Big Rain: Happy Salamanders and Mushrooms

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After years of the worst drought on record, San Jose just started December with 766% of our “normal” rainfall. At least the salamanders and mushrooms in my garden are happy!





Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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What I will miss about my long commute

As of tomorrow, I am no longer commuting 1-1/2 hours each way over the fifty miles up the San Francisco peninsula from San Jose. San Francisco and San Jose have the negative distinction of being two of the top ten worst traffic areas in the USA. While I rejoice to have that part of my life back, surprisingly, I find that I will miss some aspects of the terrible commute.  I will miss…

Spending three hours every day with my husband. John is the Principle Architect in Seagate’s San Francisco office. We sometimes take CalTrain but mostly we drive together. Usually during the drive, I am reading aloud to John from Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices, or from the Bible as part of my EfM homework, or interesting stories from the news of the day. IMG_4657
Seeing funny cars on the freeway – like this huge flatbed with a tiny toy truck strapped on. P1250410
Rainbows at dawn. IMG_4961
Watching from the train for developments in the homeless encampment by the tracks. P1260416

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After Everwise


Yesterday, my last day as Vice President – Mentoring at Everwise, was when the big storm hit, so the company holiday party was postponed. I handed out train ducks as presents to the two other people in the San Francisco office – and left extras with Veronica French for staff who could not get to work due to wild weather.

Some of the deliverables I am proudest of during my half year with Everwise:

On to new adventures!

Image Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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TEDx Bay Area 2014


I very much enjoyed attending my first TEDxBayArea, hosted at Amazon Lab126 in Sunnyvale, California. I was invited by TechWomen mentor Francine Gordon and was happy to meet many sister TechWomen mentors there, including Eileen Brewer who got to speak to the audience for a minute at the end.

Having had some days to reflect on this exciting educational and networking event, here are the presentations that made the most impression:

  • Jackie Tabick (Rabbi in UK): “The balancing act of compassion” (2009 recorded TED talk)
  • Barbara Bogatin (Cellist at Marin Chamber Soloists): “The Art of Failure”
  • Leslie Blodgett (Creator, bareMinerals Cosmetics) and Colaine L.A. Roepke (self at self): “Let it go: An experiment in forgiveness”
  • Dr. Clifford Saron (Assoc. Research Scientist, UC Davis): “Compassionate Empathy: What children with autism have to teach us about our world by entering theirs”
  • Liza Donnelly (Cartoonist and Columnist at Forbes): “Harmony Through Humor”

If you get a chance to attend a TEDx, do it!









Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen Delegation to South Africa – Preparations


Last night was the potluck holiday party for TechWomen, the professional mentoring program for women in Africa and the Middle East, an initiative of the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. TechWomen is run by the San Francisco office of the Institute of International Education. Dozens of mentors from Silicon Valley companies arrived (despite dire storm warnings) to enjoy each other’s company, celebrate the promotion of Arezoo Miot to Director of TechWomen, admire the newly-remodeled IIE offices, and to start discussions for next month’s Delegation to South Africa.

We also celebrated our new alumnae: Heather Ramsey and Trish Tierney (former executives for IIE) who have a new non-profit startup called WAKE International (Women’s Alliance for Knowledge Exchange).

I am looking forward to planning my first trip to South Africa!





Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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InovAtiva Brasil Wins Big!


This week, I received good news from Marcos Vinícius Souza, Innovation Director (with Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade), and leader of the InovAtiva Brasil mentoring program for entrepreneurs. You may recall that I was in Brasil in July to lead an Everwise design workshop and to help recruit InovAtiva senior mentors.

InovAtiva selected 74 startups for the final program round who enjoyed a huge success when they presented to investors and large companies. This was considered the largest pitch session ever in Brazil. InovAtiva Brasil also just won a prize: “Best Innovation in Public Administration – 2014″. This important honor was awarded by Brazil’s National School of Public Administration/Ministry of Planning.

I am very proud to have contributed to this successful program!



Images Copyright 2014 by Katy Dickinson

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Checking MinaBox Downloads

Elon Musk

I enjoy starting my work day checking download status on our inbound marketing software, sorted by source:

  • Organic Search
  • Referrals
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Search
  • Direct Traffic
  • Other Campaigns
  • Offline Sources

I announced the first eleven “Mentoring in a Box” documents to 25 pre-registered customers on 18 November, then posted three additional documents on 3 December.  So far, there have been 161 views and 122 downloads. I hope to exceed 200 downloads during the first month. “Mentoring in a Box” presents best practices and structure for small mentoring programs.  This is not the stuff of best sellers, but for those who need it, MinaBox material can be extremely useful.

To get “Mentoring in a Box” free:

Jay-Z on Failure

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