Tag Archives: San Francisco

San Jose City Hall 1887, 1967, today

San Jose City Hall 1887, California

Born and raised in San Francisco, I have lived in San Jose, California, for over 15 years but am still learning its history.  Last summer I found some old postcards. Since we were downtown today, I took a photo for comparison:

  • Above is a postcard of the San Jose City Hall built in 1887 (which was torn down in 1958).
  • Directly Below is a postcard dated in August 1967 of the San Jose City hall with text: “This magnificent steel and glass structure has a curved design which has won nationwide acclaim.  Set amid pleasant lawns and beautiful gardens this ultra-modern building is the dominant structure in the new Governmental Civic Center.”  The building still exists at Hedding/Taylor but is no longer used as City Hall.
  • Lowest is today’s photo of the newest City Hall of the “Capital of the Silicon Valley” (first opened in 2005).

I have not been able to find any information about the mid-century City Hall other than this postcard.  Despite having “won nationwide acclaim” in its own time, it seems too recent to have a history…

San Jose City Hall 1967, California

San Jose City Hall 2005, California

Image Copyright 2016 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen Alumnae Council Events

TechWomen Alumnae Council Workshop

The first Mentor Professional Enrichment activity offered by the TechWomen Alumnae Council in 2016 was held last week: a “Leadership Presence Fundamentals” workshop.  The event was generously hosted at Cisco in San Jose by Council Co-Chair Cindy Cooley and presented by The Leadership Style Center. 15 San Francisco Bay Area mentors plus two IIE-SF staff attended the all-day workshop.

The other Council Co-Chair, Audrey Simpson, and I are now planning the next event: a diverse panel discussing mentoring best practices in corporations, non-profits, open source and other environments. This panel will be hosted by Ericsson, in March 2016 to honor International Women’s Day.

I am the TechWomen Alumnae Council Mentor Professional Enrichment Officer this year and am enjoying putting these events together.  One of the Council goals is to develop events that both San Francisco Bay Area based mentors, and the TechWomen Fellows can enjoy remotely in their 21 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.  A challenge!

TechWomen Alumnae Council Workshop

TechWomen Alumnae Council Workshop

TechWomen Alumnae Council Workshop

TechWomen Alumnae Council Workshop

Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen Photo Exhibit, Delegations to Jordan and Zimbabwe


This week will be the first TechWomen photography show: TechWomen: Impact through Imagery at White Walls SF (in San Francisco, California):

Since 2011, TechWomen has been empowering women to be change agents – exposing more women and children to STEM and leading efforts to address social and economic challenges. Last year, TechWomen awarded $15,000 in seed grants to support six action plans. Donations from TechWomen: Impact through Imagery will fund 2016 seed grants.  Bring your friends for an opportunity to share what TechWomen is about: Thursday, January 21 at 6:30 PM

Next month, I am looking forward to joining the TechWomen mentoring program Delegations to Jordan and Zimbabwe, with a visit to Israel and Palestine in between. I am delighted that my daughter Jessica can join me in Israel and Palestine.  These will be my 7th and 8th delegation trips, and my third trip to the Middle East with Jessica. We look forward to visiting STEM programs for girls and women – like the Injaz program we visited in Jordan in 2013, pictured here:

Last Import-42

Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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69 Certified Mentors – a Different Normality

Eileen Brewer 2015 Eileen Brewer
Director, Security Appliance Team, Symantec
Mountain View, California USA

As of today, Mentoring Standard has certified 69 mentors from 16 countries in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America. When I read down the Honor Roll, I am proud and honored to be working with such remarkable men and women.  I see in this developing community a shared commonality of excellence and generosity.  Since the first mentor was certified in August 2015,  69 have met the standard to be honored as Regular Mentors, and three have in addition been recognized as Advanced Mentors: Eileen Brewer (USA), Naira Ayrapetyan (Turkmenistan), and Dr. Kenza Khomsi (Morocco).   Mentoring Standard certifies mentors from around the world who can prove they hold within themselves the following 3 qualities:

  • Significant Mentoring History.
  • Good Reputation.
  • Respectable Professional Experience.
Naira Ayrapetyan 2015 Naira Ayrapetyan
Senior Maintenance Engineer, Petronas Carigali Turkmenistan, TechWomen 2015 Fellow
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Every day’s news is full of a fractured, fighting, frightening world.  Yet, in the Honor Roll is a different normality: successful professionals from a vast diversity of demographics, profession, and geography who are not only learning and growing themselves but have spent years helping other people to achieve their goals and grow their careers.  Many of the Certified Mentors have been participants in the US State Department’s TechWomen program, or in the Sun Microsystems Engineering mentoring program called SEED, or they are friends or relations of mentors who were.  Half of the Certified Mentors are also TechWomen Fellows: 2011-2015 mentees of STEM leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area.  That is, these are women who came to the USA to be mentees but had already been mentors themselves for many years.

This is validation of the research presented in the Lifetime Value of Mentoring 2013 project: “…patterns from key [mentoring] programs show that successful mentees will go on to become mentors and many mentors serve over and over – in a variety of programs. Mentors also become Mentees as needed. Thus, disconnected programs may be informally in the same network because of having participants in common.”  I am still working on the first Mentoring Standard data report on the 2015 cohort of Certified Mentors.

Mentor Certification documents and celebrates your past and ongoing mentoring accomplishments – it does not require you to join a new mentoring program or take additional training. Ever consider becoming a Certified Mentor yourself?

Kenza Khomsi 2015 Dr. Kenza Khomsi
Meteorologist Engineer, Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, TechWomen 2015 Fellow
Casablanca, Morocco

A page from the Honor Roll

Mentoring Standard Honor Roll 2015

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TechWomen 2015 Winding Down


We are enjoying the last bittersweet days with our dear 98 TechWomen mentors from 19 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. TechWomen participants enjoyed the Volunteer Day (tilling the soil at Veggielution in San Jose), and Community Celebration in San Francisco (hosted by Automattic), including seed grant awards presented to the six winners of the 22 October TechWomen Pitch Night presentations (hosted by Google):

  1. Team Nigeria’s “STEM in a Box” – this education project was also voted “Audience Favorite”
  2. Palestine’s “STEM Fem” – project to connect technical women to jobs
  3. Jordan’s “She Can Do It!” – focus on workforce training
  4. Egypt’s “She is Back” – project to re-employ women returning to workplace
  5. Kyrgyzstan’s “We Care” – project to improve healthcare
  6. Sierra Leone’s “Big Sisters” – to help orphans left by Ebola epidemic (collaborating with Families Without Borders

Today was the first of our visits to the US State Department – Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington DC. Tomorrow is our most formal dress day, featuring lunch in the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room.

During this term, Mentoring Standard has not only provided training for both TechWomen mentors and mentees but we have also been helping program participants to become Certified Mentors. My company’s Honor Roll of Certified Mentors is growing quickly! Several of the TechWomen Emerging Leaders are now working hard to finish their submissions before they return to their home countries. Busy days!









Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Congratulations to 1st Certified Mentors!

Dr. Jeannice Fairrer Samani - Certified Mentor - with TechWomen

Yesterday, I enjoyed presenting the “How to Be an Effective Mentor: Best Practices Workshop” – the first of two such events for TechWomen 2015 mentors. Juniper Networks generously hosted us yesterday in Sunnyvale, California. Tomorrow’s workshop for TechWomen mentors is being hosted by IIE in San Francisco. At the end of the workshop, I congratulated Dr. Jeannice Fairrer Samani, the most recent Certified Mentor of Mentoring Standard – and presented her certificate. Jeannice has been a TechWomen mentor for many years and we are honored to include her on the Honor Roll.  Mentoring Standard‘s first Certified Mentor was Eileen Brewer – who was also present yesterday to welcome Jeannice into our growing community of remarkable contributors with deep experience, who have done the work of helping people to achieve their goals and grow their careers.

Eileen Brewer, Certified Mentor

What Certification Means
Mentoring Standard certifies mentors who can prove they hold within themselves the following 3 qualities:

  1. Significant Experience in Mentoring.
  2. Good Reputation.
  3. Respectable Professional Experience.

More: Get Certified.

Kathy Jenks and John Plocher, Certified Mentor . Dr. Taghrid Samak, Certified Mentor

Certification Benefits to Mentors

  • Establishes a public record of successful and effective mentoring and growth.
  • Demonstrates a sustained pattern of leadership and career development.
  • Provides objective credentials for an otherwise largely­-subjective experience.
  • Allows the individual to transfer his or her mentoring experience to a new context, job or professional program.
  • Identifies areas to develop and improve both personally and professionally.
  • Documents progression of learning and growth over time as a mentor through three levels: regular, advanced, and master.
  • Creates a long-term mentoring career path from mentee through master mentor.
  • Allows senior mentors to use their own path to certification as an example and guide for their mentees.

More: Get Certified.

James P. Hughes, Certified Mentor

Images Copyright 2015 Katy Dickinson and Kathy Jenks

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Republican Elephant Killed in Accident (1956)


I grew up knowing about Dolly, the baby elephant my parents took care of during the August 1956 Republican National Convention. I was sad today to learn the end of her story. I have been looking through a family treasure box recently and came across a folder of newspaper clippings from 1956. Some I had seen before – of my parents dressed in Indian finery escorting Dolly, an eight month old elephant from the Louis Goebel Wild Animal Farm in Southern California. There were cheerful news stories from New York, Chicago, Pacific Palasades, my mother’s hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as from the San Francisco Bay Area. Dolly as the symbol of the Young Republicans, went to all of the convention social events and even greeted President Eisenhower (who was successfully re-elected several months later). She was usually pictured wearing her big “Elephant License 1” from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

It was a shock to come upon two final news stories about how Dolly was killed in a traffic accident when the truck taking her home from San Francisco overturned. She died near Watsonville, California, in need of a blood transfusion and far from any elephant who could give it to her.

Four years later, by the 1960 presidential election, my mother had become a Democrat, firmly opposed to my father’s continued support of the Republican party. 1960 was the first election I remember: my 3-year-old self was so delighted that my candidate, John F. Kennedy, won.  I wonder if Dolly’s death had anything to do with my mother’s shift in politics?

Wade Dickinson with elephant at Goebel Wild Animal Farm 1956







1956 Dolly elephant

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