Leadership Team

Candice Benson
Regional Director

Candice Benson, PMP, is an internationally recognized Management Consultant and the founder and CEO of Benson Consulting Inc. For the last 13 years, she has been instrumental in successfully leading companies of all sizes to operational excellence, resulting in increased profits and time saves. She has led highly complex workflow, process and back-end optimization projects for FORTUNE 50 companies, including several major M&A transactions. Her true passion is seeing the unexpected end benefits that operational process improvements deliver to her clients, including radically enhanced innovation and creativity, world-class customer service and accelerated time to profit.

Her award-winning client work has taken her across the United States, as well as to London, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia, to oversee the proper implementation of improvement efforts. Candice's expertise has been featured in national publications such as Smart Money Magazine and The New York Times.

Candice, a true Change Agent, is an experienced PMO Director, Portfolio Manager, Program Manager and Project Manager and skilled Facilitator. She has been certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) from the Project Management Institute and is a Six Sigma/Lean certified leader, mentor and certified Master Project Management Coach (MPC®).

Nirva Fereshetian
Alliance Chair

Nirva Fereshetian is a highly skilled senior Information Technology leader, experienced in managing projects and people with an interdisciplinary background in Architecture/Construction/Technology and a capacity to bridge that knowledge to enable informed business decisions and increased productivity. She is currently the Chief Information Officer at CBT Architects, a professional design firm providing services nationally and internationally in architecture, interior design, urban design and site planning. She is responsible for aligning business technology strategy to meet primary business objectives. She specializes in leading and managing technology solutions in creative design environments, technology adoption and change management. Results driven Information Systems Executive delivering Practice Services (Building Information Modeling), Knowledge Services (Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Corporate Knowledge) and IT Services (Infrastructure Management, Vendor Relations and Application Deployment). Her experience includes delivery of cost effective information services, outsourced business models, virtualization, cloud computing, collaborative technologies and business analytics. She is a member of AIA CIO Large Firm Roundtable and AEC/IT Leaders organization.

Kim Meninger
Alliance Co-Chair

As an executive coach with a proven track record of success in the high-tech industry, Kim empowers individuals and organizations to reach their full leadership potential. While she serves leaders at all levels and across a broad range of functional roles and industries, she has a special interest in partnering with women and minorities in the high-tech industry to help them become more confident, visible and influential leaders.

Throughout her career, Kim has observed that women and minorities are particularly vulnerable to confidence issues and self-doubt, which can keep them from seeking high-profile projects, forging relationships with senior level influencers, strategically promoting their efforts, etc., all of which serve to hold them back and further erode their confidence. Kim helps these individuals to recognize and embrace their strengths, as well as develop the confidence and strategies needed to advance their careers.

Prior to coaching, Kim managed strategic partnerships at EMC Corporation and Monster Worldwide. Kim has a BA in psychology and an MBA from Boston College. She is an ICF-certified and CCE Board Certified Coach with certifications in Executive and Leadership Development Coaching. Kim also holds a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.

Andrew Celentano
Sponsorship Chair

Andrew Celentano is currently the sponsorship co-chair with Stephanie Bergin for WITI Boston. Andrew joined Boston Engineering in 2014 and serves as a Client Relations Executive. He is responsible for driving growth in the medical, consumer, industrial and commercial space as well as ensuring superior customer satisfaction with all his clients.

Andrew studied engineering at MIT and worked in various sales, marketing, management and financial positions at IBM. He then founded and grew a web based application and design agency, SkyWorld Interactive, and eventually sold it to his employees. More recently he has been an independent business strategy consultant.

In his spare time, Andrew plays classical piano at the BSO Café in Symphony Hall and is a board member of both the Boston Piano Amateur Association and The Thoreau Society.

Sangeeta Gautam
Membership Chair

Sangeeta Gautam is the membership chair for WITI Boston and eager to help anyone who is looking to advance their careers through WITI. She is only an email away for any WITI membership questions you may have!

Sangeeta is a Certified IBM Consultant for IBM Global Business Services, Strategy and Analytics and brings with her rich and diverse international experience. She specializes in the field of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence(BI) solutions. In her role as a Senior Managing Consultant Sangeeta wears multiple hats such as pre-sales, Technical Lead, Subject Matter Expert, Solution Architect, Business Analyst with deep hands-on experience implementing simple to complex BI solutions for both private and public sector projects. She loves what she does and is always looking to brainstorm and improvise on what is already available resulting in three published intellectual properties. She is the Author of the book IBM Cognos Business Intelligence V10 - The Complete Guide and speaks at various conferences.

