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OUR LEADERS

We are women-owned & led from culturally vibrant cities around the nation and decades of experience across several creative industries. What connects us is not the road travelled, but in our drive to nourish communities that inspire and make the world a better place.

Leadership: Leadership
Leadership: Meet the Team

ABBY FANELLI

CEO & Co-Founder

Co-Editor, Tilt Magazine

Abby applies pragmatism, playful curiosity, and a strategic eye to guide purpose-driven minds toward greater outcomes. Over two decades, her creative problem-solving has moved groups through complexity and translated challenges into value-added opportunity. A graduate of the University of Michigan and NYU, her early career focused on policy and program development for mission-focused education and arts & culture orgs, while earning fellowships at the Ford School of Public Policy and New York City Mayor's Office.


For more than a decade, she worked alongside Hugh O'Neill – former Deputy Secretary under New York State Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo – at the economic development firm, Appleseed. Here, she cultivated a management style that equally values people and outcomes while overseeing a portfolio of high-profile clients including Harvard University, Brookhaven National Lab, the Clinton School of Public Service, City of Yonkers and the Central Park Conservancy. She has since served in leadership roles across the higher ed, corporate, and nonprofit sectors, with a pause for a meaningful family leave in between.


As CEO & Co-Founder, she advances WAABEL's vision and planning. She imagines a world where creativity and the arts are fully valued for the quality of life, economic, and holistic benefits they provide to the world.

Leadership: Text

COURTNEY MARTIN

Co-Founder

Courtney is an entrepreneur, photographer, and visual artist who applies a sophisticated and empathetic touch to an inspired body of work. After graduating from Cornish College of the Arts, she established Courtney Martin Photography, a full service studio specializing in boudoir, affirmation, family, and branding sessions for clients from all walks of life. Her work has been featured in several high-profile publications including Dark Beauty, the Mob Journal, and the Numinous Magazine: Noir Issue, and more than a dozen group and solo exhibitions around the Seattle-area. The foundation of her inspiration is in discovering the essence of people and the deeply emotional journeys of movement, synergy, and self-discovery that come from connecting through the lens.

As Co-Founder of WAABEL Start-Up Studio, Courtney is supporting the cultivation of a rich, interconnected network of artists to form the basis of our artist community.

Leadership: Text

AIMEE FERRO

Co-Founder

Aimee is a mixed-media visual artist known for exploring unpolished vulnerability in her expansive portfolio of collage, visuals, and wearable art. Her work invites internal reflection through a provocative sensory experience that embraces tension and the chaos within. Born in Phoenix, AZ, Aimee forever calls Seattle home and is currently creating artwork in her dining room while raising a family in Sacramento, CA. A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, she creates with purpose, having established Leia Beila Designs in memory of her mother who passed away from breast cancer during Aimee’s childhood. A celebration of bold individuality, Leia Beila pieces function as an extension of body and mind for those who dare to be different. Her work has been proudly recognized in Swayy, Seattle Magazine, & Seattle Met and spotlighted as a noteworthy artist entrepreneur in Authority Magazine in 2018. When asked why she chose the arts as her path, her response is always a simply-delivered response, “There’s nothing else I would ever want to do.”

As Co-Founder of WAABEL Start-Up Studio, Aimee is guiding the vision and execution of the support structure around our artists community.

Leadership: Text

ROBIN GOLDBERG

Contemplative Engagement Consultant

Co-Editor, Tilt Magazine

As a holistic artist, Robin explores creative expression as a pathway for nurturing partnerships between people and the planet.  Meditation and sensorial orientation to Nature guide her inquiry into the synergy between the fine arts and healing arts.  As a cultivator of collaborative environments, she fosters reciprocity between ecology and creativity.  She roots her research in deep listening and vast witnessing, observing authentic connections as they shape ecosystem wholeness.

Robin’s contemplative ecoarts practice involves honoring organic sources of inspiration through poems, rituals, and mixed media visual art.  She celebrates seeds, herbs, and leaves with writing, movement, painting, printmaking, and photography.  She is a Terminus artist within Olympic National Park, the founding curator of an international multimedia newsletter named roots, wings & wonder, and the co-author of peer-reviewed research on the value of patient-initiated storytelling in hospital settings.  Her poems have appeared in dozens of literary journals, and in 2014, Charing Cross Press published her first book, a poetry collection called the Sound of Seeds.   

As an interdisciplinary MFA candidate, Robin draws upon diverse academic fields ranging from queer mycology to progressive pedagogy.  Her professional certifications in reflexology, hatha yoga, Japanese Reiki, and vibrational sound therapy also inform her commitment to infusing her career with compassionate communication and her creative process with wonder.  Within WAABEL, Robin co-creates contemplative opportunities for writers and artists to embody their goals and visions.

Leadership: Text

BEN FOGEL

Board Chair

Ben is building a career at the crossroads of technology and creative expression. His journey began at Apple as a computer technician, and continued with roles in product development, organizational strategy, and client-focused management. His distinct style is rooted in a people-oriented philosophy that leverages technology to support productivity, fulfillment, and holistic outcomes. Now at Peloton, Ben is the Manager of Enterprise Systems in the Member Services division where he leads a team of tech professionals focused on building software solutions for the eCommerce support team. 


Also a musician, Ben’s professional trajectory has its roots in composition and music technology. He holds a B.A in Music Technology and Composition with a minor in classical guitar from Northeastern University, where his academic focus was building software to produce music and composition for a range of instruments and electronics. He is also a professional musician under the performance titles, FOGES and Ben Focus and formerly produced under the Australian-based label, ESF Records. 


As the WAABEL Start-Up Studio Board Chair, Ben is responsible for the strategic growth and management of our Board of Directors. He will provide essential consultation on the development of virtual platforms and provide general guidance of our organization’s evolution more broadly.

Leadership: Text

WAABEL COMMUNITY VALUES

We are creatives who articulate our values with care. We embody our commitments to personal and collective success. We believe the pursuit of values-driven work is essential to advancing our artists, our community, and our world.

AN ECOSYSTEM OF MUTUAL RECIPROCITY

We value spaces that support individuals and our organization at once. Community members join us with an understanding of personal goals, the goals of the organization, and the natural intersection and alignment of both. Our commitment remains ongoing, as we nurture an open environment to continuously assess our relationships and make space and time for processing adjustments.

FLEXIBILITY &  AUTONOMY

Our work together is defined by trust. We empower members of our community to advance through open conversation and articulated shared vision. Where and how you work is left in your hands, in order to adapt to your purpose, your personal life, your strengths, and your preferences.

INCLUSION & ACTIVE AWARENESS

Passion, creativity, beauty and all its artistic forms are most successfully cultivated in diverse and inclusive environments. WAABEL welcomes everyone.  We foster belonging and recognize that our individual and organizational outcomes are intertwined. Artists will forever grow and plant seeds in every corner of our world. We therefore remain open to all in our commitment to advancing our artists, wherever and whomever they are.

Leadership: List
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