Celebrating Women in Business

Featured, Celebrating Women in Business, Marin Magazine

Marin Magazine Women in Business

Whether they’re running households or businesses, women bring a unique spirit and enthusiasm to their work. And in all they do, they elevate those around them while often finding their own successes along the way. When it comes to the local business world, there are plenty of successes to point to. In this section we invite you to get to know some pretty inspiring women.

Nurit Raphael

Nurit Raphael

ona.life founder and Marin native Nurit Raphael believes “The little spontaneous things in life makes us feel like we aren’t just existing, but living.” That same adventurous spirit (and some inspiration from her brother Aviv) took Nurit from production coordinator on Game of Thrones to a starring role of her own: founder of ONA.life—an only-in-Marin boutique cannabis concierge/delivery service. Years of hard work and positive word-of-mouth have helped ONA. life thrive, earning the collective a 2018 Green State Cannabis Award from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nurit’s active participation in local and state government helped ensure that ONA.life was one of only five cannabis delivery services statewide that was in full compliance with the law and ready to roll on January 1, 2018. Today, she continues to work tirelessly in the community, hosting educational-and wellness events designed to destigmatize cannabis. Nurit says “There is no better feeling than knowing you are helping someone find relief from a plethora of symptoms such as chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, depression, anxiety, insomnia or just feel uplifted.”

Nurit currently resides in San Francisco, but hopes to raise her family in Marin County. She would enjoy doing Pilates and hiking Mt. Tamalpais in her free time if she had any.

Serving Marin County

Happy Feet Dance

Happy Feet Dance School

As Happy Feet Dance School’s 40th anniversary approaches founder and director Cece Bechelli and staff have a lot to celebrate! “We are blessed to have the opportunity to teach and mentor many wonderful students,” says Bechelli, “We have so many children start with us as toddlers and stay through high school graduation. What a joy it is to see our students develop into well-trained beautiful dancers as well as confident young adults!” Now, after 40 years, many of Bechelli’s first students are back at Happy Feet with their own children! Bechelli and staff also celebrate a long relationship with the community in their roles as choreographers and teachers for Kiddo!, Winterfest, and local youth theatre groups. Dancers will perform in two shows, Sunday, June 3 at the Marin Center.

Pictured bottom to top: Co-Directors, Caitlin Bechelli, Cece Bechelli; Teachers, Sheri Bechelli, Vicki-Marie Bassing, Maria Elena Cacciatore; Office Manager, Patty Simmons.

15 Montford Avenue • Mill Valley, CA

Oceanic Realty

Oceanic Realty

Sarah Nancy Butler has called Stinson Beach her niche market for the last 21 years. With her focused Stinson Beach experience, she is able to share her knowledge of the beach’s micro market with her clients. Sarah is proud to be the owner of Oceanic Realty, a boutique brokerage, that can cater the services to the clients’ needs.

Stinson Beach, CA

Chambers + Chambers


Focused on custom residential architecture and interior design services, Chambers + Chambers is a boutique architectural practice in Mill Valley, California. Understated elegance, quiet luxury, richness in color and texture, classical detailing and axial relationships are signature elements of Barbara’s award winning designs. Barbara finds design inspiration through her passion for and love of classical architecture, antiques, sculpture, art and travel.

Innovative Match

Innovative Match

Innovative Match works with single, educated professionals who are serious about finding a life partner. In today’s fast paced world, Cassie Zampa-Keim and her team intimately work alongside clients to foster a new dating mindset and relationship experience, combining nearly three decades of coaching expertise with the exciting opportunities of meeting a life partner. As a full service relationship coaching firm the company specializes in working with clients 45+ nationwide, offering a customized approach to 21st century dating through its emphasis on both personal development and dating strategy.

We keep our services flexible and tailored to your objectives. We spend time talking with you and understanding your needs, and then we develop a program customized to create the best dating process for you.

And because the only constant is change, we can make adjustments to your program as you go along if your goals change from what they were originally. Nothing is set in stone, and everything is designed around your life!

Ross, CA

The HiveryThe Hivery

The Hivery is a collaborative and creative coworking space founded four years ago by Grace Kraaijvanger. Grace realized there were many women like herself who needed community, collaboration, and a creative environment in order to create their next chapter. She found that for women who wanted to change careers, start a business, go back to work, or pursue a passion – there was no “space” both literally and metaphorically to find and create meaningful work.

From that creative questioning, The Hivery was born. The Hivery welcomes all human beings and grows and thrives according to three core values: kindness, creativity, and community.

