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Cool Women Alumnae

Each year since 2001, Girl Scouts San Diego has honored local women who serve as outstanding role models for girls as they balance work, family, friends, and service.

Cool News About Cool Women

Cool Women are always making news…and making a difference! Here’s what some of them have been up to:

Cool Woman Zandra Rhodes

Zandra Rhodes: 50 Fabulous Years in Fashion is a new memoir/photo book about a member of the Cool Woman Class of ’13. Zandra has designed clothing for Princess Diana, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Cher, and many other fashion icons. The Fashion and Textile Museum in London—which Zandra founded—is featuring a retrospective exhibition until Jan. 26, and a documentary about her is in the works.

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Melissa d’Arabian ’14 has published Tasting Grace: God's Invitation into Deeper Connection and Satisfied Hunger . In the book, Melissa shares 16 invitations designed to transform perception of food and the role it plays in our lives, from equality and connection to hospitality and stewardship.

Rose Schindler ’15 and her late husband, Max, are the subjects of the book, Two Who Survived: Keeping Hope Alive While Surviving the Holocaust. By year-end, Rose will have made nearly 100 appearances at schools and churches to share her inspirational story.


Judge M. Margaret McKeown ’04 received the American Bar Association’s John Marshall Award for “extraordinary improvements to the administration of justice in judicial independence, justice system reform or public awareness of the justice system.” She serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Chancellor Constance Carroll ’05 and Patti Roscoe ’08 have earned lifetime achievement awards. Constance was recognized by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, while Patti’s honor was presented during the San Diego Business Journal’s “Business Women of the Year” event.

Robin Nordhoff ’09 and Joan Embery ’12 were named “Legendary Women of the Heart” at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women luncheon chaired by Superintendent Cindy Marten ’13.

Susan Polis Schutz ’12, received a Christopher Award for making The Homeless Chorus Speaks, a PBS documentary about the San Diego-based Voices of Our City Choir. Created 70 years ago to celebrate artists whose work "affirms the highest values of the human spirit," the award reflects the motto of The Christophers organization, "It's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

Dawn Barry ’19 is president and founder of Luna DNA, a community-owned platform for health research that won the startup category during San Diego’s first-ever Xconomy Awards ceremony. Magda Marquet ’14 was a presenter at the event.

In the News

Dee Sanford ’03 was profiled in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “Someone San Diego Should Know” column. Dee, a longtime advocate for entrepreneurs and networking, recently retired from Greenwood Memorial.

Lidia Martinez ’06, Cindy Marten ’13, Reena Horowitz ’15, and Mary Jean Anderson ’17 are among the Cool Women who have been profiled by Giving Back Magazine Philanthropy Editor Lori Walton ’11. Lori shared “10 Things About…” each Cool Woman in Giving Back’s “Feel Good Friday” e-newsletters.

Lesley Cohn ’15 is a partner in the Cohn Restaurant group, which—though its Tacos Libertad taco shop—has donated more than $100,000 to local charities, including Girl Scouts San Diego. Pacific Social in Carmel Valley is the latest addition to the Cohn’s lineup.

Out and About

Connie Matsui ’05 participated on a panel at a recent appreciation event for Girl Scouts San Diego donors. She is vice chair of the world board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, an organization serving 10 million girls and young women in 150 countries.

The “Betty Peabody” and “Sally Ducken” hybrid geraniums developed by local breeder Jim Zemcik were named in honor of two Cool Women. Betty is a member of the Cool Woman Class of 2008, while Sally is a Suzy’s Zoo character created by artist Suzy Spafford ’03.

Delores Huerta ’13 is pictured in a silkscreen print at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the museum where an oil painting of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low is also prominently displayed.

Karen Archipley ’15 and Paola Avila ’18 have been guest lecturers for the social entrepreneurship course that Jo Dee Jacob ’16 teaches at UCSD’s Rady School of Management.

Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire ’16 traveled to Glasgow to deliver a Tedx talk titled, “How to Turn Competitors into Collaborators.” As a researcher at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, Erica studies the Ebola virus and other deadly diseases.

Anne Fege ’16 is an outdoor volunteer and trainer for Girl Scouts San Diego who introduces girls to urban forestry. Her contributions include involving Girl Scouts in tree-planting events, creating a workshop about environmental leadership, and holding another workshop where middle schoolers earned a Tree badge and volunteers learned how to lead similar sessions.

Ashley Nell Tipton ’16 is working on a new fashion line based on her finale collection from Project Runway and teaching sewing and self-acceptance classes at her studio in Hillcrest. 

Caroline Winn ’18 spoke at the 11th annual Climate and Energy Law Symposium hosted by the University of San Diego School of Law.


Carol Rowell Council ’17 made history in 1970 by founding the nation’s first women’s studies program at San Diego State University. On Saturday, April 25, SDSU will celebrate the 50th anniversary with an event that features speakers, workshops, and performances.

