Leaders Network – San Francisco Group

JODI AVINAPutting clients and candidates at ease to get the best results” are the words Jodi Avina lives by. Jodi is Director of Recruiting Services for the 2GOCompanies, and is considered a consultative and empathetic recruiter. She works with companies to thoroughly define both the environment and the position in order to find the best cultural and competent fit, and ensures a smooth process by enabling both employer and employee to be at ease and put their best foot forward. Jodi also co-leads the Health Services & Life Science practice group. She has been with CFOs2GO for 20 years providing executive search and placement services for a variety of clients, utilizing her knowledge of international cultures and fluency in several languages. While her career has taken a bit of a circuitous route – from living in France in college, to working with Ernst and Young and then pursuing healthcare and medical device sales, and then finding her way back to financial services, this time as a recruiter. Each of these career choices have led to a lifetime of learning through curiosity and listening.

Janet BeachJanet Beach  is a marketing strategist, brand development advisor, and research professional. She and her firm, US Marketing Services, design and conduct in-depth research with prospects, customers, and influencers, apply the insights, and make detailed recommendations for brand strategy and tactics. They structure insights regarding what are the real priorities that drive actual purchase preferences among decision-makers for a brand and category, and how to expand client business.

Janet and her business partners make specific, actionable brand marketing, sales, and brand communications recommendations and develop/contribute to the follow-on projects. They handle the implementation for clients or leverage the time and expertise of existing client marketing staff in order to execute programs. Either way, they work closely with clients for increased brand success, competitive advantage, growth and profit.  Janet and her partners frequently work with companies in the technology, healthcare, biotech, and finance businesses.

Janet’s background training has included work for many iconic brands (Post, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Dole, Tropicana, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft General Foods, P&G, Keebler, Levi’s, Apple, Symantec, HP, Sprint, 0racle, Schwab, Wells Fargo). Her years as a marketing and management consultant, working for leading brands as well as new, emerging and innovative companies gives her an ability to efficiently add insightful recommendations and strategic leadership to client plans. Her depth of experience working on new products and brand launch plans has prepared her to address a constellation of business challenges.  

Janet is known for her collaborative style that makes working with her and with her company a real pleasure. Many clients work repeatedly with Janet and her firm over the course of their own careers, because the strategic collaboration works so very well.

Kathryn Bowsher  is a commercial strategist with deep expertise in scaling innovations in health. Kathryn brings a rare, holistic understanding of healthcare and its complex customer agendas to creating and growing businesses around changes in the care and management of patients. She has 25+ years of leadership experience spanning a wide range of therapeutic areas, care settings, and business models. 

Kathryn is expert at tracing cash and non-cash incentives to find and create alignment among the various stakeholders and has an exceptional ability to understand the customer experience and its potential to support and grow revenue for a given offering. Strengths include:

  • Making big, innovative ideas actionable
  • Creative problem solving
  • Executive thought partner  
  • Strategic growth plans
  • Consensus and team building

Kathryn is the Managing Director and Founder of Act One Healthcare, which helps organizations create maximum value with their new ideas in health. Previously she was President, CEO, and Director of PurThread Technologies, CEO of Act One Marketing, VP of Marketing at Somnus Medical Technologies, Director of Global Marketing for Baxter Healthcare’s largest product line, and an Analyst with Goldman Sachs.  Clients have included Cleveland Clinic, Health Evolution, Amgen, Stanford Health, Johnson & Johnson, Raptor Pharmaceuticals, and BiPar Sciences. A.B cum laude, Princeton University and M.B.A. Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  

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.

Most recently 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.

JILL FRASERJill Fraser is CEO and CMO of Jill Milan, a luxury designer of handbooks and fashion accessories made in Italy. Launched in 2011, Jill Milan was voted "Vegan Brand of the Year." Their bags have been featured in W, Vogue.com, The Zoe Report, The Knot and US Weekly. Jill Milan's handcrafted Italian handbags have been carried on the red carpet by Amy Poehler, Eva Longoria, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Carrie Underwood and countless other A-List celebrities. They have appeared on "Gossip Girl," "Scandal," "Billions," and at the Oscars, the Emmy awards, Golden Globes, the Met Ball, SAG Awards, CMAs and VMAs.

Before founding Jill Milan, Jill headed up marketing for a number of private and venture-backed technology and consumer product companies. She was a co-founder of a consumer goods company, RAZCAL, which owned Virgil’s Root Beer, the only drink ever to be named “Outstanding Beverage” three times by the International Fancy Food Show. She also associate produced the movie “Free to a Good Home” about animals in Los Angeles shelters. Jill is a vegan and an animal advocate with an interest in rescuing horses at risk of going to slaughter. She holds bachelor's and master’s degrees from Oxford University, England, is a member of MENSA and served as a founding board member of the International Institute for Film Financing.

Diane HayesDiane Hayes, principal at Diane Hayes Sales Training & Consulting is an experienced leader, trainer and motivator who teaches sales teams how to sell digital and traditional media TOGETHER for the benefit of their advertisers. Often doubling the properties digital billing while increasing their business development revenue and nurturing sales people to believe in themselves and achieve success beyond their own expectations, Diane is a trusted media executive who has worked with both large broadcast groups like COX Media, Tribune Broadcasting and the CBC in addition to smaller station and broadcast groups. She's a hands-on problem solver with extensive practical experience in sales, sales management, business development and digital sales, achieving results for both the station and their clients.

Bobbie LaportBobbie LaPorte, is Founder and Principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. For more than 20 years, Bobbie served in GM, COO and CMO roles at Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, GE and United Healthcare as well two Silicon Valley-based healthcare technology start-ups. During this time, she created successful career paths for many of her employees and ultimately, leveraged her innate ability as a career and leadership development coach, and extensive corporate experience, to found RAL & Associates in 2002.

Seeking a healthier lifestyle, Bobbie completed her first marathon at age 53 and, today, the 60-year-old athlete is training for her fifth Ironman Triathlon, recognized as the world’s most challenging endurance sports competition.

Bobbie earned an MBA at Harvard Business School after attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is a certified career coach and was recognized in 2013 one of the “Women Who Have Made Their Mark” at Watermark’s annual award ceremony. When she is not coaching executives or Ironman triathletes, she serves on a number of non-profit boards and happily rescues Golden Retriever dogs.

San Francisco Leaders Network 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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