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2013 Athena Pinnacle Awards Nominees - Services

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WINNER: Gaylene Xanthopoulos
The Leadership Edge Inc.

Xanthopoulos, a businesswoman, professional trainer, facilitator, speaker and published author, founded The Leadership Edge in 1989. During her 23 years in business, she has demonstrated her passion for assisting life science companies in reaching their highest potential through the development and delivery of industry specific professional development programs in the areas of leadership, management and teaming. Her company’s management development program, “From The Laboratory To Leadership,” has successfully enhanced the management skills of more than 3,500 scientific leaders from roughly 300 life science companies. One-on-one coaching is also offered to both male and female leaders and managers in the industry. They have been selected by BIOCOM, the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA) and BayBio to partner in the development of executives, managers and teams in the life sciences.

Xanthopoulos developed formal programs and a one-on-one coaching methodology that her company has used to help nearly 2,000 female managers and executives in life sciences define their personal leadership style, identify and leverage their strengths, and build leadership and management skills necessary for success.

Xanthopoulos is active in BIOCOM and WBBA. She speaks at national and international business conferences, including the BIO Human Resources conference, Society of Human Resources and Management conference and the annual BIOCOM BayBio Human Resources Conference, among others. She is a contributing author to “A Woman’s Way to Incredible Success in Business” and won the San Diego Business Journal’s “Business Management Award.”

Stephanie Burns
Chic CEO

Chic CEO was born out of a realization by Burns that many of her friends who were starting businesses did not have adequate resources for ground-level information that women need to start a business. She launched the company in December 2010 with her business partner Jody Greene and by June of 2012, Chic CEO was named as one of the Top 10 Websites for Entrepreneurial Women by Forbes. Burns and her partner are champions for female entrepreneurs and base their success on the success of the women that utilize their website.

Burns built a company that focuses on helping women succeed. She aspires to reach more women across the country and internationally. By conducting interviews with successful female entrepreneurs, creating templates, tools and partnerships, Burns encourages women to follow their own entrepreneurial aspirations and works hard to foster a successful, smart and savvy environment within Chic CEO. Locally, Chic CEO has partnered with 6 Degrees in order to hold monthly networking mixers in San Diego to help women connect and form relationships in person. Burns creates online forums to allow women to communicate and help each other. Burns has used her own background, success and education in order to help women around the globe attain their own goals.

Burns speaks at many events and is on the board for Employment & Community Options, a nonprofit organization educating and empowering low-income adults with developmental disabilities with the skills needed to achieve optimum potential in life.

Carin Canale-Theakston
Canale Communications

As San Diego’s go-to publicist for life sciences companies, Canale-Theakston advises executives on how to build reputation equity in order to navigate the volatile life sciences marketplace. Her success is attributed to her generosity, integrity and eagerness to tap her vast professional network to help others succeed.

Canale-Theakston quickly ascended to leadership positions within PR agencies before establishing her firm. While with Atkins & Associates, she helped build and sell the agency to international PR firm Porter Novelli. As president of PN Life Sciences, she led a large team based in four cities and fueled the agency’s health care client portfolio. In 2008, she was named by PRWeek as one of “40 under 40” and was later profiled in San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch.” Canale-Theakston and her teams have provided strategic counsel to more than 125 biopharma, diagnostics, medical device and tools companies of all sizes.

Canale-Theakston aids in the development of female professionals -- eight of nine full-time employees at Canale Communications are women. She provides her colleagues with wise one-on-one counsel, work/family accommodations, independence to pursue business-growing initiatives, and professional growth opportunities. She has supported the careers of many men and women who have advanced to leadership positions at international PR firms.

Canale-Theakston serves on the board of directors for Biocom and San Diego Venture Group. As a member of the Capital Formation Committee of Biocom, she facilitates introductions between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, making invaluable connections that help spur business growth in San Diego.

Mark Delfino
CEO, Senior Managing Director
HoyleCohen LLC

Delfino has nearly three decades of experience in executive management, leading him through roles at Boston Consulting Group, Altavista (a technology services company, which he helped be acquired and merged into Yahoo), D-Rock Investments and Focus Financial Partners. He now focuses on his passion for fostering the entrepreneurial spirit through the cultivation of talented advisors and team members at HoyleCohen Wealth Management.

Delfino’s work at HoyleCohen is based on the understanding that women’s societal influence and wealth are on a one-way track leading upward. Working with the team at HoyleCohen, he takes a thoughtful and creative approach towards building wealth solutions that fit the needs of each client, and particularly those female clients that are seeking plans tailored for them.

