Recent Breakfast Speakers
In running a business and trying to make it grow, we often focus on beating our competition and investing cash in equipment, supplies, and advertising. But what if you set aside that paradigm—and instead were able to conserve your cash and expand your business using an “old” approach that’s “new” again?
There are surprising and business-boosting payoffs to participating in what small-business consultant Renata Kowalczyk calls the “collaborative economy.” It’s a values-based way to do business that, for Renata, was strongly influenced by her upbringing in Communist Poland.
Just as “collaborative economy” implies, you can and should, according to Renata, seek opportunities to work with others—even your competitors! You can also retain more of your company’s cash by bartering and trading, and you may easily discover “hidden” sources of cash among your assets. Renata will share her own stories of quite fruitfully collaborating with her supposed competition, as well as stories of her clients’ success with their own collaborative economy tactics. And, her personal journey toward starting her small-business consulting company will amaze you.
Join us at the May breakfast and hear about Renata’s fascinating life journey, which began in a small farming town in Poland. In Dzierzoniow, her family had everything they needed because they relied on their community rather than solely on unpredictable supermarkets and government rations. At age 23, Renata arrived in New York City with more courage than money toward creating her American dream. Her realized dream quickly kicked into high gear—it included an Ivy League MBA, high-powered Wall Street strategic management jobs, and deluxe penthouse condo.
Don’t miss Renata’s story of how that American dream evolved into a nightmare and how she bravely yet instinctively “created and then un-created that life” and now enjoys building community and helping businesses thrive in charming Bellingham, Washington. Join us on May 9 for this inspiring presentation and lots of formal and informal networking opportunities.
Renata Kowalczyk left Poland a few days after the Berlin Wall came down and arrived in New York City with just $20 in her pocket and a few lines of English. She believed the Big Apple was the perfect place to start her American Dream.
The abundance of opportunity and Renata’s desire for success mixed well with the contagious energy of New York. Renata quickly expanded her meager resources into a comfortable and successful life in the city. One success soon followed another: a degree in Economics, an MBA from the prestigious Columbia Business School, a career with Wall Street firms helping build products, systems and organizations, and a penthouse condo in Manhattan.
Though she knew that on the outside her life seemed perfect, Renata suffered panic attacks, sleepless nights, and an insatiable feeling of emptiness. It seemed that no matter what she did, who she worked for, how hard she worked, or how much money she made, her life felt meaningless. She saw no signs that her 12-hour workdays were making much difference for her companies’ customers and staff nor the community. Burned out, Renata walked away from everything in 2008.
After moving on, her first focus was on two key lessons learned from growing up in a country with very limited resources, but with an abundance of connections. Number one, she reflected on that concept that asking for help builds community. Number two, she thought of her father’s cautionary statement that unused talents are wasted. Realizing these were crucial parts of her new path, Renata was compelled to lead business efforts that build community and provide opportunities for people to use their gifts to their fullest.
Renata regards the community of Bellingham, like her hometown, to be a place where trust and connections are the most valued “currencies.” Three years after Wall Street, in her consulting practice, she partnered with her biggest “competitor” in Bellingham. They doubled their market while making more than $22,000. Now, as her consultancy has matured, Renata is more than ever committed to share everything she has discovered along her journey so you and your business will thrive in the “new economy” that she calls the Collaborative Economy.
You work for yourself, or you’re planning to, because you’ve got the drive and talent and it’s your dream. But what about the math?
Unfortunately, far too many entrepreneurs just haven’t spent the time looking under the hood of their business or idea. They’re unclear on the money engine—how to make sure enough will keep coming in and how much is the right amount. Fortunately, you have seasoned business whiz Maryann Nelson to help empower you as she demystifies business-finance concepts, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and financial strategic planning.
Maryann has consulted with solopreneurs and multi-million dollar companies, and she’s found that plenty of people in business have passion and terrific ideas, but not quite enough education in the dollars and cents required to successfully run or expand a business. But there’s great news in the way Maryann teaches: Getting involved in the financials, rather than abdicating it all to your accountant or bookkeeper, frees up your creativity and enhances decision making. She says that financial knowledge helps get rid of fear and even guilt and lets ideas flow. Maryann’s other good news is that people tend to discover they know a lot more about finance than they realized.
