Along with our Presenting Sponsor, AT&T, our co-chairs, Bahya Oumlil-Murad and Ken McNeely and The Representation Project we welcome you to tonight’s sixth annual Flip The Script, a celebration of the work of Jennifer Siebel Newsom and The Representation Project.
Host: Jan Yanehiro
Our Impact: Dr. Caroline Heldman, Executive Director
Poetry: Sarah Fathima Mohammed
In Conversation: An intimate conversation with The Representation Project Founder, Jennifer Siebel Newsom and New York Times best selling author, Eve Rodsky. Moderated by Jan Yanehiro.
Generation Z Panel: A panel featuring three Gen Zers– Sarah Fathima Mohammed, Skye Reed, and Ariella Neckritz– to talk about pressing issues facing young women today. Moderated by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Caroline Heldman.
Our auctioneer this evening is the amazing Dia Bondi! She has coached CEOs, innovators, and ambitious professionals to help them align and activate teams, people, and culture toward shared goals, making it possible for them to elevate their impact and use communications as a strike point for their leadership. Dia has worked with world-class brands like Intel, Mozilla, Salesforce, Dropbox, and Agilent Technologies to help their leaders have more impact. She’s coached change-makers at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Commonwealth Games Federation, and countless entrepreneurs in technology and social impact in the midst of a level up. As a coach and story strategist, she’s worked with the Olympic Committees of Chile, Turkey, and Brazil, and helped Rio de Janeiro secure the 2016 Summer Games. She is an Activator in the SheEO Network and a Faculty member of Harbour Space University of Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Design. Dia is often described as your CEO’s “secret weapon” to impact and authentic leadership.
After attending auctioneering school as a fun hobby, Dia translated the techniques she learned into a program that prepares women to ask for more and leave nothing on the table called Ask Like an Auctioneer. The project’s goal is to help 1,000,000 women ask for more and get it. Dia’s mission is to put more money and decision-making power in the hands of women so we can change everything for all of us. Dia’s confidence is infectious, and she has had a tangible impact in a range of industries through her unique ability to work with leaders during their most critical communications moments when stakes are at their highest. She’s been covered in CNBC Make It and Forbes. Her first book, Ask Like an Auctioneer, will be released Fall of 2023.
Susan Boster serves on the Board of Directors for The Representation Project. She is the Founder and CEO of Boster Group Ltd., an independent consultancy specializing in the development of innovative partnerships between global corporations, arts institutions, and social impact foundations. Previously, as Marketing Director at Barnes & Noble and later CMO at News International, Susan oversaw transitions of both companies to e-commerce and digital platforms, including the launch of barnesandnoble.com. Susan currently sits on the Board of the Donmar Warehouse and serves on the Enterprise Committee at The Design Museum. Susan also served two terms as Vice Chairman of the Board of the English National Ballet. She is regularly featured as a host and keynote speaker at conferences such as CognitionX and the Equality Lounge at the World Economic Forum in Davos and is a guest lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Rebecca Cooper is the Research Director for The Representation Project. She has worked as a professional researcher for over a decade and is passionate about data science. Rebecca previously worked as the Senior Project Manager for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and as a State CLASS Anchor for Agenda for Children in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rebecca also served as Director of the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum, a neighborhood museum and oral history archive, as well as a researcher for the Mossville Oral History Project at Louisiana State University, T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Her research has been featured in the Oxford University Press Oral History Review and the Contemporary Justice Review.
Kara Endsley Vines is the Senior Development Director for The Representation Project. She launched her professional career and her passion for fundraising in academia as the Assistant Director of the Annual Fund at DePauw University in 1996. Kara also worked as the Director of Special Projects for Indiana Black Expo, Senior Program Manager for the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network, and the Quality Management and Training Director for the Family Care Networking, an agency that works with individuals and families dealing with substance abuse, addiction, and mental illness. In addition, she worked as an educator and project developer for the Family Resource Center of Raleigh Project P.U.L.S.E. program. Since 2010, Kara has conducted many workshops with subjects covering cultural competency, media advocacy, coalition building, community outreach, and strategic planning. She has worked with several states as well as various organizations and federal agencies including the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration, the Minnesota Institute of Public Health, the Education Development Center, the Urban Minority Alcohol and Drug Abuse Outreach Program, and the Center for Application of Prevention Technologies.
