IWF Northern California: Our Members Tell Our Story


Black History Month 2023

Some favorite quotes, inspirations, and resources shared by IWF NorCal's Champions of Racial Equality (CoRE) Task Force and IWF NorCal Board members, in celebration of Black History Month.


A New Member Welcome - July 2022 

IWF NorCal members gathered in Marin to welcome new members Rhea Suh and Claire Lachance. With Barbara Bylenga, Heidi Kuhn, Kathryn Johnson, Marsha Vande Berg and Nichole Walker.

Members Getting Together - May/June 2022

Celebrating Women's History Month

March 30, In honor of Women's History Month, we are Celebrating Women Taking Action through stories of how we are "Paying It Forward” and "Breaking the Bias." Following the quotes we shared from IWF NorCal members on International Women's Day, we are delighted to share quotes from Eva Auchincloss, Denise Brosseau, Barbara Bylenga and Linda Calhoun. We appreciate their leadership and contributions, and love how they are paying it forward and making a positive impact on our community! Read more.

Celebrating International Women's Day

March 8, On this International Womens Day, IWF NorCal is featuring members who are alumnae of the IWF Leadership Fellows Program. We love how they pay it forward to make a positive impact on our community! Read more.


IWF friendships are enduring and very special. IWF NorCal member Ellen Lapham shared photos from two reunion lunches held last week with Diane Winokur, who was back in the Bay Area, visiting from Ecuador. Diane was a pioneer member of Women's Forum West, co-founder and the first president of our Legacy Foundation, and continues to truly inspire us all. 

Nanette Lee Miller: "IWF Northern California has always been inclusive because it always has attracted the best of the best and I take PRIDE in that! Happy Pride to all!"

Yvette Hollingsworth Clark, Sheryl Barden, Cynthia Eisenberg, Candice Eggerss, Sandra Floyd, and Van Ton-Quinlivan: “One of the many dividends of IWF NorCal are the amazing friendships you create”

January 18, On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a gift from IWF NorCal member Debra Plousha-Moore, who shares her beautiful and personal reflections through Dr. King's words. "In celebration of the life, achievements, and sacrifice fo the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we pause annually to reflect on his words and messages. The words of Dr. King are impactful. They help influence and add to our journey to the full appreciation of diversity, the true meaning of equity and justice, the creation of equal access, and the value of inclusion. Read more.


At our annual New Connections Signature Event on June 19, we held a virtual toast and before we all signed off, IWF NorCal member Denise Brosseau asked us to describe something we are grateful for, using one word. This graphic depicts the responses of the many things we appreciate during this unique time of the pandemic.

Nanette Lee Miller: "The pride celebration is about pride and equality! I have been very fortunate to have been a voice on this as well as a media point person on marriage equality issues and the related tax equality issues. This has been personally very fulfilling for me and my LGBTQ community. I did get married to my partner of 20 years, so it did affect me! I am also proud of my IWF allies and their support. We can change peoples' perception with knowledge and advocacy. Always important with so many issues now."

Kris Veaco: "I was looking back at when the invitation to join IWF came – March 13 – just as it was starting to feel like the world was shutting down because of the pandemic. Joining IWF when I did opened up a wonderful opportunity to see some old friends and also to connect with an amazing group of women. I’m always impressed with the stimulating programs and conversations and am happy to be a part of this group.”


2019 #GivingTuesday  

December 3, IWF NorCal members celebrated #GivingTuesday two ways: (1) All in the Bag gifts and (2) IWF Northern California Legacy Foundation donations! Below are a few words from our leaders on what giving means to them personally.

“I am passionate about helping girls and women achieve their dreams and experience that joy.  I’ve learned, time and again, all actions big and small make a difference. Knowing someone cared about me gave me the confidence to overcome obstacles. I feel grateful everyday for my life. It’s important to me to help others less fortunate to achieve their hopes and dreams. Together we can make a difference!” -- Kathy Anderson, IWF NorCal President

"My life motto is 'To those whom much is given, much is expected.' I'm grateful to have been born a girl in the U.S. and to have received an education and pursued a career. Realizing opportunity isn't equal, I commit to support the education of girls all over the world. I've learned my social capital--my voice, time, expertise and advocacy-- is limitless and is as powerful as financial capital. The stories and friendships that have arisen from giving have changed my life. It's addicting. It's contagious. We all do more of it. It's the true power of giving." -- Jodi Morris, Legacy Foundation President

Dianne Patterson: "IWF has been a constant in my life since 1990 when I was inducted into the first class of the Dallas Forum. For 10 years, I served on that board in nearly every capacity ending my tenure as president during our 10th Anniversary Year, 2000.  That decade took me to every national and international conference IWF held throughout the world. In that time, our amazing organization became a never- ending source of friendship and inspiration because of the outstanding members.

Now I am retired, and my husband and I live in three cities: Dallas, New York, and San Francisco where I am a member of all the Forums. These days I support each chapter mainly by recruiting and nominating outstanding women to be members. I also look for personal ways to support the individual Forum’s particular mission. 

An example? Bidding on and winning for the last two years Jodi Morris’s wonderful S.F. Bay Cruise on her and her husband’s gorgeous boat, “The Pursuit.” A day with Jodi and Bob has led to friendship, and a deepening commitment to IWF NorCal’s Legacy Foundation. With Jodi’s help, we just got my first new member nominee, Jeannee Martin, accepted, and she too has become a friend of Jodi’s. See what an enjoyable and virtuous cycle easily ensues bidding on a Silent Auction item?" 

Maryles Casto:

"Joining IWF since 1986, I have had the opportunity to meet, inter-act, become friends and continue to be amazed at the inspiring women domestic & International members. Let’s continue to join hands and make our world a better one."

A new IWF NorCal member, Nakiye Boyacigiller, a dual member with IWF Turkey, met Valerie Corradini at a recent event, where they discovered Valerie would be traveling to Istanbul at the same time. They connected with Iffet Ozgonul, who is a co-founding member of the Turkey forum. Iffet owns one of the leading tour companies in Turkey and kindly showed Valerie and her guest the city. As Valerie noted on her return, her wonderful experience truly embodies the warmth and global connectivity of our IWF membership.  

Meet Min Chen, the Co-founder and CEO of Wisy, Inc. Min recently moved to San Francisco to expand her start-up company and has joined our forum as a dual member with IWF Panama. Several IWF NorCal members have reached out to Min to welcome her to and give her insights on the business community in the Bay Area. It was truly heart warming to see IWF NorCal members come together to provide support and encouragement to a new member. Here are Min’s comments on "What IWF NorCal Means to Me:" 

“I became an IWF NorCal member in January 2019. In this short time I have received significant support from many members who have shared their experience regarding specific topics that I need to advance my career. They have gone out of their way to meet with me and to arrange meetings with other IWF NorCal members whom they think can provide support. IWF NorCal is a powerful and supportive community of women who enjoy helping others succeed. I am thankful for being part of IWF and I look forward to contributing to this outstanding forum.”

Contact us at iwfnorcal@gmail.com           4580 Old Ranch Way, Folsom, CA 95630            415-227-9987