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Past Featured Members

Ellen Osmundson
Broker Associate and Senior Real Estate Specialist, Windermere Diablo Realty

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Ellen Osmundson is a broker associate and senior real estate specialist with Windermere Diablo Realty in Walnut Creek, where she helps sellers and buyers achieve their real estate goals. She enjoys applying her knowledge and experience to help her clients navigate through complex real estate transactions with confidence. Her most memorable transaction was helping a senior move out of her two-story home to a single-level home. The two transactions closed on the same day, and seeing her client with a big smile on her face sitting on the couch in her new home was gratifying.

Ellen serves her clients with dedication and compassion. Her business motto is "Plan-Action-Results." A good referral for Ellen would be seniors who are looking to downsize. Ellen recognizes that navigating a large home is a daunting task as we get older. Having a right-size home can make all the difference.

Ellen has more than 25 years of experience in the real estate field and has served clients in the United States, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. She is the author of American Home Ownership - The Chinese American Dream, a guide for Chinese-speaking homebuyers. She is also the recipient of several awards, including the Contra Costa Women’s Hall of Fame Leadership Award.

Ellen has been a member of MDBW for more than 15 years. She enjoys the friendship and support from other MDBW members and learns a lot from speakers and other members. She is open to sharing her knowledge and experience with others. As Ellen says, “Nobody can do anything alone. Together we are stronger.”

Ellen believes in giving back to her community and has served on the board of various organizations over the years. She currently hosts a monthly Senior Education Seminar Series at the Ygnacio Valley Library to provide information and resources for seniors in the community, and she is working on relaunching the Walnut Creek Village to help seniors with their age-in-place needs.

In her free time, Ellen loves playing with her dog Laa Laa, who will always be a puppy to her.

To learn more about Ellen, please visit her website, www.ellenosmundson.com.

Lily Dong
Photographer and Business Owner, Lily Dong Photography

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Lily Dong is a personal brand portrait photographer who pursues her work through her company, Lily Dong Photography. She specializes in business headshots, and her goal is to “bring out the inner model in every client.” Her understanding of people on an intuitive level results in photos that capture their essence and energy, helping them to stand out and attract clients in highly competitive fields such as real estate, acting, and modeling.

Through her keen observation of mannerisms, attitudes, and body language, Lily “gets” her clients and understands how they want to be seen. Often, her clients' images look like experienced models because she first addresses any fears of being in front of the camera, followed by simple coaching on posing and good lighting. A good referral source for Lily are men and women who would like to elevate their visibility through a new headshot.

Lily earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the California College of the Arts, after which she became a couture wedding gown designer who was known as the ”local Vera Wang” in the South Bay. Twelve years later, she became a professional photographer, a passion she has been pursuing for over thirteen years.

Lily is an active member of Mt. Diablo Business Women (MDBW), having recently served as its secretary. She says she enjoys the group because she loves “how each woman she’s met is powerful in what they do, open to connect with others and help each other.” She also served on the board of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, volunteered with the Assistance League of Diablo Valley, and served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer for foster children.

When not working as a photographer, Lily enjoys making necklaces, painting, traveling, hiking, and gardening. She is the proud mother of two college boys and a spirited dog named Molly.

One of Lily’s favorite quotes is “Beauty is not in the face; it is a light in the heart,” by Kahlil Gibran. She believes everyone is born beautiful.

To learn more about Lily, visit her website, www.LilyDongPhotography.com, and check out her Facebook page.

Kyla Mitsunaga
Founder and Business Mindset Magician, WITH Warriors LLC

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Kyla Mitsunaga is founder and Warrior-in-Chief of WITH Warriors LLC, a company that offers certification in The Mitsunga MethodTM; online and in-person courses in such areas as The On(line) Growing Method, Family Constellations; retreats for individuals and couples; a coach’s retreat; and catering services. Through her company, Kyla also offers inspirational books she has authored. She truly does it all!

