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Community

Join a community of women, men and companies committed to elevating women into leadership.

There's a time and a place for change. It's here. And now.

We Can Rise offers extraordinary advantages to individual and corporate members. Better yet, you'll be a part of a growing movement that's actively working to change the world. Join Us.

Become a Member

For Individuals
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Begin a journey that aligns your passions and goals with your career aspirations.
Discover and connect with companies that truly strive for diverse, inclusive cultures.
Collaborate with like-minded, goal-oriented executives and find powerful mentor relationships within the We Can Rise community.
Enjoy on-demand inspiration through videos, podcasts, books and more.

Become a Partner

For Companies
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Give your employees instant access to every benefit, including the We Can model of success and the We Can Board Program.
Get connected to talented executive women.
Prominently display your logo on our website, demonstrating your commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Link to your company’s open positions and leverage the We Can Rise network for hiring.

Our Guiding Principles

We are an interactive and supportive community guided by the following principles:

Journey

We are with you throughout your career progression and aspirations.

Collaboration

We freely share information with a belief that what’s good for one of us is good for all of us….the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Availability

A member of We Can Rise is always available to talk to you.

Connection

We draw on the collective wisdom of all of us to reach our goals.

Competition

We compete with ourselves to challenge and grow. We do not compete with one another as each one of us is on our own journey.
Join Us

Events

We’re constantly planning events to help women become the leaders they deserve to be. We hope to see you there.

Leadership —

Robin Toft

Chairwoman and Co-Founder

My Work

To date, my career can be divided into four exciting 10-year chapters: (1) A decade leading medical laboratories, (2) 10 years as the chart-topping sales gal in commercial biotech roles, (3) 10 years building an executive search firm to change the way cancer is treated in my lifetime, and (4) YAY, I AM HERE!! I plan to spend the next chapter using my experience to help women elevate their careers while working with men to build stronger companies. Together, We Can Rise!

My Life

Growing up as a proud Michigander, (go Green!) I developed a strong Midwestern work ethic, thanks to many positive role models in my family. Today, I’m an adventurous dog-mom, a joyful exercise and yoga enthusiast, and a passionate global citizen honed by my love for international travel. I’ve lived all across the beautiful USA, from Michigan to San Francisco, from North Carolina to Oahu and Kauai, but I proudly call San Diego my home.

Why I Co-founded We Can Rise

I know from firsthand experience that the most competitive companies really want to employ women for a number of reasons. And there’s a talent shortage. I believe that helping women fast-track their careers is the answer. My goal is to build a movement that helps women - and men who care about women – to change the world.

My Favorite Quote

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

Ron Giannotti

CEO and Co-founder

My Work

I’ve worked in the life sciences segment all of my adult life. Nearly half that time was spent in executive leadership positions, from CEO to Chairman and Founder. Through it all I had the good fortune of working with exceptionally talented and diverse teams in the US and internationally.

My Life

I was born in the San Francisco area and raised, along with my three siblings, by an incredible single mother. Now I’m the proud father of a son and two daughters, each starting their adult career journey. In my spare time, I enjoy sprint triathlons because I love the culture of the sport and the sense of personal accomplishment it brings. I’m driven to learn and I enjoy reading novels whenever I can. Oh, and I have a sweet tooth for caramels.

Why I Co-founded We Can Rise

Simply put, I want the business world to be a better place for you and for my son and daughters. While I have benefited from male and female mentors, I see this as a huge opportunity to give back. Please take advantage of the rare combination of experience and wisdom we’ve assembled in this WCR team.

My Favorite Quote

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pam Gleason

Advisor & Career Clarity Coach

My Work

I’ve spent the majority of my career in consulting and leadership HR roles in the life sciences industry focused on organizational development, talent acquisition and advancement, and employee relations. I’m naturally drawn to organizations and causes that aim to remove systemic structures that are unintentionally biased and am always a strong advocate for the under-represented.

