Women in Action: Leadership Towards an Equitable Pandemic Recovery (September 2021)

This two-part series highlights women leaders in education and business as we strive to build an equitable pandemic recovery. Through two virtual panels and three interviews featuring prominent local women leaders, we discuss the role and contributions of women leaders who address youth education and regional economic development.  


Women’s Leadership in Education and Empowerment 

September 10, 2021 

The speakers discuss how schools and empowerment programs can help youth navigate the pandemic (from meeting basic needs to coping with mental health issues) and prepare for an uncertain future. (See speakers’ bios below) 

Women’s Leadership in Business and Entrepreneurship 

September 17, 2021 

The speakers discuss the roles that women non-profit, business and elected leaders play in revitalizing our community and creating an equitable post-pandemic economy. They cover issues such as child care, generational wealth, equity for women’s businesses and how to take action to create a more equitable economy. (See speakers’ bios below) 


Jean Rolfe
Founder, Seattle CityClub  

Jean reflects on women’s leadership in our community and shares her perspectives on civic engagement and discourse as a founder of Seattle CityClub 40 years ago. 

Fatima Jamal
Student, UW Bothell 

Fatima reflects on her experience as a student-leader at the University of Washington, Bothell and discusses her perspectives on gender equity and women’s leadership. 

Brittany Do
Student at University of Washington and author of Bigger than Leadership

Brittany reflects on her personal and academic experience during the pandemic, discusses her perspectives on gender equity and reveals her insights from publishing her book on leadership. 


September 10, 2021Women’s Leadership in Education and Empowerment 

Natalie Vega O’Neil 

Natalie Vega O’Neil is the President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Washington and is the first female and person of color to lead Junior Achievement of WA in its 68 years. Natalie is a relentless champion for children and has worked for over twenty years advocating for marginalized and vulnerable communities across the country. Throughout her career, Natalie has led youth-sectors services focused on early childhood education, literacy, emergency response, collective impact, and social mobility. Her work includes being a co-founder of a bilingual public charter school and opening an onsite health clinic for families living in severe poverty. Natalie has worked with national and international nonprofits, including Save the Children, Thrive Washington, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and YWCA. Natalie was named a Reign FC Legend to recognize her extraordinary contributions to the Seattle community and featured by Seattle ALPFA as a Latina Trailblazer. Natalie serves as a board member for Children’s Institute and Leadership Tomorrow and is also President-Elect for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Natalie holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Development from the Erikson Institute. 

Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn

Learn more about Junior Achievement of Washington on LinkedIn, Facebook, and their website.

Victoria Santos 

Victoria is a Co-Founder of the BIPOC ED Coalition of Washington State, Senior Advisor for Y-WE and the Program Director of the Center for Healing and Liberation. Her commitment to social justice, racial equity and compassionate service has expressed itself in many forms over the past 30 years, including non-profit leadership, consulting, and community-based enrichment programs in the U.S. and internationally. She has a deep commitment to our collective liberation. Victoria has trained in the fields of psychology, conflict resolution, meditation and community rituals. With a Master’s degree from SUNY-Albany in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, she also holds certifications in transformative and healing practices. 

Victoria’s email is victoria@y-we.org 

Connect with her on LinkedIn and BIPOC ED’s website

Petaki Cobell 

Petaki Cobell is a proud member of the Blackfeet Tribe and one of many that live here in the Seattle area. She currently serves as the Director of the Right Now Needs Fund at the Alliance for Education. The Fund provides resources to address the unmet basic needs of students across all 104 Seattle Public Schools; since the Fund’s inception in 2019, over $2.1M has been distributed to support students and families. Petaki has an extensive background working within the Seattle community, through volunteering and past work roles in human resources, finance, and community organizing. Her core values are community, self-determination, equity and respect for diversity. In her spare time, Petaki enjoys scary movies, being with friends & family, beading and spending time in nature. 

Petaki’s email is petaki@alliance4ed.org 

Connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn

Visit Alliance for Education’s website

Jenefeness Tucker (Moderator) 

Jenefeness is an Award-Winning Coach, Visionary, Educator, Author and Speaker. She was recently recognized by the Washington State University as the 2021 MLK Jr Distinguished Service Award recipient for displaying altruism and being dedicated to community. She has been working with students and faculty at Seattle Central College and noticed quite a few trends she will share while engaging the other panelists and audience. When Jenefeness noticed she was spiraling out of control and couldn’t manage her work, life, and business during the onset of covid, she developed a system to get R.E.S.U.L.T.S. Her system consists of steps you can employ today and start seeing immediate returns. While it may seem like adding one more thing to your plate will make it tip over, this is something that will decrease your load tremendously. With the help of this system, Jenefeness continues to set daily strategic goals and experiences enhanced time management and pure joy continuously. Jenefeness has assisted many students and faculty in overcoming barriers and crushing their goals. She is eager to help you develop your R.E.S.U.L.T.S! Jenefeness will do an amazing job of ensuring the audience gets their questions answered and share her knowledge on resiliency from different perspectives. Download her free resources at www.jenefeness.com and follow her on all the social media platforms! 

