About Heidelberg International Professional Women’s Forum

Members of the HIP Steering Committee 2017: Cheryl Sweeney (currently in the US), Manuela Toteva, Wiebke Wetzel, Patricia Comolet, Martina Knobloch, Annabelle Baptista-Baumann. Kerstin Lambert is missing on the pictture.

The HIP Women’s Forum was founded in 2007 with the vision of bringing together international women of the Rhein Neckar region who share international backgrounds and professions in order to build a platform for professional development and a network to promote the individual and collective potential of each member.

Women working for multinational companies abroad or in an international environment face many of the same challenges related to being a female professional in a foreign country. Through this forum, international women can help one another to grow and achieve personal and professional success. To help us achieve this objective, the HIP Women’s Forum provides a full program of events for professional networking and leadership education throughout the year.

Our Vision and Mission

The purpose of the Heidelberg International Professional (HIP) Women’s Forum is to bring together women from various international firms and backgrounds to exchange ideas, learn from one another’s experiences, and develop skills that will enhance both professional and personal success. Our hope is that such a forum will also provide an opportunity to connect women who are seeking new challenges and directions with others who have distinguished themselves in their profession and community.

Our Values

  • Contribute to the advancement of women
  • Facilitate learning and professional development
  • Peer mentoring through networking
  • Fun!

Steering Committee

Martina Knobloch Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum HIPMartina Knobloch, PhD.: is the current head of the HIP Steering Committee and highly engaged in the international environment of HIP.
Martina is a Marketing & Event Professional with a scientific background. She set up her own business in Marketing and Event project management. With a strong sense of responsibility, she supports her customers depending on the demands. This „Marketing on Demand“ concept in an international business environment motivates her. For more details see her website: m-knobloch.de

Patricia Comolet Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum HIP Patricia Comolet is an American and began her career as a surgical nurse at the University of Michigan. An adventurer at heart she has lived in 7 countries on 4 continents. While working with Doctors without Borders in Sudan, she met her French husband and began a shift into working in development. Her coach training in 2005 in Paris has provided Patricia with the opportunity to use her intercultural and people skills working with global teams as they build the leadership competences necessary in today’s multicultural environment. Highly interested in the impact of education Patricia also creates workshops and facilitates seminars promoting individual professional and personal development. For more information check out her website: camcomcoaching.com and her blog: Create Your World!

Kerstin Lambert Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum HIP Kerstin Lambert moved to Heidelberg in 1998 and works as a senior consultant specializing in bank accounts management and corporate payments, liquidity, and bank relations. Kerstin has studied and worked in Germany, France, and the UK. Kerstin has worked as a knowledge manager, a quality manager, and a professional services consultant for various software companies. She enjoys supporting colleagues and friends in managing their transition to life in Germany. Kerstin has a Diploma in business economics, a Master’s degree in translation, and a Bachelor in languages for business. She is passionate about her family and enjoys yoga, sailing, choir, and traveling.

Annabelle Baptista-Baumann Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum HIPAnnabelle Baptista-Baumann, B.A.: Annabelle worked as an Executive Administrative Assistant in Boston until she met her husband and moved to Heidelberg in 2005. She has worked since 2006 as a Business English trainer. At the beginning of 2017 she received a contract to work exclusively within a company as an InCorporate trainer. If you want to see what Annabelle is working on, you can “friend” her on Facebook, or follow her humorous blog featuring vocabulary, culture and Business English survival skills on her Bauenglish website.

Wiebke Wetzel Kundenzauberin Customer Experience TrainerWiebke Wetzel, PhD: Wiebke did her PhD in science and stayed for a PostDoc. Then she changed careers to work in technical support for an international biotechnology company. She was soon appointed a manager. After nearly 9 years in technical support and support management she set up her own business being the Kundenzauberin. She does customer service trainings and management workshops on customer centricity.  Training and facilitation is the one thing she likes to do most – besides horses, writing, graphic recording, photography, podcasting and creating websites. Wiebke is the HIP webmaster.

Manuela Toteva, HIP Steering CommitteeManuela Toteva is communications and marketing professional with 10+ years experience in corporate affairs (PR, CSR, communications strategy) and project management. She has proven track record of building strong and trusting relationships with internal and external stakeholders that generated innovative and effective solutions to complex issues. Excellent organizational expertise in building and developing processes. Her specialties are strategic communications, employee engagement, digital media, CSR, media relations, etc. Non-profit experience: Chair of Bulgarian PR Asociation (2017), member of the Board of Bulgarian Donors Forum (2013-2016) and member of the Board of trustees of Teach for All foundation in Bulgaria (2016). Member of the European Association of Communications Directors (EACD) and Deutsche Public Relations Gesellschaft e. V.  (DPRG). Speaks English, Bulgarian (native) and German. She is originally from Bulgaria. Married, mother of one daughter.

Founder and Founding Member

Shuchi Sharma Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum HIPShuchi Sharma, Founder of HIP Women’s Forum, moved to Heidelberg in 2001 and founded the group in 2007 to serve the community of international women in the Rhein Neckar region and encourage them to share their skills and experiences for the professional and personal development of all the women who participate in the Forum. Shuchi was born in the United States and has spent much of her life travelling, living and working abroad. Shuchi has held senior leadership positions in several management consulting and professional service firms covering operations, sales and delivery in both Europe and the US with responsibility for several European countries/regions’ operational business units. Shuchi is married with two children, and enjoys exploring other cultures and places through travel, cuisine, and running.

Fabiana Bianchi Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum HIPFabiana Bianchi is a founding member of the HIP Women’s Forum and was born in Rome. After graduating in International law in 1993 at the University of Rome she moved to Germany. In 1995 she changed to the industry were she has been covering several managerial roles in sales, business development, strategic planning and innovation. Fabiana speaks six languages, enjoys travelling and knowing new cultures, hiking and games.