Peer Mentor Program

Some of the most successful communications professionals credit mentors for helping to guide their path. Identifying peer mentors who can guide you for a limited period of time or for the longer haul can be the smartest way to advance professionally throughout your career.

One of WCA’s valuable members-only benefits is its peer mentor program. The program pairs you with other WCA members who have volunteered to share their professional and personal experiences, knowledge, and expertise to support and guide you no matter where you are on your professional journey. They are available to meet confidentially with you to listen and offer feedback as and when you need them. 

Mentees benefit from personalized guidance, whether seeking specific career or business development guidance, exploring a career transition, discussing how to ask for a raise or freshening up negotiating skills, or, perhaps, putting to rest those imposter syndrome doubts.

Our mentors also serve our student members by giving them a chance to tap into the advice, job search, and networking guidance of a seasoned professional.

For those who volunteer to serve as WCA Peer Mentors, this is a great way to develop leadership skills, build your network, while sharing your knowledge and expertise, which comes with the personal reward of potentially shaping someone’s path to success.

Have career questions or need deeper insights? See our Ask a Mentor blog.

If you’d like a mentor or to become a mentor, see the boxes below.

Peer Mentors Group WCA Austin

Work with a Mentor

Whether you’re a student or already working, a stay-at-home parent choosing to go back to work in communications or wanting to change direction, students and professional members can be a mentee (i.e. request a peer mentor). Learn more with our Demystifying Mentorship for Mentees handout.

Ready for a mentor?
Meet the Mentors

To request a mentor, fill out this form.
(You must login as a member to access this form.)

Questions?– Email

Be a Mentor

No matter your years of experience, role in communications, or familiarity with other fields, you can be a mentor. Your life experiences, good and bad, can support your fellow WCA members. Mentoring can take place anywhere – whether it’s face-to-face over coffee, lunch or happy hour; video chat; or via email or phone. Professional members can mentor students or other professional members. Learn more with our Demystifying Mentorship for Mentors handout.

Ready to become a WCA Peer Mentor?
Fill out this form.

In addition to guiding me through some important decision-making, my mentor shared her philosophies on living a more fulfilling life and connected me to some really amazing professionals who would later help benefit my career. I also owe her for helping me find my calling: supporting the Girls Empowerment Network, an organization we both care about. I now sit on the nonprofit’s board! I am so thankful we have this group because it provides so much value to women of all ages. Everyone should have a mentor!

— Clarisa Ramirez, Digital & Social Media Lead, Austin Board of REALTORS®

How are WCA Peer Mentors different from my previous paid coaches? My WCA mentor is not looking for an opportunity to upsell her own stuff! In fact, she authentically enjoys facilitating my process and celebrates my successes.  She suggests paths to take and teaches me without judgment. WCA Mentors are a smart and experienced group. The Mentor Program is a significant members-only benefit to further your career.  It certainly has been a catalyst in mine.

–Reesa Woolf, PhD, Founder and CEO, Confident Speaking

I joined WCA when I decided to pivot back to communications after a stint in another role. The mentee program was a big part of that decision for me. The industry had changed so much, and I wasn’t sure where to start in my job search. My mentor helped me refine a resume full of experience into a concise, appealing summary of my capabilities, and she helped me define what I really wanted to do. After many months looking for a full-time job, I landed one after working with my mentor and I know what steps I can take next to find pursue my passion in the world. 

—     Jodi Gonzalez, Policy Editor, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

I chose a WCA mentor after attending a Careers Over Coffee meet-up. The group of women had great information to share and mentioned, “If you like this, you should talk to one of our mentors.” So I took the group’s advice. The conversation was deliberate yet caring at the same time. My mentor not only gave me sound career advice but help me discover the confidence I thought I had lost. 

–Monique Carreon, Marketing Campaign Manager, ESO Solutions

Program Guidelines

What WCA’s Peer Mentors can do:

  • Speed mentoring.
  • Short term mentoring: Guidance on a specific topic requiring limited involvement – for instance, what subjects should a student take for a career in communications; where to intern; or assistance through a job application and interview process.
  • Longer term mentoring: students looking for on-going career guidance; professionals looking to brainstorm and implement career moves, discuss challenges at work, or find a sounding board for creative development.
  • Help mentees answer a series of questions to gain clarity on their talents, strengths, and career interests. This can be part of a short or long term mentoring arrangement.
  • Provide honest feedback about cover letters, portfolios, and other professional materials. This can be part of a short or long term mentoring arrangement.

