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SUE Rising Board of Directors

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Sashi Whitman

Sashi Whitman is a Co-Founder and the CEO of SUE Rising™, a non-profit organization centered on creating a lasting legacy of future female leaders.

Sashi is also a Partner and the Chief Legacy Officer with SUE Talks™, which brings bold, passionate, and inspiring talks to business leaders and members of the community.  She is also one of the lead coaches for SUE Talks™, working with businesswomen on crafting and preparing their influential talks.

Sashi is also an educator and teaches market research at UCSD Extension for international students, and business and marketing courses at San Diego Miramar College.

Sashi received her MBA from San Diego State, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology from UC San Diego. Her background is in marketing, specifically market research and product management. She has worked overseas in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where she sold American luxury goods to the Middle East market.

Sashi is passionate about empowering young girls and women to build confidence, find their voice and create influence that breaks barriers globally.

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Personal Branding - Business Heashots by TRUE BLUE Portrait.

Michelle Bergquist

Michelle Bergquist is a co-founder of SUE Rising™ and a nationally recognized author, award-winning entrepreneur, lively moderator and engaging, professional speaker.

Currently, Michelle is the CEO and Co-Founder of Connected Women of Influence, a national association of professional women leading people, projects, teams and companies.

Michelle is also the Co-Founder of SUE Talks™.  SUE Talks™ are bold, passionate talks and viewpoints, centered around business and success by successful, unstoppable, and empowering women.

Michelle is a passionate advocate to advance women in business, and committed to designing platforms, programs, connections and collaborative opportunities that result in more women leading people, projects, teams, and companies.  Michelle has been recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners as the Women’s Advocate of the Year, by the East County Chamber with the Women in Leadership Award, by the Global Society of Female Entrepreneurs with the Lady in Blue Sapphire Circle of Excellence Award, and by the San Diego Metro Magazine as one of the Women Who Impact San Diego.

Another passion for Michelle is to see more women become published authors and thought-leaders. She is a founding partner of Women Lead Publishing, the go-to-source for aspiring women authors who want to share their expertise and build credibility and impact through published works.

With a passion to ‘give back’ in business, Michelle’s philanthropic efforts have resulted in over $300,000 in contributions for local nonprofit organizations that support women and young girls.

Michelle’s corporate background includes thirteen years in commercial banking and over twenty-five years as an entrepreneur and business owner.  Michelle is the author of two books:  How Women Sabotage Their Success in Business…According to Men and How to Build a Million Dollar Database.

Michelle is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Big Red!!) and a past board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, YWCA of San Diego and the American Institute of Banking.

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Deanna Potter

Deanna Potter is the Strategic Communications Manager for The Centre for Organization Effectiveness, and a co-founder of SUE Rising™.  She has over 25 years of experience in individual coaching and group training courses designed to improve communication skills and organizational results. She is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author who has consulting experience in both the private and public sectors. She understands the demands and importance of creating a message that “sells” so that an organization’s key performance objectives are achieved. She herself has been presenting before groups since her presentation at the age of 18 before a crowd of 10,000 people.

In 2015, she co-founded and co-launched SUE Talks™ a series of events throughout Southern California promoting the professional journeys of women leading in business. She leads a team of coaches in that organization, and develops the skills of presenters across the nation, based on her belief that to be a great presenter you must understand….,”You are not just giving a presentation, you are delivering an experience“.

Deanna supports with individuals in organizations at all levels, whether first time presenters or those comfortable in front of a crowd. She helps them take skills and talents they have and, through tangible techniques, shows them how to relax, fine tune, and evolve to the next level.

Deanna has conducted numerous keynote presentations for conventions, conferences, and organizations around her book From Distress to Success, which outlines the Three Key Choices critical to moving through challenges and obstacles.

Deanna has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of San Diego and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to presentations, she has expertise in Strategic Planning, Strategic Leadership, Communication, Presentations, Strengthsbased Leadership, Purpose, Resiliency, Teams, Coaching, Goal-setting, and Negotiation.

When Deanna is not presenting you will find her watching her favorite past-time/sport baseball with her husband of 25 years and playing with her Boston Terrier- Madison.

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Linda Amaro

Linda Amaro is a co-founder of SUE Rising™ and the CEO of Klarinet Solutions.

With 25+ years of experience, Linda drives the innovation that continually propels Klarinet to meet peak performance goals.

Over her career, she has built data centers from the ground up and spearheaded building the infrastructure for virtual offices and teams. She’s also got some serious people skills—meet her and you’ll quickly realize how she turns the stereotype of quiet, withdrawn IT professionals on its head.

She is an expert at aligning corporate vision, both short and long-term, with the technologies that will serve best. Her consulting is driven by her commitment to help businesses get more out of the technologies they have and strategically identify needs.

The queen of achieving career fulfillment and work-life balance, when Linda shuts the corporate door, she shifts to be an engaged grandmother and a board member for non-profits.

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