What Bay Area Women Are Doing to Create Social Impact

On May 16, approximately 125 female leaders and philanthropists gathered in Sausalito at Marin Magazine’s Celebrating Women event. Susan B. Noyes, the founder of Make It Better Media Group, which recently acquired Marin Magazine and SPACES, shared her thoughts on what women are doing to shake up our world and create serious social impact.

Following the event, we caught up with several of the movers and shakers from Marin Magazine’s Celebrating Women in Business feature to find out about what they are doing to make the world a better place. Here is what they had to say.

Marin Magazine: What is your favorite nonprofit organization to support and why is it important to you?

Nurit Raphael, founder of ONA Life: My favorite nonprofit is GoFundMe. The fact that you are giving directly to someone makes me feel closer to the cause. I heard a story about a mother who migrated from New Mexico to Colorado so she could obtain CBD oil for her infant daughter’s seizures. I couldn’t believe the challenges she had to go through and I wanted to take a part in helping her, so my business, ONA Life, donated a dollar from every sale to her GoFundMe account. She reached out and personally thanked me.

Bay Area Social Impact: Nurit Raphael

Nurit Raphael

Cassie Zampa-Keim, CEO and founder of Innovative Match: I have been delivering financial and volunteer support to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital for two decades. At age 19, I was diagnosed with stage three cancer and given eight months to live. I survived due to the incredible support and treatment plan provided to me by UCSF and Stanford. So I am very grateful to St. Jude’s for helping families less fortunate and providing them with a caring and supportive environment for their children to receive lifesaving treatment. I also support Catholic Charities. I love that they give hope and help to people in need regardless of race, religion, or creed.

Bay Area social impact: Cassie Zampa-Keim

Cassie Zampa-Keim

Christine Christiansen, realtor, Vanguard Properties: I support Home for a Home because I believe a safe home can highly impact quality of life. I work hard to make this happen near and far.

Bay Area social impact: Christine Christiansen

Christine Christiansen

Rowena Finegan, owner, Pine Street Natural InteriorsPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is my favorite nonprofit organization and I fully embrace its mission. As a business owner, we refuse to purchase anything that includes cruelty to animals in any way. While we still offer such items as wool and feather-and-down fill for our furnishings and bedding, we are ultra-careful to track the whole chain-of-custody, in order to ensure that our company offers not only healthy, but also socially responsible products for the home.

Bay Area social impact: Rowena Finegan

Rowena Finegan

Jocelyn Olivier, founder, Healus Neuro Rehab Center: I support Doctors Without Borders. I am keen to think of a world without borders in which everyone is contributing what they can and as they can to humanity as a whole.

Bay Area social impact: Jocelyn Olivier

Jocelyn Olivier

Do you serve on any boards, or are you actively involved in local government, or participate in anything else you’d like to note?

Nurit Raphael: I started the Marin County Courier Association by reaching out to all the cannabis delivery operators in Marin and asking them what their plans were for 2018. Together, we formed a voice to shape county and city ordinances on licensing. I also linked this organization with a state association on cannabis delivery consisting of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. Collectively we provide input on new bills, regulations, and policy matters.

Cassie Zampa-Keim: I served on the board of the Parent Teachers Guild at St. Anselm School in San Anselmo for 10 years, two years of which I served as president. I am also on the religious committee at St. Anselm Parish.

Rowena Finegan: Last year I was invited to be part the Sausalito Sister City Program, a program that matches business women from Sausalito with female entrepreneurs from Chile to form a mentor-mentee relationship. Last year, I had the pleasure of hosting a group of women from Vina del Mar, Chile at Pine Street Natural Interiors, where we discussed our business development strategies and growth. I was happily surprised to find that several of the Chilean women were focusing on environmentally-friendly products.

Jocelyn Olivier: For many years, I served on the board of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. During that time, I created a community to address how psychology and the study of somatics (the workings of the body) are inseparable from one another.

Christine Christiansen: I participate in the Women’s Leadership and Philanthropy Council at Dominican University, which focuses on developing women leaders whose vision, energy, and contributions will make a significant impact within organizations, families and society as a whole.

Are there any other activities you participate in that make your life, or the lives of those around you, better?

Nurit Raphael: I love this question. There are many different ways in making your life and those around you better. I am striving to the find the balance in my own life with work and love of self. Pilates makes my life better by mind, body, and soul. I also volunteer in my community with the B Team in San Rafael — we are cleaning up the B Street corridor and Albert Park. I hope that this project will make lives better for the families of San Rafael.

Cassie Zampa-Keim: Besides my work, my passion is religious education for children. I teach Sunday school and I also teach Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) to prepare those who are taking first communion. I am a strong advocate for maintaining a positive mental attitude, peak physical health, strong values, and compassion, while encouraging my family, community, students, and my clients to do the same.

Rowena Finegan: My whole business (meaning, my whole life!) is dedicated to making my life, and the lives of all those who come into contact with my business, better.