As the leader of the best creative team in Sacramento I work hard to create a community of giving, learning and growing - from the inside out. Our team is committed to building a world around us that is conscious and filled with positive intentions. I want to work together with people and tear down silos. I am totally attracted to brilliant people with a propensity to create change. I am here to transform the way you think about great marketing; how it should begin with your community, how to create empathy with the groups you work with; and how to become more involved.
My personal goals are to change the way we work with homeless issues; girls getting an education that includes Math, Science Arts and the ability to achieve whatever they can dream; the thought that technology can change everything - for the better and let's figure out how to use it for "good"; and finally - getting equality for women in all areas - really ALL areas including finance, leadership, boards and commissions and everything else we seem to continue to lag behind in.
Dr. Brenda Wade blends, hard science, psychology and ancient wisdom as she regularly appears on CNN, NBC’s Today Show, and Dr. Oz as a psychology expert, and has been featured on shows such as Oprah and Good Morning America. She hosted Black Renaissance on the CW network, and is the author of, Power Choices: 7 Signposts on Your Journey to Wholeness, Joy, Love and Peace, Love Lessons, What Mama Couldn’t Tell Us About Love, and 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Falling In Love. Dr. Brenda facilitates exciting breakthroughs with her Love, Money and Seva seminars around the world and guides the international Power Coaches and Mastermind Programs.
Deb Luster has been in the natural product industry since 1990, loves launching new companies, and product lines, has written two children’s books and has established several companies including two publishing companies, a food packaging technology company, a food consultant company. She has been on the founding team of two nationwide food companies--CAN DO KID, Inc. which created all natural snacks and empowering products for kids and the now well known company – Annie’s Homegrown Inc. Deb started Annie’s Homegrown Inc. in 1990 with the two primary founders and served as President of Annie’s from 1991-1997 and served on the board of Annie’s as Vice Chairman until 1999. More recently Deb co-founded Churchill Brands advising emerging provocative consumer product companies and sustainable propositions in all aspects from branding and marketing to retail and business strategy. Over the past thirty years, Ms. Luster has served on the boards and advisory boards of over a twenty companies mostly in the natural food space, as well as many non-profits, colleges and dozens of Executive boards in her community. She has been featured over the years in numerous articles including Working Women, Inc., Enterprising Women Magazine, Forbes, Business Ethics Magazine, NewsWeek and Success magazine and has been on NBC, CBS and ABC News spots.
Megan Thompson, Senior Financial Advisor, and Partner of The Sladek Group, a Wealth Management Group under the Merrill Lynch umbrella. Megan began her financial services career in 2006. As a Senior Financial Advisor Megan has assisted clients by managing their individual wealth through multiple and complex market cycles while helping to meet their individual needs. Megan is a frequent and sought after speaker on investment planning, retirement planning and achieving financial freedom which has been a primary business focus for Megan and her team for decades. Megan focuses on delivering a comprehensive approach to managing wealth that begins with listening to a client's needs and helps to ensure every strategy is grounded in understanding what each client wants to achieve. Megan was honored with being named one of Forbes “Top Women Wealth Advisors” in early 2020.
Known for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the executive chef/owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen. She is also the author of the Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking; was the host and soul food expert on the television series Melting Pot; and competed on the fifteenth season of Top Chef. Holland holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine.
Holland has contributed to The Huffington Post, Food & Wine, Signature Bride, and Wine Enthusiast magazines, and has been featured in articles in The New York Times, Gourmet, O Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Savoy, Travel & Leisure, and Sunset just to name a few. Holland has served as the president of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier San Francisco chapter. The City of Oakland declared June 5th, 2012 as Tanya Holland Day for her "Significant Role in Creating Community and Establishing Oakland as a Culinary Center".
Phyllis Newhouse is an entrepreneur, retired military senior officer, mentor and founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., a firm that offers a wide range of IT expertise and provides industry leading, state-of-the-art information technology and cybersecurity services and solutions. Newhouse is also the Founder of ShoulderUp, a nonprofit she founded alongside Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, dedicated to connecting and supporting women on their entrepreneurial journeys.
As a pioneer in cybersecurity, she is the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. She was admitted into the 2013 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and in 2019 was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of fame. Additionally, XSI received inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list in 2013 and 2014, and has been recognized as one of Women’s Presidents’ Organization’s (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned Companies in the U.S. consecutively for the past eight years.
Passionate about women-led businesses, Newhouse teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize and capitalize on their leadership skills and empowers others to operate in greatness. She has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., Atlanta Business Journal, Tallahassee Democrat and more. She received her degree from John F. Kennedy University and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Linnette Edwards co-founded Abio Properties, a boutique real estate brokerage in the SF Bay Area. She is a top-producing Broker Associate and Senior Real Estate Specialist who’s been passionate about real estate since she earned her license in 2001. Linnette launched Encircle this year, an independent, women-owned business that provides concierge-level senior transition services. The Encircle team are senior care management specialists, health care professionals and real estate experts. While major life transitions generate a heavy burden of worry and uncertainty for seniors and their children, Encircle knows there is a better way.
