Inspired Heart Foundation Co-Founder and President
Connie Viveros is Co-Founder of The Inspired Heart Foundation and currently serves as its President. Connie brings to the Foundation more than a decade of non-profit leadership experience across numerous charitable causes – all of them working for social justice.
Prior to joining IHF, Connie’s non-profit leadership career included roles as:
Managing Director of The Unstoppable Foundation, a leading humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by providing lifesaving assistance to over 50,000 individuals in rural Africa. President of The Collective Heart Foundation, providing a leadership platform from which hundreds of girls now have the opportunity to become business and government leaders. Co-Founder and President of the 100 Women Charitable Foundation where she led the organizations’ efforts to design and create and implement a system of collective philanthropy in the San Francisco Bay Area which has contributed more than a $1 million dollars to deserving non-profit organizations in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Connie is a longtime advocate for women’s rights and social-change philanthropy, and leads with vulnerability and passion for empowering underserved women around our world. She has spent the past decade creating opportunities and support programs for others in need, especially women and children living in abject poverty.
Connie’s interest in working for underserved women dates back nearly a decade to a humanitarian trip she made to rural East Africa. Visiting dozens of communities in both Kenya and Uganda, she was struck by the lack of educational opportunities and infrastructure for children, especially girls. Returning home more aware of the issue, she saw a similar pattern of opportunity gaps in her own community in the San Francisco Bay Area. She made it her life’s mission to give to organizations that provide education, mentorship, support programs and opportunities for underserved women.
Connie‘s personal passion is connecting with women who also believe they can and must make a difference in this world – starting with themselves. She is dedicated to creating inspiring content and programs that empower all women to transform self-doubt into self-love. She is a formally trained and Certified expert transformational life coach. Connie is an inspiring public speaker on transformation and she is the published co-author of two books on the subject. An ordained minister, she has served as mentor, friend and inspiration to girls everywhere from her neighborhood all the way to the Masai Mara in East Africa.
Loretta Stagnitto is a leadership coach, executive advisor, trainer, workshop facilitator, and mentor who has inspired and coached many highly motivated individuals, leaders and teams in dynamic and constantly changing business environments. In 2004 she founded Loretta Stagnitto Leadership Associates, LLC (LSLA) and in 2011 she launched The “I Know” System™ for Personal and Team Leadership Development. Loretta created this unique coaching methodology after years of interpreting how good managers become great leaders and how productive teams evolve into high-performing ones.
Loretta is also an avid supporter of health, education and empowerment for women and girls, and a Coach and Mentor to several dynamic female leaders and young aspiring ones. She serves on the Leadership Council of Rise Up, a global non-profit organization that invests in visionary leaders, local organizations, and innovative solutions to achieve large-scale change. Loretta helped Rise Up pilot a Youth Champion leadership-coaching program in 2016, and in 2017 began mentoring an amazing new Youth Champion from Pakistan who is currently living in Japan while obtaining a PhD in Sustainable Education.
In November 2017 Loretta joined the Board of the Inspired Heart Foundation, a female-focused non-profit whose mission is to develop and inspire underserved and at-risk women to become positive role models and a contributing force through heart-aligned empowerment and leadership programs. She is working with IHF’s Founder and Board to support the 2018 Empowerment and Leadership Training initiative designed to help a select number of deserving local women develop authentic self-confidence and the essential communications and leadership skills they need to succeed in life.
As an Executive and Team Development Coach at LSLA, Loretta works with individuals at all levels of the corporate ladder, from C-suite executives to high-potential senior managers, and she supports newly formed, intact, and cross-functional teams. Over the past 13 years, Loretta has delivered executive and leadership coaching and training programs to individuals and teams at Kaiser Permanente, LifeLock, Cisco Systems, Yahoo!, TIBCO and several other small, medium and large firms in a variety of industries. Loretta is also an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant with Corporate Edge, Inc., a San Francisco-based leadership consulting firm that offers executive advisory services to prominent corporations and their senior leaders.
Background and Training: Loretta’s effectiveness as an executive and leadership coach is grounded in her unique combination of extensive business experience and formal coach training. Her understanding of business professionals and organizations is founded on 20-plus years as a Silicon Valley marketing executive prior to becoming an Executive Coach. Creator of The “I Know” System™ for Individual and Team Leadership Development, Loretta received her coaching certification in 2004 through Corporate Coach U (a division of Coach U, Inc.), and has completed leadership courses through the Mastering Professional Management™ program at the Institute for Generative Leadership in Boulder, CO. She is also certified in several popular psychometric and emotional intelligence tools, and holds a B.A. in journalism and public relations from San Jose State University. She is a member of Watermark, the Bay Area’s largest membership organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions, and has served as a LEAD program mentor for WOMEN Unlimited; a Grade Level Advisor (GLAD) for the Heritage Oaks Chapter of the National Charity League; marketing and communications coordinator for the Yes on Measure E Los Gatos Parcel Tax Campaign; and a board trustee for the Hillbrook School in Lost Gatos, CA. Loretta lives there with her husband and is the mother of two young adult children who both currently live in Southern California. In addition to supporting women, Loretta likes to practice Yoga, bike ride, take long walks in nature, watch movies and write about her experiences in life.