What WCA Peer Mentors cannot do:

  • Provide professional-grade career coaching sessions. WCA has many qualified members who can provide that service.
  • Provide specific logistical assistance in starting or revamping a business venture.
  • Provide any kind of psychological input or feedback beyond a friendly ear and helpful suggestions based on their own professional experiences.

Meet the Mentors

Meet the more than 20 mentors who have generously volunteered their time to assist you. To request a mentor, simply log into your WCA member account and complete the form below. You’ll be matched with a mentor we consider will fit your needs. Feedback is welcome! If you have comments or need support with your mentor relationship, please contact

Alice Walton

Alice M. Walton is a strategic communications specialist who is able to tap into her experience as a political journalist to define objectives, develop strategies and implement tactics for a diverse base of clients.

Andrea Exeter

A journalist at heart, Andrea takes her journalism skills and builds complete publications, from writing and editing to layout and publication.

Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR

Anne Lasseigne Tiedt is an accredited public relations and strategic marketing communications executive who helps businesses solve their communications challenges and achieve measurable results within changing, complex environments.

Caitlyn Macaluso

Caitlyn is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications for FVF Law, an Austin personal injury firm committed to being a dignified alternative in the marketplace.

Christine Moline

After contributing to the nonprofit, higher education, and technology sectors, Christine has transitioned full-time to communicating in real estate as a realtor and residential appraiser trainee.

Cindy Friedman

Cindy has 20 years of branding, integrated marketing, design and advertising. She specializes in creative/design direction: integrated/strategically marketing focused; branding: From startups to rebranding, repositioning existing brands, and developing brand guidelines, design direction, iconography, photo/illustration art direction and brand voice direction.

Diane Dean

Diane has decades of coaching experience, and certification by the International Coaching Federation, and is ready to discuss many topics and skills to help clients achieve success in their business or company.

Genevieve Britton

Born a storyteller, Vivvi (pronounced Vee-Vee) is the Group Account Director at PRECISIONeffect, where she leads her team in building clients’ media portfolios.

Jackie Sinex

Experienced in managing a small digital agency for over twenty years, and in the areas of web development and digital marketing.

Jane Baxter Lynn

Jane Baxter Lynn is an experienced strategic planner, facilitator and professional communicator. She has spent three decades in global, national and regional communications, marketing and non-profit management, and has a wealth of contacts and resources worldwide.

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer brings a wealth of 25 years in strategic communications, predominantly within the tech sector. From Intel to Microsoft and running her own firm, JKJ Marketing, she’s become a trusted expert in narrative crafting, crisis management, and data-driven optimization.

Jennifer Stayton

“Morning Edition” Host, KUT 90.5 FM. Jennifer Stayton is a native Austinite with nearly 30 years of experience as a radio broadcaster. She has worked in both public and commercial radio as a host, newscast anchor, interviewer, news reporter, DJ, producer, writer, editor, news assignment coordinator, delivery and speech coach, intern supervisor, and (briefly) salesperson.

Julie Wickert

Julie Wickert is a longtime communications professional with a technical writing background and a knack for capturing the essential marketing messages and the stories that substantiate them. She has extensive experience in proposal management and writing RFP responses.

Karen Aroian

Karen Aroian began her career in the editorial offices of Houghton Mifflin, Boston, working with America’s finest editors and authors. She has led teams of editors and copy writers at major publishing and marketing firms. Today she is a developmental editor of historical novels, multigenerational memoirs and topical how-tos.

Laura Bond Williams

Following a 25-year in public relations, Laura created a significant career change by forming a Pilates and fitness business, Mat Pilates ATX, as an extension of her coaching/consulting practice for executives in transition. As both a teacher and a coach, Laura support clients to navigate challenges related to their personal and professional goals and well-being.

Lisa O’Neill

Lisa O’Neill, founder/principal of Breakaway Public Relations, has more than 30 years’ experience in public relations with a focus on small to mid-sized consumer businesses and organizations. Her diverse background, ranging relations for a weekly newspaper group to event marketing and PR strategies for start-ups, gives Lisa a broad perspective of how public relations can positively impact organizations of all sizes.