Delfino also shows his commitment to women’s advancement in the workplace by providing an office environment that is family friendly and flexible. He values family first and has created a corporate culture in which women (and men) can achieve work/life balance without guilt. In the financial industry, where it is still considered a male-dominated field, HoyleCohen women outnumber men 2:1 -- 16 women and 8 men.

Delfino is a natural leader. He was instrumental in helping to build a practice of Hoyle Cohen specifically designed to address the financial needs of women. He has supported advisors who are passionate about serving women by extending resources and talent to better serve certain financial needs surrounding life-changing events women experience like the death of a spouse, divorce, a career move, sudden wealth/inheritance.

Marlee Ehrenfeld
President & Creative Director
MJE Marketing Services

As president and creative director of MJE Marketing Services, Ehrenfeld has worked for iconic San Diego companies that represent the industries that define the region: Balboa Park, the Embarcadero, San Diego Bay, San Diego Tourism Marketing District, UC San Diego and SDSU. To change with the evolving economic environment, she merged with MNA Consulting and expanded into community and government affairs.

To keep the winning team intact, she provides full medical benefits, life insurance, additional disability insurance, profit sharing and company-matched 401(k) programs. In addition, Ehrenfeld has sponsored key “people” initiatives within the company to attract and retain top-notch talent. For example, Ehrenfeld had the company computer network engineered to allow remote access, allowing parents to be at home with their children as necessary and to remain in touch with clients. Ehrenfeld mentors entry-level employees, paying for continuing education and professional association memberships, and she promotes from within. Four of her female employees have advanced within the company, one from associate to manager and now director.

Ehrenfeld’s community work includes a three-year role as president of the Gaslamp Quarter Foundation where she was one of the pioneers responsible for revitalizing downtown San Diego. She has served on the boards of the World Trade Center San Diego, San Diego Ad Club, San Diego Film Commission and the NTC Foundation. Ehrenfeld serves on the boards of the USS Midway Museum and the San Diego Bowl Game Association, and the agency is a member of key civic and industry organizations.

Marcia Faller, Ph.D., R.N.
Chief Clinical Officer
AMN Healthcare

Since joining AMN Healthcare in 1989 as vice president of nursing, Faller has championed the development of consistent quality standards for credentialing and competency evaluation of health care professionals, setting AMN Healthcare apart in the industry and giving it a name synonymous with quality health care professionals. Throughout her tenure, she has led sales teams, implemented de novo service lines, and provided leadership for both information technology and human resources. Faller leads a team of approximately 350 staff in various sales support areas under a shared services model.

Faller has a combination of nursing experience and business acumen that positions her as a role model and leader among nurses striving for success outside the clinical setting. She broke new ground in strengthening nursing support services through the creation of AMN’s Clinical Services department, the first clinical support staff formally developed and introduced in the travel nurse industry. Staffed entirely by nurses, the “clinical liaisons” offer professional support to travelers and health care facilities. The role itself has created new professional opportunities for nurses ready to leave the clinical setting, but not wanting to leave the profession.

Faller holds board memberships on the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices for which she is the Nominating Committee chair; board director for San Diego’s Community Health Improvement Partners: and is a supporting member of the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply and a council member of the Joint Commission Advisory Council for Health Care Staffing Certification program.

DeLinda Forsythe
Innovative Commercial Environments (ICE)

In the furniture industry, 95 percent of dealerships are owned by men with limited roles or opportunities for women in upper management. This was a source of frustration to Forsythe, since women performed the majority of the work. She created a dealership centered on the advancement of all women employees. With a personal HELOC, she founded ICE in 2006. She achieved her success by focusing on the advancement of others, putting client and employee needs at the forefront. Employee compensation is above industry standards, thus highly motivating employees. She promotes collaboration on every level and a consultative approach to sales in developing effective interior environments that reflect the architecture of the space.

Mentoring and creating an environment of empowerment are essential to Forsythe. She works individually with all of her female employees helping them achieve their goals and treats them as equals, valuing their ideas and creativity. She spends time with children of staff and clients, taking them to the ballet, working on community service projects to benefit disabled children or collecting items to stuff boxes for Haiti or the Wounded Warrior Foundation. Her employees have learned to honor the community through her.

Forsythe has served as the IIDA director, is a Vistage member and a major sponsor of NAIOP and ULI. She is a founding member of the ULI Women’s Initiative. Her goal is to connect individuals and help build the businesses, friendships needed to empower a spirit of community.

