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Leaders Breakfast San Francisco 2015

IIDA Leaders Breakfast 2015 logo 

Date: September 16, 2015

Time: 7:30 a.m. — 10 a.m.

Venue Four Seasons, 757 Market St., San Francisco, CA

Speaker:  Cheryl Strayed, columnist and author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Honorees: Arlene Blum, Ph.D. ( ) and Judy Levin, MSW


Cheryl Strayed, 2015 Keynote Speaker

cheryl strayedCheryl Strayed, best-selling author, columnist

Cheryl is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling memoir Wild, as well as the best-selling advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things and the novel Torch. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages around the world. Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. The movie adaptation of Wild was released in 2014. The film is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby, and stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl and Laura Dern as Cheryl's mother, Bobbi. Both Dern and Witherspoon were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances in Wild. Strayed's essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, Glamour, and more. She's also a regular columnist for the New York Times Book Review. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus. Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband the filmmaker Brian Lindstrom and their two children.


Leadership Award of Excellence Honorees

 arlene blum

Arlene Blum, Ph.D.

Dr. Blum is a biophysical chemist, visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry, and author of Annapurna: A Woman’s Place and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life. Blum’s research contributed to the regulation of two cancer-causing flame retardants used in children’s sleepwear in the 1970s, and prevented unnecessary flammability standards that would have led to the use of hundreds of millions of pounds of persistent toxic chemicals each year. Blum’s awards include being named one of UK Guardian’s “100 Most Inspiring Women,” and one of National Women’s History Project’s “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet.” She is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


judy levin 

Judy Levin, MSW

Judy has been leading the Center for Environmental Health’s flame retardant campaign to support furniture flammability standards for the past 7 years. Judy has enlisted an impressive list of purchasing companies such as Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, HDR Architecture, and Perkins+Will to express their desire to buy flame retardant free furniture with the “Purchasers Pledge.” Most recently, Judy co-sponsored a bill that requires manufacturers to label their furniture products as to whether or not they contain flame retardant chemicals. She continues to advocate and is currently co-sponsoring a bill to require the labeling of these chemicals in children’s products.