2019 LUMINARIES

Laura Schwab
President
Aston Martin The Americas

Laura Schwab is President of Aston Martin The Americas, and her role centers on promoting the world’s most beautiful cars. Schwab joined Aston Martin in 2015, after having spent 15 years with Jaguar Land Rover. She holds a degree from Notre Dame, where she attended on a full tennis scholarship and has a law degree from the University of Kentucky.

Schwab oversees sales, service, marketing, and communications to customers and dealers. Aston Martin The Americas has played an important role in a global sales increase of 58% in 2017. As part of the Second Century Plan, Aston Martin has launched DB11 family, the new Vantage, and the DBS Superleggera. Its first SUV, the DBX, will be unveiled in late 2019.

When she’s not on a plane, Schwab is based at Aston Martin’s regional headquarters in Irvine, California, where she’s supported by the team she deems the best in the business.

Susan Jin Davis
Chief Sustainability Officer
Comcast NBCUniversal

Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, has over 25 years of experience in the communications and technology industry. In her current position, she is responsible for identifying sustainable strategies and priorities and for implementing the Company’s Sustainability Program across all of Comcast NBCUniversal business units and functions.

Prior to her current role, Susan was Senior Vice President of Operations Compliance and was responsible for implementing product policies, operationalizing regulatory and legal requirements, reducing costs to the cable business and managing business compliance.

In 2011, Susan negotiated a historic Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast and the Asian American community as part of the Company’s merger with NBCUniversal that created ground-breaking commitments in the areas of programming, supplier and employment diversity and community investment. She serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is a Company liaison to the Comcast and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She is an executive sponsor of Asian Pacific Americans at Comcast, a Company Employee Resource Group.

Susan was also integral in the 2011 launch of Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans in the country. The program has connected more than six million low-income Americans to the power of the Internet in their homes.

Susan is also involved in the Company’s approach to digital literacy, providing resources to customers on safe Internet use with particular emphasis on helping families understand the Internet and teaching children how to responsibly use Comcast’s services. She leads the Company’s Online Safety Advisory Council, an external body of leaders in the area online safety.

Susan completed the Women in Cable Telecommunications Senior Executive Summit at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and has completed the Women’s Executive Leadership Program at the Wharton School of Business. She received the 2010 Paragon Award of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Cable and completed CTAM’s Executive Management Program at the Harvard Business School. Susan was a fellow in the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute of the Women in Cable Telecommunications. She has been named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” and one of the “The Most Influential Minorities in Cable” by Cablefax for many years. Susan serves as the Chair of the Board of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and is a director on the Boards of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, and the Juvenile Law Center. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College.

Deborah Addo
CEO
Inova Loudoun Hospital

Deborah Addo, CEO of Inova Loudoun Hospital (ILH), comes to Inova with nearly 30 years of leadership experience in healthcare operations and management. Becker’s Hospital Review recently named her one of the “50 Great African American Leaders in Healthcare to Know” and the Loudoun Business Journal recognized her as one of five “Women Who Mean Business.”

She was named CEO of ILH after serving as CEO of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital for nearly three years.  Before joining Inova in June 2014, Ms. Addo served as the chief operating officer and senior vice president of Meritus Health in Hagerstown, the largest healthcare provider in Western Maryland. Prior to that, she served as vice president of patient care services at Washington County Health System, a 300-bed hospital that was voted as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country.

Ms. Addo’s areas of expertise include financial management, LEAN, organization re-engineering, strategic planning, physician engagement and population health. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in public health from Walden University.

Reverend Addo is also a licensed Minister ordained through the Church of God.

Maria Font Trabocchi
Co-Owner
Fabio Trabocchi Restaurant Group & Partner at HamdyFont LLC

Maria Font Trabocchi is the Co-Owner of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurant Group – Fiola, Fiola Mare, Del Mar, Sfoglina, Fiola Miami, Fiola Venezia. Born on the beloved island of Mallorca in her native Spain and daughter of a diplomat posted to the United States, Maria grew up in Washington DC where she attended school and started a family. After working in high-end luxury companies such as Cartier and Ralph Lauren, and eventually executive global management at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Maria made a winning bet alongside her husband Chef Fabio Trabocchi, and opened their first restaurant – Michelin awarded Fiola – in 2011 in Washington DC.

The diplomatic education and luxury lifestyle training led Maria to business partner Mona Hamdy in the founding of HamdyFont – a boutique consulting firm that advises globally engaged private and corporate clients in protocol, public engagement, and positioning. Named one of 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington DC, Maria currently serves as a brand ambassador of several firms including Aston Martin, 5Js and Azza Fahmy Jewelers. She is an active member of her local community and is a mother to Aliche and Luca, her fierce and dynamic teenagers.

