Women’s Life

& Career Stories

writing women's career stories for Madam Ambition
Tracy Borreson – Master Brand Story Teller and Consultant

Tracy Borreson – Master Brand Story Teller and Consultant

Tracy Borreson - Master Brand Story Teller and ConsultantTracy Borreson is obsessed with authenticity. In a world saturated with cookie-cutter marketing campaigns, Tracy helps companies and their employees harness their unique identities. Unlike traditional marketing...

Yikee Adje – US Diplomat and  Foreign Service Officer

Yikee Adje – US Diplomat and Foreign Service Officer

Yikee Adje – US Diplomat and Foreign Service OfficerUS Diplomat, International Development Practitioner, Executive Coach, Master Facilitator, Author Yikee Adje is a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Currently,...

Ariane Bertrand Director –  Thriving Communities at Emerson Collective

Ariane Bertrand Director – Thriving Communities at Emerson Collective

Ariane Bertrand Director – Thriving Communities at Emerson CollectiveAriane Bertrand is a wonderful person. I’m not accusing her of perfection or putting the burden of sainthood on her shoulders, but goodness shines through when one speaks with her. She is friendly,...

Amanda Estiverne-Colas – FinTech Executive

Amanda Estiverne-Colas – FinTech Executive

Amanda Estiverne-Colas - FinTech ExecutiveAmanda Estiverne-Colas has many accolades to her name, including mother, first-generation American, high-level corporate executive, and visionary leader leading the way to support more women in FinTech and payment spaces. Work...

Marcia Tal – CEO, Tal Solutions

Marcia Tal – CEO, Tal Solutions

Marcia Tal - CEO, Tal SolutionsThe women I interview for MadamAmbition are epic. But if I may be so bold, Marcia Tal moves a little beyond epic into legendary territory. Marcia is the CEO of Tal Solutions®, a consulting business with a cutting-edge technology...

Laxmi Ramanath – Founder of a Risk and Compliance Company

Laxmi Ramanath – Founder of a Risk and Compliance Company

Laxmi Ramanath - Founder of a Risk and Compliance CompanyLaxmi is the Founder & CEO of La Meer Inc. - A Risk and Compliance Management Software Company for Financial Compliance in Institutions, based out of Silicon Valley. She started this current company coming...

Tejal Shah – Global Investment Banker & Venture Builder

Tejal Shah – Global Investment Banker & Venture Builder

Tejal Shah - Global Investment Banker & Venture BuilderMeet Tejal Shah, Mechanical Engineer, finance, sales, and operations master. She is an International Investment Banker at US Capital out of San Francisco. Recently expanding their West Coast operations with...

Rochelle Gorey – FinTech Founder of SpringFour

Rochelle Gorey – FinTech Founder of SpringFour

Rochelle Gorey - FinTech Founder of SpringFourIntroducing Rochelle Gorey, the mastermind behind SpringFour, a fintech company with a social impact committed to empowering individuals and families facing financial difficulties. With a background in the financial...

Amy Schultz – Co-Founder of Bolder Money

Amy Schultz – Co-Founder of Bolder Money

Amy Schultz – Co-Founder of Bolder MoneyFinancial guidance is important for everyone,  but not always accessible. Millions of Americans are disqualified from working with financial advisors because they lack investable assets, and they are left not knowing where to...

Sibby Thomsen – Maker of Cupcake Magic

Sibby Thomsen – Maker of Cupcake Magic

Sibby Thomsen – Maker of Cupcake MagicAuthor’s Note: I live in San Mateo, California, a couple of miles away from Sibby’s Cupcakery. Whenever I am at an event, or even when I host my own special gatherings, I know that Sibby’s will be part of the event. This is such a...

Kelsi Taylor – Medical Editor

Kelsi Taylor – Medical Editor

Kelsi Taylor – Medical EditorMeet Kelsi Taylor Kelsi Taylor is a Medical Editor and business owner from Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in scientific publications and communications. She accidentally found her way to the industry: through a series of major life...