Here is how Kyla describes her business: “I help badass women grow their businesses using weird-ass subconscious mind techniques that WORK through 1:1 coaching, retreats, and group coaching sessions. I also started to recently add Asian comfort food catering and cooking for badass women to our list of offerings, and it's been super fun to experiment and witness our clients leave our retreats completely soul-nourished in their minds and bodies.”

As a Harvard graduate, a TED Talks speaker, a former award-winning college professor, and a motivational speaker who has presented in 16 countries on 3 continents, Kyla is passionate about helping women grow their businesses and become more confident in their professional and personal lives. As one client said regarding a 400-person workshop Kyla delivered, “[Kyla] encouraged attendees to break down their mental barriers and learn to communicate with one another as humans. She got them on their feet, had them do group assignments, and at the end of the session people were laughing and crying together because they finally experienced what it was like to connect on a genuine level with one another.”

Kyla loves being a member of Mt. Diablo Business Women (MDBW), which she says has completely revitalized her business. Kyla also gives back to her community by running her business using a social entrepreneurship philosophy. She offers full and partial scholarships to BIPOC and other women in the community who would like to work with her as much as possible.

Learn more about Kyla by connecting with her on LinkedIn. You can also visit her website, and connect with her through Facebook and Instagram.

Stacey Peters
Owner, Golden Girl Organizing

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Stacey Peters is a professional organizer and owner of Golden Girl Organizing. She helps clients to declutter and organize their living spaces. Whether you need a small closet organized, or your entire home, or you are planning a move and need help with organization, Stacey can assist you. She will develop a personalized plan that suits your needs, time-frame, and budget.

Stacey’s interest in being a professional organizer dates back to her childhood when she remembers that she would keep her room neat, making especially sure that her sprawling dolphin and horse collection was in perfect order. In 2016 she realized that organizing would be her professional calling when her mother was diagnosed with cancer for a second time. Stacey helped her by organizing her home, labeling everything, putting everything in easy-to-find perfect order. Having her parent's home organized and everything easily retrievable, was a powerful tool that gave her mom peace of mind and helped her to get through a very difficult time.

Referrals for Stacey primarily come from her happy clients as well as positive reviews on sites such as Yelp and NextDoor.com. 


Stacey joined Mt. Diablo Business Women a few months ago, and says she has met amazing women who have given her great feedback.

When Stacey is not working, she enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities, spiritual group activities, and baking.

Learn more about Stacey by visiting her website where you can check out the many glowing reviews she’s received and also take a look at some before and after photos, which will give you an up close look at Stacey’s excellent organizing skills. You can also visit her Facebook and Instagram pages.

Brittany Griffin
RVP Deposit Relationship Manager, Community Bank of the Bay

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Brittany Griffin is VP Deposit Relationship Manager for Community Bank of the Bay (CBB). CBB focuses on socially responsible banking, providing financial services to individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. CBB is recognized for establishing the Bay Area Green Fund, which provides financing to sustainable businesses and projects and supports environmentally responsible values.

In her role at CBB, Brittany opens new deposit accounts and manages those clients on a day-to-day basis. What Brittany enjoys most about working at CBB is knowing that she’s helping to support an organization that is making an impact. CBB has hands-on involvement in the community and is committed to lending in low- to moderate-income areas. In addition, CBB encourages its employees to volunteer so that they can be a part of the community where their clients live and work. Brittany makes weekly deliveries for Wheels on Meals America, and she also volunteers with Open Heart Kitchen in Dublin, where she serves meal to seniors. 

Through her work with CBB, Brittany finds that she is able to inspire other women in her field by never placing limits on herself. This allows her colleagues to see that they can excel in a male-dominated industry by using their natural gifts. Brittany has discovered that working in a male dominated industry can be empowering. It has taught her to lean into the support of other women, to be confident in her strengths, to focus on the positive, and to always move forward. Brittany knows first-hand that women have so much to offer the financial industry, combining a different level of empathy and care to something that can come across as transactional and cold.

