March 2019 Newsletter Issue I

The Iranian American Women Foundation would like to wish you a 

Happy Nowruz!   

May the coming year be filled with joy, peace and  prosperity!

Join Women of Influence Soirée

The IAWF invites you to join the Iranian American Women of Influence Soirée on April 13, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, CA. The soiree will be celebration of the achievements of the women of Iranian heritage who inspire, influence and empower the community and the society. This event will be a lively and entertaining opportunity to celebrate and honor the contributions of these visionary women who are making a difference in philanthropy, community services, arts and science.
Purchase your Tickets here.

International Women's Month Celebration

The Iranian American Women Foundation celebrated the International Women's Month with the screening of  THE GIRLS   in three different cities across California. "The Girls" is a feature documentary produced by Ms. Fery Malek Madani and her team in Iran. The documentary depicts the dreams and aspirations of Iranian girls in a number of cities in Iran. 

On March 3, over 120 participated in the screening of the documentary at the Roxie Theater in  San Francisco. Please see the photos of the event   here.

"The Girls" was screened in  Los Angeles at the Monica Center on March 5. A photo exhibition was held on the sidelines of the event. You can see the photos of the event here.

IAWF in  Orange County hosted an event on March 9 at the UCI's Jordan Center for Persian Studies. The event featured a panel discussion of Iranian American entrepreneur women, screening of the movie, and the photo exhibition. We would like to thank our great speakers Monir Jalili, Sunny Nassim, Anousheh Oskoian and Shirin Zarkesh for being very generous with their  time and sharing their knowledge and expertise with our audience. Our special thanks to Ms. Malek Madani for sharing her inspiring and eye-opening documentary with the our enthusiastic audience. You can see photos of the event here. IAWF is grateful for UCI's ongoing support and cooperation in our event in Orange County. 


You can review the coverage of the events and activities of the Iranian American Women Foundation's in the local and national media in this section. 

As a part of the IAWF's events for the International Women's Month, "The Girls", a feature documentary made by Ms. Fery Malek Madani was screened in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County.  You can read the coverage of the screening in  OCRegister  report  here !

Santa Monica Daily Press' interview with Fery Malek Madani and Mariam Khosravani, Founder of the IAWF about screening of the "Girls" in Los Angels can be read  here!

 IAWF Mentorship Program Events in New York 
IAWF Mentorship Committee in New York has recently hosted two successful events. New cohorts, mentees and mentors and members of the IAWF Mentorship Program Committee participated in a virtual orientation session. The session was a well-planned coordination and collaboration between mentors and mentees in order for the participants of the program to exchange knowledge, experience and bond for a lasting professional relationship. 
IAWF Mentorship Committee in New York also hosted a special occasion at Leila Heller Gallery in which all mentors and mentees from the old and the new cohort met and greeted with each other as a group. IAWF greatly appreciates Ms. Leila Heller and members of the New York Mentorship committee for their ongoing support.

Featuring Successful IAWF Members in the Media

Shohreh Waxman  is the Senior Vice President at SterlingRisk,  where she provides her clients with comprehensive Personal, Commercial, Group Health & Life Insurance services that include claims advocacy and risk management. In a recent interview with
NYREJ , Ms. Waxman has discussed her professional achievements and her predictions for trends in the construction insurance industry in 2019. You can read her full interview here .

Shohreh Waxman is also  Licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Broker, she has bound coverage for numerous real estate and construction clientele, bringing her years of insurance experience to major multi-unit residential and extended stay properties as well as mixed-use construction projects. To learn more about Ms. Waxman's background, you can review her biography in IAWF website. IAWF congratulates Ms. Waxman for her continuous contributions and success in the industry.

Bita Ardalan  is Managing Director and head of the Commercial Banking Group at Union Bank, N.A., which includes Business Banking and Middle Market Commercial Lending. 
LA Business Journal has selected Ms. Ardalan as one of the top business leaders of 2019. In her March 8, 2019 interview with LA Business Journal, Bita Ardalan points out "the business challenges, collegiality and teamwork, and focus on serving customers are big reasons" why Union Bank is only the second company that she has ever worked. You can read her full interview here

IAWF congratulates Ms. Ardalan for her achievements and her ongoing success in the banking industry.  To learn more about Ms. Ardalan's professional path, click  here .
Ellie De Abdi 
New York
IAWF would like to congratulate Dr. Ellie Abdi on her ongoing advocacy work on physical education and health in the state of New Jersey and her trips to Washington, DC to gain support of the Congress on funding for public education. 

Dr. Ellie Abdi is an internationally recognized expert in education with extensive experience of physical education and research. She is a former gymnast, dancer, and coach of different sports who is holding various academic roles from PK to higher education at the doctoral level. With her urban school district's partnership, Professor 

You can read more  here .
Maryam Zar
Southern California
IAWF offers its heartfelt appreciation for Maryam Zar's ongoing support and assistance for organizing the International Women's Month movie screening; The Girls, in Los Angeles on March 5. 

Maryam is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women. She is an Iranian born American and former Middle East Correspondent based in Iran. She is Chair of the Pacific Palisades Community Council, Vice-Chair of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils, founding Chair of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and an elected Assembly Delegate. 

You can read more  here .

 Mandana Alizadeh Baradar
 Northern California
Mandana is a business/marketing professional with over 25 years of diverse background in Biotech, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices in the Bay Area focusing on project management, marketing, commercial operations and Research and Development. Mandana is passionate about strengthening the sense of trust, and teamwork in Persian Community in the Bay Area and around the world. She believes in creation and necessity of having a stronger Persian community in the Bay area for our children and future generation to come and she has actively been working on various projects and with different civic organizations to bring certainty to that presence.

You can read more  here .

Circle of 1000s Featured Member
Scheherazade  is a recording artist, songwriter and music producer with a passion for the arts that spans across multiple disciplines. Born in France and raised in Iran, ZaZa studied music and art in Italy, earning a degree in stage design from the Fine Arts Academy of Rome. As a singer/songwriter ZaZa has collaborated and performed with world-music luminaries and composed music for television and film. She has also released 5 albums over the course of 15 years, several of which were inspired by Persian folklore, mythology and poetry.

You can read more here .

Circle of Men

Nick Azartash is the President of Sunpeak Construction and is active in construction management. Mr. Azartash is a graduate of Civil Engineering from San Diego State University and California State University. He lives in Southern California and is an dedicated member of the Iranian American community and has been a supporter of the IAWF mission.

Book of the Month
Courtesy of Porochista Khakpour Website

SICK, A MEMOIR by Porochista Khakpour

SICK (2018) tells the story of Porochista Khakpour's chronic illness, misdiagnosis and addiction, and the myth of full recovery that details the struggles with late-stage Lyme disease". Click here to read more. 

Cheryle Strayed, author of "Wild", New York Times bestseller writes "Porochista Khakpour's powerful memoir, SICK reads like a mystery and a reckoning with a love song at its core. Humane, searching and unapologetic. Sick is about the thin lines and vast distances between illness and wellness, healing and suffering, the body and the self. Khakpour takes us all the way in on her struggle toward health with an intelligence and intimacy that moved, informed and astonished me"

Porochista Khakpour  is an Iranian American author and is also the author of "The last Illusion", and "Sons and Other Flammable Objects". Ms. Khakpour has received California Book Award Winner, Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist selection, and a number of other recognition for her contributions to the literary world. She has also taught creative writing and literature. 
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