Author Archives: Santa Cruz Socialites
Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Santa Cruz?
I grew up in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Corvallis, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon and working a six-month season for the U. S. Forest Service, a friend who had recently moved from Eugene to Santa Cruz encouraged me to visit because she thought I might like living here. The rest is history, as they say. Aside from one year in San Diego after graduating from UC Santa Cruz, I’ve lived in Santa Cruz ever since.
You have a serious an entrepreneurial streak. Is this recent, or throughout your career? And is this out of preference, necessity or both?
Despite what I’m doing now as founder and publisher of Santa Cruz Tech Beat (http://santacruztechbeat.com), I would not call myself entrepreneurial by nature. For the first 20 years of my tech career, I worked at software companies as an employee. The switch to self-employment was accidental. After my 13-year stint at SCO (Santa Cruz Operation) ended, I didn’t want to commute over the hill, and two local web development companies each wanted to hire me on a part-time consulting basis, and thus began my consulting career. One of the companies was Quiddities, founded and run by Margaret Rosas, and the other was Monarch Media, founded and run by Claire Schneeberger. Both are still very active in the local tech scene. I love the flexibility of being self-employed so it’s hard to imagine a change now.
How long have you been in tech, and how did you choose your current role?
I’ve been in tech since graduating from UCSC with a degree in Computer Science. Publishing Santa Cruz Tech Beat — my current role — is a big switch from anything I’ve done in the past. I founded Santa Cruz Tech Beat in 2013 in part because my son was about to leave for college and I was open to sinking my teeth into a new project. Then-mayor Hilary Bryant and Margaret Rosas (who now works at Looker) were both very encouraging. I didn’t realize at the time that SCTB would play such a big role in my professional life and in the community.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how have you addressed them?
Before launching Santa Cruz Tech Beat, my professional focus — in broad brush strokes — was to fulfill the requests of any given boss or client, be it programming, project management, account management, etc. I wasn’t involved in directing the fate of the company or raising funds. With SCTB, I wear all of the hats! This means I’m not only making editorial choices and publishing articles on the website, I’m responsible for every decision and, in particular, for finding funding, my biggest challenge (most likely because I hadn’t done it before). I’m always on the lookout for partners (aka sponsors) because that is SCTB’s only source of support.
What are you passionate about, both personally and professionally?
Professionally, it’s very gratifying to be completely engaged in our local professional community. I used to get that kind of juice from being part of a team when I worked at companies. Now I get it from being a member of the local tech ecosystem. It’s very supportive.
Personally, I’m passionate about tennis and tango. I’ve been playing tennis for several decades, and it never ceases to amaze me how much I enjoy it. Tango is just a few years new for me, but I love it and it has become a big part of my life. Both require complete focus and being in the moment. And, I’m still passionate about being a mom, even though my son is graduating from college this May.
What do you consider to be your most successful projects (define “projects” however you’d like), and why?
My son. Being a parent trumps (forgive me) everything else.
How does the community play a role in the arc of your career?
Santa Cruz Tech Beat exists only because the region (Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties) want it and support it! I am very connected to a variety of organizations, including city and county offices, universities and colleges, startups, established businesses, nonprofits, and angels in the Central Coast region.
What do you do when you aren’t at your day job?
Tennis, tango, yoga, swimming, eating dark chocolate, and spending time with friends.
What skills are vital to your success?
I’ve always been a bit of a news junkie so that helps. Being organized, community minded, and wanting to tell other people’s stories helps. Knowledge of WordPress and social media helps, too. The most important thing has been being in the thick of the community, working at NextSpace, attending the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup, etc.
Any advice for others thinking of a similar career?
Don’t do it for the money. Do it because it’s engaging, interesting, and valuable to the community.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I like to eat good dark chocolate in the morning before getting out of bed. My sweetie likes this, too.
What’s next for you? What’s on the horizon?
I’m not sure.
Thank you to our fabulous blogger: Carrie Kingsley
The 2017 Dream BIG event was held on Saturday January 14th 11am – 2pm at Childish in Midtown Santa Cruz.
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” -Gloria Steinem
We gathered to kick off our 2017 in a BIG way, Santa Cruz Socialites style! It was our 5th annual “Dream BIG Event”, the event that started it all.
We created Goal Posters/ Dream Boards/ Vision Boards. We celebrated with mimosas and listened to the powerful words of our inspirational speakers.
Guest speakers & motivators included:
Relationship with Money: Sabrina Max spoke about why we should have a healthy relationship with money.
Love and relationships: Amber Campion spoke about love and relationships. Amber is a Leadership Coach for changemakers with big dreams and an extraordinary hunger for living a full life.