Brittany recently became a member of Mt. Diablo Business Women (MDBW) and loves walking into our monthly meetings and being greeted by such a welcoming group of women. These meetings are helping her to develop and grow her network.

When not working or volunteering, Brittany’s favorite thing to do is to relax with her fiancé and their three pups. She also enjoys reading and traveling.

​Learn more about Brittany by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

Gordana Zura
Communications Director, CASA of Contra Costa County

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Gordana Zura is Communications Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Contra Costa County.  She sets and guides the strategy for digital communications, marketing, website, social media and collateral media to consistently articulate, promote, enhance and advance the mission, vision, and goals of CASA. The organization recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers who work with children and youth in foster care who are the victims of abuse and neglect. CASA volunteers are ordinary people willing to make an extraordinary difference in the life of a child that has experienced distress and mistreatment. 

Volunteers are highly trained by CASA, and appointed by judges to advocate for foster children, and to help them move out of foster care into a safe home environment, whether reuniting them with their family of origin, or through adoption. They make sure kids don’t get lost in the overburdened system.

Gordana enjoys working at CASA because it contributes to good in the world. The organization’s work impacts the lives of children and youth, making their lives better, as well as less scary and lonely. She also loves the entire CASA team who she describes as great, hard-working, knowledgeable people who all work really well together. 

Gordana was named MDBW’s Woman of the Year in 2021, and she is an integral part of the organization. She has been on the organization’s Board of Directors for several years as director of digital technology and works diligently to keep the MDBW website current.  She says she’s benefitted from being involved with the group and that it’s helped her understand how to find solutions for business problems, build meaningful relationships with business women, and boost her energy and motivation.  The group’s camaraderie and support is what she sees as one of MDBW’s best features.

When not working at CASA or making improvements and updates to MDBW’s website, Gordana enjoys creating mandala rocks and website design. She also makes beautiful and unique jewelry pieces that are often popular raffle items at MDBW events. 

​Learn more about Gordana by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

Mary Schulze
Realtor, Intero Real Estate Services
Founder, Mt. Diablo Business Women

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Mary Schulze founded MDBW in 1994 to help local businesswomen build business relationships, referral networks, and partners. Mary credits the group with helping businesses grow and succeed through the sharing of knowledge, referrals, and partnerships. Today the organization’s members represent a variety of business sectors. Mary remains active in the group. She served on the board of directors as program chair, and is currently the historian for the organization.

Mary’s vast network of contacts has helped her to be a successful real estate consultant with Intero Real Estate Services, serving Contra Costa and El Dorado counties. She helps clients sell their houses, and buy a dream home in what is now a very competitive market. She enjoys finding the right home for each buyer, whether they are a first-time homebuyer or a senior who is downsizing.

Clients benefit from Mary’s almost 20 years of experience in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento region, as well as her negotiating experience, which provides clients with the fair price on purchases and closing the deal. As a realtor with Intero Real Estate Services, clients can have worldwide and local exposure and marketing, all of which can result in swift action on multiple offers.

The best referrals for Mary are new business lenders, insurance agents, contractors, handyman services, divorce attorneys and CPAs.  She also receives many referrals through word-of-mouth from happy clients, along with the many friends and business contacts she has met through her years as the founder and member of MDBW.

In addition to her work as a realtor, Mary is active in the community. She contributes a portion of her transactions to a nonprofit focused on serving children and the elderly in the community. She is also a member of the Assistance League of the Sierra Foothills, a nonprofit that has helped to support over 1,500 children and adults in the community.

When she’s not working, Mary enjoys cooking, playing the piano, learning to speak Italian, playing with her dog, Maxx, a giant schnoodle, and being with family and friends. 

Visit Mary’s website to learn more about her. 

Jill Thompson
Nourish by Jill

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Are you looking to manage your nutrition related to changing hormones? Do you need to lose stubborn belly fat, gain muscle, or simply develop a better relationship with food and your changing body? Do you want to be able to confidently wear those clothes you’ve always admired? If you’ve answered, “yes” to any or all of these questions, then Jill Thompson, a certified nutrition coach, credentialed teacher, Crossfit Level 1 Coach, and founder of Nourish by Jill, can help you achieve those goals, and make it your new normal.