Cool Women Alum

2019 Cool Women
  • Dawn BarryPresident and Founder, LunaPBC
  • Gema DeleonPresident, WISE (Women in Sports and Events) San Diego
  • Nancy JamisonPresident and CEO (retired), San Diego Grantmakers
  • Virginia NelsonAttorney at Law
  • Coreen PettiAssociate Vice President, Advancement Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, University of San Diego
  • Paola AvilaVice President, International Business Affairs; San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Jeannie Hilgervice president of Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Communications business
  • Dea HurstonArts Advocate/Philanthropist/Playwright
  • Laura Shawver, Ph.D.President/CEO/Director; Synthorx, Inc.
  • Caroline WinnChief Operating Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Kathryn Ashworth - Voices for Children Founder
  • Joye Blount - Businesswoman
  • Pauline Foster - Philanthropist
  • Arlene Harris - First Lady of Wireless
  • Dolores Huerta - Children and Labor Activist
  • Lee Ann Kim - Pacific Arts Movement Founder
  • Rosy Mancillas Lopez - Immigration Reform Advocate
  • Cindy Marten - San Diego Unified School District Superintendent
  • Zandra Rhodes - Fashion/Textile Designer
  • Ellen Whelan - Attorney
  • Sahra Abdi - Humanitarian
  • Beth Burns - SDSU Basketball coach
  • Joan Embery - Wildlife and environmental advocate
  • Judith Fox - Artist, author, businesswoman
  • Jeanne Jones - Author, philanthropist
  • Gail Naughton - Scientist, entrepreneur
  • Tina Nova - Scientist, entrepreneur
  • Susan Polis Schutz - Filmmaker, poet, businesswoman
  • Karin Winner - Jorunalist, businesswoman
  • Su-Mei Yu - Chef, author
  • Betty Bulen - Founder, The Elizabeth Hospice
  • Ingrid Croce - Artist, author, businesswoman
  • Heidi Squier Kraft - Clinical psychologist, author
  • Yvonne Larsen - Community volunteer
  • Kris Michell - President, Downtown San Diego Partnership
  • Angele Ringo - Broadcast journalist, U.S. Army Reserve
  • Marion Ross - Actress
  • Gayle Tauber - Co-Founder, Kashi Company
  • Sally B. Thornton - Historian, community leader
  • Lori M. Walton - Psychologist
  • Barbara J. Brown - Community volunteer
  • Elizabeth Copley - Community volunteer
  • Angelika Drake - Triathlete, psychologist, artist
  • Arline Fisch - Artist
  • Madeleine Pickens - Founder, Saving America's Mustangs Foundation
  • Diane Powers - Entrepreneur
  • Carol Summerhays - Dentist; community volunteer
  • Geri Ann Warnke - Physical therapist; community volunteer
  • Gayle Wilson - Education advocate; former First Lady of California
  • Wilma J. Wooten - County of San Diego Public Health Officer
  • Judith Harris - Chair, San Diego Public Library Foundation; community volunteer
  • Divya Kakaiya - Founder/Clinical Supervisor, Healthy Within Inc.
  • Gail Levin - Chair, Alzheimer's Association Board; community volunteer
  • Patricia McQuater - Senior Corporate Counsel, Solar Turbines, Inc.
  • Fary Moini - Rotary International representative to the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO
  • Robin Nordhoff - Community volunteer
  • Sarah Reinertsen - Athlete and Paralympian
  • Deborah Scott - Executive Chef/Partner, Cohn Restaurant Group
  • Maureen Sullivan - President and Publisher, San Diego Magazine
  • Joan Waitt - Philanthropist; community volunteer
  • Irene Barajas – Businesswoman, Girl Scout leader
  • Molly Cartmill – Corporate Community Relations Director, Sempra Energy; Executive Director, Sempra Energy Foundation
  • Geni Cavitt – 10News Weathercaster/Reporter
  • Jenny Craig – Co-founder, Jenny Craig, International
  • Jackie Jennings – President, Johnson & Jennings General Contracting
  • Delores McNeely – Senior Vice President, Union Bank of California
  • Betty Peabody – Chair, Board of Directors, Friends of Balboa Park
  • Cathryn Ramirez – Vice President, Southwest, Tiffany & Co.
  • Patti Roscoe – Founder, PRA Destination Management; Director, Allied International
  • BGEN Angela Salinas, USMC – Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego; Commanding General, Western Recruiting Region
  • Marissa Bejarano – Director, Hermanitas MANA de San Diego
  • Janice Brown – Founding Attorney, Brown Law Group 
  • Mary Clark – Community Volunteer
  • Wendy Gillespie – Principal, Frontier Trading
  • Chief Tracy Jarman – Fire Chief, San Diego Fire and Rescue
  • Peggy Johnson – Executive Vice President, QUALCOMM
  • Carol Lam – Senior Vice President, Legal Counsel, QUALCOMM; former U.S. Attorney
