5 PNW Women Who Inspire Us
Celebrating International Women’s Day
The Pacific Northwest is full of incredible female entrepreneurs, visionaries and innovators. We’re honoring five local women who inspire us to tackle our dreams, take a stand and change the world.
As the COO of Seattle Credit Union, Tonita oversees most of the day to day operations of the organization, but even beyond the mechanics of the credit union, Tonita leads the organization’s corporate culture to provide a path for personal prosperity for its members, communities, and employees.
Tonita, an Air Force veteran, an MBA and mother of four, leads by example and gives herself freely to her community work. She currently serves on boards for non-profits like Southeast Effective Development (SEED), 21 Progress and social enterprises like Pioneer Human Services. She is a champion of Diversity and Inclusion and is a frequent public speaker on the subject.
In a recent interview with Seattle Business Magazine Tonita said, “I learned that there are going to be people who think that because I am a woman, I should not be in specific roles. Just because they believe it does not mean they are right, and my next step is to prove them wrong by working on me, instead of trying to change them. [I will] show them and anyone else that I am more than capable. Also, I don’t look at how feedback is delivered, but rather [I see] the feedback itself as an opportunity to improve my skill set.”
Lindsay Nead is the founder and CEO of Parker Management, a leading talent agency specializing in the travel, home, lifestyle and wellness space. In just three years, Lindsay has built a talent roster boasting more than 20 million followers spanning digital creators, influencers, models, lifestyle and wellness experts. Her client base features top brands like Disney, Amazon Prime, Hyundai, Samsung, Columbia Sportswear, New Balance and more.
Flourishing for 10 years in the digital and advertising space at a traditional talent agency, Lindsay identified a need in the fast-growing influencer marketing space for closer agency and talent relationships, as well as the need to branch out from traditional talent. She also felt the industry needed more transparency on expected ROI and open dialogue between clients and brands as the influencer space began to boom. With clear direction and differentiated values, Lindsay started Parker Management, building it from the ground up to the successful agency it is today.
Harini Gokul is a global technology executive and local civic leader with over 20 years of experience at the world’s largest technology companies including Microsoft and IBM. She’s also an active leader in her community and serves on the Medina City Council in Medina, Wash. Harini deeply believes that local civic engagement and policy are informed by and connected to technology, and she stands for moral and ethical usage of technology in our daily lives.
A fierce advocate of women and people of color, Harini also advises and invests in organizations to boost the success and impact of women in technology. She is part of Overlake Partners, a venture capital firm that focuses on women-led businesses, and an investor in Female Founders Alliance, a community of female and non-binary startup leaders. She is also a member of the Washington Women’s Foundation.
Renee Erickson is a renowned restaurateur best known for her iconic Seattle seafood spots, The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins and Willmott’s Ghost. However, it’s not just Erickson’s delicious food or dazzling restaurants that have captured the public’s attention, it’s her dedication to sustainable practices that make her shine.
The restaurant industry is notoriously known for holding on to practices that harm the environment. Renee decided to be different and is fighting for others to do the same. Read more about how she’s working to make a difference in Seattle Magazine’s recent feature on sustainable seafood in Seattle.
In June of 2019, Stephanie Lentz opened Scoop Marketplace in First Hill. Scoop Marketplace sells all-organic, package-free food and home goods with a goal of helping people live more sustainably.
When Stephanie and her family were looking for a grocery store that aligned with their low-waste lifestyle and were unable to find one, they created Scoop Marketplace. She hopes that the accessibility of Scoop will enable others to shift their habits and lead to a low-waste way of life.
In an interview with Seattle’s Child, Lentz says, “My values are sustainability, community and education. I love sharing what I’ve learned and modeling a different lifestyle. I hope with what I’m passing along, you can improve the quality of your life while walking more gently on the planet.”