2022 Event Highlights


Bring Your Own Lunch and Coffee Connections

FWSF members gather at lunch-time on the second Tuesday of each month and at the beginning of the work-day on the third Thursday of each month for Bring Your Own Lunch and Coffee Connections, respectively. These highly informal events are a fantastic opportunity to get to know other FWSF members, discuss work experiences, and explore mutual business opportunities.

Virtual Book Club

A monthly event for professional women who want to come together for a lively discussion on book selections that help us get to the ‘next level,’ whatever that may be.

Monthly Meditation

In 2022 we were pleased to add a mid-day half hour of meditation which helps us to train our attention and awareness and to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.


FWSF’s Fifth Annual International Women’s Day Event

This year, the International Women’s Day theme is #VisioningYourBestSelf-In Work, Life and Community. Lisa Violet, CAO of Varo, delivered a powerful keynote speech titled “Being the Author of Our Own Journey.” She shared how she was forced to find balance while battling cancer and being the Chief Auditing Officer of her company. After the keynote speaker, the participants attended three interactive breakout sessions on Designing your Career Strategy, Creating your Plan for Health & Wellness and Strategies for Leading a Purposeful Life. The event wrapped up with an inspiring Panel discussion on Perspectives on Integrating Career, Wellness and Purpose.


How Do We Help Girls with Financial Literacy and Groom Them for Careers in Finance?

Melissa MaquilanRadic, FWSF President, hosted a fireside chat with Maura Cunningham, Founder and CEO of Rock The Street, Wall Street (RTS), a financial and investment literacy program designed to spark the interest of a diverse population of high school girls into careers of finance. We learned about RTS’ mission to help high school girls become both finance literate and investment literate and to develop a pipe-line of talent for the financial services industry. Importantly, we also learned how we can all get involved to promote the RTS mission. We are very excited to partner with RTS during the 2022-2023 academic year and have FWSF member volunteers participate as financial literacy instructors and mentors to local Bay Area high school students.


DEI Signature event: The Great Reset: Reframing Generational Shifts in the Workforce

This timely discussion addressed the different trends that are driving generational shifts in the workforce and what measures leaders can take to allow for a more resilient, equitable and flexible post COVID world. Some key insights from our distinguished panelists include the following:

  • Productivity went up in most organizations during the pandemic and that’s a positive for female executives.
  • The new way of working demands a lot of trust and a culture of inclusion, but how can we do this when there is a crisis of trust? It is imperative that we work on transparency, clarity, and alignment to build that trust.
  • We need to teach people how to work differently (work and manage remotely) with components of belonging and equity built in.

How Will the Workplace Look After COVID?

Our panel of real estate experts provided their observations on the workplace design changes many companies are making after the pandemic. Many companies have been making changes to their office space to prepare for RTO (Return to the Office) and their real estate portfolios are expected to evolve in the future.A key take-away is that the role of the office is changing. It will be a vehicle to intentionally bring people together for in-person collaboration, culture continuity, growth opportunities, and relationship building.The physical space is therefore the silent partner in creating a corporation’s culture.


2022 FWSF Scholarship Celebration

On Friday, June 3rd, FWSF hosted its first in person Scholarship Luncheon and Award Ceremony since 2019.  More than 160 guests gathered at the City Club of San Francisco to meet and congratulate the Financial Women of San Francisco’s 2022 scholarship recipients. Since the scholarship program began more than 36 years ago, FWSF has awarded over $2.7 million to more than 325 deserving women. This year FWSF awarded a record-breaking 17 scholarships (four undergraduate scholarships and 13 graduate scholarships). In addition to the scholarship itself, each winner is paired with a mentor and receives a three-year FWSF membership. FWSF President, Melissa MaquilanRadic, welcomed everyone and encouraged attendees to be a part of laying the groundwork for the next generation of women finance leaders. Next the 17 scholarship recipients spoke briefly about their personal journeys, accomplishments, and goals. These women, who have already contributed and overcome so much, have demonstrated great leadership value and a desire to drive change not only in the field of finance but for the communities and causes they champion. We know they will be a powerful force in shaping the future of finance and financial services….and hopefully FWSF!

Master Class: Lessons in Leadership

Our signature Master Class was a hit! With Professor Kim Clark of St. Mary’s College of California moderating, our three panelists, Teresa Bazemore, Rebecca Macieira-Kauffman and Natalie Wolfsen, recounted the lessons they learned as they progressed in their careers.Some notable insights:

  • Everyone is watching you as you lead. Your demeanor lets your team know how you feel about them and about the progress at the company.
  • Best opportunities come from managing a P&L – just ask for it, get a P&L. It’s not hard to enter a new business – you lead the team who knows what to do.
  • 3 most important things:1) purpose for you and your team; 2) love what you do - if you love what you do, your team will also; 3) it’s all about the clients.
  • There is no balance.Balance implies perfect equilibrium. It’s either whole work or whole life. Embrace the sway from one to the other.
  • Get involved in other organizations to get broader perspectives.
  • Career opportunities are never convenient. Embrace the inconvenient opportunity.