Maryann’s presentation will help you become more strategic and better understand risk. She has helped her clients address questions such as:
Don’t leave your entrepreneur plan entirely up to the Universe—come to the April WBE breakfast and let Maryann help you bite into the math, which she thinks you just might savor. And as part of her talk, Maryann has a planning exercise so we can start right away.
Join WBE on April 11th and get more business-math savvy while you enjoy networking for clients and professional opportunities, mentoring or being mentored, perhaps reinventing yourself, and more.
Maryann was born and raised in Seattle, and spent most of her professional career in the local banking profession. Three days after graduating from Ballard High School, she got a night job as a data entry operator. She then worked her way up until she reached the position of CEO and Chairman of the Board.
Maryann’s journey saw her as a founding executive officer at three separate community bank start-ups. She held the titles of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for more than 25 years, and developed a keen sense of connection between the strategy and tactics of success. Maryann did a brief “tour of duty” in the municipal sector, serving as the Finance Director for the City of North Bend. Maryann’s focus now is her private consulting and mentoring practice where she tunes up companies and fine-tunes leaders. With a hero-worship admiration for business owners and executives, she helps clients from a perspective of best practices, practicality, professionalism, and profits.
Maryann has been active in several professional and service organizations. She currently serves as a director for Seattle Community Law Center and a Trustee for Seattle Girl’s School. In the past she has served as an officer and board member for the Community Bankers of Washington, Soroptimist International and Bank Administration Institute. She served as a trustee for a large insurance program, and was a member of the Seattle Chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization. She is a past member the National Association of Corporate Directors and Seattle 4 Rotary. She has taught courses for the American Institute of Banking and presented at various professional conferences.
Maryann is a graduate of the Honors Liberal Arts program at Seattle University and holds an MBA from the University of Washington.
Maryann’s website: C Level Consulting
From an early age, we develop beliefs shaped by our personal experience, family dynamics, culture, and influential people. Those beliefs add up to the collection of stories each of us consciously, and unconsciously, tell ourselves.
And most often, these stories aren’t doing us any favors.
So, what if you could learn how others, including top-level business leaders, were able to overcome personal roadblocks born simply from their misguided thought processes? And what if you could learn to delve into your own stories and behavior patterns—with the goal of a lasting mindset change?
According to psychology expert and leadership coach Sonya Stoklosa, it’s first important to realize just how universally human it is to feel stuck in our stories—ones that hold us back, send us off in the wrong direction, and tell us what we can and can’t accomplish. Sonya says, it’s all a matter of “un-blinding” yourself to those habits.
Here’s some of what Sonya will cover to help us learn to transcend the stories that simply are not our friends—so that we can achieve more authentic leadership, peace of mind, and greater fulfillment of our goals:
Come to the March 14 breakfast and shine a light on your unwanted ways of thinking, and plan on trading them in for truly life-enhancing ones.
Sonya’s client list includes leaders from global companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, Starbucks, 3M, The Four Seasons, St. Jude Medical, Kinetic Concepts, Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Northern Trust, UBS Wealth Management, U.S. Bank, and Hill+Knowlton. Sonya aims to deliver peak-performance individual coaching to C-level and other senior executives with a passion for inspiring change through dynamic and challenging interaction.
Sonya earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in Sports Psychology from Purdue University. In addition, she participated in advanced executive coach training at The Newfield Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and is a Newfield Certified Coach (NCC). Sonya is also a member of the International Coach Federation and holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential.
In addition to her coaching practice, Sonya was an instructor in negotiation at the University of Washington and is a regular speaker for corporate audiences nationwide. She has served on the Board of Trustees of The Henry Art Gallery, ACT Theatre and Seraph Capital Forum and is currently an Advisory Board member at The Trust for Public Lands. Sonya has also been an active volunteer with Social Venture Partners, Seattle Symphony and The Cascade Conservation Partnership.
Sonya’s business: Executive Athlete, LLC
What if you could get authentic, tailored advice from several female CEOs at once—women who run $1-2 million-plus companies and who have a breadth of insight to share? WBE’s February 14 breakfast presentation has it—exclusive, wise counsel from many points of view through a special program featuring executive coach and business strategist Mary Jane Pioli, plus her WPO executive colleagues facilitating our table discussions.
