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 FOUNDERS

  Dianne Gubin

Sometimes in the business world you meet a "Natural", a business person that loves it, that loves what they're doing.   That's Dianne Gubin.   With energy in abundance, enthusiasm and huge smile, Dianne is a natural connector, a networker extraordinaire.  

 

Dianne’s career includes over 20 years of B2B sales and account management with Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, and fast-growth companies.   Her work includes selling staffing and consulting services across industries.  

 

Currently, Dianne works with Amplify Professional Services providing retained, direct hire and staff augmentation services for IT related projects.   Prior to this, Dianne was responsible for business development at a billion dollar staffing agency, as well as a project management company.  Earlier, she was the founder and president of Tech Exec Partners, an IT consulting services firm.

 

Dianne is a frequent speaker for professional organizations, as well as a media guest expert and TV show host.  Her specialties include issues related to career, business, and women entrepreneurship.

 

An avid blogger and consummate networker, Dianne’s speaking programs for Pens-to-Pumps, Lets Keep America Working, and Job Hunting Game Strategies, along with her Spiral Up Coaching program have helped many with their professional development and entrepreneurial pursuits.  Dianne volunteers as Director of Amplify Roundtables, invitation only executive networking events for peer professionals from Fortune 1000 and fast growth companies.  She is the former founder and president of Women in Technology International, LA Chapter (WITI-LA).  

 

Dianne’s latest project is a television pilot, “So What’s It Take To Work There” which features online retailer Zappos.  In addition to staffing, she is currently creating reality shows in the career space. 

 

Dianne lives with her family in the Los Angeles area where she enjoys hiking, the beaches and oh yes, more networking. 


  Lee Schwing


Lee Schwing, entrepreneur and social media specialist, draws upon her extensive technology experience and Web 2.0 projects, to guide small and medium-sized business clients to optimize their websites and navigate the world of social media.   Schwing and her leading edge marketing team create cutting edge strategies to leverage all of the Internet and social media tools (SEO, SEM, PPC, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, City Search, YouTube, blogs, expert articles, email/auto responders, press releases, traditional PR and more) to drive traffic to your website. 


Lee’s move into the higher echelons of the technology consultancy world originated in a series of explorations in higher thinking, emotional evolution and deep spiritual pursuits.  After her education at Antioch and Goddard, the attainment of a Management Development for Entrepreneurs degree earned at Anderson School of Business at UCLA led to her to create and establish four companies within a three year period.


Currently Lee is also the CIO of MomLifeTV and recently performed a re-branding of the Hardlight Center of Awakening, which grew this spiritual organization into an international entity.


As Chief Technology Officer at the nation’s foremost entertainment law firm, Ziffren & Brittenham LLP for 17 years, she created and oversaw the information infrastructure that supported some of the biggest deals in Hollywood history.  Multi-billion dollar deals that range from the sale of the Beatles library to Michael Jackson – to the creation of DirectTV and Dreamworks.  Lee created a contract management software program that could track the backend of the firm’s major Hollywood deals.  This represented a significant bump in their revenue stream and for the first time archived the famed A-list legal entity’s deals into a highly accessible database.


For the World Shoe Association, the largest B-B trade show producer,  Lee created information systems supporting more than $50M in annual sales


Lee sits on the executive boards of Caltech Entrepreneur's Forum Forum and The Impact Roundtable.


To find out more about Lee, please visit:  www.LeeSchwing.com

 

 

ADVISORY BOARD

    Alyson Dutch

From the moment she left high school, Alyson Dutch knew she’d be in the marketing business and it only was due to her family’s arm twisting that she landed an education in advertising before setting out into the wild world of public relations.  Today, the product launch PR specialist has an uncanny knack for extracting the most newsworthy aspects of any product immediately. And oddly enough, she sees everything from personalities, pet acupuncture, high tech services to eco-luxury hotel properties as “products.”  Her superhero level x-ray vision for this was developed by a high flying and adventurous career that started in her native Los Angeles at the famed Rogers & Cowan Agency.  Somewhere along the way, she arrived on the Paramount lot where she scandalously absconded with job requisitions that led to providing the publicity for the Miss Universe, USA and Teen USA Pageants for CBS-TV, several trips around the world (and a few to Wichita).  Dutch became an international specialist working in cities from Taiwan to Bangkok, a highlight of which was in South Africa representing Sun City during the fall of apartheid.  When the internet was still young, she was the first to book talent for online “celebrity chat rooms” for AOL, and Oldsmobile. Since then, she has touted the newsworthy attributes of clients such as Mrs. Fields Cookies, Tokyo Coca Cola’s Green Tea Terrace, Perrier Jouet, Taittinger and Mumm Champagnes, Metabolife, Swatch, the legendary Beach Boys, an actress who designed a bra to eliminate back fat and even fingertip toothbrushes. 

 

At the helm of Brown + Dutch Public Relations since 1996, Dutch authored the ‘PR Handbook for Entrepreneurs’ in 2008 and launched Consumer Product Events the following year.  Just for fun, she wrote a book called ‘The Pageant Diaries: Confessions of a Beauty Pageant Publicist,’ and more seriously is also working on the story of her father’s life, “Poopsie,” a Hungarian Holocaust survivor.

