Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman
Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman are the founders of BrandLinkDC, a full service strategic marketing and public relations agency that builds better brands.
In a Sunday Styles cover story, the New York Times called them “the architects of the new Washington.” GQ magazine named Barbara and Jayne to its “50 Most Powerful People in Washington” list. The Washington Business Journal selected the two partners as “Women Who Mean Business” awardees and named them to their Power 100 List.
BrandLinkDC represents some of this country’s most celebrated brands across the fields of fashion, media, real estate, entertainment, sports and hospitality. BrandLinkDC’s clients are a mix of nationally recognized brands like SoulCycle, sweetgreen, Room & Board and Drybar, and Washington-based newsmakers such as Bethesda Row, Varnish Lane and CityCenterDC.
Barbara and Jayne also co-founded District Sample Sale, Washington’s most fashionable charitable event, which to date has raised over $320,000 for women’s and children’s charities across the region.
Barbara and Jayne are married to two incredible husbands, John and Jeff respectively, and they each have two amazing boys, who are still young enough to think their moms are really cool.
Barbara and Jayne are honored to be chairing this year's Knock Out Abuse, which they have supported for over a decade, and to continuing their commitment to women supporting women.
Cynthia Steele Vance
In 2012, Cynthia Steele Vance teamed with TTR Sotheby's International Realty to create an innovative new way to showcase luxury property using the power of video. Together they have launched the Washington Luxury Channel, a web and mobile-based program that open doors to some of Sotheby's International Realty's most luxurious offerings around the beltway. In just twelve months the WLC has attracted over 250,000 viewers.
Steele Vance, is also the former co-host of the Emmy award winning television show "My Generation", a lifestyle TV show that covers a wide range of issues from health and money to relationships and getting the most out of life. The show aired on 120 PBS stations nationwide. For her work on the show, she won the highly acclaimed DC Peer Award, which recognizes outstanding work in media production that comes from the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In addition, the show was awarded both the Communicator Award of Excellence and a Telly Award.
Cynthia is widely known in the Washington, DC area as the daytime news anchor for Fox News. She has anchored both the morning and noon news. During her tenure on the "Fox 5 Morning Show", it became the number one morning newscast in Washington where she was nominated for an Emmy Award as Best Local Newscaster. Cynthia also worked for Fox News as a news reporter covering Capitol Hill, and the issues affecting the metropolitan area.
Cynthia began her television news career at CNN's Washington, DC bureau, coordinating daily news coverage of Capitol Hill, the White House, and breaking news. She then hit the road as a television news reporter covering local and national news in three major markets across the country. She was nominated for two Emmy's for spot news coverage and won the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcast Award. Cynthia was also the host of BusinessNow, which was distributed by ABC NewsOne.
Cynthia holds a Bachelor or Arts in Communications from Mt. Vernon College for Women, which in 1999, merged with The George Washington University, where she now serves as a Trustee.
Dr. Rondi Walker
Dr. Rondi Walker is a surgeon and the owner of Walker Plastic Surgery. She is recognized in her field as a physician providing exceptional aesthetic and reconstructive surgical care.
For over 20 years, Dr. Walker has worked with Knock Out Abuse to help victims identify, understand and admit abuse. She has supported shelters and housing for women and children. More importantly she has identified the critical need for the development of educational programming and arrangement of legal assistance that enables continued recovery for the victims of abuse.
In addition to her support of the DC Lawyers Volunteer Project, Dr. Walker has brought on board DV Leap - Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project. DV Leap provides a strong voice for justice by fighting to overturn unjust trial court outcomes, advancing legal protections for victims and their children through expert appellate advocacy, training lawyers, psychologist and judges on best practices, and spearheading domestic violence litigation in the Supreme Court.
Dr. Walker's promotional "Knock Out Days" at Walker Plastic Surgery have become a valuable source of income for Knock Out Abuse. She will again this year donate proceeds from "Knock Out Days."
A mother of three, Dr. Walker, understands the need for creating a legacy for the Knock Out Abuse effort. She will be creating a Junior Executive Committee to ensure the continued success of Knock Out Abuse for the coming decades.