  • Molly Moores – Community Volunteer; Director, Sudanese Tutoring Center
  • Rana Sampson – International Crime Consultant; San Diego’s “First Lady” 
  • Rhonda Welch-Scalco – Chairwoman, Barona Band of Mission Indians
  • Anne L. Evans – Chairman, Evans Hotels
  • Cheryl Fisher – Dir. of the Office of Diversity and Equity, SDSU
  • Doris Howell, MD – Pediatric Oncologist
  • Karen Keltner – Conductor, San Diego Opera
  • Lidia S. Martinez – West Coast Multicultural Community Affairs Manager, Southwest Airlines
  • Tina Mickelson – Professional Golfer
  • Georgia Robins Sadler, BSN, MBA, PhD – Clinical Professor of Surgery, UCSD
  • Abby Silverman – Attorney, Baker & McKenzie LLP
  • Katie Sullivan – Community Volunteer; Girl Scout leader
  • Elizabeth Yamada – Educator and Community Leader
  • Beatriz Barraza – CEO, Colaborativo Saber
  • Julia Brown – Executive Vice President, Amylin Pharmaceuticals
  • Constance M. Carroll, PhD – Chancellor, San Diego Community College District
  • Theresa Drew – Managing Partner, Deloite & Touche LLP
  • Joyce M. Gattas, PhD – Dean, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, San Diego State University
  • Kathy Hansen, USN – Command Master Chief, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
  • Connie Matsui – Executive VP, Corporate Strategy and Communication, Biogen Idec Pharmaceuticals
  • Regina A. Petty – Attorney, Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner LLP
  • Phyllis Schwartz – President and General Manager, NBC 7/39 San Diego
  • Frances D. Styles – Girl Scout Volunteer
  • Sue Ebner – Managing Director, Marsh, Inc.
  • Sheila Hardin – Community Relations Manager, Centre City Development Corporation
  • Nora Faine, MD, MPH – Vice President/Chief Medical Officer, Sharp Health Plan
  • Carol LeBeau – News Anchor, KGTV Channel 10; health advocate
  • Mary Lyons, Ph.D. – President, University of San Diego
  • The Honorable M. Margaret McKeown – United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Susan McClellan – Community Volunteer
  • Cindy Moore – Girl Scout Volunteer; member, National Standards Commission, American Camp Assoc.
  • Zenaida Rosario – 2004 California Teacher of the Year, La Mirada Elementary School
  • Susan Ten Eyck Mallory – Region President, Northern Trust Bank
  • Sandra Brue – President and CEO, Sandicast; USD Board of Directors
  • Ronne Froman – CEO, San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross
  • Rosie Gonzalez – Owner, Rosie’s Calico Cupboard
  • Diane Kastama – Girl Scout Gold Award recipient; driven dressage competitor
  • Sammantha McDonald – Former Corporate Community Relations Mgr., SDG&E; President, Susan B. Koman Foundation   
  • Maxine Peoples – Past President, Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council; Girl Scout master trainer
  • Dee Sanford – Founder/President, African American Business Women of Vision; speaker/trainer   
  • Suzy Spafford – Founder/CEO, Suzy’s Zoo
  • Rozeanne Steckler – Researcher, UCSD SuperComputer Center; Girl Scout leader
  • Mary Walshok, Ph.D. – Associate Vice Chancellor, UCSD; President, San Diego Foundation Board
  • Doris Anderson – Executive Director, Elementary Institute of Science
  • Maria Cabrera – Captain, San Diego Fire Department
  • Cathryn Campbell – Biotechnology attorney; Founder, Campbell & Flores Arts Foundation
  • Maria Chavez – Senior Director, Migrant Education Program, San Diego and Orange Counties
  • JJ Isler – Two-time Olympic sailing medalist, author
  • Linda Katz – Philanthropist, community Volunteer
  • Darlene Marcos Shiley – Philanthropist, community Volunteer
  • Captain Karen Tribbett, USMC – F/A-18 Fighter Pilot
  • Gale Walker – CEO, Children of the Rainbow Child Care Center; community activist
  • Maggie Watkins – President and CEO, Meritas
  • Barbara Bry – Editor-in-Chief, Voice of San Diego; Founder, Athena
  • Irma Castro – Manager, Student Advocacy Programs, San Diego Unified School District
  • Bink Cook – President /Owner, The Brighter Side: A Boutique for Women with Cancer
  • Ruth Henricks – Founder, Special Delivery
  • Susan Lew – Former Chairman, San Diego Port Commission; bank founder
  • Anna Mathews – City of San Diego Human Relations Commission
  • Margaret Porter-Troupe – Gallery Owner; Founder, VeVe
  • Dr. Rosalba Rodriguez – Medical Director, Sharp South Bay Medical Infusion Center
  • Carol Sing – English Channel swimmer
  • Isabelle Tihanyi – Owner, Surf Diva