Goal Setting and Propelling Your New Year: Lelania Marie Williams (JoJo) is the Phoenix rising from the ashes. She gave us inspiration to bring into our new year.
Sheila Walsh Dunton, a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner at Purple Beet Nutrition. She is a believer in food as medicine. Eating for nutrition is easy and fun… and she shared some tools on how to make that possible!
Bonnie Bea, founder of Beyond Autoimmune spoke about the connection between emotional and physical health and how both are necessary for a lasting change.
“She turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans”
“If your dreams don’t scare you They’re not big enough”
“If you dream it, you can do it”
“Never let go of your dreams”
Thank you to all of you who came out to celebrate!
-Santa Cruz Socialites xoxo
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We gathered at BHODY in downtown Santa Cruz. Graciously hosted by Yoke Wong and her staff. BHODY is a Sustainable & Ethical Lifestyle Retail Store for the Home and Body. Premium, well designed apparel & natural body care products for Men, Women & Children.
Dr. Cath Byrne, Life Coach to Peace, on HUMAN RIGHTS and SOCIAL JUSTICE. “The things that really matter can’t be bought” -Dr Cath Byrne.
Elizabeth Birnbaum, Founder of Curated Feast, on THE ENVIRONMENT. “Everything can be an environment for learning” -Liz Birnbaum
Sarah Maxwell, Founder of The Good Karma Movement, on COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. “”We are eating organic food, we should be wearing organic clothes” -Sarah Maxwell
Dr Catherine Burn, Life Coach to Peace, is committed to YOU, herself and ALL OF US living in a more harmonious and loving world – internally and externally.
Cath has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, a Masters Degree in International Peace Studies and a Bachelor and Associates degree in Psychology. She clearly knows social justice and human rights.
She was a tenure track professor in the Psychology Department at the University of California, and returns to lecture there from time to time.She is a Notre Dame Law School and local Conflict Resolution Center trained mediator. If that’s not impressive enough she is a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, for those of you who don’t know Martha Beck is Oprah Winfrey’s Life Coach.
She grew up in South Africa and has seen racial segregation first hand.
It was a privilege to have Dr. Cath Burn join us.
Liz Birnbaum is the Founder and Curator of the Curated Feast. In her nearly decade-long career in food, she has also organized the oldest and largest sustainable agriculture conference in the West (the EcoFarm Conference), traveled to Italy as a U.S. delegate for Slow Food (for Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto), interviewed farmers coast-to-coast, and now, in addition to working at the Organic Farming Research Foundation by day, she has turned a party trick into a business (The Curated Feast). Liz has co-taught college courses on biodiversity and agriculture, botanical imperialism, and food geography. For those of you who know Liz know that she has a magical way of telling stories about food.
We were fortunate to have Liz join us.
Sarah Maxwell is the founder of The Good Karma Movement she is a seasoned professional in the wellness communities and has worked with many leading edge brands who are pioneers in the mind, body, spirit and wellness realms on an International level. Sarah is known for her contagious enthusiasm, relationship building skills and her keen ability to identify and monetize trends.
Living and breathing a “Wholelistic” Lifestyle has helped her to stay committed to cause based commerce and entrepreneurialism. She is dedicated to flourishing and thriving and to inspiring others to experience the same “Good Karma” life essence for themselves and to SHARE the Feeling of joy, health, spiritual wealth and fulfillment with their loved ones, their community and the planet as a whole. Sarah believes in the power of the collective to create meaningful changes in how people vote with their buying power to help the good guys and girls have a win-win in the business world.
It was a joy to have Sarah Maxwell join us.
Thank you to all who attended with an interest in how to support and shop local to make this world a better place. Now we know a little more!
-Santa Cruz Socialites xoxo
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Little Black Dress 2016 took place Friday October 21st from 6pm-9pm at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge.
Socialites, dusted off their high heels and pulled out their little black dresses to celebrate women in the direct sales industry who have a huge passion for their business and love what they do. Little Black Dress is always a favorite.
This month’s proceeds went to little Reba Zumberage, a brilliant two-year-old baby girl and her family. https://rebazumberge.com/ Thank you to all of you wonderful women who came out to celebrate and support!
Vist our Santa Cruz Socialites Facebook page to view more photos.
Erin Hackett, H2o at Home
Angela Quan, Rodan + Fields
Michelle Riddle, Stella & Dot
Anita Raffaelli, Ruby Ribbon
Stephanie Glines, Lula Roe
Shawn McBride, Arbonne
Sheila Walsh-Denton, Beauty Counter