• Women's Conference Bios

  • Julian Guthrie
    Speaker, Author & Journalist

    Ms. Guthrie is a best-selling author, keynote speaker and journalist. She has written three books, including two national best sellers. Released in April, her latest book, Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took On Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime, shines a light on the women who bucked the system and found ways to thrive. The book explores the rise of technology companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Tesla, Oracle, Trulia, Imperva, F5 Networks, Acme Packet, ForeScout, Google, Salesforce and more, all through the eyes of the trailblazing “Alpha Girls” featured in Guthrie’s stories. These women were written out of history — until now. The book is being adapted for a television series by Academy Award-winning producer Cathy Schulman.

    Previously, Ms. Guthrie wrote the New York Times best-seller How To Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race and the Birth of Private Spaceflight. Released in September 2017, the book tells the story of the unforgettable cast of characters who dreamed of going to space without the government’s help. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson wrote the foreward and Prof. Stephen Hawking wrote the afterword. In the book, Ms. Guthrie tells readers about the aviators, test pilots, engineering school dropouts, plucky entrepreneurs, NASA retirees, billionaires and a determined space geek named Peter Diamandis who refused to give up on his outsized dream.

    Her second national best-selling book, The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup, was published in 2013. It was named one of Forbes Magazine’s top 10 non-fiction books of 2013.

    A San Francisco Bay Area resident, Ms. Guthrie honed her writing career as a 20-year journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, where her award-winning reporting was nominated multiple times for the Pulitzer Prize. Her articles have also been published by The Wall Street Journal, Time, Salon.com, Forbes and the Huffington Post. Along the way, she has interviewed some of the world’s most successful and interesting people — Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Melinda Gates, Marissa Mayer, Christy Turlington, the late Prof. Stephen Hawking and Peter Thiel. She has spent years researching how men and women win … and it is not the same, she says.

    As a speaker, Ms. Guthrie inspires women and girls to become “Every Day Radicals” and take small daily steps that advance the causes that are important to them. She also asks women provocative questions such as, “What one word embodies you?” and “What is your superpower?” For more information about Ms. Guthrie including links to videos, visit her website at http://julianguthriesf.com/.

  • Lisa Ballantyne
    Senior Vice President & General Manager, Northern California, Turner Construction Company

    A Boston area native who earned a civil engineering degree and spent a brief stint out of college working on her hometown’s famous “Big Dig,” Ms. Ballantyne joined Turner in 1988 as a project manager. More than two decades later, she is managing Northern California construction projects valued at more than $850 million a year after being promoted to general manager and senior vice president in 2014 and 2018, respectively. She oversees business operations and management for the company’s Northern California offices in San Francisco, Oakland, Milpitas and Sacramento.

    Previously, Ms. Ballantyne served as Turner’s vice president of risk management in its New York City headquarters. Appointed in 2012, she was responsible for safety, insurance, claims and legal, as well as serving on the company’s surety management team. During her early years at Turner, she worked as a project manager on numerous jobs and as general manager of the special projects division.

    Active in industry and philanthropic groups, Ms. Ballantyne chaired the inaugural San Francisco Hard Hats for Hearts Mission in 2016 and remains on the organization’s executive leadership team. She served in a similar capacity for Go Red For Women, a campaign to raise awareness among women about heart disease. Currently, she sits on ACE Mentoring’s Northern California board and the Tulane Fund Advisory Board.

    Ms. Ballntyne earned her civil engineering degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and a masters degree in business administration from Simmons University’s School of Management in Boston.

    A native of Massachusetts, she and her husband, Brant, live in Orinda where they are raising their two teen-aged sons. The boys play competitive soccer and the family enjoys the beach, skiing and snowboarding. For more information about the Turner Construction Company, visit its website at https://www.turnerconstruction.com/

  • Ruthie Bolton
    Speaker, Author & Advocate

    Known as the Mighty Ruthie, Ms. Bolton has transformed her experiences as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, a professional basketball player and a two-time Olympic gold medalist who escaped an abusive marriage into a powerful message of hope for women and girls.

    She is an original franchise player for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Monarchs in Sacramento, where she scored more than 2,000 career points, ranks fourth on the WNBA’s all-time 3-pointer list and is the only player in the team’s history to have her number retired. Ms. Bolton displayed her considerable court skills at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, where she and her teammates brought home gold medals. Among her other accolades, she was USA Basketball Female of the Year in 1991, the Sports Illustrated Best Woman Athlete by home state and one of only four players to be named to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011. In addition, Ms. Bolton was WNBA’s first national spokeswoman for its youth development program called Play Fit/Stay Fit.

    But as Ms. Bolton often says, “If I am only remembered for being a basketball player, I believe that I will have failed in my job on this planet.” There is little chance of that.

    She has already written two books, The Ride of a Lifetime and From Pain To Power. In her second book, she writes about surviving and thriving after escaping her abusive husband.

    And Ms. Bolton speaks all over the world and tells women how they, too, can turn traumatic situations into opportunities and renew and transform themselves. She is especially proud of her work as a co-founder of Aim High, an educational enrichment program that strives to empower girls. To date, more than 50 educational institutes throughout the world have implemented the Aim High curriculum.

    For more information about Ms. Bolton, visit her website at https://mightyruthiebolton.com/.