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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! Read on to learn what some of them have been up to.

The Honorable M. Margaret McKeown
Featured news:

The Honorable M. Margaret McKeown ’04 teamed up with local Girl Scouts to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. One project, which is posted on the American Bar Association website, is a compilation of Nineteen Ways to Celebrate the 19th Amendment. She is the co-author of Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Cookbook: 100 Recipes for 100 Years, which applauds the courage of the suffragists. ( San Diego Union-Tribune). Judge McKeown spoke about the amendment and the cookbook at Girl Scouts San Diego’s annual Volunteer Conference. In unrelated news, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

More cool news:

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.

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.


Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire ’16, of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, was awarded more than $6.4 million by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to support her research toward COVID-19 antibody therapeutics.

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

Bink Cook ’01, Lidia Martinez ’06, Patti Roscoe ’08, and Dea Hurston ’18 co-chaired the Cool Women 20th Anniversary Celebration, in lieu of the annual Cool Women induction. The program, which has nearly 4,700 views on YouTube, highlighted how Dr. Wilma Wooten ’10, Melissa D’Arabian ’14, Lesley Cohn ’15, Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire ’16, and Patty Maysent ’17 are taking action during the pandemic. Other segments included Emerging Leader Girl Scouts conducting a Q&A session with Cool Women, and an in memoriam montage honoring the seven late Cool Women, including Elizabeth Yamada ’06, who passed away on May 20. 

Cool Women provided major support for the Power Her Promise Celebration, the culmination of a month-long fundraiser for Girl Scouts San Diego. Katie Sullivan ’06, Patti Roscoe ’08, Divya Kakaiya ’09, and Arlene Harris ’13 were sponsors and/or served on the honorary and event committees for the virtual program.

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

San Diego Mesa College now calls its humanities institute the Dr. Constance M. Carroll Humanities Institute. Dr. Carroll was a Cool Women in 2005. Next year she plans to retire from her role as chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.

Lidia Martinez ’06 recently retired from her 30-year remarkable career with Southwest Airlines. She continues to be an advocate for women and girls. 

Attorney Abby Silverman ’06, has joined the panel of JAMS as an arbitrator and mediator, handling employment matters.

Brown Law Group founder Janice Brown ’07 announced her firm’s merger with Meyers Nave.

Photos by Angelika Drake ’10 are available on her website. She is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence.

Happy birthday to 90-year-old Dolores Huerta ’10 and 98-year-old Deborah Szekely ’14, who were feted with car parades, flowers, and phone calls in 2020.

Dr. Wilma Wooten ’10 is the namesake for a new scholarship for San Diegans who are pursuing a degree in health sciences and come from communities underrepresented in higher education. The San Diego Foundation, Alliance Healthcare Foundation, The David C. Copley Foundation and San Diego Gas & Electric teamed up to fund the scholarship.

In a blog post, Patricia McArdle ’14 describes how the sight of Afghan children carrying huge bundles of twigs for cooking fires rekindled a long-forgotten memory of a Girl Scout badge activity. That was the start of her 15-year association with Solar Cookers International, which provides a global audience with information about this free, environmentally-friendly method of cooking.

Ashley Tipton ’16 converted her Hillcrest clothing design studio into a sewing facility that creates stylish face masks.

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.

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, 2020, SDSU celebrated the 50th anniversary with an event that features speakers, workshops, and performances.

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.


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Cool Women Alums

(also available as a printable list)

2021 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