Editor’s Letter: Celebrating Women in Charge

Marin Magazine celebrating women content

Have you ever had something you publicly fought against turn out to be totally successful? About 25 years ago, I passionately fought against the Camino Alto Starbucks in Mill Valley. Within a year, it turned into my favorite “office” and a backdrop of many happy memories and empty calories for my daughters as Mill Valley Middle School and Tam High School students.

A great example of short-sighted resistance on my part. And then back in 2018, I thought focusing an entire issue on women seemed insulting (as if we need the help). However, I quickly changed my tune when that first Celebrating Women issue hit the stands. Laura Hilgers penned a feature article about how four very successful local business owners — Margaret O’Leary, Joan Barnes (Gymboree), and sisters, Susan Griffin-Black (EO Products) and Karen Goldberg (Tamalpie) — encouraged each other through decades-long friendships in good times and bad, and in the profile section, I loved seeing businesses like Equator Coffee, Ona Life, the team at Happy Feet, the female sales team at Golden State Lumber, and tons of real estate agents including Lori Odisio. These businesses represent a fun time capsule of the county’s thriving business scene. By 2019, our cover featured big wave surfer — and at the time sommelier for Valenti & Co. — Bianca Valenti, that opened to an award-winning article by Kirsten Jones Neff on pay equity.

In this issue, our seventh dedicated to the ladies, is our best yet. The cover, shot by Cameron Cressman, reflects the strength and connections forged by hard work and dedication. Fun fact! What we know now as artistic swimming was originally synchronized swimming. Besides being an Olympic event, the sport is still going strong in pools throughout the world. Just last year, our Redwood Empire Masters brought home a bronze, two silvers and a gold (won by Nancy Weinman in the 70–80 year category!) in the World Aquatics Masters Championship held in Kagoshima, Japan. 

Speaking of strong women, we take a look at how mothers and daughters succeed in business together — can we say the popular “Smith & Sons” trend has waned? If you’re seeking inspiration, on page 46 we introduce you to three inspiring women from Marin; Pierrette Jeanmonod, Jacqueline Annette Sue and Joan Linn Belkins, who broke through that glass ceiling as if it was made of sugar. And in the ‘warms the heart’ category, it’s great to see Stephanie Cannell, Architectural Design Carpets, Aging Solutions and Chambers + Chambers in both 2018 and 2024’s profile section! As a women-owned company, we appreciate the support.

In closing, I’d like to give big props to my mother Nikki Wood, who founded Marin Magazine in 2005 — as well as Coast Magazine in 1989 — and is now my business partner (along with our third partner, Nikki C. Wood) here at our expanding boutique media company, 270 Media. Over half of our all-women staff has been here for over ten years, as have many of our writers, which feels more like a family than a workplace. Cheers to being wrong!

We hope you enjoy this issue, and as always we love to hear from you either way!

Mimi Towle signature

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