Girls Inc. of San Diego Board of Directors
President and Chair of Marketing Committee
Carla Vallone is a public relations and communications professional who specializes in bringing a voice to brands via media and blogger relations, creative communications and social media as components of integrated marketing campaigns. During her 15 years in public relations and marketing Carla has worked for and represented Fortune 100 companies as well as dynamic start-up companies. She is the Founder and President of Portavoce PR, a boutique public relations agency in North County San Diego that provides business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications to clients in a variety of sectors. Carla graduated from New York University with a Bachelor's in Mass Communications.
Vice President and Chair of Technology Committee
Carmen brings over 20 years of experience in Strategy, Management and Analytics Consulting and Project Implementations from various industries and she is PMP certified. Carmen received her Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from MIT and her Master's in Foreign Service from Georgetown. In the last decade, Carmen has managed multiple IT and software development projects, providing expertise in project management, requirements, system testing, quality assurance, and system deployment. As the owner of a startup, she has also played the role of front end engineering, focusing on HTML/CSS and responsive design. Her passion is ensuring that all solutions developed and implemented meet our clients' needs. Carmen grew up in Puerto Rico, where she played competitive tennis up through college in the US. Carmen now resides in Carlsbad with her husband and two children where she plays taxi to tennis, dance, theater and robotic activities. She loves the beach, enjoys beach paddle and is learning to surf.
Acting Treasurer and Chair of Finance Committee
Most recently, Ms. Conzen was the Fund Controller at Relational Investors LLC, (a SEC registered investment advisor, with $6.5 billion assets under management before liquidation). She was responsible for preparing monthly financial reporting for the funds as well as financial and performance data for client meeting materials, and was a key member of the team tasked with winding down the firm after the fund’s liquidation. Prior to joining Relational Investors, Ms. Conzen worked for Kashi Company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kellogg Company) where she was responsible for financial reporting and analysis on overhead, R&D, and advertising & promotion. Preceding that, she was the travel accounting lead at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. Ms. Conzen has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Secretary and Chair of STEM Committee
Mansi Thakar is a graduate student at University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership. With an undergraduate degree in chemistry, Mansi decided to get a cyber security degree after becoming intrigued with the field and realizing how highly transferable and applicable a degree in the discipline would be. To Mansi, cyber security is a field where you can be a superhero. But when you’re a modern-day tech protector facing millions of malware threats, you need backup. That is why she is drawn to the space where cyber security meets machine learning. Mansi wants to help shape how we meet the growing magnitude of cyber threats through data and automation. This challenge energizes her – the same way she is energized by the challenge of being one of the few women in the field, even though it is sometimes difficult. She knows that what she achieves can have a ripple effect and inspire others. When she is not working on her tech skills, she likes to practice yoga at the beach with her friends and cook Italian food.
Chair of Community Partnerships
Joy has more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She received her bachelor's degree from Cal State, University Northridge in Humanities and a certificate in non-profit development and grant writing from Loyola Marymount University. She originally started her career in the arts in Los Angeles but left for San Diego to pursue an opportunity to work on a bi-national exhibition and program in 2013 called inSite_05. Joy managed programs and events in both the Tijuana and San Diego region that encompassed more than 30 artist collectives and international artists. She also assisted in creating partnerships for the organization in both regions. Currently, Joy is the Community Relations Manager for Fab Lab San Diego a non-profit maker space associated with MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. She is responsible for maintaining partnerships, finding sponsors, organizing community events and outreach along with running its daily operations. She frequently teaches the STEM programs. Joy also conducts outreach for LRNG, a digital badging platform, developed by the MacArthur Foundation and Mozilla Foundation of which Fab Lab is the anchor organization for the City of San Diego. Joy is part of the San Diego STEM Ecosystem Design Team and is active in the Women in STEM group, as well as on the advisory board for A Ship in the Woods, an artist residency and vessel for cultural capital, in Escondido. She serves on the advisory board for The New Children's Museum in San Diego. Last year, Joy was part of a San Diego Zoohackathon team that won the international competition that addressed issues in reporting and combating wildlife trafficking. The team is currently working with the U.S. government and Vulcan Inc. in partnership with The Guardian, San Diego Zoological Society, and the London Zoological Society to develop their product and get it successfully launched. Joy raises her daughter Isabelle on her own and resides in Rancho Bernardo
Alexandra Faubel is a higher education professional with experience working in both public and private universities. She specializes in the areas of student affairs enrollment management. She is dedicated to improving college access and providing guidance to all students who aspire to earn a college degree. Alexandra received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and History from the University of San Diego and is currently finishing up her Masters in History at the University of Edinburgh. When she’s not meeting with students or in the library herself, she enjoys traveling and spending time exploring new hiking trails.
Janis Avila is an experienced leader in Customer and Employee Experience. Ms. Avila most recently served as Managing Director, Customer Experience for Union Bank’s Home Mortgage Division overseeing customer experience strategy. She received her Bachelor’s degree in International Business from San Diego State University and recently completed the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Design School. Her career spans across several industries. She held various Human Resources leadership roles at companies such as Union Bank, AMN Healthcare, Ericsson Wireless, MGM Studios and Univision Communications. She has been recognized for her contributions as a top performer and thought-leader. Janis is a regular speaker/presenter for Worldwide Business Research (WBR) and the Next Generation Customer Experience Conference (NGCX) as well as the Financial Services CX Conference. She is also a member of the Customer Experience Professional Association (CXPA) and her community contributions include Jr. Achievement, Communities In Schools, Nonprofit Management Solutions and Girls Inc.