2020 Mentors

Regina Au
(Mentor since 2015)

Regina is Principal, New Product Planning/Strategic Planning at BioMarketing Insight with 20+ years experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and healthcare industries.  She helps companies to maximize the benefits of their technology by conducting the business due diligence early in product development to de-risk the process and increase commercial success.

Ms. Au serves as an advisor for the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center Platform Meetings,  Advisory Board member for an entrepreneur team at the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT, and as a Mentor with the MIT Enterprise Forum Mentoring Program for Entrepreneurs. 

Regina is a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy and Industry Advisor for the European BioPharmaceutical Review Journal. She has published numerous articles on market and technology trends such as “Immuno-oncology: Chimeric Antigen Receptors T-Cell Design; Microbiome; Genetic and Genomic Engineering; and Alzheimer Pathology.

Franky Descoteaux

Franky  is the Director of the Entrepreneurship Center @CTI, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Middlesex Community College (MCC) and former Director of EforAll (Lowell, Lawrence). She holds a Master’s Degree in Innovation & Technical Entrepreneurship from University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML).

Franky believes that women have a unique power to heal and bring out the best in their families, communities and companies. She supports a vision of feminism that is committed to heart-centered communication and conscious capitalism that prioritizes human-centered management and sustainable growth, financially and environmentally. She believes core values must be the foundation for all female innovators, and is committed to helping women remember, refine and implement their personal core values into all they do, including entrepreneurship.

She received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Celebration of Excellence from Enterprise Bank & Trust, Diversity Leader from PepsiCo and other awards and board assignments. In her free time, she loves swing dancing, pottery, philosophy and hanging out with her teenagers.

Dr. Dennis A. Dean

Dr. Dennis A. Dean, II is a Principal Investigator at Seven Bridges where he leads several national-scale genomic analysis projects and mentors a scientific team in the Boston office.

Dr. Dean’s oversight responsibilities include genomic scientists, bioinformatics scientists, scientific program managers, scientific project managers, and genomic data scientists. In this capacity, he is responsible for the success of his team members across commercial, government, and internal projects. He leads Seven Bridges collaboration outreach with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Veteran Affairs Million Veteran Program (MVP), the Patient Derived Xenograph Network funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and oversee several projects with large pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Dean is passionate about training the next generation of scientists. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Science Career Program where he focuses on developing post-doctoral training programs and supporting STEM trainees. Dr. Dean is proud of his mentees which are in graduate programs, medical school and actively pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences as physicians and scientists.

Dr. Dean is trained as a research fellow in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Program for Sleep Epidemiology and the Program for Sleep and Cardiovascular Medicine. He earned his PhD in biomedical engineering and biotechnology and M.S. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts. He earned his B.S. in computer science from SUNY, Empire State College.

Samira Farboodmanesh
(Mentor since 2018)

Samira is a Technical Manager for Parenteral Combination Products in Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Team at AstraZeneca. She has been an experienced professional in developing biomedical and combination products and related supporting technologies, ranging from nanofibrous materials to combination products to purification processes. She is passionate to be part of Women Accelerators, especially that she has had successful women as mentors throughout her education and industry experience.

Samira moved from Tehran, Iran for graduate studies and received her Masters and Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell). She became a post-doc and conducted research in Biomedical/Mechanical Engineering joint research with Tufts University and UMass Lowell. She joined the medical device and pharmaceutical industry after her post-doc.

Samira enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities. She is an avid skier and swimmer.

Cindy Huang

Cindy is a Client Strategist at Profitwell, a startup in Boston focused on advising and developing software for SaaS companies. Prior to joining Profitwell, Cindy spent several years working as a bridge engineer at the multinational engineering firm Arup, which gave her the opportunity to live and work all over the world, from Los Angeles to NYC to Amsterdam. These experiences and the communities she found abroad helped her realize the importance of mentorship.

