Women of Impact Panel UCSB Museum

By Joanne A Calitri   |   July 26, 2018
The women of impact speakers group at the UCSB AD&A Museum with founder Paksy Plackis-Cheng [center]

Arriving at the Women of Impact event on July 19, at the UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A), I was happy to note there were more brains than Botox on the speaker panel and attending. Women in their perfect glory with accomplished professional experience and education, from Marine vets, scientists, engineers, advocates of juveniles, doctors, education researchers, and the arts, who are giving back constantly to society on a global level that rivals the U.N.’s finest.

At the center we find Paksy Plackis-Cheng, a woman whose latest venture, impactmania, [2015] was formed to promote “good news” worldwide, that being to focus on and make others aware of the contributions of people around the globe. Joining her clan also helps with networking, people helping people. She has interviewed more than 300 peeps from 30-plus countries, directed and co-produced a video and authored the book that launched the panel event titled 125 Women of Impact.

Renowned philanthropist and CEO Leslie Ridley-Tree lends her life’s philosophy to attendees at the Women of Impact event at UCSB

She is working in collaboration with the AD&A who awarded her Senior Fellow of Research & Media. Post-event, Paksy told me she funded the organization with her own money and still does: “I refused any advertising, private company checks and solicitations since its inception. This was not a kick-starter either. My mission is not clouded with behind the door influencers.”

The panel speakers were Jean Kilbourne from Boston, a 2017 Women Hall of Fame inductee for her 50 years of work on the portrayal of women in advertising; artist Aliza Shvartz from New York City; Teresa Herd, Intel VP Global Creative Direction; Carla De Landri, New York City retired senior producer for TV series 20/20 and ABC News; Teresa Goines, a Westmont grad and founder of Old Skool Cafe San Francisco; Anne Towbes, [Montecito] philanthropist; Marla McNally Phillips [Summerland] music publisher and New York City theater producer; Thais Barros Beldi working in pedagogy at Facens University Brazil; Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, CEO and chair of Pacific Air Industries and philanthropist [Montecito]; Dr. Laura Jana; research in early life development influences; Brittany Teei Founder and CEO KidsCoin New Zealand; Jodie Grenier U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and E.D. Foundation for Women Warriors; and Miyoung Chun, The Brain Initiative scientist and former executive VP of Science Programs The Kavli Foundation.

Noted advice from the panel members: Leslie Ridley-Tree said, “I had no education for anything I have ever done! One must have faith in oneself, if you see a doorway and light is coming through it, well you just walk through the door and keep going.” Marla McNally Phillips stated, “Humor, that is my motto!” Tesera Herd said, “The machines are coming! The thing with the future is we get to make it, so let’s create a one we are proud of.” Dr. Laura Jana added, “What drove me to do my research and teach a new way to raise our kids was the fact that one could predict a child’s life by the ZIP code they grow up in. Kids have natural in-born talents that can be cultivated regardless of that.”

Marla McNally Phillips [left] talking about her passions in music and live theater on panel with Anne Towbes
Women of Impact Panel [from left] Jean Kilbourne, Teresa Herd, Carla De Landri, Teresa Goines, Anne Towbes, and Marla McNally Phillips

Seen at the event were Diana Starr Langley, founder/CEO of Integration Strategy; Ashley Hollister E.D. the Squire Foundation; Alethea Tyner Paradis founder/CEO Peace Works Travel; Rachel Gloger E.D. SBTRAN; Patricia Houghton-Clarke, Jody Turner, Masha Keating, Laura Bialis, from AHA! and Girls Rock;and from the AD&A Museum were director Bruce Robertson, assistant director and curator of Exhibitions Elyse A. Gonzales, and Programs & PR manager Lety Garcia who writes that “impactmania champions original content by global change makers, and collaborates with AD&A Museum, UC Santa Barbara, to affect our cultural lens, address societal issues, and rethink our economy.”

If you missed the speakers, the AD&A Museum is featuring videos of the speakers [free], and the book is available for purchase.

411: www.museum.ucsb.edu


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