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Happy New Year! And Happy 25th Anniversary from Watermark!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone – and Happy 25th Anniversary from Watermark! Can you believe that we've been a lively, vibrant part of the Bay Area community since 1993?

A Little History….
We began as the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), founded by Stanford MBA graduates Jennifer Gill Roberts and Denise Brosseau (pictured below) with the intent to connect women entrepreneurs with funding – and with one another. Their work led to more than $6 billion (and counting) in increased investment, dramatically changing the landscape for women-founded and women-led businesses. What a legacy!

Over time, we added “and Executives” to our name, making us FWE&E. In 2010, we became Watermark, a term that indicates the highest level to which water has risen.

While our name has changed, our intent has never wavered. We are here to help you reach your full potential as leaders, executives and entrepreneurs as we work to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

World-Class Programming Ahead
You’ll learn more about our history – and our plans for the future – as we celebrate our anniversary throughout the year. We begin next week with two exciting WLUs and our Breaking the Confidence Code webinar with Charmaine McClarie – and then on Jan. 18, don’t miss our Are You Ready to be a Thought Leader? workshop facilitated by Denise Brosseau, herself.

You’ll find more Watermark events here, with more to come! And remember, we most definitely welcome men – “men who get it,” as we like to call them. The more men who recognize the value of diversity, the better for us all.

For our corporate sponsors, we’ve added 12 new customized workshops – including several dedicated to diversity and inclusion. And for sponsors and members, we’ve almost doubled our number of new webinars this year. Our webinars are included in all membership packages and are available for purchase for non-members.

Take Advantage of Our Alliances
Watermark is proud to partner with several outstanding organizations that complement our own programs and services. Our members enjoy a growing list of special invitations and offers from 1440 Multiversity, Athena Alliance, Better Man Conference, Marketo, ReBoot, Insights, The Guild and more.

Get Social with Us
We’re boosting our social media this year, as well – and we need your help! If we’re not already connected, please join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, and help share our posts with the hashtag #WeAreWatermark.

Our State of Women in Leadership Survey
Your feedback and experiences are very important to us and help us continually refine how we can best be of service to you. Please take a few moments and fill out our State of Women in Leadership survey. Complete the survey by Friday, Jan. 26, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for Google Home Mini!

Members on the Move
Last, let us know how you’re doing. New job? Promotion? Successful product launch? Speaking engagement? Whatever it is, we want to hear about it and help you share the good news in our Members on the Move column. We firmly believe that when one of us takes a step forward, we all take a step forward.

Here’s to the Next 25!
Many thanks to you all for helping us achieve 25 wonderful years. What an incredible milestone. We’re very excited about the future and working together as we build and shape the next 25.

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Watermark's 2018 Webinar Line Up for Q1

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Monday, January 1, 2018

Webinar Wednesdays | 10-11 a.m. PST | WebEx

Happy New Year! If continuous development is part of your 2018 career plan – and we bet it is – tune in for our popular webinar series – each covering a special topic designed to move you to the next level. Our webinars are guaranteed to engage your team and generate productive discussions – consider using them in your monthly Lunch and Learn!

Or access them later – anytime, anywhere. Our webinars are accessible all year long. Be sure to register and we'll send you the log-in link beforehand and the password to the recording afterward.

Our webinars are free to Watermark members and $30 for non-members. Ready to join? Learn about our different membership offerings – and contact Kate for more details.

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, Jan. 10


Have you ever felt that your lack of confidence was holding you back from getting that promotion or higher pay – or from greater joy and ease? Do you wonder how some manage to look and act confident even in the most challenging situations? What's their secret?

Learn more as Charmaine McClarie unveils those secrets, demonstrates how to turn your ideas into powerful action, shows you how to be seen and heard for the value you add and empowers you to have your best year ever.

Charmaine is a senior executive coach who has worked with leaders in 27 industries across five continents. Her clients include top executives from Coca-Cola, DuPont, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks and T-Mobile. During her 20+ years as an executive coach, 98 percent of her clients have been promoted within 18 months.

mcclariegroup.com LinkedIn @McClarieGroup

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, Feb. 7


Navigating the corporate world can be difficult. Surviving vs. succeeding involves an intricate dance of placating the masses and expressing your authentic self. Leadership and inclusion expert Sumayyah Emeh-Edu shows you how to develop and build your social capital, gain perspectives on the unspoken rules of engagement, manage microaggressions and pay it forward.

