Meet the Member

Meet the Member

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members.

Caron Soenen is a Commercial Insurance agent for Farmers helping small business owners protect their assets and their employees with Workers Comp policies specific to their needs. She enjoys sharing what she knows about the workings of insurance policies and recognizes that insurance has its own special kind of language that is important to know.

Languages and teaching have been a large part of who she is. She learned many programming languages in her education and career as a software engineer, and spent several years traveling and teaching military members how to use the software that her team developed for the Space and Defense sector at TRW. 

Caron is a native of the Bay Area having earned her first degree at College of San Mateo and, after attending San Diego State University for her junior year, returned to San Jose State University to complete her Computer Science degree while working full time. 

Computers and traveling were great fun but she learned that motherhood opened a new and wonderful part of her life and she retired after 20 years to become a full time mom. Cherishing every moment and every day, volunteering in the library and classrooms from kindergarten until they kicked her out in 4th grade, being a softball, basketball, and soccer mom and even an AYSO referee made life full of fun memories. She began volunteering in other aspects of life too, including with PSI, Personal Success Institute and a personal growth leader since the 70’s, where she learned about expanding personal responsibility, happiness is a choice, and overcoming fears to live the life she chooses. She is grateful for her family, friends, and wonderful extended family as well, and looks forward to each and every day with a smile!

Meet the Member

Meet the Member

Adrienne Fink of doTerra essential oils
Adrienne Fink knows her essential oils

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members. 

Adrienne Fink is a wellness advocate with “doTerra” essential oils.  doTerra translates to “the gift of the earth”.  She is seriously committed to finding the perfect essential oil that can bring relief to many ailments from which we suffer, one drop at a time. Adrienne understands first-hand that in order to reduce the toxic load in our environment, we must move away from the pharmaceutical overload that we so often rely on. The enormous variety of essential oils and products that doTerra provides means that we can find precisely the right formula for short and long-term relief.

Adrienne also enjoys providing the topical applications of AromaTouch Technique, (which help relieve stress, supports your immune system, reduces inflammation and brings the body to a homeostasis balance), as well as the Symphony of the Cells protocols (the application of 10 various oils to create a synergistic effect to the various body systems). These services are provided by appointment only to clients that reach out to her directly.

Adrienne is a proud California native. She is kind and energetic, and her favorite companion is her loyal dog, who goes anywhere and everywhere with her. Her commitment to health and wellness extends into her own life, as she is herself a consistent consumer of doTerra products, and a true believer in overall fitness and physical health. She is a proud mom to two grown sons.

For more information about how doTerra natural oils and products can change your life, reach out to Adrienne at 650-302-3899. She is more than happy to share her personal experiences and knowledge about how essential oils can improve your life. She can also be reached by emailing her at adriennefink@sbcglobal.net

Meet the Member

Meet the Member

Find Virginia Trowbridge at GIJoe Homes for all of your Bay Area residential real estate needs

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members.

Virginia Trowbridge is a Licensed Real Estate Professional and a member of the GI Joe Homes team, helping Military Members and their families buy and sell their homes by using their VA Benefits.

After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Virginia embarked on a career in the fashion industry. Her love of leadership and passion for management led organizations to rapid success. While Vice President of Byer California her team experienced a 50 percent sales increase in two years, followed by another two years of 100 percent growth. Prior to this, as a buyer for Target Minneapolis, she increased sales volume by almost 50 percent—from $62 million to $91 million. 

After 25 plus years in the fashion industry Virginia became a licensed agent for Farmers Insurance. Property and Casualty was her main focus, working with customers and Real Estate Agents, educating many on insurance strategies for more efficient coverage. When the Federal Government did not approve a budget, FEMA stopped issuing flood insurance. Virginia helped many to navigate their coverage options by providing access to the private flood insurance market. This attention to customer service brought success to the agency which was recognized consistently year over year. Business increased 15-20% annually over the 10 year tenure in the business. 

Through this work she became involved in the San Mateo Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors, where she served as membership vice chair, secretary and ways & means chair, and she was awarded Affiliate of the Year. These experiences inspired Virginia to join a real estate start up company where she helped build and manage teams and contributed to over 500 real estate transactions. 

In her spare time, Virginia takes advantage of everything the Bay Area has to offer and spends much of her time with her husband and daughter hiking, taking road trips, and enjoying the California sunshine.