My Life

A mother, wife, and executive, I’ve been married for over 25 years and I’m blessed to be raising two compassionate sons. As an avid yogi, reader, baker, cook, and international traveler, I’ve explored Tibet, Nepal, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, France, England, Italy, and Amsterdam, to name a few. I love people, experiencing different cultures, and living in the moment.

Why I Joined We Can Rise

I personally understand the struggles of being a working mom trying to have, be, and do it all. When a friend connected me to Robin and Ron, I was immediately drawn to their positive energy and their unique philosophical approaches to help women. This, combined with my innate desire to help people create a life they love, makes We Can Rise the perfect place for me.

My Favorite Quote

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

La Mer Walker

Advisor

My Work

My career path is quite branched. I’ve been an architect, a creative director in advertising and television, a digital innovation principal at Boston Consulting Group, a feature-film producer, and a co-founder of a professional community. Along the way, both female and male mentors have shown me what true collaboration can do. This all led me here, to help We Can Rise build a brighter future for all.

My Life

Hailing from Louisiana, I’m a college and Olympic sports fanatic. I’m passionate about design and visual innovation and I love to travel. My favorite city in the world is London – it’s a creative crossroads and a constant inspiration for me. I call Southern California home, and now with remote video adoption, I maintain relationships with friends around the world who enrich my perspective every day.

Why I Joined We Can Rise

I have four sisters, each with their own daughters. When I think of their futures, as well as all the female colleagues and employees I’ve been fortunate enough to work with, I can’t help but feel committed to ensuring they enjoy the same opportunities I’ve had. We Can Rise is a platform to do just that. Count me in.

My Favorite Quote

“Less, but better.” – Dieter Rams

Advisors —

Celia Harper-Guerra

VP Talent Acquisition, Culture & Talent, Sprinklr

Over 20 years of global Talent Acquisition experience in Hi-Tech, Healthcare and Life Sciences.  I have had the opportunity to hold both Human Resource roles, Talent Acquisition and Talent Development roles including SVP of TA and Talent Development supporting C- level executives at Danaher, Illumina, Allscripts and Sprinklr.  

In addition to my 15 years of HR experience at Cisco, I was asked to move into a sales leadership role in Cisco’s Channel Sales organization.  I pioneered and lead Cisco’s Partner Talent strategy that developed Cisco’s top partners’ capacity for growth and developed the CEO leadership capabilities. This talent investment supported the double-digit revenue growth in 18 months at Cisco. In addition, co-lead Cisco’s VETS and Women affinity organizations which have incorporated our customers and partners into this network of diverse talent to expand our reach in the community.

In April of 2017, I accepted the role of Global VP, Talent Acquisition leader at Danaher. My desire is to ensure that we attract and develop quality talent for Danaher who have an appetite for our mission. One of my goals with my team is to identify and build a strong diverse pipeline of leaders and teams who together with their passion make a commitment to our purpose in Helping Realize Life’s Potential.  

Cisco’s former CEO John Chambers and his leadership team recruited me to join Sprinklr a software company based in New York. Again, I was recruited to build out a global team of talent advsiors, and to scale the company with 1000 plus hires in 10 months.

I truly believe that you can be your best when you are learning, growing and passionate  about what you do, the American Heart Association has shown me how to serve my community and has provided me the opportunity to be connected with amazing talent who are interested in helping save lives!

“Talent is Good, Practice is Better, Passion is Best” Frank Lloyd Wright

Kristine Figueroa

Vice President, Human Resources, Maravai LifeSciences

Kristine is an HR leader with progressive experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and high technology markets, among companies both privately and publicly held. She has been successful in developing comprehensive human resources strategies, processes and systems to build and enhance organizational capabilities. Kristine collaborates with company leadership teams to design and implement organizational changes and to assess and enhance company culture. As a member of the executive team, Kristine works closely with the team to support rapid business growth.


Kristine has over 25 years of experience and has held many HR senior leadership roles, most recently as Vice President, Human Resources for Maravai LifeSciences in San Diego.

