Christine Bronstein is the founder of ABandOfWives.com, a social network and information website for women. She was CEO of one of the few female run venture-backed health and fitness companies in the nation for 8 years and president of a child-welfare foundation for 3 years. She is a graduate of the Columbia/UC-Berkeley executive MBA program and a member of the honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. Chris is married to Center For Investigative Reporting Executive Chair Phil Bronstein and mother of three.
Carol Pott is a writer, the editorial director at Editorial Girl, and the lead singer for the French yé yé revival band Rue ‘66. In 1994, she witnessed the genocide in Rwanda yet returned with the United Nations to work in Africa for six years. She is the coeditor and author of Genocide in Rwanda: A Collective Memory, and the editor and contributing author of the bestselling The Blue Pages: A Directory of Companies Rated by Their Politics and Practices. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and New York Times.
Christine Arylo, MBA, writer, coach, and speaker, is an inspirational catalyst dedicated to teaching women how to stop running themselves ragged, putting themselves last and believing they must “have it all.” Her opinions on the challenges this generation of super girls and super women face have been featured on CBS, ABC, FOX, E!, the Huffington Post, radio shows, conferences and stages worldwide. Christine is the internationally published author of the books Choosing ME Before WE and Madly in Love With ME, the Daring Adventure to Becoming Your Own Best Friend. She is also the founder of the International Day of Self Love, February 13th. Get your free Self-Love Kit at ChooseSelfLove.com or visit her at ChristineArylo.com
Aspen Baker is the nations’ leading voice on the personal experiences of abortion among women and men. The Founder and Executive Director of Exhale, an award-winning pro-voice organization changing the social climate around abortion, Baker has been featured in a variety of media outlets across the country, including CNN Headline News, Fox National News, Ladies Home Journal, the New York Times, National Public Radio, and many more. She lives in Oakland, California with her family and serves as a member of the Public Ethics Commission for the City of Oakland.
Medea Isphording Bern
Medea Isphording Bernis a writer/essayist who lives in California’s San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two sons and three cats. When she isn’t writing, she loves concerts, travel, cooking, scuba and sailing—common themes in her work. She also roots loudly for the San Francisco Giants. She is studying writing through Stanford University’s Creative Non-fiction certificate program. Because she lives in a house bursting with testosterone, Medea keeps in touch with her feminine side through frequent visits with her treasured girlfriends.
Violet Blue (tinynibbles.com) is an award-winning author, columnist, blogger, journalist, and is regarded as the foremost expert in the field of sex and technology. Violet is regularly featured at global conferences on the topics of sex, technology and privacy, and her appearances range from Oprah to Google Tech Talks at Google, Inc.
Dominique Browning is a co-founder and the Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force, which fights air pollution as a children’s health issue. She works under the aegis of Environmental Defense Fund. Dominique also blogs regularly at Slow Love Life and is the author of several books, the most recent a memoir titled Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness. She writes regularly for the New York Times, Whole Living, Good Housekeeping and others. Dominique’s career in journalism included editor roles at magazines as varied as Newsweek and House & Garden, where she was editor-in-chief for thirteen years.
Jessica Buchleitner is an advocacy journalist working with the United Nations affiliated Women News Network, reporting on women’s rights developments globally. She currently serves on a United Nations committee with the City of San Francisco. As an NGO delegate to the UN’s 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, she met with NGO advocates from around the world who are working towards advancing women’s rights. She is currently finishing a book project entitled 50 Women, which features the life stories of 50 women from 30 countries.
Nancy Calef creates “Peoplescapes,” oil, sculpture, and applied objects on canvas that address cultural, political, and spiritual issues facing society. People juxtaposed in recognizable places and situations weave together a narrative about contemporary life, rich with details, symbolism, and humor. Born in Bronx, New York, Nancy majored in art at the College of New Rochelle at the age of 15, lived in Europe and Thailand, and traveled throughout the U.S., Mexico, Central America, Southeast Asia, India and Nepal, all to serve and develop her uniquely expressive style. She resides in San Francisco, California and New York.
