The Vault ~ Kerri Strug ~ 1996 Atlanta Olympics

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The Vault…Kerri Strug ~ 1996 Atlanta Olympics

The Vault ~ Kerri Strug ~ 1996 Atlanta Olympics

Julia Shepherd Tang, Using Meditation to Help Veterans

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Julia Shepherd Tang has been teaching health and wellness practices for over 15 years to college students, at-risk youth, recovering addicts, the general public and now veterans. In 2016, she joined Project Welcome Home Troops to help improve the quality of life for returning veterans and their families.

Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S.

When soldiers return home from war, they can face a disequilibrium upon entering day to day life. They can miss the sense of purpose and camaraderie from their mission, and have a difficult time turning off the hyper-vigilance that was necessary for combat situations. While hyper-vigilance can save a life on the battlefield, the same continued adrenal gland activity can put damaging chronic stress on the system.  Soldiers are trained for months how to behave once deployed, but they are not given the same education on how to reintegrate back into daily life- how to turn off their hyper-alertness, how to feel calm in a crowd, how to turn off their anxiety.

Veterans may suffer terribly from moral injuries, different from post traumatic syndrome. Moral injuries are unseen psychological wounds which can arise from participating in acts of war. Serious inner conflict can arise when military personnel commits or see acts of combat that go against their moral beliefs. Veterans can return home and experience a profound sense of shame, guilt, and remorse that can leave them in continued mental anguish, depressed, or suicidal.

The cornerstone of Project Welcome Home Troops course is the SKY Practice, a set of empirically validated breathing techniques that bring deep mental and physical relaxation which research suggests can reduce symptoms of anxiety, anger, insomnia and depression.  Medically, the breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and lowers cortisol and increases serotonin.  Socially, participants regain a sense of belonging, mission and purpose. Workshops are free for veterans and their families.

Travis Leanna a Marine in Operation Iraqi Freedom said, “This workshop has done more than I ever could have imagined…I have opened the door to my emotions. I am happy to say that I can feel happiness as well as sadness, and both are great. I have been given a new life, and I feel empowered to share my new self with everyone.Thank you for giving me a life worth living.”

Julia also teaches the SKY technique at Stanford University and to the general public.  She lives in Burlingame with her husband, two girls and a well-fed beagle named Suki.

If you know a veteran or active service member who would like participate in Project Welcome Home Troops, email  or go to Julia Shepherd Tang and Project Welcome Home Troops ~ You INSPIRE Us!

Julia Shepherd Tang, Using Meditation to Help Veterans

Happy Birthday, Malala Yousafzai

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Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize laureate, is 19 years old today. Check out the USA TODAY story showcasing her most inspirational quotes.

Great Women INSPIRE says…Malala has a keen focus on education in her speeches. Here’s our favorite quote from Malala: “Let us become the first generation that decides to be the last that sees empty classrooms, lost childhoods, and wasted potentials.” We hope her quote will become the world’s reality.

Happy Birthday, Malala. You INSPIRE Us!

Read the USA Today story honoring Malala Yousafzai on her 19th birthday featuring her inspired words.

For more information visit Direct from the Malala Fund website ~ WHAT WE DO
Inspired by co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala Fund’s goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. We work with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; we invest in local education leaders and programs, and we advocate for more resources for education and safe schools for every child.

Happy Birthday, Malala Yousafzai

Marta Becket, Dream Builder

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Meet Marta Becket. Since 1966, this ex-Broadway dancer has created art, ballet, and wonderment at the Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley, CA. This video tells HerStory of following dreams, creating beauty and sharing this treasure with others. For example, when she didn’t have an audience she went about painting one. Her six-year endeavor transformed this magical theater. Today, the performances are done by Jenna McClintock of Oakland, CA. Jenna was drawn to preserve Marta’s work.

Great Women INSPIRE’s favorite quote in the video from Marta, “Empty spaces are places to paint what is possible.”

This video was created by Visit California to honor Marta Becket on the 38th anniversary of Marta’s first performance.

Marta ~ Thank you for sharing your dreams, your talent and for creating wonderment.

Marta Becket and Jenna McClintock ~ You INSPIRE Us!

Carli Lloyd, USA Soccer Legend

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Carli Anne Lloyd (born July 16, 1982) is an American professional soccer midfielder who currently plays for Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League and the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. The USA’s attacking midfielder possesses some rare qualities in her ability to beat players on the dribble and to strike on goal from distance. As fit as she’s ever been, Lloyd is an integral player in the USA’s attack. She scored the winning goal in the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal in overtime to beat Brazil and scored the only two goals in the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal Game vs Japan. Carli scored a spectacular hat-trick in the final game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 leading the USA team to the gold. With over eighty goals, Lloyd is the highest scoring midfielder in history for the US Women’s National Team. Carli amazes us with her accomplishments:

  • Two-time Olympic gold medalist
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion 2015
  • FIFA Women’s Player of the Year 2015

Carli is a great athlete, great role model, and great woman. During an interview, Carli was asked to describe herself using five words. She answered: I’m dedicated, relentless, motivated, hardworking, and committed. These qualities are Carli’s keys to success.

Carli Lloyd ~ You INSPIRE US! 

For more information visit 

Carli Lloyd, USA Soccer Legend

Brenda Chapman, Writer/Director

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Brenda Chapman started her career as a story artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation where she worked on films such as The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, the Oscar-nominated Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Fantasia 2000. Chapman was the story supervisor on The Lion King, for which she won the Annie Award.Chapman then helped launch DreamWorks Animation Studios, where she co-directed the 1998 release of the Oscar-winning Prince of Egypt – the first woman to direct an animated feature for a major Hollywood studio, for which she won the Movieguide Epiphany and Teddy Awards.

She joined Pixar Animation Studios in September 2003 as a senior story artist on Cars. Chapman then created, wrote and directed Brave for which she won an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.

Other awards include the Novus Creative Catalyst Award, the 2013 Burbank International Film Festival’s Feature Animation Honoree Award, and the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival Achievement Award.

Chapman has helped to develop and consult on films for several studios over many years which include not only Disney, DreamWorks, and Pixar, but also Universal, Sony, and Lucasfilm.

Currently, Chapman is writing, directing and producing several projects in different stages of development while starting up a production company with her husband, Kevin Lima (A Goofy Movie, Tarzan, Enchanted), with the aim of producing family entertainment – animated, live-action, as well as hybrid films. She has been engaged to write a Chinese-financed/American made feature animated film – working title Blossom – for Blossom Entertainment. Chapman and Lima are also writing an adaptation of the stage show 13: The Musical for CBS Films.

Chapman resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Brenda Chapman – You INSPIRE Us!

Photo Credit: Deborah Coleman, Pixar photographer

Brenda Chapman, Writer/Director

Lorraine Czuhanich Dutkowsky, Business Woman, and Philanthropist

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Lorraine Czuhanich Dutkowsky is a business woman and philanthropist. Lorraine is a trustee of a charitable Trust, manages a diverse portfolio of rental properties, serves on various local volunteer boards, and is a director of several family owned businesses.

Growing up in Upstate New York, Lorraine’s parents instilled in her the need to give back. Her main focus has been on children, education, health, youth sports programs, and community sports facilities.

Lorraine is currently actively serving on the boards of Florida’s West Coast Region of The American Red Cross and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is also the co-chair of the Tampa Bay chapter of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle. Lorraine and her husband Bob co-chaired the Moffitt Magnolia Ball in 2014 and co-chaired the American Heart Association Heart Ball April 2015.

Lorraine and her family have lived in 13 areas of the United States and Internationally. Many of these communities have greatly benefited from her energy, stellar organizing talents and strong dedication to others.

Lorraine Czuhanich Dutkowsky ~ You INSPIRE US!

Lorraine Czuhanich Dutkowsky, Business Woman, and Philanthropist

Christine Tsai, Founding Partner at 500 Startups

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Christine Tsai is a Founding Partner at 500 Startups, a global venture capital fund, and startup accelerator. Since its inception in 2010, she helped grow 500 to ~$200M under management, 1400+ portfolio investments (including companies like Credit Karma, Twilio, MakerBot, Wildfire, Viki, Udemy, TheRealReal, ipsy), 100 team members, 20 accelerator batches, and a vibrant community of founders spanning more than 50 countries.

Prior to 500, Christine spent many years at Google and YouTube launching and marketing B2B and developer products such as Google AdSense, Google Analytics, YouTube syndication, and Developer Tools (App Engine, GWT, APIs, etc). She was also the lead for Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference.

Before Google, Christine held roles in international sales at OSIsoft and ChevronTexaco. Christine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is also a ballet dancer of 25+ years.

Born in Guam and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Christine is proud to have witnessed the growth and innovation of Silicon Valley firsthand for more than three decades. Follow her on 

Christine Tsai ~ You INSPIRE Us!

Christine Tsai, Founding Partner at 500 Startups

Lynne Friedmann, Award Winning Science Journalist

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Lynne Friedmann has combined an interest in science with a talent in writing to become an award-winning science journalist. Starting out, her dream was to become a marine biologist but in the 1970s, there were few role models for women pursuing STEM careers and outright hostility from some of her male professors in college.

Lynne Friedmann, Award Winning Science Journalist

Eleanore Berman, Interior Designer, Business Woman

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Eleanore Berman, ASID, has been designing interiors for over 30 years, 26 of these have been in the Bay Area. An active member of the American Society of Interior Designers, she is a Certified Interior Designer and also holds the Green AP Certification in Sustainable Design. Eleanore has received numerous awards for her Work including ASID Peninsula Chapter 2001 Design Awards Competition. Her company, Design 2 Interiors, is located in San Jose, CA in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Eleanore Berman ~ You INSPIRE Us!

Eleanore Berman, Interior Designer, Business Woman

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