In honor of International Women’s Day 2017, Team Après and our “extended family” discuss the women in entertainment, business, and our personal lives who inspire us every day…


Women in the Spotlight

I’ve always admired Emma Watson. She is an amazing proponent for gender equality and a woman who refuses to be defined by anyone other than herself despite her prominent place in the spotlight.

– Submitted by Jennifer Gefsky (CEO and Co-founder of Après)


Lucille Ball once said “I’m not funny, I’m brave”. We see the courage in women every day from being a mother to being a leader of industry. My mother, a huge fan of Lucille Ball, is also a constant inspiration to me. She came to America with no money, little education, and did not speak the language and yet was able to show me the American Dream. Their courage inspires me to be brave for my daughter and never stop making life better for all women.

– Submitted by Ella Byrne (Business Development at Après)

As a sports fan, I have always had tremendous admiration for Pat Summitt and all that she accomplished as the Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers. I love that she accrued the most wins in NCAA basketball history –  across all male and female coaches – beating out even Coach K from Duke for this distinction. In 38 years as a coach, she never had a losing season and racked up 8 National Titles (an NCAA women’s record when she retired). She was truly at the top of her game. Summitt also won 2 Olympic medals – one gold for coaching the 1984 US team to victory and a silver as a player in the 1976 games. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her at number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list. In 2012, Summitt was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards. Summitt was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, but in spite of the diagnosis, she completed the 2011–2012 season. She was a tremendous leader and a real fighter. A true inspiration!

– Submitted by Carolyn McGuire (Chief Revenue Officer and Head of New Business Development at Après)

Lauren Maillian is a definite source of inspiration for me. She’s an entrepreneurship rockstar who successfully marries marketing, branding, strategy and technology in her endeavors. Her book, The Path Redefined helped me re-focus my own goals and taught me that women can have everything they want in their personal and professional lives with the right mindset and commitment to passion and authenticity.

– Submitted by Brittney Jackson Moseley (Social Media & Marketing at Après)

Martha Stewart is amazing. Disciplined, talented, and resilient, she has lived many lives, and taken knocks along the way, but keeps adapting and striving to do and be more, as summed by her motto, “When you’re through changing, you’re through…”

– Submitted by Val Chulamorkodt (Business Development at Après)


When thinking about women who inspire me to achieve great things, I think about the President of my alma mater, Amy Gutman. Here is a woman who shares a vision for bringing the University of Pennsylvania forth as an international powerhouse for education and research and who built the leadership team required to bring that vision to fruition. This vision extends beyond that of beyond bricks and mortar to programs and outreach that impact the lives of both the University community and the surrounding resident community. Simply put, Amy leads. And I’m in awe.

– Submitted by Fran Garvey (Business Development at Après)


Susan Axelrod is one of my role models. As one of only two EVP’s at FINRA, a financial regulatory organization with over 3400 employees, she is not only one of the most senior women in the U.S. financial industry, but she created its annual women’s leadership forum and other diversity initiatives in an effort to help others. She also happens to be a great mom, wife and friend, and makes it all look effortless!

– Submitted by Aimee Jalazo (Business Development at Après)


Sallie Krawcheck is an inspirational woman who is a true trailblazer in the male-dominated world of finance. She started not one but two successful companies (Ellevate and Ellevest), both geared to helping women.

– Submitted by Jennifer Gefsky

Former FLOTUS, Michelle Obama is a constant inspiration for me. She really is everything: hyper intelligent, an advocate for families and the under-represented, a successful working mother, and a style icon. Furthermore, despite many challenges arising from being under a constant microscope, she handles herself with grace and light-heartedness.

– Submitted by Brittney Jackson Moseley (Social Media & Marketing at Après)


Women We Know


My dear friend Chelsea Stoner became the first female partner at the venture firm Battery Ventures. Her tenacity and focus plus her real ability to be present with her family and friends inspires me daily.

– Submitted by Stacey Delo (Chief Content Officer at Après)


I am in awe of my sister Karen Kaplan. She balances a demanding job that she loves at Jewish Federation with being a supermom to my three nephews. She often hosts events in the evening and takes work home yet her household is always pristine and and she maintains a positive and loving attitude.

– Submitted by Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esquire (CEO, Purposeful Networking & FemCity Philadelphia President)


We look up to our sisters, Dana and Vanessa. They are wise, confident, wickedly smart and intuitive. They are emotionally and physically strong human beings, different from one another, but both so effective in their own unique ways. They have great senses of humor and their wonderful and distinct laughter filled our house. They tolerated our potty humor, but did not tolerate us leaving the seat up. Following in our mother’s footsteps, our sisters provided us with a moral compass, a foundation of integrity which we could build upon – We cannot imagine being the men that we are today without the acceptance, inspiration, motivation provided by our dear sisters.

– Submitted by Jeremy Kroll (President & CEO, K2 Intelligence) & Nick Kroll (Actor and Comedian)

I still find myself inspired by Lisa Burke, a leader I worked with in my career with Anthropologie. I felt that it was safe to try new ideas (and sometimes fail) around Lisa, which is a huge testament to her patience with and trust in those around her. She also never needed the limelight—she was more interested in celebrating those around her than tooting her own horn. Her humility and kindness had a permanent affect on my career and my life.

– Submitted by Jordan Martindell (New Business Development at Après)


When I look at my two daughters, I am reminded of the woman I aspire to be..strong, smart, humble, witty and not afraid to voice an opinion–look out world, they have their whole adult life ahead of them to make a difference.

– Submitted by Niccole Kroll (Co-founder of Après)

I’m in awe of my friend Lynn Perkins who founded and runs UrbanSitter. Lynn has raised over $21 million in funding (some raised while pregnant with her third child) and runs her company with kindness, facilitating a service that helps us all solve for an ever-present need — childcare.

– Submitted by Stacey Delo (Chief Content Officer at Après)

I am inspired everyday by my dear friend, Danielle Lumby. She is the mother of 4 boys and a tireless crusader for adults with autism. When she learned that her autistic son would age out of programs offered in her area, she created the Hope Autism Foundation to fund and support programs for autistic adults. She has since opened 3 amazing facilities to deliver programs to adults on the autism spectrum and is embarking on the development of her first group home for this amazing group of people. Danielle is a force for positive change and the personification of determination.

– Submitted by Carolyn McGuire (Chief Revenue Officer and Head of New Business Development at Après)


My mom, Martha McArthur, has always been an inspiration to me and those around her. Despite much adversity, she was an extraordinary influence on me and taught me what it means to persevere. To this day, she remains my closest friend and confidant.

– Submitted by Jennifer Gefsky (CEO and Co-founder of Après)