The Force is Female: Archer Leadership Speaker Series

Our mission is to support and challenge young women to discover their passions and realize their true potential. The Archer Leadership Speaker Series provides the opportunity to connect with and learn from current industry leaders making an impact in the world around them, in a panel setting moderated by students, for students.

The need for exemplary female leadership is critical. The U.S. ranks 99th in the world for the number of women in national government with women accounting for only 12% of our state governors and a mere 22% of the mayors of the 100 largest cities in our country. And females represent only 6% of Fortune 500 CEOs. The Archer School for Girls has created a platform that both educates and inspires.

Spring Panel 2020

    • Anni Baghdasarian

      Anni Baghdasarian is Chief Operating Officer of Edlio, a leading K-12 communications provider that works with more than 15,000 schools worldwide.

      In her 11 years with the company, Anni has held accounting, product management, and HR roles. She was appointed as COO in 2016. Her hands-on approach has played a pivotal role in Edlio’s growing product line and expansion into new markets, focusing on building a healthy, thriving work environment for more than 150 employees in three countries.

      Edlio was named one of the Tech Tribune’s 2020 Best Tech Startups in Los Angeles and one of Built In LA’s Best Places to Work in 2019.

    • Frances Green

      Frances Green is an employment, labor, and workforce management lawyer at the national law firm Epstein Becker Green's New York City office – but her achievements span across many industries and countries. In Japan, she studied and worked as a nun fluent in Japanese. She has litigated on behalf of multinational corporations in state and federal courts and lectures frequently to corporate executives in the U.S. and abroad. In 2010, Frances joined Michelle Obama, J.K. Rowling, Barbara Walters, Maya Angelou, Suze Orman, and other women leaders as a contributor to The Goddess Shift: Women Leading for a Change, which USA Book News named of the best books of 2010. The award-winning equestrian also holds U.S. and World Championships in indoor rowing and serves within the New York City boroughs as an Auxiliary Mounted New York Parks Officer.

    • Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon

      Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon is a Managing Partner at Avante Capital Partners, where she is responsible for identifying, pursuing, and managing investment opportunities. She previously worked at Palladium Equity Partners, Reliant Equity Partners and various investment banks. She is also a longtime advocate and champion of women, minorities, and the underserved and underrepresented. Ivelisse and her sisters launched We Will, a philanthropic organization that supports and empowers underserved women and minorities in areas of healthcare, education, and financial literacy. She holds leadership roles at local and national non-profit organizations, including The Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Westside Family Health Center in L.A., and The Robert Toigo Foundation, which honored her with their prestigious Leadership Award to recognize her leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion in the financial industry.

    • Adrienne Wilson '07

      Adrienne Wilson '07 has dedicated her life to serving her community through food justice and advocacy. In 2016, she founded Feed Our Soul. The non-profit fights food insecurity in Black-American neighborhoods and shares the power of locally sourced food by installing hydroponic gardens and teaching community members how to cook their homegrown produce. Through community activism, Food Foundations Coaching, and Community Health Impact Programs (CHIP), Feed Our Soul continues the mission of raising nutritional awareness in Adrienne's hometown of South Central Los Angeles. Adrienne leads by example, leaning on the organization's mission every day to build a strong community of health-conscious people who will break the cycle of food insecurity and develop a foundation of healthy habits for future generations.

Fall Panel 2019

The Fall 2020 panel featured notable Archer alums who shared about their individual paths to success and what lessons they have learned along the way. 
    • Vanessa Anderson '03

      Vanessa Anderson ’03 is the Owner and Senior Account Executive at AM PR Group. Before launching the company in 2010, she worked in fashion and lifestyle PR. She has propelled a wide range of clients to the national and international stage. Her current and previous client roster includes Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress Issa Rae from HBO's Insecure, Hollywood’s youngest Executive Producer and actress Marsai Martin, Grammy Award-winning artists Mustard and Ella Mai, entertainment news platform The Shade Room, the City of Los Angeles via the Destination Crenshaw Project, Amazon Studios, and Warner Bros. Studios where she and her staff ran publicity on various TV programs including The Real and TMZ. Her tenacity, vivacious personality, and creative thinking have landed her clients in coveted outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Glamour, VOGUE, Forbes, The New York Times, Fader, People, Essence, EBONY, Us Weekly, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Fast Company. She and her company are committed to uplifting the stories and profiles of people of color, both in front of and behind the scenes.

    • Aaron Gensler '04

      Aaron Gensler '04 is a licensed architect, award-winning designer, educator, and thought leader working in Los Angeles. Recently she formed GenslerClipp, an architecture, design, and research practice based in California. Prior to GenslerClipp, she held design positions at a variety of firms around the world – from Los Angeles to Rwanda. She is adjunct faculty at Woodbury University in Burbank and Santa Monica College. After Archer, Aaron earned a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College in Vermont, where she received several accolades from the Middlebury Museum of Art, Chellis House, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her work. She earned a Master of Architecture from Cornell University, where she was honored with the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for her leadership and service. She also recently completed research on typologies of the Californian High Desert as part of the Eidlitz Travel Fellowship through Cornell.

