Mentorship & Connection > Our National Mentors Circle

National Mentorship Circle


Our mentorship program provides mentoring and guidance for any female of all ages. The goal for our Mentors and Mentees is to fully capitalize on the opportunity and ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with more women and leaders nationally. Meet our National Mentors Circle one every quarter via our virtual Speed Mentoring to establish the first point of contact! 

Our Philosophy


  • We value diversity of age, ethnicity, gender, religion, ability, experience, class, size and more- and to find ways to drive this through every element.

  • We have created spaces where women of many generations can interact and support one another.

  • We support participatory of exchange knowledge, experiences, and skill to foster unique opportunities for innovation, learning, and accountability.

  • We nurture the goal of learning from the past and reflecting on the present to create a more just and equitable future.

  • We also value vulnerability. We have real conversations about where we are and what we need to succeed- and are comfortable with change.

  • We want to create a new reality where women all ages can make progress from a real advice from real women!

  • We capitalize on the opportunity and the ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with more women in our community.

  • We are your Mentors, friends, peer-support and local network that join the movement of local women supporting women.

Our Network Partners: 

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Meet our National Mentors Circle!


Katy Crosby

Catherine “Katy” Crosby is the fifth town manager for the town of Apex, North Carolina, a suburb of Raleigh. In this capacity, she serves as the chief executive officer of the town and oversees day-to-day operations, a staff of over 500, and a budget of more than $162M.  She is the first woman and African American to serve in this capacity.  Prior to that role, she served as the chief of staff to Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and the City of Toledo.  In this capacity, she had delegated responsibility as the chief administrative officer providing leadership to approximately 2700 employees and overseeing day-to-day operations which included administering a budget of more than $800M. Catherine has an extensive background inequitable community and economic development. She serves as board chair for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and on the board of the Higher Learning Commission.  She also serves on Fifth Third Bank’s National Community Advisory Forum and is a member of the Root Cause Coalition’s advisory board.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she holds a bachelor of science in accounting and a master of public administration. 


A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she holds a BS in accounting from Wilberforce University and an MPA from Wright State University.  A credential manager candidate, she is a member of the International and Ohio City/County Manager’s Association.  She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.  While she has many accomplishments, her most important is her daughter Eryn is a senior attending Alabama A&M University and mentoring young women and people of color.

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Women in Public Sector

Town Manager Apex, NC


Maggie Bahler Rizzio

Maggie Bahler Rizzio has been a marketing and communications professional for close to 30 years, cutting her teeth at small agencies after she graduated from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) She quickly realized customer service was her forte and she worked hard for her clients in banking, auto parts, and eventually healthcare/pharma. Helping those clients craft messages and finding the right way to reach their key customers provided the challenge that has kept Maggie motivated for most of her career. She also spent time in retail marketing, working on well-known brands like Home Depot and Whole Foods Market.


About eight years ago, she veered off the corporate path and joined a small non-profit organization that focuses on providing support to anyone impacted by cancer. Gilda’s Club Chicago is part of a larger organization called the “Cancer Support Community,” which includes a network of 50 affiliates across the US and Canada. Named for comedienne Gilda Radner, the organization supports anyone diagnosed with or caring for someone with cancer – men, women, teens, and children – through a variety of activities, support groups, and events. In early 2020, Maggie brought her marketing and communications expertise to the Archdiocese of Chicago. She leads communication efforts for the structural and spiritual renewal of the Catholic church in Chicago, a movement known as “Renew My Church.”


Maggie got the travel bug early when she lived in Australia as a young girl. Trips back to the U.S. to visit family included stops in places like Tokyo, Moscow, and Manila. Since then, she has traveled extensively and also lived in Toronto, Canada for 11 years prior to her move to Chicago in 2004. On summer weekends you will usually find her on her bike and year-round you will likely find her with her nose in a good book.


She belongs to a few networking groups which keep her connected with strong women and strong marketers in Chicago. PINKK is one of those groups and she is grateful for the friendships that have developed there, as well as all the interesting events that are offered like cooking demos and self-care webinars. She is an active member who inspires us all with all her contributions and involvement.

Maggie is also on the Board of Directors of the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association and focuses on member engagement – from New Member Orientation to attendance at events to recruiting volunteers.

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The Archdiocese of Chicago

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Judith M. Myers

Judith M.Myers with JMMyers Marketing is an Ally for Equality and Warrior for Social Justice. Throughout an accomplished career in marketing that gave voice to prominent commercial brands, Judith Myers always kept a foothold in serving those without one.


As a communications expert, Judith transforms corporate storytelling and content into shared experiences that engage “consumers with merchandisers;” “buyers with sellers;” and most importantly “advocates with causes.” Her craft results in resilient customer loyalty, strong bottom-line gains, and passionate allyship for charitable and civic service. For the last decade, Judith works with a variety of clients through her private consultancy, JMMyers Marketing.


