Who is Sylvia?
It depends on the context.
If you ask Fast Company magazine, she is a Silicon Valley Public Relations Icon.
If you ask J Weekly, she is a Rabble-Rouse and PR Innovator.
She founded Gracenet, a networking group for women in high tech with chapters in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and is also on the advisory board of Shebooks.net. For several years, Gracenet's DisGraceful Award in Advertising – given to the most sexist ad in high tech media -- made the news itself and encouraged companies like IBM and InfoUSA to withdraw ads depicting women as inferior beings (not only to men, but to aliens as well!).
She also helped revive the Hillside Club in Berkeley, the oldest community club in Northern California originally built by Bernard Maybeck. Working with technologist and MacArthur Foundation digital archivist Jeff Ubois, she raised funds, recruited new members, and created partnerships with local arts groups in the East Bay.
She organizes events that bring people together and are intended to generate ideas, sometimes even disruptive ones.
The Berkeley Cybersalon is an irregularly held event focusing on the impact of technology on some aspect of our (un)civilization. We usually invite experts to speak but the audience is invited to contribute to the discussion as well. These events are open to the public, held at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., in Berkeley.
The Last Friday Ladies Lunch (also for gentle men) draws women in all professions (or not) for vivacious discussions over a potluck lunch at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., in Berkeley, usually held on the last Friday of the month from noon to 1:30 p.m. Speakers include ordinary women doing extraordinary things.
Infusion is a monthly lunch about arts, society, and technology, held in partnership with the Berkeley Startup Cluster (see berkeleystartupcluster.com), When: usually the second or third Wednesday of each month Time: noon to 1:15 p.m. Where: Berkeley Rep Theater, 2025 Addison Street, Berkeley Cost: $5 for Sliver pizza; free for talk.
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Past board member of Bike East Bay and an avid cyclist. She doesn't have a car so walks or bicycles everywhere and sometimes resorts to bumming a ride with a friend if public transportation is unavailable.
To see what’s on her mind these days, see www.whoisylvia.typepad.com.