Kara is a graduate of DePauw University where she received a BA in Political Science. She earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Oakland City University and a certificate in Fundraising Leadership for the Lilly School of Philanthropy. Kara is active in her community. She has been a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for 33 years, and she volunteers at Dress for Success as well as her church, Baptist Grove. She resides in Morrisville, NC with her husband, Houston Vines.
Erby L. Foster is the recipient of The Representation Project’s 2022 Founders Award. Erby had an illustrious career as the Chief Diversity Officer for The Clorox Company, where he advised senior management and the board of directors on the company’s inclusion strategy, employment-branding initiatives, external partnerships, and employee resource groups. As the first diversity executive in the 100 year history of Clorox, Erby focused the company’s inclusion efforts on tightly integrating with business strategy. Prior to Clorox, Erby served as the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for AAA Chicago. He also worked with the McDonald’s Corporation as their Senior Finance Director, Great Lakes Division, and Director of International Accounting. Erby also served as Director, Worldwide Auditing & Consulting with PepsiCo/KFC Corporation. Foster began his career with Arthur Andersen, LLP after graduating from the University of Southern California. His next move was Executive Vice President for a Business Management Firm, where he provided personal financial planning for entertainers, athletes, and high net-worth professionals. Erby was a trailblazer who advocated for a generation of Black CPAs as the President & CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants.
Beyond his work on racial justice, Erby was a tireless advocate for intersectional gender justice, working to advance women in corporate America. Erby served on the Network of Executive Women and actively mentored many women into leadership positions during his long career. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Enactus, Glide Foundation, and the Museum of the African Diaspora. A native of San Francisco, California, Foster was featured in Black Enterprise, CFO, Diversity Matters, Hispanic Network, Professional Women, U.S. Veterans, and the Wall Street Journal.
Erby’s personal mission statement is a testament to his incredible character and the way he lived his life. “As I live each day with passion, courage, integrity, and discipline, I will be known as a creative leader, who loved his family, gave to society, contributed to business, and always did the right thing.”
Debra Garber is the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Operating Officer of The Representation Project. She has over three decades of experience managing finance and operations for both for-profit and not-for-profit, start-up, technology, educational, and media-oriented companies. Before her recent tenure serving as the Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Debra was a member of its Board of Directors for ten years, four of which she served as Treasurer and four as Board Chair. Debra is deeply committed to equity in education for all students. Before her work at the foundation, Debra was the VP of Finance and Operations for dlvr.it, a social media technology company. Debra holds a BS in Managerial Economics from UC Davis and an EMBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Debra resides in wine country with her husband Evan Garber, a local artist, and together they have four children.
Kat Gordon serves on the Board of Directors for The Representation Project. After 25 years of working as an Advertising Creative Director, Kat became a social change entrepreneur, challenging the makeup of agency leadership and earning her the respect of her industry. Kat was named one of “30 Most Creative Women in Advertising” by Business Insider, “Visionary of the Year” from Advertising Age, and one of “Forty Over 40” women disrupting the world. She speaks, writes and consults about the future of work realities and building creative cultures that unlock innovation. In addition to her board service at The Representation Project, Kat is an advisor to Empower Work.
Dr. Caroline Heldman is the Executive Director of The Representation Project. She is also professor of Critical Theory & Social Justice at Occidental College in Los Angeles and a regular political commentator on CNN and Spectrum News. Dr. Heldman has published six books on intersectional gender justice and her work has been featured in numerous documentaries. She co-founded the New Orleans Women’s Shelter, the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum, End Rape on Campus (EROC), Faculty Against Rape (FAR), and led the End Rape Statute of Limitations (ERSOL) that successfully abolished the time limit on prosecuting rape in California. She is the Board President of the TEP Center, the first Civil Rights museum in New Orleans, and the Chair of the Board of Alturas Institute, a non-profit organization fighting for stronger democracy.
Ken McNeely is the co-chair of tonight’s event and President of AT&T West, located in San Francisco. As such, Ken leads AT&T Corp activities in the states of California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota—and a workforce of more than 50,000 employees. Prior to this position, Ken held the position of President for AT&T California from 2005-2018. He also served as Vice President of Law and Government Affairs for AT&T from 2000-2005. He joined AT&T in 1991 as a Senior Attorney specializing in corporate litigation.
In 2013, Ken received the Black Business Association’s Top 100 African Americans in Technology Award; in 2014, the Vanguard Award from Equality California; and in 2017, the Luminary Award from Our Family Coalition. Ken serves as a board member for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Sutter Health. He is a past board member of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, California Chamber of Commerce and the Bay Area Council, where he was Chair of the Education Committee. Ken also served as a trustee at The San Francisco Day School from 2011-2018, where he also was Advancement Committee Chair and Endowment Campaign Chair.
