2017 Culture Change Inspiration Award 
Julie Parker Benello
Co-Founder of Chicken & Egg Pictures & Gamechanger Films


Julie’s work has always been driven by a shared belief in the power of women storytellers to build and sustain movements for justice, equity, and health. She is Founder and Managing Director of Gamechanger Films, a newly launched equity fund that is actively investing in a slate of independent narrative films by women directors.

Julie previously served as Executive Producer on a host of award-winning and critically acclaimed films, including Jill Soloway’s 2013 Sundance award-winning debut feature, Afternoon Delight, Dee Rees’s feature Pariah, and Leigh Janiak’s debut horror film Honeymoon. She also co-produced the 2002 Sundance award-winning documentary, Blue Vinyl, directed by Judith Helfand.

Early in her career, she served as a Production Executive for the distribution company Non Fiction Films and as an archival researcher for the Discovery Channel series “Cronkite Remembers.” Julie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund for Women, the San Francisco Film Society, and the Gruber Family Foundation.



2017 Changemaker Inspiration Award
Krati Prakash
Manager of Implementation, Uttar Pradesh


A survivor of sexual violence as a child, Krati joined Breakthrough ten years ago as a volunteer. Her first brush with the ugly side of male dominance was at the age of six when a close relative sexually assaulted her. Confused and distressed with the experience, but was hushed up and asked to be silent to protect the family honor and maintain harmony. Her battle for gender justice started at home but didn’t stop there. Today, she leads a team of 14 to implement programs that reach over 400,000 adolescent youth in Uttar Pradesh in India. Through Breakthrough, she was able to break her silence about her experience, share her story, and advocate for her dignity and human rights. She is using those same tools to help empower young girls and their peers to do the same.

Presenters:
Mona Sinha
Co-Chair, Board Member

Mona Sinha is a passionate supporter of women and girls. She serves on the Smith College Board of Trustees and is on the Executive Committee. She also serves on the Board of Apne Aap USA, an anti-trafficking organization based in India and the USA. She is Vice President of the Women Moving Millions board, an organization dedicated to mobilizing unprecedented resources for the empowerment of women and girls. Mona is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School and the Global Mental Health Program at the Columbia School of Public Health. She is on the Advisory Council of the American Museum of Natural History where she is a patron of the Science and Nature Program serving underprivileged girls. In 2010, she founded the Asian Women’s Leadership program to train Asian women as leaders, in collaboration with Smith College.

Mona began her professional career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, followed by a marketing career at P&G and Unilever, during which she helped restructure the Asia Pacific operations of Elizabeth Arden. In 2010, she conducted a study for Goldman, Sachs Asia on Leadership.

She holds a BA (economics, art history) magna cum laude from Smith College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; and an MBA in finance and marketing (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Columbia University. She was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor 2015 for her contribution to women’s leadership and education.

Sunil Savkar
Co-Chair, Board Member

Sunil Savkar is a partner with the New York office of Ropes & Gray LLC. Sunil focuses his practice on complex debt finance transactions. He primarily advises private equity firms, credit funds and their respective portfolio companies in a broad range of domestic and international financing transactions, including leveraged buyout financings, direct lending, mezzanine and subordinated debt financings and high yield offerings. His transactions include large cap as well as middle market financings in a variety of industries such as technology, consumer and healthcare. Sunil has a JD from Columbia University School of Law and a Master’s of Engineering and BS from Cornell University.




Marissa Wesely
CEO, Win-Win Strategies