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Katherine Fordon: Make Your Mark Award Winner Spotlight

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2018

Congratulations Katherine Fordon, the winner of our 2018 Emerging Executive of the Year award. We will be honoring Katherine (and our other winners) at our annual Make Your Mark Awards on Thursday, Nov 15 at the Santa Clara Marriott. RSVP to celebrate with us!

Katherine Fordon is a Bay Area communications professional with 16 years of experience helping companies market and communicate their messages to their employees and the world. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, Katherine went on to work as a sports writer for the Longmont Times-Call (formerly known as the Daily Times-Call). A move to Chicago led Katherine into the field of public relations where she worked on the world-famous “got milk?” mobile marketing tour and represented well-known companies and organizations, such as Turtle Wax, Rubbermaid, GLAD, USG, John G. Shedd Aquarium and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), as well as Fortune 500 clients, including Whirlpool Corporation and Skil Power Tools (Robert Bosch GmbH). After agency life, Katherine spent almost a decade running her own communications consulting business, Katherine Fordon Public Relations (KFPR), helping Bay Area companies and agencies with their communications needs. Katherine is currently the Director of Corporate Communications for Wilbur-Ellis, a San Francisco-based company. Passionate about women’s rights and equality, Katherine is a board member of Women of Wilbur-Ellis, the Company’s first business resource group, a member of Watermark’s Emerging Executive Advisory Council and a volunteer for Courageous Women Association’s Career Development and Economic Empowerment Program. Katherine also serves as a board member for Diablo Valley Montessori School. When she’s not working, Katherine enjoys spending time with her husband and two children exploring all the wonderful food, music, culture and nature in the Bay Area and beyond.

Most Valuable Lesson

It’s a pretty basic and fundamental lesson, but more important than ever in our digital world: Never burn a bridge. Everything comes back to haunt you, good or bad.

Advice for 20-Year-Old Self

Stop. Breathe. And know that this is just a moment, is a small space in time where work or life – or both – are crazy. Life is constantly going to throw you curve balls and the innings never end. Just take them one at a time and lean into those pitches, don’t step out of the batter’s box.

Smartest Career Move

Walking away from running my own consulting business to go back inhouse with a single company. I was leaving behind freedom to choose my clients, choose the people I would work with, set my pay and decide my own hours. However, what I gained was so much more. I gained a team that is focused on a single goal. I gained exposure to markets and industries that I never would have in my own consulting business. I gained a boss who not only cares about my career, but cares about my family and my life outside of work as well.

Secret Ingredient for Growth and Success

Being myself. For so long, I tried to fit inside these personalities that I thought my manager or supervisor wanted in the role. Only when I truly was myself did I start to see growth and change. That growth and change, leads to success.

Tags:  Emerging Executives  Leadership  Make Your Mark  Women 

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Choose to Make Your Mark with Watermark

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

 

Now more than ever, women need to unite their voices and own their mics, speaking their truth, gathering in numbers to rise above the cloudy din of crazy talk being spouted about by fearful individuals. For 25 years, Watermark has been a meeting place for women to raise one another up. Those getting started and those more senior, gather on a monthly basis to learn, to connect and to support one another in achieving their goals. With the recent signing of a bill in California, ensuring that there is at least one woman at the corporate table, we want to share with you some new advancements at Watermark that align with these powerful changes.

In 2019, we are adding new benefits for our members: some personal, some professional, but all with the intention of delivering to you access to the people, insights, serendipity and opportunities that you can only get at Watermark.

Q: Why should I be a member of Watermark?

A: Meet great people, learn from smart people and get the chance to participate in programming, thereby increasing your network and your professional value.

Q: What are some of the benefits?

A: As a member of Watermark, you receive discounts on tickets to our speaker series and networking events, as well as our conferences devoted to Innovation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. Next year, we are adding a new conference for women in Life and Health Sciences.

We turn to our members to participate in events either during our Fireside Chats at our Women Like Us (WLU) networking events, volunteers at our conferences and speaking series programs.

We gather insights from our membership to help us build the best and strongest programming we can. We literally build our calendar for you, and with you.

Through our partnerships with organizations such as The Athena Alliance and Boardwise for Board preparation to ReBoot Accel to launch or relaunch a career, our members enjoy discounts to these partner programs.

For your whole well-being, we have negotiated a year’s worth of coaching at what would normally be only 10 hours with our wonderful partners at, BetterUp.

We have created special longer form and digital leadership development programs with our partners, Exec|Comm, the Center For Creative Leadership, and the Professional Development Academy.

In our effort to support all aspects of life, Watermark works with securing discounts with partners who provide more personally oriented products such for a variety of products and services.

Q:  What are the levels of membership?

