Serving San Francisco and the East Bay

“Definitely get involved … collaboration is a two-way street. Aside from the rewards associated with giving, one also receives abundantly in other ways—whether it is learning from the interaction with other savvy leaders on the board, talking to students in the current education environment, or staying closer to finance industry changes."

“Having the opportunity to take on these leadership roles has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and drive something meaningful forward with a strong team.”

“It is very gratifying knowing that you are contributing to supporting the mission of the organization by using your personal time and talents to accomplish something collectively.”

Path to the Board: Co-Chairs Speak Out

By Anne Evers, VP MarComm

In our last article, Path to the Board: First Step ─ Maximize Your Membership by Joining a Committee, current FWSF committee members talked about why they participate in an FWSF committee, or as Shay Phillips (Diversity and Inclusion Committee) said, “I love volunteering at the larger events and networking within the organization, and, of course, having an opportunity to mentor young women. These opportunities have allowed me to gain new experiences, give back, help others, and create lifelong relationships and great connections with some truly phenomenal women in the Bay Area.”

The path to the FWSF board starts with raising your hand and volunteering for a committee (see info at end of article about whom to contact). After gaining experience about the inner-workings of the organization on a committee, the next step is a board position as a committee co-chair. Your initial co-chair role is likely related to the committee(s) for which you have volunteered. Each year the board Nominating Committee meets to consider the next year’s board and major factors driving the nominations are a member’s interests and contributions as a committee member. Board co-chairs then lead the committees and serve a two-year term.

Connections got some input from current board co-chairs about their first involvement with FWSF and their current board roles. Read on. . .

Linda Wagner, Marketing and Communications Co-Chair

Katherine MarkovaAdvice for someone looking to maximize her membership, get involved with a committee and/or eventually join the board?
Reach out. Speak up. Express interest. Even if you are not really sure which committee you want to be on, talk with someone on a committee, and ideally one of the co-chairs, or a VP of the board. Get started — you will find the right fit, one that will tap into your expertise and interests.

Tell us about your current role.
I currently serve as the Communications Committee Co-Chair, which is one of the two committees that make up the Marketing and Communications (MarComm) committee of the board. We work on building the awareness of FWSF among our members and beyond. Our work includes producing a member newsletter, writing and/or editing articles about events, ensuring that new content is posted on the FWSF website, reviewing event communications, and producing the collateral for our signature events — the Scholarship Luncheon and Financial Woman of the Year. We work very closely with our PR and Social Media teams and with the organization as a whole.

How did you first get involved?
Initially, I joined FWSF in 2000 on the advice of a colleague who had been, and who still is active in the organization. After attending events for several years, I was fortunate to be asked to join the board beginning in 2008. For two years I served as the marketing co-chair. Then, early in 2017, I expressed an interest in once again being more active in FWSF. I joined the MarComm committee, working on the website and other projects, and was asked to join the board as a co-chair in 2018.

How long have you been on the board?
2018 was my first year back on the board since the end of 2009. Next year, I have been asked to be on the ballot for the MarComm VP position.

Have you held other co-chair positions or been on other committees?
This past year I have been on the Strategic Planning committee. I am also working with some of the board members on developing our thought leadership initiative which is intended to position the FWSF as a strong voice on women’s career issues in the financial press, in various industry specific publications and through social media. 

What do you like best?
I like the camaraderie and collaboration more than anything. It is very gratifying knowing that you are contributing to supporting the mission of the organization by using your personal time and talents to accomplish something collectively. 

Any surprises?
Two things come to mind. One is the enthusiasm and support expressed by current board members when someone new wants to join a committee, or an existing committee member wants to step into a bigger role on the board. The other is that, unlike some boards which are made up of only very senior women, the FWSF committees and the board involve women (and at least one man), at all stages of their careers. This gives us a lot of diversity in approaches and perspective, which serves to strengthen the organization.

Sandra Camacho, Scholarship Co-Chair

Katherine MarkovaAdvice for someone looking to maximize her membership, get involved with a committee and/or eventually join the board?
Yes, definitely get involved; collaboration is a two-way street. Aside from the rewards associated with giving, one also receives abundantly in other ways—whether it is learning from the interaction with other savvy leaders on the board, talking to students in the current education environment, staying closer to finance industry changes—just to name a few…

Tell us about your current role.
I am the 2018 and 2019 Scholarship Co-Chair.

How did you first get involved?
The scholarship program is one I knew I wanted to be close to. I am always very touched by the personal stories and achievements of the scholarship recipients.

How long have you been on the board?
This is my fourth year on the board.

Have you held other co-chair positions or been on other committees?
Yes, I was Marketing and Communications Co-Chair and was also on these other committees:

  • Scholarship – as interviewer
  • Mentorship – as mentor to scholarship recipients
  • International Women’s Day
  • Financial Woman of the Year

What do you like best?
It is nice to be in a position to contribute to another person’s life and professional experience.

Any surprises?
The change in the world of finance from the inception of the organization to the current environment. All the effort truly makes a difference.

Janeth Medina, Scholarship Co-Chair

Katherine MarkovaAdvice for someone looking to maximize her membership, get involved with a committee and/or eventually join the board?
I would recommend learning about our committees and volunteering at some capacity to get a flavor of what the commitment entails as well as the fulfillment of participating and building relationships with other FWSF Board members. We are always embarking on exciting projects, so raising your hand to support something is always welcome.

Tell us about your current role.
As a Scholarship Co-Chair, I am responsible for the coordination and execution of the scholarship program which provides undergraduate and graduate candidates with financial and mentorship support. 

How did you first get involved?
I was a scholarship recipient in 2014 and got involved right after that as the Team Lead for Mills College. I then had the opportunity to co-chair the Scholarship Program and have been asked to be on the ballot for the VP Scholarship role in 2019.

How long have you been on the board?
I am entering my third year on the board in 2019.

Have you held other co-chair positions or been on other committees?
Yes, I’ve had the opportunity of going full circle within the scholarship program. First as a Team Lead within the committee, then as a co-chair for a couple years, and next year, I hope, as VP of the program.

What do you like best?
I love building meaningful relationships with both my FWSF committee members and our inspiring scholarship recipients.

Any surprises?
My personal and professional growth has been a pleasant surprise for me. Having the opportunity to take on these leadership roles has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and drive something meaningful forward with a strong team.

 

Want to Get Involved?

Interested in joining a committee or learning more? As we approach year-end, our committees will be looking for new members. We hope you’ll consider joining one if you haven’t already. As you will hear over and over, getting involved is truly the best way to get the most out of your FWSF membership. Relationships deepen and you can showcase your knowledge and skills. 

Contact Alyson at info@FinancialWomenSF.org and she can put you in touch with committee co-chairs.

 

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