What if there was a place where you could ask questions about where you’re going in life and how to get there? Now there is. SUREFIRE is an innovative, groundbreaking event for high school girls, where you can ask anything, learn anything, become anything! We fill the space in-between school and home where you can get answers to the questions you have, from the organizations & experts you trust - all in one fun and informative day!
Our sneak peek debut featured 200 girls from over 45 schools, and 26 speakers and partners.
Workshops #1 (for ALL ages groups: SPITFIRE, SUREFIRE, WILDFIRE, BONFIRE)
Lunch and Special Main Stage Presentation
Workshops #2 (for ALL ages groups: SPITFIRE, SUREFIRE, WILDFIRE, BONFIRE)
Workshops #3 (for ALL ages groups: SPITFIRE, SUREFIRE, WILDFIRE, BONFIRE)
Exhibit Hall, photo booth, gift bags and much more
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!
I learned how to approach my future in a reasonable, rational and thoughtful way. My future isn't so scary anymore.”
– SUREFIRE PARTICIPANT
Gone are the days of hiding your smarts to fit in! With the tech boom, geekery is in and there’s no better time to be a brainiac. Do you want to create your own website, program a video game, or even build your own rocketship? Learn how to make a career out of doing whatever makes you really geek out.
Sure, those photoshop forms are impossible to achieve. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use whatever body you were given to its fullest potential. Healthy and strong is where it’s at. Let’s talk about how you can get the most powerful body possible.
Ever shared something super TMI on social media? Not everything belongs on the internet-- some of that stuff can follow you for the rest of your life! What do you want people to find when they Google you? Let’s explore web safety and find out the best way to put your best self forward.
You’re complex, awesome, creative, and crazy smart. But so are all the other girls you know. Yes, even those girls you wish you didn’t. So, how do we navigate our more complicated relationships and support our fellow girls?
The way you walk into a room is a powerful tool. It says, “I’m here, and I mean business!” So let’s send you in there the best you can be. We’ll chat about the basics of poise and presentation so you can sound your barbaric yawp and let those you’re presenting to know you mean business.
Like money? Who doesn’t! But how do we get it, and, more importantly, how do we hold on to it? Gain access to complete freedom by being financially sound. Learn how to budget and how to save for those things you just can’t live without.
Redefining girliness and femininity means girls can be beautifully powerful. They can be pretty and tough. This session looks at the myth and reality of female superheroes and literary heroines (from Wonder Woman to Katniss Everdeen) while introducing some women who are kicking butt in real life. Women who push limits, challenge stereotypes and act as role models on a daily basis. If you want to be a hero rather than a sidekick, find out what qualities you need and how to develop them. Hint: It has nothing to do with super powers.
What looks the best on every girl, no matter their body type? Confidence! Inspire confidence in yourself by learning to pick out your best traits and accentuating the body you already have. After all, a confident woman is a powerful woman.
The news is ugly. Bad things are happening all over the world-- to animals, to the environment, and even to girls like you. But how can little old you make a great, big difference? There are actually plenty of opportunities out there. Let’s hear from some folks who know how to make it happen-- even girls, like you, who have done some pretty earth-shattering stuff!
Ever feel like you’re not really seeing yourself in your favorite films, TV shows, or books? Representation matters. Explore the world of gender and stereotypes in media and see how you, the future leaders of media, can widen our perceptions.
Documentary filmmaker Sarah Moshman traveled across the US with an all female film crew to interview inspirational women in a variety of careers. But how does one conduct an effective and inspirational interview? Join Sarah as she talks about what it took to follow a dream and how to get the most out of an interview for television or film.
What do you bring to the table? We’re not talking about your favorite recipes here! Recognize your unique and innate gifts-- and learn how to use them for the betterment of your group, community, and world. A panel of influential role models will help you find the best way you can change the world around you for the better.
Admit it. You’ve always wanted to start your own business. No matter what that business is, learn from other youth entrepreneurs how they got started, the pitfalls they avoided, and the tips and tricks they’d choose if they had to do it all over again.
What’s an intern? We hear that magical mystery word all over the place. It has the potential to unlock the doors to success-- or, it could just be a whole lot of to-do about fetching coffee and making copies. Learn from the best how to land the internship of your dreams-- and how to make it work for you.
Ever googled something about your body out of sincere curiosity but been mortified that someone would find out? We’ll provide the space to safely ask those body questions-- so long as you provide the questions to our fabulous doctor. Don’t be afraid-- she’s heard it all! First come, first served - she'll be in the Exhibit Hall all day.
