received the San Francisco Bay Area 40 Under 40 Emerging Leader Award.

Charmaine Crooks
President and Founder
NGU Consultants

Charmaine directs NGU Consultants, a global strategic advisory company providing consultancy and business development strategies to major corporations and sport entities. Charmaine, a five-time Olympian and Olympic Silver Medalist, represented Canada for close to 20 years in athletics. She is a founding member of the International Board of Directors for Right to Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sports to encourage the development of youth in disadvantaged areas.

Carolyn Cross
Chairman and Co-founder
Ondine Biomedical

Carolyn founded Ondine Biomedical and has more than 18 years of direct experience working with early-stage companies and 25 years of experience with public market securities. She currently sits on the boards of several companies, including Periowave Dental Technologies, Inc., OrGenX Biopharma Corporation and Sinuwave Technologies Corporation. Carolyn also sits on the Advisory Board of the McGill University Dental School.

Borbála Czakó
EY Public Policy

Borbála is internationally renowned in the fields of business and finance. She joined EY as a Global Partner in 2010 following a four-year term as Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary to the UK. She is President of the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum (HBLF), an organization that promotes responsible business practices to underpin sustainable economic, social and environmental development in Hungary. Borbála is also active in the Women’s Business Leaders Forum, founded by HBLF, to help develop dialogue between leading women managers and the Hungarian government with the goal of supporting sustainable growth.

Michelle Essome
The African Venture Capital Association (AVCA)

Michelle leads AVCA and has 20 years of investment banking experience. She has held marketing and origination roles in equities, fixed income, corporate finance and investment management, including two years marketing private equity funds to institutional investors. She holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, where she was a Robert Toigo fellow, and a BBA in Finance from Howard University. In addition, Michelle is an Ambassador for the charity Build Africa.

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz
Co-founder and CEO

Reese co-founded Rags2Riches, a social enterprise company that revolutionized women’s business practices by arranging for them to sell their apparel and accessories products direct to retailers. About 300 women now work for Rags2Riches. Reese was named the 2010 Rolex Awards laureate and beneficiary of the 2013 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for her work promoting her eco-ethical business model.

Diane Foreman
The Emerald Group and Emerald Foods

Diane, in addition to leading the Emerald Group and Emerald Foods, oversees company investments in New Zealand health care, manufacturing in New Zealand and America, high-level recruitment, and a boutique hotel on Auckland's North Shore. Diane partnered with the New Zealand government to create a facility where deaf children with cochlear implants are taught. For her work, Diane received the New Year's Honor from the Queen and is now a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to New Zealand businesses.

Lili Hall
Founder, President and CEO

Lilli founded KNOCK Inc., a brand and business development firm, in 2001 after spending 14 years in brand-building and business development with adidas America, B.U.M. Equipment and other international brands. Lili is a member of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2010, and she is a founding member of the EY Global Women in Business Advisory Council. Lili sits on the Board of Governors for The Children’s Theatre Company and the Board of Directors of the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Alison Kay
Global Sector Leader
EY Power & Utilities

Alison was appointed to lead EY’s Global Power & Utilities sector in May 2013. She joined EY in 2007 to lead the Power & Utilities practice in the UK and Ireland. Previously she spent several years working with power and utilities clients for Accenture after a successful four-year period with United Utilities. As Global Sector Leader, Alison leads a team of 3,600 professionals with extensive technical experience in providing assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services to the power and utilities sector. Through her leadership, Alison is determined to redress the significant under-representation of women in the sector.

Seema Khan
DAF Advisory

Seema A. Khan is the co-founder of DAF Advisory, a management consulting firm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Formerly, Seema was the Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Board and Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). With SAGIA, she had been a legal and policy advisor under HH Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud, SAGIA's first Chairman of the Board and Governor. For SAGIA's second Governor, HE Amr A. Al Dabbagh, she was legal and policy advisor, director of corporate communications, and the Chief Strategy Officer. Seema advises charities on sustainable giving and women's economic empowerment.

Francesca Lusini
President and Board Member
G&P Net

Francesca was named President in 2011 of G&P Net, a Tuscan company that manages the apparel brands Peuterey, Peuterey Aiguille Noire and Geospirit. For 2013, Francesca has set an international expansion strategy for G&P Net with sights on Asia, as well as a renewed focus on the phenomenal potential of the brand in the digital market. Under Francesca’s direction, the Peuterey site will be revamped to better integrate with e-commerce.

Rebecca MacDonald
Executive Chairman of the Board
Just Energy Group Inc.

Rebecca was the principal founder of Just Energy and has been a director since 2001. She has been engaged in the deregulation of the natural gas industry for more than 20 years. Rebecca became an officer of Just Energy in 2000 and previously served as Chief Executive Officer. She founded the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis research at Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital and was named Canada’s top woman CEO for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Profit magazine. Rebecca was named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2003 Ontario.

Kerrie D. MacPherson

Kerrie, who serves as global client service leader on large EY clients in the financial services industry, is executive sponsor of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women and has a long history of involvement in support of women both within EY and the broader community. Kerrie previously served as Americas Leader, Transaction Support for the EY organization. For six years, Kerrie has been an active board member at City Harvest, an organization dedicated to feeding the hungry in New York City. She currently chairs the Governance Committee and sits on the Executive and Audit Committees. When based in Toronto she was similarly involved in community organizations, including chairing the Toronto Board of Trade and Youth Communication.

