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Executive Team




Ellie Windham

Founder & Coach

Ellie Windham is a wellness community builder. She is an experienced events and program professional specializing in tech, corporate and higher education. Currently, she leads holistic health programming at a local university. She is a certified RRCA running coach, ultramarathoner with Girls Run NYC and an Elevated Adidas Crew Member who supports the AR women initiatives.


She is also the founder of Walking In Other People's Shoes an organization empowering Women of Color voices by providing transformative experiences through storytelling and community. She is a mental health advocate who empowers women and inspires others through her own life transformation. She holds a M.A. in International Education from NYU and a B.A. in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan.

Amanda Dresen

Communications and Product Development Manager

Amanda Dresen met Ellie while running and was drawn to her energy. Shortly after meeting, Amanda became an editor for Walking in Other People’s Shoes and has grown with WIOPS. Originally from Wisconsin, she studied Textile and Apparel Design in a connected program at both UW-Madison and the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. After almost a decade in New York, she now splits her time between NYC and Wisconsin and stays busy with multiple hobbies.

Amanda is a firm believer that the outdoors should be accessible to all, as nature has exceptional therapeutic potential. She spends as much time outside as possible whether running, hiking, biking, or just sitting. She fills her heart with family and friends while always searching for ways to help others.

Communications and Product Development Manager


Communication Team



Rowana Abbensetts-Dobson 


Rowana is a Guyanese-American writer, mental health advocate, and founder of Spoken Black Girl, a publishing & media company that promotes mental health and wellness among Black women & women of color by amplifying emerging voices. Rowana has had fiction and poetry published in Moko Magazine, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Culture Push, and Free Verse Magazine. As a freelance health and wellness writer, Rowana has written for Well +Good, Bold Culture by Streamline Media, The Tempest, and Electric Lit. Her debut novel, Departure Story, published by Spoken Black Girl Publishing on June 1, 2021, is now available for your reading pleasure.

Jasmine Gonzalez


Jasmine Gonzalez is from New York City and has graduated with her bachelor’s degree with Highest Honors from Lehman College. Through her coursework in English literature, the works of women of color that came before her provided her with the ammunition against her own demons by showing her that she has a voice. Writing poetry is how she reclaims the power over the aspects of her mental health that can spin out of control.  In finding her voice, she has submitted to and assisted in editing Lehman’s literary magazine, Obscura. Her senior thesis focused on Nuyorican women writers and their impact on the literary world. In writing her thesis, Jasmine was inspired to trace her own familial roots from Puerto Rico, which she is still in the process of doing to further strengthen her identity as a woman of color from a historical standpoint. In the future, she hopes to publish her own writing to further help the agenda of giving voices to marginalized writers, especially those who struggle with mental health. 





Lisa Marie Zapata


Lisa Marie Zapata has been writing professionally for over fifteen years. Beginning her career in the nonprofit sector, she helped create mission statements, build the corporate narratives, and assist in the grant writing process of small and large organizations alike.  She pivoted into the private sector offering translation services to advocate for underrepresented peoples. 


Creatively, she translated the Argentine play Aucenia (Absence) and won an Art House Productions grant for a showcase. Lisa loves food, cooking, coffee, and dancing. Her ode to coffee appeared in Miriam Gurba’s online publication Tasteful Rude. Whenever she is not writing, Lisa can be found on the nearest dance floor cutting a rug with her salsa moves.

Coaching Team

Jessica LeBron


Jessica LeBron is the founder of Golden Sol NYC, LLC, a consulting agency dedicated to wellness and education operating out of Brooklyn, NY. Among the services it provides are yoga instruction, marathon training, social-emotional facilitation, and academic support and training.


She is a USA Track & Field Level 1 coach and is certified by Breath for Change in Social-Emotional Learning and Yoga Teaching. Jessica is currently a special education teacher at Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in Brownville, Brooklyn. Prior to teaching, she worked in the advertising industry for 17 years as a media planner for print and digital media.


Jessica has earned an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from Bronx Community College (BCC); a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Literature, Communication, and Arts from The City College of New York (CCNY), and a Master of Science in Adolescent Special Education Generalist from Hunter College (CUNY). Lebron, who is AfroBoricua and an active runner, currently resides in Brooklyn.





Macollvie J. Neel


Macollvie J. Neel is a Brooklyn-based writer and communications consultant with a track record of creating content for motivated individuals, businesses, and media publications. 


For ten years, Macollvie has planned and executed award-winning communications for Fortune 500 companies, including Disney and MetLife. Prior, she was a reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Haitian Times. Macollvie also contributed to the acclaimed “Feet in Two Worlds” radio documentary about immigrants and the companion blog. 


Macollvie is the founder and principal of Comms Maven L.L.C. She holds an M.B.A. from Florida International University and a B.A. from Baruch College-CUNY.

Jean Park


Jean Park is a coach and former therapist who creates embodied, holistic growth experiences for her clients. She believes that everyone is capable of healing and growth, and is passionate about walking with people who are pursuing wholeness in their lives. In addition to her own intentional growth journey, Jean draws from over 15 years of leadership roles in various non-profits and faith communities.

