President & CEO
Carcoba is the President & CEO of GE Capital, Franchise Finance
(GEFF), a leading lender for the franchise finance market via direct
sales and portfolio acquisition. With over 30 years of experience and
$14 billion in served assets, GEFF serves over 5,000 customers and over
22,000 property locations, primarily in the restaurant, hospitality and
branded beverage industries. GEFF offers financing for all of your
With over 16 years of GE experience, Agustin is a well-rounded general manager with extensive expertise.
joined Franchise Finance in November 2010 from the Latin America unit
of GE Capital, where he was the President. While he was there from
2004-2010, he doubled the income and assets of the company.
to his role with GE Capital, Latin America, Agustin was the leader of
GE Capital – Latin America Equipment Finance, focused on broad equipment
financing in the region. Previously he was the Global Operations and
Six Sigma Leader for GE Equity, based in Stamford, CT. Before these
roles, Agustin held commercial jobs of increasing responsibility.Agustin is a graduate of the Tec de Monterrey with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and holds an MBA from IPADE.
Chief Executive Officer
Rooibee Red Tea
leader in workforce development, talent attraction and branding,
Heather Howell has over 15 years of experience as a strategic partner
for Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies, both in Louisville and across
the country. A former Division I athlete, Howell is no stranger to
creating a competitive advantage and delivering outcomes that create
value to all parties involved.
In her recent position as a
leader of Humana’s diversity and talent outreach, Howell has been a
driving force in establishing Humana and Louisville as an employer and
city of choice for top talent. A consummate relationship builder and
business partner, she secured funding and enthusiasm from across the
city to bring the National Women’s MBA annual conference to Louisville
in 2010. This brought approximately 1 million to the city, and created
opportunities for Humana and the community to host 75 leaders of the
National Society of Hispanic MBAs.
Prior to Humana, Howell
served as Vice President of Trillium Talent Resource, Inc., establishing
the U.S. operations of this Canadian healthcare consulting and
executive staffing firm in 2003. She exceeded sales targets and set new
sales standards throughout Trillium’s international operations.
earned her executive MBA while serving as director of workforce
development at CARITAS in Louisville, now Jewish Hospital and St.
Howell currently is the Chief Tea Officer (She refuses
to be called the Chief Executive Officer - she says it sounds way too
formal for the company she is building in Louisville). Howell oversees
all business operations for Rooibee Red Tea.
Former Chairman and CEO
Smith is a former business leader who wants to make difference in the
world by teaching, writing, advising and by sharing what he has learned.
the past 15 years, Doug served as CEO of Kraft General Foods Canada,
Chairman/CEO of Borden Foods Corporation and most recently Chairman/CEO
of Best Brands Corporation until its sale to CSM Corporation, the global
leader in bakery supplies.
His specific areas of interest
include leadership and organizational effectiveness, happiness and
well-being and the skill of dealing with setbacks in life. He also
focuses on emerging companies, CEO's who are eager to learn and enhance
their leadership skills and not-for-profit organizations, and teaches an
undergraduate course on happiness at DePauw University.
holds a BA and an Honorary Doctorate from DePauw University and an MBA
from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,Finance and Enterprise Transformation IBM
Loughridge was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer,
Finance and Enterprise Transformation of IBM in July 2010.
role includes the SVP and CFO responsibilities he assumed in May 2004
and the leadership of IBM’s continued integration and transformation.
was previously senior vice president and general manager of IBM Global
Financing, where he led the world’s largest information technology
financing and asset management organization. Before that role, he was
vice president and IBM controller; vice president of Finance and
Planning for IBM Global Services; vice president of Finance for Sales
and Distribution; and vice president of Finance for the IBM Personal
Since joining IBM in 1977 as a development
engineer, Mr. Loughridge has held various management positions in
finance, strategic planning and engineering, including manager of
Financial Services for IBM’s lab in Hursley, England.
Loughridge earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from
Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration with a
concentration in finance and operations from the University of Chicago.