 

Marlene Colucci
Executive  Director
The Business Council

Marlene Colucci is the executive director of the Business Council which is comprised of the chief executive officers of America’s largest corporations, representing all sectors of the economy. Created in 1933 by President Roosevelt, the Council seeks to foster understanding through discussion, best practice sharing and networking by its members with a view to making a contribution to our society, the global economy and to business generally.  The group is bipartisan and does not lobby.

Prior to joining the Business Council, Marlene served as executive vice president of public policy for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Marlene served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush in the Office of Domestic Policy and prior to that, was appointed by the President to serve at the U.S. Department of Labor as both the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and as Counsel to the Deputy Secretary of Labor. From 1990 to 2002, Marlene served as senior counsel to the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP.

Marlene also co-founded RightNOW!, an organization focused on empowering and promoting center-right women to take on leadership roles.

Marlene holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Damon D. Jones
Vice President, Global Communications
The Procter & Gamble Company

Damon Jones leads efforts to ensure the world’s largest consumer goods company is also known as one of the most trusted brands in the world.  In addition to his responsibility for global corporate communications, Jones leads a broad portfolio of advocacy initiatives on behalf of the world’s largest advertiser that drive equality and inclusion within and beyond the CPG industry.

During his more than 20 year career with P&G, Jones has had responsibility for a diverse set of geographic, organizational and product portfolios – with assignments in Boston, Geneva, London, and Singapore – leading local, regional and global businesses, including in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.  Jones also served as the Communications Director for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, part of the successful campaign to elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.  His passion for community engagement continues through involvement in numerous local and national organizations.

Alicia H Clark
Author & Licensed Psychologist
PsyD, PLLC

Alicia H. Clark is a Washington, DC – based licensed psychologist specializing in anxiety and relationships and author of Hack Your Anxiety: How to Make Anxiety Work for You In Life, Love, and All That You Do, which debuted as #1 New Release on Amazon in August, 2018. She has been named one of Washington’s Top Doctors by Washingtonian magazine and has served as adjunct clinical faculty at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her presentations on stress and anxiety have been sought after by numerous professional conferences and organizations, and she has written for popular media outlets including the NYTimes, Psychology Today, TIME, the Huffington Post, and Yahoo. Visit her at www.aliciaclarkpsyd.com

Melissa Dawn Simkins
CEO, Velvet Suite and
Host, The She-Suite Summit

For nearly two decades, blending human insight with brand innovation, personal branding and accelerated leadership development has found a new champion. Think of Melissa Dawn Simkins not as merely a trusted advisor to Fortune 100’s, C-Suite executives and influencers, but as a visionary personal brand leadership pioneer, redefining and reinventing the leadership development category to harvest the potential of human potential to lead the future.

Simkins founded Velvet Suite® (www.velvetsuite.com) to democratize leadership at all levels. Since its inception in 2006, Velvet Suite has delivered breakthrough business results for an array of leading companies, celebrities, industries and brands by rethinking leadership from the inside out. The results are innovative strategies creating competitive advantage.

Today, her understanding of human capital and personal branding make her a highly-sought after keynote speaker on leadership innovation, a contributor to Inc.com and a frequent guest on news and business media including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Essence, Black Enterprise and more. Melissa is the best-selling author of Brand Me. Make Your Mark: The Ultimate Playbook for Personal Branding (Xlibris). She is the Creator of The She-Suite Summit.

Founder of The Brand Leadership Institute ® (BLI), a successful digital accelerator merging coaching, content and community, she’s disrupted the leadership development industry without apology. BLI offers clients a proven platform and pipeline to advance and develop the next generation of leaders by proving again how self-confidence and enhanced performance are born out of self-discovery. Results have been simply extraordinary.

Melissa’s is the first African American female advisory board member for the World Brand Congress in Mumbai. In partnership with the NFL, Velvet Suite created the NFL Player Brand University, the first of its kind personal brand development academy in professional sports. Velvet Suite clients include Boston Scientific, Lincoln Financial, Allstate, Home Depot, Southern Company, the National Basketball Association, C-Suite executives, celebrities, pro-athletes and more.

Emily M. Dickens
Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff
SHRM

Emily M. Dickens, J.D., serves as SHRM’s Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff. She is the executive responsible for coordinating staff to implement the CEO’s vision, serving as corporate secretary for the SHRM Board and subsidiary boards, as well as managing external partnerships and providing oversight for the Government Affairs division.

