Marjan PhilhourMarjan Philhour
President & CEO
Philhour & Associates


Marjan Philhour's career spans over two decades in government, politics, private consulting and community advocacy. As President of Philhour & Associates, she leads the firm's outreach and strategy in serving clients that range from campaigns to nonprofit organizations.

Marjan spent years on Capitol Hill serving as a legislative aide to key Members of Congress. Her areas of expertise included women's issues, health, labor, and the environment, through which she was able to advocate for policies with national impact.

After her time in DC, Marjan returned home to California where she served as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff in the Administration of Governor Gray Davis. Her background in legislative advocacy and crisis management continues to enrich her perspective and ability to provide strategic advice as a consultant, strategist, and community organizer.

Over the past ten years, Marjan has grown a practice, which takes a holistic approach to client campaigns and projects, offering services ranging from fundraising to strategic advice to effective external relations and outreach.

In 2011, Marjan was selected as one of the Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States, an honor bestowed by the Filipina Women's Network. The award is presented to individuals for exceptional work in the their fields of expertise and for their inspiring leadership and achievements in the American workplace and in their communities. Marjan is committed to "building the bench" of women in politics and business and speaks on topics ranging from women's representation in government to integrating professional goals into daily life.

Marjan graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in political science.

Valerie Ashford HalVal Ashford Hal
Senior Human Resources Business Partner

(Communications Co-Chair and Nominations Chair)

Valerie Ashford Hal is a business focused HR leader. In her role as a client facing Senior Human Resources Business Partner with ADP, she works with business leaders in a variety of organizations and industries such as Professional & Financial Services, Venture Capital, Retail, Healthcare, High Tech, Construction, Nonprofit, Restaurant, Education, and Public Sector agencies. 

Valerie partners and coaches executives, management teams and employees to drive engagement and organization-wide performance. Her expertise is in assessing business models to increase organizational performance, strategy alignment, leader coaching, strategic rewards, HR and labor.  

She develops and directs activities designed to meet organizational development needs, develops and facilitates training for her client companies, implements compliance & inclusion programs to mitigate risk, and other workforce activities.  She has navigated companies through numerous employee issues affecting business performance during business turnarounds and in tough business environments. Valerie is comfortable leading projects of any size, including transformation initiatives.

With over 20+ years of experience, Valerie’s work experience has included the opportunity to work in and with small and large global organizations. She is a professional who puts her finance background and consulting skills to work on building and driving innovative solutions to complex issues affecting leader, team or organizational performance. 

Prior to joining ADP Valerie managed the Executive Human Resources function for Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals; career centers for DBM/LHH as a Senior Consultant, Domestic and International Payroll Operations for Hambrecht & Quist, LLC  & JP Morgan Chase H&Q; as well as other senior roles.  

Valerie holds a bachelor of science in business administration and is seeking her MBA in Global Innovation. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) by the HR Certification Institute, carries the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®, and has been a member of the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) since 1990. She was also an invited speaker to the Global Diversity Tour.    

As a Bay Area native, Valerie has a long track record of community service as a former member of the SF Junior League and volunteering with West Coast Green and Clean Tech.

Molly Colten
Vice President
Lee Hecht Harrison 

(Special Projects and Initiatives Chair)

Molly is a Vice President at Lee Hecht Harrison Western Division, focused on serving small to midmarket organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She partners with organizations and is a trusted advisor in talent development strategies and career transition best practices. 

She has quickly grown her LHH career, through dedication to the fundamental principles of listening to and serving her clients. She is known for her ability to think strategically and execute at the tactical level, she is a highly collaborative leader, and is known for driving innovation by bringing creative ideas and solutions to the table with clients and within LHH.

While Molly’s current accounts are primarily global and concentrated in technology and medical device arenas, her background spans the public and private sectors. She has worked across the human capital and education spaces for over 12 years.

She holds a Bachelors degree from University of Minnesota and a Masters degree from Sam Houston State University, is certified in a variety of LHH leadership tools, presents on human capital topics, and volunteers for local charities. 

In her spare time, Molly enjoys hiking, whale watching and empowering women and girls to reach their highest potential.  Molly has been a volunteer with the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women supporting the annual CEDAW luncheon in 2013 and 2014.  Molly is also a Silicon Valley Leadership Group Education Policy Committee member with an emphasis on mentoring and encouraging girls and young women to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields.

Karen McMillan

Financial Advisor

Merrill Lynch

(Membership Programming Chair)

Faye MellosFaye Mellos
Senior Vice President
The Mellos Group at 
Morgan Stanley

(Membership Chair)

Faye has been working in the financial services industry for over 30 years.  She enjoys helping families to make informed decisions related to their financial health.  The breadth of her knowledge of the investment business is something she enjoys sharing with them on a daily basis.

The Mellos Group is comprised of three investment professionals and one registered service professional. By discussing client’s life goals and showing them how to put their money to work, they help clients achieve their financial aspirations. The Mellos Group strives to provide an active level of service customized for each client.

Over the years Faye has worked with clients and their families with a primary focus of tax efficiency; preservation of wealth and creating a plan to pass assets to the next generation.  It is this holistic approach that has allowed Faye to advise clients in a fashion that helps them understand the intricacies of investing and estate planning.  Many of her clients are women and she enjoys the opportunity to help them address their unique issues to assure security now and in retirement.

