New Women’s Alumni Council formed to support FIU’s College of Business.


In the quest to help women alumni grow professionally and engage with their alma mater, FIU’s College of Business has recently established the Business Women’s Alumni Council.

“The focus is on networking and professional development,” said Yanyn San Luis, assistant director, alumni relations for the College of Business, who serves as liaison to the new women’s council. “We’re looking for leaders who have a desire to give back.”

The March 7 Women’s Alumni Council launch, a brunch, drew 37 alumnae from both graduate and undergraduate programs in the College of Business. FIU graduates from 1972-2010 are eligible to become members of the group if they have a minimum of five years’ professional experience and are members of the College of Business Alumni Association.


“We want to connect alumnae from the College of Business who are succeeding in business and in their communities,” said Barbara Pestana (BBA ’02), vice president of field sales at L’Oreal USA. “It’s important to valorize them and in doing so we encourage FIU alumnae to take a lead in supporting our female graduates in their professional development.”

Pestana and Misha Kuryla-Gomez (MIB ’04), owner of Misha’s Cupcakes, are currently at the helm of the council. Both are members of the Business Alumni Board.

Still in the early stages of its development, the Women’s Alumni Council will hold its first official membership meeting on April 18 to set goals and plan initiatives for the 2015-6 school year. The organization will establish a board of directors at a future date.

“We want to encourage alumnae to pursue leadership roles within the FIU Business network and the local community by participating in programs such as mentoring for women business students and the College of Business’ fundraising efforts,” said San Luis.


The council will also offer bi-monthly networking opportunities via signature events and workshops on leadership, health and wellness, work/life balance, career management, marketing and communication.

“One of the key aspects of the Women’s Advisory Council is to support women in the College of Business as they are growing their career,” said Pestana. “Through mentoring programs the council can also start supporting female students in the classroom, giving them more confidence, encouraging them to be more vocal in expressing their opinions, and driving them to participate.”

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