Board Bios

Creativity is intelligence having fun! (Einstein)

Dr. Heather Cairns-Lee
President

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Heather has many roles in life: most centrally Mother, wife, daughter, friend, author, leadership professor, researcher, board member and volunteer. She has crafted life to enjoy the diversity of these roles, to continuously learn and grow with the opportunities life presents.

Professionally, she is Adjunct Professor of leadership at IMD business school in Lausanne, Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey, Advisory Board Member of the School of Management in Fribourg and President of Business Professional Women (BPW) Lake Geneva. As a leadership development practitioner and researcher, Heather’s work encompasses the design and delivery of executive learning, research into leadership and organisational development, group facilitation and executive coaching.  She focuses on sensemaking, communication and making the invisible visible through attention to metaphor and mental models. She dedicates energy to developing women leaders through coaching, leadership programs and writing about inspiring women to rebalance the gender gap in this area.

Invited to speak about her award-winning PhD research on how leaders make meaning through metaphor to BPW Lake Geneva in 2013, Heather enjoyed the warm welcoming community of diverse, open-minded women and became a member in 2014. She has been on the Board since 2015 as Membership Chair, Vice President and most recently as President.  

She has lived and worked in the UK, Germany and Austria and has made her home in Switzerland with her husband and two daughters. Connection with family and friends is one of her biggest joys be it fun like skiing, wake-surfing or playing games together or sharing a glass of wine over a good conversation.

Here’s to great women: may we know them, be them and raise them!


To infinity and beyond

Magali Collot
Events

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Magali is a global project manager, certified Project Management Professional. Her career objective is to contribute to a sustainable world through responsive leadership.

She spent over 22 years in the aviation industry working at IATA where she had the opportunity to hold various roles in product management and more recently in project management.

She brings closer together multicultural stakeholders and orchestrates innovative and complex projects related to process optimization and change management. During her last role at IATA, Magali motivated a cross-functional team of 15 people to drive the implementation of baggage tracking best practices within the aviation industry.

She is now working on strategic projects within the project management office at Migros Genève.

She discovered BPW Lake Geneva in 2016 as she wanted to find a local insightful and multicultural group of women providing some networking opportunity. She felt so welcomed during the first session that she became a member in December of that same year. In March 2019, she also decided to give more time and energy to the Club by becoming a Board member.

She is a French national who had the opportunity to work in London, Montreal and Geneva. She has been living in Switzerland since 2006 and is thrilled to live in a tiny village above Rolle in the Vaud region. Nature and the outdoors are her playground all year long and she can easily be spotted hiking, snowshoeing or skiing at her own pace with a camera nearby.

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending

Maureen Steele
Membership

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Maureen is a coach, trainer, facilitator and author who has lived in six different countries and worked in more than twenty.

Originally in retailing and marketing, Maureen then switched her career path to training. She initially partnered with an Austrian training company, exploring a wide range of training and communication tools. She developed her expertise as a coach using NLP, gained valuable experience in international franchising and continued to exercise her management skills as a director of the company. In 2006, she set up The Training Box. In 2011, Maureen published her first book “52 Brilliant Communication Tips” and in 2014, she co-authored “Coaching for Innovation”.

She loves working creatively, inspiring groups as well as individuals to tap into their inner resources and reach for their long-term goals. Passionate too about the need for good communication, she aims to increase her client’s appreciation of the fact that great communication skills are integral to being successful at every level especially when you wish to win hearts and minds.

Invited to speak at BPW Lake Geneva in 2014 with co-author Cristina Bianchi on how to demystify innovation, Maureen enjoyed the atmosphere of the Club, became a Member and joined the Board in 2019 with responsibility for Membership. She values the support, friendship and encouragement that BPW provides to all its members

Maureen has relished the opportunity to live and work in diverse cultures. A Swiss resident since 2002, she enjoys life in Switzerland and loves the learning that comes out of taking on new challenges (such as writing books), meeting new people (at BPW) and taking up new hobbies such as painting and walking (a few years ago, she hiked up Kilimanjaro with her daughter).

Corinne Prieur
Finance

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Corinne PRIEUR is French, born and grew up in the Great Geneva Area, close to Annemasse, in Haute Savoie.

