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That’s What SHE Said: The D.C. Adventures, Part II

The rumors, events, people, and stories keeping the Mesa interesting
She Should Run Fundraiser in D.C.

By Amanda Caniglia

Just Mesa’n around…

D.C., Part II.

In a recent interview for the UT I was asked, “What keeps you up at night?” “A frequent victim of insomnia, I lay awake at night dreaming up new business ideas and plotting world takeover.” After my usual smartass remarks, I then gave an honest answer. It is the constant worry that I am not being a good mom. It’s the never-ending uphill battle to balance career with family. I work long hours during the week and am often not home for a family dinner, to read Leo a book or tuck him in. Add in house work? Ugh…

On my trip to DC I had ten days with no parental responsibilities, no cleaning duties, didn’t have to cook one meal nor drive for that matter… In terms of work, killed it. So it got me thinking… What could I accomplish if I worked 16+ hour days and didn’t have to worry about anything else? Yes, world domination would be a cinch… but what would I be sacrificing? And where are the other women out there also driving themselves nuts with this same internal conflict?

And as fate would have it, I found myself walking up the steps of this beautiful home on Cathedral Avenue NW in D.C. Who knew there would be such amazing women waiting on the other side of the front door to welcome me? Host and Chair Maggie Kavalaris and Executive Director Erin Loos Cutraro were raising funds and awareness for their non-profit, She Should Run. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamicci paved the way for a great conversation about the organization’s mission and how women can balance career and family and should be encouraged to participate in politics. As the women pointed out that evening, we are 51% of the population and 17% of elected officials.

Back in high school, I had political aspirations and thought I’d always end up in our nation’s capitol. It never occurred to me that there were so few female politicians.  Representative Bonamicci emphasized she was not seeking a career in politics—she was asked to run. Why don’t we consider politics a viable career choice? Sitting in the backyard engaged in the most amazingly intelligent conversations while on a Pinot Grigio drip, I thought to myself, these women are doing it. They are finding a way to balance their lives and are sharing their personal stories with the rest of us so that we get inspired and become activists.

It will be interesting to throw the interview question of what keeps me up at night to next week’s “Who Runs the World?” panel. MC for the evening and running candidate for the bio-tech region’s City Council position, Barbara Bry, will have the opportunity to ask local power women such as Silvia Mah, CEO of Hera-LABS (whose photo I saw sprawled across the bus next to me on the way to the café), Kim Kamdar, Partner at Domain Associates, Sabrina Johnson, CFO/COO of Calibr, and Navrina Singh, Head of Innovation at Qualcomm, that very question.

Upcoming Events (I’ll be at the fun table…)

  • Alliance4Empowerment & UC San Diego Inaugural Global Empowerment Summit
    New kids on the block Alliance4Empwerment (A4E) are teaming up with UC San Diego to bring us their Inaugural Global Empowerment Summit. This event is the brainchild of A4E co-founder, Naila Chowdhury. Naila worked seventeen years alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Mohammed Yunus in microfinance. She now brings her expertise and global connections to San Diego. This event will bring together though-leaders from around the globe and from our own community to share stories, roll up their sleeves and get to work empowering the lives of others.
    Oct 17, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Athenaeum Jazz Concert Series
    The Charles Lloyd Quartet will be jammin’ this Tuesday at TSRI for their Athenaeum Jazz Concert Series. Lloyd just snatched up the highly coveted title and award National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He is hands-down one of the leading jazz artists of our times. Lloyd will be on tenor sax and flute, Gerald Clayton on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Kendrick Scott coming through on drums. Back to the sax and flute. Anyone else having visions of that YouTube video, “Sexy Sax Man,” or Ron Burgundy on the jazz flute? Fear not, the Charles Lloyd Quartet is one classy act, San Diego.
    Oct 20, 7:30 p.m., TSRI

  • ResearchHERS: Women Scientists of TSRI
    And yet another awesome manifestation of empowered women this week on the Mesa as our friends bring us “ResearchHERS: Women Scientists of TSRI.” Two snaps for the name, and is it me or does TSRI seem to be on fire these days? Anyone who heard their new presidente speak at Tuesday’s EDC meeting at Salk on the Economic Impact of SD’s Research Institutes would agree. Talks of new buildings and now a new business model aligning the institute with local non-prof drug companies like Calibr to serve as a “beacon to attract talent to the region” is making waves along the Mesa.

    Back to our power lady. Dr. Linda Sherman will be in the spotlight on the 21st discussing her research on the immune system and potential treatments for Cancer and Type 1 diabetes.
    Oct 21, 4-6 p.m., TSRI

Food For Thought

Sitting on the edge of my seat scared to even exhale. It was my first go at a piano concert, and what a moving production executive producer Karen Davis and the Salk Institute brought to the Conrad Prebys auditorium last Sunday. The series includes piano and musical performances paired with a science lecture. Science lecture? Gulp. During intermission I ran into their speaker whom I see often at the Bella Vista and gently requested him to “school house rock that shit.” Dr. Tony Hunter, Director of Salk’s Cancer Center, nailed it. “Why is cancer so hard to cure?” resonated with every single member of the audience. Bravo Dr. Hunter for a concise presentation that was both engaging and unintimidating.

And before I get to the pianist, Vadym Kholodenko, just a bit of unsolicited advice for other first time piano concert goers. If you are whispering to the person next to you, we can hear you. Mime that shit. Unzipping your purse, it’s a distraction. Opening a plastic bottle of water… nails on a chalkboard. Walking in late in flip flops… are you kidding me? Clearing your throat…  No, I don’t go to the movies often. So come prepared. Pack a bag with Chloraseptic if you must and spray the hell out of your throat.  Have some Cepacol lozenges, already unwrapped, ready in your pocket. Seems trivial, but you really could hear a pin drop and every sound took away from the beauty going on up on stage. And I’ll be damned if I am “that girl” whose phone goes off in the middle of Schumann’s Nachtstucke Op. 23. Ladies and gents, if I can sit there quiet as a mouse through the entire show, you’ve definitely got this.

Find yourself a seat where you can see the pianist’s hands in motion and immerse yourself in the music.

This man, Kholodenko, was a genius. I never even really looked up at his face, my eyes were glued to those graceful fingers and the magic they were creating. And I’d be lying if I say I wasn’t tempted to lean over to the grandma sitting next to me to ask “Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” Don’t worry, kept that one to myself and remained silent as a mouse. Nasdrovia.



That’s What SHE Said: The D.C. Adventures, Part II

She Should Run Fundraiser in D.C.

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