Em-Powered Team empoweredcodev May 5, 2022

The Team

Vanessa N Martinez


Hi, Welcome! I’m Vanessa, the CEO and Founder of Em-Powered Network. With over fifteen years of experience assessing and guiding families through all aspects of their wealth, I am thrilled to be starting this journey and community. My deep understanding of family wealth dynamics fuels my ability to find actionable solutions for complex problems. My goal is to build meaningful relationships and help you pass on a legacy rooted in holistic wellness.

My career started in Guatemala, where I spent seven years managing international lumber sales throughout Europe, Canada, and Central America, all while earning my BBA from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala. That experience founded my passion for helping individuals and families prosper. Upon returning to Chicago, I completed my MBA at North Park University with a major in finance while working at JPMorgan Chase. I understood that to help individuals find holistic success, I needed a few licenses; I hold FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, and 65. I then spent nine years at a wealth management firm, The Lerner Group at Hightower Advisors, managing a fantastic team and developing relationships with beautiful families. During my time there, I also co-authored Family Value at Risk, a book that details the importance of intentional communication among families.

With a deep commitment to strong family values, my work extends to taking leadership roles in my community. I oversee the annual planning for the Hispanic congregation of the Northwest Church of Christ. I am also an active member of Savvy Ladies, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women through financial knowledge. While community involvement and building The Em-Powered Network fills my days – I am a committed wife to a wonderful man who also shares a commitment to community; as a Chicago Firefighter and one of the most valuable gifts bestowed upon me, my two intelligent and caring daughters. Oh wait, how could I miss my adorable, loving, and constant companion, Patches. 🐶

Dr. Patricia Villarreal


Hello! I’m Patty, a licensed clinical psychologist, Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Em-Powered Network, founder and executive director of a small group practice, Holding Space for Psychological Wellness, and finally a wife to a wonderful and supportive husband, and mother to two kind and amazing little guys. 

I have been learning about, training in, or practicing clinical psychology for about 15 years now. Over the course of my professional life in psychology, I have worked in various clinical settings including non-profits, universities, medical centers, and private practice. This breadth of training has allowed me to develop my clinical skill set and uncover parts of myself through relationships with amazing clients, colleagues, supervisors, and mentors. 

I would love to simply highlight the moments that have built my confidence, but the truth is, throughout my career, there have been many hardships I felt. I share this as part of my “bio” because I believe it is part of a collective human condition to struggle with self-doubt, feel lost even in our deepest convictions, and battle with our unique negative narratives. I believe being authentic in our realities is important in connecting with one another. These pieces of ourselves have been the building blocks of our successes. I share the human condition of longing for clarity, success, and wholeness. This is part of what has inspired this next chapter of my life’s work. Building and walking alongside the beautiful, talented, and motivated people in this network and being a part of their unique journeys towards their holistic success is a true joy! Aaaaand, if any of this resonates with you, I hope I get to connect with you soon!

Luis E Marroquin


Hola, my name is Luis. I am currently the Administrative Coordinator at Em-Powered Network. My focus is to support the operations of our team as we work to empower holistic wellness. I am enthusiastic about helping others and am excited to see all that we will accomplish together. Prior to joining this wonderful team, I lived in Guatemala where I managed relationships with key local and national suppliers as well as all the bookkeeping at Beatriz Tailor Shop for seven years. Meanwhile, I earned my BBA at the Rafael Landivar University of Guatemala. 

Driven by my commitment to serving others, I have found myself in many support roles working towards people-driven missions. I have spent time as an English/Spanish translator for missionary groups and currently volunteer in the Hispanic congregation Church of Christ Hesed in our monthly youth events. When I decided to return to Chicago, I enrolled at North Park University to earn an MBA with a focus in finance and operations management, I will graduate in October of 2023. Even though my desire to help others and my role at Em-Powered Network are most meaningful to me, the core of my life is my family. 

Sara Steinhoff


Hi there! I am Sara, the Marketing Strategist at Em-Powered Network, I have over six years of experience marketing on the behalf of independent businesses and in the higher education industry. After earning my MBA with a focus on marketing and consumer insights, I have made a career out of understanding what makes people tick and how to effectively communicate the heartbeat of a brand. I am passionate about the power of females coming together to elevate one another and the dynamic role women play in our communities and workplaces. I am tribal by nature and have had the pleasure of working with incredibly talented and kind women; I am inspired by my role at the Em-Powered Network. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and identical twin sister, playing volleyball, painting, and cooking. I look forward to connecting with you further in The Network!