 

Dutch is as straightforward, genuine, and savvy as they come.  She is just as adept at handling snowboarders as dignitaries, CEO’s and stars.  She possesses an innate knowledge of how to position companies, people, and products to gain a specific objective, whether it be to attract economic investment, to find distribution, or to handle a public relations crisis.  Her passion for her work drives her to apply her knowledge in a creative, yet methodical manner.  In addition, she has a keen understanding of the cultural sensitivities that rule the marketplace and knows how to command the media’s attention.

 

In her spare time, she can be found skiing on the steepest terrain that scares her friends, while balancing a glass of French Bordeaux in a proper Riedel glass, of course.  She has a penchant for fast cars, yellow Labradors and being outside when the sun is shining.



  Michelle Elkins

Michelle is the Director of Enterprise Shares Services owning the Asset Management Portfolio, a shared services organization within Honeywell International.  In this role she provides overall leadership for implementation of global information technology (IT) projects.  Joining Honeywell in 1997, Michelle has held various IT positions with increasing responsibility in several Honeywell business units where she was responsible for operation of IT systems, new technology, infrastructure, application development, and support.


Michelle earned her degree in Business Management from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.  She is ITIL and Greenbelt certified.


In addition to her work with Honeywell, Michelle sits on several boards, including California State University, Los Angeles – IT Advisory Board, Network of Women in Technology and Southern California Society of Information Management.




Cheryl Forbes

 

Throughout a 26 year progressive career of strategic planning, global program management, building Project Management Organizations, and leading organizational change, Cheryl specializes in turning around distressed projects and architecting programs that bring new strategic initiatives to life. She has a natural flair for breaking down complex problems and removing barriers, thus enabling global and domestic teams to deliver exceptional business results.

 

As an executive, Cheryl drives strategic execution to realize organizational vision and goals.  She provides both the leadership and direction needed to execute the successful delivery of both domestic and global enterprise-wide corporate initiatives. 

 

Cheryl is an expert in advancing organizational change.  She is known for her exceptional ability to facilitate lively, energetic, and highly engaged work sessions which foster a safe environment where people are respected and heard as they creatively participate in developing unique solutions.  Her passion is bringing people together, removing barriers, and creating engaged and productive global and domestic teams which deliver high performance products and services.

 

Cheryl’s extensive hands-on experience and client work encompasses a wide spectrum of industries, including, healthcare, medical instruments, hospitality, manufacturing, management consulting and financial services.  She has worked with companies including Florida Hospital, Karl Storz, Marriott International, Kraft Foods, PwC, Fleet Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank

 

A frequent guest speaker at various CIO Forums, Cheryl presents on topics including “Project Milestone Retrospectives for Large Projects” and “Piloting Through Internal Organizational Barriers.”  Cheryl authored a white paper, “Change Management – How It Affects Project Outcomes.”

 

Cheryl is a co-founding member of the professional woman’s networking group, “POWER” (Professional Orlando Women Expanding Relationships).  She also created and facilitated a workshop, “Me & My Community” which teamed high school Junior Achievement students with locally influential female executives in exploring solutions for Central Florida’s biggest community problems. 

 

Having spent much of her career travelling the world for consulting and business, Cheryl is now happily putting down roots in Southern California, where she and her husband are having fun exploring for their new home, as well as walking on the beach with their dog.


Cheryl received her MBA from Wake Forest University and is Prosci (ADKAR) Change Management certified. 

 



 


   Roberta Jacobs
    Founding CEO, and Chief Operating Officer, BetterWorks
    Cobaltcard from American Express and GreenWare Technologies



Founding CEO of Cobaltcard from American Express and GreenWare Technologies, Roberta Jacobs is a strategic business leader and C-suite executive who helped build some of world's most successful consumer brands including Alf, Cabbage Patch, Crayola, Hot Wheels, Mission Impossible, Popples, Rainbow Brite, Rugrats, Sega, Spongebob, and Star Trek.


Over the past 10 years, Roberta has been a successful consultant and interim executive writing business, strategic and turnaround plans for American Express, Craigslist, Hewlett Packard and First Data Corporation among others. While residing in the Bay Area she wrote business and fund raising documents for seven start-up companies two of which she founded. Roberta was the Founding CEO of Cobaltcard from American Express and GreenWare Technologies. She also taught the class “Entrepreneurship” at the University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business MBA Program. Most recently she was instrumental in the sale of two companies, a start-up to First Data Corporation and a re-start to Forstmann Little. Roberta has been on several boards including Craigslist Foundation. Roberta is currently writing business plans for and working with start-ups in Los Angeles, CA.




  Karina Klever


Ms. Karina Klever brings over 25 years of IT experience to Amplify. Ms. Klever’s specialty is identifying operational gaps in infrastructure organizations, and developing mitigating strategies to mature efficiencies not only in IT groups, but cross-departmentally. Ms. Klever guides organizations through necessary change and structures controls which provide growth opportunities.