Judith is a dynamic leader in areas of marketing, branding, nonprofit and organizational change management. She has strategically guided Fortune 500s, national and global nonprofits, and associations to succeed with their customers, clients, and constituents. She is skilled in writing and design production across multi-channel formats and a variety of industries, including healthcare, professional services, technology, manufacturing, education, and humanitarian aid. Keeping her professional trade sharp, Judith had a long tenure with American Marketing Association Chicago as a Board Director, where she provided leadership and mentorship.

Most recently, Judith has shifted her focus from big business to allyship in support of public service, social justice, and diversity-inclusion-equity advocacy to give voice to under-represented, vulnerable, and at-risk populations. She is a Deputy Registrar and has registered hundreds of high school student voters in the greater Chicago area. She has been involved in political campaigns for local, state and federal candidates and also served as an Election Judge in the 2020 General Election. She served on a citywide community service project developing a database of resources to provide wellness aid to the elderly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Judith is active in organizations addressing racial bias.


Judith is a practitioner of mindfulness and compassionate healing.

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Aly for Equality

JMMyers Marketing


Athena Golianis

Athena Golianis: CEO, Creator PINKK LLC and President, Founder of AGW Idea Group, Inc. She has worked on venerable blue-chip brands like Arthur Andersen, Sears, Kraft Foods, Wal-Mart Sam’s Club, Hillshire Farms, Sara Lee, Midas, Alberto Culver haircare brands,  (Unilever) Beltone, the City of Chicago in addition to name a few for many formative years. In 2005 she became a dedicated entrepreneur and opened her own agency AGW Idea Group and has successfully run her marketing consulting and branding agency for over 15 years and continues to do so. She has launched start-ups and helped to grow and rebrand others like VENeffect, BreatheAmerica, Precision HealthCare, Citadel Healthcare, Kiva Recovery, Diamond Bank (now Wintrust) amongst others.  At this time as she is also taking her understanding of building brands to create PINKK and use her experience and knowledge to empower and inspire coaches and mentors and provide resources for women with this brand experience and platform. 

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CEO & Founder PINKK


Tonya Rider - Youth Mentor

Tonya Rider has over 27 years of experience in law enforcement, most notably her time spent working as a Detective for the Toledo Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit. Tonya Rider is the Title IX Investigator at Bowling Green State University where she investigates complaints of discrimination based on sex, dating violence, and sexual assault. Tonya began at BGSU in 2016 as a full-time faculty member. In that role, she created a curriculum for the Forensic Investigations specialty and taught undergraduate and graduate courses.  As an educator, Tonya has been able to impact the lives of many students by bringing her "real life" perspective to the classroom from her previous career as a detective. Tonya currently appears on the Oxygen Channel’s Cold Justice as one of a team of investigators who travel across the country to assist in the investigation of cold homicide cases. Tonya earned her Master's degree in Organizational Leadership at Lourdes University and currently resides in Sylvania, Ohio with her husband.

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Goals Setting and Education 

Title IX Coordinator-Investigator


Stephanie Douglas - Navy Executive

Ms. Douglas currently serves as the Executive Director for Cyber Engineering & Digital Transformation Directorate (SEA03), at the Naval Sea Systems Command-. She provides Executive Leadership for the execution of a unified effort to ensure afloat and ashore systems are cyber resilient, the execution of a digital transformation, Logistics Information Technology sustainment, and Information Technology services.


Ms. Douglas was selected for appointment to the Senior Executive Service in April 2016. She previously served as the Executive Director for Industrial Operations. She was responsible for policy development, mission direction, program execution, information systems, and corporate leadership of the Naval Shipyards; Supervisors of Shipbuilding Conversion, and Repair; Trident Refit Facility, Bangor; and Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka, Japan.   She also served as the Executive Director for Navy Regional Maintenance Center from 2016 to 2019 where she oversaw the operations and management of all Regional Maintenance Centers in private sector repair, intermediate level, and fleet technical support for surface ships.


She has six years of civil service experience as Deputy Director for Fleet Maintenance at

U.S. Fleet Forces Command. In this role, she was responsible for fleet maintenance policy and budget in support of two Naval Shipyards; three Regional Maintenance Centers; Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay; and Readiness Support Group, New London, to deliver mission-ready ships to combatant commanders and achieve the expected service life for fleet ships.


