February Membership Meeting


Gisele Garraway & Rebecca Ford - Starfish Initiative

Topic: Mentoring and its Impact on Inclusion Initiatives in the Workplace

Starfish Initiative inspires, encourages, and prepares promising, economically disadvantaged students for college and career success by pairing low-income high school students one-on-one with college-educated mentors.

Led by Gisele Garraway, formerly a Senior Vice President at Devonshire Investors, the private equity affiliate of Fidelity Investments, Gisele joined Starfish Initiative as its third President and CEO in July 2017.  One of the first leaders, she was responsible for developing profitable growth opportunities; leading the marketing, merchandising and operations for the Canadian online/catalog business; and providing strategic analytics to the heads of Staples’ global ecommerce and retail business units.  Prior to her Staples tenure, Gisele was a consultant at Boston-based Bain & Company for several years, where she consulted numerous Fortune 500 companies on strategic, marketing and operational issues.  Gisele has dedicated efforts to various youth-related community causes and is an advocate for mentoring and its impact on the whole community, including corporate America.

This presentation, will also highlight the impact of mentoring in the workplace as presented by 3-time Starfish mentor Rebecca Ford of Eli Lilly.  Ford has scaled the technical ranks at global pharmaceutical leader, Eli Lilly to become the only female and only under 40 project manager in the large-scale capital group responsible for design and construction of drug manufacturing plants.  She has proactively led initiatives for Unconscious Bias, Gender Bias, Living and Working with Disabilities, African American Journey, Hispanic Journey, and LGBTQ+ equality at Lilly and is committed to drive value in Starfish, Lilly Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, and Lilly’s technical mentoring.

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