Wonder Women

The WonderGirls gives back: 10% of our participants attend Wondergirls programs on scholarship.

All of these outstanding women have participated in The WonderGirls program:

Susan Shapiro Barash is the author of Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships and ten previous books. She teaches gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College. A well-recognized gender expert, she is frequently sought out by newspapers, television shows, and radio programs to comment on womens issues. She lives in New York City.
Cristina Greeven Cuomo is Vice President & Publishing Director of Niche Media, Editor-In-Chief of Gotham magazine, mother of two bouncing toddlers and wife of Good Morning Americas Chris Cuomo. “There is nothing more inspiring than opening the eyes and minds of a teenage girl to her future. By demonstrating that goals can be achieved and dreams are tangible, The WonderGirls fulfills all that it promises.”
Becky Fawcett is a luxury lifestyle public relations and marketing specialist who owns her own New York based firm, The Fawcett Group. In response to their own adoption experience, Becky and her husband Kipp founded helpusadopt.org in order to help couples/individuals overcome the financial hurdles they meet along the way to completing their own adoptions. Becky serves as executive director on a pro-bono basis.
Katrina S. Firlik, MD is a neurosurgeon, writer, and entrepreneur. Most recently, she was in private practice at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut, and on the clinical faculty at Yale University School of Medicine. She is now applying her expertise to medical device innovation as an entrepreneur. In addition to her numerous scientific publications, she is the author of Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside, published by Random House. Her book has received numerous positive reviews, including in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and O Magazine. She has appeared on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC as a commentator on neurological and other medical issues. Katrina did her undergraduate studies at Cornell University, attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University and did her neurosurgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh, where she was the first woman ever accepted to the program. She lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with her husband Andrew, a neurosurgeon turned venture capitalist, and their daughter. katrinafirlik.com. “The WonderGirls has the potential to change the lives of young women. I wish there had been a program like this when I was 12.”
Laura Geller opened Laura Geller Makeup Studios in 1993 on New York Citys posh Upper East Side. Today, the studio is a showcase for Laura’s eponymous line of cosmetics and is also where those “in the know” flock to for 5-star makeup application, brow shaping and personal attention. Laura’s handiwork has graced the on-air talent at CBS, NBC, AMC, and HB0, plus many of Broadway’s most famous leading ladies. Today, Laura is most often seen in front of the camera through her many QVC appearances in the US, the UK and Canada, developing a cult following for her brand. Laura now stars in her own QVC one- and two- hour shows more than 30 times a year.
Jamie Gersch is the Director of Advertising for The Gap, driving all of the Marketing campaigns for the brand. Jamie has been with the Gap brand since 2001, currently working with the Brand Communications team to develop integrated campaigns. Jamie graduated cum laude from Colgate University in 1998. Even though she is native New Yorker and it will always be “home”, Jamie currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and their 2 sons.
Lauren Glassberg joined ABC-TV Eyewitness News New York in March of 2000. But Lauren began her career in journalism as a teenager writing for the Main Street Wire, the newspaper on Roosevelt Island. She graduated from Northwestern Universitys Medill School of Journalism and landed her first television job in Akron, Ohio. From there she headed south to Little Rock, Arkansas where she covered Whitewater and anchored the Saturday morning news. In Minneapolis she hosted a daily morning news show. She’s been nominated for two Emmys and is the recipient of a Peabody award for her coverage of 9/11. She is currently the lifestyle reporter and a fill-in anchor at WABC-TV in New York City.