You know the pen is more powerful than the sword – but who uses pens anymore? We blog it, type it, and script it. From someone who rewrote the script for teen TV shows – Lauren will tell you what it takes to get to get your idea to the screen, TV, computer or otherwise, and how your authentic voice is the only voice you need. For the aspiring screenwriter, blogger or author, this is your place to be.
Have you ever wanted to create a colorful mural or even learn how to get started? With just a simple piece of chalk you can become your own Picasso. Yes, I know, I said Chalk. Check out the masterpiece you can create! After all, pastels are how Michelangelo got started
Michelle Phan is a young digital pioneer, who trail-blazed her way in the world of fashion & beauty on YouTube. With a growing global community of over 6 million, Michelle’s videos have been viewed more than 1 billion times, making her one of the most watched talents in the digital space. She is an award-winning content creator who produces, directs, stars in and edits all of her own work, and has released over 300 videos since 2007. Her unprecedented, signature video style is clean, artful, and expertly edited, with clear, easy-to-follow titles and voiceover instruction.
In August 2013, em michelle phan launched. Em is the first makeup line co-created by Michelle Phan and her community of beauty enthusiasts. Michelle is the Founder & Executive Producer for FAWN (For All Women Network) - a women’s lifestyle network specializing in the development of female-focused premium content. She also co-founded ipsy, the online leader in inspiration commerce.
BEAUTY IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Michelle first recognized the power of makeup at an early age. From observing the way rosy cheeks and red lips transformed Belle in Beauty and the Beast to watching her mother’s daily beauty ritual, Michelle discovered the dramatic difference that makeup could create. When she was finally allowed to try eyeliner herself, she looked in the mirror and saw a different person looking back. From that moment, Michelle was hooked on makeup—and the sense of confidence, beauty and empowerment it gave her.
A VIRAL VIDEO PIONEER IS BORN
Michelle created a blog that showed how to recreate her makeup looks using photos and a step-by-step guide. To truly capture the technique—and the artistry—Michelle soon decided to record and edit a video using a webcam.
What began as a how-to for her readers proved to be the beginning of a career in beauty, when in 2007 Michelle posted the video on YouTube—and garnered 40,000 views within a week. Subscribers began asking for her straightforward, intuitive, expert insight on everything from perfecting the smoky eye to creating a flawless complexion. Michelle responded with countless videos providing an insider guide to coveted beauty looks. This interactive dynamic between Michelle and her followers formed the basis of a powerful, growing community that has put her at the forefront of a new way of sharing information.
Michelle’s audience continued to grow online and as she further forged a new path for consuming content online, she soon attracted the attention of mainstream media and established industry players. Legendary luxury beauty brand, Lancôme, tapped Michelle as an official online makeup artist, while publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Nylon, Forbes and Seventeen profiled her.
Not content to rest on her laurels, Michelle has continued to cultivate innovative ways to educate and connect with her community. YouTube approached her to develop her own network, which led to the creation of FAWN (For All Women Network), an outlet for Michelle to discover and develop talent, as well as curate, produce and share new content as Executive Producer. The MCN (multi-channel network), which launched in 2012, has given her the opportunity to introduce her community to new voices and reach new audiences herself, while staying true to her original vision in the video tutorials on her own channel. FAWN recently partnered with Endemol Beyond USA to build out the premium lifestyle network for women.
That same year, Michelle also launched the beauty social networking site and sampling program, ipsy.com. A destination for beauty devotees to network, try new products, and watch and upload beauty tutorials, the interactive community has quickly surpassed competitive sites. In May 2013, Michelle and ipsy hosted Generation Beauty, a first of its kind annual conference for beauty bloggers and online beauty content creators. Featuring workshops for aspiring beauty gurus and veterans alike alongside fun, interactive activities, the conference provided direction on elevating content and building a brand while continuing to strengthen the online beauty community in real life.
A REFLECTION OF ‘ME’
In August 2013, em michelle phan launched exclusively online. The first makeup line co-created by a community of beauty lovers and a beauty expert (Michelle), em michelle phan is a startup-style brand from the L'Oréal Luxe group made for and with Michelle’s community. em, a Vietnamese word meaning “you,” is used affectionately to address loved ones including a little sister, girlfriend or elder. It is also literally and figuratively a reflection of “me” – it is a makeup line that reflects the needs of Michelle’s community, their personal beauty stories and life moments.
COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
In every aspect of her beauty expertise, Michelle strives to engage with her subscribers and empower them to use makeup as a tool for transformation and confidence. Michelle explains that the members of her community are "the ones steering the ship—they ask the questions, and I create my videos to answer them. Without my followers, I would be working in a void—like a teacher in an empty classroom. Their enthusiasm gives me the motivation and inspiration to educate and share every day."
Kacy Catanzaro (also known as The Mighty Kacy (#MightyKacy) is an American gymnast noted for being the first woman to reach the finals of the television sports challenge, American Ninja Warrior, conquering the Warp Wall on her second try at the Dallas qualifiers. The achievement has made her a social media phenomenon, with more than 7 million views of the run, and an international inspiration to millions.
Catanzaro grew up and attended high school in Belleville, New Jersey where she began doing gymnastics at age 5. She attended Towson University in Towson Maryland from 2009 - 2012 on an athletic scholarship, earning her degree in early childhood education. In 2012 she was named Southeast Regional Gymnast of the Year, Eastern College Athletic Conference Gymnast of the Year, and the top-ranked competitor of that conference. She has worked for Alpha Warrior, an obstacle-course gymnasium in San Antonio, Texas since February 2013.
Kacy spent two years training for American Ninja Warrior alongside her boyfriend and co-competitor Brent Steffensen. Her completion of the course (and its daunting warp wall) in Dallas inspired host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila to exclaim, “I’ve seen greatness during my NFL career… and been in awe of many people, but I am really in awe of Kacy.”
Though Kacy was eliminated at the Las Vegas finals, her ever-growing legion of twitter followers have coined the hashtag #MightyKacy and look forward to her next great achievement. She has often stated that she is a strong believer in being able to overcome whatever obstacles may stand in your way
Kirsty Spraggon attacks life like it’s a chocolate cake. She is the Executive Producer & Host of KirstyTV. An international speaker, author & entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. With 21 years experience in every facet of the sales industry.
Her outstanding career saw her ranked in the top 1 percent of individuals in RE/MAX’s global network of 121,000 sales agents worldwide. She has continued her success in speaking, being awarded the 2011 Breakthrough Speaker of the Year, at the National Speakers Association.
Kirsty hosts an online talk show called Kirsty TV where people share their personal stories, the lessons, struggles and growth they have experienced. The show focuses on sharing inspirational and empowering stories. The Today Show recently referred to her as ‘the next oprah’. Her online show has hit 200,000 views & she recently spoke at TEDx.
Named “LA’s go-to stylist” by the Los Angeles Times in 2012 and “LA’s best personal stylist” by CBS in 2013, and "LA's coolest stylist" by 365 Hangers, certified image consultant and Motivational speaker, Laurie Brucker of LaurieBstyle LLC, is all about everyday people dressing with heart. She believes to live an inspired and desired life, all you need is a great belt and an open mind. Laurie brings 12 years of experience in the fashion industry to your closet, home and heart, by presenting styling techniques as a catalyst for personal growth and achievement.
In 2011, Laurie was hand-picked as a leader in the styling industry to represent Stacy London from TLC’s “What Not to Wear” in her exclusive style army: Style for Hire.Through her one-on-one consulting work, Laurie goes into closets across the country teaching people of all shapes, sizes to love their bodies and enjoy their clothes by designing unique, timeless and confident personalized wardrobes.
Beyond the closet, you can find Laurie in the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, KTLA News, Angeleno Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Marie Claire, Westfield Style.
Fifteen-year-old Lulu Cerone founded LemonAid Warriors when she was ten years old, to harness the creative energy of her generation, amplify youth voice and rebrand community service for her generation. Her mentorship program and PhilanthroParty planning service inspire young people to “make social activism part of their social lives.” Her fundraising efforts have helped raised over $80,000.00. She is passionate about supporting global education initiatives and providing sustainable clean water solutions to developing countries where she has funded projects that provide water to over 1000 people. She achieved this through simple youth driven events like back yard rock concerts, PhilathroParties, Water:Walks and LemonAID stands. She has partners with corporations to create youth targeted pro-social campaigns that have engaged over 4.2 million people.
She hosted a radio show spotlighting youth activists and philanthropic musicians to give their causes a platform. She speaks to schools and at educators to share her youth-driven ideas that enhance Service Learning programs to groom young change makers.
