Carissa is the Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Zappos. Naturally inquisitive, a self-starter, and a serial idea implementer, Carissa has always found herself creating her own path and is very comfortable with pushing people to think differently. With a successful 10-year career in merchandise and strategic planning at Macy’s, Ross Stores, Saks 5th Avenue, and Zappos, Carissa ventured off her planned career path, trading in her excel spreadsheets for leadership development, emotional intelligence and self-awareness tools to take her analytical and creative problem solving skills from the operations side to the people side of business. She loves that her new path has allowed her to spend her days talking and learning about people, encouraging them to ask questions, take action, and get out of their own way.
When she’s not busy exploring and implementing alternative solutions to complex identity and interpersonal communication challenges, Carissa also runs Green Mango International, a not-for-profit organization which supports educational opportunities for underserved children in developing communities. Starting with an elementary school in the rural Philippines, Carissa founded GMI with her family inspired by the concept of “paying it forward” and the Begonia Family story of immigration to the United States.
Currently residing in Las Vegas pursuing her Chief Diversity Officer in Higer Education certificate, Carissa is originally from New York, where she grew up immersed in a diversity of cultures, identities, and thoughts. Carissa considers herself a citizen of the world and whenever she finds some down time between all her passion filled projects, she is off traveling on her next adventure finding inspiration for her next new idea.
EI = Inventor
Race: 1st generation Asian-American