Six high achievers on our radar, from Bay Area heavyweights
to the next generation shaking things up
After quite a bit of hype, the restaurateur has finally opened his new, $20 million venture, China Live, an eatery and marketplace for Chinese cuisine. Chen clearly took a few notes from celebrity chef Mario Batali, whose Italy-centric Eataly chain is a foodie magnet in New York and Chicago, among other cities. Chen’s China Live, inside the old Gold Mountain space at 644 Broadway, has a smorgasbord of goodies on the menu: dim sum, noodles, barbecue and a cocktail dubbed the Rooster King, spiked with the Chinese liquor Kweichow Moutai.
Earlier this year, the founder of Reformation, the sustainable fashion brand that Taylor Swift loves to wear, unveiled a brick-and-mortar store on Valencia Street by popular demand: San Francisco is her third largest market following LA and New York. And since this is the tech capital of the world, “smart” dressing rooms feature touchscreens that let you request that dress you like but in a different color. Aflalo, an ex-model from Southern California who started Reformation in 2009, offers proof that style and eco-friendliness are not mutually exclusive.
In March, Williams became Pacific Gas and Electric’s first woman CEO, replacing Tony Earley Jr. She served as president of the company’s electric utility branch before assuming her historic role there. Now at the helm, she’ll oversee everything from a transition to renewable energy to the uproar over a spike in gas rates. “Don’t be afraid to take the tough jobs,” she told the San Francisco Business Times of her advice for women climbing the corporate ladder. “You’ll develop confidence in dealing with tough issues that will serve you for the rest of your career.”
Dr. Laurie Green
She’s the dynamic founder and CEO of The MAVEN Project, which provides medical expertise to low-income people living in areas where timely healthcare is often hard to find. Green, a founding partner of Pacific Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group, founded the group in 2014, with the intention of enlisting retired and semi-retired doctors to consult patients using telehealth technology. “It’s what being a doctor means, as far as I’m concerned,” Green recently said of solving a “real [health] crisis” through volunteering.
The entrepreneur behind Chairish, the e-destination for vintage home décor, has introduced another hot digital hub: DECASO, where you can source modern and antique items from upscale dealers around the country, including Coup D’Etat and Antique & Art Exchange right here in SF. Her trademark catchphrase: “Let’s try it!” Her enthusiasm is contagious! Yet potentially dangerous for those at risk for impulse-buying a Mad Men-era couch, a statement chandelier, a brutalist 1970s wall sculpture that your neighbor doesn’t have …
The SFFILM executive director has much to celebrate this Spring: namely, the 60th anniversary of the San Francisco International Film Festival, running April 5–19. “Looking to the future we see San Francisco as a nexus of creative storytelling shaped by powerful changes as innovations in technology lock in,” Cowan says. “There are some darker aspects to this moment—we are deeply concerned about restrictions being placed on the free movement of filmmakers, for example—but the values and future-looking gaze of the Bay Area will continue to inspire me …”