MAKERS at Morgan Stanley is an annual program that celebrates groundbreakers, innovators and champions of women’s achievement. The Morgan Stanley MAKERS Class of 2023 marks the program’s 10th anniversary.

Meet the Class of 2023

Every MAKER has an inspirational story. Here we share them, one MAKER at a time:



I think that if you're going to be a financial advisor, one should never be satisfied with the status quo. In order to be successful in this career, I think right upfront, one needs to know that it takes hard work, it takes commitment and it doesn’t happen overnight. 



My name is Donna Andrews, and I’m an executive director at Morgan Stanley.



When I was in my late 20s I found out that I had Retinitis Pigmentosa and that I was going to lose full functional vision by age 40. The doctor told me not to move and not change careers.



So I moved to California and I changed careers. I started in the profession working with teachers because when I left teaching I had a 403b or TSA and I went to a broker and he did not roll it into an IRA and I ended up paying penalties and taxes. And I thought you know, I am not a stupid person and there are other teachers who don't understand finance, and so I started working with teachers on their retirement planning.



I was at another firm as I was losing my eyesight and the technology that they had could not support my business, so I moved to Smith Barney. My husband would sit with me often times to read things off the computer while I was on the phone with clients.



So we started working together in the year 2000. I am a good information gatherer, relationship manager. My husband used to be in the computer, uh, the computer technology world, and so he is very good at doing any other kinds of reports that I need. The clients, especially couples, love that they're working with a married couple, because there's always someone on their side.



The technology at Morgan stanley has been phenomenal at supporting me in my career. As a visually impaired financial advisor, I have had to innovate in order to be a success in this business. So I use a screen reader. I have two earbuds in my ear all the time, one is a screen reader that's giving me the information on the screen and the other is the client on the phone.


I also have to be more innovative in gathering information and preparing for client calls and meetings ahead of time because I don't have as much access to a system for spontaneous questions. I also have a visual impairment intern that I rely on for all of the information that I can't access on the system.



This business allows for so much continuing education, learning and challenges that, that provide opportunities to become better and better and better. You can never get bored, you can only get better.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5484357 03/2023


Donna Andrews



Any time that somebody tells me I can't do something, that's the moment I take it as a challenge and dig in, learn whatever it is I need to learn and become an expert, and do it even better than I thought I could.



I’m Victoria Bailey, I’m a managing director at Morgan Stanley, and I’m in our Menlo Park, California office.



I grew up in a small town in New Jersey with a single mom and a sister who I absolutely adored from the moment I was born. My mom is an incredibly strong person, and I think being a single mother, working three jobs to put me through school, it was incredibly impactful to see somebody work that hard, but also still be incredibly dedicated to her family.



We had a very, very modest upbringing. And so it was really, really important for me to make sure that I helped her in any way I could. I made a promise that I would pay for myself to go to college.



Miss America is the largest scholarship organization in the world. And when I first became involved, I didn't really understand how the pageant world worked, but I knew that it was a way that I could actually earn scholarship money. I ultimately ended up winning Miss New Jersey and going to the Miss America pageant when I was 19 years old and that afforded me the ability to pay for my way through college.



Early in my career I had a lot of people telling me that I needed to act a certain way or be a certain way in order to be successful. I was a young working mom, I remembered how hard it was to balance having a career and having young kids at home and so every single day I felt like I was coming in and judging my job and feeling like it was incredibly frustrating.



And it wasn't until I actually fully embraced all of the things that make me who I am, and brought them to the table every single day, that I became successful.




My kids inspire me. Every single day they are trying new things and I think that motivates me to get outside my comfort zone and try new things as well. Both my husband and I work incredibly demanding jobs, and I think my kids have learned to appreciate that.



They actually see the benefit of having both of us working incredibly powerful jobs and that they see that hard work every day translating into success in our careers.



When I started in this business, our senior manager wanted us to cover venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. And nobody else on the team wanted to do it because venture capitalists at that time weren't making a lot of money. So as the junior person on the team, I ended up being the one it fell to, but I decided to embrace it and really just understand everything that venture capitalists needed as it related to private wealth management.



I think specialization is incredibly important. I built a network of venture capitalists who then introduced me to all the entrepreneurs that they invested in. And that's how I’ve built my business.



I believe that advocating for others is incredibly important. I was incredibly lucky early in my career to have fabulous mentors who advocated for me, so I viewed it as my responsibility to pass that along and advocate for others to help everyone continue to grow.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5484401 03/2023


Victoria Bailey




When I first started in the business, I took a lot of risk. I took a risk by asking to be a trader at the time there were very few female traders in the business. I also took a risk by transitioning to many different roles throughout the firm. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and to believe in yourself.