She graduated with Major in Finance of Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP), one of the top 3 Business Schools in France.

She has always been working in American corporations for more than 30 years, starting her career with Gillette in Annecy and spent 11 years in a French subsidiary of Emerson Electric co. in Annemasse.

Corinne has been working for 20 years for Polaris, American manufacturer of Snowmobiles, All Terrain Off Road vehicles, Electrical vehicles and Motorcycles (Indian Brand). She has been the Financial Controller of the French subsidiary located in Vallée de l’Arve, close to Chamonix, for 10 years. She was promoted EMEA Group Controller when Polaris established their EMEA headquarters in Vaud in 2011, moved in December 2014 to EMEA Finance Project Management/Business transformation role and moved to Operations in November 2015, as Supply Chain & Logistics Manager.

Corinne relocated to Vaud in June 2012. She has been an active member of several sports associations on both sides of the Leman lake, with volunteer experiences in ski teaching, board membership and event organization. She loves outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, road cycling and hiking in mountains.

She has been a member of BPW since October 2015 and enthusiastically embraced a board membership global support in 2016. She has held the Treasury Chair for 4 years from 2017 to 2020

She has a very good fit with BPW values, loves learning and sharing, cultivates continuous improvement, team spirit and friendly and supportive relationships.

Awareness is the greatest agent for change (Eckhart Tolle)

Deborah Croft
Vice-President

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Deborah, like many Professional Women, wears many hats: Mother (and therefore teacher, taxi, mediator….), co-CEO of Thriving Talent, Coach & Trainer, volunteer and board member. Deborah moved to Switzerland in 2010, having lived and worked in many countries, not knowing that this would be the country she would fall in love with and settle!

Prior to setting up her first business in 2011, Deborah spent 10 years as an accredited Project Manager & Facilitator in IBM, on multinational projects across Europe, helping leaders effectively navigate change. WIth the move to Switzerland, Deborah redesigned her career and retrained as a Coach and Trainer; working with many professionals to redefine their working life; to better integrate personal and professional commitments. Since 2015, as the co-CEO of ThrivingTalent, Deborah Croft, is passionate about helping organisations create more inclusive, socially responsible cultures; where employees are empowered to fulfil their responsibilities as a carer (be it for children, ageing parents, community); and advance their career as Leaders

Deborah discovered the BPW Lake Geneva group in 2013, when seeking a network which would provide a friendly, diverse community. She became a member in 2014 and has been on the Board since 2015 as Communications Chair and then Vice President. Deborah loves contributing to the group, exchanging experiences, resources and sharing her expertise from time to time as a Speaker.

Deborah strongly believes that to be an effective leader, one needs to have a healthy balance of ‘work hard, play hard’ to be energised and truly present, in and out of work. She fully understands what it’s like to juggle the many demands of family life, pursue a fulfilling career and make the most of the outdoor playground that Switzerland provides.
 

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." - William James

Sara Barradas 
Web and Info

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Born in Lisbon, Sara is a proud mother, a dedicated friend, former team leader, and volunteer.

Sara’s academic background includes Economics, Statistics and Information Management, CRM and Market Studies, as well as Supply Chain Management. As a professional, Sara has worked in Financial Services, Public Statistics, and as a consultant and program manager in Analytics, CRM and Supply Chain in Portugal, and in Switzerland since 2007. Sara worked on global implementations for major clients cross-industry, promoting change management, co-creating analytical competence centers, delivering workshops and trainings, constantly improving organizations’ capacity to develop insights with advanced analytics.

In Switzerland, Sara worked for two major software vendors – SAS and Oracle, but also for a consulting company – Supply Chain Operations, where the consulting team works together with the CEO, delivering strategic consulting to Life Sciences customers, co-working with C-level/decision-makers. She co-created the Swiss Association for Analytics, a non-profit organization aiming to promote a broader usage of Analytics in Switzerland.

Sara is a sound supporter of the female cause. As a person and a professional, she often felt that men and women are not given the same opportunities and would like to contribute to the change. Initially invited to attend a BPW Vaud event in Lausanne, she then heard about BPW Lake Geneva, based in Rolle where she lives. She attended an event, felt welcome and became a member. She is a member of the Board since October 2019, in charge of the website and information sharing.