Back by popular demand, the Young Professionals International Network (YPIN) will host its 6th annual International Women’s Day Speed Mentorship event sponsored by Atlas Workbase. Mentees will rotate through mini 7-minute tailored mentorship sessions with the Northwest’s top female leaders. This event is perfect for early career women seeking to enhance their leadership potential, or mid-career professionals looking to make a career change or accelerate their current trajectory. You will be exposed to new businesses, vocations, and opportunities, and have the chance to network with all mentors and mentees in addition to one-on-one conversations with a handful of mentors selected just for you.
January is YPIN members only presale, starting February 1st, tickets will be available to members and non-members.
Check-in begins at 9:30 AM.
*Important note to mentees: after you register, please send a list of your top seven women you would like to be paired with, a short bio, and a headshot to Devi Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.*
Diane Najm, CEO & Founder, PhotoPad
After practicing Social Work for over 20 years, Diane leaped into the entrepreneurial world to launch two tech platforms in the photo and digital content marketing space, her first product PhotoPad a consumer photo app on Facebook in 2010 and PhotoPad for Business in 2016. Her passion and leadership continues to empower women to succeed in business through providing resources and connections. She serves on the Board of Directors to Women In Wireless and Women in Tech. A Past Director of Founder Institute, a mentor to startups and invited to the Seattle White House Digital Tech Summit. She regularly speaks about entrepreneurship and leadership. Her credits include, Microsoft, Women Who Code, Women in Tech Seattle and Vancouver and Startup Weekend in which her teams have come in first and second place.
She received the 2015 Women of the Year in Business Award, 2012 Mom of the Year Business Award and 2012 Ambassador to the Children Community Award. She continues to do philanthropy work for women and children of abuse serving on the Board of Trustee for Olive Crest.
About the mentors:
Cathy Allen has helped recruit, train and elect more than a thousand women all over the world on behalf of agencies, parties, advocacy groups and even the State Department. As one of the first international women political consultants, Cathy has dedicated her practice to helping women gain equal access to public office – not only in America, but in 49 countries worldwide.
A reporter (formerly with the New York Times), Cathy is a frequent political commentator for PBS, NBC, and ABC. She serves as National Vice-President of the National Women’s Political Caucus and started the Washington state-based Center for Women & Democracy which helps women “Lead Where You Land”.
Born in Massachusetts with a Harvard Master’s Degree, Cathy owns her own company (The Connections Group) which is in the persuasion business for the press, the public and the politically progressive forces of good.
Seema Bhende is a Senior Vice President at WE Communications, a global, female-founded communications agency. She leads WE Communications Purpose and Brand Reputation team that focuses on brand building campaigns for companies such as Amgen, Microsoft, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gilead, Safeway and Volvo. She has been featured in the NYT’s bestselling book “Giving 2.0” authored by Laura Andreessen. Formerly, as the director of strategic philanthropy at L’Oréal Paris her role was to instill purpose across the beauty giant’s marketing and communications. Prior to L’Oréal, Seema worked in India for Futures Group designing and evaluating public healthcare programs for USAID and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her work focused on maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Seema received a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and has spent time living and working in New Delhi, Beijing, New York City and Seattle. Seema is a mom to two active toddlers that help her refine her multi-tasking skills. When she needs to find some zen or inner peace, you can find Seema at her local spin or hot yoga class. When she is relaxing with her husband, you can find them enjoying one of Seattle’s newest restaurant or sitting on their couch in awe and admiration of one of their favorite Netflix or HBO shows.
Justice Bobbie J. Bridge, ret. is the Founding President/CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, a nonprofit organization she created in 2006 to reform Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. She served on the State Supreme Court from 2000 to 2008 and on the King County Superior Court from 1990 to 2000, where she was Chief Juvenile Court Judge for three years. She continues to chair the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care. Before joining the bench, Justice Bridge was the first female partner at the Seattle law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer. She has been honored with numerous awards for her civic involvement, philanthropy and service to children and youth.
Ginna Brelsford is the Executive Director of Sahar. Ginna brings over 20 years of experience in government, business and the non-profit world of international development. Her commitment to gender equality and access to education began with a focus on literacy in Brazil and spanned two decades of work in Russia, Latin America and Asia. A former executive director at Pura Vida Coffee Company, Ginna is known for her ability to blend social entrepreneurial innovation with poverty eradication. She has served at the gubernatorial level as well as worked with the Russia America Foundation on a number of USAID projects promoting civil society and economic development. A strong advocate for women’s empowerment, she authored a book on women leaders in Alaska and toured with Bono to eradicate HIV/AIDS for the One Campaign at World Vision. An explorer of frontiers, Ginna was among the first woman to ski across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska.