Amy Hall began her dance training at the early age of two, in Huntsville, Alabama. During her formative years she studied on scholarship at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City. She would return to New York to attend college and receive her B.F.A. from The Juilliard School. As a performer, she has had the pleasure of working with the legendary Ann Reinking and the late Gwen Verdon, Susan Stroman and Harry Connick, Jr. on Broadway. Most recently, Amy was a featured dancer in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Isabelle Halphen has spent the last ten years working on Wall Street in various roles from Investment Banking to Equity Research. After graduating with a bachelor of science in Chemistry in 2000 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Isabelle joined Morgan Stanleys Investment Banking division. After four energizing years on Wall Street, Isabelle attended Harvard Business School and earned her MBA, returning to Morgan Stanleys Research division in the Spring of 2006 and has been a Vice President since the fall of 2007. “The WonderGirls program brought together such a diverse set of interesting women and it was great fun to meet such a dynamic and motivated group of young girls!”
Jenny Han is the author of two teen novels Shug,(2006) and The Summer I Turned Pretty(2009), the first in a trilogy. She was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She went to college at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and to graduate school at The New School in New York, where she earned her MFA in Writing for Children. She now lives in Brooklyn and works part time at the Calhoun School on the Upper West Side. The Summer I Turned Pretty was released in May of 2009, published in English, French, German, Swedish, and Dutch. dearjennyhan.com.
Amanda Hofman is the Founder and CEO of Urban Girl Squad (www.urbangirlsquad.com), the social networking group for women in their 20s and 30s in New York City. Urban Girl Squads mission is to create a welcoming space for women in the city to connect and build relationships. The group meets for monthly for private events that take advantage of what our favorite city has to offer: nutritional seminars, beauty nights, wine tastings, salsa dancing, jazz shows, private shopping events, and more. Before working on Urban Girl Squad, Amanda worked as a Market Research Analyst for Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions, and more recently as the Manager of Business Development for Columbia Business School Executive Education. Amanda has a BA in Economics from Barnard College. She and her husband live in Manhattan. “The WonderGirls teaches young women that there are so many different paths to take in life and that each path is accessible. I would have loved a program like this when I was younger.”
Tracey Hecht is a writer/director and founder of several small design businesses. She has been creating stories and beautiful images for the past twelve years through all of these pursuits. “Life in Flight”, Tracey’s first feature film, made its debut at The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival is one of the many stories she has composed and marked her directorial debut. Starring Patrick Wilson, Amy Smart and Lynn Collins. “Teaching at The WonderGirls was a magnificent experience. The girls were inspiring with their level of creativity and engagement. The program realizes in so many tangible ways all the fantasizing a young person does about what it will be like when you’re a ‘grown up’.”
Jill Johnson is a writer and modeling mentor. She parlayed her positive experiences modeling all over Europe and the US into a modeling and fashion industry magazine, Tear Sheet. She has spoken to thousands of aspiring models at events nationwide and served as modeling on-air correspondent for Michael Musto’s New York Central. Jill, now a mom of four, works as a freelance writer and has recently penned her first book, Memoirs of a Blue-Collar Model: The Super Life of a Non-Super Model. Her story, from Phi Beta Kappa to photo set, from model to magazine publisher, will inspire young people to consider less conventional—and more fascinating—paths to success. Jill and her family live in Westport, Connecticut—close enough to New York for her to hop the train to her favorite city when she needs a creative energy boost.
Kristen Johnston won two Emmys for her starring role on “3rd Rock from the Sun.” She is currently recurring on “Ugly Betty.” Kristen has also recurred on “ER” and had a memorable turn on “Sex and the City.” Johnston’s many stage credits include “The Women,” “Aunt Dan & Lemon,” “Love Song” on the West End, “Scarcity” at the Atlantic Theater Company and most recently, “So Help Me God!” at the Lucille Lortel Theater. She has also performed “Much Ado about Nothing,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Skin of Our Teeth” for Shakespeare in the Park. Her films include “Bride Wars,” “Music & Lyrics,” “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” and “Strangers with Candy.” Johnston also teaches at the Atlantic Acting School, a part of NYU’s Tisch School of Drama. Kristen can currently be seen in “Celebrity Autobiography,” where she has been given the great honor of reading from both Loni Anderson’s and Mr. T’s autobiographies.

