President & Chief Executive Officer
Valeri was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. As a result of Hurricane Katrina, she lost EVERYTHING, except her indomitable spirit and true passion for life. She took the loss as an opportunity to start a whole new life. She moved to San Francisco to fulfill her dream of "EMPOWERING WOMEN TO IMPACT THE WORLD." Powerful Women International is doing just that.
Carrie A. Nikitin
Chief Business Strategist
Her interest in business began when starting her first company (import/export in partnerships with companies in Japan and South Korea) at the young age of 18. With over 30 years of experience in business building, development, strategies, modeling and funding in both start-ups and existing companies, she has worked at the executive level in various areas including alternative energies, medical and the technology industry. She has gained much experience in:
- Working with companies in various stages, such as start-up mode, expansion, downsizing, turnaround, branding and re-branding phases.
- The development, structure and negotiation of joint ventures, collaborative development and licensing agreements as well as mergers and acquisitions.
- Working with Universities in development of prototyping; grant writing and technology transfer and industry partnerships.
Carrie has strong skills in constructing, and negotiating licensing agreements, joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and both collaborative development and research agreements in both domestic and foreign markets in various industry, academic and government
Her experience in this arena includes building revenue growth within new and existing competitive markets; her work with several start-up companies, she has acquired a great knowledge of business strategies, models, monetizing and managing deal-flow and leveraging both monetary and human assets to create sustainable environments within a company to capitalize in it’s given market or business sector; diversification from working in multiple industries such as telecommunications, consumer electronics, toys, cosmetics, sports science, medical, education, banking, energy (nuclear and alternative), materials and commercial real estate; and experience as a grant writer at state and local levels (economic development and training), and federal level (SBIR-NSF-NIH).
Chief Operating Officer
A writer, trainer, interviewer, and newscaster, Pam works with conscious entrepreneurs and corporate teams. She is a columnist on public speaking for Small Business Today magazine, a frequent keynote speaker, a conscious community leader, and, formerly, the Executive Director and President of the Galleria Chamber of Commerce in Houston. Pam is currently developing a humanitarian news and TV programming service, NOWW News and NOWW TV, to connect activists of social change and provide resources to expand social change projects.
IT Development and Support
Mark has worked in a variety of industries including healthcare, home furnishings and family entertainment. He is also an award-winning writer and restaurateur.
International Membership Liaison
Jo Ann Rotermund
Director International Membership Services
Currently retired from a 30-year career in social research, Jo Ann, who is absolutely passionate about forgiveness, has committed the rest of her life to inspiring others to make forgiveness a natural way of living, healing themselves and their world in the process. Her book, THE FORGIVENESS HABIT: an Action Plan for Healing Ourselves and Our Planet, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu, provides all you need to know to start making forgiveness a natural part of your life.
International Members' Support
Alice is a founder and managing director of Business Engine Room. She earned a BA in Business and Masters in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Kansas and qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in the USA in 1999. Having worked through university as a part-time accountant for a number of small businesses, Alice started her post-graduate career with Deloitte. Having moved to the UK, Alice qualified as a management accountant (ACMA) with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and worked in senior roles across a range of sectors, including higher education, voluntary sector and local government.
Having worked as the Finance Director of a national charity which trebled its turnover during her time with them, she wanted to learn more about bringing the best out of people: She took a job managing a 65-strong finance team and completed a post-graduate degree in counseling. Over the last few years, her focus has been on supporting public services to improve efficiency, reduce cost and deliver more for less.
Being a successful FD focuses around 4 things:
1) Getting the basics of finance right
2) Acting as a business partner and adding value to the business;
3) Finding and developing talented people
4) Improving efficiency.
Alice worked hard throughout her career to develop in all four areas. She is currently looking for an opportunity to partner an ambitious CEO and their management team to help take their business to the next level.
Cheryl Rae Fidleman
She went on to coach entrepreneurs and business executives in public speaking, performance, and diction. She studied psychology & creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College (NY) and holds an International Shakespeare Scholar Certificate from Cambridge University (UK). She currently provides administrative support for Open Temple in Venice, CA and Uniregistry - a top player in the domain naming industry.
Cheryl has helped to create guidelines and procedures for PWIC and is proud to be one of its founding members.
Nicholas Zaldastani is the Managing Director of Zaldastani Ventures and a Mentor Capitalist leveraging his venture capital and serial entrepreneurial experiences.
He has contributed to the growth of companies including Oracle, Ogilvy and Mather Advertising, SABA Software, Salary.com, World Energy, NewReality, Nexus, and CrocPond.com. Also, he has operational experience, Nicholas focuses on great investment opportunities and brings solid returns to his investors.
Nicholas also contributes to The American Academy in Tbilisi as Co-Chair of the high school. The school is in the country of Georgia and focused on educating Georgian children and feeding them into top American college and universities.
Nicholas received his MBA from Harvard Business School, a French Diploma from the University of Paris, and Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University.