Jean has her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Seminary and her B.S. in Economics from Caltech. She was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, called Houston home for eight years, then spent a year with her family on a cross-continental RV journey in an Airstream. She now lives in Manhattan with her husband and three boys.



Creative and Marketing Team

Event Photographer


Julia Azcona

Event Photographer

Julia has a passion for capturing human interaction and photography because it allows her to engage with people and learn their stories. She aims to create proof of the human experience: The experience of feeling love and being loved, the joy of laughter, the tears that come with sadness, and the excitement and nervousness that may accompany new adventures.  Her overall mission is to capture how people are full of LIFE because of their emotional connection to life’s moments. She operates and owns a small business specializing in portraiture with emphasis on documentary photography. She loves crafting vibrant, energetic, and unique images that capture both the person and the moment harmoniously. In addition, Julia works full time at Teach for America, a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform education and systems that make it difficult for children to learn, lead, and thrive.


Julia has her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Women Studies from St. Francis College. She was born in The Dominican Republic and moved to the US at the age of ten. She lives in Queens with her two senior dogs. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, wine (while cooking), reading poetry, dancing, and running.

Efia Crandon

Makeup Artist

Efia Crandon is a Makeup Artist, Esthetician and Educator who is on a mission to help women develop the skills and confidence they need to walk in Radical Self-Acceptance, Clarity and Boldness. She has always had an innate attraction to beauty and wellness. With over 15 years of experience Efia has beautified countless faces and given skincare recommendations to help get her clients skin all the way together. Not only did she earn her aesthetic license from the Aveda Institute in New York City, she also gained valuable knowledge about the science of skin and how to improve its appearance.

This is not about narcissistic beauty—this is about the power of self-care. Efia believes that women feel most attractive when the connection between what’s on the inside and outside is in sync. Her overall goal with her clients is to build confidence and authenticity.

Makeup Artist


Samantha Luk

Product Coordinator

Product Coordinator

Samantha is a Fashion Merchandiser based in New York City. She has over ten years of experience in Strategic Merchandising, Buying and Planning. She most recently helped launch a legacy children’s apparel brand called Gymboree with more than 400 locations worldwide. Furthermore, she has an extensive background working with plus size apparel and has come to understand how fashion has an impact on a person’s identity when it comes to inclusivity and representation. Samantha has also been active in her community. She was the Digital Creative Concept Director for the OCA-APAI group, dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

Eve May

Event Marketing Coordinator 

Eve was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States at age 20 without knowing a word of English. The plan was just to visit for the summer but 16 years later, New York feels more like home than anywhere else. 

If you know Eve, you know she is smiling 99% of the time. She loves ice cream, coffee, rainy days, and running, of course. During the pandemic, she created a few passion projects : Amateur Camper and Amateur Catering. Eve is currently working in the functional beverage industry for Brew Dr. Kombucha, based in Portland.

Event Marketing Coordinator


Lead Videographer

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Christine Riveria 

Lead Videographer, Editor and Photographer

Christine is dedicated to capturing timeless moments through her videography and photography. From her time working in Diversity and Inclusion and the non-profit sector she discovered her mission for uplifting and empowering the voices of diverse communities. She is now a freelance videographer and photographer creating art to share the voices of others. Her passion lies in the ingenuity, reminiscence and insight associated with these creative pursuits.
Christine has her BA in Women Gender Studies and Human Resources from Rutgers University. She is a New Jersey native that loves to travel, skate, and spread kindness!

Facilitator Team

Ruth Perez

Multicultural Children’s Book Club Co-facilitator 

Ruth is Puerto- Rican and Dominican, born and raised in The Bronx, NY. She has learned slowly but surely the beauty in being a woman of color, embracing the melanin and mane of curls on her head.


As a minority living in the South Bronx, she saw the lack of equity that there was in education. She is a firm believer that children are our biggest investment. Ruth is someone who loves children, and always says “They can turn any frown into a smile.” Which is why she is currently volunteering in underserved communities as a tutor in elementary schools, conducting literacy centers. 


She is a sophomore at Lehman College, pursuing a bachelors in Speech pathology and Audiology, followed by a Masters in Speech Pathology. These degrees will allow her to continue her work in schools, providing extra support in speech to students with special needs.


When she's not working or studying, you can find her with a book in hand. Ruth is also a foodie at heart often cooking or baking in the kitchen. She currently lives in The Bronx with her parents, two brothers, and her Tuxedo cat named Olivia.


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Meet Mia



Mia Wenjen

Multicultural Children’s Book Club Co-facilitator 

Mia blogs on parenting, children's books, and education at and is the co-creator of Multicultural Children's Book Day, a non-profit celebrating diversity in children's books.

She is the co-author of two books with Alison Foley, How to Coach Girls (a primer on how to keep girls in sports for coaches), and The Elusive Full Ride Scholarship: An Insider's Guide.Her debut picture book, Sumo Joe, is illustrated by Nat Iwata and published by Lee and Low.Scholastic is the publisher for her middle grade anthology Asian Pacific American Heros

To find the best diverse books, she wrote best #OwnVoices Children's Books: My Favorite Diversity Books For Kids Ages 1-12 published by Audrey Press.

She is also the co-founder of Aquent, the world’s largest company staffing creative, digital, and marketing talent with 37 offices around the world.

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