buildOn Bay Area Dinner 2011

Last Thursday night at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, buildOn held its annual Bay Area Dinner to celebrate another year of west coast accomplishment and to recognize those who made it happen. There were over 500 attendees, including former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, Sonya Molodetskaya, San Francisco mayoral candidate Joanna Rees with her husband John Hamm, and local radio celebrity Hooman Khalili.

Our honoree for the evening was Jessica Herrin, CEO of Stella & Dot. The philanthropic arm of Herrin’s company this year donated all proceeds from the sale of a specialized line of bracelets to three organizations who empower women worldwide: buildOn, Accion USA, and Girls Inc. (Read more about the bracelets.)

Alum Haben Girma, who overcame two sensory disabilities to win a scholarship to Harvard Law, provided an inspiring personal narrative. High school student Kasie Udo-okoye also delivered a speech about her motivation to continue working in her community with buildOn despite the challenges of helping to raise her young brother while her single mother works two jobs.

Thanks to all who contributed to the evening’s success!