After moving back to the US, Cindy obtained her MBA at Harvard Business School. Now that she calls Boston home, Cindy is committed to creating opportunities for others and helping women navigate careers in STEM.

In her downtime, you can find Cindy reading at a cafe, watching the Great British Bake Off, or learning Chinese.

Melissa Hunter-Ensor
(Mentor since 2015)

Melissa is Vice-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Patent Prosecution Group. Melissa focuses her practice on the intellectual property and commercial needs of clients in the life science industry, encompassing pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical agricultural, diagnostics and medical device companies. Melissa has experience representing clients throughout the business cycle, from start-ups and universities to global pharmaceutical companies, with patent portfolio management and strategic alliances, as well as litigation and pre-litigation strategy. She also assists venture capital firms and other investors in assessing the IP risks of target investments and conducts IP patent and licensing due diligence in connection with life science technology transactions.

Before becoming a lawyer, Melissa earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and her thesis research resulted in a first author paper in Cell. She followed this accomplishment with a four-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory of Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz where she was a Jane Coffin Childs fellow.

Brenda Loan-Baker
(Mentor since 2018)

Brenda is recognized for taking large-scale visions and developing a systematic, step-by-step approach to process creation, performance outcomes, and measurable success.

As an executive coach with proven success in the finance and sales industries, Brenda Loan Baker empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full leadership potential. While she serves leaders at all levels and across a broad range of functional roles and industries, she has a special interest in partnering with women and minorities in normally male-dominated industries like STEM, finance and law, to help them become more confident, visible, and influential leaders. It is Brenda’s passion to assist women and minorities in building greater confidence, improving their communication and public speaking, so they can lead with strength and compassion and become a role model for women to follow.

Brenda is an Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a Certified Professional Coach trained in both Core Energy Leadership™ through IPEC (The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and the Results System™ through Thought/Action. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from the University of Massachusetts.

Jeff Lou

Jeff is the Head of Automation at the synthetic biology company, Ginkgo Bioworks. At Ginkgo, he has built a team and platform that supports the industrialization of organism engineering using software, hardware, and process control. In addition to interests in robotics and engineering biology, he is a lifelong student of business ethics, economics, individual and organizational psychology, developing people, and more recently, aiding the cause of equity in STEM.

Prior to Ginkgo, Jeff co-founded a battery chemistry startup that developed nanostructured materials for grid-backup applications. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University. Outside of career pursuits, Jeff enjoys cooking, board games, orienteering races, and rock climbing.

Sara Lupin

Sara is Chief of Staff to the Global Head of Medical at Sanofi Genzyme. Prior to this role, Sara spent 9 years holding various HR positions in the pharmaceutical industry, successfully partnering with a number of leaders and teams throughout the value chain (R&D, Industrial Affairs, and Commercial) and across multiple geographies. She has been guiding leaders through deep organizational transformations (creation of new departments, restructuring, integration after M&A) and cultural changes in global and multicultural environments.

Sara completed a dual BA program in International Business between the University of Turin (Italy) and the Warwick Business School (UK) before receiving a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Panthéon-Sorbonne University (France).

Sara speaks fluently Italian, English, French, and Spanish. Sara always says “yes” to try a new fun activity and learn a new skill.

Nidhi Maniar
(Mentor since 2018)

Nidhi has been associated with Women Accelerators as a volunteer for 4 years, a mentee and now a mentor. She enjoyed the mutual learning experience with her mentees and looked forward to more.

A graduate of Northeastern University with a Masters degree in Pharmacology, she has been an active alumni member there, guiding students each year since 2014.

Nidhi currently works at University of Massachusetts Medical School’s MassBiologics, a biotechnology firm in Boston as a Research Associate III. Her valuable experience includes 5 years of supporting process development activities for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and other proteins, developing newer analytical strategies for characterization, and leading non-GMP client studies etc.

Nidhi enjoys meeting and building connections with inspiring people. She aspires to be a social entrepreneur in India in the near future.

