Board Highlight: Juliette-Marie Somerset

1) What opportunities have you been involved with at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
W.O.M.A.N. Inc. and The Riley Center provide a comprehensive 40 hour domestic violence training several times during the year for volunteer peer advocates and counselors. I completed the Fall 2015 DV training program and have been a trained volunteer peer counselor/advocate on the Support Line for the past 8 months at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Prior to starting the DV training I made a personal commitment to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to volunteer weekly for a full year. There are survivors in our community who really view the 24/7 confidential Support Line as essential to accessing lifesaving resources, safety planning and hope.Juliette-Marie Professional Profile Photo 2016
In March of this year W.O.M.A.N., Inc. extended an invitation to me and another Support Line peer advocate to attend Woven World Summit here in San Francisco. It was an absolute honor to represent the agency at this amazing network of women supporting each other to thrive. During the two-day conference we all experienced heart-felt connection, deep listening, authenticity and humility as we discovered meaning, purpose, joy and community. The takeaway from the Woven World Summit is that women need to create concentric circles and talk openly and honestly about our challenges and unite together. This solidarity of sacred lives woven together can change the trajectory of our lives and make our world better and safer.

2) What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s anti-violence efforts?
I have been engaged in the social justice movement as a member of Community United Against Violence (CUAV). It was my personal connection with CUAV that brought me and Jill together for a 3-day Move To End Violence workshop sponsored as an operational program by the NoVo Foundation to end violence against girls and women. The theme of our 3 days together was Liberation and Equity. A key aspect of anti-violence movement is strengthen our understanding of intersectional analysis as we explore and create solutions to end violence. Interlocking systems stand in the way of promoting justice for us all.
I value profoundly the dignity and personal stories of strength of every survivor who takes the courageous steps to end domestic violence in their lives. What inspires me most about supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s anti-violence movement is that it rooted firmly in the strength and resilience of survivors.
3) Can you tell us about your professional background?
I am a transformational independent leadership executive and consultant dedicated to accelerating social impact with philanthropy, innovation, insight and compassion. I have a wide knowledge of and professional experience in targeted fundraising campaigns, effective strategic development, public-private community partnerships and change processes in not-for-profit and volunteer leadership management organizations.
I am a mentor and leader in my community as a mentor empowering women with the local San Francisco Dress for Success cohort programs: Going Places Network. I was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors at the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center which is fostering a new era in health, wellness and equality and the future of LGBTQ health in San Francisco. I am dedicated to social entrepreneurship and economic empowerment and weekly volunteer at SCORE mentors supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

I was educated at Yale University and Columbia University with a graduate program in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management. I currently lives in San Francisco, California.

4) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I hope my relationship building skills will be valued as a Board member. Also my governance and fundraising knowledge.
As a Board member, I can help to broaden the perspective and deepen the understanding of the community we serve. I can help with diversity and inclusiveness in its own leadership.
I welcome the opportunity to share my nonprofit industry experience, volunteer leadership management expertise.

5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
Let’s all build solidarity together. Let’s help to break the corrosive silence that keeps survivors from getting help, safety planning and hope. I can share personally that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is a community that will embrace warmly all of us.
6) Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
I can spend endless hours in the garden. I love planting and cultivating!


Thanks for joining the board, Juliette-Marie! W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is so appreciative of your passion and commitment to our community and the larger anti-violence movement. We look forward to your collaboration!


W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board Spotlight: Sara Matlock

Sara Matlock photo1) How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

For the past few years I have volunteered as a pro-bono consultant to Bay Area non-profits through the Taproot Foundation. In 2013 I learned about a project through Taproot to pull together a strategic assessment and environmental scan for WOMAN Inc. I was initially drawn to the organization for its mission and service to the community. While working on the project, I really enjoyed getting to know members of the WOMAN Inc team, board, and local domestic violence community. A few months after the project concluded, Lija invited me to join the board.

2) Can you tell us about your professional background?

My background is in corporate strategy and finance. I’ve worked at and consulted for a wide variety of organizations from start-up to Fortune 500 in both the for profit and non-profit arenas.

3) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

As I board member I will utilize my leadership, strategy, and collaboration skills to support WOMAN Inc as it continues to deepen and expand its ability to provide quality services to survivors.  WOMAN Inc has a rich history in the San Francisco community of empowering domestic violence survivors to create lives free of violence.  I look forward working with the organization to think creatively on how we can further its impact and have more stories of success and empowerment.

Board Spotlight: Kathy Jeffery

Kathy Jeffries1) What is your name?

Kathy Jeffery

2) How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I work with Caresse Santin, who has been a crisis volunteer with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. for the last ten years. A few years ago I moved to San Francisco from Chicago. Caresse introduced me to the organization and its great cause when I was looking to donate some household items left over from my move. Every year I lead a vision board event and I would ask participants to donate toiletry items/bus passes for a woman’s organization as a give back for attending the event. The last two Vision Board events I gave the donations to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. This year Lija (W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Board President. Check out her Board Spotlight here) reached out to me to see if I was interested in being on the Board.

3) Can you tell us about your professional background?

