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Success Stories
Informational Interview Leads to Full Time Position for Colombian Sociologist

Name: Monica

Country: Colombia

Profession: Youth Center Coordinator

Monica, a Sociologist from Colombia had nearly given up on her professional job search. Out of her professional field for more than five years, she was working as a sales associate to pay the bills. Upwardly Global connected her with a well-known Chicago-based nonprofit. Monica now proudly serves as a Youth Center Coordinator for the organization.

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Upwardly Global's Impact

"Upwardly Global taught me how to improve my skills as a job seeker and helped me to see my weaknesses as strengths. Their guidance, help, and motivation are priceless."

Name: Celinda Mendoza

Country: Colombia

Profession: Systems Integration Consultant

Company: Accenture

Home About Us Staff

Staff

NATIONAL

Nikki Cicerani, President & CEO
Kenneth Cox, Vice President of Development Strategy
Rebecca Tancredi, Vice President of Programs
Allison DeLise, Manager, Employer Partnerships
Emmanuel Imah, Manager, Alumni Engagement
Meghan Lewit, Senior Associate, Marketing Communications
Sarah Olson, Manager of Program Recruitment

CENTRAL REGION 

Eben Cathey, Program Director, Central Region
Favin Gebremariam, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Central Region
Paige Korbakes, Employment Services Manager 
Karrie Miner, Volunteer and Events Coordinator

EASTERN REGION/NEW YORK CITY

Rachel Webre, Program Director, New York City and Eastern Regions
Paula Restrepo, Volunteer and Events Coordinator
Alecia McMahon, Volunteer and Events Coordinator, New York City

Western Region

Mary Voelbel, Program Director, Western Region
Anne Kirwan, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Western Region
Gitanjali Rawat, Employment Services Manager
Bijan Yaminafshar, Volunteer and Events Coordinator

National Staff

Nikki Cicerani, President & CEO
Nikki Cicerani became President & CEO of Upwardly Global in April 2009 after serving as founding Managing Director of the organization’s New York Office. During her tenure as CEO, the organization expanded from two major metropolitan areas to five, launched online, virtual services, and elevated its mission from a local program to a national conversation around skilled immigrants’ value to the United States. Upwardly Global's services now reach thousands of underserved immigrants and refugees across the country, who are increasingly being recognized as a valued community asset at the city and state level.

Today, Nikki leads the organization’s efforts to scale its impact by advocating for inclusion of skilled immigrants in federal, state, and local workforce policy, as well as full integration of this population into corporate recruiting and diversity programs. Nikki believes in building strong national and community partnerships that support the awareness and resources available to this often invisible and overlooked talent pool.

Nikki is a founding member and serves on the steering committee of IMPRINT, a coalition of organizations working to promote and implement best practices in the integration of immigrant professionals. She has advised the White House Domestic Policy Council on the economic integration of foreign-trained professionals. She has also served as an expert panelist at national and international forums on migration, including the 2010 Cities of Migration Conference, 2014 Global Great Lakes Conference, and the 2011 and 2013 Clinton Global Initiative meetings on the U.S. economic recovery.

Prior to joining Upwardly Global, Nikki worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She was an Associate in Morgan Stanley's Private Wealth Management Practice, and spent several years with Ernst & Young in the Economics Consulting Practice, as well as in the Office of the Chairman where she focused on evaluating the success of integration strategies for advancing women to the Partner level. Nikki proudly initiated and led the creation and implementation of the first network for women of color at the firm. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was president of Columbia Women in Business, and a bachelor’s degree in Policy Analysis from Cornell University.

Nikki lives in Millburn, New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Contact Nikki at 212-219-8828 or nikki@upwardlyglobal.org

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Kenneth Cox, Vice President of Development Strategy

Kenneth joined UpGlo in early 2016 as the organization’s first Vice President of Development Strategy.  Kenneth brings to UpGlo 13+ years of experience in implementing fundraising strategies across multiple platforms and a proven track record of developing creative solutions that support organizational goals. In his former position as Senior Director of Institutional Advancement at SAGE, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, Kenneth grew institutional support from $5M to over $10M in just five years, including four-fold growth in both government grants and major donor support. Kenneth is also an expert events director who has managed multi-million dollar events across New York City, including the world's most successful AIDS Walk, which brought in over $7M annually under his stewardship. Kenneth serves on the Board of Directors of the Union Community Health Center in the Bronx. He has a bachelor's degree in Russian from the University of Louisville.

Contact Kenneth at 212-219-8828 or kennethc@upwardlyglobal.org

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Rebecca Tancredi, Vice President of Programs
Rebecca joined Upwardly Global with a background in human resources and staffing. As Director of Learning and Development with Research International, she managed global projects in performance management, talent development and training. While Director of Human Resources with Bowne Business Solutions and Willliams Lea, she led the HR and staffing functions which gives her a strong understanding of the recruiting and interviewing process from the employer's side. She graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in Labor and Human Resources.