When she is not organizing events, she is playing drums, guitar, keyboard and singing at local Los Angeles venues.
Dilshad Vadsaria is perhaps best known for playing the role of 'Rebecca Logan' on the hit ABC Family series, Greek. The show ran for four seasons and marked the first leading role of her television career. Dilshad has guest starred on shows such as Bones, NCIS, and CSI: Miami. She most recently recurred opposite Taye Diggs on the new TNT drama, Murder in the First, from executive producer Steven Bochco.
Dilshad portrayed financial analyst 'Padma Lahari' on ABC's breakout drama, Revenge. Over the course of the show's second season, her work association with 'Nolan,' played by Gabriel Mann, grew as a trusted confidante, and eventually, into a loving relationship. Keeping in line with the exciting and suspenseful nature of the show, 'Padma' met her untimely and shocking demise; a result of sacrifices she made for those she loved most.
Vadsaria made her feature debut in Columbia Pictures, 30 Minutes or Less. In the film, directed by Ruben Fleischer and produced by Ben Stiller, Dilshad plays Jesse Eisenberg's girlfriend and Aziz Ansari's sister.
Dilshad is quite passionate about gender equality and the rights of girls and women to an education. Her strong belief that education is a human right is propelling her involvement in organizations committed to effective change internationally. She also believes in the power of storytelling to educate and inspire people, and seeks to participate in projects that capture people’s attention, and engages them in meaningful ways to create social impact.
Dilshad studied acting in New York and shortly after moved to Los Angeles where she currently resides.
Michelle Collins is a Speaker, Mentor & Personal Transformation Coach. Having worked with youth in a leadership role since the age of 13 and her desire and passion to inspire them to actualize their dreams, The Persona Program was developed in 2007. The goal of establishment is to prepare a generation of girls for positive presentation thereby building Confidence, developing Character and promoting proper Conduct.
Through her work, numerous programs are implemented, curriculum is created and environments are fostered that give tools and resources needed for the personification of inward beauty, allowing girls to tap into their innate potential and lead exemplary and productive lifestyles in their home, communities and the world.
In support of her endeavor & to fill a void, MomSuite was created as an empowering lifestyle community for women and mothers of daughters to share, inspire and connect. She is a former Image Consultant, with experience in the fashion & beauty industries as a model, event coordinator, education manager and college representative. e
Asha Dahya is a host, blogger and women's media expert. She is also the creator and editor-in-chief of the women's media website GirlTalkHQ.com. She has hosted shows on Fox, MTV, Disney, Nickelodeon, MSN, Myspace, ABC, and worked behind-the-scenes on five seasons of America's Next Top Model as the coordinator for all the photo shoots.
Having been in the TV industry for over 10 years in Australia and Hollywood, Asha realized her passion was to create an online platform where only positive, inspiring, and empowering news stories relevant to young women were offered on a daily basis. In an age where the representation of women is at an all-time low in the media, Asha aims to change that by promoting healthy, aspirational role models on GTHQ.
Chella’s fascination with how the wealthy handled their money began at an early age. She was inspired to begin saving at the age of nine and by the age of 17 purchased her first car and her first house at the age of 23. With over 20 years in the banking and finance industry, Chella witnessed the struggles and misinformation many people had regarding a basic understanding of money management. Now Chella is passionate about equipping the next generation with skills that empower them to take control of their financial future.
Jordan is the author of How to Make it Big by 17: 15 Fun and Easy Ways to Make Money on a Saturday. She has spoken on several big stages, including GKIC and Stompernet, to hundreds of people. Jordan has her own teenager temp agency called “Hire a Teen” that provides creative and skilled teenagers work as affordable Virtual Assistants for businesses around the world.
Alexa Fischer uses the skills she learned at The Yale School of Drama and on countless primetime television shows to help people speak with confidence and calm in any situation. Versatile and useful, her methods can be applied to boardroom pitches, public speaking, promotional videos, even cocktail small talk. Alexa is honored to have worked with Fortune 500 companies like Trader Joe’s and SONY and smaller, philanthropic organizations like the Step up Women’s Network and Dress for Success. She works with clients in group workshops, through online classes, and one-on-one, helping each person polish their speaking and presentation skills while tapping into their own greatness. For insights + inspiration, visit alexafischer.com.