In addition, Nick brings over 12 years of experience in children’s entertainment to the company. Leveraging his VC and entrepreneurial experiences, Nick focuses on organizations that positively impact the world. Nicholas’ leadership and investments have contributed to the growth of corporations such as: Oracle, SABA, Open Horizon, World Energy Solutions, and Salary.com. His board affiliations include: The Board of Visitors, Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering, and Co-chairman of The American Academy high-school in Tbilisi, Georgia. He holds a BSE from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Nancy Lewellen brings together a unique mixture of skills and experience. Her 35+ year career includes work in corporate, international, business, real estate, consumer lending, and law. She has an MBA in finance/international business, has been a licensed California real estate broker for more than 20 years, and has worked as a real estate lender and mortgage broker. This broad expertise allows her to approach client issues from varied perspectives.
As a successful serial entrepreneur, Ms. Lewellen is especially qualified to understand the needs of her individual and small-business clients from both legal and business standpoints. Ms. Lewellen advises clients on a transactional, mediation, arbitration, or litigation basis in the following areas:
- Corporation, LLC, LLP, and LLLP business entity formation and maintenance
- Buy/sell agreements for management succession
- Contract drafting, review, and negotiation
Real Estate Law
- Residential and commercial lease drafting, review, and negotiation
- Landlord–tenant issues, including eviction and unlawful detainer
- Boundary disputes
- Purchase/sale of real estate, including drafting, review, and negotiation of purchase agreements, escrow instructions, and loan documentation
- Light/air/nuisance disputes
Richard and Sally Crawford
Their work in entertainment includes: Emmy award-winning broadcasts, as well as, non-scripted reality programs, documentaries, and feature films.
Their corporate expert communication skills as writers, producers and directors have assisted Fortune 100 and 500 companies, including Ernst & Young, Apple, IBM, NCR, Caterpillar, Ford, and Nissan, to achieve their image positioning, training, marketing, and corporate messaging.
Their business communications expertise has brought them global clients, entrepreneurs, startup companies, multinational corporations, and celebrities including:
• Divine Noni of India
• Manser Development Amsterdam
• Neale Walsh, author of Conversations with God
• Michael Beckwith, Agape Church
• Jeff Bridges, actor
• Lisa Nichols, Teacher of "The Secret"
State of California Parks and Recreational: Santa Cruz Mission
The Crawford’s have used their powerful video presentations to assist start-up companies to raise more than $200 million for their projects.
The Crawford’s recently were honored guest presenters for their film, Captain Milkshake, at the New York and Chicago film festivals and then onto Viennali, Rotterdam and Leeds London International film Festivals.
Richard and Sally have been instructors and mentors at the CEO Space business forum for 10 years. Richard also instructed film and television production classes at San Diego State University.
The Crawford’s production company, One Productions, has been the longest-running production company in the San Diego area. Their newly formed company, One Film and Television Entertainment LLC, is the umbrella company for entertainment projects as well as corporate productions.
Specialties: Filmmaker, television and screenplay writer, director of photography, lighting director, producer, director, motivational speaker, author, mentor, counselor, gestalt specialist, NLP trained, actor, voice over talent, photographer, dancer, romantic, father, artist, painter, songwriter, singer, practitioner, creator, corporate trainer, sailor, golfer, carpenter, gardener, lover of the arts, friend, juggler, magician, strategist, marketer, image maker, branding specialist, businessman, leader
Building Relationships/ Affiliates
Mary has introduced a group of youth to a member of foreign royalty, a US Ambassador, a Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist, the winningest coach in college basketball, the late Dean Smith, and Frank Capra, Jr., the former President of EUE Screen Gems Studios, NC. She's even introduced a former Harlem Globetrotter to a casting agent who hired him for a role in a major motion picture.
In 2007, She wrote a business networking book that was published bearing the endorsement of the national CEO of the American Business Women’s Association. She was then contacted by the CEO of a software firm who needed channel partners…fast. After conducting a successful networking campaign for him, he connected me to a colleague who was starting a games portal and needed a networking campaign. She did the same thing for him, and that’s when she created a business around making introductions. 8 years of service as a Chamber Exec who counseled entrepreneurs daily and assisted economic development efforts regionally, she became professionally trained as a business advisor and launched her own agency that combined consulting, marketing, and networking.
Mary's background is a long history of service that includes several years working on the NC Gov’s Press Staff, and also working for the state’s #1 lobbyist on major legislation. During that time, she received the Long Leaf Pine award from the Governor for outstanding service to the citizens. Later, she created professional schedules for international business leaders/dignitaries that visited the Research Triangle Park area through the US Information Agency and worked for an international exchange program with the mission of creating peaceful ties between the US and other countries. She directed the Chamber of Commerce next to the world’s largest Marine Corps Air Station and graduated from the US Chamber of Commerce sponsored Institute for Organization Management. She was honored with a commendation from the Commanding General of the Air Station upon departure from the Chamber.
She found her way into social enterprise. In 2017, she began publishing The Introducer Magazine, the first international facilitated networking magazine to expand business and impact. Each issue features game changers from a particular social impact space and follow it up with blog and social postings on the interesting connections between game changers current and past. In 2018, she developed a companion network to The Introducer with the mission to take the networking up a level. The network is called The Frontrunners League of Social Impact Innovation and this group brings their unique expertise to League projects or those presented by the League’s partner, the global impact consortium, Living Learning & Working, Inc.