He also completed studies at École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique in
|James A. Miller|
Executive Vice President and President,
Global Services and Specialty
Miller is executive vice president and president of Global Services
& Specialty for Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and
energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water,
safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments. Ecolab’s 38,000
employees deliver comprehensive programs and services to the food,
energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets in more than 160
In his current role, Miller leads eight operating
units within the Global Services & Specialty business, including
Quick Service Restaurants, Food Retail, Pest Elimination, Kitchen
Equipment Repair, EcoSure Food Safety Audit, Food Safety Solutions,
Small Business Solutions and Vehicle Care.
held key executive positions in Ecolab’s Institutional Division,
including president of Institutional, North America Sector; vice
president and general manager; and vice president of Marketing. Miller
joined Ecolab in 1992 and held executive positions in Institutional,
Corporate Marketing and Emerging Businesses. He left the company in 1998
to serve as senior vice president and general manager of the Immediate
Consumption Division of Minute Maid and as CEO of Busy Body Inc., and
rejoined Ecolab in 2001. Earlier in his career, Miller spent 13 years at
General Mills in a variety of finance and marketing roles, rising to
director of New Business for the Consumer Foods Division.
currently serves on the board of directors of the Multicultural
Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance, the strategic board of governors
of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas and on
the steering committee of Ujamaa Place, a non-profit organization in St.
Paul, Minn., dedicated to providing education, inspiration and skills
training to young, disadvantaged African American men. Previously, he
served on the Elliot Leadership Institute Advisory Council and on the
board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin
Cities and Steppingstone Theatre.
Miller holds a bachelor’s
degree in Business Management from the University of St. Thomas and a
juris doctor degree from the William Mitchell College of Law.
Vice President and Chief Information Officer Progress Energy, Inc.
Dede Ramoneda joined Progress Energy in late
1996 and currently serves as Vice President of Information Technology and
Telecommunications and as the Chief Information Officer.
Before being named VP and CIO in 2002, Ramoneda
was Vice President of IT Systems Delivery at CP&L Energy. In an acquisition
that doubled the company in size, she led the team that developed and
implemented the technology integration strategies that merged CP&L Energy
and Florida Progress Corporation into Progress Energy, Inc.
In support of the company’s pursuit of
operational excellence and its balanced strategy for a secure energy future,
Ramoneda has overseen the modernization of Progress Energy’s IT infrastructure,
architecture, and applications systems. She has led her organization in the
development of new programs and management strategies that closely align her
organization with the company’s business needs while ensuring the reliability
and integrity of the company’s cyber infrastructure.
Prior to joining Progress Energy, Ramoneda served
as CIO and Director of Information Technology for the Delta Queen Steamboat
Company in New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to that, she spent more than ten years
doing systems integration consulting and practice management with one of the
largest consulting firms in the United States.
Ramoneda earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial
Management from Louisiana State University, and a master’s degree in Business Administration
from Rollins College. She is an alumnus of Leadership North Carolina (an
executive leadership training program), and she completed financial management training
at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
currently serves on the State of North Carolina Technology Advisory Board, the
Strategic Advisory Board for North Carolina State University’s Computer Science
Department, the Board of Directors for the United Arts Council of Raleigh and
Wake County and the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Technology
Association (NCTA). Ramoneda previously served as Chairman of the Board of
Directors for the YWCA of the Greater Triangle and as a member of the Advisory
Board for North Carolina State University’s College of Management.
Gail Letts |
President and CEO, Central Virginia Region
Gail Letts is President and CEO of the Central Virginia
Region for SunTrust Bank, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. A veteran banker, she joined the Bank in 1983
as Employee Relations Manager in the Maryland Region and has held a variety of
positions including Director of Training (Maryland Region), Head of Retail
(Maryland and Greater Washington Regions) and STI Head of Branch Banking
Ms. Letts received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Wilkes University
in Pennsylvania, completed the ABA Commercial
at the University of Oklahoma, received her Certificate in Financial
Planning and completed the National School of Finance and Management and the
Executive Leadership Program, National Council of Savings Institutions at Fairfield University
in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Ms. Letts is actively involved in the community, serving on
the Board of Directors for the Greater Richmond Partnership, United Way of
Greater Richmond & Petersburg, Virginia Bankers Association, Richmond
Symphony, CenterStage Foundation and the American Heart Association,
Mid-Atlantic Affiliated Board. She has served
as the 2008–2009 Vice-Chair for the Greater Richmond Partnership and served as Vice-Chair
for the 2009 Heart Gala and is the 2010 Chairwoman for both the GRP & Heart
Gala; she is on the Advocacy Board for Homeward, a member of the International
Women’s Forum and the VCU Board of Trustees.