Originally from Beijing, Yi Zhang moved to America to pursue her passion for science and technology. She earned her BS in Medicinal Chemistry from Peking University and MS in Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston. While working in the tech industry for 16 years with various companies (Yahoo, Comcast) and building her career as a software engineer, then a product manager, she found her passion for charitable work. She met the cofounders of IHF in 2016 and was deeply affected by their visions and devotion to empower underprivileged women. Yi is committed in serving IHF as a board member. She will leverage her experience with database management and connections with women-empowerment organizations in her contributions to the mission of Inspired Heart Foundation.
Alissa Gervais’ belief that we are all citizens of the world began early in life. Born in Nassau Bahamas to an American mother and Turkish father who both worked in the international hospitality and travel industry, Alissa was exposed to multiple cultural influences from the very beginning,
This unique awareness, which partly grew from overseas travel and living in various resort hotels as a child, developed into a passion for exploring other cultures and embracing diversity. True to her heart, she began a career as a travel agent, inspiring countless others by crafting experiences that went beyond the typical vacation, inviting clients to experience a more well-rounded sense of the local culture they were visiting.
As a former youth of the Department of Family and Children’s Services, Alissa has experienced less privileged lifestyles as well, seeing firsthand the difficulties that arise from being under-served by ‘the system.’ These divergent experiences have allowed Alissa a rarefied observation of privilege and struggle and have underscored her belief in hope, help and actionable methodologies for change.
For the past 15 years, Alissa has aimed her unique sense of practicality and optimism, and her belief in the power of creating positive experiences, at the tech industry. She has helped a variety of lifestyle brands – from Healthcare and Gaming to Education and Hospitality — leverage their technology in ways that support and improve the client experience through database marketing automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). She is currently enrolled at Pepperdine University, working on her Executive MBA with an aim toward expanding her leadership abilities.
Throughout her varied career in service industries, she has been a strong women’s advocate, beginning with the March for Women’s Lives in Washington DC. Barely a teenager at the time, she walked with the National Organization for Women for Pro-choice and remembers being very much in awe of the movement’s power and united purpose. She also volunteered for Planned Parenthood on the weekends while in high school.
Alissa recently joined the Inspired Heart Foundation which helps at-risk women attain a deeper sense of self-worth and gain essential communication and leadership skills to succeed. Drawing on her life experience, she has been able to relate to women who have aged out of the foster system as well as single moms, women who have suffered abuse or immigrants who need a helping hand.
Alissa is committed to building a community that will lift under-served women up and out of unfortunate circumstances and enable them to create a life they love. Being on the board of the Inspired Heart Foundation is important to her because now more than ever we need to unite and cultivate the next generation of women leaders to change the world.
Michelle Koblas is dedicated to helping companies and individuals grow and succeed. Currently the VP of Professional Services for a cyber security consulting organization, Michelle has spent her career as a technical leader, a mentor, and a coach.
Michelle has inspired CEOs and been instrumental in the foundation of companies ranging from a small dance studio to large technology organizations. She volunteers regularly to provide resume and career guidance and is passionate about helping people make connections and to find their confidence and strength.
Michelle believes in strong collaboration and partnerships. Over her career, she has participated in several women’s leadership organizations and is excited about the opportunity to give back through IHF and to help empower women to become leaders in our community.
Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in Computer Science from Pacific Lutheran University and has spent more than 20 years providing leadership to diverse technical teams at companies such as Cisco, eBay, and Brocade. She is fluent in Norwegian, loves puzzles, board gaming, hiking, biking, travel, experiencing other cultures, and spontaneous adventures.
Megan Walrod, Founder of Live Your Yes, LLC, is an author, speaker and heart-based copywriter and business coach. Over the past decade she has shown hundreds of entrepreneurs how to build profitable and purposeful businesses. She is passionate about empowering women (and girls) to find their voice, claim their value and share their gifts with the world.
Before starting Live Your Yes, Megan was one of the lead coaches, trainers and copywriters for a premier 7-figure company in the marketing industry. Before that, she was a consultant for a Global Fortune 500 Company, writing and delivering training for an international audience.
Megan received a Master’s degree in Organization Development (from Bowling Green State University) and one in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology (from Naropa University). Her love of learning is surpassed only by her love of words, and using them to inspire and empower.
Megan encourages her clients to “Live Your Yes,” knowing that when we live an inspired life, we are more magnetic and create greater success for everyone. She shows her clients how to bring the fun and magic into marketing, business and life.
Currently, Megan is “Living Her Yes” in Uganda. Following a calling and a deep desire to pay her privilege forward, she is volunteering with a non-profit called Girl Up Initiative Uganda. GUIU is an NGO that empowers women and educates girls growing up in the slums of Kampala. The Inspired Heart Foundation is very excited about the project that Megan is working on with the adolescent girls of GUIU. To find out more details about their project and how you can get involved, click here.
“Women who are confidently themselves, bring light into the world.”
Founder, Inspired Heart Foundation