Certificate in Women's Leadership

Program Dates


$2495 per person


  • 3-day program

A unique new program for women in leadership

The Paul Merage School of Business has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion and is the number one business school in the world for percentage of female faculty (Financial Times MBA, 2019). From this perspective, the Office of Executive Education presents this unique new program for Women in Leadership.

UCI’s Women’s Leadership program is breaking new ground and seeking to prepare women to not only take a seat at the leadership tables, but to leverage their unique skills to create and shape these tables. This interactive program covers major topics including:

  • Negotiating the Salary You Deserve
  • Women on Boards: Maximize Your Impact
  • Women Supporting Women: How We Can Empower One Another
  • Financial Planning Designed for Women

For more information or to customize for your organization:

Office of Executive Education


MBA for Executives
UCI Paul Merage School of Business logo
Office of Executive Education
UCI Paul Merage School of Business logo

Recommended Audience

Program is designed for mid to senior-level female executives and functional managers who have been identified as key talent within their organization or women seeking to advance their career through leadership, influence, communication and confidence. We invite executives of all genders who support women in leadership.

Program Objectives

  • Provide women leaders with tools to build a consistently confident, credible and impactful personal leadership presence
  • Discuss the unique leadership skills women can employ and leverage to shape the future of organizational cultures
  • Create C-level panel discussions for open dialogue to address impactful topics including the recent California law mandating female representation on public company boards
  • Provide women leaders with exposure and networking opportunities to share ideas and strategies with participant peers, faculty, executive leadership coaches and C-level executives.
  • Create actionable plan for immediate practical application of key concepts
  • Form mini-affinity groups for long lasting, on-going peer coaching following the program

This program offers an intentionally small, intimate environment with a capacity of only 50 participants, therefore registering early is highly recommended.

Program Faculty


Maritza-Salazar-Campo Maritza Salazar Campo
Assistant Professor of Organization and Management
PhD, New York University

Maritza Salazar Campo research focuses on learning and innovation in teams and organizations. As a holder of a PhD in Management & Organizations from the NYU Stern School of Business, her scientific research yields novel insights that enhance the competitiveness of firms, the effectiveness of teams, and the quality of the work experience for individuals. Through detailed field studies, survey research, and rigorous experimental methods she explores several research questions including:

  • What are the underlying practices and processes that promote collaboration in teams comprised of members from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds?
  • How can leadership, team composition, and training enable science teams to integrate diverse knowledge, methods, and approaches to solve complex problems?

Maia-Young Maia Young
Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs
PhD, Stanford University

Maia Young earned her PhD from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and taught at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management for 13 years before joining The Paul Merage School of Business in 2017.

Her research examines the psychology of individual decision making in the workplace, particularly the way that decisions can be affected by emotions. Prof. Young teaches topics including Leadership, Influence, Team Management, Conflict Management, and Negotiations. She strives to make organizations a place where leaders and employees thrive and where each can be their best self.

Executive Leadership Coaches and Speakers


Janet IoliJanet Ioli
Leadership & Change Expert
Executive Coach, Writer and Speaker

Janet Ioli has been helping people and organizations make changes and maximize their impact for over 25 years. As a former leader inside Fortune 200 companies such as Cigna, Gannett, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, she understands first-hand the complexities and realities leaders face leading their organizations.

Janet has a masters degrees in both Public Administration and Business, an undergraduate degree in Business, and has extensively studied Human Development & Adult Learning at the Doctoral academic level. She is certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation and has an Advanced Executive Coaching Certificate. Janet is a author and a contributor to Forbes and to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global.

Kimberly RoushKimberly Roush
Professional Certified Coach and Leadership Strategist
All-Star Executive Coaching

Kimberly is the Founder of All-Star Executive Coaching, which specializes in coaching C-Level and VP level executives from Fortune 100 companies to solo-entrepreneurs. She has earned the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation. She is also a Certified Co-Active Professional Coach (CPCC) and a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Kimberly is a former national partner with a ‘Big 4’ public accounting firm and brings over 30 years of business experience to her coaching including extensive work with C-Suite executives, Boards of Directors and Audit Committees. Through working with an executive coach herself, she realized that the part of her job she loved the most was all about coaching, motivating developing, challenging and inspiring others. In 2007 she hung up her hat as partner and took the bold move to start her own executive coaching business.

Ruth BrajevichRuth Brajevich
Vice President, Strategic Initatives
Ware Malcomb

Ruth Brajevich is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for Ware Malcomb, an international, award winning design firm, offering architecture, interior design, branding and civil engineering services to corporate and commercial real estate clients. Ruth is an excellent strategist, gifted communicator, innovative thinker and inspiring leader. A member of Ware Malcomb's Executive Team for over 15 years, she provides guidance and coaching to company leaders throughout the firm's 23 offices. Since 1998, Ruth has played a key role in the company's transformation from a regional firm to an international Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company.

