“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”
“Irina is a born natural leader. Her eagerness to learn and grow with her team fosters a culture of transparency, trust, collaboration, and hard work. She continuously raises the bar for herself and her team to drive exponential value and impact.”
– Elizabeth Sessa, Sr. Manager of Content & Product Marketing at Suuchi Inc.
“Before working with Irina, I was sure that I was going to have to leave my organization because I just felt like it wasn’t possible to grow there anymore. Then Irina started working with my department and everything changed. I was able to get new opportunities and actually do the things I was passionate about. She helped me get on a trajectory for success and I couldn’t recommend a better individual to help turn your department or even company around.”
– Emanuel Mercapidez, Founder, Leftspire LLC
In 2021, I decided to partner with other experts in the fashion industry and we started corben&lane.
corben&lane is a customer-centric design, development and marketing house providing customized solutions around product development, sourcing, sustainability, manufacturing, and business expansion & growth. Our focus is on fast-growing and established brands in the fashion industry, with specialized expertise in apparel, accessories, and footwear. We serve as brand representatives for many international fashion labels looking to expand into the United States by managing influencer marketing, retail strategy, and omni channel sales. Our mission is to offer solutions that will accelerate your business by taking advantage of our experience in the industry.
My love for fitness inspired me to open my own boutique studio. I partnered with one of the best franchise companies in the space and am opening the first Rumble Fitness in the Hoboken, New Jersey in early 2023. I will be opening my second studio in Jersey City, NJ in the summer of 2023. No boxing experience necessary but everyone who shows up will feel like Rocky Balboa when they’ve gone 10 rounds in the studio!
In 2022, I was elected President of the Hellenic Professional Women organization. We are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and supporting the advancement of Greek-American women at all professional levels. Our mission is foster empowerment through relationship building and programs for professional growth.
Over this last year, we have expanded to new cities outside of New York City, and have held events in Boston, New Jersey, Long Island and plan to host new events in Philadelphia, Washington DC and areas of Florida. Our membership base is very active and we are partnering with other Hellenic organizations and the Consulate of NY to continue to grow and expand.
In 2020, I invested in KLEOS Mastiha Spirit, a luxury spirit founded and run by the first-ever Greek woman to start a liquor brand (Greek girl power!!). Mastiha, an ancient Greek superfood, is the only PDO – protected designation of origin – in the liquor category. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-oxidant properties which make it a healthy alternative to most any other liquor. I sit on the Board of Advisors for KLEOS and drink a KLEO-patra (recipe on bottle) a day to keep the doctor away. Ok, ok, I love the taste too…
In late 2020, I reconnected with a former co-worker who was doing amazing things in the biotech space. This led to my investment in Mammogen, a women-led biotech company using data, tech, science and personal experience to shatter complacency when it comes to women’s health. Their mission is to radically improve the detection, diagnosis and treatment of women’s health related disease, starting with breast cancer.
My career journey took an interesting turn when I became the first and only angel investor, as well as a senior executive at Suuchi Inc. Suuchi, is a venture-backed, supply chain management software company for the most innovative and forward-thinking fashion brands. Post Series A funding in March 2019, I joined the executive team to build and lead a best-in-class marketing organization and through my role, worked with enterprise fashion brands across the world. I was also the host of the Suuchi Podcast, focusing on timely supply chain topics top of mind for most executives today. I rehauled the organization, and within six months, the team was a well-oiled, goal-oriented machine.
I was at Legg Mason Asset Management for 13 years and held a number of roles while at the company. I managed sales teams and led some of the largest wirehouse relationships for the organization. When I left in February 2019, I was the Director of National Accounts, serving as the liaison between my firm and the national broker-dealer firms.
I am a dedicated fan of Simon Sinek’s leadership ideologies. I believe that to be a great leader, I need to continuously define the “why” for every single individual on my team. When people work with purpose, they feel empowered, motivated, and satisfied. I also work with women at various stages in their careers to help them rise within their organizations or help them navigate an entirely brand new path. I help give them tools and actionable steps to yield results.
I am on the Board of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s School of International Trade and Marketing and I am President of the Hellenic Professional Women Organization.
I am an active member of Chief, HeyMama, the Network for Executive Women, and the Accessories Council. I am also the host of the Decoding Destiny: Soundbites from the C-Suite podcast.
I am a private investor focused on supporting women-led or female-centric businesses. Traditionally, female founders do not get the same type of funding and attention as those run by males. I want to do my part to bring equality to all founders and give smart, hardworking, driven women the voice and support to bring their ideas to life. I help my companies in a number of ways, either through introductions to influencers in my network, fundraising efforts, and advisory services especially around building out their sales and marketing organizations.
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