Susan Riffe grew up as a Kansas farm girl who spent summers traveling with her family throughout the Midwest harvesting wheat for other farmers by contract, which meant she spent long hours driving really big farm machinery and helping her mom fry 4 chickens at a time to feed their very hungry 12 person crew. She drove herself down I-35 to attend Baylor University where she met her wonderful husband, Lee, and was inspired to enter academia by some awesome professors. After getting her PhD from the University of Southern California, she started as an accounting professor at SMU in 1992 and is still very passionate about teaching graduate students how to read and understand financial statements.
On paper, Alana Latiolais began as a licensed Cosmetologist, adding a Merchandising degree to the mix. As life unfolded, blossoming into marriage and a family, Alana continued to cultivate color into every part of her life, never blending into a crowd, believing wholeheartedly the richness of tones can change a mood, spark joy, and evoke connection.
Sam is a tax accountant at Grant Thornton. She is married to her best friend, Ben, and is dog-mom to Beatrice. She is enthusiastic about Baylor, Chick-fil-A and budgeting!
Emily studied International Business and Economics at Mary Hardin-Baylor, and she gets to live her dream job at Fossil Group, specializing in global brand management and merchandising. Emily shares her home in Allen, TX with her sweet husband Seth and their diva cat Princess. When not working on a home project, she spends her weekends trying new recipes for a dinner party with friends or napping in a hammock with a good book club read. Emily is passionate about travel, empowering women, and sharing Jesus' love with the world.
Irina works for Texas A&M Mays Business School and Southern Methodist University as an MBA virtual career coach. She coaches MBA students on interviewing, networking, or finding the very best job or internship based on their strengths and career goals. After 15 years of working in research and brand management for Frito Lay and Dr. Pepper Snapple, Irina was ready to move into academia. Irina is a married working mom with two beautiful girls, Olivia and Adele.
Audry is one of our Polished Dallas volunteers and loves serving her community with an amazing group of women. She has made a career in the luxury retail industry working for Neiman Marcus and Jay Strongwater. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Speech Communications and a minor in Business.
In this week’s episode, you'll get to listen to our business women’s panel discussion from one of our Dallas events last spring. I promise you’re going to love this group! Our panel consisted of 3 women with different professional backgrounds in Corporate America.
For as long as Ekpe can remember she has had the desire to work in medicine. This desire, and a full basketball scholarship, led her to study Pre- Medicine/Biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree. Ekpe went on to receive her M.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Shortly after graduation, Ekpe moved to Houston to complete her residency in Family Medicine at Memorial Family Medicine and was named Chief Resident her third year.
Dr. Danika Franks is a passionate mentor and empowerer of young people. As Assistant Dean of Students for TCU and UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine, she cares for her students through career advising while also doing life alongside her husband, Chauncey Franks, TCU Football Team’s Chaplain. Mother to three children – Eli, Eden, and Ellie – she also loves interior design, describing her décor style as a cross between Bohemian-Anthro- Traditional- Minimalist. Try saying that fast! A graduate from Midwestern State University and UT Southwestern, Dr. Franks is a brilliant educator, example, and friend. You won’t want to miss her story!
Virginia Cumberbatch began serving as Director of the Community Engagement Center (CEC) in the fall of 2016. The CEC is an arm of The University of Texas' Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and incubates the Social Justice Institute, which focuses on connecting the resources of the university to the community to address concerns of equity and access in education, housing, health-care and social justice.
Encouraging women to love God and others with their all, Kat teaches the Bible with humor and heart. She engages disconnected women exploring God with the relevance of the scriptures, commissions rooted Christians to flourish in their God-inspired assignment, and refocuses the Church to outreach.
Feleceia, affectionately known as Zoe's Mom, is a passionate lover of God, His people and His purpose in her life and the lives of others. Her knack for creativity and business inspired her to start her own company. Now in its seventh year, the Zoe Communications Agency is a creative content and brand management company that builds strategic marketing solutions for cities, communities and businesses alike!
Lincee began blogging accidentally when she wrote a recap for the beloved show everyone loves to hate — The Bachelor. What began as a place for closeted fans to commune and discuss the wonder that is Our Host Chris Harrison slowly morphed into a place where Lincee shared stories about everyday life.
Big hair and big personality aren't all this girl has to offer! With an energy all her own, LaToria brings an eclectic feel to the hip hop music she makes. Whether it’s a high-energy anthem, or a story she’s telling accompanied by soulful melodies, LaToria aims to offer hope, light, and truth through her music while providing an unforgettable experience. She writes about life from a Gospel-centered perspective.
Coming from the educational halls of the University of Texas in Austin (undergrad) and Texas Tech University (no big deal, just her Law Degree here), Justice Sue Walker is an amazing woman in every way. She has worn (read: mastered) many hats in her career - adjunct professor of law for Texas Wesleyan School of Law, solo practitioner, briefing and staffing attorney for the Court of Appeals, and now serving on the Second Court of Appeals for Tarrant County since 2001.
Angie is a Manager in the Career Readiness Department at Houston ISD. She focuses on high school CTE programming and developing business partnerships to support CTE programs; with a goal to expose students to careers and opportunities in their CTE pathways. In her role she organizes Houston ISD's annual When I Grow Up Career Expo and bi-monthly Chamber meetings with active business partners.
Christal grew up a small town gal before transitioning to big city living, moving from Clifton, TX, to Frisco during high school. Receiving her degree in International Relations and History from Salem College, she graduated, moved to Capitol Hill, and launched a 10 year career in Washington, D.C. After working in the Office of Legislative Affairs/Chief of Staff (The White House, y’all) and the Treasury department – as Director of Scheduling and Executive Assistant to Secretary of Treasury, Christal took a position in 2009 for the Bass family in Fort Worth.
Ashley Freer didn't start out as a Texan, but 10 years here have taught her to appreciate the big and the small differentiators of this great state, breakfast tacos and gorgeous sunsets included. As group director and PR specialist at Fort Worth-based Balcom Agency, Ashley drives strategy and client projects for national, regional and local clients with 18 years of experience behind her. And while her job is one of her favorite things in life, she's eager to talk about other passions, including theology, history, travel and community engagement.
Amanda Hill is a native Texan, an attorney, mother, and writer. She has her own law firm representing physicians and medical groups in Texas, as well as speaking to medical groups and practices across the state. She was a contestant on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” and had a fabulous time interviewing for a job with Martha on national television.
In episode 39, you'll get to listen to our Houston Business Women's Panel from the 2017 November Dinner, moderated by our Houston Director, Angie Gillikin.