Gina F. Adams
Gina F. Adams is Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at FedEx Corporation. Ms. Adams is responsible for shaping and promoting the interests of all FedEx Corporation operating companies, including FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Services in the political and policy arenas. As a lawyer and the company's top lobbyist, she works with Administration officials, members of Congress, the diplomatic community and industry associations on domestic and international commerce and transportation issues. Ms. Adams also oversees one of the five largest corporate PACs in the United States for her company, which serves more than 220 countries and territories with operations that include 660 aircraft and over 80,000 vehicles and relies on 300,000 team members worldwide to make more than 9 million shipments each business day.
Ms. Adams is extremely active in the Washington, D.C. area. She sits on a number of boards including American University, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Town Hall Education Arts & Recreational Campus (THEARC), National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Washington Performing Arts Society, Fight For Children and the DC Public Education Fund. She is also immediate past Chair of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.
She has supported or underwritten countless projects and events that target education, health, our youth and the arts. For these efforts, Ms. Adams has been honored by many organizations and has been featured in local and national publications for her ongoing commitment to the community.
She joined FedEx in 1992 as Managing Attorney of the International Regulatory Affairs Office. She has held a number of positions since that time, including Staff Director and Staff Vice President for International Regulatory Affairs. She was promoted to her current position in 2001. Ms. Adams is a two time recipient of the FedEx Five Star Award which is the highest employee achievement award at FedEx. She began her career as a lawyer in the Attorney Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Transportation and spent nine years in the Office of the General Counsel.
She received a Master in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree from Howard University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from American University.
Ms. Adams and her husband, Eugene, have a son and live in Washington, DC.
Charrisse Jackson-Jordan is a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunications. While in college, she worked as a disc jockey for a local jazz station. After moving back to New Jersey, she worked for the city of New Brunswick for several years as teacher and then as a Site Facilitator for after school programming.
Charrisse then relocated to Sacramento California, where she worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for McNeil Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson and Johnson. In this capacity, she served as manager for the East Bay area and later the Sacramento Valley. She received numerous awards for being the top performer in exceeding sales initiatives for launching the nations leading anti-microbial agent.
As one of the founding members of the Sacramento Kings Wives Organization, she served as chair and helped raise thousands of dollars for several local charities. She also partnered with other team's wives to raise funds for several organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Northern California Sickle Cell Camp, The American Breast Cancer Society, The Sacramento Crisis Nursery, Saint Francis Terrace After School House and Francis House.
Charrisse is currently involved with various charitable organizations and serves on the Executive Board for Knock Out Abuse Against Women, the Herbert Hoover Foundation and Menz Fit. Most importantly, she is very supportive of her children Jackson and Skylar, who have inherited her philanthropic spirit and understand the importance of giving back to the community. She serves as principal for Jackson's Hoop Dreams and Skylar's From Me 2 You bottled water projects they created to help the homeless people living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition, the well being of a child is a primary focus for Charrisse who supports The Center for Child Advocates, Philadelphia, which provides a nurturing environment for abused children. She is also involved in Extra-Ordinary Life, a program that provides life-impacting experiences to foster teen girls, inspiring them to dream big and achieve their life long goals.
Charrisse served as president of Behind the Bench (BTB), The National Basketball Wives Association from 2005-2009. In this capacity, her passion for philanthropy and community service was taken to another level. In her previous position as vice president of corporate development, she contributed greatly to making a positive impact on the various communities BTB serves nationally. She has executed several charitable events across the country, generating millions of dollars for organizations that aid and/or educate women and children. While she served as president of this group of dynamic women, Charrisse expanded her philanthropic work to the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. In the fall of 2007, she worked on behalf of the NBA's Basketball without Borders global community outreach efforts. In South Africa, she took part in building homes for families in local villages. Inspired by the monumental efforts of the NBA, Mrs. Jackson-Jordan, along with her family, will continue their philanthropic efforts on the continent of Africa.
She remains active with her work in the community by chairing, hosting and/or supporting fundraising events that benefit local charities. In her spare time, she is a contributing writer for the Pro Sports Wives Magazine, a national publication and serves as one of the correspondents for the magazine's live, weekly online radio show.