Ms. Douglas served as a naval officer from 1981 to 2010, retiring as a Captain with 29 years of service. She was an Engineering Duty Officer and served on USS Emory S Land (AS-39) as Electrical Repair Officer and at numerous maintenance activities. Her tours included Charleston Naval Shipyard as nuclear and non-nuclear ship superintendent for submarines; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair, Portsmouth (now a portion of Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center); and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility as Production Resources Officer. During this tour, she led the damage removal efforts in Guam for USS San Francisco (SSN 711) following the ship’s collision with an undersea mountain. She served two tours at Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center, Japan; her second tour as Commanding Officer, where she made all preparations for the arrival of USS George Washington (CVN 73), the first nuclear-powered warship to be home-ported overseas and which made its first forward-deployed Naval Forces availability at the facility. Her staff assignments include Commander, Navy Surface Forces, Atlantic, as Surface Type Desk Coordinator, and at Naval Sea Systems Command, as the Deputy Director of the Shipyard Management Group. Her final active-duty tour was as Surface Ship Program Director in the Fleet Maintenance Directorate of U.S. Fleet Forces Command.


Ms. Douglas graduated from Auburn University where she earned a bachelor’s of science in Chemical Engineering and her commission from the NROTC program in 1981. She earned a Naval Engineers Degree, a master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and a master’s of science in Ocean Systems Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992.

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Senior Executive Service (U.S.)

The Naval Sea Systems Command

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Kristen Ayers

Kristen Ayers is a wife and mom to Monroe and Verona and lives in Columbus, Ohio. She is passionate about investing in others and creating solutions. Having the courage to take the first step, even if you are the one in the room with the least amount of experience or knowledge, is everything. Everyone she meets and every challenge she faces, Kristen approach with integrity, honesty, and humility.

Kristen has a business degree, a law degree, an arts degree, and a real estate license. She started businesses and found with both of her successes and failures that learning from others on what was working and what wasn't and NOT giving up just because it felt uncomfortable or hard was necessary to get to the next level. Kristen is an Ambassador for SCORE, Women of Toledo/Her Hub, E-Seedling-Child, and Founder of the Vision Board Movement, which gives people a look into who they are, who they want to become, and helping them execute that vision with support and motivation.  As Mrs. North America Universal, Kristen passionate about embracing the value within people and creating the education, mentorship, training, opportunities for mindset, start-up, and customer exposure for individuals who need a change in their life and are trying to build the support and confidence to be successful.  

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Mrs. North America Universal



Lieutenant Jill Brown 

A U.S. Navy Reserves Public Affairs Officer, a Flight Attendant – United Airlines and Global Project Manager – Conference Direct. Lt. Jill Brown is a Public Affairs Officer assigned to the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) in Millington, Tennessee. She is the Social Media and Emerging Trends Department Head. She arrived at NAVCO in 2020, and previously served with United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF). While serving with USFF for five years, she participated in several high-profile exercises worldwide, supported hurricane relief efforts, and oversaw the public affairs desk in the Maritime Operations Center. She prepared daily briefs for the USFF Commander, a 4-Star Admiral that was critical to operational analysis and influencing the decision-making process. Lt. Brown was selected as a Media Relations Officer assigned to Joint Task ForceNational Capital Region supporting both the 58th and 59th Presidential Inaugurations. She facilitated numerous media engagements, a media roundtable event, and a press conference that was nationally televised.


She was selected as a direct commission public affairs officer in August 2013 and completed Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2014. Brown began her Naval Reserve career in 1992 as an enlisted naval aircrewman assigned to VR-56 at Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas. She continued her flying career for more than 20 years transporting military members and cargo all over the world. She supported humanitarian missions to New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina.


Her personal awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medals (six awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal, Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal Silver Star, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.


Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Saint Leo University and has earned certifications in event and program management from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. She also holds the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) certification. She recently completed a Project Management Certification Course in 2021 to help prepare for the PMP certification. As a civilian, Jill Brown is a Flight Attendant for United Airlines based at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia for more than 20 years. She was previously a management employee for United Airlines in Chicago, working in the employee engagement department. She recently affiliated with Conference Direct as a Global Project Manager with the conference management team.

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The U.S. Reserve Navy Officer

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Pat Nowak

Pat Nowak have mentored women for over 30 years. She believes that every woman will soar with the assistance of someone who has been there before. To this day, Pat still remember how her first mentor have shaped her life and made her very successful. Pat’s mission in life is to engage and empower women to succeed. Pat’s areas of expertise include Marketing, Public Relations and Events Management. She is the current President of the Toledo Opera Guild, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Toledo Opera. She is also the Editor of MLiving Magazine and owner of Pat Nowak & Associates. Pat’s career has also included the Executive Director of the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce of nine years and the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Seaway Food Town . Author of The ABC's of Widowhood, a practical and easy to read self-help book for those undergoing a loss from a death or divorce provides help that women need to get their emotional and financial world in balance.


Toledo Opera Guild


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Mentor-Mentee Progress Report

Please fill out this form as soon as you meet with your Mentor/Mentee for a one-on-one connection beyond  our  monthly Speed mentoring sessions. Thank you!