Today, Ruth leads several strategic initiatives for the firm, along with overall strategic planning and leadership and organizational development. She provides strategic direction and oversight for Marketing, Communications and People initiatives. A few of her notable accomplishments include WM’s leadership onboarding and development program, WM Mentoring Coaching program, WM Continuous Improvement program and WM Active, the firm’s wellness and philanthropy initiative.

An accomplished speaker and writer, Ruth was a panelist for the 2019 OC Women in Leadership Symposium organized by the OC Diversity Council. In 2012, she co-founded Women Leaders Connect, a peer to peer women’s leadership group in Orange County. Recent recognition includes 2019 OCBJ Women in Business nominee, 2017 Top 50 Most Influential CMO's and Marketing Leaders by Science of Digital Marketing, 2016 IMA Women Leaders Award, and 2015 Women of Influence in Real Estate Forum Magazine.

Ruth received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Ecology from University of California, Irvine, and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Harvard University Extension. She is a 13-time marathoner and breast cancer survivor, she has championed cancer research fundraising for both Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Komen Orange County.

Katerina HencovaKaterina Hencova
Certified Financial Planner
Continuum Consulting Group

Katerina Hencova is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP® professional) who specializes in serving women and their unique needs. She is passionate about empowerment through knowledge and guides individuals and families in building comprehensive financial plans and developing customized strategies to achieve their financial liberation. Katerina is enthusiastic about teaching her seminar called “Plan Like a Woman”, created to inform the female demographic on overcoming various hurdles of the gender wage disparity, living longer than men, lower social security benefits, and going through major changes they may face throughout life.

Prior to joining Continuum Consulting Group, Katerina spent 9 years as an Investment Advisor Representative with Signator Investors, Inc. under John Hancock Financial Network. She has gained vast experience in retirement planning, personal risk management, employee benefits and tax planning. As a philanthropist, Katerina is committed to volunteering and community service by acting in different leadership roles with non-profit organizations focusing on improving other people’s lives and building a strong healthy community.

Jen JaffeJenn Jaffe
Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer
El Pollo Loco

Jen Jaffe is SVP/Chief People Officer for El Pollo Loco, a position she has held since August 2018. In her current role, she leads the human resources team that drives talent acquisition, organizational & leadership development, total rewards strategy, and the people-first culture for 6,000 employees in nearly 500 restaurants.

Over the past 15 years in human resources, Jaffe has held many diverse leadership roles in both small, entrepreneurial organizations, as well as large, global organizations. Most recently, she was responsible for leading the human resources and informational technology functions at Too Faced Cosmetics, an Estée Lauder company.

Jaffe received a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Chapman University. She holds bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Sociology from University of California, Irvine.

Lindsay LawrenceLindsay Lawrence
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
First Foundation Bank

Ms. Lawrence brings over 10 years of experience in banking and deposit services. Ms. Lawrence currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of First Foundation Bank where she is responsible for overseeing deposit banking activities as well as designing and implementing policies and operational structures for the company

Ms. Lawrence was formerly the Senior Vice President of Commercial and Specialty Deposits at Umpqua Bank, which merged with Sterling Savings Bank in April 2014, where she led the team of commercial and specialty deposit bankers. Prior to that, Ms. Lawrence served as Executive Vice President, Chief Banking Officer at Opus Bank. In that role she oversaw and managed four banking divisions, including commercial business, income property, residential, and retail. She additionally held the role of Senior Vice President, Director of Sales at Opus Bank. Previous responsibilities include roles as Vice President, Relationship Manager at both Sunwest Bank and Vineyard Bank.

Ms. Lawrence earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northwestern University. She also graduated from Pacific Coast Banking School with honors in 2018. Ms. Lawrence received the honor of being named to American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking: NEXT List in 2019.

Linda MayerLinda S. Mayer
Senior Executive and Independent Board Member

Linda has demonstrated C-Level success in consumer and industrial products and components in family owned, privately owned and publicly held companies. She focuses on global expansion, strategic growth, technical innovation, and manufacturing profitability. Understands the business of business and what it takes to grow a company sustainably.

Linda rose through successive leadership roles in global companies with functional expertise in finance, strategy, marketing and product development, ultimately serving as President & CEO of a $1b diversified manufacturing company. Linda currently serves on 3 fiduciary boards, and additionally specializes in executive coaching. She is a certified SEC financial expert with a Wharton MBA.

Elizabeth PagliariniElizabeth Pagliarini
Chief Financial Officer, Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.
Director, First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ: FFWM)

Elizabeth Pagliarini currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc., a publicly registered non-traded REIT focused on investing in senior housing and skilled nursing real estate located throughout the United States. Ms. Pagliarini’s responsibilities include corporate strategy, capital markets activities, financial performance and reporting, risk management, audit and tax functions, and investor relations.

