Sarah Rudder was on the verge of a key promotion in the U.S. Marines on Sept. 11, 2001,
when the terrorist attacks struck and eventually left her without a leg. But she has come back
from that setback to thrive on another stage, winning seven medals through Tuesday in two
days of Paralympic events ranging from rowing to shot put at the international Invictus Games,
the event founded by Britain's Prince Harry for wounded members of armed services.
"It was amazing," Rudder said in an interview Tuesday. "It shows that just because I'm an amputee doesn't mean I can't go out and put my heart and soul on the track or any event that I do."
Rudder, awaiting her promotion ceremony, was unscathed in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon and able to help others to safety, but two days later she was not so lucky. When she returned to the defense complex to help remove remains of victims, her left ankle got stuck in a concrete barrier and was crushed. The injury, which required five reconstructive surgeries, eventually led to her left leg being amputated two years ago.
"The pain was debilitating," Rudder said. "I couldn't take it anymore."After struggling to deal with the loss of a limb, Rudder found a way to turn despair into triumph through sports. She became a part of the military's Wounded Warrior program, which paved the way for Rudder to compete in the Invictus Games, held this year at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando
Niketa Calame was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She is most noted as the voice of "Young Nala"in disney's 32nd animated film
"The Lion King". She received her BA in theater at The University ofCalifornia, Santa Cruz and her
MFA in acting from The ActorsStudio Drama School in NewYork. Niketa found her passion for acting
at an early age and began dance at the age of 6 in tap and ballet. Shemoved onto Regina's School of
Performing Arts where she added turns, hip hop, jazz, african, voice and acting to the repertoire. She
booked her first union gig in a national Rice Krispies commercial and herfirst feature film as Chris Rocks
little sister in CB4. Niketa continued her training in school at Hamilton High School Academy of Music
where she fell in love with the stage. She performed in 42nd Street, Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls,
and Joseph and The Amazing Techinicolor Dreamcoat.
During her Junior year in college she studied theater abroad for a year at The University of Exeter in
England.She later returned to LA to continue her acting career. Niketa received an ovation award for
"The Color Purple" at Celebration Theater and continued on to "Aint Misbehavin" at International City
Theater and "This Land" at Center Theater Group to name a few. She has appeared on shows on NBC,
FOX and the WB. She directed" In theHeights" at UC Santa Cruz as wellas taught drama there and at
Southwest College. She has been aprivate drama coach for over 7years.
Her advocacy work has been with The American Diabetes Association on the National andLocal level.
She has authored a children's book "Adventures of Bob the Bear" and a Film "Never The Bride". She is
currently the Creative Director at IV I II Studios producing and assistant directing Impact Documentaries.
A successful serial entrepreneur and investor in many startups, Jonathan is Chairman
and co-founder of Geekwire.com, one of the tech sector’s top news sites, and Chairman
and co-founder of PicMonkey, the world’s most fun and popular photo-editor.
He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google.
In 2016, Jonathan made headlines when he announced he would be the first technology
investor to only invest in female-founded companies moving forward. This put Jonathan
in the national spotlight and he became an honoree of various women-led organizations
such as American Women In Science, Vital Voices, and the University of Washington
(“Man of Integrity” award). He has invested in many startups founded by women, such
as Glamhive, GiftStarter, Runway2Street, Poppy, Scout, Vivify, and others.
Sposato recently handed over the CEO responsibilities of PicMonkey to a successor in
order to dedicate himself to the mission of developing, identifying, and promoting more
female representation and leadership in business.
Jonathan is also the founder of WeCount.org, the first non-profit to apply smartphone
technologies to help the homeless receive items critical to their survival on the
streets. Jonathan was awarded the “Civic Innovation Award” from Seattle’s Mayor in
Prior to all this, Jonathan co-founded Picnik.com and created the first profitable online photo subscription service, reaching over 60M visitors a month. Prior to Picnik, Jonathan founded Phatbits, which went on to become Google Gadgets. In the early ‘90’s Jonathan was a senior manager in Microsoft’s consumer division, personally delivering the next level of thought on key Microsoft properties to chairman Bill Gates and the company’s leadership, as well as having been a key player on the first Xbox, the Xbox games business, and various consumer applications impacting millions of users. Jonathan is a graduate of Whitman College, where he is on the Board of Trustees.