Grace says everything she learned about business and life, she learned from her past experiences as a professional dancer: learning how to express yourself in the most authentic manner, showing up fully every day, and surrounding yourself with people who believe in what’s possible for you. Show up, make something, don’t do it alone, repeat.

The Hivery creates space for each of us to discover our “inner artist,” to own who we really are, express our gifts and make unique contributions to this world. This female-fueled movement believes deeply in #womendoingcoolstuff.

38 Miller Avenue, Suite #20
Mill Valley, CA

Rowena Finegan

Rowena Finegan

Rowena Finegan, BBEC and owner of Pine Street Natural Interiors, declares: “Our mission has always been to provide a next wave of green furniture and design that combines social responsibility and healthy materials with color and texture and, well, fun!”

In order to develop her knowledge in healthy home interiors, Ms. Finegan enrolled with the Institute for Bau-Biologie and Ecology, which promotes the use of healthy building principles in living spaces, where she earned a certification as a Building Biology Environmental Consultant (BBEC).

In 2004, she collaborated with Cisco Brothers, a furniture manufacturer in Los Angeles, to create their Inside Green Technology. This custom technology, which utilizes natural, non-toxic and sustainable materials can be applied to any of Cisco Bros.’ offerings. The furniture line is sold, along with many other healthy home furnishings, at Pine Street Natural Interiors.

Ms. Finegan has been specializing in Healthy Home Interior Design for nearly fifteen years.

323 Pine Street, Unit A • Sausalito, CA

Equator Coffees and Teas

Equator Coffee & Teas

In 1995, when business partners Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell started roasting coffee in Marin County, it marked the beginning of a journey to build a high impact brand focused on quality, sustainability, and social responsibility. In 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration honored Equator by naming our Certified B Corporation as the “National Small Business of the Year.

115 Jordan Street • San Rafael, CA

Golden State Lumber
Mo DeLong

Golden State Lumber

The sales women of Golden State Lumber San Rafael – Amy Hutton, Tristen Shannon and Melissa Spingler, are opening doors for women in the construction sales industry. In a field traditionally led by men, these women have instilled confidence and trust in many of the Bay Area’s top builders, architects, and homeowners. With over six decades of experience combined, they are some of the best window and door sales representatives in the region. Their knowledge is vast and their services sought after by building professionals and homeowners for some of the most distinguished homes in the Bay Area.

The Golden State Lumber mission is to provide customers with a personal approach necessary to deliver reliable, fast, and convenient service for any project. The women of Golden State Lumber embody this with dedication and success. Looking to the future, these women are excited to head up GSL’s newest endeavor – a new Window and Door Design Center opening in Santa Rosa summer 2018.

For your next project, ask how the women of Golden State Lumber can help. Visit GSL in San Rafael today, and get inspired at the Window & Door Design Center, featuring displays of top brands. You Succeed. We Succeed.

1100 Andersen Drive
San Rafael, CA
Follow us @goldenstatelumber

Marin Roto- Rooter

Marin Roto-Rooter

Marin Roto-Rooter is known for our expertise and focus on customer satisfaction. Named Novato Chamber of Commerce 2013 Small Business of the Year, Marin Roto-Rooter’s licensed and insured plumbers deliver fast, dependable service.


Go to www.marin-rotorooter.com for easy e-scheduling. Marin Roto-Rooter President Mendy Calegari.


Renee Brunner

Renee Brunner

Renee possesses knowledge of both the San Francisco and Marin markets. She has lived in San Francisco and Marin County for the past twenty-five years. Her involvement in real estate throughout the city and Marin provides her with distinct knowledge of the pros and cons of the areas’ unique neighborhoods. Renee finds her Nordstrom background as a manager her largest asset in providing top notch customer service to her clients. Her high volume in new construction sales has contributed to the “anything can happen and you can find a solution” approach.

From 2000-2008, 2008 to present Renee has been involved mainly in re-sale transactions. Renee worked as an agent for Pacific Marketing Associates, one of the Bay Area’s leading Sales and Marketing firms specializing in representing developers of new residential construction projects throughout the Bay Area.

Renee lives in Mill Valley with her two kids Teddy (6) and Cacky (5). She is currently involved in projects such as Storybook Ball raising money for The Mill Valley Library Foundation.

[email protected]
415.465.2455 • CalDRE #01355341

Healus ClinicHealus Clinic

Jocelyn Olivier came to Marin from Canada 45 years ago on a quest to learn more about the human body. By the age of 25 she was already teaching what she knew to others. Fourteen years later she opened Alive & Well! Institute of Conscious BodyWork in San Anselmo. She trained many to earn an independent living fixing musculoskeletal pain problems.