Ken earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Howard University School of Law. He is married to Dr. Inder Dhillon, and they have two children, Kaia and Meera.
Gretchen Miller is a Film Associate and Executive Assistant for The Representation Project. She is a UC Davis graduate with a B.A. in Political Science and Cinema & Digital Media. For two years, she worked with a non-profit as a film intern, editing a documentary that examines how racism permeates education, criminal justice, media, economics, politics, and healthcare in the United States. Having spent four years writing, editing, and eventually leading a UC Davis online publication for college women, she has always been deeply interested in intersectional feminism and social justice. Gretchen previously interned with the press office of Speaker of the California State Assembly Anthony Rendon and has experience in journalism and photography. She currently lives in the Bay Area.
Sarah Fathima Mohammed is a daughter of Indian Muslim immigrants and the 2021-22 National Student Poet of the West, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets. She is also the 2022-23 Vice Youth Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County. She has been honored for her poetry at the White House and has performed her poetry at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington D.C, PBS’s Poetry in America, Carnegie Hall, and the San Francisco Opera House. Her chapbook of poems, “Take Me Home” has been released by Ethel Press and is featured at the Harvard Schlesinger Library in their collection of women-created zines.
Ariella Neckritz is the Director of Violence Prevention and Training at Jewish Women International. She is passionate about mobilizing, educating, and advocating for violence prevention globally and supporting survivors and their children in accessing healing and safety. For the last six years she has worked at Jewish Women International, spearheading trauma-informed culturally competent prevention programming and community training initiatives to address gender-based violence. She leads The National Alliance to End Domestic Abuse, an online training network for professionals in the domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and response field. She is the lead trainer and curriculum writer for “Here For You – Jewish Communal Support for Domestic Violence Survivors and their Children” a national partnership with the JCC Association of North America delivering training to JCC staff on building children’s resilience, trauma-informed care, and supporting survivors. She has a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University in Human Services and Social Justice and Gender and Women’s Studies.
Bahya Oumlil-Murad is the co-chair of tonight’s event and a prominent philanthropist who has advanced numerous important causes, including housing and homelessness and breast cancer awareness and treatment. A graduate of San Francisco State University, Bahya earned a degree in organizational communications and event planning, and has worked for Stanford University and San Francisco City Hall where she oversaw the openings of the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Symphony, and the San Francisco Opera. She is the founder and publisher of SF Philanthropist, which features philanthropic work in the Bay Area and assists non-profit organizations with public relations and event planning. Bahya lives in Florida with her husband, Gus Murad, and daughter, Laila.
Skye Reed is the Social Media Manager for The Representation Project and a communications professional with a focus on social media strategy and management. Skye is a graduate of Occidental College where her focus of study was the intersection of theory, activism, and popular culture. Skye is passionate about the uses of media as a tool of affirmation and social justice activism. Previously, Skye has worked as a facilitator leading small group discussions on social justice topics.
Joanna Rees is co-chair of the Board of Directors for The Representation Project. She is a Managing Partner at West, a market creation company, and a Senior Partner of the B Team. She currently serves on the corporate board of FICO, Care.com, Harvest Power, Prelude Fertility, and Hickies Inc. Most recently, Joanna led the formation and capital raise for Endeavor Catalyst, an impact investment fund supporting high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Joanna is the founder of VSP Capital, where she co-created the Build Brand Value CEO Forum. She has served on the board of more than 25 venture-backed companies across a broad range of industries. She also served on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association, the Coppola Companies, and as Chairman of the USA for Madrid-based FON, the world’s largest WiFi community. Joanna was selected by The World Economic Forum as a Global Leader for Tomorrow, and by The Aspen Institute as a Henry Crown Fellow. She is a senior seminar moderator for the Aspen Institute for the Healthcare Innovators Fellowship, the Henry Crown Fellowship, the Pahara Education Fellows, and the Aspen Seminar. She is also a Senior Mentor for the Henry Crown Fellowship. Joanna is active in the nonprofit community and serves on the National Board of Build.org and the Global Board of Endeavor.org. Joanna was a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco in November 2011. She earned her MBA from Columbia University (beta gamma sigma) and a B.S. from Duke University.
