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Creating Your GrapeVine: The Importance of Community

Creating community at work and in your personal life is the most valuable thing you can do – whether you are starting your career or building your tribe. Personal connections are vital to a full and successful life whether you are 20 or 60. Come hear from four successful women who will share their stories about community:

  • How they built community

  • How it has formed their career success

  • How they build authentic connections

  • And, finally, the power and importance of community 

Hear from the co-creators and a board member of GrapeVine and CRUSH and learn how to build and transform community in all aspects of your life.  


Joanie Parsons

From communications to coffee, hospitality to holistic travel, Joanie Parsons is always looking for ways to connect people, ideas and opportunities.

Joanie started her own marketing firm, Parsons + Company, because she wanted to have a lot of fun while working with great clients who shared her commitment to making the world a better place—and also bring her dogs to work every day. Parsons + Co specializes in building and guiding lifestyle brands, with an emphasis on companies with an environmental focus. Her clients have included Filson, GRAYL Filters, Essentia Water, Montinore Estates winery, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and many others. 

Joanie also co-founded trücup, a low-acid coffee that’s a delicious, healthier option for people who love coffee but struggle with stomach issues such as GERD and acid reflux. Most recently, Joanie co-created Grapevine and CRUSH, powerful communities that combine events, insights and inspiration to help women focus, flourish and achieve a sensational, successful and satisfying life in business, family and relationships.

She serves on several boards including: One Eighty Foundation, PCC Farmland Trust and TRIBUTE - an online mentoring platform for women.

Monica Smith

Monica is a community activist and passionate about making a difference in her downtown Seattle community. She is co-founder and creator of GrapeVine, CRUSH and Revel Retreats and has more than 25 years of experience in international real estate, project management and LEED certification. Monica's past board activity includes being Chair of the Downtown Residents Council, Regional Board of YPO, the American Institute of Architects in Seattle and Urban Land Institute's Executive Committee.. She was an advisory member of University of Washington's certificate program in commercial real estate and guest lecturer. She's been LEED accredited since 2005 and was a faculty member for theUnited States Green Building Council's LEED program. 

Barbie Seifert

Barbie is the Executive Director of the One Eighty Foundation, serving as the strategic and inspirational leader to the Board of Directors, company employees, sponsors and funding agencies to achieve strategic and mission goals. With a deep understanding of operational and business development programs, she is committed to creating opportunities for better lives. 

Prior to OEF, Barbie was the Chief of Staff and Director of Global Operations for Lou Tice at the Pacific Institute where she was responsible for aligning corporate strategies with global and domestic business development initiatives to ensure attainment of sales goals and high profit margins. Barbie directed multimillion-dollar operational budgets and a team of 20+ professionals including Project Managers, Sales Staff, and Marketing professionals. 

Barbie is an active member of the Philanthropist Forum, is an advisor for the Corporate Giving Network, and is a proud 14-year member of the Seattle #4 Rotary where she serves on the Board of Trustees and the Membership Committee.  Previously she served on the boards of Vital Voices Northwest Council, Teens in Public Service, the Seattle Police Foundation, Ronald McDonald House of Western Washington, the Hi-Liners, Highline Medical Foundation and Providence Senior & Community Services – O’Trees.

Susan Long-Walsh

Susan Long-Walsh is a natural connector with a passion for helping others do what’s good that makes the workplace and our society stronger and more equitable. An accomplished leader in Talent Acquisition & Inclusion at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, her deep commitment and actions consistently support global diversity, inclusion, equity and retention in the workplace.  Additionally, Susan serves as Chair for the Gates Black Philanthropic Partnership; is on the committee for Women Connect and is co-founder of Women of Color Connect.

A firm believer in empowering girls, women and people of color, Susan currently is on the following boards: Forest Ridge High SchoolStolenYouth and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Community of Practice, Seattle. She mentors many and volunteers’ countless hours in her community. In 2012 Susan received the Women of Power: Future Builders Honor from the Women of Color Empowered. In 2015 she was showcased on Black Enterprise “Women of Power” TV Segment. In 2016, she was nominated for a Women in Business & Leadership Initiative Female Leader of the Year Award, a program of the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce designed to connect, educate and inspire women.  Susan continues to speak at numerous events with the goal being to provide tools others can put to immediate use!

RSVP + more info here:

Earlier Event: February 12
Celebrating Self