Contact Rebecca at 312-431-1923 or rebecca@upwardlyglobal.org

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Allison DeLise is the Manager of Employer Partnerships. Contact Allison at 415-834-9901 or allison@upwardlyglobal.org

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Meghan Lewit is the Senior Associate for Marketing Communications. Contact Meghan at 312-431-1923 or meghan@upwardlyglobal.org

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Emmanuel Imah is the Alumni Engagement Manager. Contact Emmanuel at 415-834-9901 or emmanuel@upwardlyglobal.org

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Sarah Olson is the Manager of Program Recruitment. Contact Sarah at 212-219-8828 orsarah@upwardlyglobal.org

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CENTRAL REGION STAFF

Eben Cathey, Program Director, Central Region
Contact Eben at 312-431-1923 or ebenc@upwardlyglobal.org

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Favin Gebremariam, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Central Region

Favin joined Upwardly Global in early 2016, bringing with her a background in marketing, social media, business development, and communications. Her past experiences include roles at Groupon and Nestle USA. Born in Washington, D.C. to a Peace Corps mom and a refugee dad from Eritrea, Favin grew up in Arizona with her 3 brothers and 2 sisters. Her passion and close connection to the refugee and immigrant community propelled her into a nonprofit career after receiving her MBA at Cleveland State University's Nance College of Business. As the Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships for the Central Region, she is part of the team responsible for growing the business portfolio and expanding relationships with donors in the region to expand the number of job seekers that can be assisted year after year.

Contact Favin at 312-431-1923 or faving@upwardlyglobal.org

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Paige Korbakes is the Employment Services Manager. Contact Paige at 312-431-1923 or paigek@upwardlyglobal.org

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Karrie Miner is the Volunteer and Events Coordinator. If you want to volunteer in the region, contact Karrie at 312-431-1923 or karriem@upwardlyglobal.org

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EASTERN REGION STAFF

Rachel Webre, Program Director, New York City and Eastern Regions
Rachel is responsible for managing program design, implementation, and outcomes in addition to employer engagement. Prior to joining UpGlo, Rachel spent ten years working at L'Oreal in Operations. She spent three years working in various roles at one of L'Oreal's manufacturing plants, and then transitioned to headquarters. Over seven years she worked on different brands, managing large, cross-functional teams to launch new products both domestically and internationally. Rachel has been volunteering with Engineers without Borders (EWB) since 2008 and currently serves as the New York Chapter President. Rachel has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact Rachel at 212-219-8828 or rachelw@upwardlyglobal.org

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Paula Restrepo is the Volunteer and Events Coordinator. If you want to volunteer in the region, contact Paula at 212-219-8828 or paula@upwardlyglobal.org

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Alecia McMahon is the Volunteer and Events Coordinator. If you want to volunteer in the region, contact Alecia at 212-219-8828 or aleciam@upwardlyglobal.org

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WESTERN REGION STAFF

Mary Voelbel, Program Director, Western Region
Mary manages program design, implementation, and outcomes in addition to employer engagement, funder management, and grant administration. She has led her team to achieve year-over-year increases in program results for every year of her tenure. She brings 10+ years of experience in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, including several years as a Center Director with SCORE! Educational Centers in the Bay Area. As the Center Director, Mary managed the sales, customer retention, and overall growth of her center as well as the outreach and development of community partnerships. Following her passion for travel and culture, Mary spent a year teaching English in Chile through the Ingles Abre Puertas program designed in collaboration by the United Nations and the Chilean Ministry of Education. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Argentina to continue her work in teaching, community outreach, and customer relations roles. Prior to joining Upwardly Global Mary earned a master's in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education to complement her bachelor's in Psychology from The Colorado College.

Contact Mary at 415-834-9901 or mary@upwardlyglobal.org

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Anne Kirwan, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Western Region
Anne brings more than 25 years general management and business development experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors to Upwardly Global. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Anne began her career in journalism in New Zealand and Australia, returning to Ireland in the 80s to co-found and manage a successful publishing social enterprise. In the early 90s, she moved to the IT sector where she held a series of senior sales management roles before moving to the U.S. in 2001. Anne has extensive leadership and professional coaching skills. She joined Upwardly Global as Bay Area Managing Director in early 2008 and led the team to double the numbers of skilled immigrants served and increase professional placements by 80%.

Contact Anne at 415-834-9901 or anne@upwardlyglobal.org

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Gitanjali Rawat is the Employment Services Manager. Contact Rose at 415-834-9901 or gitanjali@upwardlyglobal.org

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Bijan Yaminafshar is the Volunteer and Events Coordinator. If you want to volunteer in the region, contact Bijan at 415-834-9901.

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