• Surefire
  • Wildfire
  • Bonfire
  • Spitfire

ABOUT

FIREBRAND CONCEPTS LIMITED, LLC

Firebrand Concepts is an idea factory for conferences, events and media that can change the world. We believe that when people meet face-to-face, things happen which wouldn’t in any other setting. Instead of just online hangouts, we believe in offline experiences.

Our series for girls, SPITFIRE, SUREFIRE, WILDFIRE and BONFIRE for women, is about forming a mentorship ladder. We believe we lost something when we transitioned from sitting around the fire where wisdom was passed down from generation to generation. FIRE conferences aim to be the worlds leading convener of forums where teens, girls, and young women come together for inspiration, conversation, information and empowerment. These are the new rites of passage.

We plan to expand our services to include all youth (including boys) with questions about their journey into adulthood!

OUR STAFF

Heather Mason

Heather is the Founder of SUREFIRE girls and Firebrand Concepts, LLC. This marks a dream come true which was started with her conference company, A Caspian Production, Inc in 2005. Caspian produces conferences mainly in the social good space, but working with teens has always been a goal of hers based on her teenage years in Idaho. Heather's experience spans the movie industry (Fox 2000, Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival), dot com (ShowBIZdata, Broadstream, UltraDNS) and financial industry (Charles Schwab Events Management). Since starting Caspian, she's had the honor of working on the Skoll World Forum, Omidyar Network's annual forum and Endeavor's Global Entrepreneur Summit. She sits on the board of CORO Northern California, and the San Diego Zoo Biomimicry Advisory Board. More information can be found on the Caspian website.

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Michelle Ellison

Michelle Ellison, Surefire's Content Program Manager, has been working closely with all of Surefire's partner and speaker relationships.  Working to bring together a variety of individuals and topics to inspire, educate and inform girls and parents alike. Michelle has been with A Caspian Production since early 2011 working primarily with clients in Speaker Management and Project Management. She now serves as Caspian’s Operation Manager overseeing all events produced by A Caspian Production. Michelle’s projects extend from Oxford’s annual Skoll World Forum to Endeavor’s Entrepreneur Summit.

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Jackie Garcia

Jackie Garcia, Surefire 2014 Project Lead, has been working closely with the Surefire Team to develop and spread the Surefire message in every way! In 2013, she established the SUREFIRE Ambassador Program and created strong outreach partnerships with the community – they continue to grow today.

Jackie has been in the project management industry for the past 2 years and works as support and/or lead on all conferences produced by A Caspian Production. Some of the Caspian projects include managing video/media at Oxford’s annual Skoll World Forum and was project lead at Sam Harris’ Lecture Tour (LA and SF). Jackie’s background also extends to film coordination including films such as We Bought A Zoo, No Good Deed, and various independent films.

Jackie also shows her support for women empowerment through her work with her college alumni group, Hermanas Unidas at CSUF. With this organization, Jackie is able to mentor and advise over 50 young girls every year.

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Myrna Medina

Myrna Medina, Surefire’s Director of Marketing, has been working closely with Surefire’s Media Partners to develop collaborations to further the mission of empowering girls by bringing them all under one roof to inspire, share, and most importantly give girls a place to ask the questions they want to ask. Myrna also works closely with Surefire’s Director of Content and the Outreach Manager to help spread the word about Surefire.

Myrna is project lead for events produced by A Caspian Production. With over 8 years project management experience, Myrna’s clients include Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Nike, Inc.

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Alyssa Batu

Alyssa is the Registration Manager of SUREFIRE Girls and A Caspian Production. SUREFIRE Girls means a lot to Alyssa as she has had similar involvement with other programs like the Key Volunteers Network with the Marine Corp Base in Camp Pendleton, CA, the Denim Drive with Lucky Brand Jeans, Eagle Rock Community Center - Music and Visual Art Showcase for At Risk Youth, and Camp Happy Days in her home state of South Carolina. Alyssa's experience in community involvement and genuine customer experiences spans from many different industries including: retail operations (American Eagle, Oakley, Aldo Groupe, Lucky Brand Jeans), real estate and finance (BRE Properties, ESSEX Property Trust), start up sales consulting (promoSPARK), and social media and film (Adaptive Studios). She's a member of the Surfrider Foundation, Life Rolls On, and is active in connecting and sourcing local artists with new restaurant growth in Los Angeles and Charleston, SC.

