Program Coordinator, IGNITE Worldwide
Founder & CEO, IGNITE Worldwide
Cathi founded IGNITE to help girls everywhere to believe in themselves and encourage each girl to strive to develop her abilities and skills. Cathi understands that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers offer women the opportunity to make their unique contribution to society while working in high paying roles, gaining confidence and in turn each one becoming a role model for the next generation. Cathi sees her reward each time a girl understands that she is smart and capable and gains the conviction to accomplish her special dream.
Board President, IGNITE Worldwide and CEO of Dreamclinic, Inc.
WHY YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH IGNITE WORLDWIDE?
As a former High Tech executive, I personally experienced the gender imbalance of those working in technology positions. I was one of just a few dozen women at a Netscape conference in 1995 attended by a thousand people. I was motivated to find a way to address this imbalance and help women discover how diverse and truly satisfying technology careers can be. When I learned about IGNITE, I immediately recognized that IGNITE was the perfect way for me to make a difference and connect with young women while they are still at school and in the process of considering different career options.
HOW HAS IGNITE WORLDWIDE INSPIRED YOU?
It is inspiring to attend presentations and to see girls’ eyes light up when they meet successful women in technology, as the girls realize “I CAN do this too. I CAN work in tech, I CAN be successful” It’s watching empowerment in action.
WHAT VALUE DOES IGNITE WORLDWIDE PROVIDE FOR GIRLS?
Girls above all need role models, often currently lacking in popular culture. They need role model of female professionals succeeding in STEM jobs and as executives. IGNITE provides exactly this.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT IGNITE WORLDWIDE WITH THE WIDER COMMUNITY?
Simply that IGNITE is the most successful program of its kind because it is tried and proven and has already touched and inspired thousands of girls. IGNITE is so well established as a best practice to achieve gender equity in tech that is being implemented not only at schools across the US but also in schools in Europe and Africa.
Larisa Goldin is Founder and CEO of Dreamclinic, Inc., Seattle’s premier facilities for therapeutic massage and acupuncture, with locations in Seattle and Redmond and corporate clients that include leading area employers like Boeing, Twitter and the Polyclinic. Dreamclinic is a recipient of multiple industry awards including King5 Best of Western Washington, Best of Citysearch, Allure Magazine and Seattle Magazine. Larisa is also co-founder of Find Touch, a nationwide Job Search website and community hub for the massage industry. Prior to founding Dreamclinic in 2003, Larisa held a succession of senior level positions in the high-tech sector, her last as Director of Program Management for 4thpass (acquired by Motorola in 2002). Before that, Larisa was Group Program Manager at Concur (CNQR) in 2000 and Manager of Internet Systems for InstallShield Software Corporation in Chicago (1995-1999). In her mid-twenties, Larisa founded and later sold Zelcor – a St. Louis based company specializing in wholesale distribution of computer supplies.
Larisa is a frequent guest speaker at the University of Washington Business School as well as an annual judge for the University of Washington EMBA Business Plan Competition. She is a former member of the Women Presidents Organization and a current member of the prestigious Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) where she also serves as a Forum Moderator. Larisa is IGNITE’s current Board Director.
Board Vice President, IGNITE Worldwide and Senior Manager, Strategic Technology Alliances at ServiceNow
Manisha is Director of a team that builds strategic alliances between technology partners and ServiceNow, reporting to the Chief Innovation Officer. She serves as alliance architect for the most strategic platform partners of ServiceNow, driving product planning, engineering, and go-to-market efforts. She is an industry speaker, platform evangelist, and trusted advisor to Fortune 500 executive partners and customers. She has been a passionate volunteer and board member of IGNITE for about 10 years.
Board Treasurer, IGNITE Worldwide and IT Project Manager at Boeing
In 1984, I made the decision that a Secretarial position was not going to be my life career. I finished my AA in Business Administration and then took a course to be an Electronic Technician at the local junior college. After six months of class and only one of a few women that finished! I was offered an Electronic Technician Position with Boeing working on the Minuteman Missile Program. I worked in a Developmental Test Lab and tested Hardware and Software for the Air Force. I loved my job.
Then I started working with the world of Local Area Networks/Wide Area Networks (Routers, Bridges, Concentrators, Multiplexors, and High speed data transmission lines). I finished my Bachelor of Science in 1997 and decided I could go anywhere now. I liked my job, but I wanted to Engineer Networks. I heard there was a position available at Microsoft, so I decided to try for it. After going through one of the longest interview processes, I was hired. I started with the Development Lab Group (DevNet) and worked on installing networks for Developmental Labs, it was new and exciting!
In the summer of 2000, I took my Certification test for Cisco, and received a Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification. In 2006, I took my Project Management Professional Certification and am a Certified PM. I worked 17 years at Microsoft in many different types of technical jobs: I worked for the Network Performance Team. The Network Performance Team was responsible for monitoring Microsoft’s Wide Area Network, reporting on trends and performance issues, grooming traffic and making circuit sizing recommendations, in order to maximize the efficient utilization of available bandwidth while minimizing overall costs by obviating the need for unnecessary circuit upgrades. I was responsible for North America including Canada and Latin America. I went on to be an Integration Manager for the Venture and Integration Team, bringing on new businesses to our network. I became a Service Manager/Service Engineer for the Tools and Management Team, where I managed the network engineering team and stakeholders for the service. I finished my career at Microsoft as a Business Manager for the Production Engineering Team, where I assisted with the Rhythm of Business and delivery of the new BI Dashboard.
After leaving Microsoft, I felt the need to continue my work in a contracting position. Today I work for Insight Global LLC, contracting for T-Mobile as a Project Manager for the Engineering IP Network Infrastructure Organization. I am responsible for projects related to infrastructure maintenance, driving infrastructure deployments, including build outs or expansions to all Call Centers. It’s an exciting position and every day is a new day! I love this job! Contracting is new to me and this is a one year contract, but the people and the work I am introduced to is so worth it.
I don’t know where I will go next, but if I can give advice to anyone to succeed it’s never quit learning – YOU can do anything you put your mind too!
Program Director, IGNITE Worldwide
Amber Zertuche grew up in Fresno, California and got her B.S. in Optical Science and Engineering at University of California, Davis. She has worked with femtosecond lasers to create waveguides at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and worked as one of the few women Metrology Engineers on the primary mirrors for the James Webb Space Telescope at Tinsley Laboratories in Richmond, California. Seeing a need for more diversity in the engineering workforce, Amber went back to school to receive her M.S. in Math and Science Education at the University of California, Berkeley, with the goal to work at the high school level and directly encourage girls to pursue STEM education and careers. She became a Physics and Engineering teacher at Burton High School in San Francisco Unified School District and opened an IGNITE chapter there. Amber is also the Co-membership Chair at Double Union (a hacker/maker space for women in San Francisco), part of the Society of Women Engineers Golden Gate Section, an avid concert goer, vegan, and a yoga practitioner.
Program Director, IGNITE Worldwide
Lauren Johnson grew up in a military family in the Seattle area and went on to serve herself as an Air Force public affairs officer, deploying to the Republic of Mali and Afghanistan. After her honorable discharge, Lauren earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, and she writes and lectures on military topics to help destigmatize the veteran experience, with a particular focus on female veterans. She recently returned to the Pacific Northwest and is exited to help destigmatize women in STEM fields as well.
Program Coordinator, IGNITE Worldwide
Caitlin Duke grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has worked in K-12 education for over a decade. She became an elementary school teacher through Teach for America and quickly saw the importance of both increased exposure to STEM and representation for underrepresented students. She has coached hundreds of educators on equitable practices, relationship-building, and creating welcoming and participatory communities. She is excited to support teachers, companies, and volunteers to provide life-altering experiences for students as a team member at IGNITE Worldwide. Caitlin is now settled in Seattle with her family and enjoys the great outdoors, sitting down with a good book, and all things dog-related.
Marketing and Communciations Director, IGNITE Worldwide
Program Coordinator, International
Why are you involved with IGNITE Worldwide?
Because I was immersed in science at an early age and had opportunities to interact with females in STEM, I innocently believed that everyone had this opportunity as well. I came to realize that my experience was not typical. Girls need access to information about STEM careers and also need to see themselves represented so they know their dreams are achievable. I see the measurable impact that IGNITE has on girls. They have the chance to learn about and eventually contribute and lead in STEM, which will provide them with upward economic mobility. It is my privilege to serve IGNITE because of our shared value of equity and empowerment.
How has IGNITE Worldwide inspired you?
I am inspired by IGNITE’s fortitude and dedication to bring its programs to girls all across the globe. It’s worldwide outreach is ensuring that geographic location is not a barrier to girls who can benefit from panels and learning resources. Ghanaian intellectual, missionary and teacher James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey is quoted as saying “The surest way to keep people down is to educate the men and neglect the women. If you educate a man you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation. IGNITE inspires me because they are changing the world by championing gender equity so that whole nations rather than individuals will have access to STEM exposure and STEM education.
What would you like our wider community to know about IGNITE Worldwide?
It is no small feat that IGNITE has embarked on and yet since it’s inception it has shown dedication to growth and expansion. IGNITE is providing girls with a seemingly simple passage to a life that I know is fulfilling, empowering and of service. To the panelists who share their stories, challenges and triumphs, IGNITE creates opportunities to reach back and provide the same guidance and hope that helped them succeed.
Sandra Newman is a Consultant in Quality and Compliance for Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies. Her career begun as a Quality Control scientist with Cell Genesys and since then has worked in various quality roles for companies such as Qiagen, AstraZeneca and Novavax. Under her leadership she has positioned industry-leading companies to thrive in the face of change by devising strategies, processes, and training solutions that close performance gaps, amplify quality, and foster collaboration. She has an unwavering commitment to building compliance-focused teams and empowering them with the knowledge, drive, and confidence to succeed.
Sandra Newman grew up in the West African nation of Ghana. She participated in a science clinic for girls, where she met women with successful STEM careers and was inspired to pursue STEM herself. She is a mentor for WIB (Women in Bio) where she provides support for other women in their careers. She is also an adjunct instructor in Genetics.
In her free time Sandra enjoys reading, baking, decorating and spending quality time with family and friends.
Marketing Coordinator, IGNITE Worldwide
Program Coordinator, IGNITE Worldwide
“I couldn’t be more excited to continue advocating for equity with such an incredible organization.”
Danielle joins the IGNITE Team with an abundance of experience, having had roles including the Endorsement Coordinator for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates for the 2022 election cycle, supporting folks in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Washington. She spent five years with Freedom for All Americans as Project Coordinator for the Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination Coalition, working with mayors across the country to promote equality through any means available, from devising local ordinances to participating in amicus briefs to the Supreme Court.
While Danielle has found her niche in coordinating, in her past life, she received her MHS in Pathology from Duke University and spent ten years in diagnostic laboratories around the country.
Danielle has a ten-year-old daughter that will rule the world someday if the way she runs the house is any indication, and a 13-year-old son who she hopes will continue to be thoughtful, compassionate, and curious as he runs the gauntlet of middle school. (Almost guaranteed, since he is one-half Minnesotan.) She is fortunate enough to have a husband that is a one-whole Minnesotan, and to live in the Pacific Northwest so that she can remember to never take the sunshine for granted.