Blazing Trails & Breaking Ceilings
A Virtual Event
April 29, 2021
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Keynote Speaker: Helga Flores Trejo
Vice President Global Public Affairs International Organizations, Bayer
As VP, for Global Public Affairs for International Organizations, Helga Flores Trejo is responsible for driving Bayer’s relations and partnerships with International Organizations, such as UN agencies and Multilateral Developments Banks, as well as key networks such as WEF, B20 and others. Additionally, she manages Bayer’s multilateral trade policy.
Helga Flores Trejo is a foreign policy and development expert who has worked in government, international organizations, think tanks and the private sector.
Prior to joining Bayer, she led open innovation at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in charge of establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships to foster innovation, such as MIT Media Lab, WEF’s 4th Industrial Revolution Center among others. Previously, she was Head of External Relations for the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) known today as BID Invest. At the IDB Group, she held diverse positions, including Chief of the Constituencies Unit, Head of Strategic Communications for Sectors and Advisor on External Relations in Brazil for the Representative of the IDB.
Prior to joining the IDB Group, she served as Executive Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, one of Germany’s largest foundations, promoting transatlantic policy exchange on issues including sustainable development, climate change and global security issues. She has served as Chief of Staff for the Bundesrat and European Affairs minister of the Government of Hamburg, as a Senior Advisor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE in Belgrade and as Advisor on Development policy and Latin America in the German Parliament (Bundestag).
Helga Flores Trejo has been a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution and has been awarded fellowships by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Prince of Wales’ Business and Environment Program, and the BMW Herbert Quandt Foundation. She is a Board Member of CulturalVistas. She served in the Commission for Civility and Effective Governance of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and, she was as member of the Europe-U.S.-Latin America Task Force of the Atlantic Council.
Helga Flores holds a master’s degree in international Relations from Frankfurt University in Germany and speaks Spanish, German, English, French and Portuguese.
Guest Speaker: Polly Rodriguez
CEO and Co-Founder of Unbound, a rebellious sexual wellness company that makes vibrators, lubricants, and accessories
After receiving a cancer diagnosis at 21 that resulted in early onset menopause, Polly found herself shopping for a vibrator - only to find that the ‘best’ option was a seedy store next to the airport in St. Louis. Ten years later, Polly and co-founder Sarah Jayne Kinney started Unbound with the goal of taking vibrators, lubricants and sexual accessories mainstream through elevated design, body-safe materials, and accessible pricing. Today, the company has been hailed by the New York Times as the "ideological center of the tech-savvy, female-led women's sexuality movement" with over 50 products created by a team of all women in New York City.
Guest Speaker: Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano
Executive Director of the Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) at Cortex Innovation Community
and Director of Entrepeneurship
An innovative business leader and entrepreneur, Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano has been helping and connecting small business owners as they start and grow their businesses since 2011 in Detroit. Since moving to St. Louis in 2014, Gabriela has been named by the St Louis Business Journal as One of the Top 100 people to know to succeed in business and as a Diverse Business Leaders. Gabriela and her husband own Don Emiliano's Restaurante Mexicano in O'Fallon, MO. Her own experience and lessons learned help her relate and understand the needs of St. Louis business owners.