Executive Members – San Francisco Group

Margaret AbelesMargaret Abeles is a strategy and marketing leader who creates winning strategies, streamlines operations and provides impactful consumer insights. Her experience includes companies of all sizes in many geographies and industries and she has held senior-level positions at companies such as Disney and Schwab, as well as mid-sized companies and early stage ventures. 

Margaret’s experience includes: Chief of Staff/Advisor to the Leadership Team — act as trusted advisor; deployed to departments and projects that need intensive focus; coach to individuals, executives and departments. End-End-Strategic Planning — creates strategic planning approach, plan and playbook; develops insights about customers and competition. Organizational Development — devises ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness of teams; mentors and coaches employees; advises on change management initiatives. Her specialties are: chief of staff functions, strategy development, marketing and sales planning, customer insights, organizational and leadership development. Margaret holds an MBA from UCLA.

Elise BrownellElise Brownell, PhD, is the Founding Partner of ZephyrBiotech, a firm that specializes in Interim Executive and Project Management support for emergent, virtual and transitioning bio/pharmaceutical companies. She has extensive experience in senior project management and executive- level leadership positions in the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Prior to founding Zephyrbiotech, Elise was a founding member, head of project management and senior director of Aerovance, Inc, a venture-backed biotechnology company spun out from Bayer Healthcare. At Aerovance she created and managed effective team processes to bring four product candidates into full scale clinical Phase 1 and 2 development. Prior to Aerovance, Elise acted as head of project management for Bayer’s Biotechnology Unit, where she integrated project strategies to meet therapeutic and market needs. Other roles were directed toward building and negotiating partnerships with third parties to support the development programs, and leading research teams through early bench-to-clinic development phases.

Elise received her MS, MPhil and PhD (Biology) from Yale University, and her BS (Biology) from Allegheny College.

Bobbie LaPorteBobbie LaPorte, is Founder and CEO of Bobbie LaPorte & Associates, an advisory firm providing science-based, real world leadership solutions for the volatile road ahead. Her firm serves Fortune 500 companies, global organizations, and promising start-ups.

Before founding her business, Ms. LaPorte served in CEO, COO, and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM, GE, and United Healthcare. She has an MBA from Harvard and a Masters in Positive Leadership and Strategy from IE in Madrid.

Bobbie is currently training for her seventh Ironman triathlon. Her two Golden Retrievers – Posey and Nilla – often accompany her on training outings in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Executive Membership Group Leadership Team

Deb Siegle, Principal of Strategic Marketing Solutions, is President of Women in Consulting and strategist for the Leaders Network. Deb is an astute marketing leader, problem solver and communicator who is an authority in market research, strategy, and customer loyalty and experience. She understands what drives buyer and customer behavior, and is expert at hearing and translating the market and customer voice into actionable strategies and tactics that matter.

Deb assists clients with strategic research, branding, positioning and messaging, market and product development and launch, competitive and technology analysis, and customer loyalty and experience projects. Deb has more than 25 years of marketing, customer service, and sales experience in public and privately-held companies in high tech, healthcare / wellness, biotech, sustainability and professional services. She brings a unique combination of strategic and tactical skills developed through hands-on line management experience at fast-growing companies. Deb was named one of the top 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley in 2016.

Prior to founding Strategic Marketing Solutions, Deb held senior and executive level positions in customer satisfaction and service, marketing, product management, and market development. Deb graduated Beta Gamma Sigma with a M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and Phi Beta Kappa with a BBA from the University of Michigan. She is a popular speaker, and has been featured in executive pod- and web-casts on “Customer Voice,”  "Building Customer Loyalty," "The Power of Retention Marketing", and "How Research Can Reveal New Insights into Your Customers, Your Product, & Your Brand." 


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