Sumayyah is the founder and principal strategist at Embedded Consulting. She has more than 15 years of professional experience leading various initiatives within higher education and corporate sectors, focused primarily on diversity and professional development. In that time, she has successfully organized Tech Inclusion and The Better Man Conference, with clients also including Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, Asana and Oracle.

sumayyahdni.com LinkedIn @Sumayyah_EE

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, Feb. 28


Forget Type As and Bs. The future lies with Type Rs – the resilient individuals, leaders, businesses, families and communities that turn challenges into opportunities in times of upheaval, crisis and change. In this webinar, Ama Marston explains how you can cultivate Type R strategies and mindsets in your own lives, work, leadership and businesses, and in the larger world as you navigate disruptive change and stress.

Ama is a international strategy and leadership expert and a recognized thought leader focused on Transformative Resilience. For 20 years, she has provided advice, strategy and leadership to the UN, NGOs and FTSE Index and Fortune 500 companies, as well as to global leaders like Mary Robinson (the first female President of Ireland) and economist Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate).

Her new book, Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World, comes out Jan. 9.

type-r-resilience.com LinkedIn @AmaMarston

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, March 7


The #MeToo moment offers new case studies for understanding the impact of bias on your daily workplace experiences and your long-term career roadmaps. How are these incidents at once prevalent and under-scrutinized? In this webinar, Laura Mather, Ph.D., will dive deep into research findings on the ways implicit bias seeps into your day-to-day decision-making and influences. She'll also present solutions that organization leaders should implement to mitigate these kind of microaggressions, as well as strategies for recognizing when you are the victim of implicit bias and steps to combat it.


Laura is an expert on unconscious bias and the neuroscience behind decision-making. She has built advanced technology solutions for the National Security Agency, eBay and her own startups, Silver Tail Systems and Talent Sonar. She is the winner of the Anita Borg Institute's 2017 ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship.


talentsonar.com LinkedIn @TalentSonar

More Great Webinars on the Way!

Mark your calendars for more Watermark webinars! You'll find these and other events at wearewatermark.org. Check back frequently! We're always adding world-class programs to our calendar.

Wednesday, April 4
Ditch the Doubt: How Gender Intelligence Will Make You Rethink Imposter Syndrome with Holly Berkley
Wednesday, April 25
From C-Suite to Boardroom: What You Can Do Today to Become a Board Member with Olga Mack
Wednesday, May 2
Mentors, Sponsors and Coaches – How to Leverage All Three with Jackie Welch
Wednesday, May 16
Workplace Sexual Harassment – Tearing Down Gender Barriers with Kelly Armstrong
Wednesday, July 11
Self Compassion – Your Competitive Leadership Edge with Marie-Jeanne Julliand
Wednesday, Aug. 1
Stop Striving and Start Thriving – Create a Juicy Integrated Life™ with Anisa Rashad
Wednesday, Sept. 12
Wednesday, Oct. 3
The Thoughtfully Ruthless Guide to Rapid Growth with Val Wright
Wednesday, Nov. 7
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Courageous Leadership with Cindy Solomon

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Kick Off the New Year with Women Like Us Networks

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our Women Like Us (WLU) Networks, held 5:30-7:30 p.m., are among our most popular events – an excellent way to network and connect with other Watermark members and fans who live or work near you. Enjoy some great wines and hors d'oeuvres while you're at it!

Plan to join us for the first four of the new year:

Tuesday, Jan. 9, Peninsula, Luisa Spagnoli, Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto

Thursday, Jan. 11, East Bay, Merit Resource Group, 2121 North California Blvd., Walnut Creek

Thursday, Feb. 1, San Francisco, MM.LaFleur, 125 Maiden Lane, San Francisco

Tuesday, Feb. 6, South Bay,TBD

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Season's Greetings from Watermark

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Saturday, December 23, 2017

As we enjoy the holiday season and draw 2017 to a close, the staff of Watermark would like to thank you for your active membership, sponsorship and partnership. We always enjoy bringing you fantastic speakers, interactive panels, customized workshops, expansive networking opportunities and our special counsel and advocacy as we strive to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

We've had so many great comments this year. Among our favorites:

• "After the events of this past year and the encouragement and inspiration of people and organizations like Watermark, I've looked for opportunities where I can make a positive impact. I'm happy to report that I've just been named General Counsel of Looker, a leading data platform company. I am so excited to see where this path takes me. Watermark is making a difference!" – Tricia Timm, Looker

• "Through Watermark, I've learned that 'no' is a complete sentence."
– Shakeya McDow, Kaiser Permanente

• "Thank you, Watermark, for your support, courage, dedication and commitment for building a tribe of powerful, driven and ambitious professionals." – Olga V. Mack, ClearSlide

We are here for you. We support and celebrate you on the way up the corporate ladder, and we lend a hand, contacts and resources when you need a boost.

Next year, Watermark celebrates our 25th Anniversary – 25 years of making a difference for women – and men – throughout the Bay Area. We have a wonderful line up ahead of customized corporate programs and popular events, including a career- and life-changing Are You Ready to Be a Thought Leader? workshop with our co-founder, Denise Brosseau, CEO, Thought Leadership Lab. Be sure to RSVP – it's Thursday, Jan. 18, at Osborne Clarke in Palo Alto. What a great way to kick off the new year!

