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the board

Holly McIlwain

Founder

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Holly McIlwain is the founder and chief cheerleader of the Brave Women Project. She is the author of “For She Who Leads: Practical Wisdom from a Woman Who Serves” and leads the Talent Development platform for Winner Partners. She is a subject-matter expert in the usage of behavior assessments as part of coaching and development plans, in addition to talent acquisition engagements. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, working with individuals and organizations to build a better world and sustainable business solutions is her passion. What’s not exciting about that? This enthusiasm comes with Holly into each coaching session, team workshop, search opportunity, and speaking engagement. It carries right over into the Brave Women Project. Nothing excites Holly more than inspiring women to do brave things. One of the brave things she did was partner with Amy Hooper Hanna to create "For She Who Grieves: Practical Wisdom for Living Hope". 

Developing leaders who change lives is Holly’s passion and professional purpose. She has studied and written about topics such as: Leadership and Mission, Bravery in Business, and Managing Human Relationships. As a recognized subject matter expert, Holly has spoken at numerous conferences and on Sirius XM Radio. She holds an advanced degree in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University, and is certified as a DISC Behavior Analyst and a Driving Forces Behavior Analyst. 

Holly invests herself to expand the reach of those organizations she serves and has a long record of engagement in the region. Holly functioned as a lead consultant in Organizational Management and Leadership Development for one of the largest non-profits in the world and spent 15 years in the non-profit sector. After studying with Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, she invested her time and professionalism in the Pittsburgh region, consistently seeking ways to challenge leaders to become fully engaged in transformation. In 2020 she began serving as Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation Faculty and became a DDI Certified Facilitator. Holly is an expert in the value of dynamic onboarding as part of the foundation for fully engaged employees and served in Human Resources at Robert Morris University and Franciscan University. She previously served as Director of People & Culture for Wolfe.com, an INC top 100 fastest growing company! Currently she leverages her subject matter expertise through conducting management training and corporate learning and development workshops.

 

Holly has worked with and served on the Boards of Directors for foundations and non-profits, and continues to be a frequent speaker and trainer on topics of leadership and living at Conferences and Workshops. She and her husband, Kevin, are raising two young boys and residing in the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. Learn more about Holly at www.hollyjoy.info.

Morgan Null

When we think about women doing brave things, Morgan Null demonstrates bravery as she has taken on building the Brave Women Project with Holly. Now serving as the President and Chairwoman of the Board for BWP, Morgan started the organization with Holly in 2020.

 

Morgan, a Pittsburgh-native, graduated in May 2021 from The George Washington University, double majoring in Communication and Organizational Science. She has completed  her studies and received her  Juris Doctor from Duquesne University, School of Law, in 2024. Following an accomplished law school career in many organizations at Duquesne, and completing two summer associate programs, Morgan has accepted an offer to join Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, following the July 2024 bar exam. Morgan is so excited to begin her legal career in downtown Pittsburgh with this highly reputable firm.

 

In her free time, Morgan enjoys exploring her Lawrenceville neighborhood, finding coffee shops and restaurants, and meeting new people. Morgan is also serving a term on the Session of her church, Westminster Presbyterian, where she has grown up and volunteered many hours. She is specifically involved with the Children and Family Ministries, where she helps to plan church-wide events for the families of the church.

Co-Founder & Chair of the Board

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Mary Richter

Treasurer

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Mary Richter has a great appreciation for the link between community and bravery—growing up with Italian immigrant parents, Mary witnessed firsthand how the gathering of a community (usually around a great meal) bolsters bravery.

Mary earned her degree in accounting at Duquesne University and had a 35-year history of serving tax clients before starting her next act as a professional career and leadership development coach and writer.  In addition to her professional leadership, Mary has many ties to the local and global community in serving as a Board Member for Magee-Women’s Research Institute & Foundation, Western Pennsylvania District Export Council (DEC), and WELD. She continues to work with ACHIEVA, where she has been involved for many years, including as past board chair.  She also serves on the Tocqueville Committee for United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.  

 

She has mentored both women and men and continues this tradition, as she recently earned her professional coach certification and is now working with emerging and mid-career professionals to help them on their career journey. BWP inspired her to follow her passion and move toward helping others succeed in their careers!

 

Mary Richter has been a champion for Brave Women Project since the very beginning, and brings so much more than deep experience and knowledge from her industry—she brings her seemingly boundless energy, passionate commitment to providing opportunities and a model for professional women to demonstrate bravery, love of dogs and NHL hockey and unmatched expertise in Italian cooking! 

Kelli A. Komondor is a visibility strategist, speaker, and author. After a pandemic-related layoff in 2020, she started her agency, K2 Creative LLC. Her focus is to “Make Your Message Matter,” by empowering solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, authors, coaches, speakers, leaders, and experts to achieve unparalleled visibility and personal brand elevation. Her clients have been seen and heard on Dr. Phil, Pittsburgh Today Live, Talk Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Business Times, The Boston Herald, and The New York Telegraph, to name a few.

 

What’s so brave about Kelli, you ask? 

 

In December 2019 she was diagnosed with type II diabetes. Once the tears dried and the pantry and refrigerator were restocked, she told anyone who would listen that they were about to witness The Year of Kelli – slated for 2020. Although not the year she (or anyone) envisioned, she stayed the course, and by June K2 Creative was a genuine business with real clients. In November, she gathered twenty fearless females and created the Amazon bestselling anthology Twenty Won: 21 Female Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories of Resilience During a Global Crisis. Her chapter, “From Imposter to Inspiration” details how the “gifted, popular girl” - who should’ve been a no-brainer four-year collegiate - dropped out of community college and took a more scenic route to a professional career. She has had the pleasure of taking Twenty Won beyond the bookshelf, speaking on the book and on Imposter Syndrome to hundreds through conferences, workshops, podcasts, and livestream presentations – across the globe!