Sonal Kapoor is a sophomore at Flintridge Preparatory school in La Canada Flintridge, CA. She started her organization, Rescue A Book, about a year and a half ago where she collects used books and donates them to non profit organizations. She has donated more than 4,000 books to charities, hospitals, and schools in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Read more about her project at www.rescueabook.org.
Sarah Moshman is a TV Producer and Emmy Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker. In April 2014, Sarah completed directing and producing her first feature-length documentary The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things. The film follows the journey of 5 female filmmakers journeying across America to encourage, empower and inspire the next generation of strong women. Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 17 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries while asking the audience "What would you do if you weren't afraid to fail?" Sarah is passionate about the empowerment of women with the help of the camera to tell powerful stories.
Aaminah Norris, the Director of Education for The Representation Project, will receive her doctorate in Education from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014. Her research and teaching interests include 1) ways that emerging technologies influence the literacy practices of students from traditionally under-resourced communities, the relationships between gendered and racialized identity processes in urban learning environments and the use of digital and social media, and how 21st century critical pedagogical approaches inform the learning of African American and Latino/a students. Equity in social science research is central to Aaminah’s scholarship and is reflected in both her research and teaching practice. Her commitment to ensuring equitable education for historically marginalized students’ stems from her experiences as an educator both in urban schools and at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to study at the University, Aaminah was an administrator in urban schools and not for profit agencies for 15 years. Additionally, she taught English and Theater Arts to predominately African American middle school students at an urban school for six years. Aaminah is a Digital Media and Learning Research Associate, and Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology, Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) Scholar.
Crystal Ogar, is a Gender and Women’s studies and Critical Sexuality Studies student at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is an outspoken and outgoing feminist and womanist as well as a facilitator for an LGBT youth group called Rainbow Youth and Allies, offering adult supervision to a twice-a-month social gathering of lesbian, gay, transgender, and questioning youth between the ages of 12 and 22. The group offers a safe space for young people to be themselves in an open, caring, and accepting environment. RYA was the recipient of the 2012 Youth Award from the Maryland Coalition of Families. In addition to RYA, Crystal is the SPARK Action Squad Coordinator for SPARK Movement. She was featured on a panel called The Digital Lives of Girls and Mirror Image: The New Way to Self- Esteem at the 2012 & 2014 Women in the World Summit. She is an activist who enjoys breaking stereotypes, talking back, and believes that together we can change the world.
Sheryl A. Ross, M.D., received her OB/GYN training at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was honored with two teaching awards as a senior medical resident. She has been in private practice in Santa Monica, California for the past 20 years. Recently, she was honored with a Patients’ Choice Award for Compassionate Doctor Recognition and a Top 10 Obstetricians & Gynecologists Award.
Dr. Ross was a medical consultant for the books, Expecting Fitness and Two at a Time and has done webcasts for Kids in the House & Mahalo Parenting. As an advocate of women’s health, Dr. Ross takes the conversation about women’s health issues beyond the examining room and shares her knowledge with others on Twitter @DrSherylRoss. She has made TV appearances on MTV, Channel 7 and KTLA news medical segments. Dr. Ross has also contributed to magazines such as Fit Pregnancy, People, In Touch and Shape Magazine.
Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Ross attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. She received her doctorate in medicine from New York Medical College before completing her OB/GYN residency at the University of Southern California School Of Medicine. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Ross was the President of the Upper and Middle Division of Brentwood School and has been on the board of Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles for 4 years. She is married and has 3 children.
Comedienne, Leroya Sanford dons the Tierra as the Princess of comedy. After multiple great reviews and a growing fan base, Roya convinced her father to allow her to widen her performance range throughout various comedy clubs in Southern California, Roya says not only does she do stand up, but she stands up for kids all over the world who are afraid to be heard and wants to empower them to reach for their dreams no matter how big or impossible.
Roya's experience as a performer has quickly risen, She has been featured On KTLA TV Show, "The Young Icons" and can be seen on Disney's hit show "Shake It Up!". To this date Leroya was the only non-adult allowed to perform Stand-Up comedy on ABC's morning show "The View". Destined to perform, in the spring of 2010 The Laugh Factory initially said Leroya was too young to perform, but with dozens of fans waiting to see her, management allowed her to perform, and have since invited her to come back . On September 4, 2012 Jaime Masada, (The President/Owner of The Laugh Factory), honored her with the Distinguished Achievement in the Art of Stand-Up Comedy Award.