Watermark programs are open to everyone. Please feel free to invite your staff, colleagues, customers – and "men who get it." There's something for everyone at Watermark.

We are your community. And we wish you a joyous holiday season and a very successful new year ahead.

Best wishes,

Marlene, Asa, Kate and Mary

If you'd like to expand your support of Watermark even further, we have two great ways for you to do that.

First, consider joining our Watermark Leadership Circles. As part of this exclusive group, your name will be added to our website and included in our promotional materials for our Make Your Mark Awards and other Watermark conferences. You'll also receive invitations to Watermark Leadership Circles special events and offers.

Your contribution to Watermark is 100 percent tax-deductible. Does your company have a matching gift program? Let's connect and add Watermark to it!

Second, switch from Amazon to AmazonSmile, which offers the same products, same account and same wish list. Select Watermark Institute as your preferred non-profit and the AmazonSmile Foundation will direct a portion of all your eligible purchases to Watermark.

Two easy ways to give – and so many ways to benefit from Watermark. We appreciate! Happy Holidays!

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Members and Sponsors on the Move

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, December 21, 2017

Congratulations to Tricia Timm! Tricia was just named General Counsel of Looker, a leading data platform company. Tricia comes to Looker with over 20 years of experience as both in-house and outside counsel, advising companies on areas such as corporate governance, M&A, data privacy and securities law compliance and obligations.

Congrats also to Denise Thomas, the new Contracts and Pricing Senior Manager at Pharmacyclics. Denise was previously Government Contracts and Pricing Manager at Gilead.

And kudos to Hannah Kain and her ALOM team. ALOM, a global leader in sustainable supply chain management, has been selected to receive the Supply & Demand Chain Executive Green Award for 2017. This is the fourth consecutive year that ALOM has been honored with this award.

New Watermark member Sudha Kasamsetty invites everyone to VerveCon, set for Friday, Feb. 9, at the Santa Clara Conference Center. VerveCon is a "convention for enthusiastic women in technology" in the Bay Area. Register using vc-comp1 as the comp code for a 40 percent discount. Thank you, Sudha!

And last, Watermark is pleased to welcome Silicon Valley Bank as a new sponsor. From technology to health care, from San Jose to Shanghai, SVB supports businesses that invent the future, helping innovators, enterprises and investors move bold ideas forward, fast. A perfect match for Watermark!

Watermark members and sponsors: Send us your good news! We’re always happy to spread the good word and celebrate one another's successes.

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Q4 Message from Marlene: The Silence Breakers and the Imbalance of Power

Posted By Marlene Williamson, Monday, December 11, 2017

In my Q3 Message, I wrote that it seemed like we were hearing and reading about gender-related harassment, discrimination and disrespect every day. While it’s easy to become disheartened, I said, the good news is that people – women and men – are talking.


And wow, are they ever. The topic of sexual harassment has gained such attention that Time magazine selected “The Silence Breakers” as Person of the Year, noting that these brave women have influenced the news this year more than anyone else.


The number of women and men coming forward is absolutely staggering. Their harassers are finally facing the consequences they deserve. And thanks to The Silence Breakers – and anyone who is speaking out – we will, indeed, see a positive change in behaviors and our workplaces. But as long as we continue to experience an imbalance of power, this positive change will be impossible to sustain.


Until we achieve gender parity in the C-Suite and the boardroom – and throughout our organizations – our progression in business will be cut short. Our insights and input will not be fully valued. And our contributions will not find their way to our companies’ bottom lines.

In one of the Time videos, artist/activist Rose McGowan reminds us to: “Know your power. Know your worth.”

At Watermark, we help you do exactly that.



In October, we held what many participants told us was our best Entrepreneur Conference ever. The funding panel was especially powerful as our very candid speakers urged us to be more forceful in empowering ourselves.

Many of you told us our November Make Your Mark Awards was the most inspiring event you’ve attended. Hearing our winners’ speeches and the testimonials of our members was deeply touching. Among our favorite takeaways? This from Kaiser Permanente’s Shakeya McDow: “Watermark has taught me that ‘no’ is a complete sentence.”

Indeed, it is.



We have one more event for 2017 – Writing Your Next Leadership Chapter workshop with Kelly Carlin. It’s Tuesday night, Dec. 12, at Samsung in San Jose. It's not too late to RSVP! We would love to have you with us for this very special evening.

Next year marks Watermark’s 25th anniversary – 25 years of supporting and celebrating the Bay Area’s most outstanding women and men.

