Director, DEI

Joel Pérez is the owner and executive coach at Apoyo Coaching and Consulting. He is a former C-suite executive in higher education where he held various roles in a 20-year career. He is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory that he uses as the foundation for cultural humility coaching. He works with executives and leaders that want to become stronger DE&I allies and social justice advocates. He also works with organizations in assisting them in developing strategic plans for diversity to implement sustainable DE&I efforts more effectively.

Joel received his certification through the Academy of Creative Coaching now serving as an instructor specializing in helping prospective coaches develop skills to become effective cross-cultural coaches. He has a doctorate in higher education administration from Claremont Graduate University. He also serves as the interim executive director of the Immigration Resource Center of San Gabriel Valley located in Monrovia.


Ambassador, DEI Committee

GINA is a bilingual executive and personal coach, offering her practice in English and Spanish. Her mission is to help people pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion. GINA incorporates mindfulness & meditation into her coaching practice. She has vast experience in children's advocacy & strategy development and has treated her own career and life as a journey of self-discovery. This is what led her to coaching. Her ideal client may be a leader in transition, thinking something is missing, or just wants to discover what’s next for them. Through self-reflection, powerful questions, and building awareness, GINA helps her clients move forward and accomplish their professional and/or personal goals.

She currently works as a Program Officer for First 5 LA, a leading children’s advocacy organization in Los Angeles County. She coaches for organizations such as the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) and Modern Health. She is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and a certified Purpose Guide™.

​She loves to travel, seek inspiration, awareness and commune with nature. GINA lives with her family in the City of Los Angeles. For more information visit:


Ambassador, DEI Committee

Dr. Backstrom is an experienced executive/leadership coach and workshop facilitator whose expertise spans organizations in the for-profit, not-for-profit and public sector arenas including: Toyota, City of Hope National Medical Center, Beach Cities Health District, Moog, JPL, City of Pasadena, Metropolitan Water District, Star News, Alexandria Real Estate, First Entertainment Credit Union, Travis Credit Union and Leadership Pasadena. Heather is also an adjunct faculty member with the University of Redlands where she delights in teaching MBA students.

Heather also loves to learn and have fun at the same time. She incorporates proven principles from improv into her work. As a student of improv, she has trained at The Second City, iO West and UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade).
Dr. Backstrom served on the Board of Directors of Leadership Pasadena and is a volunteer with the Tournament of Roses Association. Heather enjoys to travel and has floated on the Dead Sea, walked on the Great Wall of China and ridden in a hot air balloon over Stockholm.


Ambassador, DEI Committee

Dr. Nancy Tylim enjoys coaching individuals and organizations to help them create more fulfilling and productive work environments. In her coaching, she supports individuals to remain engaged and productive while helping them step it up from whatever level they are at. Nancy and her clients work together on leveraging the individual’s strengths, setting powerful goals, and achieving tangible, long-lasting results. In developing organizations, Nancy and her clients build organizational success by growing individuals and teams for bottom-line results through trademarked programs and products. Nancy’s programs empower leaders, managers, and employees to improve their skills in all areas critical to success in and for their organization. Dr. Nancy Tylim completely and totally commits to her client’s greatest success and supports them with strategic thinking and decision making, strengths-based development and growth, illuminating blind spots and addressing needs, successful career management, leadership effectiveness and presence, 360 feedback coaching, team building, and leadership development.

Organizational effectiveness is the sum of individual and team effectiveness. Nancy’s programs and engagements are designed to work with both. Together with her clients, they create a higher level of healthy functioning. Nancy customizes all programs to meet their specific organizational needs.

Nancy has worked with Leaders from all over the world. Nancy has coached Leaders from the following organizations: Amazon, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Ford Foundation, Lockheed-Martin, 3M, NASA Johnson Space Center, Sony, LiveNation, Univision, Samsung, Deimler Financial, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, Center for Nonprofit Management, Target, American Heart & Stroke Association, Inland Empire Health Plan, CoreLogic, Alteryx, T-Mobile, US GAO, Genentech, F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., Allergan, AbbVie, Novato Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Oncology Pharmaceuticals, Meijer, Generac Power Systems, Extol Energy, Georgia Pacific, Nova Chemicals, UCLA, USC, California State University Office of the Chancellor, HBM Holdings, Takamol Holding, Western Asset Management, Carlisle, Vestas, Methanex, MATT Construction, Hecla Mining, Cemex, Grantek Cyber Security of Systems Integration, many United Nations agencies, and many more.


Ambassador, DEI Committee

Graciela G. Meibar is a coach (PCC) with 30 years corporate experience, and 20 years in line management and senior management; her expertise is in connecting people, business development, and problem solving. She is a senior executive with a proven record of accomplishments in business development, people management, relationship management and building and launching new initiatives. She had a 30year career at Mattel Inc. and a few key describers of her career include, global, inclusive, people focused, relationship builder, trusted mentor and colleague, advisor, deliverer of results. She is definitely a people person, friendly and empathetic while keeping her clients accountable. Her background provides personal and business insights and a unique perspective to individuals experiencing changing conditions within their industry, organization or personally. Graciela’s clients are individuals who are experiencing changing circumstances, need development in key areas or are in need of creating new dynamics for lives.

Graciela began her career at Mattel in 1984 as an Area Manager Analyst in the international division. She was promoted to Manager and later, Director of Sales for the Caribbean. From 1995 to 2003, she served as Vice President of Latin America Export, managing 22 countries. During this time, she doubled the business and changed the business model for Mattel in that region. In 2003, she was appointed to the position of vice president of global sales talent development and global diversity. During her 12year tenure she developed and implemented a global strategy that was business focused ensuring that Mattel was seen as a global leader and as a best employer for all.

After emigrating from Cuba at the age of twelve, Meibar moved to Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from the University of Southern California in 1980 and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University in 1983. Her core belief is that an inclusive culture drives innovation. Her life experiences grounds this belief. As a Cuban immigrant, her parents encouraged her to think as a free person and be authentic to self and celebrate her differences, while including others in the conversations. Graciela is bilingual and bicultural, and she has a global perspective for people, business and organizations. She is a certified coach from The Hudson Institute of Coaching in Santa Barbara and a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She also serves on the DEI Committee for ICFLA.