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Katie Howmann

Kate Howmann is the Ambassador Program and Outreach Manager for SUREFIRE Girls. She also serves as the administrative assistant for A Caspian Production and assisting with all Caspian produced events. Kate’s background includes serving as Loyola Marymount University Event Operations Manager for the over four years, including events for Jesuit Priests, Partnership Scholars Program, and Center for Talented Youth Summer Program with over 600 attendees.

Although new to Surefire this year, Kate has been able to develop and grow the Surefire Ambassador Program this year in new directions. Kate continuously interacts with our Ambassadors to get their feedback on the conference and exposes them to great opportunities including being Junior Judges at the upcoming LA Chic Launchers event. Outreach to schools and the community has been another focus for Kate, by developing relationships with local organizations and schools.

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AMBASSADORS

Looking to be a leader in an event dedicated to inspire and empower every girl to be SUREFIRE? SUREFIRE Girls Ambassador Program is designed to assist and cultivate the leaders of the SUREFIRE movement!

Interested? Send us an email: ambassadors@surefiregirls.com

Kaeli Jacobs

Kaeli is one of our Surefire Ambassadors and she is Surefire because she believes her myself and in helping others believe and empower themselves. Kaeli loves fashion and music, and one day would love to have a career both fields. In addition, Kaeli hopes to be able to give back to others by being there for them, helping them find who they are and embracing it.

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Miribel Tran

Miribel is a senior and a SUREFIRE Ambassador. A writer for Huffington Post and mental health researcher, she spends her time advocating for youth awareness of local and global issues, such as the harmful psychological effects of social media, eco-friendly practices, and effects of corporate influence. She is a self-proclaimed animal lover and enjoys spending her free time reading, doing yoga, and being in the outdoors. In the future, she hopes to major in neuroscience and eventually work for the United Nations in developing & implementing environmentally sustainable practices and global health measures.

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Jennifer Reynoso

Jennifer Reynoso is the girl who is always smiling. With her inviting demeanor, engaging energy, and genuine smile, she allows others the opportunity to truly be themselves around her. She spends her time playing the guitar and viola, only stopping the mixes of music to pick up a basketball with her varsity girls. She's a high school senior and is currently working on becoming one of the first in her family to graduate from college.

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Sienna

Sienna recently joined Surefire. Sienna’s hobbies include reading, bike riding, and playing games. Her talents are any type of math, being able to pronounce every dinosaur name, and knowing everything there is to know about sharks. A fun fact about Sienna is that she has a pet cat and dog that happen to get along just fine. Another fun fact about Sienna is that she was the fifth grade Valedictorian. Sienna’s future goals are to attend University of New South Wales in Australia and major in law. She then will strive to become a lawyer. She gives back by working at day cares, volunteering at animal rescues and doing anything else she can to help her community.

Sienna is Surefire because she loves to help people find their way through bad situations. She loves to see people doing as well as they can and she thinks that Surefire is the perfect fit for a personality like that.

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Tina Zavala

Ernestina Zavala is our newest Wildfire Ambassador! Ernestina, who also goes by Tina, is about to commence her college career in the California Bay area. Tina is CEO and Founder of B U Fully Cosmetics, a socially conscious organic cosmetic line intended to help and inspire women of all ages to feel confident and beautiful.

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THE FIVE

SUREFIRE is based on my personal story and the five people who intervened in my life (serendipitously) to enable me to reach my potential. They gave me the skills you truly need to succeed. Skills I would not have gotten in school. They were, a history teacher, finishing school instructor, dance teacher, walking coach, and debate coach. Without them, I would not be the person I am today.

