Developing the Women Leaders of Tomorrow at the GUILD’s Serendipity 2019


A classic scene from The Sandlot echoes across generations: Ham and Phillips on a baseball field, dueling it out in a war of words. A string of insults bubble up into one final blow, the comeback to end it all: “You play ball like a girl.

If only Ham or Phillips could be so lucky.

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the GUILD’s annual women’s summit Serendipity. Held at the General’s Residence at Fort Mason in San Francisco, the one-day conference gathered women across diverse backgrounds and experiences to share their inspiring stories on entrepreneurship, leadership, investing, and emerging industries. 

With an agenda packed with workshops, experiences, 1:1 mentorship, and engaged talks, Serendipity offered attendees the opportunity to curate their own schedules and address individual needs for personal and professional growth. The energy of the venue radiated an inviting atmosphere, bringing together an exciting mix of backgrounds and a feeling of mutual support among the attendees. If you weren’t in a conference room attending a session, there was ample opportunity to network and engage with fellow attendees and women professionals.

Serendipity kicked off the morning with workshops tackling challenges felt by many emerging professionals today—from effective techniques to reduce stress to networking for introverts. The agenda continued with panels and talks from inspiring women across industries including tech, food, health, and investing.

Sara Holtz, host of podcast Advice to My Younger Me, led an intimate workshop about the power in pushing back, and how saying “no” is a critical work and life still. She shared specific advice on how to confidently and effectively say “no,” and questions we can ask ourselves to make sure our decisions mirror our values and prioritize our wellbeing. 

“What are you giving up by saying ‘yes’?” — Sara Holtz

Lunch was sponsored by catering company Chewse, whose founder and CEO Tracy Lawrence spoke on panel discussing “The Future of Food.” Tracy spoke alongside Copia Founder and CEO Komal Ahmad and BiteUnite Founder Patta Arkaresvimun, with Parsnip Founder and CEO Sally Rogers as moderator. The panelists shared their perspectives on using food to connect to communities, addressing touchpoints from catering to cooking to food waste management.

The day continued with engaging talks from speakers such as Hint Founder and CEO Kara Goldin, who chatted through her journey on fighting for consumer rights around clean water, and Spero Ventures Partner Ha Nguyen, who discussed how to think like an investor, and the dos and don’ts when raising capital.

The day celebrated, educated, and inspired us in the power of women, and left us with the drive to harness our own strength to become better leaders of tomorrow—proving that perhaps, in baseball and in life, it isn’t so bad to play ball like a girl.