MHC Welcomes New Trustees

Friday, May 4, 2012 - 14:18

The Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees is welcoming four new members this year. Suzy George ’90 and Karena Strella ’90 joined the Board this fall, and Debra Martin Chase ’77 and Heather Harde ’91 attended their first meeting in February.

Suzy George is a principal at Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and a member of the operations committee of Albright Capital Management, an affiliated investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.

George has more than 20 years of experience in strategic project management focusing on operations and resource allocation. From 1997 to 2001 she served as the deputy chief of staff at the Department of State; she also served as a liaison to the White House and other Cabinet agencies for the Secretary of State. Previously, George served as special assistant and assistant counsel to Ambassador Madeleine Albright and worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She earned her J.D. from George Washington University Law School.

Heather Harde is the former CEO of TechCrunch and general manager of AOL’s technology properties. She joined TechCrunch in 2007, built it into the U.S.’s leading technology news site, with a thriving conference business, and sold it to AOL in September 2010.

Harde spent the previous ten years working at News Corporation, holding a variety of corporate development, strategy, and operating roles in Los Angeles and New York. She was part of the founding team at Fox Interactive Media and their senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions. She began her career as an investment banker for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co and worked in New York and Tokyo on corporate advisory and private-equity transactions. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School.

Karena Strella is the co-managing partner for Egon Zehnder International, one of the world's leading executive search and appraisal firms. Previously, she was the global leader for the Egon Zehnder Life Sciences Practice. Strella is also a key member of the Global Innovation Team.

Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Strella developed and managed corporate venturing activities for the Permanente Company, one of the three business units of Kaiser Permanente. As a consultant with BDC Advisors, Strella created solutions for growth and revenue generation for clients. Strella previously led marketing and product development for a surgical specialties product line at Johnson & Johnson.

At Mount Holyoke, Strella has been an active member of the Campaign Steering Committee and has served as an Annual Fund volunteer. She earned her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Two-time Emmy-nominated motion picture and television producer Debra Martin Chase is the first African American woman to have her own producing deal at a major studio. Her company, Martin Chase Productions, has been affiliated with the Walt Disney Company for more than ten years. In March 2009, Essence Magazine named her one of the most powerful African Americans in Hollywood.

Chase’s filmography includes three hit movie franchises: The Princess Diaries, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and The Cheetah Girls. She is also the executive producer of the Disney Channel musical Lemonade Mouth; the producer of Just Wright, winner of the 2011 NAACP Image Award for Best Screenplay and recipient of four Image Award nominations, including Best Picture; the executive producer of the Lifetime Television series Missing, and one of the executive producers of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Brandy, Whitney Houston, and Whoopi Goldberg. She recently wrapped production on Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 classic musical for Sony Pictures, starring the late Whitney Houston. She is in postproduction on Elixir, the first musical for ABC Family, and on a new movie for the American Girl company, McKenna Shoots for the Stars, which will debut on NBC in July. Additionally, she is developing a remake of the classic megahit motion picture Dirty Dancing for Lionsgate Entertainment, with Kenny Ortega directing and choreographing.

Chase, who received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, began her career as an attorney and worked at several major law firms and Fortune 500 corporations in Houston and Manhattan. Mount Holyoke awarded her an honorary Doctor of Arts in 2007.