Mary Jane is the facilitator for the Bellevue and Seattle chapters of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a peer-advisory organization that uses a roundtable discussion approach, among other tools, to help its members create greater financial, business, and personal success. In her executive coaching company and in her role as WPO facilitator, Mary Jane covers business-development strategies, creating and refreshing business visions, ways to “think bigger,” and implement focused business strategies with effectiveness and ease. The influential WPO members Mary Jane works with come from advertising, accounting, user experience, medical devices, technology, law, and other professions.
Key to her presentation and exclusively for WBE, Mary Jane surveyed more than a dozen successful CEOs, asking them thought-provoking questions that included:
Come jump your business forward with the inspiration and education of these talented and authentic executive women this February 14.
Bio of Mary Jane Pioli, MJ Pioli & Company
For her WPO work, Mary Jane draws from extensive experience as Client Relations Director for Perkins Coie, the Northwest’s largest law firm; as Northwest Marketing Director of Arthur Andersen and Accenture; and as Client Service Manager for advertising and PR agencies including The Rockey Company and Borders Perrin and Norrander. She has developed and implemented professional training programs, created Client Satisfaction Programs, produced results-driven business development programs, established successful proposal and presentation systems, and facilitated proactive marketing programs.
With a BA from Ohio State Univ. School of Journalism, Mary Jane has continued her education to earn a certification in professional coaching (CPC) from The Academy for Coach Training with additional course work from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She is also recognized as part of the Leader to Leader Institute Facilitator Network as a certified facilitator of Peter Drucker’s “The Five Most Important Questions” Assessment Tool.
Mary Jane is also the co-CEO of her family along with engineer/entrepreneur husband Dave, and they have two daughters: goofy labradoodle named Ringo and sweet mutt named Ella. Together they are prone to adventure and international travel, having spent a perspective-gaining year-long sabbatical in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.
The Women Presidents’ Organization (an international nonprofit member organization)
Take a long breath. Breathe deeply… While you’re at it, you can find your voice.
We know we should breathe deeply and fully so that we might regain calm, think clearly, and nourish our bodies. But did you know that through our breathing, we can also release the incredible power of the voice?
Riding on our breath, intertwined with its soothing power, is our voice. According to Awilda Verdejo, the voice is complex and very human—and unlike what people tend to think, it is not something outside of ourselves. Awilda says that when you make the commitment to fully accept your voice, it is a wondrous way of “coming home” and connecting to your ever-evolving inner authority. This connection will help you to live more consciously in your body, honor your intuition and intention, and speak your truth— influencing every part of one’s life.
Awilda’s talk on January 10—in her rich contralto speaking voice—will be a true treat as WBE’s first breakfast of 2013. As an accomplished singer of many types of music, former professional opera singer, and a vocal coach, Awilda has learned that the unique voice each of us possesses is about far more than the speaking or singing voice. It is spiritual, intellectual, emotional, intuitive, cultural, genetic—and we can fully use all those components all of the time.
Don’t miss this captivating talk on how finding and owning your voice is an extraordinarily empowering way to live in the moment and create a deeper connection to the self and others. January is your fresh-start chance to embrace all things WBE— networking for clients and professional opportunities, mentoring or being mentored, reinventing yourself, learning through volunteering, and much more.
Bio of Awilda Verdejo
Awilda Verdejo has always sung. Her first solo was at age four to a captive audience of 300 people at church. Afterwards she declared, “When I grow up, I will be a singer.”
Awilda’s first career was teaching high school English in New York City, going the seemingly safer career route her family envisioned. But she still sang, and her keen self-awareness was taking root: When she experienced pain or disappointment, she’d tell herself that she would be okay because she had “a little piece of gold in her throat.”
After a few successful years of teaching, Awilda answered her calling and applied to The Juilliard School, where she was accepted on full scholarship. Though she grew up singing salsa, pop, hymns and musicals, at Juilliard she found that her voice loved opera—and opera loved her voice. Her Juilliard-honed singing carried her to the world stage as a professional opera singer. Among the operas that loved her voice and that she loved to sing were Aida, Madama Butterfly, Jenufa, Norma and Tosca. She sang for The New York City Opera, The Munich and Hamburg State Opera Houses in Germany, The Arena of Verona in Italy, The Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, and The Pyramids in Egypt.
