As the owner of Full Deck Design, Molly Ahearn creates compelling communications that result in increased engagement. Her philosophy of intimately understanding her client’s missions and values, and applying the power of clean design has won multiple awards. A NYS-certified woman-owned business, Full Deck Design has a proven track record of creating memorable websites, logos, branding, and printed communications materials for nonprofit organizations as well as small- to mid-size businesses. Ahearn serves on the executive team of the Women’s Leadership Alliance, an affiliate of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been a mentor in the Career Achievement Program and serves on multiple committees for The Arc of Dutchess as well as on the marketing advisory committee for Arts Mid-Hudson. Ahearn holds a BA in psychology and Spanish from Macalester College in St Paul, MN. She also studied at the International Center of Photography in New York City.
Jean Harris joined the Chamber as Director of Events in June 2016. She is responsible for the planning, logistics and execution of Chamber events including monthly events such as the Contact Breakfast and Business After Hours and annual events like the Gala, Forty Under 40 and Balloon Fest. She is also staff liaison on a number of committees including the Women’s Leadership Alliance. Jean plans logistics involving host venues and communicates with event sponsors to make sure they take advantage of the benefits of their sponsorship. Her event experience has led to her assisting with Chamber Foundation events such as Athena and KidVenture.
Cynthia Marsh-Croll is the Program Manager and EAP Director for the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) Poughkeepsie location. Ms. Marsh-Croll has numerous programs that provide services to businesses in Orange, Sullivan, Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam counties. Ms. Marsh-Croll is the founder of Croll Productive Synergy which has provided operation business consulting and training for over a decade as well as Program Manager for a previous Entrepreneurial Assistance Program center. She has experience in a variety of industries and working with businesses of all sizes. As a result, Cynthia has significant experience training and counseling small business owners and entrepreneurs. Ms. Marsh-Croll has a BS in Management Science as well as a Lean Office Certification through the University of Michigan.
Executive Committee Members
Evelyn finds time for community service as a Member of the Board of Visitors of Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital and the Westchester Medical Center Foundation. Evelyn is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Bardavon 1869 Opera House. She is the former Chairperson of the Saint Francis Preschool and Communication Disorders Advisory Council and has also served as a Trustee of the Saint Francis Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital Health Care Foundation, and the Dutchess Day School. Evelyn received the Franciscan Award from Saint Francis Hospital, the Spirit of Giving Award from WMC Health and the Falcon Award from Dutchess Community College. She and her family have been honored by the Walkway Over the Hudson, the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce and the Exchange Club of Southern Dutchess.
A longtime business leader and visionary operations executive, Gloria Cukar was named Regional Director, External Relations of WMC Health Network in July 2017 representing MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie and Health Alliance in Kingston, NY; prior to that Cukar held the title of Senior Director, External Affairs at MidHudson Regional Hospital since January 2015. As a member of the hospital’s executive team, Cukar bridges the gap between MidHudson Regional, Health Alliance, and the Hudson Valley community, developing relationships and partnerships that foster a positive image of the hospitals and assists in achieving fundraising goals.
Filomena Fanelli is the CEO and founder of Impact PR & Communications, an award-winning public relations firm and Women’s Business Enterprise based in New York’s Hudson Valley. Impact PR was named a 2017 “Top Woman-Run Workplace” by the Stevie Awards, taking home the top prize, a gold, for workplaces with 10 or fewer employees, globally. Filomena joined the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Alliance (WLA) executive committee in 2017 and is co-chairing its “Planning Along a Lifetime Career Path” event in 2018, after serving as a guest speaker last year, discussing the entrepreneurial spirit with attendees. It was that event that got Filomena excited about WLA’s work. After heading back to the office to enthusiastically blog about the fourm, and reflecting upon WLA’s inclusive, supportive environment, which encourages all women to explore their career and personal growth in partnership with one another, she was hooked.
Pashmina Rashad is a Mental Health Counselor based in Poughkeepsie. She works primarily with women who are struggling with the next big step in life. By cultivating a deep understanding of and connection with clients, Pashmina seeks to help them work through childhood traumas, fully engage in their present, overcome destructive habits, and access their full potential. She also provides couples and marriage counseling, along with family counseling. Pashmina has a particular passion for helping couples get off on the right foot through premarital counseling because as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pashmina is particularly sensitive to the experiences of women from various ethnic, cultural and faith backgrounds. She is especially familiar with South Asian cultural norms and can offer a unique perspective in therapy because she already possesses the cultural vocabulary that often serves as a barrier to seeking therapy for those clients.
Maria Sciuto is a Certified Financial Planner®, (CFP®) with Forté Capital LLC. With over 20 years of financial planning experience, Maria provides financial advice and technical service to clients in the Greater Hudson Valley and Upstate New York. Maria's mission is to empower women with the information they need to secure their financial future. Maria has been on the WLA Executive Committee for the last eight months providing content to the Social Media page on Facebook. "Being a part of the WLA is important to me because professional women in the Hudson Valley should be encouraged to aspire to higher levels of achievement and self-fulfillment."
Danielle holds a Master of Social Work from Adelphi University, since graduating, it is her passion to contribute to the betterment of the community she is a part of and encourages others, especially women, to do the same. As Regional Director for Development at the American Heart Association, Danielle oversees Go Red For Women and the Heart Walk campaigns, which serve the community by improving the health and lifestyle of its residents. Both professionally and personally she encourages self-exploration and finding ways to create a balanced life. She is currently enrolled in Yoga Teacher training. She lives in Wappingers Falls with her husband, Brad and daughter, Savannah.
Dr. Lubna Somjee is an award winning psychologist + executive/professional coach. As a coach, she maximizes professional, leadership or organizational growth, for those at varying stages of career, or business. She leverages her knowledge of leadership, business, organizational life, and human behavior to guide clients or teams to shift to best practices. As a psychologist, she provides evidence based individual and couple’s psychotherapy, with a specialty in health psychology. She speaks to audiences about the workplace, leadership, and healthcare, and been featured in various media outlets. She volunteers time for numerous local, state and national organizations, including various leadership programs. Since 2015, she has served on the WLA executive committee and chairs the Business Case for Diversity. As we grow professionally, it is critical we create space for others to grow - which is why she volunteers with the WLA.
Mary Kay Vrba, President and CEO of Dutchess has more than 32 years of tourism experience. She works with over 600 tourism businesses in Dutchess County and has a responsibility for marketing Dutchess County as a vacation destination. There have been many new programs initiated by Dutchess County Tourism including Farm Fresh Dutchess, Tourism Rally Day. Dutchess Tourism will also be using VR videos in there marketing efforts along with exclusive program with the Luxury Concierge Association promoting everything that is distinctly Dutchess. Mary Kay has been with Dutchess County tourism for 24 years prior experience includes 5 years as Director of Tourism for the Hudson River Valley Association, she is former Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Conservation for Dutchess County and has consulted for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mary Kay has a master degree from George Williams College in Downers Grove Illinois in Leisure and Environmental Resource Administration and bachelor in Recreation Administration from College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska.