Legacy Blog

July 28, 2021
Community Partnership in Action!

IWF NorCal members Beth Devin, Pam Baker, Sandra Floyd and Eleanor Chang provided Legacy Community Partner Year Up's students with a valuable workshop on leadership today. "This was the perfect segue for our students who will be finishing their Learning and Development phase this week. They will all be transitioning to their next phase, an internship at one of our Bay Area corporate partners on Monday!" - Year Up Associate Director of Institutional Giving Elissa Stankiewicz  

December 1, 2020
Simple Giving Ideas - IWF NorCal & Legacy

Today is #GivingTuesday. Celebrating its 9th year in the U.S., GivingTuesday connects diverse communities and organizations around the world to celebrate and encourage giving.

Even during a pandemic, we're blessed to have abundance in our lives—it’s both a privilege and an opportunity to give to others. You'll often hear our Legacy Foundation talk about the importance of giving our time, talent and treasure

Yes, being generous financially is of paramount importance—especially in a year like 2020. But sometimes it's easy to miss simple ways we can connect to giving opportunities right in front of us—even via IWF NorCal

Today's message offers three simple ideas for giving we hope you don't miss:

  1. Connect to our local Legacy Partners. Furthering the status and leadership of local women is important to us. It's why we're proud to have our own IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation. Our Legacy Partner Community includes five amazing non-profits. There are numerous ways to get to know our Legacy Partners this time of year. Of course, we also invite you to Donate to Legacy in this special 25th anniversary year!

  2. Connect to IWF Global's IWF Fellows Program. Each year, IWF invests in making women stronger, smarter and more influential through its Fellows Program, a year-long intensive leadership development experience which has elevated over 550 leaders since 1994. In fact, 16 current IWF NorCal members are former Fellows! Learn more about this global IWF initiative.

  3. It's All In The Bag. Last year, we had an outpouring support for holiday initiative called All In The Bag and collectively donated over 200 purses to three different local charities supporting the homeless. Bags even included contributions of basic toiletries, socks and children's books. While we can't gather in-person at a holiday party this year, we invite you to put aside that extra purse for collection at one of our large in-person IWF NorCal gatherings during 2021. We love how this grassroots idea has grown to be an IWF NorCal tradition!

We are grateful for your friendship, leadership and inspiration, and to be part of this wonderful IWF NorCal and Legacy community.

Warmest regards,
Jodi Morris, President, IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation & Barbara Adachi, President, IWF Northern California

November 24, 2020
Legacy Stories---Making an IMPACT

Legacy is most real when we see the impact on the women we support. As we continue our 2020 Legacy Foundation fundraising campaign, I'm honored to highlight the stories of two of the amazing California leadersApril Grayson and Hibaq Suleimanwhowe've met through our Legacy Partners. The beauty of Legacy's Partnership Project is that our investments have leverage, advancing the leadership of thousands of girls and women. Thanks to your donations, we've been able to grant $80,000 to Legacy Partners since 2015. I encourage you to follow these leaders still in the early innings of their impact story.

April Grayson: Rise Up Leader

"I always knew I would go to prison." April Grayson came to this realization as a teenager. At age 19, it became her reality. Upon release from prison 17 years later, April sought to be a contributing citizenworking, paying taxes and voting. Her mission was to be a voice for women behind bars.

In 2019, April was accepted into Legacy Partner Rise Up's inaugural California Advocacy & Leadership Accelerator. It changed everything. With a grant from Rise Up and encouragement from founder and IWF NorCal member Denise Dunning, April leveraged her grant to a bigger role as Statewide Coordinator for the Young Women's Freedom Center, Sister Warrior’s Freedom Coalition. With her worth recognized, her confidence grew; more great things happened. She became a Campaign Surrogate for Represent Justice, the group behind the acclaimed award-winning movie Just Mercy

Suddenly, April was a leading voice for women behind bars, speaking about the intertwined issues few are talking about—female incarceration, foster care and human trafficking. She's a spokesperson for Just Mercy's COVID-19 Fund, and has been featured on platforms ranging from Politico to Ms Magazine. With a goal of leading policy work, April was thrilled to recently be selected as a Fellow by the Black to the Future Public Policy Institute which works to enact policies that improve the lives of Black people. 

April works at the core of the social reform needed in the U.S. today. Legacy was honored to have April as keynote speaker at the 2020 Legacy Celebration (don't miss the interview!) and make a grant in her honor to the Young Women's Freedom Center. She's a California leader worth knowing and following—FacebookInstagramTwitter.

Hibaq SuleimanYear Up Bay Area Graduate

"The path to my tech career may seem untraditional to some, but I see it now as my competitive advantage." Hibaq Suleiman is a Talent Acquisition Operations Analyst at LinkedIn. She's a Somali refugee who came to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2017 for a fresh start. She packed a high school diploma, strong work ethic, and fluency in five languages. 

She was quickly introduced to Year Up Bay Area and selected for their specialized tech and career training program. Hibaq received a stipend while learning software and project management skills, as well as communication, public speaking and leadership. Year Up connected her to a 6-month internship with LinkedIn.  

After graduating from Year Up, Hibaq knew she wanted to work in a challenging yet supportive environment, while pursuing her college degree part-time. Speaking about her Year Up experience at our IWF NorCal New Connections Luncheon in June 2018, Hibaq shared that LinkedIn offered her a full-time position. Grateful for Legacy's ongoing support of Year Up, Hibaq remains connected, volunteering at our Legacy Celebrations in 2018 and 2019.

Beyond excelling at her job and in the classroom, Hibaq actively speaks out about diversity. "Many companies are filtering out talented young adults like myself in their hiring processes. Using filters like requiring a 4-year degree can disproportionately exclude People of Color, immigrants, and refugees from career opportunities." Hibaq is a California leader worth followingon LinkedIn, of course!

Thank you for choosing to Donate to the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation—through Legacy, you are making a difference in our community of future women leaders!

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jodi Morris
President, IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation

November 17, 2020
Legacy Stories---Inspiration from COMMUNITY

As we continue our 2020 Legacy Foundation fundraising campaign, I'm excited to share the stories of two IWF NorCal members who've generously shared their time and talent with Legacy Partners. Harnessing IWF NorCal member talent was the vision of our Legacy leaders in launching the Legacy Partnership Project five years ago. What I love about the stories of Christi Haley-Stover and Kathy Anderson is how their giving inspires further givingby themselves and others. We love seeing the inspiration that blossoms when members engage with our Legacy Partners!

Christi Haley Stover

Founding her own staffing and professional services company, Christi likes to say "helping others succeed is my core business strategy." Philanthropically, her focus is helping women and children succeed, whether through the foster system, technology or leadership.

IWF NorCal's Beth Devin introduced Christi to Year Up, seeing it as the perfect blend of her professional and philanthropic passions. Leveraging her business network, Christi helped Year Up make some key corporate connections. When Year Up Bay Area was selected as a Legacy Partner in 2017, Christi hosted a "Women in Tech" panel for Year Up students and volunteered as an executive coach to a Year Up staff member. Says Christi, "the experience allowed me to connect more deeply with the organization and to feel as though I’ve made a positive contribution to the future of another woman."

Excited to help Legacy increase its impact by engaging more IWF NorCal members, Christi served on the Legacy Board from 2018-2019, chairing the Legacy Auction in both years which raised a combined $19,000 for Legacy. 

In giving her time and talent to Legacy, our non-profit partners, and the young women they support, Christi shows that helping others succeed is indeed her strategy.

Kathy Anderson

"I'm passionate about helping girls and women become leaders, having their voices heard and the diversity of their ideas welcomed.” Kathy's passion for women's leadership is infectious, as evidenced in her corporate career and her leadership within IWF NorCal and Global. She's become increasingly active in mentoring younger women, inspired by her daughter and granddaughter. "I want them to know they are courageous, powerful and independent!" says Kathy.

In 2011, Kathy joined the board of GirlVentures, a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit dedicated to empowering adolescent girls to develop and express their strengths and leadership through the combination of outdoor adventure and social emotional learning. Kathy leads an annual fundraiser around their Hike for Girls, inspiring IWF peers to participate and contribute. In 2018, she nominated GirlVentures as a potential Legacy Partner. GirlVentures was selected to receive a $2,500 grant in 2019, and awarded two grants totaling $7,000 in 2020. Kathy has served on the Legacy Board since 2016. Inspired by the work of Legacy Partner Rise Up, Kathy joined the Rise Up Leadership Council.

Kathy finds that charitable giving inspires more giving. In 2018 and 2019, she rallied IWF NorCal members to donate purses to women in need in a holiday initiative called All In The Bag. By 2019, the outpouring of member contributions was so great that over 200 purses were donated to three different local charities supporting the homeless; the bags even included contributions of basic toiletries, socks and children's books. 

Giving inspires giving. We can't wait to see what inspiration Kathy brings us next.

Thank you for choosing to Donate to the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation—through Legacy, you are making a difference in our community of future women leaders!

Jodi Morris
President, IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation

November 10, 2020 
Legacy Stories---LEADERSHIP Starts with Friendship

Legacy has a special place in our IWF NorCal forum. This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation. I'm grateful that our early leaders launched a means for us to pool our energies and philanthropic investments to improve the status of women and foster the development of future women leaders. 

At last month's Legacy Celebration, we highlighted Legacy's early leaders, initiatives and non-profit and local community leaders our investments support. We announced our fundraising goal of $50,000 to support Legacy's mission and programs. Thanks to your generous contributions, we're 60% there!

But we need your help to achieve our goal. 

To inspire you, over the next several weeks, I'll be sharing personal stories of Legacy leadershipimpact and community. In this anniversary year, it's only appropriate to start with stories from IWF NorCal members who've served as early Legacy leaders. What struck me is how each member highlighted a friendship with a fellow member, which sparked partnership toward long-term impact.

Fran Streets and Diane Winokur

In 1989, Fran Streets and Diane Winokur chaired a highly successful IWF Global conference in San Francisco. With excess funds remaining, they wanted to create a legacy to advance the next generation of women leaders. The IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation was founded in 1994, and Diane was named its first President.

Meanwhile, Fran was working with IWF Global to launch the IWF Fellows program under their own 501(c)3 Leadership Foundation. The IWF Fellows program offers mid-career female executives holistic, customized leadership training and mentoring. As its first initiative, Legacy became a founding partner and sponsor for the IWF Fellows program. But Fran noted one specific Legacy criteria—that the sponsored women be leaders of Bay Area non-profits. Linda DeMello from ALS NorCal and Katheryn Fong from Habitat for Humanity Sonoma were sponsored by Legacy in the inaugural IWF Fellows class. Over the next 10 years, Legacy sponsored 12 IWF Fellows from Northern California.

Asked what makes her most proud about Legacy's 25 years, Diane says "that Legacy is still in existence!" She’s pleased it’s become an integral part of IWF NorCal, and has supported both individual women leaders as well as non-profit partners. Fran admits never thinking we’d need to have a continued focus on women’s leadership a full quarter-century later. She encourages all of us to carve out a bit to give back through IWF NorCal and Legacy. “We all have something to give," says Fran. 

Barbara Creed and Sue Sprunk

Earlier last decade, Barbara Creed described Legacy as “an organization looking for a cause.” She and Sue Sprunk took it upon themselves to ask individual members what IWF and Legacy meant to them. From those conversations came the idea of Legacy aligning with non-profit partners, using the talent of IWF NorCal to help the organizations achieve their goals. 

Under Sue’s leadership as Legacy President, the Legacy Partnership Project was born. The goal was to directly benefit women in the greater Bay Area by partnering with non-profits aligned with Legacy’s mission. The Legacy Board developed a partner selection process, and the first selection and grant was made in 2015. Today, Legacy counts five Bay Area-based non-profits as Legacy Partners and has made $80,000 in partner grants.

Says Barbara, “Legacy provides an important way for IWF NorCal members to give back in a collective way to our community.” Sue further emphasizes the program’s sustainability and flexibility. “I like the flexibility of giving my time or treasure—which can change year to year—to improve the lives of local women and girls alongside other IWF NorCal members.” Barbara and Sue are proud to see the many ways that Legacy supports our Bay Area communities. Through her and others’ experiences engaging with Legacy Partners, Sue even made a new discovery. “We’ve found that members benefit from the relationship as much—or more—than the beneficiaries do.”

Thank you for choosing to Donate to the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation—through Legacy, you are making a difference in our community of future women leaders!

Jodi Morris
President, IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation

October 11, 2020
International Day of the Girl 2020
Girl. It's the first title each of us has held. Today as we celebrate the International Day of the Girl, we remind the world that every girl should be encouraged to grow into her full leadership potential. For 25 years, the Legacy Foundation has proudly given IWF NorCal members a means of investing our time, talent & treasure in the development of future women leaders. Learn more about Legacy and what you can do today. 

October 2, 2020 
Annual Legacy Foundation Celebration -- Celebrating 25 Years  
At last night's Legacy Celebration, we celebrated 25 years of leadership and impact as a vibrant Legacy communityWe proudly announced $10,000 in additional grants across our Legacy Partner Communityrecognizing the pivots these non-profits were required to make to continue serving their communities. We learned fromand formally recognizedan amazing local leader, April Grayson, whose life work is giving incarcerated women a voice. We gleaned insights from past Legacy leaders and initiatives, while we briefly shared our wants for Legacy's future. Finally, we had a little competitive fun as we announced the winners of our Legacy AuctionRead more.

June 23, 2020
Meet our 2020 Legacy Foundation Grantees! 
Legacy hosted a webinar featuring
the Executive Directors and young women leaders from our two 2020 grantees: Year Up and GirlVentures. They shared updates on their organizations and how the Legacy Foundation grant has helped them through the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch recording.

May 5, 2020
GivingTuesdayNow Invitation

IWF NorCal and our IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation share two key tenets— Leadership and Community. While the diverse leadership of our members is continually on display, these past few weeks offer a touching reminder that we are indeed one supportive, connected community.
Today, we celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow—a new global day of giving in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. On behalf of the Legacy Foundation, we invite you to bring your leadership to our community of Bay Area non-profits aligned with Legacy’s mission of improving the status of women and fostering their leadership. Our Legacy Partner Community includes five organizations who’ve received one or more grants from Legacy over the prior five years. Learn more.

April 1, 2020
Legacy Announces Grants to our Partner Community 
e hope for the safety and wellness of all in our our community. In a challenging time, IWF NorCal exhibits the power that comes through community. The Legacy Foundationextends that community to San Francisco Bay Area non-profits aligned with Legacy's mission of furthering the status of women and the development of women leaders. Our Legacy Community includes vetted non-profits--former Legacy Partners and finalists to whom Legacy has made previous grants. At this critical time, they are in dire need of our support. 
The Legacy Board is proud to announce our decision to grant $10,000 to be shared by GirlVentures and Year Up Bay Area to support the economically vulnerable in their communities in the time of COVID-19.

March 11, 2020
We Can't Wait 202 Years for Gender Equality
Each of us know the importance of men & boys to advancing gender equality. Enjoy this great Stanford Social Innovation Review article by IWF NorCal's Denise Dunning, founder of Legacy Partner Rise Up and Mary Chandler of Rise Up funder Cummins, a 100 year old Fortune 200 power company based in Indiana that has a whole corporate initiative to advance gender equality globally. Denise and Mary highlight the importance of engaging men and boys. Cheers to all of the men in our circles who take steps big and small to accelerate the gender progress that benefits us all.

March 8, 2020
Happy International Women's Day 2020! 
This year’s #IWD2020 theme is #EachforEqual. Individually, we're responsible for our own thoughts and actions. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we help create a gender equal world. It’s what the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation is about. For 25 years, Legacy’s mission has been to improve the status of women and foster the development of future women leaders. We’ve defined Legacy's key tenets as Leadership, Impact and Community. Legacy convenes and connects people and organizations who work to advance the status, rights and leadership of women and girls in Northern California. We provide financial support, mentorship, and friendship. This photo of IWF NorCal’s Paola Gianturco and Denise Dunning from last year’s International Women’s Day perfectly captures that spirit. Through Legacy, we can all choose to be #EachforEqual.

January 10, 2020
What I Can't Wait to Share About Legacy
"Some of you have met Hibaq Suleiman. I met her two years ago when she was a speaker at our New Connections Luncheon representing Legacy Partner Year Up. She’s inspiring and humble, ambitious and generous. She’s taught me much through her words and actions. I'm grateful to know her. It's because of Legacy that we met. When I think about our IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation—how we collectively further the leadership of women like Hibaq, and how proud I am of how Legacy ended the decade—I think of all of you. That's why I am so excited to share this news: With your belief and support of the Legacy Foundation, we exceeded our bold 2019 Legacy fundraising goal, raising over $55,000 during the year! To our donors, sponsors, partners and our volunteers—we cannot say thank you enough. In 2019, Legacy also gave out a record number of grants (3), our largest grant ($20,000 to Rise Up), and we saw a record number of members engaging with Legacy. IWF NorCal members are the heart of Legacy. Here is a complete list of all donors who made financial and in-kind gifts and pledges to Legacy during 2019." -- Jodi Morris, Legacy Foundation President.