Eileen Chao spent her childhood in Taipei, Taiwan, studied (mostly English Literature) in the U.K, got married, worked in publishing and then computers, and finally swapped London for San Francisco, California, where she now watches her son study. Her most favorite pastime is reading, because it is easier than her second, writing.
Marie McHale Drake
Marie McHale Drake has been writing since she was ten years old. Her first short story was published in 1994. Marie is an attorney and part-time judge in the Denver, Colorado area and prior to practicing law, she worked as a dishwasher, chambermaid, construction worker, horse-drawn carriage driver, prep cook, bartender, house sitter, house painter, artist’s model, Electrolux vacuum saleswoman, receptionist, paralegal, dog walker, restaurant hostess, jewelry saleswoman, clothing saleswoman, waitress, cat sitter, business consultant and had her own radio show on KBUT Public Radio in Crested Butte, Colorado. She lives in the Colorado foothills with her husband Fred and a very spoiled dog.
Andrea Drugay is a writer and copy editor in San Francisco, California. She taught yoga for five years and is also a wellness coach, Reiki practitioner, and trained doula. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in Communication. She has written yoga how-to guides, feature articles, essays, and web copy for magazines and newspapers, both online and in print. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in many literary journals, including the Coe Review, Identity Theory, and the Santa Clara Review. Several of her short essays appear under a pseudonym in the anthology Burning Man Live.
Weight release and body image expert Laura Fenamore is on a mission, guiding women around the world to love life. Laura’s Body Image Mastery curriculum is celebrated by hundreds of women who have released weight, reclaimed self-esteem, and let go of the belief that nothing will work for them. Author of Weightless: 7 Tools to Love Your Body (and Release Weight For Good), Laura battled addictions, obesity, and eating disorders. Laura released 100 pounds in 1988 for good and she now guides women globally to live more joyous, balanced lives.
Kristin Gerbert believes that each photographer’s work should be unique and distinctive from the next. For years, Kristin modeled, acted, and performed with her band, and all of these endeavors taught her how to be photographed. She went to Vidal Sassoon Cosmetology School and spent years doing make up and hair for a variety of photographers on the West Coast, so she also got experience behind the lens, studying the elements that influence a picture. Her approach has always been to just photograph what inspires her, rather than to rely on formal training.
Liesl Gerntholtz, Director of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, is an expert on women’s rights globally, particularly in Africa. She has worked and written extensively on violence against women, gender and HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive rights, and economic and social rights. Her work at Human Rights Watch has included documenting access to abortion in Ireland, violence against women in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, and gender-based violence and barriers to women’s political participation in Libya.
With a creative and business writing background, Ana Hays’ writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, Walnut Creek Magazine, Sybase Magazine and other publications. Ana also leads creative writing workshops at WomenCare, a non-profit organization in Santa Cruz, California dedicated to offering a safe haven for women who are making the cancer journey, and for SPARK, where she inspires students to follow their dreams of becoming published writers. She resides in Menlo Park, California and Angel Fire, New Mexico with her partner Ed and her cats Phoebe and Murphy.
Tamara Holland is a recovering death penalty defense attorney, mom of adult kids, CrossFitter, and the boss-of-herself at Bean Up The Nose Art. She’s also a writer of copy with her friends at Morning Coffee Productions, of blog posts on several sites, of spec screenplays, and of tens of thousands of tweets. You can find her on Twitter at @tamholland, or at the Bean Up The Nose Art website.
Colleen Joyce grew up in Los Angeles, California, as part of a creative family. After graduating from high school, she was employed as a garment worker where she learned to sew. While attending Santa Barbara City College she studied art, graduating with an AA degree. A few years ago she produced a life-sized plaster sculpture called “Conjoined Twins” at the College of Marin which ignited her interest in 3D design. In 2011 she studied at the Apparel Arts, a San Francisco, California fashion design school, which lead her to create her clothing line, Wabi Sabi Couture.
