About TCEL

The Center for Excellence in Life

The Center For Excellence In Life is a non-profit 501©3 organization dedicated to empowering youth and professionals through life skills development, mentoring, career counseling and social and business etiquette training.

Founded in 2004 by Mary Stutts, TCEL has a dedicated board of directors who are community leaders and professionals committed to enhancing the life experiences of youth of all ages. A seasoned corporate relations executive, Mary Stutts has worked for over 20 years in health care, biotechnology, media and technology industries for Fortune 200 companies including Genentech, Bayer, Kaiser Permanente, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Comcast NBC Universal.

MEET OUR FOUNDER, MARY STUTTS

Mary Stutts is an accomplished corporate executive, author and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience leading strategic transformations in the face of rapid technology and market changes and executing multi-faceted campaigns in dynamic, high stakes competitive environments.

 

Mary’s energy and zest for maintaining a transformative mindset and helping others achieve life goals is contagious – making her a sought-after speaker, advisor, advocate and board member.

 

She has provided global corporate relations leadership in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer technology industries.   As the first Chief Inclusion, Diversity & Health Equity Officer at Stanford Health Care, Mary brought deep understanding and experience executing the strategic business case for maximizing inclusion and diversity as key growth levers and brand enhancers.

 

Her book, The Missing Mentor: Women Advising Women on Power, Progress and Priorities, has been dubbed a surrogate mentor for career women providing insights and guidance on career advancement with or without a mentor.

 

Growing up as a foster child from the age of 5 and her passion for supporting, nurturing and developing the voices of underrepresented youth, aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs led Mary to create The Center for Excellence in Life (TCEL), a 501c3 organization.  Concern about the convergence and impact of the pandemic, racial injustice, joblessness and cancelled summer internships on underrepresented youth led Mary to create the TCEL Virtual Summer Internship Program –  sparking nationwide enrollment and participation by major corporations.

Mary chairs the board of Zelot, Inc. a digital entertainment startup and sits on the Advisory Boards of Wellist, Slone Partners and the NBA Wives Association.

A graduate in Communications Management from the University of Louisiana, Mary earned a Master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of Southern California and is also a graduate of the Executive Program on Strategy and Organization at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Al Dadson

Chief Manufacturing Officer, Agenus Bio

An accomplished leader with strong communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to lead high performing teams in biotechnology drug development and manufacturing.

Breanna Zwart

Social Impact, Google/YouTube

Breanna​ ​Zwart​ ​is​ ​an​ ​associate​ ​principal​ ​for​ ​YouTube​ ​Impact​ ​Lab.​ ​She​ ​coordinates the​ ​company’s​ ​global​ ​crisis​ ​response​ ​and​ ​amplifies​ ​nonprofits​ ​using​ ​YouTube​ ​as​ ​a platform​ ​to​ ​promote​ ​their​ ​causes.​ ​Ms.​ ​Zwart​ ​previously​ ​served​ ​as​ ​the​ ​emerging markets​ ​manager​ ​on​ ​Google’s​ ​Next​ ​Billion​ ​Users​ ​team,​ ​and​ ​worked​ ​with​ ​the Tunisian,​ ​Liberian,​ ​and​ ​Cuban​ ​governments​ ​to​ ​pave​ ​the​ ​way​ ​for​ ​investments​ ​in expanded​ ​internet​ ​access.

Ms.​ ​Zwart​ ​also​ ​serves​ ​on​ ​the​ ​San​ ​Francisco​ ​Commission​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Status​ ​of​ ​Women where​ ​she​ ​works​ ​to​ ​advance​ ​gender​ ​equity​ ​in​ ​the​ ​public​ ​and​ ​private​ ​sectors.

Prior​ ​to​ ​joining​ ​Google,​ ​Breanna​ ​was​ ​an​ ​appointee​ ​of​ ​President​ ​Obama​ ​at​ ​the Department​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Treasury,​ ​where​ ​she​ ​served​ ​as​ ​a​ ​member​ ​of​ ​the​ ​inter-agency working​ ​group​ ​implementing​ ​the​ ​Presidential​ ​Directive​ ​on​ ​International​ ​Violence Against​ ​Women​ ​and​ ​developed​ ​strategies​ ​for​ ​promoting​ ​gender​ ​equality​ ​in economic​ ​development.

Breanna​ ​is​ ​a​ ​graduate​ ​of​ ​Carnegie​ ​Mellon​ ​University,​ ​where​ ​she​ ​received​ ​her bachelor’s​ ​degree​ ​in​ ​International​ ​Relations​ ​and​ ​a​ ​master’s​ ​degree​ ​in​ ​Public​ ​Policy.

Mia Wright

President, NBA Wives Association

Mia Wright, NBWA President & Director, hails from Los Angeles, California. A “showbiz kid”, landing her first national commercial at age 2, Mia is no stranger to the Hollywood lights and glamour. Managed by her single-mother, Michelle LeFleur, Mia was a working regular in the television, print and music industry during all of her childhood years up through adolescence. At age 14, Mia and her two singing group members that formed R&B girl trio Before Dark, were signed to major record label RCA Records. Releasing one album, and Billboard chart topping single “Monica”, the group toured as an opening act with mega stars Christina Aguilera & Destiny’s Child.

Mia met her husband, 12-year NBA Veteran Dorell Wright, in his second year as a NBA player with the Miami Heat. The two quickly became inseparable, and Mia moved to Miami, FL giving birth to their first child Devin Wright in 2008.

Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is an innovative and dynamic leader in the business community. She has demonstrated a progressive career by working for over 30 years with several Fortune 500 corporations. Cynthia has extensive and innovative experience in charitable grants management and leadership at Genentech and within 501c3 humanitarian organizations.

She brings to TCEL expertise in fundraising, program management and achieving measurable results.

Prior to Genentech she held roles at Visa International and for AT&T.

Nathaniel Rankin

Nathaniel Rankin is a committed community leader with an accomplished career in the Public Works sector and as a championship high school and AAU coach for both Girls and Boys Basketball teams. Prior to his Public Works career, Rankin served as an Aircraft Electrical Systems Specialist with the Unites States Air Force.

Rankin has a B.S. Degree in Industrial Technology from the College of Engineering, Southern Illinois University.

Fabiana Lacerca-Allen

SVP Compliance at Aimmune

Mrs. Lacerca-Allen, SVP Compliance at Aimmune, was most recently President of Ethiprax, a compliance and ethics consulting firm . She is an experienced leader and a frequent speaker and writer on compliance, leadership, ethics and business strategy.

M. Fabiana Lacerca-Allen has more than 26 years of experience working in leadership roles. Prior to Ethiprax she was CCO at Elan and prior to that at Mylan. She held senior roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Microsoft, Merck, Sharp & Dohme and AT&T Capital. She was also a member of the Board of Directors at ArthroCare and an Audit Committee member until Smith & Nephew acquired it. Mrs. Lacerca-Allen has counseled clients in international business transactions, has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a senior executive, and has been responsible and recognized for leading successful legal and compliance organizations. Mrs. Lacerca-Allen has implemented robust compliance programs all over the world and has negotiated corporate integrity agreements, deferred prosecution agreements, and consent decrees affecting global operations.