Awilda also discovered ‘Spirituals,’ a type of music that originated with American slaves. Feeling a strong identity as an opera singer, Awilda was initially unsure about accepting her first opportunity to sing a Spirituals concert. Hearing Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” at the funeral of Princess Diana, Awilda realized the comfort singing can bring. She found that doing the Spirituals concert was profoundly rewarding—she was on an empty stage, “stripped” and no longer an opera singer wearing beautiful costumes surrounded by dramatic sets and lighting. She was simply Awilda, and she had found another genre of music that loved her voice and that she loved to sing.
Awilda no longer sings opera professionally; now she sings all kinds of music and coaches others, and she counts peace missions among her travel endeavors.
In this season of giving, we contagiously buy presents and give our time and money to charities. December is ideal for celebrating selflessness and generosity — this month’s breakfast brings you inspiring stories of ordinary people whose extreme acts of giving earned them special commendation as heroes.
WBE presents Ann Medlock, who had a seemingly outlandish idea back in the ‘80s that became an international campaign to spread the word about people sticking their necks out for the common good. Her “giraffe” stories focused on positive news items about people who had simply seen a need and acted—often heroically.
Ann had a distinguished, even glamorous career as a freelance writer and publicist when the idea for the Giraffe Heroes Project struck her. She knew of people quietly engaged in risky or challenging activities for the benefit of their communities and causes, while noting that the media focused only on the ugliness or trivial in the world. Ann well knew the power and humanity of positive storytelling and how the resulting inspiration spreads like wildfire. She created the Giraffes to widely share the work of—and to help empower—those successfully tackling causes from saving wetlands to rescuing young Asian sex workers to including teens with disabilities in high school cheerleading. (You may just know of a certain Giraffe doctor—Patch Adams, who inspired a movie about his life’s work.)
Join us December 13 for networking, a delicious breakfast, and fascinating anecdotes from Ann’s life and how she tenaciously launched her successful nonprofit. She’ll share some stories with us of the true heroes she’s met around the world years running and expanding the Giraffes Heroes Project.
Ann Medlock is the founder and Executive Director of the Giraffe Heroes Project. Her background includes editing Viet Nam Presse in Saigon; chairing the Children’s Cultural Foundation in New York; freelance writing for magazines and corporations, and media consulting for Western Union, AT&T, and the U.S. Maritime Administration. She has been editor-in-chief of Children’s Express, a curriculum developer at Macmillan and Science Research Associates, and speechwriter to the Aga Khan. Ann currently blogs for the Huffington Post on a range of topics. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, and has published one novel and one book of poetry. Read more about Ann here.
Where do you fit in today’s fast-paced global economy? If you think the wider world has little to do with you or your business, think again—you or your company are likely influenced by global entities every day. And you or your ideas might be absorbed into an international company, or your organization could find itself competing with one. All of this rapid, widespread change translates to the ideal time for the traditionally female style of leadership.
According to Deanna Oppenheimer, global power is moving away from the parochial “command and control” form of leadership and toward diversity of thought, collaboration, positive influence, and fostering of trust. One reason that these traits are critical is that sophisticated data is coming into businesses at lightning speed. That information must be analyzed and acted on ‘yesterday’ by stakeholders who can achieve consensus quickly—and Deanna says it’s happening when trust among customers and clients is at an all-time low.
Join us at the November 8 breakfast and learn more from Deanna about how women can best position themselves to develop, keep, and transfer power in today’s unpredictable, diverse, and incredibly data-enabled business world. She’ll share stories of her transformational business leadership experiences and discuss additional traits that best serve leaders—now and into the future
Recognized globally as one of the decade’s most influential leaders in financial services, Deanna Oppenheimer is an acclaimed turnaround strategist known for her ability to transform entrenched institutions into customer-centric champions.
