Published March 18, 2022
Empowering Women Leaders
Contributed by: Dauphin
Women leaders are tenacious, nurturing, and resilient; they inspire a better future for all. Yet, representation is still lacking in a male-dominated society where women's engagement in decision-making is still low. As any system of oppression, race, and gender inequalities are by design, it is hard to imagine possibilities in positions of power when we can't see ourselves reflected in those who hold power. To contest the status quo, we need to be willing to amplify representation for all women and girls worldwide by sharing power equally at all levels and building a sense of belonging.
In celebration of Women's History Month, we introduce Dauphin America's Women Leadership Team. They represent the many other inspiring women that, day to day, contribute to the success of Dauphin HumanDesign Group.
Chris Monaco [She/Her]
Customer Service Manager
Born in Paterson, New Jersey
“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.”
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Chris Monaco has been working in Dauphin’s Customer Service department since 1996. After working as a representative for the company for six years, Dauphin offered her a managing position; since then, Chris has thrived in leading her team to provide high-quality service for our clients. When a problem arises, Chris will ensure someone addresses it whether it directly impacts Customer Service or not because she genuinely cares about the experience our clients receive. Her eye for detail is not to be taken lightly – if there is a spelling error, Chris will find it!
Carol Wickoren [She/Her]
Regional Sales Manager
Born in Boston, Massachusetts
“Taking one step forward and two steps back is not failure … it's doing the Cha Cha.”
Carol Wickoren has been in the commercial furniture industry for 30 years and has vast experience on both the manufacturer and dealer sides. Over the years, she has held various roles, including business owner, sales representative, sales trainer, and multiple sales leadership positions. Carol has been with Dauphin for 12 years; she can stay calm in the midst of a storm. Her inquisitive mind and attention to detail guide her through finding solutions to complex everyday challenges.
Catalina Velez [She/Her]
Regional Sales Manager for LATAM
Born in Medellin, Colombia
“Success is never given; it is earned.”
In 2003, when Catalina moved from Colombia to the U.S., Dauphin was her first job. Since then, she has held many titles - starting in production and working through planning, customer service, and sales. Catalina works directly with the company's partners and vendors overseas, coordinating logistics, training sales representatives, connecting with customers, events and presentations planning and execution, and seeking new partnership opportunities. For some time, she was the designated camera operator as she has the steadiest hands in the industry. If you have a question, rest assured that Catalina has an answer.
Dayana Escalante-Navia [She/Her]
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey
“An environment that is not safe to disagree is not an environment focused on growth – it's an environment focused on control.”
– Wendi Jade
With over 20 years of experience in the architecture and construction fields, Dayana Escalante-Navia has been focusing her career on the production and manufacturing of custom furniture. She has a multi-faceted background and is highly skilled at providing clear, detailed, and precise directions to all team members to enhance productivity and overall company performance. Dayana wears many hats, managing different business components simultaneously and ensuring that our team quickly resolves unforeseen issues and meets deadlines on time.
Gigi Polo [She/Her/They]
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
– George Bernard Shaw
Gigi Polo joined Dauphin full-time in August 2021 and has quickly made considerable strides in elevating the Dauphin brand. She is a designer, filmmaker, educator, and researcher. She launched her studio — Myellow Boots — in 2005, working as a design consultant for the past 20 years in the non-profit sector and for companies such as Conde Nast and Hearst. She is a part-time Associate Teaching Professor at Parsons, The New School for Design; her academic research lies at the intersection between education, cognitive neuroscience, and social justice within the context of art and design.
Kaneez Darbar [She/Her]
Born in Bombay, India
“If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough.”
Having started her career at Dauphin three decades ago, Kaneez Darbar has a passion for providing efficient solutions for workspaces. Motivated by Dauphin's philosophy of providing efficient solutions that cater to people's wellbeing in the workplace, Kaneez has been a force on the East Coast; she has established a wealth of long-lasting relationships with our clients. Her specialty includes developing sales strategies, presentations to clients, motivating and inspiring her team to meet sales targets that match the company's goals.
Since 1969, Dauphin HumanDesign Group has strived to be at the forefront of the furniture manufacturing industry in delivering high-quality, innovative solutions for the workplace. The Coronavirus pandemic has been an eye-opener in all aspects of our lives, contesting not only the way we do business but our purpose in the market beyond providing high-quality contract furniture. Amid the pandemic, we recognize the need to acknowledge the impact that our company has on people's lives —physically, emotionally, and psychologically—, in how the workplace mediates experiences: our daily activities, how we connect with others, the relationships we nurture, and the wellbeing of our community at large.
As a global company—with more than 1,000 employees—we have a social responsibility to foster a company culture that goes beyond diversity into embracing inclusion and racial/gender equality and nurturing a multitude of perspectives. Amid unprecedented challenges, this new year 2022, Dauphin decided to organize a team that amplifies heterogeneous voices to provide the market with a progressive interactive and long-lasting positive experience. We are embarking on a transformative process of giving women a well-deserved seat at the table in decision-making, a place where these women belong and lead the company into the future.