Announcing the September Monthly Meeting of SDWIF – Thursday Sept. 29, 2016

AA043345Announcing the September 29, 2016 Meeting of San Diego Women In Finance

Biotech Panel Discussion 2016

Join us for a stimulating evening of conversation with our accomplished panelist.

Panelists: Anila DhokiaLaurie StelzerCris Calsada and Moderator: Ellen  Hoffman MBA.

Location:   Illumina

Address:    5200 Illumina Way, San Diego, CA 92122

Date:          Thursday, September 29, 2016

Time:         Networking – 5:00 p.m., Presentation – 6:00 p.m.


Join us for this stimulating evening of conversation with our accomplished panelists who will be discussing the Biotech Industry in 2016.  

Anila Dhokia joined Illumina Inc. in April 2015, as Senior Director, Head of Internal Audit.  She is focused on delivering the company’s Internal Audit and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) mandates, developing her team while building out the audit function, and partnering with the business to ensure controls continue to be at the core of strategic decision-making.  She is an active member of the Women’s Leadership Network at Illumina, and thrives on building leaders at all levels, through dedicated mentoring of individuals, both internally and externally. Prior to arriving at Illumina, Anila spent two years in Redmond, WA as the Controller for Microsoft’s Information Technology organization.  Prior to Microsoft, Anila held a variety of progressively senior Finance positions within Accounting and Control, FP&A, Tax and Internal Audit, over a 17 year career at Nortel Networks. Anila holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from McMaster University, an MBA from Laurentian University and is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) from Canada.

Laurie Stelzer joined Halozyme in June 2015 as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. At Halozyme, she is responsible for the Finance, IT, and Hylenex Commercial organizations.  Prior to joining Halozyme, Laurie served as the Senior Vice President of Finance supporting R&D, Technical Operations and M&A at Shire, Inc.  Other roles at Shire included the Head of Investor Relations and the Division CFO for the Regenerative Medicine Division, located in San Diego.  Prior to Shire, Laurie held positions of increasing responsibility for 15 years at Amgen, Inc. including Interim Treasurer, Head of Emerging Markets and International Business Development, Executive Director of Global Commercial Finance and Head of Global Accounting. Early in her career, she held various finance and accounting positions in the real estate and banking industries.  Laurie received her MBA from the Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Arizona State University, and is a CPA (inactive) in Arizona.

Cris Calsada has over 20 years of accounting, finance and operations experience. Ms. Calsada was Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Finance of Ambrx, Inc. until its acquisition in June 2015. Ms. Calsada served as Executive Director of Finance at Sony Online Entertainment from 1999 to 2004. Prior to that, she worked for six years in public accounting and private industry. Ms. Calsada is a certified public accountant and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from San Diego State University.

Ellen R Hoffman, MBA San Diego Women in Finance Co-Founder and Corporate Treasurer Executive will moderate the panel.

About Our Corporate Sponsors: 



At Illumina, our goal is to apply innovative sequencing and array technologies to the analysis of genetic variation and function, making studies possible that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. These studies will help make the realization of personalized medicine possible. With such rapid advances in technology taking place, it is mission critical to have solutions that are not only innovative, but flexible, scalable, and complete with industry-leading support and service. As a global company that places high value on collaborative interactions, rapid delivery of solutions, and prioritizing the needs of its customers, we strive to meet this challenge. Illumina’s innovative sequencing and array-based solutions for genomic analysis serve as tools for disease research, drug discovery, and the development of molecular tests in clinical labs.



Executive Search for Finance & Accounting

A business line of Roth Staffing Companies, L.P.

As a division of Roth Staffing, Ledgent remains the only staffing company ever to be ranked #1 on the Inc. 500, recognizing us as the fastest growing privately-held company in the United States over a 5 year period. We have won multiple awards based on our alignment with the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Today, we are one of the nation’s largest privately-held staffing companies with branches throughout the United States

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SDWIF is proud to be partnering with Clairemont High School, Academy of Business Mentoring Program 2016-2017 school year. Do you have an hour a month to make a difference in the life of a teenager?

businespeopleDo you have an hour a month to make a difference in the life of a high school student? Looking for wonderful mentors who want to participate in the Academy of Business Mentoring Program (AOB) at Clairemont High School. They have now 60 slots available for our AOB 11th Grade Mentor Program (one-on-one) and 20 slots available for our 10th Grade Mentor Program (small groups to one mentor). The application window is now open and will close on Sept. 13th! Please see details below for more info and help spread the word.

*Here are a few quick AOB Mentor Program Fast Facts & Dates:

» Academy students are 10th and 11th graders at Clairemont High’s Academy of Business who volunteered to be in the program, knowing they would be matched with a mentor.
» Mentoring is a one-year commitment from September – June
» Mentor-student sessions are once per month (pre-scheduled dates) on Thursdays.
» Mentor-student sessions are held at Clairemont High and last for a duration of 1-2 hours; meeting agendas are already planned.
» Mentor-student sessions are held in late mornings or early afternoons: 10th grade sessions from 10:45am – 12 noon and 11th grade sessions from 12:45 pm – 2:15 pm.
» The Academy offers two types of mentoring (mentors must choose): one-to-one mentoring (11th gr) and small group mentoring (10th gr).
» In order to participate, mentors must (1) apply online (returning mentors have a shortened app), (2) complete a LiveScan fingerprinting, (3) attend orientation (see dates below or on web), and then you will be carefully matched to a mentee student or student group.
» Mentor Orientations (mandatory for all new mentors and returning that did not mentor in 2013-14) are on Wed Sept 14 or Wed Sept 21 from 9:00 am-10:30 am (choose one to attend)
» The first mentor-student session of the 2016-17 school year is Thu Sept 29.

Please contact us at and let us know that you want to join the SDWIF mentor team.



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SDWIF wants to thank Katie Burke, CFP®, Anne Burns, CPA and Abigail Stephenson, Esq for being panelists at our May meeting

IMG_2915SDWIF wants to thank Katie Burke, CFP®, Anne Burns, CPA and Abigail Stephenson, Esq for being panelists at our May meeting.
The comments and the case studies focused on creating a solid financial future were very helpful and insightful. The feedback from the attendees was very complimentary, such as “great event and the panelists were so knowledgeable.”

Thank you to our corporate sponsors Method Financial Planning and TriNetGroup Inc. for their support of our event.






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Announcing the June Monthly Meeting of San Diego Women in Finance

businespeopleAnnouncing the June  Monthly Meeting of San Diego Women in Finance. Come celebrate the start of summer season with our networking happy hour at Farmer & The Seahorse

Date: Thursday, June 30, 2016
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Location: Farmer & The Seahorse
10996 Torreyana Rd, San Diego, CA 92121
Parking: Free



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Announcing our May 24, 2016 meeting “Are you planning for your future? What you need to know about your personal financial, tax and estate planning.

business-women1Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm (panel discussion begins promptly at 6:00pm)
Location: 4747 Executive Drive, San Diego, CA 92121
Parking: Not Hosted

Please join us for this interactive panel discussion about creating a solid plan for your future. Please bring questions and we will address them as time allows.


Katie Burke, CFP® – President and Founder of Method Financial Planning
Anne Burns, CPA – CPA with Stremlau & Company CPAs
Abigail Stephenson, Esq. – Attorney with Blanchard, Krasner & French

About Our Sponsors:


TriNet provides small and midsize businesses with an HR solution so they can free themselves from the complexities of HR and focus on their goals. As their trusted HR business partner, TriNet assumes many of the responsibilities of being an employer and helps these companies contain HR costs, minimize employer-related risk, and relieve the administrative burden of HR. TriNet offers bundled HR products, along with additional cloud products and strategic services, resulting in a comprehensive and empowering solution.

We offer financial planning and consultation for individuals and families. Utilizing the latest tools and technology we simplify your financial life, and leave you with peace of mind so you can focus on your family, your career and all of the things that matter most.

As a fee-only financial planning firm, Method, is committed to providing objective advice and guidance on your entire financial picture. We do not receive compensation outside of the client/advisor relationship, and provide advice with no other incentive but to help you to identify and achieve your own personal financial goals. We offer unparalleled peace of mind by designing and implementing individualized financial plans regardless of where your investment and financial accounts reside.

Panel Bios:

 Katie Burke, CFP®

With over 12 years of experience in the financial industry, Katie created Method Financial Planning in 2015 to offer clients simpler, more effective solutions to achieve their financial objectives. Utilizing the latest tools and technology she works with young families and busy professionals across the country leaving them with peace of mind so they can focus on their families, careers and the things that matter most.

Katie began her career as a Mutual Fund Accountant at T.Rowe Price in Baltimore. During her time at T.Rowe Price she realized her love for finance but knew she wanted to work with clients directly, so in 2006 relocated to Philadelphia to pursue a career with Bernstein Global Wealth Management as a Private Client Associate.  In 2008 Katie was transferred to the Bernstein office in San Diego.  Here she had the opportunity to work with many of the high-net worth families the office served and began studying for the CFP®.  Her next move was in 2010 when she joined a start-up investment firm, Delphi Private Advisors.  During her five years with Delphi Katie took on multiple roles including leading many client relationships, as well as the financial planning activities of the firm.

Katie graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration (Finance Concentration). She received her Certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University and in 2011 received her designation as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM. In 2011 Katie co-founded San Diego Women in Finance (SD WIF) and currently serves as a Board Member.  She is also a student mentor through the program offered by the Academy of Business and Technology at Clairemont High School.

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Katie now lives in San Diego with her husband and son (and another baby on the way in July).

Anne Burns, CPA

Anne assists her clients by addressing their tax related matters so that they can focus on what really matters to them rather than focusing their time and energy stressing over the intricacies of the tax law. Through strategic planning, extensive knowledge and preparation Anne is able to assist clients in a variety of industries and tax positions. No matter what industry you work in, having Anne assist you with your taxes allows you to focus on your business or career knowing that your taxes are being prepared accurately and effectively. Anne works with individual, corporation, and LLC taxation and planning. Anne’s clients include, but are not limited to, business owners, stock and other equity compensation holders, and property owners. Anne has experience running a local business prior to becoming a CPA, which gives her insight into the challenges facing business owners. The combined public and private experience allows Anne to effectively plan and assist business owners in navigating complex tax law to their best advantage.

Anne also has a specialty in estate (Form 706) and fiduciary (Form 1041) compliance and planning. In addition to knowing the technical requirements for reporting and being able to help plan for the most tax advantageous results, Anne understands the emotional difficulty that is involved with most estate and trust creation. Anne works with compassion to try to make the tax related piece as painless as possible.

Anne graduated from San Diego State University with her bachelors in Accounting. Anne has been certified as a CPA in California since April 2008. Anne is a member of the AICPA, CalCPA, USD Planned Giving Council and North County Estate Planning Council. Anne has extensively lectured on the risks of Elder Financial Abuse and income tax basics.

Anne is a San Diego native and enjoys getting outside to take advantage of all the beauty San Diego has to offer. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, practicing yoga and traveling. Her most recent adventure was a yoga retreat in Bali. Anne has been a team captain for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for several years.

Abigail Stephenson, Esq.

Abigail Stephenson is an attorney in the San­­ Diego office of Blanchard, Krasner & French. She is admitted to practice in California and Nevada.

Ms. Stephenson represents privately held companies in a variety of transactional matters including entity formation; real property sales, purchases, and leases; merger and acquisition of other entities and assets; drafting, reviewing and negotiating commercial agreements; and equity and debt financings. She also assists clients in securing and maintaining federal trademark registration and advises business clients with respect to employment law issues, corporate governance, and insurance regulatory issues.  Ms. Stephenson maintains a small litigation practice representing litigants in contract, real property, probate, and family law disputes.  Estate planning rounds out her practice.

Ms. Stephenson joined USD School of Law as an adjunct faculty member for the Civil Practicum in the fall of 2015. Prior to joining Blanchard, Krasner & French, Ms. Stephenson clerked for the Honorable Bruce S. Jenkins at the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

Ms. Stephenson is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law where she received her Juris Doctor, cum laude. While attending law school and working full time as a University administrator, Ms. Stephenson helped found the San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law, and then served as Managing Editor for the Journal its first year of publication. She received her Bachelor of Art’s Degree in 3.5 years, cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota with a double major in Political Science and Psychology.

In her free time, Ms. Stephenson enjoys mountain and road biking, yoga, reading, and spending time with friends and family across the country and around the globe. She is also a proud Mom to her son Cooper and is looking forward to welcoming baby #2 in July 2016.

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SDWIF Would Like to Thank Jenn Harris, CEO of the High-Heel Golfer, for sponsoring our first Golf Clinic for a Cause-raising money for Clairemont H.S. Academy of Business and Technology

golf2 golf1The High Heel Golfer teamed up with San Diego Women in Finance to help boost our business  and give back through a Clinics for a Cause event.  We had a fun evening building our self confidence, golf competence, networking and sales skills all while sipping on vino,  eating delicious appetizers and having fun!

Attendees started making more green on the greens while raising money to support the mission of the Academy of Business and Technology at Clairemont High School (website  We are  excited that we raised money  for student scholarships for the 2016 graduating class!

Thank you Jenn Harris for making this such a fun and successful event!


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SDWIF would like to thank our speaker, Jackie Martin CEO Love Your Closet by Jackie, on her presentation for “Bringing Joy into Our Closets to Bring More Joy into Our Lives”

martinJackie’s lecture was a fun and educational evening of interactive exercises to help us build our happiness and confidence on a daily basis.  Thank you for sharing your five solutions for a getting your closet in order while at the same time activating more love, joy, confidence and fun into your life

In addition, we would also like to thank our corporate sponsors TriNetGroup Inc  and QualStaff Resources for their support and generosity of this event.

About Our Corporate Sponsors:

TriNet provides small and midsize businesses with an HR solution so they can free themselves from the complexities of HR and focus on their goals. As their trusted HR business partner, TriNet assumes many of the responsibilities of being an employer and helps these companies contain HR costs, minimize employer-related risk, and relieve the administrative burden of HR. TriNet offers bundled HR products, along with additional cloud products and strategic services, resulting in a comprehensive and empowering solution

QualStaff Resources is a professional recruitment firm offering San Diego employers a quality, cost effective option for acquiring high-value technical, financial and administrative talent.  QualStaff can offer both candidates looking for work and clients searching for talent a unique local San Diego connection.  Serving the San Diego market since 1998, QualStaff has successfully serviced thousands of customer orders, employing thousands of contract employees as well as placing top tier talent in direct hire roles at hundreds of San Diego’s leading organizations.  Through continuous quality placements, dedication and caring service, QualStaff is recognized as a market leader.

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