Chairman and CEO, rand* construction corporation
Founder and Owner, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
Linda Douglass is the vice president and head of corporate and strategic communications at Atlantic Media Company, where she oversees communications for all divisions of the company, including The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive. She previously spent time on the company’s editorial side, working as a contributing editor at National Journal and serving as a guest contributor on cable programs such as MSNBC’s “Hardball” and CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
Ms. Douglass served as the communications director in the White House Office of Health Reform under President Obama, leaving the administration to re-join Atlantic Media Company in 2010. Her earlier career in journalism included nine years as chief Capitol Hill correspondent for ABC News, where she filed reports for “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America” and was often a commentator on the roundtable on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She has also covered six presidential campaigns. Ms. Douglass holds a BA in psychology from the University of Southern California.
Doron Petersan is the head of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, a vegan bakery that opened in 2002. In the years prior to starting the bakery, Ms. Petersan worked for two of the largest animal shelters in the nation as an animal handler, technician, and public educator. She moved to Washington in 1996 to be with her husband, also an animal rights activist, and worked with the Humane Society. After becoming a vegan, Ms. Petersan drew upon her studies in nutrition and food science to re-create family-favorite sweets without using animal products. In 2002, she decided to open a restaurant in Dupont Circle to showcase her vegan recipes and, after finding a strong following among D.C. foodies, moved the business to a bigger space in Columbia Heights in 2006.
Accolades for Sticky Fingers include the past three years being voted Washington City Paper “Best of D.C.” for a bakery and vegan restaurant, as well as ranking in The Washingtonian’s “Best Eats.” Ms. Petersan has also made three appearances on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, winning the baking competition two times. Her first book, Sticky Fingers’ Sweets, was released in February 2012. Ms. Petersan holds a BS in dietetics from the University of Maryland.
Heather Podesta launched the government relations firm Heather Podesta + Partners in 2007. A leading legislative and public policy strategist with experience on Capitol Hill and in the private sector, Ms. Podesta’s clients include non-profits and Fortune 500 companies from the healthcare, financial, and energy sectors. She previously worked for several members of Congress on tax writing committees, including the late Rep. Robert Matsui (D-CA), Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), and Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ). She also served as assistant general counsel at the Air Transport Association and general counsel at the Airlines Clearing House.
Ms. Podesta is an active Democratic organizer and political adviser to many elected officials in Washington and in state capitals across the nation. She is a trustee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, serves on the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, sits on the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ford’s Theatre. Ms. Podesta holds a BA from the University of California Berkeley as well as a JD from the University of Virginia’s School of Law.
Linda Rabbitt is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Rand Construction, which she founded in 1989 as a pioneer for women in the construction industry. Rand has since grown from a small-scale, Arlington, Va.-based firm to a nationwide general contractor licensed to work in 48 states with revenues exceeding $263 million annually. Rabbitt, a member of the International Women’s Forum, is the current chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the lead director
of the board of directors at Towers Watson. She sits on the board of directors for The Economic Club of Washington and is a trustee of George Washington University. Rabbitt has been recognized for her professional achievements, and her service to breast cancer support and research organizations
and other causes, by Washingtonian magazine, the Washington Business Journal, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and the National Association of Corporate Directors.