Staff

Nicole Hmielewski
Executive Director
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Monette Leyva
Program Manager
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Board of Directors

Meghan Hogrefe – President

Meghan joined the Board in February 2017.  Meghan had previously volunteered for several years with the San Diego Rescue Mission working to help the women return into the workforce. She has always remained a champion of volunteerism with an emphasis on helping girls and women achieve their goals.  In addition to volunteering, over the last 10 years Meghan has worked primarily in area of Human Resource outsourcing and staffing. She has specialty in helping companies operate stronger by working to find options to streamline resources as it relates to being an employer.

Originally from the North East, at the end of 2008 she was transferred to San Diego in her Branch Manager role within a large staffing firm. Most recently, at the end of 2016, Meghan and her husband started H2 Productions, LLC which focuses on multiple investment projects including Real Estate investments in Sandusky, Ohio as well as launching a clothing line.  Meghan grew up in a small town in Rhode Island and graduated from Harvard University. In her spare time she enjoys running, surfing and most importantly, spending time with her husband.

 

Nicole Marquel – Vice President

Nicole Celeste Marquel joined the Board of Girls Rising in October 2017. Originally from New York, she moved to San Diego in 2013. She is the Director of Development for Wesley House, a nonprofit providing affordable housing and wraparound services for at-risk college students in San Diego. As a former educator working in high needs urban areas, Nicole is a passionate advocate for student populations and empowering girls in particular. Nicole holds a BA in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, an MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Adelphi University, and an MA in Education from Pepperdine University.

 

 

Christine Chacon – Treasurer

Christine Chacon joined the Board of Directors of Girls Rising in June, 2016.  Christine is passionate about serving the community, and concurrently serves as the Co-Chair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego Community Outreach Committee.  She believes in the importance of mentorship, acting as a mentor in the USD Alumni/Student Mentor Program.

Christine is an attorney practicing in the areas of probate and trust administration, estate planning, and business consulting at Walsh Law Firm, APC.  She is proud to work in a field of law that provides help and counsel to families that may otherwise be going through a difficult time after incapacity or loss of loved ones. She received her J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law in 2010 and was admitted to the State Bar of California that same year.  Prior to moving to San Diego in 2007, Christine worked in New York City for Kronos, Inc. after graduating college from the University of California, Irvine.  Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Christine now lives in Solana Beach with her husband.

 

 

Sarah Panis – Secretary

Sarah Panis joined the Board of Directors in October 2017. Sarah has also volunteered as a Big Sister for Girls Rising since 2014. She is the Founder & CEO of Gritty Movement Consulting, a consultancy that helps female founders expand their businesses through mindful leadership and operational efficiency. Sarah graduated with a bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of San Diego in 2012. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives in Hillcrest and enjoys going to the dog park with her English bulldog, Sadie.

 

 

 

 

Gina Mittal

Gina joined the Board of Directors for Girls Rising in 2018. She earned a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Public Health from Boston University. She works as a Director for a local nonprofit organization, where she manages a variety of counseling and case management programs. Previously, Gina worked in outpatient therapeutic settings as a clinical social worker. She also worked at the United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, overseeing collective impact strategies focused on education, and she worked with mentors at BUILD, a youth entrepreneurship program that supports high schoolers in starting businesses. Gina moved from Massachusetts to San Diego in 2017, and she grew up outside of Philadelphia. She lives in Hillcrest with her husband.

 

Biranna Mirabile

Brianna Mirabile joined the Board of Directors of Girls Rising in April 2018. She is the Staff Accountant at the San Diego Museum of Man in historic Balboa Park. Prior to moving to San Diego from Massachusetts in 2017, she worked at YWCA Cambridge as the Development Manager and at African Community Education (ACE) as the Assistant Director of Development and Human Resources. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA), concentrating in Non-Profit Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies, both from Clark University in Worcester, MA.

Brianna is passionate about racial and social justice, female empowerment, and creating community. In her free time she enjoys exploring San Diego, going to the beach, and spending time with her silly pit-bull, Bernie.