As the creator of Brooklyn Savvy Toni has realized a dream to build a community-produced talk show that gives voice to social issues from a woman’s perspective. For four years she hosted Brooklyn Independent Television’s Brooklyn Reporter Roundtable and received a Telly Award for “Raising Sons of Color” that explored the challenges of raising boys in an urban context. Toni is also a PR Executive for a Fortune 500 company and is heavily involved in a number of Brooklyn non-profit organizations and boards. She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her astounding work and tireless commitment to Brooklyn.
Born in Cuba and raised in Montreal, Canada, Denise migrated to New York City 30 years ago. Her desire to serve the public in concrete meaningful ways inspired Denise to pursue a career in financial services. As a financial executive she develops new businesses throughout New York City. Denise has a range of lending expertise from not-for-profit to commercial. Denise is Chairwoman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Colette Ellis is an author, coach and transformational speaker on mindfulness, motivation, and workplace culture. As founder of InStep Consulting, she has facilitated learning for entrepreneurs and leaders from around the globe. Clients transform their businesses to do well by their teams via their workplace culture and wellbeing programs. In 2016, Colette became one of 40 Founding Members of The Women's Lab at Centre for Social Innovation, a collaborative workspace and community for social impact organizations benefiting young girls and women. Her book Focus on Your Vision helps readers reconnect to their priorities to be more purposeful at work and in life.
Nomiki is an experienced clinical psychotherapist working years in Healthcare, Mental Health, and Education for institutions and private practices. She is active in community organizations and enjoys volunteering her expertise to help others. Nomiki is also the founder and writer of Wonder Woman Talks, an empowerment blog that aims to help impart knowledge and promote inner change to her female followers. Nomiki shares her warm personality, vast expertise, and powerful charisma as she eases the difficult process of change with creative and thoughtful content.
A recent retiree, Phyllis worked for Con Edison 41 years as a liaison to local community leaders, not-for-profits, and government officials. She also managed the corporate volunteer program and city-wide education support. Phyllis created and organized many programs and partnerships to enhance and support learning, especially in underserved communities. She serves on numerous boards and organizations and is an Adjunct Professor at Mercy College. Her passion is to support the education and the development of other, and assist them in achieving their goals to live purpose driven lives.
Jennifer Jones Austin
Jennifer is CEO of the Federation of the Protestant Welfare Agencies, a prominent social policy and advocacy organization. She previously held Executive positions for several prominent New York City organizations including United Way and was NYC's first Family Services Coordinator. She is on several boards and has led numerous city initiatives. Jennifer resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
After losing her 16-year old son in a terrorist attack, grief and fury transformed Devorah into an activist and crusader against terrorism. Devorah currently instructs local, state and federal law enforcement agencies around the country, including, the FBI, NYPD, State Troopers, Military and District Attorneys on the threat of terrorism. Her talks educate the public about the threat of local and international terrorism. She is currently the Director of the Foundation & Government Services for the Jewish Children’s Museum, dedicated to her son Ari’s memory.
Susan is currently a management consultant with over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, Corporate Social Responsibility, and charitable giving. She directed Con Edisons multi-million dollar corporate giving strategy and managed community relations, charitable contributions, volunteerism, and the company's special events programs. Susan previously served as the Interim President and SVP of Development of the Better Business Bureau - NYC where she worked tirelessly with regulators, legal entities, and media platforms to expose unethical business practices and promote business ethics in the NY marketplace.
Lisa is president and founder of Bing Consulting Group, Inc. Bing works with successful executives transitioning into new leadership roles and smart managers who want to get better. She culls best practices from her work in varied industries and professions to help leaders locally and from around the world who want to extend their influence, develop collaborative environments and implement profitable leadership strategies.
Desireé began her career with Merrill Lynch & TD Ameritrade and has years of specialized experience in marketing, business development, operations, and organization development working for a wide range of clients from entrepreneurs and small businesses to fortune 500s. Desiree’ shares her expertise as a public speaker and is an active community advocate. Desireé supports Brooklyn Savvy’s marketing and sponsorship efforts and has been featured as a guest panelist on topics surrounding women’s development. Currently she is a Relationship Office with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Rachel Russo is a Matchmaker, Dating & Relationship Coach, Author & Speaker. Rachel is the founder of Rachel Russo Relationships-a NYC-based dating and relationship consultancy-and the author of two books, A Fab Job Guide to Become a Matchmaker and How to Get Over Your Ex: A Step by Step Guide to Mend a Broken Heart Italian-American Style. She once did a reality date-a-thon in which she went on ninety-two dates in one year and blogged about them.The ultimate relationship expert, Rachel also teaches entrepreneurs about how to get started as matchmakers through Matchmaking Institute.