Margaret Kathrein has written two books, Far From Shore – A Mother’s Memoir of a Shark Attack, and Surviving the Shark, with her son Jonathan. She is also the author of Crisis Management and Occupational Health Law. Margaret is a director of E3, an educational nonprofit, former director of the Lucas Valley Homeowners, and member of the Cal Parent Advisory Board. She is a former international flight attendant for Pan Am and an attorney who specialized in Food and Drug law with a Chicago law firm. Margaret currently resides in Marin County, California, and is the mother of sons Jonathan, Michael, and Eric.
Award winning broadcast journalist Dana King has worked in television news for 25 years. She has spent the last 15 with San Francisco, California TV station KPIX, anchoring the 6 and the 11 p.m. news. She arrived in San Francisco from New York after spending five years as a network correspondent for CBS News. King has traveled the world reporting on issues in Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Ghana, Honduras, Taiwan and more. King is also an accomplished sculptor. She spends countless hours in her studio creating art when not doing her “night job.” Dana is represented by the Thelma Harris Art Gallery in Oakland, California.
Janine Kovac writes about her experience as a NICU mom for the science-based parenting site Raising Happiness. She is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, blogs for the Writing Mamas, is the editor of the Community Gratitude Journal at the Greater Good Science Center, is program event coordinator for Write On, Mamas!, and is a database architect for Litquake, San Francisco’s annual literary festival. Janine lives in Oakland, California with her husband and three children.
Yvonne Latty is the Director of the Reporting New York and Reporting the Nation graduate programs at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Yvonne is the author of In Conflict: Iraq War Veterans Speak Out on Duty, Loss and the Fight to Stay Alive and We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, From World War II to the War in Iraq. She worked for the Philadelphia Daily News and is the director/producer of the award-winning documentary Sacred Poison. Born and raised in New York City, she earned a BFA in Film/Television and later an MA in Journalism from New York University.
Rebecca Nelson Lubin
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and nanny who resides in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. When not raising toddlers she can be found cooking, hiking in the Marin hills, getting her groove on in the local music scene and working on her memoir, I Don’t Need Ovaries to be Fertile.
Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. Her first novel, In Dependence, was published in the U.S. in 2011. She currently lives in California, where she teaches at San Francisco State University, and is working on her second novel.
Joyce Maynard has been a writer of both fiction and nonfiction for over forty years. She has published two best-selling memoirs—Looking Back and At Home in the World. Her seven novels include To Die For and Labor Day, which is being adapted into a film starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. In addition to writing, Joyce performs frequently as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City, and with Porchlight in San Francisco, near her Marin County, California home. She runs the Lake Atitlan Writing Workshop, at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, where her particular focus and love is assisting other writers in the telling of their stories.
Caitlin McCaffrey is a photographer now based in Northern California. She has exhibited in solo shows at the Fresno Art Museum, the Sonoma County Museum of Art and has been included in group shows by the Oakland Museum and by the Pages Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Whitechapel, London. She worked as a photographer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and has produced commissioned work for collectors, designers and architects. Her editorial work has appeared in magazines, journals and newspapers including Esquire, Elle and the New York Times.
Tracy Chiles McGhee
Tracy Chiles McGhee (TracyChilesMcghee.com) is a community activist and writer. Recognized as one of 2011’s “Top 10 Women in Social Media” by Liberated Muse, her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in several publications such as Word Nation, an anthology edited by Marita Golden, BOMB Magazine, and Tidal Basin Review. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of WOMA (womanifesting.org), a non-profit focused on developing and supporting programs that foster self-empowerment, sisterhood, and service. Tracy is a graduate of San Francisco University High School, Georgetown University and Catholic University of America Law School. She enjoys passionate living and giving back.
