• OUR TEAM

    Jan Molino
    President & CEO
    Board and Career Coach

       

    Jan founded Aspire Ascend following 16 years in retained executive search where she specialized in recruiting C-suite executives, and advising boards around leadership assessment and succession for a wide variety of organizations, placing over 300 executives in the C-suite and the boardroom.

    Jan works with executive women across the full spectrum of industries, businesses, organizations and the nonprofit arena who aim to build lasting legacies of outstanding C-suite and boardroom performance, delivering leadership training, coaching packages, board development, executive sponsorship programs, and public speaking on women in leadership.

    Her consulting to both for-profit and non-profit organizations has resulted in the development of numerous programs to sponsor, encourage and support executive women in leadership roles.   Jan’s strength and expertise in bringing influential women and professionals together is complemented by a powerful network she utilizes to assist women in achieving their goals.  

    Jan currently sits on the board of George Mason University’s Women in Business Initiative and is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.  She is also an active member of both the International Women’s Forum and it’s DC Chapter.   Jan continues to be active in nonprofit and philanthropic fundraising as well as Suited for Change, a non-profit organization that provides professional clothing and ongoing career education to low-income women to increase their employment potential and contribute to their economic independence. Additionally, she has served on the boards of the Girls Inc and community boards.

    Denise Cavanaugh
    Executive and Board Coach

    Denise Cavanaugh has always been an ally to the boardroom as well as key leaders and managers in the design and implementation of practical, expeditious strategic planning processes, succession planning, and organizational assessments.

    Denise brings extensive experience helping boards coalesce around the strategic planning process as well as consult with CEOs and senior staff in organizational and cultural change.   She has deep expertise in a wide range of diagnostic frameworks to identify and address the causes of organizational challenges.  She is also known for her ability to help executives navigate the political and power dynamics of an organization.

    Her early career was rooted in public service programs, such as the Peace Corps, Head Start, and the Leadership Institute for Community Development. In 1974, as a third generation “small business owner," Denise organized a consulting firm in Washington, DC to provide organization development services to non-profit groups, healthcare organizations, entrepreneurs, public agencies and closely held mid-size corporations.

    Denise co-founded Cavanaugh, Hagan, Pierson & Mintz, Inc. to provide associations, foundations, non-profit enterprises and corporation’s guidance in strategic planning, executive coaching, emotional intelligence, and staff development. She also provides expertise in transitioning non-profit leadership.

    She is a graduate of St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana where she earned a B.A. degree in economics and sociology. She was also a member of the founding group of DC women business owners who launched the National Association of Women Business Owners in 1975.

    Jan Fox
    Presentation and Public Speaking Coach

    With more than 25 years and four Emmy Awards to her TV journalism credit, Jan Fox is now a popular speaker, speaking coach, and an author. Her book, Get Yourself on TV, answers the question she has been asked for years: “How do I get myself on TV?” The book offers tips from a TV insider on how to get inside the studio and what to do once you cross that threshold.

    Jan has developed the knowledge she now shares with her clients and audiences after more than two decades in local network news. During her award-winning journalism career, she interviewed celebrities, spoke with presidents, and gave high-visibility speeches. She followed that up by managing the National Partnerships Program at Billy Casper Golf, the largest golf management company in the United States.  

     Jan coached company owners, managers, and the National Golf Foundation team to improve their presentation and speaking skills. That experience led Jan to establish her own company, Fox Talks. Her client list is among the most recognizable names in corporate America including nonprofit organizations and government agencies. She is also a highly experienced TEDx Talk coach and has prepared many speakers to appear on television and to deliver industry keynotes.

    Jan is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Women’s Business Leadership Initiative. She earned a Master’s Degree in Humanistic Studies from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where she also directed the Outreach and In-service Education Program. Her numerous awards include Best National Consumer Affairs Reporter of the Year, Regional News Directors Award, Toastmasters Communication and Leadership Award, and the American Cancer Society Vision Award.