Lorelei Gonzalez

Lorelei is a nonprofit professional with over a decade of experience in the sector, ranging from Board service, fundraising, marketing and communications, to programming development and facilitation. Her focus is around equity-centered missions with a special emphasis on women’s empowerment.

LuAnn Glowacz

LuAnn Glowacz is an Austin, Texas, executive ghostwriter and editor and serves as WordCove, LLC’s founder, president and CWN (Chief Word Nerd). She’s best known for helping entrepreneurs and business leaders sound as smart as they are.

Mary Ann Roser

After a decades-long career in print journalism, Mary Ann left daily newspapering in 2016 to create a communications consulting company, Roser Prose LLC. She mainly does writing, editing and communications coaching for her clients.

Mary Anne Connolly

Mary Anne Connolly

Mary Anne Connolly, a Community Engagement Manager at CD&P ( since August of 2023 has worked in PR for global technology firms and startups in HR tech, EdTech, HealthTech, cybersecurity, academia, film, music, arts, nonprofits, festivals, conferences and political think tanks, as well as CEOs, experts/academics and thought leaders at global PR and regional comms agencies including leading her own independent shop, MACMedia, for over a decade.

Maura Thomas

Maura Nevel Thomas is an award-winning international speaker and trainer on individual and corporate productivity and work-life balance, and the most widely-cited authority on attention management. Her proprietary Empowered Productivity™ System has been embraced by the likes of NASA, Dyson, and Google. She is a TEDx Speaker, founder of Regain Your Time, author of six books, and was named a Top Leadership Speaker in Inc. Magazine.

Monique Carreon

Monique is an experienced marketing communication/demand generation professional with 15 years of experience. She has worked on marketing teams from small startups to enterprise scale, from tight purse strings to even tighter purse strings. Her goal at each company is to expand their messaging reach while helping drive leads to sales.

Nicole Basham

Nicole collaborates with interdisciplinary teams of experience strategists, UX and UI designers, product managers, copywriters and developers as a Senior Content Strategist at Prophet to deliver digital experiences for enterprise clients that serve both user needs and business priorities. She has worked in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, as well as being self-employed as a freelancer.

Paige Booth

Paige helps nonprofits, schools, and other purpose-driven clients define their brands, refine their messaging, and develop strategic marketing and communication plans to achieve their goals. Paige’s strengths are curiosity, pragmatism, and ideation.

Reesa Woolf, Ph.D.

Reesa is a TED Talk Trainer who prepares executives and ESL Speakers for leadership. She has worked with corporate leader executives and technology & sales departments in executive development and influential leadership for 25 years. Reesa studied in-person with the father of cognitive therapy Albert Ellis, Ph.D., in his 90’s and Ram Dass after he published Be Here How.

Roberta C

Roberta Coffin

A creative strategist and demand generation specialist who thrives on challenges, Roberta Coffin has an extensive agency background and experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, primarily in housing, real estate, construction, investment and finance. She found her perfect fit in providing marketing communications services across a broad spectrum of platforms through her own agency, Scripta Communications. During the course of her career she has worked with clients, large and small, along with a variety of associations and non-profits.

Sandra Kleinsasser

Sandra is a veteran journalist who left the news business after 30 years to reshape a career that needed some fresh air. Now, she is a freelance editor and writer who enjoys crafting success stories, blogs, newsletters and other business correspondence for clients promoting their professional services.

Sarah Estapa

Sarah is a Hispanic marketing thought leader, agency owner, and bilingual copywriting expert. Over the past 15 years, she has perfected the art of brand voice writing in two languages (English and Spanish) and has developed bilingual and bicultural content for leading advertising agencies, Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, startups, and non-profits.

Sharon Jayson

Sharon Jayson is a versatile journalist who can tell stories across platforms, with experience online, in print and broadcast. Her work has appeared in publications, including The Washington Post, Time, U.S. News & World Report, KFF Health News, NBC News, AARP and UT’s McCombs magazine, among others.

Sheila Scarborough

Sheila Scarborough is a speaker, trainer, and writer specializing in tourism, travel, and social media. Along with Leslie McLellan, she’s part of the Tourism Currents team, offering online and in-person workshops and training in social media marketing for tourism, hospitality, and economic development.

Ask a Mentor Blog

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