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 Co-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
Corporate Partnerships

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.

Trish Encina
Members 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.

Melissa Jurkoic
Events and Programming Chair

Melissa Jurkoic is currently a Senior Solutions Architect for Amadeus Hospitality where she and her team operate at the intersection of business and technology to support enterprise clients in realizing their strategic objectives.

With over two decades' experience as a technologist, her mix of technical savvy and business strategy is unique for a former software engineer. Melissa's fusion of technology and conversational techniques connect with both technical and business audiences to lead strategic initiatives to the best outcomes. Melissa earned her BS in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire, holds an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management and is currently a certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4).

Extremely passionate about making a positive impact on the decline of women in STEM education and careers, she volunteers with several committees in the Northeast region to educate and encourage women and girls to pursue careers in technology. Melissa has always lived in the Northeast and now makes her home in Newmarket, New Hampshire with her family.

Parna Sarkar-Basu
Public Relations and Marketing Chair

Parna Sarkar-Basu is a tech marketing strategist and founder of Brand and Buzz Marketing. Leveraging her two passions - technology and brand building - Parna humanizes corporate brands, builds thought leaders, simplifies the complex and creates industry buzz to elevate companies to new heights. She has been instrumental in propelling tech companies into innovation leaders in highly competitive markets, including artificial intelligence, enterprise software, storage systems, robots, agtech, healthtech and mobile.

Recipient of multiple awards, Parna has built and led marketing and communications functions for various global companies, including iRobot, Kaminario, iCorps Technologies, Invention Machine (acquired by IHS), and PTC. She serves as a strategic advisor to entrepreneurs and CEOs in the U.S. and Europe, and works with their team on a variety of initiatives, including corporate and product positioning, new market entry, innovation marketing and digital transformation.

Parna appears frequently as a speaker and moderator at key industry events and leads executive discussions on topics ranging from innovation and entrepreneurship to tech trends and inclusiveness. She also writes (and ghost writes) about entrepreneurship, emerging technology and innovation. Her articles and bylines have appeared in various technology, business and marketing publications, globally.

A champion of STEM initiatives, Parna designs and supports programs to inspire future innovators and entrepreneurs.

Teri Baydar
Events and Programming Chair

Dr. Teri Baydar is a Leadership Development Coach with a Doctorate in Divine Metaphysics and Coach Training Institute trained professional. She has over 14 years' experience in behavior research and behavior modification, including 7 years with a research institute / Think Tank specializing in the study of the workings of the unconscious mind. Dr. Teri is dedicated to helping executives (especially women and tech innovators) and high potential-high performance individuals find, understand and develop their character and values in alignment with their life's purpose. Empowering them to create the life and fulfillment they seek both professionally and personally. She is passionate about people, personal and social transformation, and human evolution, which brought her to WITI.

Where better to keep your finger on the pulse of the future than with the two most transformational forces of our day combined: Women and Tech?

Through studies of the science of mind and her hands on transformational coaching experiences, she developed the Constructive Thought methodology, and established her own private coaching practice, White Lily Individual Development, LLC. She also offers workshops, is a mentor, and teaches leadership and self development with organizations such as Center for Women and Enterprise, Canapy City Incubator, Masschallenge, Impact Hub, and Boston Business Women.

See her coaching profile here: www.ace-up.com/dr-teri-baydar

Please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn : www.linkedin.com/in/coach2executives/ or her website: teribaydar.com