Contributed by: Elena Carey
In February 2016, GEN launched the GENthusiast Society, a giving circle and shared-interest group for supporters of Girls Empowerment Network. The group offers another way for GEN supporters to connect with one another and build community. Through GENthusiast, members support girls while essentially gaining a ‘clubGEN for grown-ups’ with regular opportunities to engage with GEN’s mission in meaningful ways. Over the past year, GENthusiasts have volunteered, participated in Article Discussion Clubs, held Society Salons on topics like body positivity, the state of girls, and self-compassion, and attended workshops on leadership skills led by Lauren Russo of Lauren D. Russo Coaching and Pei Sim of The Paper + Craft Pantry. As the group grows, we’ve launched a leadership team to help us continue building girl advocates and leaders ready to lead equitably for people of all genders. Meet the wonderful members of our inaugural GENthusiast Society leadership team below and read more about the GENthusiast Society here or join today by donating $100+ or setting up a donation for $10+/month (it’s that easy!).
Clarisa Ramirez, Chair
Clarisa is a multimedia journalist, publicist and content marketing professional. She is the Founder and Principal of her own company, Small Coffee, based in Austin, Texas. Clarisa has been helping small businesses owners with their communications and marketing projects since graduating from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism as a McCormick Foundation Scholar in 2011. Her journalism work has appeared in Time Out Chicago, California Home + Design’s blog, CultureMap Austin, Glasstire, The Sparefoot Blog, Gapers Block, Bust, Hartford Courant, The Dallas Morning News,the Austin American Statesman, Citygram, Austin Monthly and Tribeza. Having served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, she’s also enthusiastic about community service and helping the greater good.
Arielle Scherr, Communications Committee
Arielle is an Israeli-American Miami native who moved to Austin in 2014. In Florida, she worked to empower elementary and middle school girls at Girls Incorporated and got her degree in Psychology and Gender Studies. Arielle used to work at GEN as a Communications Intern, has been a GENthusiast member since its first meeting and volunteered at the past two WAG Conferences. She currently works as a Program and Marketing Coordinator at the family volunteering organization Little Helping Hands, empowering youth to become community leaders. Arielle is very passionate about women’s rights, girls empowerment and advocating for survivors of sexual assault.
Ar’Sheill Monsanto, Communications Committee
Ar’Sheill Monsanto serves as the Director for the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs. She has worked in advocacy for ten years where she has been responsible for successful implementation of evidence-based strategies to create policy, system and environmental change in public health. In her current role, she oversees advocacy and public policy for YMCAs in Texas. Her responsibilities include working with statewide coalitions and community stakeholders to improve health. In the past, she spearheaded campaigns at organizations including the Illinois Dept. of Public Health and the American Heart Association. Ar’Sheill received her Master of Public Administration and certificate of Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois and her bachelor degree from Western Illinois University.
Chanel Geter, Events Committee
Chanel G. Geter hails from Detroit, Michigan. Currently living in Austin as a HR Rotation Program team member with Dell, Chanel is an active volunteer with Austin community organizations, including Girls Empowerment Network and the National Society of Black Engineers – Austin Professionals Chapter, for which she serves on the Executive Board as Programs Chair. Her commitment to community work stems from a dedication to service, as also demonstrated by her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Before joining Dell, Geter earned her Bachelors of Arts in American Studies & Sociology and then received her Masters of Arts in Management from the Wake Forest University School of Business. She always manage her own boutique professional development firm: M4H, LLC.
Clair Daly, Fundraising Committee
Clair Daly, as a SEU Alumna, connected with the Girls Empowerment Network through a university summer internship program and kept her engagement as a WAG Conference Volunteer and now avid GENthusiast. Clair is a Professional Development Assistant with the Texas Bankers Association, a Blogger for Psoriasister (a blog about ladies living with psoriasis), a Social Media Manager for a Cypress-based non-profit called Who We Play For and an aspiring Zumba instructor. In her spare time, you will find Clair creating “dope” playlists chock full of Beyonce, planning a birthday party for a friend or indulging in a much-needed pastry. Clair also believes you can’t have too many passions (or pastries) and is extremely passionate (and excited!) about her new role within the GENthusiast society.
Courtney Grams, Communications Committee
Courtney Grams serves as the Faculty Engagement Coordinator for the Faculty Development Office and Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning at Austin Community College and works to inspire faculty & staff to stay engaged with their ongoing learning journeys. Originally from San Antonio, Courtney pursued her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas in Austin where she earned a BA in Sociology and Anthropology and minored in Business. When not hard at work, Courtney enjoys volunteering at the Girls Empowerment Network and connecting with fellow feminists to see how they can change the world together. Courtney strives to find creative outlets and is passionate about artistic and functional design/communication and applies her skills in those areas to her work in the GENthusiast Society on the Communications Committee. Since her time at UT, Courtney has fallen in love with Texas’ capital city and never wants to leave the joys of delicious tacos and the constantly developing/evolving friendly nonprofit atmosphere that exists in Austin.
Lucy Weberlein, Fundraising Committee
Lucy Weberlein is an Austin native and holds a B.A. in French with a minor in studio art from UT Austin. Naturally, she started working in HR and is currently the Learning & Development Coordinator for HomeAway. When Lucy’s not at work, she’s off having adventures with her favorite dog niece, Charley.
It didn’t take long in Rebekah Epstein’s career to learn that she had a knack for getting her clients the media attention they needed to thrive. With a BS in Media, Culture & Communication at New York University and tenure at both NYLON and Vogue magazines, Rebekah knows firsthand what catches the attention of top-tier media. And through her time at the New York office of People’s Revolution, helmed by fashion publicist and NY Times best-selling author Kelly Cutrone, she had established the media contacts and relationships she needed to start her own successful PR firm.
But unlike most PR firms, where time is split across client communications, meetings and administration, Rebekah solely focuses on what she does best – getting her clients into the media! Across outlets, including television, magazines and online. Her reliability and results-driven attitude has landed her clients of 30+ PR firms with placements in some of the most renowned news sources of our time, including Forbes, Associated Press, The New York Times and more.
Rebekah has been published in business magazines like Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and PR Couture, and her work has been spotlighted in publications such as Austin Business Journal and Austin Woman Magazine. She hosts regular PR workshops for small businesses who want to learn how to get the media attention they need. PR firms also leverage her expertise to train their publicists, both new and seasoned, on the ins and outs of modern-day PR.
Excited to learn more about GENthusiast Society or have questions? Email Elena Carey, GEN’s Development Coordinator.