The Team

Stephanie Sonnabend

Chair and Co-Founder

Stephanie Sonnabend recently retired from Sonesta International Hotels Corporation after a thirty-five year career in the hospitality industry. She led the publicly held (NASDAQ) family controlled business through numerous business cycles, with Sonesta branded hotels, resorts, suites and Nile cruises located in the United States, Egypt, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, The Netherlands, Italy and throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda.

In January 2012 Stephanie successfully completed a sale of the company, which involved taking the management company private and selling off the hotel assets to an affiliated REIT. She remained with the new company for a year and a half, and spearheaded the rebranding of 21 hotels in six months. Her recent accomplishments included launching a new extended stay brand and developing the renovation scope and design focus for all Sonesta Hotels.

Stephanie is currently on the Board of Directors of Century Bank and Trust and Century Bancorp, where she is a member of the Audit Committee and chairs the Asset Liability Committee. Her professional memberships include World Presidents' Organization, Women Corporate Directors, Massachusetts Women’s Forum, and The Boston Club.

A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, Stephanie received her master’s degree from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.

Malli Gero

Executive Director and Co-Founder

Malli Gero is the principal of Gero Communications, a marketing communications firm. Prior to starting her business in 1984, Malli served as an account executive for public relations agencies in New York and Boston, working in the fashion and design, healthcare, B2B, and leisure industries. Today, she represents clients in the hospitality, healthcare, B2B, and women’s leadership fields.

Malli is an active community volunteer. She currently serves as president of the board of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, where she has been a director since 2000. She recently was elected chairman of the board of More Than Words, a social enterprise that empowers youth to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. Malli is a graduate of Hunter College.

Breanna Bakke

Assistant Director

Breanna Bakke is the Assistant Director for 2020 Women on Boards. Breanna graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Global Perspectives. She was an active member of Bentley University Cheerleading, studied in Florence, Italy, and was involved in the Women’s Center on campus. Her senior thesis focused on the role of Congresswomen in the passage of human trafficking policy in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Breanna brings extensive knowledge of women’s leadership issues, and is an active advocate for gender equality. Prior to joining 2020, Breanna was a marketing intern at the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus where she built a statewide 2012 race-tracking database. Breanna is excited to bring new perspectives and fresh ideas as she works to build the 2020 Women on Boards campaign.

Caty Taborda

Researcher

Caty Taborda is a Researcher for 2020 Women on Boards. In addition to her work with 2020 Women on Boards, Caty is currently pursuing a dual-M.A. in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Brandeis University, with a focus on gender and medicine. Caty earned a B.A. in Sociology from Hamilton College, where she also served as co-president of the Womyn’s Center. During her time at Hamilton, Caty spent a semester studying global feminism at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and conducted research about women’s rights in Colombia.

In her continued dedication to feminist activism, Caty works with Brandeis' Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, as well as the Violence Against Women Act Committee, to end sexual violence on college campuses. She is pleased to be contributing to 2020 Women on Boards' efforts to promote gender diversity in corporate boardrooms.

Marnie Zoldessy

Researcher

Marnie Zoldessy is a Researcher for 2020 Women on Boards. Marnie graduated from The College of Wooster in 2011 with a B.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree at Brandeis University in the join program English with Women's and Gender Studies. Her M.A. thesis will investigate "non-normative" gender performance in contemporary fiction/creative non-fiction, specifically the ways in which the boundaries of gender are constructed, deconstructed and understood in our societal approach toward identity.

Marnie hopes to make writing a career in the compositional and editorial world, as well as continue her work in non-normative gender analysis and advocacy. Thus, she is excited to be a part of the 2020 Women on Boards' team and their vitally important mission.