She is still mentoring others to excellence in NeuroMuscular Reprogramming NMR®, her registered service mark: the modality for which her school is renowned. At Healus, her clinic in Mill Valley, people who trained with her continue to hone their skills collaborating on the trickiest problems that baffle the medical profession.

NMR is a hands-on bodywork modality that enables conversation with the living intelligence of the body. It reprograms coordinated movement. It is the missing link in rehabilitation. Despairing clients, who’ve tried everything to resolve persistent pain and disability, leave after NMR exclaiming that what has happened is ‘transformational’ and ‘magical’. It’s not magic really, just based on biomechanical principles that can be taught to others. Jocelyn teaches all around the country, and sees clients at Healus.

“We have far more control over our bodies than anyone taught us. Having the support of someone who can help you change yourself is the essence of treatment at Healus.” If you wonder what we can do for you, call Healus and set up a free half-hour assessment.

655 Redwood Hwy, Suite 225
Mill Valley, CA

Kathleen McCoy

Kathleen McCoy

Kathleen McCoy, founder of Bella Notte Linens, has built a business by women, for women, that is approaching its second generation of leadership.

She studied design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and spent years working for 80’s fashion icon Jessica McClintock, who taught her, “Romance never goes out of style.” Kathleen founded Bella Notte to bring romance and couture to the world of linens, filling a gap between mass-produced products and fine linens that had to be dry cleaned with her own easy care luxury offering.

Being a woman has influenced her company’s values. Bella Notte offers what she calls a “family-first” culture, where everyone is empowered to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, something a traditional male-led business might not consider. With daughter Taylor and niece Lauren playing an increasing role at Bella Notte, Kathleen has turned being a woman owned business into a long-term advantage.

Malugani’s Tire Shop

Malugani’s Tire Shop

Kendal (Malugani) Savelli is celebrating 35 years at Malugani’s Tire Shop. That’s half of the life of the Mill Valley institution, which was founded by her grandparents, Dan and Stella, in 1948. In the male-dominated automotive industry, Kendal stays ahead with self-taught business savvy, a quick wit, and by treating both customers and employees like family.

493 Miller Avenue • Mill Valley, CA

Susan HewittSusan Hewitt

Susan comes from a long line of businesswomen. Her mother, Barbara Burtleson, was one of the first female brokers in San Francisco and a founding broker of TRI Realty, the first residential real estate office in the country to sell over $1Billion of real estate in a single year.

After an extensive search to find her own home near top-notch schools in Marin County, San Francisco-native Susan Hewitt realized how critical expertise in every aspect of the community is in finding a client the perfect house. She built on her many years as a San Francisco luxury property expert to create a Marin business specializing in helping families make the big move north. Her success stems from her extensive knowledge of neighborhood amenities along with sharp negotiation skills that come from over 30 years of experience.

Susan explains that one of her smartest moves was partnering with her son, C.J. Nakagawa, forming The Marin Group at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty. She believes that they each offer a unique perspective on the market. They consistently set new sales records using targeted marketing techniques that set them apart. By exceeding their clients’ expectations, they offer a positive real estate experience which has propelled them to a spot amongst the Top Sales Teams in the San Francisco Bay Area. Watch their film at TheMarinGroup.com for a personal introduction.

Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty
BRE #00996144

Green Door Design

Green Door Design

Specializing in orchids, succulents, air plants, bromeliads and interior foliage. At green door design we pair our hand selected plants with an extensive selection of vessels, creating naturally inspired long lasting arrangements…each one elegant, graceful and designed for your space. Retail store M-Sat 10-5:30. Standing, from left: Lily Masturzo, Julia Ortiz-Aragon, Cindy Koehn, Sarah McNeil, Julia Coe. Seated, from left: Bobbi Greene, Susie Turner, owner.

Architectural Design CarpetArchitectural Design Carpet

Debbie Duering, owner of Architectural Design Carpets, has been a leader in the Bay Area flooring industry since 1990. Her senior sales team consists of two creative and dedicated women, Kate Googins and Mary Lippert, who have been part of her team for over 15 years. They work hand in hand with the Bay Area’s top interior designers, architects, and realtors. These ladies excel in the top flooring trends ranging from carpet and hardwood to custom rugs and commercial flooring. They are beyond helpful, professional, and of course using a woman’s ingenuity, thinking outside the box and attention to detail is standard operating procedure at Architectural Design Carpets.