 

She’s a 2023 Cribs for Kids Women of Achievement Honoree and is a proud member of the Class of 2023 50over50 Project – a one-of-a-kind portrait experience and gallery exhibit by Villa Montarti Portrait & Legacy Studio. 

Kelli is a “walker” (Much slower than a runner!) logging over 1,500 miles a year.
In her free time, you’ll find her listening to 1990’s and early 2000’s alternative rock, entertaining friends and family, drinking wine, and cheering on the Steelers. She lives in the little borough of Port Vue with her husband Rob and their Yorkie Poo Mia. Their smart and compassionate kids, Cameron and Kayla are continual proof that there are still good, caring people in this world.  Kelli is a lover of love, writing, and food…and a hater of hate, chaos, and stemless wine glasses.

Kelli Komondor

Communications & PR

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Kayla Komondor

Membership Ambassador

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Kayla Komondor holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Biological Sciences with a specialty in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Kayla’s bravery is shown by reaching well outside of her comfort zone as being the first in her family to pursue a PhD. Her NIH funded PhD research focused on different aspects of fertilization, and she is currently continuing to build on this research. While at Pitt, Kayla served on the Biological Sciences Graduate Student Organization as the Social Chair, the Department Retreat Planning Committee, and as a peer and rotation student mentor to new and incoming graduate students. 

Kayla graduated Summa Cum Laude from Robert Morris University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. While at RMU she completed her internship at the Gastrointestinal Mucosal Laboratory, formerly known as the McGowan Lab, at Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation. Kayla was also a STEM Outreach Ambassador at RMU where she promoted scientific literacy and encouraged students to take interest in STEM-related career paths within school districts around Pittsburgh. She was also a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta Honors Biology Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medicine Honors Society, and served as President of the Biology Club. She was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Award, the Dean’s Scholar Award, and the Renaissance Award – awarded to students who completed all parts of the Student Engagement Transcript – Arts, Culture, & Creativity, Professional Experience, Transcultural/Global Experiences, Leadership, Undergraduate Research, and Service.

Her volunteer efforts outside of her educational volunteering include committee member of Cindy’s Memorial Bark Park and past work with Fund it Forward and The Pink Pamper. 

 

After completing her PhD in 2024, Kayla’s future plans include continued research in reproduction and women’s health in relation to fertility at the University of Pennsylvania. 

When Kayla is not doing research, she loves to spend time with her friends, family and her dog, Maggie. You can find her attending trivia, listening to all genres of music, reading, working out, listening to true crime podcasts, and watching the latest Marvel movie or show. 

As part of the Brave Women Project, Kayla is hoping to encourage growth and empowerment and to push other women to step outside their comfort zone.

Megan Wollerton

Social Media & Marketing

Megan Wollerton, Owner of Life Force Wellness, is a certified personal trainer, health coach, nutrition coach, corporate wellness specialist, and positive psychology practitioner. With a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing and a minor in psychology, Megan has a passion for creating engaging corporate wellness programs that work for both employees and employers.


After experiencing burnout in the oil and gas industry, Megan recognized the importance of work-life balance and set out to create a program that would benefit herself and her employees. Since then, Megan has been helping clients achieve happier and healthier lifestyles through her expertise in exercise, nutrition, mental resiliency, behavior change, and well-being.

 

Megan searched for a group where she could develop her professional skills while building personal relationships. She found Brave Women Project and joined as one of the founding members. Megan has become a valued member and partner with BWP as she has shown dedication to helping others within BWP and her extensive knowledge in wellness has benefited many who attend her pause for positivity coaching. Megan is committed to helping other women find success without sacrificing their health and overall well-being.

 

Megan holds ​a B.S. Business Administration/Marketing, Minor in Psychology - Edinboro University Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Health Coach, Certified Nutrition Coach, CertifiedCorporate Wellness Specialist, Certified Positive Psychology Practitioner.

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Amy Hooper Hanna

Secretary

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Amy Hooper Hanna serves as a coach, trainer and consultant in employee communication, people engagement and leadership effectiveness. She consulted with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies in organization effectiveness and communications for several years in a leading human capital firm in Washington D.C., and another decade of continued employee attitude survey work on her own in Pittsburgh. 

As an adjunct consultant for a leading talent management firm in the most recent decade, she has focused on assessing corporate client leadership behavior and providing developmental feedback, as well as facilitating and producing various professional trainings. She has also taken on a business coach and board facilitator position with The Alternative Board of Pittsburgh. 

Soon after she became a mom (another key role) for the second time, she established her own independent entity, Amy Hooper Hanna & Associates (AhHA!). This started as a strategic employee research consultancy for employee engagement, retention, communications and marketing projects, and has since shifted to leadership coaching, making people-leadership easier with practical wisdom that works. As a strategist, researcher, communicator and coach, she takes an approach in life and business of asking questions and listening closely, and creating “ah ha!” moments for people that generate positive momentum. As a single mom of three, she simply takes the approach of “AHHH!”

Amy encourages taking a leap of faith; trusting oneself, and life, while questioning it too. She created the work flexibility she needs to responsibly be who she wants, and continues to take risks to consciously carve out the “shoulds” and commit to what feels intuitively and intellectually right and light, to live a life of meaning and positive, personal impact. 

Noted for being unflappable in the face of life’s constant blows, grace (ha!) under pressure, and seeing the humor in the most absurdly horrible, Amy is a big believer in laughter and keeping it real.

Amy was the very first member of Brave Women Project and is excited about steering us into the next year.

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