Monica Michelle lives on the San Francisco Bay Area peninsula with the best husband ever, two wonderful children, a cat who thinks she is a goddess, and two large dogs who firmly believe they are lap dogs. Monica runs a portrait photography studio in Menlo Park, California called White Rabbit Portrait Studio and a wedding, boudoir, and fine art studio called Monica Michelle’s Photography. Monica is currently working on fine art photography series in Paris and a fairy tale photography series.
Victoria Loren Miller
Victoria Loren Miller views the world through an abstract expressionist lens—and a camera lens. Born in San Francisco, California, Victoria’s immersion in art began in her family’s gallery. Inspired by 20th century American greats like Stella and Rauschenberg, and local luminaries Nathan Oliveira and Wayne Thiebaud, she has produced a body of work that exposes the drama and beauty of reflections, motion, and the mystery of the interaction between light and color. Victoria earned her degree in design from UCLA and is a creative director and designer for global brands. Her work has earned industry accolades and is included in the Smithsonian’s Permanent Collection.
Hyla Molander—speaker, social entrepreneur, photographer, widow, wife, and mother of four—is Co-Producer of Women Rock It events, Founder of Widowed Web and Social Good Project, and the author of Finding Light. Her features and speaking engagements include the AllFacebook Expo, the keynote at Wal-Mart Corporate Headquarters, Mama Monologues, Writer’s Digest, Marin Magazine, the Marin Independent Journal, the National Association of Memoir Writers, HealthyPlace Mental Health Radio Show, the Southern California Writer’s Conference, Litquake, and Camp Widow. Hyla is currently working on her forthcoming memoir, Drop Dead Life: A Pregnant Widow’s Heartfelt and Often Comic Journey through Death, Birth, and Rebirth.
Award-winning author, photographer and muse, Lone Morch (LoneMorch.com) is a passionate, wandering artist whose medium is intimate liberation—of you and the world around you. Founder of Lolo’s Boudoir, she has recently created the program Free Your Sacred Journey to help more women reclaim their soul, sexuality and sovereignty. She is the author of the memoir Seeing Red: A Woman’s Sacred Journey Toward Personal Power. Her photography and writing has been featured in InStyle, the San Francisco Chronicle, the SF Examiner, 7x7 Magazine, La Bella Bride, Untapped, Daily Candy, Splendora, the Huffington Post, anthologies and more.
Chieko Murasugi was born in Tokyo and grew up in Toronto, where she received a B.F.A in Visual Arts and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology. She married her husband, a neuroscientist, and raised their two children in San Francisco, California. After living for twenty years in the city, she and her family recently moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she can write essays and stories without worrying about the Big One.
Since graduating with a degree in Creative Writing from UCLA, Mickey Nelson has remained true to her singular passion of writing — working in the editorial departments of a string of high profile publications in genres ranging from lifestyle and fashion to more serious research journalism. After turns in Los Angeles, California and New York City, she is happy to be working as an editor in her native San Francisco, California, near her magical family, her unequaled dogs, and her beloved Lake Tahoe.
Shasta Nelson, MDiv, is the CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com, a women’s friendship matching site in over 35 United States cities. This essay comes from parts of her book Friendships Don’t Just Happen: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends. Shasta writes at ShastasFriendshipBlog.com and for the Huffington Post, speaks to corporations, churches, and conferences on healthy relationships, and coaches individual clients through the personal growth that leads to relational fulfillment.
Vicki Nelson has lived in Marin County, California, for 33 years, but was born and raised in San Francisco. Since she was a young girl, she knew she would grow up to be an artist — there was just no other way to be truly herself. Vicki attended California College of Art and then studied for her MFA in Modern Art History at San Francisco State University. Vicki’s extensive art education was put on hold—getting married, moving to Marin, and raising three children will do that. She didn’t pick up her paintbrush again until her children were grown, at which point she promptly converted a room in her home into a studio. Vicki is drawn to painting suburban scenes with unusual angles; she loves to capture the private moments of seemingly ordinary subjects when they aren’t looking—that is when she can expose the extraordinary.