I currently head-up Human Resources for a technology company called Sportvision that is located in Mountain View. I have 18 years’ experience in Human Resources and Co-Active Coaching. I consider myself a HR generalist and would say that my expertise is in change and talent management; which includes recruitment, employee career development, learning & development, corporate culture alignment, mergers & acquisitions, and employee communication. My experience includes working for domestic and global industries including technology, marketing/advertising, digital media, and non-profit organizations.  

In my spare time as a Co-Active Coach I help individuals define where they want to go in their life, need clarification of goals they want to achieve, or professional coaching in their career life. 

4) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.

I hope to be able to use my human resources, career counseling services, and marketing skills to help W.O.M.A.N., Inc. reach its objectives.  I’ve worked on past Boards where I helped recruit key agency positions, participated in strategy sessions, reviewed policies, and spearheaded their annual fundraising and marketing campaigns. In addition, I always enjoy volunteering one-on-one for women and children causes. In the past, I helped provide career counseling and interview skills training to women. I led vision board events to encourage women to dream and manifest positivity in their lives. I regularly read and entertained children with lifelong illnesses at a Children’s Hospital. 

Board Highlight: Anisha Taheer

mulshi 068

1) How long have been with the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board?
I’ve been on the board for nearly 3 years now.

2) As a Board Member, what are some of your responsibilities?
As a new member of the organization sinking through somewhat what of a financial crisis and mismanagement I don’t think I had one role in particular. On the whole, all board members wore many hats as required to bring the organization back to the surface. As we formed a more structured board through this process I came to become the Secretary of the Board. My responsibilities included recording minutes of every meeting, going through the bylaws in order to make them more current and relevant, assisting in HR issues during the crisis, and basically believing in the staff, the organization and the cause it served.

3) How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
A friend used to volunteer on the crisis line. She saw there were board openings and asked if I’d be interested in being involved with an organization that worked towards empowering women survivors of domestic violence. I was immediately in.

4) What are you looking forward to as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continues to grow?
As much as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is recognized in San Francisco, it would be good to see it as an exemplary organisation in the state of California for its outstanding services in the community. Perhaps it might one day have dedicated resources to serve a much wider audience.

5) What do you enjoy the most about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
It’s so gratifying just being associated with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Its been wonderful to watch this dedicated team of staff come together in the most trying of times and pull off what some said would be impossible.

Board Highlight: Simi Grewal-Singh

Simi Grewal-Singh - Board Highlight

  1. How long have been with the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board? Since March 2009
  1. As a Board Member, what are some of your responsibilities?  The Board of Directors is largely responsible for supporting the executive director and staff, ensuring effective strategic planning, goal-setting, and strengthening programs and services.  To that end, my responsibilities include actively participating in all planning sessions/meetings, supporting the staff, fund development, and being a resource to the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team.
  1. How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.? One of the previous board members is also a Kappa Kappa Gamma alumni.  We were at a sorority alumni event, and as we were mingling, she was talking about the organization.  I asked her for her contact info so we could chat later more about the organization, and she invited me to one of W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s events.  I quickly became interested in learning more, having a passion in women’s issues and ending domestic violence.
  1. What are you looking forward to as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continues to grow?  Our ability to provide quality services to more survivors, as well as the ability to measure the impact and long-term change resulting from this work.  I also look forward to continuing to hear the stories of the lives being transformed and developing relationships in the community.
  1. What do you enjoy the most about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?  The stories of the survivors!  I equally enjoy working with the dedicated staff, Board members, and volunteers. This is a very passionate and inspirational group of individuals!

Board Highlight: Allison Cristando

Allison Cristando pic--board highlight
1) How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
My husband does a lot of work through the Taproot Foundation that provides pro bono services to non-profit clients. Each time he selects a new project to be a part of, we discuss the organization and why he wants to be involved. When learning about W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we were both impressed by the level of service and commitment the organization provides to the community. I had the chance to meet the board and some of the staff at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and was inspired by their passion for their work. I have been involved in several woman’s organizations on the business side and felt moved to give back in a way that would help benefit many more in the community.
2) Can you tell us about your professional background? 
I have the privilege of working at Genentech, a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions.  My job at Genentech is to lead a team of trainers who train the organization on new therapeutic spaces in our pipeline.  What excites me about my work is I get to play a role in bringing new medications to patients that really need it.3) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
One of the things I enjoy doing in my work is strategic planning and thinking creatively about solving problems. I look forward to helping the board think about how we can continue to grow and support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board Highlight–Bronwyn Martorana

Board Highlight - Bronwyn

How long have been with the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board?

It will be 2 years in May.

As a Board Member, what are some of your responsibilities?

The Board of Directors is primarily responsible for supporting the executive director and staff, ensuring effective strategic planning, strengthening programs and services, and ensuring adequate financial resources. To that end, my responsibilities as a board member include actively participating in all meetings and planning sessions, supporting the staff, and promoting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s mission and services throughout our community.

How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s ability to reach and effectively serve more and more survivors in our communities.

What do you enjoy the most about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
The extraordinary survivors, staff, and Board members with whom I get to interact. I have never met a more passionate, dedicated, and inspiring group of people. I continue to be amazed by them on a regular basis.