My name is Valerie Wong Fountain and I’m a managing director at Morgan Stanley.



My parents both have advanced degrees and believed in a higher education, as well as the value of hard work. My mom wanted to provide me with as many opportunities as possible, so I grew up playing ten sports, five musical instruments and studied two foreign languages.



My main personal hobby is golf and I think from a very young age I've always been driven to accomplish as much as I can.



After I was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, I tried out for the women’s varsity golf team and I was the first Asian American to join the golf team. 



Golf has taught me many valuable life lessons. The number one lesson is perseverance. In golf you lose much more than you win, and so I've learned that you really can't beat someone who doesn't give up.



I think it's important to remember who you are, where you came from, and invest back in the community. I'm one of the founding members of Gold House. Gold House is a non-profit that advances the Asian American Pacific Islander community through unity, success and representation as its three key pillars. I'm involved with AAAIM, the Association of Asian American Investment Managers as a national advisory council member. and also have the opportunity at Morgan Stanley to serve as the executive sponsor of the Asian Leaders Forum.



My favorite part of my job is the opportunity to mentor. The Morgan Stanley Women's and Girls Golf and Fore Mentoring Program is a collaboration between Morgan Stanley and the First Tee of Metropolitan New York. We created this 9 years ago to help advance women and girls.



For the girls, it provides them with a mentoring opportunity to learn valuable skills such as interview and resume skills and provides them with a special experience to be able to come to Morgan Stanley, see what the world of business and finance is like.



And the First Tee girls have an opportunity to build their confidence and teach women about something that they are experts at, which is the game of golf.



I really focus on what’s meaningful to me in terms of giving back, having a social impact but also advancing things for the business and investing in activities that really drive a commercial impact as well.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5498297 03/2023




I think one of the most important things for me, as a person of color in this industry, is to be able to throw the doors wide open for people that look like me, because growing up, I didn't know about wealth management, I didn't know the opportunities that were available within wealth management, and so I feel a responsibility to share these opportunities with others



I’m Yvette Giove, first vice president, field service learning and development.



I grew up on the west coast. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. My father met my mother overseas while he was deployed in the Philippines and eventually he brought her back with him to the United States.



I have two kids at home, my son Ethan who's ten, and my daughter Morgan who's five and my husband Michael. Shortly after I had my son and he was diagnosed with autism, I was presented with a situation and a challenge in life where I wasn't really sure what direction I should follow. A lot of times women especially look to take a step back from their careers.



But I had a mentor who had really challenged that mindset with me, and said that career growth is something you can lean into when trying to find more balance. And it really opened my eyes. My husband was an incredible support, and he stepped away from his career so that he could be there at home, providing additional help for our kids.



Not having the exposure to my Filipino background or my African American background really made me feel like I didn’t know who I was growing up. One of the, the great things about my mother was that she, she taught me that caring and kindness isn't a finite resource, that you give only when you receive it.



Everyday when I come to work, I'm always thinking about creating a culture of inclusion, belonging and care. Because people really want to come to a place where they feel like they are understood.




Mentoring is incredibly important to me because I've been incredibly lucky to have access to a number of mentors throughout my career and I don't think I would be where I am today had it not been for some of the advice and wisdom that I had gleaned from my mentors. And so it's really important for me to give that back.



One of the organizations that I volunteer with is ACP. American Corporate Partners is an organization that partners veterans with professional mentors across various industries. With my father being in the military, I thought it was really important to give advice and have a mentorship with people that were looking to get into this industry, or just have a better understanding of the professional world.



Showing people that they matter, showing people that they are supported, and that they're seen and they're heard. Allows people to be their best self.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC#5509833 03/2023


Yvette Giove



Nobody gets here on their own. And I think that if I can help somebody get to the next level, it just, it does a lot for me.


I’m Sylvia Gort, I'm a PWA in the Atlanta office and I am an executive director at Morgan Stanley.



My parents were Holocaust Survivors that met after the war in Germany.



My parents were incredibly hard working people. And I think the value of a strong work ethic was always present in our home.



My mother was quite an inspiration for me. Having the courage to start over, teaching herself this language as well as being a good business woman.



My mother was 10 years younger than my father, he wasn't as proficient in the language nor was he as good in business the way she was. And so she took over and did everything. And I think that helps influence what I do today.