Mollie Ricker serves on the Board of Directors for The Representation Project. She is a Partner of Dostart Development Company (DDC), one of Silicon Valley’s premier commercial real estate developers known for its local expertise, for its leadership in sustainability and transit-oriented design, and for the high quality of its projects and tenants. During the past decade with DDC, Mollie has actively managed nearly one million square feet of commercial office development and investment in Silicon Valley. Her responsibilities include leading acquisitions, managing city entitlements, directing leasing, construction, financing and asset management. Prior to joining DDC, Mollie was an investor with Francisco Partners, L.P., a technology-focused private equity firm with $5.0 billion under management, where she was involved in identifying, executing, and managing investments across a variety of sectors. Earlier in her career, Mollie worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs. Mollie is currently a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the national ULI Industrial and Office Product Council as well as on the San Francisco Commercial Local Product Council. She is also a member of NAIOP – Silicon Valley and Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE). Mollie received her M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and her B.A. in Economics and Latin American Studies, with Distinction, from Yale University.
Brenda Robinson is a co-chair of the Board of Directors for The Representation Project. She is an entertainment attorney and producer with extensive experience in the film, television and music industries. Brenda is currently Head of Film Finance and Inclusion Strategies for HiddenLight Productions, a global studio creating premium documentary, scripted and unscripted entertainment for Film, TV and Digital founded by Hillary Clinton, Sam Branson, and Chelsea Clinton. Brenda is a member of Impact Partners, a film financing collective dedicated to funding independent documentary storytelling that engages with pressing social issues and propels the art of cinema forward.
Brenda was most recently a financier on the Academy Award-winning documentary Icarus as well as Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Step. She is an executive producer on numerous projects including the BAFTA nominated Passing, directed by Rebecca Hall and produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker; the Emmy nominated United Skates, alongside executive producer John Legend; The Great American Lie by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, alongside executive producer Steph Curry and Marian Anderson: The Whole World In Her Hands directed by Rita Coburn for PBS’ American Masters series.
As a dedicated philanthropist in the arts and entertainment community and advocate on behalf of creative artists, Brenda currently serves as the Board Chair of Film Independent and is an advisor to The Redford Center co-founded by Robert Redford and his son James Redford. Brenda is also currently the Chair of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Brenda is also a member of The Recording Academy and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Brenda is a graduate of the University of Michigan and obtained her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a certificate in business and public policy from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Eve Rodsky transformed a “blueberries breakdown” into a catalyst for social change when she applied her Harvard-trained background in organizational management to ask the simple yet profound question: What would happen if we treated our homes as our most important organizations? Her New York Times bestselling book and Reese’s Book Club pick, Fair Play, a gamified life-management system that helps partners rebalance their domestic workload and reimagine their relationship, has elevated the cultural conversation about the value of unpaid labor and care. In her highly anticipated follow-up, Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World, Rodsky explores the cross-section between the science of creativity, productivity, and resilience. Described as the “antidote to physical, mental, and emotional burnout,” Rodsky aims to inspire a new narrative around the equality of time and the individual right to personal time choice that influences sustainable and lasting change on a policy level. Rodsky’s work is backed by Hello Sunshine—Reese Witherspoon’s media company whose mission is to change the narrative for women through storytelling. Rodsky was born and raised by a single mom in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Seth and their three children.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, advocate, thought leader, and the First Partner of California. After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, she wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation. Since then, she has made the celebrated films The Mask You Live In, The Great American Lie, and Fair Play. Jennifer’s films have been seen by over 28 million people worldwide, and her work responsible for single-handedly shifting the norm of sexist Super Bowl ads with the #NotBuyingIt campaign. Since becoming First Partner of California, Jennifer has championed various issues related to gender equity and raising healthy, whole children including the launch of her first initiative, #EqualPayCA.
Jan Yanehiro is our incredible host for this evening! She helped pioneer the magazine format on television as co-host of “Evening Magazine,” a nightly program in San Francisco that ran for 15 years on KPIX TV-CBS5. She has hosted eight documentaries on the redress and relocation issues of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Jan has won multiple awards including an Emmy, the Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. She is the Chair of Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Legacy Board, and holds board seats on The San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Association and the US-Japan Legacy Council. She is a former board member of the Bank of Marin and former board chair of The Representation Project, an organization focused on gender equality. She was the Founding Director of the School of Communications and Media Technologies for fourteen years at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Jan is the co-author of 4 books. Her latest book is titled, This Is Not The Life I Ordered…60 Ways To Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down. Jan has three adult children and is the proud grandmother of two—so far.