Yue (Lulu) Liu

Yue (Lulu) Liu

Yue (Lulu) LiuCurrent Work Yue Liu is the Assistant Vice President of Program Management, Asian Services and CARE Services at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She has spent her entire career at the hospital, climbing her way to the top from her beginnings as an...

Sofia Yuen, M.D., M.B.A.

Sofia Yuen, M.D., M.B.A.

Sofia Yuen, M.D., M.B.A.Sofia Yuen is a motivated generator of information and an unbelievably hard worker. She holds an MD and MBA and works within New York University’s hospital system as an Assistant Director, Clinical Quality & Effectiveness. Her work focuses...

Kimberly Kwon – Writer, Pastor, HR Expert, Career Coach

Kimberly Kwon – Writer, Pastor, HR Expert, Career Coach

Kimberly Kwon – Writer, Pastor, HR Expert, Career CoachKimberly Kwon is determined to uplift the beauty and worth of those most hidden. Kimberly was born under 3 pounds with Cerebral Palsy, a group of disorders that can impact mobility, muscle tone, and posture. The...

Alyssa Phillips is  Vice President in Wealth Management

Alyssa Phillips is  Vice President in Wealth Management

Alyssa Phillips is  Vice President in Wealth ManagementAlyssa Phillips is  Vice President, Operations at Centura Wealth Advisory an Executive-Level leader at a wealth management firm in Del Mar, CA.  At 36,  she’s had quite an unconventional career trajectory that...

Amodhi Weeresinghe – CEO of HCL Designs Marketing Agency

Amodhi Weeresinghe – CEO of HCL Designs Marketing Agency

Amodhi Weeresinghe – CEO of HCL Designs Marketing AgencyIt is an astounding feat not just to overcome great adversity but to use the life skills developed through surviving it to harness your goals and become everything you dared to dream.  At the age of thirty, yeah...

Rachel Pereya – Fractional Business Systems Expertise

Rachel Pereya – Fractional Business Systems Expertise

Rachel Pereya – Fractional Business Systems ExpertiseRachel Pereya is Owner of Mastermind Business Services  Rachel Pereyra is a wife, mother, business owner, queer human, underscoring each: a rebel with a cause. In 2020, she founded Mastermind Business Services, an...

Maribel Aburto – Founder in Branding  and Web Design

Maribel Aburto – Founder in Branding and Web Design

Maribel Aburto – Founder in Branding and Web DesignGrowing up in Santiago, Chile, in the 1980s, Maribel Aburto couldn’t imagine life beyond the confines of the country’s military dictatorship. “I lived most of my life in one of the poorest or most marginalized areas...

Ebony Holden – Lawyer and Entrepreneur

Ebony Holden – Lawyer and Entrepreneur

Ebony Holden – Lawyer and EntrepreneurEbony Holden is a Lawyer and Founder of Holden-Ellis & Associates LLC, which helps businesses startup and sets them up for success One of my favorite quotes from our conversation with her is, “If it’s not there, then someone...

Hoda Toloui-Wallace – Project Manager, Digital Strategy & Innovation at lululemon

Hoda Toloui-Wallace – Project Manager, Digital Strategy & Innovation at lululemon

“Think about what excites you, fuels you, and lights you up. Focus on what you’re good at, what gives you purpose, and what aligns with your values. Reflect on your talents and gifts, what you’re passionate about and what unique perspective you bring to the table. Use this to make a positive contribution to society and ultimately look for ways to be of service to others.” 

Chrysta Wilson – Founder & DEI Coach and Consultant

Chrysta Wilson – Founder & DEI Coach and Consultant

Chrysta Wilson – Founder & DEI Coach and ConsultantChrysta Wilson wants people to thrive.  Chrysta is founder of Wilson and Associates Coaching and Consulting is a Black-owned, woman-led firm that partners with purpose-driven leaders to advance racial justice,...

Anna Nahashon – 3D Pattern Apparel Expert, Minnesota

Anna Nahashon – 3D Pattern Apparel Expert, Minnesota

Anna Nahashon is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her mother is a professional musician and a violinist. She toured with various country bands, and Lorie Line was one of the more known Minnesota pianists that she toured with for many years.