Unfortunately, she got sick and died before he did. So I took a year off and helped my dad get settled. I was the executor of the estate. I realized I knew nothing about things would actually help my family.



It was time to go back to work, I called the gentleman that ran the private bank and I said, “I'm not going back to real estate, I want to learn something that can help my family.”



I am very blessed with two wonderful sons. And I tell people all the time, those two are my fortune. I was married for 29 years before my husband passed away. He was doing criminal law and he was helping people. Unfortunately he got pancreatic cancer. I had to close his criminal law practice which I had no clue what I was doing.



I called the Atlanta bar trying to figure out if the sole practitioners area has some resources. And unfortunately they didn't at the time. So I started going through the process. 


The gentleman that ran, uh, Continuing Legal Education and I were having a dialogue about this and so the next year he had me come speak to sole practitioners about how important it is to number one, have a setup so that if somebody had to come in they could. And number two, think about it. Because at the end of the day, preparing for death doesn't hasten it.



I create a culture of giving back, by leading by example. I’m part of a mentorship program and so I currently mentor four women. I think it’s so important to help folks find their footing. And it’s so easy when you’re first starting in your career to get overshadowed with things going on and not perhaps see the forest for the trees.



I was fortunate enough with three other women to start the Women in Wealth chapter in Atlanta. Women in Wealth is a professional organization within the firm that focuses on trying to get folks to the next step. I feel like giving back in that way, helps the next generation come forward.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5484386 03/2023


Sylvia Gort




Some of the most interesting and valuable conversations I've had here at the firm have been the open ended conversations of how can I help you? What can I do better? What can we do to have a more productive and efficient relationship?



I'm Jennifer Grego, I am a managing director at Morgan Stanley and I am the Chief Compliance and Operational Risk Officer for Wealth Management.



The summer after I graduated law school, I was very fortunate to get a job offer at a lovely law firm in Albany, New York. I was a litigator, defense attorney. I was not doing anything in financial services. Ultimately that law firm opened a shop in Long Island, and as a young single person out of law school, I volunteered to move.



One day, I was taking a train ride into the city and I sat next to the head of the department of enforcement for FINRA. We struck up a conversation and by the time we got to Grand Central, he had offered me a job. When he left FINRA one year later he brought me to Morgan Stanley. It was really being kind and talking to someone who sat next to me on a train, that led me to be here um, 17 years later.



A collaborative and diverse environment is critical for success particularly in a business like wealth management, where we're serving the entirety of the retail population, and so we need to bring to the table the perspectives of all the customers and clients that we have, and the customers and clients that we want to have.



The way you create a culture of diversity and inclusion is being intentional about it. You need to do a lot of outreach. You have to ask your staff what you could do more of and give people an opportunity to have a voice. There's a softer side of diversity and inclusion, which is just getting to know people and learn their stories. And with that comes a greater appreciation for the vantage point that they bring to the table.



I think the secret to my professional success has been being responsive and treating people equally. Listening to other people I think builds trust and nurtures a relationship with people across your function, across business lines, and ultimately leads to knowing more people at Morgan Stanley, which I think is the key to succeeding.



Morgan Stanley has been a great place for me to work as a woman. It's a collaborative, inspiring environment that allows both men and women to flex as things change in their personal lives. I’m super proud that I am a single mom who’s been able to be recognized and valued here at Morgan Stanley.



My kids just inspire me. I try to, you know, lead my life at Morgan Stanley and beyond with an eye toward being an example for them. Hopefully being a Maker will be an inspiration to some women who are also single moms.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5510392 03/2023


Jennifer Grego



The favorite part of my job is helping people. And helping people achieve their goals. I have spent a lot really making sure we're having thoughtful career conversations with people. I want to make sure that they know we are invested in them. Sometimes we don't see ourselves in that corner office, and we have to help paint that picture.



My name is Jennifer McGlynn, I'm an executive director and the branch manager of the West Conshohocken Core Branch.



My dad always told me I could do anything a boy could do. So if my dad was out there teaching my brother how to throw a football or out there having a catch with him, I was out there with them. I think it really helped me have this confidence that I could do anything I really wanted to do and really put my mind to.



As I was growing up in this industry, I felt like I had people who took a chance on me, but it wasn't until I got to Morgan Stanley where I felt I really had mentors. They’re the people that instilled in me that I had a voice, that I have an opinion and those opinions should be, should be shared.



As a working mom, I need a village. I tell people on my team all the time, you never get a second first day of kindergarten. You never get that back, so you really want to make sure that family’s first. You don't have to give up your career.