    Janelle Brittain
    Executive and Performance Coach

    Janelle Brittain brings extensive care and useful insight to current challenges. She has the ability to walk in the shoes of each executive bringing practical insights into what it takes for each individual to make the necessary changes for growth.
    Janelle spent her earlier career in healthcare management and marketing, followed by success in high-tech sales.

     She is the founder of the Dynamic Performance Institute, a management and leadership development firm serving companies of all sizes in the United States and worldwide. Janelle has authored six published books on performance management, team building, and healthcare management. 

    She has served on numerous corporate boards and as a consultant to other boards for more than 20 years. She is frequently quoted in business publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, The Chicago Tribune, The LA Times and Crain’s Chicago Business.

    Janelle earned her Executive Master's of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. She also has communications management certifications from The East-West Communications Institute and The Chinese Center for International Training. Janelle has trained in the Communications, Education & Research Graduate Program of the University of Chicago and is a Certified Speaking Professional.

    Mary Beth Parks
    Corporate and Executive Coach

    Mary Beth Parks is an executive coach with more than 35 years of experience in leadership, performance and talent development, team building, organizational transformation, change management, coaching, and mentoring in the corporate world. 

    Mary Beth provides corporate and executive coaching focused on leadership development and peak performance for high-potential and transitioning executives seeking to polish their leadership skills, excel through leadership and team transitions, and create high-performing teams.

    Mary Beth found her purpose throughout her career in inspiring her teams to achieve peak performance by tapping their values and passions. Having recently retired as SVP, Global Head of Marketing for Hilton Worldwide, Mary Beth’s experience as a senior-level executive woman is a key ingredient in the “secret sauce” she offers her coaching clients.  She combines deep expertise in navigating corporate culture with clear insights on building the personal branding and emotional intelligence skills essential to growth and career satisfaction. 

    During her 25 years with Hilton Worldwide, Mary Beth held a number of executive marketing and branding roles, drove the growth of the Hilton HHonors loyalty program, launched multiple award-winning marketing campaigns, managed teams as large as 300 people across the globe, and initiated the development of learning and development programs. She has had the unique opportunity to build teams and drive multiple organizational transformations to help fuel the growth of Hilton as a Fortune 500 global powerhouse.

    Mary Beth holds a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) designation from the ICF-accredited College of Executive Coaching. She is a member of the ICF Los Angeles Chapter and a member of the National Association of Professional Women.  She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from DePaul University (Chicago, Illinois) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Journalism from San Diego State University (California).

    Michelle Riklan
    Executive Resume Services

    Michelle Riklan is the Founder of Riklan Resources, a career marketing company that specializes in Professional Resume Writer Services, LinkedIn profile writer and development, and career management. 

    She is an internationally recognized, award winning resume writer.  As a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Employment Interview Consultant (CEIC), Michelle has written hundreds of resumes and coached clients through all phases of the job search.  Michelle is also trained as a DISC administrator and Myers-Briggs assessment administrator.

    With a combined 25 years of in-house corporate and targeted consulting experience, Michelle services large corporations as well as small businesses and individuals in all aspects of human resources and career management.

    Michelle holds a B.A. in Theatre, English Literature and Speech Communications from Hofstra University.  She completed a M.A. in Speech and Interpersonal Communications from New York University where she also served as an Instructor in Voice and Diction/Public Speaking. Her broad background and many years in Human Resource Management provides a range of experience and skills, with particular expertise in employment, employee relations, and training and development.

    Michelle is member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), Professional Association of Resume Writers/Career Coaches (PARW/CC), The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), National Career Development Association, (NCDA) Career Thought Leaders (CTL), and Career Directors International (CDI).

    Gail Zoppo
    Director, Social Media

    Gail Zoppo manages Aspire Ascend's social media content across all platforms. She brings nearly three decades of experience in integrated communications, journalism and media/public relations to the table. Gail has represented corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. 

    As a communications strategist, media relations coordinator and content creator, Gail specializes in diversity and inclusion; human relations; supplier diversity; international and domestic business; global human rights; and gender equality.

    Founder of Zoppo Communications, Gail provides organizational development insight, branding guidance, and culturally competent content services. She also collaborates with strategic business and media partners to increase her clients’ capacity.

