The Team

Stephanie Sonnabend

Chair and Co-Founder

Stephanie Sonnabend is a change agent who is passionate about making the world a better place. Today Ms. Sonnabend is a director, speaker, executive coach and consultant, with a special focus on family businesses, transitions and succession planning for boards, CEOs, senior executives and organizations.

In 2010, Ms. Sonnabend co-founded 2020 Women on Boards, a national campaign to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20 percent or greater by 2020. She is an inspirational speaker educating audiences about advancing their careers and preparing for board service.

As CEO and President of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Ms. Sonnabend led a publicly traded global hospitality company through numerous business cycles. She built a strong corporate culture applauded by the industry and spearheaded significant growth, both internationally and domestically.

Ms. Sonnabend currently serves on the Board of SVN a commercial real estate franchisor. She is an advisor to SAFR a startup ridesharing company focused on empowering women drivers and riders. Previous board experience includes Sonesta Hotels and Century Bank.

Ms. Sonnabend resides in Longboat Key, FL and Rye, NH. 

Malli Gero

Co-Founder and President

Malli Gero is Co-founder and President of 2020 Women on Boards. She served as Executive Director until August 2014.

Before launching 2020 Women on Boards, Malli had a long career in marketing communications and public relations. She was principal of Gero Communications, a boutique PR firm founded in 1985, specializing in B2B, non-profit and hospitality sectors, and worked as an account executive for public relations agencies in New York and Boston.

Malli is an active community volunteer. She was appointed to the Mayor's Commission on Women in June 2014 and serves on the board of More Than Words, an innovative social enterprise. She is past chair and president of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation in Brookline, MA.

She also served on the boards of the Brookline Educational Foundation, Ruggles Street Mission Hill Day Care Center, a division of Associated Day Care Services of Greater Boston, and Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline. She lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with her husband, Michael.

Breanna Bakke

Director of Finance and Administration

Breanna Bakke is the Director of Finance and Administration for 2020 Women on Boards. She served as Assistant Director until January 2016.

Breanna brings extensive knowledge of women’s leadership issues, and is an advocate for gender equality. She was elected co-chair of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (MWPC) Young Professional Leadership Board in March 2015 and serves on the 2020 Women on Boards/Boston Campaign Committee.

Breanna is also an assistant project director with YPO - Young Presidents' Organization, where she provides logistical support for national and international business events. Prior to joining 2020, Breanna interned at Morgan Stanley and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, where she built a statewide race-tracking database.

Breanna graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Global Perspectives. Her senior thesis focused on the role of U.S. Congresswomen in the passage of human trafficking policy.

 

 

Tammy Scholtes

Event Project Manager

Tammy Scholtes is the Event Project Manager of 2020 Women on Boards. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the NYC Planning Committee for 2020WOB’s signature program, the National Conversation on Board Diversity. Ms. Scholtes has a proven track record of creating highly successful live events with influential thoughtleaders, global investment strategists and worldwide industry experts for speaking engagements, conferences, webinars, and educational forums. Her expertise has helped top magazine and newspaper publishers successfully grow subscriber bases and gain international recognition as an industry leader of both digital and printed content.

Ms. Scholtes’ prior experience as a speaker recruiter/facilitator and conference content programmer includes working with ultra high net worth members of the Family Office Exchange, where she was the Director of Program Design. At Pensions & Investments she served as the Director of Conference Programming for the newspaper’s events held nationally and in Japan. Prior to that, she created program development for Publisher SourceMedia where she helped managed multiple annual conferences for On Wall Street, Financial Planning, Accounting Today, and Employee Benefit News. Ms. Scholtes was also a Partner for Energetic Communications in collaboration with the Financial Times’ U.S.-based conferences. At British-based Richmond Events, she brokered meetings with C-level financial executives attending the CIO Forum, an exclusive, invitation-only event held onboard a luxury ocean liner. 

Ms. Scholtes received P&I’s “Alpha Award” which recognizes exceptional individual performance and contribution. Earlier in her career as a TV Producer for ABC news affiliates, she won two Emmy Awards for “Outstanding News Broadcast” and a Telly Award for “Best Corporate Video” during her tenure as an Event Planner/Corporate Video Manager for the Rite Aid Corporation.

After graduating from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications, Ms. Scholtes helped organize various live television specials, concerts and social events at Manhattan Center Studios, one of the largest private event venues in NYC. Ms. Scholtes has run the NYC marathon twice and has one daughter who is currently attending college.

Natalia McCullough

Communications Coordinator

Natalia McCullough is the Communications Coordinator for 2020 Women on Boards. Natalia recently graduated from Bentley University with a B.S. in Marketing and minors in Information Design and Corporate Communications and English. She feels extremely grateful for the education she has received both on the high school and college level, and now wants to apply the valuable lessons she has learned to take 2020 Women on Boards' communications to the next level. Natalia wants to use her education, abilities and experience to create a positive impact and is excited to begin implementing change by working for 2020 Women on Boards.

Betsy Keating

Researcher

Betsy Keating is a Researcher for 2020 Women on Boards. Betsy has extensive experience in journalism; she worked as a Photo Editor for Time Inc. and Hearst Magazines.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College in English and Philosophy, and her master’s degree from Columbia University in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Her master’s thesis was entitled Hero or Snitch? A Case Study on American Corporate Whistleblowing.

Betsy received her grant-writing certificate from the American Grant Writers’ Association. She also recently co-authored a research paper for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies titled The Unexamined “Selfie” is not worth taking: The Explosion of Amateur Digital Image Technologies in the Early 21st Century.

Betsy is enthusiastic about the mission of 2020 Women on Boards, as gender parity has always been an issue for which she has felt strongly.