The Team

Stephanie Sonnabend

Co-Founder and Chair of the Board

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 Senior Advisor

Malli Gero is Co-founder and Senior Advisor 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.

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire

Chief Executive Officer

In January 2018, Betsy became national CEO of a 501c3 national campaign called “2020 Women on Boards” dedicated to achieving 20% of the Russell 3000 public company board seats held by women, by the year 2020.  She is also involved in related legislative efforts in California.

Author of the book "The Board Game – How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors," with 10,000 copies in distribution nationally, Betsy reveals how 58 women directors found corporate board seats. For 17 years, Betsy chaired the Los Angeles/Orange County chapter of Women Corporate Directors (WCD), a global nonprofit network of women serving on public and private boards. She is a frequent keynote speaker throughout the U.S. and in Washington D.C.

Based in downtown Los Angeles, Betsy co-founded Berkhemer Clayton Inc. retained executive search 24 years ago with business partner Fred Clayton.  The firm specializes in senior management Communications, Marketing and Finance searches for corporations, universities and large nonprofits. Client companies include Bank of America, GAP, Mattel, Toyota USA, Ross Stores, Southern California Gas Company, Sempra, Kaiser Permanente, Tournament of Roses, City of Hope, UCLA, USC, Chapman University, American Lung Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles, and more.

Since 2000, she has served on the statewide board of the National Association of Women Business Owners-California (NAWBO-CA), representing the issues and interests of 1.5 million women business owners in CA. She was previously on board of Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) for 25 years, and the advisory boards of Southern California Edison (SCE) and UCLA Medical Center.

Before going into retained executive search, Betsy owned a major public relations agency in downtown Los Angeles which was acquired by global firm Golin/Harris based in Chicago. She's a graduate of UCLA. She and her husband Cris live in Little Tokyo, downtown Los Angeles.

Breanna Bakke

Director of Finance and Research

Breanna Bakke is the Director of Finance and Research for 2020 Women on Boards. She previously served as Director of Finance and Administration and, prior to that, Assistant Director.

Breanna brings extensive knowledge of women’s leadership issues and is an advocate for gender equality. She was elected as Co-President of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus Young Professional Leadership Board in 2015 and has served on the 2020 Women on Boards/Boston Campaign Committee.

Until 2017, Breanna was also an assistant project director with YPO - Young Presidents' Organization, where she provided logistical support for national and international business events. Prior to joining 2020 Women on Boards in 2012, 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 Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Perspectives. Her senior thesis focused on the role of U.S. Congresswomen in the passage of human trafficking policy.

Sarah Nesh

Events and Programs Associate

Sarah is the Events and Programs Associate for 2020 Women on Boards. After working in corporate jobs for years, she discovered her passion for communications and PR. In 2016, Sarah went back to college to attend Cal State University, Fullerton. She graduated with honors in 2017 with her B.A. in Communications: Public Relations with a minor in Human Communications. During that time, she received a scholarship to attend the Summer 2016 Study Abroad program in Florence, Italy where she studied Global Media and Rhetoric Theory. Born in Jordan and coming to the U.S.A. at only 11 months old, adapting and living in a new country came easily to Sarah.

Sarah has a strong volunteer background having volunteered for many charities since the age of sixteen, including local fire departments, police Christmas drives, and serving as the charity organizer and community liaison for her church. Volunteering to help those in need, teaching children’s ministry, and organizing outreaches have been the biggest joys of her life. She believes in changing the world with kindness, and in the power that lies in lifting people up and encouraging them to stand up for what is right.

Natalia McCullough

Communications Consultant

Natalia McCullough is the Communications Consultant 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.