    She is a former managing editor of DiversityInc, editor of Executive Female, and contributing editor of BusinessWeek. Currently, she serves as media relations consultant for the American Conference on Diversity, a 67-year-old social justice organization based in New Brunswick, NJ. She was named a “Diversity Thought Leader Leading the Way” by Diversity Best Practices and a “2015 Most Influential Twitter User” by MyCentralJersey.com, and has been interviewed for print articles and radio programs. She has also appeared on CNN and "Good Day NY."

    Gail earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rutgers University. She also offers pro bono services to nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping the underrepresented.

    Howard Glassroth
    Board and Communications Advisor

    Howard Glassroth is a recognized expert in planning and executing strategic communications, crisis, reputation management, and marketing programs across a broad range of industries. He is President of The Glassroth Company, a communications firm he founded after more than twenty-five years as a corporate marketing and communications executive. Utilizing his unique combination of corporate, non-profit and consulting experience, he focuses on assisting executive leadership and boards with the challenges of establishing, growing and protecting their organization’s public profile and enhancing stakeholder loyalty.  

    In his thirty plus years of professional life, he has developed and led critical communications and branding programs for Fortune 100 corporations, while overseeing multimillion dollar P&L initiatives, and critical communications for mergers, acquisitions and legislation.  Howard brings expertise in external relations inclusive of communications, marketing, community and public affairs, product launches, speech-writing, social media strategies as well as strategic planning and executive leadership.

    Howard’s credentials include roles as internal communications, marketing and external affairs officer as well as outside consultant across multiple business sectors, including:  healthcare, nonprofits, financial services, and the energy sector.  He began his career as a journalist, running news operations for network-affiliated television stations in major U.S. markets and as a producer for ABC News.

    Howard has served as a volunteer and board member for numerous non-profit organizations involved in civic, business and cultural activities.      

    A graduate of Queens College (City University of New York – CUNY), he earned an MBA in Marketing from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and completed post-graduate work in finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Tracy McMillan
    Diversity and Talent Solutions Advisor

    Tracy McMillan is Managing Partner of HCGA Consulting Partners, LLC, a boutique Strategic Talent Acquisition & Retention Solutions firm based in Fairfield, CT with offices in Washington, DC.  For more than 20 years, HCGA Partners has provided executive search, retention solutions and leadership advisory services to a wide variety of clients within the Affordable Housing/HFA, Non-Profit/Association, Healthcare, as well as, the middle market private and publicly traded company sectors.

    Tracy has considerable experience leading and advising boards on matters including executive search, leadership assessment, succession planning, talent management, executive compensation and retention strategies.

    His career includes roles inside organizations and as an external consultant.  He has served as Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition for the National Basketball Association, and has over 15 years in top 10 global executive search firms as well as The McMillan Group (TMG), Inc., his own retained executive search firm.

    Tracy began his executive search career with Carrington & Carrington, Ltd. in Chicago, IL, with increased responsibilities culminating in his rise to Managing Consultant in less than two years. He left to join LaMonte Owens, Inc. as Senior Vice President.

    Tracy began his career as a CPA in the Audit, Accounting, Consulting and Finance arena in roles of increasing responsibility with both PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia and Kraft Foods in suburban Chicago. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Accounting.

    Throughout his career he has served on and/or held leadership positions on non-profit and association boards, including the Jefferson Scholarship Foundation, Ridley at the University of Virginia Alumni Association Board of Directors, Business of Sports School Advisory Board and National INROADS Alumni Association.


    "In the years I’ve known Jan, both as a friend and professional colleague, I have seen the commitment, dedication and passion she brings to everything she does. That is particularly true of her efforts on behalf of workplace gender equality. Jan has helped Boards and C-suites to move women forward in their organizations through programs she devised. 

    I am in awe of her ability to see a challenge and find creative solutions, particularly through Aspire Ascend, the consulting firm she founded. I don’t know anyone better at listening attentively, learning quickly, and supporting completely the clients who are smart enough to engage her services."

    Julie Kantor
    President & CEO TWOMENTO
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    AspireAscend Strategic Partnerships







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