I do not believe we should leave girls at the whim of serendipity for their future. We know that you need skills you can't get at school, like networking, poise and presentation, body questions and more. You need a safe space to ask anything without fear and often, without your peer group watching. SUREFIRE is meant to provide the personal 5, or 10, or more that every girl needs, to navigate the journey to adulthood.

FIRES

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SPITFIRE GIRLS

Ages 12 - 14

SPITFIRE is a fun-filled day to learn everything about how to be strong (as well as silly). Interactive sessions will cover topics from confidence to finding your own voice.

Find out more

I can't wait!"
- Melissa (12)

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SUREFIRE GIRLS

Ages 15 - 18

SUREFIRE’s second year will be bigger and better than the first. We welcome over 13 workshops covering topics like social media, relationships, media literacy, money and more. The main stage will feature inspirational speakers including Michelle Phan!

Find out more

It was really fun, helpful and informative.”
– SUREFIRE PARTICIPANT

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WILDFIRE GIRLS

Ages 19 - 24

WILDFIRE workshops are all about the college woman or recent grad. Topics during the day will include internships, relationships, career planning, and money, and a good dose of fun!

Find out more

I’m looking forward to asking a lot of the questions I have about getting out into the real world!”
– SUREFIRE PARTICIPANT

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BONFIRE GIRLS

Ages 25+

BONFIRE is for parents, teachers and caregivers who work with girls. Last year we talked about the Myth of the Perfect Girl, and Tech & Teens - this year we’ll cover media influences and difficult conversations and more…

Find out more

The parent speakers were very well chosen. They were knowledgeable about their topics and accomplished speakers as well. Thank you for a very well organized and executed event”
– SUREFIRE PARTICIPANT

2014 CONFERENCE

CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO FROM LAST YEAR'S CONFERENCE!

Surefire returns on The International Day of the Girl:
October 11th, 10am – 5pm, Santa Monica, CA

WE'VE GOT SOME DO-GOODERS

We’re at a new stage in global commerce where companies no longer care only about selling a product-- they want to Do Good. Come find out why companies are so eager to help not just their consumers, but the world, with Give Back Commerce. Participants will put their missions and products on display via booths in the Exhibit Hall, and show guests what it means to truly DO GOOD. Next year we're hoping to create a village just for some of these special organizations.

MAYOR CONSORTIUM

We need girls in government, and what better way than to start with local leaders? Mayors, we would be honored if you would support our Mayor Consortium to show our girls why everyone’s voice matters. Please submit a bio and photograph for showcase on the SUREFIRE website, and be prepared for speaking opportunities to start flowing your way.

Pam O'Connor

Throughout nearly two decades, Mayor Pam O’Connor has championed policies and partnerships that enhance community livability and wellbeing. She is particularly interested in issues that advance mobility, transportation and sustainability. Mayor O’Connor serves on the Los Angeles County Metro Board where she leads Metro’s Sustainability Committee and chairs its Planning and Programming Committee. Pam O’Connor is also Chair of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board that oversees building of the light rail line that extends from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. In 2012 as President of the Southern California Association of Governments, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, she led the 84-member Regional Council in the unanimous adoption of the region’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy. She holds Master’s degrees in Planning and in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University. Mayor O’Connor views community wellbeing as the natural next step in the evolution of local government, as well as a way to advance the connection between mobility and sustainability issues by looking at their impact through the lens of humans flourishing.

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Meghan Sahli-Wells

Elected to the City Council in 2012, Meghan Sahli-Wells is Mayor of Culver City. As a mother of two boys in Culver City public schools, and having cared for an elderly relative, Meghan learned first hand the importance of city services and engaged personally with many of the challenges our community faces. She has a passion for analyzing complex issues and encouraging community engagement, with the ultimate goal of finding ideas that promote a resilient and sustainable city.

Meghan holds two Bachelor’s degrees from UCLA, in World Arts and Cultures and French. She has traveled extensively studying visual anthropology, conducting sociological research, and working as an English/French translator and volunteer teacher. Meghan’s collective photography project with children in a Madagascar orphanage and community center revealed the importance of community interdependence and our relationship to natural resources. While living in Paris for nine years, she learned about urban density, efficient and alternative modes of transit, and how city planning can improve quality of life.