Felena Hanson
Hera Hub

Hanson is an accomplished female entrepreneur and community leader who is dedicated to helping women in business, both locally and internationally. She has the ability to connect businesswomen from within Hera Hub and beyond to the local community. She believes that when you bring smart, professional women to work together, amazing things can happen. It is her mission to connect women with different skills so they can learn from one another, support one another, and grow their businesses.

Hera Hub is a natural extension of what Hanson has done her entire career -- collaboration. It is shared workspace for accomplished, like-minded entrepreneurial women. Since launching Hera Hub in 2011, she has grown membership to more than 220 women at two locations -- Sorrento Valley and Mission Valley -- with a third opening in Carlsbad. She’s also well under way with discussions to franchise Hera Hub and bring this support network to thousands of entrepreneurial women all over the world.

Hera Hub is the only shared workspace for female entrepreneurs in San Diego, and one of few worldwide. Hanson’s dedication to advancing female professionals is unmatched. The programs and services she has created and supported through Hera Hub include educational programs that are rooted in empowering, inspiring and mentoring women professionals to collaborate and flourish.

Hanson has been involved with Ladies Who Launch, Women’s Global Network and is the co-founder of the Business Women’s Mega Mixer, the first event of its kind to showcase over 20 professional women’s organizations throughout San Diego County.

Paul Hering
CEO/Managing Principal
Barney & Barney LLC

Hering joined Barney & Barney in 1985 and became managing principal/CEO in 2004. Hering’s dedication to the firm’s three “3 C’s” -- clients, colleagues and community -- has laid the foundation for not only his success but the success of the company as a whole. Under his leadership, the firm has experienced steady growth and the creation of the Barney & Barney Foundation and B&B GROW, the firm’s women’s initiative.

Hering was inspired by the 2009 Athena Pinnacle event to do more to promote opportunities for women and counter the male-dominated perception typical to the insurance industry. He worked with Trindl Reeves to launch an internal women’s initiative, B&B GROW (Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women), which advances women into the leadership ranks by attracting, retaining and supporting women in the firm. GROW uses mentoring and educational programs to build awareness, encourage professional development and reinforce Barney’s dedication to recognizing and promoting female associates with high growth potential.

Under Hering’s direction, the company is increasing the number of women in the ownership group. According to a recent study, women make up only 11 percent of the industry sales force. Since 2003, Barney & Barney has recruited 37 new client executives, 10 of whom were women (27 percent). While the balance is still uneven, the firm is dedicated to breaking from the industry norm.

Kara Jensen
Creative Principal
Bop Design

Jensen started Bop Design with her husband, Jeremy Durant, in 2008 after recognizing a need among business services firms for effective and capable outsourced marketing. Bop Design was founded to help firms market their services to their target audience, and successfully generate and nurture ideal customer leads.

Jensen has guided Bop Design to be one of the fastest-growing marketing firms in San Diego. From 2010 to 2011, Bop Design’s revenue tripled and the firm’s revenue increased another 50 percent in 2012.

Bop Design won three Graphic Design USA Web design awards in 2012. Jensen was also selected as a finalist for the 2012 YWCA Tribute to Women & Industry.

Jensen leads the creative and project team at Bop Design (three women out of five employees). She creates many opportunities for employees to be empowered. Jensen takes each employee to lunch once a month to discuss their role at Bop Design and their career ambitions. She has a roadmap for each employee to succeed.

Jensen is on the board of the San Diego Hunger Coalition.

Sabrina Johnson
Sabrina Johnson Consulting

Johnson has a record of achievement in capital formation, business development and commercial leadership. She serves as CFO and COO for companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries, helping to elevate San Diego’s most promising companies. Johnson was a key member of the executive team at Cypress Bioscience Inc. and part of the transaction team that successfully navigated a hostile takeover, negotiating a 160 percent premium for Cypress shareholders with a deal valued over $250 million.

Often being the only woman in a crowded meeting room inspired her to help other women advance. At Cypress, she surrounded herself with outstanding female executives in leadership roles -- vice president of operations, director clinical operations, legal counsel, IT manager and staff accountant.

Johnson serves on the audit committee for PCI, a San Diego-based health and humanitarian aid nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing disease, improving community health and promoting sustainable development worldwide. She serves on the board of advisors for UCSD Libraries, is involved in the San Diego Technology Archive project wherein the UCSD library is collecting and archiving oral histories relating to the formation and development of the San Diego high-tech and life science industries, and co-chairs the Dinner in the Library fundraiser.

