Work & Life Conference Speaker Bios
Rebecca Diaz Bonilla
Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla has been an international consultant for law firms and corporations for over a dozen years. She works with practicing lawyers and executives to improve their oral communication skills. A member of the Virginia State Bar, she also serves as a communications faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (“NITA”).
She consults with law firms and corporations on the substantive development and delivery of many communication genres. Training objectives range from long-term goals of improving communication techniques to short-term goals of sharpening the one-time delivery of a presentation. She improves the substance and style of an individual’s oral communication skills, focusing on voice and speech improvement, body language development, proven presentation techniques, overall presence enhancement, and gender difference identification. She teaches lessons from the theater applicable to oral communication and the law.
From 2002 to 2004, Mrs. Diaz-Bonilla was an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Mrs. Diaz-Bonilla taught communication and advocacy to both potential lawyers and non-lawyers. Mrs. Diaz-Bonilla is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she majored in drama and received awards for her performances in theater both at the university and professional level. After receiving her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, Mrs. Diaz-Bonilla practiced law at Hirschler Fleischer in Richmond, Virginia.
Her new award-winning book, Foolproof: An Attorney’s Guide to Oral Communication, is available through Amazon and Lexis Nexis. Her second book, Point Well Made, will be available in January 2017.
Mrs. Diaz-Bonilla has been married for 17 years, and is the mother of ten children.
Alev Kelter participated this summer in the USA Women’s Olympic Rugby team in Rio. However, the journey to Rio was long and arduous. After ending her career in soccer and being released from the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team right before the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Kelter's life-long dream of participating in the Olympics was crushed. Until she received a call from the USA Rugby coach...
Kelter was invited to take part in the first group of women’s Rugby teams to compete in the Olympics, accompanying the men’s teams in bringing Rugby to the Olympics for the first time since 1924. This season, Alev ranks second on the U.S. team and in Rio was the highest scoring player helping the U.S. Women's Rugby Team place fifth.
A dual-sport athlete from Alaska, she played varsity hockey and soccer at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kelter previously played with the U.S. women’s soccer team, won gold as captain of the U.S. women's hockey team at the 2009 World Women's Championship, and was and was invited to join the U.S. Women’s Rugby team in 2014.
Mary Hunt, MBA, PhD (candidate) is an industrial/organizational psychologist and Assistant Professor of Business & Psychology at Ave Maria University. Her research focus is women's leadership and career development, entrepreneurship and the work-family interface.
She started her career in marketing financial services at Citigroup and has worked in performance management and organizational development consulting roles in healthcare as well as senior management in higher education.
As the co-creator of HomeAdvantage Plus, she offers practical, real-life approaches for balancing the daily demands of work and life.
Hunt earned her B.A. at Wellesley College, her MBA at Washington University in St. Louis and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Lourdes Arguello is a Lifestyle consultant. She has a B.A. in Education from Amherst, MA and is a certified Montessori teacher obtaining her certificate in San Francisco, CA. She received her Masters in Matrimony and Family from Navarre University in Spain and her Image Consultant degree from Style Innovators in Chicago, IL.
She has been married for 18 years and is the mother of four. She is the owner of her own business, Integral Image, and works for Pottery Barn as a Home Designer and participant in their To the Trade business.
Arguello enjoys learning, hosting parties and fitness activities, especially running. You can see some of her adventures on Instagram and Facebook at Integralimage or Lourdes Arguello.
Dr. Ann M. Brach, PhD, p.e.
Ann M. Brach is the Director of the Technical Activities Division at the Transportation Research Board (TRB). In this role she leads the division’s activities in support of an array of federal, state, local, and private sector sponsors. These activities—which are designed and carried out by several thousand enthusiastic volunteers from every area of expertise related to transportation, supported by a team of dedicated staff—include TRB’s Annual Meeting, dozens of specialty conferences, workshops, a peer-reviewed journal, and other products and services that advance the knowledge and practice of transportation.
Before taking this position, Dr. Brach served as the Director of the $218 million Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) at TRB, where she was responsible for overall direction of interdisciplinary research in the following areas: the role of driver behavior in highway safety; renewal of aging infrastructure; congestion mitigation; and collaborative decision-making in highway planning. Prior to becoming the director, Dr. Brach was SHRP 2’s deputy director and was responsible for overseeing the development and conduct of the largest-ever naturalistic driving study. In addition, she has conducted studies of funding trends, congressional earmarking, and stakeholder involvement in federal transportation research programs.
Before coming to TRB, Dr. Brach was Research and Technology Program Manager at the Federal Highway Administration and Chief of the Research and Technology Division of the Maryland State Highway Administration. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Northeastern University and the Master of Science and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she focused on management of research and innovation in the construction industry. She also has a Master's degree in philosophy from The Catholic University of America. She is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Work & Life Facilitator Bios
Beatriz Lopez Bonetti
Beatriz Lopez is Director of Public Relations for the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America. She also teaches Marketing Research in the Integral Economic Development Management Program.
She joined Catholic University to launch the M.A. degree in Integral Economic Development Management, providing leadership and direction as Program Director.
Mrs. Lopez started her career in Logistics managing production and export sales within the Mills and Cardboard Division of Smurfit-Kappa Venezuela to clients from North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. She then managed shipment logistics for the Latin American market for the Smurfit Kappa Group. Mrs. Lopez also specializes in marketing research and has conducted qualitative and quantitative tests and statistical analysis to identify product appeal, customer content preference and consumer behavior for use in company product and market strategy development for Nielsen Media Research, Telefonica and the Real State Chamber of Venezuela. She has directed and executed marketing research, strategic planning, budgeting and monetary goals for a start-up organization which led to the development of breakthrough technology seeking protection of families from harmful media. She managed relationships with national membership organizations including family, religious and civic groups using the collected market data to execute integrated communications and outreach plans to ensure strategic communications with their audiences. Additionally, she has collaborated on the writing and design of corporate communications that helped raise nearly $4 million in investment capital. She lives in Maryland with her husband and four young children.
Linda Maher has worked for the past 13 years at The Heights School as Director of Communications. She came from the Department of Health and Human Services where she worked as a press specialist in the Office of the Secretary. Before that, she spent three years as director of development for the Youth Leadership Foundation, which operates academic enrichment and character development programs for inner city youth. For over 30 years, Linda has worked in the communications field, first on the Hill, then at the National Cable Television Association, and then for Turner Broadcasting, the former parent company of CNN. She and her husband, Bob, have three grown children, Morgan, Tim and Lucy. She loves that first cup of coffee in the morning, Bob’s clipping service, her book club and the Chesapeake Bay.