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There are many large publications that publish an annual Women of the Year list and I’m always disappointed when I see the lists populated with female celebrities and women who already have a very high profile, not to say these women haven’t had notable accomplishments. She Takes on the World Women of the Year pays tribute to a diverse group of women ranging from teachers to social innovators to entrepreneurs. These are women we have been inspired by this year in our every day lives. They may not be celebrities -although some of them are well on their way -but one thing is for sure: these bold, fearless women are taking on the world.
After sorting through over one hundred incredible nominations, we had the difficult task of determining the Women of the Year. A special thank you to all the nominators. This could not have been done without you!
In no particular order, here are the She Takes on the World Women of the Year 2009:
The Community Builder: Sloane Berrent
Sloane is a cause-based marketing consultant, combining high-level social media strategy, product evangelizing, fund raising and community development services to for-profit and nonprofit companies with a focus on social action campaigns. She had a life changing and exciting year as a digital nomad, traveling the world and volunteering in South America, New Orleans and the Philippines. She was selected to be a Kiva Fellow and had the opportunity to see the power of microcredit first-hand. She is the founder of the blog, The Causemopolitan and speaks frequently on community building.
The Media Maven: Shira Lazar
Shira Lazar is an online personality who covers the latest in socials trends and pop culture on her CBSNews.com blog, On the Scene. She is also a correspondent on The Tomorrow Show with Mo Rocca and This Week in YouTube. Shira is a supporter of many organizations and causes and hosts Live Earth TV, bringing people information and news about the global water crisis as it relates to children in the developing world.
The Design Princess: Megan Hunt
Megan is a designer and the founder of Princess Lasertron, a specialty bridal design boutique she started in 2005. She has grown Princess Lasertron to a three-person company that reaches hundreds of thousands of brides through magazines and online media. The personal connection she develops with each of her clients ensures her custom designs bring a unique personal touch to a bride’s special day. Megan describes herself as having “entrepreneurial tendencies” and devotes much of her time to supporting the creative and entrepreneurial community in her hometown of Omaha.
The Performer: Sandra Sommerville
Sandra is a circus and fire performer, specializing in the art of hula hoop dancing, for which she has become widely recognized in the hooping community. She owns a specialty dance company, SaFire Dance, that performs around North America at events ranging from conferences to corporate shows. Sandra also inspires and coaches other hula hoop dancers through her online community, Hoop City, and through her tutorial videos which have reached millions. When Sandra isn’t dancing or growing her company, she can be heard delivering motivational speeches to students.
The Idea Spreader: Ana María Llopis
Ana María is the founder of the idea sharing site, ideas4all, and she’s on a mission to build a Global Brain of millions of ideas. She is also the founder of Openbank, a leading online bank in Europe and has served as Chairwoman of Viaplus and Razona, as well as Executive Vice President at Indra. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including The Times 100 Most Influential Executives in the UK. Ana María is Vice President of the José Félix Llopis Latin American Art Foundation and supports a number of social initiatives.
The Modern Philanthropist: Jean Case
Jean is a philanthropist who created the Case Foundation with her husband over a decade ago. The Case Foundation is focused on finding lasting solutions for complex social challenges using entrepreneurial approaches. Prior to creating the Case Foundation, Jean was a senior executive at AOL. Jean extends her reach into the non-profit community by serving on the boards of several organizations, including a co-chair position for the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership.
The Mentor: Brandy Adamson
Brandy is the founder and CEO of Alive Incorporated, a firm providing clients with business consulting, brand management, marketing and coaching services. One of her key projects is Alive Magazine, a publication for aspiring and current entrepreneurial women of color. The solid team of editors and contributors behind Alive Magazine have grown the publication to reach and inspire over 25,000 readers.
The Fighter: Patricia Alcivar
Patricia is a boxer with an accomplished amateur career who turned professional this year. She has overcome many challenges to get to where she is today. She left an abusive home at the age of fifteen and worked underage to support herself and put herself through school. She is dedicated to becoming a World Champion and using her story as a source of hope and inspiration to women around the world.
The Social Innovator: Amanda Rose
Amanda is a strategy consultant and the organizer of Twestival, a Twitter fund raising phenomenon. This year, Twestival brought together volunteer organizers from around the world to host offline gatherings to raise money for charity. The first Twestival Global involved 202 cities simultaneously hosting events to benefit charity:water. Over 1,000 volunteers, crowdsourced through Twitter, contributed to raise over $250,000 in one day, resulting in 55 wells with more than 17,000 people served in Uganda, Ethiopia, and India.
