Silicon Valley Women of Influence 2011: #SVWOI


Women of influence I attended the Silicon Valley Business Journal 2011 Women of Influence event in Santa Clara last week. Each year, they choose 100 women of influence and celebrate them at an annual dinner and awards gala in Santa Clara, CA. (this year, it was held at the convention center).

Speaking to a number of them over the course of several hours, the range is diverse, from engineers, high-profile lawyers, venture capitalists, space scientists, to healthcare leaders, technology pros and nonprofit executives.

One honoree, when not in the valley, lives in a rural village in Belize; another leads trips to the back country of the Sierra Norte and Sierra Madre. One honoree formed a nonprofit organization for the Muslim community to help give them a voice after 9/11 backlash.

I met another woman who is helping Muslim seniors find resources when they don’t know where else to turn. Below is Moina Shaiq who founded the Muslim Support Network based in the East Bay. (She also runs a restaurant specializing in food from Pakistan).


Moina Shaiq
Below is founder of Michele Colucci accepting her award on the main stage.

Mary Furlong, who has been instrumental in helping the aging population and empowering the ‘age boom’ was also on the list. For the full list of women, check out the SV/SJ Biz Journal piece: Meet the 2011 Women of Influence | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.

Each woman had to deliver a ‘thanks’ and what/who inspired them in 10 words or less. (not even sure if that’s quite 140 characters…..certainly a challenge to do). One Thai woman had the audience in stitches when she said, “I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for selecting my parents wisely.”

To hear some of the fabulous other thanks and kudos, check out the video below for a myriad of female voices doing remarkable things.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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