Leroya loves her fans and always ends every show with her famous quote, "Remember every minute spent angry is 60 seconds of happiness wasted". Roya's personality and delivery combined with her innocence will draw you in and keep you laughing.
Physical fitness has always been a focal point in Jennifer’s life both personally and professionally. This inherent interest has led Jennifer down a path to seek educational and professional opportunities where she can showcase her talents, knowledge and abilities. A native New Yorker, Jennifer attended college in upstate New York where she played Division I soccer. She continued her education with a Masters of Science in Physical Education and Sports Science, earning a NYS Teaching Credential in K12 Physical Education from Hofstra University, NY. Jennifer holds additional instructor certifications in Pilates, Spinning, CPR and First Aid.
As the Physical Education Teacher and Strength & Conditioning Trainer for Marymount High School, Jennifer enjoys the opportunity to inspire her students to take ownership of their chosen lifestyle and infuse it with physical activity and wellness. Her dynamic, innovative and fun approach to fitness spurred the creation of her highly successful Fitness for Life Summer Camp in 2008, where teenage girls have a safe and supportive environment to hone their fitness and wellness skills. Since the inception of Fitness for Life Summer Camp, enrollment has quadrupled exponentially, allowing a larger array of teenage girls to benefit from the positive message and skill set provided by the program.
Through Jennifer’s work as a fitness and wellness specialist, she has been able to work with girls to overcome body image issues, obesity, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. She has the unique ability to empower young women to connect with their inner strength. Jennifer cherishes her time with the girls at camp, her students and clients and looks forward to continuing to provide them with the support, knowledge and skills needed to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle! http://about.me/schasslerjennifer
Founder and Executive Director of the Mobile Film Classroom, is a graduate of Louisiana State University (BA), and American Conservatory Theatre (MFA), in San Francisco. As Director of Educational Outreach of the Mary Pickford Institute, Ms. Banta designed standards-based curriculum, connecting early cinema to modern filmmaking, to promote digital literacy among at-risk youth and is a founding member of the Los Angeles Digital Literacy Alliance (LADLA), a collaboration of youth arts program and technology access providers, education advocates and funders engaged in a community- wide plan for digital media/learning innovation for Los Angeles children ages 5-18. In 2013, Ms. Banta was one of 10 non-profit leaders chosen by Los Angeles Social Venture Partners to deliver a 3-minute fast pitch showcasing the innovative approach MFC uses to change the social fabric of under-resourced communities.
Nathalie Molina Niño is the co-founder of Entrepreneurship@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership studies of Barnard College at Columbia University. Her mission is to leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs. Molina Niño is a consummate intra & entrepreneur who launched her first tech startup at the age of 20. Prior to her most recent sabbatical at Columbia University, Nathalie was involved in launching and growing a multinational business with Lionbridge (NASDAQ: LIOX) into a nearly $100M operation within 6 years. She has advised industry leaders in both the for- and non-profit sector ranging from multinationals (Disney, Microsoft, MTV, The Discovery Channel, Mattel), early stage startups (Cranium, Onvia) and non-profits (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Affairs Council, Seattle International Film Festival, Hedgebrook). She is passionate about empowering women of color and believes that the single most important skill in business is storytelling.
Nely Galan Bio
Latina media dynamo and women’s empowerment advocate Nely Galán, dubbed the “Tropical Tycoon” by The New York Times Magazine, is one of the entertainment industry’s savviest firebrand talents. A first generation immigrant and self-made media mogul, Galán was the first Latina president of a U.S. television network (Telemundo). She is an Emmy Award-winning producer of over 600 episodes of television in Spanish and English, including the FOX hit reality series “The Swan” and is the first Latina to appear on “Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump” on NBC. She regularly electrifies audiences with her experiences as one of the first Latina producers in Hollywood and her rise to become a successful media and real estate entrepreneur as well as an inspirational speaker and passionate advocate for the empowerment of Latinas everywhere.
The Adelante Movement (Move Forward!) founded by Nely Galan, is a grassroots movement that empowers Latinas financially and entrepreneurially in the U.S. It encourages Latinas to play a leading role in American society, economics and politics and become an integral part of the national conversation, in order to provide their children with the future they deserve, as active citizens of this country. The Adelante Movement: Tour is a series of national empowerment conferences, supported by a digital community, presented by The Coca-Cola Company, that inform, mentor and inspire Latinas to take action!
