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Stefany Sandoval

PE Operating Executive, Alpine Investors

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Stefany brings over 10 years of rich experience in talent development to her role as an Operating Executive at Alpine Investors. Here, she focuses on developing people strategies for their evergreen acquisitions that unlock both business and CEO potential. Prior to joining Alpine Investors, Stefany co-founded a staffing business, RST Associates, aimed at increasing diversity in the subcontracting space and honed her skills in various HR

roles at JPMorgan Chase, from DEI to serving as Chief of Staff to the CHRO. Her passion for promoting diversity expands outside of her work with her board involvement with the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), where she serves as a mentor to college students and spearheads programs linking Latine founders and investors.

Stefany holds an MBA from the Wharton School, is a proud alumna of Toigo and a participant in this year’s RISE program. Outside of her professional endeavors, she enjoys salsa dancing and traveling with her husband, Edward and their dog, Oreo.

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Morra Aarons-Mele

Creator & Host, "The Anxious Achiever" podcast | 

LinkedIn Presents Author, The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower

Workshop | Great Expectations

Morra Aarons-Mele is a (mostly) happy, successful person. She also identifies as an extremely anxious overachiever. To normalize anxiety and help others manage theirs, Aarons-Mele launched and hosts The Anxious Achiever podcast for LinkedIn Presents, which was a 2020 Webby Awards Honoree,

and is a top 10 management podcast and top 50 business podcast. She's passionate about helping people rethink the relationship between their mental health and their leadership. Her upcoming book, The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower, will be published by Harvard Business Review Press in April 2023. 


In addition to her work on anxiety, Aarons-Mele founded the award-winning social impact agency Women Online and created its database of female influencers, the Mission List. Geben Communication acquired Women Online and The Mission List in 2021. Morra was named 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Iris Awards, created to recognize excellence in digital parenting media. Before starting her own business, Aarons-Mele worked in digital marketing and politics, helping Hillary Clinton log on for her first online chat and founding the digital public affairs team at Edelman, where she worked with Fortune 50 clients.  

Aarons-Mele is also a prolific writer. Since 2004 she has covered the campaign trail, the White House, the lactation room, and the office cubicle. Her book, Hiding in the Bathroom: How To Get Out There (When You'd Rather Stay Home), was published by Dey Street Books in 2017. She has written for the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Slate, InStyle, O, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Guardian.  


Aarons-Mele has degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Brown University. She and Nicco Mele live in Boston with their three children. 

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Kelly Williams

Toigo Board Member | CEO, Williams Legacy Foundation |  Founding Chair, PEWIN

In The Lead Exchanges

Kelly Williams is the CEO of The Williams Legacy Foundation.  Williams is a recognized leader in the alternative investment industry having founded the Customized Fund Investment Group (CFIG) at The Prudential Insurance, which grew to over $30 billion before she led its sale in 2014. Williams was an associate with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy specializing in project finance.

Williams is a Board Director and Nominating and Governance Committee Chair of The Greenbrier Companies (GBX). She also serves on the Board of Trustees of The National Philanthropic Trust, where she serves as chair of its Nominating and Governance Committee.

Williams is the Chair of the Board of Commissioners of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is also a member of the board of the Norton Museum of Art where she serves on its Executive Committee. She is Vice Chair of the board of the Robert Toigo Foundation and is the founding board chair of the Private Equity Women Investor Network. She also serves on the board of trustees of the NY School of Interior Design and The Olana Partnership.

Williams has received many awards throughout her career in the financial services industry and was named as one of The Most Powerful Women in Finance by American Banker Magazine 2011 - 2014. Her family has lived in the Hudson Valley of New York for over 400 years. She graduated magna cum laude from Union College in Schenectady, NY in 1986 and received her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 1989. She and her husband, Andrew Forsyth, live in Palm Beach, FL and maintain residences in Nantucket, MA, York, SC, and New York, NY.


Elizabeth M. Hewitt

Chief Investment Officer & Senior Vice President, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

In the Lead | Investor Exchange

Elizabeth Hewitt joined the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2015 as Chief Investment Officer and Senior Vice President. As Chief Investment Officer, Hewitt is responsible for managing the Foundation’s endowment, including asset allocation strategy, fund manager selection, risk analysis, portfolio performance

evaluation, and liquidity management. Prior to joining the Foundation, Hewitt was Managing Director of Public Investments at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she selected and monitored investments with managers, participated on the institutions risk assessment committee and contributed to overall portfolio management. Earlier in her career, Hewitt was a Senior Vice President for Lazard Asset Management (2001-2006), a Hedge Fund Analyst for The Torrey Funds (1999-2001), and a Wealth Management Associate for the U.S. Trust Corporation (1998-1999). She holds an MA from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Hewitt is a Trustee of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook NY and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Sheffield, MA.