Virginia is a Licensed Real Estate Professional and a member of the GI Joe Homes team, helping Military Members and their families buy and sell their homes by using their VA Benefits. 

After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Virginia embarked on a career in the fashion industry. Her love of leadership and passion for management led organizations to rapid success. While Vice President of Byer California her team experienced a 50 percent sales increase in two years, followed by another two years of 100 percent growth. Prior to this, as a buyer for Target Minneapolis, she increased sales volume by almost 50 percent—from $62 million to $91 million. 

After 25 plus years in the fashion industry Virginia became a licensed agent for Farmers Insurance. Property and Casualty was her main focus, working with customers and Real Estate Agents, educating many on insurance strategies for more efficient coverage. When the Federal Government did not approve a budget, FEMA stopped issuing flood insurance. Virginia helped many to navigate their coverage options by providing access to the private flood insurance market. This attention to customer service brought success to the agency which was recognized consistently year over year. Business increased 15-20% annually over the 10 year tenure in the business. 

Through this work she became involved in the San Mateo Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors, where she served as membership vice chair, secretary and ways & means chair, and she was awarded Affiliate of the Year. These experiences inspired Virginia to join a real estate start up company where she helped build and manage teams and contributed to over 500 real estate transactions. 

In her spare time, Virginia takes advantage of everything the Bay Area has to offer and spends much of her time with her husband and daughter hiking, taking road trips, and enjoying the California sunshine.

Virginia Trowbridge is a realtor with GI Joe Homes, a small realty company dedicated to helping veterans with all of their real estate needs. Find out how she can help you or the veterans in your life!

Meet The Member

Meet The Member

The doctor is IN. Dr. Nicole Watson – ready to help!

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members.

Dr. Nicole Watson is a chiropractor and has been a member of the PWBC for over 9 years. As a Chiropractic Physician, she works to help patients manage the daily physical, emotional and chemical stressors through the power of the chiropractic adjustment. 

Dr. Nicole is a 4th generation San Francisco native. She was certified in massage therapy for 8 years and ran her own private massage practice before earning her Chiropractic Doctorate at Life West College of Chiropractic in Hayward, California in 2005. She purchased Belmont Advanced Chiropractic in early 2008. Dr. Watson has been involved in chiropractic care for many years, having first started her journey at the age of 16 when she worked in Belmont. She was in awe of all the health benefits she saw with folks under chiropractic care and wanted to be a part of such an amazing profession. She has a special knack with treating the geriatric community and did a segment on geriatric chiropractic on KRON4, a local news station where she explained how beneficial chiropractic care is for any age. Dr. Nicole is trained in over 6 techniques, which allows her to be able to safely take care of any generation. She is currently working on completing a post graduate certification with the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) and is ICPA Webster Certified to treat pre- and post-natal mothers, infants and children.  Dr. Nicole loves taking care of folks of all ages and educating those who will listen about the amazing benefits of appropriate chiropractic care. 

When not performing thousands of adjustments per year, Dr. Nicole can  be found off roading and RV’ing with her husband of over 17 years and  friends, having fun with her 6 nieces and nephews, cooking and learning  to play the ukulele. She loves to work, sing, and practice Yoga. 

Learn more about Dr. Nicole and the benefits of chiropractic care on her website www.adjustedforhealth.com. Sign up for her monthly newsletter to receive helpful tips and education related to chiropractic care and your overall health.

Meet The Member

Meet The Member

Audrey Smith photo
The attorney we trust the most – Ms. Audrey Smith

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members. 

“All people are equal before the law in court.  A good attorney is what makes the difference.”

Audrey Smith is a partner at Howie & Smith, LLP an “AV” (top) rated civil litigation law firm located in San Mateo (with satellite offices in Oakland and San Diego) since 1996.  Her practice includes trial court and appellate advocacy, client counseling, and transactional services for plaintiffs and defendants in cases across the civil spectrum, including personal injury cases, real estate and landlord-tenant disputes, premises liability, elder care law, public entity law, products liability, insurance coverage, HOA law and construction defect cases. Audrey works closely with her clients to ensure an efficient, cost-effective, and realistic resolution to legal problems.

Representative Cases

Motor Vehicle Accidents  The firm has successfully and efficiently handled hundreds of cases involving various theories brought against owners and drivers of rental and other motor vehicles, including all aspects of coverage, liability, and numerous theories of damages.  We also represent persons who have sustained serious and debilitating injury as a result of motor vehicle accidents.  Experience representing both sides in these (and other) matters is helpful in achieving an efficient and optimal resolution.

Landlord/Tenant cases.  High value results for tenants in rental units with habitability violations and other landlord misbehavior.  We also have a long track record of successfully representing and advising landlords.

Premises.   The firm has successfully handled hundreds of cases for our clients involving premises liability law.  For example, we obtained a highly favorable settlement following a summary judgment for the owner of winery sued by bicyclist who sustained major head trauma after a hitting a culvert on a roadway at the client’s winery.  We obtained summary judgment for a property owner sued by an injured ATV rider and for a property owner when a guest fell off his dock.  Multiple cases representing both plaintiffs and defendants for injuries sustained on property.

Public Entity/Civil Rights.  The firm has a long history of representing public entities as well as people suing public entities.  We obtained summary judgment for client City in highly complex water damage claims involving interlocking theories of flood and surface water damage.   We obtained summary judgment for client County in gang shooting case at local county fair.  We also represent persons suing public entities, an unusually complex and difficult process.

Construction.  The firm has handled many large cases involving claims of construction defect.  The firm successfully represented a general contractor who was hired to extensively renovate high-end single family homes in San Francisco in multiple cases brought by homeowner clients who sued claiming multiple perceived construction defects and contract violations.  The firm obtained summary judgment for a general contractor in suit by subcontractor’s employee struck by vehicle on the roadway during construction.

Employment.  Successful defense of multiple cases of sexual harassment and other intentional torts. 

Industrial Injuries.   Highly favorable resolution of scalp avulsion injury for designer/manufacturer of large-scale conveyor system. Defense verdict for owners of large farming cooperative sued by farm worker injured by oncoming tomato harvester. 

Howie & Smith regularly handles cases in state courts throughout the San Francisco Bay Area counties (Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz) as well as around the rest of the state. The firm also regularly handles federal cases throughout California up through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Audrey is a San Francisco native but also grew up in Oregon and graduated from Brown University in Rhode Island.  She moved back to the West Coast and worked as a paralegal in San Francisco. Then she attended Santa Clara University Law School, serving as an editor on the Santa Clara Law Review Board. She was also a published comment writer for the Law Review.   The law has gotten ever more complicated, intimidating, expensive and inaccessible.  Audrey loves to solve legal problems for her clients in the most efficient and inexpensive manner possible. 

Meet the Member

Meet the Member

Julie Parker of Blue Okra
The creative and conscientious Julie Parker!

Meet the Member! This blog is one in a series of posts dedicated to learning a little more about one of our PWBC members.

Julie Parker is a designer who is passionate about creating beautiful baby blankets and sleepwear that respect our environment and the people who make them. She feels that it’s very important to take care of our planet because our kids are growing up in it.. We teach them how to live in the world by practicing what we preach. She is working hard to get closer to her ideal of a completely eco-friendly supply chain that is 100% labor friendly.

Julie earned her degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design, Los Angeles. She has worked in several capacities in the industry, from design assistant to patternmaker to designer. She recently combined several of her passions: her excitement for art and design, her love of babies, her concern for ecological and labor business practices and her fashion industry knowledge to create Blue Okra, an ethical baby blanket and sleepwear company. 

Currently, she has unbleached, undyed organic cotton blankets and sleepwear that are 100% USA made. The organic cotton is grown in Texas. Fabrics are made in the Carolinas and Pennsylvania. The products are sewn in California. Even her tags and packaging are eco friendly and made in California. She is currently working on new colors and prints that are being made in Thailand. Of course, they are made in a lovely fair trade shop and will be available soon!

Before they chose their fair trade sewing shop, she and her co-founder (husband John), visited them in Chiang Mai to learn more about how they run their ethical business. They were very impressed with the great working conditions – ergonomic chairs, flexible work hours, pay that is well above a living wage in their city. Everything from the open and pleasant working environment to how hard they work toward zero waste was impressive. Also, they provide medical and dental care. In addition, the sewing shop gives spare fabric to women in their community. This allows them to use the sewing machines so they can make things to sell in the local market.

Julie has been a member of PWBC for nearly 2 years and has really enjoyed getting to know other members. She has seen their hard work and dedication to their businesses and has learned a great deal from them.

Julie also enjoys gardening, cooking and is a competitive rower. She and John recently moved to Napa. Once Covid is under control they will enjoy getting together with friends and family from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.