We have many exciting programs and initiatives planned ahead – including Watermark Co-Founder Denise Brosseau’s Are You Ready to Be a Thought Leader? workshop on Thursday, Jan. 18, and Daniel Pink and his new book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Tuesday, Feb. 13.

If you’re not yet a Watermark sponsor or member, now’s the time to join us. This is a very exciting time to be part of our growing community.

Here’s to the rest of 2017 – and to a wonderful new year ahead.

Best regards,
Marlene Williamson
CEO, Watermark

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Members on the Move

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Friday, December 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, December 18, 2017

Coach Val Sanders is interested in interviewing individuals who have achieved equity in their relationships, particularly for those with children. Interviews take 15-20 minutes. If you are interested in sharing your story, contact Val.

Several members have new books out! Congratulations to Joie Seldon on Emotions: An Owner's Manual, to Abigail Stason on Evolution Revolution and to Patty Watkins on Driving MORE Sales: 12 Essential Elements. Patty is offering a free Kindle promotion now through Dec. 3. Well done, you all!

And congratulations to Merline Saintil (pictured above, right) – she was one of three execs who shared their boardroom stories at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna Niguel last month. In addition to her operations role at Intuit, Merline serves on the boards of Watermark and of Banner Corp. Pictured with Merline is Color Genomics CMO Katie Jacobs Stanton, who serves on the boards of Vivendi and Time Inc. Jennifer Dulski, who heads the Groups/Communities unit at Facebook, was also part of the panel.

Are you a Watermark member or sponsor with great news to share? Let us know! We're happy to spread the word!

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Watermark Welcomes Stacey Ferreira, Newest Board Member

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Monday, November 20, 2017

Watermark is thrilled to welcome Stacey Ferreira, CEO of Forge, to our board of directors. Forge is an enterprise workforce management software that empowers hourly employees to work on-demand while providing retailers the tools needed to source, hire, manage and retain their workforces.

Stacey is a native of Arizona and co-founded her first company, a single sign on company called MySocialCloud, when she graduated from high school. She attracted investors like Sir Richard Branson, Jerry Murdock and Alex Welch through Twitter who invested $1.2M in the business when she was just 18 years old. In 2013, Stacey sold MySocialCloud.com to Reputation.com and went on to publish her first best-selling book called 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers & Changing the World.

In addition to her entrepreneurial work, Stacey was one of 20 Thiel Fellows selected for the 2015 Thiel Fellowship. Stacey is a US State Department Speaker who has given speeches about entrepreneurship in Russia, Egypt, Cameroon and the Central African Republic, to name a few. She is featured in Forbes 30 Under 30.

Visit Stacey's own website, connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Heather Jerrehian: Make Your Mark Senior Executive of the Year

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, October 26, 2017
This week we honor the winner of our Watermark Senior Executive of the Year Award, Heather Jerrehian, Vice President and General Manager, Custom Products for Massdrop.

Heather leads the team in delivering exceptional enthusiast-grade products across hardware, electronics, clothing, accessories and more. In the past year, she has launched more than 60 products, working in collaboration with brands such as Sennheiser, AKG and Allen Edmonds, as well as with community designers. She also helped create the company's own Massdrop Made collection.

An avid philanthropist and mentor, Heather advises a number of early-stage startup. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise as a serial entrepreneur and working with local nonprofits and executive leadership organizations to empower the leaders of tomorrow.

Heather is a Watermark member, ambassador and co-lead of the Peninsula Women Like Us Network.

Advice to Her Younger Self
"Invest in building a network! A robust network is the greatest asset anyone can have – and, I believe, a leading indicator for future career success. This has been absolutely true for me, and it’s the reason I value Watermark’s unique ability to bring so many remarkable women together who sincerely support and encourage one another!"

Her Personal Heroes
"My parents are the true heroes in my life – for all of the love, support and encouragement they have given me. I still call on both of them today for advice! And there’s Oprah – for inspiring and encouraging so many people to move beyond the hardship and limitations in their lives to find the peace, love and joy that we all deserve."

Well done, and congratulations, Heather!

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Watermark's Online Auction Extravaganza

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Sunday, October 22, 2017
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017

It’s fall – time for Watermark’s annual Make Your Mark Awards – and our once-a-year fabulous fundraising auction! We have some amazing items, from sessions with local personal development luminaries to vacations of a lifetime and more! Bidding is EASY and takes three simple steps:

1. If you don't already have an account, sign up at biddingowl.com. Registration takes just 30 seconds.

2. Once you’ve registered, go to biddingowl.com/WatermarkInstitute to view our auction items. The "View Items" button is a drop down menu.

3. Browse our incredible selection. Click on any item for more information and place your bid. Check back often – our auction closes Tuesday, Nov. 7, at midnight!

Place Your Bids Today!

And there's more! Visit biddingowl/WatermarkInstitute for our full list!

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