 It is her expectation that during market hours client calls are answered personally by one of the group members.   She also believes one of the Mellos Group’s greatest strengths is how effectively they resolve client’s issues when the inevitably arise.

Faye graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree.  In 2001 she attended The Wharton School of Business and completed an executive education program.  In 2011 she completed the curriculum at the College for Financial Planning.  Education is an important component of how the Mellos Group stays current on world events that affect their client’s financial security.

Faye is an active member of the community serving on the Executive Board of That Man May See, the fund raising arm of the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology.   In addition she is a 30+ year member of Zonta International, an international service club with the sole focus of advancing the status of women throughout the world.

Faye and her husband, Michael live in San Francisco.

Iraina Miles
Director, Community Relations
Consulate General of Israel


Iraina has focused her career on creating opportunities for people to discuss complex issues, breakdown barriers, and identify common ground from which solutions can be made. With her background in mediation, Iraina has been responsible for implementing community relations efforts around major energy projects, strengthening business development opportunities for tech startups in Silicon Valley, and building relationships for international governments on the West Coast. As an advocate for local community health and wellbeing, Iraina serves as a volunteer mediator in San Francisco and is excited by the opportunity to support Friends initiatives that champion gender equality and violence prevention.

Linda Calhoun
Career Girls

(Vice President and Communications Co-Chair)

Linda Calhoun  is Founder and Executive Producer of, a free, noncommercial, online  platform which showcases video clips of diverse women role models  sharing career and educational advice to inspire young girls to expand their horizons, improve their academic performance, and dream big about their futures.

Her home base is San Francisco, but she has travelled around the United States interviewing dynamic and accomplished women for her site. Linda has filmed over 400 role models from Houston, Chicago, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Detroit, San Diego, Atlanta and Los Angeles - everyone from ballerinas to astronauts to federal judges. 

She began her professional life as a public relations assistant, and went on to plan fine-art events for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; develop public databases and policies for the state government of Connecticut; and work as a consultant in foreign affairs for The World Bank.

The idea for Career Girls was born after Linda started working as a database consultant for international development projects for USAID and the World Bank. She has several years experience leading teams in the design of databases to support GIS for public agencies in Kansas, Connecticut and the Kyrgyz Republic. She found this work to be rewarding on many levels and wanted girls coming up behind her to know about exciting careers in tech and beyond.

Linda has traveled around the world, visiting all seven continents by her fortieth birthday and has lived in the Kyrgyz Republic and France. In 1994, she had the honor of being a member of the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) as an election monitor in the KwaZulu Natal Province. 

In addition to earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication at Boston University, she also received a certificate in International Marketing from the American University of Paris.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and Vice Chair of the Commonwealth Club of California’s International Relations Member Led Forum. She and her husband Ed live in San Francisco, are co-founders of EL Films production company and established, independent artists.

Patricia M. Bovan CampbellPatricia Bovan
Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Commercial


Patricia’s career has focused on negotiating and closing pivotal technology contracts, revenue generating deals and strategic corporate transactions for HDS, Sun, Symantec, Kellogg and Atomic Tangerine, an SRI technology start-up.

She is active in women’s and community issues. Recognizing the importance of gender equity (both from a business success and simple fairness perspective), she collaborated with the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women to implement the Gender Equality Principles initiative (GEP), and is a member of the GEP Advisory Council.

Patricia was selected as a Mentor to women in technology from the Middle East and Africa as part of the TechWomen program in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and joined the State Department delegation to Morocco and Jordan. She is a member of the Board of Pocket Opera, which performs classical opera re-imagined in the English language.  She is a member of the Leadership California Class of 2011, and a past Co-Chair of the Women for Women International San Francisco Circle.

Patricia received the Queen’s Bench Bar Association Annual Merit Award.  She was appointed Queen’s Bench Officer and Director in 2007 and also served as Director of the Queen's Bench Foundation in 2007 and 2008. In 2007 the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations granted an Annual Public Service Award to a Mentoring Program she led at Juvenile Hall for five years.

Patricia received her B.A. from Cornell University, and J.D. from Case Western Reserve.

Dr. Emily Moto MuraseDr. Emily Murase
Executive Director
San Francisco Department
on the Status of Women


After serving on the Commission on the Status of Women, Dr. Emily Moto Murase was appointed Executive Director by Mayor Gavin Newsom in July 2004. Dr. Murase  previously served as a director in the first Clinton White House.

A Founding Sister of the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute, she currently co-chairs the Parent Teacher Community Council of her daughter's public elementary school, the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program West. She holds an AB from Bryn Mawr College, a master's from the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, and a PhD in communication from Stanford.

Emily resides in San Francisco with her husband Neal Taniguchi, Chief Fiscal Officer at the San Francisco Trial Court, and her two daughters Junko Taniguchi (5), Chief Negotiator, and Erin Murase (2 1/2), Chief Curiosity Officer of the Murase/Taniguchi household.

Andrea Shorter
San Francisco Commission 
on the Status of Women


Andrea Shorter has served on the Commission on the Status of Women since 2001. A longtime advocate in the women's community, she has served as President of the San Francisco chapter of the National Organization for Women, Founding Board Member of the International Museum of Women, and Board President for both La Casa De Las Madres, and Standing Against Global Exploitation. The former Deputy Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Andrea is the co-author of a groundbreaking report on the status of girls in San Francisco's juvenile justice system that is still widely referenced as a catalyst for reform.

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