Ms. Letts was selected as one of the "Top 50 Women (Washington,
DC) Who Mean Business” by the Washington Business Journal in 2004 and twice
selected by the Baltimore Business Journal as one of the Top 100 Women in
Business (1998 and 2000).
Ms. Letts is married with one daughter and one
grandson. Aside from her professional
and community passions, her hobbies include the piano and golf.
CNN International Newsource
Kevin Gallagher is a 20 year veteran of international journalism whose birth in
New York to a purely Irish-
American couple is an
unusual beginning for a Spanish media professional. His latent interest in
realism" movement led him to switch course and land a scholarship to New
undergraduate and graduate programs of Spanish literature where he earned the
medal in 1985.
Upon completing his
studies, Gallagher was pluriemployed in Spain for nearly a decade in true
film production assistant, teacher, translator/interpreter and legal assistant.
stateside in the early
90s initiated his career with Turner Broadcasting, producing multilingual
the launch of TNT
Latin America. This led to a stint writing and producing the Spanish-language
program "El Mundo
de los Negocios" for CNN
Gallagher was a key
member of the team that in 1997 launched CNN en Espanol, CNN's
first 24 hour
network, working as a Supervising Producer and Senior Producer. He has produced
nearly every type of
news programming at CNN:
from political coverage to business, entertainment to
CNN Heroes. Before his current
position in CNN International
Newsource, Gallagher was Senior
Producer for CNNI Special Projects where he
co-supervised CNNE's coverage of the 2010 mid-term
produced, researched and wrote the two weekly programs "Salud" and En
exploring health and
Gail M. Romero CFRE CEO, Board Member, Advisor,
Executive Producer, Ambassador
MBA Women International
is the CEO for MBA Women International, Senior Advisor for MacKenzie-Romero
Consulting, Executive Producer for Rainmakers TV and carried the title of
Ambassador – Global Health for the American Cancer Society until August of 2011. Gail has spent the last two decades creating
and directing the development and integration of innovative ideas and campaigns
and strategic alliances with various policy makers, educational communities, associations,
media, academics, politicians, community leaders, foundations and corporations
to advance women in leadership throughout the world.
is passionate about building awareness of the need for more women in leadership
roles in business and on corporate boards throughout the world. She has worked throughout the US, Africa,
Central America and Asia-Pacific bringing over 30 years in various functions to bring about
more support for women’s and girls efforts to empower themselves and gain a
work has garnered noteworthy media attention and includes numerous published
works, presentations, interviews, collateral material, video, documentary and
film productions and award winning campaigns highlighting global issues
including global healthcare, women and girls, clean water and sanitation,
education and social justice. Gail continues
to provide opportunities to highlight women’s leadership and education
initiatives as Executive Producer of "Rainmakers TV” as well as the CEO of MBA Women International.
has attended Hilton International Symposium, Clinton Global Initiative, and
Global Philanthropy Summit, UN Digital Summit and numerous conferences on
philanthropy, which has resulted in many interviews and white papers. Included in her interviews are such
dignitaries as Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Bill Gates Sr. Co-Chair of Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation, Senator Sam Nunn, former Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, George Russell of Russell Investments, CEO of World Bank
Robert Zoellick, CEO of Proctor and Gamble Robert McDonald, Reeta Roy the CEO
of Mastercard Foundation, Helene Gayle of CARE International, John Seffrin the
CEO of American Cancer Society, Susan Davis of BRAC, Linda Lockhart of Global
Give Back Circle and numerous other high profile world leaders. Gail advised on the most recent white paper
co-written by Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang of the University of Indiana on
building global philanthropy.
currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council for Seattle
University’s Albers School of Business and Economics, Advisory Council for
iLEAP Fellows, Advisory Board for "Hey Sister, Get Clued UP” a CGIU program
through Global Give Back Circle and is a judge for the Global Social
Entrepreneurs Competition at the University of Washington. She has served as a visiting professor and international
speaker and presenter on social justice, women’s issues and education. She is a Paul Harris Fellow, Seattle
University Alumni member and is a graduate of Northpark University’s Graduate
School of Nonprofit Management and Certification and University of Wisconsin’s
Madison School of Business, Madison Institute- AHP program. She received her CFRE confirmation in 2005.