Meet the Surfing Team
Aileen A. Merciel
Surfing Corporate Creator, Editor in Chief, & Podcast Host
Former Senior Vice President, Marketing & Creative – NBC Universal, Telemundo Enterprises
Aileen is a Venezuelan-American Media Executive who climbed every step of a long corporate ladder, starting out in Sony Pictures Entertainment Networks Latin America Venezuela as an On-Air Promotions Producer. She held corporate positions in Venezuela, Mexico, and the U.S. Coming from a creative background, she was not blessed with a nose for office politics. However, she was bestowed with the invaluable gift of a slightly evil sense of humor that was critical to her survival. Her unique multicultural insights and her bullsh*t-free lens bring a fresh voice to discuss the challenges of the workplace.
Aileen believes that corporate could benefit tremendously from a rebrand that truly questions its values and goals. She also believes that people who don’t like chocolate shouldn’t be trusted.
Surfing Corporate Voice of Reason & Podcast Co-Host
Former Senior Vice President, Programming and Content Strategy NBC Universal, Telemundo Enterprises
Surfing Corporate Voice of Reason & Podcast Co-Host Former Senior Vice President, Programming and Content Strategy NBC Universal, Telemundo Enterprises After working in corporate for more than 20 years, Glenda is a self-described “recovering suit,” although she still can’t stop wearing heels to podcast recordings and PTA meetings. Unlike Aileen, Glenda somehow managed to surf corporate relatively well. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and most importantly, corporate bullsh*t: she has written enough corporate lingo emails, memos, and presentations to last her a few lifetimes, and she lets people think that she has her sh*t together no matter how dire the situation (clearly a by-product of working in corporate for so long).
Surfing Corporate Jill of All Trades
Current Assistant Dean of Students for the College of Communication, Art & Design at Florida International University, and Former Project Manager, Hospitality Interior Design, The Gettys Group
After more than a decade in the peculiar and intense world of commercial interior design, Katie escaped corporate life for a flexible university career. Fast-forward another decade to when Aileen introduced her to Surfing Corporate: Katie realizes that academia is just a large corporation in denial of its existence as a corporation, run by scholars (like her) who are largely removed from corporate training and vastly unaware that they even work for a corporation. So.much.material (stay tuned for our future spin-off: Surfing Higher Ed). Continuing to climb the academic “corporate” ladder (while putting her first degree in Clinical Psychology to good use), Katie simultaneously wears many hats. Those that currently suit her best include: brand strategist, editor, writer, UX designer, content developer, podcast producer, and entrepreneur. Katie still uses her corporate headshot from 2007 (a perk of her former corporate life) to make her colleagues in academia jealous.
Surfing Corporate Social Media and Ruthless Feedback Provider
Former Director of Digital Content, NBCUniversal, Telemundo Enterprises
After spending a decade in corporate and wondering, “Is this really it?” on a daily basis, Emily officially became self-employed. She’s now the CEO, CFO, CMO, and IT guy of her business. Although she thinks she did a pretty good job of fitting into the corporate world, she couldn’t deal with having to be somewhere for an arbitrary number of hours in the name of looking busy. Now she spends her time helping businesses sound like real people and coaching women on shifting their mindsets to get what they want in career and money (cue Lizzo: you can have it all, no sacrifice).