Deanna was hired by Barclays PLC in 2005 to renovate its 350-year-old retail bank from the inside out. Six years later, the once staid organization had blossomed into a retail banking powerhouse, and Deanna was ranked as one of the two most powerful women in banking. As CEO of Barclays UK Retail and Business Banking division, she spent her first two years turning the under-performing business to one that was stable and strong—notable even in the best of times, and particularly remarkable when the global financial crisis hit the UK. Despite the unprecedented upheaval, Barclays UK Retail and Business Banking division delivered exceptional results under Deanna’s leadership. In 2009, she earned the additional title of vice chair, Global Retail Banking, and was responsible for turning around its business in all of Western Europe. Shortly afterward, she added the role of chief executive of Europe Retail and Business Banking.
Deanna had already implemented a similar approach at Washington Mutual when she led its growth from a tiny Northwest thrift to a national leader in retail banking. Under her guidance, WaMu was named as one of the ‘Top 40 Store Concepts in the World’ and was selected as the ‘Best Retail Bank’ in America.
After six years in London, Deanna returned to Seattle to continue a role she created in 2005—as founder and CEO of CameoWorks, LLC, a global retail and financial services advisory firm that works with clients’ “C-suite” executives to provide expert guidance for transformational leadership, international market development, and large-scale change management.
Deanna speaks at national and international forums, covering topics that include the importance of diversity, the power of combining analytics with creativity to renew an organization, and the value of global experience. She has degrees from the University of Puget Sound and completed the advanced executive program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Moving up the ranks and helping run a Pulitzer Prize-winning daily paper, Carolyn learned much over her 33-year career at the Times. She realized that being overly perfectionistic can cause you and you alone to pay a price—like when you labor over something no one’s likely to notice. She also has found that the mindset of always striving for better can often hinder staying focused on what really matters.
Carolyn has even seen these kinds of issues for women echoed in popular business and leadership books. She’ll discuss how The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Good to Great, First Things First, and others champion concepts that women tend to experience are not as conducive to a healthy work/life balance as we think. Carolyn will share her own maxims for approaching life with integrity and authenticity.
Carolyn Kelly was President and Chief Operating Officer of The Seattle Times when she retired at the end of 2010. She joined as a financial analyst in 1977 in her mid-20s, moving through the ranks to hold positions including marketing and news business director, VP/CFO, and senior VP/general manager. When she was named president and COO in 2001, she joined only a handful of women in the U.S. who had risen to an executive position at a major newspaper. She oversaw advertising, circulation, corporate marketing, employee resources, finance, information systems, and operations.
Carolyn regularly held board posts and volunteered for nonprofits during her busy executive life. She continues this passion in a high-energy retirement role, serving as president of the YMCA of Greater Seattle board of directors and as scholarship committee chair on The Seattle Foundation board. She is also on the advisory boards of the Seattle University Albers School of Business, Women’s Funding Alliance, and Seattle Girl’s School.
Carolyn’s service and leadership awards include being honored as one of the Seattle Storm’s “Women of Inspiration;” receiving the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award; and being recognized with a Gonzaga University Distinguished Alumni Award. She received her bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University and her MBA from Seattle University.
You’ve created a vision. You’ve set a goal. Now it’s time for the special magic of collaboration—just the right alliances to help you bring your dreams to fruition.
Many of us know the thrill of shared passions when the ideal collaborators jump on board. But what allows people to stay engaged and see things through in the best possible way? And especially for the long haul?
Chris Curtis has deep knowledge of how successes happen when partnerships are able to find their synergy and work toward a truly collective vision. At the July 19 breakfast, she’ll share stories of what she learned from developing Seattle’s neighborhood farmer’s markets and their alliances, including having the right attitude, diligently serving as an advocate, and much more.
Find out how Chris navigated and learned to work with diverse groups—individuals, tight-knit and image-conscious communities, a breadth of public service agencies, government councils, and other organizations—to create a public benefit for nearly 20 years.
In 1993, Chris Curtis established Seattle’s first neighborhood farmers’ and food-only market, the University District Farmer’s Market. Today, her Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance runs six others in Seattle.
Chris is known for starting and maintaining the markets, and for her ongoing advocacy of local farming and the importance of farmer’s markets to our rural and urban landscapes. Her mission encompasses supporting farmers and healthy food, protecting farmland, building community, and making sure low-income consumers have access to locally produced food.
