Meet More Women to Watch

425 presents an inspirational event March 9 in Kirkland

There are so many women we could write about in our magazine. But sometimes you just need to hear their stories live. Hear from these exceptional Northwest women who are influencing their communities, the nation, and the world. Learn how they achieved their goals and what motivates them — and meet them. 425 magazine will host its second-annual Women to Watch live event at 6 p.m. on March 9 at the Kirkland Performance Center. There will be appetizers, wine, and a chance to mingle.

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Lee Rhodes didn’t have big entrepreneur dreams early in life. She was happy being a stay-at-home mom. But at 32, her life changed with a cancer diagnosis. During her battle, a candle flickering inside a glass votive soothed her. From there, her company, Glassybaby, a collection of hand-blown glass candleholders, was born. Since then, Glassybaby has made millions and has given a generous amount of it away to nonprofits. It’s become a source of light on many levels.

T’wina Franklin is passionate about education. In 2012, she co-founded Ladies First, an innovative school-based learning program dedicated to building community and empowering women and girls. She also has assisted in consulting for political campaigns, and is the recipient of several community leadership awards. Franklin is a strong, passionate woman, and an example of what a solid plan and a lot of ambition can do.

In 2013, Emily Welbourn was 27 years old and in the best shape of her life. But when she was running a 3.5-mile race, she felt a sharp pain by her eyebrow. Like the ambitious athlete she is, she ran through the agony. But it worsened. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was having a stroke. Across the United States, there’s been a dramatic increase of strokes among young adults. Welbourn is now dedicated to sharing her story and heart and stroke education as the national spokeswoman for Go Red for Women.

Rian Buckley is a professional model who knows how a good pair of jeans should fit. So she invented Fitcode, a browser extension that helps women find their dream denim. This Kirkland woman is the CEO of her fashion-meets-tech-company, which has been highlighted in The Los Angeles Times and Real Simple. Did we mention she’s in her 20s?

Heather Tuininga works with people, families, and organizations to develop long-lasting philanthropic plans. The former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation program officer is now the principal at 10|10 Strategies, where she works to move the needle on issues her clients are passionate about. As a Washington native, she’s dedicated to the local community, but her heart has also taken her from India to Uganda to help people.

You might recognize Candice Russell from season 11 of American Idol. The award-winning singer-songwriter will showcase her smooth and effortless vocals with the Women to Watch audience. Chances are you’ve heard her on the radio.

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