the team

No one does it alone, yet leadership can be a lonely job.

For womensbiz, our founders are supported by a network of agencies, freelancers and interns, and a remarkable Advisory Board. We’re not alone and neither are you.

founders

Elaine Taylor-Gordon
Founding Partner

A career trailblazer with a highly diverse skill set, Elaine has a solid track record in brand-building, business development and talent acquisition.  After a successful marketing career in beauty (Revlon), retail (Federated) and consumer package goods (General Mills), she co-founded boutique ad agency Taylor-Gordon Aarons, which created award-winning campaigns for Snapple, Coty, Bayer and Helmsley Hotels.  Switching gears again, Elaine joined executive search firm Kenzer Group as Senior Associate, responsible for managing top-tier clients Lenscrafters, Disney, Accenture and others. 

A visionary fiercely committed to forging new ground for women in the business sector, Elaine served as VP of the NY Women’s Forum, where she chaired/co-chaired several committees.  She currently helms Flashforce LLC – a holding company that includes business communications/publishing, management consulting, real estate, and agency representation for a network of high-end decorative fabric mills in Europe and Asia to North American wholesalers. 

A graduate of the University of Vermont, where she earned a BA in Psychology and Speech, Elaine has a passion for connecting (and collaborating with) business partners to forge strong, synergistic alliances.  Her initial foray into business publishing dates back to 2001, when she restructured a regional women’s B2B publication into a national online publication called WomensBiz.US, with robust editorial content and special events programs (including the much-lauded – and copied – “Women to Watch” luncheon network and awards program). 

Fast-forward to 2021 and Elaine is hard at work with her team of content creators, re-imagining the latest iteration of WomensBiz.US to meet the needs of women operating in today’s ever-changing business environment.       

Susan Danish
Managing Partner

A successful corporate and nonprofit executive with a passion for problem-solving and women’s leadership development, Susan brings a wealth of experience to her latest role as Managing Partner at WomensBiz.US.  She began her career in the corporate arena where she held brand management positions at Procter & Gamble, Danskin and Clairol.  She also served as General Manager of the Calvin Klein hosiery and HUE legwear businesses, VP Marketing for the apparel retailer Express and Senior Vice President of Marketing for the auction house, Christie’s.

Susan’s career has long been focused on women — from the products they use to the leadership skills they need.  She served as the first Executive Director of The Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College (a leading school for entrepreneurship in the US) and, most recently, was CEO/Executive Director of The Association of Junior Leagues International, an organization of 125,000 women leaders in four countries.  Empowering women to navigate the new business landscape through education and outreach is right in her wheelhouse.

Susan holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, an MS in Public Relations from Boston University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  She serves as Treasurer on the Board of the National Women’s History Museum and is a Trustee of Miss Hall’s School, a racially/culturally diverse girls’ secondary school in Massachusetts with a student body drawn from 20 different countries. She is the immediate Past Chair of the National Human Services Assembly, an organization of many of the largest human services organizations in the country (AARP, United Way Worldwide,…).

advisory board

Anthony (Tony) Battaglia
Strategic. Multi-Faceted. Effective.

Tony is passionate about using his corporate and consulting background to help shape, advise on, support and facilitate decision-making on strategy, marketing, finance, governance and executive selection/development in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He currently does so as a Principle/Advisor with Castle Creek Advisors, LLC, specializing in emerging growth businesses.

Prior to Castle Creek, Tony was a Partner with The Partnering Group, an international strategy and
general management consulting firm whose mission was to build sustainable value for leading consumer
product marketers and retailers worldwide; and ABC Capital, an Investment and consulting firm
providing advisory services and funding to start-up and growth businesses for companies ranging from
Flooring Works to Phelps Dodge.

Prior to his consulting career, Tony was with Chiquita Brands International, where he held a series of leadership positions from EVP Worldwide Sales, Marketing, Quality and Technology, Banana Division, to President of both the Processed Foods and Diversified Foods Divisions and CEO of a Supply Chain Venture. Earlier positions were with The Direct Marketing Group, General Host and Arthur Young & Company.
Tony has served on a range of corporate and nonprofit boards. He currently serves on the Board of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to address food insecurity. He is a patent-holder, has been interviewed on PBS and has spoken at major external conferences.

Beverly Beaudoin
Innovative.

Beverly Beaudoin is Principal Consultant, Beverly Beaudoin And Associates. She leverages her extensive experience in digital transformation to advise companies from e-commerce start-ups to those in mature life cycles where digital transformation, technology enablement and rapidly evolving strategies are key to succeeding in the global connected marketplace.

Beverly is a former advertising agency and technology company C-suite executive. As President & COO of Bigfoot Interactive, Beverly led one of the pioneering email CRM companies at the turn of the Millennium. Working with Fortune 1000 companies, Bigfoot helped these organizations retool their customer databases into one-on-one digital communications that forever changed how companies communicate with their customers.

During her extensive advertising career, Beverly led organizations as Managing Director, Ayer Direct, division of NW Ayer; Managing Partner, Bozell Direct, a division of Bozell Worldwide and General Manager of DIMAC Direct. In each of these capacities, she led reinvention efforts that resulted in dramatic revenue growth and increases in gross margins. She has worked on iconic brands such as American Express, Avon, AT&T, Citi, DeBeers Diamonds, P&G, J&J, Bayer, Novartis, Pfizer and Verizon.