    • Jenna Landi '05

      Jenna Landi '05 is Head of Insights at Pinterest, where she uses the Taste Graph and other proprietary data to understand Pinner inspiration, discovery, and intentions. Having first started her research career at Nielsen, Jenna went on to become Research Manager in both London and New York, where she focused on global digital analytics. Following her time at Nielsen, Jenna was a founding member of the Google Human Truths team, using big and small data to better understand the way that different people use the Internet on behalf of Google's largest global brand partners. Jenna has a master's degree in Behavioral Science from the London School of Economics, where her dissertation focused on the quantification of a brand bias through Implicit Association Tests and well as explicit preferences and their impact on brand action behavior. She also has a bachelor's degree from Brandeis University in American Studies, Business, and Film. The bi-coastal researcher and ambitious traveler now resides in L.A. with her husband Patrick, daughter Natalie, and pup Bridget.

Spring Panel 2018

    • Dr. Sabrina Kay

      Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Chancellor of Fremont College
      Dr. Kay is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist who started seven diverse ventures including Art Institute of Hollywood, Premier Business Bank, Fashion Umbrella, and Fremont Private Investments. Her most passionate and current project is as Chancellor of Fremont College. As a philanthropist, she founded The Sabrina Kay Charitable Foundation. She has chaired After-School All-Stars since 2004 and served on over 30 different charitable and civic boards. Dr. Kay has been recognized with numerous notable awards including Woman of the Year by the California Legislature, Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame by California Association of Postsecondary Schools.

    • Lori McCreary

      CEO of Revelations Entertainment
      Ms. McCreary is the CEO of Revelations Entertainment, a film and television production company she and actor Morgan Freeman founded in 1996. The duo first worked together on the critically acclaimed film "Bopha!"in 1992. As Revelation Entertainment’s CEO, Ms. McCreary serves as the executive producer of “The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman,” currently on air on National Geographic. She was also the executive producer of Revelations’ highly acclaimed event series, “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.” Ms. McCreary is also a UCLA-trained computer scientist and remains a trusted advisor to leading technology manufacturers as Hollywood completes its transition into the digital arena.

    • Janice Min

      Strategist, Eldridge Industries
      Ms. Min is a media strategist at Eldridge Industries LLC, the holding company for The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Dick Clark Productions and A24. She previously served as co-president and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group and remains a part-owner of THR. An Emmy winner, Ms. Min led THR as it garnered two National Magazine Awards for General Excellence in the Special Interest category in 2015 and 2016, and two nominations for Magazine of the Year. Ms. Min rose to prominence as editor in chief of Us Weekly, which she remade into a consumer and advertising juggernaut. She took the helm of THR in 2010 to lead one of the most celebrated media turnarounds in recent history.

    • Jackie Park

      Co-Managing Partner, DLA Piper
      Ms. Park focuses her practice on commercial leasing transactions and has handled extensive leasing transactions for landlords as well as for tenants in office, retail and industrial settings. Her representation includes The Ratkovich Company, Maguire Partners, The Prudential Insurance Company, Rising Realty Partners and PacShore Partners, Capitol Records, and AECOM Technology Corporation. Ms. Park is extremely active within DLA Piper, where she is the Co-Managing Partner of the Los Angeles offices, a member of the firm’s Executive and Policy Committees, Co-Vice Chair of the National Real Estate Practice Group, and serves on the firm’s Partnership Nomination Committee. She is also a representative to DLA Piper’s Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW).

    • Lauren Selig

      Co-Founder and Producer, Shake and Bake Productions
      Ms. Selig is an entrepreneur and executive with 20 years of strategic and management experience in the media, real estate, and start-up communities. She founded Shake and Bake Productions and V.A.L.I.S. Studios to finance and produce independent studio movies, including “Hacksaw Ridge,” “American Made,” “Roman Israel,” and :Lone Survivor.” Formerly, Ms. Selig has been an executive at Microsoft and a board member of the X-Prize, Planetary Resources, Waxtoken, OTOY, 8i, and the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences.

    • Naomi Seligman

      Ms. Seligman transforms talented people and organizations into powerhouses of influence. Her hard-hitting strategies have put clients on the map for over 20 years, in a career spanning both coasts and the very different worlds of Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. She has led hugely successful local, state, and national campaigns for advocacy organizations, elected officials, writers, tech innovators and entertainment industry luminaries. Ms. Seligman is the co-founder of Tower26, a strategic communications and public affairs agency. She is the former Director of Communications for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. She has worked extensively on Capitol Hill and has fought for those who needed a voice throughout her career.

Winter Panel 2018

Missed the livestream? You can watch the recording below, with the panel beginning shortly after minute 15. To watch the next panel, click the Switch Camera icon on the bottom right.

