Our Team 2019-06-10T17:08:24-04:00

Our Team

Amanda Ready LMHC

Founder and President

Amanda Ready is the Founder and  President of Ready to Empower (RTE), a US based non-profit, and Founder of  Árbol De Esperanza (ADE), a CR based Organization working in partnership together. In addition, Ready works as a bilingual psychotherapist specializing in family, children and adolescent therapy in NY and she has won numerous awards for her empowering work. In 2018; Humanitarian of the year for her efforts in advocay for women’s empowerment, 2015; The Amway Hero Award in the category of “Generosity,”recognizing the commitment one person makes to improving the world through extraordinary volunteerism or philanthropy. 2014; the Unsung Hero Award given by the Westchester Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect for outstanding achievement in protecting the safety and well-being of Westchester’s children, and 2014; The Westchester’s 40 under 40,” Rising Star Award” given by The Business Council of Westchester.

Joseph Kwasniewski


Joseph is the Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer of Cadilus Inc. Joseph has more than 10 years of experience as a C-Suite leader within the management consulting, non-profit, and construction industries. His leadership experience spans the areas of business development, fundraising, strategic planning, finance and change management. Joe has driven significant top-line & bottom line growth with expertise in business analytics, performance measurement and quality control testing. He embraces continuous improvement, organizational learning and a customer centered approach. Joseph holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration, Finance from Eastern Connecticut State University, has done graduate studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and holds a Master of Business Administration from Yale School of Management.

Samantha Clark

Samantha Clark is a volunteer Board Member of Ready to Empower (RTE). Samantha is experienced in the non-profit world, as professionally she works in quality assessment for Westport, CT based non-profit that provides camp experiences for children with serious illnesses. Previously, she has worked in the camp industry, youth development, as well for the YMCA. Samantha has earned both her Masters in Community Development and Planning and her Bachelors in Sociology with a concentration in Urban Development from Clark University in Worcester, MA. Samantha’s Masters work revolved around female participation in a male dominant youth development atmosphere, so empowering women is a cause near and dear to her heart.

Thaís Silva

Thaís is a Brazilian lawyer, licensed by the Brazilian BAR Association and is in the process of getting her license from the NY Bar Association. She graduated from UFPR Law School and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Sorbonne Universities (Panthéon-Assas – Paris II). Thais also holds a LL.M. Degree in International Business and Trade Law from Fordham Law School. Thais has extensive legal experience, working for private law firms representing clients in civil litigation and previously as a judicial clerk. Thais worked for the United Nations supporting UNDEF, a trust fund that promotes democracy related projects around the globe. She also worked for ABIS – Brazilian Agency of Innovation and Sustainability. She is currently part of the Regulatory Compliance team at HSBC, in New York City. She is fluent in Portuguese, French and English.

Annie O’Connor


Annie O’Connor is the Chair of the Family Advisory Council at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in New York City.  She has served in the position since 2006.  Under Annie’s leadership and direction, the Family Advisory Council partners with hospital leadership and care providers to improve the communication, services and overall patient and family experience. In addition to her role as Chair, Annie is a member of the Quality Council and Patient Safety Committee and she has represented the hospital at several national conferences, highlighting the hospital/family partnership.  In 2012 Annie was the recipient of the United Hospital Fund Hospital Auxilian and Volunteer Achievement Award. Prior to this work, she was a Senior Manager at Accenture with extensive experience in program management. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston College with a degree in Mathematics.

Melanie Schlicher

Melanie Schlicher is a dynamic business professional who began her career path circa 1999 in her native country of Germany. Starting off in nursing, specifically dialysis, Melanie realized that though she had a passion for helping people it was an extremely emotionally draining profession. This realization lead to a career change and an opportunity in the field of cosmetics in 2005. While employed with this company Melanie learned and applied many of these important business skills that have helped her to develop an efficient and well organized approach. With the down turn of the economy in 2008 Melanie decided it would be an appropriate time to reevaluate her life goals and migrated to the United States. Shifting focus at first as an Au Pair, Melanie then turned her attention to her education in the US and obtained her Associates Degree in Accounting. Successfully continuing to advance in this field Melanie felt a desire to reconnect with her predisposition to help others. As luck would have it this too would soon become a reality after meeting Amanda Ready from “Ready To Empower”. Melanie began working with Amanda, coaching her on different aspects of business and growth, and is excited for the chance to increase her involvement with such a wonderful organization whose message resonates from deep within her.

Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan is an entrepreneurial marketing executive with extensive experience across mass, prestige and e-commerce beauty. She has spent the past 25 years leading global beauty brands, developing successful skincare and haircare products, and creating original digital and social marketing campaigns for women of all ages.  Her career highlights include launching the first BB cream in the US mass market, creating a profitable franchise around dark spot corrector skincare products, launching the first personalized cleansing line in the mass market and creating award winning campaigns for brands like Clairol, Garnier, Biolage, and Dark and Lovely.  Michelle is currently CEO of MRM Bespoke Beauty Marketing, a boutique consultancy helping entrepreneurial beauty brands transform their ideas into thriving businesses.  Michelle lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and two energetic teenage daughters. She loves tennis, yoga, playing the piano and traveling. Michelle fell in love with Costa Rica back in 2000 when she visited the country with her husband and close friends. She is honored to now be a board member of Ready To Empower, assisting them in their wonderful mission of restoring hope and self-reliance to at risk women in Costa Rica and around the world.

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