Executive Team

Our EmpowHERto team is made up of a group of dedicated staff and volunteers who are committed to helping young womxn and girls reach their full potential as leaders. We plan activities and programs, coordinate and host events, and encourage girls along their journey to becoming their best selves. We’re passionate about our mission.

Janeen Brown

Founder & Executive Director

Janeen Brown is the Executive Director and Founder of EmpowHERto. She is an advocate for the well-being of womxn, building self-confidence, and female entrepreneurship.

Previously, Janeen spent time managing a team for a television company, but felt she had a greater purpose: to help improve prospects for female leaders.

She hosted a number of events that brought together womxn of different backgrounds to communicate and help each other, but she wanted to have an even greater impact on their lives, which led her to found EmpowHERto. She became an entrepreneur in 2018 and has successfully created three companies. Janeen is constantly inspired by younger generations and has a drive to help young womxn succeed and achieve generational wealth. When Janeen is not hard at work, you can find her continuing to nurture her passion for mentoring younger womxn.

Franca Bartella

Director of Operations

As the Director of Operations, Franca Bartella advises and oversees the management and strategic priorities of the Leadership Team. 

Working closely with our Executive Director, Franca manages key external partnerships and stakeholder relationships, and ensures every senior leader is equipped to lead their team well and fulfill deliverables. 

Prior to her current role, she served as community engagement and volunteer supervisor for EmpowHERto. Franca has a background in operations management and leadership, and planning development, and also volunteer and community engagement.

Sarah Hasnoo

Director of Strategic Sponsorships & Fundraising

Sarah Hasnoo is the Director of Strategic Sponsorships & Fundraising, working with the Executive Team to develop strategic plans to expand partnerships and the support base for EmpowerHERto.

Sarah has 15 years of experience in various roles in sales strategy, business development and finance, working for leading companies in the technology and services industry. Sarah is passionate about continuous learning and advocating for diversity and inclusion, self-development and mental health, and she is excited to contribute to the mission and growth of EmpowHERto.

Nia Davis

Director of Marketing & Communications

As the Director of Marketing & Communications, Nia Davis leads EmpowHERto’s content marketing strategy, creating content for a targeted audience across multiple platforms.

Nia is a professional writer and editor with more than 18 years of experience crafting content for local, national and international audiences. She has worked for award-winning publications, nonprofits and start-ups as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, managing editor and communications specialist. Nia holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Master of Arts in journalism.

When not creating inspiring content for EmpowHERto, Nia is a freelance writer and runs an ESL tutoring company. In her spare time, she enjoys designing jewelry from repurposed objects and walking around her home city of Washington, D.C. 

Deepti Jolly

Organizational Strategy Consultant

Deepti has over 20 years of experience leading operations and working for pivoting brands across diverse industry sectors. Over the years she has worn several hats, spanning from heading customer operations to driving strategy and business transformation.

An MBA, a Six Sigma Black Belt and a certified project manager, Deepti is an honor recipient for exemplary leadership and performance. “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” is her mantra, and she is always open to a synergized conversation with the youth to hear their stories, gain mutual inspiration, and empower and motivate them to achieve extraordinary milestones.

In her spare time, Deepti loves splurging on Bollywood movies, going on long walks, appeasing her real estate interests, and practicing her fashion-sketching skills!

Vania Hosein

Professional Development Consultant

Vania is a talent development professional with a passion for continuous learning and helping people achieve things they never thought possible.  She joins EmpowHERto with 18 years of experience coaching and facilitating across a wide spectrum of industries.

She is always filled with a sense of pride when she sees an ah-ha moment strike someone because of a learning solution she collaborated on.

In addition to her talent development prowess, she’s a certified project manager and is completing her Six-Sigma Black Belt certification.

 An avid world traveler, she has been honing her skills on cruise ships while practicing her talent for learning Romance languages. Vania has an affinity for foods around the world and is intent to try the national dish in every country she travels to! (over 30 and counting).

Valentine Afolabi

Director of Programs & Community Affairs

Valentine joins EmpowHERto with over ten years of working experience in the humanitarian and not-for-profit sectors. She’s passionate about the advancement, advocacy, education, health and empowerment of women, girls and vulnerable youths.  

Her core skills are community engagement, not-for-profit administration and management, project monitoring and evaluation, mentoring and counselling, unbiased non-judgmental problem solving, and customer-focused excellence. Valentine previously worked with UNICEF and USAID providing experiential service in sheltering for homeless, violently abused women, vulnerable youths, early girls marriage, community engagement and advocacy for a socially marginalized group.  

Her passion for the work led her to found the nonprofit “SWAHI”; through which she advocated and secured funding for housing of over 920 formerly homeless and abused women, girls and youths, as well as business training and financial empowerment for about 220 violently abused and abandoned women and girls. 

Valentine is the proud mother of two lovely teenagers. When she’s not working, she loves spending time with family and friends and dancing and taking a long walks.

Joy Hwang

Director of People Operations

Joy has spent over 15 years in HR strategy, leadership, coaching, change management, training, and ops, working with leaders in multiple countries and industries.

Joy currently serves as Executive Director of HR for a Med-Tech company and is a Certified Human Resource Leader. She holds an Hons. Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto. 

Her inspiration for working with EmpowHERto is a quote from Simon Sinek, “Imagine a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired, feeling safe wherever they are, and end the day fulfilled by the work they do.”  I believe in this bright future and our ability to build it together.  At EmpowHERto, our differences in backgrounds can be leveraged as our greatest sources of strength. 

In her free time, she likes to host friendly gatherings and try new foods.