Ms. Pagliarini successfully broke the “glass ceiling” in her mid-twenties as chief executive officer and chairwoman of the board of an investment brokerage subsidiary of a public company in Beverly Hills, California. She also co-founded a boutique investment bank and registered broker-dealer.

Ms. Pagliarini is a member of the Board of Directors of First Foundation Inc., and serves on their audit, compensation and loan committees. She also sits on the Mission Viejo, California City Council Investment Advisory Commission. In addition, she proudly serves on the Emeritus Board of Directors for Forever Footprints, a non-profit organization that provides support to families that have suffered the loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy and educates the medical community to improve quality of care and response.

Ms. Pagliarini received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Valparaiso University where she was honored with their highest academic award, the Presidential Scholarship. She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

In 2019, Ms. Pagliarini was nominated as CFO of the Year by The Orange County Business Journal. She has also been named one of “20 Women to Watch” by OC Metro magazine and nominated for The Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business Award. Additionally, she has been honored by Step Up Women’s Network as the recipient of their prestigious Commitment to Philanthropy Volunteer Award and by Forever Footprints as the winner of their Compassion Award.

Christine ScheunemanChristine Scheuneman
Board of Directors
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach

Christine Scheuneman serves on the Board of Directors of Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach. She is an award-winning leader in innovative and strategic advice. A published author and speaker on corporate governance and finance, she is a Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors. Christine was a Senior Partner with the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. She serves on the Advisory Board at UCI’s Business School Center for Real Estate, chairs the Board of Trustees of Cottey College and its Institute for Women’s Leadership, Social Responsibility and Global Awareness, and is 1st Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Orange County. She holds a Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.

Theresa TavarezTheresa Tavarez
Senior Associate Director
Executive Leadership and Career Development
MBA for Executives
PhD, Fielding Graduate University

Theresa offers career management, leadership development, executive coaching and organizational development services to EMBA students and alumni as well as deepens relationships with Orange County companies as they become interested in sponsoring highpotential leaders at UCI Merage. She is a dedicated scholar practitioner, management consultant and professional certified coach.

For over 30 years, she has led a variety of leadership development, team effectiveness, and organizational development programs across Fortune 500 companies. Theresa is the founder of Tavarez & Associates, LLC, a global leadership and organizational development consulting firm. She holds a PhD and MA in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University, MS in Leadership and Management with a concentration in Organizational Development, and BA in Business Administration from the University of La Verne. She is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation.

Theresa is passionate about developing women leaders volunteering as a Work Smart facilitator for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), member of the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) of Orange County, Advocate for Women at Zonta International of Santa Clarita and mentor for Girls Inc., Los Angeles.

Kathy VrabeckKathy Vrabeck
Senior Client Partner
Korn Ferry

Kathy Vrabeck is a Senior Client Partner in the Los Angeles office of Korn Ferry. She leads the Firm’s North American Consumer Digital sector, working closely with clients on Board and C-suite leadership engagements across a wide range of high growth and digital industries.

Ms. Vrabeck brings to Korn Ferry over two decades of experience with leading interactive entertainment and consumer package goods companies. During her industry career, she held leadership roles at major game and film makers including Activision, Electronic Arts, and Legendary Pictures, and has led digital entertainment efforts in the fastest growing segments of the market: mobile, online, social networking, e-commerce, and ad sales.

Her early career included marketing, sales, and finance positions with ConAgra, The Pillsbury Company, Quaker Oats, and Eli Lilly & Company.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Vrabeck served at another leading executive search firm, where she partnered with domestic and global clients in the Consumer Digital, Media & Entertainment, and Technology sectors.

Ms. Vrabeck graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from DePauw University with a bachelor’s degree in French and economics and received her MBA from Indiana University. She currently serves as Chair of the DePauw University Board of Trustees and is a member of the GameStop (NYSE:GME) Board of Directors.


Michelle TerpstraMichelle (Cuoco) Terpstra
Sales Leader and Networking Expert

Michelle brings over 15 years of experience as a sales leader working most of career at Fortune 500 companies. Her clients have included Western Digital, The Irvine Company, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Pacific Life Insurance and may more of the most influential and innovative organizations across the country. She attributes her success to strategic networking, unwavering grit and her passion for lifting up others along the way.

Michelle chartered a premier Orange County Toastmaster’s Club, Toast to Rise, that currently operates serving over 35 members each week. Michelle uses this club as a platform to help other ambitious professionals hit career goals. She supports this group with additional workshops on networking, interviewing, negotiation and personal branding. Her club is customized and structured to help these professionals become better communicators, stronger leaders and industry influencers, therefore, accelerating their careers.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of California Santa Barbara and is grateful that she is able to apply her education to each of every day of her career. Michelle resides in North Tustin, CA with her husband, two children and her Labrador named Cash. She enjoys the beach, teaching yoga and going on adventures with her kids.