    • Diane Golden

      Ms. Golden is an entertainment lawyer representing prominent actors, writers, showrunners, authors, directors, playwrights, producers, executives, and magicians in film, TV, publishing, and stage. After receiving a B.A. in English and Drama from Tufts University and, later, a J.D. from NYU School of Law, Ms. Golden began her legal career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 1996, she co-founded and became the Managing Partner of the entertainment law firm Katz Golden Rosenman LLP, where she continues to practice. In 2006, Women In Film honored her with the first Business Leadership Award for her support of women in the entertainment industry.

    • Lisa McKnight

      Ms. McKnight serves as Senior Vice President and Global General Manager for Mattel's Barbie brand, a role she has held since 2016. In this role, Lisa leads a global team focused on brand strategy, product development and marketing execution for Barbie. She has been instrumental in evolving the brand to make it more relevant and compelling to girls and parents around the world, leading to consistently improved retail sales and deeper consumer engagement. In 2016, she was recognized as AdWeek's Brand Genius Award, and serves on the Boards of MAKERS Women and the Toy Industry Association Foundation.

    • Janice Hahn

      Ms. Hahn was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in November 2016. She represents the 4th district which stretches from Marina del Rey through the beach cities, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Harbor Area, Long Beach, through the Gateway Cities and east to Diamond Bar. In her short time on the Board, Supervisor Hahn has already established herself as a leader in the struggle to end the current homelessness crisis, a champion for communities plagued by pollution and health problems, and a dynamic new voice on the Metro Board of Directors.

    • Amity Millhiser

      Ms. Millhiser is PwC’s Chief Clients Officer. In this role, she delivers the full power of PwC across geographies and industries to add value, drive growth, and expand market opportunities for the firm's clients. Ms. Millhiser has more than 30 years of experience with PwC, both in the US and abroad. Until 2015, she served as the Silicon Valley Market Managing Partner, where she led a team providing consulting, tax, and accounting services. Ms. Millhiser is an advocate for women in leadership and was named one of the California Diversity Council's Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology in 2015 and one of Silicon Valley's Women of Influence in 2012.

    • Cindy Holland

      Ms. Holland is the VP for Original Content at Netflix where she is responsible for acquiring and launching original series for the over 100 million Netflix global members. Under Ms. Holland’s purview, her team have launched award-winning and critically acclaimed projects that span drama, comedy, family/YA, documentaries, stand-up specials. and docu-series. Previously, Ms. Holland oversaw domestic TV licensing for Netflix after starting her career at the company in DVD acquisition. Before Netflix, she held various business and creative development roles at e-commerce startup and for film production companies.

    • Lauryn Morris

      Ms. Morris is Head of Design for the Spectacles team at Snap Inc. where she oversees a team focused on industrial design, user experience, concept development, graphics and art direction. Last year, she was featured as one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Design and has spent her career designing consumer products including several years focused on eyewear design and wearable objects. Ms. Morris is thrilled by the opportunity to influence how the objects around us will look and behave in the future, and strives to create products that facilitate beautiful, meaningful, uncomplicated experiences.

Fall Panel 2017

Missed the livestream? You can watch the recording below, with the panel beginning shortly after minute 9.

    • Tiffany Smith-Anoa'i

      Ms. Smith-Anoa’i is the Executive Vice President, Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion & Communications at CBS Entertainment where she expands upon the division’s current diversity initiatives and develops new programs that recruit, nurture, and hire diverse talent to work in front of and behind the camera. In 2009, Ms. Smith-Anoa'i created and launched "CBS On Tour," a community outreach program in which executives visit schools to educate and encourage students interested in entertainment careers.

    • Meridith Baer

      Ms. Baer is the founder of Meridith Baer Home, the premiere home staging company in the nation. Since 1998, she and her team work with homeowners and realtors to turn on-the-market houses into alluring homes that feel luxurious and desirable. Meridith Baer Home has one of the largest inventories of furniture and home decor and also offers luxury furniture leasing and private interior design, throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Hamptons, and Miami.

    • Vanessa Delgado

      Ms. Delgado is a founding partner of Azure Development. Azure creates, designs and builds exceptional housing communities and commercial projects throughout the Southwest. She has been an economic development professional for over 17 years and has created 3.3 million square feet of retail, office, and housing projects. In 2015, Ms. Delgado was elected to the City Council of the City of Montebello and was recognized by Real Estate Forum as one of California’s Women of Influence.

    • Ellyn Garofalo

      Ms. Garofalo is a partner at DLA Piper and has extensive trial and litigation experience, defending and prosecuting complex civil matters involving healthcare, professional negligence, real estate, and shareholder and partnership disputes. She represents a roster of celebrities and is adept at resolving sensitive matters both in and out of the courtroom. She has significant experience handling Fifth Amendment issues implicated in parallel civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings.

The Archer School for Girls admits students of any race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or other legally protected status in its hiring or in the administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions policies, financial aid programs or other school-administered programs. 

The Archer School for Girls’ mission is to educate students in an environment specifically designed for girls. As such, the school will consider any candidate for admission who identifies as a girl. Once admitted to Archer, all students in good academic standing who abide by Archer’s code of conduct and who meet requirements for graduation will be eligible to receive an Archer diploma, regardless of any change in sexual identity or other legally protected status.