A: We have senior and emerging executive levels.

Q: Is there anything for those of us in the C-Suite?

A: Yes. We have a quarterly meeting for our C-Suite members. The evening includes networking, special speakers, dinner and then the opportunity to meet privately with a cohort of other members of your professional level.

 Q: Do I have to pay for all events or can I pay as I go?

A: We have a flex plan that requires a down payment ($245 for Emerging Executives, $445 for Senior execs) and then you pay for ONLY the events you attend and get a 40% discount off of the ticket price. For those who like a more one and done approach, we offer the Prestige level ($800 for Emerging Executives, $1000 for Senior execs), that provides you the ability to pay for all events up front.

Q: What’s on the horizon?

A: Coming soon in 2019 there will be additional benefits such as airline lounge availability, products and more. We will be holding member only programming such as a job fair for Emerging Executives, and senior level specific speakers.

Now is the time to find your voice, stand up in front and make your mark in the world. We would love to support you in any and every way. We look forward to you joining us!


Tags:  Emerging Executives  Executives  Leadership  Membership 

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New Watermark Partnerships with KPMG, NineSigma, and Mount Saint Mary’s University Focus on Leadership Programs for Women

Posted By Administrator, Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, September 25, 2018 -- Watermarkthe Bay Area’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in leadership positions, announces its quarterly new partners joining the movement to advance women by fostering careers, along with community and corporate development. KPMG, one of Watermark’s newest partners, is a Fortune 50 company.

The new partners are KPMG (Fortune #29), Mount Saint Mary’s University, and NineSigma. These companies provide their women executives and emerging executives with the tools they need for success, by leveraging numerous Watermark programs to develop and empower employees in their professional careers and personal lives. These programs, many inclusive both for women and men, focus on Tactical Skills, Organization, Emotional Intelligence, and Yearlong Development.  

“Our goal is to eradicate gender inequities wherever they exist,” says Emerald Archer, PhD, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University. “To accomplish that, we must work collaboratively. We’re proud to partner with Watermark and support its efforts in the Bay Area to increase the number of women serving in leadership positions. It’s professional women like those who will help eliminate obstacles in the workplace and create equitable, supportive policies for women, their families and our communities.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Watermark has an additional 35 partners, along with its individual members, benefiting from originally programming from Watermark’s 50+ events annually including multiple half-day conferences, speaker series, webinars, training sessions, and networking events. This year, its 5th annual Conference for Women, features keynotes from Serena Williams, Brené Brown, and Gloria Steinem.

“When companies partner with Watermark, they continue to build a reputation of not only supporting women in leadership roles, but proactively bringing positive change, diversity, and advancement from within their companies,” remarks Marlene Williamson, CEO of Watermark. “They become industry change-leaders by challenging other companies to follow suit.”

Watermark partners engage through its customized corporate programs and memberships to provide their women development opportunities designed to foster women’s careers through corporate advancement and retention. For additional information regarding Watermark partnership opportunities or programming, please contact Kate Byrne, kate@wearewatermark.org.

About Watermark

 Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Watermark is the leading community of top women executives, emerging executives and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area whose mission is to increase the number of women in leadership positions. The membership organization connects, develops and advocates for the advancement of women in the workplace by offering regular leadership development programs and networking opportunities and promoting gender diversity and equality initiatives. Watermark also supports girls’ leadership programs to help build a well-qualified workforce for the future.

About KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us or follow us @KPMGUS_News.

 About NineSigma

Based in Independence, Ohio, NineSigma North America Inc. (NSNA) has served a wide variety of clients and industries since 2000. NSNA is committed to helping organizations in the Americas connect to new sources of innovation and Solution Providers from across the globe. NSNA’s Open Innovation model allows clients to rapidly gain access to new capabilities, knowledge and technical solutions to advance business objectives. Leveraging large technical crowds around the world through proactive open innovation strategies is a proven method to solve problems, generate new product ideas, discover new technologies and find new innovation partners. NineSigma North America Inc., brings together a team of innovation specialists to provide the highest professional level in Open Innovation services and practices. Our business development directors and program managers have a wide range of knowledge and expertise in all sectors and can help design an effective open innovation program strategy that is customized to your needs. www.ninesigma.com 

 About Mount Saint Mary's University

Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s university in Los Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. The University is known nationally for its research on gender equity, its innovative health and science programs, and its commitment to community service. As a leading liberal arts institution, Mount Saint Mary’s provides year-round, flexible and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Weekend, evening and graduate programs are offered to both women and men. Mount alums are engaged, active, global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world. www.msmu.edu

Contact

 Watermark | Erin Tselenchuk | erin@wearewatermark.org

 

Tags:  Announcement  Emerging Executives  Executives  Leadership  Partners 

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