Uma Ellur Staehler
(Mentor since 2018)

Uma has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working in a variety of marketing roles at Eli Lilly and Company. She recently transitioned to a new role as Market Research Advisor for the Connected Care Program; this program is focused on leveraging technology to connect various healthcare related components to improve patient outcomes (i.e. pharmaceutical drugs, devices, software, etc.), and is based in the Lilly Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. Uma has had the privilege and opportunity to work in a variety of marketing and sales roles and leadership roles in Global, US, European and China marketing. She has experience in oncology, osteoporosis, diabetes and infectious diseases, as well as across the entire lifecycle for brand management.

She has launched several new products and new indications, and worked in new product planning to late lifecycle and managing post-patent strategies.

She is also passionate about people development, inclusive leadership and “being the change you want to see happen in the world”. Uma has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband David, friends and family; fitness and health (especially running); traveling; and learning about new things, especially people and cultures.

Robin Rose

Robin is a customer-focused operations leader with extensive experience creating and delivering inventive business strategies and client-focused solutions that improve margins and increase customer retention. For over 20 years she has worked with companies in the software and services industry helping them establish process and create efficiencies to improve business outcomes. She is passionate about optimizing the customer journey to provide a best-in-class experience, aligning customer’s expected outcomes to build adoption, create delighted brand ambassadors, and develop new business opportunities.

An engaging communicator and relationship builder Robin enjoys unifying diverse resources and cultures to build high-performing teams. She has a strong interest in empowering women in the workplace, and is a member of several boards charged with supporting women, particularly in their local communities, and increasing leadership opportunities.
Robin graduated from Trinity College with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Psychology. She is a voracious reader, local sports fan and loves to travel.

Susu Wong

Susu Wong
(Mentor since 2016)

Susu is the Principal and Founder of Tomo360, an online marketing agency, and the co-founder of Women Accelerators. She is an experienced business and marketing strategist who worked on a variety of companies from high-tech industry, healthcare, biotech, higher education to startup companies.

She was an adjunct Professor in Marketing at the UMass Lowell and a frequent workshop speaker at the Center of Women Enterprise and other small business accelerators.  She has a unique combination of marketing, business and technical experience that provides a well-rounded advantage for her clients.  See her career profile on LinkedIn.

Susu is an advocate for helping women advancing their careers. She holds an Master in IT Management from Lesley University.  Susu has been a Women Accelerators mentor since 2016.

