Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers

Illustrations by Olivia Wise

High achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation of power players

Leah Garchik

We spoke with Garchik on the first official day of her “extended summer solstice” — she rejects the term “retirement” — following an illustrious tenure of nearly five decades at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she spent 35 years as a beloved columnist. She documented society in a style that was transparent and funny — and, for her loyal band of readers, addicting. “I was for 47 years a newspaper writer,” she tells the Gazette, “now, I’m [just] considering [myself] a writer.” Like a cup of coffee, her column became an essential part of the morning routine. “I absolutely wallowed in wonderful mail when I announced I was leaving,” says Garchik, herself-aware brand of humor intact: “I absolutely slurped that up in a very greedy and egotistical way.” She’s currently knee-deep in a major writing project and will continue contributing to the Chronicle. But now that her life isn’t driven by daily deadlines, Garchik plans to take a painting course at City College and fulfill a longtime dream of adopting a rescue dog. She might even take a Zumba class or two.

Teresa Goines 

Goines has spent her entire career around at-risk youth, from working as a corrections officer to running a gang-prevention program and, eventually, developing the concept for Old Skool Cafe out of her Potrero Hill apartment 15 years ago. The cafe is now a jazzy supper club in Hunters Point that employs 16-to 22-year-olds who’ve been impacted by poverty and incarceration. “You couldn’t pay me a billion dollars,” she tells the Gazette. “It would never compare to [having] a kid tell you it’s the first time they haven’t felt alone because they feel a family here at Old Skool.” So, is Goines the second coming of Mother Teresa? (She insists you just call her “Momma T.”) Don’t miss Old Skool Cafe’s annual gala on August 22, where supporters will gather for a cocktail reception, then dinner and a poignant program. “It’s one night where you get the whole shebang,” Goines says. For more information on the nonprofit’s gala, visit oldskoolcafe.org.

Elaine Welteroth 

A Bay Area native, Welteroth is quickly becoming the young, woke and ambitious person’s media mogul. She snatched headlines after being crowned editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue in 2016 — making her the youngest and only second black editor-in-chief in the history of the Condé Nast universe (Elaine: 1; glass ceiling: 0). Since then, she landed a dream gig as a judge on Bravo’s cult classic Project Runway, opposite Karlie Kloss, Nina Garcia, Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell. And this summer, the supernova released her New York Times best-selling manifesto-meets-memoir, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say). “It’s an invitation to have the kind of conversations I wish we were having more often,” Welteroth explains. “This is a book that’s beyond a coming of age. It’s really about coming into your power.” Feeling inspired? So are we!

Rachel Fong 

Starting at just 12 years old, Fong stole the internet’s heart with her creative baking videos on YouTube under the handle, @KawaiiSweetWorld, where she’s amassed more than 1 million subscribers. Today, the wunderkind entrepreneur and Stanford student has immortalized her recipes in print with the new release of her cookbook, Kawaii Sweet World Cookbook: 75 Yummy Recipes for Baking That’s (Almost) Too Cute to Eat. While she highlights recipes for a California roll layer cake and cake pops designed after the majestic narwhal, staying on brand as being super “kawaii” (the Japanese word for cute), Fong’s dessert recipes have also proved to be delicious — you don’t just gain a gazillion followers merely because your food is attractive. On August 4, she’ll celebrate her contribution to the cookbook canon with a family-friendly event at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park. Meanwhile, Kawaii Sweet World Cookbook is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other retailers.

Joseph DeSimone

As the CEO and co-founder of Redwood City-based 3-D printing manufacturer Carbon, DeSimone has been awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 for Northern California. Carbon became a standout in the 3D printing world by harnessing light and oxygen to grow parts continuously, making its printing process 25 to 100 times faster than that of its traditional counterparts. (Innovation, ladies and gents!) DeSimone, who has a background in chemistry and material science, broke down Carbon’s ethos in his 2015 TED Talk, saying, “New ideas are often simple connections between people with different experiences in different communities. And that’s our story.” He’s in serious good company alongside other Bay Area luminaries recognized by EY, including ThirdLove CEO and co-founder Heidi Zak and Rothy’s Inc. CEO Stephen Hawthornthwaite. Congrats, all around!

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