About Us

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.

The Center for Excellence in Life

Mary Stutts is a corporate relations executive, author, speaker and entrepreneur.

Her current book, The Missing Mentor: Women Advising Women on Power, Progress and Priorities, is regularly listed among the top sellers on women in leadership and achieving career success.  Her first book, Ten Keys To Overcoming Disappointment is in its second printing.

Mary is on the Board of the Global Women’s Funding Network – the largest philanthropic network in the world devoted to women and girls.

She sits on Professional Advisory Boards for the NBA Wives Association; WorldWideWomen, a social enterprise startup company building a global movement for women’s and girls’ equality through technology, philanthropy and advocacy; and Wellist, a digital health startup company focused on improving patient care beyond hospitalization.

Growing up as a foster child from the age of 5 and her passion for supporting, nurturing and developing youth and professionals aspiring to leadership positions and entrepreneurship led Stutts to found The Excellent Life Center (TCEL).

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

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


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


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.

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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.


M. 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.

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