Marianne Brockhaus has two careers in tandem. She is a Global Learning Strategist, currently managing cyber security awareness training at Amazon.com for their 1.2 million employees. She has an extensive career in instructional design and managing teams to produce and deploy learning for large numbers of global learners. Her expertise is in brain science applied to adult learning, deploying learning programs cross-culturally, and working globally. In addition to private companies, she has worked with the federal and state governments to develop healthcare education, specifically quality improvement initiatives for all healthcare providers in the US, and the Home Care curriculum for Washington State. She is also a professional artist under her maiden name Marianne Maksirisombat. She has shown her art in 60+ gallery showings and has been commissioned by cities, private companies, and private collectors. Her work on permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Museum, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation, and the Cameron Gallery. Most recently she has been commissioned by Seattle Children’s Hospital for artwork for their new research facility. She is known for her bold use of color, three-dimensional canvas, and steel work. Marianne holds a B.A. in Politics and Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Francisco, and has over ten certifications in the fields of adult learning, cyber security, and technology.
Cat Cuevas, MA is a seasoned leadership and organization development consultant, coach and trainer. Her 15 years in the field of professional and personal development have been devoted to peace education, womens leadership, and social justice. Cat has developed and delivered trainings for over 20,000 leaders in academic institutions, corporations, nonprofits, benefit corporations, faith-based organizations, sport teams, performing art groups, hospitals, and communities around the nation and around the world. Cat’s current favorite areas of research are gender and racial equity, leadership psychology, mastery, bridging intractable conversations, and supporting women to become leaders in public service. She’s passionate about dismantling implicit bias, leading with intersectional awareness, and helping women build confidence. Cat holds a MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and a MA in Leadership and Organizational Development. Having grown up an Army “brat”, she now calls Seattle home, and resides here with her beloved partner Jerome.
Lauren Domino serves as a Philanthropic Advisor with Seattle Foundation where she advises individuals, multi-generation families and businesses on effective philanthropic strategies that support their community interests, guide giving practices and craft meaningful legacies. Lauren comes to Seattle Foundation with a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily focused on program management and fund development in the arts. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. Her volunteer work has included serving on the boards of Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, ArtsEd Washington, and the Seattle Rotary Service Foundation, as well as representing the Girl Scouts of Western Washington as a National Delegate.
Tamara Power-Drutis is the Chief of Staff at Amplifier, a nonpartisan art machine that flooded the streets with images of hope during the Inauguration and Women’s March. With a background in applied research, policy, and community engagement, Tamara is focused on projects related to education, American identity, voter rights, climate change, and women’s rights. Tamara is the former Executive Director of the Northwest independent news site Crosscut Public Media, which aims to inform a public capable of solving the challenges of our time. She is a member of the 2017 Young American Leaders Program cohort, was a 2016 Henry M. Jackson Foundation Leadership Fellow, and a 2016-2017 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow. She is the former Communications Coordinator at the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research and policy center developing system wide solutions for K-12 public education. She began her career as a Research Associate at Ross Strategic, supporting partnerships between the Environmental Protection Agency, State, and Tribal groups around environmental information management systems. Tamara holds a B.A. in Political Science from Pacific Lutheran University and is a proud product of Washington State.
Michele Frix serves as Chief of Staff for Seattle Foundation, the region’s community foundation which ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. As a member of the Leadership Team, Michele leads strategic planning and partners with staff to ensure alignment across mission, strategy, and execution. She provides strategic guidance and support to the CEO to assist the foundation in reaching its goals and creating an organizational culture that supports innovation, inclusion, and organizational excellence. She also leads Seattle Foundation in developing and defining its approach to global philanthropy.
Prior to this role, Michele worked with Seattle Foundation’s global philanthropy affiliate, Seattle International Foundation (SIF). During her nearly seven years with SIF, Michele launched new initiatives, managed global teams, and worked across sectors to build successful programs. She led SIF’s grantmaking strategy, including oversight of over $17 million in grants to more than 180 nonprofits organizations in 68 countries. She recently served as interim CEO at Seattle International Foundation from July 2017-January 2018.
She worked as a Research Analyst for the Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington, where she conducted field research on Microsoft Community Affair’s social investments in employability and technology for marginalized communities throughout Latin America. She has extensive research experience examining the sustainability, efficiency and impact of nonprofits and civil society leaders throughout the region. Human rights and gender equality have been at the core of Michele’s fieldwork, as well as her experience in the philanthropic sector.
