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Michelle Della Penna
After a successful career as an entrepreneur and mother of three boys, Michelle decided to drive change in the industry she knew from her childhood, motorsports. As a first-generation American of Argentine descent, Michelle is especially passionate about creating opportunities for young girls of color.

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Susan Lucas-Conwell
Executive Director
A serial CEO and entrepreneur, Susan is passionate about creating a level playing field for girls and women of all ages. She was a Board member for Women in SportsTech and regularly mentors for women-led organizations. A competitive athlete herself,  with four daughter- athletes, she is excited about the Foundation’s mission to diversify the motorsports industry.

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Gino Verna
Creative Services
Gino has worked in branding and design for over three decades in the entertainment industry as well as not-for-profits.  He jumped at the chance to work with the Della Penna Foundation and is passionate about the mission.

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Jess Thoennes
Social Media
Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Jess has been a committed rower for nearly 8 years. Excited by the opportunity to become immersed in a new sporting area, she’s passionate about supporting other women athletes.

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Crista Facciolla
Community outreach
After graduating from Sonoma State, Crista has worked with the unhoused community and is deeply committed to providing an avenue for girls of color to enter the field of motorsports by way of the foundation.


Karen Ogbugbulu
Community outreach
Karen has worked in different spheres of education that highlight student wellness and response to trauma informed practice. She is deeply experienced in working with students who have experienced a myriad of racial,
socio-economic, and intergenerational traumas.


Sonia Ramos
Community outreach
Sonia began her professional career in motorsports with John Della Penna,  before moving on to pursue her commitment to educational equity. Sonia currently serves as the Executive Director of the California Student Opportunity and Access Program
(Cal-SOAP) in San José, CA.



Beth Paretta
The first female director of a performance brand and motorsport
for an automotive company (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Beth epitomizes the female success story in the automotive and motorsports industries.

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Lyn St. James
 Racer, Author, Speaker and Industry Leader
A Hall of Famer, Lyn St. James’ illustrious career has distinguished heras one of the most successful female racecar drivers in history.   
She became the first woman driver to reach over 200 mph on a race track. She drove a number of different cars including Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, and Mazda, but for the majority of her career she drove a Ford Mustang. She used a Ford Thunderbird to break a closed course record for women with 227.32 mph.

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Michele Abbate
Michele is the founder of Grr Racing and a professional race car driver in the Trans Am Series Presented by Pirelli.  She is the only female in history slated to compete in the full National Tour Series.

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Sabré Cook
Sabré has nearly fifteen years of experience in karting, formula cars and sports cars. She began driving at the young age of eight, and as her passion grew, she started racing competitively at the age of ten.

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Hannah Grisham

Hannah began driving at age 3, riding motorcycles at age 4, racing karts at age 6, and racing Spec Miata at age 16. She has over 800 competitive starts spread across almost 400 races in cars and karts from the club to the national level.
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Heather Hadley
Heather 'The Heat' Hadley has competed since the age of nine when she first began racing go-karts, and has since raced everything from BMW's to Legend Cars on various oval and road course configurations across the U.S.. She is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in business and double majoring in finance and economics.
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Zandara Kennedy

Zee is a professional stunt performer and stunt driver who started her professional drift career at the age of 32. She’ll be competing in the ProSpec category in the 2023 season of Formula Drift. 

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Kelsey Rowlings
Kelsey started drifting 15 years ago and has progressed to multiple ProAm competitions and series, including a Formula Drift Pro 2 license.
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