The Twitter Queen: Laura Fitton
Laura is the founder of Pistachio Consulting and oneforty inc. She also wrote Twitter for Dummies earlier this year. She has been called the Queen of Twitter and is a sought after expert on the micro blogging platform. Laura believes that everyone can benefit -dramatically- from what Twitter has to offer, and shares her own ‘isolated mom to sought-after author’ story as an example of its power to overcome isolation. She showed how Twitter can bring thousands together to achieve big change with very small donations, building wells in the developing world with her @WellWishes holiday wish campaign.
The Social Citizen: Kari Saratovsky
Kari is the publisher of the popular Social Citizens Blog. She focuses on strengthening civic engagement and volunteerism, developing cross-sector partnerships, and accelerating new approaches to giving and philanthropy. Kari is Vice President of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation and the former Executive Director for the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. She is passionate about connecting people and ideas in the government and nonprofit sectors.
The Social Entrepreneur: Ida Horner
Ida is the founder of Ethnic Supplies, a social enterprise specializing in textiles, arts and crafts from East Africa. Having visited the South West part of her native Uganda in December 2006, the poverty she witnessed prompted Ida to quit her job as a Housing Manager for a London council to set up Ethnic Supplies. Today, Ethnic Supplies supports women in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar by sourcing handmade handicrafts and fashion accessories from suppliers that support women to be financially independent or directly from established women’s groups in rural locations.
The Advocate: Ellen Cooperperson
Ellen is the founder of Corporate Performance Consultants. She also created a Women’s Leadership Development Center and is an advocate for women in business. Ellen’s business success and her compelling personal story have inspired many. Her son was diagnosed with AIDS as a child after receiving an infected blood transfusion while undergoing cancer treatment. She was told to prepare for the worst but she pushed for experimental medical treatments and her son beat the cancer. Ellen raises money for Best Buddies New Year and is a vocal advocate for AIDS research as well as Autism care and research, a disorder that affects her two grandchildren.
The Serial Entrepreneur: Christine Lu
Christine is one busy entrepreneur. She launched a podcast show in 2007 for Entrepreneur Magazine called The China Business Show which led to the founding of The China Business Network. Christine devotes much of her time and projects on the bridge between East and West. She is involved in several cross border initiatives including co-founding [RE]Think and curating TEDxShanghai. Her latest role is CEO of Affinity Ventures China, a new boutique firm focused on structuring cross border deal flow in the China luxury, outbound Chinese tourism and outbound Chinese investment circle.
The Passionate Teacher: Aisha Brown
Aisha is a coordinator at The Deborah Brown Community School, private elementary school founded by her mother to raise children to by leaders in their local communities and the global community at large. Aisha always had a passion for teaching but the road to becoming a teacher was not easy. In 1996, her brother was killed and in 2000 she lost her father, who died of unknown causes. Through tragedy and despair she attended classes and later graduated. Aisha is loved and respected by many of her students. She motivates them through real life examples and reminds them that no one is obligated to believe in them. Her message is that students must develop a desire and have to believe in themselves and do their best in any situation.
The Survivor: Kathleen Schmidt
Kathleen is a survivor of domestic violence, something one in every four women will experience in her lifetime. This year, she wrote a book about her experience, Escaping The Glass Cage: A Story of Survival and Empowerment from Domestic Violence. The book is about Kathleen’s story, her escape, and how she took her power back and created a new life, new beliefs and new dreams to move forward into. She is donating twenty percent of proceeds from the book to the organization, Save Exploited Women. Kathleen is also a passionate writer, foodie, and blogger at The Poor Chef.
The Fashionista: Anita Clarke
Anita is the editor-in-chief of I Want -I Got, a fashion and arts blog based in Toronto. She is truly a woman who is comfortable in her own skin and her confidence and personality radiates through her unique style. She has become an important part of the Canadian fashion scene and promoting local designers. This year she even had a dress named after her by fashion designers, Greta Constantine, and was featured in a window showcase for Holt Renfrew that was shown in stores across Canada. In a local fashion industry that experiences ups and downs, Anita is an important voice that brings the industry to the world using new media.
These women are examples of what you can achieve when you believe in the power of your dreams. Wishing you joy, health, adventure, and much success as we head into a new year and a new decade.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau
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