When it comes to investing in flooring for any project, no matter how big or small, the foundation of your home starts with Architectural Design Carpets.

1111 Francisco Blvd East, Suite 3 • San Rafael, CA

Lori Saia OdisioLori Saia Odisio

Lori Saia Odisio celebrates 20 years as an award winning real estate professional in Marin. A Marin native and Cal Berkeley graduate on a track scholarship, Lori’s trademark is to work hard, understand her clients’ needs and exceed expectations every time. Her happy clients often become repeat customers, and her ability to deal with sensitive issues such as celebrity, divorce, death, estate sales and relocation is highly regarded. She customizes an innovative marketing plan for every property and has a team of gold star professionals ready to assist. Lori has the experience and expertise in all price points as she has sold over 400 homes and has clocked in over $300 million in sales.

Client and author Anne Lamott shares, “Lori Odisio is a brilliant realtor–probably the savviest in the county–but besides that, EVERYONE falls in love with her.” Clients Celeste and Cort Bishop add, “Lori is proof positive that a top-notch professional with a mixture of smarts, pragmatism, creativity and energy can and does make the difference. Lori also brings other attributes to the table…she cares about her clients.”

Lori knows the importance of giving back and often works behind the scenes to ensure a need is filled. She also serves on the Board of the Marin Athletic Foundation which serves Marin County’s athletic programs by focusing on the health, safety, and injury prevention of all student athletes.

Vanguard Properties, Mill Valley Office
CalDRE #01249475

Leslie Ruhland

Leslie Ruhland

Payroll plays a critical role for every business. Since 1990, Accuchex has been privileged with the responsibility of paying people correctly, and on-time, every pay cycle.

Leslie Ruhland is a Marin County native and is the EVP of Accuchex Corp. Headquartered in Novato for 28 years, Accuchex is the largest independent payroll company in the Bay Area. “One of my favorite things”, says Ruhland, “about working with companies’ payroll is that no matter the size or industry, our friendly and knowledgeable staff adds value, and in doing so, we become part of our clients’ adventure.”

Accuchex provides innovative workforce solutions with web-based Time2Pay, blending “Hi-Tech with Hi-Touch”. Accuchex supports employers with one to thousands of employees nationwide. Accuchex appreciates that Payroll remains at the center of our daily lives and the fabric of our communities.

365 Bel Marin Keys Blvd • Novato, CA
415.883.7733, ext 110 • [email protected]

FitWise Pilates and Wellness

FitWise Pilates and Wellness

FitWise offers privates, duets, unique Barre classes, small group equipment classes, and postural assessments with correctional programs to help clients achieve and sustain their goals. Our instructors are experts in the field and provide the highest caliber of teaching with curative strategies. Our contemporary approach applies scientific research with practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement.


Chelsea E. Laleggio

With a sixth sense for navigating a competitive, ever-changing market in Marin, Sales Manager/top-producing agent, wife, mother and philanthropist, Chelsea E. Ialeggio uses her analytical mind to make her clients’ needs come to fruition. Ialeggio may not be able to predict the market, but she unquestionably navigates it well for her clients, having closed $320 million and 190 transactions in just the past six years alone.

Raised in Marin, she has a reputation for her integrity, unyielding service and an analytical approach to real estate. In her early 20s, Ialeggio worked in Equity Research at Montgomery Securities taking many technology companies public, working in conjunction with investment banking, company management, institutional clients and the institutional sales team. This path eventually led her to a sales position in International U.S. Equity Sales. At the age of 28, she was transferred to London where she quickly ascended to Managing Director and Head of U.S. Equity Sales for Bank of America Securities.

These experiences developed her analytical mind and after a decade of working in the investment banking industry, she made the move to residential real estate sales in 2003. Ialeggio loves the combination of looking at a property as an asset in a client’s portfolio, but also deeply appreciates the emotional aspect that someone’s home represents. Ialeggio’s goal as a manager is to mentor, train, and take agents’ businesses to new heights.

352 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA
[email protected]
DRE #01394011

Cannell Insurance Group

Cannell Insurance Group

Stephanie Cannell knows the difference between having insurance and being insured. Specializing in Southern Marin for the last 14 years, she overcomes insurance objections that are unique to our area. Handling all types of insurance from auto, home, life and umbrella to construction and small business. Stephanie brings her experience to work for you.

