Women of influence I attended the Silicon Valley Business Journal 2011 Women of Influence event in Santa Clara last week. Each year, they choose 100 women of influence and celebrate them at an annual dinner and awards gala in Santa Clara, CA. (this year, it was held at the convention center).

Speaking to a number of them over the course of several hours, the range is diverse, from engineers, high-profile lawyers, venture capitalists, space scientists, to healthcare leaders, technology pros and nonprofit executives.

One honoree, when not in the valley, lives in a rural village in Belize; another leads trips to the back country of the Sierra Norte and Sierra Madre. One honoree formed a nonprofit organization for the Muslim community to help give them a voice after 9/11 backlash.

I met another woman who is helping Muslim seniors find resources when they don’t know where else to turn. Below is Moina Shaiq who founded the Muslim Support Network based in the East Bay. (She also runs a restaurant specializing in food from Pakistan).

Moina Shaiq
Below is founder of Mylawsuit.com Michele Colucci accepting her award on the main stage.

Mary Furlong, who has been instrumental in helping the aging population and empowering the ‘age boom’ was also on the list. For the full list of women, check out the SV/SJ Biz Journal piece: Meet the 2011 Women of Influence | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.

Each woman had to deliver a ‘thanks’ and what/who inspired them in 10 words or less. (not even sure if that’s quite 140 characters…..certainly a challenge to do). One Thai woman had the audience in stitches when she said, “I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for selecting my parents wisely.”  

To hear some of the fabulous other thanks and kudos, check out the video below for a myriad of female voices doing remarkable things.

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