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BECOME A FIRESTARTER

WHAT IS A FIRESTARTER?

Let your passion and accomplishments ignite to showcase to those girls and young women around you! Our FIRESTARTERS are individual sponsors of FIRE events and FIRE girls. This level of involvement is for those who are looking to positively enhance the lives and futures of teen girls and young women. In return for your sponsorship and support , you will receive:

Complimentary attendance to all events
Recognition on our website and at our events
SUREFIRE Ambassador reports / Monthly emails and Quarterly calls
Access to the annual FIRESTARTER retreat (launching Summer 2016!)

BECOME A FIRESTARTER

INAUGURAL FIRESTARTERS

Pat Mitchell

Pat Mitchell’s diverse background in media includes work as a journalist, network correspondent, producer and executive. Throughout her career she has focused on the power of media and storytelling as an agent of social change; specifically, to celebrate and raise awareness of the work, ideas and aspirations of women and girls. She was the first woman to launch, produce and host her own nationally syndicated Emmy winning talk program “Woman to Woman”. As an independent producer she has documented women’s history as well as women on the frontlines of war, poverty and peacemaking. As President and Executive Producer in charge of original productions for Ted Turner’s cable networks, her documentaries and specials received thirty-seven Emmy Awards, five Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award nominations. Pat Mitchell became the first woman President and CEO of PBS, and served as President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media where she led the institution through an exciting rebranding effort and strengthened its public and industry programs and optimizing the convening power of a global constituency of media and technology leaders to explore the impact and influence of media. Among the new initiatives she launched at Paley, a series called Women@Paley which includes co-producing and co-hosting TEDWomen in partnership with the TED organization and producing/hosting SHE'S MAKING MEDIA, a series of interviews with outstanding women in media, arts and entertainment, broadcast on PBS. Mitchell is a founding member of VDAY, a global movement to end violence against women, a board member of Acumen Fund and a corporate director of AOL. She has been honored numerous times for her achievements, including the Women's Media Center Lifetime Achievement Award, given every year in her name.

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Linda Rottenberg

Named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News and one of TIME’s 100 “Innovators for the 21st century,” Linda Rottenberg is considered among the world’s most dynamic experts on entrepreneurship, innovation, intrapreneurship and leadership. A frequent lecturer at Fortune 500 companies, Rottenberg has been the subject of four case studies by Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Dell featured her in its “Take Your Own Path” campaign; Veuve Clicquot named her Businesswoman of the Year; and Tom Friedman dubbed her the world’s “mentor capitalist."

Ms. Rottenberg is the CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, the first global organization focusing on the “scale-up” phase of entrepreneurship. Headquartered in New York with 350 employees and 20 affiliates throughout Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe, Endeavor identifies, mentors, and co-invests in “high-impact” entrepreneurs -- business innovators demonstrating the greatest potential for growth. Since 1997, Endeavor has screened 40,000 candidates and handpicked nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs who’ve created 400,000 jobs and generate $7 billion annually. In 2013 Endeavor brought its model to the U.S.

Ms. Rottenberg’s book, CRAZY IS A COMPLIMENT: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags, will be published by Penguin Random House in October 2014. In her book, Rottenberg argues that entrepreneurship isn't just for young dropouts in hoodies. Whether you work at a Fortune 500 company, a non-profit, or a mom-and-pop, everybody needs the mindset to think and act like a changemaker. We all need to be nimble, adaptive, daring, and maybe even a little crazy, or risk being left behind.

Ms. Rottenberg is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Young Presidents Organization (YPO). She serves on the board of Zayo Group, a global provider of bandwidth infrastructure, the advisory board of ABRAAJ Capital, an $8 billion global private equity firm, and the entrepreneurship steering committee of the World Economic Forum.

Ms. Rottenberg has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, The Economist, Strategy + Business, People, MORE, and the Financial Times, and has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. In 2011, Business Insider dubbed her “Ms. Davos.”