October 1, 2019
The Legacy Auction is Now Open!

The annual Legacy Foundation Online Auction is now open for bidding! Our auction features over 20 items, generously donated by fellow IWF NorCal members. From a spa day at Cavallo point, a round of golf at the Olympic Club, private boat cruises on the San Francisco Bay, books authored by members, coaching sessions, cool designer sunglasses, to tickets to the symphony, theatre and San Francisco Giants game, there is something for everyone! In addition, this year, the auction features two overseas adventures - unforgettable African safari tour packages and spots on a Global Leadership Trip to Cambodia! Please visit our online auction website to see all available items and to bid. Bidding is open to all!

September 24, 2019
Get Ready to Bid! Legacy Auction Preview

The annual Legacy Foundation Online Auction will be opening for bids on October 1st! We are pleased to preview our auction catalog featuring 20 items, generously donated by fellow IWF NorCal members. Looking for a safari adventure in Africa or a private boat cruise on the San Francisco Bay? Seeking tickets to the symphony, theatre or San Francisco Giants game? Need some cool designer sunglasses? There is something for everyone! Check out the online auction catalog here and get ready by registering as a bidder. Feel free to share this with your friends and family as bidding is open to all! There is also still time to donate an item for the auction - just complete and submit the Auction Item Donation Form. Good luck!

August 22, 2019
Giving with the Heart and the Mind

Community is a key tenet of the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation. As a giving and learning community, please enjoy this FREE webinar from Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) and Schwab Charitable titled Giving With the Heart and the Mind - Achieving Impact Through an Intentional Emphatic Strategy. The webinar is September 18, 2019 from 11 - 12 noon Pacific and features IWF NorCal member and Schwab Charitable President, Kim Laughton. They are available Live or On Demand. Don't miss this great opportunity!

August 21, 2019
Seeking Auction Items!

The Legacy Foundation is preparing for it s annual auction, which will be held online and at its upcoming Celebration Event - the Power of Community on October 10. Please consider being part of this community by donating a special item for the silent and online auctions. We seek unique experiences with members and access to members' treasures. For examples of past donation items and more information, see here. Your auction item donations are the first step as we kick off our 2019 fundraising efforts. We have made tremendous strides in achieving our mission to improve the status of women and foster the development of future women leaders and need your support to continue the momentum! Through your gifts of time, talent and treasure, you are making a difference. Thank you!

August 16, 2019
2020 SF Giants Tickets Could be Yours 

Kathleen Burke, Kate Renwick-Espinosa and Karen Zehring were the winners of 2019 SF Giants tickets with great seats at the Club Level during the 2018 auction! We are pleased to announce that SF Giants tickets will be available for the 2020 season and we welcome your bid on these 2 sets of tickets, donated by Barbara & Ted Adachi, die-hard Giants Fans! Learn more about Legacy's Annual Auction.

July 20, 2019

Legacy Silent Auction Fun!

Cruising the San Francisco Bay was a wonderful way to get to know Dianne Patterson. Dianne won a Bay Cruise for four as part of last year’s IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation Silent Auction. Do you have a unique experience to share? Stay tuned for more details about the 2019 Legacy Silent Auction.

July 18, 2019

Giving Wisely
Community is a key tenet of IWF NorCal and the IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation. We are a giving community and a learning community. 
I want to share a fabulous opportunity to learn about giving wisely. Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is partnering with Schwab Charitable to offer a series of free webinars. The first one is July 24 (click for invite). The second is Sept 18 and features IWF NorCal member and Schwab Charitable President, Kim Laughton. They are available Live or On Demand. Don't miss this great opportunity!

June 22, 2019
New Connections Luncheon

Legacy Board members (Jodi Morris, Moira Dowell, Christi Haley Stover) love greeting members as they arrive at the annual IWF NorCal New Connections Luncheon! They seem to enjoy photo booths as well. 

June 6, 2019
Matching Gift Challenge

Charlan Nemeth shared with members how inspired she was in hearing Denise Dunning talk about 2019 Legacy Partner Rise Up’s work at the March 2019 Legacy Partner kick-off event. She shared an idea to support Rise Up beyond the Legacy Grant, proposing a "Matching Gift Challenge" to propel other IWF NorCal members to join her. Upon hearing the idea, several IWF members even agreed to join Charlan in the match. This is a creative example of how IWF NorCal members give. Hearing the creativity of our members is inspiring. It's why "How I Give" will be a theme of Legacy during 2019. Learn more.

May 2019
Rise Up's 2018 Annual Report

Legacy's 2019 partner Rise Up recently published its 2018 annual report. In 2018, Rise Up leaders created change for 6 million girls, youth and women. Through the Legacy Foundation's partnership, Rise Up offers several ways for IWF NorCal members to engage -- see our list of Engagement Activities with Rise Up and get involved!

April 12, 2019
Rise Up for Gender Equity

On April 12, several IWF NorCal members attended Legacy's 2019 Legacy Partner Rise Up's CA Leadership and Advocacy Accelerator "pitch session" where 20 selected Rise Up leaders from Oakland, Alameda, and the Central Valley discussed how they fight gender-based violence, advocate for homeless youth, transform the prison system, stand up for LGBTQ rights, and break barriers for girls and women. Don't miss more unique opportunities to join Engagement Activities with Rise Up throughout 2019.

March 8, 2019
Happy International Women's Day 2019!

Legacy's three key tenets are Leadership, Impact and Community. We convene and connect people and organizations who improve the status of women and foster the development of future women leaders in the San Francisco Bay area. On the eve of International Women's Day, we convened members of IWF NorCal to officially kick off our partnership with 2019 Legacy Partner Rise Up. How can you get involved? Check out these exclusive 2019 Rise Up Engagement Opportunities.

March 6, 2019
Are We Filtering Out Talented Young Adults?

Hibaq Suleiman is an alum of 
Year Up Bay Area, a former Legacy Partner. You may recall her incredible story as a refugee speaking at the 2018 IWF NorCal New Connections Luncheon. Today, Hibaq works as a reporting analyst at LinkedIn. She shares thoughtful advice for all of us in her article Are You Filtering Out Talented You Adults Like Me?

January 30, 2019
Rise Up Awarded 2019 Legacy Foundation Grant

We are thrilled that Rise Up has been selected as the IWF Northern California Legacy Partner for 2019. The Legacy Foundation's $20,000 grant will contribute to Rise Up's Gender Equity Initiative right here in Northern California. Interested in getting involved? We invite you to learn more.

January 16, 2019
Rise Up Awarded 2019 Legacy Foundation Grant

We loved hearing from Rise Up founder and IWF NorCal member Denise Dunning at our 2019 IWF NorCal Annual Meeting. Her recent article Ten Years In, It's All About the People recaps lessons learned from 10 years of global impact. Rise Up is our 2019 Legacy Partner, with a mission aligned with that of IWF NorCal and the Legacy Foundation. Want to know more about Rise up and get involved in their first ever initiative in California? We invite you to learn more.

December 18, 2018

Why I Give - Karen Zehring
Karen was a Founding Member of the Women’s Forum when it started in New York 39 years ago. At that point in Karen’s career, the Forum provided an intimate network of women leaders across the spectrum of business and the professions, education, non-profits and the arts, as well as writers and other thought leaders. Initially there were about 60 members and Karen describes its purpose was as much about being an old-fashioned support group as it was about networking... offering companionship, support and friendship for those women who found it hauntingly lonely as they moved into leadership positions at the top. In 2006, Karen, then retired, moved to San Francisco and immediately connected with the IWF NorCal community where she was welcomed with open arms and built lifelong friendships. “IWF sustains me in inexplicable ways.” Her appreciation of IWF NorCal, and particularly for the current work of Legacy, reflects her personal values of giving back and paying it forward through Legacy’s mission of identifying and helping organizations that help girls and women become successful.

December 12, 2018

Why I Give - Van Ton-Quinlivan

Van was given the “gift of Legacy’s touch” through connecting with mentors and business colleagues as an IWF Fellow. These members took Van under their wings and mentored her during a critical time of her career. IWF helped Van “look ahead and helped decode what to expect in my career.”  Today, she stays connected with her IWF mentors and all of her Fellows classmates. Prior to meeting IWF women, Van states that many of her interactions with other women were highly competitive. She found IWF women comfortable in their own skin and generous to other women. What inspires Van to give to Legacy is the “generosity of time” given to her through the years by IWF members and her desire to pay it forward. In her words, “The coaching I’ve received from IWF women has been supportive but direct. This advice led me to combine my vocation and avocation, which unleashed my career trajectory.” 

December 7, 2018
The 2018 Rise Up Annual Breakfast

2019 Legacy Partner Rise Up hosted their annual fundraising breakfast in San Francisco, with 17 IWF NorCal members on hand. Kudos to Rise Up founder and Executive Director, and IWF NorCal member Denise Dunning for hosting a spectacular event!

December 5, 2018
Why I Give - Toni Rembi

Toni is one of the early leaders in IWF NorCal. At a time when there were very few women business executives, Toni and her women colleagues met for coffee to exchange ideas and provide support for each other. Ultimately, this group became Women’s Forum West, the predecessor to IWF NorCal. When the Legacy Foundation launched, Toni met the IWF fellows sponsored by Legacy and became inspired watching the young women professionals launching their careers. She has been an avid supporter of the Legacy Foundation and would like to see the Foundation focus on the challenging issues facing many women and girls in our communities, such as immigration and women “dreamers.” In her words, “Legacy is very worthy of support” and she encourages Legacy to persevere with its mission in these chaotic times of change.

November 30, 2018
Why I Give - Judy Johnson
Today, Judy’s connections with IWF NorCal remain steadfast and strong. Even though she currently lives in Oregon, she remains an IWF NorCal member and maintains her lifelong friendship with many of our members. Growing up in a small, agricultural community, Judy’s family never questioned that they needed to be an active part of the community. No matter where she lives, she is a participant in the local community—always giving back. She is excited about the current focus of Legacy—the Partnership Project started by Barbara Creed and Sue Sprunk. Judy is passionate about helping young women, saying “the earlier a girl learns the important skills, tools and to believe in herself, this will set the pattern of success for her life. We must challenge them to explore and understand the diversity of options before them.” 

November 21, 2018

Why I Give - Loretta Doon

After joining IWF NorCal a few years ago, Loretta immediately sensed that IWF was a special group of women. In her words, “The friendships you see in IWF are longtime friendships—you can see the bonds. Being new, everyone has been so welcoming. It’s beyond business; these are personal friendships which I haven’t seen before in other organizations.” Loretta became immediately involved with the Legacy Foundation as a Year Up mentor and found that experience to be very rewarding. “It really showed that Legacy made a difference in the lives of these women. Legacy helps people connect and build relationships. I feel that good relationships are essential to success. For me, it’s all about building relationships and making other people’s lives better.”

November 13, 2018
Why I Give - Beth Devin 
Beth’s experience as an IWF Fellow created the foundation of her passion for IWF and the Legacy Foundation. Today, she remains connected with her Fellows classmates, keeping in touch regularly and meeting annually. Beth says, “There are many organizations you can get involved with, but IWF is special. Among my Fellows group, there are amazing women. There is so much diversity—across cultures and careers which range from entrepreneurs to family businesses. Through the years, we have shared life’s journey, not just our careers.” As a result, the Legacy Foundation has a special place in Beth’s heart. “We want to open up the Legacy experience to everyone—we must always be willing to give a hand, hold it out and help others.”

November 6, 2018
Why I Give - Rebecca Barfknecht
Rebecca has been an active and visible IWF NorCal leader and currently serves on the IWF Global Board. Her first IWF experience began as an IWF Fellow. At the time, with a successful career in IT, Rebecca was comfortable working in male-dominated organizations and was not looking to join a women’s organization. As a Fellow, Rebecca realized what was missing in her life: having female professional colleagues who ultimately became “my friends, for life.” Rebecca believes this is what makes IWF so special and now has the opportunity to give back, through Legacy. In her words, “Legacy is something we can be proud of” and sees the future of Legacy as “even better.”

Contact us at iwfnorcal@gmail.com           1040 El Camino Real #205, Burlingame, CA 94010            415-227-9987