Movers and Shakers

February Movers and Shakers

by Erin Carlson

High achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation shaking things up.


Emily Chang

The Bloomberg TV anchor set tongues wagging when Vanity Fair published a juicy excerpt from her new book, Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley, in its latest issue. The adaptation focused on tech power players’ Ecstasy-fueled sex parties, with one married VC admitting he’d think twice about hiring a woman he encountered at one of those swinging affairs, or “half-naked at Burning Man.” Noting the double standard, Chang writes: “Men actually get business done at sex parties and strip clubs. But when women put themselves in these situations, they risk losing credibility and respect.” Or female entrepreneurs get painted as prudes, downgraded to the “uncool-kids’ table,” if they decline to RSVP.

Sonny Singh

It seems as if everyone we know is obsessed with crypto-currency, mulling answers to these questions: Should I invest in bitcoin, and how much? Is bitcoin the FUTURE, or just a fad? When do our lives start to become an episode of Black Mirror, filled with the dread and alienation that accompanies rapid technological change for which we’re not fully prepared? Singh, the Chief Commercial Officer of bitcoin payment processor BitPay, is here to ease your concerns. “It’s exciting to watch bitcoin grow into a global currency that is revolutionizing the monetary system,” the exec enthuses. (It’s safe to say he’s pro-digital disruption. OK, Sonny, bitcoin is the future! We’re all going to be fine, just fine.)

Joanne Horning

She founded the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s SF affiliate 30 years ago after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ever since, it’s been her mission to educate women about the importance of early detection. As the CEO and Executive Director of the SF branch, Horning will oversee the Visionary Awards Luncheon to be held at the Julia Morgan Ballroom on February 15. The event, she says, will “recognize the significant contributions that Bay Area researchers and philanthropists are making in the field of breast cancer.” Horning’s chapter has raised more than $16 million toward research; according to the foundation, it’s collectively provided more than $2.1 billion in medical care, community education and support to breast cancer patients around the world.

Maryellis Bunn

She’s been dubbed the “Millennial Walt Disney” for masterminding The Museum of Ice Cream, a pop art playground—complete with a sprinkle swimming pool and social media geotag—that draws the young and young at heart. If you haven’t been, and you’re desperate to go, the FOMO is real. Especially now that Bunn’s invention has extended its run in San Francisco following months of sold-out success. “Being a part of the fabric of the Bay Area has been a true honor and we couldn’t be more grateful to the SF community for accepting us with open arms,” she says. “We strongly align with SF’s values and pride ourselves on being an inclusive and accessible space for all. We look forward to growing our #TEAMMOIC community and to welcoming even more guests from all over the world.”

Trevor Traina

When news broke that President Trump had appointed the San Francisco serial tech entrepreneur and social scene fixture as his ambassador to Austria, eyebrows shot upward all across town. We had been hearing vague whispers for weeks that something interesting was brewing with Traina, but even we were blindsided by the news. Now, he stands poised to take his place in a long line of U.S. ambassadors to the country, including Helene A. von Damm (great name) and Frederic Courtland Penfield (great mustache, look it up). If confirmed by the Senate, Traina will be sporting a snazzy new title: “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Austria.” Good luck to him as he tries to fit that onto his LinkedIn profile. No one would ever mistake Vienna for an, ahem, composting toilet. But can the President find it on a map?

Collin Morikawa

The Berkeley junior is making a name for himself as a rising star in golf. That is a sport we thought Millennials ignored! But Morikawa offers hope for fans looking toward young talents to continue the 18-hole tradition that must now compete with the iPhone for attention. The upstart, who grew up near Los Angeles and turns 21 on February 6, has risen through the ranks to become one of the top amateur golfers in the world. Last summer, he won the Northeast Amateur Invitational Golf Tournament and scored runner-up honors in the Trans-Mississippi Championship and the Sunnehanna Amateur. Plus, he contributed to the U.S. team’s victory in September’s Walker Cup. “He’s what I would call a slow-burn competitor,” his former coach, Rick Sessinghaus, told the Chronicle. “He’s happy and smiles a lot on the course. But, man, he wants to beat your ass.”

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