Marco Rosa

Partner

Direct, focused and engaged with a keen sense of collaboration, Marco Rosa helps biotechnology, diagnostic and medical device companies achieve their business goals. And whether building life science organizations from the ground up or finding the right candidate to complement and strengthen an existing team, he evaluates the big picture and the finest details of each client’s situation and offers timely, spot-on results.

Marco’s25+ years’ experience in human resource leadership positions prior to joining Heritage Partners in 2014 gives him deep insight into the essential elements of successful, cohesive teams. He was instrumental in shaping MAP Pharmaceuticals(now owned by Allergan) into a successful acquisition candidate.

As Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc.’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources, Marco built the company’s management infrastructure, and played an integral role shepherding its rapid growth and several of its commercial product launches. And at COR Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), Marco built their managerial leadership and development platform, and launched a fully integrated commercial sales organization for its antiplatelet drug Integrilin®.

Marco received his B.A. in Psychology from St. Michael's College and M.A. in Counseling Psychology from New York University. A former United States Air Force Captain, he’s currently an adjunct professor and faculty member at Hult International Business School, University of San Francisco (MBA Program)  and at Palo Alto University in Business Psychology. He also instructs for the Certificate Program in Human Resources Management at the University of California Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, a board member at Bay Area Adoption Services (now Adopt International), and past president and member of the Bay Area Human Resources Executive Council. Marco enjoys being a soccer referee, and mentoring and conducting workshops for college graduates seeking work opportunities. He’s fluent in Italian and lives in Mountain View, CA with his wife, Nancy, and their son.

Contact information: marcofrosa@gmail.com 650-255-3381

Meredith Wesley

VP, Talent and Culture, Boundless Bio

Meredith Wesley is currently the VP, Talent and Culture at Boundless Bio. She has over 20 years diverse human resources experience in biotech as well as technology, marketing, and manufacturing industries. Prior to Boundless Bio, she was head of human resources at Ignyta, where she was responsible for leading human resources from its start-up phase with rapid growth through its $2 billion acquisition by Roche. Prior to that, Meredith served as Senior Director, Human Resources at Santarus, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, where she was responsible for multiple commercial scale-ups during launches in addition to providing HR leadership to commercial and R&D. She also served as Director of Human Resources at iPass, a SaaS platform company.


Meredith holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of San Diego and a Human Resources Management Certification from the University of California, Irvine.

Vicki Mealer-Burke

Chief Diversity Officer and VP, Human Resources, Qualcomm

Vicki Mealer-Burke was appointed as Qualcomm’s first Chief Diversity Officer in November 2016. Vicki brought20 years of business and operational leadership experience at Qualcomm to this new role. This background uniquely positions her to provide the vision, strategy, leadership and oversight of inclusion and diversity initiatives across the company such as strategies for talent development, recruitment and retention, and community outreach. 

Vicki assumed responsibility for Qualcomm’s Employee Relations team in 2017. She serves on Qualcomm’s Ethics committee. Prior to this appointment, Mealer-Burke was the VP and general manager of Qualcomm Education Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies Inc.

Vicki joined Qualcomm in 1997, and during her tenure, she has been responsible for developing comprehensive solutions for customers seeking to bring high-value wireless services to market by holding leadership positions in business development and product management across a variety of Qualcomm’s businesses.

Additionally, Mealer-Burke serves as Co-Chair of the newly formed Women’s Leadership Council for the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA). She is the chairperson of Qualcomm’s Women’s Leadership Council, the executive sponsor of eQuality, Qualcomm’s LGBTQ employee network. She is the senior representative for Qualcomm’s partnership with Inclusion Works, the Disability:In initiative to further disability inclusion in the workforce. Vicki currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for LEAD San Diego, a nonpartisan, leadership development arm of the San Diego Regional Chamber. Vicki also recently joined the Board of Directors for San Diego Make-A-Wish foundation. She has termed-off the non-profit Board of Directors of NCWIT, the National Center for Women in Information Technology, and the Employment Roundtable of Southern California. She serves in the executive cabinets for various fund-raising initiatives in San Diego.

She has a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Iowa State University and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.