Additionally, she is an entrepreneur-in-residence for the Connect Springboard program for entrepreneurs, and has been a Career Horizons mentor for Just in Time Foster Youth and a mentor in Athena.

Teri Louden
The Louden Network Inc.

Louden was a pioneer in the medical devices and technologies fields during the 1970s. She was one of the first female medical- device sales representatives and executives at Baxter Travenol Labs. At age 29, Louden founded Louden & Company Inc., a multimillion dollar company that provided marketing, sales, and strategic consulting for medical product and health care service companies, along with a conference and publishing division. After selling that business in 1999, she joined CardioNet in San Diego, left after its IPO and wrote and published “On God’s Wings,” a book about her father with a focus on medical miracles. Today, she is a consultant on corporate wellness.

Louden’s first company employed 100 people, 75 percent of which were women. She became a mentor to all of the women, and many went on to have major careers in the medical industry. The team she built for CardioNet was nearly all female and Louden mentored and managed all of them.

Louden is an example of healthy aging and finding life balance in the digital age and has shared her own journey to heal a painful injury through “Thinking Differently About Healthcare.” She is a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and has launched another successful consulting and retreat business called timeforbalance.com, which is focused on helping women have balanced healthy and happy lives in this digital age.

Louden has been a keynote speaker and panel moderator for events at Connect, the MIT Enterprise Forum, Athena San Diego, the Southern California chapter of the Healthcare Women’s Business Association, and Women Leading Healthcare.

Jennell Mott
Business Operations Manager
Managed Solution

Through her career at Managed Solution, Mott has taken on various roles within the organization including building its sales force, taking on the fiscal budget, technical partnerships, technical recruitment, technical designs for purchasing, helpdesk policies and procedures and overall business networking efforts. Mott is well known throughout the IT community for her expertise in both product and service specifically related to cloud computing and Microsoft’s core stack of products. Her ability to work with a vast vertical market and understand the ever-evolving technology allows her to design solutions that improve customers best practices that ultimately improve their core line of business.

Mott’s largest accomplishment lies in her ability to build a positive working environment for her team and a company culture where men and women can thrive. Managed Solution not only has a 35 percent ratio of women, but also many employees passing their five-year mark. In IT, it is extremely hard to create environments where women can thrive. Mott has developed programs and platforms that create camaraderie and diversity, which has led to a prosperous team of individuals who collaborate instead of degrading each other.

Mott sits on the board of several local nonprofit foundations and is a member of the National Association of Professional Women. She is involved with the College Bound program at Just In Time Foster Youth, where she has leveraged her vendor relationships to acquire laptops for the foster youth and her Managed Solution team to support their technology needs while attending college. To date, Managed Solution now support’s well over 400 foster youth.

Vicki Norton, Ph.D., J.D.
Duane Morris LLP

Norton attributes her success to focused perseverance and desire for excellence out of inspiration from her father -- one of 13 impoverished immigrant siblings -- who instilled the value of education in her. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in biochemistry, earned her Ph.D. and a law degree. She realized that a career is earned by her successes, Norton was voted by peers as one of San Diego’s Top IP Attorney’s. She is a speaker, and has published dozens of expert legal and scientific articles. Having achieved partner status at top firms, today Norton is the first Asian-American partner at Duane Morris.

Norton dedicates significant time to advancing other women in their pursuits. She helps law students understand the nuances of the legal world in preparation for their first job. She also educates them on the IP landscape, the players in town and helps open doors. She is sought after for career advice by previous mentees long after they’ve graduated and become established lawyers.

Other examples of how Norton has empowered women include:

*Instigating the creation of the mentor committee for the San Diego Intellectual Property law Association (SDIPLA) to support interested law students;

*Cultivating speaking opportunities for women as well as position in the SDIPLA amicus committee;

*Provided active and strategic support for women-led businesses and organizations such as NanoTecNexus.

Norton is a dedicated community advocate who has served in various leadership roles stimulating growth in San Diego’s IP and business arenas.

Brenda Piazza
Director of IT Audit Services
CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C.

Perseverance describes Piazza. In a male-dominated profession, she has earned respect and appreciation from the people she works with. She is loved by her colleagues and clients because of her enthusiasm for life, reliability, excellent client service, consistent follow through, and her willingness to take on philanthropic requests, development trainings, and employee mentoring and activities for the growth and development of those around her. Piazza pushes herself and those around her to achieve more in their careers. Her drive to succeed and her passion for life have made her successful in her career, a leader in the firm and a mentor in her community.

Piazza is the leader of the firm’s Tomorrow’s Rainmakers Group, a two-year program designed to educate and train senior-level employees about business development skills. She taught monthly sessions, attended networking events with program members, provided tools to prepare for client meetings and shared her experience in the industry. Her dedication resulted in the six women members generating more than two million dollars in new business revenue during the two-year program. She is San Diego’s CBIZ Women’s Advantage (CWA) representative. She has influenced approximately 700 women professionals in development programs who have in turn developed more than $3 million of new business in the past three years.

Over the past five years, Piazza has supported women focused community outreach programs. Through her leadership, Piazza and the CWA members have helped to collect donations of more than 35,000 articles of clothing and more than $250,000 in monetary donations for Dress For Success.

Jenni Prisk
Founder and President
Prisk Communications

In the first year of Prisk Communications, Prisk delivered pro bono presentations to promote her business, wrote and delivered commentaries on KPBS Radio, and devoted hours of pro bono interviewing and fundraising on KPBS-TV. She was invited to develop a public speaking course for engineers that she taught for five years at UCSD Extension. This led to in house corporate training that in turn led to invitations to speak at national and international conferences. Prisk provides executive coaching, facilitates corporate retreats, and moderates and emcees at prominent events. She received the San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business award; SDBJ’s Who’s Who in San Diego; finalist in Bank of America’s 1st Enterprise Award Program; honoree in Women Together Awards; regional finalist in Working Woman magazine’s first Entrepreneurial Excellence Award Program; among many others.

Prisk advances women through education, having designed and instructed numerous courses on Assertiveness for Women and Women in Leadership. She has presented at diverse women’s conferences: SD Regional Women’s Conferences; Bakersfield Women’s Business Conferences; Association of Legal Administrators’ Annual Conferences; WITI Leadership Summit Conference; Sharp HealthCare Women’s Health Symposium. Prisk has delivered pro bono presentations for Women in Construction, American Women’s Society of CPAs, Executive Women International, Junior League of San Diego. Prisk is a Commissioner on the Status of Women (CSW), San Diego, which affords her the ability to promote women in diverse areas, and will attend the 57th CSW in March at the United Nations in New York.

Shahin Rahimi
Staff Attorney
Legal Aid Society of San Diego

Rahimi provides a tax clinic for low-income individuals while at the same time inviting law students into his clinic to receive hands-on training. These students receive Rahimi’s mentoring and benefit from the example he sets as a legal professional. They say he makes learning the law a joy.

Stephanie Seidman, Ph.D., J.D.
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Seidman is naturally gifted with an intellect and cleverness that in general are rare to find. She combines these gifts with hard work and a commitment to high quality that speaks for itself. Emerging companies counseled by Seidman can rest assured that their most valuable asset, their intellectual property, is protected in a manner that supports their long-term business strategies.

Seidman has been recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Women of America, counted among Who’s Who Worldwide, selected as a "Woman who Means Business” in 2006, and recognized as a ”Best Lawyer in America” for Biotechnology in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Seidman transitioned from scientist to patent law technology specialist, to practicing patent attorney and team leader in a national law firm. She is an example for other women and a catalyst for increasing women’s presence and influence in areas where they once were rare. She hires, promotes and mentors talented women, empowering them in a practice area dominated by men. At any given time, at least half of her technology specialists are women. Currently, all of her technology specialists are women and half of her associates are women. Seidman recruits promising women scientists as specialists to her patent law practice, encouraging them to become registered before the U.S. Patent Office and to attend law school.

For more than 28 years, Seidman has been instrumental in nurturing the careers of dozens of women. Her commitment to encouraging young women to believe in themselves and training them to achieve the highest levels of proficiency in their careers is extraordinary. What makes her service to women even more commendable is that she does so quietly, away from the limelight.

Shivani Singh
Dharma Express

Singh is a remarkable and intelligent woman who has spread her passion for innovation since adolescence. As a physics undergrad at UCSD, she generated K-12 educational content for NASA scientific outreach initiatives. She then became a rocket scientist at NASA’s JPL and went on to work as a researcher at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She pursued a Master of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering at UCSD. As a graduate student leader, she co-founded and led the Global Responsibility and Innovation Network (GRAIN), a social innovation network and incubator collaborating with NGOs in India, Peru, Brazil and China.

Using insights from a world journey, Singh wrote the award-winning book, “Discover Your Dharma.” As founder and CEO of Dharma Express, she creates programs and for people seeking the next step in their life. She was selected as a fellow in the highly selective Startup Leadership Program, where she went on to become program leader.

Singh has helped women find their voice and their passion. She currently mentors eight women, all ages, through major life transitions; helping to empower them, to listen to their voice, to have the courage and clarity to implement their dreams.

As a program leader for the SLP, she actively sought women founders to apply to the program. Through her leadership in groups like GRAIN and her efforts to enhance scientific communication to the masses, Singh encourages us all to remember the forgotten in the world, the women and the poor, and to take action.

Judy Thompson
Thompson Search

Thompson is one of the most successful, longest-standing and highly regarded executive recruiters for finance and accounting professionals in San Diego. She learned confidence and business from her mentor father who taught her she could be whatever she dreamed. In 1981, she founded Thompson Financial Search, which is one of two affiliated Thompson Search companies — Thompson Financial Search, specialists in recruiting accounting and financial professionals; and Thompson Interim Professionals focused on the growing market for interim financial and accounting professionals. Thompson’s mantra is “to know, befriend and help those in the business community in any way possible.” Thompson has placed hundreds of women over her 35-year career and has served as a role model and mentor helping women shape and advance their careers paving the way for other women to become business leaders.

Thompson is committed to advancing the interests of San Diego’s accounting and financial community and does so through involvement in several key professional associations. She is on the boards of Corporate Directors Forum and the School of Accountancy for SDSU and is a past chair of Corporate Finance Council. Thompson served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and was its president from 1993-94. She received the Women Who Mean Business award, has been listed in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry and Who’s Who in California. She is an active member of Rotary Club 33, serving on several committees there.

Victoria Tucker
ZBGlobal, a Zero Boundary Corporation

Tucker gives credit for her strong work ethic and desire to help others to her hard-working family, namely her grandmother who left her legacy of “gracious tenacity.” Through her grandmother, she was taught to live her life with quiet dignity and deliberation -- to craft something useful and beautiful out of nothing, and to give generously of herself to her family and community.

Tucker coaches women to live and work as talented and intelligent women -- not as women dressed in men’s clothing. She has designed and delivered professional development programs to more than 10,000 science and technology professionals (approximately 35 percent of them women) to be promoted into greater roles within their organizations. In concert with the Biocom Institute, her firm created BioCollaborative, online learning programs and collaboration communities promoting skill-building in life sciences and industrial biotechnology. This initiative was recognized by the DoL and named as the “flagship program” for the national CSBI (Coalition of Science Biotechnology Institutes). BioCollaborative workshops include sessions targeting the development of professional women in STEM. Tucker is also working with the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering to educate students in the region and encourage young women into STEM.

Tucker is an adjunct faculty with the University of California Extended Studies Divisions and has been a keynote speaker at many local events and conferences. At SPARK BIO Innovation Regional Conference, she engaged the local biotechnology community to motivate them with a sense of urgency to grow the sector and create critical mass for San Diego. She is a former board member with Mama’s Kitchen.

Carisa Wisniewski
Managing Partner
Moss Adams

Wisniewski has achieved success in a predominantly male-dominated industry. She has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting and is the only female Office Managing Partner (OMP) at Moss Adams. She provides a wide range of audit solutions to both public and private businesses specializing in the technology and life sciences industries. Under her direction, Moss Adams was listed in the top 10 large companies to work for on San Diego Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list in 2011 and 2012.

The majority of her team in San Diego is women, and some work using alternative work schedules. She supports Forum W, the formal program within the firm supporting women’s development. Wisniewski champions by example, which is reflected by her commitment to support each person in having a unique career path that works for the firm and the individual. Wisniewski is a mentor both within Moss Adams as well as in the community.

Wisniewski’s community involvement includes Connect Advisory Board (2009-present); LEAD San Diego Board Member (2012-present); San Diego Foundation Board of Directors (2003-2012); San Diego Foundation Finance Committee (2001-2012, Chair 2009-2012); San Diego Foundation Compensation Committee Chair (2011-2012). Her professional activities include: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) -- member; California Society of Public Accountants -- member; CalCPA Emerging Leaders -- speaker and mentor (2010, 2011 and 2012); Private Company Financial Reporting Committee of the Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB); former founding member.

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