Charrisse currently resides in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband Eddie and their two beautiful children Jackson (14) and Skylar (12) and two Maltese dogs Prada and Louie.
Trying to juggle a busy schedule, Charrisse takes pride in spending quality time with her children who she says are a special gift from God.
Michelle Schoenfeld is the co-founder of Renu Med Spa, located in the heart of Chevy Chase. Renu was one of the first true medical spas in the DC area and has earned a reputation as a prominent Washington hot spot for exceptional skincare and aesthetic services. Michelle oversees all of the marketing and public relations for the spa.
Michelle began her professional career in the pharmaceutical industry where she spent 10 years in sales representing Glaxo and Ortho-McNeil in Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC. Michelle is also a freelance public relations consultant and a contributing author to DC on Heels, a local blog that showcases the best in food, fashion and fun in the nation's capital.
A constant presence in her life has been her dedication to hands-on charitable organizations. As an only child raised by a single mom, she experienced firsthand the impact helping others can have on people in need.
Michelle previously served as a board member to the Service Guild of Washington and has been involved with numerous charities including: Fashion Fights Poverty, Best Buddies, Beads for Life, the Washington Humane Society and Knock Out Abuse Against Women. Through her business and her husband's medical practice, Michelle also supports the Face-to-Face program, offering free reconstructive surgery to victims of domestic violence.
Michelle attended The University of Wisconsin where she was a member of the crew team and chaired the student emergency assistance program, raising funds for students in crisis. She earned her BA in Urban Economics and Geography from the University of Texas.
Michelle resides in Maryland with her husband and 2 children.
Jaci Wilson Reid
Jaci Wilson Reid is truly a global citizen who acts locally. From East Hampton to Doha, Jaci has been a tireless activist for causes focused on women, children, the arts, culture and fashion.
Born in Texas where she developed a love for the arts, culture, fashion and politics, Jaci remembers the impact President John F. Kennedy's visit to Dallas had on Texas politics and how her life came full-circle when she served on the White House staff of President Bill Clinton. Jaci spent two terms in the Clinton Administration with U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as well as held senior positions at 1996 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Clinton/Gore '96 Reelection Campaign, and the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles before co-founding Westin Rinehart Group.
As co-founder of Westin Rinehart Group, Jaci was able to mix her love of the arts, culture and fashion with politics, pop-culture, philanthropy and her love of travel. Known as a glamorous hostess, Jaci opened her East Hampton home for many years to the VH1 Save The Music summer benefit concert which featured such artists as ñ Toni Braxton, Ciara, Solange Knowles and Neyo and for 10 year during the NBA All Star Weekend, Jaci hosted a luncheon celebrating the NBA Wives Association, women and organizations from around the world such as the Creative Coalition and London-based Youth Music. Jaci's always lending a helping hand to friends from Estelle, Hugh Masekela, Louis Vuitton, Nelly to Guerlain Cosmetics and for her philanthropic efforts, Jaci has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, New York Times, Allure Magazine, New York Post, Washington Post and Jaci was named to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People list and to ELLE Magazine's Washington, DC Power List 2010.
Since selling Westin Rinehart to The BGR Group in 2009, Jaci devotes much of time to The George Washington University Hospital Women's Committee, working with stroke survivors and globetrotting to support causes she believes in around the world. Jaci continues to be a patron of The Whitney Museum, The Kennedy Center, Love Heals, VH1 Save The Music Foundation, The Diamond Empowerment Fund and The Museum of Islamic Arts. Jaci resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband of 14 years, Morris L. Reid.
Sarah Guinan Nixon
When you grow up in a homeless shelter and there are 50 people for dinner and the only phone in your house takes quarters, it's going to shape your world view. When your after dinner activity is helping your parents prep breakfast for 700 of the hungry homeless you would be excused for feeling you had already made your contribution. The place was the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) founded by her father, Ed Guinan in 1970. Over the course of the next two decades Sarah would help her social activist parents Kathleen and Ed as they opened one community center after another including Zacchaeus Soup Kitchen, Rachel's Women's Center, and Crossway Community. Fortunately, Sarah's early full immersion in community service did not dissuade but engendered a lifelong commitment to the under-resourced.