I'm lucky I do have a support system. I have a wonderful husband that has always said to me, ‘you know if you want to pick up and move because of your career, I will support you and I will not hold you back’.



The Makers movement is important because there are so many women out there that need help advocating for themselves. People tend to not want to talk about themselves, and people tend not to want to pat themselves on the back. As a leader, that, that's my responsibility to do that for others. To really use my voice where they can't use theirs.



So I’ve coined this year my trifecta year. It started at the end of October, when I had my hole in one, and then a week later I found out I was going to be the branch manager of the West Conshohocken Core Branch, and then third it was a phone call from Andy Saperstein to tell me I was a Maker.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5509671 03/2023


Jennifer McGlynn



Coming from a family that wasn't in finance, I had to do everything I possibly could to get where I am today. I felt like I had to work 200 times harder than my colleagues and people in the room.



My name is Brianna Perez and I work in distribution strategy and client segmentation at Morgan Stanley.



The school that I attended, Baruch College, when you go there, you pretty much have to do finance, it's like your ultimate calling in life. The manager of the financial leadership program that I was in, she said oh recruiting is done at Morgan Stanley. And I didn't really like that answer, ‘cause I don't take no for an answer. I want to make the impossible possible at all odds. So I knew that I still had to apply and I was accepted into an early access program.



I knew I wanted to be a part of something bigger and better and help support the next generation of women and push them forward.



So I got involved with the Women in Wealth employee networking group at Morgan Stanley and currently I’m on our external affairs committee. What we do is we think about what’s going on in the outside world that’s really impacting the day-to-day lives of women. How can we volunteer and give back? But then also thinking about the broader DNI initiatives. How can we bring more diverse women into our network and ultimately support them and help them grow and develop at Morgan Stanley.



My drive comes from my family. It comes from everything I’ve seen them go through. We weren’t well off when I was younger.



My father, he's someone that gave me the advice that I will always have in the back of my head, which is, make sure that you ask the question, because what's the worst that could happen. My brother, he’s deaf. It's a challenge that we've dealt with for a really long time, and it's taught me just a lot. It's taught me about sacrifice and making sure that he was always okay.



Then there's my mom. And, there’s so much stress that mothers take on and just parents in general, that I completely admire her. My family at the end of the day is the core of everything I do. They're my why, right? They push me and propel me forward. They are the ones that I want to give back to the most.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5502464 03/2023


Brianna Perez



I believe in empowering women and recognizing our strengths. One of the benefits of working for an organization like Morgan Stanley is that it's important to us to mentor and grow the people on our team with events like the Women's Leadership Summit and with LIFT. We defy and we break the stereotypes of what the brokerage industry is.



I’m Jill Schildkraut-Katz, and I’m a managing director, financial advisor, alternative investment director, and partner in the Alterra Wealth Management group at Morgan Stanley.



My parents were my role models and what they instilled in me was it was important to be able to support myself, stand on my own, have a career that really leveraged my strengths and my skills.



I spent 20 years on the institutional side doing investment banking and I was in and ran a global capital market structuring team, so very much a solutions business.



There were certainly times in my career when I had to take a step back to take a step forward. I view that as almost an investment of myself. Sometimes what you learn from a challenging time may make you even stronger for the next time.



I have certainly heard that women can have it all, we just can't have it all at the same time and what I would say is that we live our life in chapters. I encourage women not to give up or to pull themselves out of the workforce. There were times when I might have been more focused on my career, but I knew that having a family was really important to me.



I had my son at the age of 39, and my daughter at the age of 42. It's important to be a role model for them, which means having a career, being dedicated to my clients, being dedicated to my family, and then also being very involved in their lives and in our community.



I knew for the next stage of my career, I wanted to be a trusted financial advisor. So at the age of 43, I actually moved from the institutional side to working with individuals and families.


I think it’s important to encourage women to maintain a career and a sense of self worth. This past year I was president of LIFT. LIFT stands for Ladies In Finance Together. The goals of LIFT are to provide as many women as possible with the opportunity to grow, to lead, to evolve, to raise their profile, to be a culture carrier within their complex and bring up other women.



The advice I give to people entering the business is to realize that you will change jobs, and therefore what is so important is to build skills. Focus on technical skills because you can carry them with you through all the phases of your career. We are the sum total of all of our experiences, so every experience is meaningful.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5507692 03/2023




Diversity and inclusion is something that really shouldn't be forced. It should be an inherent in the way that we think. You need to be open-minded and realize that it does take effort to learn about other people's experiences. It does take effort to educate yourself about what's going on with the world, it does take effort to ensure that you understand that there are hardships that exist out there.