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Dana Johns

Head of Private Equity, New Jersey Division of Investment

In the Lead | Investor Exchange

Ms. Johns is an experienced private markets investor, portfolio manager and leader in the U.S. public pension and broader institutional investor community with over 15 years of experience investing and managing a multi-billion dollar global portfolio of institutional alternative investment assets. Ms. Johns has a deep expertise in private equity and a highly developed personal network with established top performing private equity fund managers and next generation managers. She has

demonstrated a long-term track record for selecting and managing a strong performing private equity portfoli and is committed to supporting discourse and initiatives focused on the thoughtful advancement of private markets investing and creating pathways to inclusion for underrepresented talent in private equity. Some of her industry recognition includes Institutional Investor’s Global List of Top 50 Women in Investment Management, Trusted Insight’s list of Top Public Pension Investors Directors, and PEWIN's Member of the Year highlighting Ms. Johns’ work in transforming the private equity industry with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. Ms. Johns is Chair of the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN) Board of Directors, a member of ILPA’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council, Academy for Institutional Investors Editorial Committee, AIF Women’s Leadership Steering Committee and the SEO Alternative Investments Limited Partner Advisory Council. She is continuously invited to key note at conferences including the AIF Institute Global Investor Series and Women Investors’ Initiative, Women’s Private Equity Summit, Women’s Alternative Investment Summit, Labaton Sucharow Women’s Initiative, GCM Grosvenor Consortium, Markets Group Private Equity US Forum, Kayo Private Equity Conference, Pension Bridge, Emerging Manager Connect, Institutional Investor Private Equity Summit, SEO and NVCA. Most recent panel topics included private equity terms & trends, portfolio construction, developing fund managers, diverse fund managers, diversity, equity and inclusion, and venture capital.

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Stephanie Ivy Sanford

Toigo Board Member | Partner  & Co-Head of the Americas Institutional Client Business, Goldman Sachs

In the Lead | Goldman Sachs

Stephanie has over 25 years of experience in the investment management industry. Currently, she leads the Americas Institutional Client Business in the GS Asset Management Division. As a senior Client Advisor, she also focuses on developing new business and strategic client solutions across all asset classes for large west coast institutions.

She actively serves the pension community, as a member on the steering and programming committees for industry organizations focused on education, including State Association of California Retirement Systems (SACRS) and Alternative Investment Forum West Coast (AIF).

Stephanie lives in LA with her husband and daughter, and enjoys fitness, skiing, hiking and travel.

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Dr. Tina Opie

Associate Professor of Management, Babson College |

Author, Shared Sisterhood | Founder, Opie Consulting Group LLC

Get Real: Real Times, Real Talk from Today's Finance Leaders

Peer-to-Peer Exchanges

Dr. Tina Opie is a tenured Associate Professor of Management at Babson College, and an award-winning teacher and researcher, consultant and speaker. She is the founder of Opie Consulting

Group LLC, where she advises large firms in the financial services, entertainment, media, beauty, educational, and healthcare industries. Her research has appeared in such outlets as O Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Harvard Business Review and she has been published in multiple academic journals.  

Her new book, Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collection Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work (co-authored with Dr. Beth A. Livingston and published by Harvard Business Review Press), will launch the day prior to Groundbreakers 2022. 

Opie’s podcast episode “Lead with Authenticity” was selected as one of Harvard Business Review's Most Influential and Innovative articles from Harvard Business Review’s first century; she is listed among such luminaries as Peter Drucker, Daniel Goleman, Michael E. Porter and Clayton Christensen. 

Opie is a regular commentator on Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work podcast and Greater Boston’s NPR affiliate television station WGBH. 

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Taryn Siglain

Global Head of Prime Services, State Street

Get Real: Real Times, Real Talk from Today's Finance Leaders

Taryn Siglain is the Global Head of Prime Services at State Street where she is responsible for developing and driving the execution of the business strategy and delivering highly valued solutions to clients. Taryn is also a sponsor within the Global Markets’ Talent Council and is a member of the Civil Engagement working group in support of State Street’s 10 Actions Against

Racism. Before joining State Street, Taryn held a variety of roles during her 15-year tenure at Morgan Stanley including Head of Americas Secured Funding and Collateral Trading, Vice President Investor Relations, Global Head Client Financing Strategy, and Vice President Corporate Treasury. Taryn serves on the Board of Directors for a NYC-based nonprofit, New Alternatives for Children and she holds a BS in Corporate Finance and Accounting from Bentley University.

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Alicia Pando

Partner & Chief Technology Officer, Adams Street Partners

Get Real: Real Times, Real Talk from Today's Finance Leaders

Alicia Pando leads the development of data and information systems for Adams Street’s information technology needs.

Prior to joining Adams Street, she held several positions at Magnetar Capital LLC, including Head of IT Applications, Chief Technology Officer, and most recently Chief Operating Officer within the Fundamental Strategies business.She has extensive software development and technology leadership experience,

from a software start-up to larger international financial services firms such as UBS and Citadel LLC. Her leadership expertise includes software development, third-party software selection/integration, IT infrastructure management, and data entry management. She has overseen the build-out of global front office investment and CRM/fundraising systems, as well as back-office operations, reporting, and risk management systems.

Alicia is a member of Adams Street’s Executive Committee and Operating Committee.