Susan Blakenbaker Noyes
Susan Blakenbaker Noyes is the founder and president of Make It Better Media, the most trusted, user-friendly online community resource and print magazine serving Chicago, Illinois’ northern suburbs. Her board memberships include the Harvard Graduate School of Law, the Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and many more. Susan practiced law for Sidley & Austin from 1983-1989 and then focused her efforts toward philanthropy and volunteerism while raising six children.
Joy M. Nordenstrom is founder of Joy of Romance, Inc., and is a certified matchmaker, relationship coach, wedding proposal planner, and special romantic event and vacation planner. Joy emphasizes making relationship maintenance fun, sexy, and intelligent by educating individuals on a practical, scientific and passionate approach to maintaining their romantic relationships. Joy received an MBA in Entrepreneurship, a BA in Communications and Economics, and a minor in Psychology from Mills College. She is a certified matchmaker from the Matchmaking and Behavioral Science Institute in New York City. Joy is a new mother and lives with her fiancé and their son in Sausalito, California.
Take the voice of an angel and drop it one octave, like a lover’s moan, that’s the sound of Amie Penwell. Once a newcomer from Massachusetts to the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, Amie Penwell has since made quite an impact. “Penwell is regarded by many in the Bay Area to be one of the next big heavyweights,” said Mark Langton of the Marin Independent Journal. In 2012, along with her third release Under City Lights, Amie’s song “Mercy” was featured in the Elephant documentary, The Eyes Of Thailand, which won Newport Beach Film Festival’s 2012 Humanitarian Award. Penwell has been invited as a featured vocalist on San Francisco’s Opera composer Jack Perla’s next full-length record.
Lenore Perry is a graphic designer and writer living in Los Angeles, California. She received her BA from the University Of Southern California in English Literature and Creative Writing, her MA in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, and her Certificate of Design Communication Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is intrigued by the power of the intellect and heart, and the conjunction of those two in the pursuit of happiness, contribution, and personal fulfillment. She has had articles published in various online and print publications and has self-published a book about her life experience entitled Look! I Woke Up!
As the Founder of the international organization EcoMom® Alliance, Kimberly Pinkson is an expert in sustainable living and consumer behavior, producing campaigns that reach over one million people each year. Kimberly is an inspiring public speaker, holistic wellness expert, environmental health advocate, and mother. She is a popular media guest and has appeared on media outlets such as the TODAY Show, CBS Morning News, and 20/20. She has been a keynote speaker at events such as the World Women’s Forum in Seoul, Korea. Kimberly loves cooking with her son, going on adventures in nature, dancing, and eating organic ice cream.
Leila Radan, an off-the-wall, off-the-cuff, hyper hyphenated, ranting-and-raving-writer-a-go-go, is described best by an avid reader and loyal fan as “Lewis Black on crack.” Whether fueled by injustice-based rage or ecstasy-generating pleasure, the short circuitry in her brain is bound to elicit a dizzying stream of consciousness slam guaranteed to be as unforgettable, quirky, eccentric, explosive, unabashed, unashamed, and absolutely unapologetic as Leila herself.
Lissa Rankin, MD is an integrative medicine physician, author, speaker, artist, and founder of the online wellness community OwningPink.com. In her research of what really makes people healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she discovered scientific fact that proves patients have immense self-healing powers. She is now leading a health care revolution to help patients heal themselves. She will be sharing her scientific findings in her upcoming book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself. When not spreading the word, she paints, writes, does yoga, and hikes in Marin County, California with her husband and daughter.
