WE Local Phoenix Keynote Speakers
Opening Keynote Speaker
Rachel Yanof, Aspiring Georgetown University Graduate Who Knew Demographics Does not Determine Destiny
Ms. Yanof, born in Anchorage, Alaska, grew up believing she could be an Olympic figure skater or President of the United States. Since the latter seemed more likely, Rachel decided to attend Georgetown University in Washington, DC. It was here where Rachel traded her life of stocks and bonds for tutoring kids who lived below the poverty line, and she was hooked. Rachel began her career and pursuit to help kids with Teach for America.
As she pursued her new passion—changing life trajectories of the communities she was serving—Ms. Yanof was selected as a Fellow for the “Building Excellent Schools” program. A program dedicated to training individuals to take on the demanding work of college preparatory urban charter schools. And in 2009, Ms. Yanof founded the Phoenix College Academy where she promised her students they would graduate high school with the option to go to college. In 2016, the first graduating class had 100% of its students apply to college with 84% accepted to a four-year university, and 100% attending a post-secondary school.
Ms. Yanof is also the 2010 award recipient of the Young Professional Athena award; 40 Under 40 recipient for 2011; and currently sits on the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, the Phoenix South Regional Council for First Things First, and a few more Boards to make sure every minute is used.
Local Power Hour Keynote Speaker
Dr. Connie Mariano is used to breaking barriers, used to shattering the glass ceiling and has been filled with achievements since high school
As high school valedictorian, graduate with honors at the University of California at San Diego, medical degree from the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, and a distinguished 24 year career in the U. S. Navy.
Dr. Mariano has also been the first in the following achievements:
- The first military woman to become the White House Physician to the President
- The first woman Director of the White House Medical Unit
- The first Filipino American in US History to become a Navy Rear Admiral
After leaving the White House in 2001 following nine years and service to three sitting American presidents, Dr. Mariano became a consultant in the Executive Health Program at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale from July 2001 to October 2005.
In November 2005, Dr. Mariano founded the Center for Executive Medicine, a medical concierge practice which provides presidential-quality medical care to CEOs and their families.
An expert in presidential health care including the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Dr. Mariano is a frequent guest speaker on television and print media on the topics of care to VIPs, presidential disability, travel medicine, and optimizing quality of care.
She is the author of the book, The White House Doctor: My Patients were Presidents, A Memoir, published in 2010 by St. Martin’s Press. Dr. Mariano also hosts her own talk show on the VoiceAmerica network, “House Calls with Dr Connie.”
WE Achieve Awards Ceremony Keynote Speaker
Barbara Brockett, recent Vice President retiree of Honeywell Aerospace and Champion for Men who Support and Lead Women
Barbara joined Honeywell Defense Avionics Systems in 1983 after graduating from the University of New Mexico. Ms. Brockett worked in a variety of engineering assignments prior to moving into business leadership roles for Honeywell’s Military Drone Program and Army OH-58/RC-12 Programs. For the next 25 years, Barbara led (as a director) several Aerospace Engineering leadership roles including roles such as the Director of Primus Epic Avionics, Director of Flight Controls and Director of Crew Interface Advanced Technology.
In 2007, began serving as Vice President of Electronics Systems Engineering and Applications and Vice President of Engineering Test Services. During this time, Barbara co-led the Honeywell Aerospace Engineering & Technology Diversity and Inclusion Council and served as the corporate representative to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
Through this work, Barbara championed several (successful!) Honeywell programs including the Aero Women’s Council, Women in Honeywell Engineering Network, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and National Society of Black Engineers recruiting and engagement programs.
So, it’s no surprise that Barbara is the winner of the 2015 Suzanne Jenniches Upward Mobility Award. This award recognizes a woman engineer who has succeeded in rising to a significant management position and has created a nurturing environment for other women in the workplace.