A mathematician by education, Sangeeta is also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Outside of work, she is passionate about leaving a better world for the future generations and enjoys supporting as well as hosting local volunteer activities to build a peaceful world through exchange of peace, education and culture.

Kathleen Deshields
Membership Co-Chair

Kathleen is a results oriented human resource professional with a strong focus in leading strategic people initiatives, focusing on the entire employee lifecycle. She has a passionate approach to human resources and a strong commitment to building a corporate culture that's key mission is to recruit, retain and reward stellar talent.

For 20-plus years, she has managed extremely diverse organizations in corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Her progressive HR management experience spans across both international and domestic human resources operations and initiatives for the companies she served. During her career she has supported a client base which includes high tech, manufacturing, service related and healthcare industries. Her most recent assignment as VP, Chief People Office of SmartBear Software brought about the company achieving both Best Place to Work by the Boston Globe as Best Places to Work by Glassdoor. Kathleen was also the creator of SK Consulting, a consulting firm that assisted start-up companies in the creation of innovative people strategies, processes and programs.

Kathleen has volunteered to community and non-profit organizations utilizing the expertise from the above mentioned experiences. She has successfully developed and managed capital campaigns, fundraising galas, strategies and business development initiatives.

She holds a B.S. in Education and Psychology from Western Connecticut State University.

Trish Encina
Membership Co-Chair

During her 10 years in corporate careers spanning from pharmaceuticals to wealth management, Trish spent most of her "free time" networking and playing Love Doctor to her friends and co-workers. Known as a straight shooter, her transparency when dealing with people always helped her gain the trust of her peers. Trish's insatiable desire to help people find happiness and love, always made creating relationships effortless. After finding true love herself and getting married, she realized there's a lot more to life than the corporate world had to offer. She followed her heart and took the plunge in leaving her executive position at an investment firm to begin her dream career. Additionally, being a connector, an advocate for Women's Leadership and having a true passion for the sciences, getting involved with WITI was a no-brainer.

Trish Encina
Membership Co-Chair

During her 10 years in corporate careers spanning from pharmaceuticals to wealth management, Trish spent most of her "free time" networking and playing Love Doctor to her friends and co-workers. Known as a straight shooter, her transparency when dealing with people always helped her gain the trust of her peers. Trish's insatiable desire to help people find happiness and love, always made creating relationships effortless. After finding true love herself and getting married, she realized there's a lot more to life than the corporate world had to offer. She followed her heart and took the plunge in leaving her executive position at an investment firm to begin her dream career. Additionally, being a connector, an advocate for Women's Leadership and having a true passion for the sciences, getting involved with WITI was a no-brainer.

Parna Sarkar-Basu
Chair, Digital Marketing

Parna is responsible for driving thought leadership and social engagement for WITI Boston.

A brand, buzz and growth marketer, Parna has a track record of putting start-ups on the map, elevating companies to industry leaders and creating new market categories. Her strategic, multi-channel, global campaigns deliver exceptional results - from boosting market credibility and brand visibility to thought leadership and community engagement. Parna enjoys working with small business and mid-sized companies that are growing or in transition, and designing strategic programs that drive growth and meet their business objectives.

Parna is currently the V.P. of Marketing for Children Across America -- a humanitarian organization dedicated to providing preventive healthcare and literacy support to under-served children in local communities. Prior to that, Parna led marketing and global communications functions at various technology companies, including iRobot, iCorps Technologies, Invention Machine (acquired by IHS) and PTC. She has also been instrumental in creating and executing successful IPO and M&A communications strategies. In her spare time, Parna enjoys traveling, hiking and networking.

Sandra Collins
PR/Marketing

Sandra Collins manages the PR and marketing for WITI Boston, helping to raise awareness of the association and its networking events.

As the owner of Curious Dog Marketing, Sandra provides marketing coaching and implementation services to small and mid-sized businesses. She focuses on marketing that increases impact and promotes engagement and acquisition, fetching more customers. She helps clients drive business results with carefully crafted marketing strategy, communications, branding, content marketing, campaign development, and social media.

Sandra is also an artist and can be found in her studio creating with calligraphy, Chinese brush painting, artist's books, and graphic design.