Donna Orender is a powerhouse executive whose innovative leadership shaped some of the most recognizable brands in the sports industry. Orender is the former president of the WNBA, PGA TOUR Senior Executive, and current CEO of Orender Unlimited. She is a nationally-recognized business leader, innovative thinker, keynote speaker, entrepreneur and author. Passionate about making a difference and drawing on her extensive experience in sports, entertainment, media businesses, as well as her career as a professional basketball player and hall of fame athlete, Donna founded Generation W. Generation W began with one woman and one idea: Donna’s belief that when people, especially women, come together, magic happens.
Today, Generation W is an ever growing and enthusiastic community, a national non-profit, that embraces the guiding tenets of education, inspiration, and connection and the power of women’s leadership. We are action-oriented and motivated to make a difference in the world. Generation W includes four key components: Generation W, Generation WOW, Generation WORKS, and the best-selling book, WOWsdom: The girls guide to the positive and the possible.
Dr. Marrone spent her 30+ year career focused on leading the way to a more sustainable agriculture through discovery and commercialization of biological products for pest management and plant health. She is currently Executive Chair of Primary BioAg Innovations and Global BioAg Linkages, founded to help agtech bioag innovators scale and succeed in market adoption. She started Davis-based Marrone Bio Innovations in 2006 and was recently named “Most Admired CEO, Distinguished Career Award” by the Sacramento Business Journal. On August 2, 2013, MBI listed its stock as MBII on NASDAQ. On August 2nd 2020, she retired as CEO and continues to serve on the Board and as an advisor. Before Marrone Bio, she started and led the bioprotection company AgraQuest, Inc. Before AgraQuest, she was founding president and business unit head for Entotech, Inc. She started her career after graduate school at Monsanto, where she led the Insect Biology group.
In June 2020, she completed her 4-year term as an alumni-elected Trustee of Cornell University. She is Treasurer of the Association for Women in Science, board member of the Foundation for Food and Ag Research and is on the UC Davis Ag and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. She mentors and advises a number of agbio and agtech startups, five founded and led by women. She holds more than 60 US and 400 foreign patents and is a Fellow of Association for the Advancement of Science. She has a B.S. in entomology with Honors and Distinction from Cornell and a Ph.D. in entomology from NCSU.
An industry changemaker, Tonya Pitts is a wine professional who catapults wineries and winemakers into the mainstream. She is also a leader for diversity and inclusion in the hospitality, food and beverage industries.
Tonya is a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. Her career has been shaped by women chefs and restaurant owners. As Sommelier & Wine Director for One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, Tonya curated a wine list with a bold style and flavor profile, including offerings by women, Black and Latino winemakers. Since 2012, Tonya’s wine programs have received Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
Tonya is an active philanthropist and mentor. She established Women in Wine to improve representation in the industry. She also holds a professorship with the University of San Francisco, working with students on food and wine pairings. And she joined Wine Unify as an ambassador, advisory board member and mentor to people in the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities who are pursuing careers in the industry. Tonya is a core committee member of Batonnage Forum Mentorship Program and she is a board member for United Sommelier Foundation.Tonya has been a five-time judge for the San Francisco International Wine Competition, a speaker at Culinary Institute of America Summit for Beverage Professionals, and an advisor for the Fine Minds4Fine Wines think tank in Europe. Her media appearances include CBS This Morning, ABC 7 News “Sips with Spencer”, Daily Beast, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Somm Journal, Tasting Panel, Wine Stream and Wonder Women of Wine.
Traci Dutton is a beverage, food and hospitality expert based in the Napa Valley. With over 20 years of tenure as a sommelier, consumer and professional educator, and beverage specialist at the Culinary Institute of America’s California Campus, she has continued build relationships in all areas of the industry, create and track trends and shifting tastes, and hone the service and hospitality skills that are the foundation of her work ethic. Today Traci continues her work with the CIA while consulting, writing and running her own vintage cookery and libations store, Heirloom Variety, located in Calistoga.
From her first restaurant job at the age of 18, Traci knew her keen interest in everything that brings people to the table would be a lifelong vocation. Working in several restaurants in New York City, among them, Montrachet, the mecca for Burgundy lovers, helped to create a super-network of icons and specialists in the food and wine world whom she respects, admires and learns from on a daily basis. Mixology, cheese, olive oil, chocolate, wine service, restaurant management and trend setting are just a few of the subjects, in addition to wine tasting, that she loves to teach and help inspire consumers, students and professionals to continue to learn about and enjoy. Her approach is mindful, personal, fun and provocative without losing touch with the history, science and techniques that are so important to a rich understanding and appreciation of her varied and delicious pursuits.