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Luna Yang

Vice President - U.S. Buyout Team, The Carlyle Group

Get Real: Real Times, Real Talk from Today's Finance Leaders

Luna Yang is a Vice President on the U.S. Buyout team focused on private equity investments in the healthcare sector. Since joining Carlyle in 2017, Ms. Yang has been involved in a number of investments including Included Health, One Medical, TriNetX, Saama, and WellDyne. She is based in New York. Prior to joining Carlyle, Ms. Yang worked at Golden Gate Capital in San Francisco

at McKinsey & Co in New York. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

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Caroline Cosby

Principal & Chief Audit Executive - Finance Division, Vanguard

Get Real: Real Times, Real Talk from Today's Finance Leaders

Caroline Cosby is a Vanguard Principal and the Chief Audit Executive of Vanguard, overseeing the Internal Audit and SOX compliance functions globally.  Prior to this role, Caroline was a Deputy General Counsel in Vanguard’s Office of the General Counsel where she oversaw the legal teams providing primary

legal support and counsel to Vanguard’s Institutional Investor, Financial Advisor Services, Information Technology, and Risk Divisions, as well as Marketing, Privacy, Intellectual Property, and Corporate Governance support to the Vanguard enterprise. Previously, Caroline served as Interim Head of Vanguard’s European Legal & Compliance team, led the Corporate & Commercial Transactions group in Vanguard’s US Legal department, and had various other roles supporting Vanguard’s corporate governance activities and providing strategic legal support to Vanguard’s global operations. Before joining Vanguard, Caroline was an associate with the law firm of Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canada, Falk & Rabkin (now Arnold & Porter) in San Francisco, California where her practice focused on corporate and securities matters.


Caroline received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law with high honors where she was named to the Order of the Coif. Caroline also graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Deirdre O'Connor

CFO & Senior Managing Director, Cerberus

In the Lead | Cerberus

Deirdre O’Connor is the Chief Financial Officer for Cerberus with oversight of the Firm’s global financial infrastructure. Prior to joining Cerberus in 2023, she was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of BlackRock’s Alternative Investment Funds. An accomplished finance leader, O'Connor has also served throughout her career in various senior positions at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Sculptor Capital Management.

O'Connor previously served as the International Advisor to the Irish Financial Services Strategic Advisory Group and the Irish Financial Services Industry Advisory committee. She is currently the Co-Chair of the NICSA Diversity Project North America for the Asset Management industry. She has served on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including the Women’s Bond Club, Concern USA, and the Irish Repertory Theater.

O'Connor graduated from Munster Technological University and is a Chartered Management Accountant with CIMA and GCMA.


Lee Woodruff

Award-winning Co-Author (with Bob Woodruff, Former Co-Anchor - ABC Evening News)  In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing

Future Forward Workshop | Caregiving Challenges

As a journalist, author and public speaker, Lee Woodruff has spent her career in the media and marketing world. A contributor for “CBS This Morning,” she has also reported for “Good Morning America” and hosted various radio shows. She currently runs a media training and communications consulting business,

helping prepare people for a variety of external facing situations.

Woodruff garnered critical acclaim for her best-selling book "In an Instant," the compelling and humorous chronicle of her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq while reporting on the war. Her best-selling book “Perfectly Imperfect,” was followed by her first novel.

As co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, she has helped to raise more than $90 million to help military veterans, caregivers and their families successfully reintegrate into their communities and receive critical long-term care.

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Brandeis Marshall

Founder & CEO, DataedX Group

Future Forward Workshop | AI Matters

Brandeis Marshall is Founder and CEO of DataedX Group, a data ethics learning and development agency for educators, scholars and practitioners to counteract automated oppression efforts with culturally-responsive instruction and strategies.


Trained as a computer scientist and as a former college professor, Brandeis teaches, speaks and writes about the racial,

gender, socioeconomic and socio-technical impact of data operations on technology and society. She wrote Data Conscience: Algorithmic Siege on our Humanity (Wiley, 2022) as a counter-argument reference for tech’s move fast and break things philosophy. She pinpoints, guides and recommends paths to moving slower and building more responsible human-centered AI approaches.


Brandeis centers her work and impact on making data and AI concepts snackable to understand for practical implementation from the classroom to the boardroom. As co-lead of the Atlanta Interdisciplinary AI Network, Brandeis is developing data citizens through humanities-centered critical data literacy community workshops and supporting new AI researchers, who are grounded in humanistic inquiry. Also Brandeis provides data equity scholarship, professional development and resources as a team member on the NSF Institute for Trustworthy AI in Law & Society (TRAILS), a partnership between the University of Maryland, George Washington University and Morgan State University.

Brandeis’s thought leadership has appeared in Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Medium, OneZero, The Moguldom Nation, and on CNN. Brandeis has spoken to audience across the AI and justice sectors including ACLU, Harvard, Kapor Center, Stanford, Truist, Urban League and Visa.

Brandeis holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Rochester. She has been a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Stanford PACS Practitioner Fellow and Partner Research Fellow at Siegel Family Endowment. She has served as an assistant professor at Purdue University and then associate and full professor at Spelman College.

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