Mid-Year Market Outlook

With interest rates rising at the fastest pace in decades, the opportunity to invest in bonds is more attractive than it has been for many years. Melissa MaquilanRadic hosted our speaker, Karen Veraa, who provided her outlook on the fixed income market and perspectives on investing in fixed income. Karen pointed out that the bond and currency markets are much more volatile than equities as the interplay between geopolitics and commodities shows up more sharply in the bond and commodity markets. However, there are ways to invest in bonds to protect our portfolios, such as investing in bond ladders (groups of individual bonds held to maturity) and in floating rate bonds. Corporate bond issuers are much stronger than in the 2008 Great Financial Crisis, thanks tohigh levels of corporate cash and profitability. A recession, of course, could weaken financial health.


Annual Wine Tasting Event and Mixer

We enjoyed our first in-person wine tasting and networking event since 2019. Old and new members were able to mingle and try some wonderful wines and cheeses at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.


Demystifying DeFi: Unraveling Cryptocurrencies and More

When someone says Cryptocurrency, what do you think, e.g. Bitcoin, NFT, Blockchain? Our expert panelists provided their various perspectives as retail investor, developer, institutional trader, CFO and policy/risk officer. Each recounted how they entered the crypto space and the purpose of their business.  We learned that institutional interest in the technology underlying cryptocurrency and blockchain has never been greater and the ease of trade and remittances attracts mainly Gen Z and Millennials. On a global basis there is significant interest because of the large unbanked population outside the U.S. The regulators have to catch up and the U.S. would have to lead the way unless we want another country to take the lead. Overall, it was a thought-provoking discussion on the current environment of crypto and what the future holds for this space.

Hands-on Networking Event: Connections and Career Advancement

What an amazing event with the hopes of being an annual networking event! The evening began with a brief presentation on the current job market followed by formal and informal networking sessions. Formal networking consisted of a 'speed recruiting' session where everyone met each facilitator in a small group setting for a specific amount of time andinformal networking occurred over cocktails with the full group. Women from all levels were represented: student, early/mid-stage career, and later stage.  Some individuals explored new opportunities and possibility to change careers, while others expanded their network and received feedback on their resumes.  The small group “speed” sessions were a hit and facilitated many opportunities for the women that attended.  We thank our facilitators from Robert Half, BVOH, Century Group, Moss Adams, Visa and Workday for their time and feedback. 

Meet the Leadership Circle: A Practical Guide to the Current Economic Environment

On Thursday, September 29, 2022, over thirty attendees gathered at the offices of KPMG to meet and hear from seven members of FWSF’s esteemed Leadership Circle: Lisa Daniels, Carrie Dolan, Terri Kallsen, Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, Barbara Morrison, Lisa Violet, and Ann Winblad.Past FWSF President Kim Pugh facilitated the panel discussion of observations about the state of the economy and then the audience broke into smaller sections to engage in direct conversations with panelists. With a reassembled audience, the panelists shared a lightning round of concluding thoughts:

  • The economic headwinds we face today are not unique in history, as we had double-digit interest rates in the 1980’s, but there is optimism that we will get through itdespite expectation of no soft landing.
  • Fundamentals matter - at business and at home.
  • Cash is king, but real-time payments and crypto are here to stay.
  • Slowing down hiring doesn’t mean stopping the pipeline of talent.
  • It’s all about agility. We have it in us. How do we help people become more agile?
  • Finally, remember to rebalance your personal investment portfolio.


Regulatory RoundUp

This was the first year back in person for the annual Regulatory Round Up hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco. This year, our own Financial Women of San Francisco board member, Maureen Young moderated a panel of financial services experts including Avery Belka, Deputy General Counsel and VP for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Michele Alt, Co-Founder of Klaros Group, Elvis Chan, Asst Special Agent in Charge, FBI SF, Michael Flynn, Of Counsel at Buchalter, Walter Mix, Managing Director of BRG and Jeanette Quick, Deputy Commissioner of Investor Protection. The panel discussed legal, regulatory and technology developments impacting the financial services industry, fintech challenges, cybersecurity threats and new payments. There was a lot of great information and plenty of networking opportunities.

What is the Outlook for 2023 Real Estate: More of the Same or Something New?

FWSFhad the opportunity to join two sponsoring partners, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of East Bay and St. Mary's College of California School of Economics and Business Administration, to host a wide-ranging panel discussion on the outlook for commercial real estate in the Bay Area.  In a discussion facilitated by St. Mary's students, panelists provided their outlook on how E-commerce, inflation and the need for more collaborative office space will influence development in the Bay Area and the global economy. They also discussedthe impact of location, government incentives, andstakeholder demands on climate change and ESG. The conversation ended with the panel sharing their experiences and challenges with being a woman in the real estate industry and how the industry has changed since they first began their careers.


Save the date! FWSF Holiday Party will take place the evening of December 6th, at KPMG's offices in San Francisco.

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