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Luminary is New York City’s premier collaboration hub for women and women-identified who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. It is a refuge for the curious, the ambitious, the connectors, and the change agents. It is the ultimate career advocate for women-identified providing the professional coaching and social community needed to thrive. We are a diverse collective of women focused on fostering meaningful relationships.

Meet the Team

Cate Luzio

Founder and CEO, Luminary

Cate Luzio

Founder and CEO, Luminary

Cate Luzio is the Founder and CEO of Luminary, the premier collaboration hub for women who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. This 15,000 square foot meeting space in New York City includes a rooftop deck and two floors of open workspace, conference rooms and meeting space, a fitness studio, beauty bar, locker room, lactation room, prayer/meditation room and much more. Luminary is the ultimate career advocate offering members unparalleled programming from office hours with dynamic leaders to a pioneering speaker series. A long-time advocate for empowering women and girls, Cate serves on the National Board for Girls Inc. 

Cate has over twenty years of leadership experience in financial services. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Multinational Corporate Banking for HSBC managing roughly $2 billion in revenue and teams in 72 countries. Cate also served as a Managing Director and Head of Multinational Corporate Banking at J.P. Morgan. She has received numerous recognitions including being named to the Most Powerful Women in Banking List by American Banker multiple times as well as a two-time recipient of the Financial Times and Heroes Global Diversity Champion in 2017, 2018 as well as Yahoo Finance Heroes Role Model in 2019. Cate was named to Inc.'s 2019 Female Founders 100 List and has also been featured in the Financial Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fast Company, Bloomberg, USA Today, NowThis News, Cheddar, WWD, Robb Report, Women's Health and more. She is a Forbes and Fast Company contributor. 

She holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Maryland. She’s a global traveller having visited more than 114 countries. Cate also sits on the Advisory Board of Girls Inc. NYC as well as the National Board of WaterAid.


Luminary: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: @BeALuminary 

Cate: @CateLuzio (Instagram) / @KTLuzio (Twitter) 

 

 

 

Erica Lerner

Chief Operating Officer

Erica Lerner

Chief Operating Officer

Erica Lerner is an experienced founder in the real estate and health and wellness industries, with a demonstrated history working in project finance, tax and corporate law, international tax, due diligence, and corporate structuring, as well as mergers and acquisitions. After nearly a decade of working in legal and corporate environments, most recently in mergers and acquisitions at Deloitte, Erica sought out new projects to foster her curiosity and develop her strengths and achieve independence.

In 2017 she co-founded Xtend Tribeca, a premier fitness studio and the first Manhattan location for Xtend Barre. Since Xtend Tribeca’s opening, Erica has been on a mission to provide a home for thousands of women looking for creative and effective workouts in a secure, safe, judgement-free setting. Erica is excited to continue her mission in her role as the Chief Operating Officer of Luminary and to develop a new home for thousands of professional women throughout New York City and beyond.

Surabhi Lal

Chief Impact Officer

Surabhi Lal

Chief Impact Officer

Surabhi is passionate about developing talent, cultivating good management, and creating cultures where individuals and teams thrive. She is especially interested in understanding the workplace and how it impacts people’s lives. As a skilled career coach and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach she has a natural ability to see someone's unique talents and motivations in people and knows that a career impacts many facets of one's life. She gets great joy from making the unwritten rules of a job search more explicit to create equity and guiding others on their journey to career success.

She spent the last four years sitting at the intersection of conversations with job seekers and employers in the social impact space, as the Director of Career Services at NYU Wagner. Her career has spanned launching an educational site in India from the ground up, working in grant-making, and building capacity with young talent in New York City. Surabhi holds a M.Ed from The University of Vermont and two undergraduate degrees from Virginia Tech and has presented at conferences nationally. She is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner.

When she’s not savoring her craft as a coach, manager, mentor, and mother, you can find her feeding her creativity, traveling, exploring food markets, cooking, and (of course) eating.

Chanel Cathey

PR/Comms Strategist

Chanel Cathey

PR/Comms Strategist

Chanel Cathey is the Founder and CEO of CJC Insights, a strategic communications and public relations consulting agency headquartered in NYC. She counsels businesses on creating and implementing effective communications and brand strategies. She partners with c-suite executives and start-up founders to build their profiles, build consumer loyalty and amplify their overall industry presence.