Sarah has worked extensively in the entertainment industry, with a focus on music, film and event production. Her dedication and devotion to serving others and having FUN while doing it, is evident in the success of everything she touches - from an award winning documentary to the Manifest Hope Gallery. Today Sarah regularly calls upon her experience, talents and courageous determination to get the job done — and still she has time for her family and friends. She is engaged in the hands-on management of three family-owned historic properties in Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard.
Sarah volunteers on behalf of children, youth and families through her efforts with The Earth Conservation Corps, The Washington Ballet, YMCA of Martha's Vineyard, Wings Over America, The Pearl Coalition and American Heroes Saltwater Challenge. With a smile, ready sense of humor and a big heart, Sarah is always there to lend a helping hand. She is committed to service and to making her community and the world at large a better place.
But...Sarah gets the MOST JOY from the daily reality show she is producing with her husband Bob, it stars her three amazing children, Bobby 14, Mary Agnes 12, and Jack 9.
Gina F. Adams
Gina F. Adams is Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at FedEx Corporation. Ms. Adams is responsible for articulating and promoting the interests of all FedEx Corporation operating companies, including FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Services in Washington, D.C. FedEx serves more than 220 countries and territories with operations that include 672 aircraft and over 75,000 vehicles. More than 290,000 employees and contractors worldwide handle more than 7.5 million shipments each business day.
As a lawyer and the company's top lobbyist, Ms. Adams oversees the second largest corporate PAC in the United States and is the face of FedEx in Washington. She works with the White House, Administration officials, members of Congress, policy makers, the diplomatic community and industry associations on domestic and international transportation and trade issues.
Ms. Adams is extremely active in the Washington, D.C. community. She sits on a number of boards including the American University, the Town Hall Education Arts & Recreational Campus (THEARC), the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Beauvoir School (National Cathedral's Elementary School), the Washington Performing Arts Society and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. She has supported or underwritten countless projects and events that target the arts and community service organizations; she has also helped with numerous fundraisers in the Washington DC area that encourage support for activities that focus on youth, health and education issues.
Ms. Adams has been honored by Girls Inc., a 140-year old philanthropic organization, for her commitment to promoting education and opportunities for young women of all socio-economic backgrounds. She has received honors from the Black Women's Agenda and the Jack and Jill Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting education, literary and scientific projects benefiting minority children. Most recently, Ms. Adams received the DC Chamber's 2008 "Choice Award" and received a "2008 Women Who Mean Business" award from the Washington Business Journal. She was named by The Network Journal as one of its "2008 25 influential black Women in Business" and by The Minority Enterprise Executive Council as one of the "Top 25 Minority Women in Business" for 2008.
Ms. Adams joined the company in 1992 as Managing Attorney of the International Regulatory Affairs Office. She's held a number of positions since that time, including Staff Director and Staff Vice President for International Regulatory Affairs. She was promoted to her current position in 2001. Ms. Adams is a two time recipient of the FedEx Five Star Award which is the highest employee achievement award at FedEx. She began her career as a lawyer in the Attorney Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Transportation and spent nine years in the Office of the General Counsel.
She received a Master in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree from Howard University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from American University. She currently serves as President of the Capital City Chapter of the Links, Inc.
Ms. Adams and her husband, Eugene, have a son named Spenser.
Debra L. Lee
Debra Lee is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), and the pre-eminent entertainment brand serving African Americans and consumers of Black culture – on a global basis.
As the head of one of the world's most influential media and entertainment companies, she oversees diversified operations and an array of assets including linear and non-linear cable television, internet, mobile, and a music festival/events business. She is leading the company in current growth initiatives including continued expansion into filmed entertainment, a home entertainment business, and international distribution of the brand.
Prior to her being named CEO, Ms. Lee was President and COO for almost 10 years where she guided the company to consistent increases in viewership, revenue and earnings. She first joined BET as vice president and general counsel in 1986 after serving over five years as an attorney with Washington, DC-based Steptoe & Johnson, a corporate law firm. Prior to that, she served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Barrington Parker of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Her achievements in a 20+ year career at BET Networks have earned her numerous accolades from across the cable industry, as well as recognition as one of this country's most respected business executives. She serves on the corporate board of directors of Revlon, Marriott, Eastman Kodak, and Washington Gas & Light. Her business acumen and strategic approach to management make Ms. Lee a popular speaker and lecturer on a range of business topics.
