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Leaders On The Move 


Patrice Dudley Aviles 

Chief Human Resource Officer

We are delighted to congratulate Patrice Dudley Aviles on her new position as Chief Human Resource Officer at Abzena. 

She has over 25 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry. Patrice brings with her extensive experience in leading transformational change, shaping culture, organizational development, and establishing new locations.

She has delivered solid results in Human Resources Management in leadership roles for Fortune 500 corporations. Her success has been driven by her ability to build highly effective strategies that achieved corporate objectives related to recruitment, talent acquisition, organizational transformation, communications, and leadership development. Patrice is skilled at leveraging a unique mix of visionary, strategic, operations, and analytical expertise, by aligning staff talents with organizational objectives. She has led Technical Operations with facilities in North America, Switzerland, Germany, and Singapore. Patrice is an influential leader who creates immediate impact, produces results, and fuels operational excellence.

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Astara N. Crews

Senior Compliance Officer

Astara Crews is the Senior Compliance Officer, Information Governance/ HIPAA Privacy and Security Officer at Nuvance Health. 

She began her career as a medical biller in a single practitioner’s office some 20-plus years ago, progressing steadily upward from there. Along the way, she earned a law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.   

Astara is adept at helping the Health System successfully manage its Privacy Program, included but not limited to monitoring, investigations and Tracking incidents as well as insuring patient's rights in compliance with governing laws.

Astara's position requires exquisite tact, especially when it comes to internal matters." I have to constantly figure out how to tell an organization or individual that they need to correct or change a habit," Crews shares. "It's a matter of finesse to convey this message and persuade someone to see something differently in a positive way"


Having blazed a path, Crews now helps other women across a variety of platforms, including the YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester,  Women’s Leadership Institute, and the American Academy of Professional  Coders, for which she spearheaded an innovative mentorship program. “Inequality still exists, even today, and it’s important that we support each other,” she says.  


Ms. Crews is a recipient of the 914INC Women in Business Honor by  Westchester Magazine.

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Whitnei A. Pryor, PMP

Learning & Development Director and Executive Coach at UnitedHealth Group


Whitnei Pryor is a Learning & Development Director and Executive Coach at UnitedHealth Group – Optum (UHG). Whitnei has more than 15 years of experience in talent development leadership in the areas of Learning & Development, Organizational Effectiveness, and Change Management driving large-scale, innovative solutions for complex healthcare companies and public sector organizations.  In her current role, Whitnei leads OptumInsight Learning and Enterprise Initiatives, driving end to end learning strategy and innovation for more than 11,000+ employees across Optum’s global landscape. Whitnei is accountable for business-aligned learning solutions, learning technology stack implementation, and performance-based learning models that enable broad employee inclusion, diversity, and production readiness.


Most recently, Whitnei introduced a comprehensive Inclusion & Diversity program within Optum, in partnership with the VP of Training, to include monthly panel discussions and small group sessions. The program has been featured in Training Magazine (November 2021 edition) and the Fredrickson Learning Leader Roundtable. Whitnei also serves as a champion for several UHG Inclusion and Diversity programs, included the African American Experience, Women LEAD, and Inclusive Learning Experience.


Whitnei earned a M.A. in Clinical Counseling from The Citadel/Webster University and a B.S. in Psychology from the College of Charleston. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Scrum Master, and Center for Creative Leadership certified Executive Coach.

Michelle A. Nicholas

Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, and Director of Community Development at PCSB Bank


Michelle A. Nicholas is an award-winning leader and dedicated advocate of women, children, and social justice issues. Her career has essentially been focused on helping others as she exemplifies her maxim, “You can grow as a professional while giving much to community service.”

Focused on advancing the wellbeing of all, Michelle has used her history in and understanding of the public and private sectors to access needed funding for programs to benefit those who need it most while ensuring that those who support these programs remain engaged and enthused. Her approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion are creating opportunities through internal and external community building and using data-driven insights to create interventions that cultivate positive cultural shifts toward unbiased recruitment, promotion practices, and an increased sense of belonging.

Nicholas is the Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, and Director of Community Development at PCSB Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PCSB Financial Corporation.

Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions at several companies including Girls Inc. of Westchester County and Family Services of Westchester. Nicholas is also the CEO of The Nico Consulting and Principal of Nicholas Counseling Services, serving clients in Guyana and beyond.

Most recently she founded Sexual Assault and Family Education (S.A.F.E.) Guyana, an organization that provides support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and those struggling with mental health and other social issues in the diaspora and Guyana.

She has been recognized by the Westchester Magazine, Westchester Business Council, The Network Journal, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, Caribbean Life, Women of Mission International, and Face2Face Africa for her work in bridging the gap between available resources and those who need them.

Passionate about giving back, she has chaired and serves several organizations including Women in Oil and Gas Guyana, Rotary Club of Wall Street, NonProfit Westchester, Westchester’s Women Agenda, and Westchester County’s African American Advisory Board.

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