Previously, Chanel was the Director and Head of Corporate Practice at Hunt & Gather, a boutique marketing and communications agency. She was responsible for managing global client partnerships and fostering an innovative executive communications approach for brands like McKinsey & Company, IBM, Well+Good, iFundWomen, WeWork, Upworthy, IMAX and Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation. She worked closely with clients and specialized in corporate communications, media relations, executive positioning, brand strategy and crisis and reputation management. She has a passion for partnering with foundations, philanthropies and emerging startups.

Chanel was also the Director of Corporate Communications at Viacom. In this role, she managed internal and external communications strategy across an iconic portfolio that includes MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures and more. She led strategic communications for ad sales, integrated marketing, data and insights, innovation and corporate marketing. She translated significant and complex business milestones and announcements into industry-leading press moments and thought leadership opportunities.

With over 10 years of public relations experience, Chanel also spent time as a publicist for ABC News and in media relations at Unilever. She graduated from Fordham University and received her MPA specializing Management and Policy from New York University.

Chanel sits on the Advisory Board for She’s The First, a nonprofit organization that advances educational opportunities for women and girls. She also co-founded ELEVEN, a women’s leadership and empowerment network. Chanel served on the Board of Directors for the AIDS advocacy organization Lifebeat and is an active member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni Association.

Hilary Vartanian

Head of Brand Partnerships

Hilary Vartanian

Head of Brand Partnerships

Hilary Vartanian is an active member of Luminary and CEO and Founder of Meris Ventures --a management consultancy that develops best-in-class brand partnerships for organizations and cultural events worldwide. 

 
Hilary has held corporate management positions at Time Inc., Meredith, Hearst, and Conde Nast and as the first female Vice President for Fortune Conferences where she led business development for the Fortune Global Forum, Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Brainstorm Tech, and other by-invitation-only Fortune 500 CEO events.
 
Meris Ventures clients include Luminary, The Cannes Film Festival, The Underline, Creative Capital, and The Hamptons International Film Festival.  Meris Ventures has also worked on national and global projects for CBS, Inc. & Fast Company, Hightower Financial, TIGER 21, Latin Trade/Sino Americas Forum, The Tony Awards, The Gotham Awards, The NY Film Festival, SXSW, Sundance, The Toronto Film Festival, The Van Gogh Museum and others.
 
In philanthropy, Hilary led corporate development for two iconic film organizations--The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP)  Bloomberg Made in NY Media Center. Her Cannes Film Festival/Calvin Klein "Spotlight on Women Filmmakers" multi-year opening night event was featured in the 2013 HBO documentary "Seduced and Abandoned” narrated by Alec Baldwin. 

Hilary has served as a production executive on a number of feature films including Hide Your Smiling Faces/Daniel Radcliffe (World Premiere NYFF), Write When You Get Work/Emily Mortimer & Finn Wittrock (World Premiere SXSW) and Concussion (World Premiere Cannes Film Festival).
 
Hilary is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder.  She is the author of Peace Prayers (HarperCollins), and is CEO and Founder of well-social—a Brand Discovery Platform for Sustainable Products that are Good for People and the Planet. Hilary serves on the Parent Leadership Council of Camp Dudley, and the University of Colorado Alumni Network.
 
Hilary lives in Manhattan with her husband Andy Borinstein and is the proud parent of Alex who is a sophomore at CU, Boulder.

Jenelle De La Rosa

Director of Memberships

Jenelle De La Rosa

Director of Memberships

Jenelle lives to connect; a start-up native, Jenelle began her career in healthtech sales: with clients across multiple verticals including transportation, healthcare, finance, pharmaceuticals and hospitality -ultimatley striving to bridge the gap in employer health and the patient experience via technology. She was instrumental in the national expansion of a 30+ year NYC based business.

After extensive volunteer work in political campaigns, women's health organizations and mentorship programs-she decided to make a pivot into her newly found passion of Diversity & Inclusion. This drove her to the tech start-up Fairygodboss, where she spent time developing & selling custom diversity and inclusion plans for Fortune 500 companies-largely focusing on the STEM market to support crafting their employer brand and developing a qualified, diverse female talent pipeline.

In addition to her sales experience, Jenelle is also a plus-size market stragetist; partnering with multiple brands to support their market development & employer brand to her fellow plus-size consumer. As well as Head of Partnerships of the non-profit Healthtechwomen; allowing her to keep her feet still in the healthcare world that is so important to her.She has a passion in the advancement of all women in their career development and the notion that not all paths need to be linear to the top. She is currently completing her Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace Certification via Cornell to continue her education and better her contribution to fostering an inclusive ecosystem.