Affiliated with a number of professional, civic, and cultural organizations, Ms. Lee is also a member of the national board of directors for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Girls Inc., National Symphony Orchestra, Center for Communication, and the Kennedy Center's Community & Friends Board. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Brown University and also serves on the boards of the Museum of Television and Radio and the Grammy Foundation.
Ms. Lee earned her juris doctorate at Harvard Law School, while simultaneously earning a masters degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She graduated from Brown University with a bachelors degree in political science with an emphasis in Asian politics.
Ms. Lee resides in Washington, DC with her two children.
Holly D. Muldoon
Holly Muldoon is the Chief Executive Officer of Glocal Forum, US, a non-profit organization and World Bank affiliate program headquartered in Rome, Italy. The Glocal Forum brings together the world's large city mayors, public institutions and private sector leaders in what is referred to as the "new diplomacy of cities". Holly's role as CEO is to advance the program's agenda and further membership of US mayors and participation and support of US businesses. She is also responsible for all legal, fiscal and staff management of the program.
Before joining the Glocal Forum, Holly has been advancing her career in the non-profit and institutional sector. She was the Executive Director of the Congressional Award, and prior to that was the International Program Director of the World Alliance. She spent six years in Europe first working as an interpreter for the United Nations and then moving into the NGO departments of the UN where she was a program director for UNICEF. Holly was educated in Europe and holds a degree from the University of Hamburg, Germany and a graduate degree in German Literature and Translation from the University of Vienna, Austria.
Washington, DC has been Holly's home for the past twenty years, where she has been actively involved with local charities and political fundraising. In 2006, she chaired Knock Out Abuse, raising over $550,000. She presently serves on committees for The National Ballet, Best Friends and the Piedmont Environmental Council. Holly's political fundraising has been primarily focused on the MD gubernatorial election and the 2008 presidential campaign. Holly resides in Potomac, MD with her husband, Hale Boggs and her 14 year old son, Michael.
Ann Walker Marchant
is the founder and CEO of WMG. She has over 20 years of agency, government and nonprofit public relations experience and has worked at some of the largest public relations firms as well as the White House. Ann founded WMG to provide clients with senior-level strategic counsel.
Ann leads a team of talented counselors who deliver senior-level strategic communications counsel to premier national corporate brands. She has provided corporate communications and crisis management counsel for Fortune 500 companies across a broad spectrum of issues. Ann also specializes in strategic partnership development to address issues impacting target audiences. She is recognized for her ability to craft and execute communications plans that increase awareness, raise executive visibility in strategic areas, and protect and insulate brand equity with stakeholders.
Ann is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. She serves as a director on the boards of the Washington Ballet, The Decatur House National Historic Trust and Preservation, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington and the Greater Washington Urban League, and was the 2005 chair of Knock Out Abuse Against Women.
Holidae Hayes is a Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor and Investment Consultant with Morgan Stanley. Holidae graduated from college and law school at the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Holidae worked at the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. She lives in Washington, D.C. and Palm Beach, Florida and is involved in numerous community and charitable efforts.
Norma C. Ramsey
is the Director of The Ramsey Foundation, a private charitable foundation dedicated to children, education and healthcare. Ms. Ramsey is involved with many charitable causes including Venture Philanthropy Partners, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the National Capital Region, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Make A Wish Foundation, Fight for Children, School Night and Knock Out Abuse Against Women.
In 2004, Ms. Ramsey was awarded the Larry King "Spirit of Life Award." This award honors an individual for extraordinary and lasting
Ms. Ramsey serves as a trustee of the Inova Health System Foundation Board, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, and The Larry King Cardiac Foundation.
A Maryland native, Ms. Ramsey attended the University of Maryland. She is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and Phi Kappa Phi. Ms. Ramsey's professional career was focused in the design and construction of custom homes.
She and her husband Russ live in Great Falls, Virginia. They have four children: Bailey (16), Eric (14) Mark (11) and Paige Alexandra(1). She enjoys tennis, biking, running, oil painting and professional sports.