She was appointed in 2012 by Seattle City Council to serve on the Seattle Women’s Commission. She is also a board member of Splash, an international nonprofit and social enterprise committed to providing clean water for kids throughout Asia and Africa.
She has a BA from the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, with a minor in Human Rights. In 2015, she was named an American Express NGen Fellow by Independent Sector, as well as a member of the inaugural class of Henry M. Jackson Leadership Fellows. In 2017, she participated in the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School.
Carmen Forsman has over 15 years of experience in International Strategic Business Development in both the private and public sectors. As Principal Consultant at International Insight Consulting, Carmen develops emerging market entry strategies for health and environmental technologies and consults with governments on draft legislation. As a Senior Commercialization Officer at PATH, Carmen focused on developing and implementing market-driven, sustainable business models, partnership identification, due diligence and contract negotiations. As Director of International Business Development at AT&T Wireless, Carmen developed and implemented the entry strategy for the Caribbean region, negotiated wireless spectrum licenses with local governments and managed the development of successful businesses on 16 Caribbean islands. She also served as Director of Private Equity investments for Boeing’s Phantom Works, where she managed a portfolio of over $35M. Carmen has an MBA from Columbia Business School, with a focus on International Business and Finance, and lives in Seattle and has two sons and two dogs.
Chitra Hanstad began as Executive Director at World Relief Seattle in January 2017. Prior to this, she spent time in India consulting for Justice Ventures International (an anti-trafficking organization) on strategic planning and fund development and as a Philanthropic Advisor for the Seattle Foundation. While her career started in corporate advertising, public relations and media relations, she has spent most of the last twenty years working for local and international non-profits. Chitra has a passion for seeing at-risk communities thrive. She has served on many boards and volunteers with The Stability Network.
Daphra Holder is a recent Seattle transplant (from NYC), who currently leads Alexa International Expansion at Amazon as a PM; her career has been primarily focused in the online marketing space both in the nonprofit (DonorsChoose.org) and for profit (American Express, Amazon) space. Outside of her professional endeavors she is actively involved in the Seattle community as a Partner at the Seattle Venture Partners, founding Advisor/Board Member for W.E. Rep, Seattle’s first women-driven PAC, a consultant at the UW Foster School of Business, mentor for Girls Who Code (Seattle chapter) and currently serves as a Commissioner on King County’s Civil Rights Commission. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, climbing and gastronomical pursuits (both eating / making). She is a graduate of Princeton University.
Erin Kelly joined Weber Shandwick in 2017, after nearly a decade of working in-house to help nonprofits and NGOs communicate about the impact of their work. Erin brings to Weber Shandwick Seattle a keen understanding of the challenges facing women and girls worldwide, experience communicating about complex topics within gender equality and she understands how to break through the static with compelling communications strategies.
Erin has helped organizations and thought-leaders communicate around a variety of issue areas, including gender equality, violence against women, child marriage, engaging men and boys, global and maternal health, and more.
Prior to joining Weber Shandwick Seattle, she worked at the International Center for Research on Women, helping translate data and evidence into solutions, helped elevate the voices of women’s rights movements and women leaders at Women Thrive Worldwide, and worked on domestic health care reform at Families.
Ann Novakowski has more than 15 years of experience in the public health sector and has worked internationally in the field of cancer for nearly a decade. She is currently an Associate Program Director with The Max Foundation where she helps bridge access to treatment in low- and middle-income countries for people living with cancer by fostering relationships with key stakeholders and industry partners in the administration of gift-in-kind programs.
Some of Ann’s accomplishments at The Max Foundation include building and executing a new access initiative, also known as Max Access Solutions, spearheading the development of product donation guidelines that govern the organization’s approach to treatment access, and developing quality and safety enhancements to program operations and a customer relationship management system.
At present, Ann is a member of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations where she contributes to the development of international guidelines that reflect the base of knowledge, experience, and expectations for how medical product donations should be carried out. It is her belief that patients, regardless of where they live, are entitled to safe and effective therapy that extends their lives and enables them to spend time with the people they love.
Prior to joining The Max Foundation in 2009, Ann began her career in neurobiology before transitioning into health and social justice movements. Beginning in 2002, she awarded grants to organizations serving survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. As a consultant in 2005-2009, she helped build the capacity of community-based organizations in strategic planning, program development, and monitoring and evaluation.
