Hometown: Laguna Beach
Family: Husband, John; one son, one daughter, four granddaughters and a border collie named Scout
First job: Shoveling snow for elderly neighbors after Wisconsin blizzards. I was paid 25 cents for each driveway and sidewalk.
Worst job: Age 15, as a cashier at a fried chicken restaurant. I smelled like grease at the end of every shift.
Biggest break: Meeting a group of women starting a rape crisis center and battered women’s shelter who brought me into nonprofit management and fundraising. I learned how to communicate the concerns of the community and the importance of speaking out for the health-care needs of disenfranchised people.
Secret to your success: I’m stubborn and believe unequivocally that we must find the cure for breast cancer and provide access to care for everyone.
Advice to other women in business: Look for the job, or cause, or purpose, or goal that you believe in 100 percent, and make that your life’s work. That way, even in the most difficult moments, you’ll know why you struggle forward.
Favorite 5K race: The Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure every September at Fashion Island, of course! But I admit, I don’t run or walk the 5K route because I’m a bit too busy greeting 30,000 of my favorite Orange County people.
As executive director of the Orange County affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Wolter has established one of the most successful affiliates nationally and globally – now in the top five – in advancing the Komen mission to save lives and end breast cancer. In five years at the helm, she has increased the operating budget from $2.6 million to more than $4 million. And last year, despite a tough economy, the 2010 Race for the Cure in Fashion Island raised a whopping $3 million.
“My goal is for us to be even more creative in the ways we bring mammography to women,” Wolter says. “I love our partnership with Northgate Gonzalez Markets, which actually provides mobile mammography inside their grocery stores on special days. I want more of this kind of community-based access that makes it easy for women to get a low-cost or no-cost mammogram. ... I want us to have a safety net for women that does not have any holes.”
OC METRO'S 20 WOMEN TO WATCH FOR 2011
Carol A. Taylor | Staci Brillhart | Kay S. Napier | Eve Lowey
Julie Lim | Kate Klimow | Monica Wise | Marcy McKenna
Victoria Wade | India Hynes | Farrah Emami | Lisa Wolter
Mary-Christine “M.C.” Sungaila | Shirley Balarezo
Renee P. McLeod | Laura Khouri | Alyson Noël
Brenda Brkusic | Cathy Thomas | Sue Swenson
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