Jen De Leon

Wellness Director

Jen De Leon

Wellness Director

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Jen de Leon moved to New York City to work as a singer and dancer in musical theatre and commercials. In 2012, after moving back to her hometown, Jen kicked off her career in fitness, managing Australia's XTEND BARRE flagship studio in Sydney. Just two years ago, she took her leadership skills back to the Big Apple to manage the city's first XTEND location. Now she serves as Fitness Program Manager for Luminary, a dream job for her as it combines her two greatest passions: spreading the joy of movement and promoting women empowerment.

Valentina Padilla

Digital and Content Marketing Manager

Christine Cook

Events Manager

Christine Cook

Events Manager

Christine is the Events Manager at Luminary. She has a background in event planning and digital marketing and a passion for making a difference in the community around her. She loves to execute seamless events that create opportunities for women to develop, network, and connect. Christine enjoys working alongside energized and driven colleagues who are just as passionate about empowering women, which makes Luminary a perfect home for her!

Before joining the Luminary team, Christine planned corporate events for a nonprofit consulting company and a New York City charter school. She was born and raised in New York and received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from University of Maryland. In her spare time, Christine likes to try new foods, experience new cultures, and run along the East River. 

Rachel Basoco

Community Director

Rachel Basoco

Community Director

Rachel Basoco is the Community Director of Luminary.
 
Rachel is committed to women empowerment, community, and leadership, which allow her to thrive in her position at Luminary. Her passion to build, connect, and engage women authentically led her to Luminary and the network of women she is happy to work with, and for, every day. 
 
In addition to working at Luminary, Rachel is the CEO and Co-Founder of the lifestyle brand made by, and for, Latinas, Trenza. Through content, commerce, and community events, Trenza aims to reimagine the spaces Latinas take up by connecting, engaging, and creating what's next for the Latinx community.
 
Before joining the Luminary team, Rachel worked in the fashion industry in a variety of roles. She was most recently at Macy's working as the Digital Strategy Merchant and Manager managing $184M in sales for women's ready-to-wear and accessory brands. Prior to that, she spent time in fashion buying at the size inclusive rental start-up, Gwynnie Bee, helping build the processes, systems, and inclusive fashion for women. Her career started in the Executive Development Program in Retail Management at Bloomingdale's where she found joy at the flagship store in NYC managing the sales of contemporary women's brands.
 
Rachel Basoco studied at The George Washington University and obtained a degree in 3 years, majoring in Organizational Sciences and minoring in Psychology. Her final award-winning research focused on analyzing consumer purchasing decisions in both luxury and fast-fashion retailers based on consumer's perceived interactions with Sales Professionals. Rachel is a proud Texan and currently calls the Upper East Side home.

Elizabeth Shew

Community Manager

Elizabeth Shew

Community Manager

Elizabeth is a professional dancer with a passion for helping others. After graduating from The Ailey School and Fordham University with double degrees in Dance and English, she performed on contract with a contemporary company for two years. While dancing, Elizabeth founded a story workshop for young writers and gained experience in sales and marketing.

 She is thrilled to join the Luminary team as a Community Manager, where she can bring her passion for meeting people to a community of inspiring and empowering women. In her spare time, she freelances as a copywriter and content creator, and regularly auditions for Broadway.

Lauren Mcarthur

Community Manager

Lauren Mcarthur

Community Manager

Lauren McArthur is a Community Associate at Luminary. She is passionate about female empowerment and cultivating diverse and inclusive spaces. She is especially interested in expanding employment opportunities for neurodiverse women. Her strengths include a keen eye for detail, innovative ways of problem-solving, and seeing the best in people.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she has a passion for film, dogs, and helping people. She used those passions when working at Uplift Studios, International Charter School of NY, Bow Tie Cinemas, and volunteering with PAWS NY. She is very excited to be part of Luminary and contribute to the success behind the scenes.

Kelsey Gonsalves

Community Manager

Kelsey Gonsalves

Community Manager

Kelsey is a recent graduate of Seton Hall University where she studied Communication and the Arts. Kelsey decided to study Communications because she believes that it is something that can help us greatly in today's society.  As an early graduate, Kelsey is hoping to get into graduate school to continue her education and broaden her horizons. 


She is excited to be at Luminary where she is able to focus on her passion for equality while making amazing connections with the women in the space. Kelsey is also thrilled that she will be able to meet and work with people in a variety of fields and jobs as a Luminary employee. Kelsey has previously worked and interned for a PR Group, events coordinator, as well as a career coach. As such she is happy to help within the space!

Uchenna Obi

Community Manager

Jen Kish

Community Manager

Adam Kirschner

Brand Partnerships Manager