Nicky Major
EY Global Corporate and Social Responsibility

Nicky focuses on the ways EY can help companies succeed and grow sustainably, from some of the smallest in the developing world to the largest global brands; how it contributes to a more diverse and inclusive society internally, within its markets, its communities and through its supply chain, with a particular focus on women; and how it contributes to the development of the future workforce and leaders of today and tomorrow. Prior to assuming her current role, Nicky spent 10 years leading EY's activity around responsible business for the UK and Ireland. She sits on the boards of relevant groups including WEConnect Europe, and she represents EY at the Clinton Global Initiative where she focuses on issues around the empowerment of women.

Pip McCrostie
EY Global Transaction Advisory Services

Pip has led EY's global global network of Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practices – which consists of more than 9,000 TAS professionals around the world – in a post-financial crisis M&A market facing unprecedented challenges globally. In that time, TAS has transformed its business around the Capital Agenda, which helps organizations strategically raise, invest, optimize and preserve their capital. Since joining EY in 1987, Pip has played key roles in major transactions in the US and Europe. She also has a key role in an independent mentoring program, working with women in business to foster an increase in gender diversity at executive levels. Pip is a qualified lawyer and practiced for several years in New Zealand, where she also qualified as an accountant.

Emmanuelle Morice
Senior Vice President, SaaS

Emmanuelle is Senior Vice President for the software as a service (SaaS) business at CANOPY, a company that offers cloud services to large public and multinational private sector organizations. She joined CANOPY from SAP, where she was responsible for the launch of the company's first SaaS.  She is highly experienced in building and mainstreaming new businesses, designing transformation for growth strategies and executing on global delivery in a multi-industry B2B context for large and mid-size enterprises. Over a decade she has managed double-digit growth in multiple business lines across industries, segments, solutions and geographies. She is a member of Women 2.0, a networking and mentoring group for women in the tech sector.  


Carla Newell
General Partner
Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV)

Carla joined TCV in 2000 and has worked with technology companies, venture capitalists and investment banks in Silicon Valley for the past 24 years. At TCV, Carla handles investor relations and deal structuring and execution. Previously, Carla was a partner at Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP, where she advised emerging growth companies and investors on a wide range of legal and business issues, structured a variety of financing and strategic transactions, and sat on the boards of directors of several early-stage technology companies. Earlier, Carla was a partner at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP. She served as a Director of, Inc. and Applied Science Fiction, Inc.

Dr. Andrea Pfeifer
CEO and Co-founder
AC Immune

Andrea serves as Chairwoman of the Biotechmedinvest AG Investment Fund, Basel and on the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG, Holzminden. A member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council — Brain and Cognitive Sciences, she was recognized in 2009 as Technology Pioneer by the WEF and as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Switzerland. Additional recognitions include her election as one of the top 20 start-up CEOs and one of the 300 most influential personalities in Switzerland. As the former head of Nestlé's Global Research in Lausanne, Switzerland, Andrea managed a group of more than 600 people, and she led the development of the first functional foods and one of the first cosmoceutical products in a joint venture with L'Oreal. She also co-founded the Nestlé Venture Capital Fund.

Amy Rosen
President and CEO
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

Amy took the helm of NFTE in 2008, taking on the challenge of scaling this highly effective entrepreneurship education program in order to inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures. She is a nationally recognized leader in urban school system reform. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Amy to serve as the Vice Chair on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability and chair its youth sub-committee. The Council provides recommendations to the President on promoting and enhancing financial literacy and capability among the American people. She is also on the faculty of Columbia Business School and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Pattie Sellers
Senior Editor

A journalist and blogger, Pattie co-founded Fortune's Most Powerful Women (MPW) franchise  and oversees the  MPW Summit. She has helped oversee the magazine's MPW in Business package every year since its launch in 1998.   She is also involved with MPW Entrepreneurs and the Fortune–US. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Beyond her Fortune duties, Pattie develops live content across Time Inc. for stage, online video and other exclusive use.  She has written some of Fortune's most talked-about cover stories, specializing in profiles of leaders who use their power to do extraordinary things. Her Fortune cover stories include "Marissa Mayer: Ready to Rumble at Yahoo," "Oprah's Next Act" and "The $100 Billion Woman" (Melinda Gates). 

Antonette C. Tionko
EY Tax

Tonette has extensive experience in tax advisory services for oil and gas companies as well as banks, finance and insurance companies, with specialization on financial instruments and derivatives. Her expertise includes corporate reorganization, mergers and spin-offs. She is also EY's industry leader for business process outsourcing. And she is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Tonette completed the Program of Instruction for Lawyers in Harvard Law School in 1997, as well as the Asian Institute of Management Program on Leadership and Strategy for the 21st Century.

Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu
Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer
Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Since June 2009, Sandra has served as President of Kokusai Kogyo Holdings Co., Ltd., the holding company of Japan Asia Group, an entity consisting of 54 consolidated group companies with clients in 30 countries and 380 local governments.  In this capacity she is the first Taiwanese female chief in the securities industry. The core of the group is Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd., an information consulting firm. As of May 2013, Sandra became the Chairperson and CEO of Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd.  She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nippon Keidanren, the Japanese business federation, since 2009.

Aysen Zamanpur
Founder and CEO
Silk & Cashmere

Aysen founded Silk & Cashmere in 1993. She had earned a degree in Business Administration from Bosphorus University and had retail experience, having managed several Benetton stores in Turkey. Today, she leads Silk & Cashmere, which is a Turkey-based multinational that produces a variety of cashmere and silk items sold around the world.  As CEO, Aysen has formed strategic partnerships and alliances with manufacturers throughout Inner Mongolia and other regions of China. She has opened around 50 stores in select shopping centers in Turkey and abroad, selling luxury items under the brand's own name.