Dolores Sanchez Badillo
A 31 year-old Dolores (Californian) is a native of (NEW) Mexico…yes, it is one of the 50 states.
When she was 31 years old, having earned a Journalism degree (since there would be no math)
in 1986, Ms. Sanchez Badillo promptly left NM and ironically landed a job in an engineering firm
of an aerospace company in Anaheim.
In three decades she has held positions at various agencies: newspapers, school districts, a trash
company and a television station, and is currently a Senior Analyst with Western Riverside Council
She’s the mother of two absent young adult sons (Call Your Mother!) and is married to a man who
has been mistaken for a Hispanic Arnold Schwarzenegger or a young—now older--Colin Farrell.
The ups and downs of a spatial career and family life are what she hopes she can relate to attendees
as a woman who has, lost, found, lost, found, lost….you get it….her Voice and her Power.
Dolores is hopeful that all attendees of the 7th Annual San Jacinto Valley Women’s Conference will take away at least one great thing that will help every woman maintain her health, dignity, sanity and power as she leads her own life’s adventure.
Kelly Tovey began her martial arts training when she was just 10 yrs old. Over the next few years, she would develop a love and a passion for the art of Shorin Ryu. By the age of 16, she already knew this would become a major part of her life’s journey. Her dedication and skill was evident early on and, in time, would catch the eye of of 10th degree, world renown, “Hanshi” Tadashi Yamashita. Mr. Yamashita took Kelly under his wing and started training her at his private studio in North Hollywood. Every week Kelly and her father would make the drive (200mi round trip). She believed the time and commitment with Mr Yamashita (10 yrs and 75,000 miles) would someday pay off, and it did. Today, Kelly is one of the youngest ever 5th degree black belts within the Yamashita International system. “Sensei Kelly”, as she is known to her students, owns and operates a very successful martial arts school in Temecula, CA, along with her father.
Kelly credits the commitment and focus on her martial arts goals, as a major force to keeping her on the right path through her teen years. Even with her busy dojo schedule, she still finds time to train with Mr. Yamashita, as well as being a loving wife and mother.
Sanie is an executive director, accounting professional and a financial educator who developed passion for professional attire and the business field at an early age of 20. A picture of a professionally dressed woman she saw in a magazine and this woman’s story about her journey to entrepreneurship i inspired her. Following this inspiration, Saneliso pursued a degree in business at California Baptist University where she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Her extensive background in non-profit organizations and volunteer work reflects her passion to help others. She has held leadership positions in the areas of: healthcare, operations, accounting and instructing business courses, forming a track record of great leadership and management skills. The Dress for Success Riverside platform she built makes it possible for the marginalized women to effortlessly access professional attire, learn professional skills, financial management and become self-sufficient. Her job satisfaction at Dress for Success comes when a client finds the right attire for the interview, builds confidence within herself, looks in the mirror and says, “WOW I look great.”
Cesaria Hernandez - Master of Ceremonies
Cesaria Hernandez is seen throughout southern California, co-hosting The Valley Connection, a TV cable
program spotlighting interests and happenings throughout the Inland Empire. Ms. Hernandez portrayed the
title character in the Valley’s classic outdoor play “Ramona” for six seasons and has been seen for the past
three summers in the role of Joaquina Moreno in the Bowl’s original comedy “Zorro”.
After attending the University of California at Davis, Ms. Hernandez began her theatrical career in the Bay
area doing modeling, print work, and commercials. She appeared in the films Forrest Gump, Basic Instinct,
and As Good As Dead.
An advocate against domestic violence, she has spoken extensively on the subject, and was a featured guest on Oprah, After The Show With Oprah, and The Jane Pauley Show. She has contributed to magazine articles in Marie Claire, Redbook, and the Canadian Journal of Psychology.
When not acting or traveling with her husband and eight children, Ms. Hernandez works as a marketing liaison in the fields of medical research and travel. She is co-owner of White Feather Investigations, (www.WhiteFeatherPI.net) a full service private investigations company.
The Palm Room -
"The Power of You"