Chris donated thousands of hours to various organizations, including the national Farmer’s Market Coalition and the Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA). She’s worked to bring local meats, cheeses, and food stamp machines to farmer’s markets. WSFMA recently honored Chris with the newly created “Advocate of the Year” award at their annual conference. Chris is a past recipient of the Seattle Weekly's Pellegrini Award given to leaders in the local food movement.
Human beings can be profoundly rewarded by slowing down to breathe and enjoying the simple things. Like the warm, beckoning glow of candlelight through richly colored glass.
When she was sick with cancer, that beautiful, soothing light helped heal Lee. It also stirred her—it became the simple idea for a wildly successful business and remarkable charitable giving to people battling cancer.
Lee was fighting cancer while raising small children when she first dropped a tea light into a beautiful handmade glass cup and found comfort and healing. With the same determination that beat cancer, Lee channeled her energy into sharing the love and hope of unique, colorful glass votives. They became incredibly popular, even coveted, and Lee found herself the accidental entrepreneur: she hired artisan glassblowers, and glassybaby was born.
Learn from Lee how simple ideas and determination can go hand in hand toward making wonderful things happen. And what to do when we run into the people who discourage our ideas or undermine our determination? Lee will share too what the naysayers were babbling about in the early days of glassybaby, now a nearly $8 million per year enterprise.
Lee came from Boston to Washington to be a rower at the UW. She left school without graduating and went to work handling merchandising for Nike, then got married and had three children.
Today, Lee’s glassybaby has three Seattle stores and one in New York City. She was approached by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who now owns 20% of the company. From the beginning, Lee made goodwill a foundation of glassybaby—the company has donated more than $875,000 from its revenues to charities.
Lee was honored as Entrepreneur of 2011 by Entrepreneur magazine—the first time for a woman. Her 2012 goal for glassybaby is to give away 10% of its sales to charities that support people dealing with cancer.
We’ve all heard “persistence pays off.” And we admire people who are relentless in achieving their goals. But what exactly does tenacity entail? Find out what Anna Gottlieb did when she answered her question, “how hard can this be?” in choosing to start one of the first Gilda’s Clubs in the nation.
Determined to open the free community center for those affected by cancer, Anna faced the elements of square one—she needed a nonprofit business plan, a building, board members and other alliances, and sustainable funding. The original Gilda’s Club didn’t offer a blueprint nor seed money, and Anna’s then-career was not in business administration.
Come to the May 10 WBE breakfast and learn more about what fuels the fire of tenacity—including listening to your instincts, handling rejection (yes, rejection!), seeing surprising connections, and not taking yourself too seriously. These and more were critical to helping with the challenges Anna experienced in her deeply compassionate drive to create a supportive environment for patients, families, and friends dealing with cancer. Given the inspiration of Gilda Radner, it of course had to be a place where humor was as welcome as tears.
And because the need for persistence continues, Anna was able to line up a famous TV celebrity for the club’s 15th annual "Surviving with Style" fashion show and luncheon in June!
Anna first read about Gilda's Club in People magazine in 1996. She knew she had to get involved and went right away to New York City to visit the first Gilda's Club. It was for anyone dealing with any cancer. Anna felt the club’s spirit, caring, and Gilda’s love of humor. Five years later, the bright red doors of Gilda’s Club Seattle opened on Capitol Hill—the first West Coast Gilda’s Club (there are 28 Clubs today).
Take heart that now, more than ever, business is a woman’s world, too. And fortunately, the heart has a vital role.
Join us at the April 12 breakfast as Jan shares how compassion and sensitivity in the workplace are essential to a company’s bottom line. She’ll tell us how these traditionally feminine traits crucially shape a company’s culture, customer relationships, and more.
Having grown up terribly shy, Jan credits her quiet demeanor with helping her to develop the active listening skills inherent in her leadership style. She’ll discuss how leading with emotional intelligence has resulted in more effective decision-making, negotiation, and collaboration—skillful management her male colleagues have come to greatly appreciate.