A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, and native of Newton, MA, Linda lives in Brooklyn with her husband, author and New York Times columnist Bruce Feiler, and their identical twin daughters.

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Jean Kilbourne

Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. She is the creator of the renowned Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series and the author of the award- winning book Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids. She holds an honorary position as Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

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Peter Samuelson

Peter Samuelson has been described as a “serial pro-social entrepreneur”. In 1983, inspired by a little boy battling an inoperable brain tumor, Peter conceived of the Starlight Children’s Foundation—an international charity dedicated to granting wishes for seriously ill children www.starlight.org. Starlight has grown to offer eight core psycho-social programs, each restoring some of the laughter, happiness and self-esteem that serious illness takes away from kids and those who love them.

As parents and healthcare providers confirmed the positive psychological and often medical impact of Starlight programming, in 1990 Peter brought together leaders including Steven Spielberg and General Norman Schwarzkopf to create Starbright World www.starbrightworld.org an online social network to educate, encourage and empower children to cope with the medical, emotional and social challenges of their illness. In 2005, Starlight and Starbright World completed a formal merger and became the Starlight Children’s Foundation, with offices throughout Australia, Canada, The United Kingdom, Japan and across the United States. Starlight now has a combined operating budget of $50 million and serves over 5 million children annually. Since inception, Starlight has raised and deployed internationally over $1 billion and served 60 million seriously ill children.

In 1999, Peter co-founded with Sherry Quirk, First Star www.firststar.org, a separate national 501(c)(3) charity headquartered in Washington, D.C. that works to improve the public health, safety, and family life of America’s abused and neglected children. With Peter as President, First Star provides “top-down” systemic leadership to provide quality and compassionate care for children within the child welfare system, basic civil and legal rights for every child and safe, stable and permanent homes for all children. First Star's program to create permanent residential high schools for Foster Children on university campuses nation-wide began at UCLA in 2011, and has thus far replicated to the University of Rhode Island and George Washington University in the District of Columbia. Negotiations are underway to expand to campuses in Northern California, Illinois and Connecticut.

In 2008, Peter founded EDAR, “Everyone Deserves A Roof” www.EDAR.org to develop and widely distribute through established service agencies a mobile single-user homeless shelter on wheels. EDARs cost $500 each and so far 300 homeless clients use them nightly.

Peter is a graduate of Cambridge University with a Masters in English Literature and the fourth of five family generations employed in the film industry. After serving as production manager on films such as The Return of the Pink Panther, he emigrated from England to Los Angeles and produced Revenge of the Nerds, Tom & Viv, Wilde, Arlington Road and 20 other films. Peter served on the founding Board of Participant Media Inc., Jeff Skoll’s pro-social media company. Peter Samuelson is President of ASPIRE, the Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Education, whose undergraduate courses are piloted at UCLA in early 2014.

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a CEO, filmmaker, advocate, and thought leader. After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Newsom wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary, Miss Representation. As a result of Miss Representation’s powerful impact, Newsom launched The Representation Project, a non-profit organization established to shift people's consciousness, inspire individual and community action and ultimately, transform culture. Newsom’s second film, The Mask You Live In, will debut in the fall of 2014, and explores how the narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large. She also Executive Produced the Academy Award-Nominated documentary, The Invisible War and is an Executive Producer on the upcoming documentary, Campus Assaults. Newsom is currently in production on her third film, The Great American Lie. When she’s not running The Representation Project and making documentaries, Newsom serves as a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project, a board member for PBS’s Northern California affiliate KQED, co-chair of We Day California, and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts’ Healthy Media Commission. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and their three young children.

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Jackie Zehner

President & CEO

Women Moving Millions

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Amanda de Cadenet

TV Host and Actress

Lifetime's UnDone and The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet

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PREMIUM SPONSORS

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OUR PARTNERS

We partner with well-known non-profits and for-profits to offer content and spotlight the good work they do.

If you contact our partners directly, they have access to special SUREFIRE Girl's Conference discounts!


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