Ann received her Master in Public Health from Yale University where she specialized in Health Policy & Administration. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Ann loves to travel, camp under the stars, and lives in Seattle with her techy husband, spirited daughter, and two rambunctious dogs.
Kim Peterson is President and Founder of Uniquely Savvy; a Seattle based personal brand and image consultancy. As a Personal Brand & Style Strategist, Keynote Speaker & Coach, Kim works with entrepreneurs, leaders, and emerging leaders who want confident breakthroughs around how to harness their authentic personal brand, identity, and professional presence so they can uniquely package themselves for differentiation and accelerated success in the market place. Working with individuals to (S)PEAK, (E)NGAGE, (L)OOK & (L)IVE their unique genius out loud in a clear, focused and empowered way while bringing their distinct gifts to the world is Kim’s purpose and passion, and she delivers results to individuals, teams and organizations across (3) platforms: image and style consulting, authentic personal brand building, and keynote presentations and workshops. Kim started her consultancy while homeless 17 years ago and is an example of “no more excuses” when it comes to creating the business and life you want to experience. Sharing her personal story of triumph over tragedy as the backdrop for “what’s possible”, Kim co-authored, Incredible Life: Top Experts Reveal How to Create Yours. A member of AICI and NAWMBA, Kim graduated from Central Washington University with degrees in Retail Management, Fashion Merchandising and Business Administration. Kim is a community leader and was recently honored to be selected as one of 425 Magazine’s “2018 Women to Watch” speakers.
Julie Pham is Vice President of Community Engagement and Marketing at Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), which helps tech companies solve problems together they cannot solve on their own. She leads WTIA’s civic collaboration program, _ion. Julie is particularly passionate about increasing opportunities for those from underrepresented communities to enter and thrive in the tech industry. Prior to WTIA, she worked in marketing at Microsoft and Avidian Technologies. She earned her real life MBA by running Northwest Vietnamese News, the region’s largest Vietnamese newspaper, which she co-owns with her family.
Currently, Julie serves on the board of Social Venture Partners-Seattle. She is a PSBJ 2011 ’40 under 40’ honoree and a 2015 German Marshall Memorial Fellow. She earned her PhD in history at Cambridge University as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and graduated magna cum laude from UC Berkeley, where she studied history.
Ada Williams Prince is currently Program Strategy Lead for Pivotal Ventures, Executive Office of Melinda Gates. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ada was the Director of Policy for OneAmerica, where she was responsible for state, local and federal policy and helped to build their immigrant integration strategy. Deploying her background in gender, she spearheaded internal planning a gender equity policy at OneAmerica. She also helped build its immigrant integration strategy and worked on its education portfolio for K-12 racial justice.
Ada has worked on global poverty and human rights issues since the 90’s in Africa, Asia and the Middle East with particular experience in refugee women and children’s issues. She’s worked with a range of organizations including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Survivors, Save the Children UK, Refugees International, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance/USAID as well as many others.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Women’s Funding Alliance, iLEAP, and Thousand Currents. She previously served on the board of the Refugee Women’s Alliance in Seattle and Wandsworth Women’s Aid UK, a domestic violence shelter. Ada holds a B.A. from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont and an M.A. in Development Studies from Bradford University, England.
Dr. Barbra Richardson is Research Professor in Biostatistics and Adjunct Research Professor in Global Health at the University of Washington, with joint appointments at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division and the Public Health Sciences Division. For over two decades she has served as lead statistician for numerous studies on infectious disease (primarily HIV/AIDS and other STIs) including more than two dozen clinical trials ranging from Phase I to Phase III and has over 260 peer reviewed publications. Dr. Richardson received her PhD in Biostatistics from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Chris Rupp is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 25 years of success spanning e-commerce, fulfillment, retail, and consumer products. Her broad areas of expertise include revenue optimization, negotiating, operational strategy, business turnaround planning, process improvements, and scaling.
Throughout her executive career, Chris has held leadership positions with Microsoft Corporation, Amazon.com, and Sears Holding Corporation. She has been responsible for leading a global team, implementing strategy and business development initiatives, and executing GTM campaigns. As General Manager for Microsoft, Chris created the global store marketing strategy, worked with engineers to build digital stores, developed an integrated, omnichannel approach to consumer shopping for Microsoft products, and drove demand generation strategy including SEO, SEM, CRM, social channels, and PR. Additionally, she managed merchandising for the digital store to deliver financial and customer experience goals.
Chris consistently exceeds company goals and market expectations through her use of responsive leadership and her proactive approach to business development. She is an inspiring leader building global teams delivering optimized revenue, improved market share, and better brand visibility.
