The theme for Friday, March 8th is “WOMEN’S WELLNESS: Health, Hormones & Happy Homes”.
On this, our first event of 2024 and International Women’s Day, it’s more important than ever that we give voice to critical issues facing women and familes. We hope you will join us for this important and uplifting program featuring Rachel Braun Scherl (Strategist, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker), Janice Goldwater (Founder & CEO, Speaker, LCSW, Child Welfare Specialist), and Deborah Freidlander (Educator, Artist, Designer).
TGIF provides an opportunity for all of us to expand our lens on some of the most important topics of our times, and our speakers’ stories truly have the power to help shape our culture. Rachel is known as a “Vagipreneur” and will TEACH us what women need to know at every stage of life about sexual wellness, hormones, menopause and more. Janice will share heartwarming stories about how the organization she founded 35 years ago GIVES happy homes for thosands of children that might otherwise be unadoptable. and, Debbie will INSPIRE us with her power of resiliency, and her courageous story of surviving “breast implant illness” while finding strength and beauty through art.
On this International Women’s Day and every day, it is so important we make the time to support other women in both small and large ways. As mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends, we CAN do something to improve the lives of all the women and children in our lives. Please join us!
RACHEL SCHERL – Teach Speaker
Strategist, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker
Rachel Braun Scherl is a strategist, entrepreneur, and speaker. She is managing partner and co-founder of consulting firm SPARK Solutions for Growth. Previously, Rachel worked as an executive at Johnson & Johnson, principal at Marketing Corporation of America, and president of Semprae Laboratories, Inc., which develops women’s sexual health products.
Rachel is known as a “Vagipreneur” and has been in the business of female sexual wellness and reproductive health for over 15 years. Rachel is a frequent speaker at universities, Fortune 100 companies, and national conferences. She been interviewed and featured for her work in The New York Times, Forbes, and on CNN, ABC News, CBS, Lifetime, Oprah Radio, and more platforms. Rachel has penned 60+ articles for The Huffington Post and Inc.
Rachel’s career-long findings, learnings and recommendations are at the heart of her best-selling book: Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Women’s Health and Wellness. Orgasmic Leadership provides unique perspectives on leadership and business building, and the money that can be made by capitalizing on market opportunities. It highlights the factors that drive, inspire, and sustain entrepreneurs in the rapidly growing global sexual health and wellness space. And importantly, the book reflects a wellspring of deep personal experience in pharmaceuticals and consumer products, as well as in-depth interviews with leaders in the sexual wellness field. Rachel tackles long-neglected challenges and critical topics with a strategic business focus, humor, insight, and passion.
She is a board member of illumai and advisory board member at Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, The Fuqua School of Business.
JANICE GOLDWATER – Give Speaker
Speaker, Innovator, Child and Family Wellbeing Changemaker
Nationally known for her impact on child and family welfare, Janice Goldwater founded Paths for Families (formerly Adoptions Together) nearly 35 years ago and has fiercely worked to settle more than 10,000 children in loving homes since then.
A respected voice in national media outlets like MSNBC and CNN, Janice’s work and advocacy has influenced public discourse on child welfare for three decades, earning her numerous prestigious recognitions for her transformative impact, including the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption’s Angel in Adoption award in 2022. Janice is frequently tapped to embrace key advisory roles in major organizations such as the Commission on Trauma-Informed Care and the Maryland State Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Under Janice’s visionary leadership, the Paths for Families team does not simply navigate a broken system. They fiercely advocate for what is right, ethical and healthy for everyone involved, and take steps to pave a new path for what’s possible. www.pathsforfamilies.org/donate.With a B.A. in Sociology from Ithaca College and Masters in Social Work from Washington University , Janice continues to shape policies and lives, embodying a legacy of compassion, innovation and advocacy in child and family wellbeing. Janice’s personal and professional journeys merge in her role as a mother of four, who joined family through birth and adoption.
DEBORAH FRIEDLANDER – Inspire Speaker
Educator, Artist, Designer
Debbie Friedlander is an educator turned artist who is well known across the DMV for her natural artistic talent as well as her loving and selfless personality. Searching for ways to live a healthy lifestyle while managing an auto-immune illness, she discovered that even when she felt at her worst, it was unplugging and diving into an art project that helped her to heal.
Debbie’s journey chronicles how she found relief from breast implant illness, 25 years after undergoing a preventive double mastectomy. Having lost her mother to breast cancer, she believed her preventive surgery was increasing her chances of living her best life, only to find that her breast implants were slowly robbing her of that. Fighting the medical odds and the medical professionals who misdiagnosed her for decades, she continued to fight for her health and for answers. Her take charge attitude allows her to eagerly takes on every challenge, finding joy in problem solving and in creative design.
As an artist, she loves creating artwork that tells the stories of her clients. Her creativity knows no boundaries, but it is her dedication to helping others in need where she shines the brightest. Known for her many outstanding creations in the DIY space, Debbie thrives on being a teacher of her craft to help other busy people locate and develop their inner artist. Her spectacular handcrafted October “breast cancer” pumpkins have benefited many organizations, and her uniquely crafted Personalized Jean Jackets are the rage for the newly engaged and brides to be.
Debbie’s artwork has been featured in Michael’s stores Maker Spotlight, and one of her oil paintings was selected to appear in “The Essence of Sumer Art Exhibition” in Rockville, MD. In addition to being an artist, Debbie is a prolific writer who has written about her illness and recovery journey “How One Woman Survived Breast Implant Illness” published in Lifetime’s magazine.
Debbie lives in Darnestown, MD with her husband Gary and their French bulldog, Tucker. They have three grown children (Melanie, Marnie and Michael).