Gina Kelly has rocked the coveted job of Seventeen magazine’s Fashion Editor since 2003. Keeping up on every trend and next new item, Gina creates and directs all the fashion and beauty shoots for the magazine. Through her trained eye, Gina edits the thousands of looks she sees every season at the American and European designer shows to deliver the best to Seventeen’s readers.

In addition to working with Seventeen’s Editor In Chief on special projects like MTV’s Miss Seventeen, Seventeen’s Style Book and Seventeen’s Prom Guidebook, Gina appears frequently on television talking about the magazine and the latest in fashion on Good Morning America, Access Hollywood and E! Style Star.

Naomi Less “The definitive Jewish Chick who Rocks” (PresenTense Magazine). Naomi delivers estro-powered-rock and tribal lyrics with a strong character and unique voice. Naomi is a role model for teens and adults, with honest, participatory training sessions which demonstrate that learning is a life-long process. Pick up her 1st solo endeavor: “Meshuga’at” (Crazy).
Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian and the founder of nutritioulicious™, a private nutrition counseling practice in Manhattan. Jessica has extensive experience as a nutrition writer, editor, and speaker. She has also appeared on television and in national magazines including Glamour, Today’s Dietitian, Life & Style, Parade Magazine, and Today’s Diet and Nutrition. Nutritioulicious
Stacy London is one of America’s premiere style experts, helping women to boost their confidence by creating and celebrating their personal style. She joined TLC in 2002 as one of the original hosts of What Not To Wear after years of styling experience in fashion editorial for such publications as American Vogue and Mademoiselle. She has worked with celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Katie Holmes and consulted for designers such as Vivienne Tam and Rebecca Taylor. In 2005, she joined NBC’s TODAY Show as a Style Correspondent and now has her own segment entitled “Ask Stacy”. She has appeared on various national talk and news programs such as Oprah, Tyra, Wendy Williams, Fox News, CNN, and regularly appears on Access Hollywood. Follow her on Twitter @ STACYLONDONSAYS for style tips and inexpensive fashion finds.
Abigail Lorick is the mastermind behind Lorick. Born on Amelia Island, Florida, Abigail knew the South couldnt contain her. At the age of 18, she moved to Paris and Milan to model for designers such as Alberta Ferretti and Mossimo while appearing in acclaimed magazines French Cosmopolitan, American Elle and American Harpers Bazaar. Working as a model only enhanced her love of fashion and led her to move in 2003, to New York City to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology while working simultaneously at T.S. Dixin. By 2004, Abigail was designing T.S. Dixins entire collection. After proving her vision over a few seasons, Abigails production manager in India, Verma Singh, approached her to create a collection of her own. Quickly thereafter in the Spring of 2007, she conceptualized and launched the Lorick brand.
Mia Morgan is a celebrity fashion stylist and film costume designer. She is best known for her work with a wide variety of clients such as Uma Thurman, Jodie Foster, Beyonce Knowles, Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Named in WWD Magazines top 50 stylists her career in fashion has spanned over two decades.
Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi is Founder and CEO of Physique 57, an exercise studio with locations Manhattan and Bridgehampton, NY. Jennifer has long practiced the exercise methods of dancer and fitness guru Lotte Berk who, in the 1950s, created a unique strength training regimen. With the sudden closing of The Lotte Berk Method in May 2005, Jennifer realized that she and legions of devout Lotte followers needed a new and improved exercise studio in which to practice their life-enhancing passion. Armed with her MBA and 11 years of experience competing on Wall Street, her grand solution was Physique 57. Prior to founding Physique 57, Jennifer was an Associate in the Private Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley. Jennifer graduated cum laude from Boston University in 1993 and Beta Gamma Sigma from Columbia Business School in 2000. She, her husband and two children live in New York City. “The girls I met at The WonderGirls were a joy to be with and I learned a lot from their participation. In fact, they had very fresh and creative ideas; I came away with a useful and actionable marketing plan of their creation.”
Deborah Roberts joined the ABC newsmagazine “20/20” in June 1995. Since then she has also served as a substitute anchor on “Good Morning America” and “World News Weekend.” During her first season with “20/20,” Roberts reported on a wide variety of stories, including a profile of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and an award-winning investigation into abuse within the Amish community. Most recently, Roberts has reported from Africa on the HIV/AIDS crisis and orphans, and the CA wildfires, which earned her an Emmy award. She also was awarded an Emmy for her emotional, in-depth reporting on an Ethiopian American woman’s journey back to Africa to find her mother. Roberts began her career in 1982 at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and subsequently worked at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was highly regarded for her coverage of the state legislature. A 1982 graduate of the University of Georgia, Roberts was awarded the 1992 University of Georgia Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented annually to recent graduates who have excelled rapidly in their professions. Roberts resides in Manhattan with her husband, NBC weatherman Al Roker, and their two children.
Daniella Schlisser excels in the art of real estate sales. After only seven years in the business, she was made Senior Vice President of The Corcoran Group. After graduating high school in New York City, she attended college in Vienna for two years then completed her degree in Paris where she lived and worked. Daniella now enjoys life on the East Side where she is proudly raising her three children. She is also community-minded and serves on several committees for her children’s schools and is a member of the Board of L’Opéra Français de New York.
Ann Shoket was named editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine in January 2007. Under her helm, the fashion and beauty icon publication for teen girls continues to represent an important rite of passage, helping more than 13 million readers grow up to be confident, self-assured young women. Shoket has grown the brand beyond the pages of the magazine so that teen girls can be a part of the Seventeen universe wherever they are: on our Web site, in print, on partner sites, social networking platforms and on Seventeen Fashion Finder, the recently launched iPhone application.

Jill Snowden has more than 10 years experience in the public relations and marketing industry. Currently, she is the head of Marketing for The Sak Brand Group, one of the largest handbag brands in the country. The Sak Brand Group designs, manufactures and markets six unique handbag brands to the US and International. Jill’s responsibility is to communicate each brand’s unique karma through thoughtful product extensions, special events and innovative partnerships, leveraging diverse marketing platforms such as online, social networking, in-store, product licensing, and editorial placement. She also represents The Sak brand as their spokesperson and host on QVC.