Chris attained her MBA from Roosevelt University and her BS in Marketing from Indiana University.
Elizabeth Scallon leads CoMotion Labs at the University of Washington, a multi-industry lab system hosting startups inside and outside the UW community. Prior, Elizabeth was one of the early team members of VLST, part of the inaugural class of biotech startups at Accelerator Corporation, where she helped the company spin out and grow to over 50 employees and $35M in funding. Additionally, Elizabeth has personally mentored over 40 startups, entrepreneurs, innovators, and artists for over a decade both locally and globally. Elizabeth received her Global Executive MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE, where she studied global innovation, entrepreneurship, and incubation with in-country residences in Spain, Brazil, Argentina, China, India, and US.
Alice Shobe joined Amazon in February 2017 as its first Director of Community Engagement. For over 25 years she’s worked in public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sector roles to address complex social issues like homelessness and equitable community development.
Alice has served as the CEO of three nonprofit organizations in Washington State (Building Changes, Philanthropy Northwest, and Impact Capital) and as Director of Sound Families, a $40-million-dollar public-private partnership created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which ultimately tripled the supply of housing for homeless families in three counties. She started her career as a city planner in suburban Seattle.
Genya Shimkin is a passionate and driven public health professional with 10 years of experience in project coordination, program management, and administration. Genya is CEO of Q Card Project, LLC, a small business she founded in 2013 to improve relationships between LGBTQ youth and healthcare providers. She oversees national distribution of Q Cards (a communication tool she developed), and offers training and consultation to healthcare and social service providers. Over the past 10 years, she has built a record of success with grant writing, project development and implementation, communications, evaluation, and team facilitation and leadership. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Rights and Russian Studies from Bard College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from University of Washington.
Nicky Smith has more than 25 years of progressively responsible professional experience with Non-Governmental Organizations in crisis affected countries; of which 12 years have been spent in a conflict and post conflict setting. Prior to her role as Executive Director at the IRC in Seattle, Nicky was responsible for establishing and managing new country programs for the IRC. Her areas of expertise include emergency preparedness and response, country-program management, refugee policy and advocacy, and strategy and change planning.
Nicky joined the IRC in 2003. From 2007 to 2010, she was a member of the IRC’s Washington, D.C. office, working to educate policy makers and the public about the importance of providing resources for humanitarian and development assistance in Africa and Asia, and promoting programs that prevent violence against women and girls. From 2003 to 2007, she worked in some of the organization’s most sensitive situations, including managing the IRC’s single largest country program, Sudan, and serving as the IRC Country Director in Liberia during a key moment in the peace process. Before joining the IRC, Nicky worked for almost 10 years with Doctors Without Borders and Children’s Aid Direct in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Nepal, amongst other countries.
Michele E. Storms is Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and former Assistant Dean for Public Service and executive director of the William H. Gates Public Service Law program at the University of Washington School of Law. Her previous position was as a statewide advocacy coordinator at both the Northwest Justice Project and Columbia Legal Services where over a five year period she coordinated civil legal aid advocacy in the areas of family law, youth and education, housing, elder law, Native American and right to counsel issues. Michele started her legal career as a staff attorney at Evergreen Legal Services in 1988 with a focus on family law, custody and domestic violence. She later served as a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Law in the clinical law program for eight years where she founded the Child Advocacy Clinic. At UWLS she taught child advocacy, family law and interviewing and counseling for lawyers.
Michele has served on numerous boards and guilds both locally and nationally and has provided training and has written on topics such as leadership, equity and inclusion and has served as a facilitator for meetings and retreats for nonprofit organizations.
Kajoli Tankha is a consumer insights professional who is passionate about all data- big and small. She has spent 18 years in applying consumer understanding to helping businesses make better decisions. Currently she is a Senior Director at Microsoft, running consumer advertising research and working on brands like Surface, Xbox, and Windows. She also leads Social Intelligence. She has an undergrad in economics and a Masters in Marketing Research. Kajoli’s special interests include Autism and helping young women starting their career journey.
Diane Wagner is an ambassador for Translators without Borders that works with language, non-profit and technology partners on helping people communicate during times of crisis. During her career at Microsoft, Diane worked on the company’s natural language strategy and ran the Office Int’l Conte Group, which delivered localized content in 100+ languages worldwide. Diane, the author of a nonfiction book, writes about language and other topics.
Additional confirmed mentors include: Melody Bridger, Kristen Dailey, Candace Faber, Jennifer Malloy, Cynthia Tee, Suzanne Towns, and Jennifer Unger.