Committee

IPWA Committee Members

IPWA, a volunteer-led association, is run by an Organizing Committee of women from different professions and nationalities.  The committee is divided into different teams responsible for events, membership, marketing and communications, finance, and special projects.

The committee is made up of the following members for the current membership year:

Co-Presidents: Rocio Manzanares and Michelle Clark
Finance: Irina Axenova
Events: Rebecca Somple
Membership:  Polly Gant
Special projects: Julie MacVicar
Marketing & Communications: Elena Piasta and Sarah Walker

Rocio Manzanares


Rocio Manzanares is Chilean-Dutch and holds a BA. International Business Management and a MSC. Business Economics from Erasmus University, Rotterdam. After becoming a mother of two boys, Rocio works from home as a freelance consultant advising public and private organisations as well as start-ups on communicational matters. From May 2016, Rocio serves as co-president on the IPWA committee.

Irina Axenova


Irina Axenova, Russian, with more than 15 years of finance and business development experience in different industries and countries, currently working as Commercial Manager at a boutique winery in Casablanca. Irina has a Masters Degree in Mathematical Methods in Economics, an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and at the moment is pursuing a WSET Awards in Wine qualification. Irina joined the IPWA Committee in 2014 to help with the financial area of the organization.

Polly Gant


Polly Gant is originally from the UK. She has been on the IPWA committee since January 2014 and is currently looking after membership. Polly is a graduate of the University of Oxford and works as an Instructional Designer. With previous experience in the UK, France, and Poland, she currently works in the content development team at an e-learning company in Santiago.

Rebecca Somple


Rebecca Somple joined the IPWA committee in March 2016 as the Event Committee Coordinator. She is from the US and graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in International Studies. Prior to moving to Chile in 2013, Rebecca had also lived and studied in Spain. She currently works as an international programs coordinator for a university.

Michelle Clark


Michelle Clark holds the position of co-president. Born in South Africa of Dutch and British decent, Michelle has called Santiago home since 2013. When she is not coaching her global clients via Skype, Michelle can be found behind the lens of her camera capturing photo stories to inspire other Portable Professionals. She manages her two websites (WWW.MOTIVCOACH.COM and WWW.PORTABLEPRO.ME) and the popular Facebook group called Coaching via Technology.

Elena Piasta


Elena Piasta joined the IPWA committee in July 2015 as a member of the events team. She grew up in Germany, graduated from Maastricht University with a degree in Economics & Business Economics and worked a/o studied in the US, Vietnam, South-Africa and Chile. Elena has been living in Chile for about two years and currently works as the Head of Marketing of a South-American company operating in the beauty sector.

Julie MacVicar


Julie MacVicar is a Scottish-Australian IT / Telco Professional, with almost 20 years’ experience in Account Management, Project Management and Recruitment. Currently, Julie is leading the IT&T division for Hays (Specialist Recruitment) and is responsible for Chile, Peru, Argentina and Uruguay. She graduated in International Business with French and Spanish from the University of Strathclyde, and EDHEC (Nice, France), and is certified amongst others in Prince 2, ITIL, Siebel TAS and SPIN selling. Julie joined the committee in 2013 and was previously responsible for Finance, but now has a roving role, assisting with ad-hoc strategic projects.

Sarah Walker


Sarah Walker is from the UK and has been an IPWA committee member since April 2015, working on the communications team. Sarah is a graduate from the University of Sussex and previously worked in health policy, first for the Department of Health and then for the British Medical Association. Sarah moved to Chile in September 2014 and currently works as a private English language and professional exams tutor.