Vital Voices Council of the Bay Area

Building an Active Supporter Base

in San Francisco and its surrounds to establish partnership opportunities and educational opportunities to the local community.


Julie Castro Abrams, Board Chair, Bay Area Women Leaders’ Network | Janet Lamkin, California State President at Bank of America/Corporate Social Responsibility | Roselyne Swig, Community Activist

Council Members

Michelle Alberda, Financial Advisor, CFP®, CLU®, PWA®

Noni Allwood, Managing Partner, Innovo21

Susie Tompkins Buell, Entrepreneur

Lisa Carmel, COO, Advisor and Board Member

Katrina Dickson, Localization Manager, Apple Inc.

Natasha Dolby, Research Fellow, WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University

Stacey Kelly Egide, CEO, Andalou Naturals

Julia Jackson, Family Spokesperson and Vinter, Jackson Family Wines

Danielle Kraaijvanger, Doctoral Student, University of San Francisco

Jill Kramer, President and CEO, The Kramer Family Foundation

Amy McKelvey, Senior Brand and Communications Director, Andalou Naturals

Wen Minkoff, Director of Marketing at Geoex

Alexandra Moses, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mills College

Belinda Munoz, Executive Director, the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation

Sara Robinson, Non-Profit and Fundraising Developer

Michelle Swenson, Independent Consultant

Sue Ten, Founder and Creative Director, Firehorse Group

Sherri Tull, Principal, Sherri Tull Consulting

Elisabeth Waymire, Principal, Graceland Designs

Recent Activities

January 30, 2017:

On January 30, the Vital Voices Council of the Bay Area held the first council meeting of 2017, hosted by council member Noni Allwood

November 1, 2016
On November 1, Council Member Cissie Swig hosted an intimate luncheon and discussion at Villa Taverna, featuring The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator for California and Vital Voices Honorary Congressional Co-Chair.




October 14, 2016

On October 14th, Vital Voices Council of the Bay Area hosted its second annual Vital Voices San Francisco Event at the SFJAZZ Center. The event featured women from the Vital Voices network in conversation with women business leaders. Sandra E. Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, Audrey Cooper, Editor-In-Chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, Tina Brown, Founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live edia, and Kathleen Matthews, former Chief Global Communications and Public Affairs Officer for Marriott International participated as speakers.  Members of the Vital Voices network included Khanim Latif, a trailblazer for women’s equality and founder of a refuge for survivors of gender-based violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, Hafsat Abiola, activist and founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy promoting women’s leadership in Nigeria, and Akanksha Hazari, a social entrepreneur from India focused on empowering underserved peoples and driving economic development.

June 21, 2016:

Vital Voices Reception – Featuring Malini Patel, VP for Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship and VV GROW Fellows, Hosted by Jill Kramer

On June 21, Jill Kramer hosted a reception at the Metropolitan Club of San Francisco. The panel featured Malini Patel, VP for Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship and three VV GROW Fellows, Wafa Alobaidat from Bahrain, Habiba Ali from Nigeria, and Gabriela Lemoine from Argntina. These fellows along with Malini represented Vital Voices at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Palo Alto.



June 20, 2016:

Vital Voices Dinner – Featuring Elsa D’Silva (India), Hosted by Michelle Swenson, Sue Ten, and Elisabeth Waymire

On June 20, Michelle Swenson, Sue Ten, and Elisabeth Waymire hosted a dinner at MacArthur Park restaurant in Palo Alto.
The Dinner featured Vital Voices leader Elsa D’Silva from India. Elsa is the founder and CEO of Safecity, a tech platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in over 50 cities throughout India, Nepal, and Kenya.


March 2016:

Vital Voices Dinner – Featuring Mu Sochua (Cambodia)

In March 2016, Vital Voices hosted a dinner featuring Mu Sochua from Cambodia. Mu Sochua was elected to Cambodia’s Parliament in 1998. She was the first woman to head the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, a position she held for five years. One of Sochua’s core issues is anti-trafficking efforts in Southeast Asia.

October 2015:

Vital Voices Luncheon – Featuring The Hon. Madeleine K. Albright, Hosted by Roselyne Swig

On October 23, Roselyne Swig hosted an intimate luncheon and discussion at the Villa Taverna featuring the Honorable Madeleine Albright. Hosted on the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, the luncheon featured a discussion with the former secretary of state.




September 2015:

1st Vital Voices San Francisco, Featuring Yin Myo Su (Myanmar), Kah Walla (Cameroon), and Samar Minallah Khan (Pakistan) On September 30, 2015 Vital Voices Council of the Bay Area hosted the 1t VitalVoices San Francisco event at the SFJAZZ Center.  The event honored three extraordinary women from our network and included inspirational talks by these leaders, a series of on-stage interviews and short films about what they envision for the future. The women featured included Yin Myo Su of Myanmar, a conservationist and entrepreneur who is shaping a movement for socially responsible business in Myanmar, Kah Walla, a political leader in Cameroon who mobilizes the talent, power and potential of citizens to create a more equitable society, and Samar Minallah Khan, a Pakistani anthropologist who makes films that encourage cultural change to end violence against women.

As part of the event, Cambria Winery presented the Cambria Seeds of Empowerment Grant to Yin Myo Su.

June 2015:

Vital Voices Reception – Featuring Karla Ruiz Cofiño (Guatemala), Hosted by Michelle Swenson

In June 2015, Michelle Swenson hosted a Vital Voices reception featuring Karla Ruiz Cofiño, a Guatemalan entrepreneur who helps people connect with the world and use their influence to improve it.

May 2015:

Vital Voices Dinner – Featuring Paula Ledesma (Argentina), Hosted by Roselyne Swig

In May 2015, Roselyne Swig hosted a Vital Voices Dinner featuring Paula Ledesma of Argentina. Paula is an independent fashion designer making innovative fashion pieces and gaining international recognition for her work. She participated in the FORTUNE/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership.


March 2015:

Vital Voices Dinner – Featuring Dr. Victoria Kisyombe (Tanzania)

In March 2015, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Vital Voices hosted a dinner featuring Dr. Victoria Kisyombe of Tanzania. Dr. Victoria Kisyombe is the founder of SELFINA, a company in Tanzania that provides micro-leasing to mostly widows and young girls. Victoria is a leader who has used innovation, initiative, and determination to empower women in Tanzania to become economically self-sufficient.


November 2014:

Council of the Bay Area Launch – Featuring Dr. Victoria Kisyombe (Tanzania), Hosted by Roselyne Swig

In November 2014, Roselyne Swig hosted the launch of the Bay Area Council featuring Dr. Victoria Kisyombe.  The event also featured the special presentation of Cambria Seeds of Empowerment Grant to Kisyombe by the inaugural Julia Jackson, Katie Jackson and Barbara Banke of Jackson Family Wines.


Recent Events