Ms. Klever started her technology career as a computer operator/programmer, which has engrained an appreciation for technology capabilities and an understanding of how technology enables business objectives.  This experience was broadened when Ms. Klever moved onto project management where she deployed many infrastructure solutions. While project managing, Ms. Klever witnessed gaps outside of the project management scope that if addressed, would provide greater continuity for operations amongst departments – Which is how the Program Management portion of Ms. Klever’s career started.

Ms. Klever integrates common-sense controls and processes which identify and address operational deficiencies, while aligning with maturity objectives. Companies that have benefitted from Ms. Klever’s “change agent” approach were in various industries such as banking, mortgage, eComm, retail, and biotech. Ms. Klever’s experience with processes reengineering addresses core technology competencies, workload measurement/streamlining, financial controls, audit best-practices and establishing continual improvement. Ms. Klever’s understanding of Project Management methodologies either enhance established methodology at companies, or result in right-sized recommendations for companies that do not have methodologies in place.


Ms. Klever lives in Thousand Oaks, CA and has a B.S., in Management and an AA in Computer Programming.




Michele Lando

In 1994, Michele Lando co-founded Skilset Communications with the purpose of helping companies such as Akamai Technologies, Bosley Medical, Cisco Systems, Cedars-Sinai, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Forest Lawn, Kaiser Permanente, Metropolitan Water District, National Water and Power, Prudential, Wells Fargo and X-drive, to name a few, reach their full potential in developing their brand, communicating integrated messages, and effectively creating competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

 

Michele serves as a lead strategist on all accounts and looks for ways to enhance the perception of her clients in the marketplace, ways to align internal and external philosophies and messages to create strength in the brand through congruency and always looks at the full picture – meaning beyond marketing to sales revenue and how all efforts lead to a measurable return on the client’s investment.

 

Michele believes that treating clients as business partners brings a level of accountability and joy to the working relationship that is essential to creating the best outcomes for our clients.

 

Prior to launching Skilset Communications Inc., Michele was a highly successful sales strategist (among the top 2% of female earners nationally before age 28).  She developed and delivered a global marketing training program to thousands of worldwide sales associates for a fortune 500 firm. She has been and continues to be a well-received public speaker.

 

Recognizing a gap between sales implementation and marketing efforts, Michele used her sales and presentation knowledge to develop a training division at Skilset Communications. The training is customized to each client and takes various forms to ensure marketing expenditures are executed through the sales process to yield a return on investments.

 

Michele is a standing board advisor of the National Museum of Women’s History, as well as an active board member of Amplify Roundtable and Big Thinking Women. She grew up in LA, was educated at UCLA and continues to reside in Los Angeles today with her husband of 26 years.  They own what they fondly refer to as the original money pit, a vintage 1926 Spanish Revival home.  When they are REALLY relaxing they are travelling – favoring Portugal!




 



   Nikki HM Jackson

   Entrepreneur, Algorithmic Search Engine Optimization Expert, Inventor


 Founder of Goldranking Website Marketing Agency, the leading Orange County SEO eCommerce and lead generating firm, Nikki HM Jackson, entrepreneur, has been involved with a wide variety of clients and projects from international charities to academic institutions to public companies notably Kiwanis International, Saddleback College, UC Irvine Extension, New Century Mortgage, The Brown Shoe Corporation and Cedars Sinai Hospital~Dept. of Neurology.

Jackson's experience as a technology expert, entrepreneur, and business owner led her to create and trademark a software technology system that helps businesses decrease their acquisition costs by at least 80% and increase their online advertising return on investment (ROI) by 60%.

Exceptionally hard working, Ms. Jackson carved out successes for her web marketing company increasing yearly sales and profits consistently since 1999. She has been certified through Google's Adwords Professional program and is certified through Microsoft's adExcellence programs.

Jackson has helped hundreds of Orange County business owners and executives by authoring and conducting monthly web marketing training classes and seminars for the Irvine Chamber of Commerce's 1,000+ company membership.

Nikki has been a guest speaker to numerous organizations including 200 businesswomen at WomenSage Re-Invent Yourself! founded by Jane Glenn Haas, NAWB (National Association Of Women Business Owners), and the Association Of Internet Professionals.

She has been interviewed on Business Talk Radio with Dianne Gubin and by Small Business Journalist Jan Norman of the Orange County Register.

In 2012 Ms. Jackson was honored as an Orange County Business Journal "Women In Business" Awards Nominee and an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year Nominee.

Nikki has served on the Board of Directors for numerous non-profit organizations including as Executive Vice President for the Forum For Women Entrepreneurs representing the Los Angeles and Orange County areas and as Corporate Relations Director for the University of California Irvine Womens Opportunities Center where she additionally taught quarterly classes on "Starting and Marketing A Successful Website Business". She has also served on the Board of Advisors for the Orange Coast College Business Department, Costa Mesa California.

In 2007 Nikki was honored as an Irvine Chamber of Commerce Member Of The Year Nominee as well as serving the Chamber's constituency by volunteering on the Marketing Committee, Seminar Committee, and Technology Committee simultaneously.

In 2003 Nikki served as Public Relations Director on the Board of Directors of the World Organization of Webmasters, an organization for web professionals offering education, mentorship, online training, technical support, employment information, and Internet legal guidance.




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