Cristina Robinson is a dating and relationship expert. She has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and has studied Psychology and Anthropology. Cristina has moved 16 times and has lived in Brazil, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and the United States. She currently calls her beloved adopted city of San Francisco, California, home. Cristina is fascinated by human interactions and writes a blog related to affairs of the heart at her eponymous website. She’s currently writing a book about love relationships, due to be published by the end of the year. She has two grown children who are her pride and joy.
Deborah Santana is an author, philanthropist, and supporter of peace and social justice. Her memoir, Space Between The Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart, was published in March 2005. Deborah is founder of Do A Little, a non-profit the mission of which is to support women and girls in the areas of health, education and happiness. She is executive producer of two short documentary films, “Road to Ingwavuma,” and “Girls of Daraja,” both of which tell of her journeys to South Africa and Kenya.
Native Californian Susan Schneider continually finds herself captivated by the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the emotions and beauty of the people she meets. Her artistic antennae reacts to the light she sees in landscapes and the light she sees in people. When she sees a special moment of light, she uses her camera to capture it. She then works from the photograph to reinterpret the feeling of that moment. Her joy is in translating with paint the visual and emotional content of that point in time.
Kim Shannon is an author, motivational speaker, intuitive coach, and good girl. Kim’s new book The Good Girl Addiction, will be released in Spring 2013, and her complementary coaching program, Good Girls Anonymous, helping women achieve the freedom, power, and fulfillment we all deserve, launches in Summer 2013. Kim co-owns The SHINE Factor with her mom, Mimi. Together, they help women worldwide find their power and let it shine. In 2011, they published the SHINE Cards & Guidebook: 123 Aspects of What It Means to Be a Woman.
Jen Siraganian is a poet, teacher of British literature and creative writing, and assistant coordinator of the Lit Crawl, the final night of Litquake, San Francisco’s annual literary festival. She earned a BA from Brown and an MFA from the University of Arkansas, and has been nominated for a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize.
Diane Tober, PhD, is a Medical Anthropologist. She received her degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted extensive research in Iran on gender and family among Afghan refugees and low-income Iranians in Isfahan. Women’s issues are a key focus in her academic work as well as in her role as Executive Director at a non-profit agency. In 2010, she traveled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to explore the challenges of a women’s center funded by Unique Zan Foundation. From 2011-2012, she was Scholar in Residence at the Beatrice Bain Research Group on Gender at Berkeley. Her forthcoming book is titled A Path to Isfahan: Life in Iran with My Two Sons.
Mimi Towle has enjoyed a diverse career in publishing. After a brief stint at Oracle, she spent some years working at a start-up magazine in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, California, floated through a few corporate editorial departments, and is currently the executive editor at Marin Magazine, a lifestyle publication in Northern California. She authored a guidebook called Bilingual Babycare and recently she co-founded MakeItSimpleSister.com, which aims to simplify and enhance the experience of living for women of all ages. She adores her two daughters, dog, cat and husband…in that order (thought the list changes daily).
Joanie is an Emmy nominated writer and producer for her documentary, A Journey for Good: Tanzania. Her volunteer travel experiences inspired her to establish Journeys for Good, a website dedicated to volunteerism opportunities around the world. She is also currently developing Journeys for Good as a public television series devoted to volunteer travel. Joanie owns and operates the Emmy-winning production company, Bayside Entertainment, with her husband, Steve Wynn. They produce creative content for Fortune 500 clients including Lucasfilm, Sony, and Electronic Arts. They also enjoy producing projects for start-ups, non-profits and A Band of Wives.
Driving long stretches of remote highway, messing around in the kitchen while sipping a nice pinot, or running along California’s Bay Trail are a few of Judy Zimola’s favorite things. She’s a regular contributor to Green Living Arizona magazine, and has had several pieces run in No Depression and Nebraska Life magazines, as well as several anthologies. It’s All a Bunch of Fun Until Somebody Puts an Eye Out (and Sometimes That’s Pretty Funny Too) is the working title of her memoir. She knows that title is too long.
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