March 05, 2021
Six new board members recently joined CWE's Board of Directors, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience spanning financial services, home improvement, human resources, social work, and more.
Desiree Allen, Assistant Vice President, Regional and Community Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
As an Assistant Vice President in the Regional and Community Outreach department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Des Allen manages strategic engagement efforts that aim to transform the economic systems impacting low- and moderate-income families (LMI) and communities. Her work includes supporting local municipalities in advancing racial equity in their policies and processes, working with employers to ensure job quality for LMI workers, and advancing improvements to early childcare systems to meet the needs of working parents.
Des comes to CWE from a place of respect for her female relatives who used entrepreneurship to establish economic security and mobility for their families and the generations that followed. She is also inspired by the women she has encountered through her work in LMI communities:
"I spent the better part of my career developing strategies for transformational economic growth – and no matter the economy, women and entrepreneurs are the drivers of economic transformation. For these reasons, I am honored to be a part of an organization that is doing such critical work at one of the most poignant times in our economy."
Maryalice DeCamp, Managing Director, Boston Life Sciences, Ernst & Young
Maryalice DeCamp comes to the CWE board with a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience from her long career in the financial services industry. Currently Maryalice serves as a Managing Director in the Boston Life Sciences practice with Ernst & Young (EY), where she has been instrumental in helping senior leaders implement strategies that disrupt markets, capture market share, and strengthen financial results. Her leadership role extends into Community Engagement and the Women in Life Sciences group, and she is an active participant in EY's Entrepreneur of the Year Program.
Maryalice believes strongly in CWE's mission to economically empower women and cites the multiplier effect as her reason for joining the CWE board:
"Research indicates that by giving women increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making, the ROI to children and community is high," she says. "It is my great pleasure to do all I can to support CWE clients and stakeholders as they provide the tools to empower women to build better livelihoods for themselves, their families and their communities.
Jessyca Feliciano, Global Human Resource Business Partner, Takeda Pharmaceutical
Jessyca Feliciano started out in social work, working with at-risk youth in underserved communities--always with a focus on creating long-lasting opportunities for everyone. Currently, Jessyca is a Global Human Resource Business Partner at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she manages relationships between the organization and its employees and leads strategic human capital initiatives. Her career history includes positions of increasing responsibility in corporate and nonprofit organizations, most recently with State Street Corporation.
Naturally, she is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion and is involved in initiatives that hold business accountable for implementing diversity best practices and strategies. Her robust history of involvement with boards, committees, and commissions includes at term as President (2015-2017) of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), and spots on the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board and GLAD Boston.
"Being a part of CWE rings true to my roots as a social worker," says Jessyca. "I believe that we must be champions for others and be a voice for those who may not know how to amplify their voices, themselves and their needs… When we help and lift one, we help create momentum and an energy that can have powerful ripple effects and can impact us all. I am excited to be part of an organization that lifts women and creates ripple effects."
Vicki Gray, CEO and Founder, New Chapter Home Improvement
Vicki Gray is the CEO and Founder of New Chapter Home Improvement (NCHI) and brings twenty years of experience in a traditionally male-dominated industry with her to the CWE Board. After operating successfully as a "mom-and-pop" operation with contracted helpers hired as-needed, NCHI leveled up when Vicki set a goal to double her company's revenue. She found her sweet spot with apartment turnovers and she soon began making leaps towards her goal. Under Vicki's leadership, NCHI has received certification and performed work for local, state, and federal agencies.
Vicki says she joined the CWE Board because if the economic empowerment aspect of CWE's mission. "I am committed to empowering and advancing women entrepreneurs and young girls," she says. "By doing this I am increasing the economic stability of families and communities. CWE is an organization that supports this mission."
Robin Kramer, Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, Biogen
Robin Kramer serves as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Biogen, where she oversees controllership organization, manufacturing finance function, and finance continuous improvement initiatives. She joined Biogen in November 2018. As a licensed CPA and member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs and the AICPA, Robin has held leadership positions at Hertz Global Holdings, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Fisher Scientific International, and Gillette. She also held partner positions in the public accounting firms of Ernst & Young, LLP and Arthur Andersen, LLP.
Robin served as a Board Member for the Massachusetts State Board of Accountancy from September 2011 to December 2015 and Probus Insurance Company Europe DAC from December 2015 to November 2018.
Jordan Litke, Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking Middle Market, Bank of America
Jordan Litke is a Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager on Bank of America's Global Commercial Banking Middle Market team. Jordan has spent the past 9 of her 12 years with Bank of America managing the global relationships of middle market companies headquartered in the Greater Boston area. In this role, she advises clients on all aspects of their banking relationship and leads a team of specialized experts to execute various commercial and investment banking solutions.
Jordan's reasons for joining CWE's Board have to do with her experience working with industry leaders, her desire to learn about the experience of early-stage businesses, and her passion for addressing the inequities faced by women and women of color in business:
"Having worked primarily with large established companies my whole career, I know what it takes for business owners and entrepreneurs to become industry leaders. What I've never been exposed to is how those business owners struggled through the early years of establishing a viable business. This uphill battle is even greater for women and women of color…I'm thrilled to be part of an organization that is dedicated to narrowing the gap for female entrepreneurs and helping them become viable, successful businesses – whatever that means to them."