Series of seven “intelligent, inspiring events for women” kicks off Oct. 28 at the Mill Valley Community Center covering a wide range of subjects, from toxic ingredients in cosmetics and breast cancer in Marin to the impact of digital technology on children.

Four years ago, a pair of Mill Valley moms who’d left corporate gigs to raise families got together to debut their dream project: a season-long speaker series of “intelligent, inspiring events for women” – namely smart, busy moms like themselves.

Jenny Terry and Tracy Barsotti’s project, Speak to Me, is now a five-year-old juggernaut, launching its 2014-15 season next month with seven events that span a wide array of topics and featuring some of the most well known experts in their respective fields.

Terry and Barsotti were friends before they each got married and had children, and reconnected as they spearheaded fundraising events for the Bay Area Discovery Museum. During their first season with Speak to Me, they were joined by Christina Forte, who’d left corporate America in 2009 to pursue her role as a mom and help launch the popular mom-focused media company Red Tricycle in the Bay Area. Terry serves as the CEO, while Forte is the chief marketing and business strategy officer.

Speak to Me’s mission is “to create a forum for women to learn, explore new ideas, connect and feel empowered to make a difference in the world around them. We believe that the more informed and connected we are as women, the better we feel, and the stronger our families, schools, businesses and communities become.”

As in year’s past, Speak to Me’s events are designed around a specific theme of wide interest to women, with plenty of time built-in for mingling, nibbling and wine-tasting before and after the speakers. The Evening Series occurs at the Mill Valley Community Center, while the Lunch & Learn Series is at Piatti Restaurant.

Here’s the lineup:

Evening Series – Mill Valley Community Center, 6:30pm
Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message – Oct. 28, 2014
Tara Sophia Mohr | Author of Playing Big and 10 Rules For Brilliant Women, expert on women’s leadership and the implementation of practical skills to make real change in oneself and the world and creator of the acclaimed Playing Big leadership program for women.

Toxic Bodies: The Unhealthy Truth & What We Can Do To Protect Ourselves – Jan. 27, 2015
Ken Cook | President and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, a public interest research and advocacy organization focused on protecting human health and the environment and the creator of the online consumer database Skin Deep. Ken has been named one of Washington’s Top Lobbyists and is considered one of the most influential 20th Century leaders and change-makers in the world.

Digital Generation: How Technology is Shaping Our Youth – Mar 10, 2015
Jim Steyer | CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media, nationally known author of several books including Talking Back to Facebook and The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media’s Effect on Our Children. Jim is one of the most respected experts on issues related to children’s media and education in the U.S.

Secret Lives of Women: Thriving At Every Stage of Life – Apr 28, 2015
Iris Krasnow | Journalism and Women’s Studies Professor at American University and best-selling author of several books including Sex After…Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes, The Secret Lives of Wives, and Surrendering to Motherhood. Iris is an expert in the field of relationships, personal growth and “female generational angst” and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, on Oprah and several times on CNN.

Lunch & Learn Series – Piatti Restaurant, 11:30am
Breast Cancer in Marin: The Myths, the Facts, and the Science – Nov. 13, 2014
Leah Kelley, M.D. | Breast and Gynecologic Surgeon at Marin General Hospital, expert in state-of-the-art breast cancer and gynecological care, and honored as one of the “Top Doctors in Marin in 2014”.

Work and Flexibility: Why Women Will Lead the Way – Nov. 20, 2014
Katrina Alcorn | Writer, blogger, experience design consultant and author of Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink, a look at the juggle of work and family, parent burn out, and what’s wrong with work and how to fix it.
Stacey Brooks Delo | Founder,, “where smart moms help each other find flexible careers.” Journalist. Connector. Passionate believer in asking for what you need to strike the right balance for yourself in the workplace.

What’s Happening to Me? Hormones & Other “Taboo” Topics – Apr 2, 2015
Jennifer K. Voss, MD | Chair of Department of OB/GYN at Marin General Hospital who has been honored as one of the“Top Doctors in Marin in 2014.”
Sujatha D. Pathi, MD | Urogynecologist at Marin General Hospital, a leader in her field who has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and nationally recognized for her research in urogynecology.

The 411: Speak to Me tickets may be purchased individually or as a series of five events. Click here for more information. 

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