Weda Atlanta

WEDA Atlanta

Womens Economic Development Agency

Fall Tea 2012

2012 WEDA Women of Influence Honorees  

Dr. Rubye J Byrd has remained in higher education employed as a Counselor and Director of the Federal Trio Programs at Clark-Atlanta University, Emory University, Mercy University and at Morehouse College where she has held the position of Director of Federal Trio Programs for the past 35 years. She has secured over 75 million dollars in grants for the aforementioned colleges and universities and has assisted thousands of students throughout the nation. Dr. Byrd served as the Mayor of Greenville, Georgia for eight years and still remains politically active on the local, state, and national levels in spite of a host of illnesses.

Dr. Katia Castillo is a graduate of the Mercer University School of Medicine. She did her postgraduate training at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, where, as OB/GYN Chief Resident, she first met Dr. Jacqueline Walters. In 1998 they formed Castillo Walters, an OB/GYN practice based in Atlanta, Georgia.Dr. Castillo, who was born in Cartagena, Columbia, says, “Uncomfortable gynecological exams are a worldwide phenomenon. I totally understood Jacqueline’s concerns and shared her desire for a ‘patient-focused practice’ rather than a ‘physician-focused’ one.“ She is a member of, among other professional organizations, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Medical Association and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopist. She has appeared on CNN Español to discuss gynecological-related issues.

Dr. Linda Cendales is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Emory University and Director of the Emory Transplant Center Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) Program and the Laboratory of Microsurgery. Dr. Cendales is the only surgeon in the United States (US) to have completed formal fellowship training in both Hand and Microsurgery and Transplant Surgery and subsequently performed the first hand transplant.  She was subsequently the first surgeon accepted into the Transplant Surgery and Immunobiology Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Cendales has co-authored numerous scientific manuscripts, abstracts, and invited publications.

Cori Fowler now 25, began her career at the age of seven as an apprentice in her parents’ company, American Technologies, established in July 1995. American Technologies is a full service interactive graphics, multimedia, software development, and online marketing company. Early on Cori received her Novell Certifications (for Linux Network Infrastructures), MCSE Certification (for Windows Network Infrastructures), A+ Certification (for Computer Systems); and afterwards, became well studied in the languages of HTML, Visual Basic, Java, PHP, ASP, CSS, Adobe Actionscript, and many other software programing languages. Fowler spends her time improving her intuitive wisdom and innate ability for technology and media (including 3D Animation, film production).

Judge Asha F. Jackson has recently been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to fill a seat on the bench for the DeKalb County Superior Court. Judge Jackson is a partner in the Atlanta office of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. Judge Jackson’s civic engagement includes being a founding member of the Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals (AULYP), serving on Mayor Shirley Franklin’s economic development board and Bureau of Hired Vehicles, sitting on the board for the League of Women Voters of Dekalb County, providing pro bono legal services to non-profits through the Atlanta Pro Bono Partnership and being a member of the Atlanta Suburban Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Parisa Khosravi (Executive of the Year Honoree) has been with the CNN family for more than 23 years. In her current position as the senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN Worldwide, she oversees CNN’s international and domestic newsgathering operations, which include more than 100 correspondents at the network’s 45 bureaus worldwide and the international and domestic assignment desks in Atlanta, GA at CNN’s world headquarters, while also overseeing International Newsource, CNN’s international affiliate division. Ms. Khosravi has earned extensive recognition for individual and collaborative reporting efforts.

Diane Myer is the Founder and CEO at iCre8t Results. Prior to starting iCre8t, Ms. Myers was Vice President and Group Account Director for Studicom, a top interactive agency in Atlanta. She brought in and led accounts for brands like Coca-Cola, Ferrari, BlueCross BlueShield and perhaps most notably, Kleenex’s “GetMommed” campaign. Now she leads a select team to achieve real results quickly. As an experienced keynote speaker, Diane has led lectures on how to adapt swiftly in the digital age, and her work with iCre8t is no exception.

Camila Ramirez—WEDA graduate & CEO of Idea Signs & Advertisement Camila Ramirez is an Industrial designer who has dedicated most of her professional life ,to the development of concepts in visual communication with a focus on corporate image and Trade show design. Mrs. Ramirez is CEO and co-founder of IDEA Signs and Advertisement; she opened the company in 2007 in the city of Atlanta with the purpose of generating new ideas, and graphic and advertising elements for her clients. In the past, Mrs. Ramirez held the Corporate Image Director role at the FNCC (Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) for 2 years, before moving to Dimension Design Company as the head of Trade Show exhibit design. She is the recipient of 1999 National design award Mrs. Ramirez, brings 15 years of experience and holds a BA from PUJ University in Bogota, Colombia.


Susanne Wagner has worked as a Human Resources executive in Atlanta for over 15 years.  For the past 7 years, she has worked for small technology consulting firms providing HR leadership and recruiting expertise.  Currently, she works as the Director of Talent Development and Communications for Red Clay Consulting, a privately owned software implementation firm with 30 full-time employees.

 Rhonda Wilkins is the CEO of Diva’s Unlimited, Inc., an event marketing and management boutique that has been featured in several media outlets. She is also Executive Director of Glam Concierge, The Booking Agency.  A booking service for backstage productions for the fashion, film, and music industry.  Ms Wilkins currently serves as the Public Relations and Communications Chair for the Ladybug for Girls Foundation, on the planning committee for March of Dimes North Fulton Region, and as a Creator and Executive Producer for the Legendary Awards and the InfluenceHER Awards.

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