Beverly has been recognized for her leadership and volunteer work. She received the New York Women’s Agenda Galaxy Award. She is Co-Chair of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center Business Professional Council. She currently serves on the Board of the American Liver Foundation of Greater New York and on the Advisory Board of Karen Roberts New York, a women’s apparel venture.

gail conn
Innovative. Creative. Insightful

Ms. Conn is a research and branding expert. Throughout her career she has started or joined early stage ventures to create market-leading businesses by creating and leveraging cutting-edge market research tools. She has been the CEO of the market research company, Phi Power Communications, for sixteen years. Previous to that she co-founded another market research company called MindClick, another pioneering research company with clients including Toyota, Lexus, MGM, Lionsgate, Sony, Warner Music, Capitol Records, Maverick, Warner Home Video, Disney Home Video, NBC, and many more.

Her professional career has risen in a few interconnected verticals. She was instrumental in building Mark Cuban’s streaming video company, Broadcast.com, which was acquired by Yahoo and where she worked in multicultural advertising after the merger. Ms. Conn held senior positions in key industries such as advertising, television, movies and technology. In all these positions she has been able to set up strategic partnerships, sell tangibles and services, and help foster mutually beneficial relationships.

Gail is a self-described “volunteer extraordinaire.” For over sixteen years she has volunteered with the Los Angeles-based nonprofit, Big Sunday, working with other volunteers and those in need, person to person.

Karen Grinthal

Karen Grinthal is the EVP of Ad Sales at Discovery Inc. where she leads Food Network, TLC, OWN and Cooking Channel. During her tenure with the company, she has helped Food Network grow from a fledgling mid-size network to a top tier media brand, has overseen the launch of Cooking Channel, and has harnessed the power and inclusive-nature of the programming in her portfolio to help to help advertisers connect with their audiences in powerful, impactful ways.

Prior to Discovery, Grinthal joined Turner Broadcasting Sales as Account Executive and rose through the sales ranks to become Senior Vice President Ad Sales for the Entertainment Division, overseeing sales for TBS and TNT and she also served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications.

Prior to her cable career, she spent several years in radio sales, including Director of Sales at CBS Radio Networks and in local radio in the New York market. Grinthal began her career on the advertising agency side as a media planner at Doyle Dane Bernbach and William Esty Company.

Grinthal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She was recognized as a Wonder Woman by Multichannel News in 2016 and is a member of New York Women’s Forum. She is on the board of Young Audiences NY, an organization dedicated to bringing arts education to public schools in NYC.

Lucy Kennedy

Lucy Kennedy is a retired marketing and market research executive.  After graduating from the Harvard Business School, she worked in advertising at Ted Bates and BBDO for clients including General Foods and Colgate-Palmolive, and packaged goods marketing at Nestle.  For most of her career she worked in financial services including employment with Bank One and MetLife.  She has expertise in research, strategy development and messaging.  Currently retired in Berkshire County, MA, she is active in local historical research, photography and voting reform.

Lucy serves on the Boards of the Historic House Trust in New York City, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, The Lenox Club Board of Governors, the Lenox Historical Commission, and the Lenox Historical Society.  In celebration of the 250th anniversary of the town of Lenox, Lucy published a book, Lenox at 250.  She also runs lenoxhistory.org, the website and newsletter she began to share and preserve the town history. Lucy is in demand to host walking tours of historic Lenox through the organization, Housatonic Heritage.  She has traveled the world pursuing her love of photography and her work has been commissioned for Lenox organizations and media.

In addition to her MBA from Harvard, she holds a BA degree from the University of Michigan and an MA from Stanford.

Westina Matthews

For over 35 years, Westina Matthews Shatteen (professionally known as Westina Matthews) has turned her passion and creativity into realities for so many in the community at large. In 2009, Westina retired from Merrill Lynch, a Bank of America company, with the title of Managing Director, which reflected her progressive responsibilities, including philanthropy, global diversity, community development and business development.

Upon her retirement, she was one of sixteen selected for the prestigious fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Westina then joined the Jackie Robinson Foundation for four years as Vice President, Chief Program Officer. Committed to leadership by example, Westina has served on over 35 not-for-profit organizations, colleges and universities, including the International Women’s Forum and as President of the Women’s Forum of New York. An accomplished author and much sought-after public speaker, her newest book is entitled Dancing from the Inside Out: Grace-filled Reflections on Growing Older (2019). She is currently an Adjunct Professor at The General Theological Seminary in New York City.

Westina earned BS and MS degrees in education at the University of Dayton, a PhD in education from the University of Chicago, and served as a postdoctoral research fellow at both Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Kelly Welles
Positive. Professional.

Kelly Welles brings more than 25 years of corporate banking, investment, insurance and business consulting experience to helping business owners and individuals achieve greater financial security. She is the founder and runs Welles Financial Services. Prior to starting her present firm in 2007, she worked with NY Life, Mass Mutual, Northwestern Mutual and JPMorgan Chase. She also owned and operated an international bank marketing consultancy with offices in New York, London and Paris where she enjoyed close associations with Chase, MBNA, Barclays and Societe Generale.

She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Accountants Forum and the Presidents Council of the Financial Planning Association of New York for which she created the annual Malcolm S. Forbes Award for Excellence in Advancing Financial Understanding. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit organization dedicated to free financial education for women.

Kelly holds a BA degree from the University of Washington, an MA from The New School, and completed Financial Planning studies at the Lubin School of Business, Pace University.

additional members

Kathryn Swintek
Title

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