Jill resides in Brooklyn, NY. She is a certified yoga teacher and teaches at several studios in NYC. She is also on the board of Amma’s New York organization that helps feed the less fortunate on the Upper West Side, NY.

Rachel Thebault is founder and head confectioner of TRIBECA TREATS, a specialty bakery in New York City. Growing up in Washington, D.C. as the oldest of four sisters, Rachel was heavily influenced by her parents’ love of cooking, world travel and party hosting. Rachel graduated cum laude from Colgate University in 1997 with a degree in economics. Her foray into the culinary world began as a hobby. In 2004, Rachel entered the Institute of Culinary Education’s Pastry Arts and Culinary Management programs, from which she graduated with Highest Honors. Tribeca Treats began as a special order business, but as the orders grew, Rachel seized the opportunity to open her retail shop. Rachel, her husband and their two daughters continue to bake, entertain and travel, all while calling New York City home.
Tammy Tibbets works for Hearst Magazines Digital Media, where she led the creation of DonateMyDress.org, the nonprofit site of the Seventeen Magazine Network. She has created multiplatform, interactive web experiences for teen girls, for which shes managed partnerships with music and retail companies, local schools, and dress drive organizations nationwide. On November 1st, 2009, Tammy launched , a global media campaign promoting the importance of educating girls. It is a network of schools and foundations that facilitate the sponsorship of girls tuition. Tammy is Director of Operations of the MacDella Cooper Foundation, which is building a school for vulnerable children in Liberia, and serves on the Foundation Board of New York Women in Communications, where she oversees the alumni network of scholarship winners and mentors young women in the industry. She is a Phi Beta Kappa journalism graduate of The College of New Jersey.
Lauren Walsh joined The Sak in 2006 as a designer, after winning Lucky Magazines national design contest. She oversees conceptualization and aids in development of The Sak Brand Group’s premier brand, The Sak. Her designs which blend casual and practical leather with a history of crochet and texture have been featured in the industry’s most venerable publications. She attended Michigan State University, served on the board of the schools Student Apparel and Design Association and was awarded best collection in the 2004 Fashion Show. Lauren infuses her “downtown, kitschy” style in her blog, Undeclared Panache. She lives in Harlem and coaches the Stuyvesant High School cheer leading team.
Danna Weiss is an intuitive Metaphysical Expert, Author and Healing Crystal Jeweler known for bridging the gap between the worlds of fashion and spirituality. After graduating Cum Laude from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science, Danna enjoyed a successful career in fashion publishing. As a celebrity stylist and trend forecaster, Danna appeared as a fashion expert on various television networks and in national publications. Danna began her jewelry line, Conscious Jewelry, using the healing premises of the “laying on of stones.” When Danna is not creating healing jewelry, speaking, teaching or writing, she can be found surfing or exploring the great outdoors with the family dog, Puck. “I loved participating in The WonderGirls event because my business began from a passion I had as a pre-teen. I feel that giving teen girls the chance to explore and be taken seriously is so important.”
Rebecca Weiss is the founder and CEO of Rebecca Weiss Photography, a successful boutique photography company based in Chelsea. After working in film and television for five years, she made the move to still photography to connect with people as well as expand her artistic background. Rebecca’s business philosophy has always been to combine her love of people with personalized attention to make each client feel exclusive. Rebecca’s most recent creation is Dream Studios NYC, a high tech rental photo studio for photographers and videographers which will also serve as a gallery to display and sell Rebecca’s fine art photography. When Rebecca is not focused on photography, she spends her time traveling, diving and with her family. “From the minute I heard about The WonderGirls, I was thrilled that I could be part of nurturing creativity in young girls’ minds. I was thoroughly impressed with their maturity, poise and excitement for what I had to teach them. I would have loved to have a program like The WonderGirls when I was that age and I’m sure I would have found interests that I didn’t know I had!”
Jennifer Zwiebel is an Intuitive Organizer, coach and author who works with students to build systems that bring clarity and order to their space and their minds. Jennifer engages and inspires her students by tapping into the creative and unique ways they think and express themselves. Using a process that combines hands-on work with consistent support, Jennifer teaches time management and organizational skills that last a lifetime. Jennifer is the co-author of The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in School and Beyond. www.aplaceofjoy.com

If you are interested in becoming a speaker or workshop leader for a future program, or if you would like to recommend an outstanding woman, please contact Lisa Bochner at: lisa@thewondergirls.org.