Name: Penny Brown Huber
Hometown: Ames, Iowa
Project Idea: Grow Your Small Market Farm, a business planning program for farmers
Sound bite: "Many of the farmers I work with have received little or no support from any government entity. It seems to me nothing is more important than to encourage and help develop fiscally sound local food farm businesses, so we can ensure a safe and healthy food system for the future."
Name: Jenny Hwa
Hometown: New York City
Project Idea: loyale, an organic clothing company featuring sustainable, eco-chic apparel
Sound bite: "The intention of loyale is to create fashion-forward, accessible clothing that is made locally with sustainable fabrics. I want to amend the current business philosophy that says the environment has to be compromised in order to make a profit."
Name: Nancy Roldán Johnson
Hometown: Milford, Connecticut
Project Idea: The Latina ARMY, Inc. (Accomplished Role models Motivating Young Latinas), a volunteer-based nonprofit organization with a goal to empower one million young Latinas
Sound bite: "The graduation ceremony at Women Rule! was overwhelming for me. I've never been witness to a room full of such amazing women, linking arms. As the chain lengthened and strengthened, I thought to myself: If the power in this room could change the world—and it could—then the soldiers in the Latina ARMY will succeed in helping our young girls. There is such power in numbers."
Name: Julia Keffer
Hometown: Oyster Bay, New York
Project Idea: Peer Pals, an organization pairing preschool age children with disabilities with non-disabled peers to build relationships prior to kindergarten
Sound bite: "At Women Rule!, I was with a group of really smart, successful, powerful women who were just there to encourage the rest of us to be smart, more powerful, and more successful in our own realm. There was no agenda to it other than that."
Name: Micki Krimmel
Hometown: Glendale, California
Project Idea: An online community for sharing goods, modeled after the idea of neighborly borrowing
Sound bite: "A practical takeaway from Women Rule! was to focus on your strengths and let other people do what they're best at. Some of my business plan is about vision and purpose—that I can do. Other parts require skills I don't have. It seems so obvious, but when you're trying to create something new, the tendency is to think you need to learn how to do it all yourself! I learned that this tendency runs especially deep for women."
Name: Elizabeth Lindsey
Hometown: Trenton, New Jersey
Project Idea: The Pink Collar Project, a professional mentoring program for women in jobs traditionally considered female, such as a receptionist or nurse, to help them move ahead in their careers
Sound bite: "My inspiration is my mom. She's currently working as a legal secretary. She's an extremely intelligent and dedicated worker— if she had had more lucky breaks and access to training and support, I think she could have done anything she wanted. So this project is very personal to me."
Name: Yara Lorenzo
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Project Idea: To run for office in the Florida House of Representatives in 2010
Sound bite: "When one looks around at elected officials, they do not look like me, nor do they have Spanish sounding last names. This is true even in South Florida where the Hispanic community is predominant. Time after time at political events, I am still the only young woman in the room. I plan on changing that."
Name: Shannon Lynberg
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Project Idea: The Younger Women's Task Force, a nationwide grassroots movement that organizes younger women to take action on issues that matter to them
Sound bite: "At work my fear of failure was holding me back from reaching my full potential. I realized at Women Rule! that my feelings were actually normal; I was shocked to hear just how many other women felt the same way. I learned to recognize the successes I've already had and to have a little more faith in accomplishing what I set out to do."
Name: Nancy Mansfield
Hometown: Los Angeles
Project Idea: The Institute for Families, a nonprofit providing support, counseling, advocacy, and education to families facing a serious medical diagnosis in a child
Sound bite: "Watching families disintegrate due to illness has been life-altering for me. The divorce or separation rate for couples with a sick family member is approximately 82 percent, according to the latest literature. I believe that it is our responsibility as a society to help people build bridges rather than erect walls."
Name: Cheryl Mathieu
Hometown: Long Beach, California
Project Idea: AgingPro.com, a one-stop online resource for elder care
Sound bite: "At the end of my grandmother's life, I realized how much we as a society don't know about aging and the dying process. There's a maze of senior services that's so difficult to navigate. I'm committed to making information and support accessible to caregivers, professionals in aging, and people planning for their future; I want to be the Google of elder care."