A long-time proponent of empathy having a role in organizational success, Jan is passionate about the guidance in books such as Emotional Intelligence, Work and the Human Spirit, and Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose. Jan is also passionate about entrepreneurs—her talk will touch on her exciting work funding and helping manage cutting-edge startups.
Jan Hendrickson has worked with early-stage startups for more than 10 years as a venture capitalist and investment banker. She is co-founder of Denny Hill Capital, a multi-industry venture capital firm supporting Pacific Northwest entrepreneurs. Jan handles capital raising, governing, advising, investing, and fund management. She has provided governance and executive experience for a number of company boards, and currently serves on the boards of Tully’s Coffee, PhotoRocket, butter LONDON, and others. A Seattle native, Jan’s career experience also includes business and financial planning services for high-growth companies ranging from technology start-ups to The Boeing Company and New Balance Athletic Shoes.
Honored last year as one of 15 “Women of Influence” by Puget Sound Business Journal, Jan earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She is past Chair of the Woodland Park Zoo Board of Directors, serving longer than any Chair in the zoo’s 110-year history. She is past president and current trustee of the Frye Art Museum and a founding director of the Seattle-based Women’s Bioethics Project.
Believe it or not, you are innately creative. Join us as creativity expert and social entrepreneur Peggy Taylor talked about ways to tap into your own creativity and use it as an individual-changing, world-changing tool to help you more deeply connect to your work, life, and higher purpose.
At our March breakfast Peggy talked about her personal journey and how she discovered her own creative power—at a time when she needed it most. She talked about learning to unlock and more effectively use creative thinking in every aspect of your life through creativity warm-up exercises. Learn what portion of your creativity is inborn, and what you can do to cultivate it. And explore how creativity impacts team and group dynamics.
Peggy’s vast experience in founding and working with creativity in nonprofit organizations provides perspective and insights to help you understand, nurture, and channel creative thinking in your own life and turn it into action to accomplish remarkable things.
With a Master’s of Education in Creative Arts in Learning, Peggy brings over 30 years of experience as a social entrepreneur in both the non-profit and profit sectors. She is the co-author of Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life, which has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide and the co-founder of a non-profit for teenage girls called Young Women Empowered (YWE) where she serves as Senior Advisor for Curriculum and Facilitation. YWE is an intergenerational, intercultural teen girls’ leadership and mentoring organization that imparts confidence and leadership skills in even the shyest young women through the use of creativity.
“Purpose + Serendipity = Creating Your Own Luck” (February 2012)
Featuring Rebecca Lovell, Chief Business Officer of GeekWire
When you reach one of those pivotal career crossroads and know you’re ready for a change—but you’re not sure what it is—sometimes the answer may come from committing to being purposeful but intentionally open to possibilities you can’t even imagine. Sometimes we may wonder, “How are some people so lucky?” Rebecca is one of those people. As she completed her MBA studies 5 years ago, three subsequent ideal career opportunities have been offered to her without her seeking them.
Rebecca is a Seattle native and life-long geek turned entrepreneur enthusiast. After a decade of operations management and business development in the corporate world, she caught the startup bug and served as the Program Director for the Alliance of Angels, then the Executive Director for the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. Addicted to tech and entrepreneurship, she is a mentor for Tech Stars and Founder Institute, a community advisor to Startup Weekend, and teaches a class on venture capital investing in the UW MBA program. She has been a judge in the International Venture Capital Investment Competition, currently serves on the Foster Business School Employer Advisory board, and has joined the Northwest Entrepreneur Network board of directors.
A newly minted but proud Husky, Rebecca received her MBA from the UW in 2006, earned distinction as a Dean’s Scholar and was awarded the McGowan scholarship. A phi beta kappa, she received her BA in History from Carleton College, was a valedictorian at Garfield High School, and recovering mathlete turned shameless karaoke junkie.
"Get Your Brain in Gear for the New Year" (January 2012)
With Dr. Terri Gilbert, Application Scientist, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Post Event Reading Recommendations:
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives by Dean Buonomano
Your Brain At Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus and Working Smarter All Day Long, by David Rock
Dr. Gilbert has a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, with a minor in environmental science. She received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of New Mexico and the University of Washington. "Three Steps to an Enduring Vision" (December 2011)