One of the programs Jill offers is a “Nourish 90 Day Program” that results in clients losing body fat while maintaining muscle mass. Program participants get to the root of their challenges and habits, and make sustainable changes that they can maintain for life. 

Along with helping women manage nutrition around menopause and the resulting changing hormones, Jill teaches women how to advocate for their needs and know what to ask for at their medical appointments. Jill enjoys empowering women to believe they are worth investing the time and resources into their health so that they can feel alive, confident, and unstoppable.

Jill recently joined Mt. Diablo Business Women, and says she is “blown away by the women in this organization,” and has had meetings with several and enjoyed hearing their stories. 
 

She enjoys sharing her knowledge and contributes to the community by offering pop-up classes with local businesses. She recently taught a few classes at a local theater to kids as a way to connect with youth.

When not working with clients, Jill enjoys watching the sunrise, lifting heavy weights, or getting into the flow with yoga. She is a mom to three children, but is now entering the empty nest phase and finds herself enjoying building her business as well as spending more time with friends. 

Learn more about Jill by visiting her website, or following her on Instagram, or connecting with her on LinkedIn

Nivi Jain, 
CEO, WSIMLogiX

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Everyone wants their business to reach its geographic and demographic target market, but many struggle to achieve that. Meet Nivi Jain, CEO Of WSIMLogiX. She helps businesses drive more traffic to their website resulting in what all businesses want—increased awareness of a company’s products or services, increased brand awareness, and increased profits.

Nivi and her team, which includes experts in technology development, project planning execution, QA, business analytics, and marketing specialists help businesses succeed through digital marketing solutions designed for each business’s specific marketing challenges. The team applies its expertise to understand each organization and its customers, and then builds a digital strategy capable of delivering remarkable results within a set budget. 

Client’s visions are brought to life through expert strategies that include website development, search engine optimization (SEO), online ad campaigns, Google and social media marketing campaigns, and email marketing. 

If your website is not currently achieving the results you hope for, Nivi and her team can help you create a stunning website and craft powerful Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram campaigns that will convert new customers and clients. Campaigns result in an increase in phone calls and leads.

Nivi’s company currently serves those in the following industry sectors: startups, health and wellness, home services, nonprofits, manufacturing, educational services, cosmetics, and much more. 

Good referral sources for Nivi are accountants, payroll processors, financial advisors, as well as businesses that serve startups. 

Nivi says she has benefited from the many new businesswomen and entrepreneurs she’s met at MDBW, and has also enjoyed learning about their journeys.  

 

Nivi is active in the community and does a lot of volunteering work to help the needy. She is the Bay Area chapter joint coordinator for SEWA International USA, an international nonprofit organization. 

When she’s not working, Nivi enjoys hiking, volunteering, and gardening. 

Visit Nivi’s website to learn more about her business, and follow her on her social media pages: FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Diane Wilcox
Project Manager| Executive & Personal Assistant, Oxford Farm

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As a project manager and executive and personal assistant, Diane works with executives, teams, and households in the technical, financial, and equine industry sectors. She works with clients on both an ongoing and project basis providing project, administrative, and personal support. Her focus is in assisting in areas that are in need of organization, research, process development, and customer care. Diane approaches her work with efficiency, commitment, plus a collaborative and supportive spirit along with the idea that no job is too small, too big, or too messy.

The customized solutions she provides to clients are based on over 30 years of experience in tech, event, and residential settings in the roles of production manager, operations manager, and art director. Clients benefit from Diane’s extensive experience, her contacts across many industries, and her eagerness to make things right regardless of the scope of the project.

Diane says that she enjoys her business because it requires her to listen and connect emotionally and on a practical basis with people from all walks of life, and that it challenges her daily to learn, create, and often teach. 

To her colleagues, Diane has been an inspiration through simple consistency, focusing on the little things she can do for them, and always rooting for their success. She has assisted many with referrals, research, brainstorming, and practical support for their businesses and families. 

As a member of MDBW, Diane says she has enjoyed learning the stories and challenges of local businesswomen, and has enjoyed the advice, contacts, and resources that she’s gained from the group.

Diane is active in the community as a volunteer and docent at John Muir Medical Center where she is responsible for leading tours for new volunteers, employees, and donors.

When not working, Diane’s favorite things to do are reading news and autobiographies, whale watching on Monterey Bay, collecting fountain pens, writing, and cooking. She’s also working on a Bad Novel and hopes to complete it by the end of the year. 

To learn more about Diane, visit her LinkedIn page, and click here to read testimonials from her clients. 

Barbara Irias
Partner, Placemaking Group

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If you are a business, organization, or individual seeking new leads and to increase customer engagement, the custom websites built by Barbara Irias and her Placemaking Group team of designers, writers, ecommerce, and programming experts will help you to achieve those goals. From exceptional graphics and smart technology solutions, to surprising yet solid marketing strategies, your experience with Placemaking Group will be a positive, rewarding one. The websites and marketing programs they create generate interest, establish credibility, engage target audiences, and increase revenue and profits. Barbara and her team treat each business they work with as though it is their own, so they are well-vested in the end results.

Placemaking Group serves clients primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and works with a variety of industries including business-to-business, construction and real estate, governments, including city economic development departments, manufacturing and distribution, nonprofit organizations, and professional services.

Almost any business or individual is a potential referral for Barbara. Companies that have been a good referral source for Placemaking Group include IT professionals and other businesses such as CPAs, consultants, and sales trainers. Other great referral relationships have resulted from creative and multimedia professionals - videographers, photographers, and designers.

Barbara recently joined Mt. Diablo Business Women (MDBW), and has found that it has helped her to expand her network. She enjoys the fact that MDBW members have diverse backgrounds and experiences which helps to fuel new ideas.

As part of her work, Barbara has helped other women understand the need to wear many hats in the web/marketing agency world. She has offered internships to college students, and helped along young new hires to hopefully inspire success in their own future enterprises. She also actively gives back to the community and has volunteered at the Alameda Food Bank, Open Space Groups, and contributed to arts programs

When not working, Barbara enjoys photography, painting, travel, and hiking with friends and family along with her Yorkie, Sophie.

Learn more about Barbara and the Placemaking Group by visiting the company’s website, and its Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.

Maria Kopf
Loan Officer, Envoy Mortgage

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Maria Kopf is a loan officer with Envoy Mortgage which provides residential financing for primary, second, and investment properties up to four units, offering some of the most competitive rates in the mortgage industry. The company offers an array of products that include: conventional, FHA, VA, jumbo, down payment assistance, and many more.

As a dedicated mortgage professional whose purpose is to fulfill dreams of homeownership, Maria provides impeccable service from start to close, delivering each borrower a hassle-free mortgage experience by providing breakthrough technology, transparent communication, unparalleled turn-times, and around-the-clock attention to their loan.

Maria understands that the home-buying process can seem challenging and stressful, and she strives to make the process as smooth as possible, providing clients with loan options and personalized service. She believes having the right people and resources by your side can make all the difference and that there is nothing better than helping someone become a homeowner, especially if it’s their first home. Maria says she truly cares about her clients adding that it’s a privilege to serve them, and many have gone on to become friends.

​For the past year Maria has been a member of MDBW. She says that she’s “met some wonderful women and looks forward to forging lasting relationships.” A good referral for Maria is someone who is looking to purchase or refinance a home, or thinking about it. .

Volunteering takes up some of Maria’s time including yearly participation in Adopt-a-Family, as well as volunteering for B Walker Ranch, and reading to classes during Read Across America week.

In her free time, Maria enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as her furbabies. She likes to entertain and cook for those she loves. She also enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring all that the Bay Area has to offer.  

To  find out more about Maria, visit her website, follow her on LinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.

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