President & CEO
Philhour & Associates
Marjan Philhour's career spans over two decades in government, politics, private consulting and community advocacy. As President of Philhour & Associates, she leads the firm's outreach and strategy in serving clients that range from campaigns to nonprofit organizations.
Marjan spent years on Capitol Hill serving as a legislative aide to key Members of Congress. Her areas of expertise included women's issues, health, labor, and the environment, through which she was able to advocate for policies with national impact.
After her time in DC, Marjan returned home to California where she served as Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff in the Administration of Governor Gray Davis. Her background in legislative advocacy and crisis management continues to enrich her perspective and ability to provide strategic advice as a consultant, strategist, and community organizer.
Over the past ten years, Marjan has grown a practice, which takes a holistic approach to client campaigns and projects, offering services ranging from fundraising to strategic advice to effective external relations and outreach.
In 2011, Marjan was selected as one of the Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States, an honor bestowed by the Filipina Women's Network. The award is presented to individuals for exceptional work in the their fields of expertise and for their inspiring leadership and achievements in the American workplace and in their communities. Marjan is committed to "building the bench" of women in politics and business and speaks on topics ranging from women's representation in government to integrating professional goals into daily life.
Marjan graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in political science.
Valerie Ashford Hal
Senior Human Resources Business Partner
(Communications Co-Chair and Nominations Chair)
Valerie Ashford Hal is a business focused HR leader. In her role as a client facing Senior Human Resources Business Partner with ADP, she works with business leaders in a variety of organizations and industries such as Professional & Financial Services, Venture Capital, Retail, Healthcare, High Tech, Construction, Nonprofit, Restaurant, Education, and Public Sector agencies.
Valerie partners and coaches executives, management teams and employees to drive engagement and organization-wide performance. Her expertise is in assessing business models to increase organizational performance, strategy alignment, leader coaching, strategic rewards, HR and labor.
She develops and directs activities designed to meet organizational development needs, develops and facilitates training for her client companies, implements compliance & inclusion programs to mitigate risk, and other workforce activities. She has navigated companies through numerous employee issues affecting business performance during business turnarounds and in tough business environments. Valerie is comfortable leading projects of any size, including transformation initiatives.
With over 20+ years of experience, Valerie’s work experience has included the opportunity to work in and with small and large global organizations. She is a professional who puts her finance background and consulting skills to work on building and driving innovative solutions to complex issues affecting leader, team or organizational performance.
Prior to joining ADP Valerie managed the Executive Human Resources function for Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Hospitals; career centers for DBM/LHH as a Senior Consultant, Domestic and International Payroll Operations for Hambrecht & Quist, LLC & JP Morgan Chase H&Q; as well as other senior roles.
Valerie holds a bachelor of science in business administration and is seeking her MBA in Global Innovation. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) by the HR Certification Institute, carries the SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®, and has been a member of the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) since 1990. She was also an invited speaker to the Global Diversity Tour.
As a Bay Area native, Valerie has a long track record of community service as a former member of the SF Junior League and volunteering with West Coast Green and Clean Tech.
Lee Hecht Harrison
(Special Projects and Initiatives Chair)
Molly is a Vice President at Lee Hecht Harrison Western Division, focused on serving small to midmarket organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She partners with organizations and is a trusted advisor in talent development strategies and career transition best practices.
She has quickly grown her LHH career, through dedication to the fundamental principles of listening to and serving her clients. She is known for her ability to think strategically and execute at the tactical level, she is a highly collaborative leader, and is known for driving innovation by bringing creative ideas and solutions to the table with clients and within LHH.
While Molly’s current accounts are primarily global and concentrated in technology and medical device arenas, her background spans the public and private sectors. She has worked across the human capital and education spaces for over 12 years.
She holds a Bachelors degree from University of Minnesota and a Masters degree from Sam Houston State University, is certified in a variety of LHH leadership tools, presents on human capital topics, and volunteers for local charities. In her spare time, Molly enjoys hiking, whale watching and empowering women and girls to reach their highest potential. Molly has been a volunteer with the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women supporting the annual CEDAW luncheon in 2013 and 2014. Molly is also a Silicon Valley Leadership Group Education Policy Committee member with an emphasis on mentoring and encouraging girls and young women to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields.
(Membership Programming Chair)
Senior Vice President
The Mellos Group at
Faye has been working in the financial services industry for over 30 years. She enjoys helping families to make informed decisions related to their financial health. The breadth of her knowledge of the investment business is something she enjoys sharing with them on a daily basis.
The Mellos Group is comprised of three investment professionals and one registered service professional. By discussing client’s life goals and showing them how to put their money to work, they help clients achieve their financial aspirations. The Mellos Group strives to provide an active level of service customized for each client.
Over the years Faye has worked with clients and their families with a primary focus of tax efficiency; preservation of wealth and creating a plan to pass assets to the next generation. It is this holistic approach that has allowed Faye to advise clients in a fashion that helps them understand the intricacies of investing and estate planning. Many of her clients are women and she enjoys the opportunity to help them address their unique issues to assure security now and in retirement.
It is her expectation that during market hours client calls are answered personally by one of the group members. She also believes one of the Mellos Group’s greatest strengths is how effectively they resolve client’s issues when the inevitably arise.
Faye graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2001 she attended The Wharton School of Business and completed an executive education program. In 2011 she completed the curriculum at the College for Financial Planning. Education is an important component of how the Mellos Group stays current on world events that affect their client’s financial security.
Faye is an active member of the community serving on the Executive Board of That Man May See, the fund raising arm of the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology. In addition she is a 30+ year member of Zonta International, an international service club with the sole focus of advancing the status of women throughout the world.Faye and her husband, Michael live in San Francisco.
Iraina Fox Miles
Director of Community Relations
Consulate General of Israel
Iraina has focused her career on creating opportunities for people to discuss complex issues, breakdown barriers, and identify common ground from which solutions can be made. With her background in mediation, Iraina has been responsible for implementing community relations efforts around major energy projects, strengthening business development opportunities for tech startups in Silicon Valley, and building relationships for international governments on the West Coast. As an advocate for local community health and wellbeing, Iraina serves as a volunteer mediator in San Francisco and is excited by the opportunity to support Friends initiatives that champion gender equality and violence prevention.