Galan is also the former President of the powerhouse Telemundo television network, making her the first Latina network president. She has also owned and operated her own media company since 1994. Galan Entertainment has launched 10 groundbreaking television channels in Latin America, and has also produced a staggering 600 episodes of programming that cross all genres Ñ from reality series to sitcoms, telenovelas to talk shows, in both English and Spanish.
Galán Entertainment was also responsible for creating and executive producing the smash FOX reality hit “The Swan”, and as its in-house life coach, Galan wrote the bestselling companion book “The Swan Curriculum”. “The Swan” has aired in over 70 countries around the world, and was famously spoofed by Tina Fey on “Saturday Night Live”.
In addition, she has owned her own real estate development and investment company, Santa Clara for fifteen years, which has commercial and residential real estate holdings in multiple states.
Galán appeared on the NBC hit “The Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump”, joining an all-star cast including Gene Simmons, Nadia Comaneci, Marilu Henner and the infamous Omarosa. Galán’s appearance on the show, where she raised $250,000 for her charity COUNT ME IN, furthered her reputation as one of the nation’s top female moguls. In her role as public speaker, Galán routinely draws rave reviews for her mesmerizing presentations on the Latino market, entrepreneurship and female empowerment.
Galan is also frequently cited for her influential work outside the industry as a board member for COUNT ME IN (the leading national non-profit provider for women entrepreneurs), The Coca-Cola Company Advisory Board, and the she is an Emeritus member of The Smithsonian Board. She was featured in HBO’s “The Latino List” documentary and national museum show as one of the most influential voices in the Latino community.
As a part of her multi-platform business, Galán has recently launched two web sites targeting women: msmogul.com -- a forum for female entrepreneurs aimed at providing support and sharing resources, and thenewyoutv.com -- dedicated to the health, wellness, and beauty issues of women. She has appeared as a guest expert on “The Today Show” and “The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch”.
Galán, the original "Ms. Mogul”, is also a devoted mom to her 13 year old son and is based in Venice, California. She recently went back to school, where she is completing her Masters/ Doctorate in Clinical and Cultural Psychology.
Kendall is a native Chicagoan and Georgetown senior studying sociology, journalism and theology. She is the founder and executive director of Kids Caring 4 Kids, a non-profit she started ten years ago that works to empower young people to help provide basic human needs to children living in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently Kids Caring 4 Kids is working to build a high school for the students in Kitwe, Zambia, set to open in May. She wants to be a storyteller when she grows up, hosting a docu-series that tells stories of the world’s most vulnerable and is grateful for the practice she has had as an mtvU on-air correspondent and an Editor-At-Large for the Huffington Post. Her work has been recognized by a variety of organizations. Most prominently Kendall has been honored as a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine, Zeitgeist Young Mind by Google, one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year, and one of Youth Service America’s “Top 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People. Kendall was recently named the grand prize winner of Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women.
TV Host and Actress
Lifetime's UnDone and The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet
Lauren is a writer, director and producer who created the MTV show Awkward- currently in it's 4th season. When creating the show she spent time with actual high school students to elaborate the teen dialogue.She also met them to talk about their lives and to make sure the show reflects the reality. The New York Times called Awkward as "a wry show about longing—for love, certainly, but also for consistency, that great intangible in the ever-morphing world of high school life". John Kubicek of BuddyTV website wrote "Just like Easy A, Mean Girls or other strong, female-centric teen comedies, Awkward has a quick wit and a very distinct vision of the world. It's the perfect blend of comedy and painful teenage awkwardness, and in the end, the title says it all." He concluded "The result is one of the most enjoyable and earnest teen comedies TV has produced"
Our word “inspiration” means to take a breath, and to breathe in a great idea. Los Angeles dynamo Nancy Gale embodies this breath of fresh air, and leaves the world breathless, in her inspiring model for business and community.
She’s an in-demand red carpet designer. Activist. Advocate. Executive. Entrepreneur. Mentor. Fashion trendsetter. Coach. Cheerleader. Teacher. Role- model. Stylemaker. Skydiver! A six-foot whirlwind of blonde, feminine energy, Gale matches her business-savvy with social responsibility in what she calls “CapCon”—capitalism with consciousness. Small wonder that she has been a L’Oreal Woman of Worth nominee for her innovative business strategy and dedication to community service.