Dickens is an attorney with significant and progressive experience in government, higher education and the non-profit sector. She has served as a member of the leadership team at the University of North Carolina system, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Her prior roles include general counsel, chief relationship officer, senior vice president, vice president for public policy and assistant vice president for federal relations. Dickens has also worked at Duke University and Fayetteville State University in administrative and external affairs roles.

Emily is actively engaged in board service. She formerly served on the Fayetteville/Cumberland (NC) Chamber of Commerce (Secretary of the Board), the Cumberland County Workforce Development Board, the North Carolina Partnership for Defense Innovation Board, and the Educational Advancement Foundation. She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Carolina Central University, and chairs the International HBCU Task Force for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Theresa Selvaggio
Regional VP
Estée Lauder

Theresa Selvaggio is Regional Vice President for Estée Lauder, a global brand leader in prestige beauty. Estée Lauder is the flagship brand of the Estee Lauder Companies with products sold in more than 150 countries. They are technologically advanced, high-performance luxury products with a reputation for innovation, sophistication and superior quality.

As Regional Vice President,  Mrs. Selvaggio is responsible for retail sales, staffing, merchandising and P + L’s for stores including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Ulta and Sephora in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the US.

As an accomplished executive in the prestige beauty industry for more than 30 years, Ms. Selvaggio is regarded for her proven track record of developing talent, identifying regional relevant opportunities for generations of customers, remarkable strategic insight and great retail partnerships. A passionate advocate of leadership development throughout her career, Ms. Selvaggio seeks to inspire and engage young women to become exceptional leaders and mentors. Ms. Selvaggio was honored to receive the Joseph and Estée Lauder award for Marketing Director of the Year and the Estée Lauder Account Executive Rookie of the year award.  

Prior to her RVP assignment, Ms. Selvaggio served as an RVP for Estée Lauder Canada, Marketing Director Chicago, and Account Executive in Detroit.

Ms. Selvaggio attended the prestigious Leonard Lauder Executive Symposium, the Estée Lauder Executive programs at the Aspen Institute and Harvard, the Estée Lauder summer program at Vassar College and Wayne State University. Ms. Selvaggio is a 25-year Member of The Fashion Group and was the recipient of the Style-maker of the Year award. She is a long-term member and board director for Grosse Pointe Theatre. Ms. Selvaggio has long advocated that theatre disciplines apply to business success. For 25 years Ms. Selvaggio has been very active in the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder. She believes volunteering in your community and giving back is an important part of a balanced and rewarding life.  

Ms. Selvaggio and her husband raised 3 daughters and reside in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. She is a role model for female executives who want to master the balance between work, motherhood, and family.

Ernestine Shepherd
Female Body Builder & Wellness Advocate
Personal Fitness

Ernestine Shepherd is a fitness guru in her own right whose mantra for the past 25 years has been “Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined – To be fit for life.”  She believes that it is never too late to become physically fit.

At the age of 56, she began working out at Coppin State College with her sister. The story goes that she and her sister were displeased with how they looked in swim suits and decided to do something about it. They began to train vigorously but unfortunately, her sister succumbed to a brain aneurysm. However, Ernestine Shepherd decided to work even harder and vowed to carry on in her sister’s memory.

At age 71 she had former Mr. Universe, Yohnnie Shambourger train her to become a body builder. Her success has grown worldwide since.

Now at age 81 Ernestine Shepherd has been married for 61 years and is the mother of a 60-year-old son, and has a 21-year-old-grandson.

Ernestine Shepherd is truly an inspiration to all who meet her. Her fashion is above reproach. She is easily recognized by her gray, pushed-back hair, with a long braid extending down her back, not to mention her colorful outfits embossed with her mantra, and decorative high heel tennis shoes.

Two of her favorite songs are, “Here I Am Lord,” and “This Little Light of Mine.” Her “little light” is her energy and eagerness to take time out from her busy schedule to hold classes for seniors at her church, various community organizations, and particularly at the Energy Wellness and Fitness Center. Her favorite Bible verses are 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 and the 23rd Psalm. Ernestine Shepherd strongly believes that it is extremely important that Christians actively live out their faith. When life is good, human faith is up. When life is gloomy, human faith disappears. Faith endures all trials and tribulations, and there is no other choice but to succeed.

Overall, her most inspirational song is “One Moment in Time,” by Whitney Houston. To paraphrase the song, Mrs. Shepherd says,

“Life is a race against destiny, but we are all given that one moment in time to be the best that we can be.”