Past Event Speakers

  1. Laura Appleton, Senior Consultant at International Planning and Research Corporation
  2. Regina Au, MBA, Strategic Marketing Consultant and Principal at BioMarketing Insights
  3. Pradeep Aradhya, PhD, CEO of NLMobile
  4. Lauren Celano, MBA, Founder & CEO of Propel Careers
  5. Insa Cespedes Elliott, MBA, Founder of Market2dayapp.com
  6. Julie Chen, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell
  7. Yu Chen, MBA, Director of Business Development at SAI Life Sciences
  8. Kristen Lee Costa, EdD, LICSW, professor of Behavioral Science and a Doctor of Education faculty at Northeastern University
  9. Megan Cooney, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley
  10. Sarah Cardozo Duncan, Owner of Career Strategist
  11. Deb Elbaum, MD, CPCC, ACC, certified career and life coach, author, and speaker
  12. Manijeh Goldberg, MBA, CEO of Privo Technologies
  13. Nathalie Goletiani, MD, Clinical Neuroscientist at McLean Hospital and faculty at Harvard Medical School
  14. Michele Haynes, PhD., Professor of University of Massachusetts Lowell
  15. Robin Hamilton, MS, Founder & Principal at Boston Business Operations Group LLC
  16. Tammy Heesakker, MBA, Business Strategy & Licensing Manager at Partners HealthCare
  17. Melissa Hunter-Ensor, PhD, Patent Attorney at Edwards Wildman
  18. Sally Jablon, MBA, Founder and CEO of Sally Silver Companies and UUNow
  19. Joanne Kamens, PhD, Executive Director at Addgene
  20. Marianna Kantor, MBA, Web & Product Marketing Expert at PTC
  21. Rajia Abdelaziz, Brittany Decker, Marcelle Durrenberger, Anne Faber, Erin Graceffa, Cassie Hailson, and Amy Tibbetts – November, 2015 Women in STEM panelists
  22. Catherine Kuo, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University
  23. Diane Pacuk, Senior Vice President and Assistant Complex Manager at Morgan Stanley
  24. Karen Panetta, PhD, Associate Dean for Graduate Education at Tufts University, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Director of the Simulation Research Laboratory
  25. David Proia, PhD, Director of Oncology Drug Discovery at Synta Pharmaceuticals
  26. Paula Rayman, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at University of Massachusetts Lowel
  27. Colleen Suchecki, Peak Performance Coach
  28. Tina Stiles, MBA, Director of Corporate QA Training at Takeda
  29. Frances Toneguzzo, PhD, Executive Vice President at Conkwest, Inc.
  30. Marian Walsh, JD, public leader and author
  31. Michele Whitham, JD and Entrepreneur
  32. Rajia Abdelaziz,  Co-Founder of Invisawear
  33. Anita Autry, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  34. Tammy Heesakker, Principal at Tyche Innovation LLC
  35. Shila Mekhoubad, Ph.D. Scientist at Biogen.
  36. Cherie Ramirez, Ph.D,  Researcher, Scientist, & Educator at Simmons College
  37. Brandy Houser, Site Head -New York & New Jersey at Celdara Medical
  38. Brenda Loan Baker, Executive & Entrepreneurial Coach of InnerOvation, LLC.
  39. Amy Rebecca Gay, Mediator, Coach and Consultant
  40. Deb Elbaum, MD, CPCC, CNTC, Executive Coach, Author, and Speaker
  41. Rachel Rice, MBA, EEM-CP,  Executive coach, and energy medicine and energy psychology practitioner.
  42. Tamar Newberger, Diplomatic Spouse, Technologist, Computer Scientist, Activist
  43. Sean Driscoll, Principal, and Founder of BBsquared (a/k/a Breaking Barriers X Building Bridges)
  44. Su Joun, Principal of [email protected] Consulting Group, LLC
  45. Susu Wong, Principal of Tomo360 and Co-Founder of Women Accelerators
  46. Pamela Garramone M.Ed., Positive Psychology Speaker, Life Coach, and Founder of Thrive Now Boston.
  47. Melody Wilding, Executive Coach & Peak Performance Coach,  Human Behavior Faculty
  48. Etta Jacobs, Founder, Executive & Career Transition Coaching, Hermes|path
  49. Kim Meninger, Executive and Leadership Development Coach
  50. Elaine Blais, Life coach, Happiness Warrior, Positivity Practitioner, Writer, and Speaker
  51. Ngan Nyugen,  Founder of Cintamani Group, Coach and Speaker
  52. Devon Grilly, Certified COR.E Energy Coach, speaker, and blogger
  53. lhiana Rojas, Transformation Strategy Coach & Consultant, owner of BeLIVE Coaching & Consulting
  54. Dr. Alexis J. Stokes,  Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)
  55. Olivia Lau, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones
  56. Lauren Celano: Speaker, Recruiter, and Coach, Propel Careers
  57. Salumeh Companieh: Technology Executive and CIO Corporate Solutions at Cushman & Wakefield
  58. Sophie de Boer: Associate, Flagships Pioneering
  59. Samira Farboodmanesh: Device Development Lead at Takeda
  60. Jenny Ro: Co-Founder, COO at Curious Reader
  61. Dennis Dean, Scientific Site Director at Seven Bridges

Women Accelerators is always looking for high achieving women to share their knowledge and advice with our members. Please email us at [email protected] womenaccelerators.org if you would be interested in a speaking opportunity.