232 E Blithedale Avenue, Suite 206 • Mill Valley, CA
415.388.7979 • 415.302.2989 cell • 415.388.7980 fax

Julianna’s Fine Jewelry

Julianna’s Fine Jewelry

Julianna, along with daughter, Judy, first opened Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in The Village at Corte Madera over 30 years ago. Julie brought her vast 20 years of designer jewelry knowledge and business savvy to the venture. Julianna’s granddaughter, Caitlyn, can now also be seen working alongside the mother-daughter team. If you are lucky, all three generations might be at work at the same time.

Julianna’s Fine Jewelry’s motto is “We are a family, so we’ll treat you like family.” Roberto Coin, Simon G and Doves collections are displayed, but they are legendary in their one-of-a-kind custom jewelry designs, offering unique wedding rings with the finest diamonds at competitive prices. Swiss-made watch options include Rolex, Omega, Tudor, Raymond Weil, Tissot, and Frederique Constant.

At Julianna’s Fine Jewelry, this family of women jewelers will make sure that you receive superior service and quality. Pictured (left to right): Judy White, Julianna Foris and Caitlyn White.

The Village at Corte Madera • Corte Madera, CA

Christine ChristiansenChristine Christiansen

Selling or buying a house is something you may do only a few times in your life. The figures are mind-boggling. It’s stressful. Most likely, you’ll have endless questions. So when you’re evaluating realtors pay attention to the one who makes you feel heard.

Christine understands that what you have to say is the key to serving you at the highest possible level. She listens. And considers it the key to her success in the Marin luxury home market. Which is why every one of her clients has either referred her, engaged her again, or become a friend.

A member of the Top Agent Network, the Marin Bus Tour and a Certified International Property Specialist, Christine has created exclusive opportunities for collaboration with other brokers about pricing, off-market and pocket listings.

What’s more, her strong relationships with gold-standard contractors, inspectors, engineers, lenders, attorneys and brokers constitute a concierge team, ready to turn on a dime and smoothly manage the most complex of transactions.

One of Vanguard’s top luxury property sellers, Christine understands Marin as only a longtime resident can and happily sponsors several local and global organizations. Meet with her to discuss your real estate goals and develop a plan for success. She’s ready to listen.

352 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA
[email protected]
DRE #01393098

Terri Abelar

Terri Abelar, founder and CEO of Aging Solutions, has always sought new ways to solve human problems. After 20 years in the public and nonprofit sectors, creating and managing innovative programs and services for seniors, Terri saw new ground to break. Adult children, trying to manage their aging parents’ care, had no support or guidance of their own. The result: high stress for them and less-than optimal care for their parents.

Terri bet that an independent, fee-based care-management business, based on compassion, advocacy, and real-world industry knowledge was the answer.

Aging Solutions’ newest ground-breaking program, The Care Method, focuses on quickly stabilizing aging parents showing signs of crisis—such as more forgetfulness, more falls, or medication confusion. The Care Method brings together specialists who assess, consult, and recommend a plan that lets families and seniors get back to their lives.

1000 Fourth Street, Suite 440 • San Rafael, CA

Debra Bernier

Debra Bernier

As a real estate professional at Pacific Union, Debra Bernier believes it’s important to choose a full-time agent who is competent, direct and a skilled negotiator. Having owned nine homes, she understands transition, relocation, and change. She is determined, but also patient. Outside the office, Debra can be found on her yoga mat, mountain bike, watching Netflix, or dreaming about Lake Tahoe.

901 Sir Francis Drake Blvd • Kentfield, CA
415.272.4916 • Lic #01932321

Aness Pogni​Aness Pogni

AMarin local, sole proprietor, and entrepreneur for more than 37 years, Aness Pogni is no stranger to taking risks and working hard. Her passion and creativity shine through in her every venture.

From her first retail operation, Jewelry by the Bay, to the most colorful socks specialty boutique in the Bay Area, SOXalito, to her latest eclectic venture, Baysic, a new retail shop in Sausalito, Aness makes her mark.

One of Aness’ guiding principles in business and in life is: “Life is a game, play it; Life is a challenge, meet it; Life is an opportunity, capture it; Life is an adventure, live it!” ∼Unknown

Aness enjoys traveling the world, from Japan to Bali, to find unique treasures that surprise and delight her customers, with whom she enjoys many longstanding relationships. Aness is a member of the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce (Nominating Committee and Hospitality Committee)

When she is not helping customers, Aness can be found laughing with large family and socializing with friends in Mill Valley and Sausalito. Some of her favorite local establishments, other than her own, include Poggio, Sushi Ran and visits with Angela Rose Hakala at Edwards Salon.

771 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA