Our Committee Members are the key ambassadors of the WIFB project. In collaboration with the Advisory Committee they support the team in developing the right strategy and help to find ways to address the challenges facing women in family businesses.

ana maria matallana Ana María Matallana Boggio

Ana María has a degree in Management Sciences and Systems Analysis from the University of Miami, USA; and a masters in Non-profit Management at the Kellogg School of Management -Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. She is the co-founder of WIFB, www.womeninfamilybusiness.org , a global initiative that provides an opportunity for women around the world to share their knowledge on family business issues, sustainable business practices, and contribute to the creation of a global female community. 

She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cayena Free Trade Zone and Fundación la Cayena.  In addition, Ana Maria is a Sustainability Consultant and currently works at Grupo Empresarial Alfa and Zona Franca la Cayena as a sustainability consultant.

Ana María is currently president of the Fundación la Cayena. Since the non profit organization was founded, she has been ambitious and persistent in creating programs that impact social issues in vulnerable communities in Colombia where she was born. Her vision is to be able to have inclusive and shared value initiatives in the companies she works with and be able to create equal education and job opportunities for many inhabitants in Colombia.  In the past 5 years, the nonprofit organization with its different programs has positively impacted more then 35,000 people in Colombia.

Patricia Ghany Patricia Ghany, Trinidad & Tobago

Patricia Ghany is the Chief Financial Officer at Esau Oilfield Supplies Co. Ltd. The company has supplied and supported the oil and gas industry for more than 45 years, providing pipes, valves and pipe fittings for the development of upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. With over 25 years’ experience in various aspects of the Oil & Gas sector, Ms. Ghany is proficient in the areas of Procurement, Finance, Business Development and Project Management.

Ms. Ghany is currently the Immediate Past President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago and has also held various positions as President, Vice President & Treasurer during her tenure. She serves as the Vice President of AACCLA Governing Board 2020-2021. She also is a Director on the boards of Guardian Holdings Ltd, Guardian General Ltd., Guardian Group Trust Ltd., Dialogue Solutions Ltd. and The Women in Family Business Network.

Veronica Maldonado Veronica Maldonado, Venezuela and US 

Veronica understands the differences between stewardship, ownership and management having experienced it herself over the past 20 years. She knows what it means to build, lose, and reconfigure one’s family business and legacy. Growing up as part of the fourth generation of a family that impacted Venezuela’s agricultural and industrial sectors, Veronica developed an understanding early on for the meaning of stewardship, and exemplifying values through one’s behavior.

Veronica is an advisor and head of coaching at Generation6 Family Enterprise Advisors  and she also serves as chair for the board of the GEM (Grupo Economico Maldonado) companies, a role she has had since July 2018. In addition, Veronica served as the Executive Director of the Family Office and Chair of the GEM Family Council. From 2002 -2021  she was the President of the Foundation, La Compañia Humana, which supports education, community development, music and environmental awareness in Venezuela.

Years past, Veronica worked in the development of international business ventures at Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company in Connecticut and in the Daichi Life Insurance company in Tokyo, Japan.

She is a frequent speaker in family business matters and participates in advisory boards of the Family Business Network and the Business Families Foundation.

Veronica has completed various family business management programs and has extensive experience in corporate structures in US, Japan and Venezuela. She is a graduate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and completed with honors an EMBA in Family Business in the Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in English and Spanish and conversant in Japanese.

Priyanka Gupta Priyanka Gupta Zielinski, India and United Arab Emirates

Priyanka Gupta Zielinski is a business leader and entrepreneur. Through her writings, she addresses the biggest pressure points facing the next generation of India: career, love and marriage. By exploring the role of Indian tradition and repositioning it with a beneficial, modern twist, Priyanka seeks to empower India’s next generation in their pursuit of new opportunities and fulfilment in their lives and careers.

As the Executive Director of MPIL Steel Structures Ltd, Priyanka has led her family business to exponential growth and diversification. She has previously worked with financial institutions such as the Women’s World Banking and the Fund for the City of New York. In 2012, she was named Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by ET Now. Her first book, The Ultimate Family Business Survival Guide (Pan Macmillan) was published in April 2021.

Priyanka lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.

Dania Besher Dania Besher, Yemen and Egypt

Having grown up in different countries and being from two very different cultures (German/ Yemeni) Dania is an open-minded and curious global citizen, always ready to accept new challenges. She is multi-lingual, speaking fluent German, English and Arabic, conversational French and Spanish.

In addition to being an Architect by profession, with almost 20 years of experience, Dania also comes from a family business background and has dedicated some of her time to her family’s enterprise. She initiated the Family Governance process in her family business in 2010. In order to be a responsible and more capable owner of her family business in the future, she completed an executive MBA specifically for families in business.

Dania has been a committee member of WIFB ever since it was launched in 2014 and is proud to be part of its growth and evolution.

Pramodita Sharma Prof. Pramodita Sharma, USA

Prof. Sharma is the Schlesinger-Grossman Chair of Family Business at the Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont. She served as the editor of Family Business Review from 2008-2017. Her research on succession, governance, innovation, next generation commitment, entrepreneurial leadership and sustainability in/by family enterprises is published in over fifty articles and ten books. Since 2015, she has published Entrepreneurs in Every Generation & Patient Capital: The Role of Family Firms in Sustainable Business, and ten articles in journals like ET&P, FBR, JBE, JBR & JFBS. Pioneering Business Families of Sustainable Development is her most recent book.

Claudia Astrachan Dr. Claudia Binz Astrachan, Switzerland and United States 

Following her business administration studies at the University of Bern in Switzerland, and several years of working in the Swiss Banking industry, Claudia took on a position at Lucerne School of Business, while pursuing a Ph.D. at the family business institute at Witten/Herdecke University (DE).

Claudia has been leading the Family and Business Program at Lucerne School of Business since 2014 and continues to provide research-based and peer-oriented learning opportunities for family businesses even after her move to the United States.

At Generation6, Claudia serves as an advisor and Head of the Governance Practice. In this capacity, Claudia worked extensively with the boards of some of the largest private family companies in the United States. Claudia’s research and practice are shaped by her understanding of the role of family dynamics, and family and business governance that align with the values, culture, and objectives of the owning family.

Rania Labaki  Dr. Rania Labaki, France

Rania LABAKI, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Finance and Family Business, Director of EDHEC Family Business Research Centre, and Family Business Fellow at Cornell University and The Family Firm Institute. She also serves as a member of the advisory committee of Women in Family Business, board member of IFERA, family business advisor at Lansberg Gersick & Associates, and co-editor of Entrepreneurship Research Journal. A global speaker with presentations and lectures in more than 50 countries, her insights have been featured in many podcasts and in more than 150 academic, professional and press publications, including CampdenFB, Les Echos, El Pais, Financial Times, Forbes and Tharawat Magazine.

She is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her contributions to the family business field such as the prestigious Barbara Hollander Award in 2020. Her current research, advising and teaching interests revolve around the interplay between family dynamics and decision-making, governance design and the development of responsible owners.