Serving San Francisco, East Bay, and Silicon Valley
by Sandra Camacho
Alice May, a founding member of the Financial Women of San Francisco (“FWSF”) organization, passed on November 13, 2016. 1995 FWSF President, Leslie Miller, describes her as ‘quite a pioneer.’ Looking back at her life story, I think you’ll agree wholeheartedly….
Alice was born February 8, 1926 in Iowa and spent much of her youth with her maternal grandparents where she developed an appreciation for music and art. Her passion for mathematics, problem solving, politics and finance led her to California and the UC Berkeley Haas Business School from which she graduated with a degree in business and finance.
In the early 1960’s, she began her career at Dean Witter & Company, an investment banking and securities firm in San Francisco. She was soon promoted as the first woman officer at Dean Witter; a responsibility which included managing a $3 billion investment portfolio. This was quite an accomplishment for a woman in finance in that era. This naturally led her to being a founding member of FWSF (previously known as the Financial Women’s Association) and also the first woman member of the San Francisco Security Traders’ Association.
She was also very giving within her community of Sausalito and Marin County. She founded the Sausalito Salvage Shop, was past president of the Sausalito Women’s Club and was board member of the Marin Symphony where she supported a chair for one of the principal players. She also supported the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera and the Sausalito Arts festival. She was generous to children of friends and neighbors which sometimes included one of the missoins of FWSF — assisting with a dream of education.
Her interests included sailing, hiking, bird watching, playing bridge and traveling. She was also an avid follower along with her brother of the Sharks, 49ers, the SF Giants and the Cal Bears. Last but not least she mentored women. Her friends would say that she inspired their lives and set an example of a self-made woman; she would always listen and support.