Marion Ore – Solar Electrical Engineer, Peru to California

Marion Ore – Solar Electrical Engineer, Peru to California

Marion Ore grew up in a small city in Peru, amidst the Andes Mountains, 11,000 feet \above sea level. She was the youngest of five children born to a pair of hard-working parents, her mother a payroll assistant for an educational ministry and her father an instructor at a school for blind persons.

Adwoa Ulzen Setrakian -Social Worker, Full Time Mother, Indiana

Adwoa Ulzen Setrakian -Social Worker, Full Time Mother, Indiana

Adwoa was born in the Greater Toronto Area but her parents immigrated to Canada from Ghana in the early 80s so she’s Canadian but of Ghanaian heritage. Her family moved to the US when she started high school and for one year when she was in the fourth grade.

Leslie Stewart – Executive Director, FUNDAEC, Colombia

Leslie Stewart – Executive Director, FUNDAEC, Colombia

Leslie was born in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, in 1976, 2,850 feet above sea level. Her parents, born worlds apart–her father in Ontario, Canada, and her mother in Bogota, Colombia–had met at a Baha’i youth conference and, after they were married.

Shirley Anne Pruitt – Communication Systems Manager at AT&T

Shirley Anne Pruitt – Communication Systems Manager at AT&T

I was born Shirley Anne Pruitt. I was the fourth child of my mother and father. I have three big brothers and three little brothers as well. I have one sister so there was a total of eight of us. Growing up together, we had a marvelous childhood.

Nicola Stewart – Genetic Consultant at UCSF

Nicola Stewart – Genetic Consultant at UCSF

anything you want to tell me about your early life. Growing up in my childhood, my family was always surrounded by people who were from other parts of the world so I think that sparked real curiosity in my siblings and me. I have four siblings.

Felicia Widjaja – Clinical Research Supervisor at UCSF

Felicia Widjaja – Clinical Research Supervisor at UCSF

Born in Indonesia on the island of Java, Felicia Widjaja is the elder child amongst two younger sisters and one younger brother. Her grandparents, both maternal and paternal, immigrated to Indonesia and settled in Jakarta from China.

Karina Wilhems – Research Practice Director at The Wiseman Group

Karina Wilhems – Research Practice Director at The Wiseman Group

After more than a decade working high-power jobs in publishing and event management, Karina Wilhems has a great deal of impressive experience under her belt. However, over the years, the UC Berkeley graduate has never lost sight of her humanitarian values.

Mariam Shams Goldberg – Physician, Family Doctor, South Africa

Mariam Shams Goldberg – Physician, Family Doctor, South Africa

My parents are originally Iranian and Baha’i. Because of the persecution, they had to leave Iran in the 70s. My mom grew up in Spain, my dad grew up in the Philippines and they randomly met in Nigeria, got married in Equatorial Guinea and had me in Canada.

Karina Vela – Dance Teacher at SFUSD

Karina Vela – Dance Teacher at SFUSD

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted kids to have someone like them. I had always wanted a teacher that looked like me, that understood me more.” – Karina Vela

Lianne Zhang – Finance Data and Systems Architect at Google

Lianne Zhang – Finance Data and Systems Architect at Google

Lianne Zhang was born in Berkeley and raised in Palo Alto, California. She spent most of her formative years in Palo Alto, living through the dotcom burst. A product of two Chinese immigrant parents, they mined the importance of hardwork, a quality education and stronger math skills.

Leah Straley – Director of Law School Admissions

Leah Straley – Director of Law School Admissions

“I was on the journey to figure out what I loved for quite some time.” And what a journey it has been. In many ways, Leah Straley’s story exemplifies the value of never being afraid to reinvent yourself to achieve personal growth.

Vicki Tam – Middle School Band Teacher

Vicki Tam – Middle School Band Teacher

Vicki grew up in a musical household. Her early memories involved listening to Chinese music on tapes or her father teaching her scales on a small piano. Her parents were immigrants from Vietnam and China.