Her luxury leather goods brand JAMAH (www.jamah.com) has become the top pick of Hollywood’s A-List. Gale has deliberately kept JAMAH out of retail stores, a move that, while initially less lucrative, preserves the line’s exclusivity. Such a statement harks back to the beginnings of Chanel, where not catering to the mass market was a risky but ultimately crucial factor in the brand’s achievement of true luxury status. JAMAH’s early notoriety from its popularity with iconic celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Eva Longoria landed the line features in Vogue and InStyle, but did not deter Gale from her mission to keep the line private. Talent including Diane Lane, Courtney Cox, Carrie Underwood, Jessica Alba and Channing Tatum carry their JAMAH bags on and off-camera, placing the line on the cusp of major-label status.
The exquisite quality of the materials, paired with meticulous construction and finishing, render an American-made luxury handbag which rivals any of its counterparts from the more familiar European design houses. Gale’s signature style is classic yet modern and devoid of trite, excessive ornamentation. “These are heirloom, legacy bags which are created to last decades, and cross from one generation into the next,” she says. “We give the traditional bag silhouette a bit of edge with our choices of finishes, pairing glazed glosses with distressed, matte surfaces, and other subtle details. The overall effect is absolutely timeless.”
“We are proud to say that our collections are made in America,” says Gale, “and we are equally proud to use our brand as the business model to inspire the next generation of American entrepreneurs, one by one.”￼
As the mirror-image to running her successful design and manufacturing company, Gale also is the Founder of In True Fashion (www.intruefashion.org). A competition-based entrepreneurial program, In True Fashion fosters entrepreneurial thinking in low-income students. Founded on cause, commerce & consciousness, In True Fashion buildsself-esteem and work ethic through hands-on participation and promotes the value of products “Made in the USA.” Above all, In True Fashion empowers today’s youth to dream big. In True Fashion runs in partnership with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Gale’s speaking engagements at universities and organizations allow her to impart her experience to inspire and motivate the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.
Kara is a highly skilled marketer & entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Signalfy, a new mobile app for finding the best music + arts events in LA. Kara is also a Partner in Scandal Labs, a new accelerator that supports disruptive startups. Scandal Labs' first company is Signalfy.
She is currently Marketing Partner at Scandal Co-Active, a PR and Marketing firm based in Venice Beach, CA and Brooklyn, NY. Scandal specializes in working with lifestyle, entertainment, media and technology companies and we LIVE the lifestyle our companies represent.
She is also proud to be the LA Chapter lead of Girls Raising, a unique event series held in five major cities that helps women-founded startups get publicity, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and meet influential women (and men) that can move their businesses forward.
Kara began her career on Wall Street in Equity Research and then worked as an analyst at Calvin Klein. She graduated with an MBA from NYU Stern, specializing in Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
Kimberly (Kimmy) Wolf is the Founder of ShimmerTeen.com, a new health, beauty, and lifestyle website for teenage girls. Kimmy grew up in LA, and she knows exactly what it's like to live here, face-to-face with so many possibilities while also feeling LA's unique version of the pressure to be "perfect." Throughout her high school years, Kimmy's friends, family, and favorite magazines helped her find the information and community she needed to overcome challenges, feel good, feel confident, and ready to achieve her dreams. This experience inspired Kimmy's dedication to helping girls find the information and support they need to be their happiest, healthiest selves.
As a teacher, mentor, media executive, and Founder and CEO of Girlmentum Media, Inc., she has as dedicated her studies and career to support of girls’ health, well-being, and education on- and offline. Kimmy graduated from Brown University, where her senior thesis exploring the history and evolution of sexual health content in girls’ magazines earned honors in Women’s Studies. She also holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she studied adolescent health communication. She is a national speaker, and she has been quoted on CNN.com, WebMD and Health.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anisa is a very outgoing person with hopes and dreams of one day becoming the CEO of an eco-friendly cosmetics company. In her free time she enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends, and trying out new restaurants. Anisa is extremely passionate about giving back to her community and her dream is to start an organization that helps low-income families prepare their children for the future. Overall, Anisa has very high hopes for her future.
Our sponsors are the cream of the crop when it comes to helping girls succeed!
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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!
If you sign up for our Surefire Supporter Ticket you'll be recognized as a SUREFIRE supporter on our website! Ticket includes attendance for (1) to SUREFIRE 2014 (Girl or adult) In the spirit of buy one give one, for every supporter ticket purchased, SUREFIRE will provide a scholarship for one girl to attend.
Our current SUREFIRE Supporters include:
Contact us at email@example.com or fill out our form below: