Joining Maria Cantwell to Celebrate Women of Valor
Recently, I went to Senator Maria Cantwell's home in Edmonds for brunch. She invited the women who have received the Women of Valor awards over the past few years to join her. Maria has been making these awards to selected women in various business and non-profit leadership positions since 2006 to help recognize the diverse roles of women leaders in our society. Maria's mom, Rose and Maria's good friend and head of her Finance Committee,Karen Gamoran, who was actually the creator of the Women of Valor awards concept, were also at the brunch to welcome the awardees. Maria asked each woman to take a few minutes to introduce herself to the group and explain why she had been selected as a Woman of Valor. The women were fascinating and talented and could have received their awards for multiple reasons. A few of the women at the brunch today included Nancy Nordhoff for her founding of Hedgebrook for aspiring women writers,Megan Karch for her work as CEO of FareStart, Janis Avery for her passionate efforts on behalf of foster children in our state and her work as Executive Director of Treehouse, Jerilyn Brusseau for her founding of PeaceTrees Vietnam to renew relationships with the Vietnamese people and remove land mines and unexploded ordinance shells, Patrice Auld for her work on behalf of conservation efforts with Nature's Conservancy, Assunta Ng, founder and publisher of the NW Asian Weekly and the Seattle Chinese Post, Alma Plancich, who organizes the annual 4th of July swearing-in ceremony for new American citizens at the Seattle Center each year and a dozen or so more additional women awardees who are all passionate about what they are doing. Eric LeVine of Cellartracker was there on behalf of his wife who was also an awardee, who was in Washington D.C. for a business meeting.
As each woman told her story, you could feel the energy and determination and passion that each one brings to fulfilling the work that she has chosen. I was proud to share my story of what ZINO Society is accomplishing as a community of angel investors, entrepreneurs and connectors working together to propel emerging and start-up businesses to success through active angel investing and mentoring.
It was an inspiring morning being surrounded by so many extraordinary women. I look forward to meeting the next group that will receive the Women of Valor awards on February 22nd at the annual luncheon.