Jenefeness’ email is advice@jenefeness.com 

Connect with her on Instagram, LinkedIn, and her website.


September 17, 2021: Women’s Leadership in Business and Entrepreneurship  

Andrea Caupain 

For more than two decades, Andrea has passionately worked to advance racial equity and economic mobility for people across Washington state. As Byrd Barr Place’s CEO, Andrea leads innovative programs and services that nurture people’s health and well-being. She’s also been instrumental in launching research and initiatives to focus attention on the adverse impacts of racism and advocate for policy and systems change. Inspired by the uprising for racial justice last year, Andrea, together with three other Black women leaders of African descent, launched the Black Future Co-op Fund, Washington’s first all Black-led philanthropy to ignite Black generational prosperity, health, and well-being throughout the state. Near the same time, she joined with three other women of color to create the BIPOC Executive Directors Coalition of Washington State, bringing together nonprofit leaders of color across the state to promote unity, reparation, and restoration for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. Andrea also serves as a commissioner of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, on the boards of Craft3, Crescent Collaborative and Africatown Community Land Trust, and as a steering committee member of the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance. Andrea earned a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from Evergreen State College. 

Andrea’s email is andrea@byrdbarr.org 

Connect with her on LinkedIn

Learn more about Byrd Barr Place on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and their website

Dr. Janice Greene 

Dr. Janice Greene retired after a successful career with The Boeing Company. For 20 years she led supplier diversity strategy, economic development, and business intelligence. During her tenure at Boeing, Dr. Greene had responsibility for maintaining strategic alliances with domestic and international agencies, global business intelligence, utilizing procurement systems and external providers to support supply chain strategies. In addition to expertise in supply chain, she has over 15 years of experience in manufacturing and operations. In August 2017 Dr. Greene became President/CEO of WBEC-Pacific, creating an exciting opportunity to pursue her passion for economic development for women-owned businesses. Dr. Greene has served on several executive boards, including WEConnect International, a global organization focused on creating opportunities for women-owned businesses. She continues to collaborate with several business development organizations that support diverse companies. Dr. Greene has a BS and MS in Management and a Ph.D. in Strategy, Project and Program Management. 

Connect with Dr. Greene on LinkedIn and learn more about WBEC-Pacific on their website

Rep. Tana Senn  

As a working mom with two kids, Tana brings an important perspective to legislative issues. She consistently advocates for busy families through policies that address education and community needs, and seeks upstream solutions to prevent crises before they occur. As a state representative for the 41st Legislative District, Tana chairs the Children, Youth & Families Committee and sits on the Local Government Committee and the Appropriations Committee. Tana has championed legislation to make child care more affordable and accessible, keep our families safe from gun violence, close the gender pay gap, and secure access to mental health services and social emotional learning for our kids. Tana served as one of the first co-chairs of the Oversight Board for the Department of Children, Youth and Family Services. After earning a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University, Tana worked for 15 years in government relations and communications in the private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors before her tenure on the Mercer Island City Council. Tana serves as Co-President of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, as well as on the board of Hopelink and the Advisory Board of the UW Masters of Applied Child and Adolescent Psychology Program. 

Connect with Rep. Senn on her website

Louise Chernin (Moderator) 

Louise Chernin, recently retired as President & CEO of GSBA, Washington State’s LGBTQ and allied Chambers of Commerce. Currently Louise is a Trustee of Seattle Colleges, and serves on the Boards of the Washington State Association of Community College Trustees, the Anti Defamation League of the Pacific Northwest and OutRight Action International. Among the honors received by Louise was a Leadership Award presented by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) and being named by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top 20 most Influential women in Puget Sound. In 2013, the Seattle Storm, Washington State’s WNBA team, presented Louise with its 2013 Inspiring Women award and the UW Women’s Center honored Louise with their Women of Courage award. In 2016, Louise was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal with a Lifetime Achievement Award and in June 2019 Louise was named by Business Equality Magazine as one of the 50 over 50 Legacy Leaders in the United States. In 2019 Crosscut Media, the online news media for public TV, honored Louise with its Courage in Business Award and in 2020, Louise received Lambda Legal’s Annual Leadership Award. After nearly 50 years of activism within the women’s movement, peace movement, civil rights movement and LGBTQ movement, Louise remains committed to advancing equality, equity, diversity and inclusion. Fighting the good fight is her mantra and activism is part of her DNA. 

Connect with Louise on LinkedIn and learn more about GSBA on their website

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