I think it's always important to look at the lessons that you've learned and to help people in future generations become leaders and also be successful in their own careers.



I’m Scott Steel, I’m the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director in Investment Solutions in Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.



I was a, uh, business major in Villanova, focused on finance and international business. Ultimately was afforded the chance to go to Cambridge University, um, which really changed my life. I grew up in a place where a lot of people looked like me and acted like me, so to move to the United Kingdom and to live with people from all different cultures and all different backgrounds definitely opened my eyes to what the rest of the world had to offer.



My wife and I met when I was at Villanova. We were fortunate enough to have two wonderful daughters, Kaitlyn and Emily, and they are the joy of our lives. It's important for me to make sure that everything that I do is under the guise of being successful for my family and ensuring that they're going to be in a position where they can do whatever they want throughout their lives.



My second day of work was September 11th, 2001. Being in a place where learning for the first time of what it was like to have a full-time job and not knowing to expect and then getting the curve ball of having to cope with 9/11 wasn't the easiest of circumstances. The building I worked with was attached to the World Trade Center. I had lots and lots of years of emotional distress that was caused by what I saw and what I experienced that day. I have current colleagues here at Morgan Stanley that experienced similar circumstances. But that ended up shaping a lot of who I am today as well, because you realize that life is really precious.



Advocating for others is really important because everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions, however not everyone wants to be recognized in the same manner.



There's a few hundred people that are part of my organization and I have an incredible leadership team that the majority of which are women. I spent a lot of time ensuring that the women on my team can be successful in their careers. A lot of it is just being honest and open and transparent. People just want to hear what you feel and what the truth is. I feel really confident that we have the right team in place and every day we're all contributing to ensure that this organization is in a great place going forward.



Myself and a few of my colleagues started this organization called the Equity Collective a few years ago, where we partnered with 27 asset management firms to really drive the message around asset management, wealth management, in diverse communities, both at the high school level, the undergraduate level.



Diversity is important because everyone comes to the table with different backgrounds, with different perspectives, and ensuring that you get the right answer can't be a singular equation and focused on one person's perspective.



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC 5558168 04/2023


Scott Steel



Back in the '80s, they were very few women. I was one of three women financial advisors in my complex. We were told to wear pantsuits and look like men. The business has changed a lot now. Women are celebrated. If you work hard and love what you’re doing, the rest will follow.



I’m Merle Zislin, I’m a senior vice president and family wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley.



My first job was not the ordinary job that a young girl would have. I hunted and I trapped with my brother and his friends. And we would sell the hides. I asked my dad to teach me everything I needed to know about trapping so that I could compete and do a great job. Growing up with very strong family ties, I think has shaped a lot of who I am today.



Being in a male-dominated industry is nothing new to me. Years ago I played sports with the boys, I did a lot of outdoor activities with the, with the guys. My youngest son, he got his black belt and I thought well I can do that so the next week I signed up and I started. I worked my way through all of the belts. It took about three four years to get my first degree black belt and I trained in mixed martial arts for ten years.



My children all studied in the finance industry. And I believe that they saw the hard work that we've put in and the success that both of their parents have had. I believe that that's why they have also joined in this business with me.



Working in a family office is absolutely incredible. My son is a financial advisor and my daughter had originally worked as a client service associate and then she was in our wealth advisor associate program and now she is a financial advisor on my team. We all share the same values of putting our clients first and delivering world class services to our clients.



Supporting the military is very important to me. My father was a Navy World War II veteran, my father-in-law was a Korean veteran and I have multiple family members that are currently still in the armed forces. I volunteer for two veteran organizations, Freedom Fighter Outdoors and Honor Flight.




Freedom Fighter Outdoors honors injured veterans by taking them on outdoor recreational activities. They'll go deep sea fishing or they'll go hunting or they'll go bass fishing.



Honor Flight is another organization that's national and this organization honors veterans and takes them to Washington DC for a day to see all of the memorials and celebrate in their honor. I got involved through Honor Flight when one of my clients, he was a World War II veteran, asked me to be his guardian. I thought wow this is really such an honor to do this. The favorite part of my job is the deep relationships that we have with our clients. 



© 2023 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

CRC#5512551 03/2023


Merle Zislin

Women Without Limits

We understand that the path to financial empowerment isn’t only different for women—it’s also different among women. Our experience and passion working with and for women of different backgrounds, life stages and financial goals drives us forward.