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The Power of Personal Projects

Have you ever lost yourself in a project? When hours fly by and suddenly it is past midnight?

Personal projects or hobbies can enhance life to a new level. Create more energy than you’ve ever had before. And also make you more creative from the inside out.

Hear from four powerful women who have found strength in personal projects -- from being engaged in community to the power of the creative eye. Come hear from women that are driven by their personal projects – what worked, what didn’t and how to bring this energy into your life.

Keynote Speaker

Robin Layton has produced countless notable photographs and earned a place among the world’s top photographers. By age 24, she was honored by LIFE magazine as one of the eight most talented photographers in America. Her photo story on runaway teens in downtown Seattle was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. After an award-winning career at five newspapers, Robin embarked on a freelance career that has taken her on assignments around the world. Along the way, she has photographed everyone from prom queens to actual kings, street people to presidents, and personalities from Jennifer Aniston to Oprah Winfrey. She has taken her photographic images in imaginative new directions, including multi-media projects, video art, wall coverings and even designer-quality, hand-woven rugs created in Nepal from her images. Robin’s work illuminates the life within that moment. She compels you to take a second look, a new view of the world around us.


Harini Gokul is a global technology leader, an investor, civic volunteer and an advocate for advancement of women in the workplace. She is a cloud industry leader and has 20+ years of experience driving global business strategy and customer transformation for technology companies including Microsoft and IBM. Harini sponsors and invests in organizations and communities to accelerate the advancement of women in technology. She is an investor in the Female Founders Alliance and on the advisory board of Future of Us, an initiative dedicated to accelerating the advancement of women of color. Harini is an international speaker, focusing on diversity, equity and innovation in the 4th Industrial Revolution. As part of her mission to contribute to civic life, Harini is running for city council in Medina, WA.

Jacqueline Smith is senior Digital Strategist at the Gates Ventures in Kirkland, WA, leading digital communication strategy for a variety of projects relating to energy, public health, and U.S. education. Her work has helped define digital strategy and partnerships for global brands like Nike, Jordan Brand, and adidas in the U.S., Western Europe and Latin America. In her spare time, Jacqueline serves on the board for What’s Next Washington as a communications strategy lead. What’s Next Washington is a Seattle-based nonprofit made up of formerly incarcerated individuals and their allies, working together to improve the ability to reintegrate into society.


Lendy Hensley is an entrepreneur. In 2001, she founded City Catering Company with a desire to pair seasonal and fresh food with warm professional service and a sleek urban style. After many years as a closet painter, she co-founded the Seattle Artist League. The League is a community-based art school that offers classes in painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture for adults and children. As a long time Seattle resident, Lendy enjoys the waterways in and around Seattle from her boat and her paddle board.


Get tickets to